Keeping up

I figured this would be a great way to update when I don’t have time to post a blog. Also, what a great way to keep up in contact with my readers. Stop by, say hi, share an idea or two!

https://www.facebook.com/Theyearimademyownclothes

Carding wool

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When carding, it is best to leave the softest wool for last. That way, you don’t go from carding silky pygora, only to end up disappointed that the icelandic shetland doesn’t feel just as amazing.

Anywho from L-R
Hog island, white horned dorset, pygora, icelandic shetland, and two random fleeces I purchased in years past.

Have a nice night folks!

Washing wool

When I started my blog over a year ago (the first year is on blog.com), I figured making my own clothes would entail buying fabric or yarn at the store and making items.

if your goal is take make your own clothes, you’re not doing such a hot job this year
Shut up I know
what happened to your so called ‘year of Jane Austen’
I still have time
no you don’t
Alright brain, can it.

I never imagined that I would be spinning wool to make clothes
What clothes?!
Ahem

Any-who, I have to say that I love washing wool, not the length of time, but how my house smells of sheep when doing it.

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This is wool I “cooked” yesterday….no it’s ok Stephanie over at Yarn Harlot said it was ok. Anyway, I “cooked” up two pounds of the white icelandic Shetland wool, 5oz of pygora, & some hog island sheep.

They are now currently in my sunroom drying out

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Well, half if the icelandic is “cooking” again due to the lack of clear water.

Over the next two weeks I will be carding as much fiber as I can, I was informed by my husband that if I get all of the above carded and have time left over, he’ll buy me more fleece, what a guy!

Now I’ll leave you with a few pictures of what is going in around the farm.

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Three chickens started laying eggs! (Sadly Lola was taken by a hawk last week, the ups and downs of free range:-/)

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Robin has taken up a game of hide & seek, this where I found him this morning.

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Squash!

Have a great day folks!

Let’s talk about wheels

I’m alive!!! I’ve been dealing with a double ear infection that I was struck with on Thursday, which also happened to be my wedding anniversary. I used to have ear infections a lot when I was younger but never a double, I spent the evening feeling as though I had motion sickness all while laying in my recliner.

Thankfully today I am feeling a lot better, which was important as I met up with my spinning guild at a charming little fair one town over. I asked two members of the guild if I could take pictures of them spinning and they graciously allowed me to do so, they also gave me some information on their wheels.

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Meet Betsy, she is spinning on a beautiful Majacraft Rose wheel, they are made in New Zealand by a small family owned company. It is an absolutely gorgeous wheel, and the rose motif is stunning.

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She uses a WoolLee jumbo flyer.

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Meet Loraine, she is spinning on a wheel from the Kromskis of Poland, The Sonata. This wheel is breathtaking up close, I know that in fairy tails the wheel that often comes up in the walking wheel, but if I were in a fairy tail, this is the wheel that I would want to use.

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I want to say a BIG thank you to Betsy and Loraine for being my models for this entry!!
I’m hoping to take pictures of a few more wheels at our next guild meeting!

Now for the final wheel I first have a story, I haven’t asked to use their names in my blog so I will refer to them as Beetsie & D). Beetsie and D are very wonderful people, when I first joined the guild I was a self taught “spinner” though, what I spun did not turn out the way I wanted. At my first meeting D taught me the correct way to spin and it changed spinning for me forever, very few swear words are leaving my mouth these days.
Beetsie, showed me how to ply on the fly which made spinning even better, because I had no idea what ply was or how on earth to do it. If it weren’t for her, I would probably still be arguing with my husband that once fiber is spun it is yarn (I can admit it, he was right….this time).

Today, D & Beetsie brought this beauty to the fair

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This louët s10 was made in Holland, of all the wheels I have ever used (two) this one, I have found, has been the easiest to spin on. It is smooth and (I find it to be) very lightweight. It is a gorgeous wheel.
I spun on it for awhile and they told me they were going to let me borrow it, I almost cried tears of joy. That was the nicest thing anyone has done for me in a long time (aside from my wonderful husband taking the kids all day and not once allowing them to eat anything that I didn’t approve of….but that’s another story).

So to D & Beetsie you guys are absolutely amazing, thank you for letting me borrow this beautiful wheel. You are both far too kind!!!

After the magic cast on

I’ve had to put down my bartók once again to quickly work on a birthday present. My daughter was invited to three birthday parties, all of which overlap each other, all of which she did not want to turn down.
The first birthday party is for a third grader who loves art, we picked up pads of drawing paper, chalks, & colored pencils along with a easy carry around storage container for a budding artist.

The third birthday is for a classmate (first grade), we found masquerade my little ponies & a littlest pet shop set.

