Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ryder Lake Spin In

If you live within driving distance of Chilliwack (or will be visiting the area) you might be interested to know that there are still a few openings left for the annual Ryder Lake Spin In being held September 16 th at the Ryder Lake Institute Hall. The fee is $20. Email me (address on my profile page) if you would like further contact information. This is always a fun day and a great opportunity to "stash enhance" as several vendors will be present. Not yet a spinner? Don't worry, there are always plenty of enablers willing to drag you into the spinners vortex.

I'll be there. I have a short presentation to do on the processes that went into the making of the Shy Sheep Vest. Hopefully I won't bomb too badly.

Eweniss plans to be there too. Perhaps she'll pose for a few photos?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


My mother-in-law bought me a sheep. (Thanks Jean!) I've named the sheep Eweniss.

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Eweniss making her debut by posing with my handspun merino.

Although Eweniss won't be growing new wooly coats each year for me to spin, she's small, clean, and good natured, and that's enough to assure her a spot of honor in my Playroom (known to some as a "craft room" or "stash room").

Eweniss thinks she would make a good spokes-sheep for my blog.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Traveling Socks

Lately I've been keeping a simple knitting project always at the ready in the car. Projects I'm really interested in don't reliably remain there so I have to choose something really boring, something so boring that I am not tempted to bring it into the house to knit. It also has to be at least a little more interesting that the car trip itself so that I am happy to have it as a diversion.

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This, tucked away in the passenger side door awaiting the next time I travel (or wait in the car), is a pair of socks. I took them into the house for a brief heel turning session and promptly replaced them in the car.

Don't expect to see them as a finished project any time soon. I will ONLY be knitting them in the car.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Sweaty Gator' Cozy

A little something I whipped up on one of my numerous road trips this summer.

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Yarn handspun from English Wool Top

I work out five days a week at a local gym. I work HARD for an extended period of time and get very thirsty. If I hopped off the elliptical cross trainer and ran to the fountain every time I needed a sip of water not much exercise would be accomplished. To avoid that I carry a water bottle. I like my water COLD, with ice. Icy water bottles sweat. Sweaty water bottles make a mess of gym equipment, training gloves, and car seats. An absorbent bottle cover prevents all that.

My preferred type of water bottle happens to be the bottle Gatorade comes in. It fits the holders on the gym equipment, holds 750ml, and I like the twist-open top. This style of top is easier to drink from than those pop-up sport bottle tops, not as easily dumped as a totally open topped bottle (not to mention the hassle of losing the lid from open bottles). Hence the title for this new design:

Free Pattern
Sweaty Gator' Cozy
(will fit any water bottle)
Using an absorbent yarn (cotton or wool works great) of any medium weight (sport to worsted weights suggested), and a crochet hook that works well with your weight of yarn (I used worsted weight and a 4.5mm hook):
  • Chain 3. Join with a slip stitch to form a ring.
  • 10 single crochet (SC) in ring. Do NOT join at end of round.
  • 2 SC in each stitch of first round then
  • Continue spiraling around, 1 SC in each stitch below, adding in additional SC wherever needed to keep work laying flat.
  • When your circle is the same size as the bottom of your water bottle, continue around, 1 SC in each stitch of the previous round and your work will begin to form the vertical sides.
  • Continue upward until your work covers most of your water bottle. If you have an especially curvy bottle you may have to shape the piece a little by adding or deleting a few stitches in those areas.
  • Finish by slip stitching in the next 2 stitches, ending off, and sewing in ends.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Bear Recipients

Turns out the grand-nieces are cuter than the bears.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Beary Cute

These two cuties were an easy, quick knit. They are modified from the King Cole Ltd pattern "Teddy Bear", Leaflet 2000.

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I managed to get each bear from only one 50g ball of "Sprinkles" (the pattern calls for two) by reducing the needle size and knitting to a tighter gauge. I can't tell you how much tighter my gauge was because it's impossible to see the stitches in this yarn. It was even difficult to see which side of stockinette was the right side! The pattern suggests size 6mm needles. I used 3.75mm but I'm normally a loose knitter who must go down a couple of needles sizes anyway. My bears are 10 inches tall. Knitted at the suggested gauge they would be 12 inches.

