Monday, January 30, 2006

Introducing Ilion!

I'm working on growing my design skills - and here is the result!

Inspired by my cat, Troy, and my attempts at stashbusting, the creation of Ilion proved to be a welcome diversion from normal day to day goings on.

The pattern is my own and is now up for purchase! Visit my store to find out more about materials required and to buy your pattern now!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Yar, Matey!

oooh! look! Colorwork!

And Colorwork Guts!

I think I'm addicted to fair isle knitting. The ability to knit both continental and english style certainly sped thing along nicely.

Pattern: We Call them Pirates from hello yarn

Yarn: Dale of Norway Baby Ull*

Needles: US3 & US1

Comments: * before we get too far, yes, I realize that Baby Ull was *not* the yarn called for - and it is considerably smaller in gauge than Hauk, the recommended yarn. In any case, the hat came out lovely, if too small for an adult. Measured flat, it looks like it'll fit someone with a head 17-18 inches in circumference. As I mention above, it seems I adapted to stranded knitting just fine - I didn't seem to have any issues with the floats being drawn too tightly, and the fabric has wonderful stretch. If anything, the hat lining being tacked to the outer fabric might limit the stretch of the hat a little. I used a crochet provisional cast on (much better than the other provisional I've used in the past - the looping provisional, if you're curious), and knit the whole thing on a long circular needle - the same way I would do socks via the "magic loop" method (dpns and I do not get along - they are constantly insisting on sliding out of my knitting and leaving me with loops flapping in the wind - and all knitters know that uncontrolled flapping loops are not a good thing).

New Skills learned: fair isle knitting, crochet provisional cast on.

And now for the cool part: I am offering this hat up for a swap - since I have no children of my own, and it does not fit myself nor my husband (and I don't think my cats would like it if I tried to make *them* wear it), it can be pom-pom'd for extra cuteness, though I think that might clash with the Pirate motif ;) Contact me or leave me a comment if you're interested. (This is being x-posted so I'll be getting back to all interested parties if there are more than one. If you leave a comment be certain to provide your email address so I can contact you!)

Monday, January 16, 2006

Two more for the Herd!

I couldn't help myself. I had lambs on the brain after all that work for Southwest Trading Co, and the response from you readers has been fantastic. I decided I had to quickly create another pattern for those of you who do not have access to merchants that might have the other pattern that was created expressly for SWTC!

Behold, my two lambkins - they are made of Southwest Trading Company yarns, mostly because I have a lot of yarn from them on hand. You can substitute like yarns, of course.

The pattern is my own and is now up for purchase! Visit my store to find out more about materials required and to buy your pattern now!

Saturday, January 14, 2006



My first attempt at supercoils! Not too bad - though I have a little bit of learning to get through! Big thanks to Marie for providing tips and hints :) I aspire to be like Marie - she's got her handspun for sale at kpixie and the Point!

Anyhow, details:

Supercoiled Razzleberry Pie

Fiber: handpainted targhee wool (not by me) bound with variegated rayon thread - colors ranging from a rich deep raspberry to a gorgeous periwinkle.

55 g /1.9 oz

approx 118 meters / 129 yards

Comments: Soft and Sproingy, for future supercoiling, I think I need to actually put more twist into my singles (that and work on a more uniform twist still :D) - you may or may not be able to tell, but the yarn has very little twist in it now that it's been plied. Some coils are more tight than others. Definitely fun and interesting to look at - it did have some issues on the wheel, as some of the coils got stuck first in the orifice and then on the flyer hooks. Not availible for sale, as it lives with the Luscious Gracious Clan :) If interested, I have more fiber in this colorway ready for plying - leave me a comment!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

And now for Something Sewn

Not a recently finished object, but a finished object of a while back - I think I actually sewed this kitty bed up a year or two or maybe even three years ago! Luckily for me, my cat Troy has recently claimed it as his own, after ignoring it all this time! As a result, I've finally managed to get a good photo of it in use :)

The bed walls are just deep enough for him to curl up inside, and not be seen, if looking at it from the side. I simply made it up as I went along.

Materials: Festively decorated (oooh! Christmas lights!) Fabric - cotton print, I believe. Felt or fleece for the lining, and polyfil and batting for the filling.

Approximate method: In addition to sewing this, I sewed up a bunch of circular "tuffets" for the cats - the "tuffet" provides the base for this cat bed.

