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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Knitting the NUUK

Hi Everyone
I'm sharing my progress with the new sweater on my needles - the NUUK. I started this knit just a few days ago and already most of the body has been completed. I'm enjoying how the construction is designed. I'm quite keen to try it on.
The design is a 'top down' sweater with short sleeves and a rib both at the bottom and neck. The early construction stage creates a cap like sleeve which looks great, almost looking finished ! I'm already considering a second Nuuk using this cap sleeve finish. I like the open neckline at the moment too (the rib will  obviously bring the neck together) and maybe this is an option for future Nuuk sweaters ?

                            

I also like the idea of contrasting colours for the rib sections of the sweater - not for this one but perhaps the next ? Generally, the whole knit is a pleasing  project and is inspiring lots of new design ideas.

Thanks for calling in today.


Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Beads for Knitting

Hi Everyone 
One of my new knitting projects involves an area of beadwork. The pattern for the project is the FairyHill Shawl by Helen Stewart. Read back for more re my preparations here .I've hand dyed a skein of yarn and have ordered a range of beads to compliment the colours of the yarn. The beads arrived yesterday and I ordered a range for choice. I'm almost there on deciding which beads to use. I'm keen, at the moment, to use two different beads, a solid pink and a moss green. The two shades I've chosen are quite close to the specific colours of the yarn.


                        

The pattern suggests beads are knitted into the centre area of the shawl - I may use the beads in different areas depending on how the yarn colours develop within the pattern. My hand dyed yarn has some areas which are deep solid pink but other areas quite light pink or natural ecru with other areas of a light moss green. I will develop the beading as the yarn suggests.
I need to finish a pair of socks before I can cast on - I'm very close to finishing the socks. I find Helen Stewart patterns very easy to use. The detailed instructions and stitch count information is particularly helpful to me. I'm really looking forward to casting on. I will record my progress with pictures and will share the results here on the blog over the next few weeks.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 22 May 2017

The Everyday Collection

Hi Everyone
I'm sharing my new Everyday Collection today - I'm still working on the project but I've developed the components of a few of the initial pieces. Each design in the Collection will have earrings, a stretch bracelet and a pendent. I'm also creating a couple of silver rings with 'PolyGem' stones. All the beads are made from blended polymer clay and silver.

                    

I've got some exciting packaging ideas (to follow in the next week week or so) - watch this space. I love to wear this design and genuinely wear a version of the bracelet almost everyday. It's a very easy item to wear for almost all activities. 

The bead style in the photo is an oval shape, I also have a round, a square and a triangle shape in the Collection. I'm using a wide range of colours in the Collection and a small batch of each design will be available. All the pieces will use handcrafted sterling silver findings.

Thanks for calling in today.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Purposeful Dyed Yarn

Hi Everyone
I'm excited to share yet another new knitting project today. It's a shawl by Helen Stewart called the Fairyhill Shawl. I've recently knitted another Helen Stewart shawl and her patterns are great to knit, so I'm looking forward to this one. In preparation for the knit, I've hand dyed a skein of yarn. The colours are beautiful and I'm quite pleased with how the yarn has turned out. I've chosen a vibrant Magenta with Moss Green and a little Natural (left undyed from the original yarn). I'm not entirely sure how the shawl will look in terms of the colour pattern but I'm looking forward to finding out. He's a quick look a the yarn :

                    

The pattern calls for some beading work - very exciting ! I've ordered a few different new seed beads in a few different colours for the beadwork and will make a decision when they arrive. I've another small shawl/scarf using beads and I particularly like the idea of another. I feel, beadwork can make a garment very special. 
This knit project will be the third knitting project I have 'on the go' at the moment, so that's IT , no more casting on until I finish one of them !

On another matter, you may remember that I was preparing for a crochet project earlier this week - the Hanabira cardigan (read back for details). I'm hoping to review my progress each Friday. I hope to spend a little time each day (work permitting) on the cardigan. It's fair to say, I'm slightly anxious about the job. My crochet skills are very basic, I can do the basic quite well but reading the pattern is causing me minor issues, already ! However, I know where to get help if I need it !
So far, I've created my initial chain for the neck (it's a top down pattern), developed the foundation row and divided the stitches for the various sections of the cardigan - sleeves, back and front sides. That's it. It doesn't sound like much but I'm on schedule for my daily work on the project and am quite pleased with myself. 
I'll have another review next Friday, possibly with photos of my progress.

Thanks for calling in today. Have a great weekend.

New on the needles.

Hi Everyone
I've a new knit on my needles - it's the NUUK sweater. This pattern has been in the queue for quite some time. For some reason, I couldn't decide on the yarn to use ? Initially, I wanted a 'stand out'/ statement colour - such as magenta or bright orange. However, I've gone for my usual blue ! I've decided that a statement piece will follow if the design works for me. Most of my wardrobe is blue and I'd like this sweater to be a useful and versatile garment.

                

One of my friends has knitted the design, so I know how the sweater will turn out and I love the style. I'm hoping the fit will allow my sweater to be worn as per the image. I like the layering idea.
The pattern is a 'top down' technique and I'm using dovestone dk in the Lotherton colour with 5mm needles. I've done a swatch and my gauge is exactly as per the pattern. It's early days but I'm really enjoying knitting this design.

Thanks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Another NEW toy.

Hi Everyone
I've another brand new toy to share today.

          
It's a drum carder - made (from scratch) by my very clever husband. It looks great and has blended a range of leftover fibres from a workshop (way back). The fibres were in a series of little bags with no particular purpose (at the bottom of my fibre bin). I simply blended them together and ended up with 30 gms of yarn.  After plying the single, I have 30m of yarn. It's not enough to make anything significant but I'm working on an idea to use the yarn as a design feature of a sweater, details will emerge in good time !
The blended yarn is beautiful- there's lots of yellow silk in the fibre and the resulting yarn is very smooth feels great) and a lovely colour. The general overal colour of the yarn is 'grey'' but with lots of depth. I'm thinking about spinning more wool fibres into a grey mix using some of the Corriedale and Blue Faced Leiceter ( BFL) in my stash. I'm hoping the resulting yarn will be a lovely range of varied grays. My plan is to have my silk blend creating interest in the planned sweater. Very exciting !

Here is the resulting yarn - named Slightly Broom (after the plant) in more detail :


                  

Thanks for calling in today.


Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Crochet Further Training

Hi Everyone
If you called in last week, you will know that I've started a big crochet project. Check out the details here. In order to prepare myself for the project, I've been practicing all the individual crochet stitches required in the pattern. I'm OK with very basic crochet but making a crochet garment is something else ! However, I'm quiet determined - somehow, I will make this happen.
I've created a few little swatches using each of the stitches used in the pattern and using the main yarn I've chosen. This particular yarn is a linen/wool mix in a lovely bright colour. This yarn is a light sport weight. I will also use a grey colour and a navy for some detail on the sleeve and bottom
On the whole, there are only a few different stitches used -  the main stitch pattern is single crochet lines either through the front or back loop. This stitch produces a pretty texture and quite a solid fabric. The pattern is a top down cardigan, so starts at the neck and divides for the sleeves, very much like a top down knit (which I've had some experience with). 

                

The sleeves and bottom of the cardigan have a more elaborate section witch require relatively large croched flowers within a border. This is the detail area where I'll use the grey and navy. Check out the link (above) for an image.


                  

So far, I'm happy with how things are turning out. I think, I'm ready to start the cardigan and have decided to try and break down the project into very small parts. I want to try and complete a small section EACH day. My first job will be to chain for the neck. I'm hoping, that if I can focus on a very small section of the garment, I will be able to learn and understand the process more effectively. If I can manage a short daily crochet session - I will (somehow) see the task as not so daunting !
I hope to report on my progress regularly and each Friday I will have a whole project update.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Blocking for a sweater

Hi Everyone
I've had a little success with a new handspun project over the last few days. This is a large project which will sit alongside my other knitting projects, so is something which will take quite some time to complete. I'm hoping to spin for about 30 mins everyday. 
My plan is to develop a sweater quantity of handspun yarn using Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) and Corriedale wool. So far, I've gone for two types of yarn, a pure Corriedale and a blend of BFL/Corriedale (60/40). I'm hoping the Corriedale will make the rib sections of the sweater and the blend will be used for the majority of the sweater. 
I love the way the wool has worked out. The resulting yarn has produced a beautiful rustic knit which is very soft. The mix of grey colours are lovely.

                  

The sweater will be for my husband and he had chosen a particular pattern design with a zip or button feature at the neck, however, I think we may go for a very simple design (no neck details) using the different coloured wool on the rib elements ie the bottom, sleeves and neck band. The yarn is lovely and I think a plain design will allow the yarn to shine. I'm inspired to spin my next batch. I used size 4mm needles for the swatch and produces the perfect material. The yarn is a DK weight and will be very cosy.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Crochet Training

Hi Everyone
I've started a concentrated crochet training programme this week. If you called in earlier in the week, you will know I've got plans for making a crochet cardigan. I've never made a crochet garment before and I must admit - it's rather daunting. ! To get things going, I made a new dishcloth - I had issues with remembering the names of the different stitches and needed to YouTube each one - more than once ! The dish cloth is made and in use. It doesn't bode well for the cardigan ! 

However, I'm still determined to make the cardigan so I've started practicing. My plan is to make a swatch of all the stitches involved in the cardigan using the actual yarn for the cardigan before I start.  Alongside the swatch, I've also started looking for small crochet projects to practice following crochet patterns. Imagine my delight when a I came across a very pretty crochet bracelet in Pom Pom magazine blog. If you are interested it can be found here. I love Pom Pom magazine generally but finding the crochet stuff was an added bonus.

The bracelet is called a Pineapple Bracelet and is one of a number of crochet bracelet free patterns I came across a few days ago. I didn't have any pineapple colours so my pineapple is blue ! It's very pretty. I did enjoy making the first pineapple and will continue to make the whole thing.

                   

I think my cotton yarn is a bit thick and will look in my stash for something more suitable. Although the blue is fine, I think a pineapple colour would be better. I really enjoyed starting this little project and it's having the exact effect of re introducing me to 'crochet' - good training and positive reinforcement for my ultimate goal, the crochet cardigan.

Thanks for calling in today. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

The Tale of a Very East Poncho

Hi Everyone
I'm sharing the ups and downs of my current main knit project today - the Very Easy Poncho. You wouldn't believe how many problems I've had with this project ! I've experienced major highs and lows throughout the project. I started thinking about the idea of the poncho many months ago and it's appeared several times on this blog, read back for more.

Initially, central to the project, it was a garment I could make using the first finished hank of yarn that I'd personally dyed and then handspun on my new spinning wheel. I had a lovely time dying the wool, choosing how to spin the dyed wool and combining the different colours and then spinning. I also found a lovely - easy knitting pattern. At the begining, this was a very exciting project. I knew ,I didn't have enough of my own yarn to complete the poncho but had an idea to use some amazing Indigo dyed yarn produced by a lovely friend. The Indigo yarn and my own yarn worked brilliantly together and my project plans seemed to be perfect !

Move on several weeks of stocking stitch - 130 stitches on the needles and 62 ins. long. This is a seriously long piece of knitting ! I knitted my own yarn and changed to the Indigo when a I felt like it - this was another high - the colours worked well and the stripes that emerged were just lovely. I used a pretty progress keeper to manage a few inches of knitting everyday. All seemed to be well.

When a I eventually finished the long rectangle shaped knitting it was time to construct the poncho. I blocked the fabric and read the schematic diagram on the very brief pattern and proceeded to seam the poncho. This is when my major problems started. I made the first seam and was very proud of my work - so satisfying and very neat. I made another seam, as per the diagram (as it read to me). It was immediately obvious that something was wrong. Still not sure why I hadn't realised there was a problem before starting these seams ? After reading and re-reading the pattern details and researching via Ravelry, I finally ripped out all the seams - not an easy job and very time consuming. All my lovely work was at risk of being completely ruined. The ripping out was begining to damage the edges of the poncho and I needed to undue every single stich with extreme care. This was a serious low point.

I did have photo references for the finished garment and studied the photos, off and on for a few days. Then yesterday, I had a Eureka moment and finally - I had the answer ! I'd not thought through the construction properly. As the name suggests, this poncho is a very easy construct. It's simply a single seam at the back, created by attaching a part of one side of the folded rectangle. It's so simple I can't quite believe I'd missed it. I've had so much grief over the last few days and now I'm repeating (to myself) - I can't believe Id missed it. I'd fixated on the diagram and didn't translate the way in which the garment would be worn ? As I write, I stil can't believe what I did.

I'm sure the final garment will be lovely. The fabric drapes beautifully and the colours are very special. I need to make the seam - I'm going to try and re create my first seam and be very proud of the job - again ! I also need to add some icord edging to all the edges of the poncho, I'm hoping the icord will help neaten up any 'unpicking' issues. I will reblock the poncho and hopefully it will be complete in a few days - ready to wear.

