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

Happy Wednesday ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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! 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!

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™‚

Back To My Spinning Wheel…

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I’m hoping to spin enough 2 ply yarn for a light weight sweater ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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!

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!

Knitting Like Crazy For Christmas…

Yes, it’s almost here.ย  Or so it feels like, anyways!ย  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).ย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Felting Slippers For Christmas

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I was totally inspired by a really popular pattern on ravelry’s pattern list. Built like a shoe, looking like a slipper. So. I looked very carefully at all of my daughters ballet flat type shoes. I tried to wing it. It came out not-so-good, lol. I used version one to see what needed to change in version two and decided the top heavy peanut of the sole probably had to change to a proper foot shaped sole. I also elongated the heel and made it meet in a ‘v’ with the body of the slipper, raised up the back of the heel from what I originally thought it should be and added a couple more sts into the toe.

 

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Voila!

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Two washes in the front loader, with tennis balls, on heavy duty cycle and they came out looking like the shape of a foot. No stretching or fighting – just the perfect shape. I was thrilled ๐Ÿ™‚ Now I have to make everyone a pair for Christmas!

The needle felting was an extra touch, to pretty them up a little more than they are ๐Ÿ™‚

Inspired!

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I’ve been working on a new pattern – for stranded mittens – for my daughter for Christmas. The pattern was inspired by a really beautiful yarn. It has everything stranded mittens need (in my opinion of course!) – great colour, fingering weight, a bit of ‘grab’, superwash and wool. For what more could I ask?

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I’ve paired it with Paton’s ‘kroy’ sock 4 ply in black – to give it a chance to do it’s colourful thing. Oh yes – the yarn – it’s Marks and Kattens ‘Fame Trend’ in the colourway ‘party’. I found it at the Knit and Quilt in Barrie a week or two ago. Beautiful! I will definitely be back for more!

I’ve finished the pattern and have knitted the first mitten. I’ve posted the pdf pattern, if you’d like to use it –

The pattern;
InspiredByColourMittenPattern

My mitten (unblocked)…

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Please let me know how it works out for you!
Have a great day ๐Ÿ™‚

Almost There!

I’m working on an afghan for the ‘Elf Collection’ (yes, Christmas) and I’m almost there ๐Ÿ™‚

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This is one of the few things I’ve bought yarn for this year! I needed ten colours of sport weight so I kind of had to. And, BONUS, I’ll have all of these colours now for another beautiful project or two in future. I think maybe some toys…

This was inspired by the Double Vision pattern by Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer – their website is Woolly Thoughts. They are geniuses, imo. They do such beautiful mathematically inspired work. I give them full credit for the idea though I didn’t do it quite as they did and it’s definitely my version as I don’t actually have the pattern itself.

Beautiful, beautiful. Four children, two afghans (almost) finished, two months to go…I *think* I have everything somewhat on schedule this year, so far….LOL.

Well, must go vacuum…I swear the dogs throw handfulls of hair all over just before I get up!

Have a great day ๐Ÿ™‚

A Hat Fit For A Princess

I’ve finished the hat to match my ‘Snowflake Princess’ sweater coat!ย  I have also written out the PATTERN in case anyone else is interested in making it.

Here it is…
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So cute ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s about 7″ tall and 17″ unstretched, around.

I’m going to make mittens next!

The Prettiest Princess Coat EVER!

  • Or at least I think so ๐Ÿ™‚

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It’s my ‘Snowflake Princess’, a modified version of the Snowflake Queen Pattern by Alison Stewart-Guinee. I used the free pattern excerpt available online

I modified it in several ways…

-used a smaller needle (4 mm)
-decreased to 97 sts (24,49(back),24)
-modified the cuff by working it in the contrast ‘carmen’ yarn as;
row 1 and 2 – knit
following 8 rows – k1,p1 ribbing
cast off firmly in knit

-my version of the button bands and collar, knitted in one piece using short rows (the collar and button band were omitted from the free pattern excerpt);

  • With right side facing and same yarn as used for coat, pick up 36 sts along (right) skirt, 24 sts along bodice, 11 stsย front neckline, 19 held sts from back of neck (this takes into account my extra decreases, which may or may not be the amount you have),ย and, corresponding 11, 24, 36ย on the left side.ย ย  I would place markers each side of the (19)ย back neck sts, to make the shortย rows easier to keep track of.ย ย (161 sts)
  • purl one row

Begin short rows;

