Inspirationskällan på Boda Backe

Last Wednesday I and three of my colleagues went to Inspirationskällan. A cosy evening full of inspiration and handcraft.

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I was teaching Anna to knit starting out with the first shawl that I did. The Schieffelin Point Shawl by Kate Gagnon Osborn. It’s a perfect shawl to start with (given that you have someone to help you with the provisional cast-on). You start with knitting the body in garter and then a lace edging when you feel more comfortable.

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Jana got going with mittens in leather.

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And Anna decided to make a pair of baby slippers. She’s very creative and makes her own earrings which you can view on annarolander.se

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Washing fiber

I discovered that there are many ways to wash fiber when running some searches on the internet. Some advanced, some easier, some containing chemicals and others more eco friendly. I prefer being eco friendly. Apparently ammoniac and lanolin (wool fat) combined generates some sort of soap, but not to eco friendly I’m afraid.

That is when I discovered soap nuts. I had never heard of it. It’s not actually nuts, it’s a small dried fruit from the Sapindus Mukorossi tree, one of several trees referred to as soap nut trees. The soap nuts have been used for washing in India for a very long time. Being a little skeptical (just what you should be) I had to do some more reading before concluding that this really seems to be a good eco friendly alternative.

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I boiled some soap nuts and then used about 3 tablespoons decoction in a finger warm bath.

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For unwashed fiber I did two baths.

Upsides

  • Washes fiber really well (since you can wash your hair with the soap nuts too)
  • No insecticidals needed when growing the soap nuts since the saponin in the fruits keep insects away
  • Saponin is the natural detergent
  • The trees grow naturally in their environment and are a needed addition to the eco system

Downside

  • Ships from Asia
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Why make it easy when it could be hard?

Remember how I HAD TO HAVE the yarn for my Tube socks? And how that yarn is hand dyed in tiny batches that go up every other week and are sold out within minutes? And how it’s kind of really quite expensive for a pair of socks?

Well.

I really NEED this self-striping bright rainbow sock yarn, dyed by an indie dyer in small batches, posted every other week and gone within minutes of being up.

Sound familiar?

Whyyyyy must I want such peculiar things? Why can’t I covet something that’s readily available and more affordable?!

In my defense, though, I a) I loved knitting with the Mind the Gap yarn and b) love the finished socks. There are some things you just can’t get when sticking to commercial yarn.

(I’m now trying to convince myself that the rainbow yarn is the only I one I need… there’s also this one, and this one, and this one, and this one…)

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Diadem

In addition to the lovely Caspian needles, I also got some of the new Diadem silk/alpaca yarn from KnitPicks for Christmas.

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Fingering in Ruby and Moonstone, and the limited edition, special reserve DK weight in Gold. So soft and shiny!

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Fluff for later

While I was in the US, I got some roving for spinning.

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KnitPicks Wool of the Andes, and

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… Malabrigo Nube. These are so pretty I almost just want to use them as decoration! Which is good for now, because I still don’t have a wheel, so…

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Hematit scarf finished!

The hematit scarf (from my Amethyst scarf pattern) is now finished, blocked and everything. I tried adding a cinnamon bark oil to the blocking bath and now the finished scarf has a pleasant cinammony scent (not that I mind the wooly scent, I just felt like experimenting).

And just as I finished the January cold set in along with snow (which we’ve had very little of this season). Perfect scenery for showing of my finished item…, buuuut freezing! Minus 10 degrees celsius! But it was, understandably, a quick photo session.

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Now I just have to figure out the best shipping rates and list this lovely scarf on easy.com – exciting!

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