Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Testing, Testing...

I volunteered to test knit the pattern for Dee of Posh Yarn's Winter Cottage Mittens Kit. It's fabulous pattern. If you were one of the lucky people who bought a kit - you're in for a treat!

The yarn is Posh Yarn 'Lucia' and there are four different colourways all using natural, undyed yarn for the contrast. The colour I chose for the test knit was Pansies and I also bought a kit in Woodland.

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I only have one knit up so far. I'm going to go up a needle size and possibly do a thumb gussett too.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cowl!

Cowls are the new scarves!

At least, they are where I'm concerned. I love wearing scarves but I lose interest in knitting them because they seem sooooo endless. Enter the cowl. Especially cowls knit with handspun yarn. Quick to knit, warm and less bulky under my coat than a scarf - what's not to love?

This cowl is quite plain but I think it looks nice in the Fyberspates merino/tencel I blogged about in the last post. I've been wearing it a lot and it's very warm and snuggly. I used the My Favourite Cowl pattern by Bonne Marie Burns which is available on Ravelry as a free download.


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Full details on Ravelry.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Spinning

Time to catch up on the spinning I've been doing over the past few months.

Spunky Eclectic Merino in 'Mud Season', the Spunky Club fibre from March '08. I got 916m out of the 8ozs. I haven't decided what to use it for yet so it's been stashed.
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Fyberspates Merino/Bamboo blend, no colour name just 'blue, green, pink'. I got 163m out of 100g and found this a bit of a challenge to spin. The bamboo seemed to really want to clump together. For all that, I love it because it is really soft and has a nice lustre. I was trying for a thicker yarn here and was quite pleased with the result. I've used this for a project which I'll blog soon.
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Fyberspates Merino/Tencel blend 'Toffee' colourway, 197m from 100g. This is sooooo shiny and lovely. I've got a real thing for Tencel! I attempted to ply this more tightly and got a more squooshy yarn from it. This is stashed awaiting inspiration for a project.
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Spunky Eclectic BFL 'Monkey Farts', 207m from 4ozs. I bought this purely and simply because I loved the name! It spun up really nicely and is another one stashed awaiting a project.
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Handpaintedyarn.com Merino 'Wooden Rose', 500m from 100g. Love this colour! Stashed awaiting project.
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Spunky Eclectic Corriedale/Alpaca blend 'Tequila Sunrise', 341m from 4ozs. Stashed awaiting project.
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Fyberspates streaky Merino/Tencel 'Leprechaun', 63m from 100g. No plans to use this for anything! It was an experiment to retain as much of the character of the unspun fibre as possible. It's not really my style of yarn but it's fun to break out of the usual spinning routine occasionally.
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Well, that, in a nutshell, is most of the spinning I've done this year! :-)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Hundertwasser Socks

This is another pair of socks I finished knitting a while ago. The yarn is Opal Hundertwasser colour #1432 and was a gift from my bestest friend, Meg, who bought it from Austria for me. She also bought a skein for herself and mine was a thanks-in-advance present for knitting her a pair of socks. So the German yarn was bought by an Australian on holiday in Austria, given to another Australian living in the UK to be knit into socks and posted to Australia. Well travelled and extremely international yarn! These, however, are mine, mine, all mine!

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Full details on Ravelry.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright

I finished these socks ages ago but in my blog-slacker mood haven't posted about them. They're Opal Rainforest 'Tiger' knit on 2.25mm dpns and 2mm just for the toes. I luffs them, I does.

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Details on Ravelry.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fawkes Socks

As soon as I bought this colour of Posh Yarn Emily I knew I had to use it to make the Fawkes socks. Why? It's called 'Phoenix', of course.

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Full details on Ravelry.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Handspun Seraphin Shawl

Well, I didn't mean to disappear for so long but life has happened a bit over the last couple of months and I just didn't feel much like blogging. I've been hanging out far too much on Ravelry too. At least I have something to show for the extended absence.

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This is the Seraphim Shawl knit in my own handspun. The fibre is South African Fine in the colourway 'Think Spring' and was the February '08 instalment of the Spunky Club I get the double dose which is 8oz. I spun it as a 2 ply yarn and it's approximately 4ply/fingering weight. I had just under 840 metres of yarn after spinning and about 30 grams of the yarn left after finishing the knitting. I'm really pleased with it and I love the way it turned out. :-)

Details on Ravelry.

More photos!

