Friday, December 25, 2009


Merry Christmas to friends, family, followers and everyone else!
Now that I have completed and gifted all my most recent knitting projects, expect some pictures in the near future!

I'm looking forward to sharing them with you all. I always seem to be up until unearthly hours of he night every Christmas eve. In this case I went to bed very early in the morning, I was finishing the last knitting details on a small hippopotamus. Hmmm, I feel a song coming on...

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas....I certainly did. It was a day filled with fun, family, fellowship, food, laughter, love.....
Merry CHRISTmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hand spun Yarn

Here is a bit of yarn that I spun a couple months ago. It was a lovely merino roving. I spun it on my top whorl spindle over the course of a week. I loved the way this roving drafted, it was very smooth and didn't break much at all. It was purchased at a local shop in town.

The yarn itself is very soft. I think it is a DK weight, but I haven't checked it too be sure. I am hoping to use it for a Christmas present. We'll see what happens. I am looking forward to posting about all the Christmas gifts I am making. So far I still have a lot of Christmas knitting to do.

Yesterday I ended up having an unexpected drive to into the city. Some of the family was shopping and had car trouble. What I thought would be a quick trip turned into over 6 hours of waiting and driving. A lot of it was waiting so I took the opportunity to do some knitting. Thankfully I had tossed a couple of projects in my purse on the way out the door. This week I need to really put on the steam with my gift making.
We have a tree to decorate this week as well. And I am hoping to put my room in some semblance of order. So far all I have managed to do is get the bed set up. Because we have been so busy, and gone much of the time I have not been able to get settled very well. Right now my room is piled with boxes. I can't wait to make it all cozy and homey looking.
That's it for now. I am hoping to post pictures soon of the fingerless mitts I have been making in the last few weeks.

Late Fall Pictures

I know fall is long past, but I never had a chance to blog my fall pictures. I took these while walking to the library with my siblings. I had fun trying to take them so that no signs of town were visible. But it was difficult at some points as you can see from some of the pictures.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Knitted Fingerless Mitts

I finally have pictures! These are my favorite fingerless mitts. They are made out of medium weight yarn and can be whipped up very quickly. So far I have made five pairs and love them! I gave them all away of course, but I do plan on making some for myself one of these days...

This particular pair was a birthday gift for my dear friend, Randi. The gray yarn is 100% merino wool. For the ribbing on the top and bottom I double stranded using a slender strand of 100% angora yarn, hand spun on a drop spindle. The strand of angora added warmth and a lovely halo to the cuffs. Just a touch of luxury.
I taught Randi both hand spinning and knitting so I knew this was a gift that she would definitely appreciate.

The pattern is found at . I changed the pattern around a bit. I used size 5Us needles to make a tighter gauge. I also change the pattern around depending on whom it is made for. When making a child's size I only bind of 10 sts. Woman's sizes I bind of 12 sts, and 14 stitches only for the men's sizes. When just knitting st. stitch or ribbing, you can just lengthen or shorten as needed. So far these mitts have been a hit with everyone who has received a pair.
After the new year I will hopefully have many photos to show of Christmas gifts. I'll post as able between now and then. I'm sure everyone has many Christmas plans, get-togethers etc. in the next couple of weeks. Take care and be careful in the crowds. Enjoy the time spent with your loved ones and friends.
Merry Christmas to all!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


"Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint."
~Isaiah 40:28-31
I wanted to share these verses that I have read so many times, but never did they strike me like they did today. This week we moved to our new home, and the only explanation for us being able to accomplish what we did lies in the above verses. God gave us the strength when we had no might, the power when we were faint, He was there in our hour of need......

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hello to All!

