Friday, October 31

macrame, beards, more trickery & way too muchly noting ...

i am distracted from my path this past week by the need to nest and the need to macrame.

the need to nest and the need to macrame is due to the total pants weather which descended upon us in recent weeks.

therefore the couch has been dragged in from outdoors to indoors and the usual shuffling which entails has left me trying and failing to make things feel cozy without them getting on my nerves a few days later and feeling like i am being attacked from all corners by 'things'. 

i have spent the last few weeks choosing who will stay and who will go and listing furniture on craigslist and every single piece so far has found a nice home which makes me feel muchly happier knowing this. i am hopeful if the weather stops being complete pants for photo taking i may get some knick knacks online but with *the holidays fast approaching, my folks and my clan coming to stay, extra hours at the yarn shop, several interviews to finish up and a makers market to make for, i am thinking this may not happen till the new year. unless passing elves chip in.

also perhaps, if i didn't distract myself from my path by thinking of macrame and thinking of nesting. for it could be said a pair of curtains at the window would do a grand job of making things feel cozy and warm but nope, i have got it into my head that if i was a little green friend i would wish to hang around in front of this window, safely in macrame wonders with a few other doily clad dingle dangle friends by my side.

the beginnings of 'the hanging gardens of dottie angel' as quipped by Our #4
my macrame is limited ( understatement of the year ). i am a complete rookie and like most things, i have learnt one thing and will use that one thing to achieve my end. thus i have crafted two macrame ( i use the term loosely ) pot holders, one from yarny goodness and one from embroidery thread goodness. 

embroidery thread knotted number
i added some beaded detail to bedazzle close up inspection from macrame experts who may otherwise have been looking at my dubious 'eyeballed' knotting skills.
i then gave up with the macrame side of things because 
a) my neck and shoulders were crying. 
b) using knotted frayed fabric was far quicker 
c) what i really wanted was some incredibly knee weakening spanish macrame to miraculously appear and it wasn't.

darn and drat my impatient crafting ways

thus i sidetracked myself from my pants macrame ways by dream catchers with beards. 
as one does

 and went off on yet another path of which i was not supposed to. 

pondering beard... to beard or not to beard that is the question
therefore this morn i note i am no nearer to reaching any of my 'to-dos to plan for' listed above* 
(did you see that bit of clever trickery? the * trickery? i have a peachy pen pal who does that and i think it most good and muchly brilliant and i have wanted to try it out for a while and so i have and i like it, i like it a whole big lot)

and may i also make another note?
 a note that has me beyond giddy.
i note, no little green friend has come crashing to the ground... as of yet

and my man notes, if my selling of furniture is backed up by the theory we are no longer a clan of six but three (shortly to be two) and therefore do not require so many places to plonk our dwindling number of bods down, then what will happen come the holidays when seats are required for quite a few derrieres than we have available. i told my man this was a tres good note to be noted but i had done a lot of noting today and therefore was all out of noting for one day

Thursday, October 30

a knitted 1930's neck warmer ...

last week i finished off my 1930's knitted neck warmer and already i note i will need more than one, for it has not left my neck since i popped it on. 
when i met my man that night he remarked what a spectacular creation i was wearing. Our #4 asked as we tucked into our meal if i was wearing a knitted bib per chance. 
and indeedy, it is just like a knitted bib, 
for it covers the neck nicely at the back and drapes down the front to keep the chills at bay across the chest and catch any stray dribbles or crumbs that may come one's way.

i found this pattern via a lovely instagram dearie who kindly shared with me. 
i printed off the pattern and then went about my merry way trying to figure out what it was all about. for things were not quite adding up to making a whole lot of sense. so i threw caution to the knitty wind, and cast on, for surely how tricky dicky can a glorified knitted rectangle/triangle thing be.

you can find the original pattern here to study, or you can follow what i did below and my modifications to the pattern.

nitty gritty:
worsted weight yarn with a drape to it (i used under 2 skeins of cascade 128 superwash in colour 859 which is teal. there was 128 yds on each skein)
1 tres large button and 2 tres small buttons
knitting pins (i used one size 10 US and one size 9 US because i did not have a matching pair)

length, 25 inches.
width across widest part, 11 or 12 inches.
width across narrowest part, 6 or 7 Inches.

