Category Archives: Knitting

More snakes and ponchos.

I hope everyone is doing well during the pandemic. I have been busy cooking and crafting and working on my garden although the past week has seen freezing temperatures and a bit of snow. Just when you think it’s Spring Mother Nature says “Not quite yet!”.

I have a couple more items to add to the pile for the grandkids. I had an idea of gifts for Easter but that has come and gone so I guess they’ll just be grandma loves you gifts.

I have seven grandkids so I tend to make things in multiples so I’ve finished another poncho and snake.

The poncho is made with more of the Caron Latte cakes and the purple snake is just leftover remnants in my stash. In fact the dark purple and white is some of the first yarn I bought while on lunch break downtown working at my first full time job. I still remember the wool shop. It was full of bulk spools of yarn and the owners put it up on a yarn swift. The purple and white were to make a scarf in the University of Western colours. My how time flies as that was 43 years ago. It also goes against current conventions that say if you haven’t used something in a year or two, get rid of it. I went to use the pizza stone in the basement last week only to discover I’d donated it. Who knew two years later I’d be practicing self-isolation in a pandemic and making my own pizza?

I have two more items to make before handing over the gifts. I was going to make two more snakes but I’m tired of making them and I just used the last of the fibrefill. I’ll have to think of something else.

Karen

Snake, Hat and Poncho.

I had a recent request by my grandson to knit a snake and I blithely agreed thinking how hard can it be? As it turns out it’s pretty easy especially if you’re used to knitting with double pointed needles, however it is time consuming. You look at the picture of the snake and you think oh I’ll get that done in no time but it just keeps going on and on and on.

Then of course you stuff the snake as you go and pretty soon you’re trying to manipulate a four foot snake and rotate it with your feet as you go round and round meanwhile all the time doing colour changes for the different bands of colour.

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The snake does look awesome, only issue – I said I’d do one for his sister. I might try a different stuffing technique for that one.

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Striped Snake by Sarah Anne Thompson – free Ravelry download. Good stash buster, the size of snake is dependent on the yarn. This snake used worsted weight.

After an intensive week of snake knitting I decided to knit my dad a hat as he said he lost his. Translate “lost” into “misplaced” and it became clear that he didn’t need a new hat but since I’d cast on the hat I decided to knit it anyway. I knit the hat in Lion Brand Hand-dyed Wool Ease and since it was a worsted weight yarn I was pleased to finish it off in two days. The only issue was the retirement home he’s staying at has restricted all visitor access while the Coronavirus is going around so I guess the hat will become a fall hat God willing.


Watch Cap by Carri Hammett: Hat Power 5.0. Yarn by Lion Brand Hand-dyed Wool Ease, colour S’Mores.

My husband is modelling the hat. This yarn has a tendency to pool and I’m wondering if that’s why it was such a good deal at Michaels.

After I’d done the hat I felt the need to use up one of the Caron Latte cakes I have sitting around the house. This doesn’t sound like an issue but having listened to a recent blog cast by a fellow crafter, I became aware that Michaels had deeply discounted some discontinued colours of the latte cakes. The regular price of a latte cake is $11.99 a cake. The clearance price dropped the price to $3.99 a cake, I may have bought too many.

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Is this all the latte cakes I have? Well no, I bought a lot at the beginning of the fall season because last spring they reduced the latte cakes and I only caught the tail end of that sale. I had bought a couple of cakes and knit them up and discovered how much I loved the drape and feel of the yarn. I figured I’d never see the latte cakes again so I did buy a few when they re-released the yarn.

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So lots and lots of latte cakes just waiting to be used. What to make, hmm well maybe a poncho. I decided to make the poncho for one of my granddaughters out of the only skein of Pink Melon I had. It was another quick project taking me only two days to finish. The really annoying thing was that towards the end I figured on running out of yarn so I ended up buying another cake. I didn’t need the extra cake as I ended up with 1 yard of leftover yarn (I kid you not). I had braved the corona infested hoards for nothing and I’m not going back out to return the ball of yarn.

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Yarnspirations free patterns title “Bernat Girl’s Crochet Poncho”. Crocheted using 1 cake of Caron Latte colour “Pink Melon”.

I see more ponchos, shawls, afghans in the future to be made.

Karen

Tie Dyes and More

Again it’s been a while since I’ve posted, so easy to procrastinate and put off writing the blog. Anyhow, my daughter who owns a food truck decided to enter a few butter tart festivals in February to keep herself occupied during her slack time and she asked if I wanted to do a few tie dyes and sit at her booth.

