Monday, February 28, 2011

The Lucet: A New Favorite Tool

Lucet and braid created with Meadow Muffins light sport yarn

A lucet is a very old fiber tool that has been used for a thousand years to create braids for closures (remember: no zippers, no snaps, no hooks and eyes, no Velcro when the lucet was first used).  I'd been aware of it and it was on my list of things to try until my good friend Victoria taught me how to use one.  I'd tried to follow the written and video instructions on the web but really needed a live demo to learn it.  Then I was off and running!

The first lucet purchase was a failure: too small, too narrow, the surface was too rough, and the hole through which the braid passes was way too small.  My second lucet from Lynn the Weaver is just a joy.  Created from rosewood, it feels smooth and wonderful in my hand and is beautiful to look at.  Lynn answered my questions and shipped the lucet promptly; her prices are very reasonable.  She has other models as well as tutorials on her site.

A lucet and a small ball of yarn take up very little space so are quite portable.  The technique is easy and the process is the sort of activity that can be pulled out at any time to work unobtrusively.  Perfect for those times when all one can do is wait patiently.

Lucet braid and Meadow Muffins light sport yarn

Both  photos are of two strands of my Meadow Mufifins light sport yarn worked together.  I'm looking forward to moving on to combinations of various types of fibers.

There's a very quiet Yahoo list on the subject as well as a less quiet group on Ravelry.  It's worth a try!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Just a Little More Embroidery on Felt

Prefelt, embroidered

This was a circle of prefelt that I had sort of spatter-dyed with multiple colors.  At first I tried stitches that encircled various areas of color but didn't care for the effect.  I decided to superimpose a stitch pattern over the dye pattern (I love the concept of one pattern over another) and like the effects much more.  My stitches followed wavy paths; the waves are a little hard to detect but I like it anyway.  The stitch pattern would have shown up better if I'd used a backstitch instead of a running stitch.  I also wish I had fulled this piece of prefelt before stitching.  It's too spongey.  But I do love the texture!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Felt Julehjerte Valentine

Felt Julehjerte Valentine

It is a custom in Denmark and Northern Germany for families to weave paper hearts together to create lovely Christmas ornaments.  Although I always think felt when I see a paper project that appeals, I have to admit that I was inspired to try one when I saw Jennifer Ackerman- Haywood's tutorial for creating Julehjerte valentine baskets on her CraftSanity blog.  Jennifer's and my hearts are simple; she crafts with her children and perhaps I'm stuck in my felting days as a child.  The felt used if from my own sheep, of course.  But depending how the hearts are cut the weaving can be quite exquisite when paper is used.  Happy Valentine's Day to my blog friends!