6 Months Later

So, it has been about six months since I posted, probably a little more. This last year has been one of the most stressful of my life. I survived and came out the other side. Yay. I must be very busy knitting and spinning, right? Nope. I have been going nonstop for the last month and I’m wondering why. I’m taking advanced accounting classes, tutoring, exercising (because these past six stressful months have added at least fifteen pounds to my belly) and trying to cook dinner a few times a week.

In the past six months, I have:

bought a loom and learned to weave

bought a dehydrator so I can make my own fruit rollups

shuffled yarn so many times I can’t even count

convinced the cats to stop stealing my yarn   never mind, the cat is playing with my yarn right now

applied to the master’s program for accounting and taxation

decided to do a PhD program in Accounting if anyone will accept me

 

Obviously, life is busy and that doesn’t include the crazy activities that I won’t post publicly. From now on, I will try to post every Monday. These posts may be knitting or yarn related or they may involve cooking, baking, dehydrating, general crafts or chasing cats around the apartment (changed my mind, no cat posts allowed on knitwerks).

For this week, here is a picture of my very old tia rigged heddle loom that works like a charm and has made me want a room sized loom as soon as I win the lottery.

 

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Dye Job Part 2

I have to apologize for not being attentive in my blogging. I have been overwhelmed by work/classes and housely duties that I’ve ignored for too long. I did have some more fun this weekend with food dye.

1- On my needles: 1 entrelac baby blanket still in progress. This will last the rest of my life 2- Mulberry Hat from Modern Top Down Knitting which is coming out too big and has been put down till I have the brain power to figure out where I went wrong.

2- On my wheel, brown alpaca from Nancy in our spinning group. I want to make a four ply yarn for a jacket/sweater with three parts wool one part alpaca. Florida is one of the few places where “You know, Alpaca is really warm. . .” could be a bad thing.

3- Out of my dye pot. Okay, this was never actually in a dye pot. I used the Knitty instructions with the Cold Pour Method. I thought this came out wonderful. I even created a giant niddy noddy with pvc to skein it up. I put an old plastic Christmas tablecloth on the kitchen table before I started. I wasn’t sure how messy this would get. I did put paper towels under the different colored sections to prevent mixing. As you can see from the pictures below, I wound up with blue hands and there is a green fingerprint in a yellow section of yarn. All in all, I think it was great. I’m sending this off to Mom so I won’t have finished project pictures unless she provides them.

Spin, Dye, Knit

My Ashland Bay Blue Face Leicester Top BFL Undyed Spinning Fiber arrived from Paradise Fibers and I had one goal for this weekend. As I mentioned last week, I’ve been keenly interested in Navajo plying. I sat down Friday night, finished a bobbin of one ply yarn for the above wool. It was so easy to work with. I’m actually having to overtwist it so it doesn’t unravel on me. Then I took it off and started navajo plying. I have a few issues with this technique. 1- Starting it is difficult. I kept loosing it when trying to get it to take on the bobbin. Finally I made a knot onto the starter yarn. 2- I’m getting a lumpy yarn. I think when I’m plying, I’m loosening the fibers and creating bumps. 3-Breaking. As I was plying, it kept breaking. The finished yarn came out unbalanced and different widths but I decided to dye it anyway.

 

This is my first time dyeing. I used the instructions on the knitty page. http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring07/FEATdyeyourown.html

I read this over and over and over. First I soaked the yarn overnight in 1/3 cup of vinegar. Then, I woke up early and put the yarn in the crock pot with 1/2 cup of vinegar and just enough water to cover the yarn. I wish I had put less water in. After a little over an hour, I mixed my dyes with hot water and began covering the yarn. I was really going for a blue and orange yarn with spots of green, but the colors muddled a bit. This is really a clean process though. I had no spills or stains. I added more dye, not liking that the colors were so light. I believe this is why I got the muddled colors. By the end, there was too much water in the crock pot.

I used tongs to pull the yarn out and hung it first on my kitchen faucet over the sink. Once it cooled off, I rinsed it, and hung it outside to dry. I was a little impatient. I didn’t even wait for it to dry 100% before winding it on the homemade nostepinne. Okay, it was a size 15 straight needle. I think I did a great job for the first time using a nostepinne (Knitting needle!)

So below is half of the final product. The colors weren’t what I was trying for, but all in all, I think it worked out very well.

2011-02 Baby Headband with Pom-Pom

This is really just a larger version of the other baby headband that I posted with a pom-pom on top instead of flowers. This is worked with Caron Simply Soft Acrylic Yarn on size 5 needles.

