Archive for the ‘wool’ Category

WOOLYCLAVA–Hooded Cowl Balaclava from recycled wool sweater

February 21, 2015

Yesterday Cat Bordhi posted this spectacular hood/cowl/ski-mask thing (maybe it is a balaclava?!) that she had knitted and made a pattern for

Cat Bordhi Designs Warm All Winter cowl

Beautiful!!! I wanted to make one! But, then I remembered how lazy I am and how my thumb hurts and how it would take weeks and then it would (hopefully) be warm here again. My friend Cathy said she might try it with a recycled sweater and DOH! what a brilliant idea!

Now I’ve made two, I think they shall be called “woolyclava”!

Side story:  I’m a substitute teacher and I have two teenage sons and we had FIVE snow days in a row this week, so I actually had time to fool around online and do crafts, which I’ve been sadly neglecting recently.


Anyhow, I remembered that I have a tubful of sweaters that I’ve bought at Goodwill to use for projects.  Maybe two.  Hush!


The back is all one piece. The front is two or three pieces, where the opening at the face is made with ribbing from the bottom hem or cuffs –down from the top and upside down from the bottom.

I opened one side seam and took off that same sleeve before I tried the pattern pieces, in case I would need to piece parts together for the top of the face.  I traced a beanie hat, compared to my Turtleclava, cut up the sweater and made the thing and put it on and cut parts off and re-sewed.

I used a pretty thin lambswool sweater. I think I had already washed it in the machine.

I think it is about 20″ from top of crown to bottom of cowl. I had to narrow the face from what I originally tried, so that it doesn’t gap too much.

Upcycled wool sweater version (cheater!) of Cat's spectacular Warm All Winter cowl

Upcycled wool sweater version (cheater!) of Cat’s spectacular Warm All Winter cowl



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I used scissors and rotary cutter to cut the sweater– I wasn’t too worried about it unraveling, but I was sewing it right away.  If you might be handling the pieces a lot, they might start to unravel!

I sewed the pieces together, wrong sides facing, with double lines of a very narrow zigzag stitch on my ancient Kenmore sewing machine.  The zigzag will allow for some stretching.  I also have a serger.  I might use that on the next one.  I also ran a row of stitching around the unhemmed edge, so it wouldn’t unravel.


I have some plan to embroider or decorate the seams and edges with wool yarn, but haven’t gotten started with that!


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I made this one for my husband.  When I first saw Cat Bordhi’s knitted creation,  I thought it looks sortof like chain mail, like an arming coif?  Anyhow, in my tubful of wool sweaters was was a black & grey herringbone cardigan…

woolyclava on the husband

woolyclava on the husband

woolyclava on the foam head

woolyclava on the foam head



So, I have been silent here…

October 2, 2012

Apparently, I divide my focus when I post on several Facebook pages, including my own Goodness Gracious WV page and sell things at artisan markets and Art Walk and Etsy and … whoo!  I have had some things at The Common Ground Shoppes at the Heritage Station in Huntington, too.

I will make a little effort to post here, too! (Sorry, you’ve missed all sorts of recipes and pictures of tshirts and descriptions of “new” batik techniques while I have been silent!)
I’ll start with the easiest thing. Photos of some batik t-shirts:

green sea turtle, pink owl, purple hedgehog batik onesies

green sea turtle, pink owl, purple hedgehog batik onesies

And some patchwork satchels:

patchwork satchels with long handles and snap closures

bright-colored, hand-made, lined patchwork satchels with long cross-body strap and snap closures

so you can see the strap better… 🙂

And a crop of handspun yarns:

Wool yarns, all handspun by me 🙂
Sortof clockwise from upper left: fat grey & grape shetland (3.5 oz, 100 yds, $20); fat berry blue & black Dorset/Suffolk & Jacob wool (90 yds, $15); 3 skeins berry Dorset & soysilk (78 yds, almost 2 oz, $18; 90 yds, almost 2 oz, $20; 102 yds, just over 2 oz, $22); fat natural grey Coopworth wool (78 yds, 2.5 oz, $15); fat cherry Dorset/Suffolk and Jacob (90 yds, $15); two skeins approx. worsted hazelnut superwash merino wool (225 yds, 3.5 oz, $25; 210 yds, 3.5 oz, $25)


Noro Circular Sweater, continued and FINISHED!

