Monday, October 24, 2011

Magic Mosaic

The beginning of this winters afghan.  For many years I have wanted to make a tile mosaic just like this, guess it was time, so I designed this one up and am now knitting it.  Made from fingering weight sock yarn scarps left over from various projects.  They are 3" x 3" made on size 3 needles, 3-D and stuffed with poly fill.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Amythest Stitch Markers

After dyeing 40 skeins of yarn on Wednesday I knew I was going to be down for a few days and so planned to make the necessary stitch markets in time to ship all the Meldy on Monday.  ;-)  I had fun!  I didn't want to stop once I got going and so played with some real gems!  What I now have is Amythest Stitch Markers! B & C grade with glass beads.  They are 6 sets on the left, the blue and green on the right are glass.  Each set has a silver push in lobster claw clasp.  The 4mm jump rings are gold and have been soldered shut.  There is nothing on these markers to catch in your knitting as I have to use them and only use the finest findings and beads available.  Use button on right, if you want some included in your yarn order to save on shipping, please get your order in asap as I will be shipping starting this weekend.

Here's my little Pidgewidgeon, cute isn't he?  I got the idea from the photo here below with the knitted hat.  DD made his beak for him, the colors were an accident as it was my only brown, found the Kidd Silk type of grey/black and thought it would look nice.  There's also a tan to brown with a metallic gold in the body.  His hat is Crystal Palace long strand and the teal is a fun fur cause it's COLD here.  ;-)

Had to have the photos of the real deal for you to see as well.  Funny though I had his body done before even looking for photos of him.  Cute isn't he!

Whats Fall without a few Punkies?  Mine are made from Kauni and are done on a size 9 crochet hook the smaller one is 1" by 1.5"  Since we are talking about really sweet cuties... I will leave you with my Boo, poor dear has Cutebara worms again :-( AND trachea collapse.  He and I are joined at the hip and we spend all our time together, I will be so devastated as I don't see him lasting much longer. I thought he was young but these come at any age and it's a Yorkie (and other small dog) thing so I should be glad of the time I've had.  So long as his quality of life is good enough to get more Cutebara from sticking his nose into the rabbit warrens then I will be happy.  When he gets to the point of no longer being able to chase the bunnies, well, dying from suffocation isn't an option.  I had a lung collapse, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.  All this to say, please pray for my Boo if you think of us.
Can you see Squiddy in there? I could and did... Now can you see Squiddy?  Figured a girl should have a bit of pink in there too.  My gift is my presence as a play mate for a few hours.  As long as the Gillyweed lasts.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Stitch Markers

Got to thinking ya'll might like to see the markers I made for My Bleeding Heart KAL.  I was only able to make freebies for the first 15 people who bought yarn and beads from me for the KAL as I ran out of supplies.  Just now when I was repurchasing them I got to wondering if you would like to get some too.  Course I can't go on with more freebies but if you'd like a set of 1 lobster claw heart and 2 markers which will fit size 4 needle (and under) I'd love to make them for you.  This is enough to mark one side of the shawl... if you knit the 2nd half at the same time you will need an additional set.  
     The red hearts are puffy and overall each are 1" long.   Pretty little things aren't they?
Some are made from real silver or real gold lobster claws! 

     One set of 3 (1 lobster and 2 key ring or soldered shut closed loop) is $5.00 shipped in the US.  If you have purchased from me already you can save on the shipping by sending only $3.00 for the markers.  Just go to paypal and send the funds to put into the comments STITCH MARKERS  1 set or 2 etc. and pay the appropriate amount.

     You are all saying but who are the fifteen right?  The lucky winners who will be recieving the free stitch marker sets are: 
  1. Kay N 
  2. Betsy W 
  3. Teresa M 
  4. Kat G
  5. Susan H
  6. Luba D
  7. Robyn A
  8. Allyson D
  9. Geraldine G
  10. Mary Ross
  11. Ron W
  12. Darlene R
  13. Michaela B
  14. Gaye R
  15. Francis B

Dye Party

Here's grape Kool Aid and Berry Blast (or Blue Berry, can't remember) on a boucle merino non superwash. A good time was had by all.

