Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sari Silk Tamed

Awhile ago I wrote about a purse I was making out of recycled Sari Silk. I finally have it finished. It is lined, has a zipper and as of this weekend handles!

And since it finally got warm enough for flowers to bloom (right up to 80 degrees!), enjoy the Dicentra a.k.a. Bleeding Hearts. The bloom for about 1 week every year then go dormant.

I think I will go back outside and look at them again. With the heat this high they won't last long.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Treasure Trove of Hankies

My in-laws are in the midst of decluttering their house. My MIL gave me two boxes full of vintage handkerchiefs, many with thread crocheted borders.

A virtual rainbow of colors!

Some of the designs really wild.

Right now I am in the midst of washing them all and since all the boys are gone on various camping/grandma trips, I look forward to an evening of hanging out with the dogs ironing these dainties. What an exciting life I lead!

And yes, I do plan to store them flat instead of folded as they had been stored.

Here are some finished socks:

Knit in Trekking XXL - color 126. I was originally very excited with the color, it reminded me of Brach's Sundaes Neopolitan Coconut Candy. I'm not really sure why that excited me so much, one of those fits of yarn store mania. Knit up I thought they were truly atrocious. I think it must have been my stitch pattern because the ones knit in stockinette here are beautiful.

So I overdyed them with a purplish red and like how they came out.
Pattern was a standard top down sock, done in a feather & fan/old shale stitch. Garter ridges eliminated in the foot because I have stupidly sensitive foot bottoms.
I'm fairly impressed that I got the striping to match up as closely as I did. Don't generally care if my socks match, much less the striping matches.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Drop Stitch Scarf - Free Pattern

Recently I spun some yarn from a birthday roving from my brother and SIL. They bought the roving at Ashville NC Home Crafts. Card attached said it was hand dyed by AnneMarie Walter of Asheville, NC. AnneMarie's creations can be found at her etsy shop - Smoky Mountain Fibers.

The yarn turned out very pretty.

I've been spinning off and on for about 5 years but had never really made anything with my handspun. I decided to cast on for a scarf. Knitting with yarn that I had created was a triumphant, liberating feeling. The yarn was very soft compared to most of the commercial yarn I use and easy on the hands.

I made up the pattern - here it is:

Drop Stitch Scarf

Used about 4.5 oz of worsted weight handspun yarn
Needles US size 10

Cast on 15 stitches.
Row 1: K3, P3 across, ending with K3
Row 2: P3, K3 across, ending with P3

Continue in K3,P3 ribbing until you are out of yarn or the scarf is as long as you want.

My scarf came out about 7 feet long.

Bind off, dropping the middle stitch of each 3 stitch rib (i.e. bind off 1, drop next stitch, bind off next stitch, bind off next stitch, drop next stitch etc...)
When completely bound off, gently stretch the scarf to help the dropped stitches run all the way down the length of the scarf.

Here is the pattern that the dropped stitches made:

Friday, April 13, 2007

Big Dyeing Adventures with Mama-E

A couple of weekends ago I was lucky enough to take a dyeing class with Mama-E of C*eye*ber Fiber Warehouse. Class was great. Learned loads and dyed lots of yarn and fiber. Let me tell you, dyeing is much harder work that it looks! Those hand dyed skeins are worth every penny.

Here is the yarn:

Here is the fiber:

I've had time to knit up a few things from the dyed yarn.

Socks for someone that promptly wore them outside without shoes from the rainbow dyed yarn.

I branched out and tried 2 socks at once on 2 circulars. Not nearly as confusing as I thought it would be and the satisfaction of getting both done at the same time. An excellent tutorial is the Cybersocks class.

The start of a VERY purple scarf for Jenna.

Scarf pattern is "Athena" One Ball Scarf.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Mulch Mania

Spring here at the ranch house in the far suburbs country estate means mulching. To be precise LOTS of mulching- 3 dump truck loads of mulch, renting a bobcat and getting very dirty. All those flower gardens seemed like a really good idea when we bought the place.

Got a kit on Saturday for Baby Bobbi Bear from Fabulous Yarn . Quick shipping and they take Paypal for payment - always a plus.

Pattern, Baby Bobbi Bear by Blue Sky Alpacas, is a quick knit and very well written. I didn't even have to use the "Visualizing Assembly" notes under corrections on the website. Done in Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton (2 hanks). Yarn is nice and soft, worsted weight. Pattern is done with minimal seaming and knit in the round on double pointed needles. I could barely get it away from my little guy to take a picture.