Tag Update!

A friend was vacationing up on the Bruce Peninsula and found the yarn bomb I did! He didn't realise I'd made it, I hadn't told him, so it's quite exciting! It has disintegrated a bit by now though, plus it had just rained, so it doesn't look as good as it did.

Ring cosy again

Ring cosy again

Photo cred to Westacular, who didn't want to upload pics.


Yarn Shopping in Ottawa

Oh. My. God.


I have had the BEST day! I'm in Ottawa, and I went yarn shopping. I went to four stores, all around downtown. So exciting!

The first place I went was Yarns, Etc, right near the Rideau Centre. A tiny little shop, but they had a great selection of yarn in a variety of qualities, for pretty reasonable prices! I was surprised how much could fit. The owner was super nice, too, I had a lovely chat with her. I'd definitely go back there again! The only thing was that they didn't have any spinning stuff apart from a couple bundles of roving (which looked a bit bedraggled). There was a lot of embroidery stuff there too, which is useful to know if I take up embroidery again. 4/5 stars.

Berroco yarn
Yarn from Yarns, Etc.

The second store I went to was Yarn Forward, in the north part of the Glebe. They had a really large space, but somehow it seemed like they had less selection than Yarns, Etc. That said, there was some great yarn there! The only stuff I really wanted was too expensive though, everything was a bit on the pricy side. They had a few colours of roving (more than Yarns, Etc), so I got a bit of that. The staff were pleasant but not really friendly, I felt a little awkward there. 3/5 stars.

Predyed fiber
Fibre from Yarn Forward.

The third store was Knit Knackers, farther north on Bank. This store was AMAZING, look at the pictures on the website, it is GIANT! And all for yarn and fiber! I am still buzzed from going to this store, and it's nine hours later. It took me at least an hour to go through all the yarn they had; a fantastic selection, from cheap to gorgeous expensive. There were some great bargains, I couldn't believe the prices on some things! They also have bags of yarn to buy in bulk with ridiculous savings; I almost bought a bag of 10 skeins of bulky wool for $80, cut down from something like $150. And the fiber they had! Some of it I didn't even know existed, like fiber from milk and corn?! They had a crazy variety, including llama, several types of wool, alpaca, silk in different forms, cotton, linen, soy silk, angora, sea silk, the list goes on, it's just so wonderful! Most of it is undyed, but there's a wall of dyed wool top in loads of colours (and I think there was dyed silk as well?). PLUS (I discovered by accident), if you buy more than a kilo of fiber, you get 10% off your fiber purchase; and if you buy more than 10 skeins of yarn you get 10% off that too! The staff were super friendly and patient (and they had to weigh a lot of fiber for me) and helpful, happy to chat and really eager to help! I just can't express how excited about this store I am!! If I still lived in Ottawa I would be here all the time, and spend all my money. 6/5 stars!

Yarn from Knit Knackers.

Fibre from Knit Knackers and Wabi Sabi.

The last store I went to was Wabi Sabi, in Hintonburg. I used to live literally right around the corner from here, but I don't think this store existed then. This felt very much like a Fiber Art Store (with the capitals), not a yarn or knitting store. There was a decent amount of yarn, mostly Berroco. It was fairly pricey though. There was a nice selection of dyed roving, including a lovely wool-silk blend (that I bought some of, it's the blue fibre in the top left corner above) in a bunch of different colours. They also had needle felting and other fiber art supplies, plus some lovely finished artworks. The owner was busy but nice and happy to help! The railing in the doorway had been yarn bombed, which I was excited about! A lovely store, but limited amounts of yarn, and a bit above my price range. 4/5 stars.

And then I went home because I had spent all my money at Knit Knackers. Oops. Heh. There are a bunch more knitting shops around Ottawa, but they are farther away and difficult to get to without a car. But I am definitely satisfied with what I got.



I've found out that Harvest Festival and the Knitter's Fair are on the same weekend!





