Monday, November 24, 2014


Just when I thought I was doing great at not buying yarn...I needed more.  I have an order for 5 Teddy hooded cowls, and although I asked if the 5th one (an addition to the original order) could be a different colour/shade, it just felt wrong when the time came to work on it.  And, I had used some of the black I bought for more Toothless stuffies, for the black kitty cowl, and I was pretty sure I didn't have enough anyway, so that was on the list.

I got to Michaels and headed  to the Cozy Wool section.  Yup, the rack of "Mushroom" that I had emptied out last month was still empty.  So I wondered around looking for another yarn.  I was coming to the back corner, and wow--there was two balls of Cozy Wool in Mushroom, just sitting in another rack!  Upon closer inspection, it was a whole other section of Cozy Wool, with another rack of Mushroom!  While the dye lot doesn't match, it does appear very close.  Two balls of that, and I will use leftovers of the very first dyelot to make the ears for them all.  I did just barely squeak cowl #4 out of the last of the last dyelot, though that one has a few extra ends to weave in (127gr x 2 = 254gr)

Loops & Thread "Impeccable" was on sale, and that's what I bought before for the new Toothless orders.  However, they had no balls of black.  I started looking at the giant balls of acrylic, and noticed it was also Impeccable, and there was a black.  I got out my calculator--it was a better deal than the same amount at regular price, though the sale priced balls were cheaper than the big one...but there were no black small balls.  However, I realized that I could use my 40% off one regular priced item coupon on the big ball!  Awesome!!  Then I got home and looked up the original Toothless and see  I used Bernat Waverly, LOL! (396gr).  Total cost at Michaels, $20.31)

And, I had a give away on my Facebook page.  I offered a pocket bunny, or a cupholder mitt.  The winner ended up being the sister of the photographer that I made the other pocket bunnies for--and she had ordered them for her sister.  I said I was flexible, and she thought a pocket unicorn would be nice because her daughter wants a baby unicorn for her big unicorn.  I searched for some gold metallic thread/yarn, couldn't find anything at Michaels, but did find some at Wal-Mart.  35gr, $4.26

Yarn In:  289gr + 9074gr = 9363gr
Yarn Out:  5669gr
Balance: 3694gr  MORE brought IN then out
Costs:  $24.57 + 457.63= $482.20/322 days = $1.50/day 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Last week, November 11, Remembrance Day in Canada, was so warm, even for November--it was more like late September.  What a nice treat--usually it's cold and rainy.  But then, it turned cold and rainy and yesterday, winter appeared in much of southern Ontario.  On Sunday, I managed to get some photos done before we got too much snow!

Back in late summer I had quite a few inquiries about the animal hooded cowls.  I finally got one woman's order done (no rush, these are Christmas presents....if she can wait that long LOL).  She asked for one kitty and one bear for 6 and 8 year  olds and a kitty for a 16 month old, colours up to me.

 First up, the bear.  Cozy Wool in chocolate brown (267gr).  This bear told me she wanted a pink bow tie, no boring button!
 Next up, a charcoal kitty.  This was three strands of yarn from the stash--Impeccable in black (that I had bought for making more Toothless dragons), vintage Mary Maxim Royale (30% mohair) in black, and Esslinger Wolle "Charme" (20% wool) in charcoal/grey.  A nice subtle effect!  Then, I edged the front and the ears in black curly fun fur (no label).
 I finished the main part of the black kitty first, then did the white one--including the bow, then came back to the black one to finish it off (at the time I made it, I didn't know what I wanted at the neck).  This bow is made from Red Heart "Reflective" in the purple colour (234gr).  A fun way to be cute AND safe!  And every kitty need a bell.
 The white kitty is a strand of white,  I think Impeccable, and a strand of Patons Sequined Lace, and then every third row I added a fun fur.  On the right side rows, I crocheted it in, and on the wrong side rows, I carried along  the front (right) side of the work.  I was running low, and I thought this would be a good way to stretch it out and add some variation, since these rows weren't as dense as the rows it was crocheted in with the other two yarns.
Then I spent a LOT of time with an almost blunt needle, picking out the fun fur so it was mostly on the right side.  Less tickly on the inside, and more fun on the outside.  I didn't have much left, so I wove the fun fur along the outside of the ears--it wasn't enough to crochet it around the edges of the ears, like I did with the black.  Then I trimmed it along the ears, as it seemed too scraggly.  I didn't do a round of single crochet around the face on this one.  Not enough of the white fun fur, and it wouldn't have looked good without it.  (186gr)
The bow--I took quite a bit of time finding the "right" bow pattern.  Not a bow tie, a real looking tied bow.  I was going to just crochet a chain, single crochet back, and tie it into a bow.  But I wanted the tapered tails.  I found this pattern through Ravelry.  Perfect!

Got them delivered, and they were well received!  I still think I might make one for myself if I ever get the chance before spring!

