Domain Change

Just a quick note – due to financial reasons, I did not renew the knitsnthings.com domain and this blog is now knitsnthings.wordpress.com. Hopefully links are working – please let me know if anything doesn’t seem to work; I’ve repaired anything I’ve noticed so far :)

Most Excellent! Textured Estonian Knitting Stitches….So Much Fun!!

Happy Wednesday :)

So, having checked out my ‘attendence’ for last year with this blog, I have decided to commit to twice monthly posts, at a minimum, I promise!

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It’s been a hectic time for me, lol – new job and then a promotion to another new job within just a few months, lots of training, and uptraining, lots of pressure and lots of getting sidetracked on projects — NOT getting much actually ‘done’ but having fun for a little while with things I haven’t yet finished. Maybe even a few I will never finish. I have begun to suspect I am what I have heard called a ‘process knitter’. I will often start a new project because I am interested (or possibly fascinated by lol) in a particular technique or stitch or whatnot. Once I’ve ‘experienced’ or learned the method/stitch/whatever quite often I’m good.

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This year for Christmas I got a Kobo tablet and have been collecting a few very nice knitting resources for it – I figure that I can take projects on the go a lot easier this way and that works for me! Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could work more time into our days?

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The stitches pictured above are from a great tutorial with pdf written patterns provided as well as a great video demo of the stitches done by the sweetest lady ever! I purchased it as a digital download from The Interweave Store; “Creative Estonian Knitting” by Merike Saarniit — Textured stitches to swatch and explore. Just one thing though – the video did not play on my kobo and I watched it on my laptop. Not at all an issue for me but something that one should know going in. The pdf works great in my Adobe reader app on the tablet.

I love how the stitches are so textured and how they flow. The tutorial does not instruct you on how to build the blanket but instructs on how to work the basic stitches and helps one see how to expand on the subject matter — Merike does a fantastic job of giving you that ‘I can DO this’ feeling. I consider myself an advanced knitter and still appreciated having the video tutorial and would definitely recommend it. A lot of fun and something to use up that left-over yarn from your other projects!

Another thing I am working on is a spinning project – some beautiful baby suri alpaca blended with bombyx silk from india which is going to become a wonderful pair of silky stockings when it grows up!

A couple pictures of the blend….

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Ok, so time to knit…or spin…or something :)

I’m Painting A Blanket! With Handspun Yarn…

I hope you are having a fantastic day!

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I have found the PERFECT project for my handspun bits! It is a free pattern available through Ravelry, called “Patchwork Knitting”.

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I’ve got so very many balls or small skeins which I have collected over the years and this blanket should be an excellent showcase for them. There are a lot of naturals as well as handdyes in the mix – plenty of silk, cashmere, camel and alpaca in addition to wools. I’m including nothing but handspun and I think it’ll be a great way to look back at my progress. Because the yarns vary in weight I’m stranding them together to an approximate worsted weight and knitting on a 4.5 mm circular needle.

I may have to spin some more yarns specifically for this blanket but we’ll have to see as I go….

Ahhhh….A Glorious 13 Day Holiday!

Good morning!

I’m fighting the urge to go in multiple directions at once lol. Holidays do this to me. I want to wash fleece, prep fleece, spinnnnnnnn (well that one was sort of a given!). Also wanted to super clean the house, arrange everything within an inch of it’s life and organize my already spun yarn so I can properly post it all on my handspunyarn.wordpress.com site.

13 days is not as long as it sounds…

So far I have accomplished some of my goals (we are currently on the 6th day). I have managed to build a database and to list all of my already spun yarns on it, or at least everything which I have not already wound into balls, and was labelled at least somewhat – there are some stragglers I admit!

Here are some of the new additions to the site…
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I washed fleece, weighed fleece and took inventory of fibers…

The fleeces/wool….
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The silks…I do love silks….
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Just beautiful for blending with wools or spinning on their own!!

Then there are the odds and ends – a bit of cashmere, some camel, huacaya alpaca, suri alpaca etc…they really require another collage to show properly :)
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So, feeling oh-so-organized and have also managed to rewash the targhee x fleece shown in the first collage – it is drying now. The cvm lamb and rambouillet fleeces were washed during the first couple days of holidaying. There is something so appealing about freshly washed, beautifully fresh smelling, soft and fluffy fleeces — truly addictive lol.

The side effect of building the database was that I ended up completely cleaning out and updating all my computer programs, and adding a couple more programs…even the computer feels oh-so-organized now!

I DID finish a knitting project (I think I hear the trumpets) and am so very very pleased with it!

I knitted it with the bond/rambouilet cross fleece/4 ply/light worsted weight or dk. I’ll have to get one of my girls to take a picture and post it as soon as I can :)

Have a fantastic day – I’ll be trying to figure out how to relax!

Please check out my handspun yarn site if you might be interested in any of my handspun – I’ve updated the pricing page recently as well.

Scandinavian Spinning Wheels!

Good morning!

