Sunday, 25 January 2009

Finally finished those gloves!

At last, I've finished those gloves I needed to do. Still need to do those ones for my Mum, if I'm going to do them.

Anyway - here they are:

Evangeline Fingerless Gloves

Evangeline Fingerless Gloves

Made the same mods as before. Somehow I managed to miss a stitch when picking up the thumbs, so have a total of 13 stitches instead of 14. I also did 21 rows of cuff ribbing instead of 20 as I accidentally did one too many and couldn't be bothered to rip back.

I'm glad these are done. I didn't enjoy knitting them at all because it felt enforced and like work.

I've really wanted to do some spinning this weekend as I had some new fibre arrive (pics to follow) and wanted to learn some new techniques, but I've been struck down with this horrid gastro-thing and have been in a fair amount of agony over the last few days. Can't lean forwards or bend over, so spinning would be pretty tough. Grr. Have got to get back to work tomorrow as I've got so much on, but really don't feel better. Went to see the doctor on Friday and he was useless. Until I've been ill for a week, they won't treat me, and he focused on ONE of my symptoms, ignoring the pain and the history of bowel cancer in the family. Oh well. If I don't feel better within a couple of days, I'll go back.

Anyway, let's look at some scrummy fibre I bought:

2 x White Corriedale that I bought for practice:

White Corriedale Top

2 x Brown Corriedale. Might make Mum's gloves from this if I can get my consistency ok, or a hat for Trev or something:

Dark Brown/Black Corriedale Top

Some 23mic 64's Merino Top. Might try and dye this once I've spun it:

23mic 64's Merino Top

A blended colourway of the above Merino called Whisper. Will make something scrummy for myself out of this:

Whisper Dyed Merino Top

Got a few pics of my most recently spun yarn too. I span this... last weekend? I can't remember. It was a while ago and I do need to do some more spinning soon. There's about 30 yards of it. Span 2 lots of singles, plied together, then washed and whacked it. No idea what weight it is. Guess I don't mind too much since it's probably not enough to make anything from.

Fifth Handspun

Fifth Handspun

Fifth Handspun

Here's a pic as my handspun has developed:

Early Handspuns

Newer handspun at the top, first attempts at the bottom. Definitely improving, even though it's not as consistent as I'd like.

Want to learn to Navajo ply next. I've decided I don't like plying very much. I can see why a lot of spindlers buy a wheel just to do plying. Especially if I learn to Navajo Ply on the Fly, once I'm done it's done!

Also been having a look at some new spindles. I want to get some Bosworths - might put my name down for a Moosie as I'm feeling very sorry for myself still being poorly.

Right - back to watching LOST - been very odd so far!

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

New yarn!

As promised here are pics of my new stash. I meant to post these at the weekend, but got a bit carried away with spinning.

I hopefully have some new fibre coming tomorrow, so I'll post some pics of that soon too along with some more yarn I spun at the weekend. I managed to get it come out a bit more even, and there's about 30 yards of it once plied, which is pretty good. I soaked and whacked it, and it's nice a balanced. Unfortunately there's not enough of it to use for anything, due to yardage and it's still a bit thick/thin. I might try and dye it, I think.

Anyway! Stash!

This is the yarn I want to use for Arisaig - a nice Rowan 4 Ply Soft. I cleared out John Lewis and had to order some more online:


There's a couple of different dye lots, but I should be able to make sure I use the same lots on each section of the top. Hope I can add a bit more length to it too.

Some random Rowan Cashsoft Aran:


I was tempted to get a darker lilac in chunky weight, but bought 5 balls of this. Don't know what I'm going to use it for, but worth stashing up on anyway!

Some black Cashsoft Chunky:


This is for some gloves for Mum - 3 balls

Both balls of this (got 2 in each colour) are for a hat for Trev - Cashsoft Chunky again:



Also had a colour card come from Coldharbour Mills:


Looking forward to a ton more knitting!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Third yarn!

I know it's late, but I couldnt' resist. This is the other bit of what I span at Diane's class, and I've just plied it together off the spindle.


It's still uneven, but more even than anything I span so far. There's different bits of yarn on here. The purple is mohair, the green is merino/silk and the plain I think is Polwarth. Besides the ends, it's generally plied together quite well.




Time for bed I think, and more spinning tomorrow!

Spinning! Eeek!

Well, today I had my first spinning lesson today. And I think it went ok! Had 2 hours booked with Diane Mulholland and I learned to draft, spin on a spindle and attempted to spin on a wheel, which was not pretty.