General Instructions
RECIPE for FOUR ounces or 100 grams of fiber (one skein of 880 yards of lace or 440 fingering or 220 worsted)
One package of unsweetened Kool-Aid per ounce, 4 packages for 4 ounces - dissolve completely in
4 ounces of hot water (put the kettle on) 2 ounces of vinegar

If you want the color to be paler, use less Kool-Aid in the same amount of water. More Kool-Aid will give you a deeper color or it just wont set so be careful not to add too much.
You can do this on the stove or in the nuker your choice. At times I find I get the color darker with the stove top and it has lovely high and low lights.
Your fiber has soaked over night, now make the above recipe of dye and wring out your skein.
Place the fiber on a long sheet of plastic wrap to protect your counter or you can just use a bowl for either method. Hand painted skeins are better on the wrap. Solid works great in a bowl.
Pour dye over fiber be sure that you cover as much of the fiber as possible. Smush the dye into the fiber taking care to get under the yarn wrapped sections on the skein.
Wrap the fiber up in the plastic wrap, place in a bowl and nuke. If you used a bowl to dye on instead of the wrap then just place it into the Nuker - 2 mins, flip nuke 1 min or till heated through. Be very careful as this is where it can felt. The contents will be very, very hot!!! I find thick rubber gloves work great. Be careful of any escaping steam. If you decide to purchase chemical dyes later we will have to do another party as that’s a whole other ball of wax.

Mix dye, add dye and vinegar to pot of water, just enough to cover fiber-add fiber AFTER putting the dye and vinegar into the pot… water should be same temperature as the soak water was so you don’t shock the fiber into felting. Be sure that the fiber is completely submerged in the dye pot. If necessary, add more water so your fiber is completely covered and ensure even dyeing. Adding more water will not affect the final result so long as you get it mixed well. Make sure that the dye can touch under the ties on the skein.

Simmer (do not boil!) for about 45 minutes or until all the color is gone from the water into the fiber. Turn the fiber ONCE in the pot so it absorbs the color more evenly. When the color in the pot disappears, the bath becomes a clear colorless liquid or a white, milky liquid - depending on the flavor of Kool-Aid you used, turn off the burner.
RINSE both methods
Check to see if it’s running clear. If what is draining out isn’t clear you can wait till it cools a bit or nuke some vinegar to help set it again… repeat heating up… then too at times the color will stick more over the cooling time.
WHEN SET AND TOTALLY COOLED DOWN… not a minute before or you might felt….
Rinse fiber thoroughly in water the same temperature as the dye bath. At this point you may want to wash the fiber with hair shampoo (the stronger the more likely it will leach the colors) or Soak or another brand of fiber care, rinse then use conditioner if you like. I use Green Suave (Kiwi or melon) on my finished items.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Overdue Update MS 20 & 24 Galadriels Mirror

Well Kiddies have you missed me!  I sure have missed myself.  ;-)  Been dyeing and designing like a mad woman and I do mean MAD as in NUTS not angry!  LOL It's been a whirlwind this last month so I'm just going to give you a quick run down of all the goodies I saved for you, sorry it's so long overdue and lengthy!  Here we have the very first eggs out of our new chickens!  Can you tell one of them is a Bantee!  Cool eh!  We love having fresh eggs all the time.  Soon they will be full producers.  I believe we will have to get a few chicks next season though as there are 5 of us now and there are only 6 possible layers out there.  We had 10 originally,,, wacked the head off of the meat chicken, man was she ever tasty!  So need to get a dozen next time.  Fresh meat,,, talk about fresh!  HAVE to sharpen the ax though, you ever tried to chop the head off a .......
     HOLY CROAK!  I have to stop right this minute and tell you what I'm listening to through the window to the front yard!  You ready?  OHHHH ME! It's a frog!  He so can't ribbet.... it's more like a croak or a flarp as DS Pixie #1 says... ahyup that's the noise alright, silly ole toady. 
........ chicken with a DULL! SUPER DULL! and oh so tiny meat cleaver? DUMB BLOND!  Next time DH takes the ax to work!...since he works for a grinding shop my scissors have never been so useful!  Back to the chicks... so we now have 9, ones a croakadoodledoo... yup another croaker, he's trying - perhaps it comes out better with age?  Time will out.  Then we have three tiny chickens, one is more like a bird then a chicken, two are a bit larger but decidedly bantam sized.  Last up we have the 6 possible layers who should make larger eggs... when they get up to it. Introducing:
                   Buff Orphington

