Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hungry Hungry Hippo!

After a couple weeks of steadily plugging away at this toy, she is finished!  In my head, I call her Harriet, the Hippo.  Something about alliteration when naming an animal - I can't help myself....

Anyway - this toy was made for my sister.  Specifically, made to match her bedspread and room at Mom's house.  C & Mom made a bedspread for her bed a few years back and instead of quilting it, they chose to tie it with yarn.  They had almost 2 whole balls of yarn left over.  I saw them sitting on the counter one day and thought to myself, I know the perfect project for that yarn!  (The whole time thinking of Susan B. Anderson's Hippo pattern.)  Now, remember, at this point I didn't yet know what the yarn was from, who it was for, or what it's purpose was.  It's just that any time I see yarn now, I immediately start thinking of what that yarn is destined to become....(oh's starting to happen to me too!  I've heard about this on

Anyway - C & Mom then told me it was leftover from the bedspread and C asked if I knew anything that it could be made into to match her room.  So...Hippo it was!
I have to admit, though, I was less than psyched to work with this yarn.  After having knit with it for about 5 minutes, it started to scratch my fingers.  It felt rough and scratchy.  It's 100% wool, which I was excited about, but usually the wool I use is much softer.  In the end, though, the yarn and color was perfect for this project.  It striped beautifully!  And although it's hard to tell in the pictures, it's a shimmery, shiny purple.  I used some pink dk KnitPicks yarn I had leftover from a hat.  This yarn had a destiny. :)
Harriet is a simple girl, not much for frills.  She enjoys spending time in the garden among the flowers, basking in the sun. Or relaxing on a nice cool day.  I hope C enjoys her as much as I do.

Monday, July 26, 2010

We Have a Winner!! :)

First of all, I'd like to thank all of you readers, both old and new, for taking the time and visiting my blog, reading what I have to say, checking out my new Etsy shop and leaving your comments.  I truly appreciated all the kind words and comments.  It's so helpful to know what you like and what you'd like to see more of. :)  

But now for what you really came to read, the WINNER! :)  

Out of the 51 comments the giveaway received, gave me number 34!  

Congratulations to Jessica (Doula Mommy)!  

Doula Mommy said...

I love that Breaking Moonlight color-way! Gorgeous! I would love to see that on some fingering/lace weight yarn, it would make a beautiful shawl!
Good luck with your Etsy shop! 

I will be contacting you to get your mailing address.  Or you can email it to me at  You have a week from today (until Aug 2) to send me your address.  If I do not hear from the winner by that time, I will choose a new winner.

I had so much fun hosting this giveaway and reading all the comments.  I still have to collect a few goodies to include in the package, which I'll share once I get it all in one place! :) 
Be sure to check back now and again, I will keep my blog updated with any Etsy updates.  And in a couple months, I will be hosting another giveaway. 

Happy Knitting to everyone!
~Rae Lynne

Monday, July 19, 2010

Are You Ready?! It's Time For a Giveaway!!

Greetings Readers!

I have such exciting news to share with you today!  I have officially listed items and opened my new Etsy shop!  That's right, I have made the jump from simple buyer to creative seller. :)  As funny as it sounds, it was a difficult decision to make.  I've had a lot of fun dying yarn and getting reacquainted with my lovely sewing machine.  For me, the best part about dying the yarn is seeing the final results.  And most times, I feel they are too pretty to use!!  This creates a I use the yarn I've dyed, instead of just looking at it?  Do I stop dying yarn until I can find a project worthy of the yarn?  Do I continue dying and sell what I've created?
Not only have I enjoyed learning the ropes as a new indy dyer, but I've also enjoyed creating and designing a few things.  I have been looking for a long time for a needle case that would suit all my needs.  And I finally created a case that measured up to my standards.  Except for the tiny problem of all my needles at risk of falling out the top.  My all-encompassing KnitBook is still in the works until I find a solution, but in the meantime, I used the same idea and adapted it to fit any set of interchangeable knitting needles.  Instead of the needles facing up, they face in, with handy pockets on the bottom for any cables. Needle pockets range from 1" to 2" wide, cable pockets 3" wide.  The front page of the Interchangeable Needle KnitBook is a zippered pocket large enough to hold any notions, scissors, ruler, cable needles and the like.  Flip through the KnitBook like you're reading your favorite novel.  The KnitBook buttons closed with a strap to keep all your precious needles safe and intact.

