8.31.2009

Stitches of a different kind

At my house we have stitches of a different kind. It has been keeping me from my knitting.

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My husband has had a knee replacement. My admiration to anyone out there that has had one. It is a lot of pain, work and time.

I originally took two weeks off to be his “coach” (because now hospitals can charge a whole group of patients physical therapy and have one or two PT’s and a family member helping out), it was hard for me to see him in so much pain. But he has done well, above photo is after the bruising and swelling went down, in fact, the day the staples were coming out. I decided maybe he needed a photo of what he had been through.

It is a month post-op and I am still taking extra days off to take him to PT, and other appointments, and keep him going.

Originally, I thought I would get great amounts of knitting done during this time. In reality, it was quite a bit of work for me, and a lot of work for him. Little TV, reading or time or anything. I didn’t realize how much I depend on him until he was down for the count.

So, not much knitting. A little dyeing. Mostly trying to stay caught up with the house, yard, and cooking, and running for ice, drugs, food and a lot of dog walking.

I did follow a cardinal raising some chicks in a bush in our yard.

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I think we are really turning a corner now, and I hope to get some knitting done soon!

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May your knitting needles fly as fast as dragonflies….

8.29.2009

Featured Etsy Seller

I find it valuable to keep a knitting journal, usually it is a large spiral bound book. I mean to keep all of my knitting info, swatches, yarn samples etc. in it, but it is large and I am always behind.

Dragonfly soars, fellow knitting blogger, gave me the idea of keeping a small journal for each project. This is a perfect solution for myself. Small, portable, and pretty I can write all of my info into it! Start for just for socks! I have been working on 2 at a time socks and am using a small journal to note my ideas, problems, and progress. It’s great.

With that being said here is an Etsy seller that makes some cute little journals and scrapbooks. She also makes custom scrapbooks.

Memories for Life Scrapbooks  Edi also blogs here.

Some of my favorites are:

love the Love album $20.00

summer the Summer book $20.00

bird notebood Bird Notebook $6.00

butterflynote book The Butterfly note book $5.00

Sweet little books to place your thoughts, photos, or even your to do list.

Take a look…

8.25.2009

Blueberries and Lime for Knitting or going Kracy with Kool Aid

I saw this sweater on this front of Knitscene Fall 2009 and decided to make it, but  with a twist of colors, minus the belt (why place a belt over your pattern area?).

Deciding on blue I picked out some Blueberry Kool aid, then offset it with Lime Kool Aid.

I did this in a three step solar dyeing process. For more info on my solar dyeing see this post. (more dyeing how to info links here)

Wet your yarn (natural fibers take up dye better), thoroughly, soak at least 15 min in warm water. While you are waiting for the soaking.

Dissolve your Kool Aid packets in warm water (or the same temp. as the water you are soaking your yarn or fiber in), standard amount is 1 package of Kool aid per oz of fiber or yarn. Less Kool aid=lighter color, more kool aid=vibrant.

1-Solar dye my yarn with the Blueberry Kool Aid, I used 5 packets per 4 oz of yarn, dissolved in 4 cups of water. (I use a sun tea jar, I know many people use canning jars) After this is dissolved, gently place your yarn in it, and stir around to get all of your yarn thoroughly soaked. (if you have some dry areas, they will take up less dye=lighter color, and this may be a look you want).

I let my jars set in full sun for 4-5 hours, dyeing is done when the water is clear, this means all of the dye is taken up by the fiber.

Allow to cool, then pour off water, now rinse in cool water and proceed to step 2.

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2-Sprinkle Lime Kool Aid powder in sections (of wet yarn, damp not soggy) tossing around while sprinkling and place back in sun to cook some more. I used one packet per 4 oz of yarn. I have used a glass bowl with saran wrap on top of it, or more recently zip lock baggies (these are great!) Let cook for 4-5 hours in the sun, then let cool, rinse in cool water and proceed to step 3. (unless you are satisfied with the colors now, then hang to dry, if you decide more color is needed, it can be added later, just wet and start with step 3)

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011 After looking at my results I wanted to try to achieve more dimensional color in the yarn.  Some darker blues areas are needed I decide.

3-Wet the yarn and sprinkle with more Blueberry Kool Aid powder, then place in Ziploc baggies and set out to dye. I used one packet per 4 oz of yarn. Let cook in sun for 4-5 hours, then allow to cool and rinse with cool water. Hang to dry.

