Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My Peaceful Nest

I've been seriously working on fixing up my teeny, tiny and all that.

I covered my little desk top in red polka dot oil cloth and since I had scraps left over, I taped a couple pieces up in my little bookshelf. Hmm, not sure yet. But look, at least the two top shelves are tidy, unlike the third one at the bottom there. There's a fourth one down too, that's worse.
Oh, I apologize for not giving credit to the first person to post their brilliant idea of making a bouquet out of their vintage knitting needles. If anyone knows who that was, please tell me so I can thank them and give them credit.
I'm sure I'm not the only one to snag that idea.

You can't see the photo very well, but it's of myself and my two older sisters, with all of our dolls. The middle sister remembers the names of every one of the dolls.

Look, I even had room to put a rocking chair in the room! I think I want to make a circular, braided chair cushion for it.

That's Edna by the way. Her full name is Edna Odelia Marie Cecilia and she used to be a burlesque dancer. She's old now, and is a little depressed about her pot belly.

What I really wanted you to notice though was the little wool vest beside her. It was a little shrunken so I felted it further. Hmm, maybe a purse or pillow?

And look, I'm still working my granny square afgan and loving it. I figure I'm about half way there. I could find no directions on how to weave in the ends, so I was fudging it until I decided to look on youtube. Jeepers, every thing is on there!

There's the new oil cloth, ta da!
I got the cup and saucer just a few days ago. I'm not really into that style of tea cup anymore but polka dots! and green!
And the apple, well, I was at a clients home and I commented on how much I loved ours when my children were little. They make such a sweet sound. Well, she wouldn't let me leave without it. Arn't people nice!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Wool Peddlar's Shawl

Here's my Koigu, Wool Peddlars Shawl from the book, Folk Shawls. I started and finished it last spring, but just never got around to the photos till now. The details are on Ravelry. I definitely want to use the Koigu again, I find it just such springy, pleasurable yarn to knit with.

I learned a lot doing this shawl, it being my most ambitious project to date. The most important piece of advice I could give? Use a couple of life lines if you're a beginner at lace like myself!

Next time I would like to go for a semi solid colour, and a rectangular shawl.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Noro Socks

These socks are the first thing off the needles in a long, long time. Fall is such a great time to knit, but look, here it is December already!


This is the Noro sock yarn. I knit from the same ball, from the inside and the outside, five rows each. I don't know about you, but as soon as a project is finished I loose interest in the item somewhat. Maybe it's from looking at it for so long.
I've worn the socks a few times and I'm not sure yet how sturdy they're going to be. I'm a little nervous. Maybe darning will be my next crafty adventure.

I had plenty of left over yarn. Here's a little Noro mitten. I really want to make mittens next, and thought I ought to make a little practice one, to see were I'm going. Not bad!

Norman, you're OK

Apparently I've had an endless supply of spinning fiber under my nose, all this time with out realizing it. This cat sheds his coat constanly. I don't know how it's possible that he can grow so much fur!

First off, wash the cat, then take a sample from the dry area on his back. I don't usually wash my cats, but he was pretty grubby. For some reason he thought he had to lick himself for an hour after his bath. Dude, I just did that for you!

Go ahead then. While you're so busy, I'll just spin up a little on the drop spindle. This is my first attempt at Navajo plying. I think I did it right.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


I've been making OK progress on the Granny's. I crochet at the coffee shop in the morning and on the bus too. I don't think about my bus ride by distance or time anymore, but by the number of squares completed.

Speaking of coffee, this apparently says, Coffee is the best of all drinks in the world. I found this one a month or so ago. It's such a thrill to still be able to find a treasure like this with a really, really good price!
Happy Spring everyone!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Colour on the Brain

Sometimes I think about colours and colour combinations so much, it almost gets irritating. I read about a quilter the other day, and she said that sometimes while playing with colour combinations, she may lay out 30 different shades of pink (for example) before picking the right one. Then I realized that my yarn and fabric stashes need enhancing big time! By the way, this is my current project, the granny square afghan. I'm going to make the ripple afghan, but decided to go granny as a tester for the colours first. I want more soft and dark neutrals to balance the brights. Wow, there are so many beautiful crochet afghans on Ravelry and flickr right now, I'm amazed!

