Daffodils Are Here

Daffodil-by-Q

My March, Sock-It-To-Me 2015, Ravelry group, Daffodil socks are done! The birthstone for March is aquamarine and it’s flower the daffodil. I had originally planned on knitting a pair of socks evoking the wonders of water, using a beautiful skein of yarn with various shades of aquamarine with just a hint of yellow, which I ordered from an Etsy vendor. However, the Etsy time for my review came in before the skein was even sent. I had to email the person after 5 days to see when it would be sent. Sigh…… I’ve never had this problem before. So on to Plan B – I knit the Worsted Anklet pattern by JoAnne Turcotte for Kraemer Yarns, adding a lace pattern to the top. The original, Elisabeth Lavold wool was putty color, so, after the socks were done, I overdyed the socks into this pretty daffodil color. I’ve never overdyed after a project was finished before so my fingers were crossed. The pattern looks as if those are closed daffodil bud.

Undyed Daffodil Sock showing pattern

Undyed Daffodil Sock showing pattern

The socks were knit using a magic loop. For me, circular knitting is either done on two needles or using the magic loop. With this pattern, there were a total of 40 stitches, 20 on each part. The lace pattern for the instep was based on a 16 st pattern, an 8 stitch repeat. I knit two stitches before beginning the pattern and two stitches at the end of the pattern to give the 20 stitches required. I know I’ve blogged about using graph-lined index cards to make my knitting easier. This is the card I used while knitting the lace pattern on Daffodil. For my foot length (Ladie’s size 8), I repeated the lace pattern 3 times.

Lace Pattern for Daffodil

Lace Pattern for Daffodil

I add the two + on either end of the pattern as a visual reminder to me that I had to knit the first two and last two stitches of the row. Knit the pattern on the odd rows and knit across the even rows.  I’m not sure when I changed from having to read a row of printed lace pattern to being able to read a chart. Hasn’t been that long.

 

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SOS To All Dyers

q8~The Amaranth plant (Amaranthus cruentus) is an absolutely beautiful, purplish-leaved, large plant. It’s seeds were the main grain staple for the Aztecs in Mexico. I thought I was buying a Compositae family plant , since it was a six-pack, which has purple leaves and orange flowers, turned out I was wrong. The amaranth is an old friend with purplish leaves and stems, when it flowers it produces a long cluster of small, purplish, flowers. Quite attractive. I mean, look at the gorgeous color in the leaves! Anyway…… While sorting through my fibers, I found a small bit of the first fiber I ever tried to spin – Dorset. Decided it was the perfect size to see what type of dye Amaranth makes.

Amaranth plants in garden

Amaranth plants in garden

After cutting plants up and boiling for a bit to remove color from both leaves and stems I had a rather beautiful shade of dark, rose-colored pink. (Note: quite a bit has now evaporated)

Beautiful color of dye

Beautiful color of dye

Used a vinegar mordant. Color was yuck. Tried an alum mordant. This is the result:

Salmon colored sample

Salmon colored sample

When dyed, the Dorset fiber became a not-the-prettiest-washed-out-salmon color. Why? What is with the reddish dyes I make? Where am I going wrong? After the horribly yucky color the Raspberries made, I’m ready to just stick with the tried and true yellows and greens. SOS to any dyer. How can I make a natural dye that actually turns the fiber a nice pink color. I’m sure asking for red is too much. How about using beets? Input is so totally appreciated.

