3.31.2010

Jeans to jeans skirts…

Drop over and take a look at the new Spring/Summer Knitty 2010!

My favorite pattern? I can’t decide yet. A wide variety from socks to shawls, easy to challenging.

Below is some beautiful core spun yarn from urbangypz's photostream on flickr! She has an etsy shop UrbanGypZ and blogs here. This beautifully spun yarn makes me think of spring!

I’m still struggling with my core spun, I’m not sure that is for me, I’m going to go back to traditional spinning.

12.20.09

We have been busy at my house, painting and getting a new privacy fence!

While visiting my Dad, I got sucked into Genealogy world! I have never done any research like this. And it is fun and very interesting. I feel like I’m turning into quite a sleuth. The stories we hear about family and are they true? Tracking down records and more records. I can’t imagine how time consuming this was before the internet!

I’m teaching  a 7 year old little girl to sew. Any hints would be appreciated, so far we have; made a tote bag, a cat bed, and a jeans skirt (from a pair of jeans). I think it is as fun for me as it is for her.

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Looks like she is pretty happy here, well we make quite a mess when sewing, and Penny insisted on helping us out.

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And of course, we must look good from the back!

We followed the tutorial from Erin Huffstetler, (jeans into jeans skirt) it seemed like the easiest one. She also has a blog Crunchy Money, dedicated to going green on a budget.

If you are an adult and want to make a stylish jeans skirt, my favorite tutorial is from SavySeams.com, this tutorial is for a 4 panel jeans skirt and looks like it turns out quite good looking, especially for us pear shaped women! A little bit more work, but it is worth it!

Go outside and take your needles, enjoy the sunshine!

3.26.2010

Golden friends and gifts

I've gotten some wonderful gifts in the mail recently!!

Thank you times a thousand!!

From my Doppelgänger, Vicki at Dragonfly Soars I received a package full of LOVELY fiber!!

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I can’t wait to get spinning with these! The braid is BFL from Girlontherocks.com, I love the turquoise (i just painted my living room a lighter shade of this color) and the golden yellow mixed in. The green batt is a super soft batt of blended wool and soy silk from Ogle Design.etsy.com, a perfect spring batt to spin, this green color with a little blue added really puts me in the mood to get out in the garden.

From Paula The Quilter, I received five skeins of excellent wool to dye! I’m not sure what colors these want to be yet, but I’m ready to get my pots out! The sun is out today and I haven’t done any Solar dyeing since last fall. Hummmm…006

I got a huge package of glitz and angelina to add to my spinning from Jane on ravelry!  Thank you Jane!!

Great for you to add a lot of sparkle or just a little something extra to your finished yarn, batt, roving or what ever you do to have your stuff stand out from the crowd. :)

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I visited my girlfriend Dena1975 [rav], (check out her pretty handspun!) and she showed me how to core spin! I added some of the green glitz [lower left of photo] into the spinning.

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My first core spun! It is trickier than I thought. You can’t see the glitz in the first photo. The second is out of focus but lets you see some of the sparkle!

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I can’t wait to get back to my wheel, but right now I’m off to buy some beads to add to my soul hat!

Until later, keep knitting, or spinning, and enjoy the spring!

3.18.2010

Bright yarn

Sun, and bright blue skies! I’m in the mood for some bright yarn and some Reggae music from Jamaica! So pick a song from the top 25 this week and get some sunshine into your life.

So I got my dye pot out, and decided to try some kettle dyeing!

I used the kettle dyeing tutorial from Fiber Fever’s blog (throwing knit fits since 2006). It is easy and understandable.

So with just this amount of info, I got started…

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I quickly found the red dye over powers everything else, I was trying to half orange and half red. But I like the extreme vivid colors, I found if I didn’t stir it in and let it “settle” on top, and then stuck a chopstick in straight down, and just “wiggled” it a little, the dye dispersed without getting too even.

Then I tried some blue and green, ooo pretty. I’m trying to keep a little white in it for more variation, and the colors look cleaner.

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This pot has 1/3 red and 1/3 orange, 1/3 yellow, just a little wiggle, and then after bringing to a simmer, let sit for 30 min or until dye is absorbed. (water will be clear)

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This is 1/2 red and 1/2 purple

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Drying on my line.

