Friday, 28 December 2007
Santa Claus brought me, as requested, loads of spinnable stuff from Wingham Wool Work. Here it is, and here am I, feeling just returning to my toes after the traditional Christmas day swim down by the harbour, which was every bit as cold as it sounds.
It turns out that Wingham Wool Work is only half an hour up the road from where my wee brother now lives, so I will be dropping in some time in the spring.
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
Saturday, 25 August 2007
Blogger does video! All is forgiven.
I'm almost halfway through the border of the piney path shawl. It's the most enjoyable knitting I've done in ages. Seeing each leaf appear is a little triumph, even when it's also time to think 'twenty down, fifty-one to go'. Now that some of the circle is off the needles, I'm starting to worry about whether it's big enough, but only blocking will tell.
Saturday, 18 August 2007
Tuesday, 26 June 2007
Lots of our stuff is still in boxes, but the dyeing and spinning equipment is out, and as Himself is away for a fortnight, the house is festooned with dripping roving. I've got hardly any left to dye, but that's perfect timing, as next weekend is Woolfest! (www.woolfest.com) It's still uncertain how I will get there, but any mode of transport should leave me enough money to buy some roving.
The idea of seeing other people spinning at last is extremely exciting. For all I know, I've been doing it all wrong. I am told by email lists that, as in knitting, the thing to remember is that there are no spinning police, but I'm hoping there's a spinning St John's Ambulance, ready to offer advice and assistance in emergencies.
Dyeing is so much fun I tend to get carried away. I'm slowly learning to restrain myself from chucking umpteen contrasting colours onto one small bit of roving, mainly by hissing under my breath It will turn out brown...It will turn out brown...
I've started experimenting with the hot pour method outlined in The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook, which is much less complicated than the cold pour technique I began with, and results in more interesting transitions between colours. I still get carried away, though - for instance, after spinning up the green single at the top, I needed something to ply it with, so started dyeing a grey/black potful of wool. However, simply adding different concentrations of black dye was too boring, so I ended up with the pink/purple/blue/grey single in the foreground above. Which would look crap against the green, so I had to dye and spin the slightly darker version of the same combination below. I still have that green to deal with, but I can't wait to ply these two together.
Wednesday, 30 May 2007
The Lendrum and I have been getting to know each other. We've reached a compromise where I get very gradually better, while the Lendrum throws up a sudden shock every now and again to keep me on my toes. I'm having to restrain myself from getting the dyeing equipment out and making a big dripping mess, because we are moving house (finally!) the day after tomorrow, and if I add to the resulting chaos any more, I may have to move alone.
Here's some hard-to-photograph handspun, random blues and greens with the odd bit of purple, because a length of roving without a bit of purple seems like a waste to me. This is the first handspun I've ever actually knitted into something. All the rest seemed too precious; now I know I can make more, and better. A lot better! Knitting it really shows you how it needs to be different - in this case, it could do with being plied about half as much again, at least.
Still, it works. Its lumpiness looks pretty good in the intentional lumpiness of a garter feather and fan stitch scarf. The random colours are fun to knit, too, especially when you should really be packing and cleaning.
Wednesday, 18 April 2007
It's amazing. It's so much fun the rest of my life is threatening to disappear into a whirling vortex of wheel. Every stage of the process is so pretty. The things that happen to colours when you spin them with other colours are beautiful and always surprising. The camera has of course run out of batteries, so the parade of ever-less-lumpen skeins will have to wait. The wheel makes roving disappear really fast when you're used to a spindle. I'll have to get dying again.
Sunday, 1 April 2007
Wednesday, 7 March 2007
And the Spring Knitty is finally here! O frabtious day.
Wednesday, 28 February 2007
Also, I got 300gm of this 70% wool, 30% alpaca multicoloured stuff which is fabulous! I've no idea what it will be, but I love it.
Now I've got to find somewhere to put it. I used to feel quite smug about the STABLE (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy) people whose garages and attics are lined with vacuum bags and storage boxes of unused yarn, as being a wool snob with no money I never had a problem with space. However, what with spinning, dyeing, Ebay, and funding, my poor boyfriend has to live with this:
Monday, 26 February 2007
This is nearly a cardigan, the first fruit of my new year's resolution to make this the year I finish jumpers. This is becoming urgent, as I find myself not buying knitted jumpers because they're not up to knitterly standards, but not producing them myself either, and in our freezing flat you need a lot of woolly layers.
I did little cables up the middle of the front, back and sleeves, and along the raglan decrease lines. With a bit of tinkering these end up in a 4 by 2 rib pattern, which continues up into what's going to be the hood.
The violently green shade of Rowanspun Aran, with little specks of darker green and orange, looks like the product of some very ill person's sinuses, but in a good way... Radioactive snot colour is surprisingly fetching on pasty redheads.
Sunday, 25 February 2007
Me and the man went to Amsterdam for a few blissful days. I couldn't face going without knitting, but neither could I face lugging around 700gm of cardigan, so it was out with the Christmas present sock yarn (Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Bittersweet) and on with some travel knitting.
Here's a short row toe, nestling beside a glass of tea.
I now realise that, meaning to take holiday photos with knitting in them, I've actually taken photos of my knitting and left Amsterdam out of shot! It's like my dad taking millions of photos of deserted mountainsides that mean nothing to non-climbers.
This is my first afterthought heel.
Next time I do these I'll try decreasing more slowly, to make a deeper heel. This one fits OK but I prefer the heel part to cover more of my foot, and I think it would wear better that way, too.
I did the leg in a double eyelet rib, which makes the finished sock stay up really well, finished off with a bit of plainer rib at the top.
I had the usual trouble casting off loosely enough, but after a few attempts with different techniques and needles, the sock no longer threatens my circulation.
Yay! Halfway there, but back to the cardigan...
Thursday, 22 February 2007
Friday, 9 February 2007
I have roving dyed in my kitchen that doesn't look too mangled, and a digital camera that works! My cup runneth over.
This is some of the Bluefaced Leicester I got for Christmas, after some encounters with Jacquard acid dyes. There's 45gm of the first one, which came out in colours I didn't mean to use at all, but I like surprises! I doubt I'll ever know enough about dyeing to get more than semi-predictable results, but seeing how it comes out is the most exciting part so I'm happy to muddle along serendipitously.
There's 95gm of this one, which is beautiful. I have to put it somewhere out of the way before I pet it to death. The greens are stronger and bluer than in the photo. I can't wait to spin it, but I don't want to start it until the Bosworth arrives. I might ply it with a plain purple single.
Wednesday, 10 January 2007
A professor recently asked me where in the world I would like to do research, if I could go anywhere. "Somewhere in the Andes" sounded like a sensible anthropologist's answer, until I explained that the attraction was the spinning and knitting. What a dream job that would be.
I dyed roving for the first time last night. It was so much fun, like fingerpainting in primary school. I did it in the microwave because I didn't have the right equipment for other methods. The colours came out much better than I expected, but there is one huge drawback...this roving STINKS. I don't know if it's an unavoidable side-effect of acid dyes, or whether it's to do with the microwave technique, but I now have two beautiful bits of fibre that give off a pungent, lingering chemical stench, like the smell of depilatory cream but more potent. Bad.