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A Very Bright Baby Blankie!

Samantha's Blankie/1060 metres

It’s a pattern from Wooly Thouhts, available on Ravelry. Best of all, it’s based on math and really easy to improvise as you go, once you get the hang of it ๐Ÿ™‚

I used some of the shetland lamb, dyed it in a multitude of colours. I use the Dharma Trading Co. acid dyes and they are excellent! I blended the dyed locks on hand cards and added a pinch of targhee cross to each rolag – each rolag was split in half so when spun, the plies pretty much lined up and created the blending of one colour to another. In total, 1060 metres of handspun two ply went into this blanket.

handspun from handdyed shetland lambswool

Opening A Little Internet Yarn Shop!

Good morning! ย It’s TRUE. ย I’ve finally decided (and worked my way through most of the steps involved) to sell my extra handspun yarn via webstore.

ok, well, I had decided but then discovered it is acceptable to sell handmade items via wordpress and so have, instead, set up a sister site – Handspunyarn.wordpress.com

My little shop is called ‘HandspunYarn’ and will offer a variety of hand spun yarns from laceweight to bulky. ย Since I love a good fiber, there will be lots of unique blends and all offerings are one of a kind.

All my my wool is prepared in an environmentally friendly way using safe Dawn dish soap in most cases, sometimes purex naturals, vinegar and occasional hair conditioner in the rinse. ย All dyes are food safe unless noted (for example my superwash merino is predyed)

I prepare my fiber by hand, carding/combing and blending with other fibers. ย A favorite of mine is silk – sari and bombyx at the moment – and I also blend with camel, alpaca, llama, mohair, angora, yak and even cashmere and cotton, on occasion.

For a great selection of unique, knittable yarns, please visit my shop.

Have an excellent day!

Lisa

The Little Summer Lace Socks And The Pattern

NOTE: In the pattern, where I say to disregard row 1, I mean row one (the ‘no stitch’ row) of the charted pattern – I made the chart one row too long. The written pattern is correct as written. Sorry for any confusion! ๐Ÿ™‚

Hello ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been working on a little personal challenge – my socks are wearing out (they’re handknit so they are all a few years old) and I needed some more.ย  The socks I like, however, are little.ย  Ankle socks.ย  With lace….lots of lace!ย  Of course, as it usually is when one has something definite in mind – I couldn’t really find a pattern I liked for it’s style and pattern.

So – I decided to design some.ย  These are the first and I’ve made the pattern available as a pdf;ย  The Little Summer Lace Socks

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They fit really nicely since the lace gives them stretch.ย  The edge sits just below the ankle.

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I designed the lace by modifying an existing pattern, “String of Beads” from the book “Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls” by Martha Waterman.

Enjoy, I know I am ๐Ÿ™‚

If you are interested in my handspun yarn for sale, please have a look at my HandSpunYarn site.

ย Have a fantastic day!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – DIY Lazy Kate

Hello ๐Ÿ™‚

I have (as you may already have read) just recently acquired a beautiful CPW (canadian production wheel). One of the things with an antique wheel is the fact that one usually only gets one bobbin. Of course more can be made BUT I thought up this solution to the dilemma…

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I bought a lot of quill bobbins (from ebay) – 25 of them for a mere $4 + shipping!! They are a good size and quite beautiful actually. Of course, I have a real weakness for antiques/old wood and these have brass AND old wood – HOW could one NOT love them…

They obviously needed a home (or as they call it, a ‘kate’) so that once I’ve wound the singles onto them, I can easily ply off of them.

I found a piece of scrap wood. For real, lol – it was sitting on the porch, an old abandoned piece of a long dead dresser. My son thought it was hilarious that I thought I could make something out of it. I showed him ๐Ÿ™‚

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I cut two pieces about 12″ each, for the cross bars and split the remainder (about 8″ each) for two supports/legs. I sanded the wood and let it breathe again! (it was happy) I marked holes about two inches in from each end, on each piece – making sure the drill holes were going through the solid part of the wood, not the grooves cut into it from it’s last life. I used a small drill bit to drill most of the way through the base pieces and all the way through the cross bar pieces, used a larger bit (the size of the dowel – I think it was 5/16) to make countersink holes in the cross bars and the dowel holes in between them.

