Thing-a-Week: bonus round

I know I said I was done and was going to be lazy for a while then do some longer-term projects, but inspiration struck and I did a Thing-like thing this week anyway. And it was too cute not to share. So, I give you Mr. LumpyBear, the tiny felted bear.

Mr. LumpyBear is needle felted using some of my dyed Romney wool, and sits at about 2.5 inches tall and less than a fifth of an ounce (5 grams). He’s a little lopsided, but how could you not love that face?

Tiny Bear

Say it with me: “Dawwwwwwwwwww.”

Thing-a-Week #52

Last March, I pledged to try to do one fiber-related thing each week for a year. And here I am, one year later, having mostly fulfilled that commitment. Sure, I took a whole quarter off, and this week’s Thing is fully a week late, but who’s counting?

For my final Thing, I wove another pooling scarf. This is something I promised to a friend at Stitches West, using some yarn she bought at the show.

Thing a Week #52: Woven Scarf

The warp is Western Sky Knits Magnolia Sock (superwash merino, cashmere, & nylon) in “Fall Sky,” and the weft is Valley Yarns 10/2 Bamboo in “Silver Grey.” Seems a fitting end to this project, don’t you think?

Thing a Week #52: Woven Scarf

Thanks, everyone, for following along. I’ll no doubt be posting more of my fibery adventures, just not on this cadence. Next, I think I’ll be lazy for a little bit then start looking at some longer-term projects. Stay tuned!

Thing-a-Week #51

Just something quick and cute this week.

Thing a Week #51: Egg

It’s a beaded Easter egg from Betsy Beads by Betsy Hershberg. I bought the book while at Stitches West and wanted to try something from it. The yarn is SWTC Bamboo and I picked up the beads cheap from Tuesday Morning. Fast and fun!

Also, this is my second-to-last Thing. Hard to believe I’ve been at it almost a year!

Thing-a-Week #50

While I was in California at Stitches West, I met up with a high-school friend and her family. Knowing I was going to be meeting them, I decided to whip up a hat for their boy while at the conference. Well, I sort of ran out of time and decided to delay it a week.

Thing a Week #50: Cozy hat

This hat is called Cozy by Alison Williams (she also made it available as a free Ravelry download). The yarn is Crystal Palace Cotton Twirl in colorways “Blue Bonnet” and “Ketchup.”

I’m not sure I’d use this yarn for this particular hat again; while it’s a great yarn and I would use it in other projects, it was really difficult to get gauge for this one and I think the hat may actually be a little big. Which is ok, I suppose, since kids’ heads only get bigger.

Thing-a-Week #49

This week’s Thing is actually three things, the products of the classes I took at Stitches West.

Thing a Week #49: Stitches West classes

At bottom right are the samples from the Embroider Your Knitting class on Friday. Up top is the bag from the Color and Weave Mini Tote Bag class, and all that fiber and the little tiny ball of yarn is from Spinning for Knitting.

My favorite, and the most proper completed Thing, is the tote bag. I haven’t been doing much with color patterns (or much besides scarves!), so it was nice to do something different.

Color & Weave Bag

This class used a basic 2×2 alternating color warp with three different weft patterns. The top of the bag is one pattern (2×2), the middle is another (4×4) and the bottom is yet another (1×1). It’s pretty neat to see the different effects you get by just varying the weft.

Color & Weave Bag

Overall, the classes were great and I learned a lot. Looking foward to next year!

Thing-a-Week #48

Alright. Back to weaving now. Another pooling scarf.

Thing a Week #48: Woven Scarf

This is using Blue Moon Socks that Rock superwash wool in the “Tricoter / LYS Tour 2009” colorway for the warp, and Navy Valley Yarns tencel for the weft. I like this pooling stuff.

Oh, and I’m off to Stitches West this week. Maybe I’ll cheat and make one of my class projects this week’s thing. Easy, right?

Thing-a-Week #47

I returned to spinning this week! Yay!

