Wednesday, May 30, 2012


So. I've been lucky enough to test knit some patterns for Emily of Yarn Miracle (here's her Etsy shop and her Ravelry store). Today I finished up part one of "G is for Girl" and let me tell you, I love this doll (even naked and hairless). Once the pattern is available for purchase, I think everyone should go out and buy it - I mean, just check out those awesome thumbs!

Here's the line-up of big dolls I've made using Emily's amazing (and detailed!) patterns. I've also made a few of her smaller critters, but there's no telling which toy box they are in (though the wee rabbit was gifted to my sister - and then her youngest daughter stole it).

As I type, all three boys are jumping all over the beds (oy) playing with these guys. Seriously, Emily is one of my all time favorite toy designers out there. I can't even find the words to express how amazing it is to me that she lets me get first crack at her patterns.

Yarn Along with a test knit!

Joining up with Ginny for the Yarn Along.

I'm test knitting a pattern for the fabulous Emily. The thumbs and little feet are my favorite parts of this doll! So much fun to knit! I'm reading The Summer Queen by Joan D. Vinge. It's the sequel to The Snow Queen. I've read them both several times before - good stuff.

Here's the finished guy from yesterday. His new family likes him, so he'll be joining them very soon. His little shorts are crocheted from some pima cotton that I dyed with black walnuts.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Where have I been? I don't know, really. I've been... tired? Busy? Knitting? Something, I'm sure.

Over the long weekend, this is what I did.

A possible doll for a little boy several weeks older than my Beast.

First I spun 8 ounces of Corriedale into three hanks of varying thickness (one fairly thick, one really thin, and one "normal" - whatever that may be).

Which I then dyed with food coloring and black walnut dye (the walnut was for the brown but also to dull the other two colors). The tan/orange was meant to be more gold. Oops.

Yesterday I plied the brown and turquoise. What do you think? I want to put it in my Etsy shop but am not sure how to go about listing it. Wraps per inch? Hmm. Guess it doesn't matter until I set the twist anyway.

So. Yes. That's what I did over my long weekend. Well, that and mountains of laundry. I'm linking up with Nicole's {crafting on}.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spinning Addict

Okay. I have a problem. I think I'm addicted to spinning yarn. Oops. This addiction caused me to not bother with editing photos or posting to my blog. It caused me to miss the Yarn Along. And Crafting On. It's caused me to not respond to emails in a timely manner (or in some cases, at all). I feel compelled to apologize. Only.. I'm not sure that I'm really sorry. I'm having so much fun!

This would have been my Yarn Along:

I'm reading The Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey. So far I'm enjoying it more than the previous book in the series. This is good. I'm knitting the February Lady cardigan. Yes, look at that bandwagon! I've jumped on!

I finished my other cardigan - well, minus buttons and button loops. I wasn't able to get pictures yesterday due to the rainy weather. And.. er.. the spinning.

This would have been my Crafting On post:

Yarn spun (shocking, I know!) from the Colonial top that I dyed recently. I'm thinking about using the green for a birthday gift for the Elf. And maybe offering the rainbow-esque as a giveaway or just sending it off as a surprise for someone.

B actually asked me to make something for him. This does not happen often (or at all, really). He wanted a sleeve for his new tablet. He picked the yarn from my stash and I crocheted it in two days (using a D hook on worsted yarn is stupid, stupid, stupid - but created the right kind of thick-and-cushy fabric he wanted). This picture, and the one before, are of just-washed things. So the colors are off.

This is what I did yesterday (in addition to washing the above):

A wonderful lady that I knit with on Fridays brought me a bag of alpaca to play with. She carded it on a drum carder and produced a very fluffy batt. I was too afraid to dye it that way. I didn't want it to fall apart or felt (any ideas on how to handle this in the future?). I did find a youtube video about using a diz to make roving out of it, so that's what I tried. It was still too fragile for my liking, so I skipped dyeing it. It was a little weird to spin - lots of curls and crimp and maybe some lanolin still in it. But once I got the hang of it.. wow! Fun! It was also my first time plying. And now, I love it! I'm not sure if I can bring myself to dye this lovely off-white/cream with bits of light brown yumminess, though.

