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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Happy Days

Hi Everyone
It's Day 2 back at home (from our little family holiday) and I'm actually feeling quite relaxed. Ive been washing and tidying- post holiday since arriving home and there's still quite a bit of work to do, however, I've started a new knit and somehow that seems more important ! - achieving this mindset is rather satisfying ! The new knit is the Amelia Ruffle Scart by Alison Moreton.


I've had the idea of the project in my head for a few weeks and did wonder what to knit next, after my Spotty Socks (look back yesterday for a look). Each time I thought about what my next  knit would be, the Amelia scarf immediately came into my mind.
I like the simplicity of the look but the quirky ruffle edge also appeals to me. I'm using baa ram ewe Dovestone in the Wesley Bib colour way, the pattern uses the baa ram ewe Titus yarn which is a finer weight but I'm happy with how the fabric is developing so far. I've only just started but it's going well. The rows just 'fly' by.
The ruffle part of the design has an interesting crochet technique attached to it which I'm looking forward to trying. The main part of the scarf uses a series of short rows so the scarf is knitted sideways. This sideways knit means there is a reasonable amount of stitches on the needles at anyone time. Some of my recent knits have required hundreds of stitches per round and it's quite a daunting task after a while. The shorter rows are very encouraging.
I'm looking forward to a knitting session later today and will share my progress on the Friday Fibre update.

Thanks for calling in today. 

Monday, 21 August 2017

The Grand Return

Hi Everyone
We are back from the 'not so Grand Tour'. Lots of things going on in our world has rather limited the 'Grand Tour' experience for this year !! We settled for a short Glamping experience quite close to home. The whole week turned out very well. Our weather was great and we enjoyed a combination of walking, reading, eating and snooping in Antique/junk ships as well as knitting. Generally, I feel quite relaxed and inspired !

I also managed to finish my Spotty Socks (started before our break) and just have a few ends to sew in. Here's a quick look :

The finished socks are very pretty, I love the spots. I also like the heel stitch pattern, this very simple knit 1, slip 1 pattern results in quite a solid heel section which feels very nice when worn. I adapted the pattern with a picot cast on and enlarged the instep width, I often have problem getting socks to fit because of the instep being too narrow. Other than that, I followed the pattern and love the result.

I did swop between DPNs and circular needles for the first sock but decided the DPNs suited the job for the second sock. I will block the socks later and they should be ready to wear. I've enjoyed knitting these socks and will forever associate them with sitting outside in the sunshine enjoying beautiful views of the North Northumberland hills.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Friday Fibre Update

Hi Everyone
My fibre update today is a summary rather than an update as such. I've been sharing progress on the current projects most of the week so - no real surprises !


The Hanabira is moving on at a very leisurely pace. I'm still not sure about the whole project. The sleeve is a new addition but my idea of introducing a new stitch pattern has not been successful, so that needs to come out. I wanted to try on the cardigan for size and amazingly the whole thing is good from a fit point of view. My major issues - the front edge, it's very uneven and the stitch pattern for the whole garment, is not consistent. However, I'm soldiering on and will probably complete the pattern and then 'rip out' and start again. I'm using the project as a training exercises and hoping I will have learned enough to make a good version. I'm very happy with my flower boarder and the shape of the cardigan, so that a bonus.

Next is the new Spotty Sock project, this is going well. I've changed to a circular needle and made much better progress. I think the rib section on DPNs was a good move but for me but the FairIsle was begining to get messy. I think, the lack of skill on my part was creating a loose stitch construction. I find it impossible to hold my yarn in both hands and as a result the floats amongst the four seperate DPNs was causing slack stitches. The circular needle has allowed me to create a consistent pattern tension and results in a neat fabric. I'm onto the last spot rows for the sock leg and then it's the heel. I do enjoy FairIsle knitting, I can see more coming along soon.

