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Monday, July 06, 2015

It's been a while

I've been busy spinning and planning for weaving and sewing and knitting, but not a huge amount to show for it as yet.   This weekend was mostly spent at CanAmJu's rooms helping with clean up and painting.  One of those things that meant I got only some spinnng done at guild, but nothing the rest of the weekend.   It did look a lot better once we were done though and the office is much clearer as well as two walls now being clean and painted.   We ran out of time for the rest unfortunately and my neck is slightly out again as a result of all that prep and paint work; worth it though.

On the sewing front I'm getting close to finishing the 1810 dress, just the ties and the hems to go now, but tis school holidays so my time is limited.  Might get some done tomorrow after the dentist though as the boys Grandma is taking them for the day for me, or at least for the time I'm at the dentist up till she gets fed up with them.  Youngest is being a bit hard work at the moment, so not sure how long I'll get.

On the knitting front I've finished a very warm cowl using handspun
This is my Bluegum Islanderry Cowl using handspun singles, it has a V-shaped insert which fills in the gap when wearing a revere collar jacket and it's lovely when it gets cold.
I'm also working on a pair of socks for me (well, 2 actually, but the second isn't far through)
My main pair is a DK pair for keeping me warm
Sublimation Socks
I'm really liking these, love the change in stripe width; the second sock will have the colours reversed which is such fun!
My other current socks are my travel pair which are being knit in the yarn Mum bought for me in Wales
I'm using my usual Riverrun pattern by Valerie from Wandering Cat Yarns and I love how they're looking!
I've got other things on the needles, but they're all on hold while I finish the socks, supposed to be taking part in a KAL for Truly Myrtle, but I think I may be overcommitted so this may not happen.  I could cast on tonight though, it's for a hat and I could do with another warm hat; what do you think?

On the spinning side of things I'm taking part in the Tour de Fleece which started on Saturday, here is my planned spinning stash:
Starting from the bottom I'm finishing my perendale, far right is the remnants of the Spin The Bin selection (3 items), then into the box we have the jersey lot of Heavenly Wools Merino/Haunui in the Barrier Reef colourway to be spun bulky, under that is a bag of Southern Cross Fibres in the Vetinari colourway and the remaining alpaca to be spun long draw.
I've already done some of the Perendale
Hoping to finish this bobbin today, it'll then be ready to ply with the other full bobbin I already have
Just before TdF started I also finished this polwarth/silk from Artemis Fibers
Night photography is not ideal, but this is a gradient in approximately Aran weight and will be a Baa-ble Hat once I spin some white in the same base to go with it.
On the weaving front I've not actually started warping up yet, but I have done the plan for my mohair rug.   Had to make some changes as my loom isn't quite wide enough for my original plan, but it should still work out well.   I'm certainly not going to dry to make a double width on this warp, brushed mohair is going to be interesting enough without throwing learning double weave at it too.

Best be off and finish this spinning, preferably before the chimney cleaner arrives.   There is also of course washing to get in and cleaning to ignore as well.

Monday, June 08, 2015

C1 is out

I had the chiropractor on Friday morning, sometime on Friday night (while I was sleeping) my C1 joint went out, Saturday and Sunday were not nice, the dizzy/vertigo head was back with a vengeance.   Got it readjusted this morning, thank goodness there was an appointment available.   I'm feeling a bit better now, but still not right, my neck still hurts a bit which is probably muscle tension.  It's not as tight as it was though; you could have used me for building materials!

Before all that happened though I did get a couple of things finished.

325m of Aran weight Finn yarn in the Nobby and Vetinari colourways

And a pair of vanilla socks, originally for me, now for youngest.
In other news our new vanity unit is now in
Before, we had Almond Ivory

And now it's a grain print in grey, so much nicer!
Nice soft close cupboards and drawers, ceramic top and an overflow to reduce the chance of needing to do this again.   We have to pay extra for all this, but I think it's worth it.   The other option would have been the original version in white, which would have been too stark in this room.   Unfortunately we still have the peach bath with pink tiles (what were they thinking?) and the almond ivory loo, but we didn't have the money to replace them at the moment.  It's on the list, but seeing as they both still work and we still haven't won Lotto...

