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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Monet's Water Lillies

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Way back when I started spinning, I did what most spinners did, started with cheap commercial fibre, getting the hang of spinning with that before going on to the pretty hand painted braids that are available from indie dyers everywhere. But even so, I coveted the nice pretty braids, and took the plunge and bought this Shetland braid from Yummy Yarns UK (picture used with permission):

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It was stored away safe until the time when I felt confident enough to give it a try. The Shetland was a deliberate choice, with a long staple length that should suit a beginner, help me get started. And it was only a month or two after I got my first spindle, that I dared to give this a try, and it became the singles you saw above. I was incredibly pleased with what I had managed in my first 'proper' spinning. Proper meaning something intentionally thin, with fancy hand painted tops. And I took the plunge and plied it too:

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The final yarn was something I was incredibly proud of, 525m of light fingering two ply, and frankly I surprised myself. And I knew straight away what I wanted to do with it. I wanted it to become a Photosynthesis. BUT, of course there is a but, I didn't feel that I was a good enough knitter yet, so it got stashed away till a time when I felt better capable to handle it.

So the time has come and I felt brave enough. So over the course of ten days, I got into the pattern and got knitting. And the end result is wonderful. Something finally worthy of my first spinning.

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A bit of a milestone FO really, getting it knit up into something so nice, and I am more than a little pleased with myself I can admit. Its certainly a milestone piece for me, coming to the end of this fibre's journey. Its given me some momentum back for my spinning again and I am currently plying another yarn. So watch this space!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Lost in the Lagoon


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Happy St. Patrick's Day all! Hope everyone is having a fab one! I am back again with more knitted stuff, mainly because I cannot help myself. Above is a gorgeous hank of yarn from Yummy Yarns UK. I can honestly state I am a bit of a Yummy devotee. I just love the things Patricia does with yarns and fibres. This yarn is her fingering weight, soft twist superwash BFL base. And what a lovely base it is. Super soft and cosy, great for warm knits and those where next to skin softness is a must. And the colour is named Knysna Lagoon.

I saw this when Patricia listed this in her Etsy shop and I just had to have it, and I knew what I wanted it for. This was months ago, but I knew that if I managed to conceive, I wanted this yarn to be made into something for my baby. The fact that its superwash means that you genuinely can knit something a baby would wear out of it, because it can go in a gentle wash. And yes, I know it is early days, and possibly counting the chickens a little, but I just had to do something baby related. I want to knit so many baby things but am trying to pace myself. Thus far I am failing, but I cannot bring myself to be bothered, I am so pleased with what I have. So in the last few days I have whipped up these:

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Yup, a matching set of cardigan and booties. Teeny tiny booties I cannot help but fawn and coo over how tiny and cute they are. They've had to be put away because I am starting to wind hubby up with it, though he loves them too.

So, down to the nitty gritty. The patterns. The cardigan:

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Is the Milk Infant Top pattern from Ravelry, and I like it because with a hidden snap fastener beneath the left front there, it is a quick on and off winter garment for a tiny. One very happy triumph for me is the edging:

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I am still very new to crochet and its my first crochet edging, and I am so incredibly pleased to have pulled it off. Little tiring at the foundation stages but so worth it now its finished.And it does finish off the garment so nicely. That's another achievement down.

The booties are another Ravlery pattern, Christine's Stay On Baby Booties. A minor modification in that I did a shorter 'leg' on them, though not for reasons of running short of yarn.

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No indeed, I do in fact have almost 70m of yarn left, and the booties only took 52m. I shall hoard it, and should baby turn out to be a girl, I foresee a matching crochet headband or something... Hee I cannot get over how tiny they are. Now I am trying to keep away from baby knitting... for a week or so at least lol! Watch this space, plenty more baby knits to come of that I am sure.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Parrot - Or how to stop traffic...

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Twice in a week? What has gotten into Gothy I hear you cry. Nothing, just I am doing smaller projects rather than huge floor length over sized shawls!

Now I am sure you recall my first Bird of Paradise scarf. That of course was not knitted for myself, but for someone else, in their yarn, and I got a serious case of the covets and wantsies. So there was nothing for it. I had to stalk the updates to get myself a sushi roll all of my very own. There it is above, and the colour name... Ready, Set, Go.

