Archive for the “Weekends are for Spinning” Category

Spintelligence web

Welcome to Spintelligence! I’ve wanted to run a fibre club for ages and now that my Pilates training is finished I have the time to devote to it properly. The club will run for 6 months, with three postings of gorgeous hand-dyed fibre from Indie dyers. You’ll also get spinning techniques, tips and tutorials, plus chat and advice throughout the club.

You can see all the details and prices here, Sign-ups will open at 11am today Sign-ups Open!!

P.S. Don’t you love the logo :-) Made by the fabulous Rock&Purl!

Comments No Comments »

As I suspected, once I finally got going it didn’t take me long to weave this project. I crossed the finish line well within the deadline and the runner (skier) is proudly holding up my spindle collection on the bookshelf.


I’m not entirely happy with the sett, the weaving seems a little loose to me. It may tighten up a little with a wash, but I haven’t washed it and somehow, now it’s in place, I suspect laziness will kick in!


I have a bit of yarn left over, I started with 100m of each colour and guess I used about half the green and most of the white. The runner measures 23″ including fringe and there wasn’t too much loom waste thankfully. One good thing about the Rigid Heddle is that you can pretty much weave right up to the end of the warp, I think I lost about 4 inches of yarn.


This was a practice run for a bigger project I’m planning later in the year, and I’m pretty confident now that I can manage that one without messing it up. I just have to get spinning for it!

Comments 3 Comments »

This year, I joined Team Suck Less for the Ravelympics, hoping to suck less at something over the course of the Winter Games in Vancouver.

I decided that my most needy area was in cotton - not the spinning of it, I have lots of little skeins, but actually using it up! So I pledged to actually weave something out of my Charkha spun cotton.


The tricky part of this is not the weaving, the project will be small, plain weave and will probably take a couple of hours. The challenge, which I haven’t yet overcome (loom is empty), is to actually start - you see I need to chop handspun cotton up into little bits to make a warp, and that is a bit tricky. This cotton represents a fair bit of sweat and tears and is very precious!


While I psych myself up, I have been spinning more on the charkha, just to get myself in the mood, and have finished a few more skeins. This is kind of a practice run for a bigger project I’m planning for the summer, so it won’t hurt to have a bit more yardage lying around.

So, wish me luck! And let me know if you’re challenging yourself for this Ravelympics.

Comments No Comments »

As we would (might) say down under.

Last summer I worked on a BIG project, but didn’t tell many people about it as I was 1) not really supposed to, and 2) really really afraid that fate would turn around and bite me on the butt. Gradually, there was movement. I finished, sent it off, waited some more… still didn’t say anything.

Then the preorder page for the book (a book!) appeared on Amazon, but I know all about fate and I didn’t want to bounce around just yet and then discover that actually, I’m not in this one - maybe next time…

Then on Friday I got a cheque in the post - a pretty good sign I thought - and then today I thought to look again aaaaaaand

You can actually look inside on Amazon and my name is right there in the table of contents :-D I’m on page 32 (which is also my age - coincidence?) and you can see a pic of my shawl on the facing page as well.

To celebrate, I’m taking the rest of the afternoon off!

Comments 11 Comments »

I have a bad habit of buying knitting pattern books (and any craft pattern books for that matter) and then never knitting anything from them. Well, so far I’ve made two things from Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia and there’s loads more in there that I love. Besides which, I’d knit both patterns again in a flash.


Ruth jokingly claimed this knit even before I’d started, when I was gathering up projects to take on holidays. Well, she had a birthday coming up so I figured, why not? After marathon knitting on Tuesday and blocking under a fan all day Wednesday, I handed it over on time and it was suitably appreciated!


Yarn: Sheepaints Marisilk silk/seacell blend, from Socktopus
Pattern: Madli’s Shawl by Nancy Bush
Mods: I made it four pattern repeats wide for scarf size, and added the eyelet row to the edging which I saw somewhere on Rav and liked.


This was great yarn, and a great pattern and I would definitely make it again. In fact, it was so hard to give away that I’m considering doing another one just for me!

There has also been spinning:


This yarn is drying as we speak in this gorgeous breezy weather and I’m hoping to take it with me to Kew Gardens tomorrow on a picnic. MIL is visiting and since the weather is just about perfect we’re going to go and commune with flowers for the day.


Comments 7 Comments »

This was my third visit to Wonderwool, and it just keeps on getting better! I drove up to Wolverly with Ali and Nick and we stayed with Nick’s folks in their lovely old old farmhouse (which is now in the middle of the suburbs of course). From there it was only a fairly quick run over to Builth and with the addition of Yoshimi in the back seat, she’d joined us Friday night, it seemed like no time before we were squeeing at the sheeps!

There was way more fibre there this year, which is good as I’d made a firm rule about not buying any more yarn. The rules about fibre and spindles, however, were (ahem) a little less firm, shall we say. I started off with a dash to The Natural Dye Studio, as Amanda was holding a few silk packs for me to pick from (thanks Queenie!) and then we wandered around and around only semi-systematically until we figured we’d seen most things ran out of money.








