All knitting, all spinning, all the time

All knitting, all spinning, all the time

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Lovely goodies

Last weekend was the Warwick spinners weekend, & what fun!

I didn't think I would have the same opportunities to buy things as you get on the journey to Harrietville, but once my friend D & I got there ...

Oooo ... pretty ...

Little baggies of mohair, silk hankies & silk caps with co-ordinating merino slivers (purples & blues - my favorite).

Next came the Ashford with merino/silk & bags of bamboo. I also found a pot of red dye to add to my collection.

And then ... whoops!

The picture looks like it's sideways, but it isn't. This little beauty is an umbrella swift. It hangs sideways off your bench so your skeins don't fall off whilst you wind them into balls. I'd been after one for a while, & this one was too pretty (I love wood), too practical, & too reasonably priced to leave it behind.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The good, the bad & the ugly

The good:

A one-row scarf in some handspun merino using the fractal stripe technique. (Not George)

In reality it's much more purple than red. I love this spinning technique. It's such a great way of using a painted roving without it either turning to mud, or trying (& failing) to match the colours perfectly. Basically, you split the roving down the middle lengthwise & spin one half just how it comes onto one bobbin. You then split the other half into thin strips & spin them onto another bobbin. When you ply them together you get the long colour repeats of the first bobbin & the shorter colour repeats of the second coming together in a very pleasing manner. (George was my first fractal stripe & I was so pleased with the result - to quote an old Bugs Bunny cartoon - I hugged it & patted it & called it "George")

The bad:

I had a go a painting a roving, but got rather carried away & it felted a bit. This is the spun result.

It didn't want to draft, & as a result it's 100 grams of slubby, thick & thin that I don't know what to do with.

The ugly:

A multi-directional garter stitch scarf made from a skein of fibre sandwich. This isn't the fibre sandwich we made last week, but a "and here's one I prepared earlier" skein from a Harrietville workshop. This scarf is so ugly it's almost (almost) good.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Yeti slippers

I've been wanting to do one of those knit/felt slipper patterns for a while. (I've had a kit from Wild & Woolly in the stash for a few years). Making the coasters has given me a taste, so out came the big fat needles (so not me) & here's the result:

Slippers that are so huge they look like they'd fit a yeti. They weren't terrifically long though. So rather than throw them in my front loader & hope for the best, it was back to the kitchen sink. One hour later, I'm exhausted, & they now look like this:

Sorry for the crappy photo, but as you should be able to make out, they're not quite so big anymore. When they first went into the water, they stretched rather alarmingly (how much bigger could these things get?!) But after a while (a long while) they started to shrink. They are now a perfect fit, but look rather boring. I'm thinking they'd be a good canvas for some needle felting ...

Friday, 5 March 2010

And fun was had by all

Today was the first workshop I did for our little spinning group. We made a fibre sandwich.
It started out slowly, with people watching on in interest, then slowly gathered momentum.

Soon everyone was excitedly flinging a vast range of things onto the rapidly growing sandwich. Fleece, tops, chopped up threads & yarns, marshmallows (cotton balls) & sprinkles (shredded cellophane) all made an appearance. Can't wait to see what they make out of their portions!

Other news: A while ago I bought a little purse kit from Spotlight which contained a pattern for a knit/felt purse, & some yarn. It now looks like this:

It shall now be sent to Melbourne where my lovely daughter (the new owner of the "missing yellow" socks) will have the fun of felting it.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Swallowtail FO

It's finished!

It never ceases to amaze me just what a difference blocking can make.

The real colour is kind of halfway between the two photos - more a periwinkle blue. Check out the nupps - totally worth the bruises I developed on my fingers from shoving my needle into them.

I was a little nervous when it came off the needles - it looked tiny. But after a fairly severe blocking, it's 49" wide & 23" long. Still a small shawl, but big enough to be useful.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Four letter word

After many attempts at a black cardigan for my mum (I want it to be perfect, but it has other ideas) I thought I'd knit something that wouldn't matter if I screwed up the tension so bad it wouldn't fit a 10 year old. A shawl. Or a shawlette if you prefer (it's smaller, so shouldn't take too long to finish).

For those of you playing at home, this is "Swallowtail" from Interweave Knits Autumn 2006, & some leftover Bendi 2ply from my Eternal Shawl.
I'm trying to remind myself at this point that the two minute noodles you see above will block out like magic. The first pattern is done, & I moved onto the first border pattern (there are two). This pattern (lily of the valley) has something I'd never come across before - nupps.
A nupp is basically another way to do a bobble. You increase 4sts into 1 (K1, yo, K1, yo, K1), then on the return row, you purl all 5sts together. I'm a fairly firm knitter, so I'm having all sorts of dramas getting my needle into all 5 to purl these suckers without them all slithering off the ends of my needles, undoing themselves as they go.
My hands hurt from trying to force them, but do I care? Nupp.
Is it easy? Nupp.
Am I going to let it beat me? Nupp.
Have I learnt a new four letter word? Yup - "nupp".