Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Hi there!
So you may have noticed I always sign off with *Huggles*. I love huggles! How does a huggle differ from a hug you may ask? A huggle involves every bit of you. Your mind wishing the person well, your soul sending good cheer/comfort, and your arms giving a squeeze full of care (often combined with a rocking motion).

Why all the huggle talk? Well, a group mate on Ravelry was having a hard time this month, and I wanted to send a RAK to cheer her up. "Well, why not send a huggle?" I thought. But what would a huggle look like? I first made one that would sit in the palm of your hand. Sort of a snowman shape with long arms. But it didn't feel portable enough and I wanted to call it a portable or traveling huggle. I'd been working on another project that had a yellow happy face in it, and it just clicked with huggle, so I made another and ended up with:

I put magnets in his hands so that he could actually 'huggle' your wrist. Unfortunately the magnets sold at the craft store in town apparently aren't strong enough to hold thru a layer of yarn. Blah. The recipient received it this week and said it did help cheer her up a bit so mission accomplished!

I also received a wonderful surprise RAK this week! You may remember the itty bitty panda I knit awhile back. Well, I have a picture of it as my avatar on Ravelry. Justanotherbrick found a wee charm that perfectly matches my panda and made it into a stitch marker for me! My first ever fancy stitch marker. I absolutely love it! The fact that she even thought of me while in a store filled with a zillion goodies makes me feel wonderfully warm and special. I shall treasure it always :) Here's a picture of them hanging out together. Isn't he just precious?!

Until next time...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

More spinning

I took these the other day, and just realized I didn't post them here. To the left is an updated pic of the spinning from my last post, after the false start.  It is much thinner and I really like it. I can't wait to ply it! I still have quite a bit left to spin first though.

Here is the lovely multi-coloured blue that I started spinning as well, to see the difference in the fibers and how they spin. I drafted this one a bit thicker to showcase the lovely colours in the roving.

I can't wait to spin more, and to ply these. I still haven't decided which type of plying I'll do.  I may ply the multicoloured one with white once I get some white and spin it. :)

I haven't stopped knitting, but I had to frog my last piece of work (a shawl pattern I'd modified) after my needles broke. Here's a glimpse of what was turning out to be a pretty nice, warm shawl.It's hard to see in this image, but there is a row of eyelets just before each stockinette section. Just enough to give it that delicate lacey look.

I have made a couple other items, but as they are gifts I don't want to risk the giftee's seeing them here. I promise to share after they've been doled out. :)

 I was horribly upset about having to frog that shawl. However a few perfectly timed RAKs arrived from 2 wonderful Ravelry friends and made it much less painful. This group of lovely natural yarns to play with AND 3 new sets of circular needles perfectly sized for my little toy knitting, came from 2 dear women. The 3 on the left were from LilyLemon and the 2 balls of bamboo and all the needles were from JuleeQue. Aren't they fabulous?! I can't wait to knit them up and see how these fibers differ from my boring old acrylic!

Until next time, happy crafting!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Hi there!

So I had written this long post gushing over the RAK (Random Act of Kindness) I received last week. I had posted it...or so I thought. I just noticed today that it apparently never saved. Blah.
PirateRed (a wonderful member of a group I belong to on Ravelry) sent me my first RAK package...and boy did she spoil me! In the group we belong to you post a list of 5-6 things you would like. Then other members of the group can chose to send you something on your list if they happen to have something appropriate. On my list I put that I would love bits of roving so I could learn to spin. It was posted at the beginning of august, before I had actually tried spinning and was just dreaming of trying 'some day', as I didn't have a spindle yet.
She not only sent me 3 wonderful BIG samples of different roving...she sent me a spindle too! Lookie:
Closeup of the spindle
My wonderful RAK from PirateRed

Needless to say I was squealing for hours over this package. I'm still all fluttery and happy over it 4 days later. :-)

The roving: First is a delicate silk/merino blend that is just so soft and lovely I am afraid to try and spin it, so I just keep touching and petting it.
The stripey blue is wool colonial from Blue Goose Glen, and so sproingy (yes that's the technical term) and soft. Last there is the solidish bluish green. It is Pagewood Farms BFL and I just love the subtle changes of colour it makes.
The spindle is an Ashford student spindle and wow can I tell the difference using it compared to my cd spindle! It spins like a dream. 

