Fractal Spun Fun

Typically fractal spun yarn is produced by dividing a long braid of roving in half lengthwise. One half is kept intact, while the subsequent piece is divided once again and perhaps in half yet again. The 1st half is spun onto one bobbin and the other half, now in smaller sections, is spun onto another bobbin. The 2 bobbins are then plied together. The effect is one of a subtle striping created from the 1st bobbin with an over layer of a much shorter stripe from the second bobbin. So for example, if there were 3 yards on bobbin #1, consisting of 1 yard each of color A, B, and C, bobbin #2, would have ABC,ABC,ABC within the same 3 yards.. Of course there are many different combinations that can be used. For instance the 2nd bobbin may be spun beginning from the opposite end of the roving or the roving may be spilt in additional sections. The variations are almost limitless. Hence the FUN!


For my project today I wanted to use the same basic concept using individually dyed hanks of roving, rather than a painted braid.

And I wanted it BRIGHT! I used Neon Food Color and vinegar to dye 1.5 oz each of purple, green, pink and blue.

Each ball of roving was divided in half, giving me one .75 oz strip of each color per bobbin. I set one aside for my second bobbin and focused on Bobbin #1. I wanted to have a second repeat of the underlying stripe so each color was divided in half again, giving me a total of 8 pieces (2 of each color).

Next I prepared the roving for bobbin #2. I pulled off small sections (about 4” in length) from each color and placed them in sequential order for bobbin #2.

2016-02-01 17.15.14 (1)

The 1st bobbin was spun as follows: green, purple, pink and blue, then this was repeated again to complete.

The second bobbin was spun by picking up the small pieces of roving and spinning them in the same order. This may not be the most precise method, not having weighed each hunk, but it was easy and a lot of fun!

The resulting yarn was exactly what I had envisioned. It was like a candy store of yarn!


Here’s a pattern that will show off the beautiful color changes that are the hallmark of fractal spun yarn. It fits just right around the neck, creating a cozy wrap that will bring brightness and warmth to even the bleakest of days. It uses simple increases and decreases. The only tricky part is finding the center of your yarn. Because I repeated my colors 2 times on bobbin one, all I needed to do was look for the colors to begin to repeat themselves. I also used a scale to accurately weigh my skein and divided that number in half. As I knit, I used the scale to verify my halfway point.



Fractal Spun Shawl Pattern

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 7.52.31 PM Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 7.53.16 PM


Posted in Dyeing, Free Patterns, Spinning | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Reverse Magic

Are you a spinner? Have you ever bought some roving because the colors looked so beautiful only to find the finished yarn to be a big disappointment because the colors just didn’t work together? This happened to me recently, but I decided to knit it up anyway and I’m so glad I did!

I purchased some Merino solids. One ball each of Salmon, Antique Green, and Pewter. They looked amazing sitting there side by side. I can’t believe I don’t have a photo. You’ll just have to trust me.

I opted to spin each color individually and make a 3 ply yarn. …Bad idea. Or so I thought when I pulled it off the bobbin. It just looked like mud. I was so disappointed. The singles had spun up beautifully. And the ply was as near perfect as I could hope for. But the color was just sad.

Well, I decided to knit it up anyway. There was just too much work in it to let it sit in the cabinet. I searched through my patterns and found this one. And it’s free!

Milkshake Reversible Scarflet.

Perfect, I thought. Little did I know just how perfect it was for this yarn. And what a fun pattern it turned out to be!


I don’t often make scarves because they tend to be rather tedious to knit. This one had just enough variation in stitches to hold my interest. And I knew from the beginning that it was bringing new life to this yarn!


I first noticed that while knitting with it on my lap while wearing jeans, the grey stood out. Then one day against my leg, when I was wearing shorts, the salmon jumped out. I tested it on my quilting cupboard and sure enough, out came the green.


I’m so happy. I call this one ‘Reverse Magic’ because the colors seem to change by magic depending on what I’m wearing. It’s like I have 3 scarves in one!

I cast on 37 and did 44 pattern repeats. Perfect!

Thank you Mary Keenan for such a fun pattern!


Posted in Knitting, Spinning | Tagged , , | Leave a comment


A few weeks ago, I stopped in at our neighborhood hardwear store. I had a melt down when I walked in and saw some baby bunnies for sale… They were tiny and fluffy and so dang cute!

