Tuesday, October 30, 2012

3D Egg shaped needle felting fun

These were needle-felted as part of my egg head inspiration week. For some reason I was inspired to create one a day with only the rough guideline of a ball or oval shape being the starting point.

 Beaver - What can I say? It started off as more no specific species and morphed into a beaver, even down to the yellow teeth. I did start out with just the facial features being flat against the head. I put it down for the night and the next day I thought, "Yes! he needs 3D features" and started adding more wool to the the nose, cheeks, and eyes. 
Some advice to other needle-felters out there, it is amazing what out-lining a feature can do. The smallest line of black or pink can really make a feature (such as an eye) really pop and become more believable.

 Purple head - I am so proud of that hat. It is hollow and the brim took for ever. I love the fact that his skin is purple but the rest of him looks so normal. I knew from the start that I wanted him to have a bowler hat, it was after doing some research on google images that I realized that he needed both a mustache and a monocle too. I decided to make his other eye a pale green color because it went with the purple themed skin. I decided not to put little feet on him because it took away from the effect of " everything is normal except for the colors".

Black cat - this is a cartoon version of my cat. He often gets bug eyed stares on his face. I really had fun filling out the features on this head to make them stick out, especially the nose.

What I have learned: Making Cartoon animals is so fun and freeing. There is no tying to work out all the little details to make it realistic. Plus you can have googly eyes and strange colors.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hand-spun rainbow sweater

Meet my new sweater!
 This sweater took me a while, but most of that was the spinning. I have been hearing a lot lately that peoples favorite sweaters are the cotton or acrylic store bought ones. The lightweight cardigans that can be worn to work. I think what makes those sweaters so appealing is the weight of the fabric. So often us knitters tend to make huge bulky sweaters that can only be worn in the dead of winter.

So when I got enchanted with this box of wool from Tejo-lo-que-hilo I knew that I wanted to spin the yarn fine and make a light weight cardigan. I decided to give each color an order number and split the  color roughly in half. I then spun the fiber in the same order for both bobbins of yarn. This was about 8oz of merino silk.

The idea was to create not just a striped sweater but a double striped sweater where one of the stripes would be a mixtures of both colors. This mostly worked but I did not account for is the fact that the dominant color would overpower these blending areas. I also had to break the yarn in the blue purple section to manipulate the stripes a little bit since I guess when I spun one bobbin I was spinning thinner. So what I ended up with was a two ply. I know two ply might not wear as well as three ply, but I love two ply, it made the color progression easier, and the silk content will give the yarn strength. What I ended up with was 1024 yards of a heavy fingering weight yarn.

Since I knew that another thing that makes or breaks a favorite sweater is the length, I decided to make this a long sweater. The astute of you might be able to tell that I did not use all of the purple, black and dark brown. This is mainly due to the fact that I thought using these colors in the sleeves or the front bands would over complicate the design. So I pulled out some yarn I spun this summer and knit the sleeves down from the yoke and the collar/button band in this color. It was a thinner yarn and I went down a needle size to accommodate it.

I decided on a top down raglan for this sweater and started off knitting back and forth until I joined the sweater in the round at the base of the collar.  I then steeked it after determining the center stitch and crocheting a slip stitch into every stitch vertically on either side of the center stitch. This makes a very nice edge on the inside. I used black wool and silk sock yarn to crochet with. The button band/collar is a K2P2 rib, and I increased on either side of "corner stitch" between neck and body to give the color a more rounded edge so that it would lie flat. There are no buttons or closures on this sweater because the fabric is so light I was afraid the buttons would weight the sweater down and distort it. I use a shawl pin to close it when I need to.

All in all I am pleased with it. Maybe it is sometime a little bright to wear in the conservative areas of Madrid, but it goes with everything and the colors make me so happy. All photos were taken Saturday in the Royal Botanical Gardens of Madrid where we went for a photo exposition of Trashumancia. More on that later.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Creativa Madrid

Last weekend I went to Creativa Madrid. I have never been to an indoor crafting event, much less in Spain, so I was not sure what to expect. 

This event was about crafting in general and has many different types of crafts represented: cross stitch, bobbin lace, patchwork, sewing, machine embroidery, knitting/crocheting, scrap-booking, and quilting to name a few.

