Thursday, 16 May 2013

Hand spun Alpaca

I was given some raw Alpaca fleece by a friend and I have finally got around to processing and spinning it. I skirted the fleece (removed leaves and other Debris) and washed it using treseme shampoo and warm water: the fleece was put in an underwear laundry bag and  soaked for 30 minutes in soapy water, then transferred to clean water of a similar temperature for a further 30 minutes, this rinsing process was repeated twice more. I dried the fleece on a clothes maiden laden with tea towels, the fleece took about 48 hours to dry.

Once dried I used hand carders to align the fibres to form a rolag. I spun a thin yarn (worsted style) with an s twist and plied with a z twist. I am really pleased with the result! Finally a relatively even thickness! I can't wait to knit with it. I am thinking of making a shawl. Here are some pictures.


Plied yarn on the bobbin

Yarn on the niddy noddy:

Washed and ready to knit!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Quilted cutting mat bag

Quilted cutting mat bag- side 1
Quilted cutting mat bag siide 2

In this project I aimed to try out a few new different patchwork blocks. I used 8 inch square blocks, quilted them individually a sewed them together using the quilt as you go method. In retrospect I would have used thinner batting as it does bulk the bag out and make it a lot harder to piece together. There are 30 blocks in total to cover an A1 size cutting mat. Once I had joined them all together I added a strip to the top edges of the bag to make it large enough for the cutting mat and top sewed the edges together. Here are a few close up examples of the blocks.

For the sides of the bag, I used a simple binding technique, where I sewed the two parts of the bag together with an additional strip which was folded over to cover the raw edges and finally hand sewn into place. The straps were 1.5 inch strips lined with heavy duty interfacing, finished with a top sewn edge. Sewn into place in the top seam as well as the seam below to strengthen it.

 I am contemplating adding pockets on the inside of the bag for ruler's. I have not quite decided yet though!