Thursday, 4 December 2014

Marilyn's Easy Rainbow Shawl Pattern - A free and easy little shawl pattern


Like a Magpie, even in the darkest days of winter, it is the bright and colourful things that attract my attention.  Oh,  all that is missing is 'shiny'.   

Marilyn's Easy Rainbow Shawl - Susan Elizabeth
Marilyn's Easy Rainbow Shawl - Susan Elizabeth

Marilyn's Easy Rainbow Shawl - Susan Elizabeth
Marilyn's Easy Rainbow Shawl - Susan Elizabeth

Here it is,  the easy shawl pattern I have been working on:

Marilyn’s Easy Rainbow shawl is, as the name implies, an easy knit.  It is perfect for beginning knitters, or easy TV knitting for more advanced knitters.  I originally learned to knit English style, and used this pattern to practice Continental style knitting.    The pattern was designed for my friend Marilyn, who said, “No one can teach me to knit something”.  I took up the challenge and the Rainbow shawl was begun.

Choose any yarn, and needles for this shawl.  I suggest going with needles a size or two larger than recommended for your yarn to make a nice loose fabric.  One skein of DK weight yarn and size 9 needles makes the shawlette pictured above.   One skein of sock yarn and size 7 needles makes a nice small shawl. Make your shawl as large as you like by repeating the 2 row pattern over and over, using as much yarn as you want.  Stop when you decide you are finished.

Marilyn and I both chose bright variegated yarns, hence the ‘rainbow’ name.  Your shawl will be pretty in any yarn you choose, striped, variegated, tonal, or plain.  You can have fun changing colours and make stripes as you go.  This would also be a wonderful way to use up scrap yarns.  Even yarns of different weights could be used in stripes.   There really is no limit with this shawl.  


Have fun, and ‘make something’ while learning to knit.  There are no purls in the pattern!


Marilyn's Easy Rainbow Shawl Pattern, a free download now from Ravelry

I will see Marilyn on Saturday, and her Rainbow Shawl.  I will take my camera!

Right now blocking in front of the fireplace is a fingering weight version:
Winter Solstice Rainbow Shawl - Susan Elizabeth
Winter Solstice Rainbow Shawl - Susan Elizabeth

Winter Solstice Rainbow Shawl - Susan Elizabeth
Winter Solstice Rainbow Shawl - close up - Susan Elizabeth
Now,  what to knit next?  I have a few things already on the go that I must finish up.  First will be some fingerless mitts that are 3/4 of the way finished, and a cowl that I started last month.   What I really want to knit is an entrelac hat.    Stay tuned for that....

Happy knitting everyone.
~Feather~




Tuesday, 2 December 2014

10 Trees That Can Save The World -

10 Trees That Can Save The World -  by fellow Canadian, author and scientist, Diana Beresford-Kroeger is so much more than just a 'hug a tree/plant a tree' message.

Please watch the video clip, or have a look at Diana's blog, http://dianasjourney.com/

Here is another of Diana's videos.   Wonderful.



I am now off to search for a copy of her books.



Tree Blessings,

~Feather~


Friday, 28 November 2014

Snow and Hot Chocolate




After an afternoon out in the great outdoors, ya just gotta have hot chocolate




Dreamy Creamy Hot Chocolate
(a Paula Deen recipe on the food network)

1 can condensed milk (I used the caramel flavoured kind) 
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Pinch of salt
6-8 cups hot water
Mini Marshmallows (optional)

In a large saucepan, combine condensed milk, cocoa, vanilla and salt; mix well. Over medium heat, slowly stir in water; heat through, stirring occasionally. DO NOT BOIL. Top with marshmallows, if desired.

Store for 5 days in fridge.  Mix well and reheat before serving.

Blessed Be
Beadorh

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Cats cannot resist...

Cats cannot resist shawls blocking in front of the fireplace. They just cannot help it. 
This is my Exploration Station by Stephen West.  I love it!

~Feather~

Morning Bright Farm: StarPainter Shawl Pattern

Morning Bright Farm: StarPainter Shawl Pattern: Susan Elizabeth has designed another absolutely gorgeous shawl pattern with Morning Bright yarn! The StarPainter Shawl is knit with two ske...

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

DIY Dog Cookies




2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oil
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup water (add a little bouillon to the water for flavouring)
1 clove crushed garlic

Mix together and roll.  I made long strands and braided them together and brushed them with a bit of egg/water

Bake at 300 for about 1 1/2 hours until the cookies are hard and the dogs are drooling.  The recipe can be easily doubled.  Good for dogs and people ;-)


Blessed Be
Beadorh

November's the sockiest month

November's chill is in full swing so I've decided to spend much of the month bundled in a ball of wool.  Knitting soothes the soul and seems to knit together other aspects of life as a person weaves their creation.


