Knitting Sochi, part 1

It's time to look back at one of my more recently completed projects: Sochi!

As you may be able to guess by the title Sochi was completed during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi Russia. Back during the 2014 London Olympics I went 100% UK by using yarn that I had spun from British Breeds and then knitting up a hat using a Scottish designers pattern. While the finished project didn't come out perfectly it really ended up being a great memento of the games.

With this in mind I wanted to do something similar for the Russian games but I was a bit stumped. As I pondered however I came across the Faberge pattern. Faberge = Russian, perfect! Plus it was a project that I really was very intent upon actually completing. And being me this involved spinning up my own yarn. I had already completed 3 of the 4 skeins of yarn that I would need. So in January there was a sudden burst of prepping and spinning fiber for the project. By the day of the opening games the final skein of yarn was spun up, although still sitting on my spinning wheels bobbin.

The pattern itself is great and well worth the price. One of the key points she makes is to have you knit up a little sample to test out all aspects of the pattern. The primary reason is to gauge that your yarns have enough contrast to show the beautiful lattice. For me however it was also largely about the beads.

When it comes to knitting I am not a sparkly shiny person. I think most yarns/projects with glitz are tacky and not something that I care to be doing. But the more I thought about this project and its Russian-ness and the idea of Faberge the more I realized that I must add the beads!

I purchased a back of goldish/brozey beads to add to the project without being too gaudy. I knit up the gauge and while the beads weren't necessarily my favorite thing ever I still loved the project. Bonus hint to all knitters blocking was key. I don't know that I will ever get over just how much of a difference it can make when you take the time to block out something that is freshly knit.

Ok this recap is getting long winded. I think I'll break it up into a few different parts. So stay tuned for the rest!

Multiplying like Rabbits

While not being sidetracked by weather, work, cleaning, and or Easter eggs I have managed to produce some bunnies:

Blanket Bunny. More bunny yet than blanket, but super cute no matter how you look at it.

Fuzzy Mitten Bunnies. The pattern is available for sale here. I highly recommend it. The only major modification that I recommend is knitting the pattern in the round. As published the critters are knit flat and seamed but that seems to me just to be unnecessary work and tedium. These guys will go to the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center and then hopefully be sold! I will likely try to knit up at least a sweater or two for some of them.

And the random colorful crochet bunny is a random fun addition first seen I believe on pintrest. The pattern is a free pattern available here. He feels very trendy and in line with what folks like these days. Although that could just be what the artsy-craftsy-ravelry people like and I could be totally misjudging things. He was pretty simple to make, although inevitably took longer than I anticipated. I'll probably try and make a few more. It's fun to put the colors together and its the perfect use for the eyes I purchased that are too larger for my other critters.


Here's to staying on track with at least one bunny per day. Tomorrow is a band rehearsal evening so it could be tricky.


Over the weekend that was supposed to be spent cleaning the house and making bunnies I found myself distracted by eggs.

First I was zentangling on some blown eggs. I love doodling and there’s something about doing it in 3D that makes it extra amazing. It was addicting and I ended up staying up far too late Saturday night/Sunday morning doing this.

Then on Sunday I stayed more on task but while cleaning the kitchen I set things up and dyed up some fun colors.

Bunny report (hopefully) tomorrow. Stay tuned!

PS: Many thanks to Bran for most of the eggs. I wanted blown eggs (my preferred version since I don’t have to worry about toxicity or ruining my work) but hate wasting food. He often finds that he doesn’t make it the whole way through his carton of eggs before buying a new one. So after raiding his fridge I was able to nab around a dozen and a half eggs that I don’t feel bad at all about “wasting”.

Tea Tuesday: Lady Londonderry

To kick off my (hopefully) weekly Tea Tuesday series I've decided to feature one of my all-time-favorite teas: Lady Londonderry.

Lady Londonderry is a mild flavored tea that tastes to me of summer. The blended black teas have a gentle flavor and form a base for the layered flavors that make the tea exciting. Seeing strawberry and lemon listed are what first drew me to try this blend. If I where to blind-taste I doubt that my unrefined palate would be able to identify the Strawberry. More-so the tea just tastes lightly and delightfully fruity. I don't even notice the lemon unless I am searching for its flavor specifically. There are also floral components of the tea which add to the complexity of the tea and round everything out. Plus they make it look pretty!

10 out of 10 teacups - would recommend for everyone :-)

Purchased from
"Blended from Ceylon and Assam black teas, freeze dried strawberries, lemon balm, sunflower and calendula petals."

