Sunday, 16 July 2017

Tour de Fleece

The reason that I've been a bit quiet is that the Tour de fleece started on 1st July and in the run up I was busy prepping fibre ready to spin.

The tour de fleece is a spinners challenge to spin everyday in line with the Tour de France, there are rest days and challenge days but basically you set your own goals.

I don't follow the cycle race ( no television) but I use it most years as a chance to spin daily. exercise my spinning skills and build up the yarn stash ready for winter. I also belong to a couple of Facebook groups of spinners who are doing the same.

This year the start of the tour coincided with the Wool Experience which is a small friendly festival in a barn at Blaze Farm near Macclesfield and I can highly recommend the ice cream that they make there.

There were several stores selling woolly type wares, dyes, fleece etc and a good selection of fleece to choose from.

I had intended to buy just one fleece, a Castlemilk Moorit as I have never spun one before and they are a sort of mid/light brown which will neatly plug a hole in my palette of natural shades.

So I ended up with a Castlemik Moorit ( small 750gm) a grey Jacob/texel, a beautiful black/grey Shetland and half a white fleece that I need to check the breed name on the label. I also grabbed 4 of the 100gm grab bags of locks, 3 manx laoghtan and I light ryland.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

it's my mess

I'm beginning to feel like I'm living in a tip!! I've not paid any real attention to my work room as I've either been at my day job or away at the weekends. Its beginning to look like I'm going to be eaten alive by the fleece stash!!

So today I'm going to resist the temptation to pick up the needles, instead I'll empty the Shetland from the bobbin on the spinning wheel and have a serious tidy up.

Tour de Fleece spinning challenge is starting next weekend and I need to be ready :-)

I'm going in, wish me luck!!!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

knitting in colour

remember the dyeing that I did? see what is on the needles now :-)

have a wonderful week xx

Monday, 1 May 2017

in steam again

I forgot to mention that we popped back to Papplewick Pumping Station to renew our membership at  Easter. I took my camera although it was a dull and dismal day.

I hope you enjoyed the photos x

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Its been an expensive week so far, I'm just wondering what else can go wrong. So far I've had a tooth rebuilt and a visit to the opticians to sort out some varifocals so I can spin and look up at people without having to remove my glasses or peer over them like a school marm.
Still, its bank holiday tomorrow so may fit some spinning or prep in and finish the hat so I can cast on something with colour in it :-)

Saturday, 22 April 2017

a splash of colour

A couple of weeks ago I was trawling round the charity shops looking mainly for DPNs as I'm always losing one and knit with 5 at a time when they generally come in packs of 4.

After picking up a couple of packets in one of the shops I spotted a slow cooker for £6.00, bargain for what I need it for. The assistant was friendly and asked what I was planning to cook and was rather surprised by the reply that I was going to use it to dye yarn.

So here it is, my Marks and Spencers slow cooker.

I've already put it to good use experimenting with some of my yarn. I had some concerns that there may be a problem with my dyes being so old but all seem ok so far. Previously I have set dyes using my steamer, ok with fleece where the variation blends in when spinning. As the fleece/yarn sits in the steamer there is a tendency for the dye to sink and pool at the bottom.

This is the Shetland, I was surprised how strong the colours were with only a very small amount of dye.

In fact the colours are slightly brighter in real life.

I then tried dyeing some grey ryland (blue) and some light grey Norfolk/Suffolk cross...

Personally I like these muted colours better. This possibly shows the variation more... I feel a hat coming on :-)

I hope you all have great weekend, speak soon :-)  x

Saturday, 8 April 2017

just a quick hello...

I've not done a lot so just a couple of photos.... last weekend I went out for a coffee with Pete and took my wheel for its first public spin this year.

and today I washed a bit more of the Shetland, I swear that the bag keeps filling up when I put it away!!

I have a bit of knitting on the go and that's about it for now. The sun is shinning and the spring cleaning beckons

have a great weekend :-) xx

Sunday, 26 March 2017

hat finished

at last... its taken about 3 weeks, knitting a few rows in the evening between fleece prep and spinning but I finally finished it last night.