Here is a little thrifted doll dress. I left the doll at the store because it was really not my taste.

I got this tin this week, at a thrift store in Vancouver.

This is one of my favorite thrift stores, not because I have particularly good luck there but because it has character. The floors are wonkey. I want to live there! Oh, the prices are really good too, what thrift store prices should be! It's in Steveston. (for you Vancouverites)

I also got two of these nesting tins this weekend at another thrift store in Steveston. It was a tin can week! Love these roses.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


This is Fleece Artist hand dyed Blue Face Leicester, called Peacock. Yesterday a client cancelled, so instead of rustling something else up I spun. Well, wouldn't you have?

So anyway, the above became this.

I discovered a few things spinning this batch. I only had one sliver (the guy you see curled up in the first picture) so I broke it in two and spun two bobbins. When I plied them, my blues came out together and the darks came out together, not what I was wanting. I could have planned that a little better. Also I had quiet a bit left on one of the bobbins. If I had weighed both half slivers before I began, I would know if it was my spinning that differed so much.

I can't tell you how exciting it is to play with colour in this way. It really is magical. Today I got a vegetable steamer at Value Village, to make my own painted rovings!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fibrefest Expo 2008

Fibre filled, that's how I spent my weekend. What a thrill!

This is a spool and sliver of Blue Face Leicester hand dyed by Fleece Artist. I couldn't resist the colours and it was my intention to buy one dyed sliver anyway. The rest of my purchases (Fine Shetland, Merino top and more Blue Faced Leicester) were all white, so I can do some hand dyeing myself. I also bought a beautiful chocolate Alpaca. The fibre, not the live animal! The next day was rainy, so we didn't get to go kite flying as planned, so poor me, had to stay in and spin....

I came up with this!

Go on, take a closer look!

Another afternoon of knitting and I came up with this! I did it! My first project with my first hand spun! I can't tell you how luxurious this scarf feels. It's smooth, elastic and has a lot of weight to it, something like alpaca.
More on Fibrefest in the next post. See you soon!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Behind the Wheel

Look! I got my new spinning wheel! After researching wheels and trying out a few, at home, through my spinning class, I choose the Lendrum folding wheel . At first when I brought the tester home I thought it felt too high, sitting at my usual place, on the couch. Once I moved to this chair it felt perfect, in more ways than one. You see I bought this chair years ago at the flea market, and it hung around for years looking ratty. I finally recovered it recently, and even though it looked great in the space, no one really used it. Not so anymore! It seems like another puzzle piece that's fallen into place. Too bad I can't show you the before picture of the chair. (I deleted it by mistake.)

Here's the wheel folded. I was making a brown paper pattern for a carry case and decided to use some oil cloth, recently purchased and a woolly mattress cover for padding. I wanted to use coroplast (you know, that corrugated plastic) for something to stiffen it. I tried cardboard for the prototype.

I worked late into the night and made a big mess trying to figure out the logistics of all of it. When it came to sewing the oil cloth to the padding it just wasn't going to happen. It was too thick and tricky. I have an idea that I think may work, but it's a project that's on hold for the moment.
Have a fun and productive week everyone!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Take It as a Sign!

Quite often, when I sew a project, even a big one like a quilt, I don't do the math or make exact measurements. I don't like doing all the prep work, I just want to get my hands right in there. I suppose with patchwork that's OK. I really love it though when I end up with the exact amount of fabric I'm supposed to have. I take it as a sign.

A few days ago I had a similar experience. After buying a whole bunch of dye, (to dye my homespun) I went to Value Village hoping to find a big stainless steel pot, as required. Oh, I should mention, I had a nice conversation with the salesperson who sold me the dye. She explained that rather than mixing the primary colours, red, blue, yellow to get other colours, many people use a turquoise blue, magenta, yellow and sometimes black. Hmmm, I thought, I never heard of that.... Well, back to Value Village. I found a big, brand new stainless steel pot right off the bat, then when perusing the books I found a colour manual, with 24,000 colour samples, used by printers etc. And yes, the recipes/percentages use turquoise, magenta, yellow and black. Anyway, it made me take this whole yarn spinning/dyeing yarn thing as a sign that I'm on the right track, in the groove.

