Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mitre Sample Blanket to be.

Another stash buster!

I came up with the idea of knitting a blanket with squares from each homespun yarn I had created.

Well that was just recently and I haven't got a sample of every yarn I've made unfortunately, but I will save them from now, just for this purpose.

The idea is nice but only works with yarns of similar size, so that means some I can't use as squares but may use in another way added to the blanket when finished.

At the moment this is what the blanket looks like. It is a square of about 70cm. But it is a start.
This is going to be an ongoing project for years to come!

The mitered squares are simple and knitted together, so you knit from square to square, no sewing required.

Here is a mitered blanket Afghan on Ravelry;

Although I got help with my pattern from a friend, so I did not use this.


Learning to use natural products in the dyeing of wool is an amazing experience. To accept that colour is freely available in nature all around us is opening up a whole new dimension for those looking at bringing some colour into their homespuns.

The above batches were done using, Dahlia, flax flowers, black walnut husks, onion, Tanekaha (spelling??) bark, lychen to name a few.

The amount of wool I had dyed in different colours meant that only together they would make a arment as each colour batch was too small on its own. Now, I am not a fan of stripes but couldn't come up with any other idea of how to use these colours together.

I used the following pattern;

And the result you can see here.

I am not too pleased with the result on me. I did not have more wool to make it longer otherwise I would have done that. But it shows of the colours nicely together and I love the pattern I used. A warning for those who may try it;
It is not hard to knit but the rows are awfully long!!!

Animal friends

Sometimes I just feel playful and want to create something to match that mood. These little friends are gorgeous. 

Another bit of stash gone

Alpaca Sea Change Scarflet

This little scarflet turned out quite lovely. I was given some carded naturally brown alpaca and spun it up for a first trial of a lace knitted scarf.  I dyed with blue, purple and turqoise jaguard dye but although initial inspection looked realy promissing, in washing the yarn, most of the dye came out still leaving quite a nice mottly colouring that gave an interesting effect.

I used the following pattern;

I knitted this shawl while on holiday, camping at the beach and it occured to me how similar the colouring in it was to the beach, dune, grasses, water, sky environment I was in. Therefore, I named it Sea Change and found a nice piece of driftwood to use as a pin.


Pink Slipper Socks.


Another one of those wonderful little projects to use up that left over wool.
Very easy to make, nice and warm on your feet!

Sunshine Kindness Baret and Scarf

The Baret is addapted from a pattern in the book 'Dyeing to Knit' by Elaine Eskesen

Some time ago my husband found an orphan lamb on the side of the road along our farm.
This lamb became "Prince" and was adopted by my daughter and loved. with her kindness it grew big and strong.
Some of his first fleece are in this scarf and baret set.

I bended that white fleece with some black mohair that was kindly given to me by a person at a mohair stand at the agricultural Field Days. We got talking and I mentioned I had never spun mohair before. So he gave me some to try.

Lots of kindness went into these items!


Although the colours on the photo don't do it justice they do remind me of a lovely sunset, one of those we regularily enjoy here in New Zealand.

The wool was dyed using Jaquard dye in hues of red, orange and yellow, with a 'hot pour' method to deliver as always a surprise outcome to enjoy.

Warm ears comfort.

With a little bit of wool, and a little bit of time you can enjoy this headband. Easy knit and good fit to keep your ears cosy. Amazing how different colours give a different effect.

Head Coat.

These hats are very popular, I have made 3 so far. I used romney wool given to me raw. I dyed it in bright colours on a whim and in the grease still. I handcarded it and spun it and although it wasn't the greatest wool, harsh rather then soft, it came in handy and was perfect for these hats.

in my family not everyone is keen on home knits. Teens often don't think it is quite the in thing. Some of us can't stand wool on their skin or just shiver at the thouht of having t even touch wool.
But............these hats are (at least with the girls) very much wanted. So that is realy cool.

I enjoyed the pattern. Not realy difficult but a bit fiddly when it came to the peak.


This pattern is definitely a keeper!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bosnia Slippers.

Bosnian Slippers( the English translation)
Please note I have never before translated a pattern, I am not knowledgeable of the Norse Language and English is my second language, but I do have quite some knitting experience.
First some notes;
·         The pattern is incredibly flexible, I think any size needle between 2.5 and 5.5 mm could be used and also any scraps of wool you may have to suit that needle size. You’ll have to establish gauge and stitches needed for the size slipper you want, if you do use different sized needles.
·         The original pattern is written for 2 colours of wool, but you can use as many as you like.
·         The original pattern asks to cast on 48 stitches with needle 4mm and says that 7-10 fans makes an adult sized slipper (size 37-41/ 6-10)
·         As with all slippers a snug/tight fit will aid the slippers to stay on your feet. It may be necessary to add a piece of elastic to the top to that cause. The “fans” do not reach the toes when the slipper is finished; rather the 20 garter stitch rows at the bottom of the slipper are the ones that cover the toes and sole of the foot. The slipper will look small, but will stretch heaps while being warm due to its ‘double layered’ pattern stitch. However you look at it they are attractive, easy, fun and quick to knit. Enjoy them.
Tip  Just knit a pair to get to know the pattern, they are a quick knit, someone will fit the resulting slippers, they make a neat gift. Then adjust the pattern/ needles etc to your desire.
·         1 pair of needles
·         Wool to match the needle size in two different colours (“1” and “2”)
·         Darning needle for sewing up the finished product.
·         Knitted on two needles these slippers are basically knitted in garter stitch (knit every row)
·         The bi coloured pattern for sides of the slipper and starting after the cuff
·         Fan increase

