3.29.2009

Knitting a Birdhouse.. Why not?

I found some wire while cleaning the house. After looking at it for awhile I started getting twitchy fingers. "What could I knit with wire?"

A few swatches later, I decided a birdhouse was in order.

There is a technique for knitting with wire, I "pulled" each stitch to make it loose. Also at the end of each row, pull the stitches away from the needle that they are on, and flatten and shape the wire.

You will understand after trying it.

Warning: Wire can be sharp, I did get poked several times, be careful.

Materials:

Needles: Metal 14" size 11 us (I haven't used these since I knitted a burnt orange scarf, I won't even tell you what year that was}

Wire: Floral wire, one bundle 24 gauge (from .99-1.99 at a craft store)

Wire: 18 gauge, I got this from Home Depot, sturdy enough for skeletal support of your house.

Wire cutters, or those sturdy kitchen scissors

Optional: crochet hook size K, or other large size.

Cast on (loose) 24 sts.

Now knit every row for a bit, the first two rows are the hardest, don't give up yet.

Keep knitting it gets easier now

OK, now you have the hang of it! We keep knitting every row until it is long enough to suit you.

(the sides will come together to make a tube, the first and last row will be the back and front of the house}

Long enough? OK now we get the 20gauge wire out and thread it through your last row of stitches.

Now we cut that off and bend it back.

Take your 24 gauge wire and cut it off, leaving it long enough to "stitch" up your tube. Just tuck the end in when done.

Make one or two more skeletal supports for the house one at the other end, and you may need one in the middle if you made your house long.

Add two more 20 gauge wires running from end to end, to keep your house from shrinking back on itself. Cut and bend wires back onto themselves.

Attach one piece of 24 gauge wire, and thread back and forth, weaving an end to your house.

I made a front "hole" for my bird house by using a large crochet hook and sc around the front for 2 rows, stitching in every other stitch.

If you don't want to do this, you could leave it open, or "weave" another end, just around the edges.

You can add a pre bought chain, use a string to hang the house.

I used a K size crochet hook and chained a "chain" to hang it by (with the 24 gauge wire)

Cut the wire and bend it back into the house.

Hang your house up now, and watch the fun begin!

If you make one or have comments or problems, let me know!!

May your needles fly as fast as dragonflies

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3.26.2009

Spinning, dish scrubbies and dog mats

Here is the fiber I was spindle spinning for a lace shawl. Now I'm spinning the rest of it up on my new wheel...

Wheeeeee.......Done!!

We have hardwood floors, so I make pads for the dogs to lay on...I found some acrylic fleece in the remnant bin.

Add several layers of quilt batting in between...

Soft places to lay..

I have crocheted two of these, thanks to Tiny Choices, (nice blog), they are fast and super cute. I like them to wash my face with. I like their blog and concept of it, take a look at it, all kinds of good info.

Original pattern from Crochet Patterns Only thanks to Judith Pringle! She has other cute things there also.

They are beginning to multiply, and now my family and friends are getting them. My husband went past and said "that's not a toilet paper cover is it?" He claims an intervention will be in order if I start to cover the TP with knitted items.

I made a few "camo" ones, now the men in the family have their manly dish scrubbies!

May your knitting needles fly as fast as dragonflies....

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3.25.2009

March is Red Cross Month

March is Red Cross month!

You can go here, and find a blood drive in your area.

Every 2 seconds someone in the United States needs a unit of blood. Only 5% of the eligible people donate blood, there is no substitute!!

Blood is needed for emergencies and for people who have cancer, blood disorders, sickle cell, anemia and other illnesses. Some people need regular blood transfusions to live.

Imagine if giving blood was part of everyone's life. Something you did on a regular basis, like eating at your favorite restaurant. What kind of difference would that make? For nearly 5 million people who receive blood transfusions every year, your donation can make the difference between life and death.

The need is constant. Give the gift of life.

Featured Etsy seller

Design by Nora. Nora has a variety of items. I like looking at her handbags, she lists many by her uncle, Naz, who has been making leather purses for 30 years for companies such as Isabella Fiore and Goldenbleu. This purse is one of many of his original designs.

