Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Yummy Lorna's Laces

I was able to snag some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport from someone's destash recently. I got 1 full skein in "Rainbow" and a mostal in a purple color (Blackberry maybe?).

I was gonna save it to make dd a hat for next winter. But instead she was complaining that her ears were cold using the old store-bought hat she had (which was truthfully too small anyway). I took the "ear muffs" from Christmas away cuz she just kept pulling and stretching it like a rubber band so much that it didn't do anything anymore anyway. So she asked me to make a hat this winter instead.

All the patterns I had previously marked for ear flap hats were for bulky yarn...but double stranding the sport weight only got me to I hunted for a different pattern.
I found this one...Big Funky Hat
It seemed to be written for an adult head so I modified it a bit to fit my 5 yr old.

Here it is

I love how the colors pooled :D

Friday, January 9, 2009

My first handspun FO!

I started with 1 oz of mystery gray locks that were still a tad greasy. Tried my hand at washing locks for the first time...I think it felted a bit. Pulled the locks into a seemingly usable form of roving. The fibers were definitely not all parallel but it made for a lofty yarn. Spun it on one of the drop spindles I made and it turned out like this...

Overdyed with kool aid and food coloring..cuz it would look BAD to have a gray headband next to my gray hair :)LOL Then looked for ideas for bulky yarn that used less than 16.5 yard long. I found some ideas for head bands and improvised from there.

Here it is: a headband...

and ear warmer

A Handmade Christmas...

It' s no surprise that money was tight last year...and it doesn't look to improve in 2009.

So last September, I set out to hand knit the majority of the Christmas presents we gave out this year. My original idea was to make felted wool slippers for everyone that I could hand dye with Kool Aid...cuz I LOVE doing that so much! Unfortunately, some recipients preferred non-wool items due to wool sensitivities. So I had to get creative :)

Here's what I ended up making this year:

The largest one was this scrap-ghan for my aunt.

This was something I had big plans for...several years ago. But had since put it away and lost interest. When my aunt requested a lap blanket instead of a "foot item" I thought it would be perfect! Especially since it's acrylic & she was the one I knew ahead of time would not want wool. I just had to make a few squares to complete the "pattern" and weave in the zillions of ends = DONE!

Another one that did not take much time was this pair of socks for my mom.

These were originally for me. I thought they were great...except that when I test wore them I ended up with horrible indents from the constriction :( These were the second pair of socks I ever made. Because my first pair had been so loose, I had intentionally tightened up on the gauge and had calculated a 10% negative ease to try to get a better fitting pair of socks. If I had only done one of these adjustments...I might have been able to wear them. However, I measured them & it seemed like they'd be a perfect fit for mom. This way I wouldn't have to frog 'em...after all that work...YAY!

Next was the the felted slippers using the Fuzzy Feet pattern from Knitty. I had at least 3 pairs I wanted to make. I had some issues with running out of yarn, mis-measured feet & scouring the internet for discontinued yarn for FIL. I also had read that some people had worn holes thru the bottoms pretty quickly...I did NOT want that to happen so I scoured ebay for some decent leather to use as slipper bottoms. Results? Four pairs of slippers (only one of which I dyed...after felting...the burgundy ones).

Then there were acrylic slippers for the nephews (improvised)...and had to make one for dd too. I chose nylon yarn for the cuffs so I could do some more Kool Aid dyeing. They both started out as silver/gray...

Then it was HUG scarves for the BIL & SIL visiting from to do more dyeing for them too :)

Yes, SIL arranged her scarf like that on purpose :) LOL

Also made some cotton wash cloths for the kiddos with the first letter of their names knitted in a garter stitch relief pattern. I'll spare you pics of those wash cloths...but I will add one of a double-side spa-cloth I made for the other SIL that has cotton chenille on one side (another improvised pattern).

And let's not forget the soap bars with knitted sweaters on them :)LOL I used this pattern as a starting point, but really just made it up as I went along...super easy!

For my brother it was a Shrek pillow...cuz let's face it, he's an ogre and proud of it!

I surprised dh by making him a log tote (sewn, not knit) while theoretically taking too long to make pillow shams for the in-laws...the shams were a bit too small :(

Didn't save these for Christmas day but ds got a couple of knit items in December too. A pair of awesome BFL longies & a pair of wool mittens (improvised).

DD also got another hand knit item. She wanted "ear muffs" after she saw my headband/ear warmers. So I knit up something similar for her.

I will probably end up sitting down and making her a hat with ear flaps as a more practical solution.

And finally, the one project I was secretly afraid of cuz they were gonna be so dad's birthday socks made with the yarn I dyed here.

Well, that's all the projects I finished. Yes, I'm still working on one...a scarf for dh. It won't be a surprise but he knows how much I don't enjoy making it...yet I keep going cuz he likes it & I love him :) I'm ~10" from being done so it'll probably take me another week since I only work on it for about an hour a day.