Monday, January 28, 2008

Noro Hat

I got 2 balls of Noro yarn for my birthday. What to do with 2 balls??? I'm not on Ravelry, so I don't have the unlimited resources for finding out what others have done with it. I also have no idea how I came across this pattern, but while surfing one night... There it was. I can't even tell you who's blog the link came from. Thanks whoever it was.

Noro and I have a fickle relationship. Some things I've seen knit from it are fab. A couple of girls at Tuesday knitting group have knit lovely things from it. I've also seen things that didn't do anything for me. Another great reason to have many yarns to pick from.

I wasn't sure about the colour combo on this. Loved the burgundy, lime, chartreuse and olive. Wasn't wild about the peach. Luckily, there was only one repeat of this per ball.

Here is an up close of the ridges. I really like the way they don't pull out when you put it on. They stay nice and bumpy. Like rows of soil after the tiller has come through just before planting. Great texture.

Here is the little topper that is a simple I-Cord. I always need a "little something" to add onto hats to make them my own. 4 Stitches, about a meter long and the looped and sewed between layers. I didn't make quite as many rows as the pattern said. Didn't want the pointy part at the top, even though I like it. DD had it on, heading out to school this morning. Had to give that a stop. I haven't really broken it in yet. She opted for the purple felt again. Glad she has options.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Silk Wrap

This was the other project for Silk Day.

I started thinking... How can you present silk without it turning into Nuno Felt? Hard. Other than using silk fibre, which I did, how and what else can be used? I gave in. I needed another scarf or wrap like a hole in the head, but I had received this lovely piece of silk fabric from a friend that went to China. Ok, I'll use it!

I'm pleased with the result. It really puffs up around the back of the neck and pulls in close under the chin. Goes with more than I thought!

I also picked up some 100% Silk Yarn from Debbie Bliss. Very pricey, but for what I was using it for, it was alright. The colours options were Baby Pink, Baby Blue and Pale Yellow. None would be my preference, but while I'm branching out, I'll do a pastel colour range as well.

The silk fibre is awesome! Again, pastel, but Gorgeous pastel! Butter yellows, shell pinks, shimmery silvery slate and then the blends! It's like the inside of an abalone shell. You could seriously roll around in this stuff! Ok, enough!

This is the basic layout. Minimal wool fibre. I wanted to really pull it in on either end. I layed out the yarn and strands of the silk fibre for colour variation, then pulled invisible wisps of wool out to secure them all to the fabric.

At the bottom edge of the photo, you can see where the wool will pull the straight lines of silk yarn in. The wool is layed in one direction so that it will only shrink across.

This is the result. It shrank in by at least 50%. It is amazing what happens when you place the fibre in a precise direction. Really cool!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dyeing Cocoons

Did a bit more dyeing for the silk day. Food colouring, cake colour, vinegar and cocoons.

Soak cocoons for several hours if you have the time. Not necessary though. With the boiling, they get soft.

Add vinegar to the microwave safe bowl. A Tablespoon or good glug will do. The more vinegar, the faster the colour will take up into the cocoons.

I try and do everything in the same container. Less washing.

Add enough water to cover cocoons if they were to sink. A couple of inches or 5 centimeters.

Decide on the colours you want, mix if necessary and add directly onto the wet cocoons. You can get multi colours by dyeing half and then rinsing and do the same again turning them over.

Microwave on high for 3 minutes, let stand for 2-3 minutes. Repeat. You should have good saturation at this point. Make sure you turn them over part way through if you want an even coverage. They will be soft when done, but will go back to very hard once they dry.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Silk and Hats

Wednesday was our monthly Feltmakers Drop-In Session at the library. Sometimes we have one of the ladies do a demo, but this month it was my turn. Not that I mind. It gives me motivation to do things I normally wouldn't.

Felt and I have a weird relationship. I like to design and plan things out ahead of time. Even it it just a little. Get the supplies ready and begin. Like cooking... What if you don't have quite the right decorative item? Who wants to go to all the trouble of laying fibre out when you can't finish.
Well I think the hats may have helped me along
to changing my process a little. I found I love
the freedom of just throwing colour down. Not having enough to make a complete hat, I had to use others. Could be good.

I used an old template I had from making a beret and extented the round bit at the bottom. Enough to fold up. Made that another colour as well.

Silk Carrier Rods an
d a white silk hankie was put on the front before the felting process was started. Helps the wool to grab onto the silk if it's done in the beginning.

I was pleased with the results. So was my friend Deirdre. She came in and ordered the one below. Same Duck Egg blue, but with lavendar for the trim. I added a bit of purple into the front to keep the design complete. Don't like the look of things that are just patched on without a reason. Needs to have a purpose. I'm amazed at how different the blue looks with the lavendar and the green.

This is demo piece that was done at the library, to show them how to use silk and cement most anything under those hankies. It is amazing what you can make stick. Bit of ribbon, rafia, synthetic yarn, anything!

DD is now the proud owner of another hat. Yes, it is bright!! Shocking!! Very
her. Photos don't do it justice. Neon pink, Purples in several shades and the green is because I like it! Thankfully she does
too and has worn it since it's been dry.

I like the way the silk crinkles around the edges and makes it pucker.

More silk projects to follow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Candle Making

I love candles and have a large rustic tin that I refill every time it gets low. I bought the candle 6+ years ago and have it burning frequently. It's large as I said. Holds three wicks easily.

