Category Archives: Knitting

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.
knitted-dorm-slippers
Better Dorm Slippers knit from a couple of Value Village wool balls.

fingerless-mitts-before-wash
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
clean-fridge-door
Clean fridge door.

clean-fridge
Clean fridge.

clean-table
Clean table.

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

img_9516
What is this and why do I have it on my counter.

out-dated-bottles
Expired condiment bottles.

stuff-from-fridge
All the stuff from the fridge.

stuff-in-cleaned-fridge
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

family-cleaned-2017
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!

johns-area-cleaned
Husband’s area cleaned, finally!!!

telephone-area-clean
Telephone area, last time cleaned was 2011.

tv-dvd-area-cleaned-2017
TV – CD/DVD area, looks normal but was stacked mile high.

Laundry Room and Main Hall Closets and Front Foyer Area

img_9531
Cleaned foot rack.

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

coat-closet-and-games
Coats with orderly shoes and boots.

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

coats-to-donate
Coats to donate.

coats-hall-closet
Coats in hall closet.

hall-closet-clean
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.

main-entrance-clean
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.

value-village-haul
Various colours of heritage wool.

value-village-assorted
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.

briggs-and-little

condons-yarn

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.

value-village-green-tweed
Green heather from Value Village.

green-tweed-comparison
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.

closeup-of-green-sport-yarn

green-sport-yarn

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.

paua cowl with foam head
Bridger Cowl using the Paua yarn I created.

paua cowl with black coat
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

My Preciousssss…..

Anyone who is a big Lord of the Rings fan will know exactly what I’m talking about when I say “My Precioussss”. This one liner is given by Gollum as he’s fondling his golden ring. I thought the title was kind of appropriate given that my husband and I just came back from a combined New Zealand/Australia trip, the movie having been made in New Zealand. I didn’t buy any yarn-goodness in Australia but I spent the wad so to speak in New Zealand. We didn’t have any spare room in the luggage so I had Skeinz ship my stuff home since I’d spent over $100 and qualified for free shipping. I got my parcel in the mail yesterday and like Gollum I’ve been picking up my stuff, stroking it and acting like it’s My Preciousss.
skeinz parcel

skeinz tag

I’ll put up a blog later about the trip but since there are over 2,000 pictures to sort through I’ll leave that for later. The first yarn store I found was New Zealand Fabrics & Yarn downtown in the Queen’s Arcade, Auckland. I had really wanted to visit Anna Gratton’s Little Wool Co. farm and mill but it was a six hour round trip from where we were staying in Lake Taupo so that idea was nixed. Mind you had I a fellow spinner with me we would have been out there in a flash but the husband wasn’t too receptive to the idea so it was a no-go. You can order her stuff online as well. I knew that the Fabrics & Yarn store carried Anna’s fibre so I bought some there instead. I also fell in love with some stuffed bears in the store so bought the pattern for those as well.

Little Wool Co Paua shell corridale fibre
Little Wool Co. corridale fibre, colourway Paua Shell.

fibre paua shell

winston and clementine bear pattern
Winston & Clementine.

For the most part I found the yarn really expensive in the downtown shops so I didn’t buy any since I knew that we were hitting the Port of Napier on the second day of our cruise and the Skeinz outlet is in Napier. Actually the trip to the outlet ended up taking all of our time in Napier as I was too cheap to pay for the $40 cab fare there and back. The outlet is located in the industrial part of the city. Napier isn’t that big but it was too far to walk or at least too far to walk in the time limit we had before the store closed for the day so we took a city bus there and back.

The reason I wanted to go to the outlet aside from the fact that it’s a yarn shop is that New Zealand is the only place you can get possum yarn and Skeinz has some pretty reasonable prices as well. Below is the rest of the stuff I got on the trip.

Skeinz Naked merino-possum yarn
Skeinz “Naked” Merino-Possum yarn – 200 grams hanks 8-ply yarn. I’m going to have to dye this but what colour I’m not sure.

merino-possum yarn unwound from skein
The skeins were pretty tight so I unwound them since they’ll probably sit in the closet until I get around to working with them. I bought six hanks, not sure of the yardage I’m sure it’s on their website.

Skeinz lime green merino-possum yarn
Skeinz merino-possum yarn lime green. This was left-overs from a custom order I’m pretty sure it’s the same stuff as the Naked merino-possum but it was fluffier. On the website they said the yarn would get fluffy as you knit with it and I’m sure the same could be said for washing it as well.

Skeinz purple multi merino-possum yarn
Skeinz merino-possum sock yarn in a multi-purple. This stuff was on sale on their website as well.

Skeinz Vintage New Zealand yarn rose
This was a free ball of yarn for spending over a certain amount in the store, I got the coupon from the Information center downtown and only clued in because I’d visited another traveler’s blog. It’s pure wool in a very nice rose and I’m going to use it for the girl bear’s sweater in the above pattern I bought. I’ll use some of the possum for the bear’s body.

Skeinz corridale fibre charcoal
Charcoal corridale fibre about 100 grams.

Skeinz corridale fibre oatmeal
Oatmeal corridale fibre just over 200 grams. It looks more oatmeal coloured in real life. I didn’t bother getting white since I have tons of white in Shetland.

That was it for the purchases of craft yarns. I don’t really need more yarn or fibre but I couldn’t resist getting the merino-possum as it just can’t be found here and of course the fibre was just sitting there saying “Buy Me”.