Yarn In:   9074gr
Yarn Out:  687gr + 4982gr = 5669gr
Balance: 3405gr  MORE brought IN then out
Costs: 457.63 /316 days = $1.45/day 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Clean Up, Clean Up!

A photographer posted in a frugal group (like Freecycle) that she was looking for crochet hooks and yarn to learn to crochet.  There are often posts like this, and I always mean to respond....but this time I actually did, and cleaned out my duplicate hooks and dug deep in the worsted weight bin to find some yarn  I could part with.  Not a lot, but one of the balls is a full ball of Impeccable in a bright Christmas green :)

 Yarn In:   9074gr
Yarn Out:  435gr+ 4547gr = 4982gr
Balance:  4092gr MORE brought IN then out
Costs: 457.63 /312 days = $1.47/day 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lions and Tigers and Bear!

Okay, I've done a wolf and a dino, but no lions and tigers :)

I was asked to make an adult bear hooded cowl, for the same lady who wanted the dino one.  Sandra, from Apple Melon Designs is a hoot.   And thankfully, patient :)  I've had her bear hoodie done for a while, though it just needed a button or something at the neck.  I don't do the little button placket that's in the pattern, it might be okay on an adult size, but it just seemed bulky and unnecessary on the tiny ones.  She wanted something more subtle then the dino one, so this one is plain black, LionBrand Thick n Quick.  But what to do for the decoration?  I had some black glittery buttons, but they were a bit small.

So, I crocheted a circle with the teal reflective yarn, and sewed the button on top!  Now, there's just a hint of a reflective patch when it's dark out, and a nice teal colour when it's not dark.  I chose a circle instead of a flower so that the men in the house could also grab it and wear it for those quick late night dog walks.

It's hard to get a good picture.  I tried outside, but the flash wasn't going off...even though it seemed dark out.  Oh well, it shows it enough to know the reflective yarn works!

Yarn In:   9074gr
Yarn Out:  314gr+ 4547gr
Balance:  4527gr MORE brought IN then out
Costs: 457.63 /310 days = $1.48/day 

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Next Generation

It seems that the busier I get,  the more the family demands of me too.  Anyone else notice that?  But sometimes you have to put family first, and this weekend was like that.

Diane Sullivan re-posted her video for how to make a hair scrunchie on the machine.  It was one of those videos I always thought I'd get back to watch later as I don't see myself as a scrunchie type of gal anymore.  But hey!  I have a daughter with incredibly thick, long hair who always wears it pulled back, and likes to dress it up!  Even better, she's on a figure skating synchro team and has to wear it up, with a team practice dress.  She could make a scrunchie to match her practice dress, and use up some of my yarn!  LOL.  She's done a bit on the machines before and  sometimes asks, but it's hard finding projects young kids can do themselves.

 She used a thicker, silicone elastic.  It was a bit trickier, but she needs heavy duty bands in her hair.
 She started Friday night, and we were done on Saturday.  She did a total of 1000 rows, but was annoyed that the row counter only went to 999!
Can you believe she's about to turn 9?!  When I started this blog, she was 9 MONTHS old!
This is not a big stash buster (8grams, including the band), but would be a great use of those small odd amounts you just can't throw out.  I think this was an old Kroy sock yarn.

She decided she also wants to make a scarf for her new jacket.  We looked at the designs in the manual and she liked ones with flowers, so she's doing card 20 (I think) in blue and white (again, Kroy sock yarns).  I got it set up while she was at practice.  Good thing, cause it took me two tries :)

 I thought it was neat how when it rolled in, it completed the half patterns on each edge.
 The machine does such an awesome job on fair isle.  I would never, ever attempt this by hand!
Meg asked an interesting question.  What if I had casted on ALL the needles.  Mmmm.  That would turn the work 90degrees, meaning instead of knitting it as long as needed to loop twice around the neck, the needlebed would determine the length...I don't know if it would be a good length or not.  However, you'd only need to knit one pattern repeat to get the width, and when worn, the flowers will be "right side up".  Interesting...

I did wonder, after casting on, if it should have been made double wide and folded over, and then I thought, no way do I want to seam it LOL.  I think it'll be fine with the backside showing.  I'm seeing "inside out" fair isle sweaters in the stores now, so we're right on trend!  Dad suggested doing a yellow stripe at the end, because it's part of the team colours.  She liked that idea, and I think what I will do is graft the beginning and end together with yellow.  This way, if we ever want to take it apart, I'll know where the graft is :)

Earlier this fall, the night before picture day, my older daughter decided her outfit needed something. At 9pm, she started "arm knitting" a scarf in black chunky.  She got it finished, but decided it blocked the view of her hair, LOL.  So I started wearing it.  We weren't too happy with it.  She had used two strands of Shetland Chunky, and it was  too sparse.  After a couple weeks, I ripped it out and crocheted it in treble crochet.  I started with 10 tc, but after a couple rows, determined it was too wide.  Decreased on each side, and kept going.  When I got to almost the end  of my yarn, I increased again at the edges, so the beginning and end would match to sew together.  When I wear it, I either put the wider part behind my neck for warmth, or at the front to cover up  a deep V t-shirt.  I also discovered that I can take one twist and pull it up around my head like a headband.  LOL.  Multi purpose!!  It used 50gr.  Quite an economical gift idea.  Though I think it needed beads :)
A black scarf is perfect for me because I wear a lot of colour, and a lot of my hats and mitts don't have matching mates.