That night, I wasn’t able to stop thinking about those adorable puff balls. I began to imagine life with a rabbit. Now this is where the internet can be a bad thing… Before the internet, I would have had to go to the library or something to find out about rabbit breeds and which ones might make the best pet for  me. That might have been too much trouble. Today though, all I had to do was sit down at the computer. I spent an entire evening searching all types of rabbits online and soon became obsessed with the Jersey Wooly and the American Fuzzy Lop. Yes – Obsessed. I decided on those 2 breeds because I wanted something small and friendly, and I really like the idea of having the added bonus of some fiber to spin!

Lucky for me, I have a very enabling husband. When I pleaded my case, telling him that I could keep it in the studio (the back room where all my fiber and toys live), his response was, “I think it should be in the living room so it can be socialized”. When I read online (again the internet helps me into more trouble), that a rabbit is happier when they have a companion, he said, “Why don’t you just get two?”

Well that was it then. I began a genuine search for 2 baby bunnies….

Meet Baxter, a Jersey Wooly.


And Felicity, a Fuzzy Lop.


I really didn’t want to resign to have them living in a cage all the time, so I spent a good bit of time, again on the internet, searching rabbit enclosures and house rabbit sites.

I ended up with a puppy play pen from “Iris”, purchased from Amazon. I’m very happy with it. I bought 2 pens and and set of 2 extra panels. Because Baxter and Felicity cannot be together until after they are neutered, I’m using the extra panels to divide the pen. Ultimately they will be used to create one very large living area for them both. This picture was taken before Felicity came home so the divider is not up yet. I’ve put it in the playroom, adjacent to the living room.


I’ve put indoor/outdoor carpet underneath, with a plastic drop cloth under that just in case someone forgets to use the litter box. In the event that the carpet does get soiled, it will be easy enough to take it outside and hose it off, but so far they are doing excellent with the box training!

We also invested in several toys and hiding places. Baxter loves the tunnel.


And he likes to sit on top of the house too!


Felicity is a bit more reserved than Baxter, but she is a few weeks younger too so I’m hoping she will come out of her shell more as time goes on. She does like to play with the balls, but every time I try to get a photo she quits!

These guys are a lot of fun. I will defiantly have to keep up with grooming on them, but I don’t mind, they are so sweet, it’s worth it!


Posted in Animals, Spinning | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Godswood of Winterfell Shawl

My first KAL is over! I have mixed emotions. SO fun to host a KAL with so many wonderful knitters, yet I’m so excited that it’s over and I can finally show everyone the completed shawl!

If you love it as much as I do, then you really must knit one up for yourself. Even though the MKAL is over, winter has not yet come. There is still time to make your own Godswood to protect you from the cold northern ice. You can find the pattern in my Ravelry store: The Godswood of Winterfell.

I LOVE the way it knits up.


There was a good bit of tinking and ripping throughout the design process, but the finished product was well worth it.


I named it the Godswood, because the stitches bring to mind the leaves of a tree.


The center spine… the trunk.


A few drops of blood – because after all – it is Winterfell !


It rests nicely on the shoulders. The center panel hugs the back of the neck, giving the sides the perfect resting place on the wearer.


The lace is both delicate, yet strong, like a true Stark.





The Godswood of Winterfell  on Ravelry is both a fully written and charted pattern.

My samples above were knit in Madelinetosh Pashmina (Tart) and Tosh Sock (Silver Fox).

The shawl blow was my test knit (that’s the one that withstood all the tinking and ripping). It’s some yarn that I dyed myself. While not the color of the Weirwood, I love the green of the summer trees in south Georgia.



Posted in Knitting | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

DIY Hat Manikin

Looking for a fun and inexpensive way to display your hat?


I have lots of knit hats and It’s fun to admire them even when the weather is warm. I’ve thought about purchasing a manikin head, but they are fairly costly. I have a Styrofoam form that I use for blocking my newly knit hats, but it’s not very attractive. So I began looking for an alternative. This is what I came up with. Are you searching for a fun way to show off your hats? Try this easy project!


First, you will need to gather a few simple supplies.

Styrofoam Head – these can be found at beauty and craft supply stores for around $5.

White craft glue

Small bowl

Mod Podge or similar protective finish

Printed paper of your choice. This can be pages from an old book, wrapping paper, or something printed from the computer (check this 1st to be certain the ink won’t smear).

Foam paint brush to apply glue ( or just use your bare hands…)

Here’s how to make it:

1st tear your paper into small irregular pieces. Don’t use scissors, tearing helps the paper to blend together better.

Next mix a small amount of water and some glue in the small bowl. It should be fairly drippy, but not translucent.

Now for the fun part! Dip the torn paper into the glue mixture and place it on the head. Smooth it out using the foam brush or fingers. Continue adding paper until the entire head is covered.


