Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year

    Still feeling ill and I need to go the shop for some basics like bread, really not looking forward to it but needs must. Think I'll pick up some cold and flu meds as well, what I've been using isn't doing the trick. I shouldn't really complain, its very rare I get sick. I can usually go a few years and never be ill, the last two years I've been sick once each year so still not bad.

    I really fancy doing some weaving, if not today then very soon. I've not touched the loom in ages and need to start practising again now I have a couple more books on the subject. Been looking at balsa wood to make a heddle out of for the bigger frame loom I have, not sure how well balsa sands though and whether it will catch on the threads.

    Very little knitting has been done, it even looks like the scarf is going backwards and getting shorter each time I pick it up. I'll keep nibbling at it then hit it heavy once I'm back on my feet, just not sure how long that will be.

    Not got any more spinning done, been thinking about getting some oatmeal bfl or another colour(undyed) of soft fleece and blending it with the Falkland roving I have. Just itching to have a play with the drum carder.

  Thats all for today, take care folks and have a Happy New Year.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

water, water everywhere,

 nor any drop to drink.

   Watching the chaos over in Ireland with the water situation, and at least one town near me, I thought I'd write a little on water and the need not to que for a necessary. I remember a couple of years back when there were some bad floods in England and they didn't have clean drinking water and had those bowsers/tanks out. You had kids emptying them and taking a leak in them overnight. This is no  way to live and with a few simple precautions its easily avoided.

   Each person needs approx. 2l a day drinking water or 1 gallon of water for drinking, eating and washing per day. Water can be stretched by using paper plates and plastic cutlery, using baby wipes and the spray or gel hand sanitizers. At the very minimum you want at least the 2l a day and I'd suggest 14 days worth, more the better. Pets need to drink to so don't forget to store a similar amount of water for your pets, especially if your feeding dried food.

  Storage can be as simple as 2l pop/soda bottles, takes a fair amount of room and never forget that water is very heavy. Containers for collecting water seem to be a problem over in Ireland so its wise to get some foldable water carriers that campers use. Because I do home brewing I always have several gallons of filtered water on hand plus water in the freezer, a full freezer cuts down electricity use, 2l pop bottles and a couple of water barrels outside. I have at least 2 weeks of clean safe drinking water for myself and the dog and well over a month of unsafe water that could be used for flushing the toilets with.

  The water in the barrels can be made safe for drinking by filtering, boiling or adding cheap thin bleach(Sodium Hypochlorite), not the scented stuff you use in the toilet bowl. 9 drops per gallon then let stand for 30 mins, if the water is dirty filter it through coffee filters or cloth before adding the bleach. At this stage you should be able to smell the chlorine slightly, if not then repeat. You can run it through a Brita filter at this stage to help get rid of the chlorine taste, Brita filters will NOT make unsafe water safe for drinking on there own.
  Boiling is another method for making water safe, again filter dirty water first through coffee filters or clean cloths like tee shirts. A hard rolling boil of only 1 min is really needed(longer at higher elevations) and not the 15 mins you often hear about.
  You can also make water safe by using UV lights or even the sun, I'll not go into that here as I've never tried it and don't think the climate here is good for that.

  My personal choice is a British Berkefeld gravity filter system that uses ceramic filters. Its an expensive method but well worth it to me, I have the stainless steel one. You can make your own gravity filter system with a couple of buckets if you buy just the filters for a cheaper option. Water is the stuff of life and important to me so I don't scrimp on it and I'm not peppered to que for it like some third world hell hole.

  A good article on water, I'd write more but am still feeling ill, its important stuff though so go read more now before you really need the information. I've not written about water collection, its best to have what you need on hand now but you do need the knowledge of how/where to collect water, just in case. Email me if you want any more information or help.

You need water to live, its your life, take care of it, nobody else will.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Bit better

  Feeling much better in my body but my mind still seems a bit cloudy and my throat is more sore. I'm also very cold even though the temperatures outside have been above 0c for a couple of days. I should be 100% by tomorrow or the day after.

  I had a little spin of the Falkland roving earlier today, it feels a little course when spun but that could be just me. It is very soft before its spun. I got 200g of the Falkland before Christmas and today was the first time I've unwrapped it, its all in one piece which was fun trying to strip it into thinner pieces.

  I got the ashford book of carding a couple of months back and hadn't read the sections on drum carders and blending so read that today. I think I might blend the Falkland with another type of fleece. Itching to use the carder.

  Very little knitting done the last few days, a row or two here and there. I'll keep at it, think in about a week the moss/seed stitch scarf will finally be done.

  Have a good day and take care folks.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Run down

   Think I might be coming down with something, feeling very run down, sore ish throat and a little achy in my upper joints. So if I don't post for a day or two don't worry I'll be back asap. I don't really feel to bad but want to take it easy just in case it catches up with me.

  Just ordered some tobacco seeds so I can grow my own next year, will order another blend before February. Going to do a biggish crop of potatoes this year as well, spuds will be one of those crops that will be going up in price during 2011 along with a lot of food stuffs. Cotton aswell is already very high. I'll have a go at spinning nettles next year, from what I've read nettles are nearly as good as cotton.

  This is all, my heads not in the game today, have a good one and take care folks.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Taking it easy

   Hope you all had a great Christmas.

  I managed to finish the bakers boy hat in time, even had time to wrap it. I'm still working on the moss/seed stitch scarf,at a much slower pace. I think it will be ready before the new year, unless I have to redo the pockets.

  My other sister who got the double basket weave pocket scarf absolutely loved it, she wore it all day with her hands in the pockets. Its always extra nice when someone genuinely loves your work. The bakers boy hat and winter flame scarf went over very well but think the double basket weave scarf was the most enjoyed.

  Time to take things a little easier for awhile, still have the moss/seed stitch scarf to do and I want to make a start on spinning the Falkland roving I got before Christmas. I also want to buy some washed fleece so I can have a go on the drum carder. I'll wait until spring before I buy a full raw fleece. Don't fancy washing and drying a fleece in this weather.

  Talking of weather, its thawing and raining/sleeting a little. If it freezes tonight getting around tomorrow is going to be very tricky. No fun at all, well the dog will enjoy it.

  Hope you all have a good day.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas

   Got the winter flame scarf weaved in and blocked now. It was a bit of a pain to block, normally I just flatten the knitting out and put a towel over the top while it dries. This time I had to pin all the waves first then put the towel on top to weight it down. That and its long which also makes it a little more tricky.

  Gave up on trying to get the moss/seed stitch cable pocket scarf finished in time. So I'm attempting to get a bakers boy hat completed in time for Christmas instead. Yes it is Christmas eve, yes I am a little nuts. Its possible for a quick knitter to do the hat in 6 hours, I'm not a quick knitter and even if I was I don't think I have 6 hours of spare time. I'm still going through with it though, never say die and all that. Its the English in me, we will not be defeated.

  Hope you all have a Merry Christmas, take care.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Finished one.

   The winter flame scarf is finished. Well, its knitted it just needs weaving in and blocking and then I can wrap it for Christmas. If it dries in time. I'll take some pictures if I have time and the batts. charge.

  The moss/seed stitch cable pocket scarf isn't going to be done in time I'm afraid. Even if I could get it knitted and sewn up, it still needs a good wash. I can't give the scarf as a present and say "you'd best wash that before wearing it". 

  I'm going to keep at it and see what happens but I very much doubt it will be fully finished. I'd like to say I learned a lesson and will start earlier next year but I haven't, its the same every year. I'm happy this year that any presents that needed to be bought where bought pretty early for me, most years I do the shopping on Christmas eve.