Original pattern;
1.       Cuff
Cast on 48 stitches with needles 4mm (or always an even amount, for any size you choose)
Knit cuff in garter stitch; 3 ribs in colour 1, 2 ribs in colour 2, 2 ribs in colour 1

2.       Foot
Row 1 (right side) in colour 2;
Side of slipper; Slip one stitch, knit one with colour 2, * slip one stitch- while running colour 2 thread  loosely on the wrong side of the work and-  knit the next stitch in colour 2. Repeat from * till you reach the centre of your work (between two stitches).
 Fan increase as follows; IN THE CENTRE OF THE WORK (= centre of previous fan)  pick up the underlying loop between two stitches with your right needle and transfer it to the left one. Knit this stitch 6 times (alternating knit and purl stitches), to increase 6 stitches.
Repeat Side of slipper (as above), starting with slip one stitch......till last stitch, bring colour 2 thread to right side of work, slip last stitch.
Row 2 (wrong side) in colour 2;
Side of slipper; Run the (colour 2) thread around the last slipped stitch which you slip again, bring thread to right side of work and knit the next stitch with colour 2. *Bring the thread to the wrong side of the work and slip a stitch by putting the needle through the back loop.  Bring the thread to the right side of the work and knit a stitch. Repeat from * till fan.
Fan; knit 6 stitches of fan in colour 2
Repeat side of slipper (as above);  matching slipped  (colour 1) and knit stitches (colour2) by colour till end of row.
Please note the thread on these two rows should always run loosely behind the slipped stitches on  wrong side of the work. The knitted stitches will be colour 2, the slipped stitches colour 1.
Row 3 (right side) in colour 1; * Knit the slipped stitch through the back loop, knit the next stitch. Repeat from * till fan, knit 6 fan stitches, * Knit the slipped stitch through the back loop, knit the next stitch. Repeat from * till end of row.
Row 4 (wrong side) in colour 1; knit all stitches.
Repeat these 4 rows
(Indication; 4mm needles, 42 stitches, 7 fans gave me a size 37 slipper / 4mm needles, 48 stitches,  8 fans gave me 39 sized slippers)
 When you have reached the desired amount of increases/ fans (this depends on the size of the slipper you need) the rest of the slipper is knitted in garter stitch, (up to) 10 ribs for a med-large adult size. Put a stitch marker in the centre of your row after 6 ribs.
In the last 8 rows decrease 4 stitches every second row as follows;
Right side; Knit 2 together  knit to 2 stitches from the centre, knit to together, knit 2 together, knit to the last 2 stitches knit 2 together.
Wrong side knit all stitches.
Bind of stitches or do a three needle bind off. Sew or crochet the slipper seam(s) closed. Work in the loose threads and you’re done!
The original pattern came only in Norwegian here are two links to this pattern

or the ravelry page is found on;

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Childs play

My then 11 year old daughter had also caught the spinning bug and managed to spin up the following batch
of very useable though a bit uneven yarn.

Ofcourse the idea of dyeing it was the next step and a plan was thought upto create a rainbow dyed end result.

We used jaquard dyes (acid dyes) and she applied them carefully.

Neat packages of yarn and dye wrapped in gladwrap

then each in a plastic shopping bag into the big pot to boil for 45 min turning them 3 times.

Hot hot hot, out of the pot

Look at it!

So neat and bright!

A beany was knitted

And the girl is proud.

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Majacraft Pioneer

My first wheel was an Ashford Traditional Wheel that I purchased secondhand and unseen. It taught me wonderful things and I still own it today after 5 years. It was a simple wheel that is excellent for a beginner.
However I felt I needed to upgrade because my skill outgrew what my wheel had to offer and also the old wheel was quite noisy.

Spinning wheels are little masterpieces of craftmanship and of course there is no huge production work in spinning wheel fabrication as only so many people today are interested in buying a wheeland then a wheel can last you a life time.
So they are pricey items.
I wanted a new wheel with a modern feel to it and have always loved the Majacraft wheels.
like many spinners I would love to own a Rose wheel. But due to its price this is beyond my reach although I dream have to have dreams! 

Maya craft produced in recent years an economy version of their wheels.
I think it is actually quite cute and it has all the features of some of their more classy styles just without the frills.
The Pioneer wheel was my choice and I have owned it now for just on 2 years and am very happy with it.
The double treadle is so comfortable, I love it.

Baby things

When you spin and knit you find your self left with odds and ends of wool. It soon adds up and leaves you wondering where to store it all or what to do with it.

I resort to knit up my stash every now and then and make little projects like these baby items, slippers, shawls or socks.
They make neat gifts.
or they are stored for that stall at the market I may some day occupy, who knows.

I must say that when you spend so many hours in producing items it is actually quite difficult to part with them.

This modern looking baby wrap is ideal! It is called a Cache Coeur and wraps around the baby, crosses across the heart and under it's arms where it fastens with buttons at the back. Guaranteed to stay on!
The hat I just designed myself to go with the outfit.

The pattern is from the Ashford 'Wheel' magazine of issue 19, 2007 

PS the little Steiner doll I also made by hand from a dutch pattern book for steiner dolls for all stages of a childs life. It is sooooo cute, isn't it.