It makes me wonder if anyone else has this dilemma, though. I'm going to Harvest since I haven't been to a festival ALL SUMMER, plus I shouldn't be spending all my money on yarn (which I totally would).

Plus, I really want unspun fiber more than yarn at this point (though a nice large batch of white wool would not go amiss...) and apparently the vendors have been told to focus on knitting, not spinning (so sad).

PLUS, I found two more yarn/fiber/etc fairs coming up soon that DON'T conflict! The Woodstock Fleece Festival is in October, and the KW Weavers' and Spinners' Guild Show & Sale in November. So exciting!!!

I also found this wonderful site today, it maps yarn stores and has reviews of them. You can also save "crawls," mapping a set of stores you want to go visit. I've made one of the yarn stores in Ottawa, since I'm visiting there soon! I found a yarn store RIGHT around the corner from where I used to live. Such a waste, I didn't knit then! Heh.

I navajo plied my remade yarn:

Chain-plied acrylic


Vacation and Neat Things

I've been on vacation with my family for a little now, another two weeks to go. Spending extended amounts of time with my parents always makes me a little crazy, and having little to no internet access doesn't help. I've gotten some spinning done, which is nice, and a little bit of knitting. Here's a ball I'm going to ply; it's Lion's Brand Homespun (I can't remember the colourway).

Plying Ball

I'm planning on chain-plying it, since I've only tried that for a very short length of yarn (and also so I don't have to break the ball up). Next: recycled sari ends! (below) Oh, and I've plied the green handspun skeins (that I mentioned in my last post) together without redying...I quite like the pale green, I have to say. No pictures till I'm back home though.

Recycled Sari Ends

I've only been knitting intermittently, when I can't spin easily (like when I'm in the car, or reading in bed, etc). I'm using up those annoying little balls that are always left over when you finish a project - I have SO MANY of them, and have no idea where half of them come from. But they are going to good use, I suppose...I'll probably send the tags I'm making with them in the Yarn Bombs Away! swap Kadie is hosting on swapbot. My partner is my new roommate, so I can make them as big as I like without worrying about shipping. Heh. Anyway, here's what I've done so far, rumpled up a bit:

Tag in Progress

I'm using my treasured glow-in-the-dark needles! They are so wonderful, I can knit in the dark! I embarrassed my father because I was knitting at the grocery store and dropped my ball of yarn in the parking lot, and it rolled away without me noticing. But a nice lady told me I'd dropped it, so it's ok!

My website really needs some work, particularly since I label my yarn bombs. I almost went to a seminar about how to use photoshop to make webpages, and now I'm regretting that I didn't, because that is pretty much what I want to do now. I'd like to learn site design, I think, but I'm not passionate enough about it to teach myself. Probably the thing to do is to decide what I want it to look like, sketch it, then talk to people who know what they are doing. For the mean time I guess I will just put some info about yarn bombing up?

Tonight I have learned to not listen to this mix right before going to bed. I like it, but it keeps me awake!

Here are some cool things:


CakeFAIL and Tasty Yarn

Oh man. This is the worst cake I have ever made. Possibly I just forgot to oil the pan, but I used a fancy bunt cake pan thing (because it was clean) so I couldn't get it out without destroying it. Witness this fact:

My cake is a lie
My cake is a terrible, godless lie.

The yarn turned out pretty well though! The storebought stuff (on the left) is a really nice intense green-y blue, heat-set in the microwave. More of a uniform colour than I'd anticipated, but I love the colour, and there's enough variegation to keep me interested. Obviously I should stick to crafts and never cook again.

