Sunday, 25 February 2018

Help, what to knit next?

I only knit small things, hats mainly :-) using my hand spun yarn. I'm looking for ideas of other things to knit but keeping it small scale as I get bored easily!

I have an unused stock of notebooks so maybe book covers? tablet covers, kindle covers? I want to keep it fair isle style but just fancy doing something a wee bit different.

In the fibre front, I managed to wash the Shetland skeins.

although I'm not sure what to do with them yet!

Yesterday we went over to the caravan and motor home show at Birmingham to do some shopping, Ever since we bought the van we have had a list of stuff that we need, the list now only has about 4 items on it so hopefully we are at the end of spending money on 'things' and can now concentrate on using it without suddenly realising that we don't have a corkscrew or tin opener.

Apart from essentials like mirror guards etc we bought a collapsible water container, fold down basket so I can carry mugs and things to the wash block without putting them in a bucket and also for moving things in and out of the van as it will hold my mug, knitting etc .

Because it was such a long day, I hired a mobility scooter to save being on crutches all day. Whilst it helped me I hated being invisible and hope that it will be many years before I need one again.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

fleece wash day


A quick, short post. The sun is out and I've unpacked the two parcels that have been sat around since Friday. One is a light grey Shetland, very well skirted and it looks like the spine has been removed so presumably it was a bit felted.

it looks goods and should be nice and soft once spun.

The brown fleece is in pieces, but I love the colour so it will be washed very soon, again very well skirted with no rubbish that I could see.

I have noticed from my photos that I may be in need of a new camera, I will be looking a buying one in the summer.
At the same time, I dug out a bag of Ryland
but decided that I would never get the fleece back in its packing so it will have to wait for another day.

On the needles is another beanie, Ryland and mule ( I was just told mule so not sure exactly what it is, presumably BFL cross by the crimp and feel)

and on the wheel is Ryland/Zwarbles, I was given this fleece and its not the best but not too bad once spun up but I suspect it may be sold rather than knitted up by myself.

On the foot front, another long chat at the hospital and it seems that I did more damage than anticipated, recovery time is now set at a year plus although I'm looking at going back to work in a month or so.

I'm making the most of the free time that I have ( as long as I don't have to stand for too long or use my foot) and becoming friends with my crutches! We are off to a big camping show soon and I've booked a mobility scooter for the day to make life a little easier :-)

Speak soon xx

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

waiting for wash day :-)

I have been busy and now I'm waiting for a wash day, one that's dry, sunny and a little breezy. I know its a big ask in February but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

In the last couple of days I've washed some Shetland and I'm just starting to prep it (this isn't the new stuff, that hasn't arrived yet)

and I've had a hunt through my fleece looking for any I can get rid of and came across this.

washed maybe 3 years ago, compacted at the bottom of my large fibre bag and a mix of two, possibly three unknown breeds. It was halfway to the bin but I thought I'd give it a shot just in case.

Actually its not too bad, I'll probably get 2/3 skeins from it and chuck out the worst bits. Definitely feels like a down breed in there somewhere.

So, these are the skeins waiting for a dunk at the moment.

Nice selection, even if I say so myself :-)

Hampshire down
unknown x 2
Shetland merino
Jacob x texel

Speak soon x

Sunday, 11 February 2018

fleecy post

I'm still off work, went back for 1 1/2 days but the foot began to be painful and swollen so I'm back at home with a further fracture clinic appointment later this week.

This means I am busy making friends with the electric spinner and prepping fibre ready for spinning.

To save me from getting too bored with the spinning, I'm prepping a bag of each fleece at a time. This means I am slowly getting through some of the pillow cases that just had some remnants in. All the fleece is combed simply because this is my favourite prep to spin from and excess yarn will be sold but my stocks are so low that I suspect that I will be using it all.

At the moment I have some Jacob/Texel on the Electric Eel, a bit coarse but interesting shade.

Next up will probably be some dark Shetland that I had forgotten about, not a brilliant fleece but I'm get a skein or two from it.

Its a lot darker than this photo shows :-)

So far I have skeins ( some of the quite small) of Hampshire Down, mule, Shetland/Merino, Cheviot, Shetland and Ryland waiting for a good washing day.

I may just have ordered a couple more Shetland fleeces, ssshh don't tell anyone.