Full Speed Ahead! (and bunnies)

I seem to have gone from crafting meandering to full on priority list with true deadlines in the space of about two days.

As I mentioned before first up there is a gather of Bran's family coming up the first weekend in April. Additional research has revealed that the gathering is in fact a somewhat casual family oriented baby shower for expecting cousin no.2. The gathering will also have a wood-land-ish type theme. So the bunny head blanket that I'm envisioning fits in quite well. And since I never did anything for cousin no.1 who now has a 16 month old that is also top priority. I have no idea what stage of play or development that puts the little guy at. But I do know that they are pretty sports-y type people. So it may be seasonally inappropriate but I'm thinking a football (brown with the white laces) hat would be fun. I'll make it big so as to work for next fall. And perhaps an extra stuffed animal or something. Double perhaps a bunny for Easter.Hedgehog!

Oh and extra scoop. Cousin no.2 and husband also love hedgehogs. So I'm thinking I totally also "need" to make them one of the little not child friendly hedgehogs. Pretty much just because they are awesome. And because I'm insane.

So all of that is excellent and time sensitive (T-minus 15 days). And in the midst of making these plans Father sends me an email yesterday:

"your 4 bunnies sold and we wondered if you wanted to make more for Easter season for the gift shop"

Whoa, I didn't even realize I had any bunnies to be sold (at the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center). But sales are awesome so yay! And more sales are even better (gotta pay for this website somehow). So the idea is to see how many bunnies I can churn out in the next week-ish and ship them off to be sold before Easter.

BONUS: Now I make bunnies which come in two flavors regular (sometimes with hats and or scarves) and with sweaters. I had mentioned trying to write up a pattern for the sweater some time ago on Ravelry. And then just recently someone sent me a message inquiring if I had ever done so. I have not but its still something that I think would be awesome. And with the exception of the lack of time at the moment it seems like a great thing to do with this here blog.

That's enough typing now, I gotta go craft!

On my needles/hooks and in my head:

To get the ball rolling I thought I'd share with you my current WIPs (Works in Progress).

Awamaki: The story of this yarn/project needs a few posts of its own but in recent history this project has become my I-can-take-this-anywhere project and is largely being accomplished during my lunches at work. I absolutely love the yarn and the pattern is great but I'm worried the finished project will be a bit on the short side.

Yarn Eater: This project was started almost 2 years with the goal of using up gobs of the random acrylic yarn that has been donated to my stash over the years. When I got caught up in lots of other crafty objectives the project was set to the side and more or less forgotten. But it has come back out lately and nearly doubled in size! I feel like I'm never quite so good at random as other folks but hey it will serve its purpose of using up my yarn and keeping me warm even if the finished blanket is kinda ugly looking. Its a good anytime brainless project although being a blanket its no good for traveling.

Needle Felting: My alpaca benefactor and the reason I do any spinning at all asked back in December I think about the possibility of some-what life like alpacas from the fiber of the animals itself. After much thinking, and finishing lots of other projects that were first in my personal queue, I managed to create a somewhat decent prototype from some scrap wool. Working with alpaca itself and getting the project(s) perfected will surely be a pretty large undertaking but I really ought to get rolling on this.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="189"] I'm thinking perhaps some of these animal blankets. (Available for sale in my store [see tab at the top of the page!])[/caption]

Only in my head: I recently found out that part of Brandon's extended family will be getting together in early April. There is also a cousin who is pregnant and another cousin with a rather young child. This obviously calls for some baby crafting. I don't have much time but my first thought was sweaters. My second thought was that was a bad idea and I should go with the super cute blanket animals. My third thought is that I really ought to check with the more immediate family to see if I ought to be keeping any limitations or colors in mind. And after all this thinking I really need to get working. Time is of the essence!

Hello World

Hello, my name is Carlin. Although I'm guessing if you've found this you probably already knew that.

I've been making things my whole life. Now I'm even selling some of the things I make. So why not try and get a fancy blog going about it.

I have had blogs before. Alas I don't always manage to be the most faithful of posters. This time however through the magic of having a little sister who works for GoDaddy (Hi Nicole!) there's money on the line. That's right, I actually forked over cold hard cash to get this sucker up and running so I better make it worthwhile.

That's all for today but what would a craft blog be without pictures? So I give you a teaser of things to come:


Fresh Spun Yarn

Finished Gloves

Cowl and Sweater










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