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Posts Tagged ‘yarn’

Why you should buy local wool, from WhipUp.net

“Processing wool in Australia is fast becoming a dying art, and wool needs to stay in Australia for creation from sheep to skein in order to support small farmers and micro business.”

Kylie Gusset wants Australian wool to be processed in Australia. Most Australian merino is shipped to China to be cleaned and is then sent back to Australia for spinning.

Does American wool go to China for scouring? What about all the lovely wool from South America?

I’m curious to learn more about the process of making commercial yarn. Not to mention commercial ice cream (also mentioned in the article).

You can help fund Kylie’s project on Pozible, a crowdsourced funding platform similar to Kickstarter.

Why you should buy local wool — whip up.

Sew, Mama, Sew’s Giveaway Day!

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to #29, Maureen!

sew, mama, sew!

Welcome visitors from Sew, Mama, Sew! Today is one of my favorite days in the blogosphere, because I discover new-to-me crafty people from around the world. I’m looking forward to spending a few hours this week exploring all sorts of endeavors, from sewing and knitting to pursuits I know much less about, like dyeing and upholstery.

emma's star

I’m giving away this lovely hand-knit beret. I must confess that I originally intended it as a present for myself. I carefully selected the pattern from Rocket Boy Knits and the superwash merino wool yarn from Black Sheep Dyeworks with plans to knit myself a three-season hat. And I truly enjoyed both the pattern and the luscious variegated yarn. But it turns out that I’m not a beret person.

If you can stylishly sport a beret, and you’d like a chance to win this one, please leave a comment below. You can comment on anything: your latest project, where you’re from, thoughts on my Etsy shop…whatever you like as long as it’s fun for me to read. I read all the comments, and a plain old “enter me” is no fun on my end. I may even send a second prize to the most delightful/entertaining comment. The giveaway will close at 10pm EST on May 25, and a winner will be chosen at random.

As a thank-you for stopping by, I’ve set up a special offer for free shipping on any item in my Etsy shop, Petite Legume. Use coupon code SEWMAMAMAY for free shipping within the U.S. through the end of May.

(The giveaway is open internationally. If you’ve been to my local post office you’ll understand why I simply can’t offer free shipping around the world for my shop. It would mean hours in line at the post office, which is staffed by a gaggle of slow-moving, cranky individuals. I’m extremely thankful for online methods of shipping packages!)

Thanks for visiting the land of Apparently. Come back anytime – I usually blog about making stuff, but occasionally I diverge to such topics as growing butterflies, visiting museums, other cool stuff I’ve found online, and falling in love.

Now go check out some more blogs!

To Dye For, Redux

In other crafty news, I’ve been knitting an anglerfish. I started this project back in January and stalled out when I decided it would be completely fabulous to knit the lure with glow-in-the-dark yarn. All the yarn I could find online was acrylic, which I didn’t think would go well with the otherwise-wool fish, and so I got it into my head that I should dye some yarn myself.

I found the fluorescent dye online and ordered a packet. Since I planned to dye only a few yards of the yarn, I used about half of the powder and left the yarn in the dye bath for half the recommended time. Look! Orange yarn:

attempts at dyeing

My second try, on the right, involved only a quick ten-second dip and swish. This yarn looks much better but still doesn’t glow in the dark.

This was my first attempt at hand-dyeing yarn, and so I don’t know if it was my technique, the dye or a combination of both, but I definitely did not get the results I sought. So I finished the anglerfish lure with the undyed white wool.

Knitting in 3-D isn’t challenging technically so much as it can be hard to envision exactly what you’re creating as you knit. The instructions in Hansi Singh’s book Amigurumi Knits: Patterns for 20 Cute Mini Knits are crystal clear (although be sure to check the errata). However, you must love both short rows and Kitchener stitch.



I have already knit a sea star from this book, and I think next I will attempt either the hermit crab or the peas in a pod.