   I still need to wrap stuff up, I hate wrapping presents. I can turn
squares in to scruffy circles with my wrapping. I still need to weave in the other two scarfs aswell.

  I best jump to it, have a good day folks.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Dog tired

   Spent an extra hour walking the dog so we could enjoy the snow while its around. I don't think its going anywhere soon but think it will melt a little today and become slippery as heck, never any fun for walking on. We didn't get any of the expected snow last that that was due for my area and its warmed up a little, still below 0c.

   I'm aiming to get the winter flame scarf finished today, or tomorrow at the latest so that I can get it blocked and dried in time for Christmas day. I don't think the moss/seed stitch scarf will be done in time and looking at the pockets I might need to re knit them a little larger.

  Back to the grind stone, stay warm and take care folks.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

An extra day.

   Its strange how -3c can feel warm but it does. The official temperature for Sunday night/Monday morning was -17c just up the road from me, which is cold.

  I don't know why but I had it in my head that Christmas day was on Friday, so that gives me a little more time to knit the scarfs. I need to weave in two other scarfs but they don't need blocking. The flame scarf is in serious need of blocking, when its finished. The moss/seed stitch scarf probably doesn't need blocking but am not sure because of the pockets. One thing it does really really need is a wash. Its a lovely white colour but I don't think I'll ever knit in white again, it looks like I tied it to the dogs tail and let him run around the yard on a rainy day.

  Sorry for the short posts but I really need to get the knitting finished, normal posts will resume after Christmas. Stay warm and take care folks.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Warmists are killing us.

    -11.9c is very cold, thats the temperature I got just after 7am on Sunday. Didn't take a reading this morning but when I got back from walking the dog around 11am it was -9.1c . That's with the sun shinning pretty bright for a couple of hours too so God knows what it was over night. I'm waking up in the morning and the house is getting down to 5c, starting to worry about the pipes freezing if it goes any lower.
   Wish I had the money to get the chimney sorted so I could start having wood/coal fires. Swapped my gas/electricity supplier over this weekend but still think my next bills are going to be through the roof.
    Stupid .gov spending billions on globull warning while folks die of the cold because of hidden taxes and levies in the gas and electric bills to pay for windmills that don't work. The death rates in London are up by over 15% due to the cold, Lord knows what they are around the rest of the country. The warmists should be ashamed of themselves, its tantamount to murder.

  Didn't get as much knitting done of the flame scarf as I had hoped over the weekend, it is approaching 4 feet now though and I think I should be able to get it done in time. I can't say the same for the moss/seed stitch scarf though. Its around 1.5 feet but I don't seem to have the time to put some serious work into it.

  Have a good day folks, stay warm and take care.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Its snowing.

   It started snowing last night just after dark, came down pretty heavy for a couple of hours and dumped half a foot. Snowed on and off all night and at the moment is still snowing, though its very fine snow. Not sure when it will stop, it could carry on like this for a couple of days. Seems the weather folks don't know either, ya those folks who are paid with our taxes to come up with dodgy computer gigo that tells us that white stuff out there is really very warm sunshine.

  Nearly at the 3 foot mark on the flame scarf and am planning to get to 3.5 feet today, planning is easy doing is hard. The moss/seed stitch scarf still seems to be hovering around the 6" mark for some reason. I really need to play catch up with that one.

  I best get to it. Have fun playing in the snow if you have some, me and the dog had a good hours walk/play this morning. Stay warm and take care folks, have a great weekend.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Pan handled.

   Just gave some guy enough for taxi fare. I'm usually a grade A cynic and its not that I believed his story, even though it wasn't as far fetched and heart wrenching as some of the bovine scat I've heard before. Maybe its the time of year and I haven't donated as much as I should to charity this year, all in all its only cost me a few beers and I hope he enjoys it how ever he spends it. Who knows maybe he was telling the truth. I did make sure I wasn't followed home, its hard to shake the cynical nature.

  The knitting is coming along, I've knit 2 feet of the flame scarf so far and am starting to think maybe it is possible to get it finished in time. Problem now is I look at the moss/seed stitch scarf and worry about getting that finished in time. The moss/seed stitch scarf is an easy knit but still takes time and I've only got around 6" done so far.

  Oh well back to the grinder, hope you all have a good Friday, keep warm and stay safe.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Christmas came early this year.

For me. 

   The asford drum carder arrived today, wish I had more time to play with it but I really need to get on with the flame scarf. I'm starting to think it will not be possible to get the scarf finished in time. I'll not give up, keep pushing myself hard with it and hope life doesn't intrude too much. Or that my neck doesn't crick permanently. I say it every year and never do it but next year I will start the Christmas presents earlier.

  That's all for today, I need to knit, knit, knit. Stay warm and take care folks.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Sleep knitting

   Quick post today, I've really got to get stuck into this flame scarf. I've got 9" done so far but at this rate I'll need 15 days to finish it and I don't have 15 days. The moss/seed stitch scarf I've got about 5" there done, not really worried about that one. I can do moss stitch in my sleep. Wish I could knit in my sleep right now, would be very handy to get 8 hrs of sleep knitting done.

   I think I've got everything else for Christmas sorted, its best to double check though. I'll start wrapping presents when I take a break from knitting, I'll have a better idea then if I've forgotten someone.

  That's all for today, weathers going to take a turn for the worse soon so I hope your all prepped. Have a good day folks, stay warm, stay safe.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Flaming pocket pictures

Flame scarf
     Blogging is going to be lighter than usual in the run up to Christmas I think. I made a start on the flame scarf and its slow going so I will have to devote a fair amount of my free time to it. I'm happy with the results so far and while I was taking pictures of the pocket I took a couple of the flame scarf. Enjoy.
Five fold aran braid
   I've gone with a moss/seed stitch back ground instead of a reverse stocking stitch so that the pocket matches the rest of the scarf. In the book I got the cable pattern its called a five fold aran cable. I've searched online and can't find it under that name,if anyone knows of other names for it please let me know.
5 fold aran cable pocket
   Last picture of the flame scarf, I'm really liking the way this one is turning out but will be pushed hard to get it done in time for Christmas.
Flame scarf, 4 inches
  Hope you all have a great day. 
(click pictures to enlarge)

Monday, 13 December 2010

Pockets are done.

   Got both pockets knitted over the weekend. I decided to go with the five fold aran braid cable, its a much more interesting pattern. The rope cable looked kind of boring, seems strange saying that as about 3 months ago I couldn't even knit any cables. I'm very happy with the 5 fold aran braid cable next to the moss/seed stitch's, I'll take a couple of pictures today and get them online asap.

   Now I just need to knit the rest of the scarf, oh and another one. Made a small start on the moss/seed stitch scarf to go with the pockets last night, I think I'll do that one as a mindless no thinking project and work on the flame scarf when I have the time to concentrate. The flame scarf isn't really a hard pattern but any mistakes made I think would be extremely hard to unknit.

   Ordered the ashford drum carder today, its my Christmas present. Gone with the 2 speed 72 point one, I couldn't afford to get the packer brush with it this time so may get that later if its needed. Now I need to get some large totes to wash fleece in, or learn how to use my washing machine and pray I don't felt anything.

  Have a good day, enjoy the warm spell while it lasts and take care.

Saturday, 11 December 2010


   Decided to use mainly moss stitch for the pocket so it matches the rest of the scarf more. I'll make the pocket a little wider than the scarf so it will not be too tight and will rib the top. 
    I've almost finished the first one with a double rope cable but I will knit another one with the 5 fold aran cable with the moss stitch to see how it looks, depending on the size it comes out I might knit the five fold aran cable twice. Not sure I really have the time to be messing about like this but what the hey it will all work out one way or another. I'll save the pockets I don't use and call them swatches and will take pictures for the site.

