Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Sunday, 28 August 2011
All the ganseys started out the same, and were decorated in a variety of ways. This was recorded on a label attached to each individual gansey, as you can see below.
There were some stunning fish, knit from wire. They were incredibly tactile, and looked fantastic hanging in a shoal.
There were a number of intricate 'pictures' on the walls that drew you in to examine them more closely.
There was a wall hanging that had been produced using contributions from both local and national knitters, as well as from workshops held during the exhibition. It was very bright and cheery! It's going to go on permanent display at the centre.
This little chap made me smile - I wonder where he is going to end up on the wall hanging?!
An awful lot of work has gone into putting on this exhibition, and I enjoyed looking around. I wonder if it has managed to change people's perceptions of knitting at all?!!
Thursday, 25 August 2011
Soak the fibre for at least 30 minutes in warm water. Add a squirt of washing up liquid.
While it's soaking, choose the colours of Kool-Aid you want to use. You can buy Kool-Aid here. And if you look here, you can see what colours you get from the different flavours. I chose pink grapefruit, cherry, grape and tropical punch. Mix the powders up with a little warm water. You can make the colours more or less intense by changing the amount of water you add. Mine was a bit trial and error!!
Lay out the wet 'sausage' of fibre on a table or worktop, on top of cling film. This cling film will wrap around the fibre once it's been dyed. The Kool-Aid will stain so wipe up any spills straight away!
Apply the dyes to the fibre. I used a separate syringe for each colour. Make sure that the dye penetrates right through the fibre so that there is no undyed fibre left. You might find it useful to wear some rubber gloves for this. Where two colours meet, blend them together.
Roll the cling film up around the fibre and place it in a microwaveable container. Make sure that the steam can escape from your container. I made some holes in the lid of mine. Microwave on medium power for about 5 minutes. Make sure that your yarn doesn't dry out.
When it's dyed, the residual liquid in the container should be pretty clear. If you need to, microwave for a further 5 minutes. Allow to cool and then rinse in warm water. If you use water that's too cold, you might end up felting your fibre! Hang up and allow to dry.
Coil up your braid so that you can admire it in all its beauty! It is now ready to be spun!
Monday, 22 August 2011
Sunday, 21 August 2011
I chose plum, stone, autumn sky, sage and turmeric. It really was very easy to do, and no mess either, which can't be bad. I'd actually put on my scruffiest clothes that day and was dreading someone coming to the door!! I dyed one skein using autumn sky and sage, and the second using plum and stone. Here are the results! Ta-dah!!!!!!!
The bluey-green one I've called Lagoon and the plum and brown one is Chocolate Cherries. I think they look quite nice, of course the proof of the pudding will be the eating, or in this case, the knitting. They might pool terribly! We shall see! I have some other dyes that I'll have a little play around with this week. I'll be back tomorrow to show you some spinning! Bye! xxx
Friday, 19 August 2011
There were three different yarns - a skein of Bugga! in beautiful, vibrant greens, a skein of merino and cashmere yarn from the Plucky Knitter in more muted greens. I haven't come across this yarn before - it feels gorgeous! There were also two skeins of Shepherd's Wool in royal blue. As well as the yarn, there were lots of extra goodies packed in! These gift labels made me laugh - I wonder who will be the recipient of one?!!
I love these yarny earrings too - each one is made from a mini-skein of Bugga! yarn. They could be my 'emergency yarn' earrings!
There were lots of other wonderful gifts - teas, lip balm, soap, needle holders, sweets and a magnetic pattern marker. It really was a lovely parcel, thank you very much Melissa. I hope you like your parcel too!
The second parcel actually arrived just over a week ago, but I have held back from showing you until now. The reason is that it was the first parcel from the Fall in Full Color club run by Knitspot, and US parcels were only posted this week. Everyone ought to have received theirs by now though, and the pattern was released on Monday, so I think I'm safe to share!! There was a project bag (which you've already seen!) along with a skein of Nona yarn from Spirit Trail Fiberworks. The yarn is 50% merino, 25% cashmere and 25% Bombyx silk, in a beautiful bluey-purple colourway called Autumn Aurora.
The pattern was released on Monday. I kept logging into my account throughout the day, and finally in the evening, the link to the pattern came up. It's a beautiful lacy scarf with a leaf motif. It's knit in two halves and then grafted together. So far I have done almost five repeats. It's a lovely rhythmical pattern, and the yarn is a sheer delight to knit with - it is so soft and buttery! I'm afraid that I am turning into rather a yarn snob!! Here's how it looked after three repeats.
The pattern was included as part of a 26 page download all about the design, the yarn, and how the project came into being. It was rather like an extension of the Knitspot blog, which is one of my favourites. If this is the first month's treat, I can't wait to see what's in store for us over the coming months! I shall leave you for today, as I have a VERY needy cat sat right by me. Florence is very demanding of human attention when she's awake, wanting you to play with her and stroke her. Elsie, on the other hand, is still keeping her distance! I'll be back very soon with some dyeing and spinning adventures to share! Bye for now. xxx
Sunday, 14 August 2011
I've had two squishy parcels in the post this week. One is the first shipment of yarn from the Fall in Full Color club run by Knitspot. The pattern gets released tomorrow, and I've wound my yarn into a nice fat cake. I just managed to avoid a near yarn disaster when my yarn got tangled round the teeth of the winder. Luckily I was almost at the end of the yarn so was able to pull it all through to sort out the tangle. Phew! Imagine having to cut it!! The yarn is absolutely beautiful, I can't wait to show you. But I am going to wait until later in the week, when all the yarn has been shipped out, just in case I spoil anyone's surprise. I will just show you the lovely 'extra' that was included in this month's parcel - a pretty project bag. Here it is, all ready to rock and roll, with the yarn snuggled inside. No peeking in now!!
