November 24, 2003
Wrappy Dress Progress

Sorry about the bad lighting

I've made a little progress on the Debbie Bliss wrappy dress. While watching tv tonight, I hit the decreases for the armholes and decided to see if I could finish up and get out of there with a completed back.

Here is a close up of the fabric:


My stitches are at the gauge called for by the pattern, but why are they tight on the left side like that? As you can see, there are little ridges up the entire work.

Hey, it's not like I haven't been noticing this for the past 5 years in other things I've knit, but I'm in a curious and perfectionistic mood today. Why the ridges?

It's the gauge, isn't it?

Posted by Leigh at 12:09 AM | Comments (16)

November 19, 2003
The Whirly Baby Hat

odyssey baby hat.JPG

1 ball of Odyssey

1 Set of DPNs in size to achieve a gauge of 5.5 sts/inch

To begin:

Cast on 70 stitches

Divide evenly amongst your needles, join and knit for 5.5 inches (more or less)

Begin decreases for top of hat

K8, K2tog, repeat for entire round
K7 K2tog, repeat "
K6, K2tog, repeat "
K5, K2tog, repeat "
K4, K2tog, repeat "
K3, K2tog, repeat "
K2, K2tog, repeat "
K1, K2tog, repeat "
K2tog all around

Now, you have 7 stitches, K2tog 3 times and k the last stitch....

Now, start your i-cord, making it at least 1.5 inches long so you can tie it easily.

When i-cord is long enough, thread a needle and thread through 4 stitches, and sew in end. Tie the cord.

You're done!

Copyright Leigh Spencer
Not to be sold!

Posted by Leigh at 12:25 PM

November 15, 2003
Meet Yarn Ball

yarn ball.JPG

This is a ball of yarn I bought off Ebay 27 months ago. I was pregnant with Becky and perhaps not thinking too clearly.

Actually, it wasn't a ball of yarn when I bought it, but a skein. The auction read that it was some 1600 yards of handspun yarn from Zephyr the sheep or Comet (let's call her Zephyr). Something like that. Undyed. Handspun. There was a pix of the woman spinning it up and of Zephyr, the cute brown sheep.

The auction also said that she spun in the grease after allowing the fleece to sit in "natural well water."

When I got the yarn it didn't smell too bad but I didn't like the greasiness. So I washed it in Tide about 4 times. That got a little of the grease out.

Then I wound it into a ball and it's been sitting around my house for 27 months.

(Isn't this just such an exciting story? Did I build it up too much?)

(While I'm at it, I'd like to take this brief moment to let you know that any unfotunate typos are because I am typing without my glasses and cannot quite see the monitor. )

("But where are your glasses," you ask? )

Here's a close up of the singles right before plying:


Anyway, what brought me to the sudden desire to ply this big ball of singles was that yesterday I was searching around for yarn for another bucket and found the sad Ball of Yarn. I thought, "what can I do with this? I'm sick of looking at it."


So, for lack of anything really better to do at that moment, I wound it into 4 center-pull balls while the kids were eating their Spongebob Macaroni and Cheese...and I thought as I wouund, "I'll just ply these together to see what it would be like... like I'll ever spin enough singles to make a 4-ply of my own!"

It's a lot of fun plying for four little crazy center-pull balls on the floor.

Perhaps I need to start collecting jars in which to place crazy little center-pull balls.

The yarn ball is now back to skeins:

Close up of plied yarn

Now the big question is, what to make?

Posted by Leigh at 10:58 AM | Comments (5)

November 07, 2003

noel and his train.JPG

Noel got a hold of my bag of DPNs and this is what he did. He made "train tracks" all over the place.

We just happened to be watching Little House on the Prairie at the time. (Season 1 after that I just don't get it...but I still watched it.) There was a scene where Laura runs in with a box of onion skins and asks Ma, "Will you help me dye this ball of yarn with these onion skins like you do?"

My ears perked up at that one. I'm am very interested in trying to dye something with leaves or bark or bugs (cochineal that is).

Posted by Leigh at 04:13 PM | Comments (6)

November 06, 2003
At Last....

I found a way to use the Odyssey yarn. Whew. It was truly weighing on my mind. At any minute of the day, I can think of a yarn stashed up in the armoire and get a little anxiety flash because I have nothing to make with it. (Hebridean 2-ply-- tell me what you want to be!)


I have had a few knitting misadventures these past few days. First I started a sweater called "Fleur"(I think) from one of those Miss Bea books. It's so pretty in the book but it's absolutely no fun to knit. I spend the whole time glued to the miniscule chart getting those flowers just right.

