Monday, 28 February 2011

Fun weekend

   Not a bad weekend really, though I didn't produce all that much. I did get some spinning done both Saturday and Sunday. I really enjoy spinning this yarn I've blended myself, it seems to draft so easily compared to single type batts I've spun before. I'm not saying its perfect but it is much more consistent and pretty thin so should 3 ply ok. Not so sure about the colours but seeing as its going to be for a traditional Aran sweater an off white, dirty light grey colour should look fine. I could dye the yarn once its all spun, I think the mix would produce some interesting results.

  I finished the plait cable bookmark and started another one with a slightly different background. I started the new one a couple of times while I tweaked the design, I really need to stop doing things on the fly. I'm doing this bookmark in a nice red colour, no idea what the yarn is though. It should easily be finished by Wednesday.

  I didn't do any blending this weekend, nor did I do any finger weaving. I did try to finger weave but had trouble setting it up where it would be comfortable to do. I did read a lot and watch some videos on tablet weaving, I really want to have ago at tablet weaving, its looks simple enough and the results look amazing. I'm going to need some sort of frame or way to hold the yarns, I might get an inkle loom or I might  try and knock something up myself.

 Hope you all had a good weekend, have a great day and take care folks.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Bit of everything

  Rained hard over night, woke to drizzle and by the time I took the dog out this morning the sun was shinning. Now theres a good stiff breeze blowing and the local weather lady says there might be thunder and hail as well.

  I got the book on weaving yesterday, weaving and spinning but its mainly about weaving and seems to be very good. It was the book I was bidding for on ebay and dropped out at £18 then found it on abebooks for £0.63p. Its in excellent condition, so happy I didn't win the bid now.

  Today I want to get some spinning done and finish the plait cable bookmark. I might also do some finger weaving, get back to basics sort of thing. If not I'll get the carder out and do some more blending but think it will be the weaving today, I might even make something this time.

  I got the last issue of the art of knitting magazine today, these are the magazines I got when I first started knitting. There ok and were a great help in the beginning but because there spread out for so long I think books are better. Guess now I will be £10 a month better off so can buy more books or yarn.

  Hope you all have a great weekend, take care folks.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Still mild

   No sunshine today but its still pretty mild. I had a bath yesterday and for the first time this winter I didn't put the heating on, this is usually a weak point for me as I usually have the heating on full blast when I have a bath. I've gone through the figures for my gas and its looking very good, so good really I should check the math again.

  I didn't get all that much done yesterday knitting wise, I did however start spring cleaning. It will probably take me until next year to get the cleaning finished. The bookmark with the simple cable plait is coming along though, I did manage to get 3 pattern repeats done. I think I'll finish the bookmark tomorrow.

  No real plans for tomorrow but I will try and get a little more blending done and a lot more spinning. Still no picture posts even though I have a couple of things to photograph, I keep forgetting to charge the batts.

  Hope you all have a great day, take care folks.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Sun shiny

  Its really nice out today, sun is shinning and its warm too. I want to set the poly tunnel up but have nothing to put in it yet so may as well wait. I'd like to start some seeds today but am in two minds on whether its too early yet, I think I'll wait until the weekend and see how the weathers looking then.

  I had a go at the five fold cable bookmark in the blue sparkly yarn but its a bit of a pain to knit with so I frogged it. I'm now knitting a simple plait cable with the cotton yarn I got last week. I've never done this cable before but its as easy as rope cable and looks almost as good as the five fold. I'll use this plait cable again with the blue sparkly yarn but on a full moss/seed stitch back ground.

  Maybe bbq tonight though it still gets dark pretty early. I'll have to see how hungry I am later. Its the sort of day to spend some time in the garden so I might clean up a little out there and turn the compost again.

