I’ve been spinning fairly dense these days so this project was a great way to use up some of that wool, and make long-lasting slippers! (Plus it was super easy). Here is a link to my Ravelry project page for the pattern and more info.
To make them a bit more durable, I cut out a piece of leather for the bottom and attached with shoe goo for extra slipper-y goodness. I found the fit wasn’t perfect when I took them out of the dryer, so I cut a wedge out of the top and added a button and button hole.
Some in-progress photos. All you have to do is knit an ‘L’ shape, stitch up the sides, and shrink them in the washing machine.
This summer, myself and some friends led a natural dye community workshop at the Means of Production Community Artist Garden. We walked through the garden, identified plants that could be dyed, and dyed some wool with jam jars, soaking in the sun. Big thanks to Sharon Kallis for setting this up!
Check out more photos on my flickr feed.
I absolutely love this creative mending tutorial. It’s geared towards strengthening thinned areas in knits – and is known as the Swiss darning or duplicate stitch. It’s interesting because I never thought of creating new patterns in post: after I’ve finished knitting, the idea of going back and creating more patterns is pretty cool. I love the final effect of this one!
Learn more in Karen Barbe’s excellent tutorial.
And I’m a sucker for darning via Et Lain
Check out more mending techniques that myself and some friends have posted in my wiki!
I recently came across Cambria Bold’s post on knowing your DIY limits, and I can’t help but relate to her sentiments. She used expensive fabric to re-upholster a chair that now has more problems than she had started: lumpiness, a sagging front area, and a ripped side. I know exactly the feeling of completing a project, only to realize that the project’s just begun: The amount of upkeep to keep that project together far surpasses how much work it was to put it together in the first place. I completely understand the frustration, and wonder if all of these failed DIY projects result in more wasted materials in the long run than if it were taken to a professional that knew what they were doing. It’s easy to fall in to that cycle and stop trusting your abilities, but I tend to think that these failed DIY attempts are what make the movement so invigorating – and motivate me to keep trying.
This clip is from about a year or so ago, but I read a similar article that he wrote about DIY failures, and it really helped me cope with some of the more challenging projects that I had taken on – and to realize that I wasn’t alone in the feeling. Check out the video below with these words of wisdom from Mark Frauenfelder:
Frauenfelder claims that making mistakes becomes part of your life when you starting DIY’ing.
You should try not to make mistakes on purpose, but you shouldn’t equate mistakes with failure, or punish yourself about them. Basically in school, mistakes = bad grades. So they’re conditioning in the real world that you don’t want to make mistakes because you don’t want to be punished, and therefore avoid risks. So, just accept mistakes as a way to learn, and come up with new, creative ways of doing things.
This is a post that I wrote for Re-Nest blog. Check out photo 2:
More Out-Takes … photo bomb!
freshly dyed (with oak leaves) – soy silk, alpaca, blue leicester
spinning! (soy silk)
I’ve managed to get more wears out of my jeans than any mending job I’ve ever done. Thanks to all who came!
1) Always patch up a hole with the same material that that item is made of. Deciding that these jeans were worn out beyond repair, I cut them up to use as patches in my other pants.
2) Line up the grain (match up the direction of the lines on the jean fabric)
3) If you want to just patch up a hole, put the patch on the inside and stitch on the outside. Don’t be afraid to remove the pocket with a seam ripper if you want it to be really professional. It’s easy to sew back on.
5) Stitch around your patch. Do it twice, within about a centimetre of each one. Trim off any excess fabric from the patch.
6) Go back and forth with a single stitch that looks like a zig zag through the rip. It’ll ensure reinforcement.
7) It’s more fun to mend with friends !
On a side note, oak leaves dye wool wonderfully!
I’ve been wanting to build my own spinning wheel for a while … and a recent natural dying course I took at Baaad Anna’s (see photos below) inspired me to push forward a bit more. Surprisingly, I found very few resources on how to do this online … so I went to the library and picked up some books on the subject – luckily found this one … and I’ve been carrying it around with me ever since (Please, if anyone has any other resources, please send them my way!!). It will take a bit of time for me to transcribe the steps exactly (the instructions are pretty crude), but I spoke to some people at Pedal Depot (OCB‘s little brother) and they’re going to help me make the necessary cuts (some of the construction involves physically having to cut into the frame). In the end, I’m hoping to make a decent PDF manual that I can share with friends, and a bicycle spinning wheel. I’m sure it will be trial and error, but those are the kinds of projects that I like best
Also, I’m putting together a presentation for a craft night at Vancouver Hack Space (VHS) on Monday, July 5th. We’re hoping that it will be a weekly event! (which means we need more people to share some of their awesome ideas ! (I know you have them) – everything from crafting, to gardening & cooking … ) – I’m super excited about this! and if I don’t already have your email/contact information, please send it over and I’ll put you on the list. Can’t wait!!
Natural Dying at Baaad Anna’s
We used marigolds to get this awesome shade of yellow. Apparently marigolds grow all over Vancouver & all you have to do is pick them, dry them, and grind them up. I have so much to learn!