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Monday, 4 August 2014

Tour de Fleece the end of!

So I haven't posted in ages. Unfortunately not only did I have the Tour De Fleece but I also have the school holidays and an awful lot on to keep little people busy! That said, I DID manage to spin every day of the Tour!

So not only did I finish the 4 yarns shown in my last post, I finished another three before the end, making it a total of 7 yarns across the three weeks. I am pretty impressed with myself. So what did I I spin.

The first two were Nunoco batts, chain plying each batt to make two repeats of each gradient. Firstly The Spindleberry:


177m of worsted weight yarn.

Second came Cornucopia:


152m of Aran weight yarn. This skein has some luscious greens in but no matter how I twisted the hank I couldn't show off all the colours.

By the time I had finished that skein, I had also spun enough yarn for my Swirl I am planning on knitting, so for my last spin I wanted to spin something in a lighter weight.

So I took these batts that I believe I won in either the lest Tour or as a prize for a make along over at the Yummy Yarns UK group on Ravelry. I feel awful that I can't remember WHY I won them anymore, but I am very glad I did! Very simple batts but they were a joy to spin. Natural undyed English Suffolk, Local Leicester Long Wool, hand dyed Merino in shades of blues and aquas.




234m of sport weight yarn. Not sure what it will be yet, but its a lovely yarn!

So there it is at last, final round up of all I got done in the Tour de Fleece which was surprisingly much. I promise my next post will be far more exciting for you non spinning folk!

Till next time!


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Tour de Fleece 2014

As the title suggests, I am taking part in the Tour de Fleece again this year. In short, is a spin along while the Tour de France is going on. The idea is every day the cyclists race, you spin. And you see what you can get done in that time.

The Tour started on the 5th, so my posts will be a round up of what I have been achieving day by day, and I will be posting my round ups every few days or so! So onwards!

When the Tour began I was part way through spinning singles of this gorgeous Blue Faced Leicester / tussah silk blend from Mandacrafts.


I had 200g of it, and what with deciding to do the Ringbearer shawl on the spur of the moment, I never got to clear down my wheel for the tour. In fact on day one I was about half way through the singles:


So day one was spent finishing the singles, and beginning plying (I did have three bobbins of it!)

Day two:

I finished plying, wound off and measured my yarn.:


414m of worsted weight yarn, all ready for my cardigan project! And a good chunk of the yardage I need for it.

But in the evening I got going on some new fibre. this time 100% merino from Yummy Yarns UK, colourway Namibia. Given the colours, I think you can guess what it is going to be part of!




 234m of light worsted weight yarn:


Then some Yummy Yarns UK Batts in Vesuvius:


147m of Aran weight yarn:


And lastly some fibre from Easyknits.co.uk became this yarn:


200m of Worsted weight. Fibre blend 50% White Corriedale/25% Grey Corriedale/ 25% Banana.

That's me up to date all the way to stage 10 of the tour!. Quite a lot done! See you for the next tour update!


Sunday, 6 July 2014

Ringbearer Shawl

I have to admit, this was not a planned project. But Patricia of Yummy Yarns UK had spun some beautiful yarn from some fibre she was given in her Ravelry group's secret santa. And she didn't know what to do with it. What she wanted to so was turn it into a pretty wrap for her shoulders, BUT she doesn't knit lace. I have knitted yarn up for Patricia before, and she spins such lovely yarn. So I offered to do so for her. Extremely soon after, her lovely cat Ella went missing, which only made me more determined to knit it for her, in the hope it would provide comfort.

We discussed patterns and she sent me the yarn:


Which is prettier in real life and has sparkle in it, but its one of those colours that is hard to photograph. So I got knitting. The pattern she chose was Ringbearer, which made my geek tendencies happy. It was originally a mystery knit along, and each 'clue' (or section of pattern) represented something from Frodo Baggins journey in Lord of the Rings. They were all lovely lace patterns, though clue six was slow going (its very hard to 'read' your knitting as you go in this one) and the feather and fan edging predictably tripped me up once or twice. While a simple lace pattern, feather and fan is an old nemesis that always gets me a couple of times in the knitting.

Shortly before I finished Ella was found and returned home a little thin, but otherwise well after almost two weeks away from home. So glad that ended well, and I got to show Patricia pictures of her finished shawl.



