Saturday, June 09, 2007

Horn Cozies

I can't remember if I've every mentioned my earlier work with crochet? I suspect I haven't.

In any case, I do a bit of crocheting from time to time. I did a lot of it before I learned to knit.

I made a lot of dishclothes. I much prefer my own over store-bought. They just scrub better, I think. I'm due to make a new batch as it's been a couple of years and the ones I have (despite being washed regularly and bleached) are looking a bit shabby.

What has that to do with horns?

Well, any good mead maker knows that there are Vikings out there who love a good batch of mead. And they drink this good stuff from a drinking horn. Most will drink the bad stuff from the horn as well, but they don't talk about it much. The only problem with a horn (and some would claim this is not really a problem -- you just finish what you start), is that you can't put the horn down until it is empty or you spill your mead.

Some folks have invented little stands that will hold your horn in a semi-upright position. But sometimes, if you've had a bit too much mead, you might put down the horn and forget where you put it (and the stand). So I made a horn accessory that is made to order (I crochet it to fit the horn) that allows you to hang your horn from your shoulder or across your chest (or in a tree if that meets your needs).

This is one I made for Ken's horn. It is made of cotton weaving yarn and is beaded a bit. The strap is long enough to hang over his shoulder and the horn then settles in at hip level. There is enough length to the strap that he can raise the horn to his lips and leave the strap over his shoulder.

I made this one for me. It is just a plain jane green. Yes, it's dusty. I haven't used it yet this season.

I have made horn cozies in wild party colors, grey icelandic wool and even made one in white.

Right now I have an order for a purple one from a very dear friend who just got her first horn. Here it is all naked and sad looking.

I decided that since she is such a special friend, it needs to have a special touch, so I'm now in the process of dying wool and a wool blend, which I am going to spin to make the yarn from which I am going to crochet the horn cozy for her.

I spun up some yarn. And decided to dye it. The first batch of purple dye turned out to be too blue. So I over dyed it with red. It's really nice but closer to blue than purple.

This shows the completed too blue yarn next to the color I'm aiming for which is a commercially dyed and spun product (which I secretly love and am traumatized at the thought of knitting because I just like to fondle the yarn and don't want to give it away... selfish wench that I am...Karabella Aurora 8).

Here is a picture of fiber dumped into the dye bath AFTER I did the too blue yarn. Closer to purple but not quite.

Here are three quart jars with varying amounts of red to blue. The yellow is there just because I wanted to try it. I'm thinking that while I won't be where the Karabella is, I'm going to like the three fibers spun together and it will make a really cool varigated purplely yarn that will be perfect for my project.

Next I have to spin and ply the fiber. That's the longest part of this project (that and waiting to clear the wheel of another project currently in m0tion).

The crocheting will take one to three hours.

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