If the paper you have chosen is fairly thick, such as my Dragonfly wrapping paper, you’ll need to let the pieces soak in the glue mixture for a minute or so. This will help them to mold to the shape of the head.



Allow it to dry completely before using the foam brush to apply a coat of Mod Podge to seal and protect it.


What a cute way to store your favorite knit hat!

Like the hat?? You can find the pattern on Ravelry“Wolf in the Wild Beanie”





Posted in DIY, Knitting | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The Godswood of Winterfell MKAL

I’m excited announce my new Mystery KAL!

Godswood image

For those of you who are not familiar with the term, KAL stands for Knit-A-Long. Simply put, its a group of knitters who connect via the internet (or even face to face!) and knit together following the same pattern.

A Mystery KAL is one that keeps the final pattern a secret from the participants. Generally speaking there is a theme that serves to create a common bond between the crafters.

My theme is of course, Game of Thrones!

Now I can’t say much more, because that would ruin the game, but I can say that we will be knitting a top down, shawl with lace components.

I can tell you that the pattern is available on Ravelry. The 1st Clue will be released on April 24th to coincide with the airing of Season 6. This cue and all subsequent clues (following a week apart at 1st and then 2 weeks apart as the shawl progresses) will be sent to the purchasers via the Ravelry library in pdf form. At the end of the event, each will receive a complete pattern in one concise pdf.

KAL’s are loads of fun. There are forum chats, progress photos, spoiler alerts, and camaraderie. So if you knit – join us! You can find the pattern here: The Godswood of Winterfell.

And if you miss the party – don’t worry – the pattern will be available after the KAL is over. Just follow the same link.

I am using Madelinetosh Pashmina and Tosh Sock to knit up my samples. Tart red Pashmina, to represent the leaves of the Weirwood on one shawl,



and another knit in Silver Fox to represent the bark.



For my trial (testing out my pattern) I used some yarn that I dyed myself. The color isn’t quite right for the theme, but it’s pretty.


You may remember it from my earlier post. How to dye Mottled Yarn.

I’ll be posting this shawl in the projects pages on Ravelry too.


Posted in Knitting | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Fixing a Mistake in Cabled Knitting

Oh No! I’ve made a mistake in my Cabled Knitting project! And it’s 4 rows back!

20160206_124114     Screenshot_2016-02-06-13-25-36

Now what?? I’ve held my cable needle to the front instead of the back!

It’s not as difficult as you may think to fix this. I don’t have to rip out the last 4 rows and do them again. Wheew!

In order to fix this mistake, I need to have on hand, 2 safety pins designed for knitting and a crochet hook. These are things I keep in my bag at all times, because you never know when you might need to fix something.

To begin, I work my way, following my pattern, to the spot where I made the error (several rows below).

I know that my mistake was 4 rows back because the cable is only worked on row 1 of 4 and I have just completed row 4.  So I must count 4 rows from the needle and place a safety pin on the stitch below the error. This is a 4 stitch cable, meaning 2 on the cable needle and 2 that were knit. This means I will need to place a safety pin on the next stitch as well.


Now for the scary part. Drop the 2 live stitches off of the needles. Don’t worry, the pins will stop the stitches below from unraveling.


You will notice a hole in your knitting, just on the other side of the 2 columns of stitches to the left of the dropped stitches.


Slip the safety pins through this hole. Bring them behind the stitches to the right of the hole and back out to the front.


Next insert the crochet hook into the stitch on the pin (I like to leave the pin in place until I have completed the fix). Reach around in front of the 2 rows of stitches still on the needle. Hook the 1st strand of the “ladder” and pull it through the stitch. This creates a new knit stitch.


You may have worked a simple stockinette repair in the past. It’s the same here. Continue to pull the ladder bars through the newly fixed stitch until all 4 have been worked. Do the same on the next pin.

20160206_132218    20160206_132218-2

Now what happens if I make the mistake on the left slanting cable??

20160203_142959     20160203_142959-1

It’s essentially the same process – in reverse.


Again, place your safety on the stitch where the mistake was made. In this case the pin goes on the 5th stitch again, because I and still fixing a mistake from 4 rows ago.


Drop the stitches above the pins. This time you will notice that the pins will pull themselves over to the left of the 2 columns of stitches that form the balance of the cable. Now the hole is adjacent to the pins.


Push the pins through the hole to the back of the knitting. Bring them around behind the other stitches, just below the 4 “ladders” that were formed when the stitches were dropped in a previous step.

Once again use a crochet hook to make the repairs to the ladder, making 4 stitches above each pin.