I am exceedingly happy with it and it came out to such a lovely size. I think I need one for myself so you shall probably see this pattern come up again! It will be winging its way to Patricia soon, as soon as my miss is a little bit better from her chicken pox!

So that's what I have been up to recently. The next couple of weeks I am participating in the Tour de Fleece (all shall be explained in my next post) so watch out for spinning round ups in the coming weeks!

Till next time:


Sunday, 29 June 2014

Spinning for a Cardigan

I know its summer, I know that none of us wants to see this rare sunshine and warmth leave us for autumn and winter, but I find the summer is a good time to at least plan for making winter wear, both for myself and for the children. So I am planning a big, warm cardigan/jacket kind of deal. I was lovingly gifted the book 'Knit, Swirl' by Sandra McIver for Christmas, and my plans are to knit a Coat of Many Colours (I just love the name) and I want to do it in handspun, and in Autumnal colours. So I have made a start in the spinning at least so I may get knitting in a couple of months. Its thicker than I am used to, I am aiming for aran or worsted weight and so far, so good.

I tested out my carders to make this random yarn a while back.


And it may or may not make it into the final cardigan. If it does, its 150m towards the 1550m I need for the final cardigan. This is going to take a lot of yarn!

Most recently I was getting into the swing of spinning for this by going back to an old favourite fibre source, Yummy Yarns UK, with these fabulous batts named Tiger Tiger:


Gave the Princess a good oiling, and turned them into 140m of yarn:


This is probably the darkest of the yarns planned for this cardigan bit I am very pleased with it. Its got that little bit of glitter and shine I tend to gravitate towards! So plenty more of these yarns coming!

Till next time!


Thursday, 19 June 2014

Keeping Dry

I mentioned on a previous post showing off some of my recent spinning that I was planning on using the yarn for a hood. I have a beautiful Jaeger winter coat, proper boiled wool, warm, dry, but it has no hood. I was given it by a relative so hence it wasn't exactly my choice, but its a gorgeous coat all the same! So after spending this past winter and spring getting soaked on the school run, I decided to make myself a hood.

So I spun up some lovely yarns from batts and braids from Yummy Yarns UK, and while I was on holiday I turned these:



Into this:



I apologise that the pictures aren't better, but there is only so much I can do by myself and the husbeast is not very helpful in helping take pictures, so I make do where I can.

So this winter I shall be fabulous in a wool coat and hood, and not a drowned rat with soaked hair. A vast improvement on the state of affairs!

What projects are you all up to at the moment?

Till next time

Monday, 16 June 2014

Lucky little me!

A very quick post for you all today. Today I want to talk about Gradience Yarns. Sam runs both an Etsy shop and a Facebook page, and was running a competition on the latter, shortly before I went away. I was thrilled to win a skein of her yarn, in lace weight on her merino/silk blend base.

It arrived while I was away and what lovely post to come home to. So I am writing this post as a thank you to Sam for the lovely yarn, and extras:


I am not sure what this will be yet, but I am erring towards a little light layering top or shrug because its so lush! My favourite shrug to wear is a similar blend, light but warm. I may be reprising the pattern.

I am saving my pennies for some of her lovely yarn because she has to be one of the very few dyers in the UK with true gradient yarns (hence the shop name), which I adore. Of course she also does gorgeous variegated yarns as you can see above, and semi solids too. She also sells hand knit shawls made from her gradient yarns which are to die for! You really should go check her shop out to drool at all the pretty! And of course, treat yourselves!

Till next time!


Monday, 9 June 2014

So much spinning!

Hey and hi to all! I am back from holidays, a little later than planned, so I apologise, children have a habit of throwing you for a loop!

So a quick post today to cover the mass of spinning I have been doing lately but not sharing! Firstly I finally finished the super wash merino gradient I got from the Painted Tiger. Goodness that took me a while! But that's what I get for spinning fine with the intention of chain playing and having a lace weight yarn at the end. The aim was achieved and I went from this fluff:


To this yarn:




963m of it! I am certain that eventually it will be a shawl. I have all sorts of lace shawls planned ahead of me but it's all long term. For now I am back doing thicker yarns for  more immediate projects, especially a cardigan/jacket for me!

But before those yarns, I did spin for another winter accessory. I have the most gorgeous wool winter coat from Jaeger, but it has no hood. So I intend to make myself one, from two yarns I spun.

