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Friday, May 8, 2015

The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA)

I did it. I went and paid for the Masters Hand Knitting course. It is very hard. Very, very hard. And we are talking Level One. 17 swatches with questions plus their references; a report also with references; a pattern for the project which must also have, yes, you guessed it, references. At least two each. Don't count it up. You don't want to, I'm telling ya. Then all swatches much be properly dressed. You know, washed, dried and tidied up. I hear these ladies use a magnifying glass to check the work. Every time I pull out the needles I start breaking out in a sweat. They do state they are not being critics. Thank the knitting goddesses in the sky. They just want a person to be the best knitter they can be. An excellent knitter. Master Hand Knitter. Way I see it all the itchy hives and heart palpitations is worth every moment. Keep me in your prayers.

I keep wiping out my report. I hate everything I say. Two pages. Four pages. I can't help it. Oh well. I must bite the bullet, right? Just doooo it.

Volunteered at a local museum this past Saturday. It's called WayBack Weekend at  So much fun. If you ever visit this neck of the woods be sure to check them out. It is all about life back in the day. Next month's wayback is Appalachian music.

Maybe I'll see you there.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

I'm Now A Proud Member of TKGA

And why not I ask you? I have very little in the way of contact with other fellow knitters. All by my lonesome I might indulge in the belief that I am an amazing knitter. But truth be told there is much I do not know how to do. Like creating patterns. Or designing. Yes. I am in need of some sharping up. And so I may try my hand at the Masters Hand Knitting Program. Wish me luck.

I've been to see the movie "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies". Loved it. I liked Bilbo's fingerless mitts. Seriously chunky wool.

Oops. Sorry. I'm back. I was trolling IMBD looking up the actors. I really love the Brits.

And really, I ask you, why not?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

New Spinning Wheel Finds

Yes. Last year right around Valentines Day I got This . Her name is Cassandra, quit a lovely little spinning wheel. I had a time of it trying to use my feet. Had no idea I was so clumsy.

Here is another awesome bike wheel. The Thrifty Fox Spinning Wheel
This is a PDF download and just so you know it's 11 bucks and 25 cents. On sale baby, on sale. She uses a bike wheel and it's also a spindle wheel.

Now, should you be interested in spending more and are an amazing woodworker you have this.
The Zephyr 40 bucks people. This is not a spindle wheel. It has the whole whorl and bobbin thing. Looks very well crafted.

A lot of folks are looking for the DragonKeep plans. That web page has fell of the face of the earth. She had the free plans. She left us. We are sad. But 7 and 11 pesos is not so bad, right?

I have lately been thinking about crafting up plans. Wonder if I could even bend my brain that-a-way but here is the thought. Well some back ground first. I found a wheel chair someone threw away. I grabbed it. We, dear HB and myself, broke it down and was left with 2 big wheels and 2 small. I do believe you may see where my bent brain is going.

In the olden days they had the Great Wheel. Later, in the olden days, they added another smaller wheel. Ah hem. The Minor's Head. AKA the Accelerator. Check this link out...

You will see pictures of 2 spindle types here, neither of which our fav inventors have created. They have used the simplest of designs. Just a spindle.

The first pic is the "Bat's Head" spindle and the second is the "Minor's Head". The speed machine of the Great Wheels. Well, so, yes, I have lately been thinking of crafting up plans...with those wheel chair wheels....

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bam!! I See That Very Spindle Wheel On YouTube

Kinda cute. Kinda clunky. Uhhh. Don't want it anymore. And now. May I introduce the new addition to my fiber family.

                                          Ain't he a beaut.
This is a Brother Drum Carder . Has the lowest price far as I can see. It works good. Not used it for a bit cause I've been spinning from the (tangled) locks.

                                          Wanna see something amazing?

Now that is gorgeous. My genuis husband made it. A true MacGyver it. But sadly the nails were too close up and down and all around. He took it away. I did say it didn't work. I think I may have hurt their feelings. I do hope he tries to make another lovely some day.

                                         Look at those teeth!
You can see where I removed some of the nails hoping it would help. But alas...

To the person searching for free box picker instructions, here's a Link for a picker already made. I have one but I seem to have forgotten to take a picture of it. Not to expensive. Something like 140 -150 bucks. (For those not in the US it's the shipping that kills ya. But a girl's gotta have what a girl's gotta have, right?). I have not found free instrux for a wool picker anywhere online. Yet. (Mumbles to self, "hmmm, maybe the husband will scratch one up....")