Monday, June 01, 2015

Starting, Finishing and Continuing

I needed to cast on something new, broke a tooth this afternoon so this is to make me feel better.
Islanderry Cowl
I'll need to make the dental appointment tomorrow, no pain, but I don't know if I can leave it or if it'll need work and it's better to check now I think

I finished my Jellyrun Socks using Wandering Cat Yarns Alley Cat; love that base but it's not so easy to get here due to shipping costs and of course the dollar being less friendly nowadays.
So comfy; I adapted the pattern to my sizing as it's currently man sized only.
I'm still working on my 1810's dress, the skirt is almost ready to attach to the bodice and I've started changing Violet, my loom, over to Texsolv heddles and tie-up.  No photo's of that yet, but I do have a photo of my current sock which is the second of the pair and about 3/4 done
Vanilla and Iris Socks
This is a plain sock using a double gusset heel which is now my default heel.   I dyed the yarn some time ago and am loving how they're knitting up.

I've been spinning too, Vetinari and Nobby on a Finn base from Southern Cross Fibres, I'll ply these two together to make sure I have enough for socks.
Nobby Nobs

and Vetinari
 Both are from the Discworld MegaSAL; I have more of Vetinari on other bases but those will be spun later.   My next spins will be from my Spin the Bin selection as I still have 3 of those left to go; I also want to save my Vetinari for the Tour de Fleece.

I've been working out, hoping it'll help with my health issues, so we got a rowing machine.   So far I've done it 3 days a week since we got it and I need to keep that up.   Sugar consumption is way down and I'm taking some truly hideous herbal concoction to help with my issues as well.

Mum and Dad got back from England today as well, I suspect they're already heading bedwards after either an omelette or vege soup.   They got me a very pretty skein of BFL sock yarn too
They found it at a wee market in a Welsh village
It'll be my next travel sock once I finish the green one, well, there might be one DK sock first for eldest cos I promised.   Youngest keeps thinking I've promised him more socks, but he already has 3 pair so he can wait a wee bit.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Day Seven (Sunday 17th May): Your Time, Your Place

Where and how do you take time out to knit and/or crochet? Maybe you don’t take time out at all and instead have your needles twirling as you try to juggle a multitude of other tasks with no ‘spare’ time to think of. Maybe you enjoy nothing more than to crochet whilst  winding down from a yoga session, chatting with some friends in a nearby cafe.
Whether social or solitary, tell readers about your crafting time and space, and where you either most enjoy (or can simply find a few snatched moments) to turn yarn into something even more beautiful.

I knit on the way from school in the mornings as I'm walking home, only a few rows but that's how we build a sock anyway.  I knit while waiting at the doctors office, waiting for youngest to get out of class, just before bed and sometimes while watching a movie at home.  I always have a pair of plainish socks on the needles for the walking and the waiting.  The world is my crafting space; nowhere is out of bounds so far, in social situations knitting is what keeps me calm and stops me from running away.
I keep something more complex for the evening and daytime knitting when at home, but at the moment I'm concentrating on one pair of socks as I'm getting low on socks for me

Day Six (Saturday 16th May): Polls Apart.

Blog Survey

Today's post is simply a small survey (3 questions) asking what type of content you prefer to read, I'd love to find out!

Day Five (Friday 15th May): Something A Bit Different - Worldless

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Day Four (Thursday 14th May): Bags Of Fun.

Time to delve into that most treasured collection of tools, notions and oddments as you are asked to spill the contents of your knitting or crochet bag, caddy or other method of organisation and put your crafting unmentionables on display.
You may wish to talk about your bag of crocheting tools as a whole, or delve deep into the contents of your knitting caddy and talk about the contents each in turn. Good, clear photography can help readers familiarise with your tools, and you might just help someone find a new item for their wish-list if they are awe-struck by your pom-pom maker.
 Ok, I'm pushing the envelope a bit on this one, I'm not going with a collection of tools etc, I'm going to show you the one tool I would hate to be without.

