I am in serious danger of becoming a Jack of All Trades, Master of None.  Life seems to short to and I want to try so much.  I desperately want to try lampwork and have found a class nearby, but when I pressed the organiser on the minimum tools needed to continue afterards she did not reply.  I don’t see much point in spending $380 on a weekend course if I don’t have enough money to continue with the work afterwards.  Not that I acutally have $380 anyway, but as the course isn’t until October I was thinking I could put some birthday money towards it…anyway…this isn’t about not being able to do things…this is about being able to do new things!

My lovely new and generous friend, Hope, gave me a whole bunch of fibre to spin with from her, (quite sizeable, I have to say), stash. I’ve spun up quite a lot of it and just skeined up and set this:

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I’m not sure what type of wool this was but it was from a bat and had little bits of white fluff in it.  I’ve navajo plied it and I’m pleased with the result. I really enjoyed spinning from a batt – the fibre was really light and fluffy to work with.

Hope also gave me some alpaca.  I’ve never had any alpaca before and didn’t want to ruin it, so it was with some trepidation that I set out to dye it yesterday.  I bought an old pot from the op-shop and took down the “Rhonda Trounce silk and wool dyes” that my Mum had passed on to me.  They didn’t have any instructions so I loosely followed the kettle dyeing instructions posted on the “From the Dyepot” forum on Ravellry.  I’ve done Jelly crystal dying in the microwave before but haven’t done any kettle dying or steam dying.   I soaked the fiber for about 4 hours in a vinegar and water solution, filled the pot up a little way so that the water line was just level with the fibre and proceeded to pour some of the dye into the pot.  The dyes are already liquid so I didn’t have to do any mixing – but I had no idea how strong they were.  I used a deep green and a purple and dotted it around with a chopstick.  The water looked more intense than the actual colours turned out, I think.  So I’ll take note of that for next time.  The dye was exhausted though – only clear water left at the end of the simmering processs.  At the moment the fibre is still drying – but here’s what it looked like in the pot.

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And now for a closer look – notice how the purple combined with the green to make a sea blue kind of colour?

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So far, though I had hoped that a bit more purple would show through, I do like the results.

Now while the pot was simmering, I had to do something.  So I taught myself how to tatt using this utube video paired with this instuctable.  I went back and forth between both sites so I could work out how it was done.  It done by totusmel, whose blog I found through the one world one heart event. Many thanks to her for the instuctions.

I managed to make a flower!

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But not before some mishaps:

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 – It took me a little while to realise that each ring had to be joined back into the same picot created on the first ring.  I can see the potential for freeform tatting in this 😉

The other morning we were having breakfast on the balcony and noticed 3 perfect spiderwebs in the bushes.  They were quite stunning and I wished I had a proper digital camera so I could get a better shot for the blog. 

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Isn’t that amazing!  Small wonders.

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