4 sts. to 1 inch in width.
do not slip the first st. of any row.

cast on 42 stitches or however many you require to make 11 or 12 inches width.

work in garter stitch for 2 inches, working into the backs of the stitches on the first row.

next row: knit 8, cast off 4 (for buttonhole), then complete the row.

on the following row, knit along to the cast-off stitches then cast on 4, and complete the row.

next row: knit along to within 3 stitches of the end (working into the backs of the 4 cast-on stitches as you come to them) then knit 2 together, knit 1.

*work 8 rows of garter stitch
next row: (decrease row) knit along to within 3 stitches of the end, knit 2 together, knit 1

repeat from * until your work measures 25 inches in length, (or you may prefer to make it a tad shorter) and you have approximately 6 or 7 inches width of stitches on your knitting pin.

cast off loosely.

below are the instructions from the pattern for figuring out placement of the button. i then also attached 2 little ones which pushed through my garter stitch holes quite nicely, because the corner edge was being pesky.

"Now try on the scarf, placing the long straight edge round the neck. The point of the sloping edge will fall in front in a V shape if the narrow end of the collar is brought round to the front of the neck, then the buttonhole edge of the wide part brought over the narrow end like a scarf. When the satisfactory position is found, mark the position on the narrow end for the button. If the button is placed about 2 inches from the long straight edge, and about 6 inches from the end, it will be about right." 

(and just to clarify, what i have written here are my modifications to a vintage pattern found here)

Friday, October 24

dull trickery ...

i have been quietly beavering away with Miss Ethel over the past few weeks, none of which, alas, i can show you for it is all tippity top secret squirrel stuff. 
i will of course be able to share as and when i am told i can share but for now 
i cannot, so i will not.

because of this secretive squirrel stuff taking up muchly part of my crafty life i fear i am quite dull and have nothing to say for myself. 
if this is the case then i most apologize for my dull ways and only ever talking about yarn, you will be forgiven if you wish to go home now. 

for those that are staying,
i am happy to announce my terrible case of second sleeve syndrome is over with and a second sleeve has been born. i have no idea if other sleeves are in me to be made, only time will tell.

 i cannot tell you how relieved i am to get the February Lady Sweater off my needles. 
can i also tell you, i am not even sure if i like her anymore, i am wondering if we need a little distance between us for a friendship to grow again, for i do love the yarn and colour tres muchly
i have washed her and laid her to dry, this has already made me see her in a new light, perhaps there is hope for us yet.

 my 'silly billy' backward yarn overs have opened up and a slight lace pattern has appeared. her bell like 3/4 length sleeves are not as 3/4's as i would have liked, they appear to be 1/2 sleeves. no one made me cast off my sleeves the length i did, only me and my impatient ways are to blame. 

i found some jolly nice reproduction vintage buttons but they were rather white, so they spent the afternoon bobbing up and down in the dregs of my man's tea and are now a rather dirty cream colour. of course if i wash them i have no doubt the tea will wash out therefore i will never wash my cardi ever again. i also decided as the edge of the cardi around the neck has a tendency to curl unless it is done up, i will add an edging of vintage ribbon down the inside opening so at least it will look quite peachy rather than pants if the little curl is pesky and persistent.

on t'other yarny notes, we have reached the time of year tis colder in mossy shed than outside. actually that is any time of year but its super duper noticeable when its cold and wet outside. thus neck warmers are required, for i have a giraffe neck and if i wore my hair down then it would be kept cozy but i do not for my hair attacks me unless it is pinned up in a bird's nest. therefore i have decided i wish to embrace a more utilitarian style of neckwarmer this year. ruffles will not do for what i wish is for it to fit perfectly flat under a coat so no need to be attacked by my knit wear in my shed and when trying to leave my shed. 

i am working on a pattern from the 1930's as i tippity type this. one a nice dearie shared with me, i will share it next week and last night i found another which has a turn down collar which, when a coat is put over the top actually looks just like a cardi collar underneath. i have noted it is made with short rows. yet another new knitty thing  to add to my growing knitting repertoire. i just have to find the perfect yarn to use. for neck warmers not only have to do a good job at keeping your neck warm but also a good job at not causing a rash from itchy ways. i would like my rolled neck warmer to be of the tweedy sort, but tweedy can mean scratchy. we have some at the store that are not so, but then they are not the right weight for the pattern and thus it would mean a clever bit of mathematical trickier if i were to convert the pattern to work with a dk and not a bulky.
i am wondering if i am all out of trickery this week.

