Friday, April 29, 2011

Self Portrait

I never seem to have enough time to do everything I want to do- and I'm not just referring to projects, work, spending time with the kids, cleaning, reading- I also include in this self-maintenance. For this reason, as I was coloring with my daughter recently, my self portrait (with crayons) was follows:

Hair always askew, no makeup, no self primping or pampering. I often look at other women with wonder, how they seem to be capable of doing everything. Kudos to them!

I, however, am not. I'm the green monster behind the knitting needles. And, for now, I'm really ok with that.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Simple Easter Baskets

I went to my fabulous friend J's house two weekends ago for an egg hunt and wanted to make baskets for all the kids. I came across this tutorial/image on the purl bee. I loved the general concept but wanted mine to have a sturdier rim and be a little wider (so they'd be more basket-like). The great thing about these is that they take, from start to finish, a little less than 20 minutes per basket. I made one for all the kids then one for my parents when they came over for Easter day. Unfortunately, I only took pictures of my kids' baskets as finished objects... but you get the general idea.

Jonah wanted his crazy.

But I think they noticed the candy more than the baskets...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Plain Jane... my first pattern...?

There has been a lot of discussion over on Ravelry regarding the shawl(s) that the character of Jane Eyre wore in the most recent Hollywood version of the book (of the same name). There is no consensus regarding how many of the same or similar shawls there actually was/were in the movie; but, there has been general consensus that the shawl(s) is/are knit from left to right (or, since it is reversible, from right to left) in garter stitch. (link to KAL)

I actually disagree with this consensus (but I am very much in the minority and very much a knitting novice). I think the shawl is a K1P1 triangular shawl construction; there is a quick shot in the movie where the back of the shawl (or one of the shawls) is shown and, to my eye, there was definitely a spine. Therefore, I've started on my own version, making it up as I go along:

So, I suppose, this constitutes my first pattern; I have no idea how it'll turn out but, in the interest and spirit of open source, once I finish the shawl I'll post the pattern on ravelry for general consumption.

If you are interested in the current left to right garter stitch construction, here is the group link to the "To Eyre" pattern.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Piper's blanket

I've been on a baby blanket making bonanza recently, mostly finishing blankets for babies which are now close to entering their second year... oh well. Better late then no blanket. This one is for the husband's cousin's daughter Miss. P...

... but don't tell my girl N, she thinks it's for her-

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Clean, clean fleece

My first attempt at cleaning the fleece was mostly a disaster. The majority of the fleece felted so I was left with about 10% unfelted, clean fleece. I pulled off the surviving locks and am storing them in a plastic bag. Since I have no idea what kind of fleece this is or- really- what to do with it once it is clean I'm starting to research local resources for combing, carding and spinning.

The length of the locks is about 3.5 to 4 inches and, to my untrained abilities, feels fine and soft. So... not terrible for a free fleece. Lucky, I have two more fleeces for practice. I think I'll try the yarn harlot's method for cleaning fleece for the next batch.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dirty, dirty fleece

I can't even begin to describe how disgustingly dirty the fleece is- which was to be expected.It was interesting to see the different levels of dirt, etc based on where the fleece was in relation to the animal.

These locks are from the sides of the fleece. You can see how the dirt gets close to the skin of the animal. and there is just a tiny bit of white where the wool is closest to the skin.

These locks are from the top back of the fleece (just behind the neck). The fleece is finer and cleaner.

Monday, April 4, 2011


The background: Some friends of mine (a couple) gets eggs from this lady (you know, the kind of eggs with no hormones where the lucky birds eat vegetation and worms instead of chicken feed laced with bromide). Any way, they noticed that the Egg Lady also has sheep. Being good friends, they asked the Egg Lady what she does with the fleece. Turns out- and hold on to your chair so you don't fall off- she throws the fleece away. Throws. It. Away.

The story: Today was fleecing day at the Egg Lady's farm so I went to the farm with my sheep breed cheat sheet (about half way down on the linked page). I asked the sheerer what kind of breed the sheep were. He replied "These are mutts." So, I have no idea what kind of sheep (or type of wool) I ended up with. The Egg Lady let me pick the sheep (fleece) I wanted prior to the sheep being sheered. I picked three fuzzy girls, each of them had black splotches on their face and legs but I wasn't too concerned- I am more interested in the staple length than the potential consistency of color. When I left the farm I left with (yes sir, yes sir) three bags full of fleece! I'll post my progress with the fleece, how or if I can skirt and wash it successfully. Wish me luck!