All knitting, all spinning, all the time

All knitting, all spinning, all the time

Friday, 17 August 2018

A cautionary tale

Hello out there in blog land! I'm still here, knitting, spinning, and sidling uneasily around my loom. I've dusted off my sewing machine, and I'm attempting to teach myself to sew. So far I've made two pairs of pyjama pants, a failed cotton summer top, and a gazillion bags.

I've found a new craft group which meets every fortnight at the local library, and every other fortnight at one of the ladies homes. This is a great excuse for morning tea, and is bringing me back to the joys of baking. I haven't really baked much since I moved north, as I would've had to eat it all, and although there is no doubt I would enjoy that, my waistline would not. So spurred on by an opportunity to bake new things, I've delved through my recipes, and bought a few new cooking utensils, biscuit trays, and one of those new fandangled floppy silicone loaf tins. (Tins? It's floppy silicone, not tin. What do you call those things?)

So here begins my tale of caution.

This morning I thought I'd make some banana bread, as it's really good eaten whilst still warm from the oven, and the crusty bits on the outside (the best bits - am I right?) tend to go soft if baked the day before. So I mixed the batter, splodged it into the shiny new tin (loaf pan?), and bunged it in the oven. It takes a good 40 - 50 minutes to bake, so I hopped into the shower. By the time I emerged from the bathroom, things were starting to smell pretty good. But what was that slight burning smell? I opened the oven to investigate, and to my horror, the floppy tin (container?), had decided to do just that. Flop. The uncooked batter had seen an opportunity to escape, oozed out of the tin (baking thing?) and all over the bottom of the oven, where it was happily burning itself to a crisp. Cue the smoke alarm. This began a frenzy of flapping a tea towel at the alarm to shut it up, convincing the tin to stand up (if it was tin it wouldn't have betrayed me like this), flapping a tea towel at the alarm, trying to scrape up as much of the burning batter as I could off the bottom of the oven, ripping the battery out of the smoke alarm (shut UP damn you!), burning myself on an oven rack, and saying quite a few unladylike words.

Surprisingly, what was left of the banana bread was quite tasty, and completely devoured at morning tea. So now I'm off to go scrub my oven. Anyone want a silicone loaf tin?

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

I'm not using the "R" word.

A new year inevitably leads to thinking of new year's res...
No. I will not use the "R" word! If I use that word, we all know what happens next. A month or two of being good, and then everything goes to pot.

What I would like to happen, is to finally finish the UFO's that are taking up so much space in my loungeroom. There's a queen sized blanket awaiting it's final border, a 4ply cardigan needing a hood and half a sleeve, a jumper for my dad with only the back done, a cute little sock yarn shawl which is taking forever, and a handspun BSJ that just needs seams and buttons.

That seems achievable ... I hope?

I'd also like to dust off my sewing machine. Maybe make a skirt or two? I've also been thinking more and more about quilting. I've only ever made a sampler cot sized quilt before, many many moons ago. I loved the piecing together, but hated the way the teacher insisted we quilted "stitch in the ditch". I can stitch just about anywhere but there!

Oh, and then there's the 4 shaft loom sitting on the bed in the stash room. And the virtual mountain of scrummy fibres waiting to be spun ...

What are your crafty plans for this year?

Sunday, 6 April 2014


I scored a free fleece of unknown breed or age on Friday at Spinners. Nice long staples, if a little grubby. It's been YEARS since I've prepped a fleece for spinning from scratch! I'd also forgotten how long it takes.

Very satisfying, though. Taking it through the processes, from washing, drying, and running it through my drum carder (multiple times for a really nice result). I'm really pleased with how my squishy batts are coming out - sooooo different from what I started with! They should be a dream to spin.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Sigh ...

I'm going through another one of those phases where everything I touch turns to crap. I've knitted and ripped, knitted and ripped, and knitted and ripped. I've spent the last week knitting up some really yummy handspun, and I've really enjoyed knitting with it. I should knit with my handspun more often! However I haven't been entirely happy with the gauge, and as I've been knitting, I've been thinking about frogging it so I could use a larger needle.

I'm knitting a (quite large) top down triangular shawl with a patterned edge. I've just screwed up the lace pattern, and don't think I want to bother fixing it.


Saturday, 1 February 2014

A new year, a new home, a new hobby.

I've been resisting this one for a while. I really like knitting. I enjoy spinning because it lets me play with yummy fibres, and results in yarn I can knit with. Weaving? Not so much.

And then someone gave me a loom. A rigid heddle loom to be precise. I sidled round it all last year warily, and then took the plunge. My first attempt at a scarf wasn't toooo bad. Learning from my mistakes, I tried again.
Take ONE ball of sock yarn
Warp directly onto loom
Around a warping peg
Weave fwom wight to weft
Close up
I have now gone out and bought more heddles for my loom, so I can weave any thickness of yarn my little heart desires. I'm hooked!

PS - Please pardon my absence for the last few months, both myself AND a beloved family member moved houses. I don't want to hear the words "cardboard boxes" or "packing" for a loooong loooong time! It was totally worth it though - I am so much happier in my new home.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Back to socks

Just lately, everything I try to knit turns to crap. Dumb mistakes, poor yarn/pattern choices, and sheer bloody-mindedness have all taken their toll on my knitting confidence.

For example, I've dropped stitches in a plain shawl and have been completely unable to pick them up. In fact, trying to fix it made it sooooo much worse. That shawl then came out much, much smaller than I'd have liked. And the final straw (this is where the bloody-mindedness comes in) is a pale blue cardigan which is too rough (it's baby yarn! ), at some point in the yarns life the outside of the balls have been bleached by the sun which is only obvious when you're not looking at it in my lounge rooms craptastic lighting (I do 99% of my knitting there), my tension is all over the place, I've just found a boo-boo that means I'll have to frog back most of the second front, but I'm NOT GOING TO LET IT BEAT ME!!! I will win. I'm about 80% done! However it does need to sit in the naughty basket until my urge to cut it up into itty bitty bits subsides.

In the meantime, there are socks. I haven't knitted socks for almost six months, but it feels like time. Short socks (therefore quick), easy socks (familiar & comfortable), and yarn that's pretty, but not precious. Just socks.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Handspun squishy goodness

I decided to take a break from knitting my current cardigan project (4 ply, scratchy, bleach spots on the yarn from the sun - grrr). Don't feel like knitting socks (gasp!), can't find a shawl pattern that grabs me.

Time to go stash-diving.

I came up with a handspun 100g 5 ply-ish skein in a pretty red/green colourway. I'll admit, I didn't really think about how it was dyed before I spun it. It was basically large splodges of green and red with a smidge of yellow on a white roving. I just spun it how it came and plyed it with itself. It turned out as a really pretty skein and is soft, soft, soft.

Some searching on Ravelry's pattern database yielded a suitable pattern for a slouchy hat with matching fingerless mitts, and I cast on!

I'm now halfway through the second mitt, with the hat all finished. There's a problem though. The way I spun the yarn means it's not consistently coloured all the way through. The second mitt is quite a different colour from everything else. It's really too late to do anything about it now. (sigh) So here's hoping it won't sit in my market bag forever.