Monday, October 20

smitten with my mittens ...

darn and double drat, 
i cannot find what i am looking for in my archives to share. this will teach me, for i am pants at archiving and thus i am now pants at sharing a link. therefore i will not share a link and just tell you about it instead.

so last winter Tara Dearie knitted some marvelous mittens (Maize pattern by Tin Can Knits) for our one skein holiday project at Tolt Yarn and Wool. well they were mittens of the utmost kind, in green wool no less. before i went on my travels home for the holidays i left a note pinned to them saying if ever they were lonely or looking for a home to be loved, i would surely take them in. upon my return from my homeland, said mittens were waiting for me! Tara had kindly thought they would like to live with me. the rest of the winter i wore them and quite sensibly made a string for them so i did not lose them. i did however spend most of my time getting tangled up especially in the car door because of my safety string. 

between then and now i came across a japanese craft book which had knitted mittens with a jolly bit of embroidery upon them. my heart skipped a beat, i had mitten envy like never before. i have carried the thought of embroidered mittens in my cogs for many a long time. every now and then i revisit the thought, ponder how i would go about such a task and then put my pondering thoughts away again.

until friday that is, when i had done my sorting out of woolly goodness to wear upon my hands, my head and around my neck these coming chilly days. i put on my green mitts and decided there and then we would risk it for a biscuit. 

first off i removed the string. then i decided to lengthen the wrist bit as it was a tad short for me by adding a few rows of crochet. 

one round single crochet, one round half double crochet and one round picot stitching into every other stitch below (all US crochet terms). 

i liked it tres muchly and it spurred me on. i rustled around in my stash for leftover yarns in pleasing colours and then i wound little bits around cotton reels to make them even more pleasing.

then i decided the key to successful 'twin' embroidery was to work on both mitts at the same time. i cut out a little hand scribbled flower template, pinned in place and did a bit of running stitch around the edge to give me an idea of where i would do my main stitches. 

i reversed the template and did the same on the other mitt. then with yarn in hand, i started to fill in the main flower with stem stitches, not particularly uniform, just filling in as i went.

oh and i must tell this too for those that may well try the same on their mitts. 

my mitt insert is all knowing and all seeing but is quite the silent fellow

the besty best thing i did was make a cardboard mitt insert, thus i could stitch away with no fear of my needle going through to the other side of my mitt and also keeping my fabric flat to work on.

i proceeded to carefully fill in my flowers, being sure not to pull tight. after which i pondered where to go, so using couch stitch i went off to the other end of the mitt near the cuff and added a side view of the flower, using the template from before, just chopping off 2 of the petals. once again reversing it for the other mitt and working at the same time. i then did a bit of natty french knotting, long stitches and some little stitches that are like giant single chain stitches and after all that, i stood back after midnight and i was without a doubt, smitten with my mittens.

i love my mittens so muchly now i fear i cannot wear them out of the shed in case of a loss. i told my man in a fire i would grab my mittens first, he said "what about me?" i told him he was a responsible adult and would need to look out for himself, for my mittens were quite helpless and would need me as they could not move on their own. 

i love my mittens so muchly i have pinned them on the wall next to the blue lady so they may be admired by any passing bods. 

i love my mittens so muchly i fear which of my children will inherit them, will they fight over them, will i have to embroider 4 pairs of mitts to make it fair or wait to see who looks after me best in my old age? 

i would like to do more embroidery upon knitted goodness, i am thinking thriftstore sweaters would like it too. however i am wondering if this was a moment, a moment when the crafty gods got together and shone down on me, everything aligned perfectly and my crafty hands will never quite be able to live up to this one truly glorious moment in my crafty lifetime .... 