Now what color should I make the waist pattern in? What do you think?

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May your knitting needles fly as fast as dragonflies….

8.13.2009

Knitting imitating life

I started out with my first handspun, and decided to make a plain little knitted in the round bag to store my Tarot cards.

It was my first attempt at spinning on a spindle, so it was pretty wonky. Thick and thin, so the square gathered up as the gauge changed.

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Just a row of ktog, yo, knit 2, repeat for the drawstring, and I’m ready to sew it up. Then I decided that I didn’t like the plain beige. Being in the middle of a Kool Aid Dyeing frenzy, I decided to give it some color.

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A little microwave dyeing, and then decided to felt it, because the shape was irregular enough that I couldn’t think of how it could be used.  Well, felting is unpredictable, sometimes too small, or too fat. But like life, if given lemons, lemonade it is.

And so my tarot bag became a make up bag. Which even works out  better. Due to the triangle shape, everything fits it in perfectly.

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Great, a cute little bag and it holds just enough to make a girl pretty, and fit in my purse!

May your needles fly as fast as dragonflies…

8.10.2009

Socks and more socks, two at a time!

I had dyed this yarn using Kool Aid and had so much fun it lead to a Kool Aid explosion in my kitchen. Lots of Kool Aid, lots of yarn, fun and color. See this post for the yarny back-story.

So then I began looking for a pattern that would suit my needs. I settled on The Sailor’s Delight Socks (rav link)  from 2 at a Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes.

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I decided to use the dark plum for the cuffs, toe and heel. and the variegated for the rest of the sock (I hope I have enough)

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Here I have started the heel. This will be the 2nd pair of socks that I have knitted with Melissa’s 2 at a time technique. The first attempt was rocky, but this one is going smoothly.

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Heel turned and….

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Gusset done, now all I have to finish is the foot and toe.

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Almost there….

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All done, pre blocking.

I do like knitting two socks at a time.

Pros…

-use every bit of yarn

-if you alter a pattern, and don’t write it down (like me, thinking “I will remember that” no worries, you have already done it twice.

-no second sock syndrome

Cons…

-the only one I can find is, it does take longer to “see” your sock done.

With that said, I’m on to my next sock.

I decided to Kool Aid dye some more yarn.

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Ready to go out into the sun and dye.

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I used a combo of punch flavor and grape to get a kettle dyed appearance.

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This is the result, and the pattern I'm going to use is Berry Season, from the 2 at a time socks book, she also blogs here.

May your needles fly as fast as dragonflies..

 

8.02.2009

Virgin needle felting

I bought a needle felting kit from Wildhare Fiber Studio on Etsy.  It was reasonable, and had everything I needed.

I have never done any needle felting, but was intrigued by the Spin, Knit and Life blog and her results. She directed me to this great site.

I decided to begin with my first attempt on my Sophie bag by Julie Anderson (rav link) . Which I actually saw on the Instructables site first and became interested in.

It is a very easy felted bag, it would be great for a first time knitted project, the handles provide a quirky interest and make it look more complicated than it is.

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Bag is quickly knit and I start on the handle, along the way I decide to make it a tri handle twined bag instead of two twined together. Because, hey who can make a pattern without a little tweaking.

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Then just twist them all and attach. Easy.

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Prefelted photo and a close up of the handle.

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Here we are post felting.

Then I decided to pick out some fabric to line it with, I hate to have a knitted purse that droops and stretches out.

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Inspired by the leaf print, and looking for something simple I tried to felt a tree like silhouette and add some buds of color, then wondered if I should add leaves or grass or maybe a bird, and then realized I might be headed toward the Bedazzler syndrome, (no one with a Bedazzler can put just one stud or rhinestone on an item)

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Start with a branch?

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Make two

022 I decided to stop here. Although it was really hard not to keep going, I was afraid I would make my purse into a ugh.

Lining your bag, especially if knitted, makes it sturdy, and resistant to stretching. It is easy to do and you can include pockets if you wish. Adding a zipper is also an option.

After needle felting I decided my first choice of fabric wasn’t the best. I wanted something to high light the buds on the branches.

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I decided on two different prints with red in them.

A little measuring, pinning and sewing and …..

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I’m done!

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Ready to organize all the things you need.

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Ready to go….

May your knitting needles fly as fast as dragonflies…