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hush-Hush Handspun Hootenanny Swap

Yes, I've joined another swap. The Hush-Hush Handspun Hootenanny swap. The last few I've been in have been awful - by that I mean that the people I spoiled were fantastic but I received nothing from my own spoilers. I'm hoping that this one will buck the trend! :-) Sign-ups close tomorrow, 30th June, so if you want to join - be quick!

Questionnaire:

1. How long have you been spinning? What skill level do you consider yourself?
Just over 3 years and would consider myself to be beginner/intermediate.


2. What kinds of yarn do you create (singles/2-ply/3-ply/art yarn)?
Almost anything except art yarn. I love to look at it and maybe one day will try it but I like to produce stuff I can use. (Yes I know some people use their art yarn!)

3. What do you spin with (spindle/wheel/both)?
Both – I have an Ashford Traveller and several spindles, my current favourite its my new Greensleeves ebony Vixen.

4. What are your favorite fibers to spin with? Anything you don't like?
Merino, BFL, Wensleydale, Silk.

5. Who are your favorite crack dealers fiber sources (etsy or otherwise)?
Spunky Eclectic, Lisa Souza, Fyberspates and the Yarn Yard

6. What kind of fiber do you want to try?
Tough one. If I have a US pal I think I would like to try some of the American breeds of sheep that we don’t get here in the UK.

7. Are there any techniques you would like to learn?
Hmmmmm… can’t think of anything at the moment.

8. Do you dye fiber? If not, would you like to learn?
Yes I dye some of my own fibre.

9. Do you have fiber prep tools (and like to use them) or would you prefer ready to spin fiber?
I have hand cards

10. What do you do with your handspun? What projects have you completed?
I knit and weave with it. I’ve finished hats, scarves, gloves and fingerless mitts. I have a scarf on the loom and a Seraphim shawl out of handspun in progress.

11. Are you in need of any spinning gadgets (WPI Gauge, threading hook, etc)?
I’d really like a WPI gauge.

12. What colors "fall into your shopping basket"? Any colors you just can't stand?
Mainly purples and greens but I also like pinks and blues.

13. What is on your wheel/spindle right now?
Spunky Eclectic March fibre ‘Mud Season’, Handpaintedyarn.com ‘Wooden Rose’ and some pink/purple merino I dyed myself.

14. What other crafts/hobbies do you have?
I knit, weave and dye as well as spin.

15. Other than crafts, what are you passionate about?
Nothing really at the moment – my whole life is about fibre!

16. Do you have an online wishlist?
Amazon.co.uk and I have a few favourited sellers on Etsy.

17. Is there anything that you collect?
I have a small collection of teddy bears.

18. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What magazine subscriptions do you have?
I subscribe to Yarn Forward (a UK magazine), Interweave Knits and Spin Off. I tend to buy books etc when I want them so there isn’t really anything at the moment.

19. When is your birthday?
14th June

20. What book or movie character do you most resemble in personality?
Tough one… I think Hermione Granger – whenever I hear about something new I go straight to a book to find out more (I use the internet more than books these days though)

21. What is the climate like where you live around this time (need to know for careful shipments of anything meltable)?
It’s summer but it is Britain! It can get warm but is not really hot.

22. Tell us one weird fact about yourself!
I can write upside down.

Favorites
favorite painting/picture(link):
Haywain’ by John Constable.

Candy:
Chocolate

Food:
Thai or Italian and home-made ice cream

Drink:
Coffee and home-made wine

Movie(s):
The Lord of the Rings

TV Show(s):
I don’t watch TV

Book(s):
The Lord of the Rings

Guilty Pleasure(s):
Buying more fibre!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Disappearance

Well. I vanished for quite a while didn't I? It wasn't intentional but I have been rather busy with work stuff and have been spending too much of my free time on Ravelry. I've got a few things to show for my absence, mostly spinning, but I do have a finished object to show off.

This is my Forest Canopy Shawl.

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I knit it from one skein of Posh Yarn Sophia 4ply in 'Squeal' on 5mm needles. To get it out of one skein I only did eight repeats of the body chart. It is large enough to wear as a triangular scarf which is what I wanted and will look fabulous with my black winter coat.

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Details on Ravelry.

Next post will be all about spinning and my new spindle. :-)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Flying South For The Summer

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I think my Swallowtail's confused... It will be flying south for the summer.

Meg's Swallowtail is ready to take flight. Orange at her request and beaded instead of nupped, I love it! It's going to be hard to let this one go...