Well, looks like my camera cord has up and walked away. Hiding out. Really? No. I put it somewhere safe. Yeah. Must'a thought it was a good spot. Anyway, I wanted to share some pictures of the lastest batch of yarn I'm been working on. Some was dyed with marigolds and some with sunflowers. Again I will say this is so fun. I guess I'll have to force my lazy butt back online another day and post some pics. I'd rather do a bit of spinning, but then again I do want to share about my (how slow can ya go) progress.

Time for bed...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Poncho Shawl: A Free Knit Pattern

This takes about one pound of yarn.
Could include crazy additions of fun fur, loopy stuff, thick and thin and so on.
A long circular needle a couple sizes bigger than you'd usually use.
I use a 13 or 15.
If you mix different sized yarns you'll want the shawl to have lots of bounce and a bigger needle will keep the yarns evened out.
2 round markers. 1 clip marker a different color for the increase side.
This poncho or shawl (or Ponchawl!) has 4 increases with 1 at each edge and 2 at center.

                                                Poncho Shawl

Begin:  cast on 3 sts
Row 1: knit 3, turn
Row 2: knit 1, yarn over (yo), knit 1, yo, knit 1, turn. 5 stitches
Row 3: k2, place marker (pm), k1, pm, k2, turn.
Row 4: k1, yo, k to marker, slip marker (sm), k center stitch, sm, k to last stitch, yo, k1. Mark this side with clip marker. You can move it up as the work progresses.
Row 5: k across.

Repeat rows 4 and 5 until out of yarn or it reaches your calves in back.

I will then make a yarn rope. How? Take about 8 or 10 feet of your regular yarn, fold over a door knob, tie a knot on the other end and spin. When nice and tight have someone hold the middle with tension while you make another fold. It'll spin up onto itself and become a nice tie for your poncho shawl. Just run back and forth through the front and tie. You've now got yourself a "Ponchawl".

I've used 3 different yarns knitting one row each dropping at the edge as I come to the yarn below. 3 works great because the edges look more even than with only 2 yarns. 2 has only one side with the yarn running along the edge but with the 3 both sides are the same. I like using a hairlash, a thick boucle (like Lion Brand's), and a regular yarn. It's pretty fun. You can see a picture of one under the lable Ponchawl. Scroll to the bottom.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hmm, lets see...we need a new label, like maybe, "PVC Spinning Wheel"?

Yeah, as I check on who is visiting my blog I realize many folks are stopping in on a search for instructions to make a PVC spinning wheel. I must tell yee curious ones that the free instrux at DragonsKeep (link listed under label spinning) is dead. But DonisFuff is still up. She is the genius behind my dandy little yarn spinner. Whether Donis still sells her pattern or not I do not know. Just gotta contact her if interested, right? And while we are on the subject of non-free spinning wheel instructions here is another place to investigate.

Bam and Bam

These are instructions for two different types of spinning wheels. Made from wood. $6 or $7 bucks a piece. Betcha can tell which one I want. Well, really, I want both kinds, but I gotta have that spindle one. So nice looking. That may seem strange. Weird even. But what can I say? Girl's gotta have what a girl's got to have. Heart stopping. Yup.

This eBay seller also has many very intriguing patterns for sale. Seems like hundreds. How about a Victrola??

Thursday, May 30, 2013

For the First Time, Introducing... My Hand Spun

It is a bit on the rustic side. But I don't mind. I'm learning so it's okay. Which, by the way, what I'm trying to learn is the long draw. It's starting to come together. Which, by the way, means the yarn I'm trying to learn to spin is not falling apart as I spin. This is probably why my yarn is a bit on the rustic side. Not trying to make excuses. But, well, it's kinda hard. I love doing it. What's wrong with me? Not really sure. Kinda hard to explain.

                   Ignore the date found at lower right hand corner.

This is a wonderful pattern created by Yolanda Teague. You can find it on Ravelry and is called the Cloud Bolero. I was lucky. Got the pattern back in 2010 when it was still free at Yarn Forward Mag.

Okay, wrong. Cloud Bolero is no longer available but a new version is. There is a link from the Cloud page to the new pattern. She also has some notes on the differences between them at her blog. That link also on Cloud page. Yolanda Teague on Ravelry

And so the above was made with one of my hand spun yarns. It was dyed with orange osage wood chips in an iron pot over an outside fire. Another story for another day. I did not care for the color so I over dyed with tobacco. The roll your own type. For real.
                     Here is the tobacco simmering. Horrible smelling stuff.

                                                 And here is the dye.

      This is how it came out. Added a bit of rustiness to the color which I liked better.

