Archive for June, 2008

The scarf is done - there was only a couple of inches to go as it turned out.


Now I just have to decide whether I keep it :-D or give it away as a present this year to someone who likes green. I have a 4oz hank of the same colourway fibre left over too if anyone wants it.


I have been knitting, I finished the second Tulip cardi - photos later this week as I left it at Stash - and have almost finished the first sleeve of Venezia. The rows there are getting very short now at the top of the sleeve cap and somehow that beautifully striped steek just makes me go all gooey inside!

Mostly though, I have been spinning. Here’s a taste of what’s been going on:


These mini skeins are shetland and will be dyed up for a somewhat traditional, but actually quite modern stranded project (that came out sounding weird - but you’ll see what I mean when it’s published).

There has also been more lace:


I am having to pace myself on that a bit as I’m finding that the concentration required is not so good for my back and neck. So I’m only spinning it every second day which means, obviously, that I need a second wheel! So I can have two projects on the go at once you see …

Today being a non-spinning-lace day I have been washing and flicking and generally enveloping myself in Supernova’s fleece. The most amazingly soft alpaca I’ve ever been able to play with. In an extreme display of stupidity, however, I manage to felt some of it in the washing process, I’d washed 100g and managed to rescue about 1/3 of it from the tangle. You can be sure I’m being extra careful with the rest!

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The other night I decided I was finally tired of colourwork (well, I’d spent all afternoon on Venezia) and I needed something mindless to do for a while. So I picked up the Emerald scarf which for so long has looked like this:

Emerald Ripple

… and figured I’d do a few rows. Several episodes of The West Wing later and it now looks like this:


Well, I admit there were some bits in between where I got it a bit futher on from photo one. I spun this yarn ages ago when I was demonstrating at a show and hence didn’t worry too much about colour placement etc. I absolutely love the way the colours now all blend to give about a million different combinations of 2-ply. It is stripy without being too blatantly stripy and the ripple helps there a bit too. The remaining yarn is about golf-ball-sized and it’s measuring about 1.5m so, even though I have more fibre I could spin up, I think it’s pretty much nearly done!


I love knitting with my handspun and I really don’t do it enough - knitting is fun at the best of times but when you’ve spun the yarn yourself then you feel like you truly own every stitch. So I’ll be focussing on handspun a lot this summer and there will be some new designs and tutorials coming out in September. If there’s anything you want to know more about, let me know, and I’ll try and work it into one of the patterns or tasksheets.

The yarn, btw, is spun from ‘Emerald City’ BFL from Lisa Souza.

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There is nothing so cute and exciting (I have decided) than a little goat (actually, newborn baby goats are about the cutest thing in the world but we’ll get to that later). These girls are less than a year old and just arrived (part of a flock of 19) at the farm.


One of them is mine :-D and will be called Daisy when mum has picked her out for me. There will be first fleece in August, and baby goats sometime next year (squee!)


ETA: Kathy Sue asked what kind of goats they are - they’re angoras, which means the fleece we get will be mohair. They’re a great fibre animal, being small and docile, and very prolific - a good return on your investment!

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While I was back at home over Easter my sister and I took a trip to Melbourne for a few days. The train ride is four hours each way and M wanted a new knitting project to take along. With a quick visit to the LYS on the way to the station she picked out some lovely earthy shades, and between the first couple of country towns I outlined the mathematics of Log Cabin for her.

M's rug

She didn’t need any more help and, being far less of a multiple-project-knitting-floozy than I am (i.e. she actually gets stuff done) she worked away at it until, a few days ago, these great pictures dropped into my email inbox. The blue was added after the first pattern repeat as she thought (and rightly so) that it would lift the earthy colours strikingly. M has a fantastic colour sense and seems to know instinctively which hues will work together beautifully. She’s way better at it than me - I need to scratch my head and consult colour wheels, she just walks into a LYS and says “I think that will work” and it does!

M's rug back

Anyway, I thought I’d share as I think her blanket is awesome and she doesn’t have a blog to show it off on. I’m really hoping she’ll make me one :-D

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I realised it’s been a while since I did a straight out ‘newsy’ post. So here I am, about to bore you with everything I’ve been up to in the last couple of weeks…

Neil and I went to Amsterdam for the bank holiday weekend. It was our first visit - on a simple flight/hotel deal - and we fell in love straight away. I would definitely go back for a longer visit, and we even talked about maybe living there sometime.


We mostly just walked around for hours and hours, deciding to do museums/day trips etc on another visit. I could look forever at the houses along the canals and would love to live in one of the flats there, perhaps not one of the leany ones.

Leaning houses

Oh, and there were sheep:

Felt sheep

This was a shop on a pretty snazzy canal street and was dedicated to very arty felt pieces. Sadly, it was closed so I could only peer through the windows.

There’s more pics to look at on the Flickr set, very poor quality I’m afraid as I forgot the camera and (not surprisingly) my mobile doesn’t quite produce the same quality of shot!


Since we got back I’ve launched into a new design project. The focus will be on handspun and there will be a bunch of stuff coming out over the next few months. At the moment it’s spin spin spin, there will be a bit of dyeing to be done and I’m just about ready to put a new warp on the loom which has been a bit neglected. I am still managing to put in a row here and there on Venezia, here’s where I’m up to:


Other things I’m working on are a design which will appear in a book, a Socktopus exclusive new sock pattern and a total overhaul of my website. Not to mention Issue 3 of The Inside Loop. Good thing I’m female and an old hand at multi-tasking! None of these things are very big, but all added together they fill up the days pretty well.

Finally, a shot to brighten this dismal London weather for you:


This roving, among others, will soon be winging its way to a store near you :-) (well, near some of you).

Have a great weekend!

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This went around a while back and was revived recently by Emmms, whose blog I signed up on to receive cool stuff. The giving is the more important part though so I’m hereby opening up for three people to  receive a scrummy gift from me sometime in the next 6 months.

The principle (if you’ve never heard of PIF) is basically a bit of altruistic sharing of the love. Here are the rules: I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange, and who make the same pledge on their own blogs. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 6 months, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward.

The principle fits in very nicely I think with the “Buy Handmade” movement that Etsy promotes and I have kind of unofficially joined in on.

So - who’s first?

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