I ran out of cheviot and ended up knitting the last few rows using Portland which is not such a brilliant white but you can't tell.

BTW it is round, I just couldn't get it to stay still for the camera! I now have a feel for how the top works so will try and design my own next time. I've bought a small square mirror to help me see the pattern repeats properly as I draw them.

My library of fair isle books is growing as I'm getting interested in the history of the knitting, luckily most have been bought second hand.

I'm still spinning the Shetland whilst trying to decide whether to dye the yarn or not.

Have a great weekend.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

bad blogger me

not a single post in February!!

This is probably because we haven't done anything exciting and I don't think our day to day life would interest anyone at the moment.

I finished the big hat, it still needs a tassel, had a look at some of the stash that building up and promptly cast on another one!

which I am pleased with so far, cheviot fleece  from Island on the edge and Jacob from a local farm. I just need to work out how long this will be and how to do the top.

I made a start on the Shetland, prepping and watching you tube as I go...

..... and the results so far

I've also spun up some more manx which is a pain as its a short staple and I prefer to comb rather than card, some random white which may be texel and I've made a start on some dusky pink wensleydale/ryland which I'm really not liking much.

If anyone is wondering how much yarn I have stashed.... this is the tip of the iceberg and the reason why I'm knitting at the moment.

so, anyone want to buy a hat?? :-)

Sunday, 29 January 2017

the weekend

So, its the weekend again! Pete aka Wikkidknitter and myself decided to visit the local guild of weavers , spinners and dyers as its over three years since we were members attending every month. I must admit that we were a little unsure as to whether we would know many people but found a very warn welcome from the members we already knew and many of the others. As it was the January meeting, members were able to have sales tables to sell off any excess equipment. We noticed several ball winders and carders amongst the books and other bits and pieces.

One of the members was destashing due to moving and I took the opportunity to purchase some more lace bobbins. Some to join my best pillow, and some plain ones for when I take my lacemaking out with me.

a couple of books also jumped into my bag, 5000 years of textiles has been on my wish list since c&g days so the chance to pick up the paperback copy for 50p was irresistible.

The art of embroidery is one of those beautiful inspirational embroidery books and will join the other two volumes that I already have on knitting and felt making.

I now need to get rid of several books to make space for them!!

during the week, a Shetland fleece turned up that I ordered before Christmas so all in all my plans of not spending money on books or fibre etc in January went straight out of the window! I now declare February the new January and will try, very hard not to increase my stash, in fact I will be trying to downsize it yet again.

as for the latest fishermans kep, there has been some progress and here is a rare shot of my trying it on to check how it looks, please excuse the red face but it was rather warm wearing it with the heating on!!

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

just a quickie

Hi, I'm about to go work but here is an update on the fair isle kep.

I'm having great fun knitting this one! I also received a parcel of Shetland fleece yesterday so it look like I am going to be seriously busy :-)

Saturday, 21 January 2017

slow time of year


I can't believe that we are already 3/4 of the way through January, not sure where the time goes!

Firstly a confession, I've stepped down from the embroidery challenge as after a day or so it just didn't grab me. I think my head isn't into thread at the moment, just fluff and yarn!

We did manage a day out last weekend, headed off to the east coast and watched some sand racing but it was very cold and wet so didn't hang around for long. I only took my small camera which really doesn't like being cold so not many photos.

After  we had thawed out in the cafĂ© we headed down to Skegness and trawled the charity shops for books, cds and dvds.
The previous day I had been out with my mate and popped into the nearby Oxfam shop and came out with these.

I like the Journal book as it also has squared paper in it so you can chart your designs for fair isle although most of mine have mistakes in them... must not do this when tired, just leads to frustration.

The purple hat is completed and I've decided that this one is mine !!

and I've started another kep, this time Jacob. manx loaghtan and Portland in the mix.

I nearly forgot, I bagged this book from Amazon as it was on sale at £4.99 so much for my desire to stop buying books etc!!

Still, I have plenty of fleece to spin, at the moment its more of the grey Ryland :-)

Have a great weekend xx