Thursday, November 24, 2005

Sock Yarn As Art

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Picture taken through a kaleidoscope.

And with a toy as intriguing as that could I stop with just one photo? No way. I went on to take over 30 more (thank goodness in this age of digital photography not every photo taken must be printed!).

These are a few of my favorites.

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Close up of a basket.

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Two different violets.

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Another basket? It's hard to identify the object in some of the photos.

New Baby

It's been far too long since I had my last I bought one!

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Okay, so maybe she is not a "real" baby, but she does make a great model/mannequin for my handknits. She is a lot easier to care for than my first three children, and she costs a lot less too...just $14.99.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Camel/Silk Baby Socks

I had (just!) enough of the handspun, 3 ply, camel/silk laceweight to finish this little pair of baby socks.

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The natural camel color might be a little odd for a baby item, but I like the slight color variations the natural fiber gives and didn't want to mess with overdyeing them. Besides, I think it gives them a bit of an antique, "heirloom" look.

They are 4 inches long. I asked around at the Knitter's Review forum for suggestions on a good size for newborn-ish babies.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Baa Baa Black Sheep have you any cookies?

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I spotted this cutie in the Sears catalogue and just had to pick her up. She'll be perfect for the spinning guild's Christmas gift exchange. Don't you just love the socks? I'm sure they must be handknit of handspun. ;-)

If anyone knows of a source for sheep shaped cookie cutters, speak up. I'd love to fill this with sheep cookies as part of the gift.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Spinning Straw Into Gold

After spinning up the camel/silk blend last night and gazing at it's golden loveliness I felt quite like the princess that spun straw into gold. Rather fitting then that I would come across this quiz today and be numbered among those who are "most likely to discover a hidden talent for spinning straw into gold.

The Traditional Princess

You are generous, graceful, and practical with both
feet planted firmly on the ground. You tend to
be a little on the old-fashioned side. You
value home, hearth, and family life and love to
be of service to others.

Role Models: Snow White, Maid Marian

You are most likely to: Discover a hidden talent
for spinning straw into gold.

What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork (Original Music is BACK!!!)
brought to you by Quizilla

I love this picture. Too bad she isn't spinning or knitting. Oh I know....she's not sewing a flag. No, she is doing the finishing work on a knitted afghan made from handspun vicuna. It's for her knitting chair/throne dontcha know?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Spinning Camel

What a lovely gift! Louise, a friend from the spinning guild, gave me about 1/2 an ounce of a beautiful, soft, lustrous camel/silk blend. What a pleasure it is to spin. Because I don't have a lot of it I'm trying to spin it ultra thin so I will have more length. If it works out as I hope, I DO have a small project in mind.

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Monday, November 14, 2005

Round and Round

Knitting, knitting and more knitting and yet I seem to be getting nowhere. The blob of tencel lace doesn't look any larger despite the fact that I am knitting quite a bit on it every day (now that the Craft Fair stuff is out of the way). I'm now working round #123 (of 190 rounds total) on the Feather and Fan Shawl from GOL but I won't bother with a photo. It looks much the same as it did last time....maybe a little larger, but it is hard to tell with it all bundled up on a circular needle.

This is certainly an exercise in perseverance.

I've ordered the Shy Sheep Vest pattern. The knitting won't be started any time soon though. I'm thinking I'll probably spin the yarn for it. Fitting hey? Handspun sheep wool for a Shy Sheep Vest? Something like that is bound to be popular at guild meetings and spin-ins!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Bear Necessities

In answer to Lizz's question about patterns for the bears...(posted here so I can provide direct links):

There is no real pattern Lizz, they are needle felted, not sewn. You can buy an instruction booklet that gives the basic "how-to" but the personality and individuality just happen during the process.

You might be interested in reading my older posts about these bears.

Bear #1,
Bear #2

And HERE is the source I used for supplies.

More For The Sale

I also made these for the Chilliwack Craft Fair coming up on the 17 th of November. They are "Timmie Cozies", just like the acrylic ones I made last year, but these are made from handspun wool. If the craft fair attendees can figure out what they are I think they will sell okay. I'll try to keep one ON the cup for display.

