WIP Wednesday and Other Home Happenings:

A Cleaned dinning room:

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A Sick little boy laid on our couch all weekend Sad smile

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In between sickies, we walked outside.

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And yummy yarn that is getting knit up into a hat pattern I’m test knitting titled: the Woodland Beanie.

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What are you all working on?

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WIP: Spring Projects

With Spring FINALLY rolling in, WE HAVE LOT’S OF PROJECTS ON OUR PLATES!  This was supposed to be yesterday’s post….opps!  But we’ve been busy indoors with lot’s of arts and crafty things like a star lantern to celebrate Easter with.  It’s been a great math project for the older because we have been studying shapes and measurement.  Soon a tutorial will follow.

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I’ve been busy crafting more Waldorf Dolls in my spare time— when I haven’t been knitting, painting, homeschooling, changing diapers or nursing that is! These will go in my shop, certainly check out what’s there if you are interested.

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Starting seeds!  Heirloom German Pink to be exact.

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Finished knitting and felting this diaper cover I just need to needle felt some embelshments to complete this project.

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Knitting up a Spring bunny for our handmade Easter celebration.

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What projects are you working on?

Simple Knot Doll

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My little boys really do love their dolls! My middle one especially loves taking care of his little babies, taking great care as if he was really the daddy of a live, little, wee one.  It is very sweet to watch the nurturing unfold as they both have experienced being nurtured first hand by their parents.

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There is nothing more important to a child’s developing senses than a traditional doll in the simplest form. With a doll, important childhood work can emerge as the child learns the act of love, responsibility and caregiving at it’s finest. Giving a doll to a child is an amazing gift— and ironically doesn’t have to be expensive or even store bought.

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(Okay this is not a knot doll, but my middle will wrap up any *baby* in this case it’s his kitty)

I usually start my littles with a simple knot doll.  The knot doll serves two purposes: one is that it’s simple for the littlest child, as a younger one doesn’t need a doll with a distinct face, clothing or even pose able limbs.  Secondly, is the knot’s serve as a teething function and as a tactile piece that often occupies a little one for hours.

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I make my knot dolls out of soft cotton flannel, but I have also made them out of quilter’s fabric, and recycled cotton knit, all said fabrics work good, each with their own pluses and minuses. I also stuff them with warm un-carded wool and use silk embroidery floss for tying off the head.

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When I present them to my little children they adore them as they have seen mama busy with the handwork creating, these simple dollies out of love.

Materials needed:

  • 12×12 inch cotton flannel, soft quilter’s fabric, or silk
  • silk or cotton embroidery floss
  • clean un-carded sheep’s wool
  • Scissors

 

 

Gather some wool and ball with your hands in the middle of the piece of fabric to create the head.

Tie off with floss and knot tightly.

gather hands on opposite sides and tie small knots creating hands.

Cut bottom evening to create body.

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Allow your children to see you making these, even ask older children to help create these dollies and the end result will sure to be a lovey your littles will treasure!

 

Hand SPINNING

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I’m very much enjoying my low-whorl drop spindle, my sweet amazing great aunt gave me as a gift (along with above pictured wool).  Hand spinning happens to be so much fun, I’m really not sure if I’ll ever buy yarn again.

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It seems that all family members enjoy this ancient art as well!  My middle just loves to watch me and pretend to spin along with me, he loves the colors we create and the uniqueness the spinning does to the fiber.

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Hand Spinning is an art defiantly worth learning, it can be relaxing, fun, stress-releasing, and super easy and convenient (if your using a drop spindle).

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One of the reasons why I love spinning so much is the ability to create a truly unique piece— by using your own handspun and hand dyed yarn, you can take an ordinary pattern and beautify it ten-fold.

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How wonderful a garment made of this yarn could be?  And yet how too easy is it to just go to the big box store and grab some yarn for a knit item?  But surely it is not as fun or can bring you as much satisfaction as creating a piece from your own spun fiber.

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Setting the twist 

Bonus points if you have the sheep that provided the wool for spinning (or other alternative fiber giving animal).

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There are several types of tools or *machines* used for fiber spinning—- drop spindles (low whorl, high whorl, Turkish, medieval, support, Navajo, tahkli) and  spinning wheels (the Saxony, castle wheels, Norwegian wheels, modern wheels, electric spinners, and spindle wheels).  Each spiining machine or tool has it’s positives and negetives, and each one is favored by different induvials and some are better used for different types of fibers.

