spinning fever

Last months have been crazy about spinning. No activity on the blog and on the prawelewe platforms has the only one explanation: spinning is so engaging and rewarding, and enjoyable that I see no point in wasting time for turning on my computer, not to mention about editing photos or writing about my endeavours. On the other hand, every time I see my last post about Easter, I think that it is really the time to fulfill my promise that I gave long time ago in my prawelewe group to write about my tools and fibre preparation. There are some materials for those articles already in my drawer but the texts and photos are still to be organised before I publish my surprise series, so please bare with me. I want to spread some good vibes, though, so let me share about my latest activities.

Today I am going to show you some new hanks, which I am planning to use for a set of three shawls, each in two colours. They will have one thing in common- a ring. No more details for now. Does this sound mysterious enough? Hope so!

The first shawl is going to be based on light grey and powder pink, and here are the singles I spun in Z from Australian merino commercial top:

Diamonds Grey hank

Morganit Pink hank

I plied both of the singles into S, and got ca. 250 m/ 50 grams of grey and ca. 220 m/ 50 grams of pink. There will be two or three hanks more of each colour before I begin knitting. The draft design is already ready and I have estimated the amount of materials needed but in case I need additional yarn, it will be possible and easy for me to spin more for myself. And I so love this feeling of no need to worry about metrage.

Diamonds Grey hank

By the way, the grey in the picture above is stretched on my hand-made yarn swift, which I will write more about in a separate post about my art studio tools. And the pink below is a lovely long and thin hank that I can create straight from the swift. (I also use niddy noddy but since the circumference of the hank stretched around it is smaller than the one made on the swift, I use it only for smaller amounts of fibre.)

Morganit Pink hank

Using this special occasion (this is the first post related fully to my hand-spun yarn with use of my lovely Polish Polonaise spinning wheel from Kromski family), I want to share the joy of having my very own, special, amazing and meaningful prawelewe stamp! It is a gift from my dearest friend- Irishmagda, who ordered it from Ireland and sent to me as a gift.

I am using the stamp now to prepare cute yarn tags for my hand-spun hanks. This is how the tags look like when attached to ready hanks:

Diamonds Grey hank Morganit Pink hank

Aren’t the hanks and their tags lovely? The shawl I am going to make of this yarn will be so beautiful. It has to!

The stamp will show up here and there many times more on this page for sure. I have already planned using it with my MAK markers.Oh, did I say that some new MAK sets are on their way?

~ Cathliin.


 

leap-day sneak peek

Winter is back! As a wooly person I am very happy with that. The last week was just about a pure spring, and I was almost ready to pack my winter boots and jackets up there in my closet. While this is what I saw today in the morning:

leap-day sneak peek

For several weeks now I have been working on three winter sets, which I hoped to finish, describe and publish still this season, i.e. by 20th March. It is difficult to make a statement now but at least one set should be done by then. Maybe I will manage to publish some elements of the other two sets.

I usually keep my designs in secret but today, when I woke up to the beautiful white world outside, I though that there could not be a better day for a surprise so here is my leap-day sneak peek.

leap-day sneak peekFirst, let me introduce Jan, the snowy neighbor. He was born on our terrace in January but since he is wearing parts of the three sets, he simply must be the host of today’s show.

Jan is wearing the Northern Star Hat and part of the matching Northern Star Scarf. The hat is an example of very simple fair isle aka stranded knitting, hence could be a great kick-off project for somebody who has not tried this technique yet.

The scarf, however, is a treat! I have been thinking of bringing this idea to life for several months already and here it is- a rectangle with a stranded knitting front, which is doubled with an extra layer (sorry, it is hidden to not spoil the secret) and much thinner front parts with panels of star stitch. There is a certain way of wearing this scarf that I have in mind but this I will describe more when the time for publishing the pattern comes.

The third element of this set are the Northern Star Gloves with star motives. These are going to be in large size for men. At least for now. If there is a need I will create a smaller version for women. I cannot wait to finish them and get all the three pieces photographed together. This Northern Star Dream set will be done very soon, and I hope for publishing the patterns within 10 days.

***

leap-day sneak peek

Another set is called Fishy Ocean and—although it is meant for ladies only–our handsome Jan is presenting one third of the set to you- a Fishy Hat. There are waves and bubbles, and fish of course! This hat uses fair isle, too, and since the colour elements are smaller than the stars in the Northern Dream set, this project might be even better for a newbie. Also, since the stranding is only done through several rounds, the hat is very stretchy so any ponytail or bun will fit under easily.

The Fishy Scarf is also layered but knitted in the round, and has thinner parts at the beginning and at the end that are rounded and finished with tassels. It is definitely more girly than the Northern Star Scarf because of the colour combination and certain design elements but let it be a secret for now, too. Once it is published you may decide what colours to use in your own sets and whom to give the knitted accessories to when you are ready with them.

There are matching Fishy Gloves as well of course. They will reveal one fish each. Not a golden one though. Mine are pink! Who knows? Maybe they make our dreams come true, too. You will like these for sure.

***

leap-day sneak peek

And finally is the Snowly Trio- a very, very, very warm hat, which will keep any head in any place on this Earth warm. I began playing with thrums long time ago but only with gloves so I wanted to try designing something to match. One of my goals was to design a hat that would keep one’s whole head, including ears, warm. My Snowly Hat is big, thick, squishy…exactly what we think of when it is freezing cold outside. And it is a fully reversible accessory so not only it is functional but allows change and fun.

The matching Snowly Scarf is made of thick layers, and is meant to be wrapped around one’s neck, shoulders and chest. It is still a secret so I cannot show it just yet.

