Loose ends…..a baby sweater WIP

1 May

I am fairly certain my least favorite part of a project is dealing with all the finishing. Depending on the object, I try to weave in ends as I go, but this has not been happening lately. This sweater by DROPs Design is called the McDreamy. I loved it on the little baby model in the picture, but I am slightly frustrated with the pattern itself. It is partly my own fault but there was a point in which I was supposed to stop knitting in the round and go back and forth to create a flap at the raglan edge, making it easier to get over the baby’s head. When I realized the error, I was at the neckline with a good weeks worth of teeny tiny moss stitch invested already. So I looked up a few more patterns to improvise a large enough neck opening in double rib stitch. There is no way a baby’s giant noggin will get stuck in there.

mcdreamy

and a close up of the stitch detail…..

mcdreamyclose

So now I get to just weave in all those ends, sew up the underarms, and hopefully have enough time to whip up a little matching hat before shipping this off to a dear friend of mine.

This is my 4ths little baby sweater, I have just gotten word that I need to get another one started- any pattern suggestions? I loved puerpernium but I want to try something new!

More of my husband’s fiber handmade tools, spindles!

15 Apr

We have been really busy lately! With work and the kids and college classes, I haven’t had much free time and what time we do get is spent in the beautiful spring outdoors. I do have a couple WIP’s going on, but lately it has been easier to instagram those, come find me as bekhiann, or on my ravelry page, also bekhiann.

I just have to share here some pictures of the recent spindles my husband has made, they are absolutely gorgeous hand turned bamboo spindles with different stone inlays:

6E5A3402 6E5A3396 6E5A3401 6E5A3392 6E5A3399 6E5A3397 6E5A3390 6E5A3388

At this point I pretty much have every weight and size drop spindle imaginable, so he has started listing them on Etsy. You can check out his shop here, AaronMakesStuff

Yes this was a shameless plug to sell spindles, but I really believe they are gorgeous and it should be shared with the world!

Homeade e-spinner that rocks

26 Mar

I think a while back I mentioned my husband was building me a spinning wheel. I am a novice spinner, having only had a single beginners drop spindle and a new laceweight trindle, with exactly one skein of lovely spindle spun yarn finished since I began trying to spin. My husband only took a minor interest in my knitting over the years, but spinning piqued his interest because he just purchased a bunch of cool woodworking tools and was looking for things to make. So one day he just set out to build me a wheel.

Through much trial and error with some treadle designs, he decided it would be even more fun to make this thing electrical. So when the little sewing machine motor came in the mail, my wheel turned into an e-spinner. It took a little bit, having no experience with any wheel of any sort and only minor knowledge of spinning and tons of youtube video watching, but here is the first skein of yarn fully completed and ready to go:

wpid-storageemulated0PhotoEditor2014-03-26-14.40.21.png.pngI wound it onto the niddy noddy (also made by my woodcrafting genius husband) but totally forgot to count and measure. I was a little distracted with excitement for bathing and drying and squishing my new little beauty. This is the same Knitpicks “Wool of the Andes” roving I used for my spindle spun hat just in a different color.

About this time last month I traveled to Seattle to visit my sister and I picked up some Malabrigo Nube pure merino wool roving in the colorway “Piedras” at one of the million awesome LYS’ in the Seattle/Tacoma region. (She’s so lucky) So that is what is on the wheel today. Finally, without further ado, here is the version 2.37 of my e-spinner! Promise not to laugh, she’s a little rough around the edges but she functions for exactly what she’s supposed to do, SPIN ALL THE THINGS! And I think its the most beautiful e-spinner in all the land:

wpid-20140326_141621_HDR.jpg wpid-20140326_141658.jpgNext post I will show off what my husband has been working on as of late, amazingly beautiful drop spindles. My collection of spindles has exploded with all kinds of prototypes, and I actually spun a whole skien of yarn on the cutest little mini spindle you’ve ever seen. Stay tuned!

Fiber Festivals!! Homespun Yarn Party, Savage Mill Maryland

23 Mar

This was quite fun. My friend Vanessa of The Vintage Rose Knittique mentioned to me last week about this Homespun Yarn Party only 2 hours away. I checked out the list of vendors and was totally excited to see a bunch of really indie dyers, expecting a bunch of one of a kind fun stuff to buy up. I was not disapointed!! The venue was a little cramped, and it was tough with the kids in tow but my husband helped wrangle them around.

hsyp20144

As soon as the kids found the fiber they wanted -yes, they are little spinners now! My hubby sat down with them at the craft tables so I could get some hardcore shopping on. He was much more interested in the event than I thought. He’s been making spindles and was blown away by the variety of what people had made. Very inspiring for him I think :)

I won’t inundate you with yarn porn here, so I got one good shot of all my goodies out together:

wpid-ABM_1395615219.jpg

Punis from Gourmet Stash in “Orchid Color Shift”
Some “Bunny Love” Roving from Slippery Slope Farm (so soft!!!!!!)
Also from Slippery Slope, my son picked out some Merino Roving “Peanut” (this is either the color or the animal it was shorn from) and some soap.
hsyp20145

Tempting Ewe Roving in a very bold orange (my daughter’s pick) and a skein of Ewe So Sparkly Sock in “Snow Cones”
Two blue Alpaca/Wool/Angelina batts from Kate’s Cauldron
A Harry Potter inspired yellow roving (I’m readopting it for a honeybee care package cause it is PERFECT) from 222 Handspun
As well as a bag of totally random handyed fiber bits and bobs for my daughter, from 222 Handspun (Wishing I would have grabbed one of her art batts, they were gorgeous!)
From Wild Hare Fiber Studio, a beautiful purple and black and neon pink with sparkle batt, and some sock yarn in “Time Machine” (Dr. Who!!) Picked out by my son, because it matched his coat.

