Friday, March 30, 2012

Fairy Tale Spin/Swap Received!

 I received my fairy tale swap parcel this week, all the way from Australia! I have been racking my little pee brain trying to figure out the fairy tale my partner spun for me. I am afraid I'm coming up blank, I was not very clever in figuring out the story. There are some significant elements in the construction of the yarn, namely the huge number of singles, which start off with two and progress to eleven, then back down to two. The two colors of the singles are a soft pale green and soft mossy brown along with silver and gold metallic threads. If you have any thoughts about what story this yarn represents, I would love to hear your ideas! 

I spent a lot of time looking at the yarn and pondering the tale it told. With the soft green and brown, plus all the finely spun, plied strands, it really reminded me of a beautiful twisting vine. 

































So I followed that idea and crocheted a long vine with lots of random leaves, because I like random. The leaves were interspersed with bobbles which would become the centers of my crochet flowers. I also added some of my tassel flowers (Which I make using my spinning scraps and other goodies which are too pretty to throw away.) Plus some art yarn fringe randomly placed along the length of the vine, and some more fringe-like vines with leaves and buds, crocheted in a darker green recycled cotton.

I'm thinking maybe the tower trellis in my welcome planter on the front walk could use a little yarn bombing in the form of an exotic creeping vine, or maybe I should just keep it as a lariat?


I hope your week has been filled with wonderful creative moments!
Blessings Friends!



Friday, March 23, 2012

My Lucky Leprechaun (Slipper) Socks

I worked furiously on these leprechaun socks so that I could have them finished by St. Patrick's day. Isn't it crazy how all of a sudden you get an idea to make something at the last minute! I had completed the cuffs in the green tweed without really thinking about it being close to St Patrick's Day, suddenly on Friday the idea to make them into leprechaun socks clicked in and I was knit-knit-knitting to complete them before the end of Saturday.  I'm pleased with how they turned out, however they are too long, which is strange since it's my usual worsted weight sock formula. I wonder if it could be the yarn I used for the foot? While I like Cascade 220 (regular)wool, I am not crazy about the 220 superwash. It's a bit thin, almost like it's been stretched and doesn't have a lot of body. Why did I use it then? Well quite some time ago I had bought a bunch of it in all different colors for a class I was taking. I ended up buying different yarn and little by little I have been using up the superwash. It's a good carry along as a second yarn for color blending. But in this instance, it was really a case of it being the perfect color. I really do wish it were the regular wool, then I could full these down some in size. I think even the superwash could be manipulated a bit and might tighten up with a vigorous wash, but the cuff is knit with a wool/angora tweed, accented with my handspun and I know that would felt quite quickly. On the up side, this was the perfect color of bright green for my leprechaun slipper socks and I will simply pick open the toe and pull out a few rows and re-do the toe decreases. Or maybe I should unravel them back to the cuff and switch to a smaller needle and re-knit the entire foot? Fortunately I have some time to think about it since we have been having such delightful weather, no slippers are called for! 

I hope you have a lovely weekend and get in lots of creative time! I don't know about you but my head is swimming with so many ideas, I just don't know where to start! Must be spring fever!

Blessings Friends!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fairy Tale Spin/Sawp



We had a fun fairy tale spin/swap over in the art yarn group and now that my parcel has been received, I can post details of the yarn and the construction. It was really neat to think about spinning the yarn to correspond with the story. You can see my beginning palette of fibers I put together for this spin.


The beginning of story starts with cinders from the hearth, but even under the soot, the fine quality and character of Cinderella peeked through. I used silk top, merino and silk noil to represent that part of the story, all dyed a smoky gray black.


The perfect pumpkin for a magical carriage.

I used sari silk ribbons in shades of orange and green,with their thick and frazzled edges plied with a mossy green single with tail spun Lincoln locks to represent the pumpkin vines, along with a dyed cocoon pumpkin.