  Ordered some firefly type yarn in pink yesterday, its sparkly and pink. Not sure what its like but was thinking of doing IPhone socks with it. If it works out ok I'll get more more colours. All that will have to wait until after Christmas which is a shame really because I bet I could sell a few on ebay as stocking fillers.

  Hope you all have a great weekend, stay warm and take care.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Two scarfs

Got the red yarn today so I can make a start on the flame scarf, when I get time. Not sure I want to be knitting two scarfs as the same time though.
   Even though I figured out how to knit the 5 fold aran braid I decided not to use it on the pocket, it was pulling the edging stitches so that when stretched it was kind of holey. It did look ok flat but if someone put there hand in the pocket it would stretch too much.
  For the pocket I'm now experimenting with two simple plait cables with moss/seed stitch inbetween. Not sure how they will turn out or look but I'm steaming ahead anyways. Time is starting to run short for knitting projects and I still need to do 2 scarfs. I must be crazy.

   Ordered some Falkland fleece yesterday so I can do a little spinning inbetween knitting sessions, if I ever have the time. No idea what its like, it did look soft in the pictures but who knows. It was pretty cheap and will give me some more experience in spinning different fleeces.

   Bought one of my nephews a toy double barrel shotgun that shoots foam darts, I can't wait until I get to play with it. heh. Think I will get another nephew a pistol that shoots foam darts, not sure of his age though, he may be a little young yet.
   Thinking of buying my eldest nephew a Swiss army knife, he might not be old enough in the eyes of the law but some laws are just plain dumb. Its about time we blamed the people and not the tools, same with guns. They have recently put gun alert detectors up in Birmingham because of all the plastic gangsters shooting each other. We need to address the problem and it isn't banning handguns, which has worked out soooo well.

   I got the scarf and yarn in the post today so they should make it to the states in time for Christmas, fingers crossed. That's one down, now its time to get on with the rest.

  I'm not doing a picture post tomorrow, I'm going to stop the Saturday pictures posts until I'm on top of my Christmas knitting.
   Have a great weekend, I will post tomorrow still so pop back then. Stay warm too, the cold is on the way back soon and is expected to last into the new year.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Yay Me.

   All done. I can't believe how easy it was to wind that ball up, not a single problem. Probably only took around 30 mins, compared to the 2 days each the other balls took. The skein wouldn't fit back over the the chair so this time I turned the stool upside down and it fitted across the legs easy. Decided to wind it back around the chair, just in case there were any problems. Tipped the chair and an angle so the yarn would come off it easy and onto the ball winder. Its a bit hard on the back and one shoulder but all done now. Yay me.

  Now I will take pictures of the 3 balls and will get them in the post tomorrow so there guaranteed to get to the USA by Christmas. Well as guaranteed as the postal service can be.

 Hope you all have a great day, keep warm and stay safe folks.

The race is on

  Well I figured out how to do the 5 fold aran braid, its pretty simple really. I'll write it down here when I have more time. I'm still kind of working out the rest of the pattern surrounding the cable, tried a few but am unsure of which one to use. They all seem kind of untidy, I'll keep at it.

  I've got to get the last of the Christmas yarn balled up today, tomorrow(10th) is the last day for Christmas post to the USA. As long as the skein doesn't get tangled I can do the ball really easy, if the skein tangles though it will take me 2 days. It could still make it there in time for Christmas but no guarantees.

  So very short post today, I might post again later depending on what happens with this ball, fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Next scarf is....

   I did the flame scarf in double knit yesterday on 4 mm needles and think it works great so have ordered some red yarn. I've gone for the Jarol heritage again, its what I used for the test knit and the other pocket scarf. Plus I really like knitting with this yarn. It was a little more expensive than the other 2 times I've bought some but worth it seeing as red was hard to come by.

  Made a swatch attempt on the other scarf, the one with the cabled pockets. I really need to play around some more as the cable I chose isn't working out very well. 5 fold aran braid, the 2 rows that are cabled don't make a lot of sense to me so I'll work on that more today than maybe choose another simpler cable to do. Christmas is fast approaching for me to be messing around too much.

  Still waiting for my homespun to dry so I can wind it into a ball, I've moved it closer to the radiator but don't want to apply too much heat. Think I'm overly worried about felting it.

  Short post today, I need to go play with cables. Have a good day and keep warm.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

In between

   Made a start on the bulky braid scarf for my moms Christmas present yesterday, its way too bulky with the yarn I have though. Sort of thing that would be too warm for the Arctic, better suited to the dark side of the moon. It does look nice though, I'm thinking of getting an aran weight yarn to do it with.
    I'm going to re try the flame scarf today but in dk on 3mm needles and see what that looks like, if it turns out ok I'll get some red double knit and do that instead. Maybe, maybe not. I'm stuck inbetween projects right now with no yarn* to do either. If it wasn't so close to Christmas I'd use the homespun I have for the bulky braid scarf.

  I do have yarn for the other scarf that needs doing, I just haven't put pen to paper yet and designed the pockets on it. I'll start working on the design for that after I've tried the flame scarf in double knit. Its just the pockets that need designing the rest will be in moss/seed stitch.

  I did get the last of my homespun plied and set yesterday, now I wait while it dries and then I can have fun trying to turn it into a ball. Pretty please with sugar on top that it goes well this time.

Have good day and stay warm.

*I do have a fair amount of yarn just none that I want to use on these two possible projects.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Nearly There.

   Didn't get as much plying done on Saturday as I would of liked too, my shoulder was playing up. I did much more on Sunday though, finished the first bobbin worth and made a start on the second bobbin. I've not tried to guesstimate the lengths this time but just off the top of my head I'd say 150 yards roughly.

   I got the pocket scarf pretty much finished, the pockets are sewn up and most of it is weaved in apart from where I've sewn the pockets. Not sure why I didn't weave those ends in while I had the needle threaded.

    I made a start on the flame scarf, the one I was going to do for moms Christmas present. In a dark green sock yarn and I don't like it, its not the colour its the flimsiness of the pattern I don't like. Talked to my friend who gave me the pattern and she doesn't like it either for the same reasons and she knitted hers in double knit yarn. 

   Its much more like a scarf for a warm summer evening than a winter scarf so I'm going to have a go at a chunky scarf pattern I found. I'll try it with the chunky yarn I have that didn't seem to work with any other pattern so far and see how we get along.
    The chunky scarf I'm looking at is a reversible rib cable pattern that looks braided, if it works with this yarn I have I think it will turn out nice and will be very warm. Will try and make a start on that today but must finish the plying today first.

 Have a good day and keep warm folks.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Bye bye snow

    It started snowing last night as soon as it went dark, not too heavy but enough for a few inches. Woke this morning and its bleeding raining. Theres still bits of snow in the long grass and patches here and there but most has turned to slush already. At least the temperatures are up, for now. Once it starts freezing again its going to be a death trap out there.

   I'm not going to do a picture post this weekend, I promise to do one next weekend of my bakers boy hat. Going to be busy today with regular chores plus I want to finish the pocket scarf off, get it weaved in and the pockets sewn up. I should also be able to start a second scarf this weekend, think it will be the flame one, I'll give a link to it once I start.
   Going to ply up the last of the Christmas yarn today, hoping I can finish it today, then I can set it and get it dried ready for winding into a ball. With luck and prays it should wind into a ball easy, fingers crossed. Then I can get it posted during the week so it has time to get to the states before Christmas.

