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.