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Wow

I know it’s been a while since I posted here on the blog!

If you’re sitting down, I’ll show you the most shocking of the ‘what’s new?’ first…

Ok, I shaved my head. Yes. Really.

Before…
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After…
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And today (did it last night)…
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Most shocking?! I’m still me 🙂 As it turns out, femininity is not necessarily in the hair 😉

It was the scariest and most empowering thing I’ve ever done. LOL. When it grows in, I’m going to get one of those really sexy/cute short haircuts. The thing is…I’ve ALWAYS had long hair. Always.

The weirdest thing? It feels GREAT. Seriously great. Doesn’t, perhaps, look so great, lol – but it’s good. And it’s only hair – it will grow back.

And, I’ve been busy – doing lots of things.

Right now I’m a little obsessed with a knitted coat called the ‘silver coat’. It’s a pattern a lady made herself from a coat she saw in a store and she’s generously shared it on ravelry. I’m trying it with my coned ‘wine’ spinrite wool. My guage is way off but I’m making the necessary adjustments to the pattern. It’s a long coat with a full skirt and cable details – an a-line design and very attractive, I think!
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I knitted a scarf out of my handspun “unspun” yarn (in violet) – the Prismatic Scarf pattern…
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I knitted a sweater for myself, after spinning the jacob super bulky first. It’s a Drops pattern, modified…
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I changed the neckline to be a scoop neck, and shortened the yoke…
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It’s super cozy…I just need to sew on the buttons, which I already bought (and was shocked at the price of) but haven’t sewn on. A perfect loose knit summer sweater – our house gets really cool even in summer!

I finished the Fishie quilt, for our cousin in Quebec…
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I think it turned out fantastic…so bright and colourful! I hand quilted it with a blue thread…
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Have a fabulous day! 🙂

Do You See Socks?

I see socks.

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I’m planning to ply the darker tone with the brighter tone and I think they’ll be beautiful! Or at least the yarn will be, lol, since I can’t promise to actually KNIT socks in the near future.

I’m working on the skeins of reclaimed ‘unspun’ I dyed – I don’t know that I’ll finish them all though, probably I’ll store some of it for later too. This one was kettle dyed with yellow/orange/copper wiltons icing dye. I’m so happy it didn’t felt a bit – I can still draft the fibre even though this comes from the part of the sweater I had to frog!

The summer is HERE, all the kids are out of school and my second daughter has graduated high school. I was a very proud mama last night! She is heading to college in the fall and I’m so happy for her 🙂

Must Catch Up…

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Wow. I’ve been really really busy lately! I feel like I’ve been neglecting the blog, lol…

The puppy is doing fabulous. He’s learning so much, so fast!! Really amazing. And he’s settled in nicely with the other two – has even learned some manners 🙂

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I’ve been asked to knit chain maille helmets for a theatre production which is coming up later in the year. Rehearsals start in July though so I have to get them all done by then…

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I was pretty happy — I made the pattern up and it worked out the first time! It was a happy, happy day 🙂 Now hopefully the rest of them knit up fast, and I’m praying to the wool gods that the wool stretches impossibly far.

I also have to knit sets of 3/4 length chain maille sleeves, for each.

AND!! I’ve been asked to appear in a play as a spinner, with my wheel. Coolness, I thought. It should be fun! I’m not clear on the details of when and where yet. Later this year, I understand.

I’m planning to post the pattern for the helmet, when I have a bit of time.

I’ve been working on quilting the baby ‘fishie’ quilt. That is nearing real deadlines too – the reletive it’s for should be visiting in July. I’d say I’m about 1/3 done the hand quilting and then there’s the binding to be sewn on by hand as well. I’m pretty sure I’m on track.

I was given some canadian unspun yarn – the kind they make the cowichan sweater out of and decided to use it to experiment with dying roving. The sweater needs to be frogged to claim all the yarn so I just started with half a ball of the natural/white mix.

I skeined it…
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Placed it in a pot with near boiling water mixed with almost a cup of vinegar and some wiltons ‘violet’ icing colour (dissolved in boiling water first and stirred). I didn’t soak the roving first. I want to accentuate the ‘breaking’ of the colour and allow the roving to soak the colour at an uneven rate for interesting variation in the colours.