Lovely and bright isn't it? And unrolled it looked like this:

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Now I wanted the colours to run just a bit differently, so I took my scissors, ad bravely snipped a stitch at over the half way mark of the green, unravelled the smaller piece of resulting knit fabric and balled it for later. Then started knitting at the red. At almost the end of the lace I ran out of yarn, and joined in the second ball, again at the red. And voila:

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Yes, yes, I haven't woven the ends in there. I know, and I actually still need to do it. This scarf is intended for the walks to and from preschool with my son that start next month. Mummy has a huge mid calf length Jaeger coat she lives and dies in that is a wall of black, and I fancy some colour to brighten it up. If nothing else... I'll stop traffic.

Monday, 12 March 2012

A Little Splendour

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Ooof I have been bad at updating lately. I blame baby brain and pregnancy fatigue! That's my excuse and I am sticking to it. Well being honest its because I have been self imposing deadlines on myself - no idea why, I just have - and its been keeping me busy. And there has been a fair bit of fatigue, but its all normal of course.

This is a project that's taken a while since conception to fruition. I started something approaching a year ago, when I made the decision that I wanted to make the layering shrug on Ravelry. I had some spare money, so I approached Patricia, the dyer and owner of the Etsy shop Yummy Yarns UK. I had a specific idea of what I wanted. I wanted to create a yarn that was next to skin soft so I could specifically wear it over vest tops, one of my favourite things in the world to wear. And I really wanted, after seeing a pairing of wool and silk plies done by someone else in her fibres, to do just that. One wool ply, one silk, for softness and drape. So we decided on a merino sparkle braid, and a mulberry silk brick, and I gave her my colours.

The fibres arrived and were perfect, so very pretty, and were more than I could have hoped for. You can see what I mean above. Now for the long task of spinning them, and for the first time, with the intention of making lace weight yarn when plied.

It took a long time and in the end I used last year's Tour De Fleece to kick my behind into gear and get the yarn finished.


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So, the pattern was written for a contrast colour, and I had no idea what I was going to do about that. Probably skip it all together.But while in the process of spinning the fibres, Patricia listed an overstock of  these batts:

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They go by the name of Mermaid, and the moment I saw them, I knew they had to be mine.I knew I wanted to use the small amount of the yarn I spun from these as a contrast. So I spun these as lace weight also:

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Now I always knew I would have most of this yarn left over. I have yet to decide to do with it, but I will figure it out at some point.

So, onto the knitting. I finished the shrug a few days ago and its everything I hoped it would be. 


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I have been wearing it a lot since I finished it, so pleased with the fit, and the fact I knit extra pattern repeats for the sleeves. Its come out just as I had hoped. And obviously this is a big, big thumbs up for Yummy Yarns UK.

So I have the perfect shrug in just my colours. Which is good, given that when I sport a bump, vest tops are exactly what I will be wearing, and I will need it. And the very best part? I spun nearly 1100m of this yarn, and I have well over 400 left, enough to make myself a small shawl. So that will come at some point in the future too.

Well that's me for now, till next time!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Capey Cape

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Okay, okay, I know I have been quiet, far too quiet on this blog, but I have been busy, honest I have! Mainly on that beast you see there. That be Capey Cape as it is affectionately known. The story behind the name is a very long one, but its new owner knows why.

This is basically an oversized shawl. Its the Revontuli pattern on Ravelry, and I simply kept going in pattern until it was big enough. Its been knit in Knit Picks gloss fingering, and I got mine from Great British Yarns, though the red and gold are from DyeForYarn on Etsy. At a total of 2430m of yarn and after having the stink blocked out of it, it is huge. The only way I could get a picture of it laid out in all its glory was to hang it on  the line because even folded in half it was the width of the king sized bed.

It is of course intended to be worn as a cape with a shawl pin and I am sure my dearest friend will look fabulous wearing it. Her intention is to bead it some first, to add to the shine from the silk in the blend of yarn. I am going to miss this keeping my lap warm! Now onto other projects, and try to not cast on baby things for a few more weeks yet... trying hard.

We also have potatoes chitting in the utility room, and tomatoes sprouting on the windowsill. Hopefully the chilies will take too, they did last yea. For now I am working on a lovely shrug, which I will probably use a lot once I get to living in only vest tops again like I did last pregnancy. Just the second cuff and the collar to go.

So here we are a properly big picture of the beastie!



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Till next time!