Saturday, December 29, 2007

Last FO!

I'd just turned the heel of the first sock in the Trekking XXL. I was browsing handwarmer patterns on Ravelry when I came across the Scrunchie Handwarmers from the book 101 Designer One Skein Wonders, knitted in exactly the same colour of Trekking I was using. I just had to have them and proceeded to frog the uninspiring sock.

I just love the colours of this yarn, so there we have it my last FO of 2007, a Happy New Year to one and all!

Friday, December 28, 2007


Hey readers near and far, especially all you UK Ravellers, I'm just interrupting this blog to do some gratuitous PIMPING...the Ravery UK Swap group will be having a Swap, sign ups open January 7th, now I do apologise to my overseas readers but this is a UK Swap group.

Now (doesn't matter where you are from) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE could you please go and comment on the SWAP BLOG so that I'm entered into the PIMP THE SWAP competition, stating that you heard about it here!! (I get an extra entry into the PRIZE draw if you do)

Please note that no yarn suffered as a result of my pimping!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Hard to believe its been two weeks since my last post, needless to say I've been very busy and I've also done quite a bit of seasonal driving over the last two weekends aswell.

The craft fair went ok, I sold a couple of knitted bags, but I didn't sell many stockings, I've been giving them away to friends and family with Christmas cards!

Rosedale United is on its final furlong, I've reached a point where according to the pattern I should cast off some stitches, which I can see would be the front neck, and I seem to have come to a halt.

This weekend whilst visiting family I needed 'something' to knit so cast on some simple socks with some Trekking XXL.

This first yarn is a spindle spun merino 2ply, this was spun from rolags of processed tops, I just mixed up the colours as I was carding.

I spun the first strand the day before the craft fair and the second during the day of the fair. When I transferred the yarn to the bobbins for plying one bobbin looked much more than the other one, but I wasn't too concerned knowing that I had weighed the fibre first. What was really quite funny as this is far from perfectly even yarn, is that when I got to the end of the plying the difference in the two yarns was just 3 inches. Must just be an even amount of thick and thin throughout!

This second yarn was spun from my own handpainted bfl, I started out spinning a 'super slubby' yarn, and only when I'd washed it and set the twist did I get to see that the super slubs weren't going to work out, and realised why. This was a superwash bfl, so the fibres don't hook together like an untreated wool will. Basically the slubs were a little unstable, but I love these colours so much...what's a girl to do?

So I thought about it, and decided to gently spin the slubs out, I went back to the wheel and I fast spun the yarn that didn't need re-spinning and carefully thinned the slubs into a thick/thin semi slubby yarn.

If my experimental samples for my first college piece work out, I may even use this yarn for it!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

On the First Day of Christmas.... true love gave to me seven Christmas stockings on a home-made Christmas tree!

Ok so my true love didn't give these to me, I'm just using poetic license, and there are 35 mini Christmas stockings ready for the craft fair.

They measure 5cms long by just over 5cms tall.

Its a very simple pattern based on a basic baby bootee, and by the time you get to the 3rd stocking you will be able to knit it without the pattern. Being small they are a quick little knit with minimal finishing....infact if you are very clever you could probably knit it up from the sole seamlessly. I can knit one of these in about 45 minutes!


oddments of double knit yarn for foot and leg, oddments of fuzzy yarn for top edging,either use a fine mohair type doubled or some kind of fuzzy dk. Small amount of filling material. Dpns to give a firm gauge, I have been using 3.25mm. Gauge isn't crucial....I haven't swatched!

Cast on 24 sts, distribute these onto 3 dpns, 8 sts on each needle.