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I soaked the roving in the dyepot, simmering without agitation, for about 20 to 25 minutes, until all the dye was exhausted and absorbed.

After cooling a little, a soak in hot, hot water with a drop or two of dishsoap, a hot rinse…

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It looked fantastic! Check out the colours! I think I maybe should have used a little more dye – see how the centre didn’t really lose the beige/natural tone. On the other hand, when spun up it might look really good so I’m reserving judgement 🙂

It’s drying and I expect the colours may fade a little.

I made my daughter a pair of ‘sockettes’ for her birthday last month and forgot to post them here…here are a few pictures. The pattern is improvised, toe up, using the free white fleece I got a little while back.

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She likes her socks low on her ankle. The best part of hand knit is the perfect fit factor 🙂

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Oh yes…almost forgot…I’ve also been knitting the grotto wrap from interweave knits with my handspun rambouillet lace yarn…I’ll post pictures when it’s done…it’s turning out soft and really nice (I think it’s my best handspun yarn ever).

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I have two skeins of sock yarn which I spun from the free white and black sheep – my son and I’ll work on dying those tomorrow….

Another New Craft, Or Two…

I really, really love making stuff. As I’m sure you can tell!

I’ve wanted to try wool dying for a while now. I read (on ravelry) about how icing colours can be used to dye and about how the colours often ‘slip’, giving unexpected depth and variation.

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I had juniper green and a hank of my handspun singles yarn to work with. It’s the mystery white wool that I’ve been processing – approximately 180 metres. I also had a bottle of blue liquid food colour that I ended up using with the juniper green.

I dissolved a little of the paste in boiling water.

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I poured the remaining boiling water into my dye pot (an excellent pot because the white lining lets me see the amount of colour remaining, clearly), added about 3/4 cup of vinegar, about half the dissolved dye, 9 or so drops of blue, scattered around. Without stirring, I placed the DRY yarn into the bath and simmered it for about 20 minutes on the stove.

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Absolutely one of the EASIEST crafts I’ve tried.

Most of the colour took though a little of the red gathered along the edge of the water line in the dye pot. It’s red #3, known to not take, but a little of it did and the finished yarn is beautiful!

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In other crafty-news…

I got a woodburning tool!!! I’ve never used one, until last night, but have always wanted to learn. Fun, fun, fun 🙂

For cheap, at the hock shop. It’s a dremel and has interchangeable tips.

My first attempt…(I’m decorating the inkle loom nice and pretty)

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Here’s what I’m doing to decorate the shed stick that I made…

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Now I’ve got about a milliong things on the go, lol, but I’m having fun.

Enjoy your day!

Bittersweet Socks

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Can you see the problem?

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Yep, two balls of araucania ranco multy. No dye lots. Different colour balance. Crap. One sock is very purple…one has a very purple foot and a really blue leg, lol.

But, since I’m extremely anti-frog…I’m going to keep them the way they are. The alternative (and an option if they bug me enough) is to frog both socks and mix the two skeins together by knitting a few rows of one and then a few rows of the other.

The moral of the story? ALWAYS check the two skeins – preferably in the daylight – to check the colour balance. I’m sure, had I done so, that it would have been obvious!

I don’t usually stress about these kinds of mistakes – it’s good enough for me that I know what happened and that I won’t do it again in the future. I’ll always look at this pair of socks in a bittersweet way…

The knitting is beautiful and even. The lace is gorgeous. The fit is perfect. The. Colour. Is. Off.

Link to the free pattern – Lacy Cables Knee Socks

I Love This Sock!

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It’s the first of my Lacy Knee Socks. A few better pictures…

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I worked a couple repeats fewer than the pattern calls for before beginning shaping and then shortened and modified the diamond shaped increase area. I kept a lot of notes – separated into pattern repeats so I can easily follow them on the second sock (or the second, third or fourth pair, really). A big job to knit but well worth it. I think the ribbing I added will keep them from falling down at all — they’re a perfect fit. 🙂

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Lace Weight Singles :)

I’ve decided to keep my first two ounces of the SW Merino as a lace weight singles yarn…here is a picture of it wrapped on the board….

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It is about 24+ wpi and I ended up with 377 metres. I haven’t got a final weight (I’m estimating the 2 ounces) yet and I still have to set the twist. Tomorrow maybe 🙂 Very Spring-like colours I think!