Saturday morning I had awesome fun with Alice, Ali and Jen dyeing up some fibre and yarn. We used an oven-bake method which I have found to work best for me with fibre: to set the dyes you need heat, and wet, hot fibre is just asking to be felted if you let it move at all. I experimented with the microwave but found I couldn’t get the fibre to heat evenly without moving it around, or get it opened out flat to cool without risking burning myself. Using oven trays, you can leave it to cool completely without movement and it works very well. I’m planning to write up the technique properly with photos etc soon.
The fiber I dyed I have called ‘Cherry Ripe’ with its yummy blend of dark chocolate and cherry and just a hint of white coconut. (Cherry ripes were one of my favourite chocolate bars at home and I always pick up a couple if I’m at the Australia Shop!).
Once we have spun up our fiber it’s going to be auctioned off to raise money for the Having Hope fund. So if you fancy a bit of Cherry Ripe for yourself - watch this space!
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Fibrey stuff that happened while I was away…
I didn’t get any actual weaving done but I did read all of Mum’s weaving books (and snuck a couple home with me) and spun up the warp for my first project.
It’s merino/silk blend from Wingham Woolwork and it’s spun to a fairly firm 2-ply. More on that later.
On my last day at the farm we went to the Field Days, which is kind of like a county fair but without the competitions - so lots of displays and people selling and demonstrating stuff. I fell in love with Supernova:
And begged for and subsequently brought home some of his fleece:
I also wept that there was no room in my suitcase for these:
But luckily, Mum has a whole farm and is going to buy a dozen or so Yay!
In other news, I got copies of Having Hope printed and will be selling them to people I bump into, and I might put them in a couple of shops. Alice may also be stocking them at Socktopus. I’ll keep you posted.
Wonderwool this weekend :-D
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Expertly modelled here by my brother Shannon, the socks also fit Alan (!), and are a good barrier for the chilly winds that have started blowing around here.
The purchase pages on Ravelry and Payloadz have been updated and the pattern will be automatically sent to your email inbox upon purchase.
I have emailed the pdf to everyone who preordered, please let me know if you didn’t receive it, I may have missed you in the mailing list. Check your spam box first just in case.
Thank you to everyone for your continued support of this project, please let your friends know about Having Hope.
Purchase the pattern:
File size: 264KB, 5 pages. Price: US $4.95
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Thank you Ali for showing me what was right in front of me. I really did deliberate for ages over a name and eventually gave up. I plucked the blog post title out of thin air without really thinking - maybe it was a suggestion straight from God. The socks are progressing well, I’m working on the heel of the first (much more done than is shown here). The pattern, which I will give in 3 sizes, is only a couple of weeks away so if you are planning to start knitting immediately now’s the time to think about yarn choices.
I am using The Knittery 4ply Sock (Merino/Cashmere/polyamide) which was very kindly donated by Alice of Socktopus specially for this pattern. The colourway is ‘Chocolate’ and is coming up beautifully in a range of lovely browns.
This yarn is on the thick side and, with the cabling, makes a very dense, cosy fabric when knitted on 2.5mm needles. Alan’s socks aren’t really destined to be worn inside shoes and will be thick and warm for the coming Australian winter. If you have other plans for your pair, I recommend selecting a lighter yarn such as Smooshy or Trekking. Both have a great range of men’s colours to choose from.
Finally, thank you so much to all the people who have already pre-ordered the pattern. Neil was rather bemused at people buying something that doesn’t exist yet - but I told him, ‘That’s just knitters.’
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A few weeks ago I posted a rather cryptic message on my blog. If you didn’t see it then you can find it here. I cannot begin to thank the many people who left heart-warming comments and sent concerned emails. My mum wishes me to pass on her thanks as well for everyone’s kind words, the whole family has read your comments and feels supported and cared for.
As some of you now know, a few weeks ago my stepfather Alan was diagnosed with cancer. He is currently undergoing treatment and by the end of this month we should know more. I will be flying back to Australia soon to spend Easter and the following weeks with my family.
In times like these it is very natural for knitters to turn to their needles for comfort, strength and sometimes just to take one’s mind off things. I have felt frustrated by being so far away and unable to help in any practical way and, turning to my needles, I have found a way - doing what I most love to do.
I am working on a design for socks for Alan. The pattern will shortly be available for sale and all proceeds will be sent to support Cancer Research. It feels like a small gesture but it has the potential to make a big difference, knitters are renowned for their amazing capacity to band together and astound those who ask for help.
The first sock is coming along nicely, chocolately cables and all. I have measurements from mum, and I expect the pattern to be ready by the end of the month. If you wish, you can pre-order by using the button below. You will be sent a confirmation email and I will forward you the pattern as soon as it is ready. The pattern will be available as a pdf initially and I hope to have printed copies done later.
Pre-order the pattern for Alan’s Socks
I need one more thing - I am hopelessly stuck on a name for this project! Please give me your ideas, I will send a free copy of the pattern (making the donation on your behalf) to the person whose suggestion I choose.
I will post regular updates here on the pattern, with a progress shot in the next few days.
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