On balance, I'm still loving the project. It's been a great learning process for me. I'm will definitely approach patterns and schematic diagrams differently from now on. This garment was always going to be special because of the handspun/hand dyed yarn, the first handspun too. I'd invested so much hope and care into the knit - I wanted it to be something I could be proud of. I'm  now thinking, I will immediately forget all the pain, once the garment is complete. There will be more photos when this times comes. Until then, this is where I am :

                      

Thanks for calling in and sharing my 'pain'.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The Sock Queue

Hi Everyone
As promised yesterday, I'm sharing the next two projects in my sock queue. At the top of the list is the Om Shanti socks which are currently on my needles. I had almost finished one of the socks but they turned out very odd in terms of proportions. The foot was incredibly long and the ankle was very small - I couldn't get my foot into it. No question - the sock had to be ripped out ! I've recalculated the maths and am well into a new sock, which seems OK. I love knitting the pattern on the top of the foot and have learned the six line pattern which should help speed up the knit. I think some of the issue was to do with the fact that I am a 'tight' knitter - I'm consciously trying to 'loosen up' my knitting.

                 

My second 'sock to be' will be Herminone's Everyday Sock by Erica Leuder - this is a free download on Ravelry. This time, I will be using a sock blank, hand dyed by Stranded Dyeworks (on Etsy). I've never used a sock blank so this is a first ! I'll report on what I think about this approach. I've chosen the pattern because I'm hoping the colours in the sock blank will enhance the look of the final sock. I wanted something with a slight pattern but not something which will loose the lovely colours of the yarn. It will be interesting to see how the colours emerge. I know some people wind and wash the yarn from the sock blank before knitting but I will go straight from the blank.

I'm not sure how long it will take me to finish these two pairs of socks ? - I will definitely be taking my time. I do like having a sock project alongside my main knitting projects so I'm always looking for a new one. I'm finding having several knitting projects 'on the go' is good for me.

Thanks for calling in today.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Sock Celebration

Hi Everyone
I'm celebrating the finishing of a pair of socks today. The socks are for my husband, Richard. The actual knitting part of these socks was finished a little while ago but it's taken me forever to weave in the ends, so technically they were completed including washing (rather than blocking) yesterday. I love the colours and the stripes as well as how soft they feel. These socks are made to measure and fit beautifully. I'm hoping they will be lovely to wear. I bought the yarn for the socks at Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March read more here of the original story. They will be a great souvenir of the lovely day we spent at Edinburgh.

                        

As well as the two colours I used in these socks, I bought a third colour of the same yarn (another shade of blue)  and have an idea to use it for heels, toe and cuff alongside some hand dyed yarn of my own. However, this new project will have to join the sock queue - there are two more pairs of socks planned before I can embark on this latest idea ! More on the latest sock projects tomorrow.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Crochet News

Hi Everyone
Great excitement for me at the moment. I've a new project planned, this time it's crochet ! - and it's a cardigan. This is a major challenge for me. The pattern is a lovely cardigan from the Spring edition of pompom.

                 

I saw this pattern (Hanabira) a while back but was inspired to make a croched garment by a fabulous example of a croched cardigan made by one of my knitting group friends. The Hanabira had stuck in my mind as something I particularly liked and I wondered (for a week or so) if I could make it ? I don't feel equipped (at the moment) to crochet the cardigan but I'm determined to have a go. I have a couple of friends who I may need to call on (they know who they are).

To start or rather re start my crochet practice (I would call myself a 'lapsed crochet person') I made a new dish cloth last night. I currently have a lovely waffle stitch crochet dishcloth in use (made by me) and do need another, so I thought I would make a new one. Bad news ! I couldn't remember how to do the stitch and I needed to revise my all crochet skills. I always forget what crochet stitches are called and get messed up with British or American stitch names for the same stitch. This doesn't sound like good news at this stage ! However, all will be well when I get into the pattern. I've read through the detail a few times and it doesn't seem too complicated - famous last words ! The pattern is a top down pattern with raglan style sleeves - no need for many stitched seams. I will use a mustard cotton yarn for my main colour and am planning to spin some grey linen/wool yarn for the White part. I need another colour for the flowers (in pink on the photo) - I'm not sure what I will go for ? - possibly a lighter grey shade ? I need to keep thinking about this decision.
I feel quite 'overwhelmed' just thinking about this project; however, I'm quite excited at the same time. 

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Very Easy Poncho - breaking news !

Hi Everyone
Great news - I've finished the majority of the knitting for my Very Easy Poncho - read back yesterday for more detail on this.

                     

 I spent some time last night thinking about exactly how I would seam the long stocking stitch fabric to form the poncho. I did consider a few options, in the end I knitted the two ends together. I used the live stitches on my needle and knitted them into the cast on edge followed by a traditional stitch over cast off. The seam worked beautifully and it's a very neat finish (for me, the inside must look as good as the outside ! )
My next job was to start the icord edges. I've started with the bottom edge and read the suggested tutorial from the pattern (www.purlbee.com) before starting. I was quite confident that I understood how to make an icord edge (one of my recent shawl knits included and icord edge). The tutorial was a good reminder. I also looked up a great video (I used this with my previous icord experience) which explains how to create an attached icord edge - watch it here. I particularly like watching as well as reading about a technique. Often videos are the answer for me.
So far, my initial finishing is going well, there's a way to go but I'm back enjoying this project. I think, the long stocking stitch element got a little tedious and I lost a bit of enthusiasm but I've certainly enjoyed this last bit. 
My handspun yarn has knitted up better than expected and the garment is looking good so far.  Hopefully, I will have it finished in the next day or so. It's such a good feeling when a project goes well. I'm not exactly sure how the fit of the poncho will work. I need to develop the top shoulder part. I am hopeful final shaping will happen with blocking.

Thanks for calling in today. Have a great weekend - I'll be back next week.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Every picture tells a story !

Hi Everyone
I've an update today on the Very Easy Poncho knitting project today.

