Archive for the ‘Knitting Projects’ Category

I thought it was time to post an update to “Spinning the Spotted Fleece”.

The sweater now has a name. It will be called Jacob. I will probably do a pattern for it after I’ve knit it in another colour pattern for variety.

I’ve had quite a few orders for handspun yarns so the knitting is coming along rather slowly. I’m at the neck shaping. We tried it on and it’s within an inch of exact measurements which makes me very happy. That can definitely be worked out with washing and blocking.

I am working really hard to get some of my special hand knits listed here on the web site and in the Etsy store.

Today I got 2 more really special Angora garments listed that would be perfect for baby gifts. One for a baby boy and one for a baby girl.

These are both one of a kind garments. There is no pattern available yet and I have not knit them again in any other form. Each was designed specifically for that particular special garment. They are both luxury items  which would be perfect heirloom gift.

Ok, enough talk, lets see the pictures!

Little Boy Blue

Whisper Angora and Silk Baby Shrug

It ended up taking me far too long but I managed to get 2 new luxury items posted for sale here, on Etsy and in all of my Social Media pages as well as new projects posted in Craftsy and Ravelry.

Handknit Lace Wrap Bison and Cashmere

Peru Baby Alpaca – Baby Surprise Jacket in Newborn size

Enough talk, here are the images 🙂

Sneak Peek Angora baby sweater coming next week for sale here in the shop and on Etsy.

Angora Rabbit Fiber: Spun, Dyed, and knit by hand

Now Available to order

One of a kind Angora rabbit baby sweater handknit in the softest and finest handspun and hand dyed angora yarn. This is definitely next to the skin soft! An original design that I created just for this cardigan so it is truely a One of a Kind (OAK) garment. The front band features 5 handmade buttons. A very special little sweater that would make a wonderful heirloom quality gift.

SIZE: The sweater will fit a baby or toddler of approximately 6-12 months. It measures 21 inches around and 11 inches in length. weighs 144 grams or 5.1 ounces

order here

Choosing a fleece with contrasting colours. This one has just black and white in what seems to be equal parts – that’s very dark brown and cream, of course

The testing and planning for this project may just be the most fun part. I have now washed, carded or combed, spun and knit swatches (or small projects) from 4 of my stashed fleeces. I’ve been working with the multi coloured fleeces this time because I wanted some colour texture in my sweater. This one is a Jacob from Great Britain. It’s for Earl. I considered my choices for working with the stark contrast of the colours in this fleece. I could do a relatively homogeneous blending for a smooth mottled look, I could keep the colour separate and ply a white with a black for a ragg look, or I could try to keep the colours separate and use them to form some kind of colour pattern. I decided on the later and choose a random colour pattern as I felt it would be closest to the true nature of the fleece as it appeared on the sheep’s back. There are lots of grey fleeces out there, why make this one look like them?  In order to keep the colours separate they had to be plyed by the Navajo method. This produces a 3 ply yarn. I made mine a worsted weight (4 Medium) about 35 yards/ ounce and about 9-10 WPI. Although I love to card or comb by hand, I do use my roving carder for larger project where I really want to get on with the task of knitting it so that is how I’ve been preparing this one for spinning. I knew I had to be careful with any stark white areas as they would pop out visually so most of the white has some degree of black mixed in. Each time I load the carder it has some of each colour. It is in the carding, to a degree, but more so in the separating and arranging of the bats for spinning that the “painting” of the colour pattern takes place. I’ve been knitting each ball as it comes from the spinning wheel so that I have a feel for how I want the next colour pattern to work out. Updates Here

I’m still working on the wool fleeces. I brought 4 of them in and only one was un-usable. It just has so much chaff embedded in the fleece that I find I don’t have the patience or desire to work with this one at all.

I’m trying to decide which of the other 3 fleeces I want to use to make the man’s sweater that I have in mind. I need gauge swatches for the measurements but I also need them to see how each of the yarns will perform for me. I know what I want in terms of softness, drape, body, colour and attitude. For my gauge swatch I decided to make a new hat rather than a little knitted square. Here is pattern.

