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A Fantastic New Craft – My Freeform Crocheted Carpet Project

Freeform Carpet

It all started when I was sorting my wool the other day. I love how a bunch of wool can create a whole chain of thought and inspiration!

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I’ve got tons of textured yarns which I’ve accumulated over the years and lots of basic acrylics that I use for blankets and toys. I had the idea to create an area rug for my son with various textured yarns held double with a strand of the base acrylics (worsted weight) in all the shades of beige that I had in my stash. The flat/untufted areas are base acrylic held with a strand of cone cotton and strand of cone rayon with a golden sparkle to it – each about fingering weight or less. It compliments the sparkle in the main ‘bling bling’ yarn I’ve used for texture. It’s the multicolour found in all the circles – pictures just don’t do it justice.

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I had so much fun with this I’m planning to invest in some rug yarns to try to make a more durable/long lasting rug. This one is tightly crocheted and seems strong but it is just blanket strength acrylic I’ve used so I can’t wait to see what I can create with real rug wool and my tufted texture yarns! It will take away the machine wash option though if I decide to go with wool rug yarn (and I’m leaning to that option – seeing a guy with a factory full of partial cones which he needs to clear out later on today and there are a few different materials to choose from).

We all knew I needed a new hobby, seeing as I have nothing to do lol 🙂

Oh wow, almost forgot to post this pic…

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It’s my new Polonaise! Yes, finally, I have been blessed with the one wheel I’ve wanted forever-since-I-thought-of-spinning!! A totally excellent early Christmas present 🙂

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She spins like a dream and is just beautiful. The lady I purchased her from was excellent and her husband was even kind enough to deliver the wheel.

And a very cute grandson pic…he loves to jump!

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Some Last Minute Knits…And A Pattern

I’ve been busy, trying to finish up a few last things for Christmas. Today, I finished three hats (yay, me!)…gotta LOVE bulky yarn and how quickly it knits up!

Two ‘shroom’ hats; (pattern by Lee Wood Juvan and available free at knitty.com)

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and another in ‘flint’ grey/black which I’d be happy to show you except for the fact that my camera takes THE most crappy pictures after dark! Alright, so pictures asap, lol.

Isn’t the texture in that pattern fantastic? I think it’s a great pattern and definitely worth knitting. With the bulky yarn, it can even handle our winters!

The yarn I used is bernat ‘roving’, an acrylic (80)/ wool (20) mix which is really nice to work with and, I feel, much safer left in the hands of forgetful machine washers than a wool alternative. It’s no fun when you shrink your Christmas hat!

I made a little ‘textured scrap hat’ with the leftovers. It’s nothing fancy but I’m planning to write up the pattern. I think it’s kind of cute and definitely an easy, fast knit which takes next to nothing in the bulky yarn. I had two balls of the roving yarn and after making the two ‘shroom’ hats and the scrap hat, I still have some of each colour left!

I’ve completed the pattern and you can find it here;  supersimpletexturedscraphat 

Lets hope this works.  If you have any trouble with it, please let me know. 

Oh, something I realized I should mention…the gauge for this hat is about 3 sts/4 rows per inch in stockinette.  The finished hat measures 8 inches tall but could be made larger by adding rows to any section you wish or adding another section entirelyl.  I could totally see this hat in a few different colours mixed together, to use up little scraps.

I’ll show you a couple of the night pictures of it and promise to take better ones soon…

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Happy knitting 🙂

My Hands Hurt!

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But….it’s well worth it!

I’m almost done the quilt. It’s turning into a masterpiece of beads and buttons and my daughter is already worried about washing it!

Secrets are hard to keep if you want to work on a project for 10 hours a day, lol.

I must get to it – Christmas is only 8 days away! (yes, I know, technically nine but we’re having our celebration with the family on Christmas Eve this year so I only get eight…)

We’ve got ourselves (and two kids at home), our daughter with her boyfriend, another daughter (with boyfriend possibly), my cousin and her family, my brother and step father. If the list stays as is; 16 people total for Christmas Eve dinner.

