Thursday, 19 June 2008

Spinning 1st, Knitting 2nd

I know c@*p title but I'm not really very creative when it comes to writing, I was always terrible at English, especially when it came to writing stories.... Anyway all I mean is that I decided to write about spinning rather than knitting first, mainly because there's not much on the knitting front to talk about...

Remember these 3 Falkland Rovings from The Yarn Wench ?

Sweet Pearl 2

Last Tango 2
Songbird 1

Well they are now turned into this:

and awaiting plying.... I think the yarn is going to be very colourful, but I can't envisage it working out to knit the Polka-Dot Stole with, can you?

On the knitting front things are progressing, the socks are well on to both having a matching partner, that will be a relief to the recipients I'm sure, well if they knew they were the recipients ;o)

The Spring Things is progressing, but I'm still on the 1st pattern, so there's no point showing you a larger version of the last photograph from the last post.

Apart from my crocheted container, in which I am just going round and round.. and round, I have some Granny Squares which need making up into a bag, I have all the bits, but not the enthusiasm to make the bag!!! So if I can find some mojo from somewhere I might have some completed Items for my next post, but don't hold your breath....

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Actual Progress with Photos!

There's quite a lot of photos in here so be warned/enjoy!

Mmm were to begin... knitting I think then if anyone doesn't want to read through the spinning bit at the end they can skip it or vice versa :o)

On the sock knitting front I've managed to complete a pair of socks in the last two weeks; for those of you before you're quick to point out they don't match, I know ;o) I quite often complete pairs of socks that don't match but fear not every sock gets it's matching partner in the end, it just may take a while....

We have a completed Hundertwasser on the left and a Lana Grossa Bosco on the right. I'm sad to say that the import of Lana Grossa into the UK will be / has ceased and therefore Get Knitted won't be getting there sock yarn anymore :o( I'm rather fond of their yarn and their range of patterns especially the Meetings pattern which is so classy I've knit it 4 times already and have a further 2 balls in my stash....

Anyway I digress this pattern is 'Bosco' I say pattern because LOOK it's a repeating pattern Aghhhh!!!!! I've never seen this happen in another ball of Bosco it comes out all mingley not a definite repeating pattern, have I got the only ball of Bosco that does this???

Now those of you who know me well and my sock knitting know that I like matching socks, should they be designed to match...

well after the initial Aghhh moment about 10cm into this sock when I realised what was happening I've carefully watched all the way to the end to see if I can work out were in the yarn I started as yes you guessed it, I hadn't made a note of were I started, I didn't need to this yarn doesn't pattern!

After much consideration as I headed towards the toe I realised I'd be finishing the toe more or less were I should be starting so I decided that I would use as little as possible to graft the toe and then start the 2nd sock immediately after, which I did. Hey Presto! they match yeahhhh!!!! in fact I'm about 1 row out but who cares I certainly don't as it's in the rib and apart from the bright yellow and orange band the rest of the colours are all mingley and dark so it doesn't show :o)))

Crisis averted and sanity restored well almost..... I know I have 2 knots to overcome in the 2nd sock of the Hundertwasser :oS

On the non-sock knitting front I have completed anothe pair of Marvelous Mitts. I was asked to knit a 2nd pair after the recipient of the 1st pair was thrilled with them and after showing them round her family a much loved Aunt expressed great interest in them. As it's her birthday at the end of June I agreed to knit her a pair... although this then posed me with a problem she's a size 9 glove :oS

Remembering back to Eunny's "Endpaper Mitts" were she used different needle sizes to produce different sized gloves I opted for a 3mm needle instead of the stated 2mm and they've come out just about right :o) without any struggling necessary to get them on or in fact blocking for that matter!

I used Rowan 4ply soft in 'Marine' for the MC and some leftover 'Desert Flower' in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock for the CC... I'm pleased with them, but I still prefer my first pair in green and purple :o)

Next on the knitting front is some Lace.... I finally decided on the 'Spring Things' shawl to knit with my first hand spun lace... I opted for 3.75mm Addi Lace needles. I have to say it's slightly bigger than this now as I did a few repeats yesterday.... I'm feeling slightly smug as my yarn is nice to knit with and the colours are muted enough not to 'destroy' the pattern.... and surprisingly I haven't got board with the pattern, well yet!

OK on the spinning front... I finished the 'Blackberry' superwash merino from Freyalyn and managed 350m/100g... It's Navajo plied which I like for socks... I like the 'commercial' look to the yarn it produces... This will be off to it's new owner soon as it's a birthday present for a good friend....

