Creating colourways in wool.

I’ve taken a break from sewing my quilt and have been having some fun creating hanks of yarn for a hat project. The pattern is Caller Herrin by Kate Davies and is a tam with a seashore/fish scale theme. I’ve always liked the pattern and yarn used for this hat but I’ve never ordered the yarn simply because making the hat would cost me around $80 and I refuse to pay that kind of money for a hat I might only wear occasionally.

I had downloaded some reading material from Interweave press and one of the e-books that I bought was Spinning In Color by Deb Menz. I had a go at creating a skein of yarn following her principles of layering colours in batts and then layering the batts together and then finally z-striping the batts to get the roving.

roving on floor purple yellow teal red honey lime rust medium blue

prism single strand

prism 2 ply

prism close up

Prism skeinPrism skein sunlight

Somehow looking at this skein of yarn I’d created made me flashback to the Virtual yarns used in knitting Caller Herrin and it suddenly occurred to me to try and create my own colour-ways for the hat trying to mimic the colours in the Virtual Yarns. I knew I wouldn’t match the colours but I thought it’d be fun to try so here are a bunch of pictures of the process. I’ve decided to save the yarn for vacation time in January and truth to tell now that I’ve made the yarn the fun has sort of gone out of the process and I’m in no hurry to knit the tam. It’s usually the way it is for me when it comes to colour experiments, it’s more fun making the materials than using them.

There are more than a few different skeins where I’ve tried for a better match so just a heads up at why I’ve got all these different colours that are similar. The wool fiber that I used was from my Ashford Mill Ends bag (previously blogged) and mostly Corriedale.

selkie closeup

solan goose

solon goose closeup

solan goose skeing two rotated

kittywake closeup

shearwater closeup

caller herrin multi-skein shot rotated

pepple beach another shot

pebble beach clone single

pebble beach closeup


summer tide single

summer tide closeup

caller herrin skeings



selkie clone 2 single 1

selkie 2 on niddy noddy

selkie clone 2 closeup

solon goose clone 3

caller herrin skeins

pebble beach clone 2

pebble beach clone 3 closeup

caller herrin skein samples

caller herrin final audition
Choice grouping #1 for hat.

caller herrin final pick
Choice grouping #2 for hat.

This tan roving was another clone but I could tell it wasn’t going to work so I set it aside, this is how it looks spun up.

pebble beach tan and selkie roving

pebble beach 2 closeup


Mastering Miniatures Quilt

I have a passion for civil war/reproduction era fabrics so when I see them on sale I tend to look twice and it doesn’t take much for me to buy them. I recently bought a block of the month quilt kit from The Fat Quarter Shop “Mastering Miniatures” put out by Homestead Hearth featuring Judie Rothermel’s Authentic Miniatures 1800’s reproduction fabric.

The original quilt is 70″ x 70″ and I had originally planned to make it that size but since I’ve started the quilt we have purchased a king size bed so obviously I need to make the quilt larger. There are 50 blocks in the quilt that each measure 6″ x 6″ when finished. Each month has five packets each packet making a different block. Although the fabrics in each packet are usually a 10″ square, since the block itself is 6″ square, there is more than enough fabric to make two blocks out of what is given. If I run short of fabric for the second block I can
I can usually steal a bit of fabric from another block. It helps that I also have in my possession 2 grab bag boxes of reproduction prints on hand to fill in any shortfalls and some of those off-cut pieces from the grab bags are the very fabrics used in the quilt. Long story short I figure I need around 110 blocks to make a king quilt. It’s amazing that to add an extra two outer rows I’ll need the same amount of blocks as used in the original quilt.

Anyhow I had a friend request pictures of the process so here I go with posting my progress of making a quilt once again, besides which I find it keeps me on track and honest in the time management. The blocks below have a lot of cutting in them and are fussy but I find I’m loving it. I’m making two of each block and then I guess I’ll have to decide on another ten when I’m done the fifty blocks.

miniature quilt blocks

sewing minatures quilt
A couple of shots of the blocks and work station.

block 1
Block 1

block 2
Block 2

block 3
Block 3

block 4
Block 4

Block 5
Block 5

Block 6
Block 6

block 7
Block 7

Block 8
Block 8

block 9
Block 9

block 10
Block 10

block 11
Block 11

block 12
Block 12

block 13
Block 13

block 14
Block 14

Block 15
Block 15


Adoring Quilt

Today saw me finishing up the binding and label on my latest project, a lap quilt made from a moda scrap bag and yardage. I made the quilt as a thank you to a friend who was kind enough to take me out for a couple of driving lessons to brush up on my skills before I had to take my final driving test. Unknowingly I had let my license expire so had to take a re-test, scary stuff as the test is much more extensive now 35 years later.