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Over the past month or so, we’ve been very very fortunate to find two wheels from Scandinavia. Both Kijiji finds, both very reasonably priced, both with all their parts and both in spinning order! One was in a ready-to-spin-right-now-and-i-cant-wait-to-get-started state, the other more of a help-me-im-smothering-underneath-all-this-nasty-oil-paint state lol but you’ll get to see how I saved her…she was sort of masquerading as one of those captains beds from the 70′s – you know the ones! – and had not been used much in her life but is definitely made to work. I took her for a test spin before beginning the stripping, just to reassure myself.

Ok, so, the first spinning wheel we found….

Swedish spinning wheel with norwegian double table syle and finnish double uprights

She was found in Trenton, Ontario and has a little bit of history (as told by the guy we bought her from). She was apparently brought from Sweden, by her Swedish family, and has been in the same family for her lifetime, save the time she spent with the gentleman we bought her from. The interesting thing is that she is actually a Norwegian style double table wheel with distinctive Finnish double upright wheel posts. The beautiful curving end caps on these double posts are also distinctly Finnish.

swedish double table spinning wheel with finish uprights

Check out her bearings! This wheel is absolutely THE MOST SOLID wheel in my collection – old or new. She is put together completely with wooden pegs and everything is in perfect shape. She’s like a miracle wheel, considering her probable age…

pegs under uprights

moa/table of swedish/scandinavian wheel

An amazing thing…she has all her bobbins! And the wood is beautiful….
swedish wheel bobbins

After cleaning…
bobbins after feed and wax

the third bobbin, on the flyer…
swedish/scandinavian double table wheel

Her treadle has the comfy foot indent and she loves to spin…a cleaning, an oiling and away we went :) Her wheel is large, partially hand carved and beautiful. It measures 26.5 inches, approximately.

God bless her original family, they took exceptional care of her.

Now, the second wheel…

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We found this wheel on the local Kijiji, just about 30 minutes away. I couldn’t help but notice the double wheel posts with the curving cap which are secondary supports on this tiny spinning wheel and I was intrigued since I had just gotten the first a week or two before.

She was covered in thick brown oil type paint – very shiny. I could tell that it was not original paint because they had painted over her decorative end caps. She was doing a very good job of impersonating a reproduction wheel of some sort from the 70′s and I had more than one doubt when buying her.

My grandson, bless him, loves her. Grandma, for ME?!!! was his reaction :)

For me grandma?!!

First things first, when I got her home I took her for a spin and she did spin!

Some pictures of her parts…

Painted over the end caps

The painted over decorative caps
Definitely not the original paint

The flyer and mother of all
Lots of paiint!

Yes, she has bearings
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This was a job for solvent…and lots of gloves and paint scrubbie pads…

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Stripping the itsy bitsy

nice!

The wheel itself was a lot of work…

before - itsy bitsy wheel

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And then all the smaller pieces…

The pressure fit whorl
pressure fit whorl - finnish itty bitty wheel

The flyer
finnish flyer

The bobbin
finnish bobbin

The whole job took approximately 20 hours, lots of patience and plenty of elbow grease but now she is perfect!

Her flyer, with tool marks from the file it was ‘sanded’ with
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The arched post cap
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Tension
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Side view/alignment
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From the back
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One thing missing – one decorative metal ‘cap’
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It’s a super cute antique spinning wheel that has seen very little use. There is no foot indentation in the treadle, the hooks may be replacements but they are in good shape and well bent so I didn’t replace them. She has an odd arrangement with the front maiden on an angle to accomodate the flyer and a 14″ wheel diameter.

After stripping the whole thing, I treated the wood with orange oil, no wax so far.

Have a fantastic day! :)

This Yarn Is Delicious!

Closeup rambo/suri blend laceweight handspun yarn

I spun this 2 ply out of rambouillet blended with baby suri alpaca on hand cards. It turned out so soft it doesn’t even feel like wool!

Baby suri alpaca

Rambouillet Fleece

suri/rambo blended on hand cards

Also the colour is lovely – chocolate and tan with a bit of a shine! It has a really rich look and I love it.

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I’m working on a pair of gloves for winter…I’ll keep you updated :)

Have a great day!

If you might be interested in purchasing my handspun yarn, please visit handspunyarn.wordpress.com

Dreambird Shawl in Handspun Yarn

Dreambird shawl in handspun yarn

I’ve been working on a special shawl for a special friend’s birthday and I’m finally done! Yay!!

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It is Nadita’s Dreambird pattern, purchased from her shop on Ravelry. She is a really interesting designer with a lot of patterns I think would work really well with handspun yarn :)

Hanspun Shawl

A reminder of where this came from — the shetland lamb from earlier this year…(the handdyed coloured sections)

Shetland, ready to wash

The grey is a rambo/bond cross.

Hand spun shawl - dreambird pattern

The pattern takes some getting used to but is really easy once you get the hang of it. Highly recommended!

Have a great day :)

If you might be interested in my handspun yarn for sale, please check out my destash site!