Giveaway Day, Revisited

Remember Giveaway Day? I was so pleased to send a handmade needle book and a pack of charm squares to a lovely woman in Wisconsin.

luxe yarn

And as luck would have it, I won a giveaway myself! Inspired Mama, who also has a Etsy shop, sent me a gorgeous skein of beautiful hand-dyed wool and silk yarn in deep reds and purples. It arrived last night in a perfectly wrapped package along with two charming fabric buttons that I forgot to photograph. She was also kind enough to send a coupon code to share with you, so if you’d like your own Inspired Mama yarn, you can enjoy 10% off any yarn subscription (that’s one or two skeins a month for three months) by using code NEWYEAR2011. The code is good through February 1. Knitters take note: this is lovely yarn. Thanks, Inspired Mama!

edited to add: here are the buttons!


What I Made This Week: Knit Edition

More finished objects from last month:

sweet jazz
Sweet Jazz, a crescent-shaped shawl pattern by Samantha Roshak. This was my vacation knitting, and it was a perfect project for sitting in front of the tv watching home buying shows on HGTV. That is to say, interminably long rows of stockinette. But I love the end result. Mr Apparently bought the yarn (Koigu PPM) for me on the day our cat died, so between that and the lovely vacation, this shawl is full of memories.

beehive hat

Beehive Hat, a reversible hat pattern by Linda Romens. I had partial skeins of Manos del Uruguay from two different projects and they worked together perfectly in this pattern. I ran out of the blue with only a few yards to go, and Apparently Jr and I agreed to frog the baby sweater I’d used the yarn for originally. (It was pretty dirty and not nearly as sentimental as others I’ve made. Believe me, we have other baby sweaters that are keepers.) Ripping out an entire sweater was oddly exciting, and Apparently Jr pretended he was the bird from No Roses for Harry.

elfin hat

Elfin Hat, pattern by Amanda at Zhinka Dinka Doo. For a sweet little boy we know.

emma's star

Mr. Apparently surprised me with a copy of Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders: 101 Patterns That Go Way Beyond Socks! and the first pattern that jumped out at me was Emma’s Star, a beret pattern by Jennifer Chase-Rappaport. I loved knitting this, except for the first five minutes, which were incredibly fiddly. But I did like starting in the center and working outwards. I purchased the gorgeous superwash merino from Black Sheep DyeWorks on Etsy.

This hat looks gorgeous on a table and kind of ridiculous on my head.

Now, the craziest thing of all is this: when I drafted this post late Thursday night, I looked up the names of the pattern designers to list them above. On Friday morning I was reading my Facebook feed and noticed that a Jennifer Chase-Rappaport had commented on one of my friend’s posts. A little research proved that she was indeed the same…and it turns out, a lovely person! You should knit her stuff.


tasselsI’m trying to complete all the items in my unfinished project pile. This includes capes for the preschool, a custom order of pincushions, a pair of pants to shorten, several half-finished patchwork hats (I’m willing to jettison these, or at least set them aside until next spring) and a strap-shortening job on a cute dress a friend gave to me. So instead what am I doing? Making tassels.

The September issue of Martha Stewart Living arrived this weekend, and I’ll confess that the first thing I do is turn to the Crafts section. This month: one tiny tutorial for tassels. And here I am with a bag of yarn ends and neglected novelty yarns languising in the closet. So I’ve made six tassels today: two in green bamboo, two in rayon ladder yarn and two silk (if I recall correctly – this was one of the very first yarns I purchased seven years ago. It’s lovely stuff, but completely useless for knitting).

Now what am I going to do with them?

MV Fiber Farm on Spinning Wool into Yarn

I may know a good deal about yarn, but I don’t know much about how yarn is made other than sheep –> spindle –> skein –> shop.

This fantastic set of photos from Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Farm shows exactly what happens to a fleece when it goes to the mill. And what a lovely old mill it is, too, with lots of antique equipment and not even a digital scale in sight.

photo from fiberfarm.com/2009/06/field-trip