Monday, October 31, 2005

Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Quick Knit

Is a good knit! I've joined the dishcloth brigade. Why didn't anyone tell me you could produce one of these in an hour? Hmmm, quick re-think on the Chrissy pressie front...

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Ooooh! I've been tagged!

And I didn't notice - sorry Mary-Lou!

Ten years ago:

Was living in Australia and working (unhappily!) at a university.

Five years ago:
Hmmmm 2000 was a mixed year for me. Started the year working in London in a post-grad law school. Moved to Wales in the May and away again by Christmas. I loved Wales but not the job I had. Also, this was the year that my father committed suicide - a shock and yet not if you know what I mean. Not a very nice man but still the only father I had. :-)


One year ago:
Just started the job I am still in and I love it. Not yet knitting again or spinning but they were looming closer on the horizon!


Five yummy things:
Chocolate
Home-made wine
Home-made bread
Home-made ice-cream (seeing a pattern here!)
My own handmade soap (not edible-yummy but still yummy)


Five songs I know by heart:
errrmm.... I don't know any full songs by heart but I can sing along (badly) to lots including some opera in Italian no less! :-)


Five things I would do with a LOT of money:
Go to Australia
Make my Mum and sisters very rich people
Live somewhere near the sea or mountains or both if I can swing it
Help lots of animal charities
Set up my own business doing something creative and crafty - thinking of doing this even without a lot of money!


Five places I would love to escape to:
Tough this one is! I've done the South Pacific island thing and the different country thing. Ummmmm... two will have to do:
Mountains
Seaside


Five things I would never wear:
I grew up in the 70s I've done it all! LMAO!

Five favourite TV-shows:
call me weird but I don't watch TV


Five things I enjoy doing:
Knitting
Reading
Spinning
Candle & Soapmaking
Computer games


Favourite toys:
Computer
Digital camera
Drop spindle


Five people who get this meme:
Errmmmm... whoever wants to do it!

Better Than Nothing

I've struggled with my cold all week. I've been so tired when I got home from work that I've more or less eaten and then gone straight to bed. The good news is that I have next week off work and I'm planning to get some fun stuff done!

In the meantime, I have a little progress pic. I've turned the heel on the first Mosaic sock from the Six Sox KAL. I really like the construction of this heel - no picking up stitches! The increases are worked in the round while you are still knitting the instep and heel flap. It took me two attempts to understand how to work the instructions for actually turning the heel but that was me being thick more than anything else.

The sad thing is that I think these will be too big for me although I haven't tried them on yet. Looks like Mum might score another pair of socks for Christmas.

I'm using Sirdar Country Style 4 ply. Not sock yarn so there could be pilling issues. We'll see. They do look nice though!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Crazy Stripes

I just finished the Opal Rodeo #1153 (aka commuter) socks. I like the mad colours and non-matching stripes.

Now onto the Six Sox KAL Mosaics and then I just might have to have a little bit of an online shopping spree to get me some more sock yarn. :-)

Its an addiction. I know it.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Sniffle

I've been meaning to post all week but on Wednesday I succumbed to the germs that have been making the rounds of my office. Needless to say I've spent a lot of the last two days horizontal and thoroughly miserable. At least today my throat has stopped hurting and the gigantic sneezes have ceased and desisted for the moment and I can actually string two thoughts together. I hate being sick!

This photo is a bit of a cheat. I've done very little this week so I've lumped it all in the one photo to make it look better! The scarf was finished last Saturday by lunchtime! If you want a quick knit I highly recommend it. Pattern is from the Women's Weekly Knitting & Stitching Special 2005 and knitted with one ball of Sirdar Denim Ultra (the pattern uses Sirdar Bigga but hey! mine is stash yarn!) at the massive cost of 60 pence! It was sale yarn. I've done a little more spinning with the lovely Wensleydale. I still love it. Finally, the commuter sock has grown but has become the 'sickbed' sock. :-) I should be able to finish it today and then I want to concentrate on the Six Sox KAL Mosaics.

Oh, and molto excitement - I've joined my first ever exchange! The International Scarf Exchange 2, link in sidebar, has started taking sign-ups for participants and I decided to join the rush. I've never joined a swap because I'm not very good at hitting deadlines but even I should be able to produce a scarf in two months. I'm really looking forward to it and have already started thinking about what to make but can't make a decision till I know what my partner likes.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Jealous...

...of all the people who are going (or have been) to Ally Pally. I've been visiting the show vicariously via blogs but, boy-oh-boy, do I wish I was there! Well, maybe next year.

In the meantime, I have Wensleydale. I'm still in love with it. I love the sheen, love the way is spins up and the way it took up the dye. Such a beautiful colour. The pic is taken with flash because the light here is awful today.

I've finished the first 'commuter' sock and have started the second. I decided not to try to match the stripes and I love the way they are turning out. They've become the lunchtime socks lately as I've been trying out the later bus I always used to catch until it started running horrendously late. It's way to full of school kids for me to have room to knit. Out of the five days this week I got to work on time once, 10 minutes late twice, 15 minutes late once and 25 minutes late once. I think next week I will be back to the earlier bus with knitting room!

Last night, instead of knitting one of the many WIPs I have, I started a new scarf. The pattern is in the new Women's Weekly Knitting and Stitching Special 2005 but it is widely available elsewhere I'm sure. Its a very simple pattern, on row 1 you wrap the yarn twice around the needle as you knit each stitch and on row 2 you knit through one of the loops and let the other drop off the needle. Simple! Nice, open, lacy scarf that knits up so fast I think it will be finished by the end of the day! :-)

No progress to report on Six Sox, Kepler or Branching Out. Bad me.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Not The Cheese!