Round 1: Join in the round being careful no to twist, [inc, k10, inc] repeat once (28sts)
Round 2: purl
Round 3: [inc, k12, inc] repeat once (32sts)
Round 4: purl

Knit 5 Rows

Re-distribute the stitches so there are 8 stitches on needle 1 and needle 3 and 16 stitches on needle 2

Round 10: k 18, SSK turn
Row 11: p5, p2 tog turn
Row 12: k5 SSK turn
Continue repeating rows 11 and 12 until there are 6 stitches on needle 2, ending on a purl row (22 stitches in total)

Turn, knit 6 stitches on needle 2, pick up a stitch in the gap and knit it together with the 1st stitch on needle 3 to prevent a hole forming and re-commence knitting in the round, when you reach the end of needle 1 pick up a stitch and knit it together with the first stitch on needle two, to prevent a hole forming.
Continue knitting stocking stitch in rounds until stocking measures approx 5cm or desired length, change to fuzzy yarn and work 4-6 rows of garter stitch edging as required, starting with a knit row.

stitch stocking sole together, stuff foot with polyester filling, stitch small ribbon or plait a cord and apply to stocking top for hanging, add sweets and hang on tree!

Please use and abuse this pattern but link back to me and share photos of your Christmas creations!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Back To Black!

Thanks for all the support and comments on the last post, I feel like I've been properly told off for moaning about my lack of writing confidence.

I'm not going to moan about having nothing to blog about last week, infact I have at least 19 wip's to finish off, so it is more a case of too busy knitting to blog about it, but I should have some finished objects and also a pattern to share with you by Friday! Although as it's the Christmas Crafts Fair Saturday, if I don't make it back this week you will know why!

Above is the silk I've been spinning for a friend, the brief was to spin black with silvery bits, to knit a scarf for her husband for Christmas, I think the 1st skein is perfect, but I had a bit of a disaster with skein 2 being slightly thicker than the 1st, so had to overdye some leftover grey to get more black. Still it was lovely quality silk to spin, it just didn't want to behave!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Eek! I have nothing to show you!

I have been beavering away on college homework knitting (we are on necklines) with good intentions of actually getting it done on time, apart from the time I'm being distracted by online form of Scrabble, although I can knit and play at the same time! Rosedale United is doing well, the sleeves are attached and I'm creeping up the yoke, stitch by stitch!

I gaze longingly at my wheel, I do have a commission of some silk to spin for a friend, to knit a scarf for her husband, so I will be there soon!

You may have noticed my small is beautiful button over in the sidebar, go and read the manifesto and you will understand what it is all about. I started this blog as a record of the stuff that I made, and basically it stays that way, but along the way I have met some very special people, and it makes me happy.
I really don't know where I'm going with all this at the moment, but I just want to make sure you all know how much I appreciate all the comments and love you bring my way. You make this blog the small and beautiful place that it is!
I'm not much of a writer, which is why I struggle sometime's with the public blog writing thing and my blog ends up with more picture's than words, although my friends also know that I can witter on via e-mail.

You also have to be a bit fearless and brave to 'put it out there' in the public forum of your blog, I don't know why I fear this so much and after making so many good friends maybe it's time I just came out of the closet and stopped hiding behind my hanks!*
I really admire people who can write, like Mrs K, as a prime example of someone who is good with words, can spin a story and make us all laugh with a good rant, I'd like to search for the writer in me, if there is one, and while I'm finding my voice, I'm also adding new blogs I've found on my journey, come with me if you like. The first one in there is note to self, and Kyran's writing this week also led me to flawed but authentic which is talking about Where You Find Inspiration, and from there onto Fluid Pudding. Fluid Puddings list of 100 things is one of the best I've seen so far.

Inspiration is a funny thing, a bit like co-incidence, I think another reason I think I can't write is because my thoughts aren't coherant and I wander off at a tangent, and expect everyone else to just keep up with it all. I'm still not even sure what I'm trying to say! No giggling at the back!
* what was I saying... usually if I write too much in a blog post I spend alot of time reading, re-reading and even just deleteing the whole thing and starting over, like writing words and talking about inner things is too much, so I'm just going to post this one, it's the third revision but I'm not going to over analyze it, just going to hit the button and put it out there!