  • purl 98 (or 8 sts past second marker) w&t (wrap and turn)
  • knit 35 (or 8 sts past second marker) w&t
  • purl 36 w&t
  • knit 37 w&t
  • purl 38 w&t
  • knit 39 w&t
  • purl 40 w&t
  • knit 41 w&t
  • purl to end of row
  • knit one row
  • (buttonhole row) purl 108 sts, [(yo, p2tog, p3) 7x], p21.
  • knit one row, twisting yo’s as you knit them to prevent too large button holes
  • purlย 98ย  w&t (wrap and turn)
  • knitย 35ย  w&t
  • purlย 36ย ย w&t
  • knitย 37ย w&t
  • purlย 38 w&t
  • knit 39 w&t
  • purlย 41 w&t
  • knitย 43 w&t
  • purlย 45 ย w&t
  • knit 47 w&t
  • purl 49 w&t
  • knit 51 w&t
  • purl to end of rowย 

Join accent yarn (patons ‘carmen’ is what I used)

(worked in garter stitch – knit all rows)

  • knit one row
  • knit 108 w&t
  • knit 55 w&t
  • knit 57 w&t
  • knit 59 w&t
  • knit 61 w&t
  • knit 63 w&t
  • knit to end of row
  • cast off in knit

I crocheted the edging around the bottom in single crochet with a 4 mm hook.

I think this is one of my favorite projects ever!ย  Right now I’m working on a matching hat and mittens…

Bats and Other Distractions

Yes, I know, it’s been ages since I’ve kept the blog in the fashion it has become accustomed to!

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(This is my ‘snowflake princess’ – on ravelry – from the snow queen pattern. It’s for the baby-to-be if the baby is a girl, if not it’s for a future baby-to-be ๐Ÿ™‚ Who could help it? It’s adorable)

I have been busy and it’s been quite a summer. Some of it was excellent, some of it was extremely stressful and annoying.

I’ve been distracted from my knitting, and the blog by a thorough house sort and clean – not that it wasn’t a great idea, it really, really was! – but not on my timing, it was decided by a problem we have had here – BATS!!!! in our (rental) home.

I couldn’t bear the idea that they may be anywhere here so I spent about a week or two cleaning like a maniac and sorting everything we own. Basement included. What a job! So the second hand store now has about ten bags full of extra clothes, toys, and household goods and the garbage tag people are finally getting a little help from us, lol.

The house does look beautiful!

I *think* the problem is solved…we’ve had a company in who specializes in excluding bats. They’ve sealed the house and I’ve duct taped the hell out of the inside of the house to prevent them coming into the living space. Apparently they leave little ‘doors’ that work one way only and the bats may leave but they cannot get back in. Now I just have to get over the thought that there are some stuck in the house.

LOL – I seriously wish I had a nanny cam or some such thing to film over night. It’s really hard to know whats really going on…I suspect they’ve been here all summer and we only just noticed them because we usually sleep at night. Lately I’ve been unable to sleep and that’s how I discovered two of them flying through the house at 3 am-ish about two or three weeks ago. Not nice. They are known to carry rabies and are the leading cause of human rabies.

So – a little distracting, yes?

I’ll have to catch up on everything else in another post! May your day be fabulous and your home bat-free ๐Ÿ™‚

The BIG News!

Yay and wow and happy dances!!

I’m going to be a grandma!

I was shocked too ๐Ÿ™‚

My daughter is expecting in April and we’re all very happy for her. Best of all, she is very happy too. I’m going nuts picking out good adorable baby patterns – and there are lots out there!

So far…

The ‘Ribbed Baby Jacket’ by Debbie Bliss, in Shire Silk from my stash;
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And…

‘One Strand Booties’ by Carole Barenys in some Kroy Sock;
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Meanwhile…

I was working on some other knitting, before the BIG news arrived. I had almost finished a cardigan for myself, using some Bouquet Vogue acrylic yarn. Its the ‘Rib and Cable Cardigan’ by Irina Poludnenko (available in the Vogue Knitting, Fall 2009 magazine). Another great knit from the stash! This yarn was given to me a while ago and is, I believe, discontinued.

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It is, so far, unfinished….needing seaming and the button bands knitted on. I hope to finish this soon and wear it this fall ๐Ÿ™‚

I also started some Christmas knitting (remember, I knew nothing of the BIG news!)

Kaleidoscope by Lisa Donald, using scraps of acrylics from the stash with a few balls of a tencel/acrylic blend. The tencel seems to really soften it up.

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A really easy and fun crochet pattern – I highly recommend it!

Ok – off with me…I have a million tiny socks to knit!

Designing And Stuff

I’ve been searching the web, looking for lace designs/patterns/charts. I’ve found a couple of great resources!

One is Yarn Over. Another is Knitting Fool.