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All spinning tools and machines can very widely on price as well, a good cost effective tool for spinning—especially suited for beginners would be a drop spindle, and particularly a high whorl one at that.  High whorls seem to be easier to learn on and can be lighter weight and easier to handle that low whorl drop spindles.

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Drop spindles are a very good investment as they can easily be obtained for $20 and can give a beginner good spinning experience suitable for using a spinning wheel.

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Drop spindles are also very convenient for smaller houses or for people that travel as they take up very little room and can be used virtually anywhere (and for this camping junkie, a drop spindle is invaluable after I’ve finished my breakfast and coffee on those chilly mornings).

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Off the Spindle, before setting the twist

I don’t have much experience with wheels, but when our land is finalized and our sheep, goats, and rabbits have lot’s of fiber to give, then we’ll have to much too process on a small drop spindle.

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what experiences have you had with spinning?  What do you like to use and why? I’m always looking for more information and stories related to spinning and fiber! 

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~Samantha

Kool-Aid Dying Wool Roving

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I have  a super easy project for you all if you’ve got some plain (boring) wool roving laying around that you’d like to spin or needle felt with and you want to add some uniqueness and fun to your project.  First of all you need to have white wool or wool from an old sheep, bt it you have black or dark brown the dye will not show up on such dark colors.

Materials:

  • Large pot
  • Water
  • Various colors (flavors) of Kool-Aid.  Remember that you can mix flavors for different colors or use many of the same flavors to create a brighter color.
  • Wool in white, gray or other lighter colors

 

Bring water to a boil, the turn off.

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2. Add your Kool-Aid packet/s stir to dissolve.

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3. Add your roving, cover an let sit for about an hour and a half, until wool has absorbed color and the water appears clear.

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4. Remove from pot, towel dry and hand until completely dry

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Now your ready for it’s use!  I plan on spining these up on my drop spindle for a super, secret, surprize I plan on revealing soon! 

Happy dying!!!

Easy Knit Baby Booties

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I came across these 
baby booties a la ralvery and can’t get them off my needles fast enough!  So far I’ve made 4 pairs, some for gifts, some for my weest one, there is nothing cuter and more fun then to knit little teensly-weensy thingy’s for little smooshy babies— am I right or what? I did modify this pattern quite a bit, but the gist of it is the same, knit on straights using a decreasing method, I only changed the number of rows and stitch pattern.  They ended up super cute and of course look even cuter on my sweet little babies feeties!

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Materials needed:
a pair of straights (although could be knitted easy on circulars as Ooo baby knits mama points out)

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          I used a size 6 needles

Super soft yarn for baby feeties, I used a sock yarn in variegated cotton

 
Thread/extra yarn and needle

 
About a half an hour of you time, per baby bootie (or less if your double knitting these (note to self: get on that)

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cast on 41 inches, work in garter stitch for 14 rows

(Start decreasing in stockenette stitch (knit one row, purl one row))

Row 15: knit 18, knit 2 together, knit 1, knit 2 together, knit across the row

Row 16: purl 17 , purl 2 together, purl 1, purl 2 together, purl across the row

Row 17: Knit 18, knit 2 together , knit 1, knit together, knit across the row

Row 18: Purl 17, purl 2 together, purl 1, purl 2 together, purl across the row

Row 19: Knit 18, knit 2 together, knit 1, knit together, knit across the row

Row 20: Purl 17, purl 2 together, purl 1, purl 2 together, purl across the row

Now you work on the cuff. 

Continue on for 14 more rows using the “seed stitch”.  The seed stitch is: knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl all across the row. 

Cast off and weave in ends.  Then sew up the sole and heel and embellish, attach an i-cord bow, or leave as is for a simple but sweet baby bootie.

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Note: if you use yummy lambs wool, cashmere, baby alpaca or even silk— you have one spoiled baby!!!  So sweet and easy this is a great baby gift for a friend or your own squishy baby!!

. . . And of course if you didn’t feel like making some on your own you can certainly check out my store for some sweet bootie offerings 😉

Happy baby knittin’!!!

~Samantha