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Redo

6 Jan

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Several years ago I made the above pictured hat out of my handspun yarn, and as soon as it was finished, I knew it was the wrong pattern for the yarn. The complicated cables got muddled in the self striping sequence and the softness of the yarn didn’t lend well to the structure this hat needed. When I wore it, the hat constantly slid down my head and was too floppy. I loved the yarn but I didn’t love the hat.

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Fast forward to last week when I decided to frog the hat (and matching fingerless mitts, which also didn’t work for the same reasons and had developed a hole needing mended) and make something that I would love to wear. I knew a simpler pattern would help showcase the yarn, so I decided to knit a garter stitch hat instead. The finished hat is perfect now, sitting just right on my head and not sliding off, not too slouchy, and the garter stitch gives the soft yarn just the right structure it needs.

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The handspun was one of my most favorite ones ever so I couldn’t stand to have a finished object that I didn’t love to wear. Now I am super happy with the new hat and so glad that knitting can always be taken out and redone.

Homemakery, Part 2

21 Feb

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The great thing about living in a bigger space is that there is more room for handmade things, and I love being able to display the things I make around the house. The first two yarn-related projects I did when we moved in was revamp a pillow and an old afghan.

We had a plain pillow on our oversized chair, so I decided a cabled cover would help add some interest and make it more cozy.

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I just picked a cable pattern I liked and used the pillow itself as a template. For the back, I did plain garter stitch. Then I crocheted around the outside edges to close it around the pillow. I used yarn I already had, so this pillow got a free facelift.

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Next I decided to revamp an afghan I made more than 10 years ago using scrap yarn from my own stash and also from my Grandma’s stash by redoing the edging. The original edging was a bad choice from the beginning (a fuzzy yarn ::shudder::), so I wanted to fill in the gaps left by the hexagons to make this a true rectangle.

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After some trial and error, I finally got the effect I wanted. I did some scallops around the whole thing to help even out inconsistencies, and I am so happy with the results. I also had to spend some time weaving in ends because back when I made this blanket, I was sloppier when it came to securing my ends. Now this blanket sits on the back of our couch, always ready to wrap someone up.

Photo Friday: Hats

17 Jan

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Four hats I knit as Christmas gifts for siblings. Each hat took less than 4 hours to make, which to me is definitely worth the time to avoid shopping in December.

Handmade Wedding

24 Oct

It’s been almost 9 months since my husband and I got married back in February this year. I thought it was time that I posted pictures of more handmade details from our wedding. Since I want to be able to share what I did with others for inspiration, I’ve  also added a new page titled Handmade Wedding where you can see all the details. Click the link in the top menu to see more!

Here are a few pictures of what I made:

bouquets boutonniere caketopper decor2 shawls2 hairpiece

Here’s a list of what I made in the four months before our wedding:

  • Knit my wedding shawl
  • Crocheted 4 bridesmaid shawls
  • Made over 100 flowers for my bridal bouquet, 4 bridesmaid bouquets, 4 corsages, flower girl basket, 1 memorial mini bouquet, and my hairpiece (crafty friends donated 40 hand-crocheted flowers and 24 hand-crocheted butterflies)
  • Made 10 boutonnieres using burlap, buttons, and ribbon
  • Crocheted 2 doilies using my Grandma Coombe’s cotton thread stash (crafty friends donated 3 hand-crocheted doilies, and I used other doilies that I have made over the years)
  • Made 100 favors using mini brown paper sacks, mini paper doilies, and mini clothespins. Each favor was filled with two peppermint tea bags (our favorite tea)
  • Decorated our unity candle set with ribbons and lace

It was a lot of work, but so worth it to have the wedding of our dreams. Also, we saved a ton of money by making our own stuff, especially on the bouquets. I spent about $150 for fabric (including a bolt of burlap) and supplies that made all the bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, cake toppers, my hairpiece, decorated the flower girl basket, and the unity candle set, as well as cut out burlap squares for all the tables. My wedding shawl was free because the yarn was a gift from my parents several years prior to the wedding that I had been saving up. The doilies, books, tea cups, and other decorations were all free because I just used what I had. The only decor we purchased was 12 mason jar mugs that we filled with peanut M&Ms (and now serve as our drinking glass set), the supplies for a thumbprint tree guest book, and the plain white candles and candle holders I bought to decorate as our unity candle set. The main thing I didn’t want was a bunch of decor stuff purchased for the wedding that then served no purpose afterwards, hence the reason why we used a lot of what we already had, which made it that much more personal.

If you are interested in a hand-knit wedding shawl, hand-crocheted doilies, or other knit or crocheted items for your wedding, please visit my Custom Orders page to fill out a request for price quotes and time estimates.

New Website

10 Oct

Welcome to the new Kounting Sheep Website.