 Hope you all have a great day, take care folks.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Its wet again

  Only half walked the dog this morning, even in wellies, waterproof trousers, coat and a waterproof hat with ear and neck covering it was still too dang wet out.(gloves as well, silk liners and leather gloves)

  I did some spinning yesterday, I just couldn't get my head in the game trying to design what I want to knit next. Spinning is nice and relaxing and doesn't involve much brain work. In the end I started a bookmark but messed the beginning up. I couldn't remember the five fold cable until the second time around so will have to start again. I should do it in a thinner yarn too, at 18 stitches plus the boarder it was kind of wide. I think the blue sparkly stuff is thinner, if so I'll knit the bookmark with that.

  I think I'll spin some more today and start another five fold cable, now its in my mind I don't want to forget how its done again. Its easy really but the instructions on moving a purl stitch are a little confusing. I could also start the pockets for the moss/seed stitch scarf as well, think if I knit the five fold cable often enough it will burn itself into my brain.

  Hope you all have a great day, take care folks.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Lazy days

  Not done much really, found a half finished Icord in red that I got finished. Not sure what it was originally for but it got me thinking of doing another Iphone sock to go with the Icord. Not sure what sort of yarn it is, its a nice deep red colour and seems to knit very smooth so was thinking stocking stitch but feel thats a little boring so am having a problem coming up with a design for it. I might go with a flat rope cable design all the way around. Or I might give up and knit something else.

  Thats it really, a lazy Monday and if today carries on like this a lazy Tuesday as well.
Have a good day and take care folks.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Nice Weekend

  Not a bad weekend, though I didn't over exert myself. I got some blending done on the Saturday and I spun some of the batts on both days. I finished the slip stitch two tone blue and green Iphone sock. I closed the Iphone sock with kitchener stitch and it went well but I don't like the corners, there a bit too sticky out. Oh well, another thing for the pile.

  I was bidding for a book on ebay, weaving and spinning, but lost the auction at around £18. Had a quick google and found the book through abebooks for £0.62p so I'm happy about that, I'll have to look here more often.

  The weathers getting cold again but no snow for me, just rain and more rain. I was sort of hoping for a little bit more snow before spring, its the kid in me. I do love the snow, but not too much. 

   I need to start thinking of getting the garden started, think another week and I should start some seeds indoors and maybe set up the poly tunnel. I need to get some more potting compost, seed potatoes and some big pots. I turned my own compost yesterday and its looking really nice, think I will have enough for all my needs this year.

  Going to start a bookmark today I think, just not sure on the design yet. I might keep it simple but complicated looking and do the five fold cable with moss/seed stitch back ground, or do a moss/seed stitch border with reverse stocking stitch background with a five fold cable in the center though that might make the book mark a little too wide. I'll let you know what I come up with, no idea what yarn I'll be using yet either.

  Hope you all had a great weekend, have a happy Monday and take care folks.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Crack the whip

  Didn't get much done yesterday, this is becoming a habit it seems. I have all day today to do stuff but do want to kick back and relax as well . I'll set the drum carder up after this coffee and spend some time blending, I think the next roving I buy will be coloured stuff. I should get some dye and have a go a dyeing batts, I need to learn how to handle them sometime without felting them.

  I need to spend more time spinning rather than blending really, I have a fair few small batts already blended and ready to be spun. I'd like to get a spindle full but don't think I will this weekend. If I can keep spinning the way I have been doing I'll have a go at 3 ply with this yarn.

  Didn't get the Iphone sock finished but only because I decided it needed to be longer, I should get that finished today. I didn't get any knitting done on the pair of socks but will hit those again this weekend as well. I also want to start another small project, which will probably be a knitted cable bookmark. I've been itching to do some cable work for awhile now.

  I didn't get any snow and don't think I will now, just rain and more rain. At least its not as cold as I thought it would be but I did put the central heating on last night for a short while, first time in over a week. I need to take gas and electric readings to work out what I owe, I've been putting it off due to the cold start to winter. I did get my metered water bill the other day which was a lot lower than I was expecting, happy dance.