I’ve never tried to sell my tie dyes to the public before so I thought it’d be interesting to try. I did read a forum post about selling to the public and realized from the post that I didn’t have the proper setup. I just had a spot at the table beside the butter tarts. It’s a good thing I didn’t have great expectations because over the two shows I only sold three shirts. People were there to buy butter tarts not summer t-shirts. As one lady put it, “You should try selling these at Campfest.” As I was dyeing shirts and trying to fill in spots for inventory it also made me realize what a big commitment it’d be to run an actual booth at a proper craft show. I need to have several patterns in various sizes, dozens upon dozens of shirts. Then to make back the money for my table I’d have to sell a dozen shirts before I’d even break even. I can see why people sell online.

Here are a few of the shirts I did, not sure why some of the other photos didn’t turn out.

I’ve also been busy knitting and crocheting some winter gear and afghans. A couple of months ago I discovered that the local Dollar stores were carrying Lion Brand’s Homespun Thick and Quick yarn for $4 a ball. This yarn normally goes for $12.99 at Michaels craft stores. I guess they’d gotten the yarn because it was the discontinued colours. I think what happened was each store was shipped three boxes of yarn and each store had random colours. It became a game to find all the different stores in my area and see what colours they carried. The stores only put out a box at a time so I was continually returning to see if anything new was on the shelves. I ended up spending a lot of money over $300 but calculated the same amount of yarn would have cost me over $800 full price.

The first afghan I made was supposed to be a shoulder shrug but I didn’t bother sewing up the side seams deeming the piece looked better as a lapghan. The second afghan I decided to crochet in the typical wave pattern. It was here that I fell in love with the yarn. There was so much more texture with crocheting than knitting and I loved the chunkiness of it all so I went out and bought as many different colours that I could. I had to buy the neutral white and beige to fill in.

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Granddaughter showing off knitted Afghan. Lion Brand Thick and Quick colour Herb Garden. Pattern, Emily Bronte Topper by Lion Brand Emily Bronte Topper

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Lion Brand Thick and Quick colours Barley, Garnet and Pearls.
Pattern, Spa Garden Ripple Afghan by Lion Brand, Spa Garden Ripple Afghan

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Lion Brand Thick and Quick colours Wildberries, Periwinkle and Dove.
Pattern same as above but four rows of each colour repeated.

Lastly here are a few photos of a few winter knits.


Lion Brand Ferris Wheel colour Pink Marmalade and Berroco Alpaca black.
Pattern, Rainbow Maze Hat by Gretchen Tracy.


Lion Brand Wool-Ease Hand Dyed colour Peanut Butter & Jelly.
Pattern Yakima Ear Warmer By Justine Bent.

Puff Pillows

I have been doing the Marie Kondo thing and ripping apart the house. It’s an on-going process that’s been lasting months. The Marie Kondo method of cleaning involves looking at an object and asking yourself, does it bring me joy? If the object does then it stays in the keep pile, if not then it gets discarded/donated. I have a lot of craft supplies squirrelled away. I’d say 98% of it brings me joy but it takes up a lot of room. The only way I’m going to get rid of this stuff is to use it up, this is where the puff pillows come in.

What to do with dozens of balls of dollar store, made in China, knock off fun fur? I’ve had this yarn sitting in my stash for probably 8-9 years. I bought it to make hats, scarves or something for the grandkids. It suddenly occurred to me that I could make pillows out of them and give them away for Christmas. Surely the kids will like furry colourful pillows? Regardless the stash pile is dwindling somewhat, everybody gets a pillow (insert evil laugh – whaa haha).

Each pillow was knit on a 6.5 mm 24” cable needle. The square pillows had a cast-on of about 80 stitches and took 8 balls of yarn. They fit an ikea 20” pillow insert and although the finished tube isn’t 20” square , it stretches to fit the pillow no problem. I cast on 100 stitches for the 16” x 26” pillow and knit 10 balls of yarn because that’s all I had in those colours. I probably could have knit another four balls of yarn to make it fit better but I had to go with what I had but the resulting pillow is pretty tight.

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Nice mindless knitting in the round and the finished pillows do look awesome. Whether the grandkids like them is another story but I guess if the pillow doesn’t Bring them joy they can always donate them.

Karen

Black Rainbow Cowl

Went for a little road trip yesterday to visit my wonderful mother-in-law. I managed to knit up a cowl during my travels out of the rainbow yarn I just made and thought I’d share.

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Black rainbow cowl.

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Ted E. Bear modelling the cowl.

Karen

 

Unicorns and Knights.

I finally finished off the unicorn scarves for the girls and one knight’s helmet for Jake. As well, I can now post the Minion’s quilt with swag that I made for Jonathan’s birthday. In total I made four unicorn/pony scarves but forgot to take a photo of Alexis scarf but it’s much the same just a different colour mane. The knight’s helmet was totally cool to knit as I haven’t really knit a structured piece like that before. It came out a little small but that wasn’t unexpected as most of the Ravelry notes on the pattern said the helmet fit small. I didn’t have Jake’s head measurements so I’m glad that he could get it on his head.