                        

This project has been going for quite a while. The story started here in late January with the spinning of some very special wool and was originally destined for another knitting project. A month later, at the end of March, I finally decided on the Very Easy Poncho as the knitting project (read more here). The pattern is as described a very easy knit BUT - there's loads of it. The knitting is stocking stitch - 62 ins to knit by 140 stitches on size 5mm needles. I've managed to get to just over 56 ins. - so not far to go ! When I've finished the main knit, I have an icord to develop to both the neck and the bottom of the poncho. 
My knitted fabric consists of my own spun yarn and some beautiful Indigo hand dyed yarn (by my lovely friend Lindsay aka The Boarder Tart). The two different yarns work well together. The resulting fabric has random stripes of each yarn, I just went with my instinct - on how the fabric looked at any given point - each stripe is a different size. The poncho is knitted across the body rather than top to bottom.
I'm so looking forward to finishing this project. I love the mix of the yarns and I especially love the almost tweed-like fabric produced from my own hand spun yarn - very satisfying. I'm also looking forward to wearing my poncho. The blog, of course, will be the first to show the finished article !!

Thanks for calling in today.

Sock Update

Hi Everyone
I'm sharing my latest sock knitting project today. My last post about these socks (Om Shanti by Alice Yu) mentioned I was looking forward to the heel, well - I've done the heel and it's just as good as the toe. I'm thrilled with the technique of knitting these socks. The short wrapped rows give a seamless shaped toe and heel and very neatly sit with the pattern of the sock.

                         

Sadly, I've run out of yarn for the sock and have the leg to finish. I've only knitted five rows of the leg so am just starting. This yarn had been destined for a plain striped sock so had others colours in my plan. However, once I'd started the green colour, I felt the pattern needed this single colour yarn to really show the contrasting stitch patterns. The yarn is Socks Yeah! by Coop Knits in the Perditot colour way. Another skein has been ordered so it should be here any day (managed to get the same batch too). This particular skein of yarn has already knitted another striped pair of socks for my husband, so was well used before I started these socks. I'm quite surprised how little yarn Ive used.
Once I learned the main stitch pattern, I could knit the six line repeat forever, it develops such a lovely rhythm to the knitting. Alice describes the stitch pattern as 'an Estonian 3-cross lace' stitch. The original pattern has quite a short leg - I'm thinking I may grow the leg a little. The bottom of the sock cuff has something called Kihnu Vits running around the sock, this is a braid using 2 strands of yarn worked with the purl stitch, carrying both strands at the front of the work. I'm not sure exactly how this will work ? but it sounds very exciting and way beyond my comfort zone ! 
I'll report on progress when my new yarn arrives.

Thanks for calling in today.


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Making Workshop

Hi Everyone
We have an exciting Making Workshop  today - making Fibre Jewellery. You can read back here for more details about the project. 

                                   

Our Making Group will make a necklace and bracelet and can choose which design and construction method they prefer. The final design needs to be considered when developing the fibre ropes, so we will spend some time thinking about how the final piece will look and work as a piece of wearable jewellery. The fastening solution is key to understanding how the fibre ropes need to be made. Hopefully, all our Makers will be inspired to develop amazing pieces. The workshop will be a two part thing, this week we will design the jewellery and make the ropes; next time, we will add the findings and develop additional decoration such as beads or extra fibre.
I'm looking forward to seeing how our Makers approach this  project, they always come up with something new and exciting. I'm particularly looking forward to seeing the colour combinations and blending choices of the group. I'll take some photos and share tomorrow.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 1 May 2017

New Knit

Hi Everyone
Just a short blog today about a new knit on my needles. I'm onto my next pair of socks. This time, the socks are for me.

                     

I'm loving the various stitches giving different textures throughout this  pattern, Om Shanti by Alice Yu. I'm using Socks Yeah ! yarn by Coop Knits in Perditot, this is the same yarn as my last pair of striped socks. Look back a week or so for details. The yarn is lovely to knit with very smooth and light. The knitted fabric is beautiful.
 My usual issues with concentration (minor lace like pattern) have caused me to make mistakes and there have been some ripping back going on ! However, the 'stitch wrapped toe' technique is wonderful, magic even ! - no holes or Kitchenor grafting to deal with - love this part of the pattern.
I'm looking forward to the heel - not sure what to expect ? I'll keep you informed of my progress.
It's Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK so I'm hoping for a leisurely day. The sun is shining too !

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Fibre Ropes

Hi Everyone
I have good and bad news today ! If you visited yesterday, you will know I was working on fibre jewellery and more specifically making fibre ropes. The good news is that I've developed a great preparation process for making good quality ropes, consistent in shape and strength. The bad news is - I didn't get the three stranded pieces completed and have changed my mind again re the fastening - such is the life of a Maker ! However, I've got a plan. 
I'm going to develop a series of thinner ropes for the stranded versions and will use the versions from yesterday as a layered necklace, wearing individual necklaces in various colour combinations - together. I think the layered approach will allow for more versatility re necklaces colours and will form more of a statement piece.
My breakthrough came with the preparation of the fibre ropes. Previously, I had simply rolled the ropes into shape from layers of fine merino wool. This approach is fine but doesn't always (easily) give a uniform rope. In my new approach, I used a blending board to construct rolags and then developed the ropes in the usual way from the rolags ie using soap and hot water to wet the wool and then rolling inside a sushi mat.

                    
My photo story shows the series of steps taken to develop the ropes. I need to experiment a little more with sizes. The rolag is developed on a 12x12ins. blending board and the final rolled rope is about 24ins. long. The final length has something to do with the amount of wool on the board as well as how tightly the rolags are wound. I'd like to be more informed about these factors to design the right size roped for my stranded necklaces. Also - at this stage, I'd like to stick with the metal clasps (see yesterday's example) for closing the necklace rather than using my initial press stud option. I will report further on my experiments next week.

Thanks for calling in today. Have a great weekend.




Thursday, 27 April 2017

Fibre Jewels - next phase

Hi Everyone
Today, I'm developing my Fibre Jewels Project into a new Making Workshop. I've already made a couple of pieces, a necklace and a bracelet (read back here for details on the initial project). These pieces are complete with their fastenings and beads in place.
The next fibre jewel phase will develop new colour combinations as well as multiple rope designs. I'd like to try and create a three strand necklace and bracelet version. The fibre element will be quite straightforward, it's the fastening which presents more of a design challenge.
I've seen a press stud fastening idea which I think could work well - so, this is my first solution for the multiple strand pieces. Wish me luck.
Here's a quick reminder of the first Fibre Jewels results :

                    

I'll share the results of this next phase along with the initial finished pieces tomorrow. I haven't decided on colour combinations yet. I'm going to look in my wardrobe to try and develop something which will compliment a few outfits. I think a gradient colour combination may work for me.