I didn’t really know what colours to use for the quilt but then thought everyone loves Christmas and so that’s what I settled on using fabric from the “Adoring” line by Sandy Gervais from Moda. I decided the easiest way to use the differing widths from the scrap bag was to make a Chinese Coin quilt and it was just a matter of arranging and sewing the strips together and then cutting the strips into six inch widths, stacking the widths and then sewing them. I then picked out some solid green for the accent and backing and voila all done.


I machine quilted in the ditch around the solid green bars and meander-stitched inside the coin bars. The hardest part of putting this quilt together was choosing what colour would match the coin fabrics. It true the saying that “the quilt makes itself” as I didn’t really want green for the solid but out of all the fabrics in the store that’s what went the best. Glad to have another one finished and hope my friend likes it.


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.



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.


Summertime and Tie Dyes

I had a request from my son-in-law for a new tie-dye shirt for my grandson as he’d out-grown his so I dug out the blank shirts and got busy doing some dyeing over the past few days. Really it’s amazing how many white shirts I have squirreled away in the closet. This is the last of the child-sized shirts but I have plenty of adult ones left. So I’m just going to photo bomb the blog and then write down the dyes used to make the shirts.

Group of shots of some of the tie-dyes in bags on the sunny deck and front porch. Even though the day wasn’t that warm the sun did it’s job.

more tie-dye in bags

swirl shirt baking in sun

tie-dye in bags

tie-dyes cooking on front porch

tie-dye rainbow shirts davis family
Group of family rainbow spirals made with Light Red, Turquoise and Lemon Yellow.

Group shots of tie-dyes on drying rack on the deck.

tie dyes on rack 2

tie dyes on rack 3

tie dyes on rack 4

tie dyes on rack

Individual shirts:

boysenberry black eggplant spiral
Boysenberry, black and eggplant spiral.

boysenberry eggplant violet spiral tank
Boysenberry, violet and eggplant spiral tank.

caymen island blue onsie 1
Caymen island blue onesie.

family rainbow dyes
Family rainbow spirals, turquoise, lemon yellow, light red.

fuchia-grape spiral
Fuchsia and grape spiral.

pink heart purple onsie
Pink heart with turquoise outline and grape and violet onesie.

rainbow scrunch onsie 1
Rainbow scrunched onesie, turquoise, lemon yellow, light red.

toddler 4 scrunch top rainbow
Toddler size 4 scrunched tee, turquoise, lemon yellow, light red.

toddler 4 turquoise - green from turquoise plus yellow - black
Toddler size 4 made with turquoise, lemon yellow and black. Turquoise + lemon yellow gives the green.

toddler 6 fuchia yellow heart purple
Toddler size 6, fuchsia heart with lemon yellow outline and grape background.

toddler 6 rainbow spiral
Toddler size 6 rainbow spiral, turquoise, lemon yellow, light red.

toddler 6 turquoise over yellow vee 1
Toddler size 6 turquoise with lemon yellow vee design. The turquoise laid down first and the lemon yellow on top.

turquoise yellow spiral tank
Turquoise and lemon yellow tank.

youth small rainbow spiral
Youth size small rainbow spiral, turquoise, lemon yellow and light red.

youth small vee turquoise black red grape
Youth size small vee, turquoise, black, light red and grape.

youth small yellow with turquoise spiral
Youth size small, lemon yellow with turquoise spiral.

Lots of fun and colour. The dyes are still working after 8 years so I’m happy with that.


Out My Window – Dinosaur Quilt

I finally finished the “Out My Window” dinosaur quilt for my grandson’s birthday the end of this month. The fabric is by Northcott and the quilt design is by Karen Schindler Bialik. It seemed to take forever to get the binding sewn down this weekend while we were away at our friend’s cottage. I was going to do a quick meandering stitch over the quilt but in the end couldn’t bring myself to take the easy way out and instead did some quilting in the ditch, meander stitch and outline stitch around each of the dinosaurs. It took a long time but it really helped to make the dinosaurs pop.

out my window dinosaur quilt
Finished double-sized quilt on a queen bed.


Couple of pictures of the dinosaurs I quilted around.

bones backing
The backing was some dinosaur bones.


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.