Mohair Locks & Mystery Yarn

Finally finished up the second skein of mystery yarn from Wellington Fibres Mill. This is some sort of mohair/wool combination I think, I’m not sure what the percentage of mohair to wool is. The yarn doesn’t feel as soft as the 50:50 of the last skeins I spun so I’m thinking it’s more wool. Anyhow…

copper top skein on bobbin
Yarn on Bliss bobbin.

copper top in hand
Another shot for colour

2nd copper top skein
Last skein, 132 grams and 377 yards long. The combined yardage for the 244 grams of roving is 644 yards so I’m thinking of making a wrap/shawl out of it.

Next up I bought some kid mohair locks from the local yarn shop and thought I’d finally try spinning these guys. I already have some mohair locks but this was on sale for $10 so I thought I’d practice on these before spinning the ones I paid more money for. I’m pleased with the way the yarn turned out. I was going to wrap it with some bronze coloured thread but I thought the thread took away from the look so I just left the yarn as a single ply.

green kid mohair on bobbin
This is 94 grams of yarn on my Bliss bobbin. I had no problems with the uptake onto the bobbin.

green kid mohair on niddy noddy
On the niddy noddy.

green kid mohair bouncy before washing
Off the niddy noddy, lots of bounce in the yarn at this point.

green mohair kid skein
Yarn in skein after being washed and left to dry with a towel in one end to take out the twist. Most of the twist had left after soaking the skein in hot water but I didn’t want it to dry and bounce back so added the towel to put some weight on the one end and keep the yarn straight.

I like the yarn it’s pretty but I haven’t a clue what to make out of it.


Fibre Goodness from the Toronto Knitter’s Frolic

Saturday saw my treasure of a husband driving me into Toronto to the 2015 Toronto Knitter’s Frolic so that I could make a mad dash to the Wellington Fibres Mill booth. I’d bought some of their mohair/wool fibre last October at the Woodstock show and spun it up and knit a beautiful shawl with the yarn I’d made so this was my excuse for getting yet more fibre. I mean it’s not like I don’t have a full closet full of the stuff but you can never have enough even if it’s only to take the stuff out and fondle it every now and then.

So all of the roving came from Wellington Fibre Mills. I admit I haven’t a clue what is in the rovings because I bought five boxes of “Mystery” fibre at $20 a pop for 250 grams. I do know that it has mohair and wool and probably some alpaca but I’m not entirely sure. As the booth helper explained it could even have dog in it, dog? Anyhow this time around I bought two boxes each of the two colours and one box of the red. Seeing as how I ran short when making the shawl I didn’t want to do the same for the next project I knit.

blue-green-purple mystery rovings wellington mills

grey-purple mystery roving wellington mill

scarlet-yellow-purple mystery roving wellington mills

I also snagged a couple of boxes of kid mohair. I’m not quite sure how I’ll use these but they were too pretty to pass up.

blue-green kid mohair

pink-purple-blue kid mohair

Next I visited the Fullin Woolens booth and grabbed some Firestar. I’ve used Firestar in my batts and I really like how it gives some sparkle to the yarn.

various firestar

Finally I picked up some buttons from A & B Creations. I was impressed with the look of a horn button I’d used in a recent project so decided to buy some more buttons for future projects. A couple are horn and the rest exotic woods. One of the buttons is African Blackwood, two are deer horn, two Yew and I didn’t make note of the final three buttons.

wood and horn buttons-african blackwood, yew, horn, other

After being inspired by the show I spent hours yesterday and finally finished some yarn that I spun from some Wellington Mystery fibre I’d bought at the 2014 Woodstock festival. I tried spinning finer so that I’d get more yardage but the yarn still comes out to a fingering/double knitting weight but I’m okay with that as it’s less work to knit. I think I got more yardage but I’ll have to wait and see when I wind the yarn into a yarn cake.

Wellington Fibre Mill - Mystery Rovings


I thought the fibre looked like a dusty rose but after working with it I’m not sure whether or not to call it a rose-brown or a copper colour. The fibre was interesting with pink, yellow, grey and blue in it. The mill sells it’s roving in boxes. Any roving that is left over from being weighed and boxed is thrown in a bin. This roving is then combined and made into new roving and since by this time it’s all a jumble as to how much of each different fibre is in the roving they call it Mystery roving and sell it at a bit of a discounted price. Seeing as how it’s hard for me to pass up a deal that’s what I bought.

The Knitter’s Frolic show itself was spectacular but I forgot my camera so sorry no pictures. I can safely say that if you save your entire year’s craft budget you could spend it all at this one show and come away very happy. The booths were a feast of colour and beauty, lovely yarn everywhere and all the gadgets you’d every need.


