Handspun Toasts

Posted by Nina on Sep 11, 2011

This time last year I was knitting my thorpe in this roving that I picked just for that project.. to my dismay I found that I have an inability to spin thick yarns and thorpe was meant to be knit in a bulky yarn while my yarn was worsted at best.. so I had some left overs! 182.3yrds to be exact! I tucked it away for the perfect project.. at the time I was thinking mittens until I found a pattern called toasts.

If you have not seen toasts knit in handspun, then you must go here right now!!!! They are amazingly little simple wrist cuffs that you can pull down into fingerless mitts if you like.. I had to have a pair! I just simply cast on and knit until I was out of yarn. They stretch from thumb to elbow but I prefer them just slouched down a little. I added gentle shaping by increasing my needle size as I knit rather than adding stitches for the increased length.

I love them! I never want to take them off!

P.S. before you ask about the ring .. it was a Renaissance Fest find that my husband bought me.. I have no idea who made it or where you could find one like it, sorry. 🙁

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Handspun Baby Sweater

Posted by Nina on May 18, 2011


There has never been a project that I have knit that I love more than this right now! I spun the yarn for this during the AllSpunUp’s spin along last year.. it’s the ‘Somewhat Seuss-ish Trout’ colorway in polworth. I had no idea what I wanted to use it for but I loved the colorway.. and then I found this little side buttoning baby sweater and knew that I had to make this! I mixed it with a little bit of KnitPick’s Stroll for the button bands and cuffs just to give it a little contrast. I knit up the 0-3mos size but I love it so much I am thinking of making a 6-9mos size as well!


Pattern: Offset Wraplan by Sara Morris
Size: 0-3mos
Yarn: All Spun Up Polwarth Combed Top
Colorway: Somewhat Seuss-ish Trout.. Inside and Out (my handspun)
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Sport
Colorway: Hollyberry
Needle: US 4 – 3.5 mm & US 5 – 3.75 mm

on Ravelry.

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Handspun Mitts For A Friend

Posted by Nina on Jan 9, 2011

Back sometime ago I joined a swap to spin up some yarn and knit an item out of it and mail that off to my partner.. turns out my partner and I are in the same group knitting circle.. it made stalking her easy. We had very different tastes in colors but it was nice to push me out of my comfort zone of clown barf into the world of deep, rich, jewel tones.. and she had this beautiful pattern in her queue.
After coming up empty handed, I asked Dyeabolical Yarns to post stalk and spy on my swap partner and dye up something based upon her favorite colors… and this is how I spun the beautiful roving we made! I think she liked her package.. the mitts are really stretchy and would be fantastic to wear over a pair of gloves as well! I have very small hands and they fit me nicely (see photo) and would stretch to fit man hands as well since the pattern is mostly rib.

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November in Review!

Posted by Nina on Dec 18, 2010

When I was dating my husband he went to Minsk to visit his family.. and while he was gone I went shopping at a local yarn store and by chance I looked over and saw a magazine that said “Russian Lace” and I ran over and bought it and the yarn to make the beautiful scarf/stole..

You might remember that this scarf came up missing and I had decided to start over.. well low and behold, it is finally finished! It is breathtakingly beautiful, delicate, and so very soft! It is everything I had hoped it would be and more! It just might be the most beautiful thing I have ever knit.
For a while now everyone was telling me that I should get a hot water bottle to keep myself warm during the winter… so I finally did! I designed this really adorable cozy for it out of some red acrylic yarn.

I love how the heart cables are off set by the cute little heart pull ties. It helps keep the water inside warm and hopefully will keep me from getting burned if left on a spot for long periods of time. I would recommend using acrylic over wool for this type of thing because if you use it while you’re ill you might find you need to toss it into the washing machine from time to time.

I’ve been a Twinkie Chan fan for a little while now and I eagerly pre-ordered her book especially for this scarf! When it came I cast on right away and finished the scarf in just a couple days! I had 2 shades of red acrylic and this Red Heart Baby Cloud yarn on hand and decided on a whim after a few stressful days to just hook it! I love this thing to pieces! I wear it almost every day! The sprinkles are silver lined rainbow seed beads.

Then I whipped up some mini socks for these cute little sock blocker key-chains. I used some left over sock yarn bits and some worsted rainbow yarn I had in stash. Aren’t they cute?!

I’ve spun these 2 rovings into a regular 2ply with plans to cable ply them together… I got some amazing yardage out of the darker skein.. my best yardage to date! I really love the color from these skeins!

However, when I cable plied them… I ended up with this yarn. It’s around worsted weight and while it’s pretty… I think I much prefer the 2 skeins alone rather than plied together. I plan to untwist and keep them as 2 separate yarns.. but I learned a lot while making it so I am happy I took the time to do it!

