Spinnin' 'n Stitchin'

The last couple of evenings my husband was gone on a business trip. So, I had two evenings to myself and decided to work on two things that I haven't worked on in a very long time. 

The first one is spinning. I unfolded the wheel, oiled it and got out some wool. 


I am working on a fleece that I got at the Black Sheep Gathering a couple of years ago (!). I washed it and got most of it carded soon after I bought it. Then I started spinning it. I'm not sure exactly why, but after about 2 bobbins I just stopped spinning. I got a little more of it spun this past summer but haven't touched it since. My goal is to try to get another bobbin or two spun before Christmas. 


The second project that I have revived is my cross-stitch. I have been working on this on and off for many years and would really like to actually get it finished at some point in the near future.


All of the actual cross-stitching is done and now I am just working on the back-stitch. This is the thread that goes on top of the cross-stitches and really makes everything stand out. 

In the picture below you can see the blue area on the bottom that I am currently working on. The left part including the starfish is done while the right side and the fish are not. 


Of course, cross-stitching is always more fun when you have a corgi to help! 


Fractal Spinning

I've had this wool for a long time. Well over a year. I loved the colors so much that I didn't want to mess it up by spinning it wrong, so I just didn't spin it. I recently heard about fractal spinning and decided that this would be the perfect wool to try this technique. 20130602-222115.jpg


To do this, I first split split the roving in half. I saved half and spun the other half just as it was. This makes really long stripes of color. Once that was spun onto one bobbin I went back to the other half and split it in half again, but lengthwise this time. This makes the colors form much shorter stripes. Then I plied the two singles together into a skein that looks like this:


It should have some interesting striping patterns once it is knit up, though. Not sure what it will become yet. Maybe a hat? I'll be sure to post pictures when it becomes something!

Oh, and Lily says "Hi"!


Hello World!

Welcome to post #1 of the CrystalCrafts blog. This is a place where I can keep track of what I'm working on while sharing them with you at the same time. In fact, over the last few days I finished some projects that I want to show off. The first one is a knit tank top. The pattern comes from Lion Brand and it is called the All Season Shell (60433). I used 100% cotton yarn (Loops and Threads Brand Cotton Club in Wild Rose) in the hopes that it would be nice and cool for the summer. Turns out the yarn is thicker than I intended and it may not be as cool as I wanted, but we'll just have to see what happens. At the moment it has been washed and it drying in my craft room. I am very glad it turned out since the first attempt was kind of a failure. I finished it, went to try it on, and my head didn't fit through the head hole. Oh no! Anyway, I Un-did the shoulder seam, picked up the stitches, added a few rows and used kitchner stitch to seam it back together (which looks a lot smoother than when I had sewn it).  I tried it on again and voila! my head fits through the head hole. Yipee! I don't have a picture of me wearing it yet, but here it is drying:

The next project that I recently finished was a diamond pattern crochet hat. This hat is kind of special because it is the first item I made from fiber that I completely processed myself. A friend of mine gave me wool from her sheep. First step: skirting. I took the wool out of the bag, got rid of the dirtiest parts and saved the rest.

For this step I decided to take the wool out to the porch. I bought some cotton zip-up pillow cases to put the wool in for the next step: washing.

Then it was bath tub time. I turned up the water as hot as possible, filled up the tub, and the wool went swimming. The tricky part here is making sure that the wool is not agitated because heat+water+agitation=felting which means a huge blob of wool that cannot be spun. 

After combing out the wool with some dog undercoat rakes (which I will never have to do again since i got some awesome home made wool combs- thanks Dad!) I spun it on my amazing Kromski Sonata. I ended up with quite a bit of yarn. (576 yards if you want to know exactly how much.)

I took 1 hank, dyed it with blue raspberry kool aid and crocheted it into a hat:


Now I'm off to go work on a new project. Not sure what it will be yet, but I'll let you know when I figure it out!