Cactus Basket Quilt

Finally the quilt that I’ve been working on for my mother-in-law is finished. The quilt was a kit featuring fabrics from Darlene Zimmerman’s Clothesline Club. I got the kit on sale from the Fat Quarter Shop several years ago. The fabrics used in the kit were reproduction 30’s prints, which I love. I saw the kit and thought of my mother-in-law. This January was her 95th birthday and she’s doing well and still living in her own apartment although she does have the VON nurses come in twice a day to check up on her and make sure everything is alright. I thought she might like the fabrics since she’s lived through that era so we’ll see if she remembers the colours when I give her the quilt at a birthday party get-together this April.

Laundry basket quilt kit - cactus flower
Laundry Basket Quilt – fabric and design by Darlene Zimmerman, Kaufman fabrics.

close-up cactus flower
Close-up of the block, which is known as Cactus Basket. I’m sure there is probably some other name for it as well.

dyed sapphire blue backing for laundry basket quilt
Shot of the backing I dyed using ProChem’s Sapphire Blue. The dilution was a weak one but turned out perfect for the quilt. There is a bit of mottling in there but you really have to look to see it.

Well another project done for now. Next up is the dinosaur quilt for Carter’s birthday in May. I have the top sewn together so I just need to sew the backing and then layer and quilt everything together.


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.



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


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.



This and That.

I’ve been doing some crafting but nothing is finished yet so the big reveals are yet to come but since I haven’t blogged in a while I thought I’d post some progress pictures of what I’ve been doing.

First up some beauty shots to brighten your day. These are some roses that I got for my birthday and Valentine’s day, which are one and the same day. The grandkids came over and we had a wonderful romp and some yummy tacos for dinner.

white and pink roses

yellow and orange roses

Next up is the current project I’m working on. This is a little lap quilt kit that I bought from the Fat Quarter Shop about four years ago, hard to believe the time has flown by so quickly. I thought I would make it up and give it to my mother-in-law for her 95th birthday. The kids are having a special party and get together for her this April so it should be done by then.

01 laundry basket block

02 more laundry basket blocks

020 laundry basket quilt kit tag

And finally a couple of goodies arrived in the mail this morning. It was somewhat puzzling given that I had two parcels winging their way to me, ordered a week apart but the second one arrived first. This is some backing fabric I ordered to complete a quilt that I’m putting together for my grandson and the theme is dinosaurs. The other item is a quilt kit called Ada’s Prairie Stitches quilt.

03 dinosaur backing fabric

04 Ada's prairie stitches quilt kit

Hopefully I’ll be able to get pictures up of the finished quilts soon. The hubby is going away on a golf trip so I’m torn between having a craft-fest or cleaning, you can probably guess which I’ll end up doing.


Dizzing off the Drum Carder.

Today I had more fun creating some roving off of my drum carder. The first time I tried this I didn’t have a proper diz and used a ceramic button. It was a tough go and didn’t work that well and I hadn’t tried it again until today. I used my proper diz today and the process was really easy so I guess it helps to use the proper tools.

I’m going to photo bomb the process again, mostly because I want a record of the colours used. I’m too lazy to make more roving and there is also the thought that when I spin this stuff up it might not look that great so I’ve only made 63 grams of roving. If I want more at least I can look back at this post and figure out what to do again. Blogs are wonderful, I don’t know how many times I’ve Googled something and come up with my own blog.

The wool used is some white Shetland from Jamieson & Smith and some coloured Ashford mill ends, which I assume are Corridale since they aren’t soft like Merino. The mill ends used are green, purple, yellow and pink.

1 bare drum carder

2 white

3 green on white2

4 green2

5 purple on green

6 purple on green

7 purple2

8 yellow on purple2

9 pink on yellow

91 pink

92 white on pink

93 starting to diz off drum

94 front view dizzing2

95 halfway through dizzing2

96 roving falling off drum

97 roving

98 roving nest

It’s a thing of beauty, how many years have I been posting and it only occurred to me today to place a number in front of the names of my photos so that they are sequenced properly and so when importing I don’t have to re-arrange them in proper order? It takes me a while but I eventually get there…


Treats and Eye Candy.

Yesterday I got a parcel in the mail from the Uk, it was a prize for a KAL that I had been in for the months leading up to Christmas. The KAL was to complete projects and record the yardage used. Now I wasn’t going to bother listing my yardage because all I’d done was a hat and baby blanket and there were others who completed a lot more work than I did but then I thought well I should get into the spirit of the KAL (knit-along) because the idea of the KAL was to try and use up stash yarn. Well imagine my surprise when I won, nobody else could be bothered to list their yardage, just goes to show you what can happen when you follow the rules.

Anyhow thought I’d blog the wonderful gift that Bev sent me:

package from uk
Exciting moment, the unopened box before me.

inside uk package
Ooh packaged up nicely so it wouldn’t move around, what is in here?

uk contents
Yummy, look at all those goodies.

