Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day!

Belated greetings to all my friends near and far, here we are on Boxing Day, most of December passed in a blur and although I did knit a couple of gifts these are secret knitting and not for sharing.

I have been detangling my skein of lace yarn with a vengeance whilst watching tv this week and it's getting there, maybe a few more days of obsessive fiddling. It's funny how the detangling has almost become like stocking stitch, apart from the travelling backwards into a ball thing. It's just good to see I'm actually getting somewhere with it, but I also need to get to work on designing my garments for my City & Guilds Handknitting. I let the course lapse this year, but want to get back into the swing of it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Joker

Last weekend I started spinning this:

The Joker

It was uploaded to flickr at the end of August last year, and it was right down at the bottom of one of my 'stash sacks'

The colours reminded me of Heath Ledgers outfits as The Joker in The Dark Night so that's what I called it.

It's merino, I have 350m, just over 100g, and I have another one to spin!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Eyelet Cap!

And here we are finally, the hat was finished in the middle of last week just in time for the Guild Fashion Show, but the weather has been mostly wet and grey. Managed to get a couple of photos done just before another downpour today!

I adjusted the pattern for fit a little, by doing one less of the eyelet repeats, as it would have been too big for me.

I'm pleased with the way the hat co-ordinates with the scarf, and have enough yarn left to make some gloves, if I could decide on a pattern. I did look at doing some eyelets but they didn't work too well on my wrists, so I'm thinking of doing something simple with some cabling maybe!

Not alot going on at the moment, I pulled the Swallowtail out and knitted a couple of rows yesterday. I have 6 more rows till the cast-off so I will try and get that done and dusted before Christmas now!

I'm still detangling the lace....there's a scarf on the loom and I'm rifling through the spinning stash but still undecided about what to spin next!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hat Yarn!

I managed to finish the second bobbin of singles and get my hat yarn plied last night!

It's Bluefaced Leicester, mainly from a semi solid braid I had called 'Blue Suede Shoes' with a little grey and turquoise added for interest. I'm hoping it's going to co-ordinate with the first woven scarf off my loom. There is 145g/486metres (the hat should only take 80g). I am hoping I have enough left for some gloves or handwarmers.

Inspired by the silk scarves here which were raffled off at the Textiles in Sussex Exhibition, I have been dyeing some of the faux cashmere/silk that I have with a view to spinning and weaving my own silk scarf.

I have also been attempting to dye some silk too, it's funny how the addition of faux cashmere makes the silk easier to dye!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another Fine Mess.....

There are lots of bitty things happening at freestylefibre HQ at the moment.

I've been knitting on a secret knitting project, for the limegreenjelly secret santa swap, so since it is a completely secret swap, unless my swapee guesses it's from me, you won't get to see the knitting anyway!

I'm also trying to spin some yarn to knit a hat, before the weather gets too cold. I can't find my old faithful stripy hat anywhere, and yes, it is about time I knitted one. Especially since I've found an ideal pattern in the Fall Vogue (edited to add ravelry link just for big sis Marianne!)

My Swallowtail did have a few more rows knit, until the secret knitting jumped up the queue. I've also got a scarf on the loom.

So why oh why did I decide I needed some more lace in my life? I have had the yarn for quite a while, a few months ago I found the perfect colour mother of pearl discs, and so I thought it was time I purchased the pattern (Hanging Garden Stole) and wound the skein into a ball in preparation to cast on. Unfortunately the skein had other ideas, it wound fine for a little bit and then it just got caught and wouldn't turn on the rice any more.....I could be untangling for a little while!