Friday, October 17

a 'woolly & warm & tres long' scarf recipe ...

recently when i came across my thrifted coat upon the racks of despair i knew i wished to make her feel welcome in my world by making her a scarf. 
not just any scarf but a 'woolly & warm & tres long' one 

one which i may wear a multitude of ways depending on the weather and the days.

if you too would like to make a 'warm & woolly & tres long' scarf then here is my recipe

nitty gritty:

* my scarf is made with quince & co worsted weight yarn, Owl and Owl Tweet which is 50% american wool 50% american alpaca, found at Tolt Yarn and Wool 

* i used 5 skeins (1 x sooty, 1 x abyssinian, 1 x canyon, 2 x nuuk) and each skein had 120 yds/110ms on it. so all together you will need approximately 600 yds of yarn if you are wishing to make your scarf not only woolly and warm but tres long

* the scarf is colour blocked and i choose to use 2 skeins of one colour to create a large block of colour. you can choose to do whatever pleases your colour blocking heart :)

* you can use any yarn but i would consider using one with some drape to it

* this scarf is crocheted in a slanted shell stitch hence it creates a fabric that stretches on the bias, yet the chains along the edge do not stretch. therefore i suggest you do not do your edge chains too tight. washing and gently laying flat to dry, being careful not to flatten the stitch pattern will make all the difference

* finished measurement of scarf is 5.75"/14.5cm x 92"/234cm after washing

* you can wear this scarf long, you can wear it wrapped around a multitude of times or you can wear it folded in half and then looped at the front of your neck.

* the stitch pattern is #174 in the brilliant book The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs by Linda P. Schapper (a musty must for any crochet lover)

* all crochet is written in US terminology

a Mr Hook size 5.0mm
approximately 600 yds of worsted weight yarn

row 1: (single crochet, chain 2, 4 double crochet) in 2nd chain from hook, *skip next 3 chain, (single crochet, chain 2, 4 double crochet) in next chain; repeat from * across to within last 4 chain, skip next 3 chain, single crochet in last chain, turn.

row 2: chain 3 (counts as double crochet), 2 double crochet in first single crochet, *skip next 4 double crochet, (single crochet, chain 2, 4 double crochet) in next chain-2 space; repeat from * across to within last chain-2 space, single crochet in last chain-2 space, turn.

1. take your first skein of colour and make a chain of 24 plus 2
2. crochet row 1 of pattern above
3. crochet row 2 of pattern above
4. continue repeating row 2 of pattern above
5. when your skein comes to an end, join the next colour at the begining of a row and continue upon your merry way repeating row 2 of pattern as you go and changing skeins as they run out

6. when you are all out of yarn, finish off and weave in all your ends. wash gently and lay to dry flat but try not to flatten out the stitches.

and voila! 
a 'woolly and warm and tres long' scarf is yours!

please feel free to add your scarf to Ravelry if you are on there. 
you can find me under dottieangelLTD if you like.

Thursday, October 16

my thrifted winter coats ...

i am all set for chilly days thanks to my pile of thrifted woolly friends and two rather nice other finds. 
one is a coat and one is a jacket and both are wool.

the coat is perfectly disheveled and i am liking very muchly how it fits a little sack like. i am muchly liking the lining and the rather tweedy pretty fabric. 

even the buttons made me happy. my coat is not an old coat as such, perhaps only a few years as the label says GAP but i like how someone else broke it in for me and now it looks perfectly disheveled in every way. i loved my new to me coat so muchly so, i wished her to know just how much i did, thus i made her a scarf. 
i will share my scarf and how i made it, tomorrow if i maybe so bold

the jacket i am thinking is older, the fabric and the lining has that older feel about it, but i could be wrong, i do not know the maker on the label and when i looked it up it pointed to leather companies. she is quite simple and i am thinking perhaps once upon a time she had a skirt to match. 
as she did not have a skirt, i gave her a pocket so she may get over her loss. 

i found a knitted pocket lurking upon a scarf i had made donkeys years ago, i re-purposed my pocket and with a medal and a granny brooch 
(of which i will be selling at the holiday makers market coming up)

 i am thinking she is perfectly suited to layering over my already many layers i wear. she has a few creases where i believe she lay in storage for a time, i am wondering if these will drop out with wear or not. i wonder why i wonder about these things. i am thinking this sweetie may need a knitted something or other just around the neck under the collar to tuck into the chest area on days when the wind is a little blustery. 

altogether my two new wool coats cost a total of $34 which i think is tres jolly good when you see what new wool coats are going for in the stores.

