Archive for the ‘wool’ Category

Just a few more details to sew up before it’s ready to wear.

Pattern: Willow

Yarn: Avalon Springs Farm 55% mohair/45% wool in Peacock colorway

Yarns last known address: here

Some snuggly mohair-wool to wear before it warms up around here.

WNY has been in the 20’s at night – unseasonably chilly!!!


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All I wanted for Christmas was an oven mitt and a clean and organized basement. Did I get either? NO!

So I set about knitting myself and oven mitt, but while I was at it I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try out some color work experimentation because I have never attempted anything of the sort.

Not too shabby looking from the outside, but then an oversized mitten bound for felting can be quite forgiving in the final project.

All set up for the Kitchener stitch, I do it so infrequently that each time I do it I need YouTube's help!

A close up of the floats, no one was too ‘floaty’ for a first time, and nothing seemed too tight until…


But with a little pulling and stretching it seemed to sort itself out as you can see.

I used my own hand-dyed yarn for the orange tones and scraps of brown I had from other projects. It needed two trips through the washing machine for a really good felting. Heck I didn’t want to risk any well done fingers, I already have oven mitts that do that.

For the pattern, I researched a bunch on Ravelry, then I kinda cast on with what I had and went with it. There are a few different styles of thumbs and I chose my favorite, although it seems to have come out a bit stubby.

The finished project came out not too bad for a first time felted (on purpose) project, although it could use a good shave, but I’ll be gosh darned if it doesn’t keep my hands from getting the least bit burned though!

I guess I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed until Mother’s Day for the basement. One can hope…

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I’ve finally been able to hold onto a few cowls that I’ve knitted over the past few months. usually I’ve knitted them, received compliments on them and then given them away to the flatterers.

This first one was a really quick knit I read about here the pattern is Schmatta and it’s so warm & toasty. I finished it off with some white mis-matched vintage buttons from my button bowl given to me by a dear friend (thanks Tracy!).

This is me goofing around trying to get a shot of me in the cowl but not very successfully!

I really need to wait til there is another photographer in the house besides the dog & lizard.

Next up: The Crofter’s Cowl, my first journey into lace – oooo, ahhhh. I know! wow, and my first chart – golly so much all at once, but it was for beginners and I highly recommend this pattern by Gudrun Johnston, easy peasy.

I’m just a bit disappointed that the color way of this Kitchensink Dyeworks yarn didn’t really show through, it’s brighter in person. I guess I’l have to promise more photos.

I did a bit of Valentine’s knitting for the Monkey’s too. They each received a heart knitted from a pattern as unique as themselves.

Crafter Monkey received the red heart the pattern from HERE. Quick and easy, I knitted two and stuffed it with extra yarn from the skein.

Wee Monkey received the purple heart the pattern from HERE. Another easy pattern, I made two and stuffed it.

Monkey Boy was thrilled with the multicolored green heart – (he should be, it was a much fussier pattern than I expected) but then he is worth it! You can find the pattern HERE.

As I created each of theses hearts the days and hours before St. Valentines Day it truly made me reflect on the individuality of each of my Monkeys and how each pattern and the yarn I chose really embodied their personalities so much.

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Just because there has been lack of blogging in the past two months does not mean there has been lack of knitting. We have been pining away for snow in Western New York, yeah, I know, for most of you that read this not from around here you think Buffalo = Snow. But we have had maybe two sledding days all season. Extremely insufficient and not a good snow shoeing day yet either.

This has been good news for the Mama who has been a bit behind on the Monkey sweater front. Cold nights and hot tea have been conducive for cuddling with Monkeys, wool, good books & movies.

Monkey Boy was a bit reluctant to try on his sweater in progress, due to knitting needles still attached and then because I reached for the only other thing I could think of to help hold the pieces in place = clothes pins! Hey, they worked!

His sweater pattern is based on this one but it is heavily modified. I started it in the round from the bottom up because I hate to seam! I’m using wool yarns I’ve picked up from some local fiber festivals over the past two years that are from regional farms that were giving me very close gauges AND of course were to Monkey Boy’s tastes. Green and stripes rank extremely high on his list of requirements.

Modeling for Mama to take measurements and pictures: Not so much!

No Monkeys were harmed in this photo shoot (they rewarded with chocolate!)

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I’m sure y’all thought I musta really died cause it’s been nearly a month since a blog post, but that’s not the case, just really ill. So sick, that even the thoughts of sitting upright and typing for any length of time seemed too taxing… but I’m trying to ease back into the saddle of life minute by minute. My family & friends have been so supportive and helpful: Thank you all! Keep the blessings coming.