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I’m still working on the coat, sort of ‘off an on’ lol, but yes – working! I’m more than half way through the first sleeve and have, of course, to finish the upper body once the sleeves are done. It’s about now in the pattern where ALL the numbers are wrong, because of my different gauge, so there’s much more work to figuring it out. I’ll get there ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m also dreaming of a pair of really fine lace socks. Hence the web search. I’ll likely use little tiny needles and lace weight yarn (I’m thinking the handspun rambouillet). I’m looking for an itsy bitsy lace pattern which fits…

Oh, yes – I made a little lace hat for myself, for when the weather gets cooler this fall. It was a free pattern (available at the canadian living site) but is from the book Runway Knits. Very cute! Sideways lace and cables…

The ‘Ingenue Hat’ (by Berta Karapetyan)

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The silk I used is ‘shire silk’ and it’s as light as air. I may have to find some time and make the matching scarf – also free on the site and also beautiful!

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ As it turns out, femininity is not necessarily in the hair ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

Creating Colour!

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I’m really, REALLY enjoying my adventures in dye-land. It’s so neat how nicely variegated the colours turn out using the wiltons icing colour…I enjoy playing with the colour ‘breaks’ and seeing the finished product is always a surprise ๐Ÿ™‚ Happily – nothing has felted and the fibres are still easily drafted (or as easily as they were anyway, lol – this sweater sat half knitted for nearly forever as far as I can tell).

From left to right in the photo…
Copper, copper/orange/yellow mix, black/violet mix, royal blue, juniper green and delphinium blue.

I’m dying reclaimed ‘canadian buffalo unspun’ yarn which is basically a six ply roving yarn. I then seperate the plies and spin them as single strands of pencil roving – it works out to a dk/worsted weight yarn and looks like it would be ideal for winter hats/scarves and such. It would also make fabulous felted items…maybe slippers or a purse.

Anyways, fun fun fun. I highly recommend it!

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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….

A Little Shetland Lace Cardigan

Using my handspun!

Remember the shetland fleece I bought earlier this year?
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I washed it, combed it – seperated the down coat from the coarse outer coat, and spun the down into a nice, lofty two ply.

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I wanted a little sweater – it’s really soft and I’m not overly sensitive to wool anyways. The Sylph Cardigan by Robin Melanson (Interweave Knits) was perfect. Or at least close to perfect! I downsized it, one size. I also continued the lace pattern throughout and knitted on the neckband rather than sewing it on later. I reshaped the sleeves a bit when downsizing. I like them well fitted.

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I love how it turned out!

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Getting There…

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This is the blanket, so far. I am spinning more wool now…I think I want it bed sized!

My healing is going ok (I think?), not much pain, am almost done taking my antibiotics (one more today). I’m SUPPOSED to take off the bandage today but I think I’m going to call the surgeon because I’m totally not sure how to do it without pulling off the scab underneath. I’m pretty much terrified to touch it. I would love to leave it but I guess it can’t heal that way!

I’ve been taking it easy, pretty much. I think I’m over the initial shock of it all…no promises…shock seems to reappear whenever it wants.

I totally agree, I need a shopping trip SOMEWHERE but, sadly, with finances as they are it’s probably good I have these wool bins. I will, however, be treating myself to the Spring IK sometime today! In my dream world, I’d be heading for the Spinrite factory sale which is on this week in Listowel. It’s a bit of a drive but it would be so fun to go – fun, I should say, if I could go and spend guilt free.

Again, thanks for the support Joansie, Brenda, Jo and Samm. It was awesome you took the time to comment and it means a lot to me ๐Ÿ™‚

Staying Inside Where It’s Pretty!

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As you can see, it’s not really pretty outside, here, today!! Raining and almost 10 celcius, everything is melting like mad. Guess that groundhog needs a new job…

So, I’m staying inside, working on a really awesome, ambitious project. It’s a blanket called ‘An African Adventure’ by Horst Schulz. It’s a modular knit and a lot of knitting. And it’s for ME. Really. I’m not even going to change my mind and give it to one of the children.

I’ve spun 16 different colours of superwash merino wool. The result is dk/worsted, thick/thin 2 play yarn…a little bit thicker than the original (which was dk) but I’m sure it’ll do nicely.

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From top left; Amethyst, Henna, Earth, Pink Frost, Fuchsia, Deep Red

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Sky, Lightest Lilac, Purple Mist, (skipping the colours already seen), Coral, Light Coral, Deepest Green

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Deep Sky, (skipping colours already seen), Olive Green, Grass, Light Olive

I can’t wait to start this!

The Sweater Is Finished :)

I’ve finished my ‘Ellie’ sweater using my Pink Frost Handspun superwash merino yarn and I LOVE it!

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It’s amazingly soft and comfy and machine washable, which can only add to the number of times that I wear it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I should have lengthened the pattern a little bit but other than that, a great pattern.

My new obsession is a blanket – made entirely with handspun (yet to be spun). Crazy, maybe!