October 30, 2012

Knitting, Weaving, Book Binding and Dyeing

I didn't start knitting until recently, but I do love it. The trouble with my knitting is understanding the pattern. I'm lucky to have many friends who can translate the patterns for me. I'm getting better at it now. I suppose practice makes perfect!

This winter my library received a copy of "How Tea Cosies Changed the World" by Loani Prior. The tea cosy on the front cover is so inviting that I had to make one. Luckily the pattern is easy and straight forward so that I didn't have a problem following it. I'm happy to say that I finished it by the end of our winter and can't wait to use it soon.

This tea cosy is called wood fungus and I started knitting from the top down. The bottom part was knitted separately. They are double layers of the bottom part. I suppose it's to keep the tea hot longer. I really love it and I am very very happy with my knitting.

I got so carried away with the knitting that after I finished the tea cosy I started knitting a pair of fingerless gloves. I got the pattern off Ravelry. There are so many versions of the patterns on Ravelry, but this one is simple enough for me to follow. 

After that I thought I would knit a pair for DGD too. I'm using the same pattern as mine, but smaller yarn and needles. I will make these longer, I think they would be cute for her to wear up her arms.

Moving on to a crochet scarf. I have used this pattern many times now and love it. Thanks to Jacky who shared the pattern with me. I have not finished it yet, but I am very close to doing it.

I will get back to weaving before I forget it. I got myself a nice loom "Susan". It's a 4-shaft Swedish loom made from beautiful timber. It used to belong to Susan so I named it after her. 

If you remembere I spun some yarns for this. I'm using the yarn to weave this scarf, but I'm also using a commercial yarn I found second hand for the warp threads. This is just a practice run. After this, I will be making a rag rug (sakiori) using my eco-dyed silk.

Last Saturday I was showing Jacky how to make a book using Coptic binding. Both Jacky and I did an online art journal workshop with Roxanne. I can now use this book for my next art journal. 

We both used discarded dust jackets from my library for the covers. We inserted Japanese handmade papers on some of the signatures as part of the decorations. I'm very happy with my book and can't wait to start using it. 

I can't finish this post without showing my dyeing result using mango seeds. When I was in Bangkok earlier this year I was told that all parts of a mango are good for dyeing. Mangos have started to come on the market now that the weather is getting warmer. I had one for the first time this year and as I was about to throw the mango seed away I remembered that I can use it for dyeing! I wrapped the silk around it and dropped it in the liquid I was boiling with bindweed and a rusty horse shoe. I left it sitting for a few days and when I opened it I had a pleasant surprise! 

Needless to say I have two more bundles waiting to be opened right now. Forgot to say that I put mango peel in the bundles too. Nothing is going to waste from mangos from now on.

Until next time


deanna7trees said...

so many beautiful things. i will try the dyeing with mango seeds and peel. i do love mangoes but haven't bought one in a while. beautiful results, as usual.

Needled Mom said...

Your knitting is looking just beautiful. I love the tea cozy!! That is so cute. The fingerless gloves will come in so handy too.

I guess Susan is going to have to share her time with knitting needles. I hope she understands ;)

The mango nut piece is lovely.

Kim said...

Oh my goodness! How do you have time to go to work? Lovely projects one and all!

The weaving is just beautiful....I can't wait to see how it looks with your hand dyed silks.

Happy crafting......you have such talent Nat :0)

Simone de Klerk said...

So many crafts, Nat. Beautiful. The tea cozy is really really pretty. But, I love the hand warmers too. Great colors.

Terry said...

You have been seriously busy. All the projects reflect who you are so nice to see. I enjoy seeing what your working on it is always so creative.

Els said...

Ahhh you've been só busy again Nat ! (where do you get the time, working in the library and all that ....) The teacosy was already my favourite when you started it some time ago. But I do wonder: what does happen when you pour the tea ....? Ha, I think it will wobble quite a bit !
The fingerless gloves are of Noro ? And the thinner pair is the lovely Zauberball I think ...
Mango ??? not Avocado ? You're góóóóód dyeing !

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Oh Nat what a beautiful post....the tea cozy is gorgeous and I looooove those colours in your fingerless gloves...DG will love those little gloves as well and she will need them too! The mango dyeing is absolutely stunning....love it!

Nancy said...

Love those fingerless gloves!! I've got a pot of pomegranate & cloth on the stove right now! :)

Queen of the Tea Cosies said...

Nat Nat Nat You are some kind of crafting crazy. And all of it so beautiful and clever. What lucky star were you born under?

You made such a good job of Woody. Thank you. And then there is crochet and weaving and dying and spinning and book making and patchwork and and and .....

I love it all.

Queen of the Tea Cosies said...

AND gardening!

Jeannie said...

Wow! Where to begin! Your knitting is wonderful. The tea cozy might even convince me to drink tea! I love fingerless mittens and dug out my needles to start a new pair this week. Your scarf is fantastic! I love the organic shape of the pattern. The weaving is gorgeous, as is your book. I just learned binding this summer and I have plans for Christmas present journals. The mango experiment is wonderful. I see fewer things going into the compost this winter. I am always amazed at what we thought of as compost is now a treasure to be wrapped with silk. :) Wishing you a beautiful rest of the week.

rivergardenstudio said...

Dear Nat, you are so creative. I love the way your art takes on so many forms, in your knitting, (especially the fingerless gloves) your weaving, book binding and dyeing with mango seeds. Can you tell me what bindweed is? Everything is so beautiful here.

homeschooled said...

I just love those tea cosies. I have seen that book but thought they would be too difficult.

Kathie said...

the art journals are just wonderful, I have always wanted to take a class to make things like this.
the scarf is pretty, the yarn is beautiful.
I really like the fingerless mitts. even I think I could knit those!
thanks for sharing all your work with us
always inspiring to me.
weaving is something I have always had an interest in too just like rug hooking but I am so afraid it starting another hobby, quilting already takes up a lot of room in our home!

Matthew said...

One of the easiest ways to bind your books is to use mechanical binding available at stores like Staples. Mechanical binding provides a sleek, modern line for your books, and prevents bulking no matter how many pages you have. Mechanical binding can also accommodate books that have several sections or tabs. For smaller books, or books with thinner paper for pages, you may want to try plastic combs or spirals.

Book Binding Boston

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