   Have a good weekend, take care and stay warm.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Tis Chilly

    Walking the dog this morning and it was still -5c, glad I have my wool parker though I don't think the fur trim on the hood is real fur. Real fur is so much better in the cold dealing with condensation from your breath, the fake, faux fur stuff holds the moisture. 
     Its about -2 out now  as I sit here writing this while drinking coffee. Just been the shop for supplies, didn't really buy much but did get some packets of hot chocolate they had on sale and instant cuppa soup. Also bought some turps substitute that I need to check the UN and EC numbers on to see if its naphtha or kero. Looking at my old stuff I don't think it is kero but should still ok in the alcohol burner, I'll test it later after I've checked the numbers.

   The two bobbins for the kick spindle are filled, I could fit loads more on the drop spindle but think there is enough to ply with. I'm going to leave plying until tomorrow and work on the double basket weave pocket scarf today, think I can finished that off tonight.

  Not sure what the picture post will be tomorrow, I'll come up with something. Hope you all have a great weekend, stay warm.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Tired today.

   The vets was closed yesterday so have just been today. I took my ice spikes, in my pocket, but they weren't needed. It was a little slippery in places but for the most part it was fine. So that's the dog taken care of for another month, I'll have to plan the next pick up early I think as it will be around Christmas time its due.

  Got a little spinning done yesterday, I managed to do some white and oatmeal bfl. I think its near the end, should be finished fully by the middle of next week, then I can get them in the post. I will take a few pictures first for you folks. Think it will take about 2 weeks to get to the states so should make it for Christmas.

 I'm coming to the end of the pocket scarf I think, its very close to doing the pattern turn now. I'll have to keep measuring it and remember my sister is a little shorter than I am. I should be able to make a start on the second scarf this weekend.

  That's all for today, I'm pretty tired for some reason. Have a good day and stay warm.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Tangled Nightmare.

    Finally woke from my tangled nightmare, its all rolled up into a ball now. Of course I still have at least one more to do, plus all the ones I want to do for myself to knit with. I really need to figure out how they do skeins without them being a tangled mess. What bugs me is I'm good with rope and wires, never have a tangled mess with the lawn mower cable.

  Didn't spin yesterday, think that's 3 days now. No way will this be ready by the weekend. I did get a little knitting done on the scarf, its now 5 feet long.

  It started snowing before just as I left the house to walk the dog, I was dressed up nice and warm though and the dog just doesn't feel the cold at all. I've got to take him to the vets now for a repeat script so another short post today. It doesn't seem slippy were I walked the dog but will take my ice spikes with my while I'm walking in town.

 Have a good day and stay warm folks.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Snows here

   The snow has arrived here, only got a dusting really. Less than an inch has fallen and I think it will freeze tonight and be very slippy tomorrow, hope we got more snow over night. The Siberian wind is starting to arrive too, its not so bad yet. Bitingly cold but not very strong yet. Still, it knocks a few degrees off with the windchill factor and will be even worse when it starts to blow at 20mph +.

  Having a major disaster with my yarn. One end I was winding into a ball has exploded into a tangled mess, all that work for nothing. I was very, very tempted to get the scissors out yesterday but walked away instead. I've gotten very little done the last few days really. I'll have another crack at the winding today and at least do a little spinning before I forget how.

  Short post today, got to get on with my tangles. Have a great day and stay warm folks.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Tangled up in blue

   Woke this morning in a nice warm bed, then had to get up to temperatures of 45f, about 7c, in the living room. Its rare I put the heating on in the morning because I normally have half a cup of coffee then go walk the dog and its pointless warming the house up then going outside. I put the heating on this morning and had a full cup of coffee, the dog can wait.
  Its actually pretty nice out, I was expecting Siberian winds today so dug my wool parka out. I ended up walking the dog with my parka unzipped, more to do with the parka being super warm than the weather though. Not been able to see the hills the last few days, they sort of merged into the cloud base but today you can see most of them so no idea what the weathers going to do, apart from remaining very cold.

  I have started winding the second Christmas skein in to a ball and its not going well this time either. I tried fitting it over the chair but it wouldn't fit, I guess it shrinks when you set it in hot water. I'm winding from both ends again, its a mess though not as bad as the first time. There has to be an easier way to winding balls. I'll have to be very careful making the skein with this next lot of yarn, hopefully that will making winding it easier, fingers crossed.

  I didn't get as much spinning done this weekend as I would of liked, none yesterday due to the birds nest issues. At this stage I'm not sure I will be finished by this weekend. I'll try and finish the winding today and get more spinning done.

  I did manage to get a bit of knitting done on the pocket scarf over the weekend, its 4.5 feet long now. I should be able to finish the scarf by this weekend then its onto the next one. I have some green sock yarn that I might knit the flame scarf with, haven't fully made up my mind yet. I do have the white yarn to knit the other scarf with too. I still need to figure out what needs knitting and what needs buying, I need some black yarn for some half finger gloves not sure what else though. Glad it isn't December yet, heh.

  Have a good day folks and stay warm.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Cable Bookmark

Cable bookmark
    This is my first attempt at cables. I did this bookmark from here . Lesley was kind enough to contact me and congratulate me on finally getting around to cables. There a lot easier then they look and now I'm hooked.
cable bookmark

This bookmark hasn't been blocked yet, still not blocked and it was a couple of months ago when I knitted it. 
  I first wrote about this book mark back in August. But didn't get around to taking pictures until now.

cable bookmark

 Cables are pretty simple to do and this one is very easy and makes a great starting point.
  I used the same cotton as I used on the baby bib. I've used this cotton on loads of little projects and have a fair bit left, half a cone and one unopened cone. I love this yarn and it was free too.

  I'm pretty impressed with my first cable work, it does look better pulled out(ie blocked). I will get around to blocking it and take more pictures for you folks.
Cabled Bookmark
    Have a great weekend and stay warm folks, hit minus 5c here last night. Brrrrr

Friday, 26 November 2010

Squared Away

   Its doesn't feel too bad out even though the temperatures are struggling to get above 3c. The spell is going to last for at least 10 days and maybe even longer so I hope you folks are squared away. I've just topped up my white flour and butter. I also topped up on treats like chocolate and biscuits, I'm pretty much sorted with everything else.
    I did buy some battery operated led Christmas lights, I already have a string of them around my banister going upstairs. Not sure what I'll do with this string, maybe put them under the kitchen cabinets so I can see in the kitchen though I do already had a battery operated Led light in there.

  I didn't run out of anything last year when we had the bad icy spell but I did notice the shops were short on things like bread, salt and cat litter.  
     Now is the time to stock up what you need before it gets too icy or other folks have the same idea and strip the shelves bare. Make sure you have enough food, medications, tp, cooking stuffs like oil and yeast to make breads. Water too in case the pipes freeze, just fill some pop bottles now.
    Don't forget matches, batteries and candles. I have an aladdin lamp that gives off an amazing amount of light and is pretty warm too, very warm in fact. Heat too, I have a paraffin heater and a camping gas heater. I also have plenty of blankets, fleece ones and wool ones.

   I bought some ice grippers for my boots last year and a couple of hiking poles as well for getting around outside. By the time the ice grippers arrived the ice was gone so I didn't get to use them last year but am sure they will come in handy this year. Might be a good idea to get some now. My mom puts thick socks over her shoes for walking on ice, it does work but goes through socks pretty quickly.

