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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Spin, spin, knit, knit

Been a busy time with spinning for Tour de Fleece which is now over, since my last post I've done the following:
2 bobbins of what I think is Romney, quite strong but nice to spin.
The finished yarn, thinking this will end up as a bag; should wear well.
The Merino singles, still not fulled yet, but looking good all the same.   I think this will be a shawl

Singles and then plied Merino Superwash that I splatterdyed.  Love this, it's got enough colour to be interesting, but isn't too strong.  Would be lovely for a baby, but will probably be for me!
This was the final spin for TdF, 200g of Merino in a colourway called Pukeko.  I've spun up both bobbins, finished the second last night and will be plying it this week.  Not sure what it'll be yet; will find out once it's finished I think.
I'm thinking I might spin something from one of my raw fleeces next; maybe go for a 3-ply yarn.

I finished my socks on Friday night, really pleased with the feel of the yarn and the pattern as well, not sure how well it's going to wear; it's fluffing a lot from the first wear.  Nice and warm though!
My Twisted Bonsai socks in Aslan Trends Royal Alpaca; colour Hunter.

I also received a wee package I won from Woolly Wormhead's blog
an Entrelac book I'd thought about getting, but hadn't yet.  Some wonderful accessories for knitting and some yarn that I'm not sure what I'll do with yet, I think it'll join the stash for a bit until it decides what it wants to be.

I'm temporarily down to 3 projects on the needles now; my Central Park Hoodie, my Merino/Silk handspun socks and my second mitten (for the pattern I'm designing).   I've decided I need to switch the CPH onto a circular needle as I'm finding the wood needles a bit sticky for the cables and things are moving too slowly.   The socks are my go-to pattern if I'm out.   Really should cast on the second mitten though as I know it won't take long once I'm started.   However in about 15 days it'll be time for the next Camp Loopy project (assuming the yarn is here) so I'm putting it off.

Sewing hasn't been happening, but will have to.  I need a skirt and said skirt is cut out with the embellishment pinned on.  The boys need new school trousers and as I already have the fabric and don't want to pay $30 each for the bought ones I have to get them made too.  School's back tomorrow though so I should have a little more time.

Been a good holidays for the boys; they did spend a bit more time than planned on electronic entertainment, but they also got to do some cool stuff with the Autism Society (swimming, mini-golf and 10-pin bowling).  They got snow days

Ray cat loved the snow.  Ian did too, you can see a typical Ian snowball there.    A snowman was built, I have a photo, but haven't uploaded it yet.   It was the coldest day in almost 100 years in Christchurch and in places the snow was up to 30cm deep (about a foot).
And yesterday we went to the Botanic Gardens to do the gnome hunt.  Despite it being really cold we all had a great time and found all the gnome clues which led to the Gnome Grotto.  I counted 85 gnomes in there; Thomas found 72 and George 64.  Ian didn't count them at all, but he still enjoyed himself.  We rounded it off with a KFC lunch to warm ourselves up.  

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Camp Loopy and Tour de Fleece

This is going to be a mostly spinning and knitting post but I'll start with a wee bit on earthquakes and insurance.
Our insurance of course is being picked up by EQC, unfortunately there is no timeline on this despite me phoning them once a fortnight.  Although we've replaced the washing machine we can't afford to do the oven as well.  We've rung Fisher and Paykel and they've basically said with the number of things not working properly and that it's 10 years old it should be replaced, not repaired so we have to wait.  In the newspaper there was a tiny wee article on EQC and contents claims.   Apparently they expect to have them all sorted and paid (assuming you're being honest of course) by the end of the year.   I don't know if our oven will last that long, I do know that the interest free term for the washing machine won't last that long.    I wonder if they'll cover interest payments under the insurance claim?  I suspect not; in the meantime we're paying it off as fast as we can and if need be we'll use the revolving mortgage to pay it off; technically we shouldn't have to.  But then technically no-one should have their lives affected by natural disasters like many Cantabrians have (we've got it easy, house intact and only a couple of big items affected; many have it much worse).

Right, back onto the spinning and knitting.   Just over 5 weeks ago I ordered a skein of Madelinetosh Pashmina in Robins Egg to make my Andrea's Shawl.   It arrived finally on Tuesday, after I'd emailed The Loopy Ewe to say that it'd still not arrived and they'd emailed back to say they'd resend it.  I immediately let them know the original had turned up, and luckily although they'd packed the new one it wasn't yet posted so they could stop it; which was fantastic!   I got the yarn balled up ready to go, but couldn't start knitting that day due to work commitments.  The next day I got started, and the yarn I'd ordered from The Loopy Ewe last week also arrived (what on earth do the post office do to get a 5.1 week delay and then a 1 week delay?).

3 days of frantic knitting followed; and last night I blocked the finished shawl, though really despite being the medium size it's a shawlette; I think the small might fit a child, but not me.   Here she is in her glory, she's beautiful!
The bottom border is knitted first, and then stitches picked up along the side of that and you knit to the middle; then pick up more stitches and knit the top trim.   I'd quite like to do this one much larger in future as it's very pretty, but considering the number of shawls in my queue I probably won't.  It used 27g of the Robin's Egg and 47 of the Turquoise (darker green).  Photo of me holding the shawl has been uploaded to TLE and will hopefully appear in the next couple of days.  I'm now ready to start the next project which will be cabled socks in Royal Alpaca (a worsted weight yarn).