Gauge: 5 stitches = 1 inch 12 rows = 1 inch

Cast on 10 stitches

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Purl

Row 3: K1 P8 K1

Row 4: P1 K8 P1
Continue this pattern for about 12 inches (Newborn) 13 inches (0-6 months) 14 inches (6-12 months) 15 inches for (12-18 months), and 16 inches (18-24 months). Bind off. Seam together.

Take 2 different colors yarn and create a pom pom.
Pom Pom instructions:
Cut two circles from cardboard. Hold together. Wrap yarn around (inside and outside of ring). Then cut inbetween the two pieces of cardboard. Tie around center, securing the small pieces of yarn together. Attach to headband.

Entrelac

I usually wouldn’t advise anyone to take on more than one project at a time. In my experience, neither project winds up being finished and both are frogged or left in the pile of things to rip out years later. However, I’ve decided to keep a traveling project – a pair of to-be-felted slippers and a home project – the entrelac baby blanket. One is easy and the other will take this side of forever to complete. I accept this with open arms.

I decided to learn entrelac around 12 am of last Sunday night/Monday morning after finding myself wide awake. It had nothing to do with the double cappuccino drink I had at six that evening, I swear. It was just a fluke. First I searched Intralac and nothing came up. I did another search and stumbled upon a page that had the technique spelled just as wrong as I did. I kept looking around and finally snuck into my bedroom to pull out some yarn and needles without waking up the husband. Eventually I gave up in hopes of sleeping, which was fitful at best.

The next day I woke up, studied a bit, ignored the messy house that is calling for me to clean it and focused on what was really important – learning entrelac! With the assistance of the entire internet, I believe I have it down. If you’ve seen Eunny Jang on youtube then you’ve tried this to. I love her, but she really needs to slow down. I was looking for Entrelac for dummies tutorial. The about.com version was good for starting but didn’t help me in learning the side triangles. The most comprehensive website that I found was wolf and turtle.net. Please see link below. I’ve been doing some of the increases and decreases a little differently but this website gives the greatest understanding of what is involved in Entrelac. Basically you are knitting squares in two different directions and it gives this great texture but is also annoying because you only knit one block at a time going back and forth and back and forth until you want to scream. It’s a likeable torture!

http://wolfandturtle.net/Dye/index.php/Yarnpath/comments/all_aboard_the_entrelac_express/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcLxMt9GehM

http://knitting.about.com/od/knittingskills/ss/entrelac-base.htm

2010-11 Cabled Fingerless Gloves

2010-11 Cabled Fingerless Gloves

Another pattern completed. These are my favorite things to make. I work in cold offices and tend to have frozen fingers that have to keep typing away, so I’ve made a few pair of these and decided to write down the pattern. I’ve attached the downloadable pdf document but would appreciate a donation either through Ravelry or Etsy. The gloves are made out of Caron Simply Soft yarn but would work with any worsted weight yarn. My hands are on the smaller size and these are knit with size 5 needles. They do stretch. If your hands are on the larger size, please use size 6 needles.

2010-11 Cabled Fingerless Gloves

2010-10 Bird’s Eye Slippers

 Grandma’s Christmas present is finished. I wanted to make a felted pair of slippers but didn’t find anything I really wanted to make online. I saw different patterns that were similar and decided to try this on my own. I am working off of a simpler pattern that didn’t include the band across the top of the slipper and was knit in garter stitch.   

The finished slipper are a bit too small for me because while my Grandmother’s feet are about a size 7, mine are at least an 8 1/2. If done correctly, these shouldn’t be quite so stretched.   

I used size 3 needles with a 4 ply fingering yarn (Sidar Snuggly 4 ply) which is 55% nylon and 45% acrylic.   

8 stitches x 8 rows = 1 inch   

Foot   

Cast on 44 stitches in A   

Row 1: With A, S1,K1 to end (Slip all stitches purl wise)   

Row 2: With A, Purl   

Row 3: With B, K1,S1 to end   

Row 4: With B Purl   

Continue this pattern about length of foot. Slipper will stretch so make it shorter than foot.   

End with an A row   

   

Slip needle through remaining stitches

 

Next Row: K2 Tog, repeat till end   

Next Row: P2 Tog, repeat till end   

Pull needle through remaining stitches and keep this tight. This will be the toe section and if loose, the toes will stick through the front.   

Pull stitches tightly. If loose, toes will stick through this section.

 

With right sides together, seam together both ends for about an inch and a half. Reinforce toe area.

