Welcome to my sewing/knitting Blog.

Monday, 30 December 2013

A New Skein of Yarn

A new skein of yarn.

Rate This

I’ve been working on some lovely, soft merino topping in a beautiful lavender shade. I had some darker shade left over from the previous spinning so I’ve combined the two into this lovely colourway.
The next spinning will be the lavender on its own with the idea of making something which starts with the two colours and ends with the one.  Should be fun, shouldn’t it! You can see the plain lavender in the next picture.
DSCF1620It’s a lovely way of spending the long, dark November evenings. It’s actually quite soporific and while I’m spinning, I go into a sort of trance, which I find very relaxing. I suppose it is my brain going into beta waves, hard to do without a trigger, but really easy once I start spinning…

Christmas Placemats

I’ve just finished a patchwork project for Christmas – one table centre-piece and four tablemats. Now do I keep them or give them away as presents? After all the work I put in to make them, it’s tempting to keep them.
In April my Patchwork Club is having an exhibition of work we’ve been doing through the year. I’m wondering how many tablemats will have spillages on them after the Christmas holidays? Perhaps we should keep them till next Christmas?
Here are the individuals…
The colours don’t look quite right on here. In reality there is more contrast, but this was the best I could do in the available light.
Shall I keep or give away? Choices, choices….

A Patchwork Quilt for Baby Sam

A Patchwork Quilt for Baby Sam

I have just completed this patchwork quilt for baby Sam (my second grandson). It will be for his Christmas present.
It was difficult to find the time to work on it recently, what with all the business at the cottage since the end of July. However, I have finished it and I am quite pleased with it. There is no ‘Jo-annes’ near me so I have to rely on small shops and the internet to get the supplies that I need and I was held up with the finishing of it until my favourite sewing machine got here from America.
The quilt has a jungle theme, which I chose to match with Sam’s bedroom.
I do hope he likes it. He’s a bit young to appreciate it now of couse, but in time he may come to like the pictures and the bright colours.
…and of course, no jungle is complete without an elephant, so the elephant may go with it (if I can bear to part with it).
Meanwhile, the elephant is having a sleep while he waits for Christmas.
Now if I can just find a box big enough to pack them both?

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Jane Austen Knits from the magazine 'Fall 2012'


I'm getting on with the capelet that I started recently. I wrote about it here. However, I didn't think the lilac colour mohair wool, as shown in the pattern book, was a very good match so I've been hunting for something a bit more appropriate.


I think I've found it - Eureka! I love this. Perfect Autumn colour. What do you think?


I think it goes really well with the main colour:


but I'm not finished yet. I may extend the capelet to make it wider. First I'll wash it and then decide...

Sunday, 2 June 2013

My knitted socks - finished.


I finished knitting these socks last week using a pattern from GlennaC. Click here for her website. You can find another of her patterns here. I made them because I had to because I wanted to know why everybody seems to love knitted socks so much. As we have just started our summer here in England, it may be some time before I wear them in earnest, but when the time comes, I will be ready!

I made these on four double pointed needles and mastered the technique in the end although I can tell you it is tricky and requires practise. Then I saw a video on Tina's website showing how to knit socks using two sets of circular needles so next time I'm going to try that. Tina at her website was making some stripey socks and I admired the way the stripes seem to match up in each sock. Some clever sock wool designing there!

So I'm getting into sock knitting. In America sock yarn is everywhere but I don't see it very much over here in England. Perhaps I just haven't noticed it. We have different yarns in varied plys and I'm so familiar with the English ones that when in America, I see everything with fresh eyes. You have the space in your shops to see everything displayed my American friends. Never take that for granted please! To me it is like shopping in Aladdin's cave!

Here are my socks again. I'm pleased with them. Thank you to Glenna and Tina for the tips.


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

What's on my spinning wheel today?


I've just finished spinning up the bag full of ecru merino roving. It was a a delight to work with. This will be spare because I have finished the sweater I was making with the bulk of it. I'll show you how it turned out soon. This roving was easy to spin and easy to draft and the result was very smooth as you can see above and below.


