Saturday, 30 April 2011

Slip Stitch Colours

Sl St Colors.
sl st colors
   Slip stitch colours is a really simple way to mix up colours, almost as simple as knitting coloured rows but looks loads better.

   I was put off mixing colours up for a long time because the back of the work is usually messy and I don't like that. With slip stitch colours you don't get any loops at the back of your knitting, though your work will be thicker but I think this is a good point and make use of it as padding for protection or added warmth.
slip stitch colours
   The square swatch in the top right hand corner was my first attempt at slip stitch colour knitting and used 3 colours. The other three only use two colours and there done with some nasty fuzzy yarn.

   To do the 3 colour one you need to...
  • Cast on 4 plus 2 stitches.
  • 1. knit the first row with yarn A
    • 2. Pick up yarn B and purl the first 2 stitches, then holding the yarn in front, slip the next to stitches. P2, sl2 to the end.
      • 3. Still with yarn B knit two stitches then holding the yarn at the back, slip the next two stitches. K2, sl2 to the end.
        • 4. Swap back to yarn A and purl the row.
        • 5. Pick up yarn C and holding the yarn at the back slip the first two stitches then knit the next two stitches. Sl2, k2 to the end.
        • 6. Still with yarn C hold the yarn to the front and slip the first two stitches then purl the next two stitches. Sl2, p2 to the end.
           That's all there is to it, those 6 rows. To work with just 2 colours you have to experiment to carry the colours backwards and forwards correctly. Working sl st colours in the round is very easy though, just swap the purls for knits.

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

        Thursday, 28 April 2011

        Tomatoes are home.

           The tomatoes are all potted up, think I'm going to give a couple to my mom and sister as I have too many for myself. I used the compost out of my compost bin, the stuff is a lovely black but not as black as my corner compost heap thats mainly leaf mold. You really can't beat leaf mold but it does take a lot longer to break down.

           Not much done yesterday and I'll probably not get much done today apart from bottle the winter warmer ale. The winter warmer ale has fermented really quickly, I could of bottled it yesterday. I'm going to put it all into bottles now the weathers warming up, the barrel is hard to keep cool and ales need to be served at cellar temps. Doing 40 bottles is apita though, will probably take be a couple of hours to sort it all out.

          Just ordered a wooden ruler off ebay so I have a second beater, if it works. I might need to buy some heavier wood and make my own beaters. I did get some knitting done on the pipe pouch, couple more rows and it will be done. Not sure if I want to do holes and a Icord for the pouch or go with a button loop, would need to buy some buttons for that.

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

        Wednesday, 27 April 2011

        Tomatoes moving day.

           Did a little weaving on the frame loom yesterday and the plastic rule I got isn't much use as a beater, its too short and very light weight. I've found some wooden rulers on ebay so will get a couple of those to use as beaters in weaving. I need to finish off the inkle weaving which I'll try and get done today so that I can use the shuttle to get this scarf finished and maybe start something else on the inkle loom.

          The knitted pipe pouch is nearly finished, I'll make it a little longer so all my pipes will fit. Once this knitting is finished I'll knit a Iphone sock using the same yarns and method but with larger needles.

           Weathers nice again so I'm going to put the tomatoes into there final pots today, hope I have enough. Its a simple job because I transplanted the tomatoes into fiber pots so just need to plant those fiber pots.

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

        Tuesday, 26 April 2011

        Cooling off

           Well the weather looks to be turning back into a normal spring, the last couple of weeks have been more like summer here than spring. The plants all seem happy. The potatoes that have come up are racing a long, I've already had to shore them up twice and think they need more today. Down to about 12 tobacco plants which will be much more manageable for me. I need to plant some more lettuce now the temps have cooled off to keep a constant supply going.

          Only did a little weaving on the inkle loom yesterday and none on the frame loom. I hunted for a wooden rule like the ones we used to have in school but couldn't find any so got a short plastic one to use as a beater. I also picked up a paper punch thingy for making the tablets so I can have a go at tablet weaving.

          The knitting is coming along, I think another inch or two and I'll be done. I'm not sure how I want to finish it off but do want to try and make a button loop so this might be a good time to try. I need to hunt for the video again, I did save the link but have since had to change the computers os so will have to look on the mem stick.

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

        Monday, 25 April 2011

        Slow long weekend

           Well I've not gotten much done over this long weekend so not much to write about. I'm still knitting the pipe pouch, I think I'm about half way there. Only managed a little bit of weaving on the frame loom but thats because I set up the inkle loom and the shuttle for the inkle loom I've been using as a beater on the frame loom. I need some swords/beaters.

