Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Done. Finally.

 They have been nearly 3 years in the making, but I’ve finally done it, the alpaca socks are done, and it’s a good job too because all of a sudden it is fffreezing here.  These socks are completely indoor socks and have been doing a wonderful job keeping my feet toasty while I sit on the sofa and knit.  Also they are so soft and lovely, I can highly recommend the Artesano Inca Cloud, in fact I could quite happily just wrap myself up in the stuff and wait for this cold snap to pass.
I’m still having a lovely time getting to know my spinning wheel.  Despite having a couple of frustrating moments, I have completed my first bobbin and am now about halfway into my second.  The fibre is a British Breeds blend I got from Fondant Fibre a couple of weeks ago, split end to end to make a (hopefully) striping 2 ply.  With any luck it should be done by the end of the week, it certainly looks like having a wheel will be good for production!

Thursday, 26 January 2012


My sooper dooper treat to myself arrived yesterday, via the very nice man next door (thank you Don!)  Here is what was in the box
Can you tell what it is yet?  Stu took pity on me, grabbed his tool box and started assembling it for me.  He’s a good boy.
The strange shadow along the bottom is probably cat ears!
And here she is all finished. 
My very own Ashford Kiwi spinning wheel!  Purchased from Wingham Woolwork, who very kindly included a £15 voucher for fibre, which I will very much enjoy spending.  I didn’t have much chance to try it out last night, but I think we are going to be very good friends.  I was a bit worried that the transition from spindle to wheel would be very difficult, but the only real problem I have been having is in getting the right amount of twist in to the yarn and that really will just be a matter of practice..... and I intend to get a lot of practice.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Goodness gracious....

....great balls of fibre!  Yep, three little balls of singles can only mean one thing, it’s plying time.  These were originally this

which I spun up in the hope of getting a yarn which phased from green to purple to blue.  Unfortunately upon winding them into a plying ball one strand had completely run out before the third had even got to green.  My plan is to cable ply the remaining green from the leftovers and add it later so all is not lost.

Saturday, 21 January 2012


Lots more things for me in the post over the last few days.

First, 3 braids of fibre from Fondant Fibre, The pink and blue and the brown and pink are both cheviot and the green and pink is a British breeds blend.  I’m currently formulating a plan for spinning these to show off the colours nicely.  I may spin one of them up using one of my super new spindles....
 ..made from dowels and toy wheels I received a few days ago, these little spindles are actually lovely spinners.  I do love my fancy spindles, but now that we are really trying to save as much money as we can these little ones are as cheap as chips and perfectly good.

That being said, I have allowed myself one last splurge and the postman should be arriving with the spoils any day now.... I can’t wait to share what it is, but I’ll wait until it is here.

Also through the door was the latest issue of Burda Style.  Typically it has a section on maternity wear, there is some nice stuff there but with only 10 weeks left to go it doesn’t seem worth sewing anything up.  I guess I’ll tuck it away in case there is a next time.  I guess I should probably browse through all of my old issues to see if there are any nice baby patterns.  That sounds like a nice job for Sunday afternoon, with a cup of tea and some chocolate.  Mmmmm.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Here it is!

Firstly, panic over, the first of the spiral socks has been found and the second is well on its way to being finished.  They look a pretty pair don’t they?  Incidentally, the pattern is from Easy Knitted Socks by Jeanette Trotman.  My copy appears to have been to hell and back, it’s all crinkly and horrible and the entire back half appears to be stuck together.  Clearly during all the times I’ve been unable to find this book it has been off having adventures.

I finally got sewing last night, which was a relief as I have been itching to get going for  a while.  One thing after another held me back.  First there was nowhere to put the machine, then I couldn’t find any thread, then my ruler was missing and then I couldn’t find any pins.  Last night it all came together and I made this
It’s a lovely patchwork play mat, made by roughly following this tutorial. I love it!  I wasn't convinced it would end up being anything like square, but it is.  Even my topstitching looks fairly straight, I'm rather proud of myself.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

My endless socks

I’ve had a bit of a gear change with my knitting, I finished the main body of the baby cardi I’ve been making and then realised that I needed DPNs for the sleeves.  Typically the only set  I have in the right size have been languishing in the second of a pair of socks that I have been knitting since May 2009.  Obviously I could use magic loop for the sleeves, but I much much prefer DPNs and this seems like a golden opportunity to actually finish these flipping socks.  Given that I knew where the pattern was (No. 1 reason for the longevity of this project is that the pattern goes missing with alarming regularity) and that I had actually kept track of what row I was on using my phone (sock has been ripped back so many times due to having no clue where I got to) this seems like too good a chance to miss.  Wish me luck, finishing these things has been an uphill struggle for nearly 3 years, maybe I can actually do it this time.  Oh and the first sock is...somewhere.  I'd probably best find that to give me half a chance of making a matching pair!
Sock no.1 - currently MIA

Thursday, 12 January 2012

My sis rocks!

My sis Jess and me - she's the giant!
I’ll start today by bragging a bit about my little sister, of whom I am very, very proud.  She is currently in her last term studying live event technology at university and has just found out that she has got a place working at the International Broadcast Centre at the London Olympics.  Not a bad start given that she will have barely graduated, we are really excited for her.  This also means that, for a while at least, she will be back in the South East being Auntie Jess.  I can’t wait!

In preparation for the baby arriving, I have an absolute boatload of sewing projects I want to start.  Here is a big pile of fabric bits I got through the post from Fabric Rehab last week:
A free cat with every bundle!
Some of the bits are going to be a quilted play mat, some will be little project bags for me and some will form the backing for a fleece blankie.  I’m really excited to get started.  These should be quick little projects and I do like a bit of instant gratification, plus I get to feel like I am really starting to get things together for the baby.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Catch up

Ok, so quick catch up time, let’s see how much I can abbreviate this!

1:  House bought, moved into and largely redecorated.  Hurrah!

2: Me.  FAAAAT, but healthy.
 3. Baby.  Growing, kicking and...... female (according to the nice sonographer).  We are very happy about this.

4: Knitting.  Currently working on cute tiny baby cardi
 5. Spinning.  I have 2 projects very close to the plying stage which I hope to be able to share soon, as well as the usual ongoing projects which just goooo oooon!  I have been on a bit of a fibre splurge just recently.  A lot of undyed BFL which just looks kind of cream and these two lovely braids from FeltStudio.  I would buy all her stuff if I could.
Sparkly BFL

So, there’s a quick catch up.  It’s a busy exciting time for us at the mo and even though I don’t have much time I really hope that I can manage to share a bit more of it here.  It feels like I should be documenting things more, even if just for me to look back on.