On the travel front, we have booked a campsite for a couple of days for our next trip North of the Border and the ferry for a mooch around Europe much later in the year.

Speak soon xx

Thursday, 1 February 2018

knitting update , as promised.


Quick update, I really knuckled down and finished a couple of hats which have been hanging around.

Beanie, Manx and Norfolk horn fleeces.

Kep, bfl cross, Shetland and Norfolk/Suffolk cross

I've now just about run out of yarn and I'm steadily knitting up oddments between prepping more fleece ready for getting the wheel out again.

I'm still off work, hoping to go back early next week :-)

Monday, 29 January 2018

a quick trip out


My foot is out of the boot and I've abandoned my crutches in favour of a walking stick. The foot is still painful and getting back into my work shoes isn't an option. I'm due to go back to work on Wednesday and part of me wants to but I haven't made up my mind as to whether I can cope physically yet.

To help me decide we went away at the weekend to the Cotswolds, dual purpose trip really as we had problems with the leisure battery not charging whilst on hook up at Christmas. We had the battery checked out and thought that we would give it another go and monitor the battery level over the weekend depending on what we were running off it. Once again ,not charging so we will be going back to the dealers to get it checked out.

This time we were more prepared for any problems having packed electric and battery lights in case of emergency. Although we have now encountered the low gas pressure that you get when a cylinder is running out, nearly an hour to cook a prepared meal (Tesco £10 meal deal, it includes a bottle of wine) I recon that we will have one more chance to boil a kettle and it will be empty.

We headed off for Broadway, a small village in the Cotswolds and Saturday was murky and wet so we indulged in our favourite pastimes.

We headed to the pub, it took us a while to find a pub that was a PUB not a restaurant with a bar attached. Eventually we settled for the Horse and Hounds and sat in the window watching the world go by as the fire crackled. The music was every 80/90's hit that you never wanted to hear again but sadly remember every word but a decent pint and a fine hot chocolate.

Yes, that's me knitting in colour ! a while ago I dyed some hand spun yarn a while back and its been sat around not doing anything. Some of it is grey ryland and the other is the Norfolk/Suffolk cross. I think that this may be a hat for me as I don't have a beanie hat and I fancy something a bit different to where when we are out in the van.

Next we hit the charity shops, only three to choose from but I acquired a DVD, an old Rowan magazine with a couple of interesting patterns in it and a cardi.

Please note , this is NOT something that I have knitted up whilst being off work. It cost me the grand sum of £3.00 and is 3/4 sizes too small for me.

But it will provide inspiration and as I have lost 12lb in the last couple of months, it may just spur me on to carry on until it fits !!

I'm not usually a girly girl but this is quite pretty :-)

Anyway, the campsite was just as you would expect from the Caravan and Motorhome club although I am so looking forward to the better weather when we can sit outside a bit as at the moment everyone seems to just be sat staring at their TVs in the evening. I did spot a brown rabbit near the van but it took off before I could grab the camera.

I will be back soon with a knitting update and maybe even some spinning :-)

Speak soon xx

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

still knitting !!


I'm slowly recovering, still need my crutches and the big boot outside the house but managing better inside with my stick ( plenty of things to hang on to )

I've been knitting mainly as still not really go my spinning mojo going ( missing my manual wheels) but I will have to bite the bullet again soon as running out of yarn.

completed so far...

and still on the needles are my kep and this hat.

So at least I am keeping busy!!

That's about it for now, we have family visiting at the weekend and hope to get back out in the van at the end of the month.

Speak soon

Sunday, 7 January 2018

update (and a little knitting )


I still have the big boot BUT I can now start to put weight on my foot :-) I've chipped a bone and torn the ligaments so now its a case of gently getting back to walking normally and hopefully the pain will die down as well.
Enough of the medical!!

I've been playing again with the e-spinner, it's not my best friend and I'll be glad when I can use one of my wheels again. I'm finding the constant speed a pain! I'm used to spinning fairly consistently  but being able to slow down to pick out straw etc as I go. With this its stop then try and find the speed you were using and any movement on the brake band slows it up considerably.

I've spun two skeins, more because I need them than as a form of enjoyment but I'm not ruling out the idea of some sort of e spinner in the future as it helps with plying and it was pointed out to me that it would be good for using in the camper but it would have to be an Ashford or Hansen or other more substantial  machine.