I haven’t even done the proper menu yet. I think turkey (of course) and a nice spiral cut ham, homemade cranberry sauce, sweet potato carrot cassarole, roasted onions, turnip (nice and sweet with brown sugar), mashed potato/OR potato balls (these are awesome!), brussel sprouts, peas, corn, fresh bread and rolls, gravy and maybe the white chocolate cranberry cake for desert. I’m going to need to find a nice diabetic desert as well – something to look into yet. Ah yes, and I have to buy a mountain of pickles, especially those little pickled onions (love those!).

It’s going to be a lovely feast and visit! 🙂

Have a great day 🙂

Knitting Like Crazy For Christmas…

Yes, it’s almost here.  Or so it feels like, anyways!  I have so many things I want to finish up and a few things finished, so far…

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These are my ‘Inspired By Colour’ mittens using Marks and Kattens ‘Trend’ (party colourway) and Patons ‘Kroy Sock’ 4 ply (black). They knit up to a medium woman’s size with a snug, cozy fit and a longish cuff to keep your wrists toasty all winter.

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I’ve made sweaters for two of my girls…the first is ‘Amused’ by Jordana Paige (from knitty, winter 2008). I knit this with Patons ‘Classic Wool’ (where did you go merino?) in Jade Heather.

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The second is ‘Egret’ by Norah Gaughan, available as a free pattern from Berocco.com. I knit this one also in the Classic Wool, in Cognac Heather.

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The buttons were just perfect!

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Off to knit a pair or two of slippers…the list is far from done! Happy knitting and have a great day 🙂

Felting Slippers For Christmas

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I was totally inspired by a really popular pattern on ravelry’s pattern list. Built like a shoe, looking like a slipper. So. I looked very carefully at all of my daughters ballet flat type shoes. I tried to wing it. It came out not-so-good, lol. I used version one to see what needed to change in version two and decided the top heavy peanut of the sole probably had to change to a proper foot shaped sole. I also elongated the heel and made it meet in a ‘v’ with the body of the slipper, raised up the back of the heel from what I originally thought it should be and added a couple more sts into the toe.

 

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Voila!

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Two washes in the front loader, with tennis balls, on heavy duty cycle and they came out looking like the shape of a foot. No stretching or fighting – just the perfect shape. I was thrilled 🙂 Now I have to make everyone a pair for Christmas!

The needle felting was an extra touch, to pretty them up a little more than they are 🙂

Inspired!

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I’ve been working on a new pattern – for stranded mittens – for my daughter for Christmas. The pattern was inspired by a really beautiful yarn. It has everything stranded mittens need (in my opinion of course!) – great colour, fingering weight, a bit of ‘grab’, superwash and wool. For what more could I ask?

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I’ve paired it with Paton’s ‘kroy’ sock 4 ply in black – to give it a chance to do it’s colourful thing. Oh yes – the yarn – it’s Marks and Kattens ‘Fame Trend’ in the colourway ‘party’. I found it at the Knit and Quilt in Barrie a week or two ago. Beautiful! I will definitely be back for more!

I’ve finished the pattern and have knitted the first mitten. I’ve posted the pdf pattern, if you’d like to use it –

The pattern;
InspiredByColourMittenPattern

My mitten (unblocked)…

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Please let me know how it works out for you!
Have a great day 🙂

Almost There!

I’m working on an afghan for the ‘Elf Collection’ (yes, Christmas) and I’m almost there 🙂

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This is one of the few things I’ve bought yarn for this year! I needed ten colours of sport weight so I kind of had to. And, BONUS, I’ll have all of these colours now for another beautiful project or two in future. I think maybe some toys…

This was inspired by the Double Vision pattern by Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer – their website is Woolly Thoughts. They are geniuses, imo. They do such beautiful mathematically inspired work. I give them full credit for the idea though I didn’t do it quite as they did and it’s definitely my version as I don’t actually have the pattern itself.

Beautiful, beautiful. Four children, two afghans (almost) finished, two months to go…I *think* I have everything somewhat on schedule this year, so far….LOL.