March 29, 2010

I put details (sortof) as I was going on my Ravelry project notebook.  If you already read THAT, then this will be boring, sorry.  ;p

Day 8–I’m now on two long (29”?) 10.5 needles and it is nearly large enough (about 20” radius, unstretched), not too crowded on the needles. I have 4 balls of Noro left and one ball of purple Lopi which I am intending to use to do a crocheted bindoff. How many balls do I need for the sleeves?? One each? Two each? One and a half?? Eeek… I also am unsure how much yarn I need for the bindoff. I know it is a lot, but likely not the whole ball. Decisions decisions!

Day 9–After consulting with KnittingKnadine, I put the whole edge (after row 88 and the end of ball 6) on waste yarn. It is nearly 20” unblocked. I am going to start on the sleeves and reassess as it goes…

Day 11–Working on first sleeve. HATED picking up the stitches from the waste yarn, but, then again, I would have hated seaming it, too. lol. I am using a #11 16” circular needle on the sleeve b/c I had one. I’m doing 8 rows of the mesh and then 8 rows of the stockinette. Haven’t decided on how the cuff will be shaped yet. Saw some cute variation with a more lacy cuff with a bell-shape (i.e., Molly Weasley sweater), but am not sure about how much yarn and, since Noro is a little scratchy, if having 3/4 sleeves might be wiser anyhow.

Day 13– One sleeve done. It is mostly straight and it is stockinette from about halfway down and then several rows of garter stitch with a crocheted bind off. One ball was fine. Now I picked up all the body stitches off the waste yarn and am adding on more–one ball of Plymouth Boku and then I have 2 more balls of Noro (not counting what I need for the other sleeve) and another of the Boku if I need it. Am not positive how big it will block, but HATE the idea of it being too small!

I was working on binding off the edges at a birthday party for one of my son’s friends and attracted attention to myself (I am such a show-off!).  One of the boys (who is in my Crochet Club at school), says, “Hey, you have 4 knitting needles and a crochet hook in that!”  It was actually two long circular needles (but there are the two wooden ends on each, with the cable in the middle, and they haven’t learned to knit yet, just crochet) and a crochet hook, but he was mostly correct.  I used EZ’s idea (for circular shawl bindoffs that was in the Knitter’s Almanac) and when it was time to take the whole circular sweater body off the needles, I went backwards from the last stitch.  Chain 6, slip through 3 knit stitches, chain 6, etc until they were all off the needles.  So, I had a little loopy edge that isn’t too tight.  I did that on the cuffs (along with some garter stitch rows), too.  The loopy edge worked to go around a big wooden button (instead of a button hole) that I tried on the chest of the sweater as a closure, but I wasn’t sure I really liked it.  I have my olive wood shawl pin that looks like a knitting needle in it for now.

I was nervous about the 3 different colors of Noro and one of Boku, but I think it came out splendidly, even with the more-tweedy look of the Boku compared to Noro Kureyon.

Week 3ish–FINISHED last night and blocked it! I think I used 9 balls of Noro and 1 of Boku?  Eight balls in the body and one for each sleeve.   I wore it today with a wooden shawl pin thing through 4 layers of folded down “collar”

I was going to block the thing on Evan’s bed, but he slept in it last night, so I had to do it on the floor instead.  I ended up not pinning it at all but just smoothed it out mostly evenly.  It is a BIG circle!