If you are seeing this post, then you are in the right place. Yes, my website is still kountingsheep.com but things might look a little different. That’s because I have completely moved to a new platform, WordPress. I have been using blogger/blogspot as my main blog since 2007, but as I start to expand Kounting Sheep, I figured it was time to move to a platform that will grow with me and give me more control over my website.

You will still be able to find all of my old blog posts both by scrolling through the main homepage  and by the clicking on the archive drop down menu in the sidebar. And I will be posting new blogs from now on over here. If you had kountingsheep.blogspot.com bookmarked, please make sure to change it to kountingsheep.com, as I will no longer be using blogspot.

Thank you to all of my followers and enjoy the new website!

A Book and Some Mittens

5 Sep

I have another pair of finished mittens to show off. These ones should look familiar because I’ve made them before, but this time they went to my mom for her birthday. So far, I’ve been giving away Christmas gifts for the intended recipients’ birthdays instead, so I have to come up with a new plan for Christmas gifts.

 
{Strawberry Mittens by Spilly Jane
US Size 1 needles
Scrap fingering weight yarns
Mods include changing thumb pattern}

My mom has several out of state trips planned this fall and winter, so I figured she could put these to good use now rather than waiting until Christmas. When I made this pattern for myself awhile back, my mom wanted them immediately. Unfortunately, it only took me a year and a half to make her a pair for herself. Better late than never, I guess!

Besides celebrating my mom’s birthday this month, we are also celebrating the release of her first published book, My Porcelain Doll. This book is special to our whole family because it details the cancer journey of my sister and how our family fought alongside her. This week it is finally available on Amazon (My Porcelain Doll), so if you are interested, you can buy a copy now.

Lobster Mittens

10 Aug
 

Yes I did finish the Lobster Mittens. Although it seems weird to be knitting mittens in the summer, they are actually an ideal project because they don’t take up a lot of space or cause heat stroke to work on them. Also, mittens make me look forward to cooler weather (which won’t happen until November), although it did strike me this week that since I won’t be getting up every morning and driving to work, I may not get as much use out of mittens as I’m used to, since my hands won’t be exposed to the cold morning air as much anymore.

Regardless, I still love mittens, so here are my new ones for this year finished:

{Lobster Mittens Pattern by Spilly Jane
Size 0 needles
Started 22 June 2013
Completed 23 July 2013
Modifications include shortening for my small hands
and doing a plain thumb because I like plain mitten thumbs.}

I’m taking a break from knitting mittens for a few weeks probably, and then I’ll be back to knitting them again to continue preparing for Christmas gifts. Also my husband will be getting a pair of gloves before the weather turns cold, since he will actually be getting up in the early mornings to work, so stay tuned for when I begin knitting my first ever gloves with fingers!

Photo Friday: Lobster Mittens

20 Jul

 I can’t explain why I love these mittens so much. I don’t even like lobsters, either to eat or as cute companions. But when I saw the pattern for these mittens, I had to make them for myself as my new pair of mittens this upcoming winter. First mitten is done, and I’m about halfway through with the second one. Sometimes I just can’t explain why I knit what I knit.

Photo Friday: The Right Project Eventually

18 May

I’m currently working on a hat for Mr. Sheep to match his scarf I made him for Christmas. While looking for an accent color to make it stripey, I came across this “Pumpkin” skein of Lion Brand wool that I’ve had for at least six years. I don’t even remember why I bought this one skein by itself, but I’ve been saving it all these years for just the right project. It’s weird to think that I’ve had this yarn longer than I’ve known my husband, and I’m now using it to make him stuff. Every yarn in my stash eventually finds the right project; sometimes it just takes a lot longer for one lone skein.

Totoro Mittens

15 May

I finished my first pair of mittens for the year, and I’m happy to be able to share these now that they have been given to the intended Totoro-loving recipient. I just couldn’t wait until Christmas, so I decided they would be a great birthday gift instead, even if she can’t use them for the next six months.

I’m very pleased with how these turned out, especially since the patterning had long floats (not quite a traditional fair isle pattern), and I did manage to do patterning on the thumb. The Knit Picks Palette yarn was a great choice for these, and I’m liking how the yarn is knitting up for other mittens I’m working on, too (and it’s the yarn used in my Diatom Shawl, so very versatile).

Size 4 US needle
Knit Picks Palette Yarn in White & Ash
(less than 1 skein of each)
Modifications include shortening the top and adjusting the thumb pattern}
My friend was so happy with these, especially since she was hoping to find a cute pair of mittens to wear this winter. I love it when I know my handmade gifts will be used often. Even though I haven’t watched the movie that these are based off of (My Neighbor Totoro), they were so cute that I almost wanted to keep them myself. But of course I have lots more mittens to make, including at least one new pair for myself this winter.
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