Of course I know I could have gone and enlarged the pattern, but I was in too much of a hurry for that. (Someone want to talk some sense into me?)

Okay, yes, the Odyssey! And another misadventure. I cast on for the little sideways garter-stitch mitts in Weekend Knitting. Easy and quick and useful.

I finished up the mitt to the point where you do some sort of pickup on the cast on edge and then you bind off those stitches with the live stitches a la 3-needle BO. Too much trouble for me! Too many ends I say.

So I try to do the little thing you do with the picot edging---pickup half the cast on stitch and knit it together with (boy, this is getting longwinded!) the live stitch. Except I did a bind off after that. Turned it over and and didn't like how it looked after several tries picking up at different points within the rows.


One is enough!

So, I'm determined to use this yarn. I tried again with the Lopi scarf from Weekend Knitting. It's going fast and I think I like it. Hopefully this will be it. Here's a pix so far:

odyssey scarf.JPG

Posted by Leigh at 10:11 AM | Comments (7)

November 05, 2003
One Down

glove done one.JPG

Got me one glove done. Hooray. Do I sound excited? I'm a little sad because they aren't perfect, and perfection is what I was aiming for. (yeah, I know, "...mortals be.")

The thumb is a little webby because the gusset is a little too long. Thought I could block that out, but the steaming failed.

And so did the accidental washing Becky gave it when she threw it into a pot soaking in the sink.

So, at any rate, now begins the procrastination phase, which is a prerequisite in glove knitting here at WoolFlowers. Lucky for me, I wrote down all the crazy stuff I did to change it from a sock to a glove.

Wish I'd gone the mitten route. After making so many fingers, I'm getting sick of agonizing over the joins between the fingers. You know, where you pick up a few stitches and then they look all sloppy? What's the secret you guys?

I've tried picking up more than needed and then k2togging in the next round...(but it's not working!)

And another thing, should I make my second glove identical to the first, complete with webby thumb--just because they will then match. Or, should I try again and not have exactly matching gloves?

Posted by Leigh at 10:32 AM | Comments (7)

November 04, 2003
Roughing It

Know what I'm thinking? This could be the first skein for my next ribby cardie. Maybe I could get 3.75 sts/inch with this. Or possibly 4 sts/inch. Or both, judging from the thick and thin parts. (Why is it that the thin part of one single invariably plys itself to the thin part of the other single?)

At any rate, the 10 oz bag I have is shrinking fast, so perhaps I should order some more soon.

Want to see a seriously overfilled bobbin? (Didn't want to stop and besides, there are only 3 bobbins with this the moment...)

Want to see my jerry-rigged* lazy kate? Here it is sitting in the dining room buffet's drawer wedged in by a chest of silverware...always knew that silver chest would be good for something.

* jury-rigged/ jerry-rigged tomato/tomahto

Posted by Leigh at 12:00 AM | Comments (7)

November 03, 2003
Went to Basketville this weekend
Posted by Leigh at 05:27 PM | Comments (12)

November 02, 2003
Vague Directions for a Felted Toddler/Big-Headed Baby Hat*

The hat says, "Don't sweat the small stuff.
I was supposed to be a basket."


Peace Fleece odds 'n' ends
--color A (Shaba Green)
--color B (Antartica White)
--color C (Georgia Rose)

Jamieson and Smith Soft Shetland
--color D (Purple of an unknown and unremembered name)

2 Size 7 circular needles (or DPNs)--use what you like
Appropriately sized crochet needle. (a big one)

Tapestry Needle

CO 50 stitches and divide evenly. Join and knit circularly the following stripe pattern:

13 rows A
3 rows B
11 rows C
3 rows D
2 rows C
2 rows D

At this point, begin decreasing every other round (k8, k2tog, rep to end--subtract a stitch each round, i.e., k7, k2tog, k6, k2tog, until you get to k2, k2tog, skip k1, k2tog and go right to k2tog--don't worry too much--it's felt*) while continuing with stripe pattern:

2 rows C
9 rows D
6 rows C

When you have decreased to 15 (or so--don't sweat it, it's felt) stitches, thread a needle and sew up top.

Finish the edge with single crochet in color C.

Put in washer and felt until size desired. Shape and allow to dry flat.

Note: if you want to make a bigger hat, cast on multiples of 10 (60 or 70 might be be good for an adult size) stitches and do the decreases every round the first 3 times to make hat less pointy.

*see? don't say I didn't warn you... :)

*directions are for a felted hat, not a felted toddler

Posted by Leigh at 09:40 AM | Comments (9)

blue flower 2.jpg