Thursday, October 11, 2018

Luscious Lace Scarf

Luscious Lace Scarf

This pattern is called "Luscious Lace Scarf". It's a free pattern which can be found on Ravelry.  I knit this project using the very last of my hand dyed yarn.  I had the opportunity to attend a yarn dyeing workshop this past summer at my local yarn shop (Yarned & Dangerous, Canon City, Colorado). The class was taught by Peggy (The 100th Sheep).

When I knit this rectangular shaped scarf, I did modify the pattern slightly.  First, I cast on only 52 stitches; the pattern as written called for a greater number of stitches. I wanted a longer, narrower scarf.  My scarf is about seven feet long and about nine inches wide.  Second, the pattern calls for slipping the last stitch of each row; I slipped the first stitch of each row instead.  I did this because I found it difficult to work the slipped stitches after I turned my work each row if slipped the last stitch. Slipping the first stitch of each row worked better for me and gave the scarf a nice looking edge on both the right and left sides.

Here a few photos of the yarn I dyed. If I have the opportunity to dye more yarn in the future, I'll definitely jump at the chance. It's very fun!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Scrappy Felted Bag

Scrappy Felted Bag

Here's my latest finished project.  I made this bag mostly from yarn left over from other felted knitting projects.  The pattern I sort of followed is from a book called "Knit One, Felt Too" and the project is called "Soft-and-Thick Shoulder Bag."  The pattern calls for super bulky rug wool.  I used worsted weight yarn and held two strands of yarn together while knitting the entire bag as well as the bag's handles. I also cast on a larger number of stitches and knit more rows since I was working with a totally different gauge.

It's hard to know how much yarn a project like this will use.  I was using up yarn at an alarming rate and realized I was going to run out of yarn in coordinating colors far before my bag was long enough. Lucky for me, my local yarn shop had some yarn which had been donated and the shop owner allowed me to have some to finish up my bag. The bottom of the bag, as you can see above, is aqua and white.  That's the yarn I got from Ann at the yarn shop (Yarned & Dangerous, Canon City, Colorado). Thank you, Ann!  You are the BEST!  I used many brands of yarn in this bag. Kraemer Nazareth, Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride, Cascade 220,

Below is a close up photo after felting. Sorry, this photo is a bit blurry.  The project has an interesting "heathery" look since I mostly held two different colored yarns together while knitting.

At the very beginning of this post, you can see the bag BEFORE felting.
Below, you can see the bag AFTER felting.

And below, you can see a photo of the back of the bag.
I have not been able to take great photos of this bag yet since it is still VERY wet and VERY heavy.  I left it outside to dry yesterday.  We went out to pizza for dinner and it rained while we were gone.  Whoops!

I have just one more felting project I am working on.  I'll be sure to post some photos when the project is complete. After that, I am done felting for awhile. But first let me tell you a few random things I've learned about felting recently.

1.  White wool felts more slowly than the colored wool.  No idea why; it just does.
2.  If you would like to felt wool at home, it's best to have a top loading washing machine with an agitator.  The front loading washing machines don't work as well for felting apparently.  
3.  When you are felting, it's a mess because wool fluff sluff off of your project while felting in the washing machine.  Probably not good for your washing machine or the drain, pipes, etc.  At the store in the area where you purchase linens, you can find pillow cases with zippers.  They typically cost less than $3.00 and are called "Pillow Protectors".  You can get them in various sizes.  Just go for the cheap ones.  I almost accidently purchased "waterproof" pillow protectors so be careful about that. Just throw your knitted item in the pillow protector, zip it shut, and then felt your project in the washing machine.  

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Felted Oven Mitts

Felted Oven Mitts

The past few weeks I have been making some knitted felted projects. I am using up yarn leftover from other projects. These are not the greatest photos; I took the photos at night time and the yarn colors are dark.  In some of the photos, the yarn is still wet so that makes it look darker, too.