No photo post warning! Mainly because its too dark to get a decent pic but I had to share my first non-merino spinning experience. And its love, love of the truly, madly, deeply kind. In fact, I think I may have to run away and live with them. You know... them... Wensleydale sheepies.

I dyed 50gms of the Wensleydale on the weekend and thanks to the cool wet weather we've been having it seemed to take ages to dry. Tonight I thought I'd just have a quick trial spin and its gorgeous!

First I love the colour. I used my usual rainbow dye proportions - 50gms fibre, 7 mls yellow and 4 mls blue in enough water just to cover the fibre. It's come out a darkish teal with some variagation.

To spin it is an absolute dream! I wouldn't have thought I was any where near a good enough spinner to be able to tell the difference in spinning different fibres but I can feel the difference between the Wensleydale and merino. The Wensleydale slips past itself so smoothly and you can see the sheen on the spun singles. While I was spinning I let it twist back on itself and it looked fantastic! I can't wait to spin the whole 50gms and ply it.

Pics to follow soon, I promise! Meanwhile, back to the new love of my life...

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Spooky...

My hair is orange!!

Your Hair Should Be Orange

Expressive, deep, and one of a kind.
You pull off "weird" well - hardly anyone notices.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

A Little Bit Of This And A Little Bit Of That

I've had my first spam comment - somone offering me a penis enlargement. Thanks guys but I don't have the right equipment for that! I do feel like a real blogger now though.

Speaking of comments, Daisy asked me which yarn I was using for my commuter socks. It's Opal Rodeo #1153 chosen for its quite wild combination of colours! Oh, and while I'm at it, go check out the spider pic at Lynne's blog. God I hated those huntsman spiders when I lived in Oz. We had one in my Dad's house that used to sit just above the loo door - a real test of courage when you had to go! And yes, they really are that huge -yuk!

We had a nice sunrise this morning. I slept quite late for me so this pic was taken at the tail-end of the show at 7am. Took me a while to get my brain working and find my camera and memory card.

The merino tops I dyed last week are dry and look like this. Now I need to decide what to do with them! Its 100gms all together, 50gms of each colour. I think I will spin alternating dark and light sections and then teach myself to Navajo ply with it. Could be nasty! :-)

I achieved the goal I set myself last week! This is the peach/apricot spinning I set myself to finish. The colour is slightly more apricot than this pic shows. Once again, I need to figure out what to do with it now!

I've started my October Six Sox Kal. I'm using 4ply Sirdar Country Style in navy and light blue. The light blue often looks a lavender colour depending on the light. I really like the way they are turning out. I have a feeling the yarn will pill but it was cheaper than sock yarn and was in the shop just opposite where I work so I didn't have to wait for an online order to arrive. I must learn patience, I must learn patience, I must...

Max is recovering well from his operation. The vet told us to keep him quiet for 10 days - yeah right!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Sock, scarf and no spinning

Sock:








Scarf:






No spinning :-(








Just lots of fibre! At the back on the left 250gms blue-faced leicester and on the right 500gms merino. At the front 250gms Wensleydale.

I'm in heaven!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Poor Puppy

Max went to see his favourite vet today.

Max had a little 'boys' operation.

Here is Max looking very sorry for himself.








Here is Max spark out.








Poor puppy.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Busy, Busy, Busy

I had quite a productive weekend. I'm going to blog about it over a few days rather than in one mega-post. Hey I know its cheating but it works for me!

Sunday was dye day. I've only ever done rainbow dyeing so I thought I'd have a bash at solid colours. Well, actually, I was trying for a mottled single colour effect but I used to much dye. Ooops!

So! This is the first 50gms of merino. I used 15mls of dye solution. It is a lovely colour.







Another 50gms in the same pot of dye. Obviously a lighter blue because its the second lot in the same dye. I actually had a senior moment when doing this batch, I forgot to leave it soaking in the dye after the cooking time was up so its lighter than it should have been. Another lovely colour all the same. There is still quite a lot of colour in the leftover dye liquid so when my new fibre arrives this week I might do another 50gms.


Here they are on the line drying. I'll have more pics later in the week when they have dried completely.







And a gratuitous Max pic. Because I can. :-)

Coming soon:- socks, scarves and spinning, so stay tuned!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Best Laid Plans

I can't believe it's October 1st!

I have a plan. Watch it go astray! :-) My plan is to finish spinning this little bundle of fibre by the end of the week and also to ply it with the equally little ball already spun. If I'm really good I should be able to do it by the end of the weekend, maybe even the end of today. But I know me, so I'm not getting too optimistic! The colours look ever so slightly different to me. The fibre waiting to be spun is apricot while the ball I've already spun is more a peach colour. Not much of a difference so it will be interesting to see how it plies. The little ball is about 15gms (1/2oz).

The sunrise was nice this morning. The first pic was taken at 06.30 and the second about 20 minutes later. The crescent moon really adds to this shot I think. It looked like it was going to be a lovely day but it has clouded over. We have real 'Constable' skies today but that's okay seeing as he is one of my favourite painters.

I also plan on getting more of Kepler's back done (still where it was on Wednesday - oops!) and I need to buy the yarn for the Six Sox KAL. Now I know what the pattern looks like I have a better idea of what colours I'd like to use. I think I'll be going with two solids as I'm not too keen on the version knitted with self-striping and solid.