Well, must go vacuum…I swear the dogs throw handfulls of hair all over just before I get up!

Have a great day 🙂

The BIG News!

Yay and wow and happy dances!!

I’m going to be a grandma!

I was shocked too 🙂

My daughter is expecting in April and we’re all very happy for her. Best of all, she is very happy too. I’m going nuts picking out good adorable baby patterns – and there are lots out there!

So far…

The ‘Ribbed Baby Jacket’ by Debbie Bliss, in Shire Silk from my stash;
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And…

‘One Strand Booties’ by Carole Barenys in some Kroy Sock;
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Meanwhile…

I was working on some other knitting, before the BIG news arrived. I had almost finished a cardigan for myself, using some Bouquet Vogue acrylic yarn. Its the ‘Rib and Cable Cardigan’ by Irina Poludnenko (available in the Vogue Knitting, Fall 2009 magazine). Another great knit from the stash! This yarn was given to me a while ago and is, I believe, discontinued.

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It is, so far, unfinished….needing seaming and the button bands knitted on. I hope to finish this soon and wear it this fall 🙂

I also started some Christmas knitting (remember, I knew nothing of the BIG news!)

Kaleidoscope by Lisa Donald, using scraps of acrylics from the stash with a few balls of a tencel/acrylic blend. The tencel seems to really soften it up.

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A really easy and fun crochet pattern – I highly recommend it!

Ok – off with me…I have a million tiny socks to knit!

Getting Ready :)

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Christmas has crept up faster than ever and I didn’t nearly finish all the things I wanted to make people this year! I only have two hands, I keep reassuring myself!

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I’m working on one last minute scarf, still, and then THATS IT. REALLY.

It’s a star stitch scarf using some red heart ‘comfort prints’ that I had in the stash. It’ll be as long as I can make it between baking gingerbread and peppermint sandwich cookies with the kids. Oh – and topping up the shortbread supply, of course.

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Then I’m going to work on my Green Gables Hoodie in powder blue…

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Doesn’t it look COZY?

Today – I bake and knit and clean…and last minute shop, of course. Food is always nice, lol.

Tomorrow – We do gingerbread houses with the cousins and have a nice day with my mom and brother – I’m making a mini Christmas dinner too, turkey and all without quite as much variation in the side dishes. It’ll be delicious. I roast a fine turkey if I do say so myself!

Christmas – I think I’ll drink 😉 Oh, and watch the kids open their presents (which I am SO pleased with this year – we really did well with a little, there were so many sales) Then it’s dinner with family (which I don’t have to cook!) and visiting for the rest of the day.

Merry Christmas, Happy Baking!

Elf Business…

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This is ‘Fern Glade’ from the new Knitty by Megan Marshall. It was a beautiful knit – fun to make and fairly quick too! I used two strands of Jaggerspun lace weight in boysenberry and columbine. It’s in my projects on ravelry.

I’ve also been working on some TOP SECRET elf business, whenever the kid’s aren’t home. Can’t show you yet – in case they decide to read the blog (unlikely but you know). They are beautiful and I’ll post pics on Christmas!

I’ve started playing around, trying to design a scarf – not worth sharing yet but I’ll let you know – maybe I’ll have something to take a picture of by this evening 🙂

We’re having an entirely homemade Christmas this year, by the looks of it. Later this weekend I’m planning to put it all in one place and see where I’m at. For sure I’m behind a few pairs of those felted ribby slippers!

Right now I’m totally supposed to be baking a birthday cake! Chocolate, in the shape of a football and iced accordingly, lol. My little guy is now 11 — they grow up quickly 🙂

Have a great day 🙂 I’ll be the lady in the kitchen, desperately knitting and baking chocolate cake!

A Couple Christmas Scarves

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This is the ‘Stolen Moments Wrap’ by Amy Swenson, a free pattern that I found on ravelry. I used moda dea ‘cache’ in serengeti – a nice mix of naturals with a little gold thread to spice it up. I loved the pattern, it was easy, quick and beautiful. Perfect for a Christmas gift.