Still no pictures. :( Sadness.
I am doing well, I have not had as much time for knitting the last week because we were moving. Moving day was Monday. We had a ton of things to accomplish, I didn't realize how much there was to do. And then there are always those odds and ends that don't seem to fit into any sort of box.....
The only knitting I have been doing has been Christmas knitting. I made a list of what I would like to make for family/friends, and discovered it is way too long and I am being too ambitious! I'll have to trim it down a bit. Today I am trying to whip up a birthday present for my Dad. A lot of my knitting stuff is still packed, I tried to clearly mark and keep track of it all so when we got moved I would be able to find it. So far the only thing I can't find is my all important pattern folder. I'm spending a few days at my Aunts so I am hoping to work on a few Christmas projects, I have less then a month left to get it all done!
That's it for now. I'll be back when I can. Take care!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm still alive

It has been along time since I posted anything on my blog and for that I do apologize. Right now our lap top is on the verge of crashing and I don't often get to a computer. We are also in the process of moving to a new home. We hope to be moved by the end of November. So for awhile my posting on here will be sporadic. But not to worry, I will be back.
Since I am on a computer that is not my own I do not have any pictures to share today.
Knitting-wise I have been keeping very busy. It's been so long since I posted that I can not keep straight everything that I have done since I last wrote.
I have been working on Christmas presents quite a bit. I won't be posting pictures of those until the new year because certain family members like to check out my blog.
I did design my first knitting pattern recently! (not counting felted bags, because I have never followed a pattern completely. I am always changing them.) I designed a knit shrug for an 18in doll. I took plenty of pictures and I am hoping to put it on Ravelry as a free pattern.
I also finished the shrug that I started back in September. It is made using a doubled strand of worsted weight wool throughout. The moment I put it on I felt so warm! I have been wearing it every day since, along with my new wool socks. I need to make all the gals in my family a shrug like this one, we all tend to run on the cold side.
Oh, here is something that I found exciting! I was able to meet the Susan B. Anderson, the author of "Itty, Bitty, Toys". Her new book was recently released and I attended a book signing with my cousin. If you have not yet seen her book I would strongly recommend checking it out.
At the book signing she had every item from the book made up and spread out on a table. I thought they were adorable in the book, but in person they were simple irresistible!
My cousin who had no intention of buying the book, quickly changed her mind when she saw all the adorable toys in person.
My favorites by far were the reversible toys. I am definitely making some of those in the future!
Right now I have some sock yarn laying about so I thought I'd make one of her little critters from the sock yarn only chapter.
My parents had previously given me "Itty, Bitty, Nursery" So I took that book along and got it signed by Susan as well! She gave a brief talk on knitting and designing that I found inspiring.
Concerning our moving process we have been busy packing and cleaning. The house we are moving into is a serious fixer-upper. We have been busy done a bit of remodeling and lots of cleaning, and painting.
So that is my news for now. If at all possible I will try to get on here sometime soon with some pictures of my most recent projects.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cozy Winter Socks

Now that fall has arrived with it's crispy cool days and breezy drafts, I seem to be in the mood for making warm snugly things. During the winter I always have cold feet. It just occured to me the other day, that, as a knitter, there is no reason I should go around the house with freezing feet! I have the capability to make socks, so why haven't I? Well, without further ado I jumped on ravelry and looked for a short sock pattern that uses medium weight yarn. I wanted them to be thick. The reason being, the thicker they are the warmer they will be.
The pattern I found was "Worsted Anklet Socks" by Joanne Turcotte.
They are the easiest socks I have ever knit. I tried to keep an accurate track of my time while knitting the second one. It took me about 2hrs. and 40 min. from start to finish. That is a rough average. Some people can probably do it even faster. But I was in no hurry. I worked on it a couple different times while watching a video. I did shorten the ankle ribbing by one inch. That was purely accidental. I glanced at the pattern and saw the smallest child's size and thought it was for the adult size. But I like my one inch ribbing very well. I have never been too keen on long socks. I love short socks and ankle socks though.

The nice thing about this pattern is that it comes in children's sizes as well. I plan on knitting up a pair of these for all the gals in the family. I just need to buy some more yarn. Oh, the yarn I used is Patons Classic yarn.

I did a bit of spinning today too. After spinning up the angora that I previously showed, I found some more of the same roving in amongst my stuff. So I am going to spin it up and see what my total yardage comes to. I need to purchase some more roving because now that I have been spinning regularly I want to keep on.
I find that I love spinning by hand, it is very relaxing and rewarding.