Here's a picture of the Hermione everyday socks.  (Not sure what happened with the colours in that pic but my legs are both the same colour...errr closer anyhow) Feather provided the wool last year so I am finally making good on our challenge.  Better late than never.  I finished them last week and dove into another pair.


The socks above are a basic ribbed pattern (k3p1) from Wise Hilda with a twist.  I used the same pattern for the heel as the Hermione socks because that one is easy for me to work the gusset. It sounds like I know what I'm doing hey? 


 
I should have enough wool to keep me busy until Christmas.  Stay warm everyone!
 
Blessed Be
Beadorh







Sunday, 16 November 2014

StarPainter Shawl and StarPainter Fingerless Mitts!

Today is the release day!  My latest knitting patterns are now available on Ravelry.

StarPainter Shawl

StarPainter Shawl - by Susan Elizabeth


 StarPainter Fingerless Mitts

StarPainter Fingerless Mitts by Susan Elizabeth


It has been lots of fun designing these patterns.   The testing went well with the group at Ravelry, and now with some luck, the patterns will be popular!

The beautiful yarn, Starry and Night is available in Morning Bright Yarn's,  Etsy shop:   Starry  and  Night

The mitts use about  150 yards of fingering weight yarn and knit up quickly.  I'll be going through my left over bits of yarns now and see how many of these I can make.   They are nice for gifts,  and will look really cute in all different colours!

Also,  in knitting news,  the test knit for the  Late Harvest Cowl is coming along nicely.  The testers are almost finished.  I used super wonderful Alpaca yarn from  A to Z Alpacas for this cowl.  It is so very soft and warm.   I have plenty more yarn, so will be making more of these.
Late Harvest Cowl by Susan Elizabeth


 I am working on another cowl at the moment too.  It has pine tree shaped cable columns ... I will post about here soon enough.  That is all for now in knitting news.

In back yard news however, there is more.  We have snow, of course, and it has been very cold for the last week or so.   There is a pretty brown tabby cat with with white feet and nose hanging around.  She is shy, but I was able to pet her once.  I am putting food out for her and leaving the garage door open  so she can get out of the weather.  I realized that since I feed the birds, I have to feed the cat too,  or else the cat will just eat the birds.   The plan is to catch her and get her to a vet and then the Meow Foundation.      In the meantime, I am calling her Lucy.  If, she is actually a he, then maybe Luke....

The funniest thing I saw the other day at the bird feeders....    A wood pecker, (I think it was a Downy Woodpecker) Fighting with a Sparrow.   It was a one sided battle.  A word of advice to any sparrows out there.  "Think twice before messing with someone who bashes his or her beak into a tree all day..."

and with that, we are done for today.
Stay warm, and be kind to the wild life,  put some seeds out for the birds if you can.

Warm Winter Blessings,
~ Feather ~

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Felted Crystal Soap

Inspiration hit a while back and I went with it.  Do you remember a post a while back where I cleared and charged some crystals in sunlight?  Well, there was a method to my madness.

Crystals connect with us..their energy brings balance, healing, clarity, protection, love and amplifies our connection to source and some amplify the other crystals in their presence.    

I found in order to develop my awareness of the subtle energies that crystals carry, time was needed.  What better time to establish a relationship with your crystals then laying back in a bathtub or the early bird shower to wake up your day, the body enjoying a good scrub.  Can't get much more intimate than your soap so placing the crystals in the soap just sort of was the next logical step.



Crystals immersed in soap.  No fragrance, no colours, just natural pure soap.  Canola oil, coconut oil, palm oil, shea butter, lye, water.




Next, felting.  Organic sheep roving.  Pure, antibacterial, natural exfolliant.  Soap lasts longer when its felted but it's important to let the soap dry between each use.




The neat thing about felted soap is that as you use the soap it continues to felt the wool.  By the time the soap is finished, you are left with a small sealed pouch containing crystals you have already established a relationship with.   At that point, you can poke a couple of holes in it, run a cord through it and wear it around your neck or put it under your pillow and allow the crystals to work their magic while you sleep.



I think that recognizing your relationship with your crystals is unique and truly your own, seems to me the creation of the medicine bag should also be as unique as the one using it.

Anyone interested in trading one creative endevour for another? If so, drop a line.

