Thursday, February 20, 2020

Spinning around

Yesterday I went to Værbitt to learn something new. Something I've merely tried - unsupervised and guided only by a video on YouTube - but this time with a teacher.

Spinning yarn with a drop spindle.

Which might sound a little weird. I mean, you can buy good yarn in fantastic shops - why bother making your own?

Well, why do we try new things? Why do we test new notions and yarn types, fabric weights and sewing needles? New (or old) techniques? Because it's fun! And I think you're left with a better understanding of how things are made, how yarn has been and is spun. Mostly by machines, yes, perhaps - but also by hand.

And altough my hands and fingers are really sore after those three hours last night, I'm looking forward to giving it another go! Testing fiber (norwegian wool, merino wool, and so on) and trying to spin the fibre thin enough to combine with other yarn to make into something.

This is the drop spindle I used last night, with my freshly spun two treads yarn on. As you can see, the thickness is a little wibbley-wobbley (a Doctor Who-referance to time and space) but for a second attempt (ever) at handspinning I think it's quite OK. Maybe even usable for something.

And here it is, all wound up into a  miniature skein. I still need to soak it in water for a couple of hours and let it dry. Apparently, handspun yarn needs a little TLC or spa treatment before one can knit with it. I didn't know that (until last night). But it makes sense, I guess. Spinning the fibres introduce a lot of tension and energy into the fibre - and yarn - and unless you want spagetti, it needs to relax again.

So, tonight, when I come home, I will put my little skein in a nice little bath, letting it's little shoulders relax - and letting it take some nice, deep breaths. And then it will be exciting to see how it looks, feels - and behaves after it has dried.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Thursday January 23rd.

I commute to work every day - usually taking the bus. And usually this is a very quiet and relaxed journey. However, on Thurday January 23rd the busdriver interrupted everyone's "napping" (well, yes, that is what most people do commuting on the bus at those hours) by excitingly proclaming that the SAS hotel was looking extraordinarily wonderful - and I cannot say that he wasn't right. I mean, just look at the picture below!

The sunrise reflecting in the glass facade of the hotel made it look as if the whole hotel was on fire.

Down the street from the bus stop where I got off the bus.

Crossing the railroad brigde.

And finally, the sunrise reflecting in the glass facade of the building where I work.

After a very long and grey winter, with hardly any snow, it was good to see colours again. The show of lights and colours shown in the sunrises and sunsets are energizing (and inspirational)!

A finished project in February!

It's February 4th and I have a finished project!

A few (many...) years ago Anni Downs, the wonderful Australian designer, came to visit Norway. She had just released her series of Little Stitches patterns, and I think my mom and I bought quite a few of those.

Anyway, a few weeks back I was tidying up in my sewing nook, and I came across a plastic folder with a couple of these Little Stitches patterns and most of these already stitched! Among them was the butterfly for the Miracle Make-up Bag. Well, I'd already been thinking about finishing bits and pieces that I'd started to work on, but I had completely forgotten about this stitchery. So what's a crafter to do? Finish it!

And here it is, fresh off the ironing board, and placed in the crispy clean new snow.

I don't wear much make-up (nailpolish and lipgloss) so I'm thinking of using this as a small project bag instead. It is very sweet, colourful and just the right size for a small carry-with project.


Edited to add a comment about when I actually bought this pattern. Way back in 2014 Anni Downs came to Norway to host a workshop and a show & tell. And that was when I bought this (and a couple other) pattern! Thursday May 8th 2014. It's been maturing well, don't you think? 

Monday, February 03, 2020

Give the kids some glowsticks..

And they'll entertain the whole family!