The yarn I am using is Kraemer Mauch Chunky 100 percent wool and the colors are Eggplant and Redwood.  I was able to make up two mitts and a hot pad with what I had.  The pattern is from a book called "Knit One, Felt Too"; I borrowed the book from my local knit shop.  Thanks, Ann!  (Yarned & Dangerous, Canon City, Colorado).  In the various photos, you can see the projects before and after felting. It's so amazing how much the projects shrink up and I love how the stitch definition disappears when you felt knitted projects.  I should point out that the project pattern calls for worsted weight yarn and you hold two strands of yarn together while knitting in the round with US Size 15 needles.  I used chunky yarn so I only held one strand of yarn while knitting in the round on US Size 15 needles.  For the mitts, you cast on only 36 stitches.  These mitts are a really quick knit!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Felted Slippers... Two Pairs... Done!

Felted Slippers

A few weeks back I took a class at my local yarn shop (Yarned & Dangerous, Canon City, Colorado) where we learned how to make these cool slippers. The slippers are made with worsted weight wool yarn and a novelty yarn (eg. fun fur, ladder yarn, etc.) and then the slippers are felted to size.  You can see another post about these slippers by clicking HERE.  You can see a lot of BEFORE shots in that post. As promised, here are my AFTER shots.

These are some random photos I took of my two pairs of slippers. Yes, the first pair was so much fun, I had to make a second pair.

Below:  I stuffed some plastic grocery bags in the slippers after felting to help the slippers hold their shape a bit.  The slippers are outside on my back patio drying.

Above you can see my second pair of slippers. I am happy the variegated yarn I used for the slippers but the novelty yarn I chose was not the best option.  I used a "faux mohair" yarn and it just looks kind of grubby after felting.  My class instructor said I could brush the "mohair" with a stiff bristle brush a bit to see if that improved things. If not, I can also "shave" the slippers with a razor and get rid of some of the odd looking "fluff".

In the photo above, I had a bath towel on the floor in the laundry room. I kept pulling my slippers out of the washer and trying them on (sopping wet!) to see if the size was just right.

Below can see a photo of my second pair of slippers before felting.  They sure do change a lot, don't they?!?

Since I have some left over wool suitable for felting from my recent felted bag and felted slipper projects, I have a few more felting projects I'd like to whip up in the near future.

Until next time... Happy Knitting!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Beaded Infinity Scarf

Beaded Infinity Scarf

Pattern: BWC Infinity Scarf (Buffalo Wool Company)
Yarn:  "Nimue Sock" from Wooly Wonka Fibers, Colorway "Peacock"
Fiber Content:  50 percent silk/percent Merino wool
Beads: Size 6 seed beads from "Bead Biz", Color "Dark Bronze"
Number of stitches in project including cast on and bind off: 18,480
Number of beads used: 1,056
Number of beads left over: only 9 (that's cutting in close)
Numbers of rounds I knit before realizing I had the stitches twisted and my cowl is now a "double Moebius shape" (if that is a thing): 64 rounds out of 70 rounds.

Yep, I was nearly done with the entire project when I realized I twisted the stitches after I cast on and before I joined to knit in the round.

Number of years I've been knitting (and should have caught that way sooner): 10 stinkin' years.

Despite all that, isn't this lovely!?!  It sure looks nice when I wrapped the scarf (cowl) double and styled it on my mannequin.  I am sure I'll enjoy wearing this despite the HUGE mistake I made.  Oh well.  This is a project I told myself I will make only ONE TIME.  For this design, you do string the beads on ahead of time. This means you are FOREVER pushing beads (over 1,000 beads) out of your way to make yarn available for the rounds you work without beads before you start knitting with beads.  Another tricky thing about this pattern is that you are always looking at the wrong side of your work when you are knitting so when you are adding the beads so that they appear on on the right side of the work, you are constantly counting and flipping your work around to make sure you are getting the beads in the right spot.

