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You’ve Got To Love A Friday!

Yes, I know it’s not really friday.Β  For me, though, it is – so yay!Β  Not that I don’t enjoy my job because I actually do, it’sΒ just a matter of balance.Β  My crafts are exactly what balance me πŸ™‚

And now I get to spin πŸ™‚Β  For two whole glorious days πŸ™‚

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This is some of the very lovely cotton which I bought from an excellent seller I found on Ravelry, from Kentucky.Β  I bought two pounds to give it a try – it was raw…I love learning new things from the ground up!

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It came like the bit on the left – on the right is some of the cotton pulled off of the seed.

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I held the seed and pulled off the fluff…

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In the end I had a cloud of very clean fluff with just a bit of vm left.

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Just because I’m me (lol, of course!), I had to try spinning it both ways.Β  I carded some and rolled it off the card from side to side…

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I think both methods work well and don’t have a real preference yet πŸ™‚Β  I ended up all distracted and started spinning and knitting for a lovely thin knit alpaca cardigan – 2 ply just-a-little-more-than-lace-weight.

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I have more yarn to ply…I’m finding the weaving bobbin rack and winder sooooo useful!Β  Best thing ever.

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It’s an absolute star for storing the singles and plying from too!

Oh! And I must show you the baby boy!Β  He’s growing like a weed and getting cuter every day!

So cute!!

The spinning wheel is calling…Have a fantastic couple of days folks – I know I will πŸ™‚

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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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ™‚

Bringing Baby Home

Good morning πŸ™‚

I’ve finished my latest crochet portrait…created from a photograph from 20 years ago, of me holding my eldest daughter on the day we came home from the hospital…

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The original photo…

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A bit closer up….

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Perspective makes a huge difference with these fibre creations! Up close, they look so much like nothing but when you step back a few feet, the picture is so clear.

I’ve also finished the first pair of crocheted and felted baby boots. It’s a pattern of my own which I’m working on, off and on, here and there. They are fastened with velcro at the sides/backs of the booties.

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I attached the velcro with the same wool (fishermens), sewn on by hand. The velcro is sewn along the back of the ankle section and the edges of the front flaps. I’m unsure, at this point, if I chose correctly when I put the ‘hook’ section on the fronts and the other section on the back.

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These have been given to my husband’s friend for his new baby boy. He’s going to be my first test wearer πŸ™‚ On a side note, his little daughter has a pair of my felted slippers (the pattern I made late last year and am still working on) and she LOVES them…they are the only slippers she’s ever worn!! πŸ™‚ She calls them her ‘ballerina shoes’ and was QUITE impressed with them! I single stranded my ladies medium size and felted them down for her little feet.

I also made the grandchild to be a couple things…

Some braided balls to play with;

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I found the pattern, free on ravelry. It’s called the gevlochten bal.

And, a little improvised sweater, in sock yarn, on 3.25 mm needles;

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I have a few ends to weave in and some blocking to do before it’s completely finished.

A Change Of Pace!

I needed a change of pace – was going CRAZY with the repetition of the portraits (though I DO love them) and needed a nice continuous project to clear my head and let the creativity flow a little.

My grandbaby is due in a short while – only 2 months to go now!! I went looking at all the felted baby booties/slippers that there are on ravelry and I really like the sort that look like little boots. I noticed one pair had a genius idea of making the ‘tongue’ (which tucks inside) be at the back, from the heel up with the front sections tying in the back, around that ‘tongue’ type piece. Genius! And also a pattern I don’t have.

So – being me – I wondered why I cant make them up in crochet?! (I’m a little caught up with the crochet hooks at the moment)

Here is my first attempt – I looked at the shape, noted some foot sizes from a good baby size chart, calculated how much bigger they should be to felt down to a newborn size and then WENT FOR IT.

Here is my first attempt;

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Obviously pre-felting πŸ™‚ I made the pattern to be constructed as one piece with NO sewing up whatsoever. I think in the end I will use velcro as fasteners though – instead of any sort of tie.

Post felting;

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Pretty cute, huh?

I’m trying a second pair with a slightly smaller hook and no other changes except using doubled fingering weight wools instead of fishermans wool (as I used in the first pair)

I’m starting a baby pullover/sweater as well. I wanted something for a tiny new baby and there isn’t a lot out there, free pattern wise. I ended up using the Cirrus pattern from petit purls but I’m modifying it somewhat.

So far;

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I’m letting the colour do the ‘design’ work and skipping the textured pattern though it does look great in the pattern. Also switched to sock weight yarn and smaller needles for a smaller sweater. I think 18 to 20″ should be more than wide enough.

Off with me – ’tis my daughter’s birthday and I have a cake to bake!

The Snowdrift Sweater!

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Check it out πŸ™‚

I had this idea in my head for a while and finally felt like spending the time to make it. It’s seamless (my favorite) and bottom up. I didn’t use any exact ‘method’ to shape the sleeve caps — unless ‘guess-as-you-go’ is a method, lol. A little bit of raglan shaping, a little bit of set in sleeve shaping and a few short rows to make it all work. Not bad, if I do say so myself. It’s my very first sweater design πŸ™‚

The slippers were driving me nuts!! You can really only knit about 18 pairs before you want to run screaming down the street. You may have guessed, I’ll be putting off the rest of my slipper-test-knitting until after Christmas (…if then, the way I feel right now). The slipper pattern itself seems to be excellent but I’m trying to test knit every size in different wools for a true pattern test. I’d hate to say that something works if I haven’t tested it myself.

Happy knitting! πŸ™‚

Knitting Like Crazy For Christmas…

Yes, it’s almost here.Β  Or so it feels like, anyways!Β  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).Β 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 πŸ™‚