Cushion for Sister

Now Christmas is over I can share the cushion I made for my sister.

Earlier this year I went to the quilt and craft fair with my mother, sadly my sister couldn’t make it. I was hoping to find hand dyed spinning fibre but unfortunately there was none.

Instead my mother bought me a skein (a hank to my friends in the US) of beautiful fine merino silk blend and I bought the matching skein of mohair. I chose colours I hoped my sister would like so I could make her something. Once home I had to finish weaving up my mother’s cushions before I could start on my sister’s, so I didn’t get started until the 10th of December. But I was optimistic in finishing them.


Now, did I mention the yarn was fine, didn’t I? Did I mention it was 900 metres to the 100 grams fine? And that as I had no pretty yarn for the warp these would be weft faced cushions? No? Well, I should have!

Here is a whole weekend’s work.


I was aiming for a randomish but not to random stripe pattern. Because I hadn’t planned the pattern in advance, this is how I kept track of what I had woven.


I found it worked really well to enable me to visualise the cloth so far!

The plain weave was just that, the plain silk merino packed down to be weft faced. The textured elements were one pic of boucle in a one up one down pickup pattern, spaced by three picks of the plain yarn (one pick up, then down, then up). The grey stripes were one pick grey variegated mohair one pick the plain yarn. The bulky yarn you see is something cheap I picked up because it went well with the colours and was bulky, I was beginning to get worried at how slow it was going.

During the week I was barley getting an inch or two a night done.


Here (plus an inch) is how much I’d done by the 18th of December. Obviously doing two sides like this was not going to happen by Christmas so once I had (finally) finished the first side of the cushion I wove the back mostly in the bulky yarn, with some of the finer yarns included for texture.


I finished the weaving on the 23rd, thanks in part to one of the bosses at work who told me to go home at 10:20 am (I’d done all my work and there was nothing else to do, yay for an early mark!)

Then I just had to sew it up! I did that on Christmas eve.

Here is the finished cushion front:


And back:


I had it done by Christmas and ready to give!


Tyrion, Ellaria and a Splash of Eri Silk

I had one braid of Tyrion left from Cat and Sparrow Fibres, so I split it in half. I also had two braids of a golden colourway called Ellaria so I added about 10cm of that to each half of Tyrion. I then pulled the braid of Tyrion apart as much as I could into colour segments, and spun from the fold, adding Ellaria and also some smatterings of eri silk throughout.

Here are my results:



To compare this is the last bobbin of Tyrion I spun:


I got a ball winder for Christmas from my mother, so once this was washed I put it to good use and balled it up.



And another comparison shot, the new spin on top, just Tyrion on the bottom (yes, I rewound my hand wound balls into new balls with my new ball winder. They stack better this way.)


I am planning a project using both Tyrion and Ellaria so this blend will tie the two together nicely.

Lap of Spring

So I bought a ‘lap’ of silk merino, not sure what a lap actually is but basically it was a big huge sheet of softness.



When I bought it I had intended it to be used in a chunky textured weave cushion. When it arrived the colour was more lime green than the teal I expected and the fibre was so fine and beautiful it called out for fine spinning. So I tore it into strips, spun two singles and spun it.



The colours of the lap ranged from yelow to teal.




Once I had spun two singles I plyed them together



Now to decide what to make! I’m thinking a soft shawl or scarf.


MY first foray into spinning dyed fibre is with a couple of braids of ‘Tyrion’ from Cat and Sparrow fibres.

Here is my first attempt at spinning it, I was trying to spin thicker than I normally would and finding the colours blend together a lot.


So I asked around online and got some tips including spinning from the fold and divding the braid into colours. With so many thin strips of colour the later was hard but spinning from the fold worked a bit better.


Here is the resulting two ply from the first ball I spun


And this is the second.




And this is the third, still on the bobbin.




I plan for this to become cushions for my lounge.