Onto the Tour de Fleece.   I've been doing lots of spinning too, finished 4 yarns so far including the two in my previous post.    I forgot the rest day and plied 2 on that day, whoops.   Of course the last 3 days had seen just token spinning while I frantically knit the shawl, but now that it's finished I spent 2 hours this morning working on the latest spinning.
Here we have:
Silk hankies Navajo or chain plied; probably light fingering or heavy lace

 This is the Merino/Silk I'd been working on, also light fingering and more purple than it looks in this picture; I couldn't get one that looked right.

My Romney which was 2 lots of hand-dyed that I then plied together.  Love it, I've called it Hagley Park as it reminds me of the various spring flowers poking their heads out of the grass.  It's more of a bulky yarn.

This one is remnants of 2 bobbins plied together.  We have a sport weight (before washing) Yak and Gotland Lamb blend.  I wish I had more.
And finally, what I'm working on at the moment is Merino dyed in a periwinkle shade.   I'm spinning this up with the intention of fulling it so it'll be a balanced single.  Love the colour and hope it works well, if it does then I have other bumps that I'll do the same thing with at a later date.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Sewing! and Tour de Fleece day 2

A busy weekend on the crafting side.  On Saturday Mum and I went to a local craft market which we enjoyed with no spending.   Some nice stuff, but much aimed at people with younger children than mine.  Got some nice unchlorinated water from Mums before coming home.
I managed to then finish my first handspun Merino/Silk sock, did the last knitting on Friday night, had to wait till I could get on Youtube for the reminder on how to graft the toe.   Once done though, I tried her on and she's perfect!

I then got onto the sewing, I've finished 3 tops, all the same style in various shades of purple and started 2 tunic tops which will hopefully be finished later this week
George took the photo, it's slightly fuzzy but you get the idea.
On the spinning front I finished the first half of Merino/Silk
and got started on the silk hankies
I have 20g and am planning on spinning them and then Navajo plying them, love the way they're spinning up even if it's a little hard on the hands

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Tour de Fleece Day 1

I got about half of what is on the bobbin done last night; the rest was done a few weeks back at my spinning day.  Today I want to get this bobbin finished, the second half might be put off slightly while I spin some silk hankies, not sure yet.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Pulling myself out of the hacker hole

Well, most of the damage has been cleaned up and my email and Ebay are all ok.  Unfortunately although my facebook account has been frozen, I'm having absolutely no luck with getting any response from them on how to get it back..  In the meantime I'm using a new account Rachelle Sewsable Crosbie.  I'm slowly adding my friends and am missing my Mafia Wars and Frontierville games which were getting fairly good on stats etc.  Although this isn't quite starting from scratch, it's still hard.   Onward and upward though; if I don't get the original account back at least I can still get my new one closer.

Some news on the home front, we now have a decent lawnmower
This is our new blue baby.  It changed our lawn from this:
 to this:
some weeding was done as well which really helped.  Our old lawnmower (we have 3 actually) was a good old Morrison push mower; the cast iron variety.  Unfortunately with the lawn being so uneven in heights after the earthquake, it being a little boggy and the mowers all being partially broken meant that we tended to put off mowing and often couldn't even if we wanted to with the moisture levels.  Over a few sessions it'll get shorter too; had to start with the mower set pretty high.  Ian stayed inside as he's not keen on the noise; George had a go pushing it under supervision; and both of us were wearing earmuffs to protect from the racket.

Pity we didn't have it before Ian's birthday party.   Our smallest boy is now 7!  He's not much smaller than his brother though.  Doing mostly well at school, though the week following his party he wasn't doing so well with attention.  We blame that week on his party followed by another biggish aftershock.  Ian had a great party though; only immediate family but that's what he wanted.   I made him a tornado cake, which he rather liked
I was pretty happy with the cake; I'm not a decorator, but you could tell what it was.

On the crafting front I'm starting sewing again.   I've got lots of tops to start tomorrow, I've also got a skirt cut out from gray wool which is A-line and I'm decorating it with some sewing tape printed with 10 inch tape measure lines.  I think it's going to look really cool.   I'll probably start fitting it in a day or two; today was not a good day for fitting.  Tomorrow will be better.
Tomorrow is also the start date for Tour de Fleece; technically if I go with the tour's timeline I think I start at some ridiculous time tomorrow night; but I think I might have to start slightly early.  I've chosen my fibre, there are a couple of things not on the photo including some silk hankies and the Merino/silk blend I'm currently spinning.
From left, clockwise we have.  Romney from Wabisabi fibres which will be plied with the green Romney under it.  The green is the same in both lots.  Next up is some Superwash Merino which I splatter dyed a while back; this will be spun thicker and should make a gorgeous hat.  Romney (I think) from a fibre swap.  Merino in periwinkle, this will be spun finer.  More Merino also from the aforementioned fibre swap in Pukeko colourway from Heavenly Wools in Oxford.  I love her stuff.   The fibre on the wheel at the moment is in shades of mauve and lavender with some others thrown in.  The silk hankies are pinks.

Knitting; some of you are probably waiting for this.  Not a huge amount happening since the mittens were finished.  I've cast on for Andrea's Shawl, but can't go any further until the second colour arrives from The Loopy Ewe.  It's been 3 weeks now and I'm getting worried, but they've had stuff take up to 5 weeks.  If it takes that long then there's no way I'll have it finished in time for Camp Loopy.  I really hope it does arrive in time; but here it is so far
Displayed to advantage on the cats back.   I'm also almost done on the first handspun sock.  No photo today, will take that once the toe is finished and grafted; but I've changed the pattern slightly.  There are 3 pattern repeats across the front of the sock and I'm continuing the middle one down the toe to the graft; I want to be able to wear them with sandals in the summer.

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