Did I say that I fell in love with plying? Because.. I am totally in love with plying. This is what was left of my rainbow-esque Colonial. It looks better off the bobbin and I'll take pictures once I get it off the niddy noddy.

So yes! This is what I've been up to.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Toads, yarn, and toddlers!

(Linking up with Linda's Creative Friday.)

We recently got this amazing book from the library. It's called Gem and was written by Holly Hobbie. It begins with a short letter from a grandmother to her granddaughter and ends with a letter from the latter to the former. In between is the story of Gem, a toad. The best thing about this book (aside from the *gorgeous* pictures) is that the story is told in pictures, not words. I love books like this - it's amazing to hear my younger children making up the story on their own.

We enjoyed this book so much that I couldn't help myself.

Meet our "Gem." I followed this pattern and used Cascade Eco+ and Lanaloft. He's stuffed with yarn scraps that I collect from all of my projects.

Remember that top I posted about for the Yarn Along on Wednesday? I spun some of it yesterday.

Sadly, the Elf (who had such high hopes for it) says that he preferred it as roving. Oh well.
And more gratuitous toddlers.

I'm holding these moments close to me, to remember on the days when they don't get along so well!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Yarn Along

Joining with Ginny for the Yarn Along. Following will be gratuitous toddler pictures. Just because.

Fiber + Books:
I'm reading/browsing this stack of books. Mostly I'm reading Elemental Magic while I wait for our trip to the library to pick up the fifth book in the series that I've been reading. Yes. I like mindless fantasy. Other than that, I've been studying the Botany in a Day book. I'm ashamed to admit how much it all baffles me. The yarn on top of the books is handspun by me. I dyed it yesterday while daydreaming about mermaids, sirens, lagoons, and pirate ships. Some day when it isn't raining and I can find a decent patch of natural light I'll take a better picture to show the true colors.

My actual knitting hasn't progressed much since my post yesterday. One sleeve is in progress and there is still a ribbon through the live stitches in the body. This is a source of great amusement for little hands than like to tug on said ribbon.

This is the top that I dyed over the weekend (also mentioned yesterday). I spun about half of it (roughly 2 ounces) and I think it's turning out nicely.

Yesterday I dyed the other half (about four ounces) of the Colonial wool from Mohair & More. I couldn't decide on just one color. Or a simple set of colors. It looks sort of like a clown (or rainbow) exploded. The Elf thinks that it will make stunning yarn. Here's hoping!
Gratuitous toddler pictures!

Yesterday it stormed in the afternoon. The Beast woke up declaring "thunder!" It was kind of hilarious.

Comfort was given.

Kissing quickly followed (I swear they aren't making out). It's amazing how well these two get along. They are nineteen months apart in age (and only a few inches apart in height). Of course, they fight just as passionately as they love.They are toddlers after all.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Joining up with Nicole for {crafting on} today, although this is also just a "since the last time" sort of post.

Can I be him for a day? Seriously. Breakfast in bed. Lounging.

The Elf helping make my tea mix. It contains: red raspberry leaf, dandelion leaf, nettle, alfalfa, oat straw, mint, red clover). I add fresh or frozen parsley when I brew it. I make 32 ounces in my french press every morning and sip it iced throughout the day. Yum!

The Beast happily browsing the catalog that came with an order from Bulk Herb Store. He sat with it for a good twenty minutes. Let's just ignore that it's upside down in this picture, okay?

A while ago I ordered some fiber from Mohair & More. This is some (about four ounces) of the Colonial Wool. The mood struck and I dyed this up in a bunch of shades of green. I've had gardening on the brain, what can I say? I started spinning some of it today and managed to fill a bobbin worth. I'll share picture of that tomorrow maybe.