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I like the effects and the results, this was a very fun technique! Give it a try!!

 

3.14.2010

What is on my needles

I’ve had an energy spurt with the onset of spring and nicer weather. Thank goodness the sun has shown up, just in time.

Here is what I have going on over here….

I pledged to finish my simple diamond lace shawl, and I am working on it! [rav link]

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I frogged my Kumara bed socks  [rav link] and decided I would use some of my hand dyed. I picked my Spicy Mama color way 

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I was anxious to see how it would knit up…just getting started, but I’m very pleased with the colors.

I had some round bamboo handles in my stash that I have never used, I found a pattern by Patons, a nice cabled bag pattern, and decided I need a sunshine color for it. [rav link]

I kettle dyed up several skeins of this

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I think it will make a pretty summer bag.

I have been spinning with a girlfriend of mine, who is moving back to Michigan soon. She is the only spinner I know down here! Even though she is a new wheel spinner, she has already started wrapping and coil spinning!

I am finishing up my persimmon roving, it was dull after plying and flat looking. Her suggestion was to add a little color. I love it. I used a spool of Sulky thread.

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Only 4 more oz to spin and I’ll be ready to cast on. I’m planning on using this in a Soul Hat [rav link], see Mr.. Puffy’s blog

3.13.2010

Knitted Owl Hat

I’ve been on a hat knitting binge this winter.

I had some of my hand dyed berry yarn, that need to become a hat!

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One skein dark with purples it in, the other blues.

I found this hat through Ravelry, a free download. free Owl Hat pattern by Ruthie Knits.

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Just starting here and I’m pleased with how the colors are flecked through out.

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This pattern works up very quickly, perfect for a fast gift and great for just about anyone.

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If you look around on Ravelry you can see the many different versions. Some have small beads in the eye area. I thought I was going to add eyes, but when I couldn’t decide what color or size. I just opted out.

I especially like the version by sekini, she made the owls in a different color, it changed the whole look of the hat!  I would definitely make this pattern again, and try it her way.

May your knitting needles fly as fast as dragonflies….

Glittery Animated Dragonfly Insects Images

3.06.2010

Dyeing for Spring

I’m ready for spring. I’m sure that is true nationwide. OK, I love snow and winter, but time to move on to the next season.

Below are my inspirations, along with how I got the colors. 

Bright flowers and sunshine were my inspiration as a got out my dyeing supplies. My husband always helps me.009 Looks like he found a knot.

So first thing, yellow, I need some yellow yarn! Yellow like the sun that gives spring life.

All yarn is soaked in water 15 min to saturate and then gently squeeze out excess

[4 T of Acid Dye (Jacquard) in water, golden yellow, microwave for 5 min. and let sit for 1 hour, rinse in cool water, and gently squeeze excess water out, sprinkle some of the same color over the yarn, while tossing, microwave 4 min and let sit for 1 hour, rinse in cool water, and hang to dry]036020

 

OK soaking, Now some pink, pink for the little pink buds of wildflowers013 014

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[1 t of Acid Dye in water, microwave for 5 min. and let sit for 1 hour, rinse in cool water, and gently squeeze excess water out]

And I need to add some black, to remind us of the night.

[place black dye into a salt shaker and sprinkle over yarn, careful to toss, colors may muddy, microwave for 3 min and let sit for 1 hour, then rinse in cool water and hang to dry]

I dyed this a  light orange color, because I was thinking of summer and dream sickles,

but I felt like it needed a punch of color.

Add some reds, and more red, like a vivid sunset,

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[sprinkle red onto the yarn, tossing after each sprinkle, until you have it evenly distributed, microwave for 3 min and let sit for 1 hour, then rinse in cool water and hang to dry]

 

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Yes that is good

Now green, like new grass, little soft sprigs, that we can sit down in and smell spring.

[Place wet yarn, in 3 cups of cool water with a 1/2 t. of light green acid dye, microwave for 5 min, let sit for several min., then sprinkle same color over top, tossing as you go, until your happy with the look, microwave for 3 min and let sit for an hour, then rinse in cool water and hang to dry]

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OOO pretty.

