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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great day!

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

Dreambird Shawl in Handspun Yarn

Dreambird shawl in handspun yarn

I’ve been working on a special shawl for a special friend’s birthday and I’m finally done! Yay!!

Heather's Shawl Close-up

It is Nadita’s Dreambird pattern, purchased from her shop on Ravelry. She is a really interesting designer with a lot of patterns I think would work really well with handspun yarn ๐Ÿ™‚

Hanspun Shawl

A reminder of where this came from — the shetland lamb from earlier this year…(the handdyed coloured sections)

Shetland, ready to wash

The grey is a rambo/bond cross.

Hand spun shawl - dreambird pattern

The pattern takes some getting used to but is really easy once you get the hang of it. Highly recommended!

Have a great day ๐Ÿ™‚

If you might be interested in my handspun yarn for sale, please check out my destash site!

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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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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!

silk,wool,camel

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 ‘RED’ Has Turned Out Very Well!

I’d love to say ‘good morning’ but it’s afternoon, evening really… so happy day, my friends ๐Ÿ™‚

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I’ve been keeping busy with work and fabulous fiber. I managed to ply the red yarn and it came out to 380 meters of lovely lace or light weight fingering, I’d say. I like my socks on the thin side, comfy and perfect for normal wear in normal shoes. I’ll most likely put it in my shop but perhaps not for long, depending on how long I can resist it…

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I’ve also spent some time working with the beautiful cormo/fdt cross fleece purchased from mmfwool on ebay…

soft! cormo/fdt

It’s taking two washes to get the lanolin out, or mostly out, as the case may be. Really lovely fleece with a variety of greys in it starting with the lightest pearl gray and going to almost black in places! It combs as nicely as I suspected it would, too. Take a peek at this bit of hand pulled roving…

cormo/fdt roving - hand combed

It’s SO very satisfying, turning a raw fleece into clouds of fiber-y goodness.

Have a fantastic night ๐Ÿ™‚

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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summer lace sock project 006

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!

What’s New? Spring Cleaning….Fleece!

Good morning!

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It’s been so long….

Spring is here and I’ve been busy ๐Ÿ™‚ Seems spring always makes one want to DO more – and some of us have a different take on spring cleaning! I’ve had several fleeces sitting for a while — some since last summer! I don’t know if I posted about it last fall but I have some absolutely beautiful long staple alpaca…dusty dusty stuff with some burr issues as well. It’s got a staple of about 8 inches as it was a long time between shearings and it is SUPER soft – lovely lovely lovely. Irreplaceable really. Fortunately, lol, I started out with about 14 pounds and there is no end in sight yet.

Unwashed…
alpaca - prewashing

Combed out for debris, but not yet washed…
raw alpaca lock 8 - 9 inches

Final product – rovings are clean and pulled from my combs…
alpaca -- combed

There is also the ‘meat’ sheep wool which I was given last year – in black and white – waiting to get a good soak and a wash. The wool comes out nice but the dirt is incredible – sometimes free looks like an excellent price. There is a large bin full of that waiting for me on the porch.

Oh yes, and a basset hound too…
Tired Basset

Mr. Man

My baby grandson has had his first birthday – still the cutest baby in the world with the BEST smile ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Birthday Baby

His other grandma has sheep and lambs and has very generously given me three bags of wool (I jokingly asked for ‘three bags full’ lol) – the first is lamb (three fleeces I think), the second is yearling (two to three fleeces) and the third bag is adult (haven’t counted them but I believe it holds two fleeces).

Grandma wool - three bags full

The lamb, unwashed…
Lovely lamb

The yearling, unwashed (or possibly the adult)…MUCH dirtier than the lamb. I plan to soak this in a cold soak for a few days before washing it…
yearling?

These fleeces MUST be a mixed breed but are sooooo soft I’m pleasantly surprised! I’ve washed some of the lamb, so far, and it’s coming out lovely. Very short fibers but lovely AND it helped motivate me to learn how to spin short fibers. Happy to say that after two days of utter failure…. I CAN DO IT! ๐Ÿ™‚

The lamb…clean…
washed lamb

Here’s some blended short fibers that I’ve successfully spun…YAY!…it’s camel, yak, silk and lambswool blended on carders and then spun for a two ply thick and thin yarn….(it truly is soft as butter)
short fiber mix - camel etc.

