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All Hail All Hallows

I loved this yarn the first time I saw it.

AllHallows

It’s Mosaic Moon All Hallows on a Licorice Twist Base. Licorice Twist is a round yarn that has one ply of superwash spun in with the wool. The superwash takes the dye differently than the non-superwash (typically darker), which means you get colour variation within the colour variation. On top of this awesomeness, it also has a great sheen – this yarn fairly glows. It’s got all my favourite colours – bright oranges, vivid greens, and deep purples.

So, I bought it on impulse and it sat in the shop for about a month – I knew if it didn’t get snapped up soon, I was simply going to have to make something with it…. Then Deirdre grabbed it when I posted a sale on in-stock yarn and asked for a skirtie. Squeee!!

So a skirtie it became. There’s a dark purple trim on top, and a plain purple cuffed soaker underneath.

AllHallowsFinal

AllHallowsFinal2

We went back and forth deciding what to do for the edging on the skirt, but once I’d got most of the skirt knit up, it became pretty obvious to me that the yarn would show off scallops really well. It really does!

AllHallowsFinal3

We even had enough left over to make a matching beanie.

AllHallowsFinalHat

While she’s been waiting, Deirdre made some really amazing spiderweb leggings to complete the outfit – this child is going to rock Hallowe’en this year…

 

Buttermint Baby Hat

This baby hat is ever so soft, cuddly, and stretchy! It’s knit with an 70% wool / 30% nylon blend and is really fuzzy – it’s like knitting with cotton candy, although less sticky! The colourway is called Buttermint (it’s discontinued) and has shades of creamy yellow, minty green, coral, and pinky purple.The hat features a rolled brim and several different stitches to highlight the colour shifts in the yarn. At rest, the hat measures 15″ around, but it will stretchy comfortably up to 18″. This means it will fit like a slouch hat on a 6-month-old, but will stretch to fit I would guess up to 15-18 months.
Buttermint1
Buttermint2
Buttermint3
Buttermint6
Buttermint7**All my creations are knit at my kitchen table, overlooking our maple stand, in our non-smoking, pet-loving home. I wash all items in Eucalan wool wash prior to listing.

Love the pattern but the wrong size or wrong colour? I can make this in any size you like – prices may vary!

As always, if you’re local to Ottawa, let me know and we can arrange pickup free of charge in the south / east area.

Orange-Striped Baby Beanie

Older baby/young toddler beanie in superwash wool.

This cute little hat is machine-washable and dryable, and will be soft as well as warm.

The band is 14″ lightly stretched (will stretch another inch or two) and the hat is 6″ high, so that it will come down low over the ears. I have enough yarn to make mitts to match!

All items are knit at my kitchen table, overlooking our maple stand, in our non-smoking, pet-loving home. All items are washed in Eucalan wool wash prior to listing.

Love the pattern but the wrong size or wrong colour? I can make this in any size you like!

Renegade Dyeing

It was a quiet and dreary day in the house yesterday and I decided to play around with some colour. I had a blank Briggs & Little Softspun hank begging to be jazzed up – blank yarn burns a hole in my yarn stash like money in a pocket. I had no real plan in mind for a colour scheme this time and decided to go renegade and not worry about being too precise.

I found some PAAS Easter Egg dyes that I bought a couple of years back (note to self, always make the effort to go shopping the day after Easter when the dyes are on sale because $1.99 for wool dye is awesome). I had a full rainbow of colours in the pack.

PAAS

I followed the same tutorial as I did for the Pink Lemonade Hand-Painted yarn. I soaked the skein in vinegar for 30 minutes (next note to self – next time give it a wash first to help it absorb the colour).

I couldn’t decide on which colours to use. Originally I was planning on blue and purple and possibly green. I mixed those up by dissolving the tablets in vinegar, and then decided to try four colours because I haven’t done that before, so I thought maybe orange. Except when the orange tablet went in I realized it was yellow. I really wanted orange – I was thinking maybe Hallowe’en colours – so I threw the orange in with the yellow.

That left the poor red dye tablet sitting there all alone and it seemed kind of dumb to hang on to it. I knew from a previous dyeing experience that the purple colour was likely to break (separate into its component colours) once it was on the yarn so I figured what the hell and threw the red in with the purple to see what would happen.

Dyes

The purple started to break almost as soon as I poured it on the yarn – see how it’s pinkish around the edges? Clearly if I was going for a nice even purple this would be a bad thing, but I kind of like the look when I’m just going for something fun.

Purple and Blue

I poured on the remaining colours. In a moment of inspiration it occurred to me that with two tablets in the orange pot, I could increase the liquid and dye more yarn. Which is why there’s a big stretch of the yellow/orange.

