Archive for the ‘knitting’ tag
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I’d been saving lots of t-shirts to cut up and make into yarn. I learned to knit last year, but haven’t been doing any knitting since I moved here in November. I was itching to knit and wanted to finally try tarn. This was my first experience cutting up t-shirts for yarn, and I learned a thing or two. One, I learned what kind of t-shirt material I like. (You wouldn’t believe the variety of t-shirt material there is until you start knitting with tarn).
I also realized that since some of the material is thicker than others, the thicker material needs to be cut into smaller strips, or you’ll have bulgy edges, like to the right on this rug.
As much as I like texture, I think I like the placemats w/o all those knots.
In order to not get knots, I just cut in one long strip, even when I had to cut around the part from the armpits to the neck. I just kept cutting, though obviously not in a straight line. Think of it as mowing a lawn, and how you go along the outside until you get closer and closer to the center. That’s the way I did it in order to not have so many knots. You just have to round off the corners so they’re not so pointy.
I just bought a lot of t-shirts at a garage sale and in colors that will go together, instead of my just throwing all my tarn into the few placemats and rug that I made. I’ll share those later, when I finish my other yarn project.
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Today’s interview is with Lucy from Seasons of Wool Etsy Shop. Her shop features an amazing variety of felted knit and repurposed wool creations in all kinds of styles. She also does a lot of customizable work, including turning your old sweaters into beautiful blankets!
[Photo above: Felted Boot Purse with Re-purposed Lambswool Cable Sweater Panel]
Tell us about your blog and store.
I’ve had an Etsy shop since 2009. There you’ll find felted wool hats, mittens, toys, accessories, purses and totes, and bowls and baskets. You’ll also find a number of pieces created from repurposed sweaters and clothing. So far the sweaters have been turned into baskets, blankets and totes. In addition to wool, you’ll find alpaca, silk, cashmere and other natural fibers. There are pieces there for just about every taste, from bohemian, to hip, to classic. I also love to work with the customer to create custom pieces – color, size and style can all be adapted to create a special, treasured piece.
I have tried blogging, and know it would be a great tool, but I haven’t been able to find the time to do so. I hope to start again in the future.
[Above photo: Thick Rib Fingerless Mitts in Wool and Silk]
How long have you had an interest in working with wool, as well as silk?
My love of wool really started developing about 10 years ago when I made my first pair of felted slippers. They didn’t turn out as expected, but I loved seeing how the fibers changed during the felting process. Before then, I’d been using cheaply made acrylic yarn. The feel of the wool was so much more enjoyable. My use of silk has been more recent, probably over the last couple of years. Silk itself does not felt, but when combined with the wool, it creates a wonderfully soft texture. Both wool and silk have wonderful insulative properties. I love how they balance each other – the more rustic wool, with the refined silk.
How did you get started? Did you start by experimenting around, or did you take a class and go from there?
I started knitting in college, about 18 years ago, and was self taught. My grandmother had taught me how to crochet when I was about 10, but I hadn’t picked up knitting needles until my roommate and I were looking for something to do during cold Wisconsin winters. I started with an afghan. No pattern. It ended up way to long and narrow, but it was a start!
[Photo on left: Upcycled Sweater Blanket made with Lambswool, Wool and Merino Sweaters]
Are there any particular mediums you like working with?
Wool, obviously, both in yarn and roving. I’ve also been using a lot of alpaca lately. It’s super soft and luxurious to work with. I also love scrounging the local goodwill and thrift stores for sweaters – cashmere, wool, merino, alpaca, angora. All natural animal fibers. It’s fun to turn castaway and lonely sweaters and clothing into something new.
Is there anything you eventually want to get in to and master?
I’ve recently started dying my own yarn and would love to increase my proficiency. It’s a lot like felting – you don’t really know exactly what is going to happen until you start playing with the materials. There is a science, but for me, half the fun is playing and experimenting.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have two little girls that take up a lot of my time when I’m not working. I also have a huge organic garden. I can (as in make jelly, pickles, tomatoes, etc.), I cook, we explore outside, we craft together. I guess much of my spare time is spent sharing my passions with my family. I also love to read and have been known to travel around the house with my book in tow. I’ll even read while knitting if the pattern allows it.
[Photo above: Mohair and Wool Polka Dot Bowl]
What’s a question you wish I would’ve asked? And please answer that question.
Tough question! I guess it would have to be, “Why do you do what you do?” Even before having my own business, I always had a project going. Or many projects. It didn’t feel right if I wasn’t creating something with my hands. I come by it naturally – there are potters, painters, sewers, and woodworkers on both sides. I’ve tried many mediums: beads, quilting, crochet, etc., but I keep coming back to knitting and felting. I love the material and the process. I love the feel of wool and how it responds during the felting process. I could have continued simply making gifts for friends and family, but I kept hearing, “You should really think about selling these!” Eventually the encouragement stuck. Getting my business off the ground has not been easy, but it has been worth it. I’ve been able to stay home with my kids and show them that they can do something they love. And they’ve been able to help me along the way.
Please include ten fun facts about yourself.
1. I love orchids.
2. Frogs are my favorite animal.
3. I like to garden barefoot.
4. I have two favorite colors – brown and orange.
5. I’m addicted to searching for sharks teeth.
6. I can wiggle my ears.
7. I love fantasy books.
8. I’d love to go to New Zealand.
9. I view patterns and recipes as guides, not something set in stone.
10. My great grandfather was both a tinker and a tailor, and I have his tailor’s scissors.
Lucy is generously offering a $25 gift certificate to herSeasons of Wool Etsy Shop, which is good towards any purchase – from store to include custom, regular and sale priced items.
To enter this giveaway, the mandatory entry is to like Seasons of Wool on Facebook and to follow this blog, Screaming Sardine. If you aren’t on Facebook, then go to Seasons of Wool on Etsy and pick out your favorite item and put it in a comment below. For extra entries, you can tweet and/or blog about this giveaway. You can put all your entries in one comment or in multiple comments as you do them. The giveaway is open worldwide, with the deadline being September 1st at 11:59 pm, Central time, US.
[Photo above: Wooly Sweater Spring Basket]