I’ve sold one of my spinning wheels – the Bordua that I bought last fall – to a really nice Ravelry member who will truly appreciate her. I’ve also begun selling some handspun wool yarn and some spinning fiber (the above mentioned alpaca) through my local kijiji. I definitely spin more than I knit and the wool is piling up!

Some recently spun yarns…
handspun yarn
(Left to right…lambswool, spun from the lock very finely for a four ply fingering weight yarn; alpaca, spun from combed fiber, two ply; grammalamb spun two ply; the soft as butter blended camel 2ply; a skein of laceweight, handdyed silk two ply approx 800 metres.)

Oh – Almost forgot! There IS news on the knitting front….

lamb, silk, alpaca mix for socks - three ply

I’ve spun 900 metres of silk/lambswool/alpaca (in approximate thirds, blended on carders and then spun fine for a three ply lace weight) to make a really beautiful pair of lace knitted stockings. So pretty, so impractical. Of course I had to have them ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve only just begun the knitting but it’s coming along well…

socks!

Lace Stockings - heel detail

As if that isn’t enough, I’ve also been working on some orifice hooks…
orifice hook - loves red

Flowers on a spiral

I am also working on the spinning wheel at the beginning of this post – she needed a few things and a bit of a facelift. I should have pictures to share very soon ๐Ÿ™‚ I believe she is a german parlor wheel but who knows for sure…

And just because…I’ve decided it’s time to make a quilt. A really special quilt I’ve had a picture for for ages…known to me and those that know me as “THE ONE”. It begins something like this….

Tammys Quilt

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™‚

Update Time!

I finished the handspun sweater I’ve been working on…

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It’s the 97-18 Tailored Cardigan by Drops Design – a free pattern which I modified only slightly in my version. I worked without seams and used a three needle bind off for the shoulders. Also, I used small size but medium length throughout. I think in the body I could have gone a little longer still.

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I ended up with a little more yarn than I needed, even!

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The grandbaby isn’t here yet but should be here any day now. I’m so excited! I’ve made a little blanket – probably the last in the ‘baby collection’ for now.

It uses the ‘curve of pursuit’ idea though not the pattern (since I don’t have it). I like it very much….

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I am now working in spinning some beautiful GREENS – again, superwash merino from The Black Lamb in Port Hope.

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I was mixing up the colours in a certain-yet-random-way and NOW I’ve run out of some of them. So, I’m working on making a coordinating yarn to go with the 770 metres, or so, of the first yarn. There is a tunic I want to crochet. Badly.

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We’ll have to see how it goes….

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!

Bringing Baby Home

Good morning ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 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!

I’m Hooked!

Another portrait to show today…and I do apologize, since it was done on the 16th, but I’ve been so busy with the NEXT project in the row!

My parents in law…a picture from 45 years ago…

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Not bad, considering that I accidentally made the pattern with seven shades of colour rather than the 8 I planned on!

I’ve found out that choosing the ‘right’ picture means choosing one with good contrast between the subject(s) and the background. Too much of a similar tone results in a lot of ‘blend’ between subject and background, like in the Luke portrait which I did first.

I’ve learned that I’m likely going about pattern making the super slow way, since I use photoshop and a good old pencil and paper to create a pattern – along with hours of work. I looked at the ‘knitpro’ site and though it looks like it makes things easier, I’m just so comfortable with my ‘hands on’ approach. I believe, for now, that I’ll stick with it since I like the results and I (at least now) can spare the time.

I’ve been wondering about the whole ‘pulling through the ends’ thing that I’ve seen people who are working on these patterns mention. I’ve always been taught to place an end where you want it BEFORE you move on which eliminates all that pulling through business.

Like this;
-you are working on the wrong side and are ready to change colours-

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-I attach the new colour with a slip knot-

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-pull the slip knot tightly down to where it meets your work and cut the original colour and tie a square knot to fasten-

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-now, pull the knot to the back and hold it, down and out of the way while you work the first stitch. The knot will be held by the first full stitch and you won’t have to pull through ends, anymore!-

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I have my own (possibly used by many others though!) way of dealing with the frog pond. I’ll take some pictures of that and talk about it in the next post! I’ve found a way to waste very little wool and very little time when mistakes happen. And, inevitably – they do! ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great day ๐Ÿ™‚

So Much Fun!!