 This is my Nancy's Knit Knacks ballwinder and it'll wind up to 1lb (approx 500g); I've not wound that much as 200g is usually my max but it does a really good job on everything I've thrown at it so far.  It's not cheap, but sometimes it's worth paying the extra for a really well made tool like this.

There are other tools I love, my Clover Chiba darning needles, my Chiao Goo knitting needles (both fixed and interchangeable) and my Clover row counters but in most cases I could make do with other things, but the ball winder is the result of making do with things that didn't measure up and now that I have it I will never ever go back!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Day Three (Wednesday 13th May): Experimental Photography And Image Handling For Bloggers.

Today is about changing things a bit for project photography.    Like most people I normally take a shot of my finished yarn/project from above or the side in decent lighting with my cellphone camera or occasionally the real camera.   It'll often be on the carpet or the bed or if fine outside on a particular rock or half tree trunk that we use for a seat.

Today I popped outside with my latest finished yarn and tried a few outdoor props I haven't played with before.   Some didn't work that well like the ladder and the car door.   The letterbox wasn't too bad, but the almond tree was my favourite (not the yarn's favourite, the yarn was not happy due to rough catchy bits)
438m of 3-ply merino.   There is some more to come, this was a full plying bobbin; I'm expecting to get to 600m total.   This still needs washing as well.   I'd say it's a heavy fingering weight now, washing will probably make it bloom into a DK

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It's All About You

Day Two (Tuesday 12th May): It’s All About You.
Cast your hooks and needles aside!
This year you are challenged with one of those tasks that some bloggers can find quite daunting: but there’s never a better time then when we’re all in it together, so let’s shift the focus and turn the attention from the things we make to the things that make us.
The important thing here is to remember that you don’t have to go into great personal detail and certainly do not have to reveal anything too personal. You can be as candid or as private as you like, but you can also give your readers a feel for those things that you like to do outside of your crafting.
  • Do you like to walk or keep fit
  • Do you read or enjoy movies – are there any personal favourite books or films that you would recommend?
  • What is your dream holiday destination, job, dinner party guest list?
This post can be about your reality, your aspirations, past, present or future. Enjoy talking about you. If you really don’t want to write about yourself, though, use your creative license and invent yourself an alternative persona, whether you are a spy, deep-sea diver or astronaut (who just happens to love yarn).
So, that's what we're looking at today.  Anyone who follows me already knows some of this stuff as I've always kept things pretty real on here.   You already know my house is often a bomb-site and that my crafting is my sanity choice so I cope with the challenges of parenting two special children.
You also know I'm currently attempting to clean up my food choices (we won't mention the macaroons currently sitting across from me), you also know I have very little willpower but am also working on that!

I've just taken a short break from plying yarn to do this and have lunch, today I think might be vege soup (from a packet unfortunately).  This afternoon I'll be working, I get paid to handsew collars and zip facings on merino/possum knitwear, it's a small help to the budget.   That's another thing I'm working on, reducing my unnecessary spending (yarn, fibre etc); I've already made some progress on this but have a way to go, remember the willpower?

Films - luckily I like kids movies, youngest is currently full bore into How to Train Your Dragon movies so I'm watching a lot of that, currently watching Wall-E but my tastes are fairly wide ranging.  I love zombie and vampire movies, but I also love things like Pitch Perfect and The 13th Warrior.
I'm interested in historical costuming and I sew for my family as well.
I love reading, currently re-doing all the Terry Pratchett Discworld books and I read a lot of Anne McCaffrey and Diana Gabaldon, a bit like my movie choices my book choices also range over a fairly broad area.

My dream job would be something to do with my fibre crafts, teaching or producing, but I think teaching would suit me best, I'm fairly good at it on an off the cuff basis and people do seem to enjoy when I do my wee bits of information imparting.  Dream holiday would involve visiting fabric and yarn places all over the world including Germany, New York and the Shetland Isles.

Now I'm going to stop dreaming and get lunch before going back to plying my yarn; it's a true 3-ply (300g total) so is going to take some time, and I have to make sure I get started on work as soon as I'm back from the school run so am going as fast as I can.   I hate stopping partway through a plying session.

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