rainbow fish cuffs

I finished knitting the Crofton cuffs from my handspun 15.5 micron merino yarn. I ended up working the pattern backwards, because I knew I wanted the blue-green yarn to be on the cuff part, and that was the only way I could assure that it worked out that way. I also knit quite a few extra rows throughout, since i have enormous hands, and I wanted them to fit me, well, like a glove. I really love them, but I must admit that they look a bit like rainbow fish, both because of the color gradient and the seedstitch “scales”, and I’m not sure how I feel about that:

handspun, knit rainbow crofton cuffs

And the fishy lookalike:

520_Boesemani_Rainbowfish_Melanotaenia_boesemani.e

However, this merino is SO devinely soft, especially on the stockinette portion covering my hands, and I’m really craving a sweater that looks and feels just like this:

sweater-cuff

But spinning that much yarn, and making the color changes come out so well, especially across 2 sleeves, feels pretty daunting. Not to mention the fact that I have yet to knit an adult sweater. But, oh, I want one so very much. You just have to feel this yarn to know what I mean. It’s like smooshy, fluffy velvet. Maybe I should do a poncho with a turtleneck instead? That would be less ambitious, and I wouldn’t have to worry about color changes.

Secret Christmas Projects Revealed

Happy New Year!!! For all of you who thought my whole crafting world revolves around spinning yarn right now… well… you’re not completely wrong, but I have been actually making some things out of some of that yarn as well, so it’s time to share with you the Christmas presents I’ve been working on:

First, here is what the handspun “imperfect” suri baby alpaca yarn turned into: an infinity scarf for my lovely bestest friend since elementary school. I used a free pattern from Ravelry, but I can’t find the link anymore, so here are the basics:

size 13 (US) circular needles w/40″ cable
CO 108 stitches, join in the round, add a stitch marker
odd rows: *YO, k2tog* repeat to the end of that round
even rows: knit to the end of the round
the pattern calls for 200 yards bulky weight yarn, which will give you about 35 rows but I only had about 150 yards, and I got 25 rows. So I think you can just keep going to make it as wide as you want…. just make sure you have enough yarn leftover to bind off.
Bind off VERY loosely. I did *k2tog through the back loops, slip the right needle stitch back to the left needle*, repeat to the end.

It was a very quick, fun knitting project, and I think it looks gorgeous on her (or maybe it’s her that makes it look gorgeous?):

handspun suri baby alpaca infinity scarf

Next, another crochet pokemon character, Umbreon and Ultraball (pattern adapted from this one) for my niece who loves all things Pokemon as much as my kids. I’m especially proud of these because I handspun all of the yarn out of merino, dyed the yellow and red wool myself with food colors (not the black… I had an Anne of Green Gables moment trying to dye black… it turned out green!), and needle-felted the eyes and yellow details… a new experience for me… so fun and easy! And I love how it makes the detailing look like it was “painted” on with thick fuzzy paint. Lola decided to photo bomb this one:

crochet-pokemon-umbreon-ultraball

And finally, here is my third Pixie doll I’ve made for another of my nieces… who has been coveting her sister’s. I made her hair a bit more layered, and used “shimmery” Suncatcher green eyes. She has a pink leotard peeking out under her dress, so she can dance a ballet at a moment’s notice!

knitted-pixie-doll-green-eyes

And now back to my current spinning endeavors: I’m learning to spin long-draw woolen yarn! After my experiment with “messy” spinning on the baby suri alpaca, I wanted to explore the best method for the softest, lightest yarn possible, in order to bring out the best of this 50/50 superfine merino and angora handpainted roving that I bought from The Fiber Imp on Etsy. My Sweet Prince gave me some hand carders for Christmas, so I’ve been learning to make rolags, which are really the only way to achieve a true woolen long-draw. I’m definitely still a beginner, but I’m finding it SO fun, and very quick to spin this way. And the results are so soft and light and airy. Since I’m learning to embrace the whole imperfect process of spinning, I’m feeling much braver, and having a lot more fun! Here are my first attempts. Maybe I should treat myself to my own infinity scarf now?

handspun woolen long draw merino and angora yarn

More Pixie Magic

And now, back to something much cuter and more fun than insects: Chloe’s Pixie doll’s wardrobe is DONE and ready for her birthday next weekend! Once again, I am super in love with Claire Garland’s knitted toy patterns, especially this zig zaggy sweater! I want one in my size! It’s from Claire’s Pixie’s Fun Day Clothes pattern collection, and the stripy pants are as well.

Pixie Moon knitted doll clothes by Claire Garland

Pixie Moon knitted doll clothes by Claire Garland

also cute unbuttoned

Pixie Moon knitted doll clothes by Claire Garland

and from the back

And the original Pixie outfit, plus a simple elastic hand-sewn skirt. I love the way her eyes are catching the light in this photo. Suncatcher Eyes, handpainted by Michelle in Maine, are amazing!!!

Pixie - a new knitted doll by Claire Garland

She also gets a poodle for a pet… in pink of course… Chloe’s favorite color. I got this pattern from the book “Knit Your Own Dog”, which I borrowed from the library. Lot’s of cute, realistic dog breeds in there.

pink knitted poodle - knit your own dog

pixie knitted doll and knitted pink poodle

And these sweet pajamas are from Claire’s Bumper Pattern Package, the alternate version of the “Love my Playsuit” without the straps, sewn up in flannel.

pixie knitted doll - flannel hand-sewn pajamas playsuit

I’m so excited to see her face when she opens everything! I’ll try to capture the moment photographically. 🙂

I’ve come to a decision about sewing, though. As much as I’m glad that it doesn’t completely scare me anymore, I still like knitting much better. Even though things take much longer to make, the process is so much more relaxing, more tactile, and MUCH less dangerous than sewing. I’m tired of pricking my fingers and ironing my hands!

pixie’s knitted heidi dress and cat

Mae’s surprise knitted birthday doll’s wardrobe is expanding. I absolutely LOVE this pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pixies-favourite-heidi-dress-and-little-red-winter-hood

Claire Garland is a knitting genius, even if she does have quite a few small errors in her patterns, I don’t care, geniuses are like that sometimes… they can’t be bothered with the details.

And now Pixie has a friend as well… modeled after our sweet Lola cat. This pattern can be found in this book (I borrowed it from the library) : Knit and Purl Pets

The cats love her too, and the white pillow they are sitting against in the photos was made by Mae. 🙂

In chicken land (was that what this blog was supposed to be all about?) we are all loving the warmer weather and longer days. It still surprises me how much the hens enjoy sitting with us on the hammock. They really can’t stand more than a quick pet when they’re running around the yard, but on the hammock they let us pet and hug them to the contentment of all. Cleo almost fell asleep the other evening while Mae was rocking us, cuddled up against my side. I wonder why the difference? Is it perhaps because we are at eye level, instead of descending from above… like a potential predator? And maybe because it feels like we are roosting with them, fellow chickens swaying together in the branches of a tree?

knitted birthday doll

I have been obsessed with this project the last two weeks… a knitted doll for my daughter’s birthday from this pattern,

Pixie – new knitted doll

: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pixie—new-knitted-doll

I LOVE how she turned out, and I can’t wait to make a bunch of clothes for her wardrobe!

pixie moon new knitted doll from Claire Garland

Here’s a link to my Ravelry page for my notes about it:

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/lucybluemoonvu/pixie—new-knitted-doll