And here is a sweet little something for a sweet little person. This was spun up from wool shorn from a local Jacob sheep. The cocoon was so very soft. Baby's need soft. The mommy was very pleased.

And so this is what my PVC/bike spinning wheel has helped me to create. There was more but has been knitted or crocheted into something and given away.

A quick note on the two pattern links I put up on how to make a PVC spinning wheel. It seems one of the links is dead. That would be the free pattern. I will say the other pattern is worth every penny of the $7.00 price. And it will help out a fellow crafty person. Hey, run don't walk and get you one.

                 There were some needed changes. Will post on that soon.

Have a good day.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Well, Well. Blogger Has Fixed the "Browse" for Pictures Bug.

Glad to see it.

And now I would like you to meet some friends of mine. Are they not cute?

Meet Sally  A Ravelry pattern. Of course.



And this is Jack Skellington   He's such a doll.
Why can't I start writing at the left like a normal person? Blogger has gotten weird. This is annoying. In fact I Do Not Like It. Alignment has to be clicked for each sentence until blogger gets the point. Weird.
Yes. I am done bitching.
To He who listens: I am thankful to Blogger for the pleasure of its use and am greatful. I will stop being a stickin-the-mud about change. Amen.
Umm. One more thing. I just gotta ask. What is up with the strange misshappen white part around Sally? aaahh well. Mumbles to self, will not be a stickinthemud...


Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year. It Better Be...

Blogger is having image upload issues.

So can't share any pics of knits or hand spun. But. Our family went to see "The Hobbit" on Christmas day. The movie was changed up from Tolkien's version and that is annoying. Though I felt much better when low and behold what do I see? The Dwarf hoards sitting there looking at me. With all sorts of big chunky knits! Even the hair was crafted into knit stitch like designs! I Love This.

I already have all the Fellowship movies but these woolie clothed dwarfs are a real incentive to get The Hobbit. Even when departing from the original adventure, which I dare say is the correct manner for my beloved Hobbit story, I will get these movies and try my hand at recreating those lovelies. Seriously? I'm already impatient for movie #2. Blather on that I may.

One of the tunics stands out in my mind. It had a lovely cable that looked a lot like my all time favorite stitch. The honeycomb. And also those fingerless mitts. That must have been the moss stitch. All looked to be knitted up in the most rustic-ish, itchiest, beautiful wool god or man ever has created. I want some.

Anyone think there will be patterns? Maybe yarn! Oh gosh. Sorry. But, blast it all, I am a great lover of everything ever written by Tolkien. You must understand when I first came to West Virginia (from Long Island at 16 yrs of age) I was gonna live like Bilbo Baggins. I have read these books many times over. And now someone(s) has crafted "The Knits". Yes. All is right in the world.

The Hobbit

Oin  lovely plaited gloves and hair in grey. +D
Nori  mega braids!
Bombur  yup these are the moss stitch mitts mentioned above and love that big fat braid.
dwarves are a-singing Fili, Dori, Ori and Nori

Really the effect is never the same as on the Silver Screen. Which must be the shock factor. I was struck (not) dumb too see so much knitting. Keep it up Peter Jackson.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Adventures In Dyeing


Poke berries are poison. Do not eat. Do make a red (or purple or whatever color happens) dye. I got this idea from the book "A Weaver's Garden" by Rita Buchanan. She says berries need to ferment to give up their colors. The dye bath:

I'm annoyed with Blogger. It's all changed and I don't like to relearn. Anyway, the color is lovely, am I right? The scarf dyed with poke berries:

The fiber at the right was also dyed with poke berries but I added some pennys just to see what would happen. Kinda orangey.

So, the skein shown above is the original color of the scarf. You can see the line on the scarf where the color changes from the skeins dyeing a bit differently. Shame on me.

That yarn was on sale at 2 dollars a skein. It's Michael's Loops and Threads "Horizon Tweed
Thick and Thin Bulky Roving". I have more poke berries fermenting but don't have any more yarn!

Here we have walnuts after a 3 day soak and a 2 hour boil. I thought about cracking one open to see if they may be edible. Couldn't do it.

Here we have two pots of yarn and wool taking up the dye. With walnut splatters all about. I premordanted with alum. Each pound of fiber got 4 ounces of the mordant and was boiled for 1 hour.

And here in the dish pan we have the completed dye project. The color is so pretty. I enjoyed doing this!

This yarn was Lion Brand's Fisherman's Wool. The pink yarn on the left is also Fisherman's Wool but that was dyed with Wilton's Burgundy as well as some walnut dye. This idea came from Dye Your Yarn. She has formulas with all types of food dyes for sooo many kinds of color. Fun.