Thanks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Socks Update

Hi Everyone
Today, I'm celebrating finishing (the knit part) of my latest sock project. These socks are using the yarn from Edinburgh Yarn Festival (last month) read about it here.
The finished socks are for my lovely husband and will always remind me of Edinburgh and the great day we had (celebrating my birthday too). I've named them the Edinburgh Socks !


                       

I've yet to weave in the ends and block the socks. Hopefully, will do that later today - lots of ends to weave in !  They are lovely and soft and the yarn (Socks Yeah - CoopKnits) was a dream to knit with. I even made my way through the dreaded (to me) Kitchenor stitch closure without too much trauma ! The sock pattern is a very simple plain sock, I wanted the stripes to 'pop' and be the main feature of the design. I knitted both pairs at the same time but on seperate needles using Magic Loop. I did start knitting both socks on one needle but I find the stitch management a bit annoying. I like the idea of separating the sock construction parts and knitting each section and then moving onto the next. This approach eliminates the second sock syndrome and helps make identical socks.
So, my next sock project is already planned. I like to have a pair of sock 'on the go' at all times ! I'm going to make Om Shanti by Alice Yu. These socks are quite a short sock with a lovely texture pattern. They also have an interesting cuff - corrugated rib and a beautiful heel (more detail when an get there). These socks will be for me.
I'm going to dye some yarn for this job. I've not decided which colour I'm going for ? I will spend the day pondering that one. My favoured colour at the moment is a Moss Green/Blue blend, a light blue. I'll let you know how things turn out.

Thanks for calling in today.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Spindrift Shawl

Hi Everyone
I'm excited to share the progress of my latest knit project. I'm knitting the Spindrift Shawl by Helen Stewart and enjoying every stitch. The pattern is very easy to follow and alongside every row, Helen gives the total number of stitches for each row. I love this detail. Having a stitch count throughout is reinforcing at each stage, where I am in the pattern as well as confirming I'm actually following the pattern (something I tend to find challenging with almost all patterns).
I'm also thrilled with how the yarn is knitting up. My photo isn't giving a true colour - there's much more of a green/teal look going on.

               

This dye job was an experiment, I wanted to create something which would compliment denim as well as a range of blue/green pieces of clothing in my wardrobe. I'm using the new dye's from my visit to Wingham Wools last week (read back yesterday for more on this). I think the colours work beautifully and each row of the shawl delivers little speckles of moss green, mustard and a dark teal colour - such a joy to enjoy the yarn. It's probably the first time I've felt like this about one of my dyed yarns, although, I did create a red combination a little while back which I knitted up into the Neck Candy scarf. The red, grey, mustard combination was quite pleasing at the time.

                                

Getting back to Spindrift, I'm just through 40% of the Spindrift knit and feel as if I've just started. The shawl has a lovely deep lace border which is something I'm very much looking forward to trying.

                 

I will share my shawl when finished - I'm not entirely sure where this will be ? but I'm thinking it will be quite soon.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Fibre Shopping

Hi Everyone
It's a 'back to work' day today ! I always struggle to get into my work mode following a holiday. My usual tack is to have a slow start and a VERY short list of things to do. I'm working on that approach today. So, not much going on for me.
However, on reflection, I've had a lovely Easter break - very quiet and mostly lots of sitting around making things. We've also had some good family time and one very exciting shopping trip ! 
Last Friday, I visited Wingham Wools (you can find them online here). They live in a smallish village in Yorkshire and have the most amazing selection of fibre related things. Lots and lots of different fibres as well as spinning tools, fibre dyes, books and much more. It's a great place to explore, I could hardly contain myself. The problem was - what to buy ? It was quite difficult to stop seeing things to buy, in the end, I eventually came away with a great selection of things. Under the circumstances, I thought I was very restrained.

                         

I was mesmerised by the range of merino colours. Lots of single colours in a rainbow of shades in a large shed and another shed with more merino in some lovely blended combinations - with a few bargain bags. My particular favourite colours (at the moment) are navy and mustard so I was especially pleased with 200gms of merino. I also chose a bag of mixed blended merino (another 200gms). I wanted to look for some unusual fibres when I saw the range of sample bags and eventually chose Crab Top - how how is that possible ? and Banana Fibre as well as Camel. I'm not quite sure what I will do with these fibres ? - some kind of blending ?
My final purchase was a selection of dyes. These are a lovely range of colours, mustard, navy and green in beautiful natural shades. I've used the dyes already in a little project (will share the results tomorrow).
My job today is to find projects for each of my new fibres - I'm already there with the navy and mustard merino but not sure about the other stuff. I probably need to review my whole current fibre stash and make some plans.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Polymer Jewels

Hi Everyone
Just a quick post to share a few jewellery items from my 'playtime' yesterday. These simple pieces have been in the design stage for quite some time ! I'm not sure why I've taken so long to finish these items ? However, the prototypes are here and I'm wearing them all today. I need to know if there's any issues with the practical 'wearing' part of the design. I'm hoping all will be well as I've a few pieces which are similar 'in construction'. It's the only way to check out a design ie wear them !

                  
                

If each piece works well for me today, I'll add a few more colour ways and bead shapes. I'm aiming to make this range available in my shop. 
I've already got a few bracelets in a similar design which I wear almost everyday - hence my name for the Collection. I'm hopeful that these pieces will be a major part of my jewellery work for a few months. I'd like to add a few rings too. The range will also get some sterling silver wire in the final production pieces.

Thanks for calling in today.
Hope you have a great weekend.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Knitting Project

Hi Everyone
I've another knitting project in the planning stage to share today. Not that I need another knitting project at the moment ! I have a long list of project waiting for my needles. However, this one will take a while to prep. I'm hoping by the time my current list has been completed, I will be ready.

This time, I'm spinning a new wool and pairing it with some ready made stuff. The wool for spinning is my first delivery of the Time Travellers Club from Hilltop Cloud. I recently joined this monthly club to give me additional inspiration in my spinning journey.

                 
The Time Travellers Club wool is 85% Merino/15% Sari Silk and has lots of beautiful shades of green with vibrant coloured silk threads from the Sari Silk. My photo does not do justice to the colours. I'll try for a better image next time. I'm excited to see how the wool will spin up. I will be going for a light DK weight yarn spin. I'm pairing my own spin with a 75% exra fine Merino/20% Silk/5% Cashmere yarn in shade 0525 which is a carrot-like colour.

I'd like to make a cardigan with my yarn. My pattern is a Andi Satterlund pattern (free pattern on Ravelry). The pattern is a cropped cardigan with 3/4 sleeves.