The whole thing is pretty neat.  It really is very much like a shrug, however, and not exactly a sweater.  It has sleeves (good) and it has a lovely long back that goes below my rear (good), but the front isn’t exactly what I want, and the sleeves aren’t set exactly perfectly.  And I had to “fiddle” with it a lot to get it “right” with the foldback collar and fastening.  I was considering making a sweater from mixed handspun yarns on this same principle, but I don’t think I really need TWO of them, so I am still looking for the perfect sweater plan to use with a bunch of different handspun yarns.

Various things: Tour de Fleece, Bville Civil War Days, “Secret” sale

July 19, 2009

Yesterday 3 (Mitzi, Alane & me) of us from Guild went to the Barboursville Civil War Days to demo spinning.  We each spun on a wheel and a spindle.  So I “caught up” on TdF, lol, for several hours.  Finished one skein of bulky Coopworth on a wheel and one skein of maybe DK merino on my spindle.


I am also having a “secret” sale on my Etsy shop.  If you put “BlogJuly” in your message to seller, I will give you $5 off a $25 in-stock fiber-animal-batik t-shirt.  This is good until the end of July, 2009.  I will send you a refund for the $5, it won’t come out automatically on your checkout cart.


GOT WOOL ladies small grey batik sheep tshirt
Zippered orchid purple tote bag with batik ALPACA
PALE SEAS side by side blue green handspun handdyed wool yarn
Sheep Batik t-shirt Unisex 2XL earth green
FREE SHIPPING batik SHEEP mini project or notion drawstring bag NO TEXT
earth green tie-dye 5x7 drawstring bag for little things
GOT FIBER alpaca batik backpack 12x14 great for knitters spinners earth green
orchid purple tie-dye 5x7 drawstring bag for little things
PINK batik SHEEP micro-mini all-purpose drawstring bag knitters spinners
EARTH GREEN batik BUNNY micro-mini project or notion drawstring bag NO TEXT super for knitters spinners
Goodness Gracious pink 2T tie-dye tshirt
CUSTOM batik fiber animal youth childs batik SHEEP t-shirt GOT WOOL
PINK batik LLAMA micro-mini project or notion drawstring bag NO TEXT
batik ALPACA micro-mini project or notion drawstring bag NO TEXT
Batik SHEEP tshirt blue 2XL GOT WOOL
Turquoise blue SHEEP batiked medium small canvas tote bag
FREE SHIPPING batik SHEEP mini project or notion drawstring bag NO TEXT
FREE SHIPPING batik FLYING DRAGON mini project or notion drawstring bag NO TEXT
blue DRAGON batik youth small tshirt
FREE SHIPPING batik GOAT mini project or notion drawstring bag NO TEXT
CUSTOM Batik Fiber Animal tshirts Sheep Llama Alpaca Goat or Bunny YOU PICK color and size
earth green batik FLYING DRAGON tshirt youth medium
pink batik BUNNY tshirt youth med long-sleeve
Grey and Grape Shetland handdyed handspun yarn
Silver and Strawberry Coopworth Wool Handspun Handdyed Yarn
Buy Handmade

FREE handspun!

July 9, 2009

Well, a chance to win some, anyhow.  Jessie is doing a giveaway for me on the Phat Fiber blog.  Go there to see details.  Feel free to comment here, as well.  Buy something, too!  🙂




My bamboo sliver came!

July 8, 2009

I ordered some carbonized black diamond bamboo fiber from Cotton Clouds and it came yesterday!  I’ve been so busy I haven’t been able to spin any yet–but it sure is soft & shiny!

I missed spinning on Day 3 of the Tour de Fleece, but today I already spun a little on my spindle and intend to spin on my Baynes as well.  I’m in the middle of at least three different spinning projects on my Baynes, so I’m not sure if I will get to the bamboo today, or keep on the BFL or spin some of the merino/silk that I have a bobbinful waiting…

“Stole” one of my own shirts from my Etsy shop today because it hadn’t sold in a while and it was the right size and the right color and I didn’t have a goat shirt for myself yet.