So the next time you're on Etsy, consider taking a gander at my shop  (I came very close to naming my shop Cheese.  Long story.)  Profile name: raelynne01.

So what you're really waiting to hear about, though, is what is this giveaway she mentioned?  It's not fair to keep someone waiting!

For my giveaway, I am offering one lucky winner their very own Interchangeable Needle KnitBook!  All I ask is that you do a few things for me.

1.  Visit my Etsy shop, then come back and tell me what your favorite item in my shop is, or what else you'd like to see more of. You have until 11:59pm Central Standard Time on July 25th to enter.

2. Leave something to identify yourself, like your Ravelry username, email address, blog address, something so I can get in contact with you.  After I pick a winner and contact them, they will have 1 week to respond with shipping information.  If I do not hear from the winner within that timeframe, I will pick a new winner.  (Sorry for the short time to respond, but I go back to school in August and want all my ducks in a row before then!)

3.  You can earn multiple entries by doing any of the following: become a follower of my blog, blog about my giveaway on your own blog (Facebook is okay too), spread the news by telling another person about the giveaway.  Please be sure to leave a separate comment for each method.
(If you become or are a follower, blog about the giveaway, and tell someone else about the giveaway, that earns you an extra 3 entries!) And if possible, please provide the link! :)

I will be including some goodies with the KnitBook, although I haven't decided what they're going to be.  So that will just have to be a surprise.  Good luck to everyone and happy knitting!  (p.s. all needles and notions you see are for display purposes only!)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Raspberry Truffle at Market

I've got a new FO (finished object) to share with you, readers! :)  After a couple weeks of knitting and fixing and knitting and fixing, Raspberry Truffle at Market is finished!  (Pattern: Let's Go Shopping - Market Bag).  I chose to use the alternatives given in the pattern.  On the base, I chose to knit the YOs through the front of the loop to get the spiral & holes.  Instead of K2TOG through the front loops, I K2TOG through the back loops.  As I've said before, this project was knit with some handpainted yarn my sister and I dyed a few weeks ago.  We dyed two skeins of yarn but I only used one...what a great bonus!  Now that I've seen how this yarn knits up, I'm anxious to find another project that will employ this yarn!

But you're not here to listen to me prattle on about that, I figure you'd rather see some pictures...and I've got pictures! :)  Yes, I know that I probably take too many when I photograph my projects, but sometimes the final result begs me to keep going! I'm sure some of you know what I'm talking about.
Since this bag was made with handpainted yarn, and since there was some really neat flashing and pooling of colors (this is when certain colors in the yarn all end up in the same spot, creating large "pools" of the same color), I figured it deserved every side to be shot. :)
In these pictures, I just have some white skeins of Cascade 220 weighing the bag down - I wanted to see how the mesh would stretch out.  It's not as heavy as produce or groceries (which is how I think my sister will use the bag) but it gets the point across.
I was a bit worried the handles would be too short.  She wanted 2 handles instead of one longer shoulder strap.  But the handles stretch nicely and the bag opens easily enough to accommodate most any sized object, within reason.
The bottom of the bag has a spiral to it.  A little hard to see in this picture, but it's there.  I still love the stockinette stitch that creates the very center of the base.  The color changes create great stripes. :)
So there you have it.  All finished and ready to go to market! :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Breaking Moonlight

Each month What a Kool Way to Dye on Ravelry has a monthly DAL (Dye A-Long) with a theme.  So not only does everyone share their monthly dyed yarn, we all have the chance to share our results with a specific intent.  The last few months have had some cool results, like Characters, Fairy Light, and 2 Break or Not 2 Break.