For the pink yarn I made a very long skein wrapping the Fisherman Wool around our swing outside. A pic:

The yarn was draped into 3 dye pots, 2 walnut and the pink was in the middle. I seemed to have forgotten to take a picture, silly me. It was left to simmer 1 hour and was not mordanted. Though a bit vinegar was used for the food coloring. Another picture of the Wilton Burgundy dyed Fisherman's Wool:
Well, I hope you enjoyed viewing my little dyeing adventure! Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

And Another Thing...!

Its about something I love and hate. A lot. Exercise. But. Time to bit the bullet. Right now.

My dad has had heart attacks and had a stroke and I'm gonna be next in line. I don't want to go down that road. I'm 54 and he had his first heart attack near his big five O.

Yes. Give me that bullet. Right now. And so...

...I started body flex again. There. I said it. Out loud. On a blog. To the world. There some of us would rather fight than switch. Extreme die hards. That is no lie. Anyone thinks its funny you better try it out before you look as foolish as those of us who do the BF. Because it is funny looking. I guess those of us who pass the 50 mark do not care anymore. It is okay to laugh at me because, really, it is funny looking. Okay, now that that's over and done with here is a link from youtube on an updated version of BF. This, by the way, is not as funny looking or sounding as the older version. There are three short videos.

body flex parts 1, 2, and 3

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm Feeling Brain Dead

The problem... was... no computer... near the end of last year. But that has been resolved (my son's baby's mom gave me one as a gift). And so much has been happening and so much new things have been learned (sweet delish fiber goodness) that I do not know where to start. And with no computer lying around I did not use a camera just got lazy and well the brain is overloaded with it all.

Spinning. Yes, on my pvc pipe and bike wheel spindle as pictured elsewhere on this blog. I guess I am an over spinner.  But I'm learning...

Dyeing:  Very interested in natural dyes. Funny thing is they are hard to understand and woe. So far I've tried poke berries, blueberries (those both very light coloration), and of course good ol' onion skins (very deep color). Lets see, what else? Oh yeah, red cabbage. That was a beauty. Light purple; lilac. It was a color to dye for. Problem was it did not take. Lovely color in the pot, not a drop on the yarn. Dern it. Have heard a lot about mordants. They are sooo very important:
    "Simmer/boil with wool for an hour, cool then wash/rinse...OR
    "Simmer/boil with wool for an hour, let cool in pot overnight, then wash/rinse...OR
    "Simmer/boil with wool for an hour, let it sit overnight, stuff into a plastic bag and set aside for 3 or 4 days...
After performing one of the possibilities listed above you then move on to the dye pot. I'm, like, thinking natural dyes are fickle. I haven't tried the extended rest version yet. That will be next. Because really, I love those natural colors. Can't give up.

Buying: A bit of fiber, a bit of yarn, a fiber tool here a fiber tool there a fiber tool wistfully everywhere. I try mostly to buy localy. Me and my sister found a nice place near her. "Apple Tree Acres Alpacas" run by Ed and Karen Rogers in Utica, Illinios. They welcome visitors but plesae call first! Sis bought some alpaca fiber for my (2010 June) birthday. A beautiful gift. But it's a real terror to spin for a beginner. Like me. Of course you need real fiber combs. Time to move up from the doggie brush. Will break the bank (75 bucks!), but what can ya do? Take the plunge my friend. Take the plunge. Yes, a few other small treasures: a top and a bottom whorl spindle. I try to feel no shame.

Knitting: Ah yes, knitting. Lots of such. Especially with the stuff I've spun. It's all one ply. Some of the kinks don't come out after the finishing stage. Chuff, chuff.

Crochet: My default when I can not stand any of the above one moment longer. Kinked up tangles. Fibers not binding. Not dyeing. Rip it. Shread it. Hair pulling hissy fit.

Sure. Some folks think anyone acting like that is messed up.

Naa. Really, in the world of fiber, it's normal.

A note to those of you who stop by to check out the "Aran Sweater" and "Pvc Spinning Wheel" post, a quick thank you! This encurages me to get back to posting updates on things of interest. And there a some who come by to look for free knit and crochet patterns. I will shortly get to posting on some stuff that I've been up to. Nothing special. It's all fun.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

AutumnFest Crafts 2010 of Kenova, WV

Didn't make much money but had loads of fun. Several of the local Stitch and Bitch ladies of Huntington hung out with me.  