I've actually spun up some of both of the blues now. The blue-green on the right, after a false start (see the pic below), has made a very nice thin single that I just adore. I can't decide how I want to ply it...because it is sooo lovely as is.
The stripey blue I've made slightly thicker to showcase all the colours in it. I'm still working on both but will snap some pics later to share.

False start. 
The new spindle took some getting used to as it is a lot lighter than my cd spindle. I had to get used to putting more twist in, or it ballooned out leaving those sections that don't look spun. I was also trying to spin the opposite of how I'd spun my orange/yellow as I'd read I did it backwards. I've gone back to my original way and it is working much better. I guess I'm just backwards. :)

I'm off to draft some more of this lovely fiber and spin some more! Happy crafting everyone!


Monday, August 9, 2010

I Can Spin!!

Hello Hello!
A few days ago I started a new craft. It's not a far leap from my knitting obsession. Not even a stretch. More a supporting craft even. I began to learn to spin my own yarn. I can't even describe the exhilaration that came with taking a ball of fluff and turning it into a smooth (mostly) and usable piece of yarn.

I'd been wanting to learn for a long time now, but was nervous and held off thinking I needed proper equipment. Turns out it is very simple to make your own spindle. Flocknfiber from Ravelry gave me this link that shows you how to make a simple cd spindle out of a few easy to acquire, inexpensive items. Mine is a little wobbly. I need to try and glue the whorl in place with better glue (I used my glue gun, but it didn't hold).

Once you make your spindle, all you need is some fiber to spin. It comes in several different make ups (Roving, top, clouds, batts, and hankies to name a few).  There are also umpteen different types to choose from. Wool from dozens of breeds of sheep, goats, alpaca and llama fleece, hemp, bamboo, silk. The list goes on and on. I had a bit of Corriedale (a type of sheep) roving left over from when I made some dryer balls a few months ago. So after watching hours of videos and reading many sites and guides, I jumped right in.

Here is my spindle with my very first attempt at spinning on it. On the right is a closeup of the orange yarn and my second attempt which was yellow of the same Corriedale fiber. The yellow one is much more consistent and smooth thanks to some drafting tips another friend on Ravelry shared (thanks again Bradymom29!).

After the 'singles' are spun, it was time to try plying. Again there are many different methods for this. I went for a simple 2 ply yarn by spinning my two samples together. It is definitely harder than it appeared in the videos, but for a first attempt I was happy with the result. Here it is freshly spun:

I then wound it up into a hank using the back of my chair, tied it in several places to prevent it from getting tangled, and dunked it in my bathroom sink filled with hot water. Right now it looks like this:

I can't wait until it is dry so I can see if it is balanced (doesn't twist into one big knot). If it is I can try knitting with it. So exciting!

For now I'm off to try and catch up on some knitting projects. Happy crafting!


Friday, August 6, 2010

Pretty eyes for pretty toys!

It felt like Christmas yesterday. My package of goodies from GlassEyesOnline finally arrived. Someone in ravelry's knitted toy group had mentioned loving this vendor and I just had to try them out. I've been running to the mailbox daily to check if they were here yet. It only took 11 days to get here from the states (that's quick!), but it felt like forever!
SO worth the wait though. I got a huge assortment of eyes, noses, ovals, etc.  Look at this amazing selection of goodies:

Info spew cause I'm in love
This site is great. It allows you order as few or as many of whatever size/colour you want. So you're not restricted to ordering 25 pairs of the same colour of eyes, or paying a premium for an assortment.
You do however get a discount if you order x number of a certain size. (over 12, and then over 25 and 50). However you can order whatever colours of that size you want. So, for example, I ordered 12 pairs of  regular 8mm eyes. 4 pairs were blue, 4 pairs were silver, 2 pairs were gold and 2 pairs were clear. But because I ordered 12 or more pairs of 8mm, I saved a penny or two off each pair.

As an added bonus you get free shipping if you order over a certain amount. I think it was $25. I spent $37 for all of this.

End of gratuitous information sharing

Here's some closeups of a few items. First, some special glitter eyes:

Then some iridescent ones (hmm lost one of the pearl ones in that shot) and finally a few of the different noses.

Time to go dream up new toys for all these goodies. Until next time...