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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Green Leaves Socks...

I haven't had a chance to write anything over the past week or so, but as usual I have been busy knitting away:

The Yarn is Shibui Knits Sock in Wasabi and the pattern is Golden Leaves by Cookie A.

I loved knitting these, the pattern is interesting but easy.

I knit the pattern as a mirror image on the second sock instead of knitting them both the same (as they are in the pattern). I also altered the rib, in the pattern it's a complicated mix of Knit tbl and purl, but after I looked at the graph I realised that knitting plain old K1 tbl, P1 would line up with the twisted stitches in the pattern, I prefer K1 P1 or K2 P2 for sock rib as it gives a more snug fit.

I'm really happy with these and will knit this pattern again.

After blocking the socks ~ and as I seem to be on a major sock knitting roll at the moment ~ I cast on these mini baby socks:

The yarn is Lorna's laces but I forget the colourway, it's left overs from the first pair of socks I ever knitted which must have been about 14 years ago. I'm using 2 mm needles and the pattern is a free Interweave Pattern.
44 stitches - a mock cable rib for the leg with a short row heel and toe.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

More Hand Spun Sock Yarn

I have been busy spinning another batch of the Corriedale/Nylon sock yarn:

I spun 100g of fibre into fine singles then Navajo plied it for a 3 ply strong sock yarn.

I dyed it my favourite colour, a variegated purple!

320 metres. I think this may become a pair of Simple Skyp Socks for myself.

I've also been spinning some Perendale fleece. The locks were washed with wool scour in a mesh bag, after drying I quickly flick carded them and spun up 2 bobbins of singles. I did a 2 ply yarn this time:

250 metres of yarn, it still needs soaking and drying but I'm hoping that it's going to be a sport weight yarn.

Perendale sheep were developed in Palmerston North, New Zealand by crossing hardy Cheviot rams over Romney ewes. Perendale clip is low lustre and crisp to the touch.
Fibre diameter: 30 - 37 microns
Staple length: 100 - 150 mm
Fleece weight: 3 - 4.5 kg

A good fleece looks bouncy and will feel crisp. The higher bulk fleece has better shape retention and higher insulation properties. If you add a little more twist than normal you will get a rounded and hard wearing yarn, it's also excellent for Navajo plying.

You won't be able to produce a typically smooth and dense true worsted yarn with this fleece as it tends to poof up, capturing the air within the yarn. If you use the worsted technique you will produce a different type of yarn with all the worsted strength and durability, but with reduced weight and added warmth.

Perendale also makes an excellent woollen yarn which will produce a light yet bulky yarn.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Lovely Memento

My dear Brother sent me a beautiful memento of Ruby and Molly, my two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, sadly both of whom passed away over the last year. I had a lump in my throat when I opened it, the likeness is incredible, it's an ink drawing done by a friend of my Brother from a photograph:

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Apron All Finished Off!

I finished the apron:
I had to rethink the frill at the bottom.
I wanted a fuller and deeper frill but then after tacking it on I realised that because the two fabrics are different weights, (the red is a much heavier fabric) the frill was going to constantly try to drag the front of the apron down. So I removed the frill and cut the depth and width down by 40% then re-gathered it. It sits nicely now and doesn't want to slip forwards. Never mind, I'm happy with how it's turned out even though the frill is smaller than I would have liked.

Leftover Perendale fleece and my brooch from the Highland Spin yesterday. More about that later in the week.

This is what we have been working at on and off for the past few weeks, today my hubby finally finished doing the finicky time consuming bits of painting and I finished the Roman Blind and hung it. Another room completed, we are getting there slowly but surely with the house.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Fast Food.....

I was a child of the '70's and grew up in a small village in Yorkshire where there was no such thing as fast food - as we know it today that is. No high street burger chains, no deep fried chicken shops, no pizza parlours - there was a fish and chip shop and in later years a Chinese take away both of which were a rare treat. Today fast food is everywhere you turn, it's often cheaper to eat out than to cook healthy nutritious meals at home. Food full of bad fats, chemicals and additives and heaven knows what else.

Today I needed fast food ~ after a long day at work and coming home ravenous with only myself to cook for:

Ruffled eggs with asparagus and wholegrain toast.

Preparation time: 1 minute
Cooking time:  4 minutes

No chemicals or additives.
Eggs from my free range hens, asparagus from my chemical/spray free vege garden. The butter on the toast is homemade cultured butter.
That's my version of fast food!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Sewn Retro-Style Apron

It's November already!
I spent 2 full days working in the garden over the weekend ~ mowing the lawns, clearing weeds, laying mulch, cutting back the camelias and other overgrown shrubs and planting new things. I love this time of year although the garden does demand a lot of my time.

Because of the above I haven't done much making over the past week but did find a little time to make a start on a secret santa gift for one of my work colleagues. I decided to make a retro style apron as the person I am secret santa for likes to cook.
The fabric is a bold and bright 100% cotton digital floral print (from IKEA) and I'm using a bold red heavy cotton fabric (perfectly matching the deep red roses) for the trim:

The apron, when finished, will have a deep red flouncy frill along the bottom edge and a red pocket.

I love the little details on this particular apron (which is why it appealed to me) it has fully sewn-in and hemmed interfacings ~

A sweetheart neckline with dressmaker pleats down the front and sides ~

Pressing the pleats after sewing them.

I hope to have this little beauty finished in the next day or so.
There is knitting on my needles at the moment, an item for our President's Challenge ~ an annual event the spinning guild hold at our Christmas Lunch in December, so I can't post any pictures of it yet.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Princess Baby Bonnet

I finished the baby bonnet, but I ran out of yarn and didn't have enough to do a knitted tie cord so I made a twisted cord instead:

The bonnet is knit flat in one piece and shaped with short rows at the bottom edge.
The back of the head is then worked in two halves and grafted together along the centre back. The pattern is A bonnet for Every Princess.
It took 27g of yarn.