Tuesday, August 9, 2016

How to Handwash your 'Babies'

Whenever I 'warn' you about the fact that some yarn requires hand washing I get the same look, that OMG I can't possibly do that look! (Well some of you anyway)

Bear with me as I try to compare hand washing a garment to giving a Baby a bath!



Step 1:

Fill the appropriate tub with warmish water and a few bubbles! (Eucalan or Soak for Garments, Baby Bubbles for Babies!) Bubbles make the water slippery and helps to remove soil, you may want to avoid too many bubbles for Babies as babies wiggle and are slippery when wet!

Step 2:

Remove extra bits of decoration (pins and brooches from garments, clothing from Babies)

Step 3:

Place Baby/Garment in tub, swish around a bit to get wet.

Step 4: This one is the important one!
For garment, totally immerse in water and walk away for 20 minutes! Easy!
For Baby, be sure to keep baby upright and watch like a hawk, do don't leave the room or turn your back on them, gently wash all parts by hand with love and care!

Step 5: After the appropriate amount of time remove Baby/Garment from tub and wrap gently in a towel removing all excess water, do not wring or twist!

Step 6:
 For Garment: Find a nice flat place, with good air circulation and away from small pets!  Smooth carefully into shape, making sure measurements are close to finished garment, stretching to block open, squishing to achieve correct size.

For Baby:  Dress baby in new clothes, snuggle till Baby is tired and place in safe place for a Nap!

Allow both to rest until ready to Play or Wear again!

Well that was Fun!

Enjoy your Babies while they are Babies (because that stage doesn't last very long) If you wash and look after your handmade garments they will be with you a very long time!

See you soon!





Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Knitting Helps!

It's been a hectic summer, I really don't know where time has gone?

'The Farmer' is busy with work and we have been going early into 'town' 2 days a week for his physio appointments. It's easier if we go in together and I drop him off and do a couple of errands and then pick him up on the way home. 'The Boy' is at school and comes home when he can to help, he brings his 'Buddy' a black lab puppy home too! 

This has been the driest summer for us! I have lived on this property for 30 some years and never has there been so little rain on our crops. We were very happy to see some rain this past Monday morning, But even our little watercourse that feeds Soper Creek is still dry! When there are many acres of crop on the line our lively hood is at risk. We are lucky in that we have multiple sources of income but this may be a lean year for crop income.  So that is a bit of a worry! 




We have had some sad days too! A long time friend and the person responsible for letting me know about the location for the shop died suddenly a couple of weeks ago. We miss her! Then this past week one of the original sales representatives to the shop also passed away. I had not seen or talked to her for the past few years but we always meant to get together for lunch. She was such a lovely person and we had a genuine connection. It's sad knowing that the possibility of 'lunch' with Susan will not happen.

To process these things I knit! It puts my emotions somewhere and helps me process the stress!



Sometimes however the knitting is creating its own stress.  I have been quietly working on a huge lace weight project. I am down to the border which goes all the way around this 60 inch shawl.  There are 20 rows to the border repeat and in that repeat there are 40 beads! It takes 40 minutes to do a repeat, I can only do 2 repeats and my brain is 'on fire'.  There were 52 repeats to go around and I am down to 28.  I am persevering and am determined to finish this before September!

Hope your summer is filled with fun events and happy knitting!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Simple baby cardigan part 2



A while back I introduced you to a simple reliable easy pattern for a Baby sized sweater.  Then we did an impromptu KAL 

These are the results:


Mary was easily convinced to make a sample for the shop, she managed to make the sleeves match! 
The yarn is Sirdar's Crofter Snuggly, a self striping yarn that is super soft and washable.


Susan used the same yarn. This was finished just in time as the baby girl was born the morning she finished sewing on the buttons!



Helen chose a yarn from the sale bin, a discontinued Sirdar Cotton Blend.  She closed up the eyelet holes and added a stripe to the garter stitch details.


Susan finished this just in time for a friend to purchase it from her, some times you don't need to be the knitter of a hand knit garment. 


I played a bit with some Cascade 220 Superwash handpaints and a coordinating solid. Also closing up the eyelet holes to create a more 'boyish' garment.

