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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Seaweed - a dyeing-experiment

Since I started thinking about dyeing wool with natural dyes I´ve been wondering if it was possible to dye with seaweed. Motivated by some articles on the internet I started my seaweed-dyeing-adventure.
My first experiment was done with some very green seaweed I picked on my daily walk along the ocean. It looks a bit like grass... but nothing happend when I cooked it and I was very disappointed.

My second try was done with two different kind of seaweed (don´t know what they are called, just look at the pics below). I found it when I was walking with my two boys and my husband on a sunday at the beach at Seltjarnarnes, Grótta (pics above). With one kind of seaweed (ég held að það hafi verið söl), nothing happend, even if the dye it self became really red. But after deying my yarn with the other (blöðruþang) the yarn became pale-yellow/orange. At first I didn´t think it was a very interesting result. So once again I was quite disappointed and about to give this whole seaweed-thing up. But after rinsing it the true colour came out and my yarn turned out to have a really beautiful yellow colour! I´m really thrilled by this result and I´m definitely going to proceed my seaweed-dyeing-experiment! The light was not very good but here you have some pictures anyway:


No colour at all with this one :-(

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

a "superman" cape for my boys

My boys are home for a few days, since their kindergarten is closed. Today was their first day at home and they were SO bored... wondering how to occupy and help them to have fun again, I decided to make them superman capes. This is something my younger one has been asking me to make him for quite some time now - a friend of his in kindergarten has something similar... that´s why. I bought some fabric at IKEA the other day, just perfect for this project :-) Don´t you just love IKEA?

I´m really happy with the result since my boys are happy and busy playing again! This was a really easy, quick and effective project! This showed me once again, how fun things don´t have to cost a lot of money or be really complicated to make my boys happy... maby I'll make them some halloweencostumes myself this year?

Ready to take off

my cute - and of course brave and strong superman-boys

That´s how it looks - really simple

Monday, October 17, 2011

In love with drop spindle spinning

This weekend I went to WonderMikes excellent Intro on Drop Spindle spinning at Knitting Iceland. This is something I´ve been wanting to learn for so long and that´s why I was really thrilled to have this opportunity and this was such a wonderful, inspiring class.

What I love about the spinning is the constant contact with the wool... feeling how the fibers separate... the meditational-effect... watching the fibers/wool turning into yarn and the fact, that in the end you have your own handmade yarn... just about everything! Since I had so much fun and practice is really important I´m going to practice a little bit every day for the next few weeks. And I can´t wait to dye my own handspun yarn with my herbs, plants and berries!

Here some pictures of the drop spindles (made by my grandfather) and my yarn:

both drop spindles are made by my grandfather

my grandfather carved the one in the front

my yarn - love the wool-wood-contrast
my yarn

the soft, warm and cozy wool from Thingborg

want to dig in this wool

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


On the 4th of june I started my Kyrrð, a design by Johanna Bibbins (Knittingmydayaway) and this monday, 10.th of oct. I finished!! It took me so long, because most of the time I had it "on the side" and was knitting many other things at the same time - like 4 laceshawls (Aeolian, Hyrna Herborgar and 2 vinkonusjal), an icelandic sweater, a lot of hats...

I learned a lot of new things making Kyrrð. The most exciting thing was the "8-cast-on" (or magic cast-on) which is really fascinating... it was one of those wow-moments ;-) The only problem was, that because I didn´t have any practice with the magic 8-cast-on, I had to start the project 2 times and frog it once... but I didn´t give up since I really wanted this beautiful shawl! The pattern is really well written and not hard to understand if you know this cast-on method, the lace-patterns are in such a perfect harmony and it looks so elegant! I might be tempted to make myself another one, using my own handdyed yarn... and I once again must admit: lace-knitting is addicting, so thing twice before you even start!

Here some pictures:
evening sun
Looking at the ocean

Kyrrð, the other way around

Love this pattern from each and every angle...

endless eternity-hooded-lace-scarf
love those leaves

love those owl-buttons my sister Gudrun gave me

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I´ve been reading a lot about dyeing with blueberries lately. You often read, that the colour is not light fast... but a few days ago, I read somewhere on the internet, that people here on Iceland used to get a blue dye from a special type of blueberries so I decided to try it out. I used some blueberries my mother gave me last week... they were getting quite old and I was hoping that this fact could be good for my dyeing-results. I used alum and tartar as a mordant and cooked the wool together with the blueberries for an hour and then left it to cool off over night. The result is AMAZING and I´m really hoping the colour stays this way!

I decided to conduct the following experiment with this yarn: leave it in a sunny window for a week or two and see if the colour changes... I´ll keep you posted!

The picking

The cooking

Before the rinsing

After the rinsing

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Love Ysolda

Ahhhh how I love Ysolda Teagues designs! :-) I first saw her on Ravelry and after looking at her designs there, over and over again I was thrilled to find her "whimsical little knits 2" in a store in Reykjavík! I love just about everything about her things... her sweaters and in fact, all her things seem fit so perfectly, she always tells you about ways to change the pieces so they will fit you better or just look somehow different, the choice of colours, the fotos of her things and somehow she has a way to turn the simplest piece of garment into something really special with little details like buttons, lace or something else...
Sooooo I decided to make an "Ysolda "Whimsical little knits 2" marathon", and knit everything out of that book starting with the "Damson" and finishing with "Cotten Reel Mittens". There are just two condition for me:
1. I only get to use yarn from my overfilled yarn-stash! :-)
2. Before I start, I finally have to finish my beautiful "Kyrrð" (Johanna Bibbins, Knitting my day away).

I just can´t wait to start... and now I´m dreaming of having her new book: "Little red in the city"...

Damson (foto from the book "Whimsical little knits 2")

Cotton Real Mittens (foto from the book "Whimsical little knits 2")