  Ok that's enough warnings, if you can't remember what it was like last year I can't help you. If you do want any extra help or advice email me and I'll be happy to help.

  Best to mention some knitting and or spinning seeing as this is what the blog is about. I did manage to fit more white bfl on the bobbin, a fair amount it was too. I started the second bobbin of white as well so today I need to spin up some of the oatmeal bfl. My new aim is to get it all finished by next weekend, plied, set and wound into balls. Then I can get it posted out.

   I got some more knitting done as well last night,got two pattern sections knitted up. Think the pocket scarf is over 3.5 feet now.I'll keep spinning once I have the Christmas stuff spun up but not as mush, I really need to concentrate on my knitting.

   Stay warm and have a great day folks, not sure what the picture post will be tomorrow.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Cold wind blowing.

   The wind has teeth this morning. Its nice and sunny, pretty warm to considering its around 4c, but once the wind blows it bites into you leaving you with ruddy cheeks. Like a piece of sandpaper would do. 
    I need to knit myself a scarf, I have a couple of headovers but I'm not keen on them. There just like big collars and a bit too tight. I should dig my hat out too, the one with the floppy ears because its going to get a lot colder and stay that way for awhile.

   Npower was in the news awhile back about having to pay some of its customers back some money, I haven't been with Npower for about 3 years but got a nice letter this morning. Its only £24 but its still nice, I can buy some yarn or a couple of books. A new spindle maybe. I did get some money back off them soon after I left for electricity charges, this time its for gas. So if you where ever a Npower customer you might be getting a little early Christmas gift off them too.

   Spun up some of the oatmeal bfl yesterday, looking at the kick spindle bobbin and wondering if I could fit a bit more white on it. I could take the bobbin off and spin on the shaft and fit loads more on that but think unwinding it might be a pain so will probably stick to the two bobbins I have. If I don't overload the drop spindle too much two bobbins equal the top spindle. I'm still learning to judge it by by eye and until I can spin a consistent width of yarn its still a lot of guess work.

   The pocket scarf is still coming along slowly, I don't feel in a rush to finish it so am only knitting one to two sections a day. I'll attack it more once I have finished off this spinning. Then its two more scarfs to knit and maybe one for me, or I could knit a better head over. One that is shaped and fits inside your coat better, covers the shoulders and more of the chest maybe. If only I had the time.

  Stay warm folks and have a great day.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Getting chilly

   Brrrr bit chilly this morning but not too bad outside, its still cold but nice and sunny with hardly a breeze. Its going to get much colder though over the next few days, not to sure if I'll see snow on this side of the Island. Hope so, I do love me some snow. I'm wondering if I should put the washing outside, probably not worth it now being so late in the day. Plus it would freeze my hands and I need those for knitting and spinning.

   Just ordered a stainless steel cup with folding handles to go with my water bottle and pouch, have been looking for one that fits for ages but have only be able to find titanium ones, nice but expensive. I do have the crusader cup, heater and bottle but prefer my small round bottle for walks. Now I can have hot drinks on my walks, though I'll probably pack a flask instead of heating my water. Still its nice to have options, now I need a double walled mug with folding handles.

   I did manage to get some of my white bfl spun up on the kick spindle, need to spin some of the oatmeal today. I'm hoping it will all be done by the weekend so that I can ply it,not sure if I can manage it though. I did weigh the ball of yarn I managed to untangle,it came in roughly ,very roughly, at 100g with my rubbish kitchen scales. I can't remember if this one was spun from separates or the big bag of fleece I got. I'll weigh them all once there balled.

  I got a bit more knitting done on the pocket scarf, theres no real rush to get it finished. Apart from Christmas fast approaching. Still need to knit two more scarfs and a pair of fingerless mitts. I probably need to knit a couple more things too,will have to take stock soon and make a list.

  Stay warm folks, I've got to go back outside but when I get back I have a nice hot chunky chicken pie to eat, Mmmmmm yummy.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


   Well I got the ball untangled and wound up, finally. Makes me wonder how I'm going to do the other one, I think once its dry I'll put it back around the chair and wind on from there into a ball. Glad I didn't keep it as a skein, wouldn't of been a nice present if the person had to wind it into a ball to knit with and it exploded into a birds nest. I'll wind up the one I'm spinning at the moment with much greater care when I take it off the spindle.

  I didn't get any spinning done yesterday due to the fact I spent over two hours trying to sort the birds nest out but did manage to do some knitting on the pocket scarf. Its pretty much flying along really, got 3 feet done so am probably half way. I still need to sort the measurements out, think around 5 feet plus the folds for the pockets so just under six feet.

   I'm definitely going to get some spinning done today, I really should get the next ball finished by the weekend though I'm not sure that is possible. The other skein is still wet from when I set it the other day. I did wrap it in a towel to get as much water out as possible but it seems to be taking forever to dry. Then I have to pray and turn it into a ball, hope it goes much easier than the last one.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Tangled Uniform

    Not a fun Sunday, or Monday looking at the tangled mess I still have to sort out. I wanted to wind the Christmas yarn into a ball so put the skein on my winder thingy, problem one was it didn't fit over the 3 arms. I had it over two arms and then started to wind it onto my ball winder thingy. It was then that it exploded. I spent the best part of the day yesterday trying to sort the mess out, at the moment I'm working both ends, one onto the winder and the other end I'm wrapping around the chair. Its kind of relaxing and maddening at the same time.

    I did get some spinning done on Saturday, I did a little bit of the white bfl on my kick spindle and more of the oatmeal bfl on my drop spindle. I also got a bit of knitting done on the scarf, I've caught up and passed the frogged part so am back on track there. Hopefully I'll get this tangled mess wound up today so I can get more spinning and knitting done.

    I did manage to bottle my bitter on Sunday though so all is not lost and I also got my crock pot/slow cooker too so that I can start dyeing again. I want to try my hand at using natural dyes like onions, tea and coffee.

  Just ordered another book, this one on weaving. I'll let you know what its like, it looks like it will have the basic information I need. I haven't used my loom in ages, will have to correct that soon. If I have the time.

Hope you all had a good weekend.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Spinning and weaving.

Practise weave

   A couple of pictures of my weaving. I haven't made anything by weaving yet, I am planning on doing a scarf just not sure when.

  This is side on, it was the dotted rows I was having a lot of trouble making. I still haven' t done a piece with solid vertical rows yet. I have an idea how there done though.

first attempts at weaving

  The ends are not tied off, I just took it off the loom as is. It was really just a practise piece so I could see if I could do the dotted rows.

Practise weave

    The way to get the dotted rows was by using two strands of yarn around the shuttle. Once I have more time I'll try more than two strands and see what that produces.
first attempts at weaving

I think it looks pretty good, though it is very untidy, I can do the edges OK so that they don't stretch inwards as you go along but they do still need tidying up.
First attempts on frame loom

  I'm a long way away from weaving a tartan yarn, it can be done with the loom I have but really its done on a,I think 4 or 8 type loom.
   I'll keep at it when I have the time, probably once Christmas is 
over with.

  Ok now for my yarn pictures.
Hand spun yarn

This is my two ply home spun, its white and oatmeal bfl.

  I spun the white on my kick spindle and the oatmeal on my small top whorl drop spindle. No pictures yet of my drop spindle.
  The yarn has been set in hot water but I think I should of left it longer. The Christmas yarn I spun I left in the hot water longer and its come out much better with less twisting on itself.
Home spun yarn
I'll do more pictures of my home spun yarn starting with whats on the spindles to singles and all the way to plied.

