Warm Toes

More socks. What can I say- I like making them…

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Yarn- Sweet Georgia Superwash Sock, Boheme colorway

Pattern- My own standard toe-up, short row heel

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Yarn-  Palouse Yarn Company BFL Sock

Pattern- Pomatomus by Cookie A.

 

Yarn- Black Trillium Fibre Studio Merilon Sock, Chennai colorway

Pattern- My own standard toe-up, short row heel

Maddy’s Minion Hat

Way back before Halloween my brother and sister-in-law asked if I could make a minion hat for my niece for Halloween. Of course I couldn’t turn them down as she is so much fun to make stuff for. I found this Minion hat pattern on etsy that seemed to be just what I was looking for.I even happened to have all the needed yarn in my stash leftover from other projects. I don’t crochet much anymore since I over did it one time a few years ago to the point where my wrist really started hurting. Now every time I crochet the pain comes back and I have to be very careful to keep my crochet sessions short. Anyway, the baby hat was easy to break into short sessions and I still was able to finish it in a weekend.

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Looks good, right? Well I always run stuff like this through the washing machine before giving it away if for no other reason then to make sure it will survive. I have never had an item (that is machine washable) not survive the wash session until this hat. I took it out and there was a gaping hole in the top. Since it was crocheted from the top down I didn’t see any way to repair this without ripping out the whole hat. Luckily I was able to salvage the eyes and bow.

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Attempt #2 turned out pretty well also.

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But nothing can compare to how cute the little girl wearing it was! :)

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The Post Christmas Post

Hope everyone had a happy holiday season! While we missed our families in Alaska we had a good, quiet Christmas and New Years. Lily and Rudy especially enjoyed having a tree in the house although it was a constant battle keeping them from tearing off branches to chew on (good thing they’re cute!)

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Last Christmas I made Lily her own little stocking so this year I thought that I should make Rudy a matching one.

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He wanted to eat it and run around with it in his mouth so I guess he approves of it.

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Other than the stocking my main Christmas knitting project was a pair of felted clogs for all the parents. The pattern is Felted Clogs by Bev Galeskas. I knit them in worsted weight Wool of the Andes on size 13 needles and then felted them in the washing machine. Before felting they were huge. This picture has one of my shoes on the left for comparison.

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After felting they looked like this: ( I forgot to take post-felting pics of the pairs for my dad and my father-in-law)

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The maroon colored pair was for my mom and the teal color for my mother-in-law. The black and orange was for my dad who is a Flyer’s fan and the green and gold pair was for my father-in-law the Packer fan.

Happy New Year everyone!

Rudy!

I’m very far behind in posts, but earlier this month my husband and I acquired a new family member. Meet Rudy:

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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!

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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.

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He is much calmer than Lily (which isn’t hard to do as she is quite a spaz!) and likes to just chill out.

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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.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Fall Cowl

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:

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and post-blocking:

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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!

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Lily was very interested in what I was doing and decided to be in the pictures as well.

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She’s even a pretty good model!

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Clogs

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:

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And after felting:

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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:

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After felting they fit him perfectly:

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Now we will both have cozy feet this winter!

Madelynne is here!

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.

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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.

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Slowly the blanket grew from one flower into a blanket.

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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.)

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Fractal Spinning

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.

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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:

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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”!

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Experimental Yarn

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.

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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.

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Which worked pretty well.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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Woolee Winder

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.

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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.

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This mechanism works because there is a gear on the flyer that aligns with the one on the bobbin.

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As the bobbin turns, the gear on the flyer turns which controls the movement of the loop up and down the bobbin.

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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.)

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Here they are spun into singles. There are 2 oz of fiber on each bobbin with plenty of room to spare.

 

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I then plied them together. The picture is a little washed out but you get the idea.

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