Hang A Star On That One Award

q8~With all of the awards circling the blogs, I’ve been contemplating designing our own special award. Over the course of this past year, I’ve made many blogger friends. Quite a few of my friends have cost me money ’cause I just HAVE to have: the yarns, the patterns, the books, the magazines, the fibers, the food, the knitting items, the spinning items, etc.; or, join the KAL, or sign up for the Craftsy class,that the various bloggers have shared.  I really wanted to call the award: You Made Me Do It, but I figured it might be misinterpreted. I loved the song, “You made me do it. I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t want to do it. You know you made me love you.” That is a song I’ve always sung to my kids and grandkids. I change the words when I mentally sing it to a blogging friend each time I make a purchase because of their blog, “You made me do it. I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t want to do it. You know you made me buy that.”  The entire idea is my crazy, tongue-in-cheek, sense of humor which is not understood by all. So, as a compromise I’ll tweak a term the great Padre announcer Jerry Coleman always used when the Pads hit a home, “Oh Doctor, you can hang a star on that baby.” Our award is the “Hang A Star On That One” and is to be given to a person who has “made you do it”; has made you spend money for some incredibly fantastic object/item.

Hang a star award

The rules are simple:

  1. The person receiving the award is someone who has “made” you spend money. It could be that you bought a pattern, a book, a magazine, a item, a yarn, a fiber, etc.; or joined a KAL, or signed up for a class on Craftsy, etc. Remember, this is in good natured fun. A positive expenditure. Explain to the person what they “made”, “enabled”, or “tempted” you to purchase.
  2. You may give the award to as many or as few people as you like. We hate it went we’ve been given a set number to dole out an award to.
  3. Copy and past the blog award on your blog. Display it with pride. Remember that “Imitation is the best form of flattery. I’m out here totally imitating you!
  4. Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment at their blog.
  5. Thank the award presenter

Again, I cannot stress enough that this is all in fun. I have been so enamored with everything I’ve spent my $$$ on due to blogger recommendations, it has enriched my life. I hope you feel that way too.

Without further ado these are my nominees:

  1. Tina, the Temptress (although I think she prefers “Enabler” which is too gentle a word in this case) from Peacefully Knitting. The top award goes to her! Lovely patterns, yarns, fibers, and a magazine subscription are now in my possession thanks to her. Not to mention the KALs she’s recommended. My wallet tells me to stop reading her blog. NEVER! I’ve warned you!
  2. Marjorie from I Dye Everyday. I could have been perfectly happy just dyeing my fiber, but no…. Taking one look at the fabulous fabrics which she dyes, I had to purchase a ton of cotton-dye colors. Although I have yet to make one of her “stained glass” quilts from hand-dyed fabrics it’s on my list.
  3. Weekend Knitter. Her knitting blog was delightful, but then she turned into a spinner. Sigh, you can see what’s coming. Items I couldn’t resist: Spinning Wool; Beyond the Basics by Anne Field, a Golding spindle, carnauba and lavender wax from an Etsy shop, and fiber! If you’re a spinner, another site to stay away from!
  4. Caity from All She Wants To Do Is Knit. Don’t believe the title anymore. She’s become a spinner too! It’s TNTC the number of patterns I am now the proud owner of because of the marvelous items she has shared. To me, the most amazing was the Rockefeller Shawl by Stephen West. I LOVE Art Nouveau and Art Deco and this shawl screamed to me. Bought the pattern and enrolled in his Craftsy course which I wouldn’t have know about if it weren’t for Caity’s “showing me” the shawl. A word about the course. The shawl pattern is a free one at his Ravelry site and for the most part his class is one big infomercial. Won’t recommend it. I will be purchasing more of his shawl patterns, so thanks Caity! I also had to purchase the Peterson Bird app when she blogged that it was on sale. Is it fair to say that it’s her “fault” that I had to knit a little bag for Curls after she saw the one I knit for Caity for the Knit-It-Forward? Now that Caity has blogged about purchasing her first fleece, I want one too. LOL!
  5. Janet from Pixelknit’s Ponderings. How many ways can I say FIBER? First I had to order fiber from Greenwood Fiberworks after seeing their fabulous fiber featured on Janet’s blog. In the same blog she  showed Woolgathering’s 24 Breed Sampler Pack. (BTW: she heard about the sampler pack from Tina, see what I mean? Tina is #1 for making you spend money. Somehow I missed the sample pack at Tina’s, maybe my brain was asleep that day.) Please notice what restraint I’ve used. The Greenwood Fiberworks fiber was ordered on January 5, the day I read about it. I didn’t order the sample pack until last week. It’s called will-power people! Luckily, all of the books she’s recommended I’ve been able to download for free or borrow from libraries. So, she’s off the hook for that.
  6. Pia from Colour Cottage. I first visited her site because of her doodles which lead me to purchase even more markers. Then I saw the crazy brushes she had, couldn’t resist buying some. Stayed around for all of the other interesting posts, ended up purchasing all types of mordants for dyeing because of her fiber dyeing experiments. Although she didn’t recommend the book, I purchased  A Weaver’s Garden: Growing Plants for Natural Dyes and Fibers by Rita Buchanan, because of all of the native plant materials with which Pia uses to dye fiber.
  7. Opal from Celebrate Life! Everytime I use my Hiya Hiya needles I think of Opal. I LOVE the needles and needed them as I need another hole in my head. They are just so darn sweet to knit with. Because of her bee adventures I keep buying honey. Now, I’m the only one that uses honey at this home, so what the heck? Who really needs six jars of honey?
  8. Fibercrush. Due to her blog about building a design wall and our subsequent comments to each other, I purchased a Fons and Porter Wall Design Wall which is easily rolled up and out of the way. I really did need one and appreciate the info from her.