Just to make life a little more interesting I have decided to open a second etsy shop for handspun yarns and other creations, it's called freestylefibre. Actually I have been planning to open freestylefibre since June, I just had to put aside a little time to get a few items in there!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Heartland Lace

It's done, actually it's been done for a couple of weeks but we had alot of rain and I couldn't get any decent photos, I did 5 repeats of the main pattern...and size wise I thought it was huge, but actually it's only 2 inches wider across the top than the one in the pattern (66 inches)
It's a really nice pattern to knit, especially if you like following written instructions....I worked without lifelines, but it was just one of those designs I could actually read!
It also goes to show it doesn't matter how thick and thin your handspun is when it comes to some lace patterns, as the yarn was far from perfect, as thin as lace in some places and like dk in others, but I did spin quite alot of this yarn while demonstrating at the Alpaca Festival back in April.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Spinning & Weaving:

Last week I decided to get spinning something from my stash. This fibre started life on my spindle at Woolfest, but I had only spun 10g! I decided to speed things up a bit and transferred everything to the Little Gem.

I was spinning this all week so I was a little disappointed with the 220m I got in the end, still I'm hoping it will make a nice 'Howl' a cowl I can turn into a hat!

I've also been weaving Noro Silk Garden and Silk Garden Lite Warped Scarves! Mostly these are to sell, but wonders will never other half wants to keep one of the Autumnal one's. So far I have woven 2 of each, although there is quite a bit of the shade 203 left over frogged from a sweater and last seen in my Clapotis.

I think I only have 2 rows left on the Heartland Lace Shawl so maybe a photo of some actual knitting soon!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Metal Guru Ice Queen on a Cloudy Day!

Next up in the custom spinning, someone fell in love with my Metal Guru colourway and asked me to dye something in pale blue, pale grey and leave areas of white to ply with it:

600m! It's already on it's way to it's new owner who has plans for a shawl!
I have been working away on my Heartland Lace, I'm now on the edging and hope to finish this soon, just under 2 months till the Guild's November meeting which will be the Fashion Show and Diamond Celebrations!
I've also had a washing machine disaster with 2 of my merino/angora scarves, shrunken into beautiful felt....possibly they will have to be made into bags. I'm in the process of weaving a new merino/angora scarf. Luckily I had only used 60g of that 200g skein of Singin' The Blues, enough left for 2 scarves!

Friday, September 25, 2009

This Weeks Spin:

Merino/tussah silk 500m/200g

Friday, September 18, 2009

Yarrrrny stuff!

Did a bit of spinning last week! First up is a custom order, Don't Dream It's Over....200g of merino/cashmere/silk spunover 3 days:

Then while my spinning mojo was on the rise I started and finished a 3ply, 2 bobbins of Sweet Dreams cashmerino and one bobbin of black merino....150g 300m

In knitting news I had to frog a whole repeat out of my Heartland Lace Shawl, and it's finally back at the row where I was before it all went wrong, I've done 5 repeats, I may do one more before the edging, but those long rows get me in the end, and I'm back at the wheel doing some more custom spinning!

Edited to add if you are on Ravelry you can go here to see what happened to Don't Dream It's Over. I just love the the title, made my day!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Singin The Blues Encore!

This is my quickest scarf yet! I started weaving Thursday afternoon and took it off the loom late Friday night!

I have only used a third of the merino/angora (I had 200g) so I'm considering either warping up another scarf and using the handspun for warp this time, or using the handspun for both.

I'm having trauma with my Heartland Lace Shawl....almost 5 repeats and the last couple of days I've been frogging more than I've been knitting, I'm hoping to get a row right soon, I almost frogged the whole thing in frustration earlier, it's just been driving me crazy, good advice would be to put it in the naughty corner, but that just leaves the Swallowtail....and that still needs some quiet time.
I have just got the right shade of blue dangles for the Hanging Garden Stole but really ought to have some simple projects on the needles for KnitJam.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Singing The Blues!

Merino/angora 200g, 14wpi, 510 metres

Monday, August 31, 2009


Just going to squeeze in a quick post before August comes to an end! Yes I've been neglecting the blog a bit, I have had good intentions of getting a new post up for the last couple of weeks, but this and that have kept me from it.
I have been out spinning in the sunshine a little bit, here I am at the Winchelsea Féte with the 1066 Spinners. An enjoyable Saturday afternoon, and they brought us fabulous tea and cakes!

