Saturday, 8 August 2020

Summer is here !

 Suddenly the temperatures are above 80 F so I have fleece on the line. I know I said no more fleece but I decided to support the fleece producers via a FB site for farmers who want to sell their fleece privately due to the low prices being offered by the Wool Marketing Board this year.


I purchased a Jacob/Dorset, reasonably soft for hats and outerwear, probably not next to skin but I'll see how it spins up. The fleece was really well skirted, very little vegetable matter and nice and open. The seller admitted that she hadn't sold fleece before so I was trying to describe what spinners liked when she said that she had one that was even more cobwebby :-)



I see what she means ! I was after something that was an easy spin and not white as I've spun a lot of white fleece recently for dyeing and I wanted something different to spin when we go away for a weekend. Fingers crossed that we don't have a local lockdown over the next few weeks.

I've given it a quick pass on the combs then on the drum carder so its more manageable for packing, I'll divide the batts into 60gm batches so I'm guaranteed over 100gm per skein.



Yes, I have an empty lace pillow again, I finished the narrow strip that I was doing, then had chance to pick up my new glasses so I'm going to start a wider piece at some point during the week . I have 31 pairs plus an odd bobbin wound up ready for when I get chance to sit down and concentrate on setting the next piece up. After many years I seem to be coming to the end of some of my lace threads so next time I sell some yarn (if I get chance) I'll treat myself to some more threads.

The main excitement of the week was this,

can you see it? this was the view from the back window in the middle of the week.

Following an incident a few roads away, the paramedics were flown in and landed on the playing field behind us where they were picked up and driven to the location. Major excitement for all the local children who were fascinated by it being so close and so loud ! We've lived here about 30 years and this is the first time this has happened as usually they would use the school playing fields nearby.

Following on from last weeks post, a friend asked me to make her some masks as the ones she had bought were all too big. I have four waiting for her to try when she calls round next week.


and whilst the machine was out I made a few more for us. I think we need maybe another half dozen before our holiday just incase they don't dry out fast enough when washed. We do have some disposable ones in case of emergency but I really don't want to buy anymore just for them to end up in landfill especially when I have so many fabric oddments stashed away.

Now the weather is so good, my rag rug has had its first wash !! usually I would just give it a good beating but its had things spilt on it so it got a good scrub earlier this week.

Also the blackberries are out so its blackberry and apple with yogurt for breakfast :-)


That's about it for now, have a great weekend x





Friday, 31 July 2020

a bit of this and that :-)

Hi,

Its turning out to be a crafty week, a bit of sewing, a bit of lace, hopefully a bit of spinning at some point. Plus I have men working in the garden which is weird, unfortunately it puts me on edge slightly. Even though they are all very nice and doing a really good job, the fact that they are there has disrupted my routine somewhat.


The good thing is that even though there are five of them, all but one drink tea with one sugar so drink making isn't too complicated.

On the sewing side, I've been making simple drawstring bags for keeping things together and also decided to come up with a solution to my DPN collection ! I said last week that I needed to organize things, here's the result. the inside pockets are a very high count, close weave linen that been hanging around for a few years. I have tested it with the needles and they do not work there way through. The outer is a thick cotton which again was rescued from my stash.




I will make another for larger needles in due course.

I have also found a mask pattern on the internet that includes a nose wire and filter pocket. The nose wire being the most important feature as we both have issues with masks slipping and glasses fogging up.

They plan is to make several and I'm using ties cut from an old stretch fabric dress which is way too big for me. This got me thinking about the masks I wore in 2016 when the doctors were trying to work out what causes my cough.


and here is the 2020 version


I'm also maybe 2 stone lighter !!
.
On the knitting front I've finished some wristies in BFL/Swaledale and started to find out how to knit cables.


I've also got my lace pillow out, two reasons, I wanted to get a photo of my new bobbins in use and I'm practicing ready for next week when I will be picking up my new glasses !! I am so looking forward to being able to see some of the finer patterns.


It may be strange but when I was studying C&G in embroidery etc, it was making the samples that I really enjoyed so I'm just going to have a strip of lace on the go from time to time and change it for a new one every so often :-)

and finally, a small amount of spinning...


so have a great weekend, enjoy the sunshine today in the UK or whatever the weather may be where you are ( Friday 31 July) and I'll post again next week xx

Friday, 24 July 2020

spinning fatigue?


Hi, 

I've had a quick count up of this years spinning so far, over 40 skeins  (most is in the photo but I've knitted some and any with a break in them go in different bags for my own use) and at least 12 different breeds or crosses.



I'm having a short break from the wheel and finishing some knitting that have been hanging around.



I also wound the yarn off the spindle and plyed it from a centre pull ball. I do need to put more twist in it but 10gm gave me 56 yards which isn't bad.



I'm going to be sorting the van kit ( which will take me ages ) and probably make a start on sorting out the workroom cupboards as I'm really not sure what is in them.


Guess what ? I've finally finished the lace bookmark. I had to have two attempts at the bottom of it as I simply couldn't remember how to do it. Turns out that I had worked a row too far down and once backtracked I could work it out.




I've been sorting out my book shelves and , of course, this has made look at the books and want to revisit inkle weaving as well as more lace. Definitely not enough hours in the day. thinking about this, I used to blitz the housework on a Saturday morning but now have a daily routine so instead of 3hrs it takes me twice as long!! But the house is actually getting and staying cleaner.



On the job list for next week are:- shortening and hemming work trousers for hubby, making masks as the caravan club have said that they have to be worn on campsites in shared facilities ( loos, shower are etc) and trying to figure out a good storage method for my DPNs, I have something in mind but need to work round the different lengths. I have some full length ones but I'll keep them separate as rarely used at the moment.




