Friday, 19 November 2010

Green Boy

So, I haven't blogged for a while. I've been busy, I've opened the shop, have been dyeing quite a bit and knitting too, of course. I have finished a few projects that I've not been able to photograph yet as my photographer is only around at the weekends and light has been truly dire here. One project I did photograph was Green Boy, because I didn't have to wear it! The pattern is 'Fisherman's Pullover' by the wonderfully talented Veera Valimaki. I used my Merino Aran in the colourway 'Envy', which I dyed especially for Indi.

I procrastinated for ages on the knitting, but it was a breeze and was done in a couple of days. My only modification was to not do the sleeve decreases as it looked like it would be too tight. I also wanted the jumper to be a bit big, so that it would fit him for a while, because he's growing fast!

I'm now test knitting Heidi Kirrmaier's Atelier. I'm using Drops Alpaca, which I dyed myself. Fingers crossed I'll make the deadlines ok.

On the shop front, I've just received a few kilos of the most wonderful laceweight Bluefaced Leicester. It's a singles yarn full of character, which is produced in very small amounts each year. Truly wonderful stuff! Look out for it, hopefully from next week.

Monday, 13 September 2010

The Deep Dark Wood

I've just finished another project. The pattern is Idlewood, by Cecily Glowik MacDonald. I used Jamieson & Smith 2 ply jumper weight, holding it double. It's my new favourite. I love the yarn, I love the pattern, it feels cosy and warm and will be perfect for windy winter walks by the sea! The yarn is 100% Shetland, which has to be my favourite breed of sheep - it has plenty of crunchy texture, without compromising on softness. Love, love, love it! I made the jumper a bit shorter, omitted the pockets (which I liked, but were a bit of a no-no for my body shape) and adapted the number of raglan increases for my bust size.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Some Dyeing and More Celery

I have been busy dyeing and I'll open my etsy shop soon. These are some of the yarns and fibres you'll see in my first update:

I have also finished another Celery. I really wanted to knit one that fitted me a bit better, so I had another go, in TML Butter this time. I knit a swatch and blocked it and went on my merry way knitting away my Buttered Celery. When it came to blocking time, guess what? Huge again. I almost cried.

After much internal debate (oh, ok and reading lots of other people’s projects and forum posts) I decided to do the unthinkable and stick it in the tumbler. Hey presto! Now it fits!

It went in quite wet and came out almost dry. I wet blocked the collar and front bands again because they had gone a bit crinkly and all was well again. I’m still to do that with Beetroot and will post new pictures when I do.

Anyway, here it is:

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Gifts and Prizes

I have been very lucky recently. I got an amazing Tour de Fleece random prize from Hello Yarn, look:
Falklands wool 'We're All Winners', a card and a lovely hand-bound notebook.

And a beautiful gift from Leslie:
A hand-knitted silk lace scarf, just beyond words.

And I finally got to use the TLE gift voucher I got for my birthday (in March!). I had been waiting for them to receive TML, and here it is:I got 4 skeins of Lapis, a colourway I had been after for some time. Maybe I'll make a Hay Cardigan with it?

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

KnitNation and recent FOs

I thought it was about time I started a blog. And there's no better place to start than with KnitNation. What a fabulous couple of days I had! It was so nice to put faces to a few names, be surrounded by like-minded people, get lots of inspiration, not to mention the stash enhancements and the amount I learnt.

I did two workshops: 'Popular Wheel Mechanics' and 'To Spin a Fine Thread', both with Judith Mackenzie McCuin. What a fabulous teacher! I learnt so much. We also played with some lovely fibres: BFL/silk, cashmere/silk, yak, pygora, cotton, merino and rambouillet. I managed to spin as thin as 2-ply sewing machine thread, but struggled a bit with the thicker weights, so more practice is needed!

Judith was really generous, in spirit and with information, good humoured and funny. It was a joy to be in her company and I hope I get to do more with her. We learnt about twist angles and how they affect the thickness of the yarn, without having to change the pulley or how fast you treadle and daft.

Oh, must not forget the Marketplace! So overwhelming! I was so busy looking and shopping that I didn't take any pictures. The busiest stall was by far Wollmeise, and they had loads. It was quite hard choosing colours as there was so much choice and so many people. I think I did quite well and only got one skein of 100% and one of lace (at last, yay!)

Anyway, here's what I got:

Now, onto different matters: I have recently finished test-knitting Veera's gorgeous Celery. It all looked great up until I blocked it. It stretched masses and is now a bit too big :( This has most definitely taught me to block my swatches. I still like it though, but I'm looking forward to making another, closer fitting one.

I have also completed my first Tour de Fleece! It was great fun and I produced some nice yarns. It was a great way to get used to my new wheel. I used up some Spunky Club Shetland, Hello Yarn thrums and Pigeonroof Studios South African Fine:

Not a lot of yarns, but I was away on holiday and hurt my neck half-way, so I think I did ok. I struck mega-lucky and won a fabulous prize: some Hello Yarn fibre and a book hand-bound by njstacie. Really looking forward to getting those!