Monday, December 30, 2013

NEW black sheep kits!

woolly sheep
For a limited time I will be carrying Woolly Black Sheep kits now available in my Etsy Shoppe:

grazing sheep
The kit creates an all black sheep from head to toe. In each kit I have included Frog Tree's Alpaca Suri in a dark grey color that corresponds with the black worsted. Once felted it creates a wonderfully soft and fuzzy sheep especially after being vigorously brushed the nap riser brush. The head, tail, and legs do not have the Suri carried along with to give a different texture after felting. The kit has all the makings for one sheep either in the standing position, as shown above, or the grazing position.

If you don't need another black sheep in your family at this time, I do sell the traditional sheep kits:

woolly sheep kit

 Happy knitting!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

we wish you a merry christmas!

woolly snowman
Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and your families this holiday season! Blessings on your new year as well. Thanks again for a 'woolly' good year!

Happy knitting!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

gingerbread cookie candle rugs

woolly gingerbread cookie

'Tis the season for all things sweet and sugary, but in this case, sweet but woolly. This larger-than-life gingerbread cookie candle rug would make a great holiday hostess gift. It measures about 10-inches tall from head to foot.

I used two strands of Cascade 220 worsted weight yarn and one strand of sport Berroco Ultra Alpaca, both in brown tones and size 13 dps. I followed my Woolly Gingerbread Cookie pattern just like a recipe. I had hoped that the alpaca would 'fill in' better than it did, but the garter stitch ridges were still apparent after several washes. Sometimes that happens when you double up your yarns. I am hoping to try it again but redesigning the pattern not knitting it in the garter stitch but rather in stockinette.

When I designed this pattern I wanted the thickness of a solid gingerbread cookie and the felted garter stitch does just that. The cookie when knit with only one strand felts beautifully and all the stitches disappear every time, but two strands is another story, sometimes.

vary the sizes
This photo, right, shows the differences in sizes: the smallest cookie is one strand of worsted and the large cookie, 2 strands worsted and 1 strand sport. The larger size lends itself perfectly for the candle rug idea.

Add a candle that gives off the aroma of sugar cookies or baking gingerbread as it burns. Too bad you can't eat them!

Happy knitting!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

here, little birdie!

woolly birds
Isn't this little bird just perfect as an ornament? Recognize the pattern? Yes, the Woolly Birds pattern, but knit using fingering weight yarn and size 5 double point needles. The photo doesn't capture the size very well. But the chickadee is about half the size of the worsted weight version. A perfect size for a holiday ornament for any bird lover!
sport weight and worsted
The photo of the cardinals shows them knit and felted in sport weight and also worsted weight so you can see the size differences using the same pattern but different yarn weights and needle sizes. The fingering weight yarn creates an even smaller size bird believe it or not. I keep the final detailing simple because of its small size, mainly no eyes and a needle felted beak. To finish, tie a ribbon or fishing line as a loop and you have a quick and easy ornament idea.

NOTE: Need a reference of what size needle to use for each yarn weight when felting? I have created a chart on my website for easy and quick referral:

Happy knitting!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

just a bit loopy - the next day!

woolly sheep
Remember the 'before' photo of this woolly sheep? that scrawny-little thing just waiting to be washed and felted? Well, here is the final result . . . I am so pleased with this little guy!

The pattern is my Woolly Sheep using Cascade 220 worsted weight yarn, #8010 cream, and adding the loopy stitch throughout the body. For further details see earlier post 'just a bit loopy'.

After felting the sheep and once it was completely dried, I brushed the body vigorously with a nap riser brush to create extra softness and fuzziness. Even though Cascade 220 worsted does not contain any mohair or alpaca, it still brushes the fibers enough to create a softness to the wool. I brush EVERYTHING these days. You can never be too sure.

In addition, I created a black sheep version too, below. On this sheep I trimmed the wild-looking ends that emerged from brushing (didn't do this on the cream version), and thus created a more nubby-look to the overall body. It really is personal preference which version you prefer.
And to finish it off, a sheep in or two! A perfect pin cushion for the Just Pins 'Sheep' pins, wouldn't you agree?

Happy knitting!