feather & fan fever

Apparently it got stuck in my head. After making that first pair of mitts with the pattern at the cuffs, I couldn’t help thinking, “what else can I do with this?” So I proceeded to make a neckwarmer using the same alpaca yarn. I’m wearing it right now. I put it on for this picture and now I don’t want to take it off.

feather n fan neckwarmer

I also wanted to see what it would look like to carry the stitch pattern up the entire length of the mitt, rather than just at the top and bottom. So I used this recently spun Falkland singles to test out the idea. It was a perfect match — the yarn was the right weight to accommodate two repeats of the stitch pattern.

feather n fan fever

Okay, so this last project does not use the feather & fan stitch pattern. Rather, it is a remnant from my wet felting experiments. I finally had the chance to get back and finish it. My original intention was to create a small purse/pouch. Instead I ended up with this.

mint green teapot sweater

cats are people too!

My mother volunteers for an organization called Cats are People, Too! here in Ohio. Each year they hold a fundraising event called the Spay-ghetti Dinner where they have many gift baskets to raffle off in addition to the meal. You can read more about the event at their blog.

This year my mom asked for one of my tea cozies to put in her basket. She selected her favorite pot from my collection and I got to work. The one she chose was an odd shape with a squat body and a flat top, so I had a few different ideas. Of course it ended up nothing like my original vision. I started with ribbing to keep the fabric tight against the curve of the pot. For the body I used a stitch pattern called woven stitch. At the top the pot was totally flat with a rim at least an inch wide, so I had to change the angle of the fabric fast. I decreased and changed over to reverse stockinette stitch. After I finished the knitting, I went back and added a little embroidery stitch in yellow and used that yarn for the button loops. The purple, yellow, and blue-green were inspired by the original colors on the pot itself.

purple teapot sweater

purple teapot sweater

And for cat lovers, here is Olive in her relocated basket. She will sit in it now that it resides in front of the window.

olive in her basket

in front of the window

playing catch up

Here are a few projects that I forgot to mention…

I knit two new teapot sweaters in October. One is still with me, the other my mom sent away on my behalf. The brown pot is so little and cute and round. The yarn is Border Leicester that had not sold as roving, so I spun it myself. And it was a bit too rough for wearing, but it made a perfect tea cozy.

The white pot is wearing a green sweater made of Romney. The yarn dates back to 2007. It represents the first Romney fleece I bought from Mustard Seed Farm. Also it was some of the first fiber I carded on Whiskers. These yarns have been sitting in my stash since then. Maybe I’ll turn them all into teapot sweaters.

romney yarns 02

who needs mitts in july?

No one, I suppose, but this is probably the best time to be making them. Last summer I decided I’d make for-sale items all through the year and not be scrambling in November. And guess what? It was a good idea. But did I do that again this year? Not really.

Over the past few weeks I have not been able to decide what to knit. I look through my books and my print-outs and my Ravelry queue, but nothing seems interesting. That’s when I figured it would be smart of me to knit for my December sale. Brilliant!

My goals for this year’s sale include:
Fingerless mitts
Full mittens (new)
Tea cozies with pots (new)
Tea cozies without pots (new)

I will not be making any new neckwarmers. Those don’t sell very well. Part of the problem is that people don’t like wool (especially on the neck). Part of the problem is that I have a skinny neck and not everyone else does, so what fits me doesn’t fit them and I’m miserable at making multiple sizes. If I do the tea cozies, it’s like making neckwarmers except the teapots don’t complain!

not quite finished
Nearly complete fingerless mitt. Knit from handdyed recycled sweater wool
two brown teapots
Two brown teapots who need sweaters.

future teapot sweaters

On Friday my dad went to my favorite flea market. I had to go to work. But he looked for teapots on my behalf and came home with two gems. They were a dollar each. I’m excited about them because they have very different characteristics with which to experiment and play.

teapot tops

I think it’s good to have someone else do some shopping for me, otherwise I’d only buy teapots that I like! He said he bought these specifically because he thought I wouldn’t have picked them out. This project will give me something else to look for at thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales this summer. I’m excited about the possibilities. yay!

teapots

rambling… sometimes you just gotta

I think I’m in chug-along mode. As in once every few weeks I dye a few pounds of wool. Each Wednesday I make an update to the etsy shop. During the week I spin a few skeins of yarn. In between I knit along on a project of mild interest. Tuesday evenings I weave a little more on the woolly bum cushions. I suppose some would call it a “rut”, but I feel like I’ve finally got a handle on my organization!

This weekend I’m picking up a few new fleeces from a local Ohio farm. When I spent my whole day in a fiber room at Masque a few weeks ago, I played with some great Icelandic wool and decided I needed some at home. So I chose two Icelandic fleeces and another that is a cross-breed. I’m excited to have some new additions to the pile. Plus I bought some wool scour last year at Rhinebeck and still haven’t tried it!!

I think we’ve decided to attend Rhinebeck again this year, but not Maryland. I haven’t been to Maryland yet, but I like the idea of going to Great Lakes in May and New York in October. I’m not sure I could manage to giant wool festivals in one year – or two in May. I’m easily intimidated. Plus I like to participate in the skein competition, drop off fleeces and buy from certain farms at the Great Lakes show.

After making that second teapot sweater and getting such a positive response, I’ve decided for sure to sell them this winter at my yearly show. I’m going to start buying teapots at flea markets and thrift stores, knit accessories for them, and sell it as a whole package. Weee! It’s like neckwarmers without having to hear from whiney customers about how wool is itchy and this or that is too small. Ha.

teapots need snuggies too

Found this cute little teapot at the Flea Market on Sunday. Cheers for the sun being out and people selling junk in a parking lot! It was $1.00 and very dirty.

green & yellow teapot

After washing it out, I decided to create another semi-pointless “tea-cozy”/knitted teapot accessory along the same lines as the tea-cozy I made for my dad’s teapot at Christmas. Also I thought it would be a good way to use some yarn that may not be next-to-skin soft.

It wraps around the body of the pot with a whole for the spout and buttons through the handle.

teapot snuggy

teapot snuggy

created/recreated

Suddenly I feel as though I am exploring. It’s taken me away to get to a point where I could try a little this, do some of that… adding and making things my own. It is an exciting feeling. Crochet is something I have just recently begun to play with. Usually when I make neckwarmers, I do a single crochet along the edge to put in button holes. But then one neckwarmer wasn’t long enough, so I did a few rows on each end to extend it and it looked pretty neat.

Then my dad said he needed a tea cozy for his little wee tea pot. So I rummaged through my stash of handspun, but didn’t really see anything that seemed to fit. Then, later, I was tagging my neckwarmers and came across an alpaca one from last year that everyone said was scratchy, which makes it unlikely that someone will purchase it this year. Then I got inspired! Maybe I could turn it into dad’s tea cozy! With a little tweaking, rearranging of buttons, and the addition of a bright orange crocheted edge, I think I got it! I think it is just so cute and easy too. Yay! I like the idea of adding contrasting crotchet edges – perhaps it is something I will continue to do in the future. In that case, maybe I ought to do a refresher course on crochet…

quickie cozy
Cozy from the top.

back side
Cozy from the back side.