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21  Cabled chunky cowl from Handspun in Knitting: Completed Projects by Belladune on: February 20, 2014 06:32:21 AM
I made this cowl for a friend as a trade in services, she made me something I can't make, and I made her something she can't make! win/win!
I've shared the handspun yarn here
Here's the finished cowl:

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And here it is on me, so you can see just how chunky it is!!

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Thanks for lookin'!!
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22  Re: 2014 Affirmation Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Belladune on: February 18, 2014 09:36:09 AM
I have received from the wonderfully talented vgnmom!!  It's wonderful. All the stitching, and the fleet! oh, I love it!!


Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

It's already up on my hoopla wall!


Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Thank you so much!!!
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23  Fibre Friday February 7th, 2014 in Spinning: Completed Projects by Belladune on: February 07, 2014 06:07:10 PM
Late start, but better then never, right?

Nothing of great yardage, but I'm on my pre Fibre Week panic to get all my homework done.  So it's mostly going to be mini skeins for a while.

Let's start with the "recreate a commercial yarn" homework. 
Here's the first attempt (with the commercial yarn beside):

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr


And the subsequent attempts. 4 in total, and I've not done it yet. It's harder then it should be!

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr


A couple blends, just because we need to do some blends to prove we learned something in level 2 (or so I assume.)
CVM/BFL

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

BFL/Silk

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr


Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr


and I've gone crazy and thought to make a sweater, and I don't think my yarn is as thick as I thought it was. But while I've shared it before, it's in ball form, and makes a pretty picture.


Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Anyone else been up to any yarn fun?



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24  Fiber Friday! Jan 30, 2014 in Spinning: Completed Projects by Belladune on: January 31, 2014 10:59:49 AM
Woot woot!

Yarn!!!!

8+oz of merino, who knows what in terms of yardage. dk-light worsted ish.

Untitled by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And this is my Journey to the Golden Fleece Fiber Creativity course Module 1 yarn.  It's pretty personal, so I'm just going to give ya the picture.  It's not long, but a brief synopsis of technique would go as follows:  one N-plied blue silk single, 'candy cane' plied with variegated purple crochet cotton  (you may or may not be able to find that out there on the webs... It may be a secret Journey technique) then, a core is added, and the blue silk becomes just a single and the purple continues along too. Teased Mohair locks are then added to cover the core four about 8 yards or so.  The purple and blue disappear on occasion, under the black/silver mohair locks.  At nearly the end, a big pink slub, and the pink core and purple thread, and blue silk is all twisted together.

Module 1 Journey to the Golden Fleece Yarn by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

If you are interested in the Journey to the Golden fleece course, Suzy and Arlene are opening sign ups for a second running TOMORROW!!  Go here to join the journey!

What have you guys been up to lately?
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25  Fibre Friday January 17th, 2014 in Spinning: Completed Projects by Belladune on: January 17, 2014 05:03:50 AM
Three in a row! can we keep it going?!  Grin

So, this is the corriedale, which I'd thought I'd ordered a pound of... But it was like just shy of 14 oz.  I"m going to have to double check, and message the folks it came from.  Hopefully it will be enough yarn for the cowl I'm knitting from it.  I did a test swatch on size 15's and it's LOVELY knit up.


Corriedale yarn. 13oz, ~200 yards, bulky goodness by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Here is the fluff, just because it's nice to look at fluff Wink  It's nothing special, but taking it from meh, to WOW is the best feeling Smiley

Corriedale yarn. 13oz, ~200 yards, bulky goodness by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

What else is going on in the spinning world today?

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26  Fibre Friday Jan 10, 2013 in Spinning: Completed Projects by Belladune on: January 10, 2014 11:12:26 AM
 Again!! Grin  Two weeks in a row!!

One yarn.  I thought this pic was better then this.... but I guess not... I'll try again, but I'm still going to post this in the mean time.

Friday Jan10.2014 by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr


Friday Jan10.2014 by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr


Friday Jan10.2014 by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And batts.  Each is 2 oz.  The blue base is merino, silk, bamboo, angelina, icicle nylon.  And the yellow ones are silk and merino.
I have enough stuff to make 2 more of these blues!!