I’ll stop here. Although there are other fabulous blogs I follow and get ideas from, I’ve been able to get the patterns for free or use my stash when I see posts. All of you wonderful ladies mentioned above  have lead me to purchases about which I can say, “Hang a star on that one!” Thank you! You have enriched my life but not my wallet! Please post the award with pride and if there is anyone out there that has “forced” you to open up your wallet let them know. As I said before “Imitation is the best form of flattery”. I hope we’re being imitated!

Fancy Spin On Toms

~Tom’s shoes are the best! Not only do they donate a pair of shoes to a needy child, each pair comes with a nifty, cotton, drawstring bag, Now I know that you are supposed to store your shoes in the bag, but what?? Not happening at my house, shoes need to air out and breathe. What to do with the bag? Dye it and iron on some scrap fabric! Hurrah! Loving my new, repurposed knitting project bag. The bag in the background is now in a vat of green dye. If you look closely, you can see that I like the mottled-dye look

Repurposed Toms Bag

Repurposed Toms Bag

A WordPress Family Award

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof. ~~RICHARD BACH

q8~I love this quote. It was borrowed from All Night Knits who just celebrated both her 50th post and a WordPress Family Award. We are so excited that she passed this wonderful award on to us. Her site is full of knitting, reading, photography, reading, and sharing. I smile at the pictures she takes using filters and apps, I love to do that too.

We have written before how much our blogger friends have influenced us through encouragement, wonderful ideas, and support. I can say that some of my blog friends have hit my wallet since I’ve had to purchase patterns, yarns, fiber, and other products because of their glowing blogs. In the year plus that we’ve been blogging, some of you have become as family to us. Thank you! The DIFFICULT part, for us,  is nominating only 10 blogs for this award, since we enjoy so many! When I’m having a down-in-the-dumps type of day my blogging family always lifts my spirits. So a heartfelt thanks to all of my blogging friends, you have enriched my life.

Wordpress Family Award

WordPress Family Award

Without further ado, these are the inspiring bloggers (in no particular order) we feel as if they have become part of us:

