Specialty Custom Orders

Once in a while, I accept requests for custom created work that requires matching previous work. This isn’t work I normally do because it’s more time consuming than smaller custom requests and a lot of times when more yarn has to be purchased, it can be difficult to match the original colors.

An ordinary custom request is when a customer requests a pair of socks, a hat, mittens, etc. that’s knit to size and color preferences, but gives me the freedom of design options. I knit these colorwork Halloween fingerless mittens and sold them in my Etsy shop.

pumpkin and skull fingerless mittens

The customer that purchased these mittens asked me to create a four foot long scarf to match them. The following photos are the progress of this scarf!

You’ll notice in the next two photos that I opted to knit the pattern I created in reverse, instead of placing the first half of the scarf onto waste yarn to be grafted onto the other half when it’s all finished. I’ve never liked that kind of scarf construction as it’s not as they make it look and quite frankly, I stink at grafting.

halfway point of scarf and reversal of pattern
notice that the scarf pattern is now reversing

The following slideshow is of the seaming process. I knit a thin wool backing for this scarf to keep it wide and showy. I used sewing clips instead of pins because they’re absolutely wonderful for holding knit pieces, squishy cloth, and slippery cloth, etc. for hand sewing.

It’s been steam pressed and is ready to ship! I’ve officially finished my customer’s OOAK scarf!!! Here are the photos of the scarf on the dressmaking form.

Get busy and make something!! Do it just because….

A Knitting Graph Study Using the Same Chart for Two Different Dishcloths!

I’m an avid knitter and I’m an avid reader. I love books and all of the fiber arts, however when it comes to weaving and knitting I prefer to work from charts. I find that charts are easier to process. A good chart is worth a thousand words, especially for knitting and weaving (crocheting, too).

I love Interweave Press Piecework magazine. The Jan/Feb 2010 issue has an interesting chart called, Diamond Basketweave, in the article, A New Pattern Stitch from a Knitting Legend, by Barbara G. Walker. I pulled out two skeins of cotton yarn and got to work.

The chart is 32 stitches both ways. I cast on 52 stitches on size 5 straight needles and knit 5 rows of garter stitch and 5 rows of stockinette stitch. I slipped the first stitch of each row throughout the whole dishcloth. Row 11 began with a slipped stitch, knit 4, knit 6 (purl on wrong side), then worked the pattern, as charted, two times. I knit 5 rows (purl on wrong side) opposite of the top, and finished with with 5 rows of garter stitch before binding off.

I knit the second dishcloth with the same beginning and ending, with a twist: I turned the chart sideways and got a neater basketweave that shows up better on the wrong side.

The orange dishcloth was knit first. The motif shows best on the right side. The real one was knit with the graph sideways and shows best on the wrong side.


Get busy creating!!!

Here’s the follow-up video about how I make my dryer balls!


I know I promised to do a video of me making dryer balls, but when I get hella busy, I don’t do much blogging or video recording. I wrote a post which was pretty much a brief tutorial on how I make my dryer balls (https://mrsdsfiberodyssey.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/this-is-how-my-dryer-balls-are-made/). So, after several months of being super busy and finally moving into a nice studio space, I am now, finally making good on my promise.

My new studio space has made a huge difference for me in production!  The laminate flooring makes it super easy to clean up after and God knows I can be very messy at times. It has tons of natural light, which I crave and need in order to create beautiful woolly and fibery things.

When you’ve finished watching the vid, you can scroll down and take a peek at all the fibery things I’ve been creating!

Green Bay Packers dryer balls

Green Bay Packers dryer balls

Bright colored dryer balls

Bright colored dryer balls

Green Bay Packers dryer balls

Green Bay Packers dryer balls

the coat tree I turned into a yarn tree for display

the coat tree I turned into a yarn tree for display

close-up of the coat tree I turned into a yarn tree

close-up of the coat tree I turned into a yarn tree

mystery wool yarn I finished spinning

mystery wool yarn I finished spinning

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck wamer

hooded neck wamer

Knitting toe socks!

I have a customer who really likes toe socks, otherwise known by the brand name, Injinji. I’ve been knitting them for him in every color he can think of. They do take a while to dye up the yarn and knit them, but it’s very peaceful work.

His first order was for 1 pair of orange crew length toe socks and 1 pair ankle length toe socks.

orangetoesock3 orangetoesock2 orangetoesock1

His second order was for the same, but in a bright turquoise blue.

ankle length toe socks crew length toe socks finished ankle length toe socks wet finishing 2 pairs of toe socks

Now, I’m knitting him 2 pairs in a blend of green apple/lime green color!