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Put her together, waxed the heck out of her (wow did that wood ever soak up wax!) and sanded the tops of the dowels to a roundish shape. (oh yes, the dowels were cut to be about 4 inches tall)

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I love how she turned out. Bonus! My Kromski bobbins fit on her perfectly too ๐Ÿ™‚ Now I just need a little bit more dowel, to fill in the empty spots ๐Ÿ™‚

But She Wanted To Be A Real Girl!

So, in my spinning wheel collecting adventures, I once bought, in total error, a wheel which was made only for display – NOT FOR SPINNING!

(without her flyer – presurgery)
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(her flyer/shaft and bobbin – the whorl is there somewhere too)
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(another pic)
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I know, ridiculous. Like a dresser who’s drawers don’t open, like a fridge without coolent, like a car that won’t drive. It boggles my mind how much fine wood and how much effort has gone into making these almost-wheels. And, they’re everywhere!

So, I did what I could. Nothing. Just looked at poor pathetic pinnochio in the corner, wondering what in the world she was good for. (my daughter seriously suggested the garden) I call her pinnochio because she really, really, REALLY wanted to be a real girl and spin!

So, in the interest of quieting pinnochio and satisfying my own curiousity and need-to-work-with-wood – I thought ‘Why Not?!’ and here are some pictures of what I’ve done and how she looks now….

I call it “The Pinnochio Project” ๐Ÿ™‚

She came with a rough (really rough, not even rectangularly cut – an actual parralellagram) homemade flyer. The arms looked ok (so ok, I suspect they came from a REAL GIRL) and the centre (where it goes through the shaft) was very rough cut. The flyer shaft was seperated (or had never been attached) and had a huge hunk of sauter? or something where the orifice area was attached the straight shaft of the flyer. The shaft itself was threaded from the end past the whorl, up under the bobbin a ways (and not reverse threaded) so I presume they sautered an orifice shaped object onto a normal bolt or something like that, to create this flyer shaft. The orifice itself was very small, shallow and rough. Just a show orifice, not to really use. Ok, just a thought BUT – IF one is making something ‘for display’ then WHY the h*ll would they not make it display worthy?! As she was, Pinnochio was ashamed of being displayed!

(the tiny orifice)
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(the hideous parallelagram shaped thing)
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The bobbin was rough (as can be, not sure yet if that will really work well, ever) and it appeared that the original ‘display’ idea might have been that the bobbin and whorl were not made seperately but as one piece and someone in Pinnochio’s history had cut through them to make a seperate bobbin and whorl. (why, oh why, mysterious repairer, did you not notice the hideous state of the flyer?)

The wheel itself seems in excellent shape. I hesitate to say it’s well made, considering where it started but to my eyes, it looks good.

(the wheel)
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The table, legs, mother of all – all good. The tensioner? NON EXISTANT. That’s the major idiocy of these wheels, if you ask me. The fact that someone did everything to make a spinning wheel and then bailed on creating a tensioning device. WHY? Something for the stupid files. Pinnochio had a fake medallion thingie to look like a screw tension but nothing that moved or worked.

So – to fix her. I decided to work on the flyer first. I sanded down the parallelagram. I sanded down the hunk of sauter around the orifice join as well. I did most of this with the favorite tool – the wood file. I love files! I also filed off all of the threads on the flyer shaft that I didn’t need and smoothed down the ones under the bobbin without totally removing them. (I didn’t want the flyer shaft to have a ‘small’ spot there). I used a nail file (best sandpaper in the house) to smooth a spot on the flyer arms where the bobbin rubs, to sort of widen the flyer a little at that spot and then used epoxy to attach flyer to shaft, once I had things sitting level and looking as pretty as possible. Pinnochio wants to be pretty….

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The next thing was to figure out the best way to create an easy tensioning device. I decided on a tilt tension system (of course, with my current canadian production wheel obsessionn) using a u-bolt and a carved groove. Really, very simple! I thought about doing a screw tension (which would suit this little wheel better) but decided against the adventure of trying to figure out how to make or where to get screw boxes. I’m a simple girl – I work with simple tools!