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Other items that I am also taking to the fair:

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

In the Nick of Time

I managed to finish the handspun socks with little time to spare. They took longer to knit than I had expected. Here they are, posing with (the back of) the Gnomy Hat made of the same wool. Toasty warm and comfy!

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And here they are, all steam blocked and ready to be labeled for the Chilliwack Christmas Craft Fair.

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The labeling. Now there is another enterprise that took longer than I expected! Still, I was done before bedtime last night and everything is packed up ready to be inspected by the Standards Committee this morning.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Gnomy Variation

This is a "Gnomy Hat". I was going to say it was child size since it doesn't even come close to fitting my fat head but I just measured the wig stand and her head measures 20 inches. According to the Craft Yarn Council of America that is the standard women's size.

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The basic Gnomy Hat pattern is in Elizabeth Zimmermann's "Knitter's Almanac", page 69. Instead of inserting a ping pong ball in the tip as Elizabeth did, I extended the point some and knotted it. I knit it of hand dyed, handspun 2 ply wool. I didn't dye the wool myself, but I did spin it from purchased, sprinkle dyed roving. I combined one ply of the hand dyed and one ply of natural, brown wool.

I am also knitting a pair of thick socks from the same wool. I hope to get those completed today as they are destined for the Chilliwack Christmas Craft Fair and the guild Standards Committee must have them to "approve" by tomorrow.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Grandnieces in Cupcakes

Two cute little grandnieces received their surprise packages.

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Ashlyn looks happy with her Strawberry Cupcake Hat.

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And Isabella seems pretty darn pleased with the chocolate one.

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And the amazing thing is they both kept them on and continued to play!

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....which of course pleased this Great Auntie . (Great Auntie....that makes me sound ancient doesn't it? *sheesh*, it sounds older than "Grandma".)

PS - sorry about the large pictures. For some reason I couldn't get these into my photo editing program to crop and resize them.

EDIT: I should point out that these hats were altered to be smaller, and fit a younger child, than the original pattern measurements. I used a tighter gauge and reduced some of the depth in the "icing" portion.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

100 Rounds

100 rounds finished and 89 (increasingly larger!) rows to go.

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Feather and Fan Shawl from "Gathering of Lace" done in 100% 2/8 tencel in the "Majesty" colorway.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Cupcake HELP

Suzanne left a plea for help with the Cupcake Hat in my comments and Blogger is having a hissy fit today and won't let me through to my own comment page so I'll answer her here.

Suzanne, are you familiar with the "knitted on cast on"? If not, follow the link and familiarize yourself with how that is done. The nubbles on the Cupcake Hat are time consuming but, once you understand it, quite simple. All you are really doing is casting on 4 stitches using the "knitted on cast on" and then immediately binding them off again. This is done in every other stitch in the round. So:

*(K1, CO 4, BO 4) repeat from * around.

CO = cast on
BO = bind off

If you, or anyone else, would like further clarification write to me using my email address, which is available on my profile page, and I'd be glad to help. That way I'll have your email address and will be able to respond to you directly.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

All Saints' Cookies

The day after Halloween. Too much candy hanging around. Either your kids brought home too much, or you didn't give out enough, but the sad fact is you are faced with a mountain of sweets. Time to make "All Saints' Cookies" (named for the day after Halloween, "All Saints Day").

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(The shiney spots you see on the cookies are are crunchy, peanut brittle like toffee bits.)

These yummy cookies (my own original, just thought it up today, recipe) have a delicious peanut butter and toffee taste due to the unusual ingredient (Wunderbar* and Crispy Crunch* candy bars).

*Apparently these Cadbury brand bars are only available in Canada.*
Canadians, be proud, raise your cookie and say "Eh!".
Those outside Canada could try other crunchy style bars. Sorry.

All Saints Cookies
Cream 1 1/2 c. shortening, 1 1/2 c. brown sugar, 3/4 c. sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Add 3 eggs and beat well.
Combine 3 c. flour, 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp. salt; add to creamed mixture.
Stir in 1 1/2 c. chopped nuts and 3 c. of coarsely chopped candy bars. (I used Wunderbar and Crispy Crunch.)
Drop by teaspoonful onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees F. for 8 - 10 minutes.
Cool slightly before removing from pan. Makes 8 dozen.