  Hope you all have a great weekend, take care folks.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Wheres the time go

   Didn't get much done yesterday but have almost finished the Iphone sock, now its nearly finished I think it looks ok. Depending on the light and the way you look at it either the blue dominates or the green does.

  I didn't get any spinning done but hopefully will today and I'll get more done over the weekend. I'd like to blend all the bfl and Falkland roving I have but wont mind if I don't, I have plenty to spin as it is so theres no rush really.

  Going through my waste/rubbish/reclaimed yarns and theres enough to redo the Iphone sock in the fuzzy red and yellow, I like the way the colours turned out but might wait awhile before I knit this fuzzy stuff again, its a real pain to knit with and is rough on the hands too when pulling the yarn tight to make sure the joins in the round don't ladder. I think I'll knit a couple of bookmarks next.

  Not sure if where going to get snow in the next 24 to 48 hours, the sky looks kind of ominous. I was hoping to see the northern lights last night and tonight but the skies are too cloudy, oh well maybe I'll see them next time the sun hic ups.

 Hope you all have a great day and weekend, take care folks.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Been Busy.

    Sorry there was no post yesterday, I was busy and out most of the day. I was hoping to get some blending done today on the drum carder but wont have time. I think I can manage a little more knitting today and will get some spinning done as well. I only managed to knit about 3 rows on the sock and about 6 rows on the Iphone sock yesterday, not a very productive day at all really.

  I'm not sure I like this Iphone sock I'm knitting at the moment, I'm definitely not keen on the fuzzy fake mohair type yarn. I didn't much like knitting the red and yellow one but at least the colours on that one looked good, shame I messed up the design and kitchener stitch. I think if I use the blue for the kitchener stitch with this Iphone sock if should be easier as its the least fuzzy yarn. I could do with a needle with a much bigger eye than I usually use for seaming.
  I'll finish this Iphone sock off and see how it looks then, think I might be prejudiced because the yarns a pain to use. Then I think I'll knit a couple of book marks and plain simple Iphone socks with normal yarn and some double knit variegated yarn I have. Just to build up some stock so I have something to sell.

  I did manage to pick up some cotton yarn yesterday, not 100% sure what I will be doing with that though. I might have a go at weaving some wash cloths with it. Its a nice colour, sort of a blue teal colour I think. I'm not very good with colours.

  Hope you all have a great day, take care folks.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

More Iphone Socks

   Started another Iphone sock yesterday using slip stitch colours again, this one is two tone in blue and green. Its some more of the dodgy fluffy yarn though, its the only way I can think of using this stuff up. I'm thinking of opening an etsy type shop but one based in the UK to sell the Iphone socks through or I might just use ebay, first though I will need some stock so I best get more knitting done.
  I have a few ideas about what I can sell but am keeping them to myself until I'm more sure of what I want to do. I know I could never make a living form selling knitted things but a little cash towards my yarn stash would be nice. Having the time is the killer though.

  As well as starting another Iphone sock I got a couple of rows knitted on my other socks and also managed to spin a little more of the blended yarn. The batts are spinning up very nicely and I'm managing to keep the yarn pretty thin, with some slightly thick bits but even those are pretty thin compared to my earlier yarns.

  I've not got any more blending done, think it will be the weekend again when I'll have the time or maybe I could fit a couple of hours in on Thursday. Think I'm going to be busy for awhile.

  I just ordered a ball of the cream yarn I need to finish the pockets for the moss/seed stitch scarf but theres no rush to finish that now I've decided its a Christmas present for next year. Though it would be nice to finish it asap, don't think I've had a Christmas present finished so early in the year before. Will be nice to not have to wait until December to start knitting presents.

 Hope you all have a great day, take care folks.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Blending & spinning

   It was looking sunny when I got up this morning but by the time I walked the dog the sun had gone and the clouds rolled in, its now looking pretty dark and gloomy. There is definitely a chill in the air with a stinging wind. I put the heating on last night, I didn't really need it but wanted to dry some bedding. I think I will need the heating tonight though.