Very easy, very quick (just a few hours to make), and very warm.

Order the handspun wool yarn from us here. “Design it yourself” custom handspun yarn. Or contact me with a specific request if you don’t see your yarn listed.

Lots more wool yarns coming soon. I am working on Rare Sheep Breeds and Breed Specific Wool Yarns now and hope to have them available to order soon (Feb – March 2013)

Swatch Cap

Size Adult Medium

Gauge 4.5 stitches per inch, 5.5 rows per inch

Needle Size and Description: 5mm needle 16 inch circular and a set of same in double points

Materials: about 100 yards of Worsted weight handspun wool  (approx 3  ounces)

Finished Measurements: 20 inches around. 8 inches high

Brim:

Cast on 80 sts. Place marker, join. (you know the routine, be carefull not to twist) Beginning with a purl row, work in garter stitch for 10 rows 5-6 ridges. Increase 8 stitches, evenly spaced, over last row. (88 sts.)

Body:

Work in rounds with stocking stitch (knitting every row) until you have 6″ (or desired length)

Crown: (about 2 inches)

Round 1: *Work 6, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [77 sts remain]

Round 2: Work even

Round 3: *Work 5, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [66 sts remain]

Round 4: Work even

Round 5: *Work 4, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [55 sts remain]

Round 6: Work even

Round 7: *Work 3, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [44 sts remain]

Round 8: *Work 2, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [33 sts remain]

Round 9: *Work 1, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [22 sts remain]

Round 10: *K2tog. Repeat from * around. [11 sts remain] Finishing:

Break yarn leaving a generous tail. Draw tail through remaining stitches on the needle. Pull gently to close hole. Weave in tails.

Don’t laugh, there were no other heads around and I wanted to show it to you on someone! More photos below :0

Unlike you, I am not very fond of knitting a gauge swatch so  …  after I spun up some of the fleece I got out yesterday … I decided that I would knit a hat to determine my gauge. I really, quite like it. Great fit and not likely to give me “flat head” and definitely very warm. The textured look from the slubs in the handspun give it a wonderful personality. The simple designs helps to showcase the “hand spun-ness” of the yarn.

Order the handspun wool yarn from us here. “Design it yourself” custom handspun yarn. Or contact me with a specific request if you don’t see your yarn listed.

Lots more wool yarns coming soon. I am working on Rare Sheep Breeds and Breed Specific Wool Yarns now and hope to have them available to order soon (Feb – March 2013)

Quicky Rolled Brim Hat

Size AdultMedium

Gauge 4.5 stitches per inch, 5.5 rows per inch

Needle Size and Description: 5mm needle 16 inch circular and a set of same in double points

Materials: about 125 yards of Worsted weight handspun wool  (approx 3  ounces) Try the Handspun Eastport Alpaca. (More wool yarns coming soon)

Finished Measurements: 21 inches around. 9.5 inches high with brim rolled up. For a hat that fits (no slouch) make body 1″ shorter for total length of 8.5″

Brim:

Cast on 94 sts. Place marker, join. (you know the routine, be carefull not to twist) knit around for 4-6 rows for the st st rolled brim. work 4 rows of K1, P1 ribbing for a better fit.

Body:

Work in rounds with stocking stitch (knitting every row) until you have 7″ (or desired length) from the bottom with the brim rolled up just as you would be wearing it. **For a hat that fits, at the top, with no slouch at all just do 6 ” here.

Crown: (about 2.5 inches)

On the next round (work 13 sts, k2tog) 2 times. Then (work 14 sts, k2tog) 4 times. [88 sts] Work one round even. Round 1: *Work 6, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [77 sts remain] Round 2: Work even Round 3: *Work 5, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [66 sts remain] Round 4: Work even Round 5: *Work 4, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [55 sts remain] Round 6: Work even Round 7: *Work 3, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [44 sts remain] Round 8: Work even Round 9: *Work 2, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [33 sts remain] Round 10: Work even Round 11: *Work 1, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [22 sts remain] Round 12: Work even Round 13: *K2tog. Repeat from * around. [11 sts remain] Finishing:

Break yarn leaving a generous tail. Draw tail through remaining stitches on the needle. Pull gently to close hole. Weave in tails.