Karen

Tinsel Hedgehog

I bought a ball of tinsel yarn – King Cole – at the Mary Maxim booth when I attended the Creativ’ Festival in October. I just finished this little guy this morning. I guess he’s smaller than a football and the pattern makes smaller ones than this. The pattern came with the yarn but I’ve just been to the Mary Maxim website and if you register you can access their free patterns and find this guy and they also have another pattern which uses the same tinsel yarn to make owls. I’m thinking fun fur might work the same as the tinsel but there is something about the tinsel that just strikes a cord with my girly side.

front view silver hedgehog

side view hedgehog

I saw a tree at the Creativ’ festival that was filled with varying sizes of these hedgehogs in the argent/silver tinsel and it was just stunning. Multi-coloured hedgehogs would look awesome as well.

Karen

The Owl and the bear…

Totally stoked as I used up some STASH yarn that’s been sitting in the closet for a few years. I originally found this yarn at Value Village and made a toddler’s sweater from an old Paton’s book and I blogged about it here: Toddler’s Sweater. Too funny as I just reread my own post and realized that I’d mentioned that I was stoked because I bought the yarn so cheaply. Here I am five years later with another sweater post using the same yarn and using the same word ‘stoked’ to describe my feelings. I don’t normally use the word that I’m aware of, I wonder if my brain linked back to the previous post and had a deja vu moment.

Anyhow here is a picture of the new sweater for the same granddaughter. The pattern is Owlet by designer Kate Davies and the yarn is Eaton’s brand Nina (now extinct). The sweater is a birthday present so Charlie can’t model it yet so Ted E. Bear is filling in once again as he is usually wont to do.

Charlie's owlet a

Ted E Bear in owlet sweater a

Karen

More Socks.

Not a big project but thought I’d post a picture anyhow of a pair of socks that I’d made for John. Socks are not a quick knit for me and seem to take forever.
Kroy basic sock in Casual colours

kroy fx Casual Colors side view

Basic socks Patons Kroy Fx Casual Colors
Patons Kroy FX ‘Casual Colors’

Karen

Print of the Wave.

It’s been a long time since my last post. I’ve been working on a wrap/shawl and it feels like it took forever to get it done but finished it is thank goodness.

The pattern is called Print of the Wave and is from the book by Liz Lovick called Centenary Stitches. I’ve used a pattern from this book before to make a Poppy Shawl and I explained about the book in that post.

The yarn is some that I’ve spun and blogged about – Mystery Fibre from Wellington Fibre Mill. The shawl itself isn’t very complicated to do but you do have to keep focused otherwise it’s easy to mess up the pattern repeats. I ripped back countless rows because I’d look up and lose track of what I was doing.

IMG_5349

IMG_5350

Print of the Wavecopper top in hand

After pinning out the shawl yesterday I decided to try knitting up some pompom yarn I bought from the dollar store. I watched a couple of youtube videos and then cast on 14 stitches and off I went. I finished up the short scarf this afternoon after about 5 hours of knitting. So nice to get instant gratification after spending three months knitting one item.

pom pom scarf in autumn colours
Fourteen stitches wide on 5 mm needles. Next time I’ll cast on 12 stitches and get a slightly longer scarf although this one is good for under a jacket. It took one ball of yarn – 82 yards, 150 grams.

Ted E Bear wearing pom pom scarf

Ted E. Bear of course standing in as a model for me like he usually does. He likes the scarf because it’s nice and furry although he tells me it can’t compete with his own luxurious fur.

Karen

Little Knitted Pouch and Lavender Socks.

Here are a couple of little projects that I’ve finished in the last week. The first are a pair of socks I made for my daughter but turns out she’s allergic to wool, oops.

lavender socks
Basic sock by Ann Budd knit in Paton’s Kroy socks – Lavender Jaquard.

The other project is a small bag made from a pattern I found on Ravelry but the instructions are here: Knitted Creations. The yarn was spun from the roving shown in my previous post.

shetland white corridale purple green yellow pink
White Shetland and coloured Corridale.

IMG_5136

IMG_5137

IMG_5142
Hand-dyed fabric I had sitting around from a previous fabric swap.

bag

inside bag
Final measurements for the bag were 6.5″ by 6″ with the flap closed. You can of course make the bag any size you want just adjust the repeats of the pattern. It’s a very easy knit.

And lastly I pin-basted the small basket quilt together using a piece of backing that I dyed a light blue to match. I was pleased with how the backing turned out considering I just tossed in some dye and threw it on the fabric. It’s a bit mottled but it’s hard to tell in the photo.

IMG_5139

Karen

Poppy Shawl and Café Pansy Cosy

I’ve been away on holiday down to Florida and the warmer climes, lol, now it’s back home and snowing like crazy, such is life. While driving down to Florida I managed to finish off a shawl I’d started back home using the yarn I’d recently spun from the mohair/wool roving I’d bought from the Woodstock Fibre Festival and Wellington Fibres Mill.

The pattern – Poppy Shawl – is by Liz Lovick and comes from the book called Centenary Stitches. A wonderful book filled with over 70 patterns of vintage knits that were created for the movie Tell Them of Us. The original shawl is red but I wanted to use my homespun for a shawl and this is the pattern I chose. The movie is about a family and shows their life as their sons go off to war and the love ones left at home.

Poppy shawl2
Poppy Shawl by Liz Lovick.

poppy shawl on wires
Shawl on laced wires being blocked. While on vacation I bought the wires from InSpinknity and I really like them, they can be bent and will snap back straight after use.

On the way back home from Florida I worked on another Liz Lovick pattern from her ebook Café Pansy and chose the tea cosy to knit. The cosy was knit with Jamieson and Smith’s 2-ply jumper weight yarn. The knit was an easy one but took forever because the weight of the yarn was so fine. The ribbing seemed to take a long time to knit, I really don’t like ribbing so that probably didn’t help.

pansy tea cozy
Pansy Tea Cosy by Liz Lovick. Actually the pattern looks like butterflies to me so I guess you could switch out the colours and get something different.

Next I plan on working on a dinosaur quilt kit for my grandson Carter so we’ll see how that goes.

Karen