Now my cables go the right way! I have placed a green marker there now to remind myself when to cable left or right… Maybe I won’t mess up again…


But at least I know how to fix it if I do!


Posted in Knitting | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Aiden’s Latte Baby Coat

Every Grandparent thinks that their little one is the cutest. I guess I’m no exception to that rule…

As a knitter, I’m always looking for something that I can make for my grandson, but let’s face it, sometimes it can be difficult to find the right project for a boy. I’m not really into the “babyish” outfits with animal ears or choo choo trains. His Mom and Dad like to dress him in little boy (not baby) fashions as well. I think this pattern fit the bill just right!


It’s a simple knit with a wonderful stitch pattern that not only looks good, but helps it to lay flat around the face.


The pattern was easy to follow. There are instructions to add pockets, but I chose to leave them off.


There is minimal seaming (always a good thing!).


Comfortable enough for a little boy who likes to climb!


The hood actually stays on his head!


I did use some creative blocking to get it to hold the shape I wanted though. I think this looks a little creepy, but it worked great.


I love the little point at the top. After all, he is just a little man. I don’t want to dress him like a complete adult!


I just hope he doesn’t out grow it too quickly!


You can find the pattern on Ravelry. It’s called “Latte Baby Coat”. Here is a link to my project notes:


Posted in Knitting | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Making a “Boy” American Girl Doll

If you have followed my blog, then you are aware that I now have a Grandson. He’s almost a year and a half now. He is my main excuse for the shortage of posts. That boy can keep me busy on my babysitting days!


The other day I was taking a moment to organize some boxes that have been tucked away in the guest room for quite some time and I came across my daughters old American Girl Dolls. Upon opening the box, I was hit with a rush of nostalgia. Such fond memories are brought back to life with these dolls. Our particular attraction to this doll company, was the books that accompanied each doll and each subsequent outfit. Back in the day, these books were all beautifully bound hardcover copies, each with a dust jacket. The stories (and dolls) were all historical representations of various cultures and time periods. Now days, the books are paperback (big sigh of disappointment). And the dolls seem to nothing more than modern renditions of our current population of little girls.

Well, my 1st thought was to buy a Boy Doll for my Grandson. I am a firm believer that gentlemen grow from gentle boys. That’s not to say he shouldn’t play on the 4 wheeler, or dig for bugs like boys are prone to do. I just think that nurturing is something ALL children should learn.

However, I soon learned that the company does not make a boy doll. Surely this would be something they would have added to the line by now! It is possible to get a “Bitty Twin” set that can include a younger boy doll. Sorry American Girl – It’s just not the same. It does come with a book, but it looks pretty generic. Not specific to the doll at all. And I don’t want a twin!

So… I started looking for an alternative. And this is what I found. It seems the only way to get a boy, is to make one. So I did.

I bought a used “Samantha” on eBay. Her eye color would be perfect. The hair had been cut by the previous owner, so she was reasonably priced. Then I purchased a wig, size 10-11, designed to fit an 18″ doll, in the color Strawberry Blonde. This particular wig is labeled #113 BEBE, from Monique.


Removing the old wig is simple, but it can take a few minutes if it’s well attached.


The only tool required is a tablespoon. Begin by holding the spoon, curved side up, and gently push it under the wig, all around the edge. There is also some glue towards the center. Separate that in the same way.


Clean off the longer stray hairs left behind before proceeding.


I didn’t worry about getting everything off. My thought was that it would give the new glue something extra to grab hold of and my wig would be more secure.


According to other sources, Aleen’s Tacky Glue is the best adhesive to use other than actual doll wig glue. I already had some, so that’s what I went with. I found it to be easiest to apply the glue to the top portion of the head 1st.


Then after the wig was in place, I pulled back sections and added more all around the edges.

Then, dry for 24 hours.


In order to create a more “boy like” appearance, I trimmed the eyelashes, just a touch.


Next, add some jeans and a tee-shirt! And of course some sneakers!

20160117_114127      20160106_133528

I’ve decided to name him Bobby, to honor a very close friend who is nearing the end of his struggles with a very aggressive form of Cancer.


I think Bobby will make a wonderful playmate for my Grandson!



Posted in DIY, This and That | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you have a wonderful Turkey Day!

I’m looking forward to a traditional feast with my family this Thanksgiving! We will be in my daughters new house. We aren’t quite done with the renovations yet. And they have not moved in, but it will be fun to christen it with a big family gathering.

No shopping for me – I refuse – just good food and good company.



Posted in Felting, This and That | Tagged , , | Leave a comment