There are even more in the bag

My husband changed the design of his cell phone stand to a narrower, two piece item. So this meant I had to come up with a new design for the bags. I needed something that would be quick to make but still look good. I decided that the less sewing the better and that meant learning a new skill – double-knitting. This means no side seams to sew or using DPNs (which I normally love but they are slower to knit on). I joined Lucy Neatby’s Double-Knitting Class on Craftsy a while ago but haven’t finished it. I’ve taken the knowledge I have a started this new design:

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I love the modern look and I can wait to come up with some other graphic style designs.

Busy bees

Although the thought of being stung by a bee isn’t nice there are plenty of nice things about honey bees, like honey, honey comb, bees wax and the great things they do for our environment. Last weekend I managed to get several great photos of some bees collecting pollen in my backyard (which looks like a messy jungle right now).

Bee01This bee image is a great lead into my latest knitting pattern since it’s all about bees and honey comb. I choose this yellow as the final colour for the piece. It just felt right. It’s a little like the yellow of a bee, of honey and honey comb. The finished item should be ready to be revealed soon. The pattern for it will be available for sale on Craftsy (Good Knit), Ravelery (Good Knit) and Etsy (Good Knit Things).

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It’s in the bag

 

What have I been up to? Well I got a little side tracked from my main project to make this:

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What is it? It’s a carrier bag for this beautiful cell phone stand my husband made by hand out of oak and woodworking tools. CellPhoneStandMain-sm

When he was making it I thought about how nice it would be to have a handmade bag (knit by me of course) to carry the two pieces the stand becomes when it is unassembled. The bag is a great way to take the stand to work or on a business trip. You could even fit your cell phone in the bag with the two pieces of the stand.

This bag was the prototype and I already have ideas for making it better and more interesting, like getting my hubby to make wooden buttons and I can knit in a button hole instead of using velcro like I did for this one.

Isn’t great when two creative people come together to make useful, handmade items? I can’t wait to make more.

 

Oh yay! Kool Aid dyeing day.

I’ve wanted to do Kool Aid dyeing for years. Today the girls and I tried it out. Things got tricky right away when I realized that no-one seems to sell the powdered form of Kool Aid anymore. So I improvised and used the liquid concentrate instead. First thing I discovered is that if you want an intense colour you need to use about half a container of the Kool Aid concentrate. Our first few skeins came out pastel – pretty but not what the girls had hoped for. I think I will re-dye them at a later time. Second thing is wear some gloves – I didn’t and now I have stained fingers and smell like fruit punch of some kind.

Step1

Step one – white, 100% wool yarn and either powdered or liquid concentrate Kool Aid.

Step2

Step two – prepare the skein – make sure it’s loosely tied on either end so it doesn’t tangle.

Step3

Step three – gently wash with mild soap.

Step4

Step four – pour dye into a mircowave safe container – use more for intense colour (use about half a liquid container or one full powder packet).

Step5

Step five – add water to cover the skein – I think I have a bit too much water here. Less would be better.

Step6

Step six – microwave for 2 minutes, let rest for about 2 minutes – repeat this a couple times until you see the water becoming clear. I found 3 repeats to be enough.

Step7

Step seven – let sit until the yarn cools to room tempature or so. Rinse in water that is similar to the tempature of the yarn so it won’t felt.

Step8

Step eight – Squeeze out the excess water – gently.

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Step nine – Hang to dry. Wind into balls and knit away.

Fuzz meat?

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Hello guys. Sorry I’ve missed a post or two. I’ve been distracted with my Dad’s hip replacement surgery and a few other personal issues. Nothing big or to be concerned about.

Last week I bought a copy of Vogue Knitting as a treat. And love the article about knitting sculptor, Dominique Kaelhler Schweizer, a.k.a Madame Tricot. She knits these amazing sculptures of meat, cheese, and other foods. They are as disturbing as they are beautiful. As a trained fine artist I felt so inspired by this. In the past I combined some of my fibre skills into my print making. I miss those days of art – sigh.

What non-traditional object d’art would you find most interesting to create?

You can view Madame Tricot’s gallery here.

Learning from mistakes

We’ve all heard it said that we need to learn from our mistakes and that is certainly true with knitting. So far my honeybee pattern has been fraught with errors and lots of tinking and ripping back, but finally I’ve got it where I want it. My plan is to complete the article of clothing even with the errors just to be sure about sizing. Then I’ll knit it again, hopefully without any errors. I’m a bit worried about the clarity of the bees. My hope is that the bees will show up better once the final piece has been blocked.

On another note those are pretty cool stitch markers, eh? Who doesn’t love Scrabble? Okay I don’t love it because my English degree husband always kicks my butt, but they do make for fun markers.

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A rainy day

Today has been a cool, wet day. A rainy day. My daughters and I decided to go for a walk on some trails near our house. I love to bring my camera along when we explore through these trails. It often yields some lovely shots and today didn’t disappoint me. _MG_3119 _MG_3126 _MG_3137This is a cute little library box. I’ve seen these around and I think it’s a great idea. The girls felt nervous about looking at the books, like someone was going to come out and tell us to go away.

This past week I’ve been reading the pattern creation book I got for my birthday and making revisions to my patterns. It’s taking a lot of time to revise the patterns because I want to make sure I’m providing detailed instructions that are easy to read and understand. I also want to get people a little story or insight about each pattern. It’s so freeing and enjoyable working on the two patterns I’m presently sorting out.

I will admit there has been some frustration with the Honey Bee pattern. The main issue has been to make neat, clear holes for the wings. I finally have figured it out and started the actual item it’ll become (that’s a secret, but you’ll know soon enough). I will have to make it twice, once to work the bugs out of the pattern and a second time to double check that pattern works and makes sense. If I have time I’ll ask a fellow knitter to test the pattern.

Stay dry and happy knitting!

 

Happy purchases

The past week or so I haven’t been knitting as would like. I’m working on the swatch for the honeybee pattern and I keep running into a variety of issues, but it’s starting to come together. I can’t wait get creating with it. Speaking of patterns I’ve been very happy with response to a few free patterns I’ve put on Craftsy. I’ve seen over 100 uploads in a few weeks. The test will be when I finally get pattern up that I feel I can charge for.

And now for a little eye candy – a couple of great Knit Picks purchases:

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I purchased several skeins of bare wool and plan to try dyeing with Koolaid. It’ll be a great summer project with my girls. And yes I will be posting photos of the finished work.