Sunday, May 30, 2010

Art Work

Hi Everyone,

This has been a busy weekend but really enjoyable. I did a market on Friday and found this lovely painting by Yvonne Swanepoel, a local artist. It is perfect for a bare wall we have in our lounge and I was really excited about my find so thought I'd like to share. I love the calm in the painting with the sun light breaking through the storm clouds.

I hope everyone has had a lovely weekend too and all my UK friends have a wonderful extended weekend tomorrow :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Big Smile

I spent the morning knitting with friends yesterday and was presented with a beautiful gift, made especially for me by my littlest friend who is 5 years old. She was at school and couldn't give it to me personally so her mom gave it and I still owe her a big hug and a love thank you. She made me a container to keep my knitting needles in with a beautiful drawing of me on it. I decided to store my most precious hand carved knitting needles from Nepal in it on my book shelf with some of my favourite books.

I will smile and think of her every time I see it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

And...... we have a WINNER

Hi Everyone,

Today is the 2nd monthaversary of my blog! Time has flown and I can't believe that I've been blogging for 2 whole months already. As promised I did a random draw from the people following my blog and the person that I will be sending the gift to is.... Dominant Hands.  As a thank you to everyone else who is interested in my ramblings, I've decided to post the instructions for making "the gift" and they will be here tomorrow.

In the mean time here's another little teaser to help you guess what it is.

Until tomorrow .... have fun!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Gifts and Giveaway

Hi Everyone,

I've had a lovely weekend. I'm taking part in an Art and Crafts Swap and received some lovely gifts in the mail yesterday. I had to send off one gift and find 6 people to take part. If the chain isn't broken, I should receive 36 little handmade gifts :) Thank you soo much - they're beautiful!

This is a card - the felt flower is removable and becomes a book mark

Another lovely handmade card

How lovely is this recipe folder, I'm going to use it for my special recipes.

All these gifts remind me that it is almost my blog monthaversary and to celebrate I'll be sending one of my ColourSpun followers a special monthaversary gift. I thought that since it's winter here and all too soon our landscape will be fairly monotone, that this month's gift should be something really bright and cheerful - so - here's a glimpse.

I'll be doing the random draw from the ColourSpun followers on Tuesday, if you're not following yet, you still have time.

Have a happy day!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Short Row Shaped Scarf

Hi Everone,

A friend of mine has "Creative Friday" on her blog Natural Suburbia. I thought that this would be a good pattern for that as it is just a little different from a normal scarf.

Short Row Shaped Scarf
©Dana Biddle

You will need:
An assortment of yarns – about 150g to 200g available from ColourSpun Natural Designer Yarn
1 pair 7mm knitting needles

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lady Birds

Today is a beautiful day here. The sun is shining but it's not too hot and I have done a lot of dyeing this morning, the yarn is all outside drying and I came in to open  an extra window- that's when I saw them, the lady birds are busy moving indoors; a sure sign that winter is on the way. I feel really privileged to have them in my studio hibernating for the winter and when the weather starts warming up again they'll move back outside to look after my garden. :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Warm Gilet

Warm Gilet
© Dana Biddle

Knit on larger than usual needles to make it soft and cuddly, this gilet is quick and easy, worked in one piece. It is long enough to keep your legs warm too. Since each front is wider than the back, it will hang longer to points in the front and is kept closed with a stick fastener. You can make a shorter version by casting on less stitches and if necessary, moving the armholes accordingly and changing the width of the fronts.

About 600g of an assortment of yarns of different textures in your chosen colour way
with average weight DK to Bulky available from ColourSpun Natural Designer Yarn
Waste yarn – smooth yarn in contrasting colour to your garment.
Size 7.5mm circular knitting needle – 80cm or longer OR 7.5mm long straight needles
Size 6.5mm circular knitting needle – 40 or 60 cm long.

are available in my Craftsy Store and on Ravelry

Monday, May 10, 2010

Knobbly felted scarf

Hello Everyone,

Today has been a strange day. It started off with a fierce storm at about 4:00 this morning, shortly followed by a fireworks display outside our bedroom window. You're probably thinking "what on earth?" - so did we! The fireworks were caused by the street light going out with a bang, having been stuck by lightning. Safe to say our electricity went off with it and we had none for most of the day. I spent some time this morning sorting out in my studio and came across a scarf I made last winter and had forgotten about. It's a lovely soft knit/felted scarf and I thought I'd share it with you.

Shibori Felted Scarf
© Dana Biddle

You will need:
150gm 100% wool (this must NOT be Herco treated ie. NOT machine washable) available from ColourSpun Natural Designer Yarn
Size 5mm knitting needles
About 40 marbles or large beads
About 40 tiny elastic bands
Tumble drier

Instructions can be found in my Ravelry Store or in my Craftsy Store

Enjoy! :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Yarn yarn yarn

Hi there,

I have been really busy this week, my raw yarn finally arrived after quite a delay and I have spent the week catching up on orders, replenishing my stock and filling my yarn wall which was looking a little dreary with all the gaps but it will soon be it's normal bright and cheerful self! :)

I've been up to my elbows in the dye pots and for 2 days had a bright turquiose cheek, I somehow wiped some dye on and never noticed till the evening and by then had a good stain. I tried hard not to go out anywhere but we have to eat - I got some strange looks in the supermarket :) and was tempted a few times to say to the person - "it's because I've been dyeing"!

Anyway, I'm mostly caught up and thought I'd share this photo of the last of the mohair waiting for labels befor they go on the wall and into my ColourSpun shop which you can look at  here.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What a Yarn

I have thought about this subject nearly all day and have unpacked a good deal of my stash in search of the yarn that makes my heart flutter and they all do. I just love yarn and have found it particularly difficult to choose just one. I do however keep going back to the same few yarns in my stash - they are all hand dyed and hand spun.

If you've been reading my blog, you will know that I am a fairly new spinner and have been spinning yarn for just over half a year now. I love spinning and at the moment my favourite yarns are the ones I have spun using Lexi Boeger's book for inspiration.

The reasons I favour them so are:
a. They are all very different from any yarn available in the shops.
b. Each skein is unique - there is not another one the same anywhere
c. They are all made using natural fibres and are so very soft
d. I made them - for me and therefore they are just the perfect yarn for me :)

Coiled yarn

Granny Stacks

Multi colour



I have so enjoyed taking part in Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2010  - Thank you to everyone who has visited here this week.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Revisit a past F/O

Bring the fortune and life of a past finished project up to the present. Document the current state and use of an object you have knitted or crocheted, whether it is the hat your sister wears to school almost every day, or a pair of socks you wore until they were full of hole. Or maybe that jumper that your did just didn’t like that much

I have a much loved Denim Jacket that is probably the one item of knitting I have made that has seen more of the world than me. It bears testament to how wonderful recycling can be - made from an old pair of Chris's denim jeans, stash yarn and bits and bobs found in my studio. It was made in 2003 and accepted for that year's Wild Wonderful Wearable exhibition. In 2004 it was accepted by Innovative Threads and spent that year travelling on the exhibition here in SA, in New Zealand and Japan - it also features in the book - Innovative Threads: A Decade of South African Fibre Art  by Lisa Gillespie.

Since then it has travelled with me where ever I go - it's become an old friend... and soon it (or rather an image of it) will be part of an art work made by Jeanette Gilks for our upcoming Fibreworks exhibition  - in Cape Town later this year.

Wild Wonderful Wearable - 2003

the back

close up of one of the panels

close up of the back