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This is the ‘Buttonhole Scarf’ by Sande Prosser – pattern #37 in the Vogue Knitting Fall 2008 issue. I LOVE how it looks woven and I chose this yarn because the colour seems to suit the pattern perfectly. It’s sport weight so I went down to a 4 mm needle and the scarf will be narrower than the pattern lists. I think this will be for one of the boys – unless I think it too ‘girly’ – in that event there are plenty of girls to choose from! 🙂

I’ll be the lady knitting Christmas presents like a maniac while watching Christmas movies with the kids all day…

Merry Christmas!!

Good morning! 🙂

 So, got up this morning at about 4:30 and stuffed the stockings.  Waiting up past the children is an impossibility these days so I’ve out-thunk them and learned to get up super early instead!  Did my dishes this morning too, so the kitchen is shiny and waiting to be destroyed by dinner 🙂

I can’t believe the kids aren’t up…it’s like 5:37!  LOL.  I may have to wake them up myself soon.

I’m doing laundry to keep busy…how funny is that? 

I have a while yet before I can start the turkey…I think about 2 hours or so before I start cooking it.   We’ll have turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoe balls(lovely bits of deep fried, breaded, mashed potatoe), sweetpotatoe/carrot cassarole, homemade applesauce, homemade cranberry sauce, turnip, peas, corn, cheesy brussel sprout cassarole, bread, pickles, salads…the works!  I made a delicious pie yesterday — rubarb/cranberry/pear with a homemade sourcream crust…yummmm!!  Of course it didn’t make it…the kids did a fine job of convincing me pies are supposed to be eaten fresh and warm.  We’ll heat a frozen apple pie for dinner.

Hoping all of you have an excellent day with family and friends.  It’s the most wonderful day…ENJOY!

Another Block

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Good morning 🙂  I’ve finished another block for the crazy cabin quilt I’m knitting my husband for Christmas.  I think this blanket is going to look awesome.  Of course, I’m ten blocks away from finishing it!  I’ll be surprised and impressed if I can finish this by Christmas, with the moving and all at the same time.

My husband is able to take a few days off around the move, as it turns out.  That will help a lot.  I thought I was basically on my own with the unpacking and stuff.  He usually only takes a day off each week.

I’m off to knit and pack…I think I’ll alternate a bit of each all day. 

Enjoy!

I’m Falling Behind :)

I’ve been slacking with my blogstalking posts lately. 

I need to do ‘whats for breakfast’

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I usually have oatmeal crisp or mini wheats (the brown sugar coated kind), a  yoghurt and a banana or an orange.   Our cereal cupboard is packed enough to provide breakfast for a month should cereal become hard to find, lol!  I love these bowls…we bought them for the kids a few years ago…everyone likes them 🙂 

Ok, now the junk drawer!   This is my junk drawer….

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Lots of stuff, lol.  We have my glasses case, advil, dh’s old wallet, stamps, ball bands, needles, thread, bookmarks, a grad picture, those buttons and bits of string you get with store bought clothes, a pair of extra shoelaces that came with my shoes, nail hardener, nail files, reciepts, a watch….I’m tired…can we stop now? 

Now for what I am thankful for….

What am I thankful for?  Everything!  I’m thankful that I have been blessed with a husband and children that are healthy and strong.  I’m thankful that I live in a country as wonderful as Canada is.  I’m thankful that I have a good head on my shoulders and I’m thankful I’ve had opportunities to develop my skills.  I’m thankful that I am blessed to stay at home, to make that choice to be wife and mother — I’m thankful to live somewhere where the choice is mine.  I’m thankful for my beautiful home.  I’m thankful my husband and kids support me in that and that I am able to support them.  I’m thankful I can pursue my interests and create to my hearts content.  I’m very thankful to still have my mom, though she has been through many health challenges.  I’m ever so thankful that my children have her too!  I’m thankful for the love my family gives me…the understanding…how they are always always there for me and for each other 🙂 

