Sunday, December 9, 2018


Not long ago I purchased a hat kit from Jimmy Beans Wool.  It was

This got me in the mood to make more.  I gave 4 away, so far.   Then I switched to knitting and made the rest of the hats in a version of the watch cap.  This pattern has been around for 100 or so years.  When switching from the ribbing to the stockinette or stocking stitch, I go up one or two needle sizes.  Ribbing stitching is always larger than the body of the hat.

I like to watch the podcast Chelsea Pearls.  They discussed making hats using a carrier yarn of lace weight mohair and silk blend.  I don't know who started the fad, but it carried on and many different wool dyers have laceweight mohair.  This is a link to a recent podcast.  Ahe has a beautiful yarn store, but it is a little far for me to drive to.  (Redbank, New Jersey)

I made a hat very similar to the watch cap and used a multi-colored wool and a lace weight mohair as a carrier yarn.  On the top part, every 5th row, I only used the mohair.  This gave the hat a little-striped effect, however, it is not easily noticed.  On the next hat, I used the same mohair, but the wool was worsted weight from Plymouth and it was in the color name lipstick.  I picked this out for my grand-daughter who loves to wear lipstick and her favorite color is pink.  When these two yarns were knitted together, it made the yarn a little more of a cherry red.  I crocheted the edge in the mohair yarn and put I an embellishment on the top of the hat.

The hat I am making at this time is the Cookiegate colorway from Chelsea Yarns.  Luxe Superwash DK Merino and Luxe Mohair with 72 % mohair and 28 % silk.   Mohair without the silk added is too scratchie for me to wear close to my skin.  The hat is very, very soft.  The Merino is brighter than the Mohair blend.  The Mohair blend reminds me of antique lavender and mauve colors.  Anyway, when you use gray in a blend, it makes the color duller.  I think I could use a gray pompom for the top, or maybe a natural fox.  There is a small amount of a cherry red popping out here and there.  I may be able to even use a cherry red pompom.

What are you working on?  After the last blast of cold, I decided my close friends and family needed to have a warm hat.  Years ago I made hats for all of my friends and family every year for Christmas.  It has been at least 10 years since I made hats.  I guess it is time for me to start again.  I hope they wear them proudly.

Do you notice the stripes on the top of the hat on the right?  The kit is the one in the very center with the mauve colored pompom.

Grandbaby's hat


Thank you for viewing!  I hope you all have a warm and blessed holiday season!  Dawnie

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Hobbit Hat or Tea Cozy and More on Energized Singles

After spinning a bobbin full of yarn, it is so much easier to knit or crochet something when the wool is not removed from the bobbin and plied or the twist set.  If the twist is not set, the yarn is referred to as energized.  I have recently posted on energized singles and you may want to refer to those posts.  Usually, I crochet with energized singles.  In this case, I knit a hat in one piece and seamed the pieced together.  As you see, a normal triangle is not made.  It was not curved this way due to my knitting expertise, it was the use of energized singles.

Once I sewed the seam, the hat became more of a triangle, unless the stitches are followed. The stitches do not go straight up and down like normal knitting.  They curve to the right.  I added locks to the top of the hat, crocheted along the bottom of the hat, and brushed up the knitting to make the hat a little fuzzier.  I also gathered the seam which allowed for the top to curve down.  The type of wool I used to spin this hat with is Cotswold I purchased from Nistock Farms.  This wool was not cheap, but it was covered and much cleaner than most raw wool. Usually wool has bits and pieces of pasture, not to mention a little poo.  I buy most all of my wool raw (unwashed) from a farmer.  I then wash, dye, comb, and prepare the yarn to spin.  I could buy processed and colored wool, but that would take the fun away from the prep, not to mention all of the variations that can be done in the prep.  This yarn was spun thick and thin with some of the lock curl showing in the yarn.

I could stop with the hat at this point, but if the hat is for me, I can't put Cotswold wool next to my skin.  This would make a cute tea cozy also, but I would still want to line it for optimal warmth.  It has been a while since I posted about lining hats with fleece.  Not wool fleece, but the fabric fleece used to make blankets, scarves, jackets, etc.  Originally, I thought I should line the complete inside of the hat, but all that is needed is a band that covers the area of the hat that touches skin.  Here is how the hat looks at this time.  What do you think?

Thank you for viewing!  Dawie

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

What is on your hook or needles?

What is on your needles or hook?  I am trying to make hats to warm all the heads around me.  

WIP/ Work In Progress  Tea Cozy waiting to be lined.  

Hat for a friend.  (Skull Cap)

Hat for my son.  He liked the multi-colored pom pom.
My hat.  This was a kit from Jimmy Beans.  Breast Cancer Awareness

Early fall at work.

                         Am I the only one that can't get enough pumpkin spice latte's???

Thanks for viewing!  Dawnie

Monday, October 22, 2018

More varied color and breed, hand spun, energized, single wool yarn

I made a yarn bowl with more varied colors and breeds of energized singles.  I felted the yarn some to make the crocheting stiffer.  I decided to keep a plastic bowl in the yarn bowl for extra support and  if I put something like a pen in it, any leakage of ink would be into the plastic bowl and not ruin the yarn bowl. 