I first removed the mother of all – had to take out stupid staples but at least it wasn’t glued or nailed), removed the medallion (with a putty knife I managed to loosen the glue on that piece), cut off the dowel, flush with the table (to keep the table bed kind of solid instead of having a random hole that I would have to fill or plug anyway) and then marked my groove and used my wood carving tools to chisel out a groove for the moa.

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I bought a length of threaded rod at the hardware store and bent it into the U shape. This transpired because there are no suitable sized U bolts (or at least not that day, at that store) and the ones I saw were so clunky and thick that I though the rod was better anyways. I used a similar size table leg to bend the rod around, by hand, and then filed down the threads in the section that will show. Because the rod becomes very weak once all the threads are off (I know this from cutting through it with a file), I left a bit of them there. The roughness actually helps it grip the wood nicely and with a project like this – there is NO WRONG. Two wing nuts and two washers attach underneath the table to secure the U bolt and the MOA.

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And, YAY! She spins. Not well, lol, but she does. I need to super grease her up and open up a little more space for the wheel axle in the uprights, to see what she can really do. The tensioner works perfectly!

And here are her ‘after’ shots…

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I also need to trim the U bolt, underneath the table. Oh yes, and add a flyer hook nearer the beginning of the bobbin (and take one away at the end – I suspect these flyer arms and this bobbin ran away together since they certainly don’t really belong together)

Yes, I Have Been Slacking

I haven’t blogged in SOME TIME….wow, too long, really.

My beautiful daughter had her beautiful baby!! He’s the most beautiful boy in the world…of course, I am a little bit biased…just a little ๐Ÿ™‚ She says I must ‘blog’ him, so here is a picture of cuteness itself….

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So, perfect, right? I’m one proud grandma, though that’s something to get used to — I’m so NOT used to being a grandma!

Certainly the excitement of new babies explains my blogging-slacking behaviour, doesn’t it?

I’ve done some spinning, some knitting and some beautiful fleece purchasing – all since I’ve been on the blog last and some of which I’d like to share here since I’m really thrilled with some of the results ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been on a bit of a yarn/fleece diet this year, and trying to use up the fleeces and fibre I already have rather than buying more. IF you could see the yarn closet you’d definitely agree that the diet is necessary. It’s that or we have to expand the yarn closet, lol, or trade it perhaps with the children – their room would really make a good storage! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I spun some navy and royal blue superwash merino fibre which I had bought last year at the Black Lamb (www.theblacklamb.ca), from Laurie, who is wonderful. I plied it (two plies – I’m a lazy spinner with two bobbins) and knit it up into the Gooseberry Cardigan pattern. I’m more than happy with this sweater – it’s comfy, it’s soft, it’s quite possibly my new favorite all time sweater!

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Not the best picture and I can’t believe it BUT, it seems I forgot (?) to take pictures of the spun wool or the spinning itself. I must be losing my grandmother mind!

Bonus! Found a picture of the spun yarn…
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I made a little crocheted top – the Avalon Top by Doris Chan. Love how it turned out too….

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I also made a little pair of socks, from my handspun superwash merino sock yarn…three ply this time….

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I prefer ankle socks so when I made up this design, they seemed the way to go!

Seems like forever and like I’ve got too much to say for one day. Instead of jumbling it all together we’ll have to finish this up tomorrow – when I’ll show the new alpaca fleeces I just washed and the beautiful shetlands I’m processing!!!

Have a great day! ๐Ÿ™‚

Update Time!

I finished the handspun sweater I’ve been working on…

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It’s the 97-18 Tailored Cardigan by Drops Design – a free pattern which I modified only slightly in my version. I worked without seams and used a three needle bind off for the shoulders. Also, I used small size but medium length throughout. I think in the body I could have gone a little longer still.

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I ended up with a little more yarn than I needed, even!

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The grandbaby isn’t here yet but should be here any day now. I’m so excited! I’ve made a little blanket – probably the last in the ‘baby collection’ for now.

It uses the ‘curve of pursuit’ idea though not the pattern (since I don’t have it). I like it very much….

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I am now working in spinning some beautiful GREENS – again, superwash merino from The Black Lamb in Port Hope.

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I was mixing up the colours in a certain-yet-random-way and NOW I’ve run out of some of them. So, I’m working on making a coordinating yarn to go with the 770 metres, or so, of the first yarn. There is a tunic I want to crochet. Badly.

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We’ll have to see how it goes….