The Peterborough Handweavers and Spinners Guild have a fibre art challenge each year.
This year, 2016, being the 60th Anniversary of the Guild, it was decided that the challenge would be “Diamonds”.
The challenge items are to be displayed at several events during the year, the first one being the Fibre Arts Show and Sale. Of course I left it until about a week before the show, to decide what I was going to do. I thought I would weave something with a diamond pattern. With the help and encouragement of my daughter Cassie, I began the project.
First I made the warp. I used a white cotton. Because my loom isn’t built for uneven weaving, it was a bit of a challenge to get the weaving done. I practiced with a couple of different yarns, in yellow shades, that I had spun myself.
Then for my project … for the weft, I used a navy blue wool. After a certain length… small rug size… I cut it off and hemmed the ends. Then I could use this as my challenge item for the Fibre Arts Show & Sale. Of course there was still quite a length of warp left so I used it up with a red wool weft. For this rug, I left tassels on the ends. They turned out quite nicely. My cats loved them . . .
Cassie needed a project to use up the wool that she had spun using a drop spindle. She had died it with Woad seeds. We found a pattern on the internet for Lala’s Simple Shawl lalasimpleshawl_eng-2 . It is similar to the small shawls that we made before, but this shawl is much bigger and the pattern is a bit different. I decided that I should make one too. It seemed like a good way to use up some of the wool that I have spun and dyed. I started out with a large ball of wool that had been dyed with onion skins. Of course this ball ran out before the shawl was finished so I found another similar one. It ended up that I had to use several different types and weights of wool with different intensities of onion skin dyes.
The finished shawl has a striped look as each ball of wool was different. I quite like the results. The one picture shows Cassie wearing her blue shawl while working at Lang. I thinkshe ran out of wool and had to spin more to finish. Sammi also made her version of the shawl with wool that she purchased a while ago from Harrisville. Of course she made hers in half the time it took me. Candace has also started one with some lovely wool that she bought in Toronto.
A couple of weeks ago, I was up in Cobourg visiting friends, eating lots of delicious food, and attending the Shelter Valley Folk Festival‘s Annual General Meeting. My awesome friend Lesley ((Who not only has a great and very funny blog but also is starting an excellent project called ‘Northumberland Small Time‘))had me over for brunch and crafternoon, and we took a quick trip over to The Black Lamb in Port Hope to pick up needle-felting supplies.
I’ve been meaning to buy some needle-felting supplies for a long time, but none of the wool stores in Toronto seem very well-stocked for that sort of thing; The Black Lamb, however, has plenty of great colours and supplies, and is pretty awesome for anyone working in wool.
I’ve only ever made one needle-felted object before – a little snow man, which I made at a Peterborough Hand-Weavers and Spinners Guild meeting – and I wasn’t really sure what I was doing, but it’s a pretty straightforward skill to pick up, at least for simple projects.
Anyway, I made a cute little owl – I think maybe it’s a barn owl. As they used to say in Brownies, ‘too-whit, too-woo!’
This was one of my first weaving projects. I made it for my Mother for Christmas one year.
I bought a lot of yarn at an auction and used it in several scarves. This is a wool blend and quite fine. The woman that had previously owned the yarn used it in a knitting machine. She got her yarn from the old woollen mill in town. I also bought (by mistake) her knitting machine. I just didn’t want to learn another craft so I haven’t used it.
I made this quilt as a Christmas present for Candace and her cat, Mr. Kippers (aka Zephy). Mr. Kippers is a black cat and likes spooky dark things. Cassie helped me with the project and we had a plan to try to sell “Cat Quilts” to other cats. We put in a cat nip pocket and Mr. Pinky just loved it, so we made a quilt for him too!
I dyed the unspun wool with Kool-Aid, and then I spun it in rainbow order. Then I knit the scarf. I thought I would make a hat to match and knit it from the pattern in this Pattons knitting book. The pattern is actually a Fair Isle pattern, but I just knit it all from my rainbow wool.
This is the same pattern (with the Fair Isle pattern). This hand spun wool was dyed with Black Walnuts, Onion Skins and Goldenrod.
This is an embroidered sampler that I created from a pattern. Generally I design my embroidered pieces myself, but this one was kicking around the house, and so I started working on it. The main change that I made was to re-work the colours, which were originally in some super-gross pastels. I (obviously) prefer the colours in the picture.
I think this design was called a ‘Jacobean’ sampler, but it looks to me more like the 1980s than the 1600s.
You’ll notice that there’s space at the bottom, which is where my name and the date is supposed to go; it’s the one part I can’t seem to get around to finishing. The rest of the sampler has been done for years.
My sister bought me a kit for Christmas one year to make these fiddlehead mittens from Tanis Fibre Arts. They have a knitted lining and are super warm. This was my first attempt at fair isle knitting or knitting with several colours. I love the result, but found the pattern for the lining to be a challenge because it was too big. I re-knit the one mitt’s lining several times, but didn’t redo the other, so it’s a bit bunched in the end. I wear them anyway, I love knitting!
Created using a template I found online, these felt flowers each have barrettes attached to them so that you can put them in your hair, but could also be worn as a brooch or grouped together to make a bouquet.