 

With right sides together, seam together both ends for about an inch and a half. Reinforce toe area.   

With right sides together, seam together heel area.   

     

   

     

    

    

    

Band   

Cast on 16 stitches with color A   

Continue rows 1-4 for approximately 2 inches   

Bind off.   

With right sides together, sew the band to the edge of slipper as in picture. It should be about 1 ½ inches from toe seam edge.   

Flip slipper so that the right side is on the outside.   

Sew other  edge of band to other side of foot, about 1/4 inch from edge.   

With right sides together, sew together band and side of slipper.

 

Sew band onto top of slipper approximately 1/4 inch from edge. Right side should be flipped outward (like you would wear it.)

 

These were made for my grandmother who has size 7 feet and I have size 8.5. They are purposely made small and are tight on my feet in the pictures.   

  

I am asking that if you enjoy this pattern or use it, please donate to me on Ravelry. I have this listed for sale for $0.50. I have been and will continue to share my original patterns through my website but would appreciate a small contribution.  

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/2010-10-birds-eye-slippers  

 

Thank you,  

Tracy 

2010-09 Cabled Pillow #4

I love cables and decided to make a few little things with yarn I already have in stock. These pillows make great gifts and are a lovely simple adornment to any home.

I used Caron Simply Soft yarn and size 5 needles. The gauge is 5 stitches and 6 rows = 1 inch in stockinette stitch, creating a pillow that is about 10 x 10 inches in size stuffed.

Front:

Cast on 50 stitches

Row1 Knit

Row 2 Purl

Row 3 K4 P4 P5 (C4F P2)twice C4F P5 P6 K10

Row 4 P10 K6 K5 (P4 K2)twice P4 K5 P4 K4

Row 5 K4 P4 P4 (T3B T3F)3 times P4 P6 K10

Row 6 P10 K6 K4 P2 (K2 P4)twice K2 P2 K4 P4 K4

Row 7 K4 P4 P3 T3B (P2 C4B)twice P2 T3F P3 P6 K10

Row 8 P10 K6 K3 P2 K3 P4 K2 P4 K3 P2 K3 P4 K4

Row 9 K4 P4 P2 (T3B T3F)twice P2 T3F P2 P6 K10

Row 10 P10 K6 K2 P2 K3 P2 K2 P4 K2 P2 K3 P2 K2 P4 K4

Row 11 K4 P4 P1 (T3B P2)twice C4F (P2 T3F)twice P1 P6 K10

Row 12 P10 K6 K1 (P2 K3)twice P4 (K3 P2)twice K1 P4 K4

Row 13 K4 P4 (T3B P2)twice T3B (T3F P2)twice T3F P6 K10

Row 14 P10 K6 (P2 K3)twice P2 K2 (P2 K3)twice P2 P4 K4

Row 15 K4 P4 (K2 P3)twice K2 P2 (K2 P3)twice K2 P6 K10

Row 16 as Row 14

Row 17 K4 P4 (T3F P2)twice T3F (T3B P2)twice T3B P6 K10

Row 18 as Row 12

Row 19 K4 P4 P1 (T3F P2)twice C4F (P2 T3B)twice P1 P6 K10

Row 20 As Row 10

Row 21 K4 P4 (P2 T3F)twice T3B T3F (T3B P2)twice P6 K10

Row 22 As Row 8

Row 23 K4 P4 P3 T3F (P2 C4B)twice P2 T3B P3 P6 K10

Row 24 As Row 6

Row 25 K4 P4 P4 (T3F T3B)3 times P4 P6 K10

Row 26 As Row 4

 Repeat Rows 3-26 again

Row 51 Knit

Row 52 Purl

Bind off

Back:

Cast on 48 stitches

Row 1-26: K24 P24

Row 27-52: P24 K24

Bind off

With right sides together, sew together the edges of the pillow. Leave about a 2-3 inch opening. Turn pillow so that right sides are facing out, stuff with fiber fill of your choice and seam together 2-3 inch opening. Using Caron Simply Soft yarn and size five needles, this creates a 10×10 inch pillow.

C4B : Cable 4 Back Slip 2 stitches onto cable needle, hold to back of work. Knit next 2 stitches from left needle. Knit 2 stitches from cable.

C4F: Cable 4 Forward Slip 2 stitches onto cable needle, hold to front of work. Knit 2 stitches from left needle, knit 2 stitches from cable needle.

T3B: Twist 3 Back Slip 1 stitch onto cable needle, hold to back of work. Knit 2 stitches from left needle, purl stitch from cable needle.

