Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ho ho ho, holiday earrings

My mom found these little Santa beads and asked me to make her festive earrings. They're pretty cute, even if you're a curmudgeonly grinch like me.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pretty (and) sweet

Here are my two sweeties, Marie and Sofie. Sofie was sleeping on the dog bed, and graciously allowed Marie to curl up on the edge.

Aurora was busy nibbling on a marshmallow she nabbed from Marie. Marie really needs to learn to stand up to those kitties.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

How novel

Here are my experiments with novelty yarn from last week's spinning class. They're pretty cool, I say. Although I must admit novelty yarn sure does disguise inept spinning (let's call it a spinning spaz).

On the left is a yarn with slubs - where you let one of the strands twirl around the other while you're plying. On the top is a yarn with beads added. Some blend in with the yarn, others dangle. On the right is core-spun yarn with mohair. Those little curly locks are fun to work with. Mine didn't go quite like the teacher told us to do it, but I think it's a neat variation.

My favourite is the one in the middle. Here's a closer look at that . . .

It's made by adding tufts of fibre while you ply. It's so fluffy and soft - and would make a great scarf.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dip in

My few loyal readers were all at this party, so no big surprises here. Four of us got together for a dip party - meaning we all brought dips. That may sound a bit boring, but the dips got quite inventive.

The line-up:
Chicken meatballs with satay and hot sauce
Chicken with peanut satay sauce
Avocado dip
White bean dip
Curried carrot bean dip
Artichoke cheese dip
Anchovy olive oil dip
Nacho dip
And, for the finale, chocolate fondue with fresh pineapple, raspberries, apples, marshmallows and graham crackers.

Mmm . . . dip.

Birthday wishes

I made this bracelet last week, honest, but I had to wait to post it until it was unwrapped. It's curled up in a little dish by a local potter I picked up at the potter's, and weaver's and spinner's guilds sale. The only bad part of the show was only taking home a reasonable amount of the amazing goodies.

Later I'll post the cool yarn I made during last week's spinning class, when we had fun with novelty yarn.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The good, the bad and the ugly

Last night my spinning mojo was definitely off. Our class was on plant fibres, and we tried corn silk, cotton and flax. Things started off OK with the corn silk (which is not the silk from corn ears, but rather a man-made fibre using compounds drawn from the corn stalk). Corn silk has the lustre of silk, but it's not quite so slippery.

Everybody else in the class was groaning about the corn silk being a pain, but I was spinning along nicely and finished the whole whack. Perhaps I got cocky - or was hypnotized by a corn silk haze - and that's why I struggled so much with the next two fibres.

Cotton is notoriously difficult to spin because its fibres are ridiculously short, and that was sure my experience. I soon gave up out of frustration after only managing a few short samples, and terrible ones at that. I'll need to try it again on my own to allow myself free reign with the cursing. Next we did the flax. It was OK to spin, but I can't imagine why anyone would want to make their own flax yarn. It's so coarse and scratchy, about all I think it would be good for is bundling cardboard for recycling.