Salt Moss Dry Foam

Two of the handspun skeins (on the right) didn't get as much dye. I can't decide if I want to do another immersion dye intensify the colour...I really like the colour right now, and I like how it blends, but I also love intense colours! The third skein turned out intensely yellow (below), and I was going to ply it with two dark-ish blue.green skeins, but with the two blue.green skeins dyed as they are, the yellow would just overpower them and it would not look the best. But I really like how the blue.green skeins turned out, the colour is slightly more blended on one, and slightly patchier on the other, so hopefully they would look neat if I plied them? I'm leaning towards this option, I can always spin more yarn to ply with the bright yellow single if need be.


I finally finished a kandi order for etsy...I haven't really posted m/any pictures of kandi on here, but yes I make kandi! The packs of ten singles are what sell best in my store, actually. I don't trade it as much as I used to, partly because I don't go to quite as many raves, but mostly because I have other crafts (and trades!) to focus on, so I don't have a gazillion bracelets ready for trade at all times.

12 kandi singles
There are 12 bracelets here because I was late shipping...eep!

I am quite angry at my roommate, who told me she was moving out August 3rd, but now is not moving out for another "week and a bit." I'm moving into her room, but (obviously) I can't do that till she's gone, and I can't go on holiday until I've moved (because people need to move into my room while I'm gone).


Vacation will be difficult, because I will not be able to check my mail. Plus I probably can't organise lots more swaps! I do need to work on doing less swaps, though, since I'm doing more classes in the fall. Sigh. I'd rather swap than learn. Though! A friend is going to give me acrylic painting lessons! Which is exciting, I've never had painting lessons before!

This has turned into a very chatty post, but it's around 4am, so I guess it's just that time of night. Also, sorry for the particularly terrible pictures! My (other) roommate is asleep in my room, which is where my good light is.

Here's a knitted lace swatch made from a tiny bit of re-spun yarn! The pattern's not that clear because the yarn ended up a little overspun and bumpy. But I like it! Trying to decide if I want to (a) keep it (b) art with it (c) yarnbomb with it.



A Smattering of ATCs

I made some ATCs, yo. Finally getting around to using some unmounted rubber stamps I bought! I've wanted people ones for ages, but I never like the ones available locally.

The Offering 1-2 ATCs Going Mad ATC

I quite like this one, I used some random mesh bow thingey I got as an extra in a swap.

Charmed ATC

I've also decided to be efficient with acrylic paint ATCs, I'm now painting three at a time, before cutting the paper apart. It's much faster, particularly for the "fire" ones, which for some reason have been frequently requested. I dunno, I don't actually like them all that much, but I've made like six so far, and someone's already asked for another one.

Boil Away 1-3 ATCs
Fires ATCs

As I type this, I am in the middle of dying yarn! I'm in a very teal mood today, so (hopefully) most of it is going to be teal-y. One skein of storebought yarn, and three of stuff I've spun, which I'm planning on plying! I've never made three-ply before, so it's very exciting!

This is mostly unrelated to crafts, but I really must recommend this site, it has the most WONDERFUL clothes! I am so inspired to start sewing again!

I am making a cake as well. just from cake mix, but it's RAINBOW cake mix! This will hopefully convince my roommate not to be mad at me for getting vinegar solution and dye all over the kitchen.

I will leave you with this picture of Kevin putting up a crocheted tag:

Crochet tag


Re-making Yarn

Lion Brand Homespun Yarn is, in some ways, really great yarn. I just love how soft it is, and how the colour blends, but it is incredibly frustrating to work with! It's corespun and then plied with thread (this is my guess, I am 100% willing to be wrong on this!), so it's very textured and bumpy, which makes it super easy to push needles or hooks through the middle of the yarn. Arg!

I made a couple hats with this yarn a while ago, so I had a little bit of yarn left from a couple skeins, but not enough to do anything useful with. Since the yarn is SO FRUSTRATING to work with, I tore it apart and respun it, since I liked the fiber so much. I've decided to make a tutorial, in case anyone else is interested in doing this!

1.  Pick your yarn

1. Pick your yarn! You want a bulkier yarn, ideally one that is a thick single plied with thread. You can use whatever yarn you want really, but the thicker the singles are, the easier it is to separate and card.

