Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Test Cardigan

Remember the cardigan that I was testing for a crochet designer? It is all finished! It went great, quick and easy. I used my Melissa's Mohair and More hand dyed yarn for the top section of the bodice and then for the skirt and edging I used Berlini Merino Xtra. I made my own buttons for this cardigan. It was a lot fun! I will post a close up of these below. I couldn't use natural light (pouring down rain) so it isn't the clearest picture. I put little pink roses on the chocolate colored buttons. (Love it!) Oh yes, and most importantly it fits Allison (12-18 mo. size) perfect. I will take a shot of her wearing it soon, she is teething right now and not in the mood for her picture to be taken ;P
I posted a link to my Etsy shop but right now it is empty. Not for long though. I just received a shipment of the luxury sock yarn that I dye. This is super soft yarn spun at a British Mill. It takes dye beautifully. I will be dyeing some self striping yarn with long wide sections of color, so that people who crochet their socks, get nice solid stripes too!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

FSM Part 3

Well, I pulled my fleece out of the mix yesterday. The fleece is much cleaner so, the mix seems to have done it's job. The only stinker, sometime between now and last fall, someone dismantled my drying rack so I couldn't rinse the way I wanted to. That is okay though, because this was my first fleece going in, which means it is a heavy lanolin fleece. Which means I will be giving it a hot scour because most of it will go through a drum carder. Remember (MAD BATT'R!!!!!!!!!!!) I will post a couple of pictures of the fleece below after being pulled from the FSM and rinsed out a bit. All in all this is a great way to get a fleece clean without having to put much time or effort in. Even the hot scour is easier because the FSM did all of the heavy cleaning! Oh yes, one last thing,I didn't take a photo of the vat of FSM as I was pulling it out, I was a little wet and dirty at that time. If your water ain't pretty, you did it right ;)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cap-Sleeve Top

One of my current projects that I would like to share with you is the Cap-Sleeve Top by Melissa Jane Hall. It is one of the patterns in Crochet Now. First, the pattern. It is very easy to follow. It's an empire waist style top so the fit is easy and nothing to stress about. The entire top is made up of basic crochet stitches so it is an easy garment for someone who has never crocheted clothing before, or a nice relaxing pattern for an experienced crocheter. Okay, my computer is saying that crocheter isn't a word but I say it is ;) The top itself is light and feminine. Just my style. It is also quick to work up so you will have a new top in no time and the satisfaction of making it yourself. I was working on this when I was out the other day and I was already receiving compliments on it. If you haven't looked at crocheted clothing in years... look again. You will be amazed at how far crochet has come. Light and flowing clothing patterns are coming from brilliant designers everywhere. Now for the yarn! It is 100% cotton Desert Flower by Dark Horse Yarns. This is my first time using this line if yarn. Let me just say that I love it. It is a very soft cotton and the color really pops. It is working up beautifully with this pattern. You can find Dark Horse Yarns quite often in your local yarn shop. I bought mine in Topeka at Yak N' Yarn. Last, the book that the pattern is featured in. I am very happy with my purchase and this top is not the first thing that I have made from the book. I have also made the So Simple Baby Bib, Too Cute Doll and the Broomstick Lace Scarf. This book features 29 projects! They all have great pictures and instructions. A bonus with the book is a DVD that comes with it, showing some of the patterns from the book featured on episodes from Knit and Crochet Now. You can work along with an instructor for a few of the patterns! I will post a couple of pictures below!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Whole Fleece Time! (FSM)

Okay, here is part one of processing my Corriedale fleece (the whole fleece) using the FSM. It's simple... First, my supplies. I have a large plastic bin w/lid and a large mesh laundry bag. The bag makes it easier to lift the fleece out of the FSM.
Next, I shook my fleece to rid it of loose dirt and second cuts. Then, I placed my fleece inside of the mesh bag. I filled my bin with filtered water (remember, no tap water) and put the fleece in, gently pressing it down.
Last, pop the lid on! If you live in a Kansas 1890 farm house like me, you might have big old heavy rocks laying around to put on for extra security :) This lid doesn't have to be air tight. It helps to keep unwanted critters out. I found the rocks helpful because the water was pushing the sides of the bin way out making it difficult to get the lid to stay in place. Now... we wait!

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Testing Pool

I am very excited to say that I am testing a new pattern for a crochet designer! You can visit her Etsy shop here. I thought this would be a good idea because as soon as my pattern is complete, I will need testers. I thought this would be a great way to jump in and get experience in the testing world. Now I will know what it is like from a testers point of view. I love raverly. It is such a help with everything fiber arts related. That is where I joined the testing pool group. Off to gather yarn and hook!

Thursday, July 10, 2014


A quick post for today, while waiting for my husband at the dentist office I finally finished my Houdini socks! These are knit. I think the Houdini socks give an excellent fit for knit socks. I used some Malabrigo yarn and it was a dream to work with! I plan to do a slip stitch crochet pair next. I crocheted a pair for my oldest daughter. They are so soft and comfy! And, they work up quickly.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fermented Suint Mix (FSM)

I washed a sample of my Corriedale using the FSM method. I placed a little bit of fleece down in a jar of filtered water (do not use tap water). I then covered the jar and wrapped a towel around it to block out light. I waited 8 days and then I pulled the wool out of the jar. At first, I wasn't sure if there was much of a difference but then I rinsed it. It became a nice clean white! I was soooo pleased! Washing this way is easy! This is a high lanolin fleece so I did a hot scour to remove the rest of the lanoin but that was no big deal. Pretty quick really, because the fleece was already clean at this point. Since this went so well I have decided to keep my fleeces here and process them myself. I have a picker and my friend Nikol Lohr has a bunch of NICE drum carders that you can rent! I will get to give the Mad Batt'r a try!!!!!!!!!! After this fleece I can wash my next one in the same mix. It is mohair so it shouldn't need the hot scour. I will keep this whole process updated on here! Posting some pictures below. Here is the wool in the jar.
Becoming beautiful in the rinse water!
FSM washed wool beside unwashed wool!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Picking Back Up

Hello! Well, there has obviously been a long break on the blog. A lot of new things are going on now and the fiber art side of things are picking back up around here. I have had our three angora goats sheared and I have a freshly sheared fleece from my mother-in-law's Corriedales. I am packing these up tonight to send off to Shepherd's Mill for processing. Once these return I will have yarn and roving for the Etsy shop! Planning on placing an order as well for some luxurious sock yarn to dye and post on Etsy as well. Also, I am very excited about some new patterns I am designing. My first ones will be free. As I post these I would love feedback on how easy they are to follow. I have a few special ones that I will affordably list on Etsy. They are a fun and special amigurumi. I will soon be looking for testers for these patterns. Other good news is that Yak & Yarn (local yarn shop) has sold out of my white mohair! Processing more of that now to bring in. She is a new yarn shop so the sales are very exciting for everyone! Hopefully I can get some up on Etsy too. ~Happy Crocheting~