Yesterday I went to my local head shop to buy a gram scale, so I can accurately measure the powdered dye. If I had deliberated over the scales for any length of time I would have walked out of there thoroughly stoned. Massive clouds of billowy, blue smoke were wafting through the store. You've got to love Vancouver!
Here's another one. Last weekend when I was checking out a thrift store in Steveston I spotted a big hand knit, wool blanket. Someone else was looking at it and I saddled up beside her, pretending to be interested in something else nearby, all the while thinking, don't you buy it! She put it down, and I went in for the grab. You know what? I turned it down too. I left the store, went back to the park, couldn't stop thinking about it, decided to go back, (walking more and more quickly) and it was still there! Waiting for me!
I had decided I could not pass up all that wool! Yes I only wanted it for it's wool. Even though most of the colours were great, and it was all knit in a painstaking knit one, purl one rib, it was full of knots! Yes knots! So sad. It had to be frogged!

So this....

Became this.....

I am so good at the knitty noddy now!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Finished Objects

Here is / was My So Called Scarf, done in Manos de Uruguay. It's a beautiful
colour way, but neither of these photos does it justice. I frogged the So Called for a simple 2x2 ribbing because I found it just too thick and stiff, even though I went up a needle size. I still think the pattern really suits the yarn and I was invisioning a square block of this as a section for a pillow. It's an easy knit, but a strange pattern, kind of like somebodys inebriated non knitting friend invented a new stitch. I did see a woman on the bus the other day wearing her So Called Scarf done in Noro's Silk Garden and it looked (and felt) amazing. Yes, of course I fondled her scarf!

As The Yarn Harlot says in Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off
"Running your hand down the sleeve of a fellow knitter's sweater when you meet him or her is a healthy expression of knitterly interest and is not at all odd. It's the knitters handshake."

Please read the Yarn Harlot, you'll feel good about your obsession with knitting. She's a hoot!
And now, if you're a reletively new knitter and you want something a tiny bit challenging in terms of fiber and something very impressive, try Kid Silk Haze. This is the simple Feather and Fan pattern, the easiest lace for a beginner. Use bamboo needles for grip and have a delicate touch when ripping back. This photo shows the haze quite a bit more blue than in reality. Another repeat or so and it's blocking time. Yeah!

Oh, and on a final note... I got invited to Ravelry! It's the best! Go get yourself invited!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I'm Spinning!

I'm back! No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth, I'm just pretty inconsistent when it comes to blogging. I have been making a lot of things, the most exciting being my own hand spun! I haven't knit with it yet, it's been washed and needs to dry. Maybe I can do a swatch tonight. I'm so excited. It really is magical... fairy tale stuff. Here's a bit of woolly fluff on my lap, it passes through my hands and voila, a long, somewhat smooth length of yarn tugging towards the spinning wheel. Kind of Spiderman-ish.

I'm taking classes at Place des Arts for anyone in Vancouver area, that may be interested. The wonderful thing is, we get to take the wheels home during the week. I'm starting off on what I gather to be a very basic wheel. See..
I was supposed to practice with a big spool of scrap yarn the first week, but I got fed up with that and used some roving I had from my drop spindle kit. (I tried it a year or so ago and quit almost immediately) This is my very first homespun, already plied but not washed to set it yet. This is perendale I bought at Birkland Bros.

I'm certainly happy with these first results, but I'm already looking forward to the day I can achieve something very even and consistent. As my Mother always said, when it came to painting or drawing. "You need to learn the rules before you can break them."

OK, this next batch of pictures shows my second attempt. Much finer, and using another method of spinning.


While this yarn was running through my fingers, from the wheel to the winder, it felt pretty even, well the last half of it did, (that's when I began to catch on) but as you can see in the close up, there's quite a bit of variation in thickness as well as twist. These two cakes will be plied today. I'm so happy, it's a snow day here. No work!

The class I'm attending is spinning and dyeing, so eventually you will see some colour in the hand spun. The exiting thing is, that at every step of the way, you are able to make choices. You can dye the roving first, then spin. You can spin then dye. You can spin in the grease, (spin with the lanolin in ) then wash or vice versa. It seems endless.

I will be back very soon to post my latest knitting. Promise!