Friday, September 19, 2014

Shades of Grey

... but probably fewer than 50. :)

Full sun photography. Sorry.

I liked the top down construction of Wee Chickadee. Seems to me to be a good starting point for more exploration. I'm a little concerned about the fibre content required for baby things, but I like the small size. I like the softness of real wool, even though I understand that most people won't appreciate having to take special care with laundering wool. I don't much like acrylic though. That leaves superwash wool which can be a little less soft. However, that's the compromise.

For this sweater, I'm using Manos Artesanas, Camino Color which is a sock yarn made in Peru. It's 74% superwash merino wool and 25% nylon (for durability), and most importantly, it was in my stash waiting for its day in the sun. The label says it can be machine washed (gently) and left to dry flat. It's a lovely mix of dove greys.

Instead of the knitted on edging, I'm going a more traditional route with ribbing at the neck and hem and cuffs. I'm planning to embroider around the neckline. I was thinking bunnies....but maybe geese?  And, of course, I'll need buttons!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The age of steam

... or, What a difference a steam iron makes!

I think we spend a lot of time worrying about knitting, and not enough time worrying about finishing. Steam blocking or wet blocking makes such a difference to the finished product, don't you think?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Second Sleeve

In keeping with my plan to show more 'in progress' shots, here's Little Birdies as I get close to finishing the second sleeve. I'm very anxious to see what magic the blocking will provide. I'm hoping I can block it to have more shoulder shape 'cuz I don't think any creature slopes that much....except I suppose the hind end of a German Shepherd, but that's not who I see wearing this sweater.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Dragonfly Socks

Someone we know likes dragonflies, but she doesn't like wool. Sad, but true. Here are socks I made for her from 100% bamboo yarn. The band of dragonflies is superwash wool though. I hope she won't mind. And I really hope superwash merino and bamboo play nicely together in the wash. The bamboo did some squirelly pooling.

Here's a close-up of the chart, if anyone else wants to knit dragonflies. It's a 14 stitch repeat. With 14 rounds.
Details: I used 2.5mm needles for the socks, but went up to 2.75mm for the dragonfly band, because the fair isle bits tend to work tighter. I also used the method the ladies use in the Maritimes for catching floats. Basically, they catch each stitch so there aren't any floats. I love it, but I still have a few problems with my tension. More practice required.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Do you like gossip? I like the good kind. The kind where someone does something good, or someone succeeds at something. I've got some of that to share today.

But first, see what came in the mail for me yesterday?

I may be a rotten photographer but I'm lucky to have good friends. My friend Karen Neary sent me this little pin ....See it?  On my knitting project bag? The pin is a reproduction of the cover of her NEW BOOK!! It's about to be published. So very close to being published that I think it's OK to share the news here. A book of New York Beauty quilts!!

But that's not all.......... Karen's designed a New York Beauty block that you can find in the current Quilter's Connection magazine. It's on the cover, too. Go have a look. It's fabulous.

The quilt is on display at Mrs. Pugsley's right now. It's being raffled off in support of the Nova Scotia Fibre Festival.  Beth (of Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium) wrote an excellent piece about the quilt and Karen. You'll find that here:

It makes Grandma Coco happy when good things happen to good people. That's the way the world OUGHT to work, don't you think?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


The Little Birdies sweater is coming along. Here it is with one of the buttons.
 I LIKE it!!

And here you can see it still needs a couple of sleeves, but they'll have to wait a while 'cuz I'm workin' on something special for a little Saudi princess.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Need buttons

I inherited a pretty big stash of buttons. Sometimes, when I go looking, I'm delighted to find just the right button in there. This is most likely to happen if I only need a single. For the baby sweater, I need 4. Hmmmm. There are 4 buttons that are pretty much the right colour, but they're too big. Do I have to make the trip to town for 4 silly buttons, I wonder. Well, not when I have a whole boatload of polymer clay on hand! I spent a couple of hours mixing just the right colours (because you can do that with polymer clay). Then I made some bull's eye canes.

I left them to firm up overnight, and then put them in the fridge so they'd slice easily.

I sliced the canes into 3/8 in. slices, and pressed them lightly between 2 pieces of parchment paper with slight pressure from my thumb. This rounded the edges off nicely and made them very button-y.

You can see the 2 bamboo skewers (taped together) that I used to start the holes. They're easy to position when they're taped together. I ended up with 8 buttons that would be perfect for my sweater, and 3 that are slightly larger. Those will be for a future project, since I still have lots of the same willow green yarn.

I even got daring and rolled out a square-ish cane. That one produced some really interesting buttons that are about 5/8 inches in diameter.

I doubt I'll ever buy buttons again. Why would you when you have custom-made buttons at the end of the hall?