Monday, March 31, 2014

Busy Week

Do you ever have one of those weeks that just has a lot of added stuff?  Maybe it's cause I'm in a band, I don't know, but about once a month I have a week that seems to have extras like doctors appointments, kid home sick, concert, field trip, etc, all crammed together.  Last week was the week.

Now, I can breathe for a moment, but lots lined up over the next couple days too, knitting wise!  I still have to show all the little clovers I made for St Patrick's Day, and another pair of clogs, and an unfinished little chick and bunny, but other than that I've been slogging away at a pair of gloves....and spending way too much time on Facebook after finding a new group called "Vintage Whitby".  Whitby is where I grew up, and this group is for nostalgia purposes only.  Memory lane.  Very interesting, since some of the members are quite a bit older than me!  Hopefully, now that the group isn't brand new, it will slow down a bit.

So, check back in a few days after I get the pictures off the camera and finish the gloves LOL!

Thursday, March 20, 2014


My dad had been asking for  a knit headband for awhile.  After one more request, I decided it was probably time.  I have a lot of older knitting booklets, especially from Patons (and all their various forms).  I sent him a picture, and he approved it.

Often vintage patterns present unique challenges.  The yarns are rarely still available.  Thanks to Ravelry, it's often possible to at least find some info about them.  Sometimes, basic info isn't in the pattern, or it's outdated.  For this pattern, the needle size was given in the old Canadian or British way.  The yarn wasn't available, and the gauge was given for stockinette stitch, when the item was knit in garter stitch (and I assume, knit a little dense for warmth).  And there wasn't much of a size given.

I found a thick yarn and just got started.  I figured I could adjust as I went, or just re-do if it didn't work out.  It did though!  One strange thing.  The yarn, and old "craft" yarn, felt soft in the skein, but once knitted in garter stitch, it seemed to lose that softness!  I did a BAD job of grafting the start and finish, but I didn't expect him to wear it OVER his hair!  LOL.

I didn't weigh it before giving it to him, but when I got home, I weighed what was left, and basic math says 19gr was used up.  Hard to believe, but maths don't lie, do they?  :)

Yarn In: 1354gr
Yarn Out:  19gr + 790gr = 809gr
Balance: 545gr more brought IN than out

Cost: $53.75/79 days = $0.68/day

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lost My Heart!

I got started on these little hearts a bit too late, but they are cute all year long.
Red is REALLY hard to photograph.  I think that red one is the very first one I made, a different pattern than the others.  I also tried one that uses a magic loop to start, and I didn't like it much.  I did change this pattern slightly.  When doing the single crochets around the outside of the heart, at the tops of the humps, do 2sc in each of the two top most stitches, rather than three in one stitch.  Seems to lay smoother.  I think the very top right heart was made by Lucy.  She wanted to try this, but like whenever she tries anything new, she was really resistant to help and this was a smidge above her crocheting ability.  But once she calmed down and realized I do know a thing or two, she did a great job.

Yarn In: 1354gr
Yarn Out:  28gr + 762gr = 790gr

Balance:  564gr more brought IN than out
Cost: $53.75/77 days = $0.70/day

Monday, March 17, 2014

Heart Felt

I had hoped to reach 200 likes on my facebook page by New Years, just as a nice little milestone.  I didn't quite reach it, but later in January I did, and I held a little contest for either felted clogs or sewn sweater mittens.  Denny, from Sew What? was the lucky winner and opted for the felted clogs. 

Another size 10, pre-felted, compared to my 8.5 felted clogs!

She loves earthy colours, and bright colours, but no pink.  The inner sole is the bright green, and the outer sole is brown.  Hope they're keeping her warm out in Calgary!

