Saturday, December 29, 2012


TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) is a central element in Christopher's favorite TV show (Dr Who, just for those who live in some corner of the world where it is not on TV)
 This hat was made with using it as a motif.
The yarns came out of the box where I keep those balls which though good quality (100% wool, alpacca, or such) but only one ball is around...(I keep buying them...errr rescuing them, I can't just leave them perishing in the store among acrylic leftover, can I?) Now I know why... I just had to dig in that box and came up with three balls in the perrfect colors.
Christopher loves the hat, so much, I have a difficult time to get it off his head.
Pattern from here.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

when a shawl hides in the fiber...part 6.

Finally started knitting... 
yeah, on straight needles...
It looks like a quick knit...if I am not running out of the base to spin more o this.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

when a shawl hides in the fiber-part 5

It is time for a little update...
All three colors are died, spun, washed and being blocked.
 Now comes the knitting part...

Monday, November 19, 2012


That is what I am…
Its been long time coming.
Actually the desire to weave is even longer than that of to spin.

If I look old photos of the big yearly craft fair I always find a bunch on which I am standing there with an open mouth staring of a weaving loom, or frame.
The truth is, that since my early childhood I am fascinated by textiles and clothing. Most probably I inherited it with my genes, as I have textile crafters in both sides of my family tree in every level as far as I can see. Not only that I handed some of it down to my boy, who is also fascinated by weaving looms, I’ve never seen him sitting as long in one place when he did this.
This and that  (like knitting, sewing, and the unavailability of a weaving loom) steered me away, but the wish was always there.
Last year I almost went, but some organizing mishap happened, and at the last moment my place was cancelled. I was unreasonably angry, and interestingly even more unreasonably hurt, but I tried to tell myself, that the universe wants to tell me something, so I probably shouldn’t push it…
This year, I was making sure to be there. I went really prepared, I figured out what I want to weave, how I want to do it, and with what material   
According to this plan I dyed up some 200-250 grams of wool, which is most probably alpaca. (Don’t ask. I am not that organized when it comes to storage. The bag, which had the fiber, had no label. But the feel, the touch of the fiber, its silkiness, how it behaved while and after dying, how it took (or did not take) up the dye, the way it spun up, all had the characteristics of the alpaca fibers.
Then I spun it up, to about 1200 meters of two ply, with kind of a long draw.
Then the day before I went spinning I wondered out and checked the looms, the warps and selected which one I want to weave with. 
And next day we were standing there with my friend, anxiously awaiting the day to start.
And when it did, when it did.
I’ve tried to describe the experience, but it is so hard to put it into words. It was mystical. The way the warp and the weft crossed. The movements. The colors. The rhythm. The everything.
Previously I was afraid I will find it boring (yeah, like I get bored of knitting or spinning), but no, not at al. With the movements of my body, my mind relaxed, and I could let go of things and thoughts.
I enjoyed how the yarn worked up. Of course it was largely because of the handdyed, handspun yarn, with its odd spots of colors, its slight unevenness, and the way one color gave way to the next. I was happy that I was adamant and reloaded the spools, so the colors followed each other in the right order. The weaving itself is rather simple, and the edges have a lot of way to improve…
Even so I think it is not bad for a first attempt.
I have to say thanks to Zsóka Sáringer  and Angela Csapó for this miracle.
And now let me go and search for a suitable and affordable weaving loom.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Rose the third time

I've knitted this pattern before. Twice. I must like it. A lot.
This time I started with the number of stitches for the smaller size because I wanted a neck that more standing up. Also I've put the front opening to the middle, so now it is assimetric only as much as the buttons fall to the side. Added a tiny cable to the ragline lines. And the button holes are crocheted.

As with my other two I love it to pieces. Even with the yarn being a bit dissaponting. In the skein it looked a lot more reddish, bordeaux-ish, and the knitted one is more purplish, and the blacks are jumping out way too much
Sorry for the dark pictures...the weather is not cooperating well lately...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Weekly spinning: Castle hunter

Remember the craft fair in august? For four days I was spinning there, and here is what I had on my spindle.
The wool originally was called "walk in the woods":
 But in reality it had a rather huntery color, which I was spinning up in the castle...(the prince didn't come, but that's an other matter).

It took me about four day to spin the 100 grams on my spindle.Because of the circumstances, walking around (yes, I did spin walking around), talking to people, regurarly putting it down, and picking it up again, it is not as even and consistent as it should be, but what the heck.
As I say, if I want perfectly even and consistent yarn I would go to the store and pick up a skein from the shelf.
And at the end I ended up about 660 meters of two ply.
And in the halloween-y mood, paired up with the orangey yarn spun from a very similar wool...
Finished yarn photos by Tamas Rigo/Veronika Nyerges

Friday, October 26, 2012


With new color combinations, and I am happy to say with both found a new owner before I had a chance to put them on the site, and the yarns went even before I had a chance to take photos of them...
This one was grey merino with shades of green and a bit of purple accent.
This one was corriedale, especially good for beginners, as it is very easy to spin. In my favorite orangey color, this time with some brown, purplish and green accent.
And this one I died for myself. 200 gramms of alpacca.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

when a shawl hides in the fiber-part 4

Slowly, but surely
The natural oatmeal colored wool is spun, and the green is getting plied...

Monday, October 22, 2012

A not so promising day...

