Monthly Archives: April 2011

Some Custom Spinning

I finished up a fairly large custom spinning order this week, and it was reskeined and shipped off to it’s new home today! The order ended up being about 19 ounces of fiber!

The first batch started off as 3 braids of FLUFF Fibers Rambouillet, but then after the first two skeins were done the customer decided that she wanted a 4th braid spun up as well!

There ended up being 1050 yards of dk-light worsted weight. 

These skeins are unbelievably squishy! 

The 5th skein was also dyed by FLUFF Fibers:

FLUFF Silky Cashmerino (50% Merino/25% Cashmere/25%Silk)

It ended up being quite the pile of handspun yarn!

Like the new tags? My friend Megan, who is a graphic designer, designed the logo for me! 

Want a sneak peek of something I’m working on for the shop?

I ordered some resin cabochons from several etsy shops and some ring bases and earring bases. I’m still waiting on the earring posts to arrive, but I made a couple of rings today!

Cute, eh?

I’ll be putting some up in the shop after I make a bunch!


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Auction Sweaters

Phew. I really went right down to the wire on these baby knits for the auction for Mighty Oaks. But they’re done, and I think they were well worth the extra effort that went into them (more on that later…).

A couple of months ago when I decided I was going to knit baby sweaters for the auction I started looking around at patterns and trying to decide what yarn to use. I happen to pop onto the Wool Candy etsy site and find this adorable kit for sale:

And it turned into this:

Pattern: Saltwater Taffy Baby Sweater by Adrienne Hicks

Yarn: Wool Candy Fondant DK

Modifications: None, followed the pattern exactly as written.

The Wool Candy yarn was a dream to knit with. It’s gorgeously soft, has great stitch definition and makes a wonderfully cushy fabric. The pattern was well written and easy to follow.

Buttons are from Tessa Ann. I ordered them on a whim and they just arrived today and are perfect!

I decided to make a matching headband to accompany the sweater. For the headband part, I just knit in garter stitch for approximately 13 inches. The flower was knit from this pattern and sewn on.

The boy sweater for the auction didn’t go quite as smoothly as the Saltwater Taffy Sweater. I had decided on a pattern quite some time ago and ordered adorable buttons. After purchasing the pattern and knitting the entire body and an inch or two of the first sleeve I realized the sweater was HUGE despite my gauge matching the pattern’s gauge. After consulting a sizing chart, I discovered that instead of a 12-18 month size, it was more like a 3T size. Except that I had been following the length directions for the 12-18 month size, so the sweater was very wide and very short. UGH. Disaster. In a fit of annoyance, I ripped out the entire thing and searched for a new pattern. I’m happy to report that the second attempt went much better than the first attempt!

Pattern: Andalusia by Teresa Cole

Yarn: Wool Candy Fondant DK

Modifications: My gauge was a little off since the pattern calls for a true worsted weight yarn, so I followed the directions for the 12 month size in order to get a 9-12 month size. Two skeins of Fondant DK were just enough for a sweater and matching hat. I used every last yard of the yarn, though I suppose the hat could have done without the pom pom if necessary!

Dinosaur Buttons are from Lil’ Red Button Boutique , aren’t they adorable?!

I didn’t use a pattern for the hat, I just used the stitch counts from a couple of toddler hat patterns I had and knit a basic ribbed brim hat. I made the pom pom with the yarn that was leftover after binding off the hat.

The Andalusia pattern is definitely one I’ll be using again in the future. It was a straight-forward, well-written pattern that showcases hand-dyed yarn beautifully. The texture of the stitch patterns keeps the knitting interesting and looks fabulous. 

I wound up some handspun today to start a new project for myself! I think I’m going to knit some slippers with it, since my last pair of handknit slippers have several holes worn in them! I’ll be using this skein of handspun:

La-Di-Dum dyed by Two if by Hand as part of the Spring Spin-A-Long shipment.

Well, I think that’s it for now! I’m off to knit!

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Let the Demolition Begin!

We had perfect weather on Saturday for ripping out the deck! I couldn’t find a good “before picture”…but here’s one that I found on my phone:

Off to the left there was a big platform that was once used for a hot tub:

With the help of our awesome neighbors and a friend of mine, we were able to get the entire deck removed on Saturday!

The plan is to knock down the fence and push it out to the far edge of our house and build some storage for our kayaks. The spot where the deck was will be turned into a stone patio. My father-in-law will be coming at the beginning of June to lay the stone! We still have quite a bit of work to do in order to get it ready, but tearing the deck out was probably the biggest job.

We moved all the deck boards out to the driveway and put an ad on craigslist. Within a couple of hours of posting, almost the entire pile was gone!

We also started taking down a large bush/tree on Saturday and took two truck loads of branches to the composting facility up the road. Again, I forgot to get a “before” picture but I have a picture of the bush after we took the two truckloads of branches away:

See all that stuff piled up? We tackled that today. There was years and years of crap piled up back there. Like this:

And all of this:

Again, I put an ad on craigslist and within a couple of hours it’s pretty much all gone!

We still have some work to do on that side of the fence, but it’s looking a great deal better already!

While we were clearing out this area (and when I say “we”, I really mean Seth did most of the work and I helped move stuff to the front of the house), a certain grey poodle was very interested in what we were doing:

Do you see Sailor’s nose sticking through the fence? 


Seth, Sailor and some beer bottles we found under the deck.

I have absolutely no knitting or spinning to show, but should have something to show either tomorrow or Wednesday!

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Solstice Cardigan

My Solstice Cardigan is FINISHED! Really finished, with pockets and everything! I’ll fully admit that I wore it a couple of times sans pockets because I’m so thrilled with the sweater!