Have you heard of the Pumpkin House of Ceredo?  Here's a few pictures and it is something to see. I believe there were 3000 carved pumpkins lit up. Another Pumpkin House link.  Maybe we'll see ya next year!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Oh Hell No

My Vista computer is fried. How dare it. Probably the mother board. Can't fix her right now so I pulled out the old ME and hooked that dinosaur up. Many, many glitches. Yuck. Just started enjoying Ravelry. Now I seem to be in read only mode. No responding to posts, no PMing. Not really interested in finding out what else I cannot do. But we can get online and well, that is something, I guess. Contacted HP and the dear man on the other side of the line says to me, "honestly, ~3 years~ of using a computer, truthfully that is to be expected". Mother board fried after only 3 years? I held my tongue. He did offer me a one time deal of a lap top and a computer all for about 1,000 dollars. Well damn, let me check my back pocket. Husband Darling-Dear believes a year of no central air (yeah, damn thing's also fried) is what did it. Maybe so. Maybe not so. Seem's like there's lot's getting fried at my house. Time to go fishing. Do a fish fry. I guess.

Anyone else going through hell and back? Funny thing, this is nothing compared to what my house was going through the past few years. I should shut my mouth.

On a happier note. Pulled out my fiber goods and started to do a bit of spinning again. I parked my arse right in the living room so my hubby can feel sorry for me and get that wool picker constructed. Just a little ol' box picker. The discussion proceeded this way.

HDD: "Why don't you look for a used picker online. How much do they cost?"
He's talking about one of those Fancy Pickers made by Pat Green. He likes them. I look on Ravelry (pre-fried computer) and see several. $450-500.
Me: "Good price, babe?"
HDD: "Well, where's those plans."
Me: "There's one lady who sells a box picker for $150."
HDD: "Naaa." He's now looking at instrux. I'm a bad girl.

Shoot, I need to get back on Ravelry and look for the gal who makes spindles. She has real nice directions on getting a good friction fit.

Gotta love Ravelry.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Local Stitch and Bitch

Have been getting out of the house. A little. To the local stitch and bitch. These ladies are a hoot. I enjoy their fresh perspective and wit. And lets not forget the real attraction. Last week one young lady brought her Baynes spinning wheel. Another showed her how to chain ply. Another whipped out her spindle and began to chain ply. I drooled. Also. Knitting projects to die for. Oh yes. One lovely young lady brought her FO  Versatility from Knitty. A very good reason to move my butt off the couch. No dynamite needed.

Things have gotten very quiet around here. Only one grandchild running around screaming instead of 2 or 3. Less grown up kids shouting at each other. Less tension, less mayhem. More peace and quiet, more time. Hope I don't stay bored much longer...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Been Hanging Out at Ravelry

Been having all kinds'a fun. Guess that's why I've not been posting. I'm sure some of you's understand. Been there yet?

One of the forums I like visiting is the testing pool. Which is a place where a person can pick up a pattern to test for a budding designer or two. It helps to broaden the brain. The talent that's running loose there, it astounds me.

I want some of this talent. I want it. I might be thinking, beneath what lies above, hiding under the upper realm, the actual sneaking side of the mind, that some of this smart shit will rub off one me. Am I deluding myself? I might be, but, why not see. That's my way of thinking. Then again my way of thinking isn't all that talented. Hmmm, a conundrum of sorts.

I do have a my first free Ravelry pattern for your enjoyment. It's the same free knit scarf posted elsewhere on this blog. If you do download and decide to knit one up, tell me what you think. I hope you find it fun to make.

Another faved Ravelry group is the West Virginia Fiber Artists. Especially the Stitch & Bitch forum. A very funny bunch of ladies. Now go join You have already? Yip, swat's I'm talkin 'bout, right there.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Oh Yes! I've been promoted...

...back to high speed. Thank you lord. That was getting to be seriously annoying.

And we're back from visiting our Long Island friends for the 4th of July. They showed us a great time. Took us to the lovely beaches of the south shore and the  Montauk Point Light House. The climb up the light house stairs was real scary and high but I persevered.

lovely beachy pic

view from the beach

It was so hot. Oh my g.d. But I loved smelling the ocean air and hearing the sea gulls and the tide. It's been ages and ages ago since I've been near a beach.

My LI friends are lucky but then again there's the taxes....

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Damn, I've Been Demoted... dial up. Though its just a been week, What A Trip.

I have never been a person who has much patience anyway. I can see this is gonna be a real trial.

waiting...and waiting...and waiting. Damn...