2 - Look at yarn

2 - Look at yarn. This yarn has a fluffy part (the part I want) spun around strong thread (in the middle), and plied with a single white thread (which is visible here).

3 - Un-ply

3 - Un-ply. Pull apart the yarn: here I'm starting with the thread the fluffy party was plied with. The thread I'm taking out is visible from the outside of the yarn.

4 - Remove the core

4 - Remove the core. Remove the strong core of the fluffy part. Not all yarns will have this, but this brand does. You need to hunt for strong, thread-y parts in the fluff, then pull them out.

5 - After removing the core

5 - After removing the core. The yarn will probably bunch up like this - that's fine, just straighten it out so you can see where to break the yarn.

6 - Break the yarn

6 - Break the yarn. Pull off the yarn that has had the thread-y parts removed. If you can't pull it apart easily, there may still be thread in it, try moving closer to the end. In this picture, the yarn on the left still has thread-y bits, the yarn on the right has all the thread-y bits removed.

7 - Different parts

7 - Different parts.
A - These are the threads from the middle of the yarn and the thread that was plied with the fluffy bit.
B - The fluffy bit of the yarn - this is the part you want! You could probably spin this fiber as is, but it would be trickier to draft, so it would be harder to get different weights.

8 - Break fluff into smaller parts

8 - Break fluff into smaller parts. You're going to be separating the fluffy fibers, so break them into smaller parts. They're much easier to pull apart when they're this size.

9 - Pull apart fluff

9 - Pull apart fluff. Separate the fibers in each section.

10 - Separated fluff

10 - Separated fluff. This is what the fluff should look like when it's been separated.

11 - All the fluff separated

11 - All the fluff separated. Put all the separated fluff in a pile, you're going to card it next! You actually get a decent amount of fiber from not much yarn, this is all the fiber from B in step 7.

12 - Card fiber

12 - Card fiber. This is a pretty good guide to carding fiber. If you can't afford hand carders (they're pretty expensive), you can use two dog brushes! The carders in the photo are dog brushes.

13 - Rolags

13 - Rolags. The fiber has been carded into rolags, ready for spinning.

14 - Bucket of rolags

14 - Bucket of rolags. These are purple rolags from some yarn I took apart previously. Ready for spinning!

15 - Spin the Fiber

15 - Spin the Fiber. Spin the fiber from the rolags! This is some more reclaimed fiber I'm in the process of spinning.

16 - Yarn!

16 - Yarn! The finished product! This is the purple laceweight yarn from the rolags in step 14. Now I have a usable amount of yarn from a tiny amount left over!

I hope someone finds that helpful! Spinning is fun, and this is a great way to try out small amounts of different fibers.


Yarn Bombing MADNESS

I have a wonderful friend. This wonderful friend was told off by a cop for yarn bombing (lame!) and because of that is more determined to yarn bomb than ever. Her goal, now accomplished, was to tag every bike rack in uptown Waterloo! I contributed a few tags, and so did one other friend, but the credit goes almost entirely to her! Here are the finished yarnbombs:

Bike Stand Bike Stand Bike Stands Bike Stand Bike Stand Bike Stand
Bike Stand Bike Stand Bike Stand Bike Stand Bike Stand Bike Stand
Bike Stand Bike Stand Bike Stand Bike Stand Bike Stand Bike Stand
Bike Stand Bike Stand Bike Stand Bike Stand IMGP0357 Bike stand

She got also permission from the manager of a local bar called Chainsaw to tag their porch! I am continually impressed with how quickly she manages to knit; she made these eight tags in about two days!


We decided Chainsaw was a good place to clump a bunch of tags, so I put up this cityscape tag (the colourwork pattern is from an issue Vogue Knitting I found at the library); it got a little stretched when I was putting it up, but it's still mostly visible?

Cityscape Tag Cityscape Tag

Yarn bombing is awesome!