Monthly Archives: January 2018

This Past Week

Another week gone by in a blur…  I was going to say how crazy it is that January is already half over.  I missed my chance—as of tomorrow January is two-thirds over.  Spring is around the corner!

This past week was a calm but busy one.  As the weather warmed up I was able to get outside for a walk.  It’s always uplifting to get some sunshine and breathe in that crisp air.  I believe I sleep better on those days that I am able to get outside.

Even my pup loves sunshine, and of course, soft beds.  I think he is missing his “sissy”.

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I completed my first doll ensemble this week, and it is on its way to a special little girl.

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I have a couple of newer fabrics that have this shade of green in them, so I decided to knit a “Light Cardigan” for the Little Darlings in the longest length with elbow length sleeves.  It is now blocked and waiting patiently for me.

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Yesterday I dyed a skein of merino worsted weight yarn for a cowl I’d like to make.  I made these two color palettes on PicMonkey, but the end result doesn’t really look anything like the palettes I made.  Hmm, an unnecessary step?

I started with 5 basic colors: yellow, warm red, cool red, warm blue, cool blue.  I mixed up a concentrated bit of each, then used those to mix four colors to be used on the yarn.

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This is the first time I “cooked” my yarn in a pot and used citric acid instead of vinegar as a mordant.

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The dye “stuck” to the yarn immediately.  I thought it would get diluted and bleed into the other colors.  That didn’t happen.  I guess because of all the citric acid.  I find many different “suggestions” for the amount to be used.

This is how the yarn looked after I finished applying the dye.  I used the smaller cups and slowly put it on the yarn.

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When I lifted my skein out of the pot I discovered the underside had lots of white.  I actually like it better this way, so yay!  You can see how clear the dye bath is; all of the dye is on the yarn.  When I washed the skein I had no bleeding whatsoever.

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The end result was a surprise.  I was going for a much more muted and pastel version of these colors—not so violet-y looking  Oh well…  I have a LOT to learn about dyeing yarn.  Nevertheless, it was fun and perhaps addicting.  I am anxious to start knitting with this skein.  I hope it doesn’t knit up looking like a mess.

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This yarn is Preciosa from Knit Picks—a 100% merino single ply.  I’ve discovered that merino wool is not scratchy on my skin—even on my neck.  I’ve believed for many, many years that I could not wear any animal fiber whatsoever.  I see many cowls, socks, scarves, and shawls in my future.  And perhaps, when I am really confident, a sweater.

Also, from this week.  Wendy, who makes porcelain dolls and repaints others, has kindly shared photos of her work with me and you, too.  Wendy has resized some of my knitting patterns to fit her specific dolls.  She is one multi-talented lady.  She also does other crafts.  If you’d like to follow her Facebook page it is called Wendy’s Doll Collection.  Here are her photos.  The first and last are from Dianna Effner molds.  The middle doll is a German antique reproductions which she repainted and dressed.

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From start to finish… beautiful!  Don’t you agree?

Well, I think that’s about it for me today.  I hope you all have a great weekend.  Thanks for stopping by, my friends.

“Love-ly and Sweet”

I just set a record… for the longest doll ensemble-in-progress.  There are actually two ensembles, and the second isn’t finished yet, so that one will break this record!  BTW, I started working on these two ensembles shortly after Thanksgiving!  Crazy!

So, without further ado, here is Gina modeling “Love-ly and Sweet” for you.

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 Luckily, I had the foresight to predict (ha ha) the frigid temps, so she is cozied up in lots of miniature knitwear, and of course, a pair of tights.

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The capelet was made from my “Eyelet Capelet” pattern, but I used two-strands of lace weight yarn held together instead of one-strand of fingering weight yarn for a marled effect.  One thing to remember about holding two-strands together is that the colors will mix, so in this case the natural color mixes with the pink to lighten it.

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I didn’t mirror the embroidery.  I wanted it to appear casual and loose—like the blossoms simply fell in place.

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Gina throws one end of the scarf across her shoulder and slides on her fingerless mitts.  Mom carefully ties her cuddle cap in the perfect side bow.  Gina grabs her little crocheted drawstring bag (tiny hanky inside) just in case she finds a new treasure.  Then, she’s off—wonder where she’ll go today.

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“Love-ly and Sweet” is a one-of-a-kind ensemble.  It will be available for sale tonight (January 17, 2018) at 7:00 pm CST, cindyricedesigns.com.

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Bittersweet

Over the last two days, we took down the Christmas tree and put away all of our decorations.  We brought our daughter to the airport this morning so that she can begin her second semester at college.  We are back to ordinary every day life.

I am trying to be positive–not dwell in the past, but I cannot help remembering when holiday break was just beginning and it was all ahead of us.  If I could, I’d love to do it all over again.  *sigh*  Goodbyes and endings are sooo very hard for me.  Do you find that too?

When I look back, though, I see that it was a productive holiday break.  I knit some “to be worn by people” items: a cabled headband and a pair of socks for my daughter, and also a cowl for me.  My daughter got bitten by the jewelry making bug.  She made countless necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.  My gold-filled chain is totally gone.  I gave her free reign on my stash.  I have so, so much!

My first pair (not just one) of socks was made for my daughter.  She’s wearing them, for the second time, right now!  It really and truly warms my heart!  They were knit with Knit Picks Stroll Tweed in Garnet Heather.  They fit her pretty well, however, even though I used a stretchy bind off the cuffs are still pulled to the maximum when putting them on.  I need to research and find a stretchier bind off.  I used the Russian Bind Off for this pair and made the stitches as loose as possible… or I thought I did.  Any suggestions?  Anyway, she loves them!

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After frogging (rip it rip it 🙂 ) my first cowl with this lovely colored blue yarn, I made another on much smaller needles and used a broken rib pattern.  I wanted a fitted looking cowl that sort of hugged my neck.  This came out exactly as I had hoped.  It is made with Knit Picks Shine worsted in the Clarity color.  I used my new Hiya Hiya Sharps interchangeable circular needles in size 3, although I cast on and knit the first row on DPNs.  I used a lace cast on (110 stitches) and bind off and the broken rib stitch for the entire cowl.  I knit around and around until I used up almost the entire 100 grams of yarn.

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Hmm, now that I’m looking at my quilt… I need to get some work done on that, don’t I?

And, I haven’t totally neglected my little girls.  Gina, my Little Darling, is all cozy and rosy in her new pink ensemble.  Her tights still need to be made, but look for this OOAK ensemble very soon.  Just like us real people, she’s decked out in hand knitwear and accessories.  Here’s a sneak peek of dear Gina.

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Hope your having a lovely day, my friends.  Thanks for visiting with me on this bittersweet day.  I love your company!