Friday Jan10.2014 by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr


Friday Jan10.2014 by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Yellows (that's all I've got!)

Friday Jan10.2014 by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr


Friday Jan10.2014 by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

That's it for me this week.  But I've got a pound of corriedale I've got to spin up rather bulky for a cowl.  I plan to be done it by next friday!

What did you spin (or card or dye) this week?
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27  First Fibre Friday of 2014 - Jan 3 in Spinning: Completed Projects by Belladune on: January 03, 2014 09:10:11 AM
One wee yarn this go, and a batt.  Please share what you've been up to in this thread too! (I kinda miss pages upon pages of yarn porn....)


Canadian wool by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr
That's 100 % Canadian made.  Grown in Canada, small mill prepped carded roving, My kids and I dyed it, and I spun it up all fluffy and woollen style.  6.6 oz, 320 yards or so, 3 ply.

This batt is made from baby llama, merino and bits of yak. This on is 2 oz, but I have enough for 6 of them, so I'll whip them all up and there'll be a lot of it!  It was inspired by Hot chocolate with Marshmallows. nom nom.


Hot chocolate batt by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr


Hot chocolate batt by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Thanks for checking it out! Hopefully this thread fills with loads of yarns and fluff!
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28  Very Last Featured Artist of 2013 in FIBER ARTS by Belladune on: January 02, 2014 04:35:13 PM
(okay, so it's now 2014, but this was all well and done before the first of january Wink )

This round of Featured Artist, We are featuring P_E_S_T!!  A member since Dec 30 2012, she's won us over with so many of her beautiful creations over the year.



Of course, I asked her a few questions. Here they are
1.Tell me a bit about yourself
Now, never ask a Psychotherapist that - we will go into all sorts of inappropriate depths  Wink - Me. Well, Im a psychotherapist by day alongside being mum to Kayden - 8, Ebbon 6 and a soul mother to Helene (she came to live with us 2 years ago) 20.
I think the way that I craft says a lot about who I am; Firstly, I love to re-cycle - digging deep into things that have a history is not only part of my day time job but also weaves its way into my pieces. When I craft, Im not a perfectionist by any means - I like to let my hands and what ever Im working with, play together and conjur up all sorts of things. I never know what will happen until right at the last minute, then my brain kicks in and I can start to shape the piece. In life, I tend very much to "be in the moment" allowing the days to shape themselves with me carving my own needs into the day when it is possible.
Here's a few fun facts to make you all smile.....
I attend a weaving group but never ever weave - I cannot bear it !
I once got my bosoms stuck to a telephone box
I have sung in 6 musicals
I drove the British Rugby team around in a mini bus
My husband is my hero
My sons first trip to the hospital was to get a felting needle removed from his foot (serious mother guilt for many years)
Last week whilst walking to my studio to work, my skirt fell down around my ankles leaving me groping down with knickered bum up facing my new client !!!!



2. Where do you draw inspiration?
I love texture - you will find me mainly strutting up and down the clothing sections at charity shops (thrift stores) locating jumpers that I can shrink, kids clothes that I can cut apart, jeans that I can upcycle- or my latest whim, old lacey doilies and table cloths that I can felt around.
As I said before, I don't really have a plan before I set to making something - I love pieces that happen all by themselves. My Book hugs for example, who knew that those doilies would pucker up and make almost anemone like shapes ! And the sea glass / felt bowls - who would have known that super glue would create those lovely frosted window frames  Smiley




3. What made you get into felting?
oooooo now there's a question. Both my children go to a waldorf steiner school. And as any waldorf parent will tell you, there's often a need (especially in the early years) to fill ones house with as many felted fae folk as possible ! Being that most pieces are quite expensive, I decided to learn.
The first felting course I went on was a needle felting workshop with a wonderful  lady. Though I learnt a lot, her perfection did not fit with the relaxed side of me. So I sat and played, trusting that I would work a way to do it. I think I now have a "Jolene" trademark, to all my pieces - warm, textured and fairly free flowing.
To be honest, its only in the past three years that I have experimented more with wet felting, - taking the craft away from just making things for the children and into creating usable fabric. Beginning with my waistcoat (which I am currently wearing)
Also 2 years ago, a lovely friend of mine who attends a craft group I attend - welcomed me to her home to have some fleece, can you believe she lives in an actual windmill  Smiley)))) And so I also now get to dye up my own fleece which is perfect for needle felting


