Saturday, February 6, 2016

Finished Projects: January 2016

January is our coldest month in South Dakota. I enjoy cozy evenings of knitting, crocheting, and spinning. Here are my finished projects from this month.

Nancy McGlynn's Warm Heart Mittens have been my "go to" mitten pattern for years. They are a fairly quick knit: I use size US 6 needles for the cuff and size 8 for the hand. There is a lot of opportunity in the pattern for color play. I use Brown Sheep's Lamb's Pride Superwash Bulky for the mittens, and enjoy the many available colors.

This year I also made headbands to match, variations on the two color stranded patterns. I used size 6 needles for the ribbing and size 8 for the middle section, casting on 80 stitches, and reducing to 72 for the top ribbing. I'll made more of these headbands, with or without matching mittens. They'll be a great way to use up yarn scraps.

The Prairie Fiber Arts Guild is knitting Valentine Mittens to share at our February meeting. I tweaked the pattern slightly, to have a heart centered at the fingertips. These are knit in worsted weight yarn. I used US size 3 needles for the cuff and size 5 for the hand. The pink yarn is my handspun. Last spring the Guild hosted Lizbeth Upitis for a Latvian mitten workshop. I couldn't resist of adding a bit of Latvian-inspired braid at the cuff.

For me, crocheting is like coming home or putting on your favorite pair of shoes. It's comfortably familiar. With an odd skein of Madeline Tosh sock yarn in the stash, I crocheted a ripple scarf, original pattern. The colors that originally attracted me to the yarn still hold that attraction. From the detail image, notice that the ripple pattern is three rows of single crochet, then one row of triple crochet.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fixation Baby Beanie pattern

Fixation Baby Beanie:

Yarn:  1 ball Cascade Fixation (makes 2 beanies). 
           Use Fixation relaxed, not stretched, throughout.
           Crochet Hooks:  Size G

 Abbreviations:  hdc (half double crochet); sl (slip); sc (single crochet);
              st (stitch); sp (space); ch (chain).

   1.  Wrap yarn around fingers two times to make a firm loop. 6 hdc in loop.  (Knit rounds continuously, placing marker at beginning of each round.)
   2.  2 hdc in each hdc (12 hdc).
   3.  2 hdc in each hdc (24 hdc).
   4.  *Hdc in next 2 st, 2 hdc in next st* around (32 st).
   5.  *Hdc in next 3 st, then *2 hdc in next st* around (40 st).
   6.  *Hdc in next 7 st, then 2 hdc in next st* around (45 hdc).
   7.   Hdc in next 4 st, then 2 hdc in next st* around , (54  hdc).
   8.  *Hdc in next 17 st, then 2 hdc in next st* around (57  hdc).
   9.   Hdc 9, 2 hdc in next st, *Hdc in next 18 st, then 2 hdc in next st* around ,
hdc in last 9 st (60  hdc).
   10-16. Hdc even around for 7 rounds, ending with a sc.
   17.   Sl st, ch 3 (counts as hdc, ch 1 (skip 1)) *hdc 1, ch 1 (skip 1) *  around. Join round with sl st in 2nd chain.
   18.   Ch 1, hdc in each ch 1 sp and in each hdc around (60 st). Sl st to join round.
   19.   Ch 1.  Reverse direction.  Sc around in back loop only.  Join round with sl st.  Cut off yarn, leaving a few inches at end.

   With a tapestry needle, weave in long ends of yarn at beginning and end of beanie.  

   Option:  Weave ribbon through ch. 1 openings and tie a bow.          

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Plying Day

Bobbins are full.  Time to ply!

I used my first and favorite spinning wheel, the Majacraft Pollyanna. I've had this wheel well over 20 years, and it spins like a dream.  

The jumbo flyer and bobbin are great for big, no-knot skeins.

After plying, I wind the yarn into skeins on this antique winder, a gift from my mother.

This yarn is a soft camel blend from Dana Locken of Locken Bactrian Camels.  Yes, camels right here in South Dakota.

This blend is from Anna Anderson's Batt of the Month club on Etsy. Anna generously donates a portion of her sales to her children's 4-H club. I plied the blend with some Crystal Place Kid Merino- my favorite yarn for plying. The yarn makes me think of two of my favorite spring flowers: lilacs and pansies.

I dyed the Corriedale roving for this yarn. As I spun, I added in bits of hand-dyed mohair. The mohair is from Margaret Steffens, from my hometown of Waseca, MN. Margaret has done years of selective breeding to produce top quality mohair for hand spinning. I plied this bobbin with a brown Kid Merino to tone down the complementary colors a bit.

After plying, I set the twist in the yarn overnight.

The next day, a basket of hand spun yarn, ready for knit and crochet.

Bobbins are empty. Time to spin!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Weave-it Loom Brooches

It was interesting to note Schacht Spindle's release of their Zoom Loom 4-inch pin loom. 

The zoom loom is very similar to the Weave-it loom, which came out in the 1930's.

A few years ago I began collecting Weave-it Looms. These hand-held looms are fun and relaxing to play with, and a great way to use leftover bits of yarn.  I especially like making squares in hand-dyed and Noro yarns. 

I have some Weave-its in the 4-inch size:

and some in the smaller, 3-inch size.  

The Winter 2005 issue of Spin-off magazine included instructions for making "Loom Blooms" on Weave-it looms. What a fun project! 

I've enjoyed making Loom Bloom brooches and using up some of those addicting-to-make little squares.

If you'd like to learn more about Weave-it and other little looms, check out the wealth of information at eLoomaNation.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Finished the Multnomah

Over the past couple months I've been knitting away, bit by bit, on a KAL for North Country Fiber Fair:  Kate Ray's Multnomah, published in Hello Knitty.

Bound the shawl off and blocked it this weekend.

The yarn is Koigu KPPPM, and I used size 6 needles.

I'm a much faster a crocheter than knitter, and this project was an exercise in patience.

But I"m happy with the result!  It will fun to be part of the fashion show on Saturday night at the Fiber Fair.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Color! Stranded Checkerboard Tube Scarf

This has been the winter of stranded knitting!  

The checkerboard scarf was a fun exercise in color.

The scarf is knitting in Paton's Classic Wool (worsted) on size 10 circular needles, 48 stitches around.

The finished scarf measures 69 inches long and 6 1/4 inches wide.

My husband cut some flooring to insert inside the scarf for blocking.

Scarf ends were sewn closed after blocking.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Colorful Long Ruffle Shawls

Ann Linderhjelm's Long Ruffle Shawl from her Ullcentrum blog and shared on Ravelry is one of my favorite "on the go" projects.  It's an easy knit, drapes nicely, and let's the yarn do the talking in a lovely scarf or shawl.

This winter I've been knitting the shawl with sock yarn on US size 13 needles.  Below are some examples with Noro Silk Garden sock yarn.  One skein makes a shawl.


  I also knit a ruffle shawl in Cascade Heritage Paints sock yarn- this yarn has lots of "life" (springiness) to it- nice to work with.

Speaking of spring, it could show up any time.  This past week is usually the one when I see the first robin of the year, but none appeared in our below zero temps.