That is it for now!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Spinning Update

Not much today. Just a quick post about some of the spinning I have on one of my spindles. My Aunt gave me some raw angora fiber that she purchased at a fiber festival this summer. When Debi was over awhile back I combed some of it up with her combs.
This is at a roadside park that my brother and I stopped at a couple weeks ago. There are 234 step down to the river. The view is lovely, especially in the fall when the colors have changed!

There was all manner of places to take nice pictures. I thought I would include a few of them here.

I find the angora rather difficult to spin. I keep getting little blobby pieces that don't want to draft. The reason might be because I didn't comb it well enough. Or maybe I just don't know how to draft off a rolag. I have only ever drafted off of roving before.
It is a very soft and lovely yarn though. I am not sure what I will make out of it, but whatever it is, it will be quite elegant and warm!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Angora Yarn

I know I already posted about this yarn, but I wanted to put some more pictures of it off the spindle.

I still have not decided what to make with it. The yarn is so luxurious and there is so much of it! A whole 258 yards! Plus it took me quite awhile to spin and I feel that I need to find the perfect project.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

How To Dye Naturally

Where to start? I have so much to say! This past Tuesday my cousin, Debi, came to visit us for a couple of days. We had all manner of things to chat about and all sorts of things we were excited to share with one another. But I won't get into all of that right now. This post is about the plant dyeing we did on Wednesday. I have been interested in plant dyeing for awhile now but I don't think I would have done anything with it quite yet if Debi hadn't nudged me into the dyeing process this week.
Now I am very excited about it. I am going to use the winter months to plan my herb and flower gardens. Right now I plan on the main focus of my garden being geared toward dyeing naturally.

This here is our wool soaking. We had 4oz. that we used to make four different colors. The book that is visible in the back of the photo is where we got most of our information. It is call "Craft of the Dyer: colour from plants and lichens" by Karen Leigh Casselman.
I have looked at a couple books on dyeing and noticed that a lot of the plants they describe are not even ones I have ever heard about. I wouldn't know where to find them. What really struck me about this book was the vast array of plants described and all the detailed information. Pretty much anyone could go out into their yard with this book and find things with which to dye fiber.As you will see, a few pictures down, we found several things out in our backyard, and there were several more that we could have used but didn't.
Debi had brought along some black eyed Susan from her house so we threw those in a pot to boil and added a mordant. A mordant is a substance used to set the dye in the fiber by forming a coordination complex which then attaches to the fiber. It is also used to intensify the colours.
Based on the type of mordant used you can determine (to some extent) the color your fiber will be. There are chemical mordants, which we preferred to stay away from, and there are natural mordants. Some of the natural mordants include, iron, copper, tin, and baking soda.
Our mordant of choice was iron, because that is all we had on hand at the time. We used a rail road spike. For one batch we did use copper.

Basketful of dyeing material.
Marigolds, pine cones, and pine bark. I put the maple leaves in for color, although you can use fresh maple leaf to dye. We also used parsley but we didn't think of adding that to the list until later on.

Here is the bark simmering. We added pennies to make our copper mordant. We figured we probably didn't have nearly enough bark because the dye bath was not getting very dark. So we threw in the pine cones for good measure.
This is the batch that we used the copper mordant on.

They marigolds are from my little garden on the south wall of the garage. I planted it late in June, and to my delight it flourished and is still producing flowers. However I think the weather has turned cold for good so this is probably the last of the marigolds.

Pot of Parsley.
When I planted my herb garden I never imagined I would be using it to dye wool!

Here are the four finished batches. From left to right: #1 Parsley. #2 Black-eyed Susan. #3Pine. #4 Marigold.

The marigold turned out different than we expected. The book never mentioned using iron as a mordant, and it describe the colours as yellows and golds. The colour we ended up with was more of an olive green. When we first put the wool in the dye it quickly turned a minty sort of green which we loved. Our mistake was not taking it out then and there. Instead we left it in and it turned this colour. We both like this colour, but we were a little disappointed that we didn't whisk it out when it was minty.

This colour is not showing up as to what it truly looks like. It is more of a lemony-yellow colour. Once I took it outside I was amazed by how it seemed to glow, almost to create it's own light.