I hope this post looks ok, it does in my browser but here writing it out the pictures are all over the place to make it work.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Back on track

   A'ha I got it, in the end. The scarf has been giving me a great deal of trouble trying to figure out where I was after I frogged back. The scarf doesn't really have a wrong side or right side but does have a beginning so really does have a right side. Problem was it wasn't matching up and I couldn't figure out why. D'oh, its the pocket scarf and I made a turn with the pattern for the pocket so it would match the scarf. So with the added row to make the turn the pattern has been turned around, glad I finally remembered that.
  The other problem that threw me off for alittle while was that I assumed, I know, that the mistake was at the end of the pattern around the full purl row but it was around the knit row which is half way through the pattern.

  So I'm back on track with the pocket scarf and more good news is I finished the second Christmas ply, measured it out on the chair and its approx. 145 yards. Mainly double knit with some lace weight I think where as the first one was more like aran, double knit and sock weight. I still need to set it in hot water, not sure whether to skein it or make it into balls at this stage.

  I'll get a little bit of knitting done tonight on the scarf and will get back to spinning again tomorrow, oh ya and I'll do a picture post too.

Of mice and men

   Well that didn't go according to plan. I got very little plying done because my left shoulder was achy and no matter how I tried to position myself it kept giving me jip so I had to stop. Figure I got about half way after stopping, resting and starting and should easily finish off the rest today. Fingers crossed.

   I did frog the scarf back to roughly where abouts I made the mistake but am having trouble working out where I'm at. I'm finding frogging back part way very easy now, it used to intimidate me but now I find it easy and don't lose any stitches in the process. 

    Never thought about right side, wrong side with this scarf because both sides are equally good so that was my first problem to overcome. Done. Now I have to figure out what row I'm on. I was hoping to frog back to a full purl row but think I went past it and don't want to frog even further back. I'm sure I'll figure it out in a little while, was just hoping to get some more of it knit yesterday. Oh well, the best laid schemes of mice and men.

  Picture post tomorrow, not sure what it will be. I was going to do one on my yarn but think it would be best to do pictures of singles then plied yarns and inbetween. I'll probably do a random picture post of the one plied skein I have and a little bit of my weaving. That's the plan so expect anything tomorrow.

Have a happy Friday and a great weekend.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Half done, half undone.

  Well I only managed to do half of my plying, one bobbins worth. It took a couple of hours, I could of done the other bobbin but life got in the way, as it so often does. I do have rough measurements this time though, the smaller tupperware box I wrap the bobbin yarn around is 20" and I got approx 150 wraps so that's about 80 yards. Only other time I've measured the bobbin was with a single around the chair and it was around 60 yards. Think I might end up with 3 skeins in different weights, aran, dk and the last one down to lace weight.
   The oatmeal bfl done on the spindle I wrap around the bigger tupperware box that measures 22", I got 244 wraps. Approx 150 yards, and I could of fitted more on the spindle as well. My singles are definitely getting thinner. Once all plyed together I think I will be left with, wild guess, 120 yards.

  That's the half done part, now the half undone part which isn't undone yet. That needs doing sometime today. Yes I messed up the scarf pattern again and got turned around. I noticed it a lot earlier this time at around 3" unlike last time at 10" but its still annoying that I have to undo those 3". This is the third double basket weave scarf I've done and the second one I've made a big mistake on. Again I'm not sure which row messed me up but haven't really looked at it yet, as soon as I realised what I'd done I put the work down. No point in getting frustrated.

  So that's my plan for today, ply the other bobbin and frog 3" of the pocket scarf. Hopefully I'll also have the time to knit some more, would really like to get 6" done on the scarf to make up for yesterday, and would really like to start spinning the last of the bfl rovings. What are your plans today??

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Ply Today.

   Its a bit wild out, expecting winds around 50 mph and the rains are already here. I often love walking in this weather though, theres a certain isolatedness about it that gives you time to think. And of course the dog loves walking in any weather.

  I spun some more oatmeal yesterday, I could fit more on the spindle but think there is now enough on there to ply both bobbins with. I'm probably wrong but I need these lessons to become experienced. Being able to judge things by eye will be very handy.

  This will be the third time I've plyed and is the second skein for the Christmas gift. One thing I do like about plying the white and oatmeal is that you can see the twists clearly, helpful for the beginner. Reckon it will take me a couple of hours, haven't really timed it. The first time was a complete tangled mess and took me two days, I think last time took most of the afternoon. I'm aiming for 100+ yards again, fingers crossed I've got it right. I could do with some decent scales to weigh the yarns, my kitchen ones are rubbish.

  The pocket scarf is coming along nicely, its nearly two feet long now but will be folded over around the 5" mark. Not 100% sure of the finished length, I'll have to keep trying it on around the 4.5 foot mark...... Just got the tape measure out and tried it around my neck to my hands and think 5.5 feet should be about right.

  Well I best get plying, have a good day.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

ewww Dogs.

  Postman woke me up this morning delivering some yarn and my new mouse. Its an optical trackball type, I'm still getting used to it as it seems super sensitive at the moment. I should read the manual and see what adjustments can be made. Very expensive for a mouse but I can't stand the normal ones and my old trackball did out last two computers, 11 years.

  So pretty early in the morning I'm up and open the back door for the dog and notices he's thrown up in the kitchen and there appears to be a dead round worm in it, ewwww breakfast time it ain't. As a care assistant I've cleaned up a lot of nasty stuff but I'm no good first thing in the morning, gag very easy. Just been the shop and got him some dewormer stuff so he should be cleared up pretty soon.I'll also look on the net in a bit for natural stuff seeing as he's already on medication, maybe I can stink em out with some garlic or something.

  I didn't get any spinning done yesterday but the pocket scarf is coming along nicely. The yarn I got this morning is the same stuff but in white I'm going to use for the second pocket scarf. I'll get the oatmeal spun up today and ply tomorrow, well that's the plan.

Monday, 15 November 2010


  I'm shattered today for some reason. Went to the library before but it was closed for an hour for lunch so didn't get to have a look around. Lidl has some new yarns in but there not very good, 100% acrylic and the colours aren't great.I did pick up some white with little flecks of colour though. I couldn't help myself, I have no idea what I'll knit with it but I'm sure it will get used eventually.

  Filled both bobbins with white bfl over the weekend, I need to spin some more of the oatmeal before I can ply them. Hopefully it will get done tomorrow or maybe Wednesday at the latest then I can spin up the rest. I think if I fill the bobbins once more will be the last of the rovings I have. I could be wrong there and fill them again, soon find out.

  I've made the turn on the pocket double basket weave scarf I started, think I have about a foot done so far. Its not very wide for pockets really but is stretchy so should be fine.

  Bought some of the same yarn I'm using for the pocket scarf last night but in white. I'm going to use it for another scarf, mainly in moss/seed stitch but with pockets with some cabling on them. Think the cable is called 5 braid cable, looks very complicated but reading it and it seems simple enough.

  Hope you all had a great weekend.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Kick spindle

Kick Spindle

   Here are the pictures of my kick spindle. You don't really kick it, more of a push with your foot than a kick. I'm left footed but use my right foot and draw the ball towards myself for a clockwise spin.