T3F: Twist 3 Forward Slip 2 stitch onto cable needle, hold to front of work. Purl 1 stitches from left needle, knit 2 stitches from cable needle.

Amigurumi Knits

About two weeks ago I discovered a book at my local library and I’ve been working on small projects ever since. First of all, Amigurumi is:

  • Amigurumi (編みぐるみ?, lit. knitted stuffed toy) is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. The word is derived from a combination of the Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll.[1] Amigurumi are typically animals, but can include artistic renderings or inanimate objects endowed with anthropomorphic features. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amigurumi

The book Amigurumi Knits by Hansi Singh includes everything from fruits and vegetables to sea creatures to backyard bugs. The first pattern is of an aubergine (eggplant) which is good for beginners. The patterns are complex, but I didn’t have a problem following them as long as no one around began a complicated conversation while I was counting (two. . . three. . . four. . . five . . . what did you say?)

The beginning of the book has good step by step instructions for the different styles of increases and decreases, the wrap and turn that the author describes as a way of creating short rows without leaving wholes, and other knitting techniques used in the patterns. It’s a great way to learn more about knitting, creating fun and adorable objects that everyone will coo over. Don’t be surprised if you get a few requests as well.

I finished the spider and keep in by my desk at work. I get at least one comment a day on it. The tomato came out great and I’m working on the carrot now. I can’t wait to make myself a Jelly Fish with the tentacles hanging down. I think it would even make a good baby mobile. Anyone else agree?

I also use Caron Simply Soft yarn because it is inexpensive and comes in so many colors. I look forward to eventually using Cascade 220 or another fancier yarn, but for now acrylic it is!

2010-07 Cabled Pillow #2

I love cables and decided to make a few little things with yarn I already have in stock. These pillows make great gifts and are a lovely simple adornment to any home. This is Pillow #2 of 3 original designs I am sharing.

I used Caron Simply Soft yarn and size 5 needles. The gauge is 5 stitches and 6 rows = 1 inch in stockinette stitch, creating a pillow that is about 8 x 10 inches in size stuffed.

Front:

Row 1: Knit

Row 2 Purl

Row 3: K2 P6 C4R T4L P4 P14 K14

Row 4: P14 K18 P3 K1 P4 K6 P2

Row 5: K2 P5 C4R P1 K1 T4L P17 K14

Row 6: P14 K17 P3 K1 P1 K1 P4 K5 P2

Row 7: K2 P4 C4R (P1 K1) twice T4L P16 K14

Row 8: P14 K16 P3 K1 (P1 K1) twice P4 K4 P2

Row 9: K2 P3 C4R (P1 K1) 3 times T4L P15 K14

Row 10: P14 K15 P3 K1 (P1 K1) 3 times P4 K3 P2

Row 11: K2 P2 C4R (P1 K1) 4 times T4L P14 K14

Row 12: P14 K14 P3 K1 (P1 K1) 4 times P4 K2 P2

Row 13: K2 P2 T4L (K1 P1) 4 times T4R P14 K14

Row 14: As 10th row

Row 15: K2 P3 T4L (K1 P1) 3 times T4R P15 K14

Row 16: As 8th row

Row 17: K2 P4 T4L (K1 P1) twice T4R P16 K14

Row 18: As 6th row

Row 19: K2 P5 T4L K1 P1 T4R P17 K14

Row 20: As 4th row

Row 21: K2 P6 T4L T4R P18 K14

Row 22: P14 K19 P6 K7 P2

Row 23: K2 P7 C6B P19 K14

Row 24: P14 K19 P6 K7 P2

Repeat Rows 3-24 twice then:

Knit 1 row

Purl 1 row

Bind off.

Back:

Cast on 48 stitches

K24, P24

Continue for 23 rows then

P24, K24

Continue for 23 rows

Bind off

With right sides together, sew together the edges of the pillow. Leave about a 2-3 inch opening. Turn pillow so that right sides are facing out, stuff with fiber fill of your choice and seam together 2-3 inch opening. Using Caron Simply Soft yarn and size five needles, this creates a 8×10 inch pillow.

C4R: Cable 4 Right Slip 1 stitch onto cable needle, hold at back of work. Knit 3 stitches from left needle. Knit stitch from cable needle.

T4L: Twist 4 Left Slip 3 stitches onto cable, hold at front of work. Purl next stitch from left needle. Knit 3 stitches from cable.

