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Art Yarn - Ivy Leaves

This is what I did with the ivy-leaf dyed wool (see my other post on the dyeing proceedure). This art-yarn also includes wool dyed with madder root, ragwort, horsetail, and onion skins. I incorporated a little suri-alpaca, and small amount of cotton for texture.... Suitable for knitting on larger needles, perhaps 6-8mm, it varies in thickness, but over-all is about 5-6 wpi. This is a 2-ply yarn, one single is spun intentionally thick and thin, the second spun evenly, and then they are plied irregularly. This makes a balanced yarn, but there are a lot of twists in this which give a more 'boucle' look when knitted. Skeins weigh just over 80grams. Approximately 97m to 88 grams. Button up cowl,

Edward Bear's Clothes - Cutting a Steek

This is my latest Norwegian hand-spun, hand-knit for Edward Bear. I thought this time I would write about the construction of his sweater. Edward is a lovely old straw filled mohair bear of unknown antiquity. I'm not a bear specialist, but I do know what I like, and I like Edward. He has an expression of quiet observation. Maybe that's the tilt of his plastic nose, or maybe the absence of a stitched mouth. Or it could just be those melting eyes. All my teddy-bear hand-spun wool has to be super-fine because it's knitted up on 2mm needles. With this sweater, I knit it exactly as the old Shetland and Norwegian sweaters used to be constructed. In the round. This is a really fiddly job on such a

Little Bear

This is Little Bear. He's a 12", possibly 'Chad Valley' (label missing but he fits the description), wood-wool stuffed, glass-eyed, antique bear with 5 joints! In very good order for his age, which I'm guessing is around 1940's. I have dressed him with a smart hand-knit, made from hand-spun, naturally dyed 2 ply wool, knit on 2mm needles. This is an original design of my own, incorporating a couple of Nordic patterns and a row of 'teddies' (in plum). Main body of the sweater is dyed in lichen from County Fermanagh, madder root (plum), and log-wood (black).

Autumn Shades Art-Yarn

I don't want to sound like a stuck record, but the pictures don't do this justice. As I sit here typing this, my back is wet from crouching down outside in the sleet, with the camera, trying frantically to get enough light to get the shutter to actually operate. So, you have to sort of use your imagination a bit when I tell you that I've incorporated a lot of the fleece featured here on this blog, to make this art-yarn. It contains really soft Romney hog fleece grown here in Northern Ireland, and dyed with beech leaves that I gathered in Clare Glen, madder root, and also lichen from County Fermanagh. Actually I found it in abundance on some dead wood near Drumskinny Stone Circle. That's a m

Natural Dyeing - Coreopsis

Coreopsis seeds will germinate quite easily. Here they are in my garden mid-September. If you have watched the video, you will recognise this flower patch. I planted these out rather late this year, but they still grew right on until the beginning of December and have only just been removed to the compost heap, where I notice they are still trying hard to carry on flowering. This picture shows the plants just opening in flower. They are about 2ft tall, maybe taller in places, and often hit by the wind where we live, (watch my short video clip on the Kidney Beans entry), but that doesn't hinder them flowering. I stake them and run (hand-spun) 'garden twine' around the plants to hold them u

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