A Coral FO, More Dyeing, and a Trip to Florida

It’s time to pack up! Now that the renovations on the house are complete, we’re now tidying things up for our six week trip to Orlando, FL!! And I can’t wait to be back home! With all of the construction going on, a small town that doesn’t even have a movie theater, and the weather starting to get hot and humid, I’m ready to get to the States for some shopping, Starbucks, and air conditioning!  Best of all, we’ll also be house hunting!

On another note, I’m also happy to report that the lace diamond scarf is officially complete, and sent to the birthday girl!! It started off as just experimenting with new stitches. In fact, it was my first time stitching SSK and PSSO!  I think I did pretty well… IMG_2442 As you know, this was a long project for me, since we were doing a major rehab on the house.  But I tried to work on it as much as possible.  It was at this point (below) that I decided it would make a great gift for my future mother-in-law’s birthday. IMG_2981 When I finally got to the point that I was going insane to finally finish, I measured it out at about 60″. I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, and weaved in the ends. IMG_2983 Finally, I wet blocked it, and it took about 2 days to dry. I had an extra yoga mat that I wasn’t using, so I pinned the scarf out on that… funny, it wasn’t long enough for it! But it was only about an inch too short. IMG_3128 I found these great free gift tags from Laylock, and printed them out on cream card stock. On the back I wrote out the care instructions, then pinned to the scarf with some cotton twine, and it was ready to go! IMG_3134 IMG_3135 IMG_3136 Blocking really helped the diamond pattern to show through.  I was a little worried about blocking it, since it’s 100% courtelle, no wool at all. But it came out beautifully!  We had to ship it to her, since she’s in another city, so I’m still waiting on the verdict!  If you’d like the pattern, check out my Notes tab on my Fiber Bliss Facebook page!

:::: U P D A T E ::::

She loved it… naturally!! 😉


Now, on to dyeing!

Remember my last post on hand-dying?  Well, I L O V E D it so much that I was extremely excited to dye up this 100% virgin wool from Lion Brand’s Fishermen’s Wool line.  It’s a super smooshy, squishy, fluffy yarn, that would make an awesome cowl!  I also had 100g of wool roving I purchased a while ago, in an attempt to learn how to spin! IMG_2973 IMG_3020IMG_3030 IMG_3029 I decided to hand paint these instead of fully immersing them, to get variations in different colors, but then couldn’t decide what colors to go for!  I used my collection of embroidery floss to get a feel for the colors and combinations. I thought about autumn colors, but I’m more of a pink kinda gal!  So I went with that for the yarn, and  darker fall colors for the roving. IMG_3036 Since I had to wind the yarn into skein, I had a bit of a time doing that without a niddy noddy! I’ll have to invest in one soon! IMG_3021 IMG_3029 After soaking in with some vinegar for 30 minutes, I squeezed out as much as possible and laid it out for surgery! The plastic bottle I used was horrible, as it kept leaking! But it did the job, and I’ll definitely be outfitting my future craft room with better materials…. After I finished, I wrapped it up in plastic wrap, and microwaved for about 5 minutes.  When it cooled down, I rinsed it out, I let it dry in the wind! IMG_3024 IMG_3027 IMG_3028 IMG_3038 IMG_3040 IMG_3045 IMG_3044 For the roving, I did the same.  I expected the colors to be more deep, and have more of an autumn feel, but I didn’t add enough dye.  I still think it came out amazing! The muted colors actually makes it feel more spring-like in color tone! I can’t wait to spin it up!  I’ll be getting a drop spindle as soon as possible! YouTube will be my friend for that!! IMG_3041 IMG_3043 IMG_3042 I’ve completely fallen in love with hand-dyeing and painting yarn! And I have plans on expanding on it in the future, hopefully our new house will have a room I can make into a craft/studio room dedicated solely to fiber!  That will be added to the must-have list on our house hunting agenda… Do you have a room dedicated to crafts and knitting/crochet?

WIPs, a New Love, and the End of Summer

Saturday! Don’t you just love the first few moments of the weekend? For some, it starts at the end of the work day on a Friday. For someone who works from home, or doesn’t work, well, the weekend starts on Saturday… so for me Saturday mornings are the best! Birds chirping (I swear, it only happens on the weekend), coffee brewing, and of course, knitting! (Or at least surfing Pinterest for more knitting patterns!)

Although I’m in the southern hemisphere, my heart and my mind are still in the northern hemisphere….  It’s Winter here, as you know, but up there in the States, Fall is coming!!! And even though there’s still at least a month left, for me the end of Summer comes at the end of August. I think it’s because when I was young, starting the new school year meant the colors of the changing seasons, fall festivals, and Halloween.  It’s one of the best times of the year! The weather is cooling down, and everyone’s getting geared up for the holidays! By the way, there are only 17 Fridays until Christmas! That means more knitting, more crocheting, and more crafts in general.

