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Most Excellent! Textured Estonian Knitting Stitches….So Much Fun!!

Happy Wednesday 🙂

So, having checked out my ‘attendence’ for last year with this blog, I have decided to commit to twice monthly posts, at a minimum, I promise!

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It’s been a hectic time for me, lol – new job and then a promotion to another new job within just a few months, lots of training, and uptraining, lots of pressure and lots of getting sidetracked on projects — NOT getting much actually ‘done’ but having fun for a little while with things I haven’t yet finished. Maybe even a few I will never finish. I have begun to suspect I am what I have heard called a ‘process knitter’. I will often start a new project because I am interested (or possibly fascinated by lol) in a particular technique or stitch or whatnot. Once I’ve ‘experienced’ or learned the method/stitch/whatever quite often I’m good.

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This year for Christmas I got a Kobo tablet and have been collecting a few very nice knitting resources for it – I figure that I can take projects on the go a lot easier this way and that works for me! Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could work more time into our days?

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The stitches pictured above are from a great tutorial with pdf written patterns provided as well as a great video demo of the stitches done by the sweetest lady ever! I purchased it as a digital download from The Interweave Store; “Creative Estonian Knitting” by Merike Saarniit — Textured stitches to swatch and explore. Just one thing though – the video did not play on my kobo and I watched it on my laptop. Not at all an issue for me but something that one should know going in. The pdf works great in my Adobe reader app on the tablet.

I love how the stitches are so textured and how they flow. The tutorial does not instruct you on how to build the blanket but instructs on how to work the basic stitches and helps one see how to expand on the subject matter — Merike does a fantastic job of giving you that ‘I can DO this’ feeling. I consider myself an advanced knitter and still appreciated having the video tutorial and would definitely recommend it. A lot of fun and something to use up that left-over yarn from your other projects!

Another thing I am working on is a spinning project – some beautiful baby suri alpaca blended with bombyx silk from india which is going to become a wonderful pair of silky stockings when it grows up!

A couple pictures of the blend….

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Ok, so time to knit…or spin…or something 🙂

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This Yarn Is Delicious!

Closeup rambo/suri blend laceweight handspun yarn

I spun this 2 ply out of rambouillet blended with baby suri alpaca on hand cards. It turned out so soft it doesn’t even feel like wool!

Baby suri alpaca

Rambouillet Fleece

suri/rambo blended on hand cards

Also the colour is lovely – chocolate and tan with a bit of a shine! It has a really rich look and I love it.

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I’m working on a pair of gloves for winter…I’ll keep you updated 🙂

Have a great day!

If you might be interested in purchasing my handspun yarn, please visit handspunyarn.wordpress.com

An Adorable Knitted Doll And A Few New Books…

I recently purchased a few new books. I really LOVE books!

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The one that got me started was ‘Knitted Dolls’ by Arne & Carlos. Then I found ‘Babes In The Wool’ by Fiona McDonald and also ‘Crochet Master Class’ by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss.

So, my sudden fascination with knitting some dolls is completely unexplainable but they are SO CUTE! One just leads you to wondering how the next one will turn out, lol.

In progress…

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The eyes make all the difference…

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Also, because the crochet book demanded I not ignore it….I started a couple of ‘squares’ for a future crocheted quilt I have in mind. The colours are awesome and the technique makes them really POP. This is a pillow cover project from the book….

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Have an excellent day! I have a doll dress to finish 🙂

Final thought for today? I KNEW the acrylic was good for something!

Sidetracked, Again (or is that always?)

Ok, I admit it, I just might have a BIT of an issue with sticking to one thing, lol. It’s like some kind of ‘ooooooh shiny, soooooo pretty’ disease. I have so many projects on the go that it’s truly ridiculous.

There is the sweater I am knitting out of handspun light fingering weight yarns, in stripes. The white is cormo/merino hand combed and blended with very fine alpaca, two ply. The coloured yarn is a hand carded silk/wool blend, 2 ply.

the yarn

close up

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The yarn I really did finish (yay, one for me, save the part where there are half a bobbin of singles waiting to be plied into yarn, should I get around to finishing the other ply), created from hand processed, hand combed cormo/fdt fleece from mmfwool….

'dilbert' cormo/fdt 2 ply lace weight

'dilbert' wool cormo/fdt 2 ply lace

So far I have two skeins of this, around 700 metres, I’d guess. And I would be guessing, lol, since I have yet to count the strands 🙂

The ‘ooh shiny’ which I just started yesterday. Days off work are fantastic!

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Hand dyed silk, cormo/merino fleece and super-soft-camel fluff…it is divine….

blending for 'moss'

And, certainly not last, simply last for today – some super soft gloves I’m working on, created with handspun angora bunny/hand dyed silk blended yarn.

glove project

the pink bunny wool (angora/silk)

Thankfully winter is a few months away!

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! 🙂

Hello 🙂

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.  The socks I like, however, are little.  Ankle socks.  With lace….lots of lace!  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.  These are the first and I’ve made the pattern available as a pdf;  The Little Summer Lace Socks

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They fit really nicely since the lace gives them stretch.  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 🙂

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

 Have a fantastic day!

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 🙂 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 🙂 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! 😉

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! 🙂

Back To My Spinning Wheel…

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I’m hoping to spin enough 2 ply yarn for a light weight sweater 🙂 It feels good to be working with fibre and using my wheel again, after so many months of focusing on other things!

Since finances SUCK this year for us, I’m using mostly stash yarns and fibre in all my projects. I am out of sweater-lots of wool so if I want to knit anything bigger than socks I will have to spin first!

I have lots of bits of superwash merino in different colours and am going to combine them to spin up some yarn for knitting. It means combining colours and is a surprise every time. I made this a couple days ago – it’s a mixture of three or four blue shades, 2 ply, approximately 260 metres. I’m thinking socks for the baby boy, or a little sweater, perhaps 🙂

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Another project I’m working my way through is combing through the leftovers from last years fleeces. I have about a pillowcase full of jacob wool and another partial case full of rambouillet. Some of it is ‘second combings’ since I HATE throwing out anything and there is a lot of saveable wool left over from combing in the first place.

Happy Spinning!