6 dishcloths in total. The green and white ones are done in bee stitch. The others are the ubiquitous “ball band” pattern.
Deer in the garden. There were actually eight of them!
Starlings in the hawthorn tree.
10-stitch twist (but with 12 stitches). The blue strip has since been completed, but I need to get a ball of appropriate violet to carry on. Someday.
2012-03-05 Indoor tulips, safe from the deer.
2012-04-14 BBQing in April! Tasty hot Italian sausages
2012-05-13 A family of geese on my lily pond.
2012-05-13 Butterfly on the azalea.
2012-06-29 Wedding toes!
2012-06-30 Wedding shawl
2012-07-24 Paprika rose
2012-08-27 Jack, our greyhound rescue
2012-08-10 Wedding shawl redux
2012-09-11 Peaches from our own tiny peach tree
2012-09-17 Boat tour around Big Tancook Island during Knitting on the Wild Side, with Lucy Neatby.
2012-10-31 Felted and unfelted cat toys
2012-10-18 Jack’s new sweater
2012-11-11 Sorting Ann’s knitting needles
2012-11-11 … and even more knitting needles!
I was commissioned to make a felted rat, with “really big red lips”. It was a great success.
I am starting 2012 with a little stash busting exercise. My first mission, since I need dish cloths, is to use up all my dish cloth cotton. So far, I’ve got three nice ball band dishcloths. The first two are the standard 45 stitch size on 4.5 mm needles. I found that this required 6.5 pattern repeats to come out squarish, and was a bit larger than I wanted (9.5 in), so the third one is a 39 stitch size, 5.5 pattern repeats (8 in). Still 2.5+ balls of cotton to go.
I’ll bet some of you are stash busting too. What are you making?
Final harvest 10/10/2010
Just used up the last of the tomatoes that I roasted and froze. So tasty!
Sad kitty with cast #1
Four days later the peg leg kitty was very pleased when he got it off all by himself. Cast #2 didn’t even stay on 24 hours.
Bargain loom ($300!), mostly assembled
Did I scare you!
A visit from some evening grosbeaks on November 1
Marieke's new hat, in progress
Oh look! Some knitting! This was a commissioned hat to replace this one . The purple yarn is pure alpaca. The other yarn is a superwash merino from The Kangaroo Dyer. My own design, featuring double-layered, form-fitting (aka flapless) ear flaps, also featured here and here.
There was more action on the learning-to-weave front. My first warp! A scant 2 yards, 120 ends, of 2-ply wool from Estonia (mentioned here). That’s a shiny, new, 12 dent reed.
Rough sleying the reed
Warping back to front
Beaming the warp
New Texsolv heddles ready for threading
The bread tags were just a counting aid.
Yarmouth Craft Splash Sheep to Shawl Afghan
My local knitting group made this afghan as a fund raiser for our local craft guild. It is all natural wool, hand spun, and hand knitted. I spun a lot of the wool (some old, some new) and knit about a dozen of the squares, including the striped concentric square ones. The raffle netted almost $200!
Wash wool in the skein before you knit with it? Why not? You wash wool in the skein after you spin it. Mind you, you don’t usually throw 17 4 oz skeins into your machine all at the same time. But you can!
This is MacAusland’s wool purchased in PEI this summer at MacAusland’s Woolen Mill. If you visit PEI, don’t miss it, but check the hours carefully. They close early on Friday and we didn’t get to see the mill in operation, but they kindly stayed open a bit longer to let us browse in the shop. Blankets are their main thing, but the wool came in 2-ply and 3-ply, and in the most wonderful heathered colours and solids. I’ll take closeups another day.
They also had wheels of very fine roving. It is a single strand, unlike Briggs & Little Country Roving, which has 5 strands, or the now sadly gone White Buffalo which had 6 strands. Just a single strand, about 1/8 of an inch wide, sold in 8 oz wheels. Just add twist and you have instant yarn. It spins up so quick and even. It’s pretty gratifying. After washing and whacking it is now 2 plys of fluffy, wooly goodness. That’s what gave me the idea to wash the MacAusland’s yarn, which straight from the mill feels kind of stiff and harsh. Now it feels just as lovely as the handspun.
My friend Ann and I each bought two wheels to spin up for our local knitters’ “sheep-to-shawl” blanket that will be raffled off in support of our local craft guild. Not a traditional sheep-to-shawl event, we start with handspun, natural, undyed fibre (generally wool, but maybe some alpaca will find its way in there), and knit it up into 6-inch squares which are then sewn into a large afghan. At less than $5.00 (plus tax) per wheel, this was perfect for our purposes. I just wish I had bought more to spin up for myself. I do believe I will be giving Mr. MacAusland a call.
Well, so much for summer. There are an unbelievable number of things I haven’t shown you, but I have to start somewhere, so here is Minni, last seen in-progress way back in February (!)
Naturally, I made a matching hat. And socks, for which there seems to be no photographic record. They were made out of the green yarn used as the accent colour on the sweater and hat, with just a row or two in the hand painted yarn because that’s all that was left!
I was lucky and got to give the gifties personally on June 10 when Ana(stasia) was 2 months old.
She seemed to like the outfit.
At 4.5 months, look how much she has grown!
So totally worth it.
The first day of June seems like a good day to begin blogging again.
I’ve set up this new blog to help me keep myself on the path as I try to move my new business venture forward from dream to reality. Most days, the path is not very well-marked. It’s more like a deer trail through the meadow: visible only when viewed straight on. With a full-time day job, a huge yard and garden to tend to, housework, craft guild, knit night, kid, cats… I seem to only occasionally stumble across the path and never manage to stay on it for long. Still, I’ll get there.
“And where is ‘there’?”, you may be saying to yourself.
Yarnsmith Fibreworks Inc. (like it?) will be a carding and spinning mini mill turning dirty fleece into clean fibre, batts, roving, yarn, and felt. You will be able to send your single treasured fibre festival fleece or your entire season’s clip to my mill and have it processed as you desire. Not a fleece buyer or producer? You will be able to purchase house-branded fibre and yarn of many types from lace weight to bulky: alpaca, breed-specific wool and wool blends, cashmere, mohair, angora, qiviut… Maybe one day you will be able to stop by the shop and relax in the café with house-roasted coffee and biscotti or fresh lemonade and ginger cookies.
Until then, I will use this space to keep in touch, both with you and the dream, writing about the usual things, knitting, spinning, life (not necessarily in that order). Hiredhands.ca will stay as it is. Eventually, as I figure out this new platform and templates, I’ll put a link to it in the sidebar.
Thanks for reading. Here are a couple of pictures of other “firsts” from this June 1.