Unfortunately, I can't even take the credit for the cat photo, but she's a right tart for the camera, our Willow.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I can spin a Rainbow!

That yummy Shetland Fibre from Jen over at Fyberspates that I bought at Ally Pally got spun at the weekend. I was a bit worried with all those colours that I would end up with muddy colours if I didn't chain ply... but I carried on and plied it as a 2-ply anyway...I just dont enjoy chain plying...maybe its not for everyone...anyway inspite of my worries it turned out ok!

Well better than ok really, I think its flippin great! It's one of those yarns that will eventually find something to be....I'm thinking gloves at the moment, but when it finds its voice it will speak to me. 165 g of squooshy handspun goodness, about a worsted/doubleknit weight!

The colours aren't dissimilar to this skein of pure gorgeousness that I was lucky enough to win over on JudyMacs blog. Its Cherry Tree Hill laceweight suri alpaca, and such divine colours, it would be a scandal to waste this yarn so I will be saving it for a special lace project, I have been looking for something fitting to knit Muir, and I can imagine it would make a stunning Muir, although I do also have that lovely Knitwitches laceweight too, still I can take a long think about it as I don't have time for a new project right now.

I was also lucky enough to win some Socks That Rock Lite over on Jills blog, and some stitch markers, a candle and a bath bomb, and chocolate, which didn't make the photo shoot, ( since I don't need to list bath bombs in my ravelry stash yet) I do have a project lined up for this here which I found over on Ravelry. The colourway is Highway 30, and I absolutely love it!

I did dye up quite a bit of fibre at the end of the Summer, and its being queued for spinning, as and when it tells me how it wants to be spun, I'm not always taken with my own dye jobs so I don't always take a before photo, although I really love these colours and was just having a go at plaiting, it may well make it onto the wheel next, it seemed apt to add it on to my COLOURFUL post!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

What Colour Are You?

you are plum

Your dominant hues are red and blue. You're confident and like showing people new ideas. You play well with others and can be very influential if you want to be.

Your saturation level is low - You stay out of stressful situations and advise others to do the same. You may not be the go-to person when something really needs done, but you know never to blow things out of proportion.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the html color quiz

Isn't this almost exactly the same colour I chose for my flickr widget?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mystical Harvest?

I thought I would spin up a special yarn for Halloween, so this is 'Mystical', a blend of merino, alpaca and sari silk.

If I get time later I may even add it to my etsy shop!

This natural bluefaced leicester has been spun with some coloured merino, mainly blue and yellow this side but in this other photo, see the green and brown too!

Going to call this one Harvest, am thinking about doing a Christmas craft fair so I need to get cracking on knitting up some little bits to sell and this skein might turn into some felted mittens.

Rosedale is progressing fine, I have finished the sleeves to the underarms, where it all joins.
I was a bit unsure of what to do about the sizing, you see I measure 37" around the chest, and so the 38" is just a little too small for my liking but a 42" is a bit on the large size. I've been looking at some of my favourite sweaters and I really needed to make something inbetween at about 40".

I did read through the pattern, and I e-mailed Amy Swenson because obviously she is more familiar with the pattern than me, and she advised me to work the 42" but this will drown me so I'm just going to plod on and see if I can't just fudge the pattern and make it work!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Week That Was

Just been one of those weeks... I sent the 2 finished cardigans off to their new home last Monday without taking any new photos, doh! But hopefully we may get some nice photos of Daisy and Eliza wearing them to the wedding.

Just been one of those weeks... I go through all my pattern books and magazines, I check through yarns, I scour e-bay, I wander aimlessly around Ravelry, I spend hours looking through the Knitty archive, I go up in the roof to check the yarn suitability up there, I need something to knit.

There is a short list... but the problem with some of the things on the list is either I havent found the 'right' yarn for the project, or I have something suitable but I'm not sure I want to use it yet.