I’m very eager to finish up my WIPs so I can start on some more projects for everyone. My Ravelry queue is so long now, which makes it harder to choose what my next project will be!

I brought out my coral diamond scarf (some of you will remember from my previous post on WIPs), and continued on that. As it’s a gift for my future mother-in-law, I have to finish it up soon! I absolutely love the sassy color! It’s a 12 row repeat, and now that I’m about 70% finished, I’ve finally gotten used to the stitches!

IMG_2981

IMG_2983

As for the vacation knit, I’m knitting it up much faster. But with all of the distractions of packing and renovations, it’s still moving slowly! But… once we get to Florida, that puppy should be done!

IMG_2909

IMG_2905

 

Now, since I’m ever the embodiment of distraction, I’ve decided I wanted to expand on my love of fiber.  Inspired by all of the beautiful yarns I drool over online, I decided it was high time that I take matters in my own hand and try to dye up my own yarns.  OMG, I did not know what I was in for! I didn’t know how much I would enjoy the process, how much I would love to see the colors form, and how satisfying it would be to see my final product! This is it! Apart from knitting and crochet, I know this will now take up the majority of my time!

I used three different kinds of undyed yarn:

  • 100% Virgin Cotton
  • 100% Merino Wool
  • 20% Wool, 80% Acrylic

And soaked them for about 20 – 30 minutes in water with a little soap. Below is the cotton skein.

IMG_2952

And different kinds of dye respectively:

  • Guarany Tingecor (from my LYS)
  • Jacquard Acid Dyes (ordered online, Amazon)
  • Wool Craft Dyes (from my LYS)

IMG_3014

For the cotton and wool blend skeins, I tried to go for an ombre effect by dipping the whole skein in the dye bath and pulling it out consistently, and always leaving one end in the bath.

IMG_2959

IMG_2958

 

For the merino wool, I tried an ombre effect but separating out the whole skein and leaving them each in separate jars of dye bath in varying colors of green.

IMG_2965

IMG_2968

Once it cooled down, I tried to untie each small ball, and wind it back into a skein… Didn’t turn out so good, and had to cut the yarn and make two separate skeins 😦  I’ve definitely learned my lesson, and will have to try to figure out a different way to dye it the way I was intending to.  Any pointers?

IMG_2970

 

The process itself is easy, but getting the exact results you want is a bit more tricky. I LOVE that! Every skein will come out differently, every skein will have a personality of its own!

  • 100% Virgin Cotton

IMG_2986

 

  • 100% Merino Wool

IMG_2975

 

  • 100% Merino Wool

IMG_2976

 

  • 20% Wool, 80% Acrylic

IMG_2977

The anticipation of getting to twist up that skein is almost as unbearable as wanting to knit with it! I’m officially hooked on hand-dyeing yarn!

Next up, I’m going to try hand-painting this huge skein of Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool, by laying out the skein and applying each color individually.

IMG_2973

 

Now that Summer is dying down, are you looking forward to all of the holiday knitting/crocheting? Have you tried dyeing your own yarns? What are your thoughts? Comment below and let me know!

xo

My Cable Obsession and Free Cable Patterns

Good Saturday, loves!

So this has been a hectic week with all of the renovations STILL going on! On top of that, we’re STILL waiting for a stove… Luckily, that stove is coming this week, and I can finally start cooking at home again. I’m so over take-aways and salad! Don’t get me wrong, salads are great, and healthy, and are wonderful on hot days…. But I’m missing the process of cooking, and experimenting with recipes, and just plain sitting down to a hot meal…

On top of all of that, we’ve had a change of plans, and will start re-packing everything again… That deserves a post of its own!

On the knitting front, I’ve started The Vacation Knit, and although I was a little apprehensive, since it’s my first cable project, I’m doing very well. I did choose this one based on the fact that it looked like an easy knit. And the pattern is easy to memorize, as well. So I can pick it up at any point and continue on.  I feel as though I could be making faster progress with this, but again, with all of the renovations and packing, I’ve been distracted.

 

10577197_259144874279570_8978744553397214712_n

 

But now I can’t wait to finish so I can start on some other cable patterns I’ve found! Am I going to share? Of course I am!!

This first one, Nennir, (below) is inspired by Celtic knots. I’m IN LOVE with this one! I’m also loving that this pattern can be easily made into a larger scarf, or even blanket. It’s knitted flat, which will help with the cable work.

nennir7_small

© lucyhague

nennir-NEW-EGDGING-4_small2

© lucyhague

 

For a hat option, this Quick Cable Slouch Hat, (below) is a perfect for Fall! I love that it’s simple, but looks difficult! This would be beautiful knitted up in a “fall-ish” color; I’m thinking an orangey-red.

by azure-m

by azure-m

 

The Fisher Cable Hat, (below) is great for the man in your life. Also simple, but the detailed edging makes it interesting. A quick knit, for a last minute gift! I’m thinking a great weekend project for my honey!

