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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Garnet is finished!

I know today was about Ravallenics, but I couldn't start something new without finishing my Garnet socks, so here they are:
Garnet Socks by Morag of Vintage Purls
Yarn was also Morag's in the colourway "Poolside with Hockney".  Now I can cast on Ring of Fire in my handspun, the pattern is actually Elm Leaves.
Should be beautiful in the handspun now that it's plied. 

Speaking of handspun I got more done on Beech Forest today, still a wee bit to go, but once it's done I'll Navajo ply and make a cowl for Thomas for his motorbike.
Isn't it yummy?  Should look great on Thomas, he's an Autumn so these colours are just right for him.

I've got started on the boys "Ladder of Doom", just have to bind it and I'll post a photo once it's finished.

In other news there might have been a little yarn arriving.  First up was a skein of Dyeabolical Yarn in Themyscira.   I won this from Susan B Anderson's blog; it's gorgeous and will be used for some colourwork socks, still to decide on which pattern.
Also a wee bit of yarn that I actually ordered; from Skeinz I have some Mink yarn which is incredibly soft and one skein of silk lace-weight yarn.
Mink yarn, the mink comes from a Tibetan co-op
100% silk laceweight

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Catch up Day

Today was a day of catching up on things like dishes, work, washing, vacuuming, clearing the mending pile and ironing pile.  So that's 2 pairs of jeans patched and a new hole in my thumb, ow!
Ravellenics starts at 8am our time on Saturday so I need to be all clear on this stuff so I can concentrate on knitting.   I can't knit any of those projects now so am working on my Garnet sock; turned the heel this afternoon and am now on my way up the leg.
Garnet sock number 2
The weather is due to be horrible tomorrow so I'll have knitting time once work is finished for the day.

For Ravellenics the projects I'm planning on working on are:
Test-knit socks (have yarn, not pattern yet)
A pair of ruffled cuffs in my handspun mohair yarn
Central Park Hoodie which is a long-term WIP, haven't touched that in some months now.
If I have time I'll tackle some other WIP's, but not expecting to have that time considering there will be other things to do as well (family, cleaning, sewing etc)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Midwinter Christmas Lunch

It was that day at the guild today and was a lovely get-together.  People I hadn't seen since the initial earthquake came and everyone brought lovely food.
I got some spinning done and might have used my spending money on some fibre.   Here's what I spun
Merino - feltable in a foresty colourway.  I'll Navajo ply this and make it into something for Thomas, it wouldn't suit my colouring, but he's a deep autumn so should look great on him.
When I got home the Healthaire serviceman was busy in the roof changing our filter and rejigging the system to run at its optimum.   We should start seeing less condensation again soon (in a few days), he's shifted the fan and updated the software by several steps.   We now have a "burnt toast" mode to swiftly expell those nasty smells.
Once he'd gone we got into the garden and cleared the creeping grass (couch) out of one section and then removed the old weedmat and replaced it with some of our old carpet.   1st step towards Thomas's new Japanese inspired garden, should look great when it's finished.

No sewing or knitting today, but I do have a to-do list which I'm going to put here:
1. Curtains - done
2. Quilted Ladder of Doom for each of the boys
3. Test-knit socks for Val
4. KAL for Mary Mary vest
5. Knit mohair cuffs
6. Finish Garnet Socks
7. George's Quilt
8. Polarfleece Vest for Thomas, take pattern from his old Telecom one
9.  Our quilt
10. Finish Central Park Hoodie (long term WIP)
11. Make Thomas another pair of socks
12. Finish my pink shawl, it's been on the first row for some time now.
13. Finish plain socks (this may end up being my travel project)

The order may change slightly, but it's at least a guideline and means I know what needs to be done.   The boys have chosen the fabric for their Ladders and I've got everything I need for them.    I have the yarn for the test-knit and it's caked up ready to go.   Yarn is chosen for Mary Mary and ready to go for the cuffs too.   Garnet socks will be my travel project for the meantime as they're fairly easy.  And of course there's still other stuff left like mending, work, housework (ugh).

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wow, Amazing!

That was Ian's reaction to the new curtains, George told me they "look really cool!".    I feel 10' tall after that!

