So I picked up these raw fleeces from a couple in Asheville a few days ago. I've always wanted to learn to process raw wool, spin, dye, and then use the yarn for my knitting and crocheting. The Craigslist ad said it was 4 fleeces, including 1 angora. They were moving, so the guy just kind of set the boxes in my truck with a smile and they went got back to work, so no time for questions. (He was wearing a fabulous hat that he had knitted.)
What I'm hoping for is help identifying what kind of fleeces I have here, as well as which would be the easiest for a rank beginner to start with, and what bare-bones equipment I'll need, as my budget is practically nonexistent. Here they are:
Mystery fleece 1:
Somewhat coarse, locks are about 6 - 7" long stretched out, not greasy at all - Mystery fleece 2:
Softer by far then the first one, not as soft as the second. Locks about 5", very curly, not very greasy-feeling - Closeup of number 3:
- Mystery fleece 4:
Soft, curly, rather difficult to separate a lock from the rest, locks about 2.5" long, not greasy, some white hairs running through it -
Closeup of number 4 -
handful of number 4 - Mystery fleece 5:
What IS this? short little fibers, maybe an inch long, soft, very black, hold together very well, but lots of little short pieces left behind when you pick up a wad of it. Rabbit?? I wouldn't think it would be from the belly of number 4 because it is much darker, a completely different feel, and there are several small bags of it. Hmm.
So, where would you start? Any ideas what kind of wool I have, and what did he mean by angora -- goat, or rabbit? Does it look like I got some good stuff?
I just noticed the awesome accessories challenge week ago, when I had a few days off work. Although I was nearly finished with a double-thick crochet, short-row hat of my own design for my husband, I felt it just didn't have the pizazz I wanted for a contest entry, although I am very proud of it.
I had recently been viewing Jennifer Hansen's (of Stitch Diva) Youtube tutorials on broomstick lace, including increasing, decreasing, and working in the round. So, I decided to put this intriguing knowledge to work in designing a contest entry that I had a chance of working up in time. Without further ado, here is my broomstick lace tam, worked in the round, bottom up, with crochet ribbing:
By the time I finished this hat I had a fairly thorough working knowledge of the technique.
I used the lace technique all the way to the crown. I had to increase to get the tam shape and decrease to do the top.
(I had stuck my finger through where you see the gap and disarranged the lace; it ordinarily lies flat and gap-free when I'm not messing with it. :/ )
My only inspiration was the instructional video, which simply demonstrates the techniques but doesn't show a finished item. I worked the ribbing first, to a length comfortable for my 23" head, then picked up stitches all around for the lace. Since I was in a hurry to begin I used some worsted weight acrylic that I had lying around.
I had hoped to have the scarf finished by the end of the entry time, but alas, it's only partially done. I'm including the picture of it to show a bit about the method used for the set.
This project was a lot of fun. I'm very happy with the outcome. It's the first time I ever used broomstick lace, and I used all the techniques demonstrated to me,as well as crochet ribbing, which I think I do very well. I definitely will make it again. I'd like to try it in a sport weight or finer yarn. It would make lovely jewelry, wouldn't it?
After I finished the hat, I decided to see what other Craftsters had done before me. I didn't find any made from the bottom up, or that continued the lace pattern into the crown. Also, mine was the only one I could find with cool crocheted ribbing. So maybe it's unique.
Of course, being twenty years older than BlkRz, and an apple instead of an hourglass, and lacking that celebrity diva vibe she has, I do not delude myself into thinking I rock the skirt like she does. However, it does make me feel special and talented and beautiful, and that's fine with me.
(In these pics I am also wearing my crocheted hat, which was made from a craftster's pattern; if you recognize it, give a shout out to its gifted creator ; and my glass marble pendant, which we all know was inspired by Craftsters. Come to think of it, I'm also wearing my Craftster-inspired panties, but we won't go there! )
The skirt consists of twenty-five ties, the remains of my favorite pair of jeans -- the ones with the copper Oriental dragon stenciled from the right thigh down to the ankle (yup... another Craftster inpiration!)-- which were beyond wearing in decent company. You can see in one of the pics that I added a black lining for modesty's sake, and my dh's.
Now....... What to do with all those decapitated neckties??
I've been working on this design for a few weeks now. I merged a couple of clip art into the butcher-knife-through-the-heart design, hand-drew the blood drips, inlaid it in a beer cap with resin, made the charms from pet-6 recyclable takeout container lids (hand drawn), and put it all together. The rondelles on the dangles are garnet. I have since painted the backside of the skull white with goopy old nail polish to give it gradations of whiteness from the lumpy texture.
I recently finished this hat. I started it for my son, but ended up making it for me. It was great -- really comfy and warm, and kinda silly too. But my family looked at me funny when I wore it, so I ended up selling it. It's red heart. I didn't expect it to feel as good as it did, honestly.
It's a strand of avocado run with a strand of camo, worked in hdc with an N hook.
I made myself a convertible dress about six months ago. Loved it... but never wore it, since I have varicose veins and am terribly embarrassed about wearing dresses. (Wish I could figure out a way to, though.)
So, I took off some length, and voila! A wearable top!
Here's another wrap style meant to save me some pain from my stinging sunburn (ouchie!)
Pardon the messy bedroom! I honestly hadn't noticed that the pics were taken at such an inopportune time. I really do make my bed, I swear.
This is my seven-year-old, Timothy, with his second woven scarf:
He made it on an Easy Weaver child's loom. I'm shocked at how good he is at getting his edges even and packing down the weft. The first six inches of scarf aren't quite as neat as the rest, but it had been four or five months since he finished his first weaving project.
This started out as a Fleuri (Julie Holetz' bag from Crochetme) but I had the flu and couldn't concentrate on the pattern very well, and I had no handles, and it was wool, so I threw it in the washer, and this is how it came out:
The flash didn't do it any favors; it really isn't washed out at the tops of the petals at all. It's made from Cascade 220 in a deep, rich red.
I love how the handle seems to grow out of the purse, like something organic and living.
It's got just enough room for my necessities.
Do you like how I lined it? I like the pocket. The lining and zipper weren't nearly as hard as I imagined; the curves made me think it was going to be difficult.
The yarn was from my stash; the satin was a shirt I don't wear; I had the beads and wire already that I used for the zipper pull. The only new thing I bought was the zipper.
This is a beret made from a free online pattern that I can't locate anymore. Her website appears to be gone and I don't have a printed copy of the pattern, so I can't give her proper credit. Too bad, it was a great pattern cuz you could make any size from small infant to adult extra large, and you could get different looks by making it solid, or making each tier a different color, or by alternating colors to make it striped. It looks cute in school colors, and good in camo around the sides with a coordinating solid top.
This is a necklace crocheted with number ten crochet cotton and some little beads that were sold to me as bone, but feel remarkably like plastic. I just chainstitched, pulling down a bead every three or four inches of chain, until it was long enought to go back and forth as many times as I wanted, then used the fold-over type of findings on each end.