  The blending of the white falkland and oatmeal bfl went really well and was extremely enjoyable and relaxing. I've not blended it all, maybe about half of it, it took a lot longer to do than I imagined but I think thats part of the relaxing aspect of it. Slowly turning the drum was very meditative.
  The colours of the blended batt/sliver/top/roving(?) are a very light oatmeal or off white colour, not great but not bad either. I've mixed the fibers in pretty well all across the batt, if I was using dyed yarn I can see how you can have fun blending the colours in stripes vertically and horizontally. I will be getting some dyed yarn so I can have a play blending, I really should get some kool aid and do some dying myself.

  I spun a little of the blended batts yesterday and they draft really really well and spin up very nice. I'm very happy at this point as I was worried they'd all drift apart. Its been awhile since I've done any spinning, before Christmas, but I haven't forgotten a thing and was spinning pretty thin yarn for the most part, I even think I'm a lot more consistent but we shall see next time I spin. If the yarn stays thin I'm going to 3 ply it, reading about 3 ply in my new book and it makes a lot of sense, 2 ply being flat and 3 ply being triangle and more of a round shape.

  Over all I'm very happy the way things turned out without a single problem with the carding, I was worried about tearing the yarn to pieces. I even managed to knit a few rows on a sock, a pretty productive weekend really with a bit of blending, spinning and knitting done. No weaving though.

  Hope you all had a great weekend, have a great day and take care folks.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Blending today

  Its another nice warm day out, even better than yesterday. It did rain all night last night so the grounds muddy, other wise I'd have the washing on the line today. I can't put the washing on the line when its too muddy because when the dog runs around the garden he flicks mud spots all over my nice clean washing.
  If I'm hungry around 3 I might fire the bbq up, I have buns and burgers in but no green stuff apart from a little cress. Suppose I could see if theres any dandelions up in the front garden or even go the little shop. Nothing wrong with just eating meat though, theres steak and pork chops in the fridge and freezer and I have potatoes. Hmmm might fire the bbq up after this cup of coffee.

  I'm going to set the carder up today to blend the oatmeal bfl and the white Falkland tops I have, 200g of Falkland and 100g + left overs of bfl. I should be able to see whats going on clearly but think using dyed tops might of been a better idea to start with. I got the ashford book of carding awhile back and theres loads of information in there on blending and using the carder so I shouldn't have any major problems. I hope. I'm sure I'll have a lot to post on Monday about how I got on, with luck it will be a good post and not a nightmare of ripped yarn.

  Have a great weekend and take care folks.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Warm again

  Its pretty warm out today, probably get by without a coat. The clouds to the east, over the moors and hills look sullen though so not sure how long this nice weather will last. I don't think I've put the central heating on at all this week, that should help with the bills.

  I got the complete book of hand spinning today, not had a serious look at it yet. Its pretty thick so will take me a while just flicking through it. Looking forward to reading it this afternoon, relaxing on the couch with a cup of coffee or two. I probably have the time to set up the drum carder but will wait until tomorrow when I can have all day at it, and all day Sunday too.

  Found the part of the socks that had the pull in them that made me frog them, a single strand of ply had snapped. I've done a flying sort of repair on then and carried on knitting. I didn't really want to unknit them again, even just a row or two. I think they will be ok, they look fine and the part where its at isn't under much stress.

 Hope you all have a great day, take care folks.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Another project?

   Got my oatmeal bfl this morning, it looks really good. Not sure I want to blend it with the Falkland white or just spin it as it is. I'll blend it, I've been holding off using the carder since Christmas. 
    It will have to be the weekend though I think, I'm pretty sure its not as easy and straight forward as I imagine and am going to run into all sorts of problems. Best to leave it for the weekend when I'll have more time to play.

