Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Knitted Cabled Bottle Koozie

My latest koozie design is knitted with cables and a button flap closure. It also has a full bottom, unlike the crocheted bottle koozies.  I'm planning to write up the pattern, but I might make a few changes first.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

iPad cover made from a fabric covered text book

 When I got my iPad, I started looking for a unique and visually appealing cover.  I found a great one on Etsy (here), but didn't want to pay the price.  So, I decided to see if I could make my own version.  I was able to find the same yellow bird fabric and already had grey fabric, white ribbon, and white elastic.  I also found an old text book from college - analytical chemistry, and bought some spray adhesive and got out my glue gun.  Here is the text book and the iPad before I started.

I cut the binding along the spine so I could remove the pages while leaving the cover in tact.  I ended up covering most of it in paper using spray adhesive since the cover was dark and showed through the fabric.  Then, I covered the outside, much like you would do with a paper book cover and attached it using spray adhesive.  I used spray adhesive to add the grey fabric to the spine and hot glued the ribbon on to cover the unfinished edge where it meets the yellow.  I used a separate sheet of fabric for the inside and just tucked the edges under and tacked them with hot glue.  I cut another piece of cardboard for the part underneath the iPad and covered it with a layer of batting, and then a layer of white fabric.  I hot glued the elastic to the back of the cardboard and then hot glued the whole thing to the inside of the book cover.  Finally, I cut a strip off of an old fridge magnet and glued it on the cover in the area where it wakes up and puts to sleep the iPad.  You can see it in action in the video below (which of course I recorded sideways so it looks funny, but you get the idea).  Here is the final product.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Spinning fabric - selvage and scraps

I tried spinning some selvage edges from my quilting and sewing (and some other scrap strips) into fabric yarn.  Turns out it is pretty hard to join fabric strips by spinning, so I had to tie them together.  I'm not sure that the spinning was necessary.  I think you could just tie them together and knit or crochet with it.  I am thinking I will eventually make a rag rug out of this, but I will probably need more yardage for that!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Black and white yarn scarf

Remember this post when I started with wool from two different sheep, one white and the other black and then made some black, white, and grey yarn?  Well, look what I finally made with it!

Here are the two different piles of raw wool:

I separated the dark wool into black, dark grey and medium grey, then mixed white and medium grey to make light grey, and used some plain white.  I made a bunch of rolags and spun them into a big bulky yarn.
Here are some rolags:

This was a long time ago!  It was probably in August of 2011.  I just couldn't decide what to do with the yarn.  I tried knitting with it, but it was too bulky and not lofty enough so it made a stiff, bulky fabric that was not working out no matter how big of needles I used.  So, it sat and sat until I saw someone at work with a yarn scarf just joined by zip ties!  I decided that would be a perfect way to use this yarn.  But, I used yarn to tie it in 3 spots instead of zip ties.

The black wool is a little coarser than the rest and makes it a little scratchier than I would prefer, but I am pretty sensitive to wool and I can wear it all day close to my skin with minimal annoyance.  I had just enough yarn for two, so one is going up for sale in my etsy shop.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Art yarn scarf sewn with dissolvable interfacing

Several years ago I saw someone with a scarf that was made just of yarn sewn together.  They told me their friend had made it using dissolvable interfacing.  I had that in the back of my mind for a long time and recently saw the technique again in a recent issue of Spin-off magazine.  I decided to finally try it out on my yarn that I made while trying out my drum carder.  You can read all about making the yarn here.

After the yarn was done, I arranged it and sandwiched it between two pieces of dissolvable interfacing and pinned it to keep it all in place.  Then I sewed back and forth on my sewing machine.

Finally, I just ran cold water over it to dissolve away the interfacing and hung it to dry!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Yellow scarf and yarn bowls

I made this yellow scarf for a former co-worker's husband in exchange for these yarn bowls that he made me!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Master Charles Hat for Owen

Here is another Master Charles hat I made back in March of last year, but never posted. Previous details about the Master Charles hat were posted here and here.  This was the 4th one I made.  I still love this pattern and seeing this, I kind of want to make it again!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Drum carding and yarn inspiration

Well, it has been a while I know.  Over the summer we moved from Iowa to the Kansas City area.  It has been nearly a year of transition from the time we found out that my husband got a promotion to now.  I commuted back to Iowa for work for a while, we lived in a hotel for 2 months, we bought a new house, moved, started new jobs, etc, etc.  So, I fell behind in blogging.  My crafting has been slower too until just recently.  But, I do have a backlog of projects to share and plan to get them up here in the near future.  I will kick off my return to the blog with a BIG post tonight.

For Chirstmas, I got a Brother motorized drum carder with 120 TPI carding cloth.  This is a machine used for preparing wool for spinning into yarn.  So, I was anxious to try it out and experiment with different techniques of blending color to see what the final yarn would end up like.  I started with color inspiration from design-seeds.com:

Then, I found natural wool colors and dyed some wool with food coloring to try to imitate each of the colors in inspiration picture.  Here is the natural wool I started with - white and black/grey.

I weighed out 3 1-ounce piles of white wool and dyed them light teal, dark teal and yellow.
1 ounce piles of wool before dyeing.

For the yellow I used 4 cups of water, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 30 drops yellow food coloring, 2 drops of green, and 2 drops of blue and simmered in my little crockpot dedicated to dyeing for about an hour.

For the light teal, I did the same thing but used 26 drops of blue food coloring and 10 drops of green.

For the dark teal I upped the vinegar to 3/4 cup and used 46 blue, 18 green, and 3 red drops of food coloring.  I might have let this one go longer too, but I don't remember for sure.

After they came out of the dye bath, they dried overnight - here is how they looked after dyeing and before carding.  The yellow looks way more yellow than it did in the crockpot.

Next, I used my new drum carder to make one white batt, one black batt, one grey batt, one light grey batt that was a mix of grey and white wool, and one batt from each of the dyed colors.

Here is the comparison of the inspiration picture colors to the carded batts:

I divided these into four pieces and tried 4 different techniques of carding/spinning to see how the yarn would differ.

For the first batt, I used a sandwich technique that I saw on this video from NeauveauFiberArts, but she learned it from PluckyFluff, who is the one who helped design my spinning wheel, the Aura from Majacraft.

The batt was fairly mixed in color, and you can see that in the final yarn.

For the second and third batts, I tried just putting the separate colors in stripes across the drum carder to keep them more separated.

In process of drum carding.

The batt before spinning.

The singles before plying.  I basically went up and down the batt, spinning most/all of one color before switching to the next.

The final double plied yarn.  Since I plied one skein onto itself, you an see that the dark teal is mostly always with black, the yellow with grey, white with light teal...etc, so not a ton of variation.

For the third batt, I prepared it the same way on the drum carder, but then pulled off horizontal strips so that it went back and forth across all of the colors several times for the singles.

This one was more mixed than the second skein, but not as muted as the first.

For the last batt, I did each color in a layer.



Side view of batt. 

The singles were much more mixed than the last two, but not as muted as the first.

Here is the double-ply.

Here are the 4 skeins from left to right: skein #1, skein #4, skein #3, skein #2.

I think they all capture the idea of the inspiration picture but it was interesting to see how the different methods produced different yarns.  I don't think the picture really captures the real differences as much as you can see them in real life.

A post with a final product from this yarn will follow.