Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Little Knits

I recently bought this book, '50 yards of Fun' by Rebecca Danger (from the Book Depository). I have so many little bits of hand spun yarn, and I thought this would be a nice way to use them up. The book has lots of cute patterns, but with the basic concepts it is very easy to mix, match or modify to make your own creations.

This is my first 'little monster' - using the 'Basic Peanut Body' pattern and some hand spun leftover from a hat I made last year.

For this rabbit I used the 'Basic Bowling Pin Body' pattern with some modifications to the 'Bantam Bunny' pattern for the ears, arms and legs. The grey is a blend of merino and alpaca and has a nice fuzzy look.

They are both only a couple of inches, and were quick and fun to make. All knit in the round using the Magic Loop Method, with picked up stitches for arms etc, so no attaching pieces later.

I finished spinning the second skein of merino and silk lace weight yarn last week.
The singles-

and plied together -

400m, 52grams of lace weight yarn.

The two skeins so far (2 more to spin).

The cable socks are coming along nicely too.

My husband has been doing some welding for me. We created some 'found object sculptures' -

A duck made from a shovel and rake, with a "Bobcat" tooth for a beak, and some nuts for eyes.

A bird bath stand from old motorcycle gears, and a wrench I found last week on a walk. The bird bath is a piece of pottery I made almost 20 years ago!

The Goldfinches are back.
Coming back from hunting for rabbits!
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!♥ 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Be With You Shawl

I started with these fibres (some I dyed). There is BFL Wool, Silk, Baby Alpaca, and Angora. I bought the fibre at Fibre Detours (a Canadian online store) - Samantha, the owner, is so lovely and helpful.

I blended the fibres on a blending board and created rolags ready for spinning.

Spun into these two skeins - averages to fingering weight yarn.

Knitted into this shawl. The pattern is 'Be With You' by Boo Knits. More details can be found on my Ravelry project page. Like all Boo patterns, this was a joy to knit. I thought the edging was the hardest part (over 800 stitches for 11 rows, in a modified ribbing!), but I am really pleased with the results.

The edging created a ruffle type edge.

The shawl is 200cm /79" long and 33cm/13" at the widest point.

a pair of Mourning Doves

 Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 18, 2015


Hard to believe we woke up to this! Today is Victoria Day - usually signifies the start of summer.

The last clue for the mystery knit along came out today. The first row was to double the number of stitches, now the rows are over 800 stitches, so they are taking me a long time to knit.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

MKAL Clue 3 and 4

I finished clue #3 of the mystery knit along last week,

and today I finished clue #4. The last clue comes out tomorrow.

I have also started knitting a pair of socks. This is with this month's Year in Colour from Tanis Fiber Arts. The socks can be seen on her blog.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 8, 2015

MKAL Clue 2

I finished the second clue of the mystery knit along shawl.

I had beads that were a perfect match to the yarn I dyed. Three clues left, the next one is out on Monday.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Fibre Bag

 I made a little bag to hang from my spinning wheel, to hold the fibre ready for spinning.

The sides of the bag are 4" wide (16" circumference), and the bag is almost 8" tall. I used heavy interfacing along the top edge, on the base, and along the back to make the bag sturdy. There is a thin polyester batting too. For the free motion quilting I used 100Wt Invisiafil thread on top and 50Wt Aurifil in the bobbin (quilting designs - continuous curve, meander and swirls).

The bag works well, and here it is holding about 50g of fibre. It ties on the end of the spinning wheel with twill tape ties (under the mother-of-all).

It is good to have a handy son when the car needs some repairs.
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Lace Weight Yarn

I finished the first skein of lace weight yarn. This is a 48g (over 1.5oz), ~380m (~410 yds) skein of yarn.

bundles in the dye pot

It is from fibre that I dyed last week (it was 230g).

four pairs

It is Merino and Silk (80/20) fibre that I divided into 8 bundles, and dyed each one slightly differently, with the intention of making 2 ply yarn with two different colours (I wanted strong barber poling). I dyed each bundle with just one colour (usually I pour a few different colours on the bundles). The variations in colour resulted from how quickly the dye is absorbed, wool and silk take colours differently, and the dye colours that I mixed together tend to separate too - I was surprised at the shading in each bundle.
I will make 4 skeins of yarn.

the bobbins before plying

It came out pretty even. This yarn is really just to experiment with spinning (and dyeing)- I am still learning.

I am working on the toes of the hand spun socks.

The above photo is of a baby bunny eating the grass yesterday evening (not the best photo because the sun was so bright). He was so cute and tiny (you can see that he is just a bit bigger than the birds around him).

The birds were lining up at the bird bath this morning.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mystery Knitting

In March I spun some yarn for a mystery knit along, on Monday we received the first clue (there are 5 altogether, it will be a crescent shaped shawl). I finished the first clue today, the next clue comes out on Thursday.

On the spinning wheel I have some more silk and merino that I dyed last week, trying to spin it as fine as possible.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Pieced Blocks

I finished piecing the Courthouse Steps blocks - 54, 9" blocks!

Today I also finished knitting a pair of socks (I always have a pair on the go, so now I can start the hand spun yarn that I finished last week). These are plain, top-down socks (beautiful yarn doesn't need anything fancy) - the yarn is Blue Label from Tanis Fibre Arts, in the colour way Aurora - lovely, squishy yarn, that wears so well (my second pair in this yarn). I knit socks two-at-a-time on one long circular needle.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 1, 2015

A Weeks Worth

Last week there was an update for my Mac computer and I ended up with the new 'Photo' for my pictures, and it doesn't allow photos to be edited with other apps, so all week I have been trying to figure out how to resize my pictures to add them to my blog (I refuse to pay blogger for storage space). There really wasn't much information out there, which surprised me - I couldn't have been the only one with this problem! I ended up finding a simple fix - drag the photo to the desktop and then drag them to the app (I found the solution here). So now I have a weeks worth of photos to show.

Last week I spun some fibre (super wash merino and nylon blend) that I had dyed (twice - you can see remnants of the original dye job in this photo - spots of green and pink, it didn't turn out like I thought, so I overdyed it shades of purple). I divided the fibre into 3 for 3 ply yarn.

one smaller section before predrafting

I also divided each section into smaller sections (4 or 5) and predrafted it.

The above photo is after predrafting and you can see that it blended the colours more (it also made sure that the fibre was easier to spin, since I had dyed it twice).

 I spun it a bit thicker than my last attempt at spinning for socks.

the three bobbins ready for plying

The finished skein - 96g, ~360m, fingering weight yarn. This one should work for socks!

Last weekend my husband made me a stand for my table loom.  Now I can use my feet to operate the loom - it is so much easier! We got the idea for the stand from Daisy Hill Weaving Studio (link found here). My loom was a bit bigger, so we just modified the measurements..

Of course I had to try it out, and gathered leftover yarn from various projects (all my hand spun, I didn't end up needing the gray yarn).

The warp is all from fibre that I dyed, but the weft was from fibre that was commercially dyed. Mostly Merino wool, with some silk and Polwarth wool.

I was able to quickly make a scarf.

It came out so soft! More information for the weaving can be found here.

I have been free motion quilting too (plus I did some teaching this week, and another class tomorrow!)

The little red squirrel has been cleaning out the feeder.
 Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!
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