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Patchwork Doggie (13/50)

Yep, another patchwork project. This adorable doggie was made with this pattern by Denyse Schmidt. It was fun to see the patchwork take on the form of the doggie as I assembled it. If I put this in my swap shop, I think I might have to make another one for me!!

Side A

Side B

Spindles, anyone? (12/50)

Kendall is great for spinning larger quantities of yarn, but I prefer using hand spindles for spinning yarn from art batts, luxury fiber blends, and for take-along projects when I travel. After learning how to use a top whorl spindle at the fiber festival, I've been a wee bit obsessed with hand spindles.

I picked up the babe spindle for its versatility (the double whorls may be positioned to make it a top, mid or bottom whorl spindle) and in a crunch, I could take it apart when I travel!

The other type of spindle I've been wanting to try out is the Turkish spindle. I found a basic one on Etsy and I'm pretty pleased with its construction and functionality. The advantage of the Turkish spindle is its portability (nifty three piece construction) and the added bonus of having a center pull ball of roving at the end of spinning. I really like this design and will have to pick up a better one soon!

While reading up on various types of spindles, I came across several cool homemade spindles and decided I should have a go at it. Yep. Made two top whorl and the other, a bottom whorl.

The top whorl spindle has a carved stone whorl which gives it a nice weight. The initial test shows that it's relatively well-balanced and spins pretty easily/continuously. Can't wait to spin some yarn with it!

And I adore the details on this wooden bottom whorl spindle! I found the round wooden disk at a local shop and all I had to to was drill a hole in the middle of it to accomodate the shaft.

I'll be on the lookout for more materials that may be adapted to serve as whorls for hand spindles!

While cutting out squares for the patchwork drawstring pouches, I got carried away and ended up with huge stacks of fabric squares. Oh boy. Hence I have been trying to figure out what else I can make with the squares. Voila. Pot holders! I pieced them like I would for the patchwork drawstring pouches, quilted them on multiple layers of cotton batting, and raided my stash of bias binding to finish the edges. The colours are so bright and cheerful...I think they will help make cooking/baking less of a chore!

More oven dyeing...

I've been meaning to experiment with non-food grade acid dyes. While I've certainly been happy to colour my fiber with Kool-Aid and Wilton dyes, my jars of Jacquard dyes have been gathering dust. An impulse purchase of professional acid dyes from Dharma, Cushing and Country Classics was the motivation I needed to move my dyeing operations from the kitchen sink to the laundry room. Using the non-food grade acid dyes, I was able to produce much more vibrant hues and depth with the dyed fiber. I like the results, and already have plans for another day of dyeing!

Hocus Pocus - 1 oz silk with noils

All That Is Good - 1 oz silk with noils

Peter Pan - 2.1 oz domestic wool

Singing The Blues - 1.85 oz BFL

Viva La Verde - 4 oz merino

Spice Things Up - 4 oz merino

Sweeping The Clouds Away - 2.8 oz mill ends

At the fiber market...

I was relatively well-behaved. After last year's fiasco of fiber-gone-wild, I was determined to only buy fiber that I cannot live without.

They had a mini session on learning how to use a top whorl spindle and I jumped right into the thick of things. Yes, I've spun on countless bottom whorl spindles, but I figured I might as well learn while given the chance to do so.

Camel Down Batts, 2 oz (Luxury Natural Fibers)

Medium Gray Alpaca Roving, 8 oz (Black Locust Farm)

Natural Gray Freya Shetland Romney Roving, 8 oz (Black Locust Farm)

Dyed BFL Wensleydale Locks, 2 oz (Somerhill Farm)

Silky Grace Baby Llama Roving, 8 oz (Berbig's Woods Llamas)

A Quartet of 4 oz bumps of CVM Roving (Valhalla Acres Fiber Farm)

Dyed Alpaca Roving, 4 oz (Winding Creek Alpacas and Llamas)

Cormo Lamb Roving, 4 oz

Unwashed Cria Fleece, 3.2 oz

And yarn! Scrumptious wool/silk yarn in a lovely colourway called "Carribean"! Whatever shall I make with it?

Wool/Silk Yarn, 800 yards

And somewhere along the way, I also snagged three huge bags of alpaca fiber waiting to be washed and dyed...oh, and an 8 oz bag of unwashed silky llama locks which can be spun as is. I think I'm in trouble...

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