Friday, February 18, 2011

Etsy update and sale!

I've recently added a few more hand painted yarns to my Etsy shop. And to help with the winter blahs, how about a little sale?
10% off all yarns by entering the code 10OFFNOW during checkout.
Better check it out!

Sale on till the end of the month.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's what's on the inside that counts

It all started with wonderful Fleece artist kit that I purchased from my LYS last month to make a pair of Thrummed mittens.
The kit has a great handpainted worsted weight yarn and kid roving dyed to coordinate.

Thrummed mitts are actually a Canadian thing. They have been around for a few hundred years in Northern Newfoundland and Labrador. Bits of fleece were added to the inside of knitted items to add warmth.

After several false starts (a.k.a. frogging), I finally settled on a technique to make the thrums and to thrum a stitch by following the instructions from Biscotte and Cie.
Another great tutorial can be found on Hello Yarn but I did not follow that technique to knit the thrums.

I found that it's best to make a few dozens of thrums at a time.

After knitting a 2 ½ inch cuff, I started to insert thrums every fourth stitch and every fourth row. 

Even the thumb is thrummed.(try saying that three times in a row!) Looks really great on the outside, wait till you see what's on the inside!

How crazy is that? 

Over time, the thrums will felt to eah other and to the knitted mitt to form a warm felted layer on the inside of the mitten. But to help things along, I intend to wet the mitt and start the felting process by gently rubbing with a bit of soap and hot water, just to make sure that the thrums are lined up properly and don't felt in lumps...I would hate lumps on the inside of any mitts.

I intend to make more of these. Too much fun.

Friday, February 11, 2011


For the past 22 years, three girlfriends and I have been meeting twice a year for girl's weekends. All of us lived in the same city back then but one by one, they moved to other parts of Ontario and I am the only one left here. But even the distance that seperated us could not keep us apart.
Over the years, we have shared beautiful moments together and supported each other through some very difficult times as well.
We usually meet at a Bed & Breakfast, a cottage, or each other's houses (kicking the hubby out, of course!). For our 25th year anniversary, we are planning a major trip involving a flight and passport...destination yet to be determined! All four of us should be retired by will be a great time!

My January knitting was all about them. I made three pairs of fingerless mittens from the Fetching pattern, available on
The red mitts are knitted without any modifications. They fit a very small hand. I knew I would have to modify the pattern to lengthen it a bit for the purplish blue mitt for a medium hand. The black mitt are the longest, made for a hand with long fingers like mine. We all met last weekend and I was happy to see that they all fit.
I love fingerless mitts. You can wear them when the weather gets warmer, when you are shopping and they look nice over a pair of thin gloves as well when extra warmth is needed.

Cables are at the wrist and also near the fingers.
A 4 X 1 rib all over the hand part makes this mitt really snug fitting.

Tomorrow, I take a course to make thrummed mitts...more on that next week.
Enjoy your weekend

Monday, February 7, 2011


Doing things differently is always fun. You get to see how far you can push the limits to get the results you are looking for.

I recently purchased a hand dyed sock blank to knit a pair of socks. If you have not seen those yet, they are basically a knitted rectangle that you take apart to knit a pair of socks (or whatever else you can knit with sock yarn). They are usually knitted with with two strands of yarn so that both of your socks will be identical when you knit them. What makes them fun is that you are not quite sure what your socks will look like when they are done. Clic here to see an example sold on Etsy.

I decide to make a blank of my own by using the same technique but with the sleeve of a wool sweater I took apart to recycle the yarn.
In th next picture you see one of the sleeves on my dogs grooming table. I already started to apply fushia dye to the cuff of the sleeve.

I continued to add dyes of different colours all the way to the top. Now my problem was that the 'sleeve' was really saturated with dye because I wanted the colours to be vibrant. I knew I could not move it or the colours would mix and I would end up with a muddled mess. How to add heat to fix the dyes? I knew that the microwave was not the answer, nor was the steaming pot of hot water.
I thought I might have another option, something that I have not seen elsewhere I covered the blank with plastic wrap to test it out.

Then I went in the garage to get a few work lamps and set them up over the soaked blank to see if they would produce enough heat to set the dyes.

It actually worked. It took a few hours, as I moved the lamps around to make sure every section was heated through. After a while, I started to press the blank with a paper towel to see if the water left was clear and it was!!

Here is the first dryed blank.

And here is a second one I made the same way.

Of course, these blanks are not knitted with two strands of yarn so I intend to knit a scarf, cowl or hat with them. Yarn is more like a DK or a light worsted yarn. Now to find the perfect pattern!