           The nylon thread isn't as thick as I first thought but is weaving up very nicely. I haven't finished the band yet but can't see any problems. I've had to use a cotton yarn to add a little colour to the band but now I have an idea on what I need to buy in nylon and there are some funky colours I can get next week, or the week after seeing as theres another long weekend coming up and loads of folks have taken time off work.

          I spent most of yesterday reading about backstrap weaving over at Laverne Waddington's site. I'm going to get some dowels and give it a go as it seems extremely versatile and looks very interesting.

          That's all for today folks, the weather is still really nice here so off to the garden I go for a couple of hours. Have a great day and take care folks. 

        Saturday, 23 April 2011

        Inkle bookmarks

          Inkle band woven bookmarks.
        Inkle woven band bookmark
        Inkle book mark
           Here are a couple of the bookmarks I wove on the inkle loom.  I think my camera is on the way out, the first couple of picture I took were are messed up, odd colours all merged together.

        Inkle bookmark

          I wove these bookmarks as one band with breaks in between each one. I think I got 6 bookmarks from a 5 foot band. These 3 have been through the washing machine to see how the end of the weaving holds up.

           I gave the best looking bookmark to my mom for Mother's day, I still need to work on making my edges consistent.

          Hope you all have a great weekend, take care folks and have a happy Easter.
        (Click pictures to enlarge)

        Thursday, 21 April 2011

        Nylons arrived.

           The nylon thread and buckles arrived this morning, early, very early. I've not had a chance to weave with the nylon yet but looking at it I think it might be the right stuff, it does look a little waxy though. The nylon is a lot thicker than a thread, more like double knit thickness and the cone is huge. I'll try and find the time today to set up the inkle loom to weave a little with the nylon to see how it handles.

           The roller bar buckles I ordered seem to be back to front with the prong coming behind instead of in front, they're all like that and just looking at the pictures now they're meant to be like that. I'll have to weave something with the eyelets and attach the buckles to see how they work with the prong at the back. I don't think it would matter if the buckle was flat but they curve.

          The military buckles look to be fine if a little scratched in places but they were seconds so no complaints. These buckles are very simple to use but they don't have tips, I'm not sure how that will affect the weaving but I might try and find some tips. The tips will at least make sure the belt lasts longer by stopping any fraying and make it easier to feed into the buckle.

           Managed a little more knitting and a little bit of weaving. I try and knit one full part of the slip stitch pattern at a time which is 6 rows, yesterday I managed to do 12 rows in all, I need to get more done if I want to be finished over the weekend. The weaving tends to zoom along apart from having to stop every once in a while to wind up the woven part and release the rest of the weft. I'm not sure if the problem is with the winding up the woven part or if I'm beating wrong but theres a very noticeable slant in the rows now. I'm hoping its the winding on part.

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

        Wednesday, 20 April 2011


           Walking the dog this morning over the top field and its a sea of yellow with dandelions. There looks to be more dandelions than there are blades of grass. Give it a few weeks and that sea of yellow will turn into a sea of white until the first winds blow then the air with be clogged with chocking seeds. I still love to kick the seed heads though.

           I got a few more rows knitted on the pipe pouch. Its pretty stiff and at times hard to knit, I really should of gone with the 4mm needles instead of the 3mm ones.
          I didn't do a lot of weaving, a couple of inches but with weaving its so much quicker. I'd like to get this scarf finished and put something else on the frame loom while I'm in the mood for weaving.
           I really need to get back into my spinning as well, I haven't spun in a while and have loads to do. I honestly don't think I'll be wearing this jumper for winter at this rate so might knit myself something smaller with my own homespun yarn. A hat maybe or gloves.

           Its another day to be outside so I'll finish here, don't want to be sat at the computer all day while the sun shines. Hope you all have a great day, take care folks.

        Tuesday, 19 April 2011

        Baked brains.

           Another wonderful warm sunny day over here. I've had to take all the plants out of the mini green house as the temps are close to 50c / 120f with the door/flap open and its not even close to the hottest part of the day yet. Outside temps are just over 20c, about 70f, a fair bit above the average for this time of year. I like these temps, I don't like it hotter though so hope summer isn't going to be a scorcher, above 85f and I start to wilt.

          I got a few more rows of knitting done on the pipe pouch, think it will be finished around the weekend. Its turning out more uniformed than I imagined considering I'm using two variegated yarns and slip stitch colour changes. The colours changes on the yarns are pretty long so guess thats why.

