Monday, May 30, 2011

Poison Ivy

Are there any knitting comic book fans out there? ;-)
Here's my latest creation, modelled after the well known super villain Poison Ivy from the DC universe:

I used hand carded blend of black and green fibres (the green is hand dyed wool/silk blend of intense colour, my last bit!), added red mohair clouds, some kind of probably textile ivy leaves, glass leaves and glass beads - and bright green glow in the dark thread. Sadly, it's not as bright as the variety I had before, but it will still emit a faint glow after having been charged with light.

Speaking of comic books - what are your favourites? Mine are The Sandman, Hellboy, The Unwritten, The Unknown, House of Mystery, and Courtney Crumrin. I also loved Batwoman Elegy. I'm always looking for new (at least new for me) excellent comic books, so if you have any recommendations, they would certainly be welcome! :-)

Friday, May 27, 2011

... been hunting

A few days ago, I had an idea. Actually, it might have started even earlier, after spinning the latest skull yarn. I thought it would be great to spin an orc camp art yarn, with skulls, bone beads, maybe some rusty stuff, copper wire things, some kind of rags...
I have the skulls, I still have some gorgeous bone beads, I have no idea where to get rusty stuff right now, but I will certainly be able to play around with copper wire and make some strange things to spin into the yarn. 
The rags kept me thinking, though. I'd still want the yarn to be soft enough for usage, so really rough materials are out of the question, I thought maybe linen or cotton would be fine - but where to get it? We are not exactly blessed with places that sell fabric, and there's not much variety there. I remembered to have bought some cotton scarves a few years ago, and I also remembered there was a wide variety of colours then. I also knew the shop I bought these scarves from no longer existed. So, I went hunting. I combed through the whole city (well, nearly), and I am very happy to say I was very lucky - I found a shop that still sells these cotton scarves for a reasonable price, and they had a brown one, too. The orc camp yarn will soon come into existence ;-) 

The good thing about having to search nearly the entire city were some other nice things I found and was able to buy ;-) There's a book about mermaids, which is a children's book, but I like the style and I wanted it for yarn inspirations. After all, I've always liked spinning ocean themed art yarns and I am bound to be running out of names and themes, so this book will hopefully prove to be very useful :-)
I also bought some more of the leaves ribbon I have used in several yarns, but I tried to go for some different colours this time. I want to spin thin, light summer art yarns, and I think white, yellow and light blue/turquoise will be perfect for that kind of project :-)

I've been very busy with my other job these past two weeks, but I did manage to get some spinning done, and I was finally able to take photos of my latest creations yesterday. So, there will be some new yarns in the shop quite soon, I hope :-)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Skulls in the Desert

The other day, I ordered new bone skull beads on ebay, and they arrived fairly quickly.

They are a little more abstract than the ones I used previously (like in this yarn, or this bookmark), but they are also smaller and therefore suitable to use in thinner yarns. Like the one I spun a few days ago:

It also contains small, sparkly seed beads of brown and honey, and I fixed the skulls with coils. I love the colours, I should experiment more with nature/earth tones :-)

Spinning in the skulls was so much fun, I have to stop myself from spinning a lot more skull yarns right away - it would be a little boring if every listing contained the same beads, after all. So, I'll spin some different yarns first, and then return to my beloved skulls ;-)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Head in the Clouds

Last weekend, I was really in the mood for some sky/cloud related yarns - and here are my latest creations :-)

Head in the Clouds
 Softest merino wool of light blue, some yellow linen, and just a hint of turquoise merino are the basis for this beauty, which is rounded off with coils of soft white lambs wool. I love the colours, and I always love coils :-)

Cloud Nine
This soft and highly textured art yarn is another so called corespun yarn: instead of being twisted, the fibre is spun around a core thread, which results in this unique, wonderful, and lofty texture. A cloud if ever I saw one :-) I used naturally white Bluefaced Leicester wool (I LOVE that fibre, so soft and gorgeous!), some white linen, shiny white bamboo flakes, and shiny white tencel - oh, and some white angelina. I thought of keeping this one, but white really isn't my colour, so I'll list it some time next week.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Newgrange Art Yarn

