Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique

Here are some unique yarns, spun by me. The yarn is a mix of mohair, from my semi-angora goats with wool from my sheep. I washed the wool and mohair separately, passed them through my wool picker, and then passed them through the drum carder to blend the two fibres. I spun the wool on my drop spindle and on my wheel.

These photographs show the yarn being dyed in my solar oven with onion skins and walnut tree leaves.

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Yarn

Reflections or seeing more than may be there

This morning I was up early, awoken by the cats and dogs. while my daughters continued to sleep, and after feeding the cats, our dog, and Sheldon the goose, I tried to take some pictures of my completed stitching experiment.

The sun was also up bright and early.

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And was making it difficult to take a good photograph.

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There were reflections of trees wherever I put the picture frame.

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However, I started to enjoy the reflections, and began to look at the things around me differently.

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Like Alice and her trips to wonderland, I have Cheshire grins all around me. I even have Absolem, the caterpillar, (from Tim Burton’s version).

We saw this movie shortly before my daughter got sick in 2011, and to make her stay in the hospital easier she imagined everyone as characters from the movie. The mean nurse was the Red Queen and her older sister was the White queen, waving her arms gently whenever we could sneak her in. And Absolem was the scar on her tummy, with prickly little stitches for legs. She would ask him for help, and even though he was rather vague with his answers he comforted her.

For children it is easy to see more than what is actually around them. Their imagination allows them to see the world as a Wonderland.

I hope my daughters continue to see unicorns, where there are white horses, and wise caterpillars where there are scars.

Stitching, something new

I love colour. I love coloured wool and yarn. I love all the beautiful ways yarn and wool can be used to make art, (except maybe crochet, I just can’t get my hands to work comfortably in this medium, sorry).

A couple of years ago I learned some stitching techniques with my mother-in-law. I liked the idea of sitting and stitching and I loved how variegated yarns looked in the different stitches. However, when I used my own hand spun, the yarn wasn’t consistent enough to look nice, and so I put the stitching to one side.

While I was in Santiago having my eye examined, I found a small shop that sells stitching kits. Esterillas is located in Pueblo del Ingles, and has a great selection of stitching yarns, patterns and kits. They range from small, child friendly kits to complex pillows and floor coverings.

I bought two simple kits, made with thicker wool, for my daughters. My youngest jumped right in with her cousin, and my oldest daughter says she will try it…soon.

And for myself I bought a more complicated pillow cover.

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I am not sure if I am using the correct stitch, some look the same at the front but the back is worked differently. But I love the colours and watching it grow.

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The best part is I can see how very simple designs can be made beautiful depending on the yarn. I used some of my solar dyed yarn, (the pale yarn) in a simple square pattern and I really like the effects. Reminds me of geological maps.

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With what I have learned I am going to spin and dye some wool for stitching. I think my spinning has improved enough to use, and the subtle changes in solar dyeing will look great.