  • Celebrate Life! – An eclectic site for crafting, gardening, and food
  • Peacefully Knitting – A beautiful knitting, spinning, and reading site. Tina is one of the chosen few Rowan reps.
  • Fibercrush – Another eclectic site which explores crafts from the 70’s, knitting, sewing, using stash, dyeing techniques, and list goes on.
  • Gentlestitches – An amigurumi expert. Wonderful creatures. Yum, she actually calls it aussiegurumi, Australia amigurumi.
  • For the Knit of It – A knitting, spinning, and other stuff site offering a great tutorial Knitting 101. Has some clever off-beat things to make.
  • Pixelknit’s Ponderings – A knitting, spinning, journaling, crafting, on other great things site. Most of all, I love her book suggestions. I joined Goodreads thanks to her.
  • Crafty Tails – A site whose title says it all. Crafting, knitting, with a dog picture or two thrown in.
  • Introverted Knitter – A site with knitting, spinning and weaving. A wonderful writer, as an introvert myself, she often describes exactly how I feel in group settings.
  • Pillows A-La-Mode – A totally crafty site. Great repurposing ideas.
  • Colour Cottage – A site I first landed on because of her doodles. Stayed to see the wonderful yarn dyeing experiments and the spun fiber.

If you choose to pass on this award, here are the rules:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family.
4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them.
5. That is it. Just please pick 10 people who have taken you as a friend, and spread the love.

Swaddle That Baby

q~When did swaddlers become the rage? When I had my babies, they were swaddled using regular flannel baby blankets.  We wrapped them tightly in the blanket making “baby burritos”. In my visits around the web and in infant shops, I’ve found that swaddlers have become de rigueur for babies.  Add swaddlers to the list of “must makes” for baby boy. Need a baby gift? These swaddlers are perfect. Make sure to look at the wonderful knit swaddler  pattern, Owlie Sleep Sack, with a matching hat at the end of the blog. I’m dyeing BFL fiber to spin and make the set.

Lotta Jansdotter Snuggler

Lotta Jansdotter Snuggler

Shannon Makes Stuff

Shannon Makes Stuff

theguardian: How to make a swaddle blanket

theguardian: How to make a swaddle blanket

Amy Bulter Snugge Wrap Blanket

Amy Bulter Snugge Wrap Blanket

Comfort Wool Owlie Sleep Sack

Comfort Wool Owlie Sleep Sack

Baby Pattern Queue

q~With thoughts of sewing and knitting for baby floating through my head, I’ve been grazing through the Internet for baby patterns. This is the first grandchild I’ve had since retiring so I have plenty of time to sew and knit. I’ve included the burp clothes.

burb1 Burb cloths made from cotton diapers

Instructions:

1. Dye cotton diapers to desired colors.
2. Measure the “thick” middle part of the diaper.  I think these were 12″ by 5″
3. Cut the accent fabric 1/2 inch longer and wider than the measurement in Step 2.
4. On the accent fabric, turn under 1/4 inch all around and iron down.
5. Place accent fabric on the diaper. pin in place and use a zig-zag stitch around.

burp2Contoured Burb Cloth pattern found at Cloud9 Fabric blog.

Dye flannel to desired color.

I found I like the iDye brand best for cotton. It gives a nice bright color. The Dylon brand tended to give a washed out look.

0866-CGN-Crib_Sheet-1Crib sheet found at Sew4Home using Michael Miller fabrics. I purchased the most fabulous fabric for the sheets designed by Windham Fabrics and by Riley Blake Designs.

Elephant pillow pattern and directions. Michael Miller no longer has the Boy’s Nursery at it’s site.

Bumper pads are not deemed dangerous and our baby boy won’t have any in his crib.
nested bibThis pattern is from Nested blog.

I’ve already dyed the terry cloth backing fabric. The main fabrics will be from the selection used in the burb cloths.

The pocket will not be added since these are to be used during infant teething time, would be better named “Drool Catchers”.

If baby boy is like Daughter Darcey, he’ll start drooling on Day One.

diaperpouchtutorialmeDiaper Pouch Tutorial found on Noodlehead blog.

The tutorial calls for linen scraps. I’ll be using cotton. Linen might be a firmer weave, but is scratchy and needs to be ironed after washing.

A heavier cotton would also work nicely.

Other sites with wonderful free sewing patterns:

Made by Rae

Noodlehead