Monday, February 25, 2013

Fresh start

Now that the children are all grown up, we are reorganizing the house to better suit our own needs.**
This has pushed us to do more painting and we now have a freshly painted bedroom.
I will need to keep a single bed in this room for some of our visiting guests but I would also like to use the room as a store for my yarns, fibre and garments.
Yup, a Lonely Oak/Zenitude store opening soon eventually!

But back to the freshly painted room.
A daybed would be ideal, but I'm cheap and won't spend $500 for a new one. So the search is on for something suitable in the right price range.
I'm also looking for some shelving, maybe a entertainment unit would do, to store the inventory. 
I already have a wonderful table that will be great as a desk.

I'll let you know how we are progressing over the next few weeks months.
There is still some knitting going on.
The Strathcona scarf is  coming along.
I've modified the pattern a bit because I don't have a whole lot of yardage with this alpaca yarn.
The yarn is also a sport weight.

** About reorganizing the house to better suit OUR needs...that should probably be MY needs. Seems that I'm claiming most of the house for myself. The lower level is not a man cave in our house but it's my studio, dye room, tv room, storage room... And now this bedroom will also be all MINE!
But, hubby has the sheds and the garage to call his own...seems fair to me! :o)

Sunday, February 24, 2013


She likes it!
Mia is now recongnizing this rug as her own!
Now that I see this pic, it might be a tad small for her large feline size.

More hooking

Crochet hooking that is!
Remember my first rag rug?
It now resides on the floor of our guest room.
As you can see it was crocheted a little too loosely (evident spaces between stitches) but it still serves its purpose.
I came across a few t-shirts to recycle and the urge to crochet another rug came back.
So I did take out my crochet hook once more and cut lots of t-shirt yarn.
This video tutorial is so great!
I was determined to crochet tighter and my hands are paying the price for it. But it was well worth it.
This rug is firmer.
There is a lot to learn when using this fabric. They are not all created equal. Some will roll on itself very nicely and hide all the edges, others will not do that. Some stretch all the way to the neighbors while others have minimal stretch.
I now realize that it's important that the center rounds be made with a stretchy 'yarn' with good memory because it ends up being pulled in all directions when you crochet the subsequent rounds.
This rug is about 28 inches and is just perfect for a small bathroom on our main floor.
It was made with 5 ladies t-shirts and one nightgown and some cotton knit fabric remnants.
When I was making this rug, our cat Mia, kept parking her behind on it.
This gave me the idea of making her one of her own.
I thought I was so brilliant!
But I don't think that Mia thought so. 

She has yet to use this one.
We are often picking her up wherever she is in the house and bringing her to her cat bed but she's not using it (yet).
She's still kicking the dog off his own dog cushion at the front door.
This one measures 18'' in diameter with a 3'' edge that comes up.
Now, back to my knitting.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Bits of this, bits of that

Today's post is about little bits of this and that.
I recently purchased the Island e-book. A collection of patterns designed by Jane Richmond.
The patterns are inspired by life on Vancouver Island.
I will probably make four of the five patterns included in this book.
Arbutus is the first pattern I started with.
It's a cowl with three tiers in the front.
They stack up onto each other making the cowl less cumbersome but still very warm. It gives the look of a wrapped cowl without all the fuss.
The yarn I used is yarn that I spun from Alicia's alpaca fibre. Dyed Poppy Red, it feels light and thick and just so soft.
I've also casted on the Strathcona scarf from the same book. More on that when I can take pictures in a good light. 
Remember my Blue Antler cardigan?  When I saw that the designer team of the Antler cardigan had a test knit going on for a new pattern, I voluntered right away.
Here is the beginning of Lush.
I have enough projects on the go and must not be tempted to cast on for anything else!!!
Lately, Mia, the cat  has decided to use a half wall as a perch. She can look out the front door from there and out the window as well...perfect observation point!
But she does sleep on her watch! Not much happening around here I guess.

Tomorrow, I'll be at the Callander Community Center with yarn and fibre in tow from 10-5.
Come and say hi if you are in the area!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Alpaca fun run

It's been a while since I've posted anything about the Lonely Oak alpacas.
The three babies are growing well and we will be weaning them in the next few weeks.
They are eating pellets on their own now as well as hay.

Early on saturday morning, hubby led the alpacas to the barn and closed the gate.
What's going on?
We've had a good snowfall on Friday and after cleaning out the driveway
hubby headed for the pastures!!??
I'm not sure if he's using his snowblower because he loves to or if the alpacas really need a path.
But regardless, hubby will make a circuit for them.
You see, alpacas do not like to go into any deep snow. They won't venture out very far in even a few inches of snow. So they tend to stay by the heated water trough or by the hay feeder.
So, hubby will make them a wide 'trail' to use.

I was so happy with this picture of Makushla. I rarely get a pic of her with her ears up. She's always so serious looking, for once she seems amused!
 No one goes in the barn, all 12 alpacas are staying out to observe the
snowblower make that snow fly.

Hubby is all done and the gate is now opened. They all come out to check it out.

Hummmm, pretty nice.
Which way should we go?
Let's see what Coco thinks.
Let's go east first.

And off they go!
They're doing the loop!

And back to the beginning.
It must feel good to run full speed.
Winter fun!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Thrummed mittens

I love knitting thrummed mittens.
They are light and fluffy and thick.
They have that stuffed toy kinda feeling.

 These are knitted with a merino worsted weight yarn that I had dyed a few years ago. When I spotted it in my stash a few weeks ago, I thought of thrum mitts right away.

Of course, the special part of thrum mittens is the inside. Little tufts of fibre to keep our fingers toasty warm on those bitter cold winter days.

The fibre is from Alicia, one of our alpacas. Almost a shame to use it on the inside...almost, but not quite. It's very soft and warm, so it's a good thing actually.
Do you want to make your own thrum mittens?
Look at what I have just added to my Etsy shop.
Lots of Thrummed mitten kits (and more to come).
The kits include 115g of hand dyed worsted superwash merino yarn, 55g of hand dyed merino top and the pattern to knit a pair of thrummed mittens.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth?
I made a short video to explain how to make thrums and how to insert them.
After several tries, I decided to just publish this video on Youtube. It's not perfect but I hope it's clear enough. I could have used a lighter yarn and the stitches might have shown up better but I hope it will still encourage people to knit their first pair of thrummed mittens.
Why not treat yourself to a little luxury?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Blue Antler

The Antler cardigan is all done. Even the buttons are sewn on! And all the ends woven in.
I had bought the Fleece artist BFL Aran yarn at my LYS last year as a kit to knit the Imogen cardigan. But I decided to use it for the Antler cardi instead.
I'm so glad I did.

It was a nice treat to knit in such a thick yarn. It seemed like a fast project even though there were many hours of stockinette stitch involved.

Once I got to the yoke and the cables started to appear, I gave it as much time as I could.
I know I'll get a lot of wear out of this cardi. It will be great for spring and fall and a few of our cooler summer evenings. 
Project information here.