Happy New Year 2015!

Well it has been an active year. 

Fibre related Christmas gifts from my family this year!

Book: Knit Nordic by Eline Oftedal and a skein of Madeline Tosh Sock (spectrum)

Book: Knit Nordic by Eline Oftedal and a skein of Madeline Tosh Sock (spectrum)

The last few projects of the year 

Knit by the dozen socks my design 

Knit by the Dozen Socks. I started knitting these while I was ill socks. Modification: Inserted heel rather than Short row in the original pattern.

Knit by the Dozen Socks. I started knitting these while I was ill socks.
Modification: Inserted heel rather than Short row in the original pattern.

My Favourite Top-Down Socks 

These worked up just as nice as My Favourite Toe-up socks.

These worked up just as nice as My Favourite Toe-up socks.

my design – yet to be published 

and I am madly casting off my Hue and Value Shawl 

Hoping there is enough yarn to finish casting this off...

Hoping there is enough yarn to finish casting this off…

As I look back on my New Years Resolutions for 2014, I am stunned by the number of things I finished this year.

In 2011 – 105,

2012 – 78,

2013 – 112 

2014 – 61

It’s been a good year!

Projects in 2014

Resolutions for 2015!

  1. I will Complete 8 WIP’s on my list
  2. I will knit the lovely Madeline Tosh Sock yarn (spectrum) my DH gave me for Christmas 2014! 
  3. I have given up on organizing my stash, instead I will parcel up 15 projects with pattern,  stash yarn etc that I will make this year! Ok this sounded like a great plan, last year and yes I did parcel up 14 projects ready to go…still there nothing happened. Going to add one more for 2015…
  4. I will make ALL items for the Church Bazaar and craft sales from stash!
  5. I will not replenish my stash as it deminishes unless DH approves  (update this lasted for 25 days last year) I am going to see how long I will last this year!
  6. Goal this year, significant stash reduction! Again!
  7. I am counting making my studio usable as a minor success. However the Guyz tidied the house for Christmas and the a lot of stuff has disappeared and 4 laundry baskets are missing, I am guessing where… back on the list since 2013!
  8. I will complete one handmade gift for each of the 11 people that will be joining us Christmas 2015 
  9. I will make my DH and DS each a Scarf this year
  10. I will spin more. I have been spinning a little more, and I need to dig out my sewing machine this year too.
  11. I am going to invest in Shelving and containers and organize (sort of ) my stash and studio. 
  12. I will join Fibreholics anonymous (Just kidding :0)
  13. I am going to use more none virtual patterns, I have loads of knitting books, magazines and patterns I should use them!

Total of 13 Fibre Resolutions for 2015, we will see how this goes :0)

The Jar 2014

I begin 2015 with WIP List = 8

  1. Hue and value shawl 
  2. Left over Cowl 
  3. Cabled Hood with Pockets 
  4. Sea of Dreams Blanket
  5. Isla lace Pillowcase edge  
  6. Rose Harbour Shawl 
  7. My Fair Cardi 
  8. Simplicity Lace Scarf  

Thanks again for an interesting and eventful year.

It wouldn’t have been the same without you. 

FO’s 2014 = 61

WIPS 2014 = 8

 Stash Used 2014 = 80 + 3 = 83

Ravellenic 2014 FO’s =  8

Yds of Handspun 2014 = 313 yds

Sewing FO’s 2014 = O

Books 2014 = 37

cya next year :0)

I’m off on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0 

I also have a Ravelry shop and an Etsy shop!

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Holiday Season Treats!

Botticelli's The Mystical Nativity

Botticelli’s: The Mystical Nativity

We are still working on getting ready for Christmas in my household. The tree is up, the gifts are purchased (no handmade this year as I have been under the weather for a few months), baking happening today and maybe a little gift wrapping.

Meanwhile I have been working on my socks. 

Knit by the Dozen Toe-up Socks

At 1 1/2 of a pair of Knit by the Dozen socks with insert heels in kermit the frog green :0)

At 1 1/2 of a pair of Knit by the Dozen socks with insert heels and toes in kermit the frog green :0)

and waiting till I am a little more organized to finish up my Hue and Value Shawl. 

Almost there, one more section then garter stitch band and done!

Almost there, one more section then garter stitch band and done!

Last year I posted a pattern as a gift to my readers. This year I am posting two sweet treats! Enjoy :0) 

Here is a downloadable PDF: Christmas recipes  

DH made the chocolate things so they are a little large, and we didn't have any candied cherry for the top of the Mincemeat Squares. They are delicious anyway.

