Friday, February 28, 2014

Hippity Hoppity - Giant Bunny Rabbits

Easter falls on April 20 this year, plenty of time to start a giant bunny for someone special.

My new design, Big Bunny Tutu, is named as an homage to my dearly departed younger sister. She was an enthusiastic Girl Scout and spent her summers at camp. She learned many funny songs, one of our favorites being "Little Bunny Fufu".

This bunny knits up to be 24" and is very huggable. Bernat's Baby Blanket  is a soft chenille yarn and makes for a tactile delight. Knits quickly, all in one piece with super bulky yarn on big needles and ends worked in and stuffed as you go, once you get to the second ear decreases you are done. The pattern also includes instructions for a tutu apron and vest.

If you can make a simple sock, you can make Big Bunny Tutu. 

The pattern is available in my Ravelry shop:

Big Bunny Tutu

We found the doll carriage at Circle P antiques in Navasota, TX. It's just down the road from my favorite local knitting shop, WC Mercantile. The doll carriage is a mid-century vintage doll carriage from Creative Playthings. The decals are not from Creative Playthings, I don't think, but I'm not an expert.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blending hackle with dollar store combs and some help from DH

 I really liked the idea of a blending hackle made of combs. No offense to anyone who makes or uses the ones with nails, but I would be the one who makes the news because I fell on my hackle and had to go to the hospital to have it extracted.

The folks who inspired the plastic comb hackle Yarn Zombie, screwed the combs directly to a board. Also knowing my penchant for breaking things, I wanted something sturdier as I was worried I would pull the combs off if they were simply screwed to the boards.

So, poor DH was pressed into service, again. We procured some pine 2" by 4" and screws. After planing the surfaces smooth, he cut a groove for the combs. These particular combs had a handle, which he also cut off. The heat of cutting melted the plastic somewhat, but he sanded those smooth and that part is encased in the groove. The screw holes are recessed, again a nod to my klutziness. I wanted a blending hackle that fit my kitchen island exactly, so it's a really big hackle.

Using the blending hackles was a dream. These are not as high as the nail variety, but one can still do the continuous roving "reload" method that I learned from Blue Mountain.

The first use of the blending hackle was with some blended fiber that I made with odds and ends consisting of navy merino roving, ivory colored merino and seacell blend, odds and ends of bamboo, carbonized bamboo, milk fiber, some etsy white and black roving and some random bits of black or white fiber. I blended all of these with hand combs, weighing them to try to ensure a more or less equal distribution of fiber through the finished yarn. Once I had all of this blended with this method, I then used the blending hackle to make roving. All spun together, this is a nice heathered gray with a bit of a blue note.

I also created a curved version diz, which I call a Potato Chip Diz.

I made this at Living Water Pottery, a lovely local pottery shop,

My next blending project is a massive, whole Corriedale fleece that I bought a number of years ago. I finally dragged it out, no insect damage, thank goodness, washed it, dried it and now am flicking open the locks. The final plan is to weigh everything and blend in some russet colored llama and camel with the hand cards. Then, the final processing through the blending hackle and I will have mountains of ready to spin fiber.

I sell plastic comb blending hackle with potato chip diz at Garilynn Designs.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Diagonal garter stitch steering wheel cover

Last April, I was staying with MIL after her knee surgery. I was experiencing some pretty bad plantar fasciitis pain. On impulse,  I asked DH to visit and bring my spinning wheel and fiber bag that was sitting with it.

I'd not spun in several years and had some work to do to get back in the rhythm. The first roving I chose was from Mary Jane's Attic. 4 ounces of Merino wool in shades of green, I think it's a discontinued colorway. It spun up a bit thick and thin - due to the operator, not the fiber!

And amazingly, my plantar fasciitis pain was almost gone after treadling a couple of days. I would love to hear if other people have had this experience. I was unable to walk prior to treadling, one might have thought I was the one who had just had surgery!

I was spinning again like crazy. MIL lives in a city where there are lots of fiber resources, so when she would nap, I would drive and get more fiber. It was all for my health, of course, however, my insurance is still not quite applying those purchases to my deductible. Shucks.

Some months later, I had a good number of individual hand spun skeins from my stash of fiber.

Our local fiber shop, WC Mercantile, sent an email that Amy Herzog would be visiting. Amy is a lovely young lady and I bought her book on fit. Check out her website, Amy Herzog Designs. I simply could not show up without a project in hand. At the last moment, I grabbed this skein, some size 6 needles and started a project. Nothing really planned, just something to do while I listened.

As I was working on this, several wreath ideas were knoodling (knit+doodle) around. I cast on too few stitches for this to be a wreath, but it would fit my steering wheel.

I want to repeat what I say in the pattern:

I don't place the knitted item directly on the steering wheel, just in case it slips. For added safety, I use a strip of non-slip rug underlay. I cut a 2” strip with a total length of 46” in two pieces because the package of non-slip rug underlay was a piece 18” by 28”.
Place the non-slip material of your choice on steering wheel. Stretch cover to fit, keeping non-slip material in place. Wrap lashing around cover firmly, stretching to ensure that the cover does not slip in use. I tied mine together at center bottom and used a crochet chain to work the ends of the lashing so I don't have ends dangling while I drive.
As I use the cover, I plan to undo the lashing and move the cover around move less worn parts around. I will also be watching for fading in our lovely Texas sun. Most likely I will cover it if I park in direct sun since this is my precious handspun.
Driving with the cover in place is a tactile delight. The spin on this is soft and makes for a cushy, textured surface. It is certainly warm when I forget my gloves and I expect it will be cooler to touch in our blazing summers as well."

I've unlashed it and turned it once already. Other than some pills, it seems to hold up well. It's holding well and has not slipped. However, everyone needs to be absolutely certain that the cover holds and does not move! Don't play around with your safety!

The pattern is free. I could not think up a clever name for it, so it is named after its form and function. 

I have a couple of videos showing some techniques used:

Thanks for stopping by and reading. 
Garilynn on etsy  Garilynn on Ravelry 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Heirloom - Tomato pincushions

Doing some knoodling (knit + doodling), I came up with a knitted version of the red tomato with strawberry pincushion that everyone used to have as part of their sewing tool arsenal.

Heirloom tomatoes come in shapes other than perfectly round and colors other than red, hence the purple and the yellow pear.

The $1 pattern for the red & purple is up on Ravelry:


The yellow pear version pattern will be up soon.

DH first grew yellow pear tomatoes for us many years ago. I had never seen such a thing. After that, not one made it to the table, they were all garden snacking food.


Garilynn on Ravelry   Garilynn on Etsy  Garilynn on Patternfish

Monday, January 6, 2014

Austin Cable Beanies and fingerless gloves

Looking back at some Christmas knitting:

This is a shorter version of my Austin Slouchy Cable Beanie  I call this one "Austin Cable Beanie". I make 2 cable crosses instead of three and it fits just over the ears. Made of Lion Brand worsted weight Wool Ease for easy care. I always gift using washable, affordable yarns. I selfishly save the "good" stuff for me.

Of course I decided to make these starting on December 22. Austin Slouchy Cable Beanie is a fast knit and since I was not making Christmas dinner, I could devote all my time to speed knitting. 

I also created a new companion design, fingerless gloves that use the pointed cable motif from the top of the beanies. I'll have that pattern on Ravelry soon.

I made a Royal blue set for DD. Her dark hazel eyes are even more beautiful when she wears blue.  garilynn on Ravelry  garilynn on