And so the next thing I'd like to learn/figure out is how to put up a video. Or for starters how to do a vid with my camera. Anyone for seeing some backwards knit and purl?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Free Knit Pattern

Recently joined Ravelry and lordy lordy there sure is some talent there.

Have tested a pattern or two for some amazing designers. It's always a pleasure to help out. Course I like how this makes me a better knitter. If you hang with those who do stuff better than you it helps sharpen your brain. Or not. I wanna be smart. Har...

If I actually ever sell patterns I'll probably be great for beginners. Har Har...

My way of creating is to discover a stitch and run it into the ground working it into as many different things as I can. And I do not like gauge. Yar Mate...

                     Skinny Summer Scarf: Free Knit Pattern

                                                                    sorry about the date. i swear i'll fix it. someday

Stitch: An even multiple of 3 plus 1.
Yarn: One 100 gram hank of Cascade Ultra Pima color #3742. A lovely shade of light green.
Tools: Straight knitting needles size 4; crochet hook size F or G; scrap yarn for provisional cast on.
Talents: Able to jump tall buildings in a single bound. No. Just a bit of crochet.

You will cast on 25 sts by way of a crocheted chain and use the bumps located on the bottom of chain. Go ahead and make the chain 27 or 28 with the scrap yarn. Turn chain over and with the Ultra Pima and a knitting needle, pick up the 25 sts. 8x3=24+1=25. Even multi of 3 plus 1.

Begin: *k3, p3* repeating across ending with the last stitch as k1.

Now repeat this row (over and over and over) until you have a small ball of yarn left, about 6 grams. Don't cast off. This left over yarn will be for the crocheted off edging. Though I actually forgot how much yarn I saved for the trim. But it really doesn't take much.

I am bad for not writing down the instrux as I go. Shame on me.

Now the Edging: You have not cast off and sts are still on needle. Grab the crochet hook in your right hand (course if you're a south paw...) and knitting needle in the left ('d probably do the opposite) and prepare to crochet the sts off the needle. Simply slip first 3 sts onto hook, yo and pull through these 3sts, chain 8; *slip next 3 sts to hook, yo, pull thru the 3 sts, chain 8*; repeat this until you have 4 sts left. Just (catch 2 sts, yo, pull thru and ch 8) twice. One end complete.

Working Opposite End: Carefully remove the crochet chain, one st at a time, picking up each st with the knitting needle. 25 sts. Repeat as for other edging.

Weave in ends. You're done.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Inspired to knit.

A friend checked out my blog and said she found it humorous. Though she also mentioned that she didn't exactly feel inspired to knit while reading through the posts. This gave me pause. Am I trying to inspire? As I considered this, I realized that my reason for blogging about knitting, crochet and all things fiber related, was that it was I who needed inspiration. Life, at times, can be harsh. Crafting something from nothing can bring such happiness. 

Actually I never was much of an artist, or a poet. Knitting was a gift I found lying at the bottom of my heart. To tell true, a woman, who me and my friend miss very much, was my first teacher in the fiber arts. It was she who inspired me to knit. She planted this gift inside me and I found it again. I am very grateful to her.

Thank You Nan

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Free Crochet Pattern: Cute Flowers

My Ravelry Badge is fixed!!!...thanks to the awesome helpful folks at Ravel's non-ravelry techno help group.
Please excuse the stupid date on above picture.
These cute little flowers are fun and fast and I love making 'em. They weigh about 2 or 3 ozs. Which tells you want a maniac I must be. That's a small sized ball of left over yarn to have laying around. Especially when there are a lot of them. =0D

The Pattern:
They are simple enough. Make a chain with either the loop method, or by chaining 5 sts and joining to form a ring or by chaining 3 and making your sc's into 3 ch from hook.
Oh yeah, choose your hook to match your yarn. A no sweat situation.
I prefer to ch 5 and join. I can get 12 or 14 sc's into the middle ring which I think makes a better flower.
I think the pink and brown one is done with sc'ing into the 3 ch from hook method.
And it looks like I didn't write the instrux down for these cuties but never fear they are easy. It is basically a lot of chaining.
After filling up the ring with sc's slide the sts over a bit and squeeze in some more sc's. You want a least 12 -16 sc's. Some of my flowers have 18. Join your round by slip stitching into the back strand of first sc. Ch 10 and again sl st into back strand.
What you'll then do is chain 10 and sl st into front strand of same sc; chain 10 and sl st into the back strand of next sc, ch 10 and sl st into front strand of same sc. 
* Ch 10, sl st to back strand of next st, ch 10, sl st to front strand of same st*. 
And repeat * to * in each sc around. Slip stitch into last front strand of last sc. Ch 8.