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October in Review

Posted by Nina on Nov 19, 2010

October was a pretty busy month for me! I can’t believe everything I managed to finish! I knit a lot of baby hats for a newborn session I had during the middle of the month! I finished this one while waiting for the mom to get ready for her session when she called and asked me to give her a little extra time.

Then I finished up this adorable little dot hat.. I had just purchased a pom maker and decided to top the hat with a huge funky pom. It’s a little large for a newborn but that is kind of the look I was going for.. over-sized. 🙂 I have a tea cup prop that I am also hoping to get to try out this little hat with! I think it will be a perfect match!

Since the baby was due in October, I figured nothing said fall like pumpkins so I made a little pumpkin hat! He was so adorable in it and it fit him perfectly! Isn’t this one little pumpkin you’d love to bring home?!

One of the women in our knitting group was expecting and we organized a sampler blanket for her.. we each knitted a square or two and sent them off to a someone who stitched the blanket and sent it on.. Here’s my squares (only the gray one in this photo was used, I sent a golden snitch square for my second. I kept the white and gray one for future projects)!

Not everything in October was baby knitting though! A while back I made a porom out of white sparkly yarn.. well it turns out the sparkly yarn is itchy! so I have made another and this time I am using a DK weight.. it’s much softer but not very warm.. but I love it none the less! It’s made from a sea blue-green tweed yarn.. and I just love it to bits! The color however, is very hard to photograph in doors.

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September in Review

Posted by Nina on Oct 14, 2010


I’ve been taking a break from blogging to make a bunch of incredible things! First up are my Love/Peace mittens because they are just amazing. The pattern only has 3 of us linked that have made them! it’s shocking isn’t it?! I had a lot of trouble figuring out the thumbs but once I did, it all went really smoothly. The pattern is really beautiful and the fit is fantastic. I would actually knit them again! The thumb trouble was simple, you basically knit up the thumb to half way on the thumb chart, slip your stitches to a holder, cast on more stitches, then knit back down half the thumb in reverse.. instead of increases like you did the first time, you will do decreases. It’s really very simple, it just sounds confusing, I promise!! and, they are nominated for a prize!!!!!


Next up is a thorpe hat.. I spun the yarn and knit it up hoping for a warm winter hat.. it’s not super warm because I spun the yarn too thin but it’s still very, very nice and the color is fantastic! I am going to have to practice spinning bulky and try it again… but it is a lovely warm hat none the less! I would (and probably will) knit this hat again.


Then we have a beautiful dish towel. Some of you might remember me talking about the kitchen remodeling that we have planned… well this baby will be going in our brand new kitchen! It’s a lovely shade of royal purple and bright white.. the pattern is super simple and very easy to memorize.. great mindless knitting.

I actually have a white one with a purple stripe that I am working on but no where near finished with it yet but they will be a really nice pair I think. I plan to use them as hand towels or for drying off produce more than for dishes since our dishes dry in our dishwasher 😉


Next up we have a cute little blue and white elf cap. I plan to use this in my next newborn session. It’s just the right size for a newborn and super soft. I do not recommend you using a long tassel like this for a real baby hat, instead I would attach a small pom-pom because babies can choke or strangle on them. Safety is always first when you make baby items for gifts or use. Since this is a prop only, no newborn will ever be left unattended for a single second wearing this hat.


Last but not least, my deer hat. Yes it’s silly, yes I actually do wear it. I wish I had better photos of it but I just haven’t gotten around to taking them yet… the month of September really wore out my knitting mojo but this hat was really fast and easy and its super super cute! Everyone thinks its hilarious when I wear it.. so I must wear this every-single-place-I-go-all-winter-long!

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Fresh From The Cauldron

Posted by Nina on Aug 25, 2010

I’ve been doing a little kettle dyeing lately.. I am testing out some different dyes and dye mixes and I am also experimenting with different ways to dye. I’ve been saying for a while now that I have an etsy shop just waiting for the big listings.. well that moment is right around the corner! I have nursing covers ready to list and I will also be listing some fibers for those of you who knit and spin!

Here’s a little sample for you to see what I am working with and what my colors are coming out like! This week I will be testing out some natural dyes.. The rovings photographed here are just plain wool combed tops.. nothing at all fancy about them except their newly found colors! I can’t wait to spin up this first one! and the first 2 skeins of yarn you see are planned to be used in a scarf while the bottom skein I am thinking to knit some simple socks.