Black-eyed Susan.
This actually is not dyed with just black-eyed Susan. We found that we did not have enough leaves/petals to make a very strong dye. So later we dipped it in the pine bath to darken it up a bit. It came out this lovely linen colour and I am quite pleased with it.

I don't have much to say about this one, other then I like it! But I think next time I'll add more pine bark and cones.

The sun was out by turns and the wind was blowing so I left the roving out to dry for awhile.
We learned quite a bit, at least I know I did! It was a lot of trial and error. We were not too precise as to the measuring of our water and ingredients. But I do believe we discovered some things about the plants we were working with and also the mordants. We'll have to keep notes each time we dye and we'll learn as we go. There are some other books I would like to check out concerning plant dyeing.
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Freshly Spun Angora Yarn

I started plying this yarn last night and finished it up this morning. It is so scrumptious, 85%angora/15%merino wool. I bought it at the fiber festival I attended in the summer.
I have no idea how many yards are here yet. I still need to treat the yarn and and then hang it to dry overnight.

I do have a project in mind, but we'll see how much I get first. I have a little bit of roving left from this batch, I also know where I got it as well so I could always buy some more.

It was a fun yarn to spin up because there are a multitude of colour variations within the roving. They ranged from all manner of blues to lavenders, white, and even some green and turquoise. I liked to spin it outdoors because then all the true colours were visible. The pictures don't do it justice. This is a gorgeous yarn!
Too bad my spinning skills aren't more up to par...

Quilted Teddy Bears

I was going back through older photos today looking for projects I have done in the past. This little quilt was one I made for a friend, back at the beginning of 2008
This quilt was a lot of fun because there was a lot of hand stitching on it. I quilted circles and did the blanket stitch around the little bears. I like the little bears, they are so cute!
I used only scraps. I was just thinking today that I need to make one of these for myself now. Currently I have another little quilt in progress, I'll have to post that as well.
I really enjoy quilting by hand, it is so relaxing, beautiful, and very rewarding.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mossy Mitts

Mossy Mitts
Started: September 26,2009
Finished: September 27,2009
This is the perfect weather for knitting fall accessories! Today it was raining and very cold, and I won't elaborate on what I went through to get these photos.

These are the "Wave Hand Warmers" found in One Skein Wonders:101 Shop Favorites.
I have wanted to try this pattern for a long time now, and I am so glad I did.

I used the leftover yarn from the mossy wimple to make these mitts.

They are soft, warm and simply luxurious!

I'll have to make myself some. These are for Mother, to go with her wimple.
I did alter the design a little bit. If anyone is interested in making them I can give you the notes for how I changed them. Basically I made them longer beyond the thumb hole, and also went down a needle size so they fit better around the palm. Oh, I only did five pattern repeats for the arm, instead of the eight that the pattern called for.

P.S. I did make two of these! But my right hand is kind of tied up holding the camera!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mossy Moebius Wimple

Mossy Moebius Wimple
Started: September 24, 2009
Finished: September 25, 2009
Isn't this the loveliest wimple ever! Well, I have seen quite a few wimples and cowls that I like. I think almost all of them are lovely. But this one here was a Moebius wimple, and quite the project!

The cast on for this particular wimple is very confusing at first. I originally found the free pattern on Ravelry under the name Cashmere Moebious Cowl. I copied it out, settled down with my needles, and then read in the fine print that I needed to know how to do the moebius cast on which was found in Cat Bordhi's book, "A Treasury of Magical Knitting".

Naturally I do not own that book, nor have I ever heard of it! So I ordered the book from the library. When it came in I spent a good half hour trying to make heads or tails of the crazy cast on technique. But when it finally made sense I found that it was the fastest cast on I have ever done in my life!
The pattern itself was actually quite easy, just a simple lace pattern. I was quite surprised how fast it went. I cast on Thursday evening and bound off Friday evening. Granted I have been sick so I have had a little more time for knitting than usual. But still, it is a very quick knit.

The yarn I used is suri alpaca, and very soft.

Altogether it was a delightful project and I can't wait to make another one. The wimple is actually for my Mother so I shall have to make one for myself in the near future. I love the colour of this one but regretably it has been discontinued.
Oh, this pattern can be found at