          The weaving is coming along, I think changing over to the bigger frame loom hasn't affected the scarf as badly as I had thought. I have figured out that I pull my edges too tight though, the weave along the edges is much smaller than the weave in the middle. Not sure it matters much because its the same all the way so looks like part of the design but in future I'll try and keep the weave the same size along the rows.

           Still waiting for my ebay goodies of buckles and nylon so that I can do some weaving on the inkle loom. Figure they will be here tomorrow or the next day. I've also ordered a book on boat building not that I'm planing on building a boat any time soon, I don't have the room in the front garden and building in the back I'd need a massive crane to get the boat out. Its nice to dream though and maybe I can rent some land and build myself a nice 48 foot blue water sailing cruiser to live aboard and travel the world. Man I think this sun has got to my head and baked my brains.

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

        Monday, 18 April 2011

        Knitting again.

           Its been a lovely warm sunny weekend here with temps over 20c, 68f, and the rest of the week looks like it will be the same way. I didn't really get much done on Saturday, a little weaving and a lot of lazing around. Sunday I got more done on my weaving until the small frame loom nearly exploded, its just not made very strongly. I transferred my weaving onto my bigger frame loom but I think this will have a big affect on the tension of the already woven part and the tension on the yet to be weaved part as well. I'll get it finished and see how it turns out, theres about 3 feet left to weave.

          I picked up my knitting needles Sunday night and started to knit, not 100% sure what I'm knitting but think it will be a pipe pouch. I'm knitting in the round in slip stitch colour work using two variegated yarns so the results should look interesting. It was meant to be an Iphone sock but the size is too small I think but my pipe will fit it perfectly.

          I lost 3 tobacco plants Saturday night or during Sunday day time, somethings eaten them. I hope the nicotine has made what ever it was very sick. The plants really should be outside full time now but I'll keep bringing in the tobacco plants until there a little bigger so as not to have any more eaten.

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

        Saturday, 16 April 2011

        No pictures

           Well I was hoping to do a picture post of some bookmarks I made on the inkle loom but the camera seems to have messed up big time. All the pictures are funny colours and look like there traveling at 100mph.

           I've just ordered some what I hope to be plain nylon thread in black, if this is the right stuff it will make it easier to search for. I also ordered some buckles and I'm bidding on some military type buckles as well. The military buckles will make belt weaving easy, no holes/eyelets needed. There not easy to find as buckles over here though unless there already attached to a belt.

          This weekend I want to see if I can complete the scarf I'm weaving on the frame loom, I think I should be able too. I'll get some spinning done this weekend and maybe think about getting some knitting done.

          Short post today, sorry about the no picture post. Hope you all have a great weekend, take care folks.

        Friday, 15 April 2011

        Weaving scarfs

           Don't know what it is at the moment, not in the mood for knitting but am in the mood for weaving on the frame loom. May as well make the most of it, I cut some yarns yesterday, about 12 feet long, and warped the frame loom. I made a mistake somewhere so will have to re warp the loom. The yarn is a cheap acrylic that I got from lidl last year and been wondering what to do with it. The yarns a cream colour with small dashes of orange, brown and greys. The small frame loom I'm using can hold five feet of cloth, I'm about to test that by trying to weave a scarf 5 and a 1/2 feet long.

          Not sure what I'm doing this weekend, I know what I should be doing is knitting and spinning. We'll see what happens. Now the weathers warming up I should start thinking about buying a raw fleece to process, really not in the mood for that at the moment though, guess I have all summer to think about that one.

           The gardens doing ok, already had a nibble on some lettuce and even a couple of those old salad/green onion seeds have come up. The tobacco seems to be doing ok but I'm keeping a close eye on them, there in the mini green house at the moment and I'm still bringing them in of a night. I'll get the rest of the potatoes planted this weekend, I think all chance of frosts have now past(fingers crossed).

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

        Thursday, 14 April 2011

        Still no joy

           Well the bonded nylon weaving isn't working again, not that I thought it really would. No idea why I tried again, guess I don't like to be beaten. I think I can use the bonded nylon as an odd strand in my normal inkle weaving and maybe as the weft. Its not strength I'm after, the cotton once woven is pretty strong stuff, I want something thats rot proof. Though the bonded nylon will be better abrasion resistant so a few strands in some weaving might be useful. I can always use it for sewing with as well, and probable fish with it too.

          Still no knitting done, if I'm not careful I'll forget how soon, and I didn't do any spinning yesterday either. I did do some more weaving on the frame loom, I needed to take a break from the bonded nylon on the inkle loom. My edges still need a little work on the frame loom but there fast improving and I think the next piece will be fine.