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Bellatrix and Poison

Posted by Nina on Aug 24, 2010

Some years ago I fell in love with Wollmeise’s Poison #5 colorway, but it was always sold out and super hard to get a hold of so I asked YarnLust to custom dye me this colorway and we worked together to create the perfect color for my Bellatrix socks. I loved everything about this colorway.. the feel of the yarn, how the colors blend together, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. I knit one sock up in a hurry and then single/second sock syndrome (SSS) hit.

You would think that would be impossible with socks as awesome as these, right?! No. I often say that I am an ADD knitter and get distracted by shiny new projects all the time so this was nothing new to me… but during the month of August I have been trying to finish up some of my long-time works in progress (wip’s) and these were at the top of my list. The need to wear them came back with a vengeance and I couldn’t wait to cast them off! Only, I found that they were not so forgiving.. like Bellatrix Le Strange, they were temperamental, cunning, and deceitful. I knit to the toe and started the decreases as usual, only to find I needed to work 1 pattern repeat more! I had to rip them back and reknit the toe before I could bind off.

Let me just tell you…. these are absolutely without a doubt my most favorite socks ever. Period. End of story. No socks were ever more awesome, never fit better, or felt better on. For all of you yarn/knitting geeks, you can read the details below… for everyone else, I promise more photos later!

Pattern: Bellatrix by Monkey Toes
Needles: US 3 – 3.25 mm (used to cast on), US 2 – 2.75 mm (used to knit the rib), US 1½ – 2.5 mm (used to knit the sock)
Yarn: Yarn Lust Soft n Sturdy Sock in Custom Colorway
Date Started: November 17, 2008
Date Complete: August 20, 2010
On Ravelry.

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Finishing Up!

Posted by Nina on Aug 6, 2010


This happens to be my 3rd Noro striped scarf and a project that has been at the bottom of my knitting bag for quite some time! It really is beautiful so I am not sure why I wasn’t motivated to finish it earlier but I couldn’t be more thrilled that it’s done now! It resembles my previous scarf but is quite different. The rainbow colors really blend beautifully with the transitioning red stripe and I am really looking forward to wearing it this fall! You may have noticed that I like my winter knits to carry some bright colors .. I think that is because Michigan is so gray in the winter that I need that splash of color or I’ll blend in with the snow!


Do you remember my dragon that looked like a .. well… you know.. ? Well here he is all finished and looking like a dragon! I knit the egg to go along with him and the blue yarn sparkles.. I figured every ice dragon needs to hatch from a shiny icy egg, right? He’s a good size for a dragon and currently resides on my fireplace mantle.. I am still looking for the perfect place for him to live in our home.. so meanwhile, he sits where I can keep an eye on him.. as they say.. you can never really trust dragons!


Since we spent most of July in Greece, Prague, & Belarus I didn’t have a lot of time to do much knitting but I managed to finish this cute little pixie hat! I had bought the yarn online and while the color says “petite peach” it is in reality a very rose-pink color. I am a little sad that little boys won’t be able to wear it… I am planning to knit up a few more in different colors but I have no desire to knit this again in the very near future… I have way too many other exciting projects coming up that I cannot wait to share!! So for now, only moms of little girls 3mos and under can enjoy this hat in my studio.


I can’t believe I forgot to share this with you!!! In the last post about newborn props.. I finished this adorable giraffe set at the same time! The flower is totally removable (as you can tell from the pixie hat) so little boys can use it as well! This would be an adorable newborn Halloween costume if you’re looking for ideas! The sack knits up quite quickly and tightly so it will keep your baby feeling safe and secure!

As always, all projects can be found on my Ravelry page.

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Newborn Props & Stuff

Posted by Nina on Jun 28, 2010

My favorite sessions are almost always newborn sessions.. There is just something so fun about brand new parents and teeny tiny little babies, and most parents are eager to let you put them in cute little costumes and funny hats. I’ve had a lot of little boys born this year so I needed plenty of gender neutral props so I started with this cute little hammock.
It’s a perfect prop for newborns. They just fit in the center and there isn’t a lot of fabric for the baby to get lost in. Most of my props that moms choose are neutral colored so I decided to keep this hammock in creams and browns. I do want to knit a couple more in different colors and possibly add some fringe to them.

Next is this adorable little pea pod! How cute is this!?!? I finished this set right before this newborn session only to find that the father hates peas with a passion! It was a total coincidence but we used it anyway! I am sure this is one sweet pea that the father will love… or so I hope!


Last but not least are these adorable little baby booties! They look like little moccasins with socks inside but they aren’t! These aren’t photography props, they were a gift for my client turned friend’s brand new little boy. They are quite possibly the cutest baby booties ever! Oh and see that throw the baby is laying on? The mom hand spun the yarn and hand wove the fabric. Yes, she’s that talented!

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