My second squishy parcel came from my Ravelry friend Cathy. We have been swapping the last couple of years, and it's always fun sorting out some goodies for her. Just look at what I unwrapped!
Some beautiful fibre from SweetGeorgia Yarns. It's a mixture of merino, bamboo and nylon in a rich red colourway, Pomegranate. I'm going to try and spin enough for a pair of socks. There were also 4 mini-skeins of yarn from the Unique Sheep. It's a gradiance set, with the colours changing from fresh green to soft blue. I'm not sure if they will become socks or a shawlette at the moment. This photo shows off the colour changes perfectly.
Cathy then really spoilt me with a beautiful project bag, embroidered with little sheep. It's really cute, and will have a project in it before very long! Take a closer look at one of those sheep.
I have knit a few more Innocent Smoothie hats this week. I think I have another 9 to go before reaching my target of 52, one for each week of the year. Betty is modelling most of the hats this week, as she'd complained that Belinda had done more that her! Honestly!! Fussy or what?!
.... and here's how it looks spun up as singles.
It's from Hedgehog fibres, and I just love the colourways. I'm planning to Navajo-ply the yarn, to try and get some reasonably long colour runs, and if I have enough yarn, then the plan is to make this! If you look through the projects on Ravelry, you'll see some gorgeous hand-spun versions.
I've been busy knitting the two remaining socks currently on the needles, so fingers crossed I will be able to show you two completed pairs next time. I have also been right through my stash and checked that it is all ziplocked away safely. There's an awful lot of it, but at least it's insulating the house! Hahaha, that's what I shall be telling Mr JK anyway!! See you soon! xxx
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
You can see the sparkly wool a little better in this photo. I've called them my Twinkletoes Tesserae socks!
I finished the second pair of socks for my University friends. We meet up once a year, and last year they all put in a request for a pair of socks! This pair is made using a Regia Design Line yarn. I have gone for easy care socks, as I'm not sure that they would be willing to handwash them!! But the yarn looks and feels great!
I have until early November to make two more pairs. But I've actually made a start on pair number three, this time using a Trekking yarn. The pattern is my favourite plain sock pattern using the Violet Green sock generator. I've knit the first sock and am almost at the heel of the second.
I've also been knitting another Anne Hanson sock, this time Roger using the skein of Bugga! yarn sent to me by another dear friend Kim. It really is one of the most gorgeous, luxurious yarns I've knit with. My feet are really going to be pampered when I wear them! The colour way is called Fairy Wren, and is very soft.
Finally, I finished the test knit I was doing for Anne Hanson - the Almost Ovals scarf. I used a skein of laceweight yarn from Fibre-Isle, Kami Bison. Unfortunately I don't think the company is still in business which is a real shame as the yarn was a delight to knit with. I did 16 repeats of the pattern (I knit until I was almost out of yarn!) and after blocking, it measured 60" long and 10" wide. It is feather-light, and is going to provide a lovely warm layer for chilly autumn days.
I think that this pattern would look great in a chunkier weight yarn as well. I might have to make myself another version for winter. A girl can never have too many scarves!!
So, that pretty much brings you up to date with my knitting. I have a squishy parcel to share with you, but I'll keep that for another time! A quick cat update for you. Elsie is getting braver by the day. She let me stroke her while she was sat on the chair today. Up 'til now, she's seen me approaching and hidden!! She and Florence have spent lots of time today cuddled up together. So sweet! See you soon! xxx
Sunday, 7 August 2011
Florence on the other hand is one extremely chilled out little cat! She has settled down so well, and is very relaxed around us already.
I'll be back very soon with an update on all my holiday knitting so far. There has been plenty, but the new arrivals seem to have taken precedence over yarny news. I'm on 'postie-stalking' duty too, as the first parcel from the Fall in Full Color club is due any day now. What excitement! See you very soon! xxx
Thursday, 4 August 2011
I've also been taking a look out at the garden - that looks like an exciting place to be too! I managed to fit on the window sill quite nicely, and only knocked off one ornament!!!
The stairs are quite a comfy place to flop down after I've been playing. I like running up and down them very fast!
We've got lots of toys to play with too. I haven't quite decided which is my favourite yet. I gave my Mum a fright when I disappeared up the chimney, but I did come back down again. I've looked in almost every corner of the house, and found lots of cobwebs. I think my Mum needs to do some cleaning!!!
Elsie is being more of a scaredy-cat than me, and she prefers to stay hidden away. She doesn't know what she's missing!
She is getting a little bit braver, because today she came out of our bedroom all by herself. Then she hid behind a chair!
I do hope it won't be long before we are able to play together. I've got lots of exciting things to show her in our new home. I just know we're going to love it here!
Before I go, there's something that's puzzling me. I wonder if you might be able to help? My Mum spends lots of time sitting with little pointy sticks and a big ball of what looks like string to me. I think it's some wonderful cat toy that she's making for us both. What fun we shall have!! Miaow for now! Florence. xxxx