Posts Tagged With: felting

One Down, Another On The Needles

The Waffle Stitch face/spa cloth is finished! It only took a little over a week to finish one cloth – that actually surprised me; it felt like it took forever! I do have to say, though, that I’m really happy with it. It has a very nice feel to it, not thick but still cushy, with enough texture to help exfoliate and stimulate the skin without being rough. Now, we’ll have to see how it stands up to use. Looking nice is one thing, performance is another.

I’ve also cast on for another face cloth; I figure that if I have the yarn and needles out, I may as well keep going. I think I know a few people who will appreciate these. This time, I using a checkerboard stitch, 5 knit stitches, 5 purl stitches, 6 rows, then alternating the knit and purl stitches. I’m really liking how this one’s working up, too.

faceclothsx2

The soap in the picture, incidentally, is the Java Jumpstart soap, one of my favourites (who am I kidding? They’re all my faves!). This one has the most amazing scent and so far, everyone who smells it, wants it.

And speaking of soap, I did a bit of experimenting last night. I’ve been seeing some amazing pictures and videos of something called a Taiwan Swirl (google it and you’ll see why I’ve been blown away). I used two colours (does uncoloured count as a colour?), natural and ultramarine blue and poured alternating sections of each. Then, with a chopstick, the colours are swirled together to form a pattern. Here’s how it looked after I’d finished the swirling…

Taiwan swirl

I chose not to add any scent to this one because I wanted to see how it turned out. If/when I make another swirled soap, I will definitely add some scent to it. To be honest, it takes almost as much time and thought to decide what scent to use as it does to plan and make the soap. It’s one of the reasons most of my soaps aren’t scented. That, and the fact that I don’t care for perfumed things on or near my face.

This morning, I took the soap from the mold; it’s still too soft to cut but I anticipate that I’ll be able to cut it tomorrow. I am really eager to see how the swirls look inside the soap.

Taiwan swirl2

Normally, I cut my soaps in about nine bars, straight down. In this case, the recommendation is that you first cut about four bars across the mold, then cut each of those bars horizontally. That way, the swirls you see on the top become the sides of the bar. If that sounded confusing, just wait for the pictures.

Back to where we started… knitting. The weather here definitely has autumn overtones. Mornings and evenings have that unmistakable coolness that comes with the changing of the season. Another sign that autumn is on its way is the fact that John’s been whining about not having slippers to wear.

That should be remedied by the end of the weekend. I started his slippers last February; they’re almost done. I think I only need to work one more sole, then put them together and felt them. I’m making a point of getting them done and off my plate.

slippers to finish

Then, I can start on a pair for me!

Categories: Blogging, Contest, Just stuff, Knitting, Making Soap, Slippers, The Weather | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy Valentine’s Day

The middle of February… already! And, yes, today is Valentine’s Day. It’s pretty gorgeous here today. Right now, the sun is shining and it’s about 9ºC (48ºF). It’s definitely a day to get out there, something I intend to do shortly.

I did wander about a bit this morning, checking on the garden out front. I wasn’t surprised to see bits of green showing.

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This is a stand of poppies, the nice big, bright red ones. I was surprised to see it, and the other stand, as green as they are; I think they may be the first to flower this year if they keep growing like this!

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Even the roses are starting to put out buds; I noticed the irises and daisies are starting to come up, too. I did tell John that I’d wait until the beginning of March before getting into clean up mode but we may have to start sooner if this weather keeps up.

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This is all that remains of our January snowfall. At one point, the kids had tunnels in this pile; it really was a big pile, higher than the kids were tall. They were even sledding down one side of it.

Now, though, spring is on its way and I, for one, am more than ready for it. We’re coming in to my favourite time of year.

This past week did see some progress on the knitting front.

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That’s the first of John’s pair of slippers. I always chuckle as the size of these slippers before the felting process; they’re huge! I still have the second sole to complete but the knitting, at least, is done on this slipper. The second sole has been cast on. It doesn’t take long to knit the sole but it does demand some concentration; if you’ve ever knit this pattern, you’ll know what I mean.

I’ll try to get this pair done this weeked but I have every intention of enjoying this mild weather while we have it. In the meantime, I wish you all…….

VDay

Categories: Blogging, Garden, Just stuff, Knitting, The Weather | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Was Your Christmas?

The Christmas season is coming to an end. There’s just New Year’s Eve to get through and then we can get back to normal again. That really sounds rather “grinchy” doesn’t it? As nice as our Christmas was — quiet but nice — I’m happy it’s behind us. Both John and I were hit with a flu/cold bug of some sort about a week before Christmas and we’re both struggling (John more than me) to get over it. Neither of us has our appetite back yet so making a fancy dinner wasn’t necessarily all that appealing.

It was, however, a lovely dinner. We chose not to repeat last year’s adventure; remember the Morton Thompson turkey? If you’d like, you can read about it on the old blog, the original Strings ‘n Things. There’s a series of posts about the turkey.

Part 1     Part 2     Part 3     Part 4     Part 5     Judgement Day

This year, we decided to go a completely different route. Instead of turkey, we decided to cook up a prime rib roast with “the fixings” and to invite our friends Mike & Judy. We feasted on a perfectly cooked prime rib roast with roasted sweet potato, parsnips and carrots, steamed brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes and gravy, and the must have Yorkshire puddings. It’s just too bad that we really could not eat as much as we normally might have… or maybe that’s not such a bad thing. John asked yesterday whether or not Kelly (truly the sweetest dog I know) had had any of the roast beast during dinner; I assured him that Kelly had indeed “helped” me with my dinner.