Perfect for spring, she has a collection of polymer clay earrings that are girly.

She blogs here

3.21.2009

Things that make me smile

Here are a few things that I found this week that made me smile.

Or how about this You Tube video of a knitting girl! Life is a ball of yarn by Jenny Bang Bang.

 

Now go ahead and smile!!

3.19.2009

Spinning sunshine

This sweet shot was taken by Astrophotographer Jack Newton of Osoyoos, British Columbia. Look at more of his images here.

I'm so glad the sun is back. Winter in our area is often the season of mud and gloomy days. Combine that with days that start before the sun comes up and working in a windowless area. Then leaving at dusk and it's no wonder I get a little cranky.

I have my new wheel and have been spinning, the sun is out and things are spouting up everywhere.

Sometimes this is all of the sun I get to see.

The tulip trees are blooming! When we first moved here I had a love affair with Magnolia trees, this is a variety. They grow to be quite large and their leaves are glossy, and waxy.

Now I'm ready to try my hand at plying on a wheel. I have two bobbins waiting for me.

This is at the back of our lot and I let it grow as large as it wants.

Enjoy the sun!!

May your needles fly as fast as dragonflies

3.17.2009

Lendrum spinning wheel arrives (my first wheel)

I ordered a spinning wheel. It was a big decision with lots of dithering involved. This article from Abby's Yarns helped me, thanks Abby! And my spinning mentor at Spin, Knit and Life, go look at her handspun, and she quilts also, Thanks Phyllis! {She also has an Etsy shop with handspun, batts and other yummy items}.  I had the idea it had to be the "perfect wheel" for me. Then a light bulb went off, everyone that spins does not have just one spindle or (eek) wheel. So with that thought, I decided that my first wheel would be a Lendrum.

I tried it out at a Fiber festival last year, and the girl (sorry I forgot your name, I was in fiber overload) was just sitting there spinning in a group, she was so chatty and nice. She was in love with her wheel and it showed. She chatted away about drive ratios, scotch tension, double drive. As a result I fell in love with it also.

I tried only several spinning wheels, but the one I liked the best was a Lendrum, I wanted a double treadle, but settled on a single treadle, (due to price).  I also tried a Babes, but I couldn't get past the PVC, very affordable and nice to spin on, but, well...I needed some wood.  I liked the Louet's also, and realized I wasn't buying a piece of furniture, but in a way I was. It will be in the house, can you love a wheel that isn't your style?  Modern lines vs: classic, your style is reflected in everything that is you, cloths to landscaping. Orderly, random, colors and shapes. So one Saturday night, after looking into our finances, I decided to buy the Lendrum.

I ordered it from Paradise Fibers, the customer service was stellar, it comes with a DVD illustrating everything that you need to know.

Arrived via UPS after an especially trying day at work. A much needed break.

What the heck?? Made by "the bag lady", and it's beautiful!! She makes drop spindle bags, along with a variety of other bags.

Now what...I think I'll just have to have a cup of coffee and look at it for awhile...Smiles...

Pop this in, and we are up and ready to go...

This is my first attempt, but am learning from books, Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning by Judith MacKenzie McCuin, and Start Spinning by Maggie Casey. The two I found that were most helpful to begin with.

So after 2 hours of practice, I feel like I am on my way to making yarn!!

Funny, for years I have bought Spin Off magazine and read spinning books. I always wanted to spin. It was a long path from the idea to a spindle and finally my wheel. All along the way, my desire to spin yarn increased.

More results soon...

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3.14.2009

Crochet scrubbie pattern and recycled shirt to sweet summer dress!

I got one of these for Christmas several years ago. I loved it, and have been searching for a pattern for one.

I finally discovered a close imitation here. (lots of other patterns also)

also see another photo of it here at Eternal Arts & Crafts.

Upon looking at it I would use cotton yarn, but my everlasting scrubbie is done in acrylic, it dry's quickly and is a tuff little guy, but will not scratch. My husband has it now, using it to clean bugs off of his windshield.

I found this on Frogginette Makes Things, which is a great blog.