I have been doing a little bit of spinning, not a huge amount but these have been finished off recently while I was waiting for the loom to be fixed (yes it is fixed now, and another scarf has been and gone, I would show you photos but its very like the first scarf as I decided to make another one with the leftovers)

Both Bluefaced Leicester, I was spinning the first one with 'masculine' woven scarves in mind, although I have some more merino/angora (which I finished spinning last week) to go on the loom first! The second one is a braid I started spindle spinning at Woolfest, I got impatient and finished it off on the wheel.

On the knitting front my Swallowtail just needs a little quiet time, I've also started a Heartland Lace Shawl with some overcooked handspun alpaca you may get to see soon.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A Scarf's Tale!

Gosh golly and darn it, I was happily weaving away on the scarf, firstly after the last photo and a little advice from the 'ashford loomies' on Ravelry, it was apparant that going on the way I was my scarf wouldn't have had the right sort of gauge was too tight, so I unwove it (not as much fun as frogging), and started again.

Then last Saturday I took the loom off its stand, folded it and took it to a Spinning Group and when I got there the right shed block that holds the heddle was just turning when it should be rigid, and the plastic handle had threaded onto the bolt that holds it. Anyway I got home rung my dealer who arranged to send me a new block, and I wedged it in place so I could at least finish the scarf.

As you can see it's all done, even finishing the thing left me with a dilemma, a wash fluffed up the threads a little, but not enough, I did a bit of walking on it in the bath....nothing happened! I then gave it a 10 minute wash in the machine, which only managed to almost felt and entangle my extra long fringe (seemed a shame to cut it off) together.

So I rescued the fringe, and then ting....just gave it a good rub and soaping to hand full it a little, and ta da:

It is done! The block came today for the loom, unfortunately it's the left block when I need the right.....deep breaths.

Inspite of all the bad omens I'm not ready to throw in the loom yet!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Finally the planets aligned enough to allow me to wrestle a warp onto the loom. It was a bit like putting tights on an octopus....but we're weaving!

Handyed merino/alpaca warp
Handspun merino/angora weft

I'm hoping for a scarf, it depends on its drapability when it comes off...who knows! You learn as you go!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

Chasing Rainbows

280m superwash BFL

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Singles Night

I had Keith take some photos of the singles I have been spinning 'in motion'. Some kind of funny coincidence that it matches my socks!

This colourway is called Chasing Rainbows, I'm hoping to have it plied today!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Tour De Fleece Time Trial

I finished spinning the singles after lunch and finding myself home alone I just couldn't resist and started plying and just didn't stop (apart from having to answer the doorbell once) until it was done:

Sunday, July 05, 2009

This Week!

I don't really know where last week went, I came back from Woolfest last Sunday and the rest of the week just seems to have disappeared down a black hole, I haven't even done any knitting.

Woolfest itself seemed to pass in a blur of excitement and a flurry of colour!

I did take my camera to Cumbria, but unfortunately left my card in my computer, so I don't really have any photos. This photo was taken by the I-Knit boys.

There are a couple of photos of me on the stall I haven't seen yet. I know MrsWoman has a photo of me, and it was brilliant to meet you after all this time!

I met alot of people, too many to name them all, because I'm bound to forget someone! There were people from Ravelry, people who have bought from me before, new people, it really was a whirlwind couple of days, and very hot and sticky, and I really couldn't have done it without Peri, and also a special thankyou to SussexYorkie for helping us out on Friday too!

One of the highlights was the Creative Weaving stall, I have had the book since earlier this year. I always said I would weave one day so Woolfest 2009 will be the weekend which really pushed me over the edge. Funnily enough the last Woolfest I went to (2007) I was almost tempted to buy a Knitters Loom, and after a brief lesson on Saturday afternoon from the Elizabeth Ashford on the Knitters Loom, that is exactly what I have ordered in the 20" size.