Stash diving in the fleece has come up with this Shetland, quite short and a bit of a pain to process and the photos do not quite show the right colour which is quite a rich brown.

I may wait and wheel spun this with it being a short staple I don't want is to run away from me.

On the pins and nearly off them is another hat. This time its all Shetland and really quite soft.

Another outing in the camper is planned  for later in the month but we are not sure where and it will depend on the weather.

So that's about it for now, speak soon x

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

well, this is different !


I'm still hobbling round on crutches with a big boot on my foot !! xrays last Friday were inconclusive so they will be checking them again this Friday to see if there has been any change in the alignment of the bones.

This means that both spinning wheels are now packed away and my good friend Pete has dashed to the rescue with this.
I had a play with an e-spinner a couple of years ago so had an idea what to expect. Its really quite awkward in as much as when I spin its a subconscious matching of treadle movements to fibre being spun, I really don't have to think about it too much. With this its back to basics again and its quite a learning curve but I think I've spun enough to finish the kep and I will have another play with it tomorrow.

I will report back in my next post.
speak soon xx

Sunday, 31 December 2017

A good but painful excuse for a whole lot of knitting


Its New Years Eve so I'll start with a quick knitting update.

The Kep cast on just before Christmas has come to an abrupt halt..... I've run out of white yarn and the reason for not spinning some more will become clear further down this post.

But I am really pleased with the progress so far and it is really, really soft. Shetland, Norfolk X, BFL X.
Next on the needles is a quick hat which I think has a mainly vintage feel about it, mixed fleece ( mainly Shetland) hand dyed etc. I'm not sure yet whether I like it or not.

I've been thinking about the New Year, do I resolve to lose weight, save more etc etc But I think really I just want to travel, maybe reduce my working hours and enjoy my spinning. Maybe 2018 will bring some changes, maybe not.

As for the no spinning, the hospital that told me that my foot was just bruised with soft tissue damage and I was ok to walk on it phoned back on Wednesday to say they have had another look at the x rays and I may want to go to the local A&E if I was still having pain from it. This is the reason for no spinning.....
I may have to break out a drop spindle or two :-)
Have a great New Year xx

Thursday, 28 December 2017

not quite what we planned !

The plan was simple, lets go away for Christmas and spend some time together. So we threw all our belongings into the van and drove up to Yorkshire.

Out of the city, into the countryside. A lovely drive up with blue skies and sunshine.

We were on our way to a campsite called Colman's in the village of Aysgarth in the Yorkshire Dales. This turned out to be a lovely little site, just room for 5 vans and a small reception office where we booked in. We also noticed a decent looking coffee machine in there along with frozen home made meals. After a quick tour of the site and directions to the village via the footpath beyond the hedge we set up the van for the next few days.

since the sun was still shinning it was off out for a walk and to enjoy the scenery.

Walking around Asygarth we noticed a small garden that said open on it. It turned out to be a rock garden that has been restored and like the Tardis it was a lot bigger than we first thought.

The afternoon was then spent comfortably in the pub then dinner and a film in the van

It was very, very windy that night and an early morning trip to the loo ended up with me falling over and injuring my foot. A trip to the local a&e followed where they assured  us that it wasn't broken but very badly bruised. The rest of the holiday was spent mostly inside for me, knitting and reading with my foot encased in a cold wet bandages and plastic bag!

Christmas day was very wet and windy  but the drive back on Boxing day was more pleasant. I love seeing things from the added height that the van gives you :-)

That's all for now, update on the foot and the knitting will be in the next post x

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Grey and dismal today

and its cold !!!

Yesterday we braved the cold and cleaned the van, I took the easy option and did the inside, repacking anything that can rattle !! It was sol cold in there that I could see my breath so I've left some more damp traps in it and we will take it out for a spin next weekend.

This morning I washed the last week or so spinning ready to knit the next hat.

Hebridian. Norfolk/Suffolk, Shetland and mule, ready to wound into balls once dry.

I've started again on the huge Ryland fleece again looking for the light grey shade. I still much prefer hand combed top for spinning.

I don't think I showed you my latest books? I picked this one up in Orkney and used one of the patterns in this hat that you may have seen before

and this one which was my treat to me knowing that I would be getting a small amount from the works lottery syndicate (just enough to cover the cost)

I did finish the last hat :-) so the needles are free for the next one once the yarn is dry.