   Got the sock knitted back to where it was when I frogged it, now I can start knitting them both again. I'm going to make them a little longer than I usually do so it will take me awhile to get to the heel stitches. Pretty boring from here on out until I get to the heel stitches. Now I'm back to square one again I might start another small project, I didn't want too start another one until I had gotten caught up with the sock.
  Still itching to do some cable work, I really should start the peg/clothes pin bag seeing as it will soon be warmer weather. I'll have to put pen to paper for this one I think, not sure what I want to do with it cable wise. Seems I'm going to be a little busy for a while now then.

  Hope you all have a great day, take care folks.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Bye bye Mr sunshine

   Well that nice sunny weather didn't last long. Rained over night and this morning it was pretty chilly, probably felt colder than it really was. I might need the heating on tonight, haven't had it on for a couple of days now. Trying to cut down my usage to make up for the heavy use at the early start of winter.

  My internet connection has been fixed, it kept cutting off yesterday while they fixed a fault in my area. I'm hoping this will improve the speed, I don't like 2mb when I pay for 10mb. How did we cope when we only had phone lines to connect?

  The socks coming along slowly, I wasn't in the mood yesterday but did manage to do a bit. I'll get more done today,if I remember rightly I think it takes me about two weeks to finish a pair of socks. I really like the colours in the yarn I'm using, greens, browns and teal with blue aswell. Looks better than it sounds.

Have a great day folks, take care.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Sock mishap

  Started knitting the other sock yesterday and noticed a massive pull  along one of the rows all along one side of the sock. I ripped out about an inch of knitting then tried to get the sock back on the needles, no joy at all so had to frog the lot. So far I've re knitted the hem and a couple of rows, the other sock is about 3 inches long.

  The weather today is wonderful, sunny and warm with clear blue skies and hardly a breeze. Far from t shirt weather but definitely bbq weather. There is a feeling of spring in the air, not sure how long that will last until winters back. Its a nice change from the gales we've been having though, 76 mph gust recorded locally yesterday daytime.

  Been having trouble with my Internet connection, its been running way too slow for a month or two and today it keeps knocking me off line so I'm not sure when I can get this post up. Hopefully I'll be back online asap.

Hope you all have a great day, take care folks.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Kitchener stitch

  Its extremely windy out, makes good weather for throwing the ball several miles for the dog though. Difficult to walk in at times, lot of bending the knees and leaning so that you can stay upright and keep moving. I was only brought to a stop once and no trees fell on top of me, its helpful to keep an eye open to what could blow around or collapse on you. Being squished or impaled would be rather unpleasant I'd imagine.

  Finished the slip stitch two tone Iphone sock thingy, I used kitchener stitch to close it up. I haven't used kitchener stitch since the last pair of socks I knitted and seeing as I'm doing socks again I thought now would be a good time to practise. Kitchener isn't hard but can get a little confusing at times, I had to watch a video to remember how it was done properly. It all came flooding back pretty quick the only problem  being the fluffy yarn I was using.

  I haven't made much headway with the socks but will keep at it, think I will start another project to work along side of the socks. I have an itch to do some cable work so might do another Iphone sock in the nice blue sparkly yarn I have with a five fold aran cable. Sounds like a plan, I'll try and get that started today but it will probably be tomorrow as I'm a little busy to start something new. I will make a little time to do some more knitting on the socks though.

  Have a great day, stay sheltered and safe folks.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Windy weekend

   Winds died down for now, think it will pick up by nightfall again. It looks like its going to be pretty windy for the next few days. Wet too. Getting gusts of 60 to 70 mph locally, further north they've recorded speeds of 100 mph.

  I've ordered a new book, Alden Amos Big Book of Hand spinning. It looks good and should help me prepare fleeces when I get around to it. When the weather is warm is when I want to give it a try. I also ordered 100g of bfl in oatmeal to blend with the 200g of Falklands roving I have. Not sure how it will turn out, probably a dirty white colour. I really should have another go at dyeing.

  I might set up the loom this weekend and have a go at twill, I need to have another read of the wiki article and look at the pictures. I sort of have an idea of tieing some of the warp yarns so I can raise them in 3 stages. I may be way off base here but wont know until I've tried.

