Friday, November 28, 2008

Free hat pattern!

Well, I've had to improvise a hat pattern because I couldn't find just what I wanted. So I figured since I went to all the trouble of figuring it out I'd share it with you here! :) So here's a FREE pattern! I call it Sweet Pea Ear Flap Hat.

This hat is worked flat, and then seamed closed on top.

Sweet Pea Ear Flap Hat

Gague: 32 sts x 33 rows=4" in 2x2 rib
Needles: US 6 / 4.0mm
Yarn: Bernat Baby Coordinates, Strawberry Stripes

CO 82sts
work in k2, p2 rib until hat is 8 1/2" long
slip 41 sts onto 2nd needle, fold hat in half, and using a 3rd needle of same or smaller size bind off hat using 3 needle bind off.

cut 3 pieces of yarn 36" long, thread them all through the corner of the hat, fold in half, and braid using 2 strands held together. Tie a knot in the end.

Weave in ends and you're done!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's DONE!

So WAY back in the middle of June I "met" a lovely person in a chat room who dared me to knit a shawl from laceweight handspun yarn. I thought she was a nut! I'd never spun laceweight yarn, and I'd never knit a shawl. Laceweight yarn is REALLY thin! I wasn't sure I could spin that thin without breaking my yarn constantly in the process. But it did sound like a great challenge. So, while I sure took my sweet time about getting it done (5 months!) I began the journey anyway. I pulled out some tussah silk (lovely stuff!), and merino wool (also VERY lovely stuff!) from my stash, and divided it out, and dyed it in varying shades of blue. I was going for a blue shawl that would get darker as it went down, so I started with a rather light blue, and gradually got darker.Then I carded it up into these batts. I had 5 batts to begin with, but the first yarn ended up too thick, so I didn't use the first skein. This had me worried about whether I'd have enough yardage for my shawl or not. But I figured it would be close, but that I should still have enough yarn with just the 4 batts, so I continued spinning, and spinning, and spinning.
And came up with these 4 lovely balls of laceweight handspun hand dyed yarn. These are pretty true to the actual color :) Then I cast on for a lovely shawl called "Laminaria" that I got from And I knit, and knit, and knit, and just when I thought I would never really have a shawl, I would just be knitting with this yarn forever...
I finished! Yay! I know it looks kinda funny, and not real lacey at all, but this is when I got to have a lesson in blocking. I don't really knit a lot of things that actually NEED to be blocked, but this lace shawl definately needed it! So, I went on a rustproof pin hunt, and found them at JoAnn's. Came home, and blocked my shawl. So now not only am I much less afraid of blocking my knitting, but...
I have this lovely lace shawl! And I had PLENTY of yarn!! I suspect I may have enough left over for another shawl, maybe a much smaller one, but still, that's a lot of leftover yarn considering the fact that I was worried about running out b-4 I finished. Though I'm also thinking maybe the rest will be a scarf, or some sort of other item. Anyhow, I'm so happy with this shawl! And I plan on wearing it out to dinner this Friday for my 10Th wedding anniversary.
If I had to estimate how long this took me to dye, blend, spin and knit I'd have to guess it was somewhere around 102 hours! With 85 of those all being knitting! And I'm not kidding! There are about a zillion stitches in this thing, and some of them are far more complicated than just knitting. But that's why I like knitting it! Never a dull moment! I should've weighed it b-4 posting this. I wonder how much it actually weighs? I'll have to check on that and get back to you. Have a great day! :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I love this yarn!

Well, I suppose the next most recent thing I finished since the GBFAF (great basin fiber arts fair) was some spinning. I have this colorway that I call "Pink Lemonaid" (I know how to spell lemonade, but I think it's kinda fun spelled "my" way) that was just kinda a color combination that I dreamed up one day, so I dyed up some fiber, and spun it into sock yarn. Well I got some really positive feedback on it, so I decided to make more. I dyed some up on sock yarn, and really wanted to spin some more. So I carded up these batts, and then dyed them because I wanted good strong sock yarn, so my superwash merino needed some nylon in it for strength. So I carded it up real good, and dyed it after carding. I was a little worried about it comming out all matted and not spinnable, but I was surprised by the fact that the fiber was still lovely soft and fluffy once dry. So I spun them right up!
Here's the first bobbin. :)
And bobbin #2

Both bobbins together! Aren't they pretty together?!

And here's the yarn! :)

And more pictures of the yarn!

And the skein! :) See I really like this yarn! This will go up in my shop with my next update. It's so soft and squishy! :)

My next spinning project was an experiment in bulky singles yarns. This was spun up from some domestic wool roving that I had dyed a while ago. I'm actually pretty pleased with how it turned out. I think there's only about 30ish yards here, so I think I'll use it in either a felted project, or as a stripe in a hat. I love purple! So naturally I love this yarn! The thing I like about bulky singles is their fluffyness. This is certainly a fluffy yarn! :)
Here's a closeup.
And closeup #2.
Up next, Knee Socks!! :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Great Basin Fiber Arts Fair

Saturday October 4th I attended my first fiber show! :) It was held at Wheeler farm (believe it or not I had never been to Wheeler Farm eber before in my life!) Now to those of you who do not spin, you may not appreciate the excitment of attending a fiber fair, but believe me, it's cool! Unfortunatley it rained all day long, but that didn't keep me from meeting some grear people, and buying some lovely fiber! My funds are rather limited, so I had to choose carefully, and boy were there some lovely fibers there! But I was so in love with this merino/silk blend that it won, and happily followed me home! :) Just look! Doesn't it look so soft, and shiny? Well it is!! I'm currently 1/2 way through spinning it into what I hope to be fingering weight yarn when it's plyed. And it'll make some of the nicest socks I've ever seen (I hope!) :) And it's been a total joy to spin! I LOVE spinning silk/merino!! It's one of my very favorite blends!!

So I had a great day in the cold where I met some lovely people, including my new friend Wendy who convinced me that attending the Wasatch Woolpack spinners guild meetings, and is just all kinds of fun!
And when I got home I had 7 1/2 pounds of corridale fleece waiting for me! :) Woo Hoo!! I was so excited that I started washing it that night! :) Here's the darkest of the fleeces before washing.
And after washing. It's lovely and soft! I haven't spun this color yet, but rest assured when I do I'll be posting about it! I really can't wait to see how it spins up, but I have so many spinning projects planned and started that it'll have to wait.
Then there's grey. This is a lovely color. This is b-4 washing.

And washed.

And the white, before washing.

And washed. Look how lovely it washed up! :) I liked this so much I combed some right up!

This is some of the fluffiest fluff I've ever felt! I couldn't stop petting it for days! LOL!

Then I spun some of it. While this yarn is rather simple in it's natural white color it's so pretty! :) kinda reminds me of snow.

So there ya have it! Now you all know what I bought at the fiber fair, and what fleece looks like b-4 and after washing and spinning. :)
Happy spinning! :)