...turned out really well. There was this program put in the middle of a long weekend made mandatory by Chris's school (don't ask.If I start on teh subject, I will not finish in two days.) It was called family day, and there were some crafts involved... As it is usual, I left the house well prepared, two days worth of knitting and some spinning in my bag.
I was happy to bump into a friend I know from craft (wool, spinning etc) circles.
I always wanted to ty felting (the real way, not throw some knitted stuff in the washing machine.
 So while Christopher was participating in the day's activities, I was doing this felted leaf, with the hep of Adrienn Horvath. (who is not the sam as the Adrienn, who spins).
Then as we were talking and I was spinning away my blue/turqois/lilac wool I started thinking... (this is when my friends say, the trouble starts). I just bought a dark blue courdory coat that could use some embellieshment...
So I teared off a bit of wool from the end of my rowing, added bit of this and that, soped it, kneaded it, and ended up with this blue leaf.
I have a feeling this was not the last time I dabbled with felting...especially since it is not liek I don't have any wool in the house, right?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The dropsindle, the mother of all machines

The editor’s letter in the latest Spinoff magazine wrote:  how “the spindle is the mother of the mechanized world. It is very possible that the tools for spinning laid the foundation for every machine that followed--and that likely started with a bit of fiber and a stick.” Amy Clark Moore, Editor SpinOff magazine

I think I should subscribe to that mag...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Weekly spinning: what fiber to spin at first?

The last time I’ve written about what tools would we need when the irresistible urge to spin yarn hits us? Now, if we already have a spindle (or a spinning wheel) we need some fiber to spin.
What natural fibers could be spun into a yarn?
Cotton, linen, hemp, silk, and the hair of different kind of animals. The most known of these are sheep, angora bunnies, alpaca, and a few other like camel, llama, yak, some goat types. In Hungary traditionally linen and hemp is spun, most of old wheels that can still be found is built for them, and of course wool. I already knew how to spin, when I learned that my grandma not only embroidered, crocheted and knitted, but also spun. She kept angora bunnies (their hair was called the cashmere of the poor), and there was a story about a year, when she taught the daughter a well of farmer family to spin, and she was paid in freshly cut wool. They washed it, carded (had it carded), in the fall my grandma spun it, then in the winter knitted it and sold it.
In my country there is only a few type of wool available, even less that is acceptable quality, good quality is only a small portion of that.  On the other hand, through the internet one can get almost anything, from the simplest to the most special materials. But, it can be tricky to figure out what to get.
I will steer away from the cotton and linen, as these need different techniques. If one has an irresistible urge to spin cotton search for the spinning cotton/linen keywords.
So, let’s look at animal fibers, specifically wool. Wool fibers are very resilient, and elastic, they can be bent about 30000 times without damaging it.
On the surface of the wool fiber there are tiny scales, these hold on to each other, in felting they are softened with soap, and can be pressed even closer to each other. The fiber itself is like a spiral, which makes it very warm, as air is trapped not only under the scales, but also between the spiraling fibers. These spirals return to their shape, therefore wool is elastic, and keeps its shape.
The hair of alpacas is hollow, like a tube, but its surface is smoother, so it is warmer than wool, but instead of holding the shape it drapes. If we plan to use it for something where drape is needed it can be used in itself, or combined with silk, if we need something that holds its shape, it can be mixed with wool. Because of its smoother surface alpaca is more difficult to spin than wool.
What “micron number” means. Micron, or micrometer is one-millionth of a meter,  one-thousandth of a millimeter, 0.001 mm. The less the micron number is, the thinner, finer the fiber is.
The most known wool type is merino wool, which usually has a micron count of 16-30.
What should be selected for the first practice spins? In my experience medium wool (25-35 micron) with medium fiber lengths works best.
Merino usually thinner than this, finer and softer, and it kind of slides and sticks at the same time. BFL (Blue Faced Leister), Falkland Polwarth, is easier to spin, while still soft. A Corriedale, Coopworth, Jakob, Coburger and similar wools even easier to spin, but here the difference is softness can be felt.
Naturally, as with crafts generally, there are no hard set rules. If you have merino at hand for the first time, or you want to learn spinning because you have a flock of alpacas, and unlimited supply of their hair, go for it.
If we are searching the internet about wool, we sooner than later will bump into gorgeous hand dyed stuff. Through dyeing, packing, storing, shipping wool can compress, and stuck together, making the fiber difficult to spin. What can we do when this happens?

First open the fiber with your hands across the fibers perpendicular to the how the fibers stand (with small tearing movements).
 Then parallel to the fibers , with your hands about 30cm apart (depending on the length of the individual fibers) pull it apart slightly, so the fibers slide on each other a bit.
This should be done carefully, as you can easily pull too much and tear the roving apart. This only problematic at handling/storing the roving a but not at spinning it.
This is how the "fluffed up fiber looks:

Just for an interesting bit...look how much a pretty compacted fiber can be opened up.
Happy spinning!
(Photos: Tamás Rigó/Veronika Nyerges)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Easy as a pie

a few months ago I've knitted a pretty white shawl.
Ever since, if anyone asks me, which shawl I suggest for a beginner knitter as a first lace project this is it.
Now the pattern is available in Hungarian as well through ravelry. Here.

Friday, October 5, 2012

when a shawl hides in the fiber-part 2.

 The green is spun into singles...
I tried to spin it somewhat thicker than usual. We'll see after plying if I succeded...or how much. 
To be continued...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The day of wool

One and half years ago it was such fun, I was kind of sorry it took so long to organize an other...
But here we are, on Saturday again...
I'll be there with spindles, wool, handdyed wool, handdyed yarn, some handkints even.
Can't wait

Monday, October 1, 2012

When a shawl hides in the fiber

I thought if I will surrender to jumping a bandwagon, and knit a way too popular shawl, at least it should be really special.
In other words how do I start a Color Affection shawl?

Take 200 gramms of fiber (in below case let this be soe oatmeal BFL/ silk mix)...
Divide it into three parts. Leave one part in its natural shade, dye the second part with greens, and the thrid one with blues...
To be continued...