The Beast has taken to falling asleep in the afternoon with no assistance. This is weird, but.. kind of nice. He's learning to fall asleep on his own and that's a good thing. He still nurses to sleep at night, though.

There are so many things I want to say about this picture. Apologies and excuses. I'm going to skip them all and talk about my cardigan. It's almost done!

I've been working on it for a while using this pattern. I think it's finally about long enough in the body so now it's time to start the sleeves. When it's all done I'll be off to find the perfect (within my budget - which sadly precludes nearly anything handmade on Etsy) buttons. Hopefully the buttons will break up the massive (ahem) expanse of grey on the one side (it's being held together by a kids' knitting needle).

So..not so much crafting, I guess. Some dyeing, some spinning, some knitting. Mostly I've been cleaning. And cleaning. I never seem to catch up with all of the mess, though.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Yarn Along!

Linking up with Ginny for the Yarn Along.

Still knitting my cardigan. I'm a little less worried about it fitting. Here's hoping my luck holds out! I'm reading Fortune's Fool which is the third book in The Five Hundred Kingdoms series by Mercedes Lackey. I need to find the fourth one from the library as I seem to be missing it.

My oldest son, the Elf, is nine. He's tried to learn to crochet before with no success. This time he seems to be getting it! We're making pokeballs. He's super anxious to finish his.

This is another lovely toy that I was lucky enough to test knit for the amazing Emily. Do not be fooled by his smallish head. Or his twisted foot. Those were totally user error. Lessons learned: do not stuff things when the majority of your stuffing is in the bedroom with the sleeping baby and - the most important - do not assume things just because the legs are similar to the arms! There's an extra line of directions for the legs and they are there for a good reason! In hindsight, being more awake at the time might have prevented that particular error. In any case! I adore Emily's patterns - go forth and scoop them up for yourself. Her Cat and Dog patterns are especial favorites here. Though I'm quite partial to the vulture.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Crafting On

I haven't, actually, been crafting that much. I guess. I've been working on a knitting project that I'll share tomorrow for the yarn along. I'm teaching my oldest to crochet - also yarn along material. Hmm. Regardless, I'm linking up with Nicole today.

I did sew some diaper wipes. Here's how this works for me. I get inspired (by a lack of sufficient wipes), I buy the materials, I go so far as to cut out squares, I get tired of it, I stack it away and promptly ignore it for six months. Fast forward. We're now *really* low on diaper wipes. The ones we have are barely fit to be rags. I remember the work involved in washing, ironing, cutting, sewing, turning right side out, ironing, sewing, snipping threads. I groan and hunt Etsy for affordable wipes.

Do you know what? There are none. The cheapest I could find came out to be $0.69 each (including shipping) but were only one layer thick. Here's the thing. You can buy a yard of fabric at a local chain store for less than $5. You can use a coupon and get it for about $1.50 on a good day. One yard of fabric makes a great deal more than two or three wipes. I know this. I know all of this. But I have to scour the web looking for a deal, propose it to B, get that "I don't think so" look, and have a mini meltdown before I can gather the umph necessary to tackle the making again.

So! To make it all easier, yesterday I had helpers! I would sew the two pieces together, B and the Elf would turn them right side out and press out the corners, we skipped the ironing (because really, they're *diaper wipes*), I would top stitch them, and B would cut the extra thread. Whee! Now we have new diaper wipes!
Okay. Unrelated! I very recently won a pair of amazing rings in a giveaway on The Artful Parent. Given that I apparently have fat fingers (we're shocked. Really.) I can fit up to eight characters on each ring. Now, if I only had two kids I could go the no-brainer route and get their names. Only, I have more than two kids. That leads me to the great dilemma of which words to pick. So I ask you, what are your favorite words (preferably 8 characters or less)?