Now look at your work. 
Do you see beneath the petals how each sc has a vertical bar that is isolated from making the petals?
 Sl st around this bar right below the last petal.
*Ch 8, sl st to same bar; sl st to next bar*, and repeat * to *.
Fold those petals out your way.
You could really do all this any way you like. It's just fun to do. I'm no designer!

And what's so nice about a long print yarn is that you don't gotta do any color change.
Or you can change the color for the bottom petals if so inclined.

a lovely topper for a lovely lady

a close up of the flower
all the one color
you can see I did not know about jogless joining
Yes, that's the featured pattern and it's been felted. I did use a bigger hook to make the stitches a bit looser. The leaves are also crochet. I think what I did was make a chain to desired leaf length. Working in one strand of each chain you'd put stitches that are a bit taller in height, first thin, then wider and then thinner again, mimicking the shape of a leave. Sc, extended sc, dc, extended dc, (then maybe a treble that depending on how many sts you got) extended dc, dc, extended sc, sc; then work the same sequence on the other side of chain. This seems like about 9 or 10 sts. Then again I think I may have done 2 trebles and a few slip sts on the end. 12 sts maybe? But really, just experiment and have fun!

Hope these instrux are ok.

Monday, June 7, 2010

hand made spindles

they are rough looking but work okay

The one on top is made from an old dowel, about the same size in diameter as an 11 needle, a wooded lamp base piece and some glue. It seems that Elmer's School Glue Gel works better than Titebond wood glue. Whats up with that?

The bottom spindle is made up of my other lost, but now found, size 11 knitting needle, a tinker round and a CD, plus a washer for some weight. The CD and washer resisted being glued but setting over night helped hold them together.

skein 2 is my newest twist adventure
should I or should I not dye

I think skein 2 came out a bit better though my camera is giving me the heebee jeebies.
I cannot get rid of that damn date on Q mode.
Me and my camera are not getting along.
What the devil did I do different from pic 1 to pic 2?
Sorry about the picture fuzziness.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Free Knit Felted Beanie Pattern

One thing I love to fool with is simple machine wash felting. This pattern is not an exact science. And for me that's the fun part. Just winging it.

my first fedora
This came out a bit small, reason being, it wasn't watched properly while felting. Made with Lion Brand Landscapes which felted very fast. This color seems to be discontinued.

these were also made with a yarn by Lion Brand but I forgot what it's called...
Not seeing it on their web site. Probably discontinued. This yarn did not want to felt.


...and this were made free form
After making a few felted hats I decided to wing it and use up some wool I had laying around.

My version
I start by casting on 4 or 5 sts and joining to work in the round. Knit one round, place a clip-on marker and slip on each rnd.
Next rnd:  increase in each st.
Knit one round.
Next rnd:  k1, inc nxt st and repeat.
Knit one rnd.
Next rnd:  k2, inc nxt st and repeat.
Knit one rnd.

To make a long story short, on every other round continue in this way: next increase rnd, inc into 4th st (k3, inc nxt st); next inc rnd, inc into 5th st (k4, inc nxt st); next inc rnd, inc into 6th st (k5, inc nxt st) and so on, until you have about 10 or 11 inches across entire crown. Believe me, you might need this much for the felting.
Now simply continue knitting even (no increases) until the sides of your beanie reaches your chin. That should about do it. The blue beanie with the fold at the brim was the first one that I free formed. I had knit well beyond my chin and this was the result. Which turned out OK.
3 above are actually striped various different ways.

you can barely see the different hues in the one on the right
I like how those colors almost blended together

I made a cute hat that also came out kinda small, pink and green stripes with a pink flower and green leaves, all felted, which I gave to my tiny sister-in-law. She is 4' 9". Something like that. Little tinky head. There is always someone who can use what we make. Will put up a picture soon, hopefully with her wearing it.

Hope you can use this pattern for your left over wool yarn. If the felting is watched carefully and you keep trying it on for size your beanie should turn out a-OK.
I should note that wool does felt at different speeds. I kinda like how this can come out though I make it a point not to mix a single ply, roving type wool with any regular spun type wool. Other than that I say go for it. I have worked with different thickness and again I kinda like how that comes out. My free form beanies are all made with mystery wool yarn. Not sure if your yarn is wool? Burn an end and give a whiff. It should smell like burned hair. And the fire will probably go out on it's own. Acrylic will melt pretty fast. Watch out! 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Have I any wool? Yes sir...

2 bags full
This one I am currently working with. Pretty soft and very fine.