Next, is my current spinning project. This is a big, big project. I'm spinning for a jumper (Man size) so lots more to go, I've only just started. The fibre is a mix of Corriedale and Blue Faced Leicester which I'm developing as I go. I blend a batch of rolags, spin, ply and move on. I'm measuring my yardage as I go and will complete the spin before knitting but I've chosen a pattern, so I know how much I will need. 
With handspun there is always the chance that gauge will be different so I'm going to prepare for that and will spin more. By gauge, I mean both thr handspun weight as well as my knitting gauge (I'm a very tight knitter). The sweater pattern is suggesting 12x128m skeins, which sounds overwhelming! However, I'm aiming to just keep going and I'll get there. So far, I'm 66m in ! but I've just started. My 66m was done over one session, I don't remember how long it took but I often loose myself in time while spinning so I'm not phased by the plan. The yarn from this spin is so lovely and the spinning is such a joy. I've already decided not to get obsessive about measuring, I'm hoping to use my Friday round up to keep checking yardage, so once a week I will count up. My time is quite limited so I'm already mentally prepared for the long haul.

That's it for my Fibre round up. There are are a few finishing jobs 'on the go' but I've not touched them all week, so they don't count for today.

Thanks for calling in today. Next week, we are off for our Grand Tour, so posts will be either difficult or non existent. I always have great intentions of keeping the blog going and am disappointed by lack of phone signal. So, my plan this time is to collect a range of images and do a summary when we get back. It's all a bit of a surprise this year - to me as well as everyone else ! Not sure exactly what's happening - all very exciting !

Hope to be back in a week or so. Until then, have a great weekend.
Bye for now.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Spotty Socks

Hi Everyone 
I spent some time yesterday developing a new knitting project - a pair of Spotty Socks. Before deciding on my cast on,  I tried many different techniques - new and old to me. My final decision was a Picot Cast On. I wanted a very loose top and think the Picot gives the socks a pretty 'look'.  I'm using Sock Yeah yarn in two colours - Benitoit and Peridot. The yarn is just leftovers from other socks, I'm hoping I have enough to complete my socks ? My usual approach is to use a circular needle but this time I've gone for the DPNs.

All is going well, so far. I've developed the cuff in a single rib and started the spot pattern. It's looking good and I'm enjoying the very simple FairIsle which produces the spots. The sock is a very simple pattern and Im adapting as I go. I'll go into more detail when I'm finished re the pattern.
Here's a quick peak at my progress.


I have another repeat of theses two spots patterns and then it's the heel ! I've made great progress. I do enjoy the FairIsle thing.

I'm hoping to keep going with the socks alongside my 'finishing' knitting projects. I'm on track to finish sewing in the ends of another cardigan today. 
It's Friday's fibre update tomorrow, so I'll round up my fibre related projects from this week, call in again for my summary.

Thanks for visiting today.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

More Spinning Tales

Hi Everyone
Another spinning story today. I've been preparing this project for quite some time and have only just completed my first batch of yarn. This is a BFL/ Corriedale blended yarn. I'm blending so I'm hoping to have a consistent mix of fibres across the spin ! It's a very satisfying thing to do and my knitted sample is inspiring me to keep going with this very long job.
I'm spinning a sweater quantity of fibre with some variation in yarn blend. I'm hoping to have a lighter and darker range of colours for the final yarn. I don't need to change the blend very much to get my colour range, so need to keep checking my samples. The blend is approximately 60% BFL to 40% Corriedale (dark grey) and I'm slightly increasing the Corriedale for the rib elements of the sweater. Way back in May, I posted this photo of my knitted sample


This lovely sample is keeping me going. It feels wonderful and I'm certain it's going to be a great sweater. This time it's not for me !!

Here's my first batch of 66m :


Only 1400m to go ! I'll report back each Friday re my progress alongside the Hanabira crochet project, so call in to check progress. This is a long term project and there no deadlines and I'm not daunted so 'all is well'.

Thanks for calling in today.