Thanks for viewing!  Dawnie

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Many Colors and Energized Twist

Am I the only one that likes to change colors and fibers after just a short time while spinning wool?  I like some variety every now and again.  I just crocheted a trivet with yarn made with many colors and kinds of wool.  This does include kid mohair, which is a goat fiber and not a sheep fiber. It is only one ply (strands put together) and it is what they call (in the spinning world) an energized single. The twists are the energy and can be a little harder to work with. When yarn is spun and taken off of the bobbin, it has extra twist and over twists on itself. It has what I think of as a bird's next effect. When wet or steamed in a stretched (not over-stretched) state such as on a niddy-noddy (tool to place spun yarn on when taking it off the wheel) or while hanging dry, the over twisting disappears and the twist is set.  

Thanks for viewing!  Dawnie

PS  The font will not stay in one size.  It is kind of like I did it on purpose to show how a varied font would get more attention and interest .  LOL

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

New Yarns

It has been a while since I have posted some of my hand spun yarns.  Most of my yarn is made with wool straight from the farmer.  I scald (wash) the wool, dye the wool if I choose to, card or comb the wool, and spin the wool.  It takes a lot of labor to make hand-spun yarn.  Most of my yarn is lumpy bumpy and has added silk, or sparkle.  This is called art yarn.  I have hooks at home that I hang the yarn on.  They are displayed like pieces of art.
Example of a fleece I purchase.

 Thank you for viewing!  Dawnie

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Pumpkin Spice Handmade Soap

I purchased a new mold for making soap.  It is made with HDPE ( High-density polyethylene).  The bottom board has a lining made with silicone.   When I have purchased molds of this type in the past, the mold dividers were not long enough to reach the edge, allowing the possibility of a curve of the divider which would make odd shaped  bars of soap. These type of molds may also be harder to unmold.  I tried the new mold out this weekend.  After placing the batter into the mold, I grabbed the divider edge to lift the mold and give it a good tap to remove the air bubbles.  I wasn't thinking and I lifted the dividers off the base. Oh, sugar!  That was not a thing to do!  I had a major clean up to do on the table and the floor.  I was able to miraculously place the dividers right back into place and add more soap batter to fill up the bar spaces.  Whoosh!  It could have been much worse.  Next time I use this mold, I will place it on top of another board and give the bottom board the air bubble removal wacks. 

The soap took a little longer to set up enough to come out of this mold, in comparison to my silicone loaf molds.  The soap heated up a little too much and cracked the top of a few bars and a couple bars spewed out a little from a crack.  The soap bars remind me of pumpkin bread and how they crack down the center when baking.   I usually unmold my silicone molds in 8 hours or so.  With this mold, I unmolded it in  32 hours.  It really was pretty easy to remove the dividers.  I purchased the mold here:

This is the pumpkin spice hand made soap.

Thank you for viewing my blog.  Dawnie

Friday, September 14, 2018

Using Nylon Buttonhole Thread in Spinning

I have been spinning some lace weight fiber.  I get bored easily and need to try something different.  That is why I vary the size of the wool, the breed of wool, and the color of wool I spin.  I also like to add to the wool some sparkle, silk, recycled sari silk, banana fiber, corn fiber, recycled denim, pineapple fiber, etc.  In the picture above on the bottom right side, the trivet is made from lace weight BFL fiber in mostly fall colors.  The skein of yarn on the top right is the same yarn as the trivet.  On the left side it is the same yarn, but it is auto wrapped with vintage nylon buttonhole thread as I was spinning the yarn.  The thread is allowed to do pretty much as it pleases and mostly dangles by the orifice.  There may be a lot of thread in one area and less in other areas.  It gives the yarn an interesting look. I loved the look of the yarn with the vintage cameo buttons.  I tried to give you a visual of them with the yarn.  The nylon thread will catch the light on occasion.  A brighter colored thread or a thicker thread would give the yarn more interest and zest.  I hope you have a great weekend!  Dawnie

More wool locks, etc.

I haven't made many things as of late.  I threw my back out and I spent several days in pain with a lot of Icy Hot patches and muscle cream along with some kind of muscle relaxer/pain pills.  I was a little out of touch.  I couldn't bend without major hurt in the lower of my back, especially on the right.  You just don't know all of the things you use those muscles for until you need them.

I finished one of the fireplace mantle cloths.  I made this one a little wider so it could be used on a buffet or a dresser.  If it is too wide, it can be easily folded on the back side.  This mantle cloth is for the fall.  It has tiny deer heads on it along with pastel leaves on a dark golden metallic brown background.  The reverse side has a burlap look alike fabric.  All along one side is long sheep wool locks.  They are kettle/rainbow dyed with primarily gold color.  There were also yellow, purple, brown, and orange colors in the dye pot.  I love the longer locks and the bling in the fabric!  I don't have a mantle, but my mom does, so I made use of it.

up close

This is a table runner I completed this summer.  I love the vivid colors.  It really makes a great mantle cloth too!

The harvest mantle cloth.  It has a blackboard-like background with vivid fruit and veggie pictures and canning jars.  The other side of the cloth has a coral fabric.  This is such a playful fun fabric.  I could see some canning jars on this the mantle or on a sideboard and this cloth used for a sideboard cover/cloth.

When making the mantle cloths, I needle felted the wool locks onto the fabric and then sewed the seams.  I think the locks will be less easy to pull off.

My grand-baby turned 2 and my mom turned 87 on 9/11.

I noticed all of the curls in my grand-daughter's hair.  All I can see is wool locks for spinning.  LOL

I hope you are all doing well.  Have a great weekend!  Dawnie