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Monday, July 26, 2010


Last week I dyed some roving for myself, it was nothing to look at really. I kept most of its natural colour and added blues, golden yellows and touches of orange. I haven't spun for about a year, my wheels have been sitting gathering dust.

I had 180g of roving and spun 2 large bobbins worth of thinnish singles and plied them together. Here's what I got:

 180g approx - 300mtrs of worsted weight (approx) yarn.

I like the way the colours play on each other, the yarn is so soft and silky and it could easily be worn next to the skin. I just have to decide what I am going to knit with it.

I had got the spinning bug so I finished off spinning some Ashford's merino silk fibre I have had for ages, it was making me feel guilty that half filled bobbin.  I spun this thinner and then navajo plied it. I was really impressed with the results. Photograph to follow - it's still drying at the moment.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


When I got home from work today there was a parcel waiting for me, from Scotland. It was a swap package from my partner in the World Yarn Swap group on Ravelry. Wow, what a lovely selection of goodies inside.

Starting with the yarn, beautiful Rowan 4 ply, 3 different shades that I am going to put with some Rowan pure wool 4 ply in Eau De Nil that I already have and plan to make a Paper Dolls sweater for myself with it. A beautiful hand made beaded hanging heart which is now hanging from the mirror on my dressing table, gorgeous soap and bath salts from the Isle of Skye, cute angel buttons, and my favorite UK treats - Galaxy hot chocolate and chocolate bar and Jaffa cakes! There was also a neat litle gadet called a Combicut which is a seam ripper and tweezers in one, it will be very useful when I am sewing:

Then there was The Knitter, issue 10. What a lovely magazine, I'm drawn to the sweater on the front cover, I received another issue of this in a previous swap and there are some lovely patterns inside and the quality is great - nice thick pages and really good photography. I'm going to get myself a subscription to this if at all possible. I love the postcards of Scottish sheep and Scottie dogs with Bagpipes:

So tonight will be spent with my feet up in front of the fire, sipping Galaxy Hot Chocolate and nibbling Jaffa Cakes whilst reading my new magazine. Thank you Jane for a wonderful package :-)

On a different note my spinning bug is back again, I dyed up merino roving yesterday for my Etsy shop and ended up dyeing a batch for myself. I have spun a little of it already staying up late last night spinning. Having not done any for a while I had forgotten how soothing and rythmic it is. The roving is beautiful New Zealand Merino, very soft and lofty, really easy to pre draft. I chose to experiment with a different dye technique and was really pleased with the way it came out. I may have hand spun yarn to show off in a day or two so watch this space.

Roving I dyed for the shop:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Yarn is good for you!

I was seeing stripes in my sleep last night......
I've been wanting to make self striping yarn for a long time but have never found the time, however, I decided I was going to do it this weekend.

My Friday evening was spent walking up and down the lounge between 2 dining chairs placed 30 feet apart making a very large skein of yarn, the skeins are 400 mtr long, I repeated this process 5 times as I wanted 5 skeins to dye. So add that up - I walked 2 km in all without leaving the house, I knew yarn was good for me lol!

I dyed up the yarns and then realised after they were dry I was going to have to walk the 2 km again to re-skein them. No problem because that would be the following day.

I was so pleased with the way they came out:

I made striped sections that are approx 11.5' long. The sample sock shown above is a 64 stitch sock knitted on 2.5 mm needles at a gauge of 8 stitches per inch. I got stripes that are 5 rows deep. I love the colours and the very subtle variegation in the shades. I think I am going to knit me some socks from one of these skeins. It would also be nice knit into a shawl, I often see those shawls that have very long colour changes and they look beautiful. My next project may be to make some yarns with even longer colour changes specifically for these types of shawls.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sock Yarn for Colour Work

Today was all about last minute preparations, getting my yarns labelled and packaged ready to mail to Belinda for the book launch. I found I had a little 'me time' early this morning so I played around with a new bambaroo yarn base, this colour is Poppy:

I dyed up some mini skeins for the SKA July challenge over on Ravelry which I will be taking part in, the MOCK is a colourwork sock by Chrissy Gardiner and it looks gorgeous from what I have seen so far. Here are the shades I dyed, all semi solids. These yarns were inspired by thoughts of Spring which feels a long way off. My main colour will be the clotted cream skein in the centre, the others are the  contrasts and I think they sit together really nicely:

So thats all for now folks, I am going to go and wind my yarns then cast on for my sock. I haven't knitted colourwork for eons, I remember when I was in my late teens knitting a sweater that was black, white and grey colourwork, very 1980's,  I am so excited about these socks!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Canterbury Winter Sunday and Memories of Shetland.

What a day! beautiful skies, and the most amazing frost this morning.

By the time I had charged the camera battery the frost had mostly disappeared.

A lazy-ish sort of day, I just re-skeined some yarns that I dyed earlier in the week.

My seasonal clock is still playing tricks on me, I have lived here for 3 years now and at this time of year I start to feel like Christmas is coming.... due to the shops being full of satsumas, parsnips, cranberries and brussels sprouts, having lived all of my life in the Northern Hemisphere these things are signs of Christmas to me. I wonder how many years it will take for me to stop feeling this?

I have been tidying up my photograph files on the computer, they soon get very full. I came across these pictures of the Shetland Isles and lingered over them, they bring back so many good memories. I have been lucky to have lived there twice, I sorely miss it and dream of returning there one day. It will always have a very special place in my heart:

Viking Boat near the harbour, in the background is the Island of Bressay.

The Drinking Horse at Eshaness.

Our local beach, note the lack of people.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Beautiful day...

I got up to a beautifully sunny but frosty day......just love those kind of mornings, no work today either so that was an added bonus. I dyed up 10 skeins of yarn for the book launch and re-skeined some I had dyed earlier in the week. Here's a little peek of the ones that are ready:

I can't wait to dye these shades up on my new Bambaroo sock yarn base! From left to right & top to bottom:
Pesto, Not So Shrinking Violet, Flamingo, Oceania, Chalk Box, Yellow Brick Road and Posy.