Tag Archives: Bulky

Using Art Yarn. Part 1: The Easter Chicks

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Using Art Yarn. Part 1: The Easter Chicks

The possibilities for art yarn, both creating it and using it, are limitless. However sometimes people struggle to know what to do with this yarn that may be bulky, irregular, highly textured, short of yardage and, above all, fun.

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“Easter Chick” art yarn by Taylor Made Yarns. Photo courtesy of Taylor Made Yarns.

I bought this amazing art yarn from Taylor Made Yarns, one of my favourite fibre artists, at Fibre East. It is an irregular bulky spiral-plied yarn with little chick charms plied into it. Like many special skeins, I needed to wait for the right project to emerge. As it happened, I won a skein from Cuddlebums: beautiful, subtly-speckled handdyed skinny singles. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had found the companion yarn for the Easter Chicks.

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I set about making a hyperbolic spiral scarf. I planned for gentle spiral ruffles, edged in wild art yarn. I used a 4mm hook to crochet a chain to my desired length, made a dc in each chain to form the foundation of my scarf and then started my increase rows. To create the spiral effect you need to increase stitches on each row in the following way:

  • 1st increase row: work 2 tr into each dc.
  • 2nd increase row: *work 2 tr into the first tr, tr 1. Repeat from *.
  • 3rd increase row: *work 2 tr into the first tr, tr 2. Repeat from *.
  • 4th increase row: *work 2 tr into the first tr, tr 3. Repeat from *.
  • Etc.

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The two yarns I used in this project were very different and I needed to find a way to integrate them. In order to work the thick art yarn into the edge I created an eyelet row using the finer yarn. My final increase row would have been a pattern of *2tr into first tr, tr 5, repeat from *. I altered this to *2tr into first tr, ch2, sk 2 tr, tr 1, ch2, sk 2 tr, repeat from *.

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These eyelets made an attractive edge and provided holes big enough to work a crocheted art yarn edging.

I was not sure that I would have enough of the art yarn to cover the whole edge of the scarf. I decided to split the art yarn into two equal parts and work from each end. I reskeined the yarn and counted 24 wraps of my niddy noddy. I wound off 12 wraps, cut the yarn and then wound off the 2nd half.

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I switched to a 10mm hook and started adding a border in a pattern of *dc into eyelet, ch 1, repeat from *. Here is the scarf with half of the edging worked:

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And here is the finished piece:

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There is so much glorious variety in this yarn, each ruffle is like its own vignette:

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And I couldn’t end this post without a close-up of the chicks!

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This was such a fun project to work on. I hope it’s given you some art-yarn inspiration.

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Maelstrom

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Maelstrom

Background:

A first experiment in core spinning. I love the swirl of ocean colours in this art yarn.

Story:

Storms approaching

Waves start to swell

Slowly at first

Gentle mist surrounds us.

We are not worried, This is our life, we know the terrain, we understand the fickle personality of nature out at sea.

Clouds darken. Now deep blues and purples, more ominous hues to the seafolk.

Waves start to roil

Rising and crashing

Tossing us about like beads of sweat as the grand ocean flexes her muscles.

We steel ourselves for battle.

Only one of us shall win this day.

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Information:

Title: Maelstrom

Composition: Merino and silk noil on a mohair core.

Weight: 72g / 6 WPI / Bulky

Length: 36m / 40yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: July 2015

Skein code: 0061

Fibre: Merino, Silk noil, Mohair

Source: Unknown

Status: For Sale

Cherry Blossom

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Cherry Blossom

Background:

This gorgeous, soft, squishy yarn was inspired by the May cherry blossom in the local park. It is a 3-ply yarn and each single has a different composition. Two singles were spun thickly and with lots of texture to reflect the ragged blossom and stamen seen in the cherry flowers. One is white organic Falkland with highlights of pale pink merino. The second is pink merino with highlights of cherry-coloured mulberry silk. The thinner, worsted spun single representing the dark cherry bark is made from 70/30 merino/silk blended tops in shades of brown.

Story:

Spring’s signature sight: the pinky-white clouds of the cherry tree. Delicate pastels cluster around the dark, twisting bark support. Get close up and the petals reveal all the deep colour and ragged texture of cherries-in-the-making. It won’t be long until they shed their coats, celebrating with nature’s own confetti the progression to summer.

Cherry Blossom
Information:

Title: Cherry Blossom

Composition:

Weight: 135g / 9 WPI average / Worsted to Bulky

Length: 135m / 148yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: May 2015

Skein code: 0025

Fibre: Organic Falkland, 21 micron pale pink merino, strawberry mulberry silk, 70/30 merino/silk in browns.

Source: Wingham Wool Work

Status: For Sale

Nebula

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Nebula

Background:

A fun thick’n’thin singles yarn in bold and yet complementary colours

Story:

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Wait for a cold, clear night and look.

Look up. Find the hunter.

Three bright stars on the belt.

Betelgeuse and Bellatrix mark his shoulders,

Saiph and Rigel his legs.

Found him? Go back to the belt.

See, sometimes only a glimmer in the corner of your eye, the sword hanging from the belt:

Suspended between Alnitak and Alnilam.

The photons falling on your eye were born in Orion’s nebula.

Photons, stars and planetary systems are all forming before your eyes.

Universal nursery.

You’re witness to a miracle.

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Information:

Title: Nebula

Composition: 100% merino

Weight: 100g / 8 WPI average / Bulky

Length: 137m / 150yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: May 2015

Skein code: 0038

Fibre: 21 micron merino

Source: Wingham Wool Work’s Yorkshire range – Easington

Status: Sold

Rainforest

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Rainforest

Background:

A thick’n’thin single in the most amazing combination of greens! Bursting with life.

Story:

Rainforest seems more of a sound than a sight. Humming with life. Glorious abundance. Packed with green upon green upon green. Shades, tones, hues, textures, shines. Sights and sounds come together and surround us. Rainforest excites all the senses.

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Information:

Title: Rainforest

Composition: 100% merino

Weight: 100g / 9 WPI average / Worsted to Bulky Think’n’Thin

Length: 117m / 118yd approx

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: April 2015

Skein code: 0024

Fibre: 21 micron merino

Source: Wingham Wool Work’s Yorkshire range – Letwell

Status: Gifted

Totoro

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Totoro

Background:

A first foray into art yarn, with deliberately chunky spinning and beads spun into the yarn. Based on the Totoro character, with natural coloured fibres and forest-green glass beads.

Story:

Unseen observers. Guarding the forest

With you in need, yet not part of your world

Childlike belief (wisest of all?)

Such wonders we miss

When we forget to see.

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Information:

Title: Totoro

Composition: 53% Bluefaced Leicester, 22% Superwash Wensleydale, 20% Bamboo, <5% Nylon, <5% Glass beads

Weight: 134g / 6WPI / Bulky

Length: 125m / 137yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: April 2015

Skein code: 0011

Fibre: BFL, SW Wensleydale, Bamboo

Source: Wingham Wool Work

Status: Gifted