Charlie’s pink unicorn scarf. (See previous post for link to Heidi May’s website for pattern)


Side view of scarf.


Kenny’s rainbow pony scarf or as Charlie would have it baby unicorn scarf because baby unicorns don’t have horns.


Side shot.


Jake’s Knight helmet. This pattern was created by Maggie van der Stok and is a free download in Ravelry.


Side view.


Back view.


Knight’s helmet with feathers.


Side view.


Minions quilt – the second I’ve made. I did more quilting on this one. Same reaction as the first time I finished this quilt, a feeling of happiness just looking at it, maybe it’s all that orange.


Assorted loot that I picked up over the previous year while waiting to finish this quilt. None of the goodies was over $10 and the big stuffie I got for $10 marked down from last Valentines Day.

That’s it for knitting for now. Spring is coming up and so I’ve decided to try and finish some quilts that have been put on hold for a while. I have one quilt top that is finished and is waiting for me to clean off the dining room table so I can pin the layers together and then quilt it. I have another Civil war era quilt that is a block of the month in miniatures and I did start to blog about it quite a while back, that needs to be finished off as well especially since it’s going to be a king-sized quilt and I don’t have a king-size quilt for my bed.

Take care and Hoppy Easter.
Karen

Catching up…finished projects

It’s been more than a little while since I’ve posted here. Part of the problem is that I no longer use this computer and I’m on my tablet all the time. My tablet can’t download photos from my camera so I’ve slacked off a bit (well more than a bit). Another issue is I’ve been rather slack in the crafting department lately as well.

Here are a bunch of things that I’ve done since I last posted in October. The little animals are called amigurumi and I had a fun time crocheting them up for my granddaughter Kendal for Christmas. The two tie dyes are ice dyed and I made them up for my granddaughter Charlie and her friend. My son requested a hat and scarf for Christmas and lastly I thought I’d make a fun scarf for all four granddaughters with more to come in different colourways at a later time. The scarves and hat were made from Lion Brand’s Wool Ease Thick and Quick. Lovely yarn to knit up but nasty in that the balls have knots from being joined. The amigurumi were made from Paton’s Astra yarn.


Best friends rainbow ice dyes.


Close-up of back.


Back view.


Cat – Super-Super Easy Crochet by Brigitte Read


My favorite, crocodile (Super-Super Easy Crochet)


Peppa Pig


Robin, Super-Super Easy Crochet


Whale, Super-Super Easy Crochet


Dan’s hat Eagle bay hat


Dan’s scarf English Rib Scarf


Unice Unicorn hood I made it into a pony scarf as requested so left off the horn.


Heidi May is the designer and has some very nice patterns, check out her website. You can also order the patterns through Ravelry.

That’s all for now. I still have three scarfs to knit and I’ve also put together another Minions quilt that needs to be machine quilted and I’ve also finished another quilt top made from one of the box kits put out by Moda so it’ll probably be a few months before I get all those projects finished and posted as well.

Karen

Cleaning spree 2017

I haven’t posted in a while, here are a couple of items I did while away on vacation this past January.
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Better Dorm Slippers knit from a couple of Value Village wool balls.

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Fingerless Mitts knit with some of my first handspun yarn that I did on a drop spindle.

Well my husband went off on his annual golf trip again this year. Every year I tell myself I’m going to clean and up until this year I never have. Finally I got my act together and did some cleaning. Since the house was heading towards hoarding stage one, it was about time. I don’t really need to blog my pictures of a cleaned house but it’s nice to go back and revisit what I’ve done over the years so this is more for myself than others. My blog is more or less a diary of what I’ve done over the years so I can look back.

Kitchen
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Clean fridge door.

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Clean fridge.

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Clean table.

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Husband’s golf pencils, 66 of them now gone.

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What is this and why do I have it on my counter.

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Expired condiment bottles.

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All the stuff from the fridge.

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Fridge after throwing out most of the condiments.

I didn’t take a picture of the freezer at the bottom of the fridge but it’s clean as well.

Family Room

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Family room cleaned, note the valence, which was taken down I don’t know how many years ago for some reason. My husband asked me to shorten it and I never got around to it but I noticed it when cleaning the room. It took me about 30 minutes to cut, shorten and hem it and another 30 minutes to arrange the folds after putting it back up. The room looks so much better – 30 minutes vs years, doh!

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Husband’s area cleaned, finally!!!

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Telephone area, last time cleaned was 2011.

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TV – CD/DVD area, looks normal but was stacked mile high.

Laundry Room and Main Hall Closets and Front Foyer Area

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Cleaned foot rack.