I have to admit that I demolished the treats in fairly short order, I have no willpower when it comes to treats.

Now for the eye candy. I decided to play with my Hero carder today and thought I’d blast some photos out of the process. I call photos like this eye candy and I guess you’d only appreciate them if you were another spinner. I love seeing photos of colourful fibre. I forgot to take a picture of the first couple of layers but the order of laying out the fibre on the carding wheel was: black, firestar, purple, red, gold Angelina, orange, yellow, orange, gold Angelina, red, purple, firestar, black.

I made two batts for a total of 94 grams. The Hero is a small carder so doesn’t do batts above 50 grams and it was all I could do to get as much fibre on it as I did. Since there were two batts some of the photos are repetitive.

hero batt nova

middle of nova batt 2

middle of nova batt

nova with purple layer

nova with black layer

nova tail end batt 2

nova tail end

Nova end 1

nova end 2

nova 2 batts end view

nova batt 2

nova both batts tail ends

Since the main colours are black and purple with the red, orange and yellow as accents I’ve decided to name these two batts Nova.


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.


Charlie’s quilt.

Charlie had her birthday the other day and she got to open her present from grandma.

Charlie opening present 2014
Hmm, what is this?

it's a blanket
It’s a blanket!

charlie on quilt
It’s Frozen!

she likes it
All smiles, I think she likes it :)

And that is why moms and grandmas all over the world go the extra mile and put the effort in.


Scraps of Time…Day 18 & 19.

Well it’s done and in the FedEx office ready to be picked up in about 10 minutes. I had my doubts about finishing this quilt before the December 23rd 5:00 pm pickup time. Lets just hope it actually does make it out to Edmonton and that Jonathan does pick it up.

Progress shots.
Extra material being added to the backing to get the needed width.

pinned quilt
Quilt layered together and being pinned.

The two shots above were actually from day 17 but I took them after I’d already blogged. I was pretty low after having blogged thinking I’d never get the quilt done in time since I was a whole day behind in my schedule but somehow I got over that hump I don’t know why. My husband helped me with laying out the quilt and we did a pretty good job of it. The width was really tight as the backing matched the quilt top exactly so we fiddled around a lot trying to match the sides evenly.

Here is a shot of my MegaQuilter and the quilt in it. I spent most of the day – about 8 hours quilting. I quilted diagonally through the blocks with a walking foot so fairly fast with lots of short pivots at the ends. Then I made the decision to quilt along the borders and along the vine with the walking foot as well. I didn’t bother with the leaves although it bothered me but I was in a time crunch so made the decision to leave them for later if I had time.

empty pin container
All through this project I’d been very careful when transporting my pin container making sure it was closed when not in use. The only time I forgot to do this was the other night when I was layering the quilt. Well wouldn’t you know it as I grabbed the camera to take the picture of the quilt in the machine I also grabbed the lip of the pin container. I looked down and saw the empty container.

pins on floor
Then I saw this. Of course this only happened because I had the extra time to pick the pins up off the floor, don’t you know.

Attaching the binding with the walking foot.

Back side of the quilt after the binding had been trimmed. This shows the extra fabric added to the quilt, most of it has been trimmed away. At this point I’m hoping the light fabric will be hidden by the binding.

The binding has been sewn down by hand. I spent 3 hours at night and then the next morning working another two hours before I finished. It took me a lot less time to sew the binding then I’d figured on so I was pleased. This shot shows a little extra fabric that didn’t quite get hidden. I had only two spots about six inches long each so it worked out fairly well.

quilted leaves
I finished the binding this morning at 10 am so figured I’d have time to quilt around the leaves in the border. I’m really glad I had the time to do this. It may not have been the most pretty job but it looks tons better with them quilted than not quilted. It really made the leaves pop and secured the loose batting.

finished scraps of time quilt
Finished quilt on the bed. I finished at 2:00 pm and got the parcel in the FedEx store by 3:00 pm and it’s supposed to go out at 5:00 pm.

On the label at the back of the quilt I renamed the quilt “Never give up, never surrender”. At night on day 17 after feeling like I was never going to get the quilt finished I rallied somewhat and that phrase popped into my head – “Never give up, never surrender”. Galaxy Quest is a fun movie that’s a spoof on Star Trek. Throughout the movie during all the action scenes when the going gets tough the actors are all saying “Never give up never surrender”. I don’t know why it popped into my head but all last night (when I’m sitting there sewing binding at 12:00 am with a headlamp on) and today when I was feeling sore and tired I’d just say to myself never give up never surrender, you can do this. I then got to thinking that’s not a bad phrase for life and a good name for a quilt. When things get tough don’t give up just keep going.

YES!! The quilt is done and on it’s way!