Monday, 19 March 2018

back to the fluffy stuff

Today it's back to a fibre update. I've been sitting on my hands recently to prevent me buying more fleece, I keep telling myself that there will be plenty at the fibre shows later in the year but it's so, so difficult to resist the temptation. My credit card has been in use recently as I seem to be back in a book buying phase, just trying to see what traditions other countries have and some history of knitting etc.
I must admit to having a growing desire to knit Shetland lace or even Orenburg but I can't see me having the patience to spin all the yarn needed.

Anyway, spinning update !! Here we have 2 x Bond (colour should be a little more red) Ryland, Jacob, Ryland/zwarbles.

This gives a better indication of the Bond colour.
I'm currently finishing up the Jacob/texel fleece that I bought last year, just the oddments to sort through and spin up.
I'm mainly trying to reduce the fleece stash by spinning some for use in my hats and some that will be sold. There has been some fleece which will go straight in the stuffing bag and passed on to another crafter.

As you can see, I've got the Sonata out and I've found a way of resting my bad foot across the treadle to it doesn't move but it stops the footman from knocking. So good to get back to a manual wheel after using the e spinner.

I started knitting a headband but its turning into a hat!! nice pattern though :-)

On the weather front, we have once again had snow. I'm beginning to think that the weather is completely bonkers as it went from 11c to two inch of snow in 24 hours.

In other news, I have another return to work day for just after Easter so fingers crossed that all goes well.

Speak soon, xx

Thursday, 15 March 2018

It always rains !!

We have come to the conclusion that the weather is controlled by our camper van! every time we take it out, it RAINS !!
See what I mean? Friday was a quiet night in, I started some knitting whilst the man himself got the ukulele out for some practise.

 We spotted this small table which doubles as a camping stool in our local camp shop ( the top comes off to reveal a seat) packs away neatly into its own bag and takes up far less space than the table that is supplied with the van.

Fortunately the clouds started to clear the next day and we walked round the corner to the Nene Valley Railway and waited for a train to appear. Lovely little station to hang around on.

The plan was to have a ride on the train, explore the other stations and end up in Peterborough for a couple of hours.

More unusual engines awaited us at the next stop including this beauty from Switzerland.

and, of course, Thomas the Tank Engine.

Future projects included the restoration of this building which will require a serious amount of funding.

 Peterborough itself really requires more investigation, we didn't get time to see inside the cathedral or find the museum.

We did, however find a couple of interesting buildings, this is the Guildhall dated 1671 with a beautiful clock.

and this one, not so old (1911) although I would swear that old Henry is checking his phone.

I can be a bit of a railway nerd, its how I was brought up. as I hobbled into Peterborough I spotted a rather nice bridge and checked it out on the way back.

One last surprising item was the tracked Hovercraft train, I had never heard of it before but tracked down some footage on you tube. This example is in very poor condition and I suspect will never be restored.

speak soon, next time will be a knitting/spinning update as usual. xx

Thursday, 8 March 2018


The blues of the last week or so vanished after I was able to get out of the house, ok I only made it into my work place to check in with my manager but the next day I felt so much better. Yes I'm still limping round on crutches but we've booked a campsite for a couple of days away so life is good !

Anyway, back to the mitts. I found a pattern on ravelry, some yarn of the right gauge ( ryeland and Jacob) and set to on the first one. Whilst I enjoyed the knitting I'm not happy with the result.
The corrugated rib is loose, the garter stitch at the fingers doesn't really work.

They also have a line separating front and back which really doesn't sit right on my hand.

So I tried knitting a plain mitt from another pattern with one or two adaptations. his time its a blend of Shetland and hebridean and white cheviot for the pattern. I'm not sure if this is any better.

I may just go back to knitting hats!!

On the spinning front, I have a bobbin and a half of bond spun up so far and I've started to wash some of the big ryland fleece.

This may take some time as it needed several rinses as its dirty/sandy. I may pop it in a cold water rinse overnight and see if that helps.

speak soon, xx

Friday, 2 March 2018

snow day


First things first, I sort of fell out with knitting the shawl. I haven't ripped it back but it is sat in a bag looking rather forlorn. I'm not sure why but I'm just not gelling with it.

So back to the spinning. I had a dig around and found a bag of Bond that I bought maybe 6 years ago? I looked on my blog but couldn't find a post about it. The fleece was imported from Australia and it goes against my objective of spinning only British breeds but its a nice colour and starting to get compacted so its out and on the table being combed.

see, pretty colour :-) I'm going to spin it up and maybe use it for something special. At least if its spun up I'll be more likely to use it and it's better than finding a big felted ball of brown fibre at some point in the future.