DH made the chocolate things so they are a little large, and we didn’t have any candied cherry for the top of the Mincemeat Squares. They are delicious anyway.

Mincemeat Squares  (Moms recipe/ Dads favourite)

2c Graham cracker crumbs

1 ½ c Mincemeat

15 oz Eagle Brand sweetened condensed Milk

Mix ingredients together, pour into well grease 9×12 pan. Bake for 30mins at 350 degrees. Cool then cut and place a bit of marichino cherry on each piece. Cut into pieces about 1½ x 2”

Chocolate Things!

(Grandma used to make these, my favourite)

2c sugar

6 tbsp cocoa

½ c butter or margarine

½ c milk

½ tsp vanilla

3 c instant oats

1 c  grated coconut

Mix sugar and cocoa in sauce pan. Add butter, and milk and bring to a boil. Add vanilla. Remove from heat and blend in oats and coconut. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper and chill till firm.

Makes: 4 ½ dozen – 1” cookies

I also found this recipe that looked rather good for those with sugar challenges (Diabetics).

Chocolate Star 

Made with Pizza Dough and nutella.

Made with Pizza Dough and nutella.

Hashbrown Baked Potato Casserole

(I use green onions, and add well done crumbed Bacon)

Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

WIP List = 10 

  1. Hue and value shawl
  2. My Favourite Top-Down Socks 
  3. Left over Cowl 
  4. Cabled Hood with Pockets 
  5. Sea of Dreams Blanket
  6. Isla lace Pillowcase edge  
  7. Rose Harbour Shawl 
  8. My Fair Cardi 
  9. Simplicity Lace Scarf  
  10. Knit by the Dozen Toe-up Socks

FO’s 2014 = 54

WIPS 2014 = 10

 Stash Used 2014 = 80 

Ravellenic 2014 FO’s =  8

Yds of Handspun 2014 = 313 yds

Sewing FO’s 2014 = 

Books 2014 = 33 + 4 = 37

Thanks again, cya soon :0)

I’m off to visit Tami’sthen on my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond

I also have a Ravelry shop 

As a Christmas treat all patterns in my Ravelry Shop are on sale for 25% off with the coupon code willow42 till Dec 31st

and an Etsy shop!

Sorry to say, I haven’t been well…

I haven’t been doing much actually. 

Sick gromit

Starting in October. Had some issues with my health, followed by CT scan (that they cancelled at last minute after all the prep  due to allergies) and then 2 MRI’s, because one is just not enough! Then 3 weeks in bed with a nasty cold and most recently twisted my back and am unable to straighten up.

Totally unprepared for Christmas. Unlike last year, almost no handmade gifts.  Having to trust my guys to come up with something. Trying to Shepherd them threw Christmas baking, we’ll see how that goes.

However, if someone could add about 3 weeks to December, I would be very grateful!

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However the tree is up (missing a bunch of decorations, but it’s up).  Hopefully the New Year will bring about good news and a better news. 

What something new?

I couldn’t help starting this one.

These are the originals that I liked so much.

These are the originals that I liked so much.

A friend has knit this one twice. 

We found the pattern at the Kitchener knitters fair in September and I couldn’t resist, neither could she. 

I have been wanting to get started on this one for awhile!

This pattern is awesome, just when you get tired of one thing, it switches to another.

This pattern is awesome, just when you get tired of one thing, it switches to another. This is my version.

It’s actually really simple to knit. All rows are worked with only one colour and the reverse rows are purl. I may do this again I am enjoying it so much.

Oh I finished a couple more

  “Baby it’s cold outside cup cosy”

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and

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WIP List = 10  

  1. Hue and value shawl
  2. My Favourite Top-Down Socks 
  3. Left over Cowl started feb 23/14
  4. Cabled Hood with Pockets Started Sept 27/13
  5. Sea of Dreams Blanket 85% done started Mar 9/13
  6. Isla lace Pillowcase edge  60% done started June 18/13
  7. Rose Harbour Shawl 85% done started Jun 28/13
  8. My Fair Cardi Started Apr 8/14
  9. Simplicity Lace Scarf  
  10. Baby it’s cold outside cup cozy

FO’s 2014 = 52 + 2 = 54

WIPS 2014 = 9 + 1 = 10

 Stash Used 2014 = 79 + 1 = 80

Ravellenic 2014 FO’s =  8

Yds of Handspun 2014 = 313 yds

Sewing FO’s 2014 = 

Books 2014 = 32 + 1 = 33

Thanks again, cya next week :0)

I’m off to visit Tami’sthen on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0 

I also have a Ravelry shop and an Etsy shop!

I have a little list!