Dyeing yarn for socks Yarn ready to be wound into yarn cake Toe socks - crew length Finished toe socks - crew length

Happy knitting and get out your dyepots!!



Rainy Day

I have a love-hate relationship with rainy days. I know they’re necessary so that everything has water without us paying for it, but I dislike them when they’re cold and dreary. When they’re dreary, I need things to pull me out of any funk they can sometimes throw me into. When they’re dreary, I crave COLOR!! Lots of bright and bold COLORS!!

I started my work today by finishing these dryer balls in my natural colored wool offering.

Stormy gray dryer balls

While they’re pretty, they just weren’t pretty on a rainy day. These got me going on the dyepot with some wonderful Blue Faced Leicester roving and some Jacquard #735 Kelly Green. A most definite improvement and a needed staple for making dryer balls!

BFL in dyepot

More color improvement came with the blocking of my latest square I knit up, with some merino that I experimented on, from TinCanKnits pattern called Vivid. The colors are canary yellow and sienna. I think I should most definitely experiment some more! Right now, I’m knitting 3 squares of each color from my own hand spun, hand dyed yarn.

latest square The first 6 squares

To top off the adding of COLOR into today’s dreariness, I received a package from my good friend, Jeff Mueller (aka Computer Art Man). He sent this beautiful metal print because I mentioned something in a tweet to him (follow him @computerartman on twitter) about a week ago!

Bright Light Big City by Computer Art Man

Jeff is my favorite digital artist because his work is absolutely amazing!! I now own two pieces of his fabulous artwork. The other piece I own, I bought a few years ago and it’s a gorgeous canvas piece of Marlena Dietrich from a still scene from “Shanghai Express”!!

Now, get out there and DO something!


Why yes, I do know how to use a ruler. Do you??

WARNING! I’ve been told that this post is highly boring. Don’t read it if you get bored easily. Thank you.

Knitters measure a lot before knitting and while knitting. We have to measure our swatches to make sure our gauge is spot on; we measure to see how far we’ve knit and to see how far we have to go; and we measure sometimes to see if we have enough yarn left to finish a project (this is especially true when we begin to fear that we’ve not bought enough yarn for a project).

4 rulers

A small sampling of different types of rulers.

I believe there are two things that are very important to people who measure things a lot:

  1. Knowing how to use a ruler.
  2. Knowing how to buy a ruler.

You may ask why I place less importance on how to buy a ruler than on how to use one. The answer is simple: a lot of the times, you won’t be using your own ruler to do a needed measurement. You’ll be using someone else’s ruler.

So, how do we use a ruler?? Look at where the actual left edge of the ruler is before measuring anything. Make sure that it’s actually visible, too and is easy to use. The ruler shouldn’t have round corners near or on it’s starting edge. The left edge on cheap rulers, over time, slowly disappear or fade out with use. If the starting edge (aka the left edge) on a ruler is off, the ruler will become totally useless when it has faded.  The following pictures are of what I like to call problem rulers. There is only one ruler in this grouping that I consider worth keeping.

faded measuring edge ok ruler

measuring edge is off

The black ruler’s starting edge is off by nearly 3/16 of an inch and has rounded corners which will not help you take accurate measurements. The white ruler is spot on, but is fading considerably and has rounded corners which will make measuring smaller things more difficult down the road. Can you imagine having everything you measure be 3/16  or 1/8 of an inch longer than is needed because of hastiness or using a worn out ruler?? I can’t and I refuse to. A good number of people don’t know the difference, nor do they care. They just pick up a ruler and start measuring. The clear ruler’s starting edge is off by nearly 1/8 of an inch, but the starting measuring line is in far enough from the edge that this ruler is a keeper.

A 'perfect' ruler for precision measuring.

A ‘perfect’ ruler for precision measuring.

Now we’ll go on to how to buy a ruler. Purchase a good, sturdy metal ruler like the one in the above picture that I’ve called ‘perfect’. This ruler is nearly 10 years old, but is spot on accurate. It has been dropped and otherwise abused, but there is no wear on it (that white spot was caused by my flash) and it has no rounded corners.

I agree that it’s quite acceptable to purchase a ‘cheap’ ruler for the kids to take to school because they’re going to lose it, abuse it and/or make it unusable by the end of the school year, but I would still pay the extra $1 to get one like the clear ruler because it’s the easiest to use once they’ve learned where the actual measuring edge is.

Now, go out and upgrade all of your rulers, yard sticks and tape measures!