The snow came on Thursday, not as bad as many parts of the country and its starting to disappear a bit now as the winds are so strong that its just getting blown away into the nooks and crannies.

So, for now I will sit and spin, and bake biscuits and read magazines .

Speak soon xx

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Cabin Fever


So I've now been off work since 24th December and by now I was hoping to go out for a few steps each day but since Saturday I've not stepped out of the door. The forecast is for more snow until next week. Its not causing any major problems where we live but the footpaths are slippery and I'm not really wanting to fall again.

We have put our next trip to the camper van on hold until the weather improves:-( and I'm just getting a little fed up now with being stuck indoors.

I decided to knit something different as I had a couple of skeins of Rouge de L'ouest  sitting around doing nothing. I've cast on a Stormy sky shawl on size 6mm needles, Well, I really had problems with the circulars to start with and had to cast on using some dpns and then transfer to the circulars once I had a few rows done. 

I've given in and started to wash some of my recent spinning as its beginning to pile up and I will be wanting to use some of it soon.

Please excuse the torn wall paper, years of drying textiles and fibres have taken their toll :-)

I've also finished the beanie which is now washed and fits me quite nicely although I doubt that I will be keeping it. I've found that hats look fine until I put my glasses on then I tend to just look a bit daft in them.

Its still snowing so I'm going to tidy the kitchen, have a shower and change into comfy, snuggle clothes, make a coffee and knit xx

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Help, what to knit next?

I only knit small things, hats mainly :-) using my hand spun yarn. I'm looking for ideas of other things to knit but keeping it small scale as I get bored easily!

I have an unused stock of notebooks so maybe book covers? tablet covers, kindle covers? I want to keep it fair isle style but just fancy doing something a wee bit different.

In the fibre front, I managed to wash the Shetland skeins.

although I'm not sure what to do with them yet!

Yesterday we went over to the caravan and motor home show at Birmingham to do some shopping, Ever since we bought the van we have had a list of stuff that we need, the list now only has about 4 items on it so hopefully we are at the end of spending money on 'things' and can now concentrate on using it without suddenly realising that we don't have a corkscrew or tin opener.

Apart from essentials like mirror guards etc we bought a collapsible water container, fold down basket so I can carry mugs and things to the wash block without putting them in a bucket and also for moving things in and out of the van as it will hold my mug, knitting etc .

Because it was such a long day, I hired a mobility scooter to save being on crutches all day. Whilst it helped me I hated being invisible and hope that it will be many years before I need one again.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

fleece wash day


A quick, short post. The sun is out and I've unpacked the two parcels that have been sat around since Friday. One is a light grey Shetland, very well skirted and it looks like the spine has been removed so presumably it was a bit felted.

it looks goods and should be nice and soft once spun.

The brown fleece is in pieces, but I love the colour so it will be washed very soon, again very well skirted with no rubbish that I could see.

I have noticed from my photos that I may be in need of a new camera, I will be looking a buying one in the summer.
At the same time, I dug out a bag of Ryland
but decided that I would never get the fleece back in its packing so it will have to wait for another day.

On the needles is another beanie, Ryland and mule ( I was just told mule so not sure exactly what it is, presumably BFL cross by the crimp and feel)

and on the wheel is Ryland/Zwarbles, I was given this fleece and its not the best but not too bad once spun up but I suspect it may be sold rather than knitted up by myself.

On the foot front, another long chat at the hospital and it seems that I did more damage than anticipated, recovery time is now set at a year plus although I'm looking at going back to work in a month or so.

I'm making the most of the free time that I have ( as long as I don't have to stand for too long or use my foot) and becoming friends with my crutches! We are off to a big camping show soon and I've booked a mobility scooter for the day to make life a little easier :-)

Speak soon xx

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

waiting for wash day :-)

I have been busy and now I'm waiting for a wash day, one that's dry, sunny and a little breezy. I know its a big ask in February but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

In the last couple of days I've washed some Shetland and I'm just starting to prep it (this isn't the new stuff, that hasn't arrived yet)

and I've had a hunt through my fleece looking for any I can get rid of and came across this.

washed maybe 3 years ago, compacted at the bottom of my large fibre bag and a mix of two, possibly three unknown breeds. It was halfway to the bin but I thought I'd give it a shot just in case.

Actually its not too bad, I'll probably get 2/3 skeins from it and chuck out the worst bits. Definitely feels like a down breed in there somewhere.

So, these are the skeins waiting for a dunk at the moment.

Nice selection, even if I say so myself :-)

Hampshire down
unknown x 2
Shetland merino
Jacob x texel

Speak soon x