Top to bottom: Fyberspates Merino/Silk, NDS Merino/Bamboo, Silk Brick from Oliver Twists, Artist’s Palette Merino, half a Spindlefrog luxury spinners set (I shared with Sarah), and of course, NDS Precious Tussah Silk (mmmmmm).

This was totally Sarah’s fault, still not sure how I ended up with it:


A lovely black/grey merino fleece from the Coloured Sheep Breeders Association, which we also shared.

And, well, Bossies are going to be hard to get soon so it seemed an intelligent decision:


16g of lovely Canarywood Bossieness.

The best part of course, was meeting up with people and chatting and catching up and nosing out their purchases! I met Megan for the first time in real life, which was fab. Also connected with Kerrie, Helen and Lucy who crashed with us at the pub later on where we took over an entire corner and scared everyone away with the yarny activities (I still think the owner chose to come out and sit in the bar just so he could watch us in fascination).

Wonderwool was so much fun that I think that this year I really need to make the effort to get up to Woolfest as well. Are you going to be there??

Comments 10 Comments »

I can’t get over this yarn. Squishy to begin with, it is even more so after plying and a nice bath. It stretches at least 15-20% of its length again, and springs back again, Sproing!


Sadly, It’s supposed to be a big, thick cosy hat and I really don’t think it’s going to be cold enough again to need it. (This would not be the first time I started a winter project in February and then shelved it cause it didn’t get finished in time. Or the second for that matter).


Fibre: Oceanwind Knits Merino, colour ‘Galvanized’ from Socktopus.
Spin style: Short forward draw with twist in the drafting zone, not smoothed down (pretty much my default no-think spinning method), 3-ply.
Yardage: Sorry, haven’t measured it yet - I will though.

- - - -

Yarn is not the only thing I’ve finished this week:


The last pair of Sock(topus) Club Socks were jinxed for me - I ripped back half a sock at one point because of a HUGE mistake that I failed to notice for about four hours of knitting. Then, I made them too short and had to rip out the toes and reknit them. Finally they’re done though - before the deadline, woot!


Pattern: Tear my Sole (with some adaptations) by Louisa Sisson
Yarn: Hazelknits Artisan Sock in ‘Sugar Maple’ (love love love this yarn!)

Comments 4 Comments »

This is what I’m spinning right now (literally! New laptop means I can blog from anywhere as long as I’m sitting down. Well, ok, I’m not actually spinning right now but you get the picture):


It’s lovely fine Merino from Oceanwind Knits, the same fibre I used for my Flower basket shawl. This one I’m spinning up with a short forward woollen draw though, and I’m nearly finished after just a few hours. I should have time to ply it after dinner and then can knit up my thick cosy super-warm hat in time for the (alleged) drop in temperature due Thursday.

This picture doesn’t quite do the colours justice - Lori puts in a wonderful subtle mix of all sorts of tones and I love the way they all play off each other. Check out the original fibre pic for a more accurate idea of the gorgeousness.

Well, back to the spinning! New-miniature-laptop lives on the stool next to me now so I can Tweet while I spin! (I’m dianemulholland on there btw.)

Comments 2 Comments »

Last Tuesday I popped into Stash and took about 5 mins to fall deeply in love with the newly-in Malabrigo Silky Merino. It is luuurvely! Yarn bought to knit presents with doesn’t count, and luckily I managed to think up a very deserving friend so two skeins came home with me and I made this:

blog 004

Pattern: Gretel, by Ysolda
Yarn: Malabrigo Silky Merino, 1.5 skeins (slouchy style), colour ‘Cloudy sky’
Made for: Stephanie (and I pinched her photo btw, I forgot to take any!)

Stephanie has cancer and although I only met her a couple of months ago, it feels like we’ve known each other forever. Stephanie’s take on the whole thing is so fresh, and funny and and endearing and I love that her blog posts are more likely to make me spurt coffee all over the computer than shed tears. Go read her blog and you’ll see what I mean, and have some kitchen towel handy for mopping up coffee. Oh, and don’t believe everything she says about me. I think it’s the meds talking :-P

- - - -

Second FO: I managed to cast off and block the shawl - always tricky over a weekend as Neil sleeps in too late. I must get me some of those jigsaw mat thingies for blocking on. I’m rather pleased with this :-D It’s a perfect size and I can see myself wearing it a lot.


Pattern: Flower Basket Shawl by Evelyn Clark
Yarn: Handspun Merino 2-ply, from Oceanwind Knits, via Socktopus, colour ‘Elderberry’
Made for: Mememe!

Next up? Hmmmm. Maybe finish one of the lurking wips? Doesn’t sound that much fun. I might get cracking on the Deep-V Argyle I think.

Comments 9 Comments »

Sorry there was no Spin-In today, having house guests has disrupted things slightly around here. We’ll be back next week!

Good news though - Stash Yarns in Putney is starting a spinning group Tuesday mornings :-D It will be weekly, starting at 10am and you will catch me there with the rest of the crowd from this week - yay!

Comments No Comments »