She links to the tutorial, it is recycled yet fresh and pretty dress!!

Tutorial by Clevergirl, thanks! This has me rummaging in my husbands closet, (he will never know).

She also has another recycled shirt idea for a top, very cute and casual and clean looking.

Check out her blog and her refashioned shirts here (she has more ideas!)

Clever girl indeed....

Here is a free download from Knitting Daily for a wrap sweater, Soap bubble wrap , it looks girly and pretty for spring. Is she holding fries????

image

I'm hot on gluebooks right now, here is a great blog, Kelli's Ramblings.

May your knitting needles fly as fast as dragonflies...

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3.12.2009

This and that, searching for inspiration and gluebooks

Off today and have a list of "things to do". I've been in a cleaning mood lately, so I'm going with it. Clearing away and decluttering, I have found I can not be creative if my house (especially my sewing room) get too messy. I clean and this room ends up, well a catch all for everything that does not get to its proper place.

So, needless to say, no knitting has occurred yet. I am working on a gluebook.

Thanks to Paula the Quilter,

*take any kind of journal, book whatever. It can be printed or not
*take magazines and cut out words or pictures that appeal to you
*glue the cut outs to pages in your book
*add journaling or not, check some out here.

 

Flicker group here.

Or see Artjunkgirl's blog and GoMakeSomething here

Spring Knitty is out!! Inspiration here.

Don't forget KnittySpin.

The Yarn Harlot has a new book out!

This looks interesting. Highlighted by Knitters Review, A Go Knit Pouch. You can buy here or see more details about it, comes in sizes for every project you have. I am seriously looking at this because the best yarn bag I had was free, a cheap backpack that was made of nylon.

I usually wear mineral makeup (bare essentials) but am looking at some etsy mineral makeup, I've heard good things about his one, Lighthouse minerals. Once I started wearing it, I couldn't go back to traditional foundation. She offers sample kits that let you try it out, and they are reasonable.

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3.08.2009

Three prizes, pay it forward...

I won a fibery prize from Where is she Now?

And now I'll offer one to you!!

The first three people to comment will get something from me!

The catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 3 people who do the same on your blog. The first 3 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did, win a gift - yarn, or beads. Ok?

Get set and go.....

3.07.2009

Spring cleaning and spinning wheel shopping

Off this weekend and spring cleaning!

There is nothing like cleaning out and tossing the old. Making way for the new and fresh. Both in life and in your house.

I was drinking coffee with my husband this morning and I overheard a man talking to a women. He says "I was weighed down by his physiological aura", well I'm not sure what he was talking about but I have felt like I was in a big funk for several months.

Last night I had vibrant dreams, I was a person who had been hoarding in my house for years, trying to clean it out. I woke up, finally...., and decided this morning I needed to spring clean.  There is nothing like cleaning the dust and dirt from the winter out. Opening up the windows and clearing out clutter! Good smells and fresh air.

I don't consider my self a especially organized person or a clean freak. However, after these dreams and my BIG funk, I have been thinking........my beloved grandmother was a hoarder. I didn't realize this until I watched an Oprah show (Ha, everything Oprah discovers is life changing) Yes, my loving grandmother was a hoarder, my mother OCDC, clean freak. I guess between the two of them, I have inherited the genes to swing from one end of the spectrum to the other.

Long story short, after a couple months of not finding any motivation for home or creating. I was hurled into a cleaning organizing frenzy. (and painting is on my agenda) Ha, I'm a listmaker.....

I now feel a relief and my space feels cleaner. I started spinning on a spindle, due to Knitted Gems!! Now I'm spinning wheel shopping. Thanks to Spin, Knit and Life (spinner and knitter) for all of her encouragement and advice on wheels, (and eye candy!!) I now realize I feel like I have room for a wheel and am ready to buy one!!

I have been watching YouTube videos of wheels and talking and emailing people with wheels. I found this great article from Abby's Yarns, she has a wealth of info of all things yarny, and spinny.

So, I actually just checked out at the Paradise Fibers website with a wheel. More to come on that later.....

Until then....

May your needles fly as fast as Dragonflies......

 

 

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