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All the games in the house now have a home in one spot.

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Coats with orderly shoes and boots.

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Shoes to donate, about three garbage bags worth, more than it appears in this photo.

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Coats to donate.

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Coats in hall closet.

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Clean floor, wowzers, actually it now has the vacuum cleaner in it plus a grocery cart. I’ve never had a designated spot for the vacuum before now and I’ve been in the house over 35 years.

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This was so piled up with coats and shoes and other stuff, it just doesn’t look right now that it’s clean. Actually now that all the stuff is gone it looks barren and in need of an update.

I’d say most of the stuff I cleaned has been in a bad way for 10 years or more, probably more if I’m honest. Might be interesting to note that it took me nine days to clean it all and that wasn’t pushing myself. Why does it take so long to make something right especially when it takes so little time?

Karen

Heritage Yarn

I guess it’s been a while since I last posted. I have a ton of pictures taken but looking at my last post I realized that I haven’t gotten around to posting anything new in a while.

I thought I’d toss up some pictures of some yarn that I scored from Value Village. I call yarn that’s probably about 30 years old heritage yarn. Value Village will take yarn it gets from a donation and break it up into little bags of about four skeins or balls. Sometimes you’ll find bags with the same colour in them but more often they’ll break up the same colour and put it into multiple bags with different colours tossed in. I figure they do this on purpose so the buyer has to end up buying five different lots just to get similar skeins of the same colour. This is how I ended up buying a lot of wool. Knowing myself I’d probably have ended up buying it all anyhow since it was good wool.

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Various colours of heritage wool.

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This bucket has the six skeins of the green I was really going after but I also scored three nice skeins of black as well.

I know the green yarn was old because the label on it said Condon’s Yarns and that mill is no longer in business in fact it burned down a few years ago after having shut down. The black yarn also had Condon’s labels on them. The other label on some of the skeins was Briggs and Little, which I was happy to see.

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There were also various other skeins that had been wound into balls and they were without labels. I guess I’m going to have to knit swatches out of them and see what weight of yarn they are. What was really neat and I didn’t notice this until I got home was that one of the wound balls was an exact match for five skeins of yarn that my mother-in-law had given me. I was very glad to see it as I didn’t think there was enough yarn for a sweater. She also bought this yarn about 30 years back but didn’t knit with it or she tried but she found out that she’s allergic to wool and it made her hands itch. The green is from Briggs and Little and they still make it today as I just received some sample cards in the mail yesterday and that colour is still offered.

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Green heather from Value Village.

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The green heather compared to my mother-in-law’s skein.

I got 15 balls of yarn for $22 and so I’m well pleased with the deal. It’s all about being in the right place at the right time. The green yarn from Condon’s did smell but it’s funny because the black from Condon’s didn’t. I decided to wash all the green skeins in some Unicorn Power Scour and there was a ton of dye washed out so I’m thinking the smell was from processing and not from being in a plastic container all those years. The yarn washed up beautifully and is gorgeous. The only thing left to do is to try and decide what I’m going to knit out of it. The idea is either a yoked sweater or maybe a hap shawl I’m not certain which to go with. I have an upcoming KAL in January in one of my Ravelry groups so I think I’ll wait until then to decide what to do. There is plenty of Christmas stuff happening at the moment to keep me busy.

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Karen

Bridger Cowl

It seems I forgot to blog about the cowl I made out of the Paua yarn I spun, brain fart I guess, I did post to Ravelry. Anyhow I was looking for a project that didn’t take up too much yarn and I came across a pattern in Ravelry called the Bridger Cowl by Kris Basta

This was an easy cowl to knit up and I did it in one day. The only issue I had was that I could have used a couple more inches in the width for the cowl to sit more comfortably on my neck but that’s my fault for not taking a neck measurement in the first place. I always have an issue with gauge as well. It doesn’t seem to matter if I make a swatch I always end up knitting tighter once I get into a project. I didn’t make the cowl for myself it’s for my more petite sister-in-law so I’m hoping it’ll be perfect. I did block the cowl once it was finished and that helped. Nice pattern though and I’d consider making another one if needed.

I like the pattern because it has the lace bit at the bottom but then goes into plain stockinette stitch for the main body. I did try another pattern but found that the colours in the Paua yarn got lost in lacework so a simpler pattern was needed. Anyhow I’m happy with the cowl and I think I have enough yarn left over to try out another simple cable cowl.

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Bridger Cowl using the Paua yarn I created.

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Not a great picture but gives you an idea of how the cowl sits on my coat (Yes it was very hot that day and it’s a selfie.)

Next on the agenda are some tie dye t-shirts for the grandkids and perhaps one for a cashier who insisted on getting my name and number at the checkout when she saw me in my tank top.

Karen