Blessed Be
Beadorh

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

How about some mitts, too?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ca3u6Jqw-w
StarPainter Fingerless Mitts by Susan Elizabeth

These are the StarPainter  fingerless mitts.   I've got the pattern written up, ready to be test knit.   In the meantime, I am pleased with the test knit of the StarPainter Shawl.   There have been a few typos and chart errors to fix, but so far, the test is moving along smoothly.

Happy Knitting!

~Feather~

Monday, 13 October 2014

Happy Thanksgiving, and Saltatio Vita by OMNIA









I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend with friends and family.   And, if you are like me and over do it with the turkey dinner and all the rest, this video will re-energize you.



The band is Omnia, the song is Saltatio Vita, which in Latin means "The Dance of Life"





Even a full turkey dinner cannot keep you on the couch when you hear this music!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Garment collecting and recycling

I like this video, and the fact that there actually is a place to drop off old clothes of ANY CONDITION to be recycled.      Garment collecting: http://about.hm.com/en/About/sustainability/commitments/reduce-waste/garment-collecting.html






Currently, I drop off wearable old clothes in the donation bin in my neighborhood.  These clothes are either resold at Goodwill, or  Value Village.  But,  not all old clothes are in a good enough condition for resale.

Now, there is a an easy option for the worn out clothes!       I am happy.



De-clutter your closets in an eco-friendly manner!



Blessings of a clean closet,

~Feather~

Thursday, 9 October 2014

StarPainter Shawl is in testing!

Just a quick post to keep everyone in the loop.  :)
I've been knitting and knitting and knitting.  Of course.  My latest project happened as a direct result of my knit group.   Mary was working on a baby afghan, using a star stitch.   I LOVE that stitch, and it put some ideas in my head.

That night I researched different star stitches, and soon got to thinking about one of my favourite paintings,  Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh.  Naturally,  it didn't take much of a leap and I was drawing and designing a shawl.  You never know where inspiration comes from!
Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

I knew Becky of Morning Bright Yarn would be able to dye some fingering weight wool in just the right shades, and sent her a message.   Becky took up the challenge and created the most beautiful yarn.  PERFECT. Becky called the skeins Starry and Night!
"Starry" - Morning Bright Organic Merino/Nylon Sock Yarn
"Night" - Morning Bright Organic Merino/Nylon Sock Yarn




While I was waiting for the yarn,  I started knitting my ideas, and came up with this prototype,  knit with this ombre yarn from Tri' Coterie in France.   It is not quite the same, I have made a few changes, but think it is very pretty in its own right. The yarn sparkles!
Autumn Starry Night - by Susan Elizabeth


Once the dyed yarn arrived, I started knitting asap!  The whole time I knit, I was  nervous that it wouldn't turn out they way I had envisioned   Would it look like the painting?  Would it be worth all the trouble of requesting special yarn from Morning Bright? Would I like it?

Here it is! StarPainter:

StarPainter  Shawl by Susan Elizabeth

So, now the pattern is in testing at Ravelry.   Eleven brave ladies have signed up to test knit the pattern!  I like seeing all the different colours they choose to knit with. You can follow along if you are interested!

In the meantime, I started another one!  This one is with Wild Berries by Indigo Moon, from Gabriola Island, BC.  I have had this yarn for a while, and didn't know what to do with it.   Now is the perfect timing to use it, as it fits into the Canada KAL, hosted by The Loop yarn store.  This month's requirement is to knit something tied to British Columbia.  My yarn comes from BC, so all is good!

Wild Berries Night - by Susan Elizabeth
That's it for now!

Happy Knitting and Blessings,
~Feather~


Monday, 22 September 2014

Gray Jays, a Raven, and a Blue Bird Nest

I was lucky enough to spend the last few days camping at Bow Valley campground just about an hours drive west of Calgary.  The weather was wonderful the campfire warm and the night sky amazingly bright with stars.  We even could see the stars of the big dipper reflecting in the Bow River.  It was the most beautiful thing.
Saturday afternoon there was even enough time for me to  finish off my third Rafu-Sen shawl. I call this one Blue Bird  Nest.  

The details are all on Ravelry here:  Bluebird's Nest

We saw lots of squirrels and chipmunks in the campground and thankfully  no bears, although it is bear country and everywhere you look are signs warning you to keep all food locked up in you vehicle. We did however see lots of birds. The birds are not shy at all and a huge Raven walked through camp like he owned it.

I was not quick enough with the camera. But did get this shot as he walked away. 