This is my latest portrait in crochet – and I love it!

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It turned out awesome ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s the original picture;

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I was nervous until the eye appeared…and then ‘voila!’, it looked like my girl. I like how it looks in the blue palette too – as always, I agonized over the colours for about three quarters of the project, lol. This was another of my own patterns and I always worry about how they’ll turn out. I think I’ve got it pretty close to perfected though and I’m getting faster and more accurate at pattern making.

Next up is a picture for my inlaws – actually, their wedding picture. I do believe they’re on to me, lol. I did try to have the picture stolen secretly from the house and put back but that’s nearly impossible. Also nearly impossible was explaining why I suddenly needed that picture!

Ok, must go – my crochet hook is calling!

The Snowdrift Sweater!

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Check it out ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

Another Monday…

And time to start blogging again!

I’ve been preoccupied with life — you know how that goes — cleaning, cooking, children, pets… I had this crazy notion that if I did everything REALLY WELL that it would make a difference around here. In ways it has, in others, not so much.

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This is my ‘Kaleidoscope‘ (pattern by Lisa Donald) and it really turned out beautiful. I am making it for the ‘Elf Collection’, for this Christmas. That’s all I can say publicly, LOL. You never know when the children are going to read the blog!

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This is my Drops b13-18 done in phentex 2 ply fingering weight. I couldn’t help but think ‘here we go again’ – I tried so many times to knit little things like this when my children were born (18 and 20 years ago) and always ended up frogging them in frustration. I didn’t have the skills yet, nor the patience required! It’s a little lace ‘jacket’ and there are matching accesories if I make it that far.

I’ve got more wips than ever before (and possibly ever again). A couple things for the baby-to-be – socks and a sweater half done, a sweater for me, a double knit baby blanket, another afghan for the ‘Elf Collection’, a baby toy and a bathmat. Oh, yes, and a shipwreck shawl

Ok. A little scattered. I have one more thing, finished, to show…

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It’s the “Baby Cabled Baby Slouch” pattern by Stacy Mar, done in Mary Maxim ‘Parisienne’ sport/dk acrylic yarn.

I really must show you the double knit blanket, so far…

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This is my ‘Beauty of a blanket’ or the “Reversible Celtic Patterns Baby Blanket” by Kathleen Sperling. A really lovely free pattern which is going to take a LOT of work but which will be well worth the effort. It’s my hope to have this ready for the baby shower so I’m aiming for March. I’m using Phentex sport in caribbean blue and a very light blue marl. I absolutely know that acrylic isn’t ideal for baby things but I’m not financially able to do this blanket in anything else. Fortunately, it will wear very well and last a long time ๐Ÿ™‚

Ok, off to knit, and cut the grass (I’m the excited owner of a new lawn mower – it’s actually alarming how excited one can get about appliances and equipment after a certain number of years being married!) and maybe even clean the house, assuming anyone will notice…

Have a great day!

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™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Spring!

Today, I’m dying my handspun, hand prepped, rambouillet lace – just over 2000 yards. I admit, I was afraid!

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The good news? It turned out beautiful! It makes me think of spring flowers, perfect for today since it’s pouring rain outside. ๐Ÿ™‚

The second batch is ‘cooking’ in the pot on the stove as I type. I’m quite certain it’s going to be a perfect match for the first.

My recipe?

1/4 teaspoon of delphinium blue wiltons icing colour, dissolved in one cup of boiling water

Just a bit more than 3/4 cup of vinegar mixed with boiling water on the stove in my dye pot and stirred

–add the dye solution to the pot and IMMEDIATELY add the dry, loosely skeined yarn. Push down with a wooden spoon, keeping agitation to a minimum.

–allow pot to simmer for 20 minutes, remove from stove, cool to a comfortable temperature and place in rinse water (same temp as yarn) again without agitating.

–roll in towel to remove excess moisture and lay flat or hang to dry.

–admire the beautiful yarn you made yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

I repeated this exactly for the second skein, in order to minimize differences in the two skeins. I suppose I could have done both together in a larger pot – we’ll see ๐Ÿ™‚

I really like this ๐Ÿ™‚