Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Snuggly Warm

The kids and I felted up some scraps of Cowichan wool the other week. I brushed it all up nice and fluffy with a metal hairbrush and then we put the scraps in some ziploc bags with some hot water and dish soap and the kids rolled and smashed and mushed until we got this lovely warm fire for Bunny.

On another note, I finished up these slippers, another Mohair Ballet Slipper from Beverly Galeskas' book Felted Knits. I have made several of these, but this was the worst one so far. I spun a really bulky yarn for the cuff and we died it with orange Kool-Aid, but it was tooooo bulky and the stitches did not felt nicely the first time round. Also the slipper cuff was stretched way out of whack in proportion to the slipper body. So, I cut out notches from either side of the heel, similar to how you would stitch a moccasin heel and stitched up the sides with wool and the joined the cuff with matching sewing thread (the original yarn was no good at all for sewing the cuffs back together). All in all, it went really really well. The seams disappeared, even on the cuff and we now have slippers for a small human that really likes orange and red.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Mittens Schmittens

There is a mitten conspiracy that is working against me. I have lost the first and only pair of mittens that I have ever made. I dyed the wool, spun it, and knitted up a pair of super cute mittens for my kids. Some of the yarn was purchased, but about half was my own. We call them Fish Mitts because they remind me of parrot fish. In any case, they are LOST. I have to check at the lost and found every where I go. Because of this sin, I cannot knit mittens. The first pair was a disaster of loose ends and poor tension. Frogged to the cuff and reincarnated as Dizzy from the same pattern book, they were splattered with coffee. I persevered. This is what I got for my efforts:

Do you notice that the bottoms of the cuffs are level? Can you see that on the bottom mitten the green begins well above where it begins on the top mitten? And can you see how my medium sized hand fits into either of these mittens????? They are wet, washed, and clean. Mostly, I couldn't get all the coffee out. They are made of superwash wool for Pete's sake!! I can't even shrink them! The smaller one is at least useable, but the larger one is enormous. I will have to frog it to the cuff and start all over. Next year.

ps Let's not discuss the fact that I had four extra stitches on my needles, okay? Or that I knit them in the round, rather than flat where I could have knit two at the same time and had the same gauge. Okay?

pps I forgot that I was wearing a Playmobil crown as a ring. . . isn't it beeeeauuutiful?

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Wooly Loveliness

Here is some lovely BFL that just arrived in the mail from Margaret at Celeigh Wool in Millet, Alberta. I already have some here that I am spinning (slowly) into what will hopefully be a sport-weight 2-ply, but after the success of the Mushroom Cap Hat, the kids and I decided to do a little project. We are going to dye this loveliness with Kool-Aid, split it into manageable strips and the kids (4 and 6) are going to spin it with my wheel. I figure that I can set it to pretty much just wind-on and that will give it enough twist for a 3 wpi singles. That is what I did for part of the Mushroom Cap and so it should work again. (Famous last words, says the little sniggering sheep on my shoulder.) Once it's ready , I can knit for the 4 year old and the six year old can knit for himself (sort of). He's been practicing.

We have a little rhyme that I got from a blog I found one day, Food & Family, which roughly goes:

In through the door,
Around the back,
Peek through the window,
And off jumps Jack!

It is in her June 2006 archives in a post called Knitting. I tried to link to it directly, but couldn't for some reason.

I posted a while ago about spinning exotic fibres and some silk/merino blend that I found. This is more of the same and the green is even the same colour as what I had before, so now I will have some to match what I had leftover. In the back is some Shetland in a dark dark brown. I have never spun Shetland before (which is odd, because you know, having been spinning for soooo long, a whole two years now, you'd thinkI would have done everything by now, hey?) I am feeling very sarcastic today, I must have eaten something odd.


This pattern book by Mission Falls has five takes on the same basic mitten pattern. I saw the Advika pattern in an ad somewhere and thought it was super cute, so I snatched it up when I saw it at my LYS. I decided to start with these (Hena).

Of course, not being content to do the smart thing and follow the pattern, I decided to convert it to be done in the round, rather than flat. So far so good. Chart reworked and off we go. Never mind that I forgot to remove the selvedge stitches before hand and that I actually have two extra stitches on my needles. Well, actually four, because as written the ribbing didn't workout and so I added two more. Hey, I said, NEVER MIND.

Oh, did I mention that I've never done intarsia before? Oh. And did I mention that knitting intarsia is one thing, but doing it in the round is another, perhaps best left for your second intarsia project, rather than your first. Especially when you have no real idea as to how to weave in ends? Because, other than stripes done flat, you've never actually done any colour work before in your entire life??

They are no longer Hena mittens. I ripped them back to the cuff ribbing and have started a much simpler version (Dizzy), which I would show you except that this happened.

The aftereffects of a two year old running down the couch and slamming into a newly filled mug of steaming goodness. Normally I would say coffee is a wonderful thing. I love it. In the morning, I steal a few precious moments out of the day just to sit in my chair in the corner and relax. Sometimes, if I am lucky I get to do it again in the afternoon. Or, sometimes not.

Well, there is a picture of Dizzy after all. Such as it is. Fortunately, of two patterns still discernable, Dizzy is one of them.