In September 2009, my husband and I went to Ireland for our honeymoon. Some of you might remember that I study archaeology, so you won't be surprised by my I really wanting to visit some of the archaeological monuments. We went to Boyne Valley in order to visit some of the sites there. There's Dowth, which I knew from a previous visit - it's just a hill with a fenced-off entrance, but still nice and somehow peaceful. Since there's not that much to see, there are not many tourists there, or at least there weren't when I visited the site in 2007. We didn't go there this time, though, but decided to visit only the monuments I hadn't seen yet. There's Knowth and Newgrange. You have to book a tour in order to be able to enter the Newgrange chamber, so we did.
We had to use the bus, though we'd much rather walked there, but that was not possible with the tour (strict time table). It was worth it, though. I knew both Knowth and Newgrange from books, pictures and seminars, and I was so eager to finally go and visit them. I loved being there, and the Newgrange chamber is really impressive, as are the Knowth tombs (though they were enforced with concrete after the excavations). The fassade of the Newgrange passage tomb was reconstructed after the excavation, there's no evidence of it ever having looked like this, but it's still impressive - and it's also impressively visible from quite a distance. The vaulted roof of the chamber itself is still intact, which is absolutely stunning - just think about the fact that it's still airtight after about 5000 years!

All of the sites are very important when it comes to megalithic art. There's all sorts of abstract forms, the spiral being quite prominent among other forms.

There's a lot of esoteric interpretation going on about all the sites in Boyne Valley, and I can't really get into all that here - but if you'd like to read up on any of the monuments, just keep in mind that not every "fact" is really a fact, but some of the conclusions and so called evidence could be challenged.

The other day, I thought back on our wonderful honeymoon and the Boyne Valley, and I decided to spin a Newgrange art yarn. I spent over an hour with stubborn brass wire and - with time, effort, and admittedly some swearing - I made 12 beautiful brass spirals to spin into the yarn. My hands ached afterwards (the wire was thicker than the one I previously worked with), but I love the outcome. Each of the spirals is not only hand bent, but also hammered flat.  
I also decided on beautiful shell/mother of pearl beads as add-ins, since people in the stone age used (a specific kind of) shells as ornaments and jewelry. The brass spirals are not authentic in any way, the people of the neolithic period (new stone age) didn't have brass or gold, but I thought it would look wonderful with the white and green fibres, and I really wanted the spirals since they are so prominent among the megalithic art :-)

But enough talk now - have a look at the yarn! :-)

I spun the yarn from white lambs wool, merino wool of different shades of green, bamboo flakes, and bright green linen. Then there's the beads and spirals, of course, and green sewing thread to carry them all.
157 m / 99 g, about 9-14 WPI.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Special Feature - Tales of the Firefly

A few months ago, my husband and I suggested to my sister-in-law that she open her own Etsy shop. She had been making beautiful chains of lights for some time and we thought it would be great for her to spread the beauty around the world :-) It was not that hard to convince her; actually, she was hooked nearly straight away. She and I met in order to set up the shop, to try out how to photograph the items, and to design the banner, avatar and business cards. I was involved a lot (I wouldn't have wanted it any other way), and I love what she does, so I really want to tell you more about it!

Tales of the Firefly

Eisprinzessin - Ice Princess
The Firefly takes ordinary, plain chains of lights and transforms them - almost magically - into stunning works of art. They create a beautiful atmosphere when they are switched on in the dark, but that's not all: they are also beautiful decoration in daylight.

Bride's Pride
Not only are they equipped with flowery-looking lamp shades, but the Firefly also lovingly adorns every chain with beads, bast, ribbons, charms, or anything else that fits the theme. This is hard work, since the wrapping and beading is done by hand, of course. I have seen her beading wire for some of the lights, and she recently counted the beads on one of them - she put well over two thousand (!) seed beads on about 3 m of wire for a single chain. Imagine all the time and effort!

When she can't find enough decorational items to match a theme, the Firefly doesn't hesitate to create her own: look at these little aubergines made from seed beads!

This chain is wrapped with green bast, making the aubergines and the purple lamp shades stand out even more.

To be perfectly honest, I have wondered recently whether art yarn would make good wrapping material for these chains ;-)

The lamp shades are made of colourful paper. The Firefly carefully lubricates it with oil before cutting it and folding every single lamp shade by hand.
The oil is necessary because otherwise the paper won't really let the light shine through. The firefly has already blogged about this, with pictures and all. Go over there and have a look if you're interested! :-)

The Firefly opened her shop in February and has been working hard ever since in order to fill it with her beautiful creations. You might be able to imagine how long it takes to make even one chain of lights, with all the wrapping, oiling, folding and beading. There is already quite a variety of colours and themes, ranging from fairy tales to garden and nature. And there will be many more, of course! :-)

Maybe you're wondering whether you'll be able to use the chains of lights outside continental Europe? Don't worry - the Firefly has thought about everything and will provide you with a free adaptor for the plug if you're in a different country! Just let her know you need one when you order.