Gotta go clean for least a little while–I have the house to myself, so it does seem like a shame to spend the time cleaning, but I have to do SOME as it needs it.  This week the boys had church camp–Evan’s staying over, but every day but tonight Christopher has just been in day camp, so I have been spending nearly 2 hours in my car (half hour each way, drop off & pick up).  I guess I ought to have been listening to audio books or something, but the road is very twisty and people tailgate if you aren’t going fast enough, so I guess I need to keep my mind on the road.  Monday I spent at least part of the day doing “samples” for my sprayed-dye-soywax-batik method that I did with the older kids at camp (see another post?  maybe tomorrow?).  Tuesday I spent the whole day at camp, since I was doing the dyeing with the kids for a bit over an hour and thought it would be silly to drive up and back THREE times.  I think the kids enjoyed making their shirts–maybe too hot to get really effective soywax batiking outside, or maybe they used too much/too little wax.  Some of the shirts turned out pretty well, but some were not distinct designs and some came out WAY pale overall (I believe that is my fault, near the end I watered the dye down some, which would have been okay, but since I had the activator/ash directly in the dye spray, I think there wasn’t enough activator in some of the dye).  The counselors seemed to enjoy it, anyhow.  THEN last night I went to the library and did round two of Battle of the Books tie-dye t-shirts!  whew!

I will try to put up some photos & description of my “new” dyeing method soon…  🙂

Tour de Fleece, day 2

July 6, 2009

Was busy today with Sunday School and church and lunch (we went out to Five Guys–yum!) and taking Christopher for his first day of church day camp at Asbury Woods, and dropping Evan off for his first day of sleepaway camp at Asbury Woods…But, I managed to spin some while Andrew was playing a board game with Christopher–some BFL roving from Little Barn.  I didn’t spin all of this today–I spun for about an hour during “Merlin”.  Can’t decide if I like the show or not!


Batik tote bag, busy tie-dyeing and other summer stuff

July 1, 2009

I just listed an alpaca-design zippered tote on my etsy page–wondering if people would like larger bags, rather than just the little drawstring pouches.

 I also have some other styles of bags I’ll be trying out AND some TINY little drawstring pouches to dye–coming soon!

I have been spindle spinning while I make visits to the library and other things with children who are on summer vacation.  Right now I’m spinning a sample from the May Phat Fiber Box from Infinity Yarn & Fiber.PICT2412  There is a blog, too.  The roving/top? is pretty yellows and very soft merino/mohair blend.  I made that spindle myself with sculpey clay and I LOVE it.

Speaking of mohair.  I spun some kid mohair that I got over a year ago and I LOVED it (it was from Cunnington Farms and was donated by Desert Thread).  There was a lady on Spindlers who was selling 4H fleeces and I bought some angora goat from her (as well as a little “unidentified wool” and she sent two little packets of angora bunny, too).  Unfortunately, the mohair/angora goat was INCREDIBLY MATTED.  Ugh.  Apparently this has been a big problem this year.  Anyhow, I have attacked the least-bad of it with my dog brushes that are supposed to be good for mats and had a little luck.  I’m afraid it is going to be too much work to do too much of it (some of it is worse), but I hope to salvage some.


AND, yesterday I helped the Junior Battle of the Books kids tie-dye t-shirts for about 3 hours.  I was pooped!  Christopher dyed his own shirt and then SO NICELY played and read at the library while he waited for me!  🙂

Oceanic-theme yarn…

May 27, 2009

I think they should be called something like “Pale Seas”.


The mixed one is from the faux batts (dyed first, then spun).  The other skein was spun, made into a LONG skein and half dyed berry blue and half lemon-lime.  They are both spun from The Sheep Shed Studio spinning bells.  🙂

May Phat Fiber Box!

May 21, 2009

My box came today!  I don’t think I have time right this minute to do the whole blog thing, but it was full of lovely things!  Yay!