The circular "tuffet" simply consists of two circles of fabric, the exact same size, filled with a combination of batting and a bit of polyfil to add fluff and stitched in the center with an X to form a divet.

The walls of the cat bed are made of one long tube - it's long enough to just overlap itself when wrapped around the tuffet - I estimated the length required by measuring the circumference of the un-sewn tuffet circles. Once the tuffet part was complete, I sewed and stuffed the long tube for the walls. At that point, I had a round tuffet and one long stuffed tube - kind of like a cat sized body pillow. If you're inclined, pin the tube around the tuffet and sew in place - if you're like me, and dislike pins, grab the tube and the tuffet and whip stitch em together. The way I sewed mine together, it is kind of reversible, so that the felt part is on the outside - but I think the cat prefers it the way it is :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A second career?

These guys will officially mark the start of my career as a pattern writer!

How exciting! They are the 2nd pattern I've been commissioned to create by Southwest Trading Company - the first was a Trellised Scarf made out of Karaoke. That particular pattern is available from yarn merchants that carry Southwest Trading Co yarns (just ask em to download it for you). These were inspired by my Amigurumi binge over the holidays - specifically by these fellows.

Pattern: Will be available through Southwest Trading Company and Merchants that carry their yarn

Yarns: The white sheep is made of Bamboo Feather and Karaoke, the Blue sheep is made of Twize and Bamboo Feather - incidentally, it's a vegan sheep - 100% bamboo yarn content!

While SWTC is very generous with their compensation, I'm going to try my hand at selling my patterns via my shop. Stay tuned!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Fanciful Fruity Yarn!

Mmmm! Yarn! In all its fruity glory! For details on the dye process, read here. It took several days to dry after dripping dry in the bathroom over the tub....the fruity smell is still there, though it is less noticeable (either that or I've simply become accustomed to it). Each hank is eight ounces of what used to be boring natural colored Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool. I like it much better this way in it's newly transformed fruity form.

Here you can see it as a wall of yarn, fresh out of the dyepot and newly rinsed and pressed dry on a towel. Don't worry, I did spread it out after the photo was taken to try to encourage a more speedy drying. Even with the addition of food coloring and extra KoolAid packets, the yarn soaked up all the dye, as I noticed no dye bleed during the rinsing process, nor was my tub colored as the yarn drip dried. Unfortunately the Blues and Purples batch did not come out fully saturated and may be in need of an overdye.

While the Wall of Yarn was quite beautiful with its tie-dyed funky appearance, I greatly prefer how it looks re-skeined into smaller swift-friendly size - even though rewinding it took a long time (to dye the yarn, I wound it up on a huge niddy noddy). I'll probably leave them as they are until I'm ready to knit with them, at which point I'll bring out the swift and ballwinder.

I think I'm in love with dying, though next time, I'm going to use proper (non KoolAid) dyes, and I'll have to make a day of it and see if I can completely fill the pot!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Brightly Colored Birdies!

while it may look like there are 15 birdies here, I'm not quite *that* productive!

During the week between Christmas and New Years, I did also happen to make good progress on finishing off the remainder of my Lion Brand Microspun, though I still remain with a fair amount of purple and lime left over.

I had a fair amount of it on hand, left over from making several Pashas and Anouk - but not enough to know what to do with - enter Amigurumi Crochet! I'm just about ready to move off from this book - for all my enjoyment of the creative process, I guess I'm a linear thinker at heart - these birds are also from Amigugumi Collection Vol 1 - ISBN 4309265723.

Hook Size: US D/3 (3.25mm)

Comments: Easy and quick to make, without their wings, they look like little eggs - or perhaps not so little, as each stands just under 4 inches tall. I imagine if I downsized them and filled them with catnip, they'd make fabulous cat toys - especially because of how roly poly they are! I found the most difficult part was closing the bottom - instead picking back up and doing decreases as noted on the chart, I opted to draw the loose end of the yarn through the stitches and draw the bottom tightly closed - I simply wasn't liking how things were coming out tension-wise on the fabric once the bird was stuffed. Next most challenging was getting the feet sewn on - they're just little x's on the bird's bottom, consisting of 4 stitches, but like the 3-stitch faces on the sheep, they were hard to get evenly spaced. I'll definitely be holding this pattern in reserve for those random scraps of yarn that seem to accumulate as I finish projects!