Felted Wool Dryer Balls

3 of my dryer balls after being felted

I started reading about wool dryer balls when I was researching cloth diapers for Matilda.  The more I read the more I loved the idea of a chemical free, reusable fabric softener but I’ll admit I was skeptical.
I used some of my spinning fiber and made a set to try.  First, they were much easier to make than I expected.  I had never felted before but they came together no problem.  Once I had them made I tossed  the 3 of them in the dryer with a load of laundry and waited (somewhat impatiently).

…Guess what?

They worked! My clothes were just as soft and fluffy as usual and as a bonus they dried faster than they normally do because as the balls bounce around they allow more air to circulate.  The only downside was that there was some static cling but not enough to bother me.

I  use scrap wool yarn to help the balls keep there shape and to add a little color

Does anyone already use wool dryer balls?

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Yet Another Project

I promise I’ll write a post about something other than nursery projects soon but for now…

 I have been working on a crocheted mobile out of the left over yarn from The Rookies blanket and its finally done! Ian wanted pom-poms and I wanted flowers so I ended up using a combination of both.  The crocheting was the easy part, getting everything attached to the wooden ring was a bit trickier.  I ended up knotting the yarn around the ring and using wire to hang one big blue pom-pom from the middle.
*The pictures were taken in our room because I already had a hook to hang it on.  Yes the wall behind it is half wall paper half pistachio green…I don’t want to talk about it.

My pom-poms aren’t quite as round as store bought ones but I think it adds character (right?).  Our current plan is to hang the mobile in the corner by the changing table since the crib will start out in our room anyway.
This was such a great way to use up that left over yarn, I always end up stock piling little bits of yarn because I can’t bring myself to throw them out.  Now, if I could just find some projects for the other 27 thousand scraps I have kicking around I’ll be all set.
Oh! In other news, I just signed up for a craft fair on the 21st of October.  I realize thats only 1 month before Miss Rookies due date but I have a lot of already made stuff just taking up space and I figure thats the easiest way to sell it off…I may regret that decision though, we’ll see how I feel.

Linking up with: The Morris Tribe and The Modest Mom

We’re having a…..

GIRL!
We’re so excited to be welcoming a daughter in November.  My sister and 2 cousins all have daughters (under the age of 2) so we’ve formed our own little girl club with lots of hand-me-downs.  There very few girls on Ian’s side of the family so they are all very excited about her arrrival too. 
Now, just because she is a girl doesn’t mean we are going crazy with the pink / ruffles / bows.  We are planning a bright and colorful nursery with furniture and what not that could easily be used again if she has a brother in the future.  

Here is the start of her blanket.  I am crocheting it as a giant granny square (my favorite way to make blankets).  The yarn is super soft and the colors match the bedding we’ve picked out perfectly.  See how bright and cheerful it is?
Now that camp is in full swing I am super busy, its a good thing this pregnancy has been an easy one because I need all the energy I can muster to make it through these crazy weeks.

Linking up to: The Morris TribeThe Homestead Barn Hop and The Modest Mom

The Plan

Now that the baby aka “The Rookie” is growing big and strong (tomato sized so says my midwife) I need a plan.  You see, I want to crochet all kinds of fun things for the baby. Blankets, diaper covers, wash cloths, hats, bibs, the works!  All of those fun things take time and I don’t have a lot of that.  So, its time for a plan.
My goal is to crochet like crazy a whole bunch of “ready to ship” items for the Spotty Dog Shop.  I already have 3 soakers and 1 pair of shorties (pictured above).  I’m also working on a 3 pack of cotton wash cloths and would like to get a few of those 3 packs done.  So, I’ll post all my “ready to ship” items and then in August I’ll take down all of my “Custom made” items.  It is a bit of a gamble since custom orders are the biggest part of the business but I can’t spend my 3rd trimester crocheting items for other babies, my baby will need these things too.
So, that will give me 3 months to focus on completing as many projects for The Rookie as possible.  Those are also the 3 months after camp ends so I’ll have more free time in general anyway.

Sound like a decent plan?

