Saturday, September 29, 2018

From Sheep to Shawl

I've had my spinning wheel for almost 45 years now, but haven't done any spinning for a while. I also have a lovely fleece that's been waiting for me to work with it. So...

First I dyed some of the fleece. I used a crockpot and did three different pots of dyes, using regular red and yellow grocery store food coloring, vinegar, and water. One pot was for red, the second was yellow, and the third a mixture of the two colors for orange. Here are the yellow and orange batches after being carded and piled into baskets. 

I also discovered a bag of blue wool from the same fleece that I had previously acid dyed. Starting with the red dye batch (which turned out pink), I carded some of that, then blended and carded some of it with orange, then carded pure orange, then blended and carded some orange with yellow, then carded pure yellow, then blended and carded yellow with the blue, and then carded up the rest of the blue. That sounds confusing even to me. 

I ended up with these seven yarn colors: Pink, pink/orange, orange, orange/yellow, yellow, yellow/blue, and blue. Here is everything all spun up and ready for knitting.

Using my current favorite pattern called Easy Peazy Shawlette, I used most of the yarn to knit this small shawl, which will be the perfect size when we finally get some cooler weather. In this photo it has been washed and pinned while damp to the bed for blocking. Just out of the frame, an invisible Henry the cat is waiting to snuggle up on the damp shawl for a nap. 

Here is a close up shot so that you can see some of the color variations. Henry liked the pink part best and spent a couple of hours sleeping on it and helping it to dry.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

I Made a New Bag

I found a photo on good old Pinterest for a "Japanese sling bag." It looked like a pretty simple project, so with the photo in front of me I made a pattern from a paper bag.

Using leftover fabric from pillow covers and a lampshade that I made, plus a deconstructed floral print Ralph Lauren shirt from the thrift store, this is what I made.

It's roomy and it's reversible. You can see by the wrinkled fabric that it gets a lot of use.

You loop one handle through the other to carry it. Next time I make one, I'll make the long handle a bit longer so that it could actually go over my shoulder. 

If you search "boho sling bag" or "Japanese sling bag" on Pinterest, you will see lots of variations.