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The shaping you see in the faces was done using soft sculpture techniques that would be familiar to doll makers. The actual pattern had only minimal shaping. I thread jointed the limbs so that they are movable. The nose on the mauve bear is needle felted while that on the blue and pink bear is embroidered. I embroidered the eyes on both and sewed the ribbons in place to make the toys child safe.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Miles of Knitting

We're back from Alberta. It's approximately a 12 hour road trip each way. I knit all the way there and most of the way back. I only stopped on the way back because it was getting dark and there were numerous deer in the area. We saw several grazing beside the road. The idea of hitting a deer, having the air bags in the car deploy, and being impaled by my knitting needles was not a pleasant one. I dutifully put the knitting down and fidgeted the rest of the way home.

We took our camera with us on the trip, intending to get a few pictures while visiting with my mom and her husband and then promptly forgot to get it out. On the whole trip we took ONE picture. This is it:

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Funny thing is it was only taken so I could blog about my knitting progress when I returned home. It was taken outside Osoyoos on our first day.

I took another picture today, at home, that shows how much progress I made during the whole trip. I have the back done up to the armholes and the front is also nearly at that point. The pieces are actually wider than they seem in the photo. They are done in ribbing and contract if they are not pinned out. That's actually why I quit knitting the first piece at approximately the length the armhole should start. I need to pin the piece out to it's full width so I can be sure that the length is still sufficient.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006


I'm spending the evening packing for a small vacation to Alberta. One of the first things I've made room for is this:

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It's the beginning of a sweater for my husband. I spun this 2 ply sportweight using dyed Corriedale rovings from Aurelia in a now discontinued colorway named "Hazelnut".

With all the travel time I have ahead of me I should have some significant progress to show when I return next week.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Stocking In August

I've been working on this off and on for months. My son-in-law's Christmas stocking is finally complete!

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When I return from summer vacation I must start right in on my daughter's if it is to be done in time for my self-imposed deadline of December first.

Friday, August 04, 2006

My Favorite X6

I'm a person who doesn't enjoy clothes shopping (or any kind of shopping that doesn't involve a yarn or fiber shop) so when I find something I really like I will sometimes go back and get another in a different color. A couple of weeks ago I bought two plain, black tank tops to wear at the gym. I love them! They are comfortable and fit extremely well (thanks to the cotton/spandex blend), wash well, and are the type of thing I wear all summer long. I went back a few days later and they didn't have any left in my size.

I was in the mall again today and stopped by Suzie Shier just in case they restocked. They did!

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Why yes, this IS one of every color they had (except black which, as I mentioned, I already have). Yes, I love them that much. My rationalizing goes something like this:

  • I love them! (enough of a reason right there dontcha think?)
  • They are lovely and cool in the summer
  • I only like plain clothes anyway (no prints, stripes, plaids, or logos for me!)
  • I can wear all of them to the gym (not at the same time!)
  • I could wear them as pajama tops too
  • They will make great camisoles for layering in winter (I won't call them undershirts)
  • The price was right (2 for $15 Canadian)
  • There was no one there to stop me
  • I was a crazed lunatic
  • I have lots of space on my side of the closet
  • One of my favorite tank tops recently got an oil stain on it
  • Two of my old tank tops are worn out and also too big
  • It's hot out
  • It's even hotter inside
  • Did I mention that I LOVE them?

Small and Quick

I was visiting a few blogs the other day, clicking links here and there, and I came across a pattern for this:

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Sure, it's "just" a dishcloth, but this is no ordinary dishcloth. This is Criminy Jickets' Garterlac Dishcloth....a cut above the rest. It was fun to knit, not boring like the corner to corner garter stitch ones I have done in the past. I also love what it does for those variegated kitchen cotton yarns out there.

Drop by Dave's blog, Criminy Jickets, and take a look around. It's not boring either. Tell him Wovenflame sent you.

If you get stuck Carol has a photo by photo "map" style tutorial here.