          Not sure what my yarn plans are for today, the frame loom needs finishing off and the inkle loom still has the bonded nylon on it that I should try and get finished. I should do a little spinning or I'll never get around to knitting myself a sweater with my own yarn. Talking of knitting I really need to start something or even just knit a few rows of what I have on the needles. Two socks and the clothespin peg bag are currently on the needles so I have no excuses for not knitting. I think I'll start something small that I can finish in a day or two to get me back into knitting, a iphone sock or a bookmark maybe.

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

        Wednesday, 13 April 2011

        Try again.

           Yesterday was a wash out, I didn't get a thing done due to finding a Mario Bros type game for the computer and playing that until my hands hurt. I'm not much of a gamer but there fun to play every now and again.

           I'm currently warping the inkle loom with the bonded nylon again, not sure why really as its pretty hideous stuff. Guess I'm just stubborn. If this doesn't work and I don't think it will I'll use the black bonded nylon as the weft, not 100% sure how that will turn out but I can't think of another use for it. Who knows maybe the bonded nylon will work this time and I just need experience in using it. Not holding my breath on that one though.

          Back to warping, only got about a third done so far. I'll let you know how it turns out tomorrow.

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

        Tuesday, 12 April 2011

        Still no knitting

            Still no knitting done, I did manage a little spinning and I had the urge to set up the frame loom and do some weaving on that. I haven't used the frame loom in months and it shows. I'll get this piece finished and practise more, my edges and beating down need more work.

           I transplanted the tobacco plants yesterday after the rains had stopped. The weathers cooled off a lot here after the recent hot spells, I say cooled off the temps have just dropped to the seasonal average. I've got the tobacco in the mini green house, without the propagator lid on, and will bring them in over night for a few days to see how they cope.

          That's all for today, I'll try and get more spinning done and pick up the knitting needles and knit something, anything. Hope you all have a great day, take care folks.

        Monday, 11 April 2011

        Bonded nylon

           Its raining and very dark out, haven't had much rain in the last month or so so its kind of nice. I've managed to kill all my tobacco transplants, I put them in the mini green house while they were still in there propagators and they've wilted. Think they over heated being so young. I have some seedlings left that can be transplanted so alls not lost and I still have some seeds left as well.

          I had a go at weaving the dogs collar in the bonded nylon thread without much luck. It will weave even though its very slick but the main problem with it is that it feels nasty and plastic. So back to the drawing board to find a suitable strong rot proof thread. I'll try and get some normal unbonded nylon as nylon seems to be what is used in making dog collars, if I can't I'll have a go with cotton. Cotton is strong enough but isn't rot proof so I'm not sure how long a dog collar made of it would last.

          Thats all I really managed to do this weekend fiber wise. I am planning to do some spinning today, the tobacco plants will have to wait until the rain stops for me to transplant the new ones. I really need to knit something as well, I haven't knitted for about a week.

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

        Saturday, 9 April 2011

        Inkle loom pictures.

        My inkle loom.
              As promised here are some pictures of some of my first inkle weaving bands.

        Blue inkle bands

        You can see I need to work more on neatening up my edges.

          The blues were woven with a job lot of cottons I picked up cheap on ebay, great for practising.

        Red inkle bands
        The pink and yellow bands in this picture were woven with some wool I had lieing around, wools not great for weaving with for a beginner. 
         These two bands were 
        my first ones.
        The red cotton is pretty thin stuff, no idea what the size is. I double up the red cotton for weaving. The white cotton is a good thickness but I have no idea on that size either. Both are crochet yarns.

        Inkle loom in use
          The inkle loom being used. You can see the changes to the sheds being open and closed by looking at the middle band, thicker in the top picture and thinner in the bottom picture. You can see the reds and whites change too, this is how the pattern is created.
        Inkle loom in use
          Last couple of pictures, click any to enlarge.
        blue inkle bands
        red inkle bands.
          I'll take better pictures of the inkle loom in use when I have time, side on so you can see whats happening.

        Friday, 8 April 2011

        Front garden mowed

           Late post today, I've been out front mowing the garden and sorting out the bushes. I broke my clippers I use to cut the grass around the bushes so that will have to wait until I can get another pair. I might be able to fix them if I can find a larger bolt to replace the snapped plastic holding the spring in place. I'll have to do the back garden another day. I hate doing the back, the grass is terrible to cut.