I think I'll save this for my PVC spinning wheel. Wonder how the color will come out when spun and made into yarn? The brown is real pretty but the white is a little stark in comparison. Will be interesting to see.

I wanted to show some projects that use up all those small leftover balls of yarn. Those which I annoyingly just cannot throw away.

granny square cap
3 long print yarns were used here. Easy coloration, fun to make.

head bands...
These are versions of the headband pattern posted elsewhere on my blog. The top two are the dc post stitch/s and the bottom two are in the extended sc stitch also posted elsewhere. The blue and green used peaches and creme's double WW cotton . Deft Blue and Apple Green. The others are also in their cotton.


and more handbands...

plus one more for a little tike
This one and the dark blue above were finished with slip st at the edges instead of reverse sc on my other headbands. This was done at each front post dc st skipping the back post sts.

a close up of the post stitch

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


why are some my pictures offset?

My PVC Spinning Wheel

do you see the glow?
My hubby made it for me yesterday. Ain't he a sweetie? We used DragonsKeep's instructions. A dead link Its a bit smaller than donisfuff's stuff  but we needed to modify the instrux a bit. The most important change was the 5" lengths of pvc pipe, which are the cross bars on the bottom, and they turned out to be too long. Doni had these at 4" and that seems to be a better size. 5 inches makes the base too wide for that long bike wheel bolt thingy. That would mean the wheel sitting on air.

Hubby thought putting crossbars at this point (a change in pattern ) might be a good idea. I concurred. Of course we had not thought to check the bolt length before doing any of this. It turned out not to be a big problem. He just squeezed a bit as he went to the next level. But anyway that brought the T joint count from 12 to 16. We also cut about 4" from the top level because of adding those extra T joints. Course this was after the fact. You could instead take the extra 4" from the bottom level and make both levels look more balanced. Or something.
And with lots of little kiddies running around at our house I wanted something to stabilize the wheel. That piece of wood in the background of above picture got the vote.

the double dagger
Seriously though, I had a size 11 knitting needle for the spindle but could not, for the life of me, figure out which side I would be working on. I am a bit ambidextrous. Add in the fact of never sitting before a spinning wheel, and well, the confusion sets in. Husband Dear then says, "Let me grind both sides of this metal rod for you."

I'm like, "Uhhhhmm. Okay...."

this works as the break
a piece of pipe and two rubber bands
the little gremlins just wanna have fun...with my wheel.
Can't have that...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ravelry Button

Uhhh, how the hell do you do it! I put the button into my picasa album and tried to write the HTML URL yak yak in like blogger instrx say to do buuuut not working. Freakin' Frackin' Double Dratt. Will come back to it later. Maybe someone with know-how-isms can explain. Letter by letter by dot and dash. Wowza.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

my cute hand crafted spindle

Here is a picture my tinker toy spindle. I think the small rocks lend a rustic feel.
these are the items I used to make it
These knitting needles were bought from Walmart. Useless for knitting because they kept catching the yarn even after sanding them a bit. They just never worked too good. The needle shown is a size 10 1/2. I used a size 11 for my spindle which needed glued but a 13 would actually be a nice snug fit. You can see how much chunkier the red tinker part is to the size 10 1/2. I'd have put the other 11 in the picture but it seems to be missing. And if you saw my work room you'd know why.

this is the little darling that started it all. a gift from a nice local fiber artist. her blog

these are my first, ever, wee, plyed, hand spun hanks
The one on the right, with the unintended VM included, was made first using the gifted spindle. I used a small wire doggie comb that looked like a dinky carder. Not very good at removing unwanteds.
The hank on the left looks a little better. The spindle I made was a bit on the light side at first so added the small stones to increase the weight. It seemed to help. That time I used bigger doggie combs on the wool and they actually removed almost all of the sticks and stones... 

As to the plying. That was frustrating (...wanna break some bones?). One lady used two med sized terracotta flower pots turned upside down with the yarn balls inside. You'd pull the ends through the holes and ply that way. A super idea but, alas, no funds for such. I think I may have found something that will work. It's one of those lazy susan wooden spice rack. like this Mine I picked up at a flee market. 3 bucks maybe? I already removed the lazy susan part for a (some day) home made yarn swift. Lots of free instrux on the web for that. So many smart inventors out there in cyber space. I send out a big thank ya! Anyway, I think if I lay the thing on its side, stick the balls inside the 4 slats and pull the ends through two of the holes I should be able to ply that way. I am currently combing and spinning some more wool and shall continue on.

Hope some one can use my spindle idea.
Have a good day.