We have had loads of snow this week.

We have had loads of snow this week.

I have been rooting around through my Wip list and I think it needs a little reorganization and recategorization.  Object to have only one on the go, in each type of project heading.

Shawlette: Rose Harbour Shawl 

Really close to finished!

Really close to finished!

Shawl: Nothing on the go right now

Charity project:  Baby it’s cold outside cup cozy 

Two so far, for the church Christmas Craft sale.

Two so far, for the church Christmas Craft sale.

Child: Sea of Dreams Blanket 

Only 2 more repeats.

Only 2 more repeats.

Large project: My Fair Cardi 

Back finished, working on the fronts.

Back finished, working on the fronts.

Winter Project:  Left over Cowl 

4 of 8 repeats of fairilse design sequence.

4 of 8 repeats of fairilse design sequence.

Socks: My Favourite Top-Down Socks 

I am doing the inserted heels on these, then I will type up the pattern for sale.

I am doing the inserted heels on these, then I will type up the pattern for sale.

Gift Drawer Project: Isla lace Pillowcase edge 

About 8" to do.

About 8″ to do.

Scarf:  Cabled Hood with Pockets 

This scarf is for my son.

This scarf is for my son.

Simplicity Lace Scarf  

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WIP List = 9

  1. My Favourite Top-Down Socks 
  2. Left over Cowl started feb 23/14
  3. Cabled Hood with Pockets Started Sept 27/13
  4. Sea of Dreams Blanket 85% done started Mar 9/13
  5. Isla lace Pillowcase edge  60% done started June 18/13
  6. Rose Harbour Shawl 85% done started Jun 28/13
  7. My Fair Cardi Started Apr 8/14
  8. Simplicity Lace Scarf  
  9. Baby it’s cold outside cup cozy

FO’s 2014 = 50 + 2 = 52

WIPS 2014 = 9

 Stash Used 2014 = 78 + 1 = 79

Ravellenic 2014 FO’s =  8

Yds of Handspun 2014 = 313 yds

Sewing FO’s 2014 = 

Books 2014 = 31 + 1 = 32

Thanks again, cya next week :0)

I’m off to visit Tami’sthen on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0 

I also have a Ravelry shop and an Etsy shop!

Sock Drawer Challenge!

Yes I have accepted the Sock Drawer Challenge, and it was a challenge! 

I took this picture after stuffing all I could into the drawer. Then socks started popping up all over, under beds, on feet, and in laundry baskets, lol

I took this picture after stuffing all I could into the drawer. Then socks started popping up all over, under beds, on feet, and in laundry baskets, lol

There are 30 pair in this photo, think I need a bigger drawer?

I challenge you to show off your drawer!

It’s been a while since I have posted, unfortunately I have been up to my ankles in alligators.  Lots of medical tests and other nasty stuff. The upside is lots of  knitting and reading going on here.

Will be available in Willows Pocket my etsy shop in November.

Available in Willows Pocket my etsy shop

and

Blue, green and purple

Blue, green and purple

and

Red, pink, orange

Red, pink, orange

and

Blue, pink, green

Blue, pink, green

Found at Willows Pocket Etsy shop

I have also been working on items for the St Georges Anglican Church, Newcastle Annual Christmas Craft sale.

A few pairs of toddler socks (my design)

A few pairs of Toddler Tootsies (my design)

and

A friend designed this dish cloth for Estelle Yarns, it hangs over your soap bottle to dry. I have knit 2 so far.

A friend designed this dish cloth for Estelle Yarns, it hangs over your soap bottle to dry. I have knit 2 so far.

and

Some nice person donated a big bag of "Boa" to the Church Craft group, a friend suggested Christmas Tree Garlands, 6 at 8ft each.

Some nice person donated a big bag of “Boa” to the Church Craft group, a friend suggested Christmas Tree Garlands, 6 at 8ft each.

I’m also putting together my pattern for “Roses in Winter Boot Cuffs” in preparation for Test knitting. 

Really pleased with these!

Really pleased with these!

So between this and that I have been a very busy bee.

WIP List = 9

  1. Quicksilver Lace Shrug started Sept 5/14
  2. My Favourite Top-Down Clog Socks (Did a little work on these since last posting)
  3. Left over Cowl started feb 23/14
  4. Cabled Hood with Pockets Started Sept 27/13
  5. Sea of Dreams Blanket 85% done started Mar 9/13
  6. Isla lace Pillowcase edge  60% done started June 18/13
  7. Rose Harbour Shawl 85% done started Jun 28/13
  8. My Fair Cardi Started Apr 8/14
  9. Simplicity Lace Scarf  

FO’s 2014 = 37 + 13 = 50

WIPS 2014 = 9

 Stash Used 2014 = 65 + 13 = 78

Ravellenic 2014 FO’s =  8

Yds of Handspun 2014 = 313 yds

Sewing FO’s 2014 = 

Books 2014 = 27 + 3 = 30

Thanks again, cya next week :0)

I’m off to visit Tami’sthen on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0 

I also have a Ravelry shop and an Etsy shop!

