knitting

I Made Wool Dryer Balls

cropped-6b1e54f7-6866-4e1c-837f-798496fb829b.jpegWell, hello! It’s been a while since I have posted. Four months to be exact. However, it is a new year and I will be blogging on a more regular basis. I intend to share patterns, yarn reviews, techniques and anything else I come across that I think you may find helpful or useful.

Today, it will be wool dryer balls. Everything I hear about them I like. They cut down on drying time, they are more economical than dryer sheets (they last years), they eliminate static cling and reduce wrinkles. They are also pretty easy to make. There are a few ways to make them. This is how I do them.

Materials  I used:

Patons Classic Wool Yarn (2 or 3 skeins)

Wool roving (about 4 oz)

Nylon knee highs

Scrap cotton or acrylic yarn

Directions:

Begin by winding the yarn into a ball. I made mine about 6 inches in diameter

Next, use the wool roving to cover the yarn ball you created. Go round and round and stop when you reach about 9 inches in diameter

Make as many balls as you want. I made 5

Put the balls into the knee highs. Separate each ball by tying yarn between each one

Put the balls in a hot water wash and then toss in the dryer

When done, check to see that they are felted. You should not be able to pull the roving off the ball

Put them through another wash and dry cycle if necessary

And that’s it!

A few things to keep in mind:

You must use 100 % wool for the yarn and the roving. You need it for absorption and felting

Do not use wool as ties between the balls. If you do, it will felt and make it difficult to remove. Use cotton or acrylic yarn

Scent your balls with pure essential oils

Tell me if you give it a try.

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knitting

The Fleegle Heel Is A Hit!

I saw Knitfreedom’s video on YouTube regarding the fleegle heel. I wanted to try it, however, I didn’t have a pattern and didn’t feel comfortable enough at the time to wing it. I’m never afraid to make mistakes and start over, I just felt I didn’t have the sock knitting experience to go it alone.     

 Now, after having made 20+ socks, I frequently knit socks without a pattern. A vanilla sock (plain stockinette) with my choice of toe and heel treatment is always on my needles. I want to learn as many techniques as possible and the many different sock heel treatments will keep me interested for a little while. 

This technique was easy to do and I like the look and feel on my foot. I will be definitely be knitting a Fleegle heel again. Visit the, blog watch the videos, see it you like it. Knitfreedom’s video

Fleegle’s Blog  

knitting

Knitting Guild Night With Guest Kathleen Dames

Tonight’s guild meeting had a special guest. Knitwear designer and magazine editor Kathleen Dames. She is the editor, along with Ann Podlesak, of Filament magazine. It’s a quarterly publication loaded with patterns. She’s an excellent speaker and very knowledgeable on the teachings of Elizabeth Zimmermann. Our guild is spending a year with EZ, so we were all interested in her talk about Pi shawls. She had beautiful sample knits to show and I drooled over a pullover with colorwork on the bottom. 

It was a good night. She tells a good story and welcomes questions from the audience. I immediately subscribed to her podcast, The Sweater with Kathleen Dames. I am also looking forward to taking her class this fall at Altman’s Needlearts in Mattituck, NY. 

Her website is www.kathleendames.com

I also got my copy of the Knitting Workshop. I am so anxious to start working from it. Our guild has challenged us to be ready to knit a sweater by September. And I am up for it!

Kathleen Dames at the Eastern Long Island Knitting Guild.
The Sweater podcast
 

knitting

Its Fair Isle Friday

This is my third fair isle project. However, it’s my first fair isle sock and it certainly is challenging. Two things, the sock weight yarn and the colors I chose. Knitting with two hands is awkward enough. Throw in knitting English style, with thin yarn and this continental knitter really struggles. 

I wanted to use my yellow Knit Picks stroll yarn. I love yellow and white.  Although, I think it may be a bit too subtle. I’m having a difficult time telling the yellow from the white. My next may be blue and white. 

Happy Cinco de Mayo

This photo if from Candice Dewitt’s Ravelry page.

The pattern is fair isle flower sock by Candice Dewitt. 

knitting

Kara Gott Warner And The Stitchucation Challenge

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2 shawl babies
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Shawl baby with trellis openwork, garter and stockinette.

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I got turned on to Kara through the Power Purls Podcast. Her podcast introduced me to designers, yarn companies and many other useful and educational things I didn’t know I needed to know. She was also the executive editor of Creative Knitting Magazine. So, when she announced she was holding a five day Stitchucation Shawl challenge, my ears (and hands) perked up.

I have never been a fan of shawls. No particular reason, just not a big fan. However, at almost 60 yrs old, I feel I need to wear something pretty around my neck for reasons all of us women know. And a shawl can also be worn as a neckerchief!

I am so happy I participated. I learned two different ways to start a shawl, the single knit and the garter tab. I also learned to make “shawl babies” which are swatches in the shape of a shawl. These shawl babies allowed me to try different cast ons, yarn weights and needle sizes. There were no rules. You were free to use whatever you wanted. She provided the template and I was off and running.

I learned that a shawl requires a stretchy bind off. If you use the standard bind off, when you wrap it around your neck, the bottom edge rolls and doesn’t lay flat. That brings me to the applied edging. Yes, I learned that too!

The creativity really started to flow! I could mix garter stitch with stockinette stitch or I could use an openwork pattern bordered by stockinette. The possibilities are endless and…there is no pattern needed! Follow the template, choose your yarn(s), your needles and plot it out or design as you go. Very, very exciting!

Many thanks to Kara Gott Warner for this challenge. She has a Shawl Workshop beginning May 1st. Enrollment ends today April 17 at 11:59 pm. It’s a 5 week challenge at cost of $5.00. I won’t be able to participate in this one because of the Master Hand Knitter program. That’s my first priority at the moment.

Check out the Power Purls Podcast and also KaraGottWarner.com