I've been wanting to try breaking dye colors for awhile now (in case anyone wonders, to "break" the dye means to have the dye separate into the different colors that make up that specific dye color.  So things like black "break" into colors such as red, purple, green, etc.  Wilton's Delphinium Blue breaks into different blues, lavender/light violet, and so on. By adding vinegar (to set the color) to the dye bath, the colors will separate or "break."  Clear as mud yet?  It's all about pH balance and numbers and a bit of math.  I don't really feel like being specific with my results when attempting to break the color - I just wing it.  :)

So for the details.  White yarn, 3 dye colors, water, vinegar, canning jars and a microwave.  Pretty results! :)  The first attempt was semi-successful.  Using black, delphinium blue and cornflower I achieved some pretty blues.  My black on the other hand left something to be desired.  I'm pretty sure I didn't put enough dye in the jar, but even so, it wasn't meshing well.  The colors broke nicely, but I ended up with a somewhat muddy color.
So I decided to overdye the black.  I was hoping for one of two options 1) dark black with some breakage or 2) silvery black with breaking.  My 2nd attempt yielded better results.  Nice dark colors contrasted against a light silvery purple-blue of varying colors.  :)  It reminds me of Moonfire cast by druids in World of Warcraft.  It also reminds me of moonlight breaking through the darkness.  So I named it "Breaking Moonlight."  Enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What I've Been Up To:

Life has been busy here in our home.  And I can't believe that we're almost halfway through July already!  How does the time manage to by so darn quickly?  I swear the summer just got started.  I know I've got several more weeks before school is back in session, but I've had so many things I've wanted to do this summer that it doesn't seem possible to get through them all.

I've been steadily plugging away at my "to knit" list, even though you can't really tell that by looking at my sidebar.  There are a few things on there that are half done, or close to done, or that I just can't put in the list because I don't want to spoil any surprises. :)  I've actually finished 3 projects in the last week or so that I can't share.  I hate waiting to share things.  So readers, you'll have to be patient with me until I can spill the beans and post some pictures.  :)

There are a couple things I can tell you about, though.  You all know by now I finished Gerald the Giraffe.  He was so much fun. :)  And after he was finished, I dawdled a bit picking out my next project, which was helpful to my Sinful Ribbed Scarf because I was able to add a few more inches to the length.  I've sort of put my Traveling Woman on hold until I can devote more time to it.  I've got a strict deadline for a few things and I need to make sure they get finished before I try taking on a whole lot else.  I sort of knew I would be the type of person to have several projects on the needle at once... :)  I guess that marks knitting as a favorite hobby. :)   When I get the chance, I knit a few rows on Mom's Haruni Shawl.  It's going slow right now, but making progress.

I recently shared a picture of the yarn my sister and I dyed a couple weeks ago.  It is being knit into the Let's Go Shopping Market Bag.  I've renamed it though to be called Raspberry Truffle at Market. :)  Sounds more fun!  I've made great progress on this bag, especially considering how many times I've had to tink it back and fix mistakes.....  I was about 6 inches into the lace/mesh part of the pattern when I realized my rows were off.  The pattern gives the bag a neat swirl effect and my swirl had started going the wrong way.  I would have known this if I had stopped to examine my progress.  But instead I just kept plugging away until I came up with the wrong stitch count.  It was tedious to fix, but after tinking back once, starting again, tinking back twice, starting again and tinking back  a third time and starting again, I finally am back on track.  Thank goodness!  The pattern really isn't difficult - it's very simple actually.  You just have to be more careful than I was!

I love how the colors are coming out in the yarn, though!  If you turn the bag upside-down, you see the colors form a swirl - as though you had mixed a sorts of ice cream in a big bowl, stuck a spoon in the middle, and started stirring. :)  Sis likes it, and I do too! :)

I've also been sewing - when I've had the chance.  Not a whole lot new to say, though, on that front.  With visiting family and enjoying the holidays, sewing seems to be the part of the mix that got left out.  I've been working on a zipper dilemma for a needle case and I've been having trouble with the construction.  So I've been practicing and using a little trial and error to see what I could do to navigate the issue.  Last night I finally figured out basically what I needed to do.  But it felt wrong, and the work would be shoddy if I did it that way.  I need to practice this a lot before it gets better, or I need to find another solution (either to replace the zipper, or a better way to sew in the zipper).  I must confess that because I've had trouble with this, I've been less apt to sit down and sew.

The last bit of new happenings in the crafty area is I've had the chance to dye a little more yarn.  The other night I couldn't decide what to work on so I picked up a couple skeins of Cascade 220 Superwash and set out to dye them up.  I had a particular set of colors in mind at this point, since I'd been thinking about dying more wool recently, and so I went at it.  I've only got pictures to share of one skein at the moment because the other one didn't turn out quite the way I wanted it to, so I overdyed it.  But more about that another time when I can share pictures!

