I DREAM OF BEENIE
Spin Challenge #6
Don't forget the criteria when voting! These were supposed to be Inner-beenies!
So the challenge was twofold:
1. Spin a yarn that is either
a) symbolic/representative of you.
b) consists of your favorite fibers/materials/colors
c) illustrates a theme/concept that you identify yourself with
d) all of the above
2. knit/crochet/whatever a beenie in a size and style that suits you or says something about you.
#1-TrashQueen/Weird & Twisted
I love stars. I can spend hours gazing into the night sky. So I decided to spin a yarn to match this obsession of mine, a yarn that sparkles and glistens like stars.
First, I spun a thin single (clockwise) from black Merino wool. I put glittering fiber on some spots and spun a metallic thread with tiny beads on it right into this thread. Then I spun another thread (counter-clockwise), a quite fat one from black Merino, too. And I let the first thread wrap itself around the second one. I think one could call this "half-ply", because one thread of the yarn is plyed and one isn't. Then I took some hand-dyed mohair strands and let them wrap themself around the yarn, secured by the first thread. I wanted it to look like northern lights or swirling galaxies.After I finished the yarn, I crocheted the beenie out of it. I wanted to show the structure of the yarn, so I decided to leave some parts un-chrocheted.
#2- JoAnne Gerwe/Wearmoa
Materials: 3 different handspun yarns (yes I really did spin 3 different ones for this hat!)
1) Variety of wools in many different colors from cobalt blue, dusty green, undyed browns, daffodil yellow, and punctuations of aqua. This yarn has dynamic proportions, from wire thin to awkward blobs that form big organic puffs when knitted.
2) Shetland blend that is un-dyed. Worsted weight, very consistent.
3) Fawn alpaca. Worsted weight, very consistent.
The design is a modern free form interpretation that is influenced from the Flapper Era. The reason I chose the Flapper Era is because it was a pivotal time for women to form a new voice in society. Women cut their hair, shortened their skirts, applied their make-up in public, and blurred the lines between classes through fashion.
I don't like knitting hats very much. Everytime I make one I spend ages adjusting it till it fits more or less. And they never seem to fit me. Perhaps my head is not right for hats. So I made one for my boyfriend which was stolen after he was wearing it for 3 days. You see, hats are very frustrating for me. Then I found this challenge and I liked the idea, so I gave it a try. I wanted to have a go on a beret anyways. I took "Pretty puffs slouchy hat" as the basis and did some modifications.
In principle I spun 4 yarns. I just love the dark red extra fine Merino, so I just spun a plain Navajo-plied yarn I used as the basis. Then I spun 3 short threads for the puff stitch sections, each in a different color and from a different fiber and color which I like. I took white merino/silk blend, chocolate brown Merino (I looooove chocolate) and black alpaca and plied it with a base thread with additional trinkets like glass beads, ribbons, crochet flowers. At the rim it took me a while to crochet it in the right size. When I tried it on it was not really slouchy and didn't look like a beret. I was frustrated again but then I put it in hot water and let it soak. Then I realized that I can make it bigger if I tear at it. Alors, I filled it with a plastic bag and put some fibers and a canned pineapple in it and let it dry. Et voilà, it became a beret.
I think it quite resembles me. It is made of my favorite colors and materials and it's a little bit like me, half-decent and ordinary on the first glance, but if you have a second and closer look you see that it's not what you expected but full of little surprises.
I recently found out I'm pregnant again and I'm just craving comfort in form of soft, squishy, purple with cocoa nibs for extra yum factor and a splash of caffiene which, I discovered is my saving grace these days.
This is a Merino I dyed in baby colours of blues and pinks, which also match the bathrobe and pajama ensemble I'm in the middle of sewing these days and plan on living in until the morning sickness subsides, plied with silk thread and spun in with rich chocolate brown Merino coils.
I'm really into chocolate this time around where as I was totally turned off it in my first pregnancy - which was a bummer because during the time there was a big hype around how good it is for the unborn babe for mama to feast on chocolate. But look out, I'm into it now! This hat symbolizes the body's amazing communiciation of its wisdom interpreted by cravings and my amazement at how sometimes they're so strong it feels like they're exploding out of my head and I can't even function correctly until the craving is fullfilled. Cocoa nibs on everything these days. Especially french toast with raspberries, cocoa nibs on beanies, and maybe felted birdies, too.
Power Beenie/A Gardener's Hat
for cultivating the inner garden
Well, if we're talking about Power, that means being 100% one's self, certainly a challenge in this world. To be one's self, one must know one's self. I must tend that inner garden, create that lush environment so that it might be the source from which I draw my energy.
I chose fibers that are still close to their original nature and maintain their primitive quality - a reminder that there is strength and beauty in what we all are before civilization tales its toll. Other ingredients were batts that I carded of black Peruvian wool, silk, flax and shiny stuff - we know the gods like shiny stuff and it helps us get their attention. Also, lots of locks, including a bunch that a farmer begged me to take off
her hands - she called them a failure because they were an unusual color and slightly felted. I called them fantastic!
