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.
It's a soda bottle, with a digitally collaged label. I don't ordinarily post this sort of thing, so I'm unsure whether to place it in paper craft reconstructed, or elsewhere. Thanks for any clues you can give me.
If your wrist measurement is somewhat bigger than the 'average' sizes... say, in excess of 8 inches... do you find it difficult to buy bracelets? and anklets too? I don't like having to use extenders all the time.
I've always made my own stuff, never had any cash to spend on jewelry, you know. I'm just wondering about others' shopping experiences, and this is where I go to connect with other amply endowed gals.
I've been looking online a bit, but since I really have never shopped for jewelry, I feel a bit out of my element.
What sizes are generally available, and is it an adequate range? Is there generally a good style selection for us? And do you feel ripped off because of the extra length of the items, or does the expense generally seem in proportion to the added materials? Are there youthful items commonly available, or is it like plus-size clothing used to be -- matronly, as though people only get fat after fifty or fat girls never like to have fun? I'm sure those of you who are my age or older remember those days.
the handle of a rattail comb and a 12" long needle file, that is.
The reason for this MacGyveresque episode is that I took a ball of yarn and a crochet hook with me on a visit to a friend's house, but apparently dropped the crochet hook when getting into the car. I had no backup, and she had previously given me her old crochet hooks since she no longer crochets.
Well, I had to do something productive, and I had so been looking forward to working up that yarn.
So, I looked around for something to fashion into a hook or a pair of needles. Alas, no chopsticks. I found the file in my trunk (about the diameter of a size 5 needle), and I commandeered the comb from a table, and now I have a dishcloth!
I plan to post a pic tomorrow, it really came out quite decent-looking.
I want to make a scarf for a friend of mine who is a lifelong Harley rider... tough guy and all that. He mentioned once that he would really like one, but I didn't know him well enough then to be sure he would appreciate what goes into knitting a gift.
I can draft my own chart for a Harley emblem, but what I need to know is, what sort of scarf would be appropriate? rib knit? stockinette? what?? I'd like it to be something he'd be comfortable wearing around his biker friends. He's in his early fifties, stable family man but with a 'bad boy' edge, hard-working and hard-playing... you know, typical Harley guy!
Come one, all you biker babes... what do you think would work out best? (He did mention a thin orange stripe at each end....)
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.