Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 42

Thanks to all of you that have been with me for the last 6 weeks. We made it!!! The X-ray looked good, pins are out and I have graduated from a rolling half walker to crutches partial weight bearing. My doctor said, if I behave, I should be back in regular shoes in a couple of weeks. Happy dance when that happens!!

Found another unfinished project for today in one of my favorite yarns. It’s Weathered Cedar–one of our farm yarns–that was then dyed with green and purple. This was going to be a scarf but I stalled our halfway so it’s now an infinity scarf. A weird thing about the pattern (sorry, it’s been so long that I cannot find it to give the designer credit) is that it’s stockinette stitch based without a border to keep it from curling. This is mainly why I quit knitting in the middle.

To stop the curling, I found a celebratory skein of purple yarn. (Doesn’t everyone celebrate with purple? What’s your celebratory color?) On both sides of the infinity scarf, I first did slip stitches then 2 rows of single crochet. Problem solved and it looks great.

Although this challenge is over, I will be blogging more regularly. My goal is at least once per month so I would like to hear from you in the future.

Thanks again for your support. We hope to see you at the farm sometime.

Should have looked at this AFTER the pins came out. Can’t believe how long they are!!!

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 32

garter lace alpaca scarf


I received my shipment of new 100% alpaca yarns from Morningstar Fiber Mill last week and they are beautiful! This is the ecru and you will see the fawn later after I overdye some of the skeins in the next few days.

This scarf is the Textured Lace Scarf designed by Linda Medina and published in 50 garter stitch gifts to knit. The pattern for the body of the scarf is 8 rows repeated 40 times. In order to keep track of this, I wrote the pattern on an envelope and made a chart of the 8 rows in 10 columns. A tic mark on each row number let me know where I was in the pattern. The only trick is stopping at the end of each row to make a mark. Inexpensive system but effective.

While this scarf is attractive, it’s telling me that it wants to go into a dyepot!! Help me pick a color.


Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 31

Spiral hat

Start with a trapezoid with ridges, sew it up and the result is this spiral hat. It’s especially elastic and will fit many different size heads. Originally I had the multicolored knitting as the knitting with the grey as the purl ridges but you couldn’t see the colors so when it got sewn together, I put it the opposite direction. Think that this is effective. The messy pompom is the icing on the cake.

The original pattern came in plastic cup like the ones you would get with a slurpy–an open elevated cap with the needles like the straw would be. The company was knittingtogo.com and unfortunately is out of business; at least I cannot find it on the internet. Their marketing and ideas were great and it’s sad that they no longer exist.

This would be a wonderful pattern for a beginning knitter that isn’t comfortable with the idea of knitting in the round but would like to make a hat.

Thanks for visiting!

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 28

Yet again another hat. Stay with me because this one is REALLY cool.

It started with a bulky Noro wool yarn (and gorgeous colors!) and was knit in a 2 x 2 rib just like a scarf for about 36 inches. The cool part was in the twisting of the rectangle to create a turban. The rear view shows the two ends sewn to the back of the hat and secured in the middle and along the sides. The cross in the front is loose and allows the hat to conform to the wearer’s head.

This is a pattern in Folksong, a book of patterns put out by Sirdar Spinning Unlimited. It took several tries with many references back to the drawings to get this to work. It’s very comfortable and incredibly simple. There will be more of these in my future.

Turban with Noro wool

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 27

Camouflage cap

Originally I had considered doing 42 days of hats only but thought it would be more fun to do different crafts. That turns out to be correct. That said, hats are a quick project and although I have the basic pattern memorized, there is enough manipulation with the different yarns to keep it interesting. Sometimes I have to change needle sizes, sometimes the number of stitches and sometimes the chosen yarn needs to be stretched to have enough for a hat–just like today’s.

The yarn is hand dyed 100% alpaca from Sheri Hunt Smith’s Alpacas of York. Yes, with all of the yarns in my farm store, I still buy cool yarns when I see them. These colors are great for a camouflage cap. I wanted to make this to fit a large to XL man’s head. The skein only had 100 yards so from my stash I found a brown alpaca/wool blend to use for the ribbing. I’m glad I used the brown since there would not have been enough of the multi to complete the entire cap.

Makes me grateful for my stash. The Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McFee, has an acronym SABLE–stash accumulation beyond life expectancy–that pretty much describes my yarn collection. I lately have been working to decrease my stash but the ironic thing is that it often requires another yarn purchase to give the “old” yarn the right gauge or enough yardage for a project.  Any excuse to buy yarn is a great one in my opinion!!

Hope to see you again tomorrow.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 24

Spent the day wrestling with the head cold my family has been passing around. Wish they weren’t quite so generous!!

Here are the fingerless gloves with the Natural Fiber Producers Cooperative bulky yarn in purple. They came out well enough that I can get the pattern written and start setting up kits. Yeah! progress. I like them even better in the purple–no surprise there since purple is a neutral in my life.

My foot’s feeling great and my doctor gave me the okay to start some exercises to my right leg as long as my foot is protected. Hopefully this will speed up the recovery process when I can finally walk on both feet again.

Stay well.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 23

This sweater has been almost finished for well over a year. It’s 100% cotton in a beautiful spring green. I’ve even had it sewn together but needed to finish weaving in ends and put on the buttons. This 42 day challenge I set for myself pushed me to finally get this done.

One trick I find useful is putting a small piece of a coordinating fabric behind the button to stabilize it. Turns out to be a lot better than relying on the knitted fabric alone to support the buttons.

It’s great to continue clearing out my UFO (Unfinished Objects) shelf.

Happy New Year and Best Wishes to you for a great 2017.

Great fun to knit
button and pattern detail

Fabric behind the button




Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 20

This infinity scarf is a group effort. The yarn is an 80/20 blend of alpaca and wool. The alpaca is from Bethoven, one of the herdsires that I co-own with Kathy Kenworthy of Almosta Ranch Alpacas. It’s a 2 ply DK weight and lucious. It was hand dyed by Ellen in these gorgeous colors. I loved watching the colors go through my hands while knitting this scarf.

Several years ago, I took a class on alternate knitting methods by Annie Modesitt, the author of Confessions of a Knitting Heretic. Most of my knitting is done continental with my yarn in my left hand. Purling with the yarn around my thumb is a fast technique and gives my hand a rest. It has the disadvantage of putting the stitch on the needle backwards with the leading leg in the back. For this reason, I tend to use the thumb method only when doing long purl runs like in this scarf.

The pattern for this scarf is simple. I cast on about 250 stitches, joined in the round then did 5 rows of garter stitch. Next 8 rows of knitting followed by 3 purl rows. These last 11rows were repeated until I got near the end of the skein of yarn. The final 2 sections are 8 rows of knitting then 5 rows of garter.

When binding off this many stitches, I use a crochet hook at least 2 sizes bigger than my needles and bind of loosely using a slipped stitch. Much faster that a traditional bind off.

This scarf will look lovely long or wrapped double.

See you tomorrow–it’s a very special day!

“Heretic” style purl stitch setup
Scooping the yarn for the purl stitch










Stitch on the left needle with the leading leg in back.
Knitting into the back of the stitch to untwist