Here's what the room did look like
Pink velvet curtains, aren't they stunning?   Constantly breaking hooks and they have a rip that you can't see here.
The new curtains were one heck of a pain to make, but almost worth it for the reaction.

The new curtains closed and backlit by the afternoon sun.
We still have to repaint the room at some point as Ian stripped the wallpaper off one corner, but this makes a huge difference to the room!

I also got some plying done, first bobbin of Alpaca Silk in the colourway Paua; though I'm calling it Glacier Pass.
Alpaca Silk plied on the bobbin of my e-spinner
 Some yarn arrived today too, one I can't show you yet as it's the latest Vintage Purls sock club yarn, I will say it is beautiful though and I love the simple, but elegant pattern that came with it.
Peter Pan from Wandering Cat Yarns, this is for the test knit I'm doing for Val; the resulting socks will be for Thomas
Cranberry in Tabby Cat base also from WCY, this was a thank-you from Val for the test knit, unexpected, but definitely appreciated (I knew it was coming, just hadn't expected that she'd tell me she was sending that too, thankyou Val)

George's latest favourite thing, Hama beads.  He's used most of the first set I got the boys and has now started on the second set.  I've told him he'll have to use his pocket money if he wants more.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What we're watching

George read my copy of The Wizard of Oz and fell in love, when he found out there was a movie he requested it and of course it had to be the original.   He loves it, and so does Ian.  Both have watched it several times since we got it.   It's helping them cope with the loss of computer and xbox privileges.

I've been getting my Gotland ready to spin, several rolags ready to go with a lot more to make
Socks are at the point of gusset increases; not ready for pics yet as I keep forgetting when it's daylight.

Curtains are now in one piece, so tomorrow the top hem will be turned down and the tape added.  They're not perfect, but they'll do the job.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Huhu Grubs and spinning

This afternoon Thomas was doing some wood chopping and in the process he found a couple of huhu grubs.   George thought they were gross, but Ian and I found them fascinating.   Admittedly I won't eat them, but I have put them into a container with some wood and will take them to show Ian's class tomorrow.   The main reason I won't eat them has nothing to do with them being bugs, it's because they are supposed to taste like peanut butter and I can't stomach that stuff.
I'll check them in the morning and make sure they're ok before taking them to school.   In the meantime here's some photo's for those of you who aren't squeemish.   Oh, and by the way, they don't feel slimy, they're quite dry like enormous caterpillars.
Size comparison against Thomas' finger

Eggs on the centre right of the picture, similar size to fish oil capsules.

Our pair of huhu grubs which are now keeping eachother company awaiting school tomorrow.
And now back to our normal channel.....

Knitting - I'm almost finished the first cabled section on the Garnet sock (the second one) and it's looking good, really looking forward to finishing this so I can wear the pair

Waiting on yarn for the test-knit for Wandering Cat Yarns, I'll email once I get it so I can get the pattern.

My handspun mohair is going to be paired with some very fine Merino to knit the lace cuffs as the yarn needs stabilising.

Spinning - I've finished the singles of my Alpaca/Silk and tomorrow I'm hoping to ply it
4 bobbins of Alpaca/silk
You might have noticed some changes in my photography, I'm getting the hang of some of the abilities of my camera and now know how to take photo's with a small field of focus, used the tripod to take this one as well and am really happy with it.

My next spin will be to go back to the Gotland, but I'm going to prep it with the handcards first and see if I get a better result with the rolags than the commercial prep.

Sewing - curtains are coming along.  I'm not enjoying it, just so much fabric to wrestle!   All the drops are now seamed together though for the main fabric and the lining.  Tomorrow I'll clear the lounge floor and turn up the hems on both lots so I can then attach them together.   I'll have to put the new tracks up too.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday

I haven't done this for a few weeks, but thought I should make an effort today; well get Thomas to make an effort and take the photo for me.

Apologies for the 'orrible colour in the photo, new camera (thanks Flybuys) which isn't so good at night.   However, you can still see what I'm wearing.
I'm wearing this year's perk from work which is a Merino/Possum dress in the Bluewash colourway.  Love this dress, but I have to wear it as a tunic, not quite long enough for winter otherwise
Also wearing my new Wranglers moleskin trousers.   Wranglers are the best fit for me in jeans, they don't have that great big gap in the small of the back that most do, so I was really pleased to find these on special online.
Shoes are my navy lace-ups.  Lovely and comfy.