4 Do you have a favourite project you posted to Craftster?
Gosh that's such a tricky question because each piece I love for different reasons - our projects are like our children don't you think Huh You create them then send them out into the world all with their unique personalities. hmmmm
So, I love the felted folk I made for FoxyBlue as a private swap - they were my launching into the craftster world. I love my recent dragon, and I think Ratfinks would kill me if I didn't say it was one of my fave pieces.
I also have got a new project Im working on (which Ratfinks got the prototype for) which will be a tutorial for a travelling felting kit - but you will all have to wait a little longer for that.
ooooo and then, there's my sons felted jumper throw in the shape of a windmill. He really was a massive windmill fan for a good 4 years and still cuddles up under this blanket now.



5. Do you have a favourite project posted by another Craftster?
Gosh !!! How on earth do you pick one !!!! Anything polymer related really gets me ticking - I just cannot cannot do anything with polymer or fimo - its just too darn fiddly. I love looking at all the tutorials and recently managed to make a poppet - so thankyou. Oh and then there was the upcycled tie school bag, which I have made sooo many of.
Do you know what, its not the individual projects that get me fired up - its the joy of sitting down and cycling through all the galleries of swaps, seeing people connect and create for each other. What an amazing group of people we are !


6.  If you were trapped on a deserted island, and could wish for one thing, (and asking to get off was not allowed) what would you wish for?
Ha - when I first read this, I knew what I wanted immediately but when I voiced it out loud to my dinner table this evening (which was surrounded by 13 hungry people as is a normal Sunday in this house), I was told I should wish for something sensible like food or a boat or a genie.
Nope - for number 1 if I was trapped on a deserted Island it would be because I would want to be there. So It would be a toss up between a computer so I could interact with the world (Im not great on my own for too long) Orrrr a lifetime supply of yarn and I would yarn bomb all the trees until I lived on a rainbow island  Smiley


7. And one more fun question! If you could tell your younger self something, what would it be?
Awww, you know - one doesn't become a psychotherapist because your childhood was all sunshine and roses - and there were times when it was pretty terrible. I had a really good friend Tim, we would sit on the school bench and hold little fingers and he would say "This will all be worth something in the end". - Now if I could tell my younger self something, I would go stand over the two of them (little me and Tim) and I would say "This right here right now - friendship - is the most important thing you will ever have"
Awwwwwww you got me all emotional now  Smiley


Thanks for answering my question, P_E_S_T! 
I hope you all enjoyed reading (and looking at all the pictures).  I leave you with cake. Cake that P_E_S_T made.  Doesn't it look delicious?


P.S.
You have no idea how difficult it was to narrow it down to just a few pictures. Check out all the images she's posted!
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29  Re: Making Mawata in Spinning: Completed Projects by Belladune on: December 08, 2013 05:38:12 PM
I will post this here, and add it to the first post as well.

Working further with the Mawata (or hankies, as they are also referred to as)
So, the layers peel apart, each cocoon is one layer.  In this shot I have 2 pieces peeled, which each have quite a few cocoons, which in were further separated when I did the next step.

Silk mawata progress by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

The next step I didn't photograph, simply because I do not have a photographer following me around.  Unfortunate, no?  But the next step is to take 1 or 2 layers and stick your hands through the middle and pull outwards.  The fibres then elongate and turn into a roving of sorts, which looks like this:

Silk mawata progress by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

I spun up two bobbins worth, both looked like this:

Silk mawata progress by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

I was interrupted by the cat, who'd had enough time alone, and really really really needed my love *right.then.* Notice the bits of silk on her whisker...

Silk mawata progress by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Trudge on, because these things are *not* fun to spin.  At least not as fun as commercial hankies.  It's nearly impossible to get a decently even yarn out of them.  But here it is:

Silk yarn from homemade mawata by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr
and

Silk yarn from homemade mawata by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And this is the "waste" (in quotes, because it's good for textured funky batts, but not much else... paper making or compost maybe?)