Kelly-8x6

Even though I’m happy that this holiday season is almost behind us for another year, I must say that I was happy for the extra couple of days off. It did give me the opportunity to do some much needed knitting.  (I would have done more painting but the paints were put away so we could use the dining room table for what it is actually meant for… dining.)

I’ve been saying for quite a while now that I need/want some slippers that will keep my ankles warm. They’re not always cold but when they are, I get really cold. I’d bought a pattern quite some time ago (like a year or more ago). I really like the leg warmers but, as I posted in a previous post, I’d bought the pattern and wool to make a pair of felted boots and now, with a couple of days off, it was time to make them.

felted boots

They were done by the end of Christmas day, as in knitted, felted, and drying. I was even nice enough to let Judy wear them while we were having dinner as her feet were icy cold (I could tell by looking at her). She was very appreciative!

Alpine boots

Now, however, they are mine… all mine!

Alpine boots feltedI’ve also been working on the 10-stitch afghan but when I looked at how much progress I’ve really made since the last time I posted about it, I’ve only really completed one half of a round. Granted, the blanket is getting bigger with each round but I thought that I’d made a little more progress than that! Ah well, that blanket will be a work in progress for some time to come; there is no rush to finish it, thankfully.

In closing for today, I do hope you all had a lovely Christmas, no matter how you celebrate it and I wish for you a year filled with good and happiness.

 

Categories: Cooking, Finished, Health, Just stuff, Knitting, Slippers | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Oh My! I’ve Been Knitting!

Can you believe it? I’m back in the knitting groove!  I had a couple of sick days this week (I’m feeling much better, thanks!) and picked up my needles while whiling away the afternoons.

It’s been cold here the last week or so (we’re talking -10ºC, or 14ºF, in the mornings) and it isn’t easy keeping the cold drafts at bay. My feet, and especially my ankles, have been chilly, chilly, chilly. Not pleasant. I’ve never made leg warmers before but if ever there was a good reason to make some, this week has been it. I started doing some searching in Ravelry and came up with these very simple leg warmers, knit in a k1, p1 rib using Paton’s Classic Wool.

leg warmersThe pattern is by Caitlinn Ffrench. Really, all I wanted the pattern for was for the needle size and the stitch count. Armed with those two numbers, I could have done anything. However, I want these for wearing under my “warmies” and with my slippers so k1, p1 rib is perfect. The first one was finished within 24 hours. The second one, I find, always takes longer. What? Me, suffer from second anything syndrome? Banish the thought! Um.. yeah. These have definitely become a priority, though. I really don’t like cold feet and I especially don’t like cold ankles. It just makes the cold seem so much colder.

To that end, I’ve also picked up another two balls of Alafoss Lopi today.

felted bootsI bought the pattern last year (or perhaps two years ago) and have had every intention of making these felted boots. Obviously, I still haven’t. They are basically the same pattern as the Bev Galeskas felted clogs that I’ve been making for the both of us for the past few years, just higher. I have every intention of making (and finishing) these this winter but without the fuzzy stuff. I don’t especially care for the fuzzies. I will, however, reinforce the sole with leather, just to help prolong the life of these slippers. With these, the legwarmers might be superfluous but anything to help stave off the cold will be welcomed!

Another small, or maybe not so small, project that has been resurrected is the Annabella’s cowl that I started earlier this year. You might remember it; I blogged about it here.

Well, I ran out of yarn. I have to say, this is very rapidly becoming an expensive little project!

Annabellas cowl 2There are already two skeins of the Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend (@ $15.00 per skein) and one skein of the Artyarns Silk Mohair (@$23.00 per skein) and, because it isn’t quite long enough, I’ve purchased another skein of each yarn in order to finish it. I was asked this morning if this is a gift for someone special. I commented that there’s no one I like enough to give a gift this expensive; it’s for me and me alone! I don’t think I’ve ever spent this much on an accessory!

I have to say, though, that it is so cushy and soft and touchable. As the commercials say, “…because I’m worth it”!

Now, back to knitting before my alone time is over. Today is John’s last day of work for the season so I’d best savour the afternoon.

 

 

 

Categories: Blogging, Knitting | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Decision Made!

ironing board

Today has been spent doing little things… waffles for lunch, blogging (yup, you get two for the price of one today!), a bit of tidying, a bit of shopping, a bit of sewing, and a decision made.

Late yesterday, I decided to go out to FabricLand today to pick up some of the heaviest batting I could find. My ironing board desperately needs a new cover. The one that was on it had a hole and each time I’d iron, I’d snag my iron in it. That is no longer the case!

I had enough of this blue fabric, and still some left over, to make a new ironing board cover. The up side is that it’s so much more cheerful than the old blue/grey cover that was on it.  Ironing might actually be fun now!

All in all, from the moment I left the house to the moment I tied the cover to the ironing board, the cover took me about two hours to make. That included driving to the store, poking around, driving home, tracing the ironing board to make the pattern, to cutting everything out and sewing it up and threading a string through the casing! Not bad at all, I think!

As I alluded to in the title, I’ve also made a decision. I will be ordering the yarn for John’s new sweater but in the meantime I want something else to work on, something that almost qualifies as instant gratification. I know what it will be… something that is almost (but not quite) practical knitting. John desperately… and I do mean desperately… needs a new pair of slippers. I made his slippers in October of 2010… two and a half years ago… almost a year ago, I blogged about the fact that both our slippers had started to wear out (I don’t wear mine anymore because of the holes). I guess it’s about time he gets a new pair, wouldn’t you say?

I’m starting to feel really sorry for him…

ohdear

 

You can also see the holes in the elbows of his sweater. It really does look as if I’m being a neglectful wife, doesn’t it? So, yes, slippers are definitely in order!

felted clogs 4J

 

I’ll just go and cast on now.

Categories: Blogging, Knitting, Sewing | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

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