This was a practical outfit, spent part of the day on the floor cutting out curtain drops from lining.  The curtains are all now cut out, I just have to sew them up now.  I had to go out and get more lining this morning as I only had 7m and needed another 7m.  I ran into one of my brother's ex-flatmates from years ago working at Spotlight, a bit of a surprise, but nice to see him again.

Boys were due to be home tonight, but they keep sneaking behind Grandma's back to go on the computer.  Ian wanted to come home, so instead they're staying a second night so as not to give him what he wants.  When they get back there will be no computer or Xbox for them tomorrow, or this weekend for that matter.   The computer cord has been removed and will only be put back for homework for a bit I think.  Both boys are completely obsessed by electronic media, they're not getting sick of it unfortunately.   I think perhaps I'm going to have to start blocking lots of websites, somehow make it so that they can only access Sumdog.   If research is needed they can use my computer for school only.

Just working on a little more spinning, thinking I might have to do some carding for the gotland though as it's not spinning as smoothly as I'd like.

Knitting, not a lot happening as it's Tour de Fleece so knitting is on the back burner.   I did try swatching with my mohair singles though, I've now pulled out a cobweb weight yarn to knit with it to help support it.  The yarn is a little too fragile and needs some help; it broke.

Wardrobe Wednesday at

Friday, July 06, 2012

More spinning

Today the boys were off with the Autism Society for most of the day so I got some time to myself.   I got another 2 bobbins of Gotland spun long-draw, but had to stop due to a complaining shoulder; not used to long-draw yet.    I then shifted to spinning my normal way with some Alpaca/silk which is lovely.

I also went to Fabric Vision to get the remaining plain fabric for our king-sized quilt.  They didn't have the same colour as I already have so I got a slightly darker shade of the same green which looks good with it.  They didn't have quite as much as I wanted, but with the old green and some yardage from the original collection I should be fine.    I did a layout on the bed yesterday and I'm going with a medallion style quilt.  The middle will be a 6x7 arrangement of the blocks with borders around that of possibly both greens; maybe with a block on each corner as well.  No photo's of all that at the moment, I need to concentrate on the spinning and there are curtains to do too.

Grey Alpaca with silk in blue shades

Long-draw Gotland
Tomorrow I'm at the guild so more spinning will get done, probably no sewing though.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Long Draw

Long draw is not my usual method of spinning, but for this Gotland which is a very floofy fibre I felt it was the best option.   It's not even, but then I haven't had enough experience in long draw yet to get even; however it should make a lovely large shawl/blanket style thing if I have enough.  If not then a smaller squishy shawl.

Anyway, enough chat, here's proof of the spin:
I'm partway through the second bobbin already, but am knocking off for the night and playing some Xbox for a wee bit.   It's going fast and will be 2 ply this time rather than the 3 ply I did last.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012


Still not feeling well, we're at the constant cough stage, but it's an unproductive cough and I have a sore tummy from doing it all day.   Should have gone out and got some decent natural cough medicine, but I didn't and now I'm paying the price.

I have done some plying today though, 208.5m of bulky weight Romney.  This is 3 of my plying bobbins in one skein, so there are a couple of joins in there.
and just for kicks, a gratuitous cat photo
Ray cat saying, "why you flash that light in my face human?"

Monday, July 02, 2012

Tour de Fleece

I'm running the Team Aotearoa Tour de Fleece team this year on Ravelry.   I had a good first couple of days spinning, but today was not so good due to a nasty cold.   Bugger all sleep last night due to the tickle/ouch throat and the post nasal drip.   Tonight is just as bad, but now we're adding a bark to the mix.  
I have managed to spin up a total of 7.5 bobbins over the last few days though, hoping I might find my final bobbin tomorrow and get some plying done.   We won't be going out with me feeling like this and Ian's now coughing too.    Thomas got it first, he's also feeling ick.

Anyway, here's my spinning!
8 bobbins of dyed Romney waiting to be plied.
I've also got a little knitting done on my second Garnet sock, not yet finished the toe, but getting there!

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