And then there are very, very, very warm mittens with thrummed inserts, which felt when the mittens are in use. A funny technique, which is not the easiest one to use, especially in tight areas such as thumbs or fingers, but very rewarding for sure. And it is so fun to knit with thrums. You will see for yourself. This Snowly Trio set will keep you warm folks, that is for sure!

Well, this would be it. I hope you enjoy your leap day. To make it even nicer, I run a silly leap-day sale on all my patterns. More information is to be found in my prawelewe group on Ravelry, in this post. Enjoy!

~ Cathliin

P.S. I was so thrilled with the weather today that I snapped a lot of photos. Let me share some of them with you on this last day of February, the 29th!

leap-day sneak peek

leap-day sneak peek

Happy stitching!

~ C.


 

Christmas 2015 wishes

Christmas-Card-2016And here we are, Christmas time is in full bloom and, at least in this part of the world where I come from- Poland, this period has a very special meaning. Different families celebrate it slightly different, some with more focus on food, drinks and gifts, some other appreciate spending this important time together with family members and friends in an atmosphere of love, prayer, joy and the new beginning approaching. It would be lovely to have snow and winter weather outside–it is +10 C (50 F) in Wrocław now!–but what creates Christmas for us is our spirit and faith; that is why all of us are in the festive mood regardless of the climate.

Of course we all care about the traditional Polish meals to be served during Christmas Eve’s supper and throughout the next two days of Christmas- barszcz, pierogi, home-baked bread, fish, salads as well as bigos and kiełbasa are all there, twelve dishes, including traditional Polish cheese cake and poppy-seed cake.

Christmas time is often associated with Christmas tree, although it is not originally Polish tradition; since it has been in Poland for so long, however, a lot of us treat it already as our thing. In my family, we always have a green tree, which we decorate with a lot of hand made and gifted baubles, toys, tinsels and lights. And while speaking of the Christmas tree, there is a place to say something about the gifts. We always have something for each other, and unlike in other countries, we give the presents to our close ones after the supper on the Christmas Eve, before the midnight mass.

One of my favourite moments of the evening is sharing my hand-made, as you may imagine, knitted, crocheted and/ or tatted, gifts that I have wrapped myself in colourful papers and sparkling ribbons. All the packages look amazing when under the Christmas tree! And we adore the joy of unpacking them, while listening and singing to Christmas carols. The smiles and happy faces of those whom I made something for are the best thank you for me.

I hope you all have blessed moments during this period of time. Spend it with your love ones, find some time for your stitching and rest well. See you back in 2016.

~ Cathliin

Arctic Land Hap

Arctic Land Once I was done experimenting with the Old Shale and Feather and Fan traditional Shetland border patterns (incorporated e.g. in the Old Shale Shetland Hap, Arctic Water and Arctic Air) as well as with edgings so typical for lace designs from Shetland and Estonia, I wanted to challenge myself with combining basic simple stitches into more complex pieces, and to create a wrap that would be based on my interpretation of traditional patterns- something new yet connected with the other two Arctic Aura haps. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Arctic Land!

Since this hap is part of the Arctic Aura wraps’ family its stitch patterns are to symbolize various elements of the arctic world: icy spikes, sharp edges, waves of slightly melted snow, fluffy snowy balls and trails in the snow are all reflected in this design either as individual elements surrounded by plain fabric or as a combination of smaller patterns joined into a larger, newer pattern.

Arctic Land, similarly to the other two Arctic Aura haps, has the Cat’s Paw motifs spread all over the central square. However, this time, unlike the stocking stitch background in the Arctic Air and garter stitch background in the Arctic Water, those lace elements are hidden in between the lines of purl rows, what makes the square feel semi-squishy, and results in an interesting effect of the paws deepened in narrow trails created in the fresh, fluffy snow. Yet another look and feel to the same lace element.

Arctic LandThe border section was the biggest fun to design. I enjoyed working with traditional diamond and snowflake patterns and using them to tell my own story about the arctic world I envisioned. If you look closely, you may find heart-like shapes built from the smaller diamond-shape lace elements there, too.

Also, I really wanted to incorporate nupps into this design. Those are similar to small bubbles but are worked in the Eastern European style and are used in lace knitting. Nupps are fun to form once you get the right feeling about the tension of the loops they are made of, and the way they turn out is indeed rewarding. The fact that they pop out a bit makes the wrap’s structure more interesting both when you look at the hap and when you touch its surface. My nupps are meant to work as small balls of snow in this particular design but they are widely used in numerous patterns as single lines or groups, where they might mean something different.

Although the border section has a lot of stocking stitch worked in the round (which means a lot of knit stitches and almost no purl stitches) the lacy stitch pattern makes it interesting and enjoyable to create. It might seem that the border takes long to knit but it grows in no time really. Not only you will not get bored but you will see results of your work pretty soon, as the diamonds are placed right after the border’s set up rounds.

Arctic Land

Finally comes the edging. This one is very different from what I designed in the other two haps- it is wider than the one in Arctic Water, and its pattern block, which is to be repeated around, binds off ten stitches, like the one in Arctic Air; it makes this wavy border pattern block the tallest and the widest of all the three used in my Arctic Aura wraps.

There is also a new spiky edging that has been inserted in the wavy edging in such a way that while working on the edging section you actually create two lines of borders at the same time. Just a small trick to have more fun.

Arctic Land is whole white, and makes beautiful finish to the Arctic Aura haps set. The pattern is available from the pattern section → Arctic Land.

Other haps in the Arctic Aura family are: Arctic Water and to Arctic Air.

Enjoy working with the instructions and feel warmly welcome to share photos of your WIPs and FOs in my prawelewe group on Ravelry, and to leave a comment below this post.

Happy stitching!

~ Cathliin


 

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