Till I eventually decide that this:

Should become this:

I was never happy with the side seams, so its frogged and I have cast on for Rosedale United from the Knitty archive, almost seamless.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The List

Top of the list this year was a visit to Habu, last year we visited the show on Sunday and alot of Habu's wares were well picked over, even first thing Thursday I didn't quite get all I would have liked. You see here 4 cones of stainless steel and silk, one cone of copper boo (this is a copper wrapped bamboo), and one cone of very fine gauge stainless steel.

There was less fibre at the show this year and I was disappointed not to see Handweavers Studio, but Kerrie's silk is always very great value!

These are 2 large sheets of prefelt, or needle punch felt, I am hoping to make a bag with the blue and a decorative vessel with the brown!

Brightly painted Shetland from Jen at Fyberspates!

Knitwitches gossamer kid mohair in Winter Sunset.

Highlight of the day has got to be standing at a book stall, where Nicky Epstein was doing book signings, an example of a kidsilk, shibori scarf was on the table and I was explaining to my friend Sheryl how it was done, as I already have Knitting Never Felt Better. We were inbetween times for Nicky to be signing, but as I was explaining how it was done she creeps up behind me taking me completely by surprise. We had a great chat, and she's very down to earth.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Counting the Minutes...

.....till morning, I am on my way to Ally Pally, the much awaited show. After cataloging my stash for Ravelry last week, I have a short list.

Still knitting flowers for cardigans...they are coming SOON!

I've also cast on for a secret knitting project.....don't you just hate it when people say they're working on secret knitting.

See you on the other side!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Surprise FO!

Bulky Handspun Mittens

started and finished Sunday 7th October.

used 120g own 6wpi handspun
& a generic mitten pattern

My favourite bit is the way the colours blend, and especially how they match, the only place I had to fiddle the colours a bit was on the end of the second mitten, I was going to run out of yellow too soon but I had a bit left over from mitten one.
These are my first ever handknit mittens, and what a fun easy project!

Thursday, October 04, 2007


This is the last 50g of the silk/merino mix, as I mentioned in my last post, I've been working on something a little bit different, firstly I made some small sheets of felt using the merino silk mix, and also using a contrast dark jade colour I had.

I cut out some small rectangular shapes from the felt and put them in a net bag in the washing machine and ended up with little soft felt pebbles.

I threaded these onto some semi drafted silk hankie and sporadically spun them into the the final skein. I can't wait to see how it looks knitted up.

I do have many good intentions to start designing and knitting up more things with the handspun I am amassing, here is another new yarn:

I have 2 almost identical 100g skeins of this bulky bluefaced leicester, I'm considering 2 projects for this one at the moment, either some mittens or a felted bag!

Coming soon: the cardigans are off the needles!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Little More!

Here is the silk/merino mix so far, 200g

I have 50g left to spin, but I'm trying something a little different with this last bit, although I had a bit of a disaster with some felted bits I put in the washing machine earlier this week, this accident may actually turn into a blessing.

Still beavering away on the cardigans, almost there, and I cast on for a sock with some Posh Emily which will probably get frogged because its pooling like the devil!

I've also been the lucky winner of a couple of competitions lately, the first arrived this week, a lovely package of some Colinette cotton and viscose mix, a yummy soap and a fluffy pen, from Angie at Jazzy Crafts, I just havent got around to taking a picture, but thanks Angie!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Yarn That Time Forgot

Ok so maybe time doesn't forget, I just havent had the time, and its been getting to me, so last night I made two more bobbins of this pretty merino/silk mix. I was hoping to get it onto the niddynoddy today so I would at least have something new to show you on my blogiversary, but it wasn't to be.

I was also fed up of the sight of me in that capelet, anyway still knitting sleeves for the toddler cardigan, and now I'm off to wind my yarn.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Shake Your Pompoms!!