I spun about 84 yards of yarn, and when I saw it, I felt like I'd just like to wear it as it was - unknitted or crocheted - as a tribesman from New Guinea might wear the feathers of an emu on his head to tap into the strength and beauty of the animal. So I decided to try to keep its wild nature - it needed to be able to encourage me, shield me, keep its sense of humor, and keep me tending my inner garden. It needed to be fully ITSELF if it was going to be MY power beenie!
My plan was to create a solid base (crocheted) and then let the wilder parts shine with a sense of playfulness that could let the world know it meant business if it needed to. There's a fine line between Power Beenie and ending up on Crochet Snark, but one cannot be too concerned with (possibly) looking outlandish - the gods will not stand for fearfulness and thinking about what one looks like to others when it comes to being truly one's self. It is my own opinion and voice that I need to be able to hear, after all. And if nothing else, my power beenie might scare people off long enough that I will be able to play alone in my garden for a good portion of the time. :)
#6-Dez Holton/Eat Agar
A lot of the things I make are made with other people in mind. Rare is the project I start and finish without designating it as a future Christmas or birthday gift for someone besides myself. I'm new to the spinning thing, it's sort of become a release valve for the last-semester-of-college-crazies. I keep finding lots of fibers I want to try out, but then they kind of hang out, psyching me out with the possibility of totally ruining them with the wrong technique or color scheme.Tussah silk, alpaca, mohair locks, technicolor dyed cotswold, yak...what was I thinking?
Whenever I've found myself in a similar situation in the past the only thing that really works is to stop thinking and dive right in and that's exactly what I did with this project. I hand carded up a lot fluff using a little bit of each kind of fiber and added some commercial wool roving and sparkle, spun it into a thickish/thinnish singles and knit it from the bobbin using a modified version of Wenlan Chia's Aspen hat pattern, adding a few vintage wooden toggle buttons that I've been eyeing from my daughter's button jar.
This yarn was made to resemble the red rocks of Sedona during a thunderstorm. I remember lying on the red rocks by the river and having to take cover because there was all of a sudden a thunderstorm above us. In the desert there seems to always be a thunderstorm at noon during the summer. Never have I seen the elements collide like during this storm. The blue turquoise sky turned upside down and crashed rain down on the hot red rocks around me. The deep red suddenly looked richer when wet and the rocks began to set off steam from their radiant heat. Huddled up under a tree I sat in awe getting soaked by the storm. And then, just as it came it went. Sun emerged and everything was back to normal.
This is an analogy for my life right now. Two months ago I had a baby and am in the throes of adjusting to my new life as a mother of two under the age of two. I am experiencing the highest highs and the lowest lows within seconds of each other. And there always seems to be a storm around noon.
When I am really in a tough place, I try to remember this day on the red rocks, the intensity of the storm and how easily it passed. It will always pass. This is only transitory, no matter how intense or heavy it seems.
Made of handyed Romney and Targhee with gobs of gold and copper angelina and recycled sari silk in turquoise and orange. I corespun a bulky single, while wrapping with green and copper sparkle thread. I also kept some uncarded locks aside to spin sections straight from the lock. This is my favorite yarn yet, and I am so happy to be keeping it.
The Power Beanie:
Slouchy Beanie knitted with a sturdy brim for extra spying/hiding potential. This is a design I have been trying to get right forever. I haven't been able to figure out how to get the brim to stay up and actually be sturdy enough to hide behind without looking like a stalker. I ripped this hat out 3 times and literally worked on it all week to get it right.
#8-Velma Root/Colorbomb Creations
I am a Hat Ho. I *love* hats! I love knitting them, crocheting them, wearing them - all of it. All year long, I sport a hat of one type or another, and in some circles, when I'm without one, it's cause for comment.
My other love is color, LOTS of color. My personal motto: "Color can't hurt you!". Any self-respecting hat needs to be chock-full of loads of color if it wants to find itself atop my nut. Oh, and texture ain't bad, either.
So the Power Beenie is the perfect challenge for me. A few weeks ago, I received an order of Cotswold locks from The Speckled Ram (hi, Pepper!), in the most outrageously loud colors - shocking pink, acid green, screaming yellow, and a lovely purple (a neutral in my world) - my faves. I decided then and there to spin up a yarn just for myself. I love spinning locks; I'm like a crow, seeking out shiny things, and love the shine and slick, curly texture of locks. So I corespun one of my Lockalicious singles which I called "Easter Bunny on Acid". :) Couldn't have been happier with how it turned out.
There was never any question that I'd turn EBoA into a hat; that's just what I do. But I've been so busy spinning in preparation of vending at Black Sheep Gathering, I haven't had much time/energy left over for knitting. So for the last few weeks I've been dragging it along to Purl 'n Hurl, the Humboldt SnB I attend, and knitting a row or 2 each time (I tend to quaff and conversate more than actually knit at these gatherings.) Got it almost finished this week, just needed to find the right 'ending' for it.
Then today my friend Tangerine Dreams gave me a heads-up about this challenge, and my beenie's fate was sealed. Just under the wire, I finished my Power Beenie, and I'm completely in love with it! Can't wait to show it off tomorrow at my weekly SIP (spin-in-public) at our Farmer's Market. Ta da!