                      

I think, I will use the contrast carrot shade for the bottom rib, the front bands, neckline and sleeve rib with my green coloured hand spun yarn for the main body of the cardigan. I want to reinforce the button bands with ribbon and find some pretty buttons. That's the plan.

Thanks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Hand Dye Experiment

Hi Everyone
I'm following up my story from yesterday re the hand dye experiment. Read back for details. 
I'm rather pleased with the results - I went for the Chartreuse Green colour and it's very pretty. I was unsure about how the grey coloured wool would take the dye but no problems there and the variegated finish is just right.

                     

I need to find my leftover Dovestone (read back to yesterday for details) and I'm read to go with the shawl.
Wish me luck.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Shawl Yarn Update

Hi Everyone
Today, I have a little progress towards the new shawl (Sweet Marie Shawl) to share. Read back last week for more on this project. I've hand spun the initial natural dyed/neutral wool in blue/green/gold and have around 100m of yarn to work with. The shawl needs more, so I've got another 20m in neutral and a further 65m in mixed neutral/grey hand spun. My plan with the mixed neutral/grey is to dye it.

                        

My dilema is ....... what colour ? At the moment the colours are a little subdued for me. I don't have rules about colour but this combination seems to lack something ? I'm considering a Chartreuse green or a Tangerine orange ? for the neutral/grey yarn. 
In addition, I will still need a little more yarn to complete the shawl and have an idea to add some of a left over green yarn (Dovestone dk) from a previous project. I have some arm warmers in this yarn and am thinking the shawl will offer a good combination to wear alongside the arm warmers. Check out the arm warmer story here.

                        

Will let you know how things turn out.
Thanks for calling in today.





New Toy

Hi Everyone
I'm sharing my latest toy today - a Blending Board. 

                        

The Blending Board was created From Scratch here in our own workshop. Thank you to my lovely husband. The Blending Board was my Easter gift, I don't really do chocolate so this was a lovely alternative to a chocolate egg. 
As you can see from the photo, I've tested out the technique for producing rolags with the Board. It works beautifully and I've lots more ideas for new blended yarns.
Later today, I'm hoping to find the time to spin the rolags. I'll post my results to share.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Plans for a shawl

Hi Everyone
I started sharing my acquisitions from St Abbs Yarn Festival (8/4/17) at the begining of the week and was slightly distracted by Wednesday ! However, I'm back on track today with a lovely idea for a shawl. I'd seen this shawl knitted up at Edinburgh last month and intended to acquire the yarn there. I ,somehow, didn't buy it ? The Edinburgh Yarn Festival proved to be quite a challenge re keeping a clear head. The shawl pattern is called Settler Shawl and designed by Libby Johnson. It's a paid for pattern on Ravelry.
Anyway, before heading off to St Abbs, the shawl idea was firmly on my list and the first thing I bought. I knew Lyndsey from Blue Moon would be there but I wasn't sure there would be any of the threesome yarn left ? Big smile from me when I saw the yarn.

                  

As mentioned, the yarn is from Blue Moon  details of the shop here - I love these colours and am excited to start the shawl project. I need to clear my needles of the socks I'm knitting and then I'll cast on. I think the shawl will be a great Summer thing, great to wear with denim. The shawl pattern is simple but gives a hint of being lace. I'm very wary of lace knitting, it's not usually my thing. I think it's to do with having to concentrate and keep my eye on the pattern. I tend to drift off and before a I know it, I've gone wrong !!  This time, I'm going to do it - no matter how long it takes I WILL make this shawl. I'm sure Im going to enjoy knitting the shawl. The colours of the yarn are so lovely.

As usual will keep you informed of my progress.
Thanks for calling in today. Have a lovely Easter Holiday.


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Sock Talk

Hi Everyone
I've a little update on my latest sock project today. This is my second pair using Magic Loop rather than my usual double pointed needles and my first Magic Loop version of a 'cuff down' pattern. My first Magic Loop techniques was a 'toe up' version.
I'm not sure what I think about using Magic Loop ? - as with all things, there are advantages and disadvantages. I'm finding the management of the needles OK generally but I'm not very happy with the laddering effect which is caused by the Magic Loop. I'm hoping blocking will help even out the line of stretched stitches caused by using the long circular needle. There are many You Tube videos on the Magic Loop if you are keen to know more about this technique. I'm also familiar with a number of discussions re this 'laddering' effect. I need to do more research. You can just make it out in the photo - it looks a little like a crease in the centre of the sock (top sock).

                   

Lots of people use a circular needle for socks and I'm wondering if I need to go for another pattern - specifically written for Magic Loop. My usual sock pattern is the same one I've used forever ! Once I've measured the foot, I hardly need to look at the pattern. It's a plain, very simple sock which I tend to vary with the odd cable or colourwork. 
To avoid the problem of  '2nd sock syndrome' - I'm knitting two socks at once. I've had them on the same needle but not found the needle management very efficient (for me). I'm now using two needles and knitting each section of each sock, one after another and this is working out well for me. I'm almost there with the socks above, another couple of evenings and I'll be finished. This is the sock yarn I bought at Edinburgh (read back a few weeks for more on Edinburgh). I will have enough yarn to make another pair in a slightly different colour pattern. I'm not sure what I will come up with re the colour pattern ? I'll give it some thought later today. I'm also going to try and find another pattern specifically for Magic Loop knitting.

Will share my progress in a few days.


Thanks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Blending Experiments

Hi Everyone
I've a little news about my spinning story from yesterday - take a look yesterday for the detail. 
I've taken the dyed wool and prepared the three separate colours into something I could blend. My plan was to keep the individual colours but add some neutral fibres for the blending process.  I've tried to create a gradient blend using the neutral wool and will aim to spin from dark to light. I'm hoping the rolags I've produced will help me order the dark to light shades for the spin.

                           

So far, I've manage to spin the mustard/gold rolags and will go to the green next. I need to check I've enough yardage in the spin before I can be sure to have enough yarn for my shawl (see yesterday for details). I'm not sure exactly what my plan will be if I'm short of yarn ?  I could keep with neutral yarn or I could develop another batch of contrast colour. I can't make more of the original natural dye wool and anything I try and match will not work as a direct match. The natural dyes have a specific tone and I love the depth of the shades so my choice will be tricky ? 
I'm going to spend the day thinking about my options and hopefully complete the spin of the remaining two colours.

Thanks for calling in today.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Spinning for a Shawl

Hi Everyone
I have another acquisition to share from St Abbs Yarn Festival today (read back yesterday for more on St Abbs). This time it's some natural dyed wool.