While working on this project I was watching a video class about knitting with beads. The website is "Bluprint" (formerly Craftsy) and the instructor was Laura Nelkin.  She was discussing beads and how sometimes beads are rough inside and sometimes they are smooth.  She said this is an important consideration especially if you are stringing your beads onto your yarn before you begin knitting as I did in this project. Just imagine if my beads were rough inside and I kept pushing them down the length of my yarn until I needed to knit with them. This could really tatter your yarn. She suggested buying Japanese beads as they tend to be smoother inside.  I have a lot to learn about knitting with beads.  And apparently, I need some remedial training regarding casting on a large number of stitches and joining to knit in the round WITHOUT twisting my stitches.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Nelkin Designs "Lolatude": Kit #1

Lolatude Kit #1

Back in August, I was looking at knitting designs by Laura Nelkin.  I stumbled across her blog where she was advertising an upcoming event where you could purchase project kits and have them mailed to your home for one, three, or six months.  I decided to treat myself to six months of project kits since my 50th birthday was in September.

I received my first kit in the middle of September. This is what came in the package.

  • A Gale's Art Hand Dyed Sock blank (about 33 grams)
  • some beautiful beads
  • a Japanese bead needle
  • some coordinating thread 
  • some candy
  • a post card with keycode to download the project pattern 
This was a pretty quick knit since it was only about 1/3 the size of a regular sock blank.  The instructions have you knit a boomerang shaped, asymmetrical triangle. You start at the narrow end then and, at the end, you work a number of rows in what's called "linen" stitch.  Finally, you bind off with an "I-cord bind off".  Next you create three tubes out of small (size 6) seed beads using needle and thread.  Thankfully the pattern had a great video link for how to make these Peyote Stitch Tubes.  It was a little tricky at first, but I enjoyed the bead work.  At the end, you sew the tubes to the linen stitch border of the scarf and then you insert the narrowest tip of the scarf through the three Peyote Stitch Tubes.  Each of the tubes is a different size depending upon the number of beads you use when you start the Peyote Stitch Tube.  

Eeeeek!  I made a mistake. I sewed my tubes on in the incorrect order.  I could not insert the narrow end of my scarf in the correct direction so I had to insert it in the opposite direction.  Thankfully it still works, it's just not as the designer intended.  So there you have it... a one of a kind scarf!

Here are some photos to show you what the kit looked like when it arrived.  I am also posting some photos of what the project looked like while in progress. I sure am looking forward to receiving and making my other "Lolatude" projects!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Brickless/Hitchhiker (Hand Dyed Yarn)


If you've been following along, you will know that I had the opportunity to hand dye some yarn at my local yarn shop (Yarned & Dangerous, Canon City, Colorado), earlier this summer.  Peggy from "The 100th Sheep" was our expert instructor.  This is my third of four hanks of hand dyed yarn and this project is all done.  Just in time for the first day of Autumn.

This project is actually a mash up of two patterns by Martina Behm and the patterns are called "Brickless" and "Hitchhiker".  I've knit both patterns before.  I started out with the "Brickless" pattern which has three design elements: Net Lace Part, Garter Stitch Part, and Ribbed Part.  It's nice to have the three parts so you don't get bored but, at the same time, I sometimes just want to knit and don't want to have to follow the pattern on paper so closely.  Also sometimes the Net Lace and Ribbed Parts just slowed me down so much that I did not enjoy knitting them.  So I decided to stop work on the Brickless pattern and switch to Hitchhiker.  The Hitchhiker pattern is garter stitch with the occasional bind off of five or six stitches to create the teeth you see along the one of the shawl.  I have seen other completed Hitchhikers where knitters have inserted rows of eyelet on the same rows as the bind off stitches to create the teeth, so I decided to add in the eyelet rows so that the latter Hitchhiker portion of the shawl would have some lace elements just like the beginning Brickless portion of the shawl.

Below you can see all of my hanks of hand dyed yarn as well as a few more photos of my Brickless/Hitchhiker.

I am off to the knit shop to teach class (Building Blocks) and I get to wear my new shawl. Yay!  Today is also Part II of a Felted Slipper class I am taking at Yarned & Dangerous.  Robbie is our instructor and we are going to her house to felt our slippers.  I'll share some photos of the completed slippers soon!

Happy Fall!