Yarn In:  1354gr
Yarn Out:  207gr + 555gr = 762gr
Balance:  592gr more brought IN than out
Cost:  $53.75/76 days = $0.71/day

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Same Old Story

So, I've had three mitten posts in a row.  Time for something else?  At least until I get finished the gloves I'm working on :)

I got asked a little while ago to donate a raffle prize to a newborn photography workshop.  Of course I will!  I first toyed with the idea of knitting something new, but with the thumb incident, and trying to get the Owl Mitts finished, I opted to get something out of my bin.  I don't have any luck selling ready-made items anyway.  I selected this pixie hat, made from re-purposed yarn.  I wrote about it back in March 2013. I never did make myself a hat or cowl! 
I did decide to make some baby legwarmers to go with it.  I was hoping to do a layering blanket too, in a complementary yarn, but I've changed my mind.

This whole thing hasn't gone smooth though.  I needed to include business cards.  I knew I was getting low, and could only find 10, and needed 20.  I have new designs to get printed up, but hadn't gotten to it yet.  I bought some business card sheets and figured out how to do it, though they didn't line up exactly right, and the colour is a bit dull.  I'm glad I had Hugh help me alter one of the cards a couple months ago so I didn't have to print on both sides.  Though the text is a little small now.  Then, I wanted something to go with the prize, and made up something to print on 4x6 photo paper, since I have a ton of that.  Not perfect either, but hey, I'm a knitter, not a graphic designer :)

Then, packaging time.  Got it all in the Foodsaver bag, vacuumed the air out, and realized the flower pin was right where the stamps need to go, and was really lumpy.  I knew the postal clerk would not like that.  So I snipped the corners and let the air out, then realized I should move it around.  Cut it open, resealed without sucking out all the air.  Finally got to the post office (what a day!) and the clerk could not fit it through the "letter slot" so she said it had to go parcel post, for $12!!  Are you kidding me?!

I took it home, and since I was going through the city where the event was going on, but the organizer lives in a totally different area, I emailed her and asked if she had someone local helping out I could drop it off with.  She said no, but suggested just leaving it at the hotel where it's happening.  I said I would on my way back down, which was going to be  today.

Except that a major snowstorm suddenly brewed up and I decided to leave late last night and didn't want to stop at a hotel with three kids and a dog at 10pm.

So, I'm back to mailing it.  I took off the broach and added some crocheted flowers.  Four.

Maybe the winner will contact me and I can see about getting just the brooch to them.

The hat is already accounted for last year, the leg warmers used up about 19gr.  The flowers came to 21gr  This surely doesn't make up for what I bought while up at my parents...I had to go to V&S Stedman's and they had some new bags in from Spinrite's tent sale!  Got another 5 balls of Patons Classic Merino in the bright green I used in those last mitts,and 5 balls in a mid-blue.  $33.90, 1000gr!

Yarn In:  354gr + 1000gr = 1354gr
Yarn Out:  40gr + 515gr= 555gr
Balance:  799gr more brought IN than out
Cost:  $19.85 + $33.90 = $53.75/71 days = $0.76/day

Saturday, March 08, 2014


Yes, another felted mitten post :)

My older girl stole my rainbow flip top mittens.  I'm glad she likes them, but I do rather miss them.  She said I could make her new mittens and she'd give them back.  She picked out bright green and purple.  I handknit these ones since my studio is a disaster, and I wanted some handknitting for car rides.

I felted them lightly, but then in the rinse they shrunk a bit more, so my youngest has taken them.  That's fine, because her coat is actually purple, LOL.  But, I still don't have my rainbow mitts back :(

Yarn In:  354gr
Yarn Out:  74gr + 441gr = 515gr
Balance:  161gr more used UP than brought in
Costs:  $19.85/67 days = $0.30/day

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

More Mittens's really hard coming up with snappy titles about mittens :)

My brother and his girl were going to keep an eye on our house when we went on our family cruise in January.  Cheryl is a mitten girl; she wears a pair that a relative made for my brother when he was a KID, and I've made her a pair or two that weren't quite perfect.  So I wanted to try again.  This time, she picked out the yarn!