Now on my wheel today is some more of Miss Babs blue faced leicester yarn, which you can see is much more woolly. It is more difficult to draft and I have to be very careful that the thread doesn't break. Once I get in my stride with it, it will be just fine. I just have to take care because after using the merino, followed by the mixture of Alpaca and silk, this one is tougher to use.




and I'm pleased with the result so far :)


Saturday, 6 April 2013

Hand-spinning with Blue Faced Leicester Roving.


This beautifully coloured roving was one of my Christmas presents and I've just started spinning with it. It came from Miss Babs, via The Yarn Haven shop in Knoxville.


I have no idea if it was expensive. I've seen Tops at all different prices, more and less. I look in the Etsy shop usually. Perhaps one of you could give me a guide price as to what you would expect to pay in England for this roving?

The colours are varied in this lovely roving. There is everything from purple to brown and I couldn't wait to get started. After the last three months spinning with a mixture of Alpaca/silk and prior to that Merino, I had to practise a little. This yarn is much more woolly and more difficult to draft. I spent a while practising until I felt comfortable with it and then I started.


Here is the spun yarn.  I'll come back and show you later when I've done some plying.


As a contrast, this is the Alpaca/silk spun up.


and this is the Targhee:


All quite different.

I enjoy my spinning.  It's a great way to relax.

What do you do to relax?

Friday, 8 March 2013

Knitting up my own hand-spinning yarn.


I chose this pattern to knit up my hand spun merino yarn. I liked the front panel pattern and the fact that it is short-waisted, like me. I need a jumper that stops at the waist, to look the most flattering. I have very wide hips, like Beyonce! (yeah right!) and long jumpers don't suit me.  It is hard to find a pattern that does me justice. I must be the only one in the world with hips this wide!

One of the problems with hand spun yarn is that you don't really know how much you've got!  I don't have a counter so I can estimate how much yardage and short of using a tape measure, I'm a bit lost. So far I've done it by weight, but since I'm new to hand spinning, I'm still experimenting.

I decided that if anything I was going to be short so I've knitted the back, front and sleeves up to the armhole and no further. I figured that I would definitely have enough yarn for that and if I run out, I can buy something similar to finish it off. Contrast might even be better. Then I'll have a different problem to cope with, that of the thickness of the yarn, not the length. I'll worry about that when I come to it.
Time for another picture:

This is the back, up to the armhole and waiting patiently on a stitch holder to be finished.



This is how the front panel knits up.




I'll be back to show you how I'm getting on later.

In the meantime, sometimes I knit up a scarf...


Monday, 28 January 2013

Hand-spinning and a little bit of knitting.

Hand-spinning with alpaca/silk and a little bit of knitting.

I’ve been spending my time over Christmas and during the cold weather, spinning, knitting and reading. I made this pretty little dress for my new grandchild, who is bound to be a boy now that I’ve made a dress! However, I enjoyed using the fairisle wool. It is unusual in that it is designed to knit up like a fairisle jumper, just so long as you make it the right size.  As you can see from the pictures, it works on the skirt part of the garment, but on the sleeves and the yoke, it goes all stripey. It gives an interesting look and it’s a case of ‘you never know what you’re going to get’ until you do it, of course.
When my own children were babies, the colours were mostly muted, but these days anything seems to go so these rather bold colours (to my eye) give a more modern look.
Now for the hand-spinning. I have been practising with the alpaca/silk combination. It is a dream to hold, very soft and silky, much like human hair, but not so easy to spin with. I think it requires a lot of practice. On the lazy kate below is a merino wool on  the left, alpaca/silk in the middle and a tarhee roving spun up on the right. All very different to spin with.
I think I got a bit too much twist in some of it, but that will work out when I ply two strands together (I hope).
I’m knitting with the merino yarn at the moment.  It is very soft and so far, my favourite. I’ll let you see what I’m making in a future post.
After tea I have to clear out the kitchen, ready for the horrendous job booked for tomorrow (see previous post) on my Wordpress Blog.
Wish me luck.