Yarn In:   9074gr
Yarn Out:  58gr + 4175gr = 4233gr
Balance:  4841gr MORE brought IN then out
Costs: 457.63 /308 days = $1.49/day 

Thursday, November 06, 2014

How Did I Forget?!

I can't believe I never posted this set!  And that it's a year old!  What happened?!  Such a gorgeous picture too!  
I made this last fall for Jenna, along with a bunch of hats.  I thought it looked sweet just laying in my garden, LOL, but the real test is on a baby.

Isn't this so sweet?!
 Baby feet!
I wish I had a continuous supply of newborns to model my stuff, LOL.  I'm going to count this set in this year's totals.  I totally could have made it this year.  Oh, it's coming back to me now.  I dyed the yarn.  Actually, I think I started with other grey, thicker mohair, and got half done the pants and realized that I had two different dyelots.  Wonder where the hat went.  Oh, there it is!  Gee whiz.  I must be totally losing my marbles.   There was issues with dying the yarn too...don't remember.  Either it wasn't a big problem, or it was so big I blacked it out LOL.  I'm somewhat guessing on the weights, based on other similar items.

Yarn In:   9074gr
Yarn Out:  50gr +  4125gr = 4175gr
Balance:  4899gr MORE brought IN then out
Costs: 457.63 /304 days = $1.51/day 

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Soft and Sweet

Soft, delicate mohair hats and wraps are very popular with newborn photographers.  Little toes peeking through, a bit of a vintage feel.  I hadn't knit an actual mohair wrap yet, though it's been on my "want to do when I have no orders" list.  I want to offer newborn prop sets--wrap, pod, couple hats, and pants, in co-ordinating colours (girls/boys/neutral).  Well, this hasn't happened yet, LOL.

I did get an order for a hat and wrap.  The photographer sent me a picture of a baby wrapped up and wondered how it was done--we thought maybe there was a slit to pull one end through.  I asked around, and googled, and found the actual original wrap vendor, and there was no slit, it was just a rectangle.  However, she wanted to go ahead with the slit idea and it opens up new wrapping possibilities.

I started with the hat, using a pattern I've used before.  Okay.  How is it possible I never blogged about that grey set?!  That means it didn't get included in last year's totals?  Oh, it's about 100gr at the most, probably, LOL.  Anyway, after knitting a bit, I thought it looked a little too textured/chunky.  I had wanted a bit of texture to contrast with the smoothness of the wrap.  I messaged the client and asked if she had an opinion, and indeed, she wanted a smooth look to the hat as well.  No problem!

Got the hat done, and did the wrap.  I had thought I might use the LK150, but it's kind of buried in my studio.  Took a few attempts with swatching--use 6mm needles (feel more comfortable) and do double wraps and drop the extra wrap off on the next row, or use 12 mm needles (broomsticks!) and do single wraps.  Even though this was less than a month ago...I can't remember for certain, but I think I did the 12mm needles.  I think this because I was at my brother's house for his birthday and working on it, while sitting next to his MIL, who was also crocheting.  Her husband laughed at us, and said he's going to bring me broomsticks next time, to knit with.  I said I felt like I was already using broomsticks!  I had tried to knit in the restaurant while waiting for our (slow) dinner, but it was too awkward.

Once done, I felt it needed a little something.  So, I made my traditional three layer flower.  It was huge!  So I made another smaller one.

Because it was  vintage yarn and kicking around in my tote bag for a while, I washed it.  Unfortunately, it felted a little!!  The hat wasn't too bad, but the wrap?  I soaked it in water with a good squirt of "smoothing" conditioner, then hung it for a bit to stretch under it's own weight, then pinned it out, stretched, and steamed.  It did get back some of it's stretch, though the stitches are still very open even when relaxed--but I think they would have been anyway because of using the 12mm needle.  I must remember next time to actually go a bit smaller since the photographer wraps the baby pretty tightly, which stretches the wrap out.

The wrap used 83gr, and the hat and two flowers used 50gr (there's always a few grams more though, due to trimming tails.  I really should count that since it all adds up!).

Yarn In:   9074gr
Yarn Out:  133gr + 4002gr = 4125gr
Balance:  4949gr MORE brought IN then out
Costs: 457.63 /302 days = $1.52/day