Baby pumpkin heads

October 19th, 2014 by swatchless

My niece and nephew are now decked out in seasonal hats.

Hats are 60 sts worked in the round k5p1 and decreases at the top in green with an icord stem, and a curlicue added for effect.


The hats had to be lengthened today to be sure they cover their wee ears. To do this, I cast on 60 new stitches, worked 1 or 2 inches in pattern, and then kitchener stitched the live stitches to the first row of the hat, with the cast on edge on the inside of the hat.

The sweater is another one of my handknits, baby sophisticate. I’d make the body wider next time, it’s a bit of a long and narrow sweater, but it’s hard to know what proportions babies will be!

Always dye enough yarn

October 18th, 2014 by swatchless

I have been working on this pair of fox and geese mitts for a while. I spun the green yarn in 2008 and overdyed it this fall. I handspun the brown yarn on my drop spindle. The fleece comes from the Lyndhurst Turkey Fair. They’ve been with me at school, and on the road for the past few weeks.

This was at Craig Kielberger’s speech at Queen’s this Friday. They were almost done (an inch of thumb left) when I ran out of the green yarn.

Since the mitts were long, by everyone’s estimation, I started cannibalizing one mitten to finish the other. I reduced the tip of each mitten by one fox and geese segment, and managed to get two matching mitts!

There’s even a foot of green to spare!

Hopefully these will be a well loved and appreciated gift this winter.

Socks for a superfan

October 18th, 2014 by swatchless

Here’s the socks I made ages ago for this crazy superfan. Good to see they’re still in use. Happy Homecoming!


For The Directionally Challenged

October 11th, 2014 by swatchless

These mitts are inspired by a pair I saw on Ravelry.

They are knit for a girl who has had some difficulty telling left from right. Not only do the mitts have a letter on the back of each hand, they also have arrows on the palms that point in the correct direction.

The mitts were a bit small for me, but fit her perfectly.


They’re made from 100% wool, washed, carded, hand spun and dyed by me. I give gifts like this to people who can really appreciate them. This girl’s a knitter and wants to learn to spin too. I hope she wears these lots to keep warm and avoid getting lost this winter.

Knitting emergency

September 25th, 2014 by swatchless

A friend is learning to knit, and read patterns, and troubleshoot. Today was a day where I went to help.

I helped with some major ripping out and fixing. Things are now on the right track, and I look forward to see it in the next stages.

A Furry Friend

September 24th, 2014 by swatchless

Inspiration hit last night, and within a few hours I had knit a furry little friend.

The pattern “Rats!” is a nice quick knit, easily explained, and worked in the round. The ears and legs are a bit fiddly, but they are small, and oh so cute!

This little guy was missing eyes. I debated driving across town to the craft store to get beads, but decided instead to take my chances at the dollar store. I found a tacky bracelet with lots of faceted black beads which glint like I’d imagine rats eyes might.

I took him to the park for a photo shoot this evening, which caused quite a few questions from the people who were enjoying the lovely fall evening.

He’s going to make his way to Ottawa to surprise a friend who humours my ridiculous knitting


Solo adventures

September 20th, 2014 by swatchless

Today was supposed to be a group adventure, but at the last minute other deadlines got in the way for my other adventuring friends. I decided I’d go anyway and have an adventure on my own.

Stop 1: Lyndhurst for the Turkey Fair


I’ve never seen so many people in the village. There were vendors, and bouncy castles, and a guess the weight of the pumpkin booth.

There were quilts

And election posters

And Velma!

I visited the grounds of Camp Hyanto, and picked a few four leaf clovers, and then I set off once more…

Stop 2: rock dunder, near Morton

I walked the summit loop for the second time this summer. It was way less buggy this time!





I was alone at the top of the mountain, and it was lovely, windy, and peaceful.

I’m excited to go back when the colours change.
In the mean time, mark your calendars for the 3rd Saturday in September for the next Turkey Fair!




Mittens to Match…

September 19th, 2014 by swatchless

I knit a hat last year for a fellow who did quite a bit of camping. The hat was made from my early handspun, from fleece that was being tossed by a local farmer. I’d used some of the fleece as an experiment in dyeing, and the end result was a rustic hat that was quite suitable for the tough guy who would wear it.
(For some reason I cant find a picture of the hat…)

I came across the tail ends of the dyed handspun a few days ago, and decided that some matching mittens would be a good idea.

I divided up the ball of blue into two small balls, and did the same with the green, and then I set out to make up a pair of simple durable mittens. The natural yarn is not my own handspun, but it certainly is tough and rustic. I added a patterned cuff, and had enough left for stripes across the hand.

Sizing for a man’s hand is something that I’ve guessed at. These are very large for me. I had a friend try them on, and found that the original cuff was a bit on the short side, and also a bit loose. I had tried to avoid ribbing by using the Latvian braid, but decided that I should really make a cuff so they’re longer and cozier.

I picked up stitches from the inside of the mitten after the braid, and knit 14 rows of K1P1 ribbing to make a stretchy cuff. I’m thrilled by the result, and I hope they will be enjoyed and cherished for many years.

Handspun mitts

September 14th, 2014 by swatchless

I’m working on knitting up my stash of handspun scratchy yarn….the stuff that I made when I was first processing fleece right from the sheep. It’s not suitable for anything that will be close to the skin, except for mittens. It’s perfect for mittens.

Unfortunately, as you can probably see, my stash yarn doesn’t come in large quantities, so I’ve had to mix and match a few different greens to complete this pair. The thumbs are particularly green it seems.

I tried to dye up a batch to match the more turquoise colour, but it’s really hard to do (as I realized last night). My recipe includes vinegar and food colouring-blue and green straight out of the bottle- and a bit of time in a pot of simmering water.

This is as close as I got. We’ll see how light it gets when it is all dry.

I may end up redoing the thumbs if the colour is close.

Monster booties

September 4th, 2014 by swatchless

Here’s a cute application for novelty yarn!

I made basic sock shape booties out of eyelash yarn. To make them more monstery, I attached three i-cord claws.

These booties are a surprise gift for a little monster that was born this week.