             

I bought the wool from the Cornhill Crafts stall. This stall is run by Eve Studd,the same lady I had a great experience with re the Shibori Dye Event a few weeks ago (look back for more on this). Eve had a few large baskets of dyed wool in lots of lovely colours. It was quite a challenge to choose but in the end I went for my usual navy with a green and my favourite of the moment -a deep mustard. The colours are lovely, 

I'm finding it almost difficult to spin up because I like the material the way it is ! However, I need to 'get a grip' with myself and have decided to develop a lightweight DK using a blended spin. I'm going to blend the coloured fibres with some natural Blue Faced Leicester wool and keep the individual colour ways. So far, I've carded the wool so it's ready for blending. I'm not sure exactly how the yarn will look yet or how much of a blend I will create ? I think, I will try for a section of very light colour shade followed by deeper shades throughout each colour way. I'm happy to let the wool tell me what to do.

Having pondered for a few days, I've eventually found a shawl pattern which I think will be good for the finished yarn.

                        

This is a free pattern from Wool And The Gang. It's an easy knit on quite large needles with a crochet border. I plan to use the different colours to give a striped effect across the shawl. The shawl will have three distinct sections using navy, green and mustard. That's the plan. Things could change ? I'll keep you informed as, I go.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Lazy Start

Hi Everyone
I've had a very late start to my day today ! It's, in theory, a partial holiday for me this week. The kids have a school Easter break and I usually take the same break. However, this week, I'm going 'part time' - this means I'm planning specific jobs and will have some time off too. I'm going to keep blogging but may post a little later in the day.
I've had an exciting weekend. On Saturday, I went to a yarn festival with a friend - St Abbs Yarn Festival. This is about an hours drive away so we had lots of time for chatting. I had such a lovely day which included bringing back lots of lovely yarn stuff. I thought, I would share my acquisitions over this week, as I did when I returned from the Edinburgh Yarn Festival a few weeks ago. I'm going to feature each purchase with the intended use. Hopefully this will  help me to focus on what I've bought as well as give me a project schedule for the 'making' part.

So, my first thing to share is a couple of skeins of yarn. I love this yarn. It's an amazing colour, hand dyed Natural Indigo. I am always attracted to blue but this shade of blue is especially lovely. Each skein has an individual tone and lots of depth. The yarn came from a fabulous local artist at the festival. All her stuff is amazing you can check her out here

                       

I'm pairing this yarn with my own spun and dyed yarn to make a poncho. The Indigo yarn is 4ply Blue Faced Leicester/Masham - British Wool. So soft and compliments my own yarn which is also Blue Faced Leiscester.I've talked about this project a few times - if you want more background on my yarn check out the details here

The poncho is a very simple knit - a stocking stitch (lots of it) 'scarf' with an i cord edge on the neck and bottom of the garment. The neck part is stitched on each side to form the poncho. The diagram in my photo story gives a better idea of the finished garment.

                      

My version will have several distinct colour blocks using my own hand spun/dyed yarn and the lovely Indigo yarn. I see the i cord element in the Indigo too and particularly like the way in which the colours work with denim. Can't wait to finish. However, there's a way to go, I'm probably about a third of the way through the knitting. It's just stocking stitch over and over so I need to have smallish sessions. I have a project marker going on and feel it's going well. I had decided about including the Indigo yarn early in the project so have been waiting to purchase so hopefully, I can move on quickly and make good progress this week. The week will be relaxed so I'm keeping my knitting on hand for any quiet moment. I'll keep you informed about my progress.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Fibre Jewellery - update

Hi Everyone
I've a little more news re my progress with the Fibre Jewellery Project today. The basic fibre ropes which form both the necklace and the bracelet are probably my preferred design. I like the idea of using coloured and textured fibres to create the whole design, keeping the form simple. However, I've developed some beads to embellish the ropes, giving the original design more options.
I've made a simple peyote stitch collar for the bracelet, using seed beads. I quite like the look but still prefer the simple rope. I can slip the bead collar over the clasp, so I have the option of easily taking away the collar if it suits.

            
I've also added a silver chain to the necklace. The chain I've chosen is very simple and quite delicate, I tried a number of different chains and this one seems to suit. I'm going to add a clasp to the chain (although the necklace comfortably fits over my head) I like the idea of changing the focal beads I've developed and need some way of slipping the beads on and off the fibre rope without undoing the jump rings which attach the chain to the barrel ends. I feel I'd like the flexibility of changing the look by changing the bead. Here's a quick look at the beads so far :

                            

These beads have been developed from polymer clay and have a large hole to slip over the fibre rope. The plain coloured beads will get a layer of paint to highlight a surface pattern design, followed by a polish. At the moment, I'm favouring the bead on the far right, although, I think the plain beads will compliment the rope necklace best. 

Thanks for calling in today.
Have a great weekend.




Thursday, 6 April 2017

Fibre Necklace News

Hi Everyone
As promised yesterday, I have a fibre necklace (almost) to share today. I used the same technique as described in yesterday's post (read back for details) but lengthened the fibre rope. This time, the rope is slightly thinner but uses similar barrel end findings. My plan is to add a chain to provide additional length.  In addition, I want to add some more decoration to the rope and have decided to create a polymer bead collar.

                           

Today, my task is to add my chain and develop the polymer bead/collar. I'm thinking about a single colour, taken from the range of fibre colours - not sure which as the moment ? I will develop some kind of surface pattern on the bead to compliment the barrel ends and the chain, aiming to bring the design together.

The necklace sits beautifully in a slight arc shape and am already planning a couple more samples in other colours. I quite like the idea of making a layered series of strands in a neutral colour and dying to give an 'ombré' effect - possibly in navy ? I'll keep thinking about this one.

Thanks for calling in today.


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Fibre Bracelets

Hi Everyone
Having declared I was moving away from fibres for a few days, I'm straight back to making stuff with wool ! It's a hard habit to 'kick' ! In my defence, this Fibre Jewel Project was scheduled and has been in the Project Workbook for some time - it's a coincidence ! (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).
The project is a fibre 'rope' finished with metal findings.

I've made the fibre rope using a regular wet felted technique. I layered coloured wool fibres, wet them with soapy hot water and rolled them in a sushi mat until round and firm. After rolling to the desired width, I pinned the rope in my preferred shape with blocking pins onto a sponge board to dry. 
The bracelet needed to be trimmed to size after drying and I spent some time dry felting the ends in preparation for glueing into my barrel end findings. The whole process is very quick and I do like the look of the final item.