Here's some pictures of my first yarn (I'm so embarrassed) and some of the other goodies I've come home with.

All my bits of fibre:


Some washed fleece:

I think this is Wensleydale:


This is a silk/merino mix:


My spindle! It's made from cherry wood. The purpley stuff on it is mohair, underneath which is some plain fibre, I think it's either Polwarth or BFL.


Another shot of my spindle (the fibre on it is my third attempt at spinning):


My first yarn! I forget how I span this - may have just been on my leg. One end of it looks ok, best to just ignore the rest:


My second yarn attempt! This is a 2 ply plied from a centre-pull ball. Looking a bit better, but still pretty awful :)





I managed to cause Diane lots of amusement. My main problem that I have to watch for whilst spindling is letting the roving get tangled in the spinning area and all getting spun together. Aaagh! I did this so many times it was annoying.

My other issues: trying to draft with my hands waaaaay too close together and wondering why drafting was nearly impossible!

Other problem, when using the wheel, moving my hand back down towards the wheel and fluffing up the fibre so it doesn't lay flat. Whoops. That was the one thing I did that Diane referred to as evil :) At least there was only one thing I guess!

My wheel spinning unfortunately went well until I started to treadle. I could draft and feed the yarn onto the bobbing quite well, but the minute I had to treadle as well, I lost it completely! Practice will make perfect, but I need more time on my spindle first.

The other thing the session confirmed was that I really want a Majacraft Rose. Got a good look at Diane's and it's beautiful. Gotta have one :) She had the cutest little Bosworth spindle too - I forgot to ask what weight it was.

All in all, a really good day. I'm going to try and do some practice before I go to bed.

I went to John Lewis on Friday and bagged a load of yarn that was still on sale. Don't have any photos yet, so I'll post about that at the weekend when hopefully some of the extra yarn I ordered will arrive.


Sunday, 11 January 2009

52 books in a year!

A whole lot of people I've seen on the interweb are setting themselves the target of trying to read 52 books in a year.

Since my purchase of the 100 Classic Books for the DS, I think I might attempt this as well. There's so much Dickens and Austen and Bronte and Shakespeare that I want to read and have never got round to. I downloaded the extra 10 books that are available via the Wi-Fi connection and so now I have 110 books to get through! Well, 109 if you take off Emma, which I just finished reading, and less still if I count down the books I've already read.

Because of all the reading I've done this week, especially on the train, I haven't done any knitting at all. I did a few rows of a cuff for one of Gywneth's gloves, but I just have zero motivation. Like I said in my last post, what I want is to work on my CPH but I can't whilst there's other stuff outstanding.

I've not felt very well this weekend (not too sure what's wrong with me) but Trev is cheering me up - he's planning a trip for us to go to Canada and see polar bears in October. Perhaps not for this year, but maybe a treat for our anniversary next year. The costs of trains from Winnipeg to Churchill are extortionate if you go sleeper class (which I'd want to, as it's a 3 day journey!) but I'm sure it's well worth it.

He's been doing lots of potential holiday planning this week (whatever we do will be our first big holiday for a few years) - to spur him on for his new job which hopefully starts in a week or so once he gets the health clearance. He's got an appointment tomorrow which will decide for definite if he gets the job or not. Hope it all goes well for him :)

Still looking forward to my spinning class on Thursday. Hope I'm not completely useless at it!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Hard work!

First of all, Happy New Wotsits everyone... I know I'm a week late, but who cares :)

So yeah, hard work! Both in work and knitting terms. Today's been tough at work - this week in general has been hard since going back (you get used to 2 weeks off work!), but today was not good. All I'll say is that I'm glad to see public flogging hasn't gone out of style! :) And that's all I have to say about that (ala Forrest Gump).

Unfortunately when it comes to knitting, I've lost my groove a little bit. I'm getting a bit down about being pressured to do a ton of knitting for other people. I really want to work on my CPH but feel guilty while there's stuff outstanding for other people. Oh well.

In addition over New Year I consumed too much crap... and far too much whisky (we had a bottle of Glenfiddich rattling around - whoops)! So need to get myself fit and motivated...

To that end I have signed up to spinning classes! Yarn, not bikes! (Me on a bike? Yeah right.) I have booked a couple of hours with the lovely Diane Mullholland next Thursday. Taking a half day off work and going for 2 hours lessons. Really looking forward to it!

The Chewie booties went off in the post today to the newly born Gemma Irene and a super adorable baby she is too.

To end, some restful pictures of sunsets we took last week when I was off work and we were walking around the lake.




I love the last one - as it's the view from my living room window :)