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Update Time

It's about time I did a WIP update. I have a few things on the needles at the moment.

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Another Swallowtail is in the works. This one is for my bestest friend, Meg, who asked for one made in orange. So that is what she will get! I dyed the yarn myself but bought the base yarn from Dee at Posh Yarn, it is Eva 2ply, a silk and cashmere blend. Gorgeous to knit with and takes the dye really well! I'm going to use beads for this one rather than doing the nupps.

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I have a pair of socks on the go too. This is Opal Hundertwasser in colour #1432. I've done most of the first leg but progress is slow because I'm not really feeling the sock love at the moment.

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Another shawl, Seraphim this time. I have knit this before but this time around it is for me and being knit out of my own handspun. The fibre was the February instalment of the Spunky Eclectic fibre club and is South African Fine in the colour 'Think Spring'.

Finally, there has been spinning!

080503-05 Spunky Eclectic March fibre - 'Mud Season' merino.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Swallowtail Shawl

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The Posh Knitters group on Ravelry has been having a Swallowtail KAL so of course I joined. We started on April 15th which is apparently Swallow Day in the UK. I finished mine on Sunday (20th). I was a tad obssessed! :-)

I used Posh Yarn Eva 2ply (laceweight) in the colour 'Serenade' and a 3.5mm Addi lace circular. I did the nupps but slipped the first 2 purl sts, purled 3 together and then passed the 2 over.

I now have to make two more... one for Mum and one for my bestest friend, Meg.
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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Happy Bobmas!

If you have no idea what I'm talking about go here...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Snow Day!

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More pics on my Flickr page.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Serendipity Socks

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I finished the STR Rockin' Sock Club January '08 socks over Easter. I really like this yarn! This is the first time I've knit with it and it is very plump and squooshy. The club sock pattern is called Serendipity and the yarn is the lightweight in colour Dragon Dance. The next instalment should be arriving soon and I can't wait.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Posh Pomatomus

Hmmmmm... kind of fell off the blogging radar didn't I? Oh well, I'm back with an FO!

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Pomatomus are finished. Knit on 2.5mm dpns with Posh Yarn Lucia in the 'April Showers' colourway. I got into a bit of a rut with these and, because I was laying a guilt trip on myself about finishing them, I had no motivation to knit anything else. Now I want to finish Tangled Yoke and my STR socks (or sock - still on the foot of the first one).

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Spinning

Its been a while since I posted about my spinning. I haven't been overly productive on the spinning front but I do have a bit to share! :-)

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First, some silk. This is some Fyberspates tussah silk. I'm spinning it thin, roughly laceweight, but letting it be a little slubby. I will ply it and I think the eventual aim is to make either a shawl or stole/wide scarf.

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Next is some natural cream alpaca. Once again it is laceweight and I have about 200gms of this so I should be able to get some good yardage. I don't have anything in mind for this yet but I might make an Icarus shawl with it.

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Lastly, I've been using my hand cards to do a bit of blending. I'm making each blend a little different so the spun yarn will be variegated but in a quite random way. Once again this is thin! I think once I ply this it will be more of a cobweb weight. I'm thinking at the moment that this may become another Lightweight Mountain Peaks shawl.

I think I'm on a bit of a thin-spin-spree!

A last couple of photos that I took of this morning's sunrise. I really love the weather at the moment - frosty mornings with sunny days and cold nights. Bliss!
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Monday, February 04, 2008

Rockin' Socks

My first instalment of the Rockin' Sock Club landed on the door mat today. I won't post a pic yet just in case anyone is still waiting for theirs. I will say it is beeyootiful!

I'm casting on.

Don't bother reminding me about Pomatomus because... lalalalalala... I can't hear you!

:-)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

One Lonely Sock

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One Pomatomus completed. It fits which is great but now I have to knit the second. I cast this one on on New Year's Day. I wonder how long the second sock will take to knit? I must cast it on immediately just in case SSS strikes!

Tangled Yoke has the body knit up to the underarms and now I need to cast on for the arms before joining it all together to knit the yoke.

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I've done a little dyeing this week too. This is 100gms of Bluefaced Leicester immersion dyed with Kemtex acid dyes in colours plum and magenta. This is probably my favourite of all the dyeing I've done. No plans for it yet but I'm sure it will be lovely once its spun.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Frost & Ice

I have managed to do a bit of knitting this week. Both the Pomatomus socks and Tangled Yoke cardigan are a bit longer but don't really look all that different to last week's photos.