                

My plan is to wear my bracelet today, to check how it works as a practical piece of jewellery. I do want to add some kind of beads to the bracelet and am thinking about a peyote stitch collar which picks out some of the different colours in the felted fibres. I'm hoping the collar will sit somewhere in the centre of bracelet, maybe it could move along the length ? There are lots of possibilities with this bracelet, I'll keep thinking about my options throughout the day. 
I also have another fibre rope 'under construction' , this one will be a necklace. Hopefully, I will have something to share tomorrow.

Thanks for calling in today.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Making Beads

Hi Everyone
Looking back over my blog posts of the last few months - there seems to be a huge bias towards fibre related stories. Generally, I think, this is giving an impression that's all I do ! However, much of my time is spent designing and making jewellery of some kind as well as creating and developing  projects for workshops and tutorials. So, today I thought I'd include a few images of some especially lovely bracelets which were made from a recent workshop. 

                      

                       

All these bracelets are fabulous examples from my popular Doughnut Bracelet Workshop. Each set of beads looks lovely and the colour choices are amazing. I've taught this workshop many times but I'm not sure I've seen a complete set of bracelets quite as 'polished' (no pun intended). Well done to everyone involved.
I've got another jewellery project in the design stage today. This time it's combining fibre and beads. I will share the results tomorrow, don't forget to check out the blog tomorrow.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Knitting News

Hi Everyone
I've a little news update re the wrist warmer project (started last week). Friday's post detailed the 'purposeful spinning' idea which is all about spinning for a specific project and I'm reporting on the results. Read Friday's post for more on this.
Over the weekend, I knitted a few wrist warmers and learned about the techniques involved in colourwork. In addition to the actual colourwork techniques, I was also a little unsure about how my hand spun yarn would cope with colourwork. However, I'm happy to report - it coped very well !

 I have concluded, I would have achieved a more distinct contrast pattern with single block colours. One of my colour choices was a mustard/grey/blue blend. I do love the way the coloured blend works with the blue and natural colours but I think a single yellow or dark blue would have given a higher contrast in the stitch pattern. However, the general consistency of the hand spun yarn is very pleasing and the finished wrist warmer is pretty. A positive and very enjoyable knit. I really enjoyed the colourwork technique. Here is a quick look at one of the wrist warmers prior to blocking - I've simply pinned out. I will block both wrist warmers when I'm finished the pair.

                      

One issue which concerned me from the begining was how tight my knitting gauge tends to be. I was right to be concerned. My first completed wrist warmer is a whole size too small. I'm now in the process of knitting a third to give me a pair of warmers which match in size. In addition to my tight knitting tendency, I almost always have issues following patterns - I start with good intentions, then go 'off piste' and resolve any issues as I go. This time, I was determined to stick with the pattern and so it was - it's very easy but I did manage to keep with the stitch count and the colours throughout (as stated). My gauge has slackened considerably and I think, I'm there - in terms of my technique. I also can report very few occasions where my yarn got tangled - major achievevment !
The idea behind this project was twofold - I wanted practice on 'purposeful spinning' and practice re colourwork technique. I think, I can be very pleased with myself.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Purposeful Spinning

Hi Everyone
My little story today is about a new knit project as well as something I'm thinking of as purposeful spinning. I have some plans for colourwork knitting and am tackling this very small project in preparation, ie. developing my skills, for a larger sweater. I also wanted to think about spinning (specifically) for the project. Initially, I hadn't thought about a specific range of colours for the job but somehow the yellow and blues in my stash seemed to 'leap' out. Look back yesterday for more images of the blending process. 
I've spun the mixed fibres and also a neutral cream and a complimentary blue - hand dyed for the job. I didn't spend too much time thinking about which blue to use but I like the light denim colour which has emerged. I used food colouring and it's not always reliable in terms of the outcome.

             I'm also trying hard to keep good records of my spinning. It's very easy to just spin, ending up with small amounts of yarn waiting for projects which will never happen because I can't reproduce enough of a particular yarn to knit anything substantial. The record card in the photo story is just for the yellow/blue mix - I have other cards for each of the yarns I'm using. In theory, I can now spin each individual yarn again and again. I have all the key details and samples of the spin (to compare) as per a recipe. The pattern calls for 2 ply jumper weight and I've tried to create something similar. I may need to swatch a few times to get the gauge sorted ? 

                          


The pattern is a pair of very simple wrist warmer items. The pattern is called solveig wristlets by Outi Kater. I'm hoping, I have chosen the right yarns to make pretty wrist warmers. I'm not sure how long I can make the wrist warmers ? I had some ideas about turning them into more of a 'gauntlet'. However,  I'm not sure if there's enough yarn ? I have 25gm of each of the colours (as stated in the pattern) - I could develop more of the neutral and the blue (possibly a slightly different shade of blue ?) but the mixed yellow/blue is unique - no more of that !

I'm hoping to cast on later today, so should have something to show next week.

Thanks for calling in today. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Blending Fibres

Hi Everyone
I've another fibre project to talk about today. This time I've chosen fibres from my stash to develop a few different coloured yarns for some colour work practice. I've a few ideas for some detailed colour work sweaters and cardigans so want to dip into the techniques with a smaller project. The little project will start with wrist warmers which, I think, may turn into more of a gauntlet item. I have a pair of gauntlet/wrist warmers which I find very useful for linking with one of my knitted poncho's  and like the idea of another pair. The gauntlets under the poncho  looks like I'm wearing a fabulous jumper and gives warmth on a cool day.
I do have a pattern inspired by a project from my local knit group. I'll share the details once I get going. The original pattern uses red, natural, light blue colours and I'm aiming to replace my blended colours for the red, I'll keep the natural shade and use dark blue for light blue. 
So far, I've got the blended yarn and the natural. I need to spin some more natural for dying dark blue - hopefully today. I especially love the blended rolags (top right).

             

My little photo story shows the progress of the yarn production from 3 different fibres, a British wool blend and a couple of coloured blended Tops. The images progress clockwise and I'm at the stage where my 2 ply needs a soak before it's ready to use.
I enjoyed making the yarn last night and will try and manage this little project alongside my other current knitting plans. The poncho from yesterday (read back for details) is a simple but very long stocking stitch knit and I need something to give my mind a challenge. Fingers crossed, I can cope !

I'll share the detail of the new knit tomorrow - hopefully I will have cast on.

Thanks for calling in today.