I don’t know about you but I am almost as opposed to finishing as I am in love with knitting. It took a lot of self-control but I managed to put a face on “Hello Kitty” today for my sweetheart Alice. This is her dream hat for this year and she really appreciates the stuff I make her. What an amazing girl she is.

I used Beadwhore Knitting’s pattern and it was very helpful. I just adjusted the stitches to my gauge and cast on. I used coins to help me visualize the best placement for the face and outline stitched around them to show me where to go with my stitches. It is *hard* to embroider on knitting! Let me tell you.

Today I got out a couple of beautiful fleeces that I had stored over the garage for a few years. They came from a huge sheep ranch in Australia that specialized in raising coloured sheep especially for the hand spinning market. I was fortunate enough to visit for 2 weeks at sheering time, working in the shed and getting my pick of that year’s sheering. It was an oportunity of a lifetime and I will never forget it. Getting out the fleece today made me so happy.

They are still perfect! I attribute this to the storage containers we used. They are a very strong cardboard with metal bottom and very tight fitting metal tops with clamps to ensure an airtight fit. Because of the cardboard the wool was able to “breathe” and any felting that may have resulted from condensation if they had been kept in plastic was avoided. Of course, the insects and rodents were not able to penetrate the very thick cardboard nor were they able to find a way in through the airtight lid. I was very happy to see that they had weathered the years so well.

Washing The Fleece

I decided to use my washing machine for a tub because it is a top loader.  It’s the largest wash tub I have and it’s easy to fill with water and empty again PLUS it has the added benefit of being able to spin much of the water out of my fleece between the wash and rinse. WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T LET THE MACHINE AGITATE. I put the fleece into 2 mesh bags that I have just for this purpose (like the kind you wash lingerie in, only bigger). I filled the machine with very hot water and a whole capful of liquid Tide and when the soap had disolved i gently placed my 2 bags of fleece on top of the water and allowed them to sink into the hot water untouched. *This is important. It would be the agitation of the fiber while wet either by turning on the machine or by swishing it around with your hands that would cause felting and matting. I walked away, machine turned off, and came back about an hour later. Rinse: I very gently ensured that the load was as even a possible and set the machine on spin only. This does not hurt  or felt the wool and you can get most of the water out. Once the spin cycle was finished I lifted the bags out and filled the washer with warm water this time. It should be a close, in temperature, to the water you washed them in. It would have cooled a bit in the hour or so of soaking. *Also Very Important. A sudden change in temperature will also felt your wool immediatley. When the tub is full you can set the bags in again, no agitation again but perhaps a very little swishing or dunking *very gently. Spin again and if desired repeat the rinse. I am going to wash mine again after it is spun into yarn and only rinsed it once.

I put down an old sheet and spread out the wool. I love to look at it and play with it to see if it’s dry. It may take a couple of days and it will seem like years. I could have planned ahead but I just don’t think of it until I really want it!

 

Just finished and wanted to show you another version of the watch cap pattern that I originally wrote about here (includes the free pattern).

This one is knit with Austerman “Peru” Alpaca yarn (now discontinued, I’m afraid). It’s a lovely soft “sport” weight Alpaca. This shows that although a fingering or sock yarn is recommended a sport weight yarn will work just as well. I used the same needle size (2.5 mm) and the same # of stitches. This one is for Aidan. Hope you like it kiddo? Earl (DH) is jealous. He thought it was for him so I’ll get to work on another one. Since I can’t make the same hat twice I’ll make his out of black (it must be black) sock yarn. I’ll keep you posted but I can’t start it until I finish

Alice’s “Hello Kitty” hat, pattern by Beadwhore Knitting, THANKS The 2nd of the 2 Cosy Cashmere Cowls (almost done) The orders for Handspun yarns –Buy ’em here – that are starting to come in as fast as I can fill them. A good thing for sure 🙂 hats for Atherton and Gilbert. I’ve decided to try out the Aviatrix by Justine Turner. The above mentioned not being UFO’s, of course, but works in progress!