One Spiderweb Capelet, ready for delivery to its recipient! This pattern started life in the book Stitch & Bitch Nation by Debbie Stoller, although the pattern as written in the book is complete tishtosh, and even if you cast it on and carefully follow it religiously 3 times without making any mistakes, it basically won't work out. You will basically get so many stitches you won't know what to do with them all, and it will look nothing like this capelet, or the picture in the book.

Now at this point if the garment was for me I may just throw it across the room and give up, then again who wants to beaten by a Spiderweb Capelet.

Anyway it's not for me, and not one to be beaten by a mere capelet I called for re-inforcements in the shape of Heather who has just moved to her new blog home. Heather is a whizz with numbers, knitting and patterns, I could see what was wrong, but I didn't know how to fix it.

The yarn is Wendy Allegra in the shade Flora, it's a nice soft alpaca, polyester, acrylic. I think I knitted it on 10mm needles, and used less than 2 balls.

It not something I would wear, and apart from the problems it was a nice little knit, although my favourite part of all has to be the pompoms.

Unfortunately progress on the toddler cardigans has been halted by a complete *£#! UP, oh yes indeedy, they were both blocked and ready to finish. I was visiting the friend who's daughters are going to be wearing these cardigans at the weekend and just held the largest one up to see how the size was, and oh b*gg!r, I've only gone and knitted the wrong blinking size, it was a size too big, doh!

So that was frogged and I am about to re-knit the sleeves. I've also now got a full complement of arm measurements for both girls, just to be on the safe side!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Ok it's been over a week, but there's not much to see here....

Ok well there was that, that is 306g of 2ply handspun aran weight Shetland fleece, which I purchased at Woolfest, which does beg the question, how much weight does a fleece lose in the washing process, it was 400g when I bought it!
There was quite a bit of vegetable matter in this but no matter, and you may not be able to quite see but I carded scraps of multi merino in, to add a little colour here and there, actually if you click the photo you can just see the different colours.

Apart from that I have 2 cardigans, that need blocking and a capelet near completion.

There was NO knitting on my needles, apart from sampling for an idea for a design for college, and so I took this to be a sign to knit a couple of blanket squares for Flo's Miner Blanket Project.
I'm just knitting good old garter stitch after a couple of false starts trying fancy stuff which didn't work out.

It's taken me a little while to really GET the point of Ravelry, but I was looking for a skein of sock yarn yesterday and found a couple of gems lurking in my stash, one being 6 skeins of Noro Iro, so I fast tailed it over to Ravelry to have a look at what other Ravellers had been doing with it, priceless, and plenty of ideas to mull over. I'd really like to start getting the stash sorted and up on flickr and Ravelry soon, but as usual so much to little time!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

On a Whim and a Wheel

So here it is revealed at last, my new wheel. I decided on a whim after a whole year of spinning that my traditional wheel, although perfectly functional. was taking up too much room. What I really needed was a small wheel, like my little 'Joy', but also a wheel that could be fitted with a Jumbo Flyer for bulky spinning.

I've always liked the custom paint job on Natalie's little Kiwi, and after a couple of enquiries, the decision was made, here she is:

kiwi pukapuka

(noun) little spotted kiwi, Apteryx owenii - smallest kiwi with brownish grey finely mottled or banded horizontally with white and now found only at Karori Sanctuary and a few predator free islands such as Kapiti and Tiritiri Mātangi

I've been giving her a test run with some merino silk mix that I bought at Woolfest, and to be honest I absolutely love her, I love the double treadle, the simplicity of the design and obviously there's the small detail of the paint job!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

So excited...

I'm so excited because you will find these...

among other recent yarns, for sale here

I'm also pretty excited because I have a new spinning wheel, and it's almost ready, after several coats of varnish, for me to put it together.

I'm also very excited about Bigsock, I've almost finished bits of the blog and my nearest and dearest has been getting the website the moment Bigsock is here and we found these great photos here look how big and colourful it's getting!