T4R: Twist 4 Right Slip 1 stitch onto cable, hold at back of work. Knit next 3 stitches from left needle. Purl 1 stitch from cable.

C6B: Cable 6 Back Slip 3 stitches onto cable needle, hold at back of work. Knit 3 stitches from left needle. Knit 3 stitches from cable needle.

2010-06 Cabled Pillow #1

I love cables and decided to make a few little things with yarn I already have in stock. These pillows make great gifts and are a lovely simple adornment to any home.

I used Caron Simply Soft yarn and size 5 needles. The gauge is 5 stitches and 6 rows = 1 inch in stockinette stitch, creating a pillow that is about 10 x 10 inches in size stuffed.

Front:

Cast on 48 stitches

Row 1 Knit

Row 2 Purl

Row 3 K2, P4 C4B (P4, C4B)twice P16 K6

Row 4 P6 K16 P4 (K4 P4) twice K4 P2

Row 5 K2 P3 T3B (T4F,T4B)twice T3F P15 K6

Row 6 P6 K15 P2 K3 P4 K4 P4 K3 P2 K2 P2

Row 7 K2 P2 T3B P3 C4F P4 C4F P3 T3F P14 K6

Row 8 P6 K14 P2 K4 (P4 K4) twice P2 K2 P2

Row 9 K2 P2 K2 P3 T3B T4F T4B T3F P3 K2 P14 K6

Row 10 P6 K14 (P2 K3) twice P4 (K3 P2) twice K2 P2

Row 11 K2 P2 (K2 P2) twice C4B (P3 K2) twice P14 K6

Row 12 as 10th row

Row 13 K2 P2 K2 P3 T3F T4B T4F T3B P3 K2 P14 K6

Row 14 as 8th row

Row 15 K2 P2 T3F P3 C4F P4 C4F P3 T3B P14 K6

Row 16 as 6th row

Row 17 K2 P3 T3F (T4B T4F) twice T3B P15 K6

Row 18 as 4th row

Repeat Row 3 – 18 two more times

Knit 1 row

Purl 1 row

Bind off

Back:

Cast on 48 stitches

Row 1-24: K24 P24

Row 25-48: P24 K24

Bind off

With right sides together, sew together the edges of the pillow. Leave about a 2-3 inch opening. Turn pillow so that right sides are facing out, stuff with fiber fill of your choice and seam together 2-3 inch opening. Using Caron Simply Soft yarn and size five needles, this creates a 10×10 inch pillow.

C4B : Cable 4 Back Slip 2 stitches onto cable needle, hold to back of work. Knit next 2 stitches from left needle. Knit 2 stitches from cable.

C4F: Cable 4 Forward Slip 2 stitches onto cable needle, hold to front of work. Knit 2 stitches from left needle, knit 2 stitches from cable needle.

T3B: Twist 3 Back Slip 1 stitch onto cable needle, hold to back of work. Knit 2 stitches from left needle, purl stitch from cable needle.

T3F: Twist 3 Forward Slip 2 stitch onto cable needle, hold to front of work. Purl 1 stitches from left needle, knit 2 stitches from cable needle.

T4F: Twist 4 Forward Slip 2 stitches onto cable needle, hold to front of work. Purl 2 stitches from left needle, knit 2 stitches from cable needle.

T4B: Twist 4 Back Slip 2 stitches onto cable needle, hold to back of work. Knit 2 stitches from left needle, purl 2 stitches from cable needle.

Making Moolah with Knitting

How to make money knitting? If you find out, please let me know!!!!

There aren’t too many people who actually make money knitting. Most of us try hard not to spend too much of our hard earned cash on the prized strings in our local yarn stores. There are a few people who are making money and even a couple who earn a regular income off of knitting in general. Most of us don’t have the resources to go out there and open a yarn shop. From what I can tell, it is hard to keep up the enthusiasm after awhile. If you are a really talented knitter, there are wealthy people who will pay good money for a hand knit sweater or fancy shawl. I think bags are good too, as long as you can find someone who will pay for your labor as well as the cost of yarn. So far, I haven’t earned even close to mininum wage.
There are companies that will pay to have you test their patterns. Once again, you have to be an experienced knitter. I’m not sure how much they pay, but I’d assume the more experience, the more your income potential.
A great website to visit is etsy. On etsy, people can set up shops (similar to ebay) but can only sell vintage, supplies, and hand-made items. It is fun just to browse around or to find gifts for other people. I have my own shop set up- but I haven’t tried selling anything up to this point.

Most of us don’t knit to make money, but it is definitely a plus if possible.