Little stars are punched randomly across the top, so when it's lit, there are sparkles of candlelight that dance around the room.

I would be no expert at making them, but have read a few books and checked on the Internet on what size wicks to use and how many for the proper
burn ratio. Don't want to get stuck with a lot of extra wax around the outside while the inside burns down to quickly.

Somewhere in the back of my memory, I remember making them by digging a hole in wet sand and pouring layers of wax into the hole. It would set up with these lovely coloured stripes. We also did them in paper milk cartoons. Must have been at a camp. It's just not that hard!

Orange, what can I say, I love it! The scent by no means matches the colour. Sleigh Ride would be the smell of choice for the last few years. Minty, woodsy, balsam kind of whiff. Hard to describe, but I still like it a lot after all this time. I picked it up from a girl I met many years ago when I was doing bath fizzies, lip balms, lotion bars and all sorts of other body gifts. I really haven't check to see it she's still in business.

The melting pan I have is small, so I have to melt the wax in batches. It really doesn't have time to set before the next bit is ready. I've been doing it that way for a while and really haven't noticed that it makes any difference.

The hardest part is getting the wicks placed right and waiting for the wax to melt. I try not to mess with it to much, but patience is tough for me on crafting, so sometimes I give it a little poke with a long skewers.

Finally the next day, I can light it and enjoy the scent that is lovely year round.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Gifts of Love

Yesterday was my birthday. It was made up of several things that I love. Breakfast in bed. Prepared by DD, minus the chocolate that was also included. Because every meal needs dessert. See the beverage? Yes, it's Diet Coke. Keep that in mind. I don't drink coffee at all or tea on a regular basis, so Yes, this is my morning routine.

This is the gift made entirely by DD. She was quite busy the day before and that morning. Pompom, bookmark (not show), origami puzzles with lovely things written inside. Rubbers or erasers depending on your country and a spectacular card with an equal number of X's and O's for how many years old I am.

Palest blue potato pearls and aqua glass beads make up the necklace that DH bought for me. We were in a new bead shop and they had things made up for sale. I must have said I liked this one, so he went back and got it for me. I've got it good, I know!!

I love dyed fresh water pearls. Love the shape, the gloss, the irregularity. They are one of my favourite stones or jewelry types.

Here we go. DH also got me a Starbuck's gift card. Again, I don't drink coffee! But it's not for that. It's for the Frappuccino's. Especially the blended juices! Mango Passionfruit! Outstanding in the world of coffee. So that's why I got that. What a thoughtful man. I'm gushing, I know.

New book. Rumors have been good about this one. Apparenly Julia Robert's is going to be giving it to all her good friends. At least that's what the cover said! We'll see if I decide to give it all my good friends. Watch your post boxes!

Cool pen and pencil set from DS and the new felting book from Nicky Epstein. Yippie!! I love birthdays.

Four Score

Four score and seven years I started the socks. Finally, (a few weeks ago) they were completed. Here are a few highlights of the best parts.

I really like the decrease on them. Think it looks cool.

Heal is good too. Very squishy. Knit one, slip one. Makes them feel like French Terry fabric.

Did the same on the bottom as well. Squashy to walk on and hopefully it won't wear out as quickly, being a double layer.

The yarn of course is lovely. Merino and Bamboo. The shoes are still in the US that these were knit for, but I'll wear them while I'm waiting.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


I finally decided to knit a hat that would go with many of the scarves I own. I also wanted something that would cover my ears and keep the hair from parting above the them, for the stylish comb-over that I'm trying to avoid when it's windy. Which seems to happen daily in the school yard.

Into the stash I dove and fished out red, pink and orange Lambs Pride Bulky, green (ancient) Rowan and the white and yellow are Manos from the 1980's. Fade factor on those are great.

Headed over to the Garn Studio site to look through their hundreds (it seems) of free patterns. Great resource!!

It's knit on straights, but if I do another, I will do it on circulars to avoid the multi strand stitching in the back. Makes a nicer looking hat all around without the seam.

Only one wash with 3 pairs of dirty shoes and it shrank down well. The white picked up a tinge of pink and the yellow must have to, because now it looks like a pale apricot. Other than that, the result was great for me. I made it a little longer in the head before the decrease. The pattern looked a bit shorter than what I wanted.

And yes, I love pom poms. So, it needed a little something in the front and the felted flower that I did just turned out all wrong.

So there it is. A nice warm hat for all the snow we had today!


We have snow!! Can you see it?? It's the first snow of the season. Wonder if it's cause for a snow day?

It's the little things. We may get a bit more before it's over!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Just a catch up on the gift that were made recently. This is a bracelet. Sea glass, silvery pink freshwater pearls and lavender Swarovski crystals.

I really like the sterling clasps that I found in the little town of Bray on the coast of Ireland.

Another bracelet. Checkoslovakian glass beads, bugle beads, white sea glass and other small glass beads in greens and blues.

Teacher gift for DS's 4th class instructor. She's brilliant. Really love her and she's very inspiring to the children.

Rectangle beads in grapes and berries, purple freshwater pearls, iridescent seed beads and purple opaque round beads.

Red glass hearts, red glass chips, freshwater pearls and red globes that look as though there is a fire in them. Really cool. This one is for DD's 2nd class teacher. DD says she loves red! Me Too!!