I have had time on my hands to finish a few UFO’s and catch up listening to my favorite podcast Never Not Knitting, Alana does such a great job that I was flabbergasted to listen to the fact that she may or may not be back after maternity leave (I really hope so – I love her style) check her out! As you can tell I started this post a bit ago but wanted to have more of a story to tell before I posted it:

The first thing I thought I learned when dyeing yarn was to test your yarn and dye with small samples. So of course I did this before attempting to dye nearly 900 yards of wool for a sweater project for me. I was looking for just the right green. Not too bright, not too olive, not too mossy, not to yellow-y, but the just right for me green. Yeah I know it when I’ll see it. My test samples came out wonderfully, I chose the shade I wanted and reproduced the dye recipe for the volume of water and wool.

It doesn't look any better in the day light! Ug!

So after a few tears were shed, I invested in some acid dyes and tried again….

Prepping the ugly with a good wash

I'm not foolin' around this time... scale, mask, gloves, measuring spoons.

Carefully monitoring with thermometer nobody likes pre-felted yarn!

Out of the dye pot and on to the laundry line.

I love how the color turned out, a rich chocolate-brown with navy undertones. Certainly not the green I had originally intended but a perfect color to go with the pattern I received for a gift from loneknitter: Idlewood designed by Cecily Glowik MacDonald. I have really been following Cecily’s designs and love everything that falls off her needles! If I only had the time to knit everything she’s been publishing. My Idlewood has been good therapy for me, a bigger project to just pick up and knit a few rounds when I’ve been healing mode.

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So before you ask, yes, there’s been knitting going on, lot’s and lot’s of it! Some stalled in various stages and some off the needles like this shawlette.

I’ve just really been procrastinating weaving in all the ends. I love to knit stripes…. It just leaves too many ends to weave in! UG! But the Wee Monkey has already claimed this as her own, so sorry to anyone who had their eye on it. And no, I did not use a pattern, I just made it up as I went along, I love how the ruffle turned out at the end, don’t you? I promise to get pics of the WM with it on!

Nearly finished with my cabled vest, just in time too because we got our killing frost a couple of nights ago and it really is getting cooler, no more leaving the house without a coat kinda weather!

This will be so toasty when I get it done, and the pattern worked so well for me to be able to try it on as you can see to make sure I was on target for the correct torso length. Many thanks to the Crafter Monkey for taking the pictures.

This is the Crafter Monkey’s sweater, we dyed the yarn together this summer and I’ve been slowly working on it before I pass out at night, but it’s been a-lot of stockinette – Boring!! But easy to watch movies to. She wanted it to be bigger ’cause that’s the way she likes her outer wear, so she’ll definitely have it for a long time!

This is the beginning of the front of the sweater, after I completed the back I figured the front will go a bit quicker, especially since I’ve gotten hooked on watching Dr.Who streaming online. I’m still on season one so the way I figure it, I’ll have plenty of knitting entertainment stocked up for the winter. Thanks Doctor!

Now I have to spend some time with the Monkey Boy and Ravelry to choose a pattern for his sweater, now this ought to be fun…..

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I just could not get all the great pictures in one post!

Been there, done that, Got the T-Shirt! Finally!

Mom said she knows a particular 'Girlfriend' that needs these if she intends to keep dating a certain Son. Look closely at the label

This vendor had so much eye candy: the pottery, the crocheted river rocks, fleece, yarn & the softest fingerless mitts in gorgeous fall colors!

Too bad alpaca are so shy, because this one seems to be begging to be hugged in this photo.

It's not often I like a photo of myself, but his one isn't too bad! Good enough to publish, credit goes to Mom: the photographer.

Now do tell... What do you think these are? Mom could not figure them out..... duh! Sheep!!!

This is me trying on an alpaca vest, I had seen a pattern for something similar on ravelry, but wasn't sure how it would look on me...

still not sure.... I had Mom take the pictures because I didn't think they had a mirror (silly me - it was just around the corner). Another fellow festival attendee commented on how much she liked the drape of the front of the vest on me....

but we all concurred that the back did NOTHING for me! Especially with the contrasting colors! I'll need to make sure I check patterns for the back of their vests.

Mom & I had a rockin' day! The weather was great, the sun came out, we caught up with a few friends and made friends with a new vendor. Janelle makes great pies and caramel corn! The Monkeys were relieved when I pulled two bags of her homemade caramel corn out as their souvenirs!

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