Yes, they are giant before felting.  And yes, that's my Christmas tree; picture was taken January 6 :)

 Cheryl says they could be a little smaller, but wants me to do it cause I scared her when I told her sometimes when I felt things they go from needing a bit more to being way too small, very quickly. 
You can see the density of the fabric now.  When I first  started knitting mitts, I couldn't really fall in love with most of them.  They were fine if you kept your hands in your pockets, but on a windy day, they were cold!  No matter how much wool content the fiber had, no matter how tight you made the gauge.  But with a light felting, there is a huge improvement in the functionality of the mittens.  You just don't want to use too thick of a yarn to start with.

Yarn In:  354gr
Yarn Out:  108gr + 333gr = 441gr
Balance:  87gr more used UP than brought in
Costs:  $19.85/64 days = $0.31/day

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Owl Be Back...

Just a little play on words LOL. 
I got my stitches out on Tuesday, the doctor was rather concerned about the amount of swelling and lack of movement in my thumb (for the story, see here).  Gave me a Rx for a high tech anti-inflammatory that sports athletes use.  See?  Knitting is a sport!! 
Wants to see me in a month to see if I need physio!
Wednesday at work, it was nice to be wearing my warm felted orange mittens again outside!  Then I bumped into the metal gate in the kindergarten yard. 
Oh My Goodness!  Ooowww!

When I got the mitt off, it bled a little, but I could see a 1mm gap now :(  I knew my family doctor would be in the walk in clinic on Thursday, so I got there just before it opened and was 4th in line.  She was so nice, as usual.  She put some steri-strips on, and lots of gauze and tape.  Got to keep the strips on for 48 hours, and keep the thumb wrapped up for 7 days, to protect it from further bumps.  I think it had been pulled so tightly together that the skin was under tension and not quite healed all the way through, so it just pulled apart really easily.  The strips didn't get it right together, but will prevent further pulling apart.

I did start knitting again last weekend.  Loosely, on a mitten to felt.  I don't thing I could do anything too strenuous, and now with it all mummified again, even that mitten might be too much :(

What's with the owl word play in the title?

Back in early January, I created a mitten photo album on my Facebook page,  My sister in law saw the grey owl mittens I made a few years ago for a friend of Lucy. Her sister loves owls, and has a boy turning three who has been smothered in owls his whole life.  She knew he needed these mitts!  I swatched, and swatched with a variety of navy blue yarns, and ended up with four strands--two of different Kroy sock yarns, another navy sock yarn, and a very fine strand of a cone yarn.  I got the first mitten done, and started on the second in record time (finding the pattern and swatching took longer!).  Then I was comparing the mitts and realized I had messed up on a cable crossing on the first one.  Fixed it and moved on.  I got them both finished, but the ends needed weaving in and buttons/beads found for the eyes.  I knew I had lots of time, and set them aside to work on a prize from a contest on my Facebook page. 

 Then, I sliced my thumb open before I got the owls finished!!!  Ack!!  I waited as long as I could, but less than a week after the stitches, I was finishing them up.  The darning needle kept getting caught in the gauze!  I couldn't fit my thumb into the scissors.  Even once I took the gauze off, I couldn't pinch anything, or really even use my thumb for anything other than a oversized lobster claw.  It took forever to thread the 4 strands of yarn into the darning needle repeatedly, and weave in the ends (I'm a little picky on this job!).  Then trying to sew on little seed beads for the eyes?  I couldn't find a needle that would go through the bead, I just kept having troubles.  Don't want to bore you.
I had looked all around to find a pair of mitten clips with an owl ribbon, but everyone was sold out.  I had a set of fitted sheet clips, so I cut the elastic off two of them, and crocheted a short strap.  Got them all finished and wrapped with about an hour to spare!
These mittens look best with a hand in them, to fill them out because the front side is purl and the palm is stockinette, so the curl in a little.  A dishcloth stuffed inside works just as well :)  They were apparently well received!

Yarn In:  354gr
Yarn Out:  44gr + 289gr = 333gr
Balance:  21gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $19.85/59 days = $0.34/day

I think that's my lowest "per day" cost of yarn since starting this record keeping.  This winter has been very cold, and business a little slow, so I just haven't been out to Value Village or the yarn stores!