Saturday, 22 April 2017

a splash of colour

A couple of weeks ago I was trawling round the charity shops looking mainly for DPNs as I'm always losing one and knit with 5 at a time when they generally come in packs of 4.

After picking up a couple of packets in one of the shops I spotted a slow cooker for £6.00, bargain for what I need it for. The assistant was friendly and asked what I was planning to cook and was rather surprised by the reply that I was going to use it to dye yarn.

So here it is, my Marks and Spencers slow cooker.

I've already put it to good use experimenting with some of my yarn. I had some concerns that there may be a problem with my dyes being so old but all seem ok so far. Previously I have set dyes using my steamer, ok with fleece where the variation blends in when spinning. As the fleece/yarn sits in the steamer there is a tendency for the dye to sink and pool at the bottom.

This is the Shetland, I was surprised how strong the colours were with only a very small amount of dye.

In fact the colours are slightly brighter in real life.

I then tried dyeing some grey ryland (blue) and some light grey Norfolk/Suffolk cross...

Personally I like these muted colours better. This possibly shows the variation more... I feel a hat coming on :-)

I hope you all have great weekend, speak soon :-)  x

Saturday, 8 April 2017

just a quick hello...

I've not done a lot so just a couple of photos.... last weekend I went out for a coffee with Pete and took my wheel for its first public spin this year.

and today I washed a bit more of the Shetland, I swear that the bag keeps filling up when I put it away!!

I have a bit of knitting on the go and that's about it for now. The sun is shinning and the spring cleaning beckons

have a great weekend :-) xx

Sunday, 26 March 2017

hat finished

at last... its taken about 3 weeks, knitting a few rows in the evening between fleece prep and spinning but I finally finished it last night.

I ran out of cheviot and ended up knitting the last few rows using Portland which is not such a brilliant white but you can't tell.

BTW it is round, I just couldn't get it to stay still for the camera! I now have a feel for how the top works so will try and design my own next time. I've bought a small square mirror to help me see the pattern repeats properly as I draw them.

My library of fair isle books is growing as I'm getting interested in the history of the knitting, luckily most have been bought second hand.

I'm still spinning the Shetland whilst trying to decide whether to dye the yarn or not.

Have a great weekend.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

bad blogger me

not a single post in February!!

This is probably because we haven't done anything exciting and I don't think our day to day life would interest anyone at the moment.

I finished the big hat, it still needs a tassel, had a look at some of the stash that building up and promptly cast on another one!

which I am pleased with so far, cheviot fleece  from Island on the edge and Jacob from a local farm. I just need to work out how long this will be and how to do the top.

I made a start on the Shetland, prepping and watching you tube as I go...

..... and the results so far

I've also spun up some more manx which is a pain as its a short staple and I prefer to comb rather than card, some random white which may be texel and I've made a start on some dusky pink wensleydale/ryland which I'm really not liking much.

If anyone is wondering how much yarn I have stashed.... this is the tip of the iceberg and the reason why I'm knitting at the moment.

so, anyone want to buy a hat?? :-)

Sunday, 29 January 2017

the weekend

So, its the weekend again! Pete aka Wikkidknitter and myself decided to visit the local guild of weavers , spinners and dyers as its over three years since we were members attending every month. I must admit that we were a little unsure as to whether we would know many people but found a very warn welcome from the members we already knew and many of the others. As it was the January meeting, members were able to have sales tables to sell off any excess equipment. We noticed several ball winders and carders amongst the books and other bits and pieces.

One of the members was destashing due to moving and I took the opportunity to purchase some more lace bobbins. Some to join my best pillow, and some plain ones for when I take my lacemaking out with me.

a couple of books also jumped into my bag, 5000 years of textiles has been on my wish list since c&g days so the chance to pick up the paperback copy for 50p was irresistible.

The art of embroidery is one of those beautiful inspirational embroidery books and will join the other two volumes that I already have on knitting and felt making.

I now need to get rid of several books to make space for them!!

during the week, a Shetland fleece turned up that I ordered before Christmas so all in all my plans of not spending money on books or fibre etc in January went straight out of the window! I now declare February the new January and will try, very hard not to increase my stash, in fact I will be trying to downsize it yet again.

as for the latest fishermans kep, there has been some progress and here is a rare shot of my trying it on to check how it looks, please excuse the red face but it was rather warm wearing it with the heating on!!

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

just a quickie

Hi, I'm about to go work but here is an update on the fair isle kep.

I'm having great fun knitting this one! I also received a parcel of Shetland fleece yesterday so it look like I am going to be seriously busy :-)

Saturday, 21 January 2017

slow time of year


I can't believe that we are already 3/4 of the way through January, not sure where the time goes!

Firstly a confession, I've stepped down from the embroidery challenge as after a day or so it just didn't grab me. I think my head isn't into thread at the moment, just fluff and yarn!

We did manage a day out last weekend, headed off to the east coast and watched some sand racing but it was very cold and wet so didn't hang around for long. I only took my small camera which really doesn't like being cold so not many photos.

After  we had thawed out in the café we headed down to Skegness and trawled the charity shops for books, cds and dvds.
The previous day I had been out with my mate and popped into the nearby Oxfam shop and came out with these.

I like the Journal book as it also has squared paper in it so you can chart your designs for fair isle although most of mine have mistakes in them... must not do this when tired, just leads to frustration.