  Have a great weekend and take care folks

Friday, 4 February 2011


   I was reading the magazine where I got the original slip stitch colour work from and the 3 tone check pattern was described as almost gingham like. Having no idea what gingham is I went for a wiki wander, sucked an afternoon out of my life.
   I did end up reading an interesting article on twill, well not really interesting but it gave me an idea that I could try weaving twill. Not sure it will work on a simple frame loom without a lot of messing around but I will give it a go. Oh and the gingham, I can weave that and will do when I get some cotton yarn.

  I did manage to start an Iphone sock, I call it that but its practise really. I'm trying out the slip stitch colours in the round, two tones. The major problem with it is that its curling like crazy, something that doesn't normally happen when knitting in the round. I think it might be because I'm knitting it too tight. Not really sure, sort of hoping that the Icord will sort it out.

  I was hoping to do a picture post tomorrow of the slip stitch colour method but thats not going to happen, these name brand rechargeable batts really suck. I'll post something but it wont be pictures, sorry.

 Hope you all have a great day, take care folks.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Wrong pockets

   Its lovely out, a bit windy but warm and sunny, expecting winds to increase to about 60mph here probably tonight. Was warm last night as well, I didn't need to put any heating on. If its not too windy around teatime I might fire up the bbq, just for a some burgers.

  The pockets don't fit the moss/seed stitch scarf, I knew they wouldn't so was ignoring the problem hoping I could stretch them out. Not a chance so will buy some more yarn this weekend and re knit the pockets. Not too bothered if the dye lots are slightly different, worse comes to worse I could over dye the hole scarf. Being cream dyeing it should be easy, might even hide some of the dirt the scarfs picked up from my hands during knitting, it looks very ingrained.

  I finished the two tone slip stitch coloured swatch yesterday. The yarns very icky to knit with, some sort of fake mohair stuff but the colours look good. I'll try and get pictures for Saturday and do the post about slip stitch colour work.
   I've been thinking about doing another swatch in two colours but try doing it in the round,in my mind it seems simple enough but once tried I might run into a problem. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  Have a great day, hope things are warming up for you folks in the States. Take care.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Found the socks

   Found the socks eventually. I hadn't knitted no where near as much as I thought I had. I'm going to have to learn how to knit socks again, its been that long I only have a basic understanding. I'm sure it will come flooding back once I knit each part, like riding a bike, without the skinned knees and tears.

  Got two swatches done on the slip stitch colour method and am doing a third one, this one is only using two colours which creates a problem with the colour changes at the rows. I didn't really think about it much, I knit on connected needles so I just slid the swatch along the needle, across the wire and onto the other needles. Not the best solution but works well. I'm sure theres a correct way to do things but as yet I'm just experimenting a little.

  I'm going to make a start on knitting the socks, I didn't do any yesterday. I'm probably a few days away from needing to do any of the hard stuff, plus I want the legs a little longer than normal.

  Have a great day, hope all my American friends are safe from the storms there. Take care folks.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Oh where, oh where

 Can my socks be?
   Before we start today, sorry yesterdays post(sl st colour work) didn't contain a lot of information/instructions. I'm planning on doing that post on Saturday with a couple of pictures of a swatch or two. I'll write basic instructions then on using 3 colours for a simple checked pattern, and where to find more information.

  When I knit socks I use the magic loop method and do the pair roughly at the same time, not on the same loop but I have two magic loops that I swap between every few inches or past a part like heel stitch. That way the socks get finished around the same time, I find this way much easier to knit a pair instead on knitting one full one then having to knit another.
  I mention all that because last year, probably around June ish I started a pair of socks that I really should finish so went looking for them last night and for the life of me I can't find them. I think I know where they are but there not there, which is very annoying. I have plenty of sock yarn but don't want to start another pair until I finish these ones, where ever they may be.

  Thats all for today, going to hunt a half finished pair of socks and maybe do some spinning today as well. Hope you all have a great day, take care and stay warm(my American friends).