 Delaware rooster and hen
 Emma and the girls

  2 mutts check out that flap on the left!

 Rhode Island Red

Silver Laced Wyandotte on the right.....

Hopefully next year we can get a half dozen Araucana which will lay the blue/green eggs for us.

 A recent sunset by DH.  Lovely isn't it?

This last one is Top Hat AKA Phillis as in Diller.  DH calls her that the rest of us just call her Top Hat as in Fred Astaire tux and tails, ain't she grand! 
Here's my Galadriel's Mirror and what with this update being so long overdue the next photo you get will be of it OffTN and ON ME! :-)  Yup, just have a wee bit left of the last chart!  Can't wait but of course I couldn't wait!!!! and so have c/o yet another as I got the Green Folio in of the newly reprinted Neiblings!  Yes, it's in German and no that doesn't seem to be stopping me.  I used a translator and got gobbeldy gook but all I really needed was the c/o number and the symbol chart which someone was kind enough to provide in English.  Once I gave up on the idea of making Fruhling flat in a shawl ... and had my hand held by a kind soul on Ravelry, I did ok.  I'm now making it in WW in my undyed better then Malabrigo,,, cause it's a 2 ply lovely merino!  NUM After it's b/o I will be hand painting each flower a different deep bright color,,, fuchsia, sunshine yellow, violet, brilliant various blues, chartreuse, you get the picture... and each leaf will be a different color of green.  YUP so colorful as winters are very hard on my ailments and I suffer from bouts of depression.  You should see our house, every rooms a different color of the rainbow!  I surround myself with bright cheery things.  Last year we accidentally shrunk my lapaghan, seeing as it was my first I figure it's time for a new one.
 Loving it!   Here's a wee shot of our new Grandbaby and a blog post wouldn't be complete with out my Lil!

 Such a sweet lovey kitty! Who adores my knitting!

MS 20

 .... and MS 24 which I put away as I don't really have a lot of KAL time from other designers due to the My Bleeding Heart which I'm designing.  Above on the right we have a present for my beloved Pixie,,, our middle child... he doesn't have a pair of my socks that fit which are Nice Not Rice.  He's very particular with itchies and so he's getting this lovely skein of a 50/50 silk merino which is so Chris from VT.  See that Chris?  Is this not so you!
This is DD's Spanish Armada from MMario Knits off of Yahoo Groups.  She really got into this knit and had it finished in short order.  Of course she loves it!

The sunflowers were a gift from Mom and Kev last time they went shopping.  The swatch on the right is The Queen Susan shawl which is knit in,,, are you sitting down?  Are you ready for this?  Super fine, finer then cobweb THREAD!!!!  The swatch went to my good friend who loved it so much when she saw it... since I had all the necessary info out of it already... she took it to Bakersfield to be laminated as a bookmark!  She's adorable and we all love her very much.
Lastly I will leave you with my BABIES!  I love them and used to sing to them every time I changed their water.  I now have 4 jugs (ones a mason jar) now as I have been holding all of these goodies back till after the Yarn Fairy KAL got going.  Today I posted the first clue and yesterday I put up another new page for the next one which is FREE!  Check out the pages above My Bleeding Heart will start on 11-5-11 and as soon as I'm done here I will be hitting the dye pots for Meldy Deep, I can't wait!!!!  I might just have to use my own hand dyed even though I have long wanted to design this shawl specifically for my Kauni lace weight yarn that I bought a coons age ago.  Hoping you are well and knitting like a fiend!