Six white mice

The six white mice gathered to be turned into coachmen were made from spun cocoons of merino silk and angelina. The tails were an add on, I snuck in a little strand of semi felted single and needle felted each one in place. Just for extra measure I also used some thread for insurance that the tails would stay put. (It's a gift yarn after all, can't have those tails falling off, how shocking that would be! LOL)


Here's a close up of one of the mice I made using the cocoon art yarn technique. (If you're interested, there are excellent directions in the book, Intertwined, by Lexi Boeger )



Cinderella goes to the ball

I made a little tassel/dress out of tulle. By leaving the loops uncut, adding a little tulle bow at the waist and a little length of the tulle for a train, I hoped to convey a tiny little ball gown. I also found some little glass slippers charms! Lots of silver and gold, sparkly magic going on here.


Happily ever after!

I found this huge sparkly ring, for total fairy tale style bling for Miss Cinderella's happily ever after moment! I added it into the yarn with beaded strands of tiny pearls and satin ribbons.


Here's the whole skein. It was fun telling a story by spinning an actual yarn and I hope the fiber friend who received it didn't mind my very literal interpretation. I mean, even if nothing else is ringing any bells, those glass slippers are a dead give away! That being said, the parcel went to France and I have no idea if this tale is as common over there. Maybe some of my francophile friends can chime in with a little insight.


Oh and check out this sweetie, my fluffy little bff (best fluffy friend) is 15 years old today! Everyone always asks me how old she is and I kind of ball park it because I can never remember for certain what year I got her, so I finally looked it up in my old file with the vet bills and it was 1997. The day itself is always easy to remember, since it's the day before St. Patrick's day. She is still so lively and playful. Happy Birthday Cissie!

I hope you have a delightful weekend, enjoy this wonderful weather!
Blessings Friends!

Melissa

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Needle Felted Wensleydale Lamb




(Bramble)

I have this stash of super tiny Wensleydale lamb locks that I have been hogging all to myself and I used some of them to make a little needle felted lamb of my own. I attached a pin back and made the curly little la
mb into a brooch. This is a needle felted ode to my favorite garden sheep Bramble.


(also Bramble)


Then I had this idea to use the lamb brooch to make a lariat with some of my super chunky, lock spun (also Wensleydale) The nice thing is, they can be used together or are completely functional by themselves. I needle felted some extra little curls at the end of the lariat to make some uber curly little pom-poms.


The lariat is over 70" long, so there is plenty of length to play with different wrapping styles. It make the perfect little skinny scarf and while the lamb makes it playful, alone the lariat adds an artsy flavor.

I'm off to check in with all the hoppers..err, posters on Wonder Why Gals FOF blog hop, I love all the creative ideas and projects, check it out!

Have a delightful weekend...watch out for the sun spots!
Blessings Friends!
Melissa

Friday, March 2, 2012

Gathering The Light-FreeForm Shawl


I finished my freeform shawl this week. To create this shawl, I used all my favorite art yarns, my WinterWonder, which includes lots of delicious goodies including Wensleydale lamb locks, a cocoon yarn using alpaca, silk and merino, and my special favorite, a super chunky Wensleydale Lamb, lock spun. ( I am convinced that if you rest your head on the skein of this hand spun...it is big enough for a pillow, you will have sweet, gentle lamb type dreams for life! It's super soft and very curly!)


In addition to the wheel motif I showed you last week, I also included a cosmic spiral motif, both design elements were freeform crochet on a knitted base. I like to incorporate symbolism into my work where I can, and both of these designs are positive symbols throughout many cultures and carry a timeless, universal message of unity, balance, centering, growth and connectivity.


Ahhh, that luscious Wensleydale yarn, here's a closer look at the fringe, it's beautiful and very sheepy with all the sproingy little curls!


It's nice and long, and has a good drape, but it's also light and airy. It would make an excellent traveling shawl. A very cozy, curl up with a good book shawl. A comforting, nurse you back to health shawl. And the best, walk outdoors on a spring day shawl.

I look forward to seeing all the yummy projects my Fiber Arts Friday friends have been working on this week, I love Andria's FOF blog hop, if you haven't already, check it out, you'll find lots of creative inspiration!

Blessings Friends!
Melissa

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I'm a crafter, knitter, tinkerer, who always seems to have a project or two on the launch pad. I love to share what I'm working on and I love to see what other folks are working on too, so please comment and let me know where I can see your latest creation!