Thing a Week #47: Handspun

This was spun from a very pretty batt from Becoming Art in the colorway “Spice of Life.” It’s 4.25 oz mixed BFL wool, nylon, milk fiber, and firestar (sparkly!). It came out at 320 yards of roughly sport-weight yarn.

Thing a Week #47: Handspun

It was nice to spin again. It’s been a while.

Thing-a-Week #46

I’m going to Stitches West in a few weeks. I found out there’s going to be a stitch marker swap there, so I made some to trade. I have some closed rings that’ll work with knitting needles, and some open hooks that’ll work with crochet. I just thought the charms were cute.

Thing a Week #46: Stitch Markers

I got the charms and findings at Beads and Beyond in Bellevue. I’m not sure if I got enough, or too many. I guess we’ll just have to see!

Thing-a-Week #45

Last year, I made a Marsan Watchcap for my husband for our anniversary. He’s been wearing it a lot lately, out in the garage, because he needed something warm that wouldn’t get knocked off his head every time he had to roll around under a car or something.

Anyway, we were discussing said hat, and how rarely he wants anything I make, and then he said he’d like to have a hat like Jayne wore on “the Message” episode of the Firefly TV series.

Hold. The. Phone.

Did he actually 1) request a knit item from me, and 2) want something as ultra-nerdy as Jayne’s hat?

Yes, and omg yes.

As luck would have it, I bought the yarn a couple of years ago for this exact project. For me, because I never dreamed he’d actually want one. Naturally, I dropped everything and made it right away. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a Cunning Hat.

Thing a Week #45: Cunning Hat
Unfortunately, he declined to model it.

The pattern is Cunning Jayne Cobb Hat by Keiyla Renee. The yarn is Vanna’s Choice acrylic held double. Simple, easy, and sweetly hideous. (Or is that hideously sweet?)

“A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he’s not afraid of anything.”

Except maybe getting his picture took.

Thing-a-Week #44

Last month there was a discussion thread on Ravelry about a $300 hooded scarf from Spratters & Jayne. The basic tenor of the thread was that people couldn’t believe someone was charging $300 for a chunky scarf. I was intrigued, and decided to see if I could make one too. This is the result.

Thing a Week #44: Hooded Scarf

I reverse engineered the scarf based only on pictures on the web. I also chose a yarn–Cascade Magnum–that appeared to be very similar to what they used. It’s a very thick single, made from Peruvian Highland Wool. It’s so similar (even down to color selection!) that I have a feeling it’s from the same mill. It’s crochet, using a Q hook (which is very large… 15mm). Minus any small differences in stitch count, gauge, or construction, I think my scarf came very close to the original (found here).

Thing a Week #44: Hooded Scarf

(This picture is my own; I arranged the scarf so that it appears similar to the manufacturer’s pictures for comparison.)

What I learned during this exercise was that $300 is not really that far off. The yarn cost me nearly $80 alone. It only took a few hours to make, but once you factor in that, shipping, and distribution, it’s not that much of a stretch, even with reduced material and labor costs for the manufacturer.

I think people are incredulous at high prices because they think that hand-knit and -crochet items are inherently cheap, something you do because you can’t afford to buy the “real” thing at the store. So not true. Handcrafted items can take many (many, many!) hours to make, but they’re often sold for only a little over the cost of materials. Knitters and crocheters undervalue their time, and buyers don’t want to pay what the item is really worth. It’s why I never even think about selling what I make; it’s only for the pleasure of making it. Still, it’s nice to see a business model that works.

Hooded Scarf

I do love this scarf. The yarn is great, and the scarf so very warm and soft. I can see why people would shell out $300 for it, though I’m glad I can just make it myself.

Hooded Scarf

Thanks to my husband Bryan for the photos. I keep saying how handy he is!

(Note: I am not making the pattern available for this scarf. This was solely for the challenge; I have no interest in encroaching on Spratters & Jayne’s turf, either by distrbuting the pattern or by selling the completed scarf. However, it’s really not that hard to figure out if you really want to make one for yourself!)

Hooded Scarf