I’m very far behind in posts, but earlier this month my husband and I acquired a new family member. Meet Rudy:
Rudy is a Cardigan Welsh Corgi just like our other dog, Lily. If you recall from Lily’s post she got a hand-knit blanket, so of course Rudy needed one too!
It’s all made with scraps of worsted weight yarn held double on size 13 needles which made it a relatively quick knit. The pattern is based on the Log Cabin blanket from Mason Dixon Knits with an i-cord added to the edge.
He is much calmer than Lily (which isn’t hard to do as she is quite a spaz!) and likes to just chill out.
He and Lily have become best buddies. They love to hang out together and she is a pretty good babysitter. She always keeps track of where he is and what he’s doing.
If you remember a few posts ago I had spun some yarn using the fractal spinning method. I just finished knitting this yarn up into a cowl. The pattern is Stacked Eyelet Cowl by Ami Madison. I ended up making it too small at first and had to rip it out and start again with more stitches and bigger needles.
Here is the pre-blocking picture:
I think that the colors turned out pretty interesting and will most likely be trying this fractal plying method again in the future.
The cowl is long enough that I can either loop it around my neck once or twice, I am pretty excited that the weather is finally cooling down enough that I will be able to wear it soon!
Lily was very interested in what I was doing and decided to be in the pictures as well.
She’s even a pretty good model!
I have been planning to make felted clogs for a while but due to my past history with felting (not good…) I have been hesitant to try. I can’t remember which of us brought it up, but Jason mentioned that he would like some felted clogs for this winter. So, I ordered some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes worsted weight yarn and bought the pattern.
The way they work is that you knit really huge slippers then put them in the washing machine with hot water to shrink them. I made a pair for myself first as the tester pair before making a pair for Jason.
Here is my pair before felting:
And after felting:
You may have noticed that the colors are different on the inside of each clog. This is because I messed up the amounts when I ordered the yarn. You need about 2/3 the total amount of yarn for the soles and top rim and 1/3 for the foot. I got this backward and ran out of brown yarn by the inner sole of the second slipper. Fortunately they look exactly the same except if you were to actually look inside them.
We were both quite shocked by the size of Jason’s clogs prior to felting! They were so huge that I could fit both my feet into one of them with plenty of room to spare.
Here are the before pics with an iphone and Jason’s feet for size reference:
After felting they fit him perfectly:
Now we will both have cozy feet this winter!
This month I became an aunt, and I am so excited! My niece Madelynne was born on August 5th and is the cutest little baby ever.
I told my brother and sister-in-law that I was going to be the crazy aunt who always sends knit and crochet stuff. They seemed ok with this, so I thought I should get started early.
When I first found out that my SIL was pregnant I asked for requests and if it was going to be a girl she had a crochet flower pattern in mind. (The pattern can be found here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/89500561/crochet-pattern-floral-baby-blanket).
I decided to go with yarn from knitpicks. Comfy (75% cotton, 25% acrylic) seemed to be a good choice as it is soft and machine washable. My SIL chose the colors to match bedding that they already had. She chose “Whisker,” “Honeydew” and “Lilac Mist” for the flowers and “Ivory” for the middle of each flower. I’m not sure if they ended up matching the existing bedding exactly, but it is really hard to match colors off a computer screen when you can’t see the yarn in person.
Slowly the blanket grew from one flower into a blanket.
Hopefully little Maddy enjoys many years of snuggling with her flower blanket! (She has more knits on the way but her parents haven’t seen them yet so I will wait until later to post them.)
I’ve had this wool for a long time. Well over a year. I loved the colors so much that I didn’t want to mess it up by spinning it wrong, so I just didn’t spin it. I recently heard about fractal spinning and decided that this would be the perfect wool to try this technique.
To do this, I first split split the roving in half. I saved half and spun the other half just as it was. This makes really long stripes of color. Once that was spun onto one bobbin I went back to the other half and split it in half again, but lengthwise this time. This makes the colors form much shorter stripes. Then I plied the two singles together into a skein that looks like this:
It should have some interesting striping patterns once it is knit up, though. Not sure what it will become yet. Maybe a hat? I’ll be sure to post pictures when it becomes something!
Oh, and Lily says “Hi”!
A few weeks ago I decided to dye some wool. I had my soon-to-be-born niece in mind here when I picked the colors. I broke the fiber into pieces to start off with. The majority was in one piece, then 3 much smaller pieces. I decided to go with purple for the main color then teal, pink and yellow for the mix-in colors. I knew that I wanted to try to use my drum carder to blend the colors. Other than that I was completely winging it here.