Daffodils that come up through that last snow

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[Mix 2 T of orange dye into a little water as possible to dissolve, now drop this onto the damp yarn, microwave for 4 min and let sit for an hour, then rinse in cool water and hang to dry]

Yes, now, a little pink and orange, like my tulips that are easy to grow and keep us smiling.

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[1 t of Acid Dye (Jacquard) in water, orange, microwave for 5 min. and let sit for 30 min, rinse in cool water, and gently squeeze excess water out]

[sprinkle pink onto the yarn, tossing after each sprinkle, until you have it evenly distributed, microwave for 3 min and let sit for 1 hour, then rinse in cool water and hang to dry]

OK, good, now I’m ready to let these dry, I call these my “lights” collection. My next dyeing batch is very vivid!

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Now go knit up some bright colors for yourself!

If you need some great patterns, check out the ones below, all one skein, quick and cute.

From Knitting with Laura, a sleep mask pattern, for your night shift workers or late sleepers.

From PDXknitterati a spiral rib cap

I love this and have always wanted to knit it, one skein of Kidsilk Haze, pattern from Rosemary Hill, published in Knitty winter 07, Ice Queen, a knitted cowl.

I like these serpentine mitts from Mimknits

And everyone needs a shopping or market bag, this is a nice one from Thesmartyarn.com

3.02.2010

Olympic closing ceremony, and playing reindeer games

I got my Olympic reindeer hat done! Yay…I was trying to get it done by the end of the Olympics, well actually way before that, but it didn’t get finished until 2 days after the closing ceremony.

Olympic Reindeer Hat pattern free download [rav] thanks to Helena Bristow

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Here is the start of my hat, It called to use a provisional cast on, I found a nice tutorial on You Tube by Numenorean77 (mountain mom), she has a variety of tutorials that are useful. Crochet provisional cast on tutorial video

What better way to watch the Olympics than to knit! Well, thank goodness for the instant replays. I always was missing the jump or slip, I usually stopped to see the finish.

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Here is the band joined together, now I’m ready to start the exciting part of the pattern! The reindeer!

Did you know? The Reindeer family also includes the elk, moose, caribou, and deer. The Reindeer differs from other deer in that both sexes carry antlers.
The origins of the word 'deer' comes from the Middle English word 'der' meaning beast and  from the Old English word 'dor'. The origins of 'rein' comes from the Old Norse word 'hreinn'

  • The reindeer family includes caribou as well as a few smaller subspecies. In fact, reindeer and Caribou are essentially the same animal, although reindeer are domesticated and caribou are wild.
  • Reindeer are found in the arctic and subarctic regions of North America, Europe and Asia. Reindeer have thick, multi-layered fur that is specially suited for the harsh arctic climate where they live.
  • Male reindeer can sometimes weigh as much as 700 pounds. Females are smaller, weighing only about 350 pounds.
  • Male reindeer are called bulls and females are called cows. Baby reindeer are called calves.
  • Reindeer typically have a lifespan of around 10 years.
  • Reindeer are the only deer species in which both the male and females grow antlers, although the males’ antlers are bigger.
  • Reindeer shed and regrow their antlers every year. Males usually shed their antlers by early December, while females usually don’t shed their antlers until after they give birth, in the spring.
  • Reindeer usually mate in the fall, and their young are born the following spring. A reindeer will usually give birth to one or two calves at a time.
  • Reindeer calves can begin grazing by the time they are 45 days old, although they will continue drinking mother’s milk until the autumn after their birth.
  • Reindeer eat mostly lichen, grasses, willow and birch leaves. However, they are not picky eaters, and will eat any vegetation they can find in the tundra. They have been known to eat bird eggs and sometimes even mushrooms.
  • Reindeer have an excellent sense of smell. Because food is scarce in the Arctic, reindeer use their great sense of smell to detect food buried deep beneath the snow.
  • Reindeer are excellent swimmers.
  • And of course they pull Santa’s sleigh.

    Wild life experts consider that Reindeer are an endangered species

    Need to learn more about the Reindeer?

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    Almost to the heads now.

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    Ready for the antlers

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    And the rest is all downhill.

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    Tassels done and ready to wear, just in time…

    Super warm, and fits great!

    Lets go!!

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    Hold on I know there is something down there I need to get! I’m not a reindeer but I can smell under the snow also.

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    Yeah it’s right here…