I have a moderate haul from Woolfest, 2 balls of fabric yarn and a skein of sari ribbon, I thought I could weave with these! and a new spindle, Mexican Rosewood, made by IST Crafts on the Isle Of Wight. I also bought a 1.5 bump of organic merino which is naturally dyed a gorgeous silvery grey colour, which I will probably use for plying.

Yesterday the Tour De Fleece started. I started spinning the Spiral Dyed BFL as I wanted to start with something bright and cheerful, I finished the singles yesterday and did the chain plying today:

Chain Plied Spiral Dyed BFL

And finally The Knitter Issue 7:

Managed to get our Knitting Group 'KnitJam' featured in the Gallery pages, timely as we have been meeting up twice a month for 3 years this month!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Whatever Next?

Tuesday afternoon and all the fibre is labelled, packed and ready to go!

I haven't had much time for knitting or spinning over the last couple of weeks, but now that all the dyeing is done I've been casting my eye over my knitting projects to pack....but nothing really is that simple.

Take project one....some handspun silk with beads threaded on being knitted in a freeform manner into some kind of scarf....

It's quite fact it's almost so mindless it bores me senseless, but will look pretty when it's done!

My Swallowtail, I had knit the first 12 rows of the Lily Valley Border, but had to frog back to my lifeline, and it's a bit too full on anti-social knitting, so not suitable for Woolfest.

Ahhh yes project 3, cast on at Knitjam last week! I had 200g in one colourway and 200g in a very similar colourway I was saving for a bigger project and decided it would be great for a handspun Clapotis....except I spun some in a hurry without displaying due care and attention and ended up with 2 skeins of overspun singles, 1 is ok and I've got one left to spin!
...slightly chunkier than I really wanted but I am knitting on 5.5mm needles only .5mm larger than normal anyway...and it looks and feels ok.

I just wonder if the slight bulkiness of it would work better as a scarf, but when I knitted a small piece and did the drops it just changes the whole appearance of know me I just don't want to spend a couple of weeks knitting on this and frogging it back, although I have just put in a lifeline at what I would call scarf width, so maybe that is exactly what I am going to do!

I estimate it will be about 16" wide...and am estimating if I used all 4 balls it would be longer than 68" so quite long enough....but do I want to knit it wider and more of a wrap..or do it this width/length....I just can't decide.

Option 4....I have wanted to knit Lizard Ridge for a long favourite blanket is in tug of war between the cat and the child on a daily a gorgeous afghan just for me is just what I need, so yesterday I picked up a ball of Kureyon at the LYS.
I thought I could just pick up a ball and knit on it now and then until I have enough, no pressure!

I usually like 2 projects on the needles....but if I cast on a square for LizRidge that will be 4..aaarrgghh WIP anxiety, this is just as bad as having no knitting on the needles and stressing over not having anything to knit!

Friday, June 12, 2009

People Get Ready.....

Here I Come....

Less than two weeks till Woolfest and the dyepots are bubbling hothothot @ limegreenjelly!

Thursday, June 04, 2009


Thankyou for all the lovely comments about my clapotis! It feels like this merino/angora was hanging around on the bobbin for ages, but I knuckled down over a few nights last week to get it finished and plied.

I may well have some merino/angora in the 'too spin' pile this week, I came back from the dentist Tuesday to find the cat had taken a fancy to some which was hanging on the airer in the's no longer in saleable condition, but still spinable. She has never really been bothered by it before, but she was in a funny, playful mood, and we think it may be because the breeze was just blowing it a little!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Clapotis Clapotis Jiggity Jig!

Just the usual bustling, flurry of dyeing going on here, but I finally grabbed 5 minutes for a photo of my Clapotis!

There is a little lace knitting going on, and I have just finished spinning some merino/angora, also finished 2 skeins of alpaca from the alpaca show, but I'm probably going to dye them 1st, they may even turn into a shawl, or wrap, photos soon!