Pattern: Solstice Cardigan by Cecily Glowick MacDonald

Yarn: Quince & Co. Osprey in colorway Twig

Modifications: When I blocked my gauge swatch, it grew about 1-1.5 sts over 4 inches. I was really pleased with the fabric on the size 10.5 needles, so instead of going down a needle size, I followed the directions for the 33.5″ to get finished measurements (after blocking) of the 36.75″. My sleeves are approximately an inch shorter than called for in the pattern and I blocked the body (from the underarm to hem) about an inch and a half longer than called for. I knit for the correct number of inches knowing that I could gain some length in the blocking process.

There are so many things I love about this pattern. It was a relatively quick knit due to the use of aran weight yarn and size 10.5 needles, but it was far from boring. I loved that it was knit from the top down in one piece including the front bands. So that when you bind-off the body, you’re actually done with the body. The details in this sweater are easy to execute, but make a seemingly simple top down cardigan interesting to knit. I love the texture of the twisted stockinette stitch on the body of the sweater (you can really see the difference in this photo between the body and the sleeve stitches), though it did slow down my knitting quite a bit. The faux cable is a fun touch that doesn’t require the use of a cable needle, and is very easy to knit. And finally, I really loved the use of ribbing at the waist instead of traditional waist shaping. The pattern was well written and easy to follow, which is always nice!

Now, let’s talk about the yarn! This was my first time knitting with anything from Quince & Co. (a Maine based company that offers wool that is sourced and spun here in the US), and it certainly won’t be the last. I used Osprey, which is a 3-ply aran weight yarn that is 100% wool. It’s quite soft but feels like it will resist pilling fairly well. The stitch definition is fantastic and despite being a heavier weight yarn, it feels very airy. Quince & Co. offers a nice range of colors, and I will definitely be purchasing more of this in the future….most likely for this in the not so distant future! I already have some Quince Lark (a worsted weight yarn) to knit this, which will probably be the next sweater to hit the needles.

I know I’m going to get a TON of wear out of this sweater. It’s the perfect style for throwing over a t-shirt while hanging around the house, or wearing over something a little nicer around town.

Now I need to concentrate on finishing up the baby sweaters for the auction next weekend. I’m hoping to finish the second sweater by tomorrow night or Saturday so I have time to knit matching hats! Because, really, doesn’t every baby in a handknit sweater need a matching hat? Yes. I think so.

We’ll also be working on ripping out our deck this weekend, so stay tuned for pictures of the demolition!


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Happy Birthday Kaitlin!

Just a quick post to wish my sister a Happy Birthday and show you all what I made for her birthday.

She recently bought and moved into her first house, so I thought I’d make her something fun she could use for the house. When I was at the Stitchin’ Post, I saw some fabric that was just begging to be sewn up for my sister. I decided on placemats, and had plenty leftover to make some fun coasters as well.

To make the coasters more flat, I quilted squares/rectangles all the way into the middle. It created a sturdy and flat fabric that will be great for holding drinks. For those interested, the fabric is a cotton/linen blend by Encino Fabrics.

Well, that’s it for now….my stomach is telling me it’s time to make some dinner! I’ll be back tomorrow or Friday with pictures of my finished Solstice Cardigan!

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Free Shipping for the Shop Update!

I believe I promised you all a proper preview for the small shop update tomorrow. Also, in honor of my sister’s birthday, I’ll be offering free shipping to all locations with coupon code “BIRTHDAY” until midnight pacific time tomorrow.

There will be 3 bags and 2 skeins of handspun available during the update tomorrow.

Bag #1:

This is the largest of the bags that will be going up tomorrow. It measures 10 inches wide across the bottom, is 11 inches high and 3 inches deep. The top measures 12 inches across at the zipper for easy access to your projects. I was able to fit 4 skeins of yarn in the bag with no problem. It will be a great bag for a larger, multi-skein project.

Back of the same bag


Bag #2:

This bag measures 8 inches across, 10 inches tall, and 3 inches wide. It is approximately 10 inches across at the zipper.



Bag #3:

The pink patchwork bag looks the same on the front and the back and measures approximately 8 inches across the bottom, 10 inches tall, and 3 inches deep. It is 10 inches across at the zipper.


And now for the yarn…

265 yards of DK weight in colorway Cabin. This skein is 100% Falkland Wool. 

340 yards of sport-weight Merino/Silk (50/50) yarn. 

So….if you’re interested in any of these, the shop update is tomorrow at 11am Pacific Time! Hope to see you there!

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Shop Update Previews

I’ll be doing a small update in the etsy shop on Wednesday, April 20th at 11am Pacific Time. I have 3 quilted project bags that are almost complete. Wanna see?

I finally got up the nerve to try out some of the fun embroidery settings on my sewing machine that I got for Christmas. I thought the vines with leaves was appropriate to put with the birds. And, I don’t have any idea what I was so nervous about! It was super, duper easy and not nearly as time consuming as I thought. Fun, eh?

Apparently, I’m on a bird kick right now!

And now, for a different kind of WIP….our yard:

I wish I had thought to take a picture before we started hacking at the shrubs and trees, so you could see just how much better it actually looks! The Japanese maple on the left had branches that were hanging all the way down to the ground and out into the driveway. Believe it, or not, but the Holly Bush/Tree was at least 3 feet taller and substantially wider. The front yard still needs quite a bit of work, but it’s certainly looking much better. Now, if only we could wave a magic wand and get rid of the ugly metal roof!

Edited: I found a picture from the inspection that shows the front of the house:

I think those are all the updates for now! I’ll be sure to post pictures of the bags once they’re finished (either Monday or early Tuesday).

Hope you all had a lovely weekend!


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