The dye did not take evenly at all. In fact, there were so many white spots in the purple wool that I dyed it again. To even out the color I decided to try running each color through the drum carder a few times.
Which worked pretty well.
Then it was time to try mixing the colors together. I evenly divided all of the colors into 6 sections and made 6 bats by randomly picking a color and running it through the carder.
Then I randomly chose a bat and started spinning. I was able to fit 3 bats onto 1 bobbin, 3 onto another and then plied them together onto the third bobbin.
Didn’t turn out exactly how I expected (although I really didn’t have much of an expectation to begin with). I was going for a darker purple and lighter yellow, but too late now. I think it might be ok for a baby jacket or something. We’ll see…
My newest fiber toy is an attachment for my spinning wheel called a WooLee Winder. Most wheels come with a flyer like the one in the picture below with little hooks all around edge. To wind the yarn evenly on to the bobbin you need to move it down the hooks every few minutes.
But, the WooLee winder is different. It’s hard to see in this picture, but there is one loop that the yarn goes through. This loop moves back and forth along the length of the bobbin. This results in yarn that is very evenly distributed along the bobbin.
This mechanism works because there is a gear on the flyer that aligns with the one on the bobbin.
As the bobbin turns, the gear on the flyer turns which controls the movement of the loop up and down the bobbin.
This means that you save time by not having to stop spinning every few minutes to move the yarn onto a new hook. Also, with such evenly distributed yarn (along with the slightly bigger bobbins) you can fit a whole lot more yarn on to one bobbin.
So far I really like it. I have spun up 2 skeins of yarn. It did take a little while for me to get used to the tension of the woolee winder. It seems to add quite a bit of tension to the yarn. Once I figured this out and turned the tension on the wheel itself almost all the way down I was good to go.
The first yarn was one that I dyed a while ago with kool-aid. It is Tesswater wool from my Paradise Fibers fiber club a while back. I divided the roving in half and dyed half with cherry and the other half with grape. (Must have forgotten to take a picture of the grape half. Oops.)
Here they are spun into singles. There are 2 oz of fiber on each bobbin with plenty of room to spare.
I then plied them together. The picture is a little washed out but you get the idea.
More Spinning. I love watching how the color changes from roving to yarn. This one started off with chunks of blue, maroon and shiny silk.
It ended up looking purple. (Especially if you see it from a distance.)
The next one had all kinds of colors mixed in. Greens, blues, grays…
It also had an intermediate step that I usually try to avoid while spinning. This step was called “Lily goes nuts.” I thought she was being a good puppy chewing on one of her toys. Turns out she got a hold of a chunk of roving and tried to pull it apart. Much like she does with stuffing in stuffed animals.
Turned out alright in the end. This one might even become a “Lilliput Yarn.” Seems fitting since she even “helped” make it!
My craft room is mostly set up and I love it! I got a desk from Ikea that fits in the corner. It’s hard to see, but in the back corner of the desk I have my swift set up with the ball winder on the edge behind the chair. I am also able to keep my sewing machine out. It used to live on the top shelf of a closet which means I never used it. Maybe now that it’s more accessible I will actually sew once in a while.
Behind the desk is my bookshelf/yarn shelf. On top of this I have my drum carder, drop spindle and all of the knitting needles that I got from my grandma last time I visited.
The closet has the majority of my yarn. The black container to the left of the closet holds all of my spinning fiber.
It’s great having so much room for all my crafting stuff. I could pretty much hang out in this room all the time.
Since I was about 7 years old I have been in love with orcas. It all started with a trip to Sea World. Growing up, I had many stuffed orcas, orca print pillows, even a border of orcas around my bedroom wall. So, I was pretty excited when my favorite designer of crocheted stuffed animals released an orca pattern yesterday. You can read all about the pattern on her website, Planet June.
Just like her other patterns, you make pieces and sew them together. In this case there is the body, tail, dorsal fin and two fins.
The color changes really weren’t too bad to crochet and the end product looks great.
Here’s a shot of the color changes along the belly:
A long time ago I found an orca pattern that I crocheted, but I really didn’t like how it turned out. (In fact it now belongs to Lily and she loves walking around the house with her orca in her mouth.) It was made in pieces also, but this one involved making the white areas separately and sewing them onto the body of the orca, I didn’t like how this looked, and wasn’t a big fan of the fin shaping. Here you can see the old one on the left and the new one on the right.
Again, old one on top, new on bottom. I love how nice and smooth the color changes look on the new orca.
Now Lily can have her crocheted orca and I can have my own. (Along with a few others.)