Archive for September, 2008

I’ve been informed by very reliable people that there may be bears at SOAR. Therefore, in preparation I have set to and knitted a pair of Scary Dragon Skin Socks which are guaranteed to scare away any large furry sharp animals that may come lurking around the hotel.


The pattern is Shur’tagal from The Inside Loop and is designed by Alice Yu. It’s a really fun knit - I definitely recommend it.

This is my first time using Oceanwind Knits yarn, and I luuuuurve the colours and the yarn. I need to get me some more I think…

Oh, and did I mention that I’m going to SOAR? (Once or thrice maybe over the last year.) About a week ago I looked around I realised I have NOTHING TO WEAR! And there’s going to be famous people there - so obviously I have to make a good impression.

So I asked the afore-mentioned Alice to help me pick out a lovely colour of Classy in just my favourite shades, I was thinking brown, I wear a lot of brown and it goes nicely with the white shirt I plan to wear under this vest.

Here’s what it looks like so far.


Not brown! You say? Very perceptive of you. I’m still not quite sure what happened - I think it involved yarn vault fumes. She needs to air that place out more often.

It’s going to be really nice though, and gets me out of my box a bit - I have been thinking lately that I need to stop wearing so many boring colours all the time :-D

This week I’ve been watching Heroes non-stop (almost through the first season) and working away at Meg - last in this series of Spin! Drying times and photography permitting, the pattern should be up tomorrow evening.

Here’s a sneaky hint:



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… of birthday presents, are the ones you forgot all about :-D

I have no problem with gifts arriving late, it’s like having another birthday all over again! A couple of days ago a package arrived from across the pond. Large package revealed several smaller packages (Amanda likes her tissue!).


And smaller packages revealed some scrummy Spunky fibre, the last EZ book needed for my collection, choccies for eating while reading and spinning and … * faint * … Koigu Socks!!


My first ever Koigu socks. They fit perfectly, and they are made from the perfectest colour of koigu :-D Thank you Amanda!! (Did I mention she designed the pattern herself?)


How many times can I wear koigu socks before I have to take them off and wash them…?

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All the details here.

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Those of you who attended the recent iKnit Day in London may have been lucky enough to snabble a bag of the new Precious Tussah Silk Roving from The Natural Dye Studio . Having friends in high places, I managed to score a preview sample and have been spinning it up here and there for the last couple of weeks. Somehow, the mundane ‘real work’ projects don’t seem quite so exciting when the lure of pure silk beckons, but I’ve been trying to be good, really!


My new resin spindle from Fyberspates turned out to be the perfect companion for this silk and the pure silk single comes up like a dream. The spindle is low-whorl, with a goose-neck hook at the top (which I much prefer to a half-hitch) and spins for ever!


As I had some Superwash BFL from NDS in a similar colour, I decided to also do some sampling with blends of the two fibres. I blended about 50/50 using handcards, then attenuated the minature batt into a long roving. It spun beautifully and the resulting yarn is lofty and light with a delicious hint of silken shine.


I finished my sample as a simple 2-ply, but I think this would work great as a 3-ply in a textured, maybe cabled design (yes, I think I’m on a bit of a cables hit at the moment).


Natural Dye Studio Precious will feature in the silk spinning class which I am running in October, click here for details and to book.

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Nearly 14 years ago, my flatmate’s cat got herself knocked up by the neighbourhood stray tom and presented us with a couple of ginger fluffballs. I begged one of them, and Wormwood (named from The Screwtape Letters) followed me around through student accom and a nanny post, and was part of the deal when Neil took me in 12 years ago.

I was the good guy, letting him sleep on our bed until Neil came in and turfed him off late at night, but he could always wrap his ‘dad’ around his little finger anyway - on many occasions convincing Neil that he hadn’t been fed for a month, even when I was barely out the door having ducked home especially to open a tin.


Worm had a silly habit of getting shut inside things - his curious instincts making him dash into cupboards and boxes and leading him to spend many long days shut in the garage when I didn’t know he’d gone in as I was on my way to work. He didn’t play, but he was a highly sociable cat who loved visitors and would curl up on anyone’s lap, purring like a lawnmower.

It was with deep regret that I left Wormwood to live with my brother when we moved to London, and it devastated me yesterday to hear that he has finally succumbed to his ripe old years. He had developed multiple tumours in his lungs which, while not causing pain, interfered so much with his breathing that he was in great distress by this week and had to be put to sleep.

Worm, I’m glad I got to see you at Easter, and have you sleep on my bed for the last time. I miss you terribly and I hope you’re happily chasing possums somewhere sunny.


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P.S. I’ve turned off the comments - I can’t cope with what I know you’re going to say. Please send silent hugs through the air instead x

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All the details here

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Just a quick one to let you know that there are a couple of new classes posted for this year, including new beginner dates as many of the classes have filled up. Check them out here on the classes page.

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I’d love to talk about Iknit, but I have no photos, and really the day is a bit of a blur! I helped Alice out on the Socktopus stand and we were completely swamped from the minute the doors opened to the time the Yarn Harlot started her presentation. I caught up with loads of people, including many I hadn’t met before ‘in the flesh’ and it was a great day - in spite of the mayhem :-)

As I said, I took no photos, but if you want to see a hilarious one of me then pop over to Dots and Yarns.


P.S. News of the day - you can also catch me in the current issue of Spin-Off, hitting shelves this week. The thrill of seeing your name in print never wears out!

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All the details here

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It’s finally time to release a major project that I’ve been keeping under wraps now for quite a while. I’m really excited about this, it’s forming a large part of my revised business model and will be where quite a bit of my energy goes for the next year.

Spin! For Spinners and Knitters. How to Spin, What to Knit.

Spin! Series 1 - preview

Spin! is a series of designs for your handspun, but for added value, each one comes with its own related spinning tutorial. What you get is a whole project package - start to finish. The tutorials will range from beginner to advanced intermediate, knitting patterns are all beginner to intermediate - designed to show off your beautiful handspun yarn rather than confuse the eye with too much intricate patterning.

The first series of Spin! will be released this month. Four tutorials with acompanying patterns, one each week during September. Topics include spinning more consistent yarn, working with alpaca and a special dyeing project. I am just putting finishing touches on the first, which you had a hint of yesterday, and it will be available as a pdf download later this week.

I’m very excited about this new venture, I hope you are inspired by the designs, and gain valuable knowledge from the tutorials.

Happy Spinning!

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