This batch I call "Cotton Candy."  Yes, I know - all my color choices are related to food.  I just can't help it! :) Specifically, this one reminds me of going to the State Fair (or county fairs or the carnival my old hometown used to have) and getting the cotton candy on the stick (not in the bag) and it's fluffy goodness! :)  The colors are more vibrant in person, but I was anxious to get pictures and so I had to settle with the light God gave me that day. :) It's rich and yummy and I have no idea what the fate of this yarn will be. :)
Hopefully soon I'll have a few more things to share, that I can actually talk about and show pictures of.  In my opinion, that's the best part! :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


After I finished Gerald I feel like I hit sort of a rut in my knitting.  And it's certainly not for lack of things to knit!  In fact, there are several things I want to knit. But...every time I would sit down, I couldn't make up my mind.  Do I work on Mom's shawl?  What about secret projects? (I've got plenty to do there)  How about my sister's Market Bag?  Maybe something for myself again?  I think right now I have too many options.  There is a list of things I need to complete and I want to knit them.  So instead of actually working on something, I can't make up my mind and end up working on nothing.  So unproductive! 

On the up-side, I did get a little done on my Sinful Ribbed Scarf.  I was a little over 1/3 done when I last put it down.  With all the indecision, I decided to pick this up again to work on since it's really easy and I have the pattern memorized.  K3, P3 to last 3 stitches, K3.  K1, P1 to last stitch, K1.  Repeat these 2 rows until desired length.  So very easy.  And the yarn is so incredibly soft. I'm using KnitPicks Comfy Worsted in colorway Marlin.  Every time I pick this scarf up I just want to smoosh it over and over, it's so soft.  This will be a fantastic scarf. 

I did do a few rows on the Haruni shawl.  I made a couple mistakes so I had to go back and fix them.  I love the way the colors for this are coming out.  This was the Madelinetosh Prairie lace yarn in Baltic.  I'm almost done with Chart A the first time.  I believe there are 4 more repeats of Chart A after that, and then Chart B and then the edging.  This tends to get set aside more often than the other projects because it requires my full attention.  This is a good project to work on before bed when the house is quiet.

I finally decided on starting the Let's Go Shopping - Market Bag for C.  We dyed for it the other day.  She has reuseable grocery totes we got her for Christmas last year and she wanted something that would match.  She also wanted the colors to be bold so we tried to get the colors as saturated as possible.  I have 1 of the 2 skeins wound into a ball, the other is at least wound.  The yarn is beautiful and is knitting up really pretty.  This was a great pattern for this yarn.  I'm calling the yarn "Raspberry Truffle."
I really hope C likes the finished bag.  If she doesn't want it, I'll keep it. :)   I decided on this project because she goes back to CO at the end of July/beginning of August.  So hers is on a more pressing time frame.  I'd also like Mom's shawl to be done by the end of the summer.  It's her March birthday present.  It shouldn't wait too long!

There will be some upcoming swap knitting, but I'll save the details on that for a later post.  There are several secret projects I'll be working on that I can't share here because the recipients might read about them and then, obviously, it wouldn't be a surprise.  I'm really anxious to get these started, but I've been lagging on getting the yarn wound into balls.  Only one big project and several small ones.  I can share the yarn, though.  I picked Tahki Cotton Classic and Tahki Cotton Classic Lite for these projects.  And I couldn't be happier with my choice. :) 

So aside from all that knitting, I've also been working on my 30 Days of Sewing.  It's been going really well.  I've made several knitting needle cases (3 actually) and have started cutting the pieces out for X's Imagination Book w/ Storage Bag from Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones.  I love the patterns in this book - so fun for little kids!  I did make a mistake, though and I bought transfer paper instead of printing fabric for the book images.  So I'm stalled on that until I can hit a craft or fabric store.  I'll be posting soon about the needle cases, but I still have a couple left to do and I want to have 1 post about them all, instead of the same thing over and over, so no pictures for that yet.  I also fixed the diaper caddy for X's room.  It's been missing one of the ties for several months now.  It's nice to check it off the list! 

And among all that business, we painted the house and celebrated the 4th of July! We have a lot of family home right now, which is fun - X is really getting to know his cousins a bit better!  Hopefully, though, we'll have a bit more time to relax in the coming weeks because I don't like being busy ALL the time.