The Christmas rush of making things like mad has kept me on my couch knitting in all my spare time lately.  At the moment, I have a pair of socks – for my middle daughter (the sweetheart lace) which are half way done… a ‘crazy cabin’ scrap blanket for my husband (6/20 blocks done), a few half baked plans to start yet more projects for gifts…. I found a pattern I had laying around for dog beds and coats.  We have three dogs who would love beds and coats!  Who knows if I will have time.  The dh made a boo-boo yesterday and actually suggested I should finish some stuff I have started before I start anything new.  Screwing with my creativity!  LOL.  He’s probably got a point…he’s seen the mad rush of finishing things up on Christmas Eve before…it’s not a pretty sight 🙂

Have an excellent day! 🙂

Oh Happy Day!

Yay, my tree skirt is finished!

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I’m pretty happy with it…and happy to be finished it!  LOL, large projects always feel like they are taking forever, no matter whether they really are or not.  Those last few rows felt like a marathon!

You can’t quite see some of the tone on tone colourwork I did to prevent having to use plain blocks of colour.  I thought it makes it more interesting looking.

Basically I cast on 144 sts (12 panels of 12 sts) and increased (12 sts – one in each section) twice over six rows until I was to 118 rows.  You could continue it as far as you liked though.  For the colour pattern, I use graph paper and graph out one section only, as I go…more than once I had to add in more paper because I changed my mind, lol.

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Those last 30 rows…

I’m plugging away at the Christmas tree skirt.  Almost there, but the rows are getting SO LONG.  I’m on row 86, the pattern I was originally looking at (and took the basics from) had 118 rows.  We’ll see how big it looks as it goes but I think I’ll stop at about the same point. 

I didn’t even let myself go to the mail today, LOL, because I’m expecting that wool and getting new wool is NOT conducive to finishing this project!

Right now I’ve got about a million (ok, really it’s 50) strands of yarn going at once.  I better get back to it!

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Good Morning :)

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My tree skirt is coming along pretty well!  I’m about half way, row-wise…which of course means I’m no where near half way knitting when you take into account the ever increasing row length, LOL, but it’s getting there 🙂  I’m pleased to be able to use my scraps for something we will really enjoy.

My mom is awesome 🙂  She found me this neato thing at a second hand store.  It is an older drop spindle set but hasn’t (from the looks of it) been used.  It is a beginner set (excellent, I am a beginner) with a spindle and an instruction book.  Who knows when I’ll get around to trying it but I have no doubt that someday I will 🙂

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This week I shall be awaiting my wool (the malabrigo I ordered from www.fabulousyarn.com ) and finishing this skirt. 

Enjoy your day! 🙂

This May Be a Record!

Well, this may be my fastest frog ever!  I got almost halfway done the first quarter panel of the tree skirt and realized I don’t really like it very much. 

Soooooo…..

I’ve frogged it and cast back on for an improvised skirt.  I’m using the basics (the cast on number of sts and the increases) from the pattern and I’m going to design my own ‘insides’.  I like the holly leaves/berry so I’ll include those.  I’m going to do the entire skirt at once rather than make it in quarters.  I realize this means my needles will be very full by the end, lol, but hopefully it works out ok!  

November…

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So, Now Halloween is over and it’s time to focus on CHRISTMAS!!

I’ve finished a scarf for my nephew, tried to finish a matching hat…lol…didn’t swatch and designed it myself so it turned out baby sized and will be going to Christmas Cheer.   I’m sticking to the same idea and adding 20 sts to the next one.  They are hats using the ‘my so called scarf’ stitch, modified to work in the round.  

Because I’m frustrated by the non-fitting hat, I’ve put that aside for now and have cast on the ‘floral tree skirt’ from Handknit Holidays.  The pattern is by Michelle Rose Orne (which I just noticed) and she is the same designer that designed the composed mitts as it turns out!  I’m using stash yarn, mostly red heart….LOL, I added my stash to ravelry and I now feel obligated to find stash busting projects.  It seems I have a little wool problem!

Must go knit and de-Halloween this house, lol (the kids have decorated everything in sight).  Have a great day!