For some reason, even though there was a lot of Space, the booths were crowded together. It was a lot smaller event than I thought that it would be, and way better attended then I ever imagined. It was crowded. I had to use all my European big city skills to get through the crowds. But I think that it is a good sign for the continuation of crafting in Spain. 

Note that they had a section for the little ones, to enable them to crafting early.

There was one whole stand, very popular (I do not know how I got this photo) of just bobbin lace and bobbin lace suplies.

There was a lot of quilting and patchwork there, more than any other craft. I think I need a sewing machine soon...

How beautiful and Spanish are these?

Next year I should be prepared and find out how to take some of the workshops. For example there was a man there that did egg carving, on eggshells! That class would be worth the price alone just to see how he does it. I mean I know that he uses a dremel, but still. 

Everyone taking the workshops looked like there were having so much fun!

The convention center is located inside the Casa de Campo park, I have no idea what this building facing the convention center is, but obviously I need to explore this park more.

If anyone can explain this ad to me, go ahead. Why only 5 nights?

We saw my first Rainbow in Spain. Wave goodbye to the treeless view outside my windows, in less then a week we will be living by a park!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Segovia - the buildings

I took about 190 photos of Segovia. What I post here, and in the previous posts,  are just the highlights. However, this is a picture heavy post.

Segovia is so picturesque that it is hard to take a bad photo. Here is an old church with the sun caressing it's curves.

The Alcazar castle that Queen Isabella the first was crowned, and it is believe that this castle was an inspiration for some of Disney's castles.

An stone monastery in the center of town.

 It is a city where it is possible to have layers and interesting angles as it is located in the hills.

Again the textures come into play

In the distance  starting with the second peak from the left, is "the dead woman". In the shape of the mountain peaks (click to enlarge) you can see the profile of (from left to right) her face, her bossom with hands folded over, and then her feet. When you drive by this range you can even see an eye and an eyebrow, it is very cool.

It is a city where there are cool things to buy, and even better displays. Note the cork aquaduct.

 And fo course the aquaduct itself. A sight that I think, will never cease to awe me.

 Things are going well here. So far the apartment hunt is going well. I finally got a post out on my new blog yesterday. It takes quite a bit of time, because I need to research the history in Spanish, then sit down and write my findings in English, then turn around and write it agan in Spanish without satisfying the urge to plagiarize. It is not as easy as I thought to match up the two languages,. Also it has finally happened...I know words in Spanish that I do not know in English. I guess that is a good sign?

The job hunt continues, there is a depressingly small amount of jobs I can apply too. I really look forward to moving into the new place so that I have space to get my side business underway. 

I leave you with Rome's gift to Segovia to commemorate the aquaduct. Yes that is two children nursing from a wolf. If you are curious about the old Roman legend go here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

¡New spinning blog / un nuevo blog de hilado!

Ok So I have finally taken the plunge and started another blog. This is a bilingual blog in both Spanish and English about the history of spinning in Spain, and all things spinning related in Spain. I am not sure what exactly is going to come out of this blog, but I felt that it had its place on the web.

You can find it here: http://historiadehilar.blogspot.com.es/
You can also always find it under my blogger profile.

I will continue my personal blog here, but if you are interested in Spinning techniques, or history in Spain I invite you to follow the other blog as well.

Vale, pues he empezado otro blog. Este es un blog bilingüe en inglés y español sobre la historia del hilado en España, y todas las cosas relacionadas con el hilado en España. No estoy muy segura sobre cómo irá este blog, pero creo que tiene un sitio en la red.

Podéis encontrar este nuevo blog aquí: http://historiadehilar.blogspot.com.es/
También podéis encontrar el enlace a este nuevo blog dentro de mi perfil en Blogger.

Voy a continuar con mi blog personal aquí, pero si estáis interesados en las técnicas de hilado, o la historia del hilado en España, os invito a seguir mi otro blog.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The signs of Segovia

As you might have guessed I went to Segovia this past Saturday.
I had a tip about a nice fiber related section in the folk museum. I am working on that post and I hope to have it up in two different languages shortly (one here, one of the Spanish blog - address to come soon). I am planning to start a history of Spinning in Spain blog. No only to keep the information I encounter all in one place but to also practice my writing skills. I might make it bilingual - more information to follow.

Yesterday I posted the textures of Segovia, because it struck me as a very textural city. It is very old and there is art everywhere too. Today I will focus on the myriad of signs I encountered during my walks. Two of the photos repeat from yesterday, but that is because they fall into both categories.