All the colours

I microwaved it.

Nuked

I let it sit till it was cool (this is HARD) and then rinsed it off to take out the loose left-over dye. Check out the purple now – really broken.

Resting

I let it dry overnight and got some pictures this morning in better light. I’m kind of in love. It looks very tie-dyed with some really vivid colours – it reminds me of a Crayola Watercolours box.

Full skein

The purple

PAASTieDyeWoundFinal

PAASTieDyeSkeinFinal

I think I’m reaching the end of what I can do in terms of dyeing with my current equipment and methods. I love food-grade dyeing and I’ll likely continue with that (haven’t used food colouring yet, for example) but I’d like to start playing with some acid dyes. And I need a better method for heating the yarn, or I need to re-skein the yarn (I need a Niddy Noddy) so that it’s not touching itself. I’d like to be able to dye two skeins at once because longies usually require more than one skein, but that’s not going to work with my current equipment. I have research to do…

Sun-Dyed Yarn

Last Friday we hit 30C (around 86F) – for September that’s pretty warm – and I figured it was likely the last day this year I could try sun-dyeing.

I’ve read about it before and we saw it when we visited Avonlea Village in PEI this summer – they used blue Kool-Aid. I’d never tried it, although there’s really not much to it. Dye needs heat to bond to the yarn – typically I use the microwave for hand-painting, or the crockpot for kettle dyeing. I essentially did kettle-dyeing using the sun as the heat source.

Wool Dyeing with Mrs. Lynde

Wool Dyeing with Mrs. Lynde

This is quite possibly the easiest dyeing I’ve ever done.

I washed the yarn (Briggs & Little Softspun – my go-to for affordable, toddler-worthy yarn). I put it in a bowl of water. I put the bowl outside.

SunnyStrawberry_blank

I sprinkled Strawberry Kool-Aid over it. (Is it me or does this look like a Hallowe’en decoration??)

SunnyStrawberry_dye

I let it get warm. I chased the sun around the front yard. I checked on it.

SunnyStrawberry_warming

Results? Not as intense as crock-pot dyeing, and I think the dye would have taken better if it had been outside longer and got warmer. I started at around 11:30 – I should have started first thing in the morning. I ended up zapping the bowl of water in the microwave at the end of the day to finish it off and clear the dye bath.

SunnyStrawberry_tonal

The yarn looks nice though – more of a pale pink with a hint of coral. It’s tonal rather than solid – some places are darker than others. That was purposeful – I sprinkled the Kool-Aid on top rather than mixing it in to get a tie-dyed look.

I’m more or less pinked-out now – I’ve done a lot lately. I’m listing the yarn – there’s enough for hats/mitts/a soaker/smaller longies. I’m guessing this is the only sun-dyeing I’ll do this year… the weather is cooling off rapidly.

Hugs and Kisses Soaker

Surround your sweet little squish in hugs and kisses!

This sweet little soaker is knit in super-soft organic Purewool merino. This yarn is so soft it feels like cotton – perfect for pampering a newbie’s soft skin! Sized for approximately 3-6 months depending on the baby.

It features a ribbed waist and cuffs and a hugs and kisses (X and O) colourwork design on the body in hand-painted 100% soft wool. The crocheted drawstring is removable if it’s not required.

The cuffs have a stretchy edging so they would be ideal for a chunky-legged baby.

Hip: 16” unstretched
Rise: 16”

This soaker is based on the wonderful Snapdragon soaker pattern with a modified waist and stitch count. Love the soaker but it’s not the right size? Send me a note at juliette@knitknacks.ca – I can make you one in the size you need!

This soaker has been washed in Eucalan wool wash. I can soak it in a scented or unscented lanolin bath for no extra charge.

Simple is good – the Abate

I participated in a Knit-along with some online knitting friends this summer. I don’t do many because the projects always get hibernated when orders come in. This one seemed doable though – big needles, not complicated and eye appeal.

We had a choice between Ease/Abate or Glazed Pecan. I picked Abate because a sweater for a 9-year-old is faster than a sweater for a grown woman. Plus my daughter was a willing recipient. Abate is knit in worsted, but on US10 needles so the stitches are loose and drapey.

For yarn, I wanted a superwash, partly for ease of use but also they tend to be smoother. We had decided on Cascade 220 until Unraveled posted that they had some limited edition hand-painted Superwash from the Mineville Wool Project - a Fleece Artist venture. We took the trip to Merrickville to check it out – it turned out to be beautiful but a little prickly. The kid decided she wanted it anyway. $12.99 per 180m – SOLD!