Kick spindle

I find it tiring on my leg but I think that's to do with the chair I'm sitting on, I walk over an hour a day and ride my bike most days so my legs are pretty strong. I tend to start out sitting down then when the yarn gets a certain length I stand up and carry on spinning until its too long to carry on, unhook the yarn and wrap it around the bobbin and start again from a sitting position. My couch is too low for it to be comfortable really, I need to looking to getting a chair to use with it.
kick spindle

I'm still getting used to drafting the yarn whilst spinning, I think its a lot like drafting with a spinning wheel, or like rubbing your tummy while patting yourself on the head. Its nice to have both hands free to draft though, I just need to figure out what I'm doing. I think long draw can be done with the kick spindle. You can see the white bfl on the bobbin. I don't think it spins as tightly as a top whorl drop spindle and at the moment I'm plying one yarn from the kick spindle and one from the drop spindle.

White and oatmeal bfl

   Picture of my first plyed yarn, white and oatmeal bfl. The white was done on the kick spindle and the oatmeal was done on my small drop spindle and both were plyed together on my larger drop spindle. I'll do another picture post next week with more pictures of my plyed yarn. Or go to my flickr or photobucket page to see more pictures now.
kick spindle

I really like the kick spindle, its solid and well made. The ones I've seen video of you have to put your foot on the base to stop it running away but with this one the base is hefty enough to stay put. I'd still like a wheel but for now the kick spindle fits the gap between drop spindle and wheel nicely.

 Have a great weekend, I'm going to go use my kick spindle. 

(ETA I got the kick spindle from here)

Friday, 12 November 2010

Still here

     Well the wind didn't blow me away, was very strong last night though. 70mph + gusts inland, 80 + on the coast. No real damage apart from my back gate that was blown down, looks like it needs new screws/bolts to hold the frame post that the hinges attach too. I'll do that when the winds died down a bit more.

  Not much else to report today, did a tiny bit of spinning with the oatmeal bfl on the drop spindle and managed another section of double basket weave on the scarf.

  I did start a batch of bitter, will do a lager and another batch of mild or maybe something a bit stronger for Christmas. I've not done a IPA in awhile, could also try and make a mead. Tis the time of year to be jolly.

  I'll have a picture post up tomorrow, think it will be the kick spindle one. Have a good day and weekend.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Windy Knitting

    Dang its windy out, sort of wind that leaves you breathless. Its going to get stronger too, a lot stronger. Will be gusting over 60mph soon and could reach 80 mph. Glad I did my washing yesterday although it never got fully dry out on the line it came close, gives me a reason to put the heating on.

   Filled the first bobbin of white bfl and did a bit more on the drop spindle with the oatmeal bfl, not sure how much time I'll have today but will try and get some more done. 

   Got a tiny bit of knitting done with the scarf, still haven't made my mind up about what pattern to use for the pocket scarf. I might run a poll and see what you folks think but then again I'm the one who has to knit it not yous.

    Put the pictures onto my computer and deleted the shaky ones so should have a picture post for this Saturday, I think I'll put the kick spindle ones up and maybe my first plyed yarn.

    Found a really nice aran pattern I want to do a sample of in my new book but don't really have the time at the moment, will be glad when Christmas is over and its not even December yet.

   The dogs acting funny, was most up of the night restless and has been sniffing around a lot, it will be four weeks again tomorrow since his last fit and I'm wondering if he's going to start again. Hope the meds are really working but if they do happen every four weeks I think there may be other ways to manage them.

  Stay safe and warm, hope you all have a good day.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Chilly Knitting

   Brrrrrr it was chilly this morning, didn't stop me putting some washing out on the line though. Not sure it will dry before dark, it is sunny and theres a fair wind though the wind is kinda icy.

  Did well with my spinning yesterday, got one kick spindle bobbin almost full with white bfl and made a start with the drop spindle and the oatmeal bfl. I'll finish off this bobbin today and spin mainly oatmeal. I should be ready for plying by Friday.

  Only did a little knitting on the scarf but its already 5 feet long and nearly finished. I'm still not sure what to knit the pocket scarf as, guess I'm a little sick of the double basket weave pattern now. No idea why but I fancy doing the pocket scarf in moss/seed stitch which is kind of crazy, approx 6" wide and 6 feet long of moss stitch is enough to send anyone mad. I did do the sleeves straight across in moss stitch though, about 15 inches wide and 7 feet long so I guess I'm already nuts.

  I've seen some nice red merino yarn for my moms scarf but can't order it until Friday, I could knit that one next and leave the pocket scarf for latter. That's if I do it in red, fancy doing it in a green maybe.

  I've been reading the aran knitting book and after Christmas I'm going to spin up a load of white fleece, probably bfl, and knit myself a nice warm aran shirt/sweater. A pretty big project as I'm going to design it all myself. I'll keep the jumper construction simple but all the patterns should make it interesting. I think it will be a great project for my home spun yarn.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

First Christmas Yarn Plyed.

   I plyed all the bfl that I had spun, well have a little oatmeal left over. I'll try and fit a little more on the kick spindle bobbins next time, today. I got over 100 yards, 107 but call it 105 for shrinkage. It only took me two to three hours to ply it all, its lot easier if theres no tangles. The tupperware boxes worked great. I think I'll have the second lot done by the weekend, then I'll do another lot and maybe a forth. Figure 300 to 400 yards is enough, should be enough for a scarf or mittens.

  I even managed to fit in some knitting and did another 4 inches on the scarf, this will be definitely finished by the weekend then I can start another one. Beginning to think about a different pattern for the pocket scarf, maybe a reverse cable or even a simple moss/seed stitch one. Can't make up my mind and no idea why I've changed my mind.

  Well I'll let you folks get on, I've got more spinning to do. Have a good day.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Productive Weekend

   Well the good weather didn't last long, had gales last night with gusts over 60 mph. And rain, lots and lots of rain. Temps are starting to fall off too, though isn't so bad I've had the heating on yet.

  Had a good weekend spinning, filled two bobbins on the kick spindle with the white bfl and almost filled the small drop spindle with the oatmeal bfl. I'm thinking around 60 to 70 yards on each bobbin and maybe around 100 yards on the drop spindle. I could be way way off there though so don't quote me. I'll start to ply what I have today so that I can get the rest spun up.

  Did ok with my knitting too but not as much as I had planned, think at the moment the spinning is more important because the scarfs not far off finished. I've done just over 4 feet of the scarf so can slow down a little and do more spinning. Hopefully the plying will go much quicker this time as long as I don't mess up and tangle everything. A very real risk.

  I took photo's, a fair amount of pictures. Kick spindle, my plyed yarn and some pictures of the Iphone socks I've been knitting. I also took a couple of pictures of my weaving. There not on the computer yet but that should be done by the weekend so that I can get some pictures up for the Saturday posts.

  Hope you all had a great weekend and the rest of the week is dry and warm for you. 

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Baby Socks.

Knitted baby socks
    These are the second pair of socks I ever knitted, my very first pair of socks were a pair of white ones done in the same yarn as the baby hat and mittens. Not sure if I've put up the baby mittens pictures yet, maybe next week I'll do that along with those socks too.
knitted baby sox
  One of the socks is inside out that's why it looks a little odd. Baby socks are great beginners items to knit as there small making them quick knits using very little yarn. All baby clothes are like that making them great beginners projects, even if you only end up giving them to a charity shop.

  I used good sock yarn to knit this pair using the magic loop method. One tip a friend gave me when knitting baby socks and mittens is to knit 3 items because theres a very high chance one will get lost, its a good idea and also added practise for beginner knitters.
knitted baby socks
     Short and sweet post today, I need to get more spinning done. I'm half way on the scarf, just over 3 feet but have fallen behind on the spinning. Hope its as lovely and sunny where ever you folks are like it is here, even put some washing on the line its that nice. Have a great weekend.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Started Christmas Spinning.

