Sunday, April 24, 2005
My first ever sock and the first time I've ever knitted on more than two needles. Come to think of it I don't think I've ever even used a circular needle! So a steep learning curve but already I am addicted. A couple of weeks ago I ordered a 'Sock it to 'em' kit from Get Knitted which I never received because Royal Mail lost it! So the wonderful Sue Morgan from Get Knitted sent another kit out to me, by recorded delivery this time, and the postie delivered it yesterday just as I had started rainbow dyeing some more merino tops. I was very good and finished my dyeing before I started the sock and just as well as I haven't been able to put it down since!
It has been a lot easier than I expected I think because the instructions are so well written. There is even a little bag to knit with the leftover yarn. Mum has already ordered a blue pair! Anyway, gotta go... the sock is calling! :-)
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Well, it just goes to show you can't judge your tops by their dye! I still don't like the unspun tops - I think the colour looks murky and greyish on the lighter sections and the red and the blue dyed areas are too 'blobby' (great technical term that!) However, I think the spun yarn is absolutely gorgeous and it will definitely be joining the scarf! I think I will have to rip the bit I've done and do a row each of the different spins just the get the colours more intergrated but I'll have a play first and see how it looks. I'm so pleased I decided to get the dyes as well - I can't wait to wear something that I've spun, dyed and knitted!
My 500 gms of merino tops, affectionately know as 'the sheep', arrived from Hilltop on Monday and after fondling it, I started spinning straight away. It is so lovely and soft and has a slightly greasy feel to it which makes it much nicer to spin than the tops that came with my spindle kit.
I mixed up some dye stock using the instructions that came with the Easy Peasy dyes from Hilltop and waited impatiently for Saturday to arrive so I could play. The dye kit came with yellow, scarlet and blue powdered dyes, instructions, measuring spoon, dowel for mixing and a syringe for squirting - oh and measuring! I used their instructions for 'rainbow dyeing' and I felt extremely nervous when it came to actually putting the wool in the water and squirting the dye randomly over it! At first I thought yuck! how horrible is that going to look! By the end of the processing period though I was impressed! At least, I was impressed with the result on the little hank of spun yarn (picture above). I was most definitely not impressed with the look of the unspun fibre! After processing it appeared to have felted - oh no! Oh well, I thought, its all experience. This morning it does look better so I'm reserving judgement until I spin it and it hasn't felted - phew!
My next task is to spin, spin, spin until I have enough yarn to try other rainbow combinations. I'm saving the leftover liquid from the rainbow dyeing, the 'red' left over from the purple rainbow is a lovely red wine colour, and I'll use it to dye some more spun yarn for two reasons - to exhaust the dye, environmentally a must, and also to see what colour it will produce. After all this is all about experimentation and learning! :-)
The first few rows of a scarf methinks! :-) I wanted to see what my lovely hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn would look like knitted up, so I cast on 26 stitches on 8mm needles and started knitting thinking I would rip it out and save it for a 'proper' project when I have some more yarn spun and dyed. Wrong! I like it and think it is going to make a unque scarf. I wimped out and only did garter stitch but because of the uneveness of my spinning (dare I call it 'novelty'?) it is turning out quite decorative. The randomness of the colour is fab I think.
Sunday, April 10, 2005
I've finished the back of my cardigan - hurrah! I started this on the Tuesday after Easter so its taken slightly less than two weeks which is quite good going for me. I've already cast on the left front and done several rows so its all steam ahead. :-)
My bestest friend, Meg, in Australia has found this fab program that allows us to talk to each other like a phone call but through our computers and its free! So we spent nearly 3 1/2 hours just chatting today. That's when I finished the back of my cardigan! I've promised her a pair of socks - if I can master them! I haven't tried to knit any yet. We picked the wool she'd like though. Ah, poor me... I'll have to buy some more yarn...
My last task for a really productive weekend is to finish spindling the cream coloured fibre that came with my spindle kit. This is in preparation for my merino tops arriving from Hilltop. Oh I do hope it comes tomorrow!
Saturday, April 09, 2005
I think I'm getting it! This is by far the most even and nicely spun of my attempts - and its only the third! I have done very little spinning or knitting this week. I've had sinus troubles which means no ability to concentrate and I've also been worrying about Max our border collie puppy who is sick again. He's suffered a relapse of the neurological virus he had when he was about 2 1/2 months old which affects his back legs and prevents him from standing. Fortunately he is much better today but is still Mr Jelly Legs. I just hope he continues to improve - the poor little thing isn't six months old yet!
My knitting has progressed nicely since the picture below. I've finished the armhole shaping and have 42 rows until I do the neck shaping so I'll post a new picture once I've finished the back.
I was naughty yesterday, I ordered some more merino tops and a dye kit from Hilltop. They are so wonderful to deal with! I emailed them after 5pm yesterday and had an email back saying my order would be posted today. Can't wait to start playing! I also ordered a 'sock kit' from Get Knitted which contains a ball of Opal yarn, needles, pattern and stitch markers. Another thing to wait impatiently for...
Sunday, April 03, 2005
This is the start of the back. Its knitted with Sirdar Country Style DK, 45% acrylic, 40% nylon and 15% wool. I'd prefer pure wool but at least its nice and soft and I do love the colour! It was a bit tricky to get my head around at first but I got there in the end. I keep mis-counting the stitches! I think I've done more ripping out of stitches on this than on anything else I've ever made and its quite a simple pattern!! I blame the 20-ish year break since I last did any knitting. Its either that or senility!
I haven't done a lot of spinning this week because I've been knitting. It was actually the uncontrollable urge to knit that led me to the drop spindle kit on the internet. So on Tuesday I just had to buy some wool. There isn't a lot of choice in the city where I work. I went into the one and only wool shop and I'm afraid to say it is still very 'old ladies knickers'! :-) One of the department stores came up trumps though and I managed to get a really nice purple yarn. The pattern is one I found while digging through my Mum's old knitting patterns and magazines. Its from 1991 but I think its going to stand the test of time. Anyway I like it so who cares what anyone else thinks!