Mineville_wound

The yarn traveled down with me to the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia (fittingly since it’s *from* Nova Scotia) and I knit up the body and one sleeve during the two weeks we were down there. I tried it on her – it looked great. The half-finished sweater traveled back here, and sat around until the Knit-along-ers reminded me that it had to be finished by Sept 1. Eeek!

On the Bay

So… I’ve been knitting like mad this week and just finished it off – now it’s soaking in a lanolin bath to hopefully soften it up a little, but it has been pronounced wearable and loved. I swear the sleeves were longer a month ago – damn those summer growth spurts. I have some yarn left over that I’m going to store if I need to lengthen them before she outgrows it in other ways.

Abate

There’s this little trick they tell you about when you’re working with hand-painted yarn – you’re supposed to work with two skeins at once and alternate yarns. This, kids, is why. I was lazy, and didn’t do this. I managed to grab one skein that was dyed a little differently, so there are spiral stripes on the top of the body, and none further down, where I ran out of yarn and changed skeins. I seem to be the only one who cares, though, so I’m pretending I don’t notice.

Mission complete – I hit the deadline.  So now… do I bite the bullet and make a larger one for me? I can do it without the collar which is good for someone who prefers nothing at my throat!

For fellow Ravelers – here’s the project listing. Feel free to add me as a friend!

Simple Bulky Child’s Beanie

This simple little hat is truly gender-neutral. In shades of blues and browns, its warm colours look so cozy!

The hat is knit in a thick wool/acrylic blend. It’s machine washable (dry flat) and is really soft – easy to slap on a kid’s head before rushing out the door and they might even keep it on!

Sized for an average 2-4 year old’s head (about 16″ circumference).

Wool Wash

Sitting down to inventory my wool wash options, I had no idea I’d amassed so many over the past couple of years. I’ve listed them all here so when I offer to lanolize before sending out an order, I can refer customers to this post.

Most of the scents I use are pretty mild and I don’t buy any scents that give me a headache. That doesn’t mean that a particular scent won’t trigger YOU though… if you’re worried about scent triggers, I always have unscented wash/lanolin on-hand.

Here’s what I currently have on-hand.

Eucalan

Eucalan – a classic. This one is grapefruit scented but I can barely smell it. By itself this isn’t enough lanolin in my opinion so I use this as a first wash and then lanolize after.

 

Wool wash bars… top left is Naturally Luxe Rosewood EO – nice and mild – it’s not a sugary or flowery scent. Top right is one of my all-time favourites… it’s a Sloomb Cube in Kumquat. It’s a really fruity scent and if you’ve ever eaten Bassett Jelly Babies, I think they smell exactly the same. Kumquat smells almost good enough to eat. Bottom are two Sheepish Grins scents – Coconut Almond and Angel Baby (very mild).

Wool wash bars

Large wool wash bars

Wool wash samples

Wool wash samples

 

BeeGreen products. I have Pink Sugar, Cowboy, and 50/50 Bar in washes, and unscented lanolin balm. I got these through the wonderful Becky at Frank & Beans Originals.

Bee Green products

Bee Green products

 

A classic – Woollybottoms LoveSpell lanolin balm.

LoveSpell

LoveSpell

 

Lanolin sprays – great for touch-ups. CJ’s Lavender&Vanilla (this one is strong…). Naturally Luxe Lavender (also a bit strong). And Sheepish Grins unscented – I use this one quite often as a final touch in the wet zone.

Lanolin Sprays

Lanolin Sprays

 

Any suggestions for other brands or scents that you love that I should get? Because maybe I don’t have enough…

Box

 

Pink Lemonade Skirtie

This bright and cheerful skirtie soaker was a joy to knit! It has a couple of “firsts” for me.

It started with some wool I hand-painted with Easter Egg dyes (the first First – I’ve never hand-painted before – blog post to come on this!). The colours came out juicy and very vibrant.  I wanted to showcase the colours, and skirties are one of the best ways to do that. I have a bunch of projects waiting to be completed but I loved these colours so much I have to start and work on it a little bit each day just so I could enjoy the wool.

The skirtied traveled down to the Bay of Fundy with me last month and I sat on the beach on some very hot days and got much of it knit up, but unfortunately I had to wait till I got home to finish it.

It features a hot pink soaker under the skirt (Paton’s Classic). I can add leg cuffs if you like at no extra charge. (The colours in this picture are washed out – the picture at the top is true. I’ll get a better picture once the piece is dry.)

soaker

The drawstring is a twisted cord (my second First of the project).

This skirtie has been washed in unscented Eucalan. I can soak in a lanolin bath (scented or unscented) before shipping if you would like.