Gray jays, also called Whiskey Jacks are the most interesting birds of all. They boldly swoop into camp and circle around the picnic table like a band of thieves ready to grab your sandwich right out your hand.  Luckily we were not robbed this time. In fact one left behind a little gray feather, almost as if it was a calling card reminding us all that they would be back!

I will definitely be back again.  I had no idea that such a great campground was close enough to pop out for the weekend and yet feel a million miles away.   Here are a few pictures, although in no way do they do justice to the beauty of the place.



Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Alban Hefin and the Indigo Bunting

At long last, here it is:  Alban Hefin Scarf    I designed this fun drop stitch scarf and am so happy to show it off today!

Alban Hefin Scarf by Susan Elizabeth of Crescent Moon Collective
Alban Hefin Scarf by Susan Elizabeth

This is a fun to knit loopy summery scarf, perfect for cool evenings and late nights at music festivals! Alban Hefin is the Welsh name of the Summer Solstice, and means Light of the Shore, a perfect name for a summer scarf.

I knit with Morning Bright Holistic Merino Fingering yarn. Think of the fun and playfulness of a A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Summer Festivals, Woodstock and Janis Joplin all rolled into a fun little lacy drop stitch scarf.

I chose to use two colours, changing colours at Row 15 on the second pattern repeat. You may do the same, or something different. This is a fun scarf, designed to be playful. Change colours once, or as many times as you like. Have fun, be bold. I think one little bit of colour on one end is flirty. Big blocks of multiple colours would be bold and fun, and a great way to use up left over bits of yarn! All one colour would be elegant!

We are having an Alban Hefin knit along!  Come and join us on ravelry here: Alban Hefin Scarf Knit Along   I have knit 4 of these scarves already, and will probably knit a few more... maybe they will make nice gifts...
To celebrate the release of Alban Hefin, we have a knit along!
The official start date of the Alban Hefin KAL is Sept 1, 2014, but you may join in anytime. The ending date is October 31, 2014
All you need to do is post in this thread to join the KAL, and share pictures of your Alban Hefin . Once the KAL is over, November 1 2014, I will make a random draw from all those who completed the scarf. The winner will get ….. TBA… hmmm, will it be something shiny? something soft? something pretty? … the possibilities are endless, and I am going shopping just for the prize.

The beautiful blue yarn is Indigo Bunting, named after a bird:


I have never seen an Indigo Bunting in person, however  Becky Foster the owner and dyer of Morning Bright yarns has!  Here is a link to her etsy shop:  Morning Bright Yarn

This year at the Folk Festival,  I knit a scarf.  This one:  Folk Fest Scarf  My beautiful friend M is modelling it at our Saturday knitting group.   M, and D, another one of my friends and I each knit as we listened to the bands.   Next year,  I am going to wear this scarf to the festival.  :)

As always,  Happy Knitting!
Blessings,
~Feather~

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The story of Grace

The middle of March, I had a visitor arrive outside my window.  What a beautiful new friend. Amazing to see her up close.  I called her Grace although had no clue how to tell if Grace was a she or a he.  She just looked like a girl to me.



Grace started visiting often, perching herself by the window.  She didn't fly away when I approached, but remained and looked in at me.  I think she was as curious about me as I was about her.  By mid-April, her mate arrived. Here's a picture of him investigating the plastic owl on the roof.  Little did I know he was actually taking inventory of the willow nest; building supplies for their new home.



It wasn't long before they began to unravel the nest and drag it to its new location.  They spent hours and hours at it and that started my summer of Bird TV.



Before long, Grace and mate had their new home tucked in the corner under the eave.


Bird TV took on an adult theme mid-May.  What started with kissing, (ah cute!) evolved rapidly into something else.  Umm..time for privacy so I closed the blinds but at last I knew, Grace was female.




I watched Grace and her Mate switch off sitting on their new nest over the summer.  Both often sit perched on the eavestrough looking in at me.  We've had more than one conversation.  haha

Here is a video of their little one's first venture out of the nest.  I suspected a baby and this was our first glimpse. (My first video and no thumbs!)




Blessed Be
~Beadorh~

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Morning Bright Farm: "Manchester Slouch" Hat Pattern

Morning Bright Farm: "Manchester Slouch" Hat Pattern:   The Manchester Slouch is a quick, simple hat I designed for my mannequin to wear in my booth at this year's Knit & C..



I really like this slouch hat pattern,   designed by Becky Foster of Morning Bright Yarn.   Its added to my very long list of knits I want to do before winter.  My first thought was to make one in red and white,  but,  right away visions of Where is Waldo popped into my mind.... so maybe  red and black would be better.