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A Fantastic New Craft – My Freeform Crocheted Carpet Project

Freeform Carpet

It all started when I was sorting my wool the other day. I love how a bunch of wool can create a whole chain of thought and inspiration!

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I’ve got tons of textured yarns which I’ve accumulated over the years and lots of basic acrylics that I use for blankets and toys. I had the idea to create an area rug for my son with various textured yarns held double with a strand of the base acrylics (worsted weight) in all the shades of beige that I had in my stash. The flat/untufted areas are base acrylic held with a strand of cone cotton and strand of cone rayon with a golden sparkle to it – each about fingering weight or less. It compliments the sparkle in the main ‘bling bling’ yarn I’ve used for texture. It’s the multicolour found in all the circles – pictures just don’t do it justice.

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I had so much fun with this I’m planning to invest in some rug yarns to try to make a more durable/long lasting rug. This one is tightly crocheted and seems strong but it is just blanket strength acrylic I’ve used so I can’t wait to see what I can create with real rug wool and my tufted texture yarns! It will take away the machine wash option though if I decide to go with wool rug yarn (and I’m leaning to that option – seeing a guy with a factory full of partial cones which he needs to clear out later on today and there are a few different materials to choose from).

We all knew I needed a new hobby, seeing as I have nothing to do lol 🙂

Oh wow, almost forgot to post this pic…

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It’s my new Polonaise! Yes, finally, I have been blessed with the one wheel I’ve wanted forever-since-I-thought-of-spinning!! A totally excellent early Christmas present 🙂

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She spins like a dream and is just beautiful. The lady I purchased her from was excellent and her husband was even kind enough to deliver the wheel.

And a very cute grandson pic…he loves to jump!

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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 🙂 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!

The BIG News!

Yay and wow and happy dances!!

I’m going to be a grandma!

I was shocked too 🙂

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 🙂

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!

Completely Freeform…

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The entire quilt top was cut freeform, without patterns and appliqued the same way. This quilt is like a giant scribble 🙂 I’m using, entirely!, material, beads and buttons which I already had in my stash. Another stashbuster.

All set to add some quilting!

I’m always so amazed by how the stitching brings the quilt to life. It’s exciting! 🙂

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I’m using different shades of embroidery floss for the quilting itself – two strands – and some beads and buttons for fun.

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I LOVE my quilting hoop, btw, purchased in Ontario from a local craftsman, with a lifetime warranty. I’ve once had to replace a part and there was no problem at all.

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Freezing Cold Emergency

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So, last night we realized that we couldn’t find my son’s balaclava (or his dad’s) anywhere. He has skiing today and it’s FREEZING cold (-31 right now). The only possible solution at 9 pm? Knitting, of course.

Then I couldn’t find a pattern for a child size OR for a larger needle knit – which is what I needed considering it had to be done for this morning.

So I designed my own – using the word design loosely, lol!

I used two strands of worsted weight handspun (my silverlights) and large dpns, cast on 72 sts, worked 2×2 ribbing for 8 inches or so, seperated by casting off 18 sts and then casting them back on two rows later, worked another 2 inches of 2×2 ribbing and then decreased gradually over the following couple of inches to form the hat crown.

I’m SO IMPRESSED that it fits! LOL, the kiddo was in bed so I was just guessing and you do start to question your guessing skills once the clock strikes 2 am or so…

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Stay warm people…it’s COLD out there!

Knee Socks

Good morning!

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I realized, after finishing my version of ‘tempest’, that I had just enough of the Araucania ranco multy to make the Lacy Cables Knee Socks. And I do love knee socks! It’s funny because I was purely an ‘ankle sock girl’ until just recently.

They’re going to be gorgeous!

I’m starting the calf increases now and hope I’ll have one finished pretty soon. I may change the increases somewhat but I’ll have to figure that out as I go.

I’m focusing on them instead of on my ‘news’. I’ve just been scheduled for a small surgery and I’m as nervous as can be. I have to have a cyst and some breast tissue removed next month. I’m scared, nervous…the inner freaking out thing while on the outside I’m trying to set a good example for my girls and be a ‘big girl’ about it. All I have to say is aging sucks as far as the body goes…

Then, on to finishing up a few things in the halfway-done-pile…

The medallion sweater.

The cabled hoodie.

The frost flowers and leaves shawl (poor thing has been languishing for more than a year – two years in march as a matter of fact! – waiting for its knitted edging to be finished).

The flower mittens for my daughter – waiting for their thumbs, lol.

Another dream of mine – I’d like to sort all my yarn. Properly. Really. LOL, normally it’s a project that gets half way done and then gets the ‘good enough’ and sits that way. This year I’m hoping to do as I did last year – knit mainly from the stash. We’re so broke lately, I’m loving this hoarding habit of mine!

Maybe the new knee socks will inspire me 🙂