Plodding along

I thought it was about time I gave an update of current WIP’s.  It seems I have become un-monogamous lately without ever planning to.  The trouble with knitting several projects is that I never feel like I’m making any progress.

However,  I keep reminding myself that the hexi-puff blanket was meant to be a long term project, but now there are two hexipuff blankets.  One, the original sock blanket which admittedly is only three puffs big.  Not so much progress on that work in progress then, despite having swapped sock yarn with other hexipuffers.

The other hexipuff blanket I’m making from hand-spun scraps, I decided it needed to be a different blanket because these puffs are bigger than the sock yarn ones.  This blanket is one whole puff bigger though! Whoop whoop!  I know it’s pitiful progress but it will get there eventually.

Next up is Idlewood again, this time I’m knitting it a size smaller with pockets and making the sleeves elbow length.  It WILL fit!

Finally the above the knee socks. I’m about to start the gusset on the first sock and I’m looking forward to wearing them with the new skirts I have sewn.  I realize this may be a couple of months down the track but I’m not in any hurry since the dreaded summer is on it’s way.

There has been spinning too, I decided that the Finn/Romney/Corridale that I dyed would make lovely thick boot socks so I’m attempting to spin a 3ply aran weight sock-yarn.

On top of all this I have finished 4 out of 5 skirts that I have been sewing though, I don’t have finished photo’s of them.  I suppose, all in all, there has been some kind of progress then.

On the bandwagon

There appears to be quite a buzz (pun intended, sorry) at the moment amongst my knitting friends surrounding “the bee-keepers quilt” by tiny owl knits.  Calls have gone out for spare scraps of sock yarn all over the place.  It seems such a perfect way of using up sock yarn and also knitting a blanket without the agony of knitting a blanket.  I kind of resisted at first, for why, I don’t know.  I love hand-dyed sock yarn and hate wasted yarn, the blanket then seems to be a perfect solution.  So today, I succumbed and bought the pattern after seeing the charming video, then I knit my first hexapuff.

Doesn’t take much yarn, doesn’t take much time, genius! Yep, I think I may be hooked.  Though as I have given away all my bits of sock yarn I may have to start frantically knitting socks to make up more hexapuffs. In a years time I should have a blanket to show you.

Sheep-tastic study

The postie has just been, yay!

He brought me 2 parcels from R.E. Dickie containing these beauties.

I haven’t properly unwrapped them yet but I have had a feel and inhaled deep, deep, restorative lungfuls of woolly fumes, ahhhhh!

They are 200g each of Southdown, BFL, Manx Loughtan, Devon, Herdwick, Shropshire, Jacob, Dorset Horn, Swaledale and Massam (this order does not correspond to the picture because I’m just too flippin’ excited to think of things like that).  Obviously I shall be getting more because there are way more British Breeds out there but these will do for starters.

I am planning to spin them and create a British Breeds blanket the design of which I haven’t decided on but I am investigating my options (thanks Ravelry x).  It’s all part of my self education in spinning and all things sheepy.  I have also bought a few more books, The Knitters book of Wool is good, but I want MORE!

So I bought three books.  Beautiful Sheep by Kathryn Dun and Paul Farnham because who wouldn’t want to look at pictures of sheep looking their most beautiful?  In Sheep’s Clothing by Fournier and Fournier which I’m over half-way through, lots of useful information and black and white pictures of staples and sheep, many more breeds covered.  Lastly and not at all leastly because I think this is going to be my absolute bible The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook by Robson and Ekarius, this is truly a gorgeous book covering not just sheep breeds from all over the world but other animal fibres too.  It’s informative about how to dye, prepare, spin and use each type of fibre and the photos show spun and knitted samples as well as examples of clean and dirty staples.

I am overwhelmed by sheepy bliss!

In other news…

…I did a gauge swatch for Owls yesterday but I must have had a sudden rush of excrement to the brain because I knit it flat and I washed it without measuring it first. D’oh!  I was so determinded not to end up with a jumper that grows in the wash and doesn’t fit again.  Anyhow, I have cast on a sleeve as a gauge swatch, (thanks Sharon) and I shall compare the two.  I’ve decided to frog and reknit the Idlewood  as I want it to be closer fitting but that can wait for a while, I need to get up the courage first.

ttfn Melanie x

Opposites

Yesterday morning I had nothing on the needles and nothing on the spindles.  It was a day full of crafty potential, oooh what to do?  So I did two opposite things…

I began knitting a highly textured, very rustic, chunky hap blanket with handspun undyed Romney X, one of the first things I spun with a wheel.

I do love mindless garter stitch, so soothing.  I’m also loving knitting what I’ve spun.  I think perhaps the bug doesn’t hit you properly till you’ve knit what you’ve spun.  I think I may have got the bug big time.

I also began spinning some BFL tops dyed by Serenknitty in Maple colourway.  It’s very soft and smooth textured and wants to be spun finely and the colours say bring on Autumn!

I’m thinking sock yarn and getting giddy with excitement at this possibility.

Today I shall be sewing a skirt with Jamsandwich and then knitting with the lovely Richmond knitters. Joy!

ttfn Melanie x

Productivity's high

Well hello!

I haven’t posted for a while, but that’s because I’ve been really busy with work and everything.  I have completed a crazy, difficult practical assessment and the penultimate assignment. OMG, how excited am I that I only have one more assignment to go.

But it’s not been all work and no play, I have completed a few knitting projects, which is what you want to hear about, isn’t it?

First to be completed was the moss stitch scarf for my eldest’s 16th birthday, he chose the yarn and stitch pattern and he loves it and wears it constantly with his new coat, but as we are moving into Spring he may have less occasion to wear it.

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The yarn is Jo Sharp’s Alpaca Silk Georgette, which is probably my favourite of her yarns.  I felt as though I was knitting this forever but I love the finished article, so worth it.

The next to be finished was my “Hermione Hearts Ron” beanie by Christy Aylesworth. It’s a free pattern on Ravelry and beautifully written.  It took no time at all to knit and I love the way the decreases make a snowflake at the crown.  Again this was knitted in Alpaca Silk Georgette, colour Pearl.  Here I am wearing it to admire the blossom on our young crab apple tree.  Spring is here!

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I forgot to mention that it is a replica of the beanie Hermione wears in the latest Harry Potter film, but fans of the film will know that anyway.

The most recent finished project is the Waffle scarf by Sarah Florent, again a free pattern from Ravelry a gift for DH. This was knitted in Zara Plus by Filatura DiCrosa, which is an absolutely yummy, squishy, soft merino 10ply and my new favourite yarn.

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New project is a Mohair blankie for eldest son.  It’s funny but I distinctly recall a year ago when none of my men would entertain a hand knitted present.  Now I have to squeeze projects for me in between their requests.  The brainwashing and forced petting of yarn has obviously worked.