Monday, July 28, 2008

Bead Embroidered Purse - Beginning stages

Bead Embroidered Purse, originally uploaded by minstrel spinner.

I had an incredible opportunity to study with one of my favorite bead artists - Sherry Serafini. Her bead embroidered jewelry and purses are so beautiful and to see them in person was such an honor.

Well, I took a 2 day workshop with her this past weekend at The Bead House in Bristol, RI, which is about a 15 minute drive from my house. The class was wonderful! We discussed everything from design, to bead selection, to the different stitches to create texture.

My embroidery is done on a base of Lacy's Stiff Stuff, on which I did a wash of green fabric paint, so that it was not stark white, if seen in between the beads. Once the embroidery is completed, I will stitch it to the front of a small purse. Right now, I am not sure if my purse will be functional or a work of art to be enjoyed in my living room.

I think I will take a sabbatical from spinning and knitting to complete my purse this week. Stay tuned for more on the progress of my purse.

By the way, have I mentioned how much I love greens and earth colors? LOL!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lace Ribbon Scarf

Lace Ribbon Scarf, originally uploaded by minstrel spinner.

I am now working on finishing some works in progress. This yarn was purchased from Blue Moon Fiber Arts - Socks That Rock Mediumweight. I did not like the original color, when I got it, so I over-dyed it using Lanaset Blue 483 from PRO Chemical & Dye. What a great transition! Once it is blocked, you will be able to see the lace pattern more distinctly.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Wensleydale scarf is done!!!

Wensleydale Scarf, originally uploaded by minstrel spinner.

I finally finished my scarf!!! So often, I find myself getting caught up in the excitement of starting a new knitted project, to see how the yarn will look knitted up. Then very quickly I have a large stash of UFOs (unfinished objects) in the studio!

Well, I finally completed a project, from start to finish, without getting sidetracked on a new one. Granted, I was tempted, but I stayed strong. LOL!!! Now, my goal is to whittle away on the other UFOs, before I begin working with some of my new handspun.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Progress on my Wensleydale Scarf

I am excited to say that I am about 3/4's done knitting my scarf. I should have no problem finishing it tomorrow and then giving it a light blocking. With the humidity here, it will probably take a while to dry.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Handspun Yarns

Here are the two latest yarns that I spun. The first one is a Superwash Merino Wool and Alpaca blend that I purchased from All Spun Up. It was dyed on a grey heather blend and ended up with producing a beautiful, rich yarn.

This is the resulting yarn from the roving pictured above. I got 400 yards of fingering weight yarn. It should be just enough for me to make a small shawl/shoulderette. The superwash finish makes this yarn a perfect choice for a washable pair of socks, but I love this yarn so much, that I don't want it on my feet. I want it to be more visible.

I bought this custom wool blend from Copperpot Woolies. It is called Autumn Splendor. I love the combination of golden yellows and purples.

The handspun I got from this roving is probably some of the best I have ever done. I got 600 yarns of a light fingering weight yarn, just right for knitting lace. I found the perfect pattern to use with this yarn. It is a shawl with leaf shapes in it. Plus I found some beads that I will knit in, along the stem part of each leaf. So as soon as I finish the Wensleydale Scarf I recently posted, I am going to start knitting this shawl. Watch for pictures this weekend!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Handspun Wensleydale

Here is some of my latest spinning. I had never tried Wensleydale wool before, so I ordered this handpainted top from Lisa Souza.

I was absolutely amazed at the transformation that took place as I spun it. There is very little evidence of blue in the yarn. However, the white definitely blended with the blue to make it a paler portion of the yarn. All in all, I absolutley love it!!!

Due to Wensleydale having a mohair-like quality to it, although not as skin soft as mohair, I chose the Misty Garden Scarf pattern from the book Scarf Style. It is knitting up very nicely. I found it difficult to capture the warmth of the yarn in the knitting below.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Spinning like crazy!

I have spent this whole past week, spinning on my Minstrel. It is fully broken in now and I love it so much! It is so easy to treadle and spin fingering and laceweight yarns.

Yesterday I finished a Superwash Merino/Alpaca blend, dyed in a grey roving with teal and rust browns. I ended up with 400 yards in the 4 ounce skein. Right now it is drying, which will probably take a while due to the cool, damp weather here in New England. I might just have enough yardage for a small shoulder shawl/scarf.

This morning I looked through my stash of fiber and started spinning a wool roving that is golden yellow and dusty purple. I am so pleased that I finally have the feel for a more laceweight yarn. I hope to get 2 ounces spun today and the 2 ounces tomorrow, plying done Monday night.
Pictures will follow once the yarns are dry.