© Lindsey Felice, 2011

© Lindsey Felice, 2011

 

Oh, this one would be so cozy, sitting next to a fire in October! (It would probably take me that long to knit it up!) Aidez, (below) got a 4.4 rating on Ravelry, and the difficulty is just under medium… Hmm… I think I’ll give the above projects a go, before embarking on this one! But I can’t help myself, and will probably take up the challenge sooner (and then won’t be done until December)!

by ciriliarose

by ciriliarose

by ciriliarose

by ciriliarose

Well, there you have it! My obsession with cables is getting the better of me, and I think I may have to grow another pair of hands to complete all the projects I want… :::sigh::: Well, I was warned that knitting was going to take over my life… I just didn’t know how much! And I love every minute of it!

xo

Favorite Knitting Sites & Current Projects

I started knitting this year as sort of a New Year’s Resolution to learn something new, and I fell in love!

I’m also on Ravelry, where I list all of my projects and favorite patterns!

So far, here are my favorite knitting sites for patterns, shopping, and more:

  • The Purl Bee by Purl Soho – Most of the projects I’m working on are from The Purl Bee. I just love their patterns, and they have a lot of free ones to choose from. They also stock great yarns and project kits. If you’re into other fiber crafts, they also have tutorials and patterns for weaving, sewing, and embroidery, along with other crafty projects.
  • Wool and the Gang – You can purchase already made knits, or the actual items to make your own!
  • New Stitch a Day – This guy is amazing! His detailed tutorials really helped me when I started knitting. He takes his time and shows you, in detail, every stitch.
  • Expression Fiber Arts – Chandi is great when it comes to her tutorials, plus she hand dyes her own yarn that you can purchase online. On her blog, she also shares free patterns and where to find them!

Current Projects

I’m currently working on several projects. Call it the gemini in me; I just have to be working on multiple things at one time!

Whisper Wrap

It was summer here in South Africa when I started this wrap, I was trying to get ready for the winter…. Well, it’s winter now, and The Whisper Wrap by Purl Bee is taking a loooong time! Granted, it uses lace weight yarn. And with only a couple of minor mistakes, it’s turning out pretty nice!

Needles: US 6 circular

IMG_1825_medium2 IMG_1824_medium2 IMG_1823_medium2

Cap-Sleeve Lattice Top

Another one by Purl Bee, this Cap-Sleeve Lattice Top is coming along a little slowly. Could be because I’ve been distracted by starting other projects at the same time! It also doesn’t help when Mia uses it as a bed….

Needles: US 6, US 8, straight

IMG_1710_medium2 IMG_1940_medium2IMG_2132 IMG_2133 IMG_2199 IMG_2200

 

Diamond Lace Scarf

I figured I could score some brownie points with the future mother-in-law, so I decided to make her a scarf.  This project is a combination of two patterns I took from the book “A Little Course in Knitting.” I started with eight rows of a regular double moss stitch, and started the lace pattern for the body of the scarf. I’m still trying to decide whether I should incorporate other patterns, or just keep it simple with the main lace.

Needles: US 6 straight

IMG_2435 IMG_2440 IMG_2442

 

The Boyfriend Hat

Ok, so for my last project I’m currently working on, I decided to make a hat for my fiancé. He doesn’t like bulky items, so I got this pattern from Purl Bee (again), to make The Boyfriend Hat. SUPER simple pattern!

Needles: US 4 circular

IMG_2328 IMG_2332

Past Projects

To see my last projects, click here and scroll down!

What are you currently working on? Let me know in the comments below!

Knitting: Diamond Lace Scarf

Diamond Lace Scarf

I decided to finally start on a project for my future mother-in-law. I’ve noticed she loves wearing thin scarfs, and thought a lacy looking one would be fab to add to her collection.  Plus, I picked up this beautiful coral yarn from my local haberdashery (I didn’t even know what one was until I moved to South Africa).

This project is a combination of two patterns I took from the book “Little Book of Knitting.” I started with a regular double moss stitch, and started the lace pattern for the body of the scarf. I’m still trying to decide whether I should incorporate other patterns, or just keep it simple with the main lace. Once I’m finished, I’ll block it to make the eyelets more noticeable, and overall have more drape to it, instead of being thick and chunky.

Needles: US 6 straight

IMG_2435 IMG_2440 IMG_2442

 

For a list of my completed and current projects, click here. If you want to know the pattern, let me know and I’ll post a follow-up!