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The Frost & Ice shawl has also grown and it shows! Okay, so its only two repeats but it is progress! I can't tell you how much I love the Kid Silk Haze. I might change my mind if I have to frog it but that hasn't been necessary so far.

Now I have to go and do some work on the assignments I need to get done for tomorrow's workshop. I am such an unmotivated learner at the moment! Not so good for encouraging my own learner's to get on with their courses. Oh well...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Poor Puppy...

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In adding all my files and photos to my new computer I came across this photo taken at my aunt's place Christmas 1985. The dog was called Poppet and was one of two chihuahuas my aunt had, the other was called Pepi. I'd totally forgotten about this photo and thought you might like to see that knitting for dogs is not a new thing! Sorry for the dark and strangely shaped photo but I cropped out all of my cousins and other assorted relatives.

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On to the real knitting! I've taken a new photo of Tangled Yoke. I haven't worked on this for a couple of weeks but I'm still loving it. Now that I've mostly finished setting up the new computer I should feel more like knitting.

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I've also taken a new photo of Pomatomus (we actually had some sun yesterday!) I really hope they will fit me this time around...

We've got flooding here again and had really cold, sleety rain on Friday night while I was on my way home from work. The road near my bus stop was flooded as well to a depth of about 6-8 inches. I asked the bus driver if he could let me off at the side of the flooding nearest to my house. He ignored me. I said 'excuse me?' He ignored me. So I had to find an alternative route to walk home unfortunately I still had to wade through some water but at least it wasn't too deep. Nothing excuses bad manners. The driver could have at least looked at me to acknowledge that he had heard me even if he still refused to let me off before the stop. Bastard.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

New Toy No Knitting

On Friday my new computer arrived so I've been messing about getting it set up the way I like. I've also been adding music, podcasts, photos etc until my fingers bleed but still have made hardly a dent in the hard disk space. Its got a huge amount of RAM and a fast processor too so I'm in techie heaven. Its also got Windows Vista as the operating system and although I haven't come across anything I really hate, the jury is still out on whether I like it or not.

In the absence of knitting to show you, I only have a new spreadsheet to report. I finally set up a stash spreadsheet to track my incoming and knitted up stash totals. It serves a different purpose to my stash being on Ravelry and I kind of hope using the two together will remind me of how much yarny goodness I really have. I've set up some formulae to calculate the totals for me so I can be lazy :-) so all I have to do now is remember to keep it up to date...

Oh, and for those interested, I have 25,135 metres of yarn or just over 25 kilometres (about 15 miles). A mere drop in the ocean compared to lot of knitters! :-) I haven't put my handspun, undyed or weaving yarn in either because I want to track just knitting stash at the moment.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

After yesterday's 'what I knit in 2007' post, I thought today's ought to be about what is still in progress. I had a major frogging session a while ago so I don't have a ginormous list!

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First, Lizard Ridge still has only four squares completed. I don't know why I'm finding this such a chore because I enjoy the knitting and I love the look of the finished blankie. I must admit to not being a huge fan of Noro Kureyon - its rather harsh to knit with. I'm tempted to set a goal of a square a month so I can get it finished but I did that about six months ago and have knit one square in that time...

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Second, Pomatomus. I've cast on again for these although this is the old photo. The ones I took today were dire, either over-exposed or too dark. First time I cast these on they were too big, second time, too small so this time, like Goldilocks, I'm hoping they're just right. :-) The yarn is 'April Showers' from the Posh Yarn sock club which is no more sadly.

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Third, Fire and Ice Shawl from the fabulous Sharon Miller at Heirloom Knitting. This is being knit with Rowan Kid Silk Haze in colour #636 - Mist. The yarn was half price - bargain! This is actually a very simple pattern and easy to remember. I love the way its looking and it feels lovely.

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Finally, the Tangled Yoke Cardigan from Interweave Knits Fall '07 I. The yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed in colour #157 - Camel. Once again, the yarn was half price. This is an old pic and I'm now about two thirds of the way to the underarms. I really like knitting with this yarn and its my project of choice at the moment. Anyone who knows me will be amazed to see that I am knitting something brown for myself. I don't usually do brown so I'm a bit amazed myself!

And that's it! Only four things in progress and I'm not really sure that Lizard Ridge should be counted or if it has achieved UFO status. :-)

Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous new year.