On my wheel at the moment is some fibre from the Yarn Wench, Falkland to be precise. I love this fibre and find it easy to spin. I'm hoping to make sufficient yarn to do the Polka Dot Stole by Fiddlesticks for which the suggested yarn of Fiddlesticks Country Silk comes in at 800m / 250g... well I've got 300g of fibre so I'm in with a chance....

I'm also reducing my stash... well rather trying to 'manage' it so I'm using 3 different colourways of Falkland... this is the 2nd one I'm spinning for this 3ply, called "Last Tango 2" (I know country silk is a 2ply but I needed 300g and this was the easiest way to get the weight). It's also my first conscious attempt at spinning thicker singles, until now I've been working my way thinner and thinner... and whilst I have to concentrate more and refer to my 'control' sample a lot more I'm enjoying it....

This was the first one and is called "Sweet Pearl 2"

As you can see similar colours, the 3rd roving is similar in colour to this one, but has some common colours with the current one I'm spinning... It's either going to work really well or be a complete mess... I'll consider before I knit the stole if I like the yarn or it needs over dying or I may wait if I'm unsure about the yarn until I've knit the stole then over dye... who says knitting isn't adventurous or challenging ;o)

On the Stash enhancement side... Natalie of The Yarn Yard (see my sidebar) decided to do a shop update, what can you do but support a fellow small business owner.... I came away with one of her first batts 42g of Merino Sparkle +

bfl superwash - 'Lush'

bfl superwash - 'Turmeric'

I've also purchased a TdFleece pack from her in bfl superwash ready for the Tour de Fleece on Ravelry... if anyone wants one go check her site out it's £15 + p&p and you have to purchase before Monday 16th June as that's when she's going to be doing her one-off dying day for this... We've no idea about the colours so it'll be a surprise... I'm opting for the 'Breakway' group and I'm going to attempt, OK force myself to do art yarn, so I'm mentally preparing myself to produce yarn that is completely unusable... I'm already waking up in cold sweats a the thought of yarn which is just so impractical ;o)

The question is will I be able to do it?

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

A Meme...

Helen aka as Sheep Happens tagged me for this:

The rules: Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1) What was I doing ten years ago?
I struggle to remember what I was doing last week sometimes; but what was I doing in May/June 1998... nothing really interesting apart from going to work every day and completing Part 1 of my C&G Creative Embroidery course for the first time!!!

2) What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today?
As I'm a morning person I prefer to do jobs first thing, then when I finish work it's my time so to speak.... so far jobs I have done are:
a. Done the ironing
b. Tidied the lounge up so it doesn't look like a bombs gone off
c. Made sandwiches for DH & friends lunch
d. Took stock & placed an order for the shop (when you live and work on the same premises work and non-work roll into 1!)
e. Got things out the freezer for tea

3) Snacks I enjoy?
a. Low Fat Digestive with crunchy peanut butter (yes I know a contradiction)
b. Chocolate
c. Ryvita Minis with spready cheese
d. Toast or soft bread with butter & Treacle

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire?
a. Pay the mortgage
b. Expand the shop
c. Change the car
d. Donate to a few charities

5) Places I have lived?
If you include college & work placements...
Chorley - growing up
Bilsborrow, Nr Garstang (north of Preston) - College
Dalton Nr, Apply Bridge - Work Placement
Dunsop Bridge*, Nr Clitheroe - Work Placement
Chorley - 1st House after getting married
Chorley - 2nd House (still here)

*Interesting fact, Dunsop Bridge is the centre of England!!!

6) Jobs I have had?
a. Farm work (I did and do have a HND in Agriculture) - Dairy, sheep, Pigs, Poultry, Beef & Arable over the years

b. Dry Stone Walling Survey for what was then known as ADAS when I was on summer holiday from Uni studying BSc in Environmental Management

c. Data Input/Testing Software for a Multimedia Language learning software company - I don't speak foreign languages, but I can recognise and hear phrases in many languages enough to be able to break them up to put onto CD ROM including Tagalog (language of the Philippines) when we did an instructional CD ROM for Cunard to help teach the staff how to do things such as putting towels on beds, folding ends of toilet paper over and were the lifeboats were ;o)

d. I worked in a weighbridge office issuing dispatch notes & invoices + a myriad of other office duties for an International Dry Extruded Petfood manufacturer

e. Currently (3 years) run my own shop selling embroidery supplies and knitting yarns

Note: I have never lived or worked outside of Lancashire!!!

7) Peeps I want to know more about?
Well as I think I'm one of the last to be tagged, I'd like people who read my blog but don't necessarily leave comments or comment on a regular basis...please :o)