           I still haven't done anything yarn wise apart from half warping the inkle loom. I love weaving but the warping part can be a pita. I'll get the warping finished today and make a start on weaving. This piece is just to test the length as I've warped the loom differently.

          I got the black bonded nylon thread today, it looks a lot thicker than the green stuff but I'm now not sure how it will weave. I might need to try normal nylon thread instead of the bonded stuff which looks more like plastic. I'll have a go with the bonded nylon at the weekend and see how I get on. Is normal nylon thread rot proof??

          I think I'm going to fire up the bbq in a little while seeing as the weather is really nice toady, warm and sunny with clear blue skies. I haven't got much in meat wise so might have a go at doing hotdogs. Never cooked hotdogs on a bbq before, if I mess up the dog will be happy.

          Hope you all have a great day, take care folks. (There might be a inkle picture post tomorrow)

        Thursday, 7 April 2011

        Still slow

           I've still not done anything yarn wise. Not sure whats going on, I did pick up my knitting for the clothespin peg bag last night to start doing slip stitch colour work and my mind dribbled out of my ear. By the time I'd found the instructions for slip stitch colour work and wrote them down I couldn't be bothered knitting. Thats the problem when you don't know much, forgetting a little bit can mean forgetting everything.

           I got the prym 4mm eyelets today and the green bonded nylon thread. I haven't had a go with the eyelets yet but think I might need to buy the pliers to go with them, I do have the tools for hammering them but didn't have much luck doing that last time. I'll give the hammer another go first though as I'll probably only be able to use the hammer on the other eyelets I'm expecting. The 3mm eyelets are coming from somewhere in Europe so they will take a while to get here and I've not seen any pliers in the 3mm size.

          The green bonded nylon thread is way to thin, its more of a sewing thread. I can weave with it and it would probably look good though take a week and a day to do anything. This thread size is 40, the other threads I've ordered are 30's and 20's. I hope I'm not guessing but I think the 30 and 20 will be thicker than the 40 if they use the same way to measure as crochet yarn.

          I did manage to do some work in the garden yesterday. I got about a third of my potatoes planted, I'll wait until after the weekend and see what the weathers doing to plant the rest. I transplanted another two tomato plants, I think I have too many tomatoes. I also transplanted and thinned out the rest of the tobacco, I saved a couple of pots of seedlings just in case some don't make it but think they will be fine.

          Thats all for now, I'll try and do some work with yarn today but am a little busy. Hope you all have a great day, take care folks.

        Wednesday, 6 April 2011

        Too slow

           Still nothing done with knitting, spinning or weaving. I am planning to get some weaving done today on the inkle loom and some spinning as well. I also want to do some work in the garden, transplant some more tobacco plants and get the potatoes in, or half of the potatoes in.

          I did order a load of thread for weaving yesterday as well as two sets of eyelets with washers. The threads are two types of bonded nylon in two sizes and 6 rolls of heavy duty cotton in black and white, approx 12,000m. That should keep me busy for awhile.

          Having a quick look over my past posts and the text size seems way off now I'm running this new os. Could some of you nice folks give me some fed back on whether the text is too small, or too large. Thanks.

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

        Tuesday, 5 April 2011

        I'm back

           I'm back online with my compute working fully using ubuntu. I've a lot to learn but simple stuff seems pretty easy. I'm so glad to have a fully working computer again, being offline sucks.

          You'd think I'd of gotten loads of knitting, spinning and weaving done while I had the free time while my computer was down but the truth is I got less done than I normally do. A little weaving, I made my mom a bookmark for Mothering Sunday. I've not got any spinning done at all though, or carding.

           The only knitting I've managed to get done was the clothespin peg bag that I had decided to give up on. I frogged it back to the reverse stocking stitch and have knitted a few rows on it. I'm thinking of doing slip stitch colours.

          Thats all for now, I'll try and get back into the swing of blogging over the week. Hope you all have a great day, take care folks.

        Monday, 4 April 2011

        Almost back

          Well I'm almost back up and running, I've run two different live linux cd's with no problems so have no idea whats going on but I'm done with windows now. I need to install a linux version, probably ubuntu but I did like nimble x so am unsure yet.

          I'll be back to full blogging by Wednesday I hope,fingers crossed. Hope your all doing well, take care folks.

        Friday, 1 April 2011

        Computers Down

           No posts for awhile, my computers on the fritz after an upgrade. I cant boot into safe mode and my linux live disk isn't booting either so I have no idea. No sure when I'll be back on line full so keep checking back.

          Hope your all doing well, take care folks