We may try a few more Knit-a-longs and before you know it you have gifts ready to give!

See you soon!



Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Mitred Knitting part 3

Okay, so now you know how to add squares along the outside edge, now lets go over how to add a square to the 'inside' of the project.

As you can see that the lighter blue squares will support the cast on stitches for the new darker blue square! Begin by picking up the stitches along the edge.  Always beginning with a stitch in the last stitch of a completed square. 

Pick-up evenly along the garter stitch edge picking up one stitch in each bump. (You may have to fudge the corner)  Sometimes there is a bit of a hole but it can be tidied up when sewing in the ends.



Place a marker at the corner where the 3 completed squares meet.  Then pick up the same number along the other square.


Knit one row and then complete the square.



The nice thing about this way of attaching as you go means you can add squares fairly randomly and create a blanket of left over yarn as it becomes available.

I hope this makes some sense, this tutorial has turned into a project! 

See you soon.





Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mitred knitting part 2

Now that you have created a long row of mitred squares in one direction it's time to add another row.

The first step is to cast on 30 stitches (or half a mitred square's worth) I personally like using my favorite long tail cast on.


Place a marker and beginning at the base of the first square begin picking up along the edge.


Pick up 30 stitches or 1/2 a square's worth. The last stitch should be right in the corner of the opposit end of the square.


Turn work and knit back.  Working the decrease rows on right side of square and knitting back on wrong side, as directed in previous post.

We will discuss the next square soon!




Friday, June 24, 2016

Mitred knitting, better late then never!

This is just a general mitred square knitting tutorial. I have not listed yarn or needles used as this can apply to any weight or any size of square. Use a lovely yarn and the needles that you use to get the recommended gauge on the ball band. A little looser is okay, but it's better knit with a good even texture. I also slipped the first stitch knit ways at the begining of every row, this gives a nice even edge.



First begin with a mitred square. For this project I cast on 60 stitches. Placing a marker in the center. You may want to mark the right side with a pin as it's easy to get sides confused.

Row 1
Knit to the 2 stitches before the marker, SSK, slip the marker, K2tog, knit to end. 
Row2 knit.

Continue working the decrease row on right side and knitting back on the wrong side. When only 4 stitches remain, work an SSK, remove marker, K2tog. Then knit the 2 remaining stitches together, break yarn and pull tail to finish.

Adding the second square:

With right side facing insert the tip of your needle into the stitch just bound off and pick up a stitch with a new colour of yarn. Continue to pick up stitches along the edge, I like to pick up in the garter stitch bumps, some pick up in the 'ditches' but as long as you are consistent it works. You should easily pick up 30 stitches. ( this may take a couple of tries the first few times but it's worth the effort to do this evenly) After picking up the 30 place a marker. Then using either a backwards loop or cable cast on, cast on another 30 stitches. 






Knit one row. 
With right side facing work a decrease row and alternating with a knit row make another square.


You can continue adding more squares until the strip is long enough. 

The next blog post will show you how to add more squares in other directions, but you might be able to figure it out from this?

See you soon!










Thursday, June 23, 2016

Odora KAL

I am learning to play with others!  I am a solitary knitter, I chose projects that appeal to me and sometimes they are obscure and few like them and others are some of the most popular on Ravelry.

The Doodler by Stephen West was the most popular pattern in 2016 followed closely by Baable hat. I made both, not realizing I was part of the big trend.  

In February I joined the Mystery knit a long by Alana Dakos. It was a big project and had I seen the final result I think I would have not attempted it, but I am glad I did. It was the first time I invited others to join me in the challenge, we had a small group working on the project. It was fun to see the finished projects.

During the month of May I joined the Berroco KAL, mostly because we have the yarn in stock and the project was a big garter stitch wrap!  It would make a good shop sample!  

I finished on schedule and was quite happy with the results.



The Berroco company is known for its unique designs and quality yarn. I would love to fill the shop with it but the price point is higher than most and I am faced with the ever changing Canadian dollar.  I choose the gems and Folio is by far my favourite in their current selection!

Some of you are working on the little buttons cardigan as a way to learn top down knitting. We hope to be able to show you how everyone enterprets the pattern differently.

What else could we knit together?

See you soon!