The first from these batts from Yummy Yarns UK


222m of worsted weight yarn. And its so much fun to spin Patricia's batts.


Also from her I have two braids of Southdown fibre, perfect for a hood to keep me from getting wet in the school run!


They became 608m of sport weight yarn, chain plied. I just love Patricia's fibres! Probably why I keep going back to her again and again. If that isn't a sign of a happy customer I don't know what is!



So these two will become a hood, in fact they already have! But I do not have pictures yet. But I was not idle on holiday, oh no! My hook was busy and I am so pleased to be able to stay dry now. But pictures to come! That's all for now, so till next time!








Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Thank You Project Complete

Goodness I have been quiet in my little corner of blogland. I had intended to post last week, as I have been very busy, but my smallest has been unwell, so that took priority. And I am now about to go on holiday for a week. So I had best fort my act out.

Anyway, as per my previous post, I had the ambitious idea to knit 6 thank you scarves for my son's teachers for the end of the year. I have just blocked and woven in the ends on the last one, and here they are.

Hand spun lace weight yarn from a Batt Dropping from Nunoco


Hand dyed lace weight yarn from Eden Cottage Yarns


Hand dyed lace weight yarn from KnitPicks (discontinued)


Hand spun fingering yarn from fibre from World of Wool


Hand spun fingering yarn from batts from Nunoco


Hand spun fingering yarn from batts from Nunoco


I am really very pleased with them all, and am looking forward to the time when it comes to wrap them and have the boy write out a thank you card for all they have done for him this year. They definitely deserve to have it written from him.

So there we are, a quick FO post to show you what I have been up to. More to come soon as long as I can get busy before we go on holiday!

Till next time!


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Dress Formerly Known as Pillowcase

What, a post about sewing? Surely you jest I hear you say. And quite rightly, because anyone who knows me knows that I do not sew, or rather, I don't do sewing machines. For some reason, they and I do not get on. Its not like I can't machine sew, I have a pair of floor to ceiling living room curtains, fully lined, that I made myself. BUT, and its a big but, that's because I had someone else there to make sure the machine stayed working properly. Because that's where it all falls apart. If its not perfect and therefore starts to not sew properly, left to my own devices, no matter what I do, I cannot fix it. Give me a spinning wheel, I am fine, sewing machine, not a hope.

That said, someone has suggested to me that perhaps I should keep an eye out for a working hand crank machine, plenty of these vintage beauties about and still sewing, because they have so much less to go wrong. And can be picked up cheap. Who knows, I may do yet. I haven't so far. However, I was watching the Great British Sewing Bee on the beeb and every time children's wear came up I would sigh and wish I could do that. Because I love my little miss in darling little cotton frocks. In fact I have bought rather a lot for her. Especially now she is toddling.

So one day I was having a discussion on twitter with a couple of friends, and saying I can hand sew but not machine sew, when Clare from Little Pink Teacup asked me if I had seen pillowcase dresses before. I said no and promptly did a Google search. Lo and behold I found instructions, and yes, this was within my capability to hand sew. So the idea was born. Its all her fault. So I hunted high and low for pillowcases in a fabric I liked, and came across a pair of these:


So following the instructions, I cut the closed top end off the to correct length for my miss (measured from one of her dresses), cut some arm scyes, and a couple of straps from the closed top end. The instructions were actually for tied bias binding straps, but I opted for proper straps, just personal choice. Then, as instructed, I created channels front and back for the elastic, opting for a back stitch for a strong seam, and installed said elastic. Leaving me with this:


Then it was a case of installing straps, adding bias binding round the armholes (unfortunately stretching them a little, but this is my first attempt so I will let myself off) and added a trim down the hem to catch the turned back opening for a pillow, so she can't get her feet stuck in it. And there we had it, a finished dress!



Despite the stretched armholes, its very wearable and she looks adorable in it (in my humble opinion!). I actually love how it hangs and billows around her, and its very comfy for the summer. Very pleased with my first foray into sewing! And I have another of the same pillowcase and enough trim to make her a bigger one when she grows out of it! And more experience too. Over all, I'm a happy mum, pleased to dress her in something I've made. And her dad loves it on her too! I am just not telling him it used to be a pillowcase!

Till next time!