Just in time for summer!

Sometimes people ask me how I manage to fit so many things in… but I am not sure they are really keeping track of how long a project might take me from start to finish!  Many craft projects at my place involve large numbers of tiny steps.  Sometimes it is the nature of the crafts involved and sometimes it’s the only way I can figure out to make things happen.  So projects progress slowly at times, as whim, interest, the right weather, or the availability of time permit.  Today I can report that a couple of items reached the out spout.

The eucalyptus dyed grey corriedale which started here and continued here has finally come to an end, with every last bit now converted to yarn.  The middle skein is chain-plied (and to be honest, I really do prefer this yarn over the one I have created for my cardigan) and the one at the bottom is a true 3 ply.  Some of this yarn is destined to become a cardigan, but it will not be for winter 2013, which is over now for us here in Australia.

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I have also finally finished making a jumper for my fairy godson. He is a tall and slender individual (just in case you’re wondering if the proportions are right), and if he’s lucky there will be one or two days cold enough to wear this jumper before winter 2014.  I hope it will still fit him then!  It was slowed down by misjudgment of the amount of yarn needed, and thus several stages of dyeing and spinning as knitting progressed, breaking all the rules of good handspun-handknit practise.  It is 3 ply eucalyptus dyed alpaca in 4ply/fingering weight.

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Here it is, tied up with handmade string crafted from the leaves of our daylily.  When it was raining this morning I decided to steam press it and just take it over on my way to work in hopes it might be cold enough to wear it, and was lucky enough to catch my friends at home.  It never fails to gladden my heart to give a gift that is really warmly welcomed… but it is an additional exquisite pleasure to find the handmade string to be just about as exciting as the jumper to its recipient.  It fills life with pleasure to find folk who feel just as intrigued by string from the backyard as  you do, and just as curious about how it could be made.

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Someone who works in the same hallway as me exclaimed over my looking happy at work on a Monday, just as I walked in this morning… and may not have understood if I’d said it was all about late but welcome presents and homemade string and love.  Sometimes you have to be there.

8 Comments

Filed under Eucalypts, Knitting, Natural dyeing, Neighbourhood pleasures, Spinning

8 responses to “Just in time for summer!

  1. I love your resulting yarn and the colours in that jumper are fabulous. Glad the final result was appreciated by the recipient!

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    • Thanks a lot! I always feel sad hearing other knitters’ accounts of handmade garments that are really not appreciated. I feel very lucky to have people in my life who love the things I make. It makes my life so much richer…

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  2. as if the hand-dyed, hand-spun, hand-knit jumper (I love that word – so much nicer than “sweater”) weren’t wonderful enough…hand-made string!! It is great that they are appreciated.

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  3. amazing, both colours and the yarn, this should be passed down to next generations!

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  4. Felicity

    The jumper is gorgeous … But please tell me how you made the string! I’m desperate to know because I look at the strap-leaf/grassy plants in my yard and think about making some kind of string or twine … And maybe using it to make a basket … And I could use some of the gum tree sticks that are all over the place too … And maybe I could even dye the string with the leaves that are also all over the place … And, and, and … And I’d really like a basket next to my lounge chair in which to put recyclables like paper, cardboard or PET bottles that I have used up whilst relaxing in the lounge room!

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    • This is a common basketry technique. I’d suggest you find basket weavers in your area or locate a basic basketry book and follow the instructions. This video shows the basics (you can skip over the boiling your plant material stage…! I usually dry my daylily leaves, then wrap them in a damp towel overnight, and pull out only what I am ready to use, keeping the rest damp while it waits. The twining technique the chap in the video uses is exactly the way I convert it to string.

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