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handicraft

Update to Feed

Just letting you know, I have moved my site to WordPress. You still access the site through www.serendipitythis.com, however if you are using a rss feed reader, please update your feed, as it has now changed to www.serendipitythis.com/feed

forgot to mention the RSS feed address

Thanks Steve for pointing this out to me, but I forgot to mention what my RSS feed address is.

For those using Feedly or Bloglovin, I believe you only need to enter in the URL and the reader would automatically extract the RSS feed address.

For those more tech-savy, my RSS feed address is: http://www.serendipitythis.com/feed http://www.serendipitythis.com/feed

welcome to the new site

Happy New Year Everyone!

Most, if not all, of you would have come here from my old blogger blog http://serendipity-art-journaling.blogspot.com.

As I have mentioned in my old blog, with the new year, I am revamping the site and moving it here.

I hope the new domain name http://www.SerendipityArtJournaling.com http://www.serendipitythis.com would be easier to remember (and type).

A little housekeeping

The old blog would remain, but new blog posts would not show up there. So if you are using any type of RSS feeder, please add the new URL to get the latest update. (If you don’t know what a RSS feeder is or what it does, you might want to read this article. I personally like Feedly.)

Also I’ve extracted all the old blog posts to the new site, but I think some of the links may have been broken in the process. I am currently going through each post and checking the links, but if you find something that is not working, please let me know by commenting, and I would get on it asap.

Moving Forward

I’m still fiddling with the layout and design of the new blog, so if you have any feedback or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

my mini-skeins parcel has arrived!

Recently I started knitting the beeskeeper’s quilt for a friend’s 30th birthday – yes, that’s supposed to be my explanation for my long absence (it has absolutely nothing to do with catching up with 4 seasons of Tudor and Torchwood ^_^).

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Originally I was going to spin my own yarn and then knit the quilt from that. But looking at my lumpy yarn, and the speed at which I was spinning, I realised that my friend would be 40 before I manage to finish it.

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So I started looking for alternatives… and found the SpaceCadet’s Mini-Skein Club.

 Hand-dyed mini-skeins of yarn, perfectly sized for knitting 5-6 hexipuffs or any other mini mania projects (look at this scarf!).

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There are two level of subscription, either the single (where you get five 20g skeins) or double (ten 20g skeins) with a choice of colourways, gentle or wild mix. I joined the single subscription, with a gentle mix colourway.

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The colours that I got this month is so yummy! The photos (most of them taken in the car, the first one taken in my room) don’t really do them justice, but I wanted you to see the colours in natural light (as much as we get in Melbourne winter) as well as indoor lighting.

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Just for something different, I’ll be changing my subscription to wild mix next month, just to see what kind of contrasting colours I’ll get.

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So now I’ll have to knit quickly (and constantly) to make sure I use up my skeins before the next batch arrives!

drop spinning – making my own yarn

Yes, I have another hobby. I like my crafting hobbies as much as I like my organisation/stationery. (*gasp*)

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I don’t even remember why I was even googling hand spinning, I guess it was just one of those things that had been on my mind for as long as I remembered – in the event of the end of the world, wouldn’t you want some sort of skill set that would make you useful in a post-apocalyptic world?

There’s a few documents online that provide instructions on how to spin yarn with a drop spindle:

Then there are the Youtube videos:

  • Spinning Yarn on a Drop Spindle – Tutorial

  • How to Spin Yarn with a Drop Spindle

  • Drafting Wool for Spinning – Tutorial by Megan LaCore

  • How to spin Hi and Lo Whorl styles on a Drop Spindle

I was wondering whether I wanted a hi-whorl or low-whorl spindle, when I saw the Turkish Spindle.

  • Spinning on a Turkish Spindle

They are just so much more “elegant” than the usual drop spindles. And when you’ve finished spinning, you can just remove the arms of the spindle and you’ll have a ready made ball of yarn. No need to use a ball winder like you do with a normal bottom/top whorl spindle.

  • Turkish Spindle Winding

I pretty much got hooked after I saw how effortlessly people were spinning with a drop spindle. And I also started looking online at the fibres available, and the colours were just so beautiful!

There’s quite a lot of places that sell drop spindles, so stay away from ebay, most of them are ugly and of poor quality (not all, but most). The last thing you’d want when starting out is to use an unbalanced spindle that wobbles. Spinning is about the process, and having an ugly wobbly spindle isn’t going to make you want to spin.

I’ve been recommended Woolery, though I personally bought from Viking Santa on etsy (that’s the spindle at the start of this entry, unfortunately the spindle was too big and was more useful for plying) and Spun Out (an Australian online store that operates not far from where I live. A tad expensive, but since I could physically pick up my order and save on shipping, it costs around the same as if I was purchasing from the US or the UK).

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My current spindle is a Jenkins Turkish Delight made of Bolivian Rosewood (the whorl) and Maple (the shaft) weighing at 26g.

After watching all those videos and reading all those websites (plus more that I haven’t linked here), I decided that I should still try out a face-to-face class.

I went to one organised by Spun Out. For people who really want to try their hand at spinning your own yarn, I highly recommend that you get hands-on lessons. It beats spending hours watching low-res videos trying to work out which hand does what. Look at the difference in the yarn between the first picture in this entry and the one just above. I wouldn’t even have realised that my first spindle (the Viking Santa one) was too heavy until I showed it to Emma (the woman running Spun Out). Of course it would still have worked, but I would be more likely to break my yarn – frustration ensures.

Anyway, that’s my introduction into hand spinning. I’ll be spinning in front of the TV now – that sounds so strange – most likely watching Lost Girl.