The Tale of the Traveling Husband and the Snow Storm

 * I am linking up this post as part of the Monday Homestead Barn Hop*

At the beginning of the month Ian’s cousin and his family moved from Rhode Island to Illinois.  All of their belongings made the journey with them except for one car.  The poor car got left behind and it was up to Ian to reunite them.  He left on Friday to drive to Illinois and arrived on Sunday morning.  He is spending Monday visiting and is going to fly back tomorrow.  Fenway and I have been holding down the fort here at the Shippee homestead which, isn’t all that big of deal. Until…

Yup, Snow Storm! It hasn’t snowed here since Halloween but of course, it has to snow roughly 8 inches the week that Ian goes out of town.  Fenway and I spent the last couple days shoveling, clearing cars and hauling firewood.  Well, thats how I spent the last couple days he just ran around and sniffed at things.  Its started to warm up and we have rain coming tonight so by the time Ian arrives tomorrow it will be like it never happened.  Except, I took lots of pictures to prove how busy I was.
Now, aside from snow shoveling, what else is a girl to do when she has the house to herself?

 Decorate! I gave the kitchen a lovely coat of sage green paint (Ian had helped me remove the wall paper before he left, boy was that fun) The green makes a huge difference! the kitchen looks 10 times brighter and happier.  We are planning on painting the cabinets white and getting rid of the horrible vomit floor (I’m sorry but it seriously looks like vomit).  What else?

Crochet! Cause thats all I ever do anyway.  I finished this size small soaker and added a removable red flower so that it can work for boys or girls.  I love the bright red with the gray and white tweed, it looks very rock and roll.  Its for sale now at the shop so check it out! I do have a bit more of the gray and I’m thinking of pairing it with either purple or teal.  I would love a bright pink but I’m having a hard time finding bright pink wool.  Anyone know where I can find some?

New Projects Everywhere!

Now that the Holidays are over I have found myself with lots of time on my hands.  So, I decided it was time to tackle some new projects.  

 Project #1: a rag rug, I am (slowly) working on crocheting a round rug out of old shirts.  Its a messier project than I expected, the rags shed little bits of blue everywhere.  The rug is really small right now but it will (one day) be big enough to put in the living room.

 Project # 2: A bib.  I made up this pattern after not finding any online that I liked.  Its made from 100% cotton yarn so its easily washed and dried.   I know it looks like one side is bigger than the other but I swear thats just the angle of the picture.  This one is for a friend but I think I’ll make a few more for the shop.

Project #3 a wrap diaper cover.  My sister was complaining about how her daughters diapers were too wide in the leg.  So, I came up with a wrap style cover that she can tie as loose or as tight as she needs. Its in the mail right now, hopefully she’ll have some constructive feedback for me and I can perfect it.

Project #4 doesn’t get a picture.  Thats because it isn’t a crocheting project, its a life project.  I got a new job! well technically its more like a promotion but none the less its a job and its awesome.  I am now the Summer Programs Coordinator for the W. Alton Jones Camps.  This means I get to oversee all 4 of the camps that are run from our campus (2 day camps, 1 overnight camp and 1 expedition program).  Its a lot of responsibility but also a lot of fun.

Alright, thats all the updates for now.  I’m off to go crochet something 🙂

Its beginning to look a lot like…

 Last weekend Ian and I drove down a bunch of back roads to a tiny little tree farm and cut down our Christmas tree.  Now, I know the tree is a little crooked at the top but we love it anyway.   We set the tree up in front of the big window and you can even see it from the road.  Ian even got his grandfathers old train set running and it circles the tree blowing little puffs of smoke out of the smokestack (its adorable but loud).

We had our last craft fair of the season and it was a bit of a dud.  It was cold and dusty (it was in a riding ring) and we sold only 1 blanket the whole time.  I had made all these cute little Christmas ornaments which I thought would sell but no one was interested.  Our booth felt a little off to the side and we didn’t get many people actually walking by.  Needless to say, we won’t be doing that one next year.  Still, I have all those Christmas ornaments…Who wants some?