Now, I am sure you'd like to know where you can find the Firefly and her beautiful work?
Visit her shop on Etsy: - use coupon code 20117 on checkout for 10% off your order! (Valid until May 22)
Visit her blog:
Fan her on Facebook:
Follow her on Twitter:!/fireflytales

Open the Parcel

This came much, much earlier than expected... I ordered on Sunday and was certain I'd have to wait at least a week, maybe even two. My supplier seems to have improved, the parcel came today :-)

My cat was a little surprised and scared when I kicked the fat parcel into the living room, but he was also tired and lazy, and seemed to decide everything would be all right ;-)

As you can see, I followed your advice to get some purple and lavender :-) Also, many different reds, some blues, a few greens and teals. And one kilogramm of white lambs wool, Bluefaced Leicester and black merino wool each. I even labelled and packed them all, and I am proud to say I've ordered exactly the right amount to be able to squeeze everything into my boxes ;-)

I'd also like to show you what I made from the last bits of blue, dark grey and purple I had left before I received the package:

 The Storyteller

Arabian Nights

I have already spun this batt up, too, but I haven't had the chance to take a photo yet. The yarn is full of sparkly beads and some black lace fabric, very beautiful :-)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Prize Art Yarn Revealed

It's been quite a while since we announced the winner of our giveaway. We spun the yarn soon after the prize drawing and our lucky winner has already received it. It's high time we showed it to you, too!

We found merino wool of a wonderful light blue that matched the colour of the pictures, and we blended it with some teal merino and shiny white mohair. We added antiqued copper flower beads to match the antique and floral style of the first inspirational picture. We also were lucky enough to find some transparent, silvery seed beads similar to the beads in the second picture. Finally, we added some white flowers to match the floral style of the last picture, though the are more like the background deco than the real objects, but we think this is close enough. We also added some (faux) pearls because we thought it to be a good idea ;-)

Unfortunately, the colours are a little too bright and tealish; I didn't look at the photos before shipping the yarn and wasn't able to take some more. Originally, the blue colour was much closer to the blue in the pictures

Monday, May 2, 2011

Made from Art Yarn - Two Scarflettes

I just realized we haven't shown you all the pieces made from our yarns that we were recently notified of. Pam of MagdaleneKnits on Etsy has been so kind to share pictures of her latest scarflettes with us, and we'd like to share them with you.

Here's the beautiful Victorian Scarflette she made from our The Ruby in the Smoke art yarn, along with a picture of the yarn itself:

Such a beautiful pattern! 

This beauty is still available!

...and here's the Spring Scarflette she made from our Fields of Lavender art yarn:

I love the texture - the pattern seems to really support the texture of the yarn, so beautiful!

This fresh and cheerful piece is also still available!

Thank you so much for sharing, Pam! 

We really love to see what people make from our yarns, so if you have pictures to share, please email them to info at weirdandtwisted dot com! 
We'd also like to know which name you'd like us to use (your real one or your nickname), what shop or blog you'd like us to link back to, and any other infos about the project you might want to share with us and our readers :-)

Made from Art Yarn - Autumnal Shawl

Last week, we got a wonderful surprise: One of our customers shared some pictures of a shawl she made from one of our art yarns - AND she kindly allowed us to blog some of them, too. Now I finally got around to doing just that, so have a look at this amazing piece:

I love the way the art yarn and the fine yarn look together. I'd never have thought yarns of such different weight would look so stunning in combination. 

...and here's a picture of the original yarn itself, just so you don't have to go looking for it ;-)
Autumnal Subtlety

We asked for some info about about needle size and the yarns Heather combined with our art yarn, and here is what she said:
"It was a pleasure to knit! I used size 10, 29" circular needles, and combined your fabulous yarn with recycled silk sari ribbon from designtalentedone in Butterscotch Lace and kid mohair / silk lace yarn in Fern from walkcollection. One skein of each."
You can find Heather as ThePinkPirate on Etsy, and she also has a blog.
Thank you so much for sharing these pictures, Heather!


Related Posts with Thumbnails