Thursday, June 11, 2009

Proof I am posh

I was reading Bezzie’s blog Random Meanderings and she mentioned that she took a quiz telling her what kind of yarn/sheep she was that was posted on Potter Craft News for a promotion of The Knitter’s Book of Wool.  It sounded like a good way to spend a few minutes and a cheap laugh so I tried it myself.  I ended up being Rambouilet:


A quick description from the quiz: “As a finewool with roots in Spain and France, Rambouillets seem to exude a cosmopolitan air, yet stay grounded and easygoing with others in the flock.  With big hears and a spring in their step, these finewools’ lively attitudes make them approachable and always ready with a warm smile and hug”

If I was a little more arrogant, I would way they knew me better than myself… ha ha…

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I’ve been busy….

For the past few days, I have been knitting periodically, but the majority of my time has been spent on other projects. I am now sitting in our newly renovated office that we have spent several weekends working on.  When I say “we” I really mean that Jesper did the majority of the work and I jumped in at the last minute so that I can claim some of the glory for myself :-).  It turned out very well and surprisingly light considering it’s on the corner of the north side of the house. 

On a crafty note, I have been working on making myself a knitting needle cozy.  Having a nicely renovated office and a husband with a taste of the anal-retentive tidiness he had brainwashed into him in the army, I figured it was time to get give the guy a break from the clutter ridden pack rat habits of his wife and rid the room of the mess of needles that were laying about (I know you are reading this, so sorry honey – you know it’s true…). 


Another project has been to accumulate a good start of a fiber collection for my newly acquired spinning skills.  My packages from the UK arrived today and I can now say that I found some good suppliers that provide cheap but high quality fiber and equipment:

 My new carders from The Alpaca Spinner

 1 kg white massam top from World of Wool

Cashmere from World of Wool

And then I decided to take a risk and buy something called a Botany Lap Waste from World of Wool, which is the top waste from the blending machines they use to blend specialty orders.  It’s just as top grade as the regular fibers they sell and since I am a novice, I thought it would be a fun experiment.  For £8 for a full kg, it can’t hurt to try it out and see what kind of results I can get.  Stay tuned to see the results… Tags: ,,,

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Making Stitch Markers

I have always thought that the market is full of a lot of clever knitting, crochet and craft supplies that might be nice to have but are utterly pointless or are things that you can clearly do without.  I know that there are plenty of people who would disagree with me on this point, but one example I have always felt strongly about is stitch markers.  I have seen knitters spend HUGE amounts of money on stitch markers made with hand crafted glass beads.  They are pretty, they are nice to work with, but if you’re like me, it’s hard to justify spending up to $45 USD (yes, I saw a pair on ETSY for that amount) for something you can use a piece of scrap thread for. 

This is going to sound really odd, but until my BSJ project, I used paper clips as stitch markers.  They always did the trick and they are cheap, easy to find in a junk drawer if you need an extra, and you don’t cry if you lose one.  When doing the BSJ project, I used an alpaca that was constantly getting stuck on the outside loop of the paperclips and finally gave in to the idea of getting some real stitch markers.  I personally think the plastic ones you can buy are not really attractive to look at or hold in your hand to work and I have an issue with the expensive one (see rant above) so what’s a girl to do… make your own.

How I made my own stitch markers

Materials Needed

Straight pins with stopper used in jewelry making. These are in silver and have a rounded ball ending, but you can also find them with other finishes and endings like flat stopper or round loop endings.

Toggle clasps in a size appropriate to your knitting needles.  Again, these come in countless styles and finishes.  Pick a size that gives a good fit to your needles and consider buying several different sizes if you do a lot of different types of projects.  You’ll only be using the loop end of the toggle clasp, so the look and style of the post is irrelevant.

Beads after your own taste.  Consider what you like and take it from there.  The choice of beads is endless, but picking some sort of larger bead as a focal point is a smart idea. 

I chose to use two different color combinations when I assembled my markers.  The idea behind this was so that I could mark increases/decreases or added/dropped stitches differently as patterns require (for ex: socks).


Flat needle nose pliers to wrap the pin around itself.  You can use normal needle nose pliers, but you risk the ridges on the inside of the pliers leaving ridge marks on the finished marker.  Just a warning.


This is a lot easier than you might think – here’s a step by step run down.

1. String the beads on the pin.

2. Sting the toggle clasp ring on the pin and bend the pin.

3. Using a pair of flat needle nose pliers, wrap the bead-less part of the post around the post.  You can do this by pinching the loop and twisting the pin with the pliers.  I can’t take a picture of this while doing it myself (not until modern science can grow me a third arm…) so here is a drawing:

If you twisted it right, it should look like this:

You still with me??

4. Using the wire nippers on your pliers (or a pair of wire cutters as shown below), nip off any excess pin not included in the wrap.  Not doing so will leave you with a sharp metal bit that can at best be uncomfortable to work with or at worst rip up your knitting or hand!

     (Side note: In her Yarn Garn debut, Molly, my ever present Labrador assistant says Hello World!)

So there you have stitch markers.  You can make them yourself and only your own creativity and budget can set the limit as to what you can create Tags: ,,,

Happy Birthday to ME


Happy Birthday

A little miracle happened some years ago on June 3rd.  Me.  :o) Ha ha.  I am usually not a huge fan of my birthday – well, maybe that is a bit harsh to say.  My birthday has never meant anything to me since I was a small child and it was the one day a year that was reserved for gifts, friends and sugary cakes and was somehow magical in its own way.  Since then, the magic rubbed off and the fun became tarnished with the ins and outs of daily life. 

This year things are different.  My first thought was to write “things seem different” but they don’t “seem” different.  They are different.  I am different.  I have been struggling with a depression for years and perhaps on top of the daily hum-drum of life, the depression made the concept of reserving the day to celebrate my existence, which in itself felt like an unreasonable burden at times, seemed foreign.  This year, however, I feel like there is something to celebrate.

The day started off well and just got better from there.  My husband, daughter and son woke me up with a rousing round of the birthday song, edited to include the lines “you look like a monkey and you smell like one too.”  I was treated to a wonderful breakfast, opened presents and then my daughter was off to school.  My husband had taken the day off from work so we used the day to go on a 2 hour walk through the forest and down to the ocean.  After that, we had lunch in the park, went for a walk in the local farmer’s market and I was bought some chocolates.  To round off the trip, I bought myself a little yarn from Rok og Uld on Skomagergade in Roskilde. On our way home, we picked up my daughter and came home to eat cake and enjoy a lazy sunny afternoon watching Star Wars The Phantom Menace and surf the internet. 

I’ve been busy over the past few days with other knitting related projects and will include that in another blog post now that I can sit back, digest the strawberry cake in my belly and wait for the dinner and red wine to come this evening.