That's about it for this weeks round up, we have the gardeners in turning the wilderness in the front of the house into a maintenance free area, the noise has been quite loud so I'm shut away at the back of the house. The weekend forecast isn't too good , I think I will be spending it knitting and sewing.

Take care xx






Sunday, 19 July 2020

Tour de Fleece, and its Over.

Hi,

I stopped spinning on the wheel on Friday and continued on the spindle. So now I'm calling it a day.
1.452 Kilo of yarn, 2561 yards of 2 ply that will replenish my stocks nicely !




TDF spinning 2020 PW = pre washed

Date finished

Breed

PW Weight


Wash weight

Wash length

28.6.20

balwen/texel

105


103

168

28.6.20

Balwen texel

115


113

188

29.6.20

Jacob

109


105

280

30.6.20

Cheviot

110


109

119

02.07.20

Zwartbles

105


104

240

05.07.20

Zwartbles

120


119

239

05.07.20

Zwartbles

116


115

218

06.07.20

BFL/Swaledale

56


55

84

09.07.20

unknown

105


103

160

12.07.20

unknown

107


105

160

12.07.20

Kent Romney

125


120

150

15.07.20

Portland

110


109

280

15.07.20

Manx

53


52

120

16.07.20

Jacob

140


140

155


Total 15 Skeins 1.452 kilo                  2561 yards       1.45mile.

The spindle currently has 7gm on it and I will continue with this a s a summer project.


Its been fun but I now need my time to concentrate on other things and the house needs sorting, I still have the lace to finish!! So I'm packing my wheel away for a few days, the spindle will still be around, and will return with the mixed weekly blog next weekend.


Stay safe everyone xx


Friday, 17 July 2020

Tour de Fleece day 20 & 21

Hi,

I'm not sure whether I'll get chance to spin any more over the weekend so I'll do a proper round up of the TDF on Sunday.

I the meantime, here's the spinning from the last two days,

All washed and clean, 109 gm Portland and 52gm  Manx.


and 140gm of Jacob which is still waiting for a wash,


My TDF stash currently looks like this


and with the Jacob stands at around 1.45 kilo, plenty of yarn to play with :-)

After Sundays post, this blog will revert to weekly round ups of general crafting and life stuff, basically trying to record my retirement or as it feels at the moment, extended lockdown !

Take care, have a great weekend xx

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Tour de Fleece day 18 & 19

Hi,

Another update, first bobbin of Portland spun up 60gm and the second is on the wheel and should be finished later tonight as I've only about 10gm to go.



I threw some dye at a mule fleece and I'm blending it with the undyed remainder, its looking a bit like the old fruit salad sweets :-)



The ugly hat is finally finished



and I sort of like it !

The spindle now weighs 24gm but its difficult to see any difference so I'll report back on that one next time.

One other thing happened over the last couple of days. Tuesday afternoon I went shopping, well just one shop but it was the first time I had been in one since the start of lockdown. I suspect that I won't be going near any others for some time, weird and uncomfortable experience.

That's about it for now,   take care xx

Monday, 13 July 2020

Tour de Fleece day 17

Hi

A rest day, yep , I had a list that included finishing some bobbin lace. Did this happen? of course not !! but I did do some knitting and a little spinning.

First, an update on the spindle spinning, I did weigh this spindle when I got it and it weighed in at 17gm. It now weighs in at 20gm so there is 3 gm of Shetland/Romney wrapped around it and its taken me ages. I'm going to weigh it again once empty just incase I got it wrong !


Mind you, I am looking for a lace weight yarn from this so I can have a practice at some lace knitting.

On the needles is a simple hat in hand dyed, hand spun Balwen/texel, I usually knit fair isle in 4 ply so this makes a change :-)



and on the wheel there is some Portland as I happened to have some already prepped.


audio listening today has been MASH by Richard Hooker, this is the book that the TV series was based on.

That's about it for now, tonight I will probably put my feet up and knit some more on the ugly hat . The colours should have been stronger but both attempts to dye this fleece have been unsuccessful. I know the dyes are ok as they dyed the wool that I tied the skein with without any problem, just not the spun yarn.

Take care xx


Sunday, 12 July 2020

Tour de Fleece day 15 and 16

Hi,

I had a busy weekend doing other, boring , housework type stuff but I managed to spin and then ply the remainder of the unknown fleece. The two skeins are actually the same length with one weighing 105gm, the other 103gm. I love the subtle variety of brown and greys but the yarn is a little hairy but may knit up ok. We will see what happens.


Do you remember the filthy Kent Romney from an earlier post? If not, here's a reminder



and here is the first finished skein, the fibre was still sticky and not so easy to draft but its washed up nice now its spun.


looks like I managed to split the fibre pretty evenly between the bobbins this time !!


and this is the finished result

This is the result, 125 gm fresh off the washing line.

Other than this I've been spinning on my spindle but its so fine that you can't really see a great deal of difference yet, patched a pair of jeans for hubby, made a bag for our walking poles to live in and also made a bag for my sharp knives (bread knife etc ) that I keep in the van.

Its been a good weekend, I hope you have all have an enjoyable one as well xx

Friday, 10 July 2020

Tour de Fleece day 13 & 14

Hi

I've been having a bit of a nightmare getting my camera and computer to talk to each other so I've rolled two days into one and will post now even though its still the middle of the afternoon.

I finished a skein of the unknown breed, 105gm now waiting to be washed


and I've spun another 60gm, just need to process a bit more and start on the next bobbin.


Whilst moving things around earlier, I found some Shetland/Romney fleece which had been hiding from me for the last 3/4 weeks ! I'd been wanting to try it on my new Turkish spindle.



That's about it for now, tomorrow I have a couple of drawstring bags to make and a pair of jeans to patch, I've cast on a simple hat to start work on over the weekend, just mindless knitting for when we are watching a film.