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Hand Carved Crochet Hooks!

An awesome, fun, new craft!

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There is a pear tree in our back yard which has a dead, dry branch — so dry it literally snapped off the tree with a touch a few weeks ago. Add to that that I saw a tutorial on hook carving AND I love to carve in the first place….. 🙂

A little research revealed that pear is an ideal carving wood. Thank you, God.

And so I’ve learned to carve crochet hooks – what a fabulous way to spend a day off!

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The finished hook in this picture is 4mm and about 5.5 inches long. It fits perfectly in the hand with the bend in the wood. The stick on the right was the second one I worked on. More picture of that one coming right up!

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A raw stick, or how it starts – The second hook, which ended up being 5.5mm and about 6.5 inches in length with a really comfy thumb rest – The first hook and my favorite knife and blade.

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I wanted to show the ‘hook’ itself, that is definitely the tricky part. I sanded these very gently to get them to a shiny smooth finish, especially on hook end. I love how the wood grain comes out in this wood and really love it best in hook #2.

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Have a fabulous day!

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What’s New? Spring Cleaning….Fleece!

Good morning!

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It’s been so long….

Spring is here and I’ve been busy 🙂 Seems spring always makes one want to DO more – and some of us have a different take on spring cleaning! I’ve had several fleeces sitting for a while — some since last summer! I don’t know if I posted about it last fall but I have some absolutely beautiful long staple alpaca…dusty dusty stuff with some burr issues as well. It’s got a staple of about 8 inches as it was a long time between shearings and it is SUPER soft – lovely lovely lovely. Irreplaceable really. Fortunately, lol, I started out with about 14 pounds and there is no end in sight yet.

Unwashed…
alpaca - prewashing

Combed out for debris, but not yet washed…
raw alpaca lock 8 - 9 inches

Final product – rovings are clean and pulled from my combs…
alpaca -- combed

There is also the ‘meat’ sheep wool which I was given last year – in black and white – waiting to get a good soak and a wash. The wool comes out nice but the dirt is incredible – sometimes free looks like an excellent price. There is a large bin full of that waiting for me on the porch.

Oh yes, and a basset hound too…
Tired Basset

Mr. Man

My baby grandson has had his first birthday – still the cutest baby in the world with the BEST smile 🙂

Happy Birthday Baby

His other grandma has sheep and lambs and has very generously given me three bags of wool (I jokingly asked for ‘three bags full’ lol) – the first is lamb (three fleeces I think), the second is yearling (two to three fleeces) and the third bag is adult (haven’t counted them but I believe it holds two fleeces).

Grandma wool - three bags full

The lamb, unwashed…
Lovely lamb

The yearling, unwashed (or possibly the adult)…MUCH dirtier than the lamb. I plan to soak this in a cold soak for a few days before washing it…
yearling?

These fleeces MUST be a mixed breed but are sooooo soft I’m pleasantly surprised! I’ve washed some of the lamb, so far, and it’s coming out lovely. Very short fibers but lovely AND it helped motivate me to learn how to spin short fibers. Happy to say that after two days of utter failure…. I CAN DO IT! 🙂

The lamb…clean…
washed lamb

Here’s some blended short fibers that I’ve successfully spun…YAY!…it’s camel, yak, silk and lambswool blended on carders and then spun for a two ply thick and thin yarn….(it truly is soft as butter)
short fiber mix - camel etc.

I’ve sold one of my spinning wheels – the Bordua that I bought last fall – to a really nice Ravelry member who will truly appreciate her. I’ve also begun selling some handspun wool yarn and some spinning fiber (the above mentioned alpaca) through my local kijiji. I definitely spin more than I knit and the wool is piling up!

Some recently spun yarns…
handspun yarn
(Left to right…lambswool, spun from the lock very finely for a four ply fingering weight yarn; alpaca, spun from combed fiber, two ply; grammalamb spun two ply; the soft as butter blended camel 2ply; a skein of laceweight, handdyed silk two ply approx 800 metres.)

Oh – Almost forgot! There IS news on the knitting front….

lamb, silk, alpaca mix for socks - three ply

I’ve spun 900 metres of silk/lambswool/alpaca (in approximate thirds, blended on carders and then spun fine for a three ply lace weight) to make a really beautiful pair of lace knitted stockings. So pretty, so impractical. Of course I had to have them 🙂 I’ve only just begun the knitting but it’s coming along well…

socks!

Lace Stockings - heel detail

As if that isn’t enough, I’ve also been working on some orifice hooks…
orifice hook - loves red

Flowers on a spiral

I am also working on the spinning wheel at the beginning of this post – she needed a few things and a bit of a facelift. I should have pictures to share very soon 🙂 I believe she is a german parlor wheel but who knows for sure…

And just because…I’ve decided it’s time to make a quilt. A really special quilt I’ve had a picture for for ages…known to me and those that know me as “THE ONE”. It begins something like this….

Tammys Quilt

What I’ve Been Up To…

Good morning 🙂

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted and I’ve got so much to share!! Christmas is creeping up on us so fast this year. I’ve been working on a few secrets but not too heavy on the elf business this year. Santa must certainly be disappointed with me! Most years I’m a Christmas dynamo. This year, we’re doing so much, getting ready to move, that the elf business took a seat in the back.

You must see my orifice hook handles though! I’ve discovered carving and I love it. LOL – the livingroom, however, looks like a woodworkers barber shop when I’m done a carving session. Other than sitting by myself on some porch or in the basement, not sure what one does about it but clean it up afterwards 🙂

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I’m thinking they would be great to make and sell but, as usual!, I’m unsure what to price them at. They are super light to ship which should be helpful for selling on the internet. They are hand carved from a light wood (basswood) and have hooks which are attached without glue or epoxy so they could (theoretically) be replaced without damaging the handle itself.

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I’ve also been finishing up some knitting…my seamless multnomah falls (check it out in my projects on ravelry)

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The big difference is that I didn’t seam the back at the centre of the shrug section. Instead, I continued it and reversed the shaping for the second sleeve. I like how it turned out but would knit it a little larger in the arms (especially upper arms) if I make it again.

Have a fantastic day!