    Started spinning the new oatmeal bfl and its spinning fine, doesn't smell odd either. Kinda confirms the last lot of oatmeal I had was a bit dodgy. 
    I do wish I could guesstimate how many yards I've spun though, guess that comes with experience. The last lot on the kick spindle bobbin was roughly 60 yrds, think this time it might be a bit more but not sure. I'd like an idea on how many yards I have before I start to ply but winding it around the back of the chair and then winding it around the tupperware box runs more of a risk of birds nests. The less you play with it the less chance of it going haywire.

   The scarf is coming along nicely, I've got 30 inches done already and for a slow knitter that's very good. Hopefully it will be a slow weekend and I can get a couple more feet done, I reckon it will be finished by Wednesday. Famous last words!!! Think I need to throw myself into spinning too so I can get this parcel together at the same time.

  I should be getting a slow cooker/crockpot in a day or two for free so that I can start dyeing again. Can't beat free stuff. I can carry on using the one I already have for food, crockpots are great this time of year for soups and stews. I use mine mainly for making stock with chicken carcases. Add noodles, yummy. I'm hungry now.

  Got the camera charged but haven't taken any pictures yet, the light sucks big time at the moment. I'm not sure I'll have the spinning pictures I said I would have for tomorrow. I'll probably post the baby sock pictures or find something else I have. Its nice to have surprises.

 Have a great day and a fun filled Guy Fawkes night.

Thursday, 4 November 2010


   Got my bfl today, pretty darn quick. I've made a small start on the spinning but really need to do much more. I'm getting used to the kick spindle and its a much faster way to spin, though I'm not sure if it spins as tightly as the drop spindles do. My plan is to do half on the kick spindle and half on the drop spindle then ply the two halfs together.

  Discharging the batts. so that I can recharge them for more pictures for the weekend. I'll do some spinning pictures I think, but no promises. ...........

 Sorry the post is late today, I got called away. Now where was I???

  As well as getting the bfl I got the gray yarn I had ordered and also another book, this one is all about arans and cables. I'll write more about the book once I've had a chance to look it over better. From what I've seen so far there are loads of cable patterns for me to knit.

  Going call it quits for now, my minds all blank(nothing new there really). I'll catch you all tomorrow, take care and have a good evening.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Scarfs, scarfs, scarfs, scarfs...

   I've knitted about a foot of the double basket weave scarf , I think I can easily do 6" a day and hopefully a bit more so the two week deadline shouldn't be a problem. I ordered 200g of oatmeal bfl and 100g of white bfl last night so while knitting a lot I still need to spin a lot too. I think if I get it all done before the end of November it shouldn't be a problem.

  On top of doing the scarf and spinning I also need to knit two more scarfs, I'm thinking of doing another double basket weave scarf in the light grey I just bought but this one will be the one with pockets. I need to get some nice red yarn for the flame scarf I want to do, think this one will be for my mom for Christmas. 

   The first double basket weave scarf I did I think I'll give to my sister who has just moved down South. That just leaves the tartan scarf I want to do for my last sister. That's a lot of scarfs and knitting to get done, figure about 6 feet for each scarf, I'm just glad there not plain knit scarfs or I'd go mad with boredom.

   Just got back from the vets with more meds for the dog, a months worth this time. I can keep getting the same script for 6 months then we need to see the vet for tests and to decide on what to do next. The meds work out at around £15 a month so not so bad, not sure how much the tests will cost but think they will be a regular thing if he stays on these meds.

   Back to knitting and spinning for me, have a good day folks.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

New Scarf.

    Started another double basket weave scarf for my friend in the States. I frogged the first one, didn't like the way it was turning out. The frogged one was started on 4.5mm needles, this new one is on 4mm needles like the original one I did. I'm knitting this double basket weave scarf in the same yarn I used in the original one as well. I figure it will take two weeks, 3 weeks at most but I really want to finish it well before two weeks so I can get it in the post on time for the States. I've already got 6" knitted so if nothing comes up I should be able to do it.

  I also need to spin some yarn for another friend in the States to be posted at the same time, I figure I can get two skeins done or maybe 3. I'm thinking of white and oatmeal bfl but not sending my first one, that's for me. I have made a start on the white bfl on the kick spindle, just need to buy some oatmeal now. I could chose another colour but am uncertain about types of yarn so will stick with bfl for now.

  Well I best get to knitting if this scarfs going to be done on time, also need to see the vet for more meds for the dog but can't find there opening times.

Monday, 1 November 2010


  Well I got around to finally plying some of my homespun yarn. I had planned to ply the oatmeal bfl together but one of them exploded and I couldn't find an end in which to start sorting it out. It was very frustrating, I wanted to go Alexander on it and chop the knot in half. I gave up and very carefully searched for an end on the other skein of oatmeal bfl.

  Finding an end on the white bfl was a lot easier than with the oatmeals, lesson learned I really need to be more careful and organised when putting up the yarns. In future I will tie a bit of bright yarn to the ends to make them more easier to find.

  I wrapped the white bfl around a large ish tupperware box and the oatmeal was placed on my skein winder thingy and I plyed with my larger top whorl drop spindle. Next time I think I'll wrap both yarns around tupperware boxes, they seem to work so much better than the skein winder for holding the yarns.

  The results look pretty good, sort of a tweedy yarn about aran weight for the most part, bit more chunky in some places and a bit like dk in others. I got 110yrds from 50g of white bfl and approx. 50g of the oatmeal.

  I've now set the skein in hot water and once its dried I'll take some pictures. I'll also take pictures of my spindles including the kick spindle and put then up for the Saturday post. Well I'll try too.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Knitted baby blanket

Knitted Baby Blanket
   Just a quick post today and only a couple of pictures. This is a baby blanket I knitted for one of my nieces, I did knit another baby blanket with hearts once but I can't find the pictures anymore.

  The pattern for this blanket is here. Its a really simple knit.

Knitted Baby Blanket
    I think this is the only time I've worked with more than one colour but doing stripes is as easy as joining another ball of yarn, though you do have to join on the same side otherwise you get an odd line of dashes. You can't see it on the only pictures I have but I did mess up the join on one of the rows of colours.

   As you can see its not very well knitted, it looks kinda lacey in places. The yarn I used was some acrylic I was given, not ideal for a baby really but time was short and we have to make do with whats on hand.

   Hope you all have a great weekend, its sunny and warm here today so I'm going to make the most of it.

Friday, 29 October 2010


   Winds ups, usual for this time of year here. Makes riding the bike interesting or just plain hard work at times. I think it will be gusting at 60mph by night fall, I best check the high fences and I should take the chimney off the burner and pack it up for the winter.

  I've finished the oatmeal bfl with my drop spindle, it seemed a heck of a lot easier this time around. Guess I'm getting used to it. Theres roughly 200 yrds from the 100g, split in halfs so I can ply it. Wonder what I can knit with 100yrds of pure wool, something that doesn't need lots of washing care me thinks.

  Not finished the Iphone sock cosy yet, only about an inch to go so will get that done sometime today. I'll need to make another Icord but I love knitting those. I'll probably start another Iphone sock cosy straight after this one is done, will have a look through my yarn stash. I might even have another go at weaving one this weekend.

 I usually have fish on a Friday but couldn't find anything I fancied, was almost tempted by a bit of sea bass but think it was a little old. I got a couple of duck legs instead, not had duck in years and haven't cooked it in even longer. I'll probably just fry it up, keep it simple and see how it turns out. I'll save the fat, not sure its as good as goose fat but I bet its close and nearly as tasty for roast spuds.

  Picture post tomorrow of what I know not. Have a good weekend.