The second (was actually the third birthday we were invited to) is for a second grader who loves to read…also whose parents do not allow anything made from china in their home which is a-ok with me! A challenge woo!! For her I am making a knitted book sleeve/purse which will be able to hold multiple books depending on their sizes, along with a couple of horse chapter books.

Now in making this book sleeve, I have come across Judy’s magic cast on, which I have tried once before and could never for the life of me figure out. It took forever to figure it out and then when I finally got the cast on I was stuck….where did I go from there?!

Well friends I found one site that gave me a little information, I had to go by one picture to figure out. I thought to myself (as I did when it came to reading knitting charts, one blog back), surely I cannot be the only person who struggles with the damn cast on (no offense Judy, I figured it out and I love it).

So this morning when I got up super early (4:59, that’s a whole different story) and went to work on the book sleeve, I noticed I missed a small step (not relating to the cast on) and was actually elated that I had to take the entire thing apart ( I was only on row 20 of 70 no big deal), so I could take pictures of what to do after the cast on.

So here is my little tutorial, if you want to know how to cast on well…my main camera is actually just my phone and it was too hard to take pictures while casting on but there are plenty of pages to show you how.

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So here are your needles after the cast on…here is where I had previously been stuck.

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Here’s the thing, you can take your right needle and just pull it through. I always thought it would screw up the project some how. It doesn’t.

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Pull it through as much as you need to be able to start working the pattern.

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Because you cast on with both your tail and working yarn, for the first round or so it is important to keep them separated or else you could be starting round three and realize “gosh darn it, I’ve been knitting with the tail”. So the working yarn should stay on the side of the needle you are working with and just hold the tail with the needle that has all the stitches waiting to be stitched.

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My first stitch on this project is a purl, usually you come in this way, but for the first round you want to knit and purl into the back….trust me it is easier that way. After the first round you can work the stitches in the front again.

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If you don’t know how to work stitches in the back, well this is a purl. Instead of going in from the top, you go in from behind the needle and go up….it almost looks the same in these pictures I know. Maybe I’ll make a video about it sometime.

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This is knitting in the back.

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So you’ve finished the first half of your stitches and your back in the same “what the heck do I do now” spot

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Go ahead and just take that right needle and pull it up again

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Keep following the pattern

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I’ve finished the first row here and just wanted to show you the results. From here on out you can just keep knitting the way I showed you but knit in the front as normal.

Have a great day folks!

The return of the Bartók

For awhile I got tired of working on my Bartók Tunik. I was do close to being finished, but when you have 12.5″ of seed stitch (k1,p1,k1 ect) before you can start the design….that gets really boring.

However, yesterday when my husband announced that it would be another ten years before we bought a house, I figured I’d quickly finish my sweater and throw it up on etsy so I could take the money and toss it into a savings account that I will be naming “I really want a house”.

Alas, whilst I was reading up on patterns I found that it was frowned upon to sell items that I have made using patterns from interweave magazines & books. I also heard, that if I did so I could be blacklisted, I think I’ll follow their rules.

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I think I’ll keep working on the sweater and head back to the drawing board when it comes to making my own patterns.

Have a nice night folks

PS
The last entry was supposed to be called 19 rows

19 stitches

No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have
supposed her born to be an heroine.

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Looking a little better, I am attempting to ignore one small error. However, I am happy with the results this far.

Creativity

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So here is my first attempt at creating my own pattern. I’ve already messed up in the middle somewhere and it needs to be undone, however that is why it is called creative.

If I wanted to I could just say “I didn’t mess up, it’s supposed to look that way” but that my friends, would be a lie. Yes, I’ve messed up my own pattern. I’ve only written out 15 rows anyhow.

Have a nice day folks!

Northanger Abbey

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This is from the white Dorset horned sheep fiber I got a the guild meeting yesterday, I haven’t spun a lot of fiber but this is my new personal favorite.

I have plans for this yarn that will coincide with my Jane Austen project. I feel like trying to come up with my own pattern, while I love Persuasion, Northanger Abbey pops into my head when this fiber is in my hands.

Here are my husbands latest creations

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He’s been wood carving (not sure if I have written about that yet or not), he started a few weeks ago.

Have a great day folks!

Directions *edit*

Ok let me first start off by saying that when I was in the sixth grade my ear drum burst, lots of blood, lots of pain, even a little bit of hearing loss. Okay probably 2% loss but still, that is the excuses I am telling myself about why I did the guild project wrong.

Reading over the news letter today I read we were supposed to do 4×4 samples. Did I do that?! Nope, I must have misheard and thought oh bring in a sample of work.

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Here shows my spinning progress.

Next time I’ll ask, but for now…..here is a unfinished oxo scarf.

Have a great day folks!

*e*
I’m okay! The 4×4 is an optional sample swatch woot! Next time maybe 😀

P.S
I love this guild, one meeting a month is not enough 😀