Handspinning: Fleece washing day

Monday was part 1 of fleece washing day!

That  Swaledale fleece that my Mum and Dad got on their recent trip to North Yorkshire England turned out to be quite good. For two people that have little knowledge of fleece purchasing, they did really well. Little dirtier than would have gone for, but no chafe. 

I suspect this sheep was raised outdoors as there is almost no matting over the hind quarters, and has some  weathered tips along the mid-line.

Whoever skirted it did a great job. There are some second cuts down the sides, but not unreasonable amount.

Swaledale fleece hand delivered from North Yorkshire. Now for washing and Spinning!

Swaledale fleece hand delivered from North Yorkshire. Now for washing and Spinning!

I estimate that my fleece is 10 to 15 Ibs unwashed. Think I may loose 10%, still lots left. Opening windows, basement smells petite barnyard. 

How I wash fleece, I have done this for years. 

Top loading Washing Machine

Why?

The spin cycle quite literally sucks out most of the dirt and water out of the fleece leaving it only damp. Did you know that the spin cycle on a washing machine is about 200 G’s, that’s more than shooting a rocket into space!  I used to hand wash in a trug, wet fleece + water weighs a ton, and drip drying takes forever. Someone suggested this method and I have never looked back. And the largest water containing tub in your house? No brainer. I do wipe out and rinse my machine with Javex afterward however. My repair guy, (which I have only seen once with an old machine) told me that the lanolin is good for the pump.

 

1st Quarter fleece: Started with the Hind quarters, This section over the haunches is yielding staple lenghts 8 to 10″ great for woolcoming. and worsted spinning. 

I use Ivory Dawn Dish soap, (the blue one). Use a non hand softener dish soap to clean and scour. The Ph can be corrected with 1/4 cup of vinegar in the rinse water. 

Important: Fleece needs to swim in the water, so do only 2 or 3 Ibs at a time or it will not be able to let go of the dirt.

How?

*Soaking in the hottest water that your top loading washing machine will produce. Fill tank, turn off machine, squirt some Blue Ivory dawn (difficult to find these days) add fleece and soak for 20 to 30 mins. Spin out dirty water (make sure that the machine doesn’t add any water into the tub at this point), once spun out gently lift fleece out of tank,* repeat then rinse fleece without soap. 

I use an old screen door.

I use an old screen door.

Lay out in thin layer to dry on a screen. Will feel dry long before it is dry. Leave for at least 24hrs flipping once.

Important note! 

Hot to hotter water only, and do not agitate!

Hot to cold = felt,

Soap+hot water+agitation= felt

Put it into soak, put your hands in your pockets, DO NOT POKE!

My fleece took 2 soaks one rinse. 

I figure I have 4 more loads to do. 

As far as knitting this week, I finished 3 Piles of Smiles Cowls

Will be available in Willows Pocket my etsy shop in November.

Will be available in Willows Pocket my etsy shop in November.

4 great colours!

3 colours, I am knitting a Hot pink one too.

3 colours, I am knitting a Hot pink one too.

And an Infinity of stash Cowl for the Church Bazaar next Saturday

Totally Austentatious my new literary blog is now open too!

All in all a very busy week :0)

WIP List = 9

  1. Quicksilver Lace Shrug started Sept 5/14
  2. My Favourite Top-Down Clog Socks 
  3. Left over Cowl started feb 23/14
  4. Cabled Hood with Pockets Started Sept 27/13
  5. Sea of Dreams Blanket 85% done started Mar 9/13
  6. Isla lace Pillowcase edge  60% done started June 18/13
  7. Rose Harbour Shawl 85% done started Jun 28/13
  8. My Fair Cardi Started Apr 8/14
  9. Simplicity Lace Scarf  

FO’s 2014 = 37 + 3 = 40

WIPS 2014 = 9

 Stash Used 2014 = 65 + 3 = 68

Ravellenic 2014 FO’s =  8

Yds of Handspun 2014 = 313 yds

Sewing FO’s 2014 = 

Books 2014 = 27 + 2 = 29

Thanks again, cya next week :0)

I’m off to visit Tami’sthen on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0

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