Nolan trying out a wheel

Nolan trying out a wheel

As we left the party, I heard there were actually two whole other yarn stores in this mill, so of course, we went to find them.

From Peaknits: I learned a bunch from the ladies working ther about spinning with different types of fiber. I picked up a big ol’ ball of Peace Fleece Roving, and some Yearling Mohair in the colorway “Silvermist” Rebecca had in stock from a local called Cottage Dyeworks.

We’d had about all we could take, being that I do get a little claustrophobic. If I had any suggestions for the event planners, make use of all that extra room in the empty mill shops. Don’t cram all the vendors in one room. The line was out the door for quite a while since they could only allow so many people in at a time due to fire codes I’m sure.

All in all it was a nice time. Not as overwhelming as Rhinebeck, more indie/unique stuff, and a short drive (for us, from Dover).

Plus there was this super cool giant chair:

hsyp2014 hsyp20142

Operation Free the Loom!! a.k.a. finish the damn weaving project already.

22 Mar

Once again I have been favoring instagram over my blog. It is just so much easier to not have to write about my projects, when I have so much going on. This month I have been super busy, despite taking a break from my college classes which was supposed to give me more time to finish up some WIP’s. Instead the month has just flown by.

With that, my beautiful rigid heddle loom has been sitting idly by in the living room. Warped with only 1/4 of the weaving left to do, and gathering dust. I started some cotton washcloths way back in the fall, kind of an experiment to see if I liked them woven more than knitted. Here I am weaving furiously to get them finished:

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I used a thinner cotton for the warp, and standard dishcloth cotton for the weft. Really, since I used the thicker weft, it barely took 20 minutes to weave each 9 inch washcloth so I really do not know why this took so long. The plan was to do 9 inches of the thicker cotton, then four inches of the thinner cotton, and repeat until I run out of warp. That way the fabric would be thinner where I needed to hem between each cloth. But since I took my time with this I pretty much made up new measurements each time I sat down to weave, resulting in slightly wonky hem widths.

DISHCLOTHS

All they need now is a quick wash to tighten up the weave, and they are ready to go. I still haven’t decided if I like them better than knit, what do you think? I like that they are a little less bulky when woven versus knitted.

DISHCLOTHS2

Surprises in the mail and the generosity of knitters

21 Feb

This blog has always been my little place to document the crafty stuff I do, so that one day I can look back and remember all the cool stuff I made, and hopefully see my progression in skill. Hopefully it will be in internet-land long enough that my kids one day find it fun to look back on what mom made, remember an adventure, whatever it is. I really truly never expected anyone else to notice it, a few friends follow on Facebook (hi guys! Love you!) but slowly others from the knitting and craft community have begun to follow me here or on my instagram (bekhiann) either to see what I’m making or just because that is what we knitters do. We love seeing everybody’s handiwork! We love sharing ideas, enabling each other about new yarns, challenging or helping each other to build our skills. We are not each others competition, it’s so different from any other facet of my life. Everyone is accepted- if you knit, crochet, spin, weave, or just want to learn- you are in the group. I have always thought this way, and as my knitting world expands, the generosity and kindness of other knitters has only solidified my feelings on the subject.

Speaking of generous, a follower of this blog reached out to me after I posted about my new spinning adventure (hello Mellissa of Chic ‘n’ Fish!) and out of the blue, sent me a gorgeous skein of her handspun Llama yarn! All the way from New Zealand! No strings attached. I don’t think I have ever in my life received such a lovely gift from a total stranger. It totally made my day, my week, my month. It is a beautiful skein, natural rustic colors of grey, black, greyish brown and off white. It is so gorgeous and special it has its own place in my special yarn/spindle showcase hutch in the livingroom. I want everybody to see it, and feel the love. Check it out:
gift yarn
Thank you Mellissa, from the bottom of my heart. Girl you are what it is all about! I cannot wait to turn this scrumptious handspun into something I can wear all the time, I think a simple cowl or hat so I can really show off the subtle variations in the colors. It’s going to be a joy to work with. Stay tuned to see what I come up with!

I would love to hear more stories about knitters random acts of kindness that maybe came your way, or you sent out into the community! Share in the comments section by March 15th, I want to pass the love on and gift a random commenter something fibery and awesome. I haven’t thought of what it will be yet but I think awesome covers it.

Finished Object: Knit Oaklet Shawl

28 Jan

A few years ago, if you would have told me it was fun to knit shawls I would have laughed. “What is the point, little old ladies wear shawls why would I want one of those?”

Because they are AWESOME. That is why. Well so far I would call these more like shawlettes, or even kerchiefs. I love having them to just throw around my neck when it is chilly, and they knit up quick. For this project I chose the Oaklet Shawl by Megan Goodacre. It is a free pattern on Ravelry (find me on Ravelry). I chose to use the skein of fingering weight indie dyed yarn I purchased at the Shenandoah Fiber Festival by Puff the Magic Rabbit called “Oz’s Ballroom”. It is a lovely mix of blues, greens, and purples with a little purple Angelina for some sparkle. Without further ado, my latest FO:

oakletshawlette2oakletshawlette oakletshawlette1

As far as what else I am working on, oh my gosh. I have been so moody, I think it is the blahs of winter setting in. I want to do all the things but realistically I cannot. I am also taking classes for school which are sucking up all my free time. But I do have a few projects on the needles, and the spindles, and a really cool new toy my husband is making me (a homemade e-spinner! working out the kinks, there WILL be a post on this later!). Really, I think I just need to do something more challenging-but I don’t know if I have the time for it!

What are you working on? How do you lift yourself up out of a crafting funk?

 

 

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