Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cold Sheep and Stash Update - April

The end of April is upon us making it time for a Cold Sheep and Stash update!  If you read this post you know what I'm talking about and if not well, going "Cold Sheep" is a phrase for not buying yarn, but using up your stash of yarn instead.  I thought I would do a monthly update as to how I'm doing with my goal of "shopping" in my stash and today's the day.  My day total of going Cold Sheep is now up to 77 days!  Yay!  

Now, onto what skeins of yarn I have used up.  The sock yarn turned out to be a boon for my desire to knit Spring weight shawls and I used 2 skeins making Dragonfly Wings and Miss Winkle.  I am currently using a third sock skein with a skein of my indigo dyed sock yarn to make the shawl Pendulum.  Then I got a bee it my bonnet over the rest of the indigo dyed yarn and started on my first Christmas gifts for 2014!  Yes, you heard me right Christmas gifts!  I choose the Grrlfriend Market Bag, which just about uses up a full skein of my worsted weight merino yarn, as my friend gift for this year.  I'm making them in pairs using my brown walnut dyed yarn with the indigo/myrobalan teal.  Thus far I have two completed and 4 more to go (well, 5 really as I want one for me too.)  So, that's what's been knit - 4 skeins of yarn and 2 in process.  

I'm very pleased that this project has turned out to be such fun.  I was really worried I would feel deprived, but so far that hasn't been the case.  Knitting now is more like a challenging puzzle of matching my ideas and pattern wants to yarn I already have.  Who knew knitting could get even better?

Joining in with Nicole for Keep Calm Craft On.

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Loopy Shawl

So, just a quick post today to show you all my finished Miss Winkle scarf/shawl.  This was a very fun and easy knit by Martina Behm who writes a very clear and concise knitting pattern.  The loops are knit and twisted before connecting again to the main fabric which is made up of simple garter stitch.  Then to block this shawl you use a 1/2 dowel rod placing it through the loops so they keep their shape.

For yarn I used some I had in my stash - YAY!  It's Dancing Leaf Farm Sock Hop fingering weight yarn in A Day at the Carnival colorway.  I've had this skein bouncing around for about 2 years so I am happy to have finally put it to good use.  Even though it's been so long you can still find this yarn and colorway for sale here

The weather here in Minnesota took a dip back down to about 40 degrees yesterday so I got a chance to wear it already which makes me happy.

Joining in with Linda for Creative Friday and Tami for FO Fridays

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spring Shawl Fever

After knitting a lacy shawl for my mother I believe I caught a Spring Fever of sorts.  This version resulting in the need to knit fingering weight shawls for Spring (if only I could of caught the cleaning fever, ah maybe next year.)  I just finished Miss Winkle yesterday and hope to share it with you here on Friday.  And now I'm currently knitting Pendulum with more yarn from my stash - YAY!  The light teal is another skein from Luna Grey Fiber Arts and the dark teal is some of my own naturally dyed yarn using Myrobalan over-dyed with Indigo.  Don't they look as if they were dyed to match?  

Continuing to use yarn from my stash is pleasing me no end, but I'm doubly pleased to use some of my Indigo dyed yarn.  You see all the yarn I dyed with Indigo is still "crocking" (meaning it the dye rubs off the fibers onto your skin) no matter that I've rinsed it many, many times.  Finally, I purchased some Professional Textile Detergent from Dharma Trading Company to try and remove this excess dye and I was met with success after two very hot water washings.  Lots of blue dye came out and I was so worried I would not be able to use this yarn, but after drying the Indigo did not rub off on my hands as it had before - Victory!  Now only about a dozen more Indigo skeins to wash, but that's a project for another day.

Since this post is for Yarn Along I will mention the book I am currently reading, or rereading in this case, which is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  I love Jane Austen and find her soothing to my soul either reading the books or watching the movies made from her books.  This time I am reading it for a book club and I am excited to hear my friends views. Although I love all her books, my favorite has always been Persuasion.  Maybe I can convince my book club to read that one next?

Joining in with Ginny for Yarn Along and Tami for WIP Wednesdays.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Finished Object on a Friday - Yay!


Yay!  I have a finished object to share that's not a toy for my shop  - so exciting!  I got a taste of Spring Fever this past week (maybe the fact that the snow is almost gone in my part of MN) and was just itching to make a lacy light and airy shawl.  Well, I started by looking at lace weight yarns to buy, which if you read this post you know I am trying very hard not to do, but I just didn't find anything amazing to truly tempt me so I purchased nothing.  Then on Sunday night during a bout of insomnia I had a revelation at 1:00 am that I could use some sock yarn I already had in my stash that was even a pretty light Spring color!  Victory!  I was so excited that I cast on for a Dragon Fly Wings shawl first thing Monday morning and was already blocking it by Wednesday morning. That's fast turn around time for me folks - I was consumed with seeing it finished.

 I used Luna Grey's Astro sock yarn in a very pretty shade of blue called Boca Rica.  The photos of the yarn itself and my mother wearing the shawl (doesn't she look pretty?) are the best at representing the color accurately.  The blocking photos show the bits of lavender well, but the blue is washed out.  As you can guess I gave the shawl to my mom as it's a very good color for her with thos  little bits of lavender in amongst the robin's egg blue.  It's funny how I used to want to knit everything for myself  and now the older I get the more I like knitting items for other people. My mom was very surprised I did not want the shawl, but I told her I got a lot of pleasure just knitting it as it satisfied my Spring Fever itch.  "Besides" I told her, "it's so fun to give especially to you who are so appreciative!"  She's going to wear it for Easter and I couldn't be more pleased.

Joining in with Tami for FO Fridays and Linda for Creative Friday.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Rainbows on a Toy Ball

If you've read more than 3 posts on this blog you've probably noticed I like rainbows A LOT.  Today's post is yet another about rainbows.  Most of my toys in my shop Simply Playing feature rainbows because I believe children should have bright and cheery play things.  Here is a very simple ball with rainbow coloring in wedges moving around the surface.  I use Judy's 12 section Ball pattern found on Ravelry for free, and as with all my toys the yarn has been plant dyed by Judy of Mamajudes on Etsy.  It's rather a time consuming knit, but I love the end result and it's a very popular item so I continue to knit them. They have been out of stock for a few months so I'm busy this week making some to add to my growing inventory - yay!

Joining in with Nicole for Keep Calm Craft On.