The purple hat is completed and I've decided that this one is mine !!

and I've started another kep, this time Jacob. manx loaghtan and Portland in the mix.

I nearly forgot, I bagged this book from Amazon as it was on sale at £4.99 so much for my desire to stop buying books etc!!

Still, I have plenty of fleece to spin, at the moment its more of the grey Ryland :-)

Have a great weekend xx

Monday, 2 January 2017

a chance to sit down and stitch

Hubby has gone back to work today in spite of being very much under the weather, I had expected to see him back on the doorstep within the hour but no sign of him as yet.
I don't return to work until this morning so I've been having a tidy up whilst I don't have anyone under my feet!
I just realised that I didn't show the progress on my hat yesterday, so here it is...

I've also joined in 'a year of stitches' on Facebook, the idea is to try and stitch everyday. I think this would be good to spend 10 mins or so once hubby has gone to bed (usually around 8.30 due to early starts)

I hadn't realised how rusty I was at this sort of thing and faced with a blank canvas I'm really at a loss. In the future I will colour my fabric but didn't have much time with this as it was a bit last min.

So far I've managed to find my embroidery hoop and some off white cotton, onto this I've layered some handmade lace to give me a starting point...the photos aren't much good as taken at night but you will get the idea,.
My first thought was to embroider down the sides but after looking at it I decided that it really doesn't work.

so back to the drawing board and I found some textured threads to play with.

I'm couching these down with herringbone stitch, now this feels a bit more like me but I still have to think about where this going next.

However this is still very much in line with my plan to use up my stash :-)

Sunday, 1 January 2017

a new year, same old me :-)


Well that was exciting. I spent the New Year break pretty much on my own as my man has a really bad cough and hasn't ventured out of bed since early Friday evening.

I did some housework Saturday morning then decided that I would spend my time chilling and catching up on some craft work as well as having a bit of a turf out in my work room.

The yarn for the next kep is spun and washed, I'm taking past in a Fair Isle Fisherman Kep knit-a-long starting next week just for a bit of fun. I've yet to sort out a design but will have a look at that tomorrow.

so, this is Jacob, Ryland and Manx loaghtan ready to be balled up, I just have to decide which grey to use.

Slow progress on the hat and I'm still choosing the patterns as I knit along. This was going to be a short, normal size hat but I think I will knit it up to kep length as I'm enjoying it so much.

I have some embroidery planned ( in my head) so not much to show but I did spin some silk to use in it, just a small amount spun on a drop spindle.

This is from a silk 'brick' that I bought many years ago at one of the big embroidery shows, I've been chipping away at it over the years but there is still plenty left.

Well, that's about it, the weather is cold wet and damp and I was in bed before the fireworks started last night.

I hope you all had a good New Year xx

Monday, 26 December 2016

so that was Christmas..

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you will have gathered that we don't do Christmas. This year we probably wouldn't have done it even if we usually did as the lurgie caught up with both of us.
Stereophonic coughing throughout the house, the usual big breakfast in place of the Christmas meal was scaled down and the bits that I bought in to pick at in the evening whilst watching a film remain untouched.

However, I did receive a small gift from Mum which she bought back from her recent trip to Dubrovnik.

we have now added this museum to our list of places to visit once we start traveling again.

I make a bit more progress on my knitting as we watched various programmes on catch up TV. We don't watch BBC I player as a license is needed and we now have a certificate to state that don't watch and therefore don't need the license however they may still call round an visit the property at anytime to check.
They have been saying they will visit since 1988 so I'm not holding my breath!! We are still thinking about this as there are some good programmes on BBC but unless someone raves about them we won't miss them. The good thing is that we still have access to the radio so I download plays etc. to listen to whilst spinning .

Remember the baskets of fleece... I've made some headway with the Jacob.

I'm thinking that I need to go on craft supplies diet..... ie no more purchases until I've used what I have. This would be difficult in the summer as I usually buy fleece from my friend but I may record how much I spend throughout the year and also see what I can sell.
This is more to do with the amount of 'stuff' I have than the amount of money spent !! I can't start until 2017 as I have a book and a fleece on the way at the moment, no idea where to put the fleece 😅

 I hope you all had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year xx

Sunday, 4 December 2016

more chit chat and a bit of knitting


I'm sorry that my blogging is a little sporadic at the moment but often I really don't have a lot to tell or show.

Today I ventured out of the house, too many weekends have been spent at home recently but I didn't stay out for long. I went into town to have a look at the Christmas market but it was very busy and pretty much the same store holders as last year, and the year before etc.

The sun was very low and in the wrong place for this photo but just right for these..

I quickly visited a couple of shops, walked through the arcade and headed back to safety of my workroom.

I did pop into the crafts in the city at Waterstones, some nice pieces of glass jewellery and pottery caught my eye but there were two stalls of hand knitting and the prices made me wonder whether to ever try and sell my hats or just to give them to nice people :-) plain handwarmers at £10 per pair, not even sure how much the hats were but also I don't know how much the stall cost or even the yarn and the time taken to knit them.

Food for thought..

On the subject of knitting, Kep no 4 finished and waiting blocking,

 ( and a bobbin of texel 3/4s full)

this is tonight's homework...a basket of Jacob to prep, I didn't intend buying this in the summer, it just jumped into the car with several others!!

And on the needles....not sure what the fleece is as I inherited from Pete when he had a bit of a clear-out a couple of years ago.