Saturday, July 16, 2016

a black owl special

halloween owl sale
Start your Halloween knitting a little early this year! I am selling out of my skeins of black Nature Spun worsted weight yarn and as an incentive, I am throwing in the Woolly Owl pattern for half off. I am calling it the 'black owl special'. One skein will make one owl with some leftover yarn.
woolly owl pattern

The pattern comes with two owl designs: the tufted-ear and the round head. I like the tufted-ear version for making black owls the best, but don't be limited by that. Nature Spun worsted yarn felts beautifully! Add a fine mohair along with the knitting to get a finished hairy-like fuzzy look (such as Frog Tree Suri alpaca or Rowan Kidsilk Haze) once felted the owl can be brushed with a nap riser brush.

Each owl stands about 8-inches tall after felting. A quick and easy knit project! The fun is in the embellishing, adding all your little details. Enjoy!

Happy knitting!


Thursday, June 30, 2016

a cheesy felting tool

cheese grater

I just have to tote the wonders of my handy-dandy cheese grater! I recommend this trick all the time to my felting classes, but I highly recommend it now!

Yesterday I was felting in my Wonder Washer an all-cream sheep for a customer, and I wasn't liking how it was felting. I had felted it, stuffed it with fiberfill and as it dried the stitch definition returned. I knew this yarn was capable of felting better (by past experience). Normally I would pull out the stuffing and throw the piece back into the wash for another cycle or two, but I was concerned about the sheep's leg holes felting shut making it difficult to insert the leg wires afterwards.

back and forth against the grates
In a panic, I pulled out my ordinary cheese grater, hoping for a miracle. I wet the sheep with soap and water and rubbed the stuffed body vigorously back and forth against the smallest grates (bumpy-side up), and it felted beautifully! No stitch definition what so ever! I was relieved and so pleased.

Using the cheese grater gave me precise control over particular areas as well as broader ones as well. Great for those items that just need a little extra felting help. I encourage you to try it, if you haven't already. You'll love the results!

Happy knitting!


Monday, May 16, 2016

what a 'hoot'!

Hoot
This little gal was a custom order requested from an Etsy customer of mine. She loves Jane Hissey's books about Hoot the adventuresome owl. The owl above still needs her blue-star apron to finish her off. It is being sewn by the customer for her as we speak.

I used my basic Woolly Owls pattern with a few changes. The yarn I used was Cascade 220 worsted cream (#8010) and Frog Tree sport alpaca cream (#000) knit together. After felting it created a thick fuzzy surface that was then rigorously brushed with my nap riser brush. I added ears and some fun button eyes.

I wanted to show you this little owl because I tried a new idea with these eyes. The 1-inch round brown buttons came from Hobby Lobby with 4 holes for sewing. My husband drilled a 5th hole through the center of each button. This hole would be used for inserting the glass eye into. Using a fine chenille needle and fishing line, I sewed each button onto the owl, sewing into the four holes one all the way around creating a square of thread, not crisscrossing over as you would traditionally do. This created a flatter surface for the glass eye to lie on afterwards.

The glass eyes are sold in a pair connected by a long wire. If you are looking for glass eyes for your little woollies, check out Glass Eyes Online, a great resource for eyes in all colors and sizes. I poked the wire through the center of the button (drilled hole) and into the owl's head. At that point I glued the wire's stem with E-6000 glue, adding a little on the back of each glass eye. Once the glue was completely dried, I squeezed the head of the owl, front to back, causing the wires to poke out from the back of the head. I then trimmed off the excess with a wire cutters.

I was so pleased with the end result that I wanted to share my little gal with you. She is now on her way, flying through the mail to her new home.

If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Happy knitting!




Friday, March 25, 2016

hop-py easter!

woolly eggs and pocket-size woolly bunny
Wishing you and your family a blessed Easter season! May it be filled with more time with family members, extra knitting and just enough chocolate eggs. Blessings!

Happy knitting!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

happy st. paddy's day!

Lucky the Leprechaun gnome
According to Irish folklore, a leprechaun is a male faerie and most of them are cobblers. They are known to be mischievous and love to bury their treasures. Don't wait for a rainbow to appear to make your very own leprechaun!

Lucky the Leprechaun is one of three adaptations to my original Woolly Gnome pattern. These adaptations are only available now in my book, Whimsical Woollies. The book has instructions for a woodland gnome and mushroom (complete with polka dots), Matilda the Witch, Jolly St. Nick gnome and yours' truly, Lucky the Leprechaun.

Remember that you can vary your gnomes size by switching out the yarn weights and needle size, creating very small to very large gnomes. Enjoy!

Wishing you hours of knitting with shades of green yarn and sipping a good strong beer! Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Happy knitting!
 


Thursday, March 10, 2016

a new tutorial

woolly nest & eggs

Yes, I have started to add tutorials to my blogspot, finally.

Just in case you hadn't noticed the links (on the left side of this page, listed under my 'welcome' sign). These are extra pages within my blog that supply further information for my readers: an about me page, a my patterns page (listing a link to all my patterns on Etsy), a my tutorials page, and a my book page (my new book, Whimsical Woollies).

I love online sights with tutorials, and want to have more of the same here for you. My book has certainly helped with this by having dozens of ideas and photos all in one convenient place!

I recently added a nest & eggs tutorial on nest making. The Woolly Nest & Eggs pattern is by far my favorite pattern. I love the textures of the felted wool with novelty yarns, how the ribbons pop out here and there, and the subtle colors, as well as the whole idea of thinking like a bird and building a nest in the first place.

This particular nest, along with my nest ornaments in a box are by far my best sellers for hand-knit items on my Etsy sight. In addition, I get requests for the specific yarns and materials, and their sequence that I use in my own nests, as shown above. So I have created a official tutorial to share with you. Hope you enjoy it, and find it useful.


Happy knitting!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

a sweet valentine treat

woolly cupid corn
This past weekend my husband and I toured a college with my daughter, and spent the day in Kenosha, Wisconsin, not far from the home of the Jelly Belly factory (Pleasant Prairie, WI). We didn't tour the factory this time, but I have in the past. What a fun tour! As a result though, I have been craving these little juicy jelly beans ever since we left Kenosha. But enough said about jelly beans! Let's talk candy corn, which by the way, Jelly Belly manufactures as well.
traditional colors

In the process of creating my pattern, Woolly Candy Corn (either PDF and booklet format), I called the Jelly Belly company to verify the names and colors of their candy corn so I could duplicate them in wool. Thus the pattern gives instructions for turning your woolly candy corn into: cupid corn (Valentine's Day), bunny corn (Easter), original corn (traditional colors), harvest corn (Thanksgiving), and reindeer corn (Christmas). Candy corn for every season of the year!

embellish your candy
What I love to play with are the varying sizes of these candies using different weights of yarn and needle sizes: tiny (fingering weight), small (sport), medium (worsted) and large (bulky). So simple but so much fun. A bowl of felted eggs and candy corn in various sizes is a whimsical display for any table top. Less calories too, not to mention all the calories burned knitting them!

Experiment with a variety of yarn weights, the different seasonal corn colors as well as a great way to practice those embellishing skills on these little works of art. Enjoy!

Happy knitting!




 
Below is a fun little Valentine's Day trivia taken from the Jelly Belly candy's website. A time when life was much simpler, eh?

"The saying 'wearing your heart on your sleeve' is from the Middle Ages. Boys at this time would draw names of girls to see who would be their 'Valentine' and then wear the name pinned on their sleeve for a week."