"Waste" from homemade silk mawata by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

So.  I did go and weigh the whole shebang, it was 8 grams. That includes the waste and the yarn and the extra one I had to set aside to turn in for homework. I ended up with a whopping 23 yards of yarn.  So, starting with 48 cocoons, that's what I got. And I think I wasted 6 cocoons completely, but they were so yucky looking(very dark with poo and bug yuck)I didn't want to do more then think of opening them. I'm sure the silk would have been no good anyway.


And that's pretty much the end of the story!! Of course one could knit it all up, but not for this wee bit, and not this project.
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30  Making Mawata in Spinning: Completed Projects by Belladune on: December 01, 2013 09:14:43 AM
If you are vegan, please click out of here. You are likely to find this rather offensive.

 Or if you are squeamish, or find dead bugs just as or more gross then live ones, don't scroll all the way through, though I will mark the one image as mature, just incase you have your settings set that way you won't see it.
 BAHH! It won't let me edit out that code error! grrr.  That image is not marked as mature yet. Just on't scroll to the very bottom if you don't want to see it!  Thanks for fixing it, Sweets4ever!


This is a photo journal type post of what one could do with silk cocoons

Let it begin!! Hubby had a handy dandy thermometer for me to borrow, so that i could make sure my pot never got above 65'c.

The making of silk mawata! by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Into the pot! Silk cocoons float, so I grabbed a broken strainer, thinking it would keep them under the water. Apparently they are buoyant enough to lift it....  So I grabbed another small pot and laid it atop to strainer.

The making of silk mawata! by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr


The making of silk mawata! by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

After 40 minutes of cooking these bad boys, I decided they were done.  They say until they become transparent, but they were super soft, so I didn't wait any longer.

The making of silk mawata! by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

You cut an end and pull it over the four corners of a frame, which makes the mawata!

The making of silk mawata! by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And this is the pic you may not appreciate, and I've marked it as mature, but it's an undeniable part of the process. Truth of it is that silk comes from silk worms. More often then not these creatures need to have their lives taken in order to harvest the silk.  It's an unfortunate part of the silk industry. This is what comes out of the cocoons, dead bugs and bug poop. Yes. Poop.  they did just eat so many more times their weight in mulberry leaves, after all.
 
to change your image viewing settings please click here


And there you have it!  They are drying on the frame as we speak.  I'll be spinning up a sample of them as part of my Master Spinners study. Once that's done, I'll add it to this thread!

FURTHER FUN WITH MAWATA!! The spinning part! (edit added Dec 8th 2013)


Working further with the Mawata (or hankies, as they are also referred to as)
So, the layers peel apart, each cocoon is one layer.  In this shot I have 2 pieces peeled, which each have quite a few cocoons, which in were further separated when I did the next step.

Silk mawata progress by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

The next step I didn't photograph, simply because I do not have a photographer following me around.  Unfortunate, no?  But the next step is to take 1 or 2 layers and stick your hands through the middle and pull outwards.  The fibres then elongate and turn into a roving of sorts, which looks like this:

Silk mawata progress by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

I spun up two bobbins worth, both looked like this:

Silk mawata progress by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

I was interrupted by the cat, who'd had enough time alone, and really really really needed my love *right.then.* Notice the bits of silk on her whisker...

Silk mawata progress by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

dump the cat and trudge on, because these things are *not* fun to spin.  At least not as fun as commercial hankies.  It's nearly impossible to get a decently even yarn out of them.  But here it is:

Silk yarn from homemade mawata by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr
and

Silk yarn from homemade mawata by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And this is the "waste" (in quotes, because it's good for textured funky batts, but not much else... paper making or compost maybe?)

"Waste" from homemade silk mawata by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

So.  I did go and weigh the whole shebang, it was 8 grams. That includes the waste and the yarn and the extra one I had to set aside to turn in for homework. I ended up with a whopping 23 yards of yarn.  So, starting with 48 cocoons, that's what I got. And I think I wasted 6 cocoons completely, but they were so yucky looking(very dark with poo and bug yuck)I didn't want to do more then think of opening them. I'm sure the silk would have been no good anyway.


And that's pretty much the end of the story!! Of course one could knit it all up, but not for this wee bit, and not this project.

 Thanks for looking!
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