Monday, October 13

home ...

this jesus had a bit of a ding when he found me. on the $8 price sticker it said "he was broken for us". i liked that so muchly i kept the tag on 

the blue lady who flew across the pond after Our #1 found her at a carboot sale, has now find a fine place to hang out in until Our #1's nomading days come to an end

forsaken souls are tres good at huddling together as the days get a bit more nippy 

has been a year and half since our little bathroom was wood-paneled and the itty bitty shelves added, and i still think they are the best thing we ever did to mossy shed

my hand of fatima reminds me each morn when i rise of the magical Marrakesh travels i took

a handy dandy basket holding my winter scarves most spiffily

my girls, many many moons ago

a book collection surely is never finished

if i could, i would go back to Baja in a heart beat

but then again, there's no place like home ...

Friday, October 10

to cut a long story short ...

i started knitting my first ever cardigan
the maths was done to make it smaller than the pattern
the yarn overs turned out to be make ones
yet i carried on fearlessly.
my phobia for double pointed needles
and lack of 'magic loop' knowledge
left me no choice but to use 12" circular pins
when i came to the sleeves.

suddenly my loosey goosey knitting ways
became quite tight and tortured
 yet i carried on fearlessly

one sleeve finished and Mr Lurgy came to call,
i lay in my bed, hot and bothered
with little knitty cogs racing inbetween restless sleeps.
on the 3rd day i arose
bedraggled with bird's nest and no sense of smell 
thus skipping a shower
and taking up residence on the couch
to stare blankly at the telly.

my cardigan called from the other room
my head and my hands told me to ignore her.
i happened upon Outlander set in the wilds of scotland
two hundred years plus, ago.
i cared not for the naked bodies nor violence
i cared only for the knits.
after a while a need to make the knits before my eyes
became of the utmost importance
and thus i declared surely a light hearted knit
nothing too taxing 
would be perfect for my recuperation period upon my couch.

after a ganders through ravelry
i noted i was not alone with wishing to own Claire's Outlander knits.
i found the capelet, 
i found some yarn in my stash, 
two different colours of wool
and set about a bit of knitting therapy,
all the time ignoring my one armed cardigan.
after some knitty time and some telly time
i came to the conclusion my capelet was very zizzy
and also after much studying of Claire's capelet on freeze frame
it needed to be bigger than the pattern in my hand suggested.

i fell in love not with the capelet
for honestly lost on the highlands, 
i felt my cowl would be most fitting
lost in my local grocery store
it may well not be quite so fitting
but i did not care, for what i loved, 
what made my knees go weaker than Mr Lurgy had left them
was the two tone yarny fabric growing in my hands.

i knew nothing else that day except
 i knew i needed to make a cardigan 
with such lovely zizzy qualities.
one that did not require sleeves knit in the round
with tricky dicky yarn overs and whatnot.
surely resplendent in a zizzy cardigan
life could only be grand
in the highlands or the local grocery store

yesterday i found two woolly worsted weight sweeties
one cream, one gray/sludge, 
both with flecks,
together they created a match made in heaven.
i crafted a swatch when i should not have been, 
i had 12 stitches to 4 inches
and now i needed a pattern to match my lovelies.
by this time i had put my one armed cardigan in a basket
hidden from view.
out of sight, out of mind.
i went a searching in the late hours,
gripped by a need to know what was out there.
i happened upon the perfect fellow,
one who sensibly  has her sleeves knit flat
and then i fell down the rabbit hole
and i never ever wanted to leave.
i have become a fan,
a fanatical fan
i would like one of every cardigan please
i would like them today
i would love them all so equally 
i would wear them all at the same time
so none would feel left out.
i am wondering if Celily would adopt me.
i have been practicing her name 
for it is most marvelous
just like her knitting ways.

but then i would have guilt
if i wore all those cardis all at one time.
guilt for the one armed cardigan tossed aside 
by my 'sleeves knit on 12"' avoiding ways.
so as of this morn,
i have struck a deal with myself.
i may allow myself to finish up my Outlander capelet
by sewing in the ends, 
felting it a tad, not a lot, just a tad

and i may also allow myself
to plot and plan my zizzy cardigan
from the world of Celily Glowik MacDonald
but then i mustly must get over
my second sleeve syndrome phase
and finish up my mustard misses in time for
Tolt Yarn and Wool's anniversary big day
perhaps i could find a sleeve lying around the place
and stitch it on.
 oh yes, then i could just get on with my zizzy knit
by jove!  that does sound like a stroke of genius 
in the thinking department

to cut a long story short:
i lost my mind