Friday, October 30, 2009

Frosty Christmas Stocking

Frosty Christmas Stocking



I've been working on this stocking for the last week, some friends and I are doing a knit along using the pattern from Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside The Lines, called New Ancestral Christmas Stocking. We are all having so much fun with this project, everyone has their own take on yarn colors and the pattern is easy one to add your own personal touch...which everyone has chosen to do. I'll be sure to include a picture of all of them when we are finished. It's a creative group of knitters! The photo above shows my progress so far. Of course I had to figure out a way to incorporate bobbles! ( I think I may have even turned one of the other knitters into a bobble convert!) The cuff is knitted in some of my own hand dyed, hand spun angora, it's so super soft and fluffy,I think it's a nice complement to the bobble row running under it. This is my first official project using Fair Isle knitting. I've taken the Persian Poppy/Magic Ball class with Brandon Mably when Threadbender hosted he and Kaffe Fasset for classes last May, but that was just a little sample size project. I have to say, I definitely have room for improvement, but all in all I am pleased with how the Fair Isle portions of the pattern are going. I'm just about finished with the snowflake, then I'll turn the heal and head into the home stretch. I have decided not to put a name on the cuff, instead I am going to embroider the word Naughty on one side and Nice on the other...the recipient of this stocking will be able to decide which word they will reveal to Santa! This pattern is a easy knit and if you're ready to knit up some Christmas stockings for your family, you wont be disappointed.

Have a great week! Blessings Friends!
Melissa


Friday, October 23, 2009

Oh Sooo Soft Angora!!!

I have been doing a lot of dyeing and spinning of my stash of angora fiber. First I did a little test batch of unspun fiber to see how it would respond to the dyeing process and it was successful, I had beautifully colored spinable fiber! It's so completely soft and luscious to knit with that I think I am nearly spoiled for knitting with anything else.



I dyed these in soft blue and robin's egg blue to use in a Christmas Stocking knit along that I'm currently working on. I've used the blue for the cuff and it is heavenly! I'm knitting the stocking in frosty blue/green colors with a little chartreuse mixed in for good measure.



Here's the Sky and Sea blend that I dyed to go with the alpaca I've dyed in the same colors. Alpaca and angora, two of my favorite fibers!



I had a mix of dyed angora that I had bought early in my fiber stashing days and it included some yellowish fiber that didn't go with the blend I wanted for my yarn, so I picked it out and set it aside. It was just a smidgen, so I added some cream colored angora from my stash and over dyed it all in a sunny yellow. This was the first unspun angora I dyed as a test. Once I saw that it didn't felt/mat up, I went ahead and dyed to my hearts content, as you can see by the photos.

I hope you're enjoying your fiber as much as I am!
Have a great week! Blessings Friends!
Melissa

Friday, October 16, 2009

Booties!


Original set, knitted with white angora plus silver beads

I knitted up a set of booties this week, using the Flower Child Bootie pattern by Marla Mutch. I love this pattern, I've used it before with a natural white angora yarn that I brought back from Italy with me, then embellished them with silver glass beads along the sides.



The pattern is intended to be used with a self patterning sock yarn, and since I needed a small something to knit while I'm dyeing and spinning yarn for my next project, I though I'd knit up a colorful pair to have on hand. I knitted these with ZwergerGarn Opal Rondez-vous # 2065. I inadvertently knit them with a size 2 instead of the needle size 1 recommended in the pattern, and used a size 3 to bind off the cuff so it wouldn't be too tight. These little cuties are all set for the next baby gift. It's a fast knit and the pattern is easy to follow.






I like this pattern so well, that I thought I'd knit them bigger for a grown up foot. They remind me of those moccasin slipper socks from my childhood. For the adult size I measured my Mum's foot and added two inches to accommodate the way the sole wraps up over the toes in this pattern. I decided to use two strands of yarn knitted together for thickness and durability, Encore colorspun, Razzle Print #7517 and Berroco Comfort in Nosegay Mix #9810. It's a great fit for my Mum, who wears a size 6-7 shoe.

Have a great week! Blessings Friends!
Melissa

Friday, October 9, 2009

Freshly Spun Yarn!


Lilac Heart Throb

Ahhh, fresh yarn! This yummy yarn is a blend of white, gray and multi-colored dyed angora, which I then over dyed to unify all the colors. I'm so pleased with how it turned out I can hardly wait to knit something with it! It's so supper soft I can't quit touching it!!! I have 317 yards of cozy softness knit with!


Sky and Sea

Here's the first skein of Sky and Sea. I'm currently spinning the
last bobbin of the alpaca, then it's on to the angora that I dyed to match. This skein measures a little over 430 yards. I have to say, I am really enjoying dyeing and spinning my own fiber, it's so nice to watch the colors as they spin onto the bobbin.

Have a great week! Blessings Friends!
Melissa

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cosy Noro Throw



Boy do I love this Noro yarn! I used it on a previous project and just fell in love with it!!! It's Noro Kochoran, the color is predominantly number 57, with a little number 63 left over from my last project. The blend is 50% wool, 30% angora and 20% silk. Noro is one of those yarns that can seem a bit on the scritchy side at first, but this yarn in particular becomes softer after it's been knitted and the yarn opens up a bit. It's so beautiful to see the angora halo appear, and it just keeps getting softer with handling and use. My cat Cissie just loves this throw and the minute I pulled it out to work on it she was right there snuggled up on the end of the throw. I think I will use the left overs from another color to make her a tiny throw of her own.



Along with the Noro Kochoran, I used di.ve Autunno in the color 30502 Gossamer and a tiny bit of 46386 Clarion. Autunno is 100% fine merino and it's so supper soft! I used it for the simple lace pattern to break up the solid, moss stitch pattern I used to knit the Noro. Two hanks of the Noro and one of the Autunno Gossamer were enough to make this ample throw, which is cosy soft and super warm, but light as can be. I know I'm going to get a lot of use out of it as the temperatures dip.



I also did some dyeing this week, in preparation for my next project. Pictured above is some angora dyed in the Sky and Sea colors to match the alpaca roving that I'm working on.



Since I'm done knitting my throw, I can now start spinning! I have been itching to get going on this, but wanted to finish the throw first. I have the roving all weighed out for each bobbin and rolled into these cute little balls. I have a particular spinning order that I want for each single and to save any confusion once I get spinning, I got it all organized before hand. Now I can just spin away without any worries about which color comes next or if the bobbins are equal.

Have a great week! Blessings Friends!
Melissa

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I'm a crafter, knitter, tinkerer, who always seems to have a project or two on the launch pad. I love to share what I'm working on and I love to see what other folks are working on too, so please comment and let me know where I can see your latest creation!