Day 2 of Opus Daily Practice ( #opusdailypractice ). Pen, brush and ink on paper, and the start of a Cowichan inspired mini-bag. Art and knitting by Debra Hunter ( Handmade in Canada ). http://www.debra-hunter.com http://www.handmade-canada.com . . . Ads belong to WordPress.
Opus Art Supplies do a really cool thing for the month of February, they run a feature called Opus Daily Practice in which they encourage people to engage daily in a creative pursuit. 28 days of working on your daily practice to refine and engage consistently with your art. Last year I found out about […]
We are currently in the process of taking out a rather mongrel hedge and replacing it with a fence. The hedge seems to consist of all sorts of different bushes and trees cut to hedge size. Every now and then, as we pull out the hedge 8 feet at a time, we come across a decent sized tree trunk and branches; these have been going into the “save” pile.
Above is a spoon cut from the hedge. It sits on the remainder of the branch it came from. I am eternally fascinated with taking a raw piece of wood and turning it into a functional object. As the wood has a mind of its own, you never quite know what you will get.
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Well I just got in from a walk and realized it is still mitten season! This pair of fingerless mitts has just been posted in the SHOP section of the Handmade in Canada website. The mittens are made of 100% Canadian produced wool. I then hand dye the wool in natural dyes; this pair has […]
I know my blogging has been a little quiet lately, and one of the reasons is I have been working away. In addition to a busy photography month, I have also been updating my other project, Handmade in Canada. Let’s just say when you dye your own yarn and knit your own items it takes time.
So after weeks and weeks of knitting, the shop has finally been updated. There are a ton of new items and we are pretty excited about sharing them with you. All our items are naturally dyed by hand and made by hand too. If you have a moment check it out.
Also at the bottom of the Handmade in Canada site are our social media links. We can be found on Facebook and Instagram (@handmadeincanada), plus you can hit the follow button to follow the blog. I hope you will follow along and see all the cool items we are making.
Sometimes the Classified Ads in the newspaper provide new experiences you don’t expect. Back in the summer my dad came across an ad in the paper, “bags of wool for sale, $20.00”. He knew I had been doing all sorts of knitting projects and thought I might be interested. It did seem interesting. We called up the seller and arranged to buy a bag. She didn’t know much about the wool, she was selling it for her sister who had bought it from a neighbor in rural Alberta. Genuine mystery wool. I wasn’t too sure how I was going to use it, maybe felt it or worse case use it for stuffing……well a lot of stuffing as it was a huge bag the size of a garbage bag stuffed tight.
Initially I used the wool to stuff a few mini crochet toys, this didn’t make a dent in the bag of wool. Then one day in late August I took a trip to a woolen mill and in the shop Turkish spindles. were being sold. I had watched a few tutorials on-line of spinning with them, so I decided to risk the $25 and buy a spindle and see if it would work with the mystery wool.
With plans to try spinning the mystery wool I started popping bits of fleece in random dye pots as I dyed yarn or fabric. There was no real plan, I just thought it would be more fun to try and spin the wool if it was colored.
I will admit it took a little to get the hang of spinning the fleece. The hook on the spindle gave me some trouble. I actually took the good old X-Acto knife to the hook to allow it to grab the yarn better; I may still have to carve out the hook portion a little more. The first tiny ball of yarn took forever, but as I spun more and more it went a lot quicker and easier.
The next step was to ply the yarns together. I was really looking forward to seeing the colors combine. The concept of plying was easy, the only issue is that the hook doesn’t seem to hold the yarn in place very well and keeps slipping off. I tried all sorts of fancy tying, winding and twisting, I even briefly attempted holding the yarn in place with an elastic band (did not work!), but the yarn kept slipping off.
I am continuing to persevere with the plying. The mixed colors look great and will be so fun to knit up. I am wondering if I need to pick up a separate spindle for plying, perhaps a spindle that has a metal hook instead of a carved wooden hook. I am thinking that may work more successfully with plying such a chunky yarn. Still, I think it has been a fairly successful first time spinning experience with mystery wool.
The last few days have been focused on painting and stitching. Whether I am happy about it or not (because it is an immense amount of hand stitching) the answer to this piece was to start stitching in the foliage in the ditch in front of the grain elevators.
So I decided to start stitching in what would be the ditch in the piece. The brown is actually cotton embroidery thread naturally hand dyed in cutch and dipped in iron for the dark color. The greens are wool hand dyed in marigold again with an iron dip.
In the above detail the light brown is cutch on cotton and the yellow is marigold on cotton.
Feel free to check out my finished pieces on: