Archive for the ‘getting creative’ Category

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got my busy on.

April 14, 2010

Oh now where do I start? well this post is all about the crafting. Oh and if you’ve not already seen it is VERY image heavy.

Knitting

I finished a pair of mittens for a friend. He gave them two thumbs up. I also did a matching phone cosy cos nothing says I thought of you than a matching gift set. Knit in trekking xxl and knitted with two strands together for super manly toughness.
accidental stripes   mitts

I started this scarf on holiday and after the first ball it was not long enough. Part way through the 2nd ball and I can’t decide to make it super long or add some other twiddles to it with the rest of the yarn. The yarn is pure silk cord bought at Alexandra palace knit and stitch show. Its dyed with natural indigo and something or other and stains the needles. I gathered up the scarf because it sort of shows the drape a bit better. This is one knit I want to write the pattern for because its super easy and one I wont mind giving away.

pure silk scarf

I LURVE this project. Katie & Matt have a lovely little bairn called Noah who was a miracle to the world after the long and hard process for them to have kids. I had a bit of consultation on what Katie wanted and produced this so far. I still need to knit another 6 hexagons and sew them all together properly. Then back it all in fleece in the same as the bright blue in the picture. I think this is still going to take some time. This was mutilated from a berocco free pattern Arabesque.

TA DA! 

Matt’s iphone cosy. Although I should send this on, its waiting for the blanket.

iphone cosy 

I started with this lovely merino lace weight on Wednesday night. So far I’m on the 2nd pattern formation of Laminaria from Knitty. I thought that the Laminaria would be far too complicated but now I’m sure its addictive and not half as difficult as it looks. Except for the 2 or 3 into 9 stitches. THEY are a pain. I’ve not got any decent photos of the shawl as yet.. I suppose I should but that will be on the weekend and by then I may have done most of it! hahahah, who am I kidding. It’s a lovely knit but I’m not THAT quick.

lace weight

Now to meet an old friend. I made this around November time and completely forgot to blog about it. It’s because its my all time favourite hat. PLUS its the first thing I’ve ever fully made from my very own handspun yarn. Now this does need to be written up because its one of the easiest knit patterns I’ve ever made. Although I’m worried someone else has already had the idea before. Cast on 70 stitches with a 3mm needle, K2 P2 for ribbing then YO K2tog, round and keep increasing the needle size until you’ve got enough size for the hat. Then with the largest needle decrease stitches on hat. Simples! which all leads me on to…

my favourite hat

spinning, cos I bought 4 of these lovely bags of alpaca. The finest, the softest and the hat up thar was spun from this. Sadly I don’t have a photo of any of the spun yarn but I’ve only spun one bag so far. I still have another 3 to go. I think I spoiled myself with this wonderful fiber, also bought at the Alexandra Palace knit and stitch show. Spinning this was a delight and made everything else feel tough and not as easy.

!00% pure alpaca

This is 100% pure merino that I bought from the YoYo to make flowers for the wedding. I held on to a good slug of this fiber to spin and I messed it right up. I think I plied it long after I spun it and plied it the wrong way. DOH. Still, its usable and it will probably wash out nice after being knitted but I’m not happy with it. It’s not drop dead gorgeous or floofy or… anyway lets just gloss over that and move on to nicer things.

Eh... Bad spinning

I picked out a few greens I had accumulated from the flower floof for felting and a batt set I bought from etsy and spun them in to….

mix of floof

This! a lovely light two ply but still has some solid weight to it. I’m no lace weight spinner. I just grabbed long hanks of each colour and randomly span each and plied the two together. I was aiming for a barber pole with occasional pooling.

mix and spun

So from bobbin to skein it goes…. My home-made skein winder is starting to get a bit shabby but it still works.

handspun 

and here it is on the right, all ready for a wash and balling. The one on the left however is something entirely new which I will now cover.

plied and skeined.

This skein was the end result of a rather long process. It’s all natural and came I think from an alpaca but may be camel. I’m not entirely sure. I would like to know though because I’ve got this whole bunch of it… A whole fleece.

hand washed fleece.

The above picture is after I spent a weekend washing and teasing all the fibers apart to make sure it all dried nicely. It’s fully dry here but not in a spinable state. I had hand carders but I’m not technically the best at hand carding. After long deliberation and haunting ebay and other places I placed an order with an independent UK business for this lovely drum carder from Ashford.

Woohoo!

So once I got the drum carder there was much *squee* and oooh and ah. I followed the instructions and from the big ball of floof up there I carded these so far:

hand carded fiber

So far around 400g of carded wool ready for spinning or felting. It’s very soft but also some of the fibers are a bit short. It was a real tough sort through it all to try to keep it all a decent fiber length. After carding I did a bit of spinning. Just one bobbin then passed it back through the spinning wheel to Navajo ply. Just make a slip loop and keep spinning and adding slip loops. Much easier than it looks. So now I have some big choices to make. Do I spin the lot? because I’m going to have to card a whole lot more at some point. Also are these items sellable because I’ve not got what sort of animal it came from. Anyway I’m counting my blessings 1, because it was fun and 2, I have a new drum carder and 3, this fleece along with the bags below were all free with my spinning wheel.

how handeh.

I also took some silk and two colours of merino and created two lovely soft mixed batts. I’m saving these for another day too. Not sure what to do with them yet. I have a ton of this silk bought at AP again but I’m running out of these colours to blend it with. I will make some more because two small batts is not enough even to spin. It was just good to get some blending practice in on the drum carder.

3 on left = batt on right.

So on to the stash of wool I have yet to deal with. This is not the yarn, just the fleece, most of which came with the wheel. The first one is self explanatory. I’ve got two bags this size of corridale/shetland mix.

hand washed corriedale/shetland

This potato bag is hiding a lovely slightly darker fleece than the one I’ve started on above. It appears to be slightly smaller than the one I already dealt with. This is still raw and unwashed.

medium rose

Then this… A guaranteed lovely rose brown alpaca. The fleece in this bag is beautiful. Also not washed or dealt with at all yet but it will be. I need to get down the first fleece yet but this one will be something very soft and special one day.

beautiful brown

Then I have the bag of scraps so far. I cleared out two potato bags to fill one half way with rejected bits. It was a whole days work to wash and sort a fleece. I’d love to make this a business but after trying the first fleece I’ve proven it’s a hell of a lot of hard work. I don’t mind doing the work if I could make it profitable but there is where the problem lies, I’m not sure I can set a suitable price and create batts that are stunning enough to get top dollar. Its something I’ve been thinking long and hard about because having a wool business from home sounds like a dream come true. Still at least I have the right tools for the job now.

scraps

So I was chatting to friends on twitter about this and that, a friend in North Norfolk owns a farm and creates the very best pork pies. Now I don’t eat pork pies but if you do I’ve been informed they are well loved all over. I checked out brays_cottage web site when they mentioned the wedding pork pie and noticed they have sheeps. I asked if they used the fleeces and within a day they confirmed they don’t. Then offered me the fleeces to their sheep for free.

Now this is going to be a whole lot of work. At least 6 sheep and all coming at once during shearing season. I’ve said a tentative yes to this because I’ve seen a couple of photos and fallen in love with the sheep.

Meet Marcus
Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

He’s a stunningly beautiful Ram with the stunning horns to match. I love his silver black coat and keep him as my deskptop wallpaper at the moment.

Then there’s the females and the new lambs coming in this season. I have just got to get to the farm to see them all before they stop spring bouncing.

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I’d like to have a name for each sheep and their fleece so I can have a full lineage for my products from these darlings. I also want to highlight the localness of it all, showing the low mileage for my products. Although all this is still very much a pipe dream and I’m not even sure I could wash a full very dirty fleece properly. I’m setting myself some big challenges with a lot to learn and hoping that I can at least start a sideline to my day job, even if I’m not sure I want to put in the hours yet! Still any ideas gratefully accepted and suggestions are wanted! What do you think? am I turning in to a mad sheep/cat lady? Or do you know how I can turn a profit?

Next update: hopefully the garden. We’ve done some of it but I need to take some photos. Probably over the weekend.

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crikey

April 15, 2009

naughty me… I’ve been doing so much and writing so little

Scotty and I spent a day in the back garden and after a few small purchases from a garden retailer we stocked up and potted as many vegetables as we could. I kept well away from cauliflowers and broccoli that we attempted last year. This year we have our regular stock of herbs and then courgettes, bok choi, beetroot, one small strawberry, butternut squash and potatoes grown in a converted bin. We even planted fresh cat grass for our boys. The last years crop completely died out.
making a potato planter
A sunday planting session

knitting has almost died a death with me. I’ve not even made it to knit club in weeks. I think I still love it but I got stuck at the armpits on the jumper. The shawl I was doing simply does not add up and the poor thing is waiting for me to have enough patients to sit down for a good couple of hours and count religiously until I can get it all to a working number. Not at all fun. I did however complete two iphone cosies for my new fabulous white iphone. One to wash and one to wear.
I’ve got photos on the PC at home but I’m doing this in my lunch break.

I’ve seen the family two weekends running. My gran came up to visit with my aunt and very kindly gave each of us a bit of money which has been fired directly at our hopefully ever decreasing mortgage. Not huge amounts but big enough to make me feel better. I don’t need her money but apparently neither does she so its gone to good use.

I found out the posh sushi place in toombland Norwich does takeaway.. no really. That was the best £30 (for two) I’ve ever spent on takeaway food. I just LOVE sushi. I get cravings but only once in a while. Its a good job, its way too expensive to buy regularly.

I managed to shrink in to a pair of “hopeful” size trousers in the past week. It’s only taken 8 ish years since I bought them. They were only £2. Bargain even though I’ve now only worn them once.

I’ve had a big new project at work. Some comparison of ID against what sits in one database against another and against asset and all that gubbins. Nothing that can be done by a computer because none of the systems inter-relate. Once I’d finished the task I then had to re-write the process. Good fun but a real mind bender. Something to stick on my CV me thinks.

I had a day trip to Cambridge for work. I wish it was as nice as it sounds but I was in the office from 8.30am until 3.15. harsh, I came straight home for a nap.

This past bank holiday has been wonderful. I started sewing a pair of trousers for myself on Friday. We went shopping in town on Saturday for new shoes for Scotty then had a marathon movie session with finding nemo and quantum of solace. The movie may not be the best for cohesive plot but the action is great on blue ray. Then I had a bit of a cooking frenzy in the evening.

Sunday I supplied the family with the nut roast I cooked the night before. We all went for lunch at my brothers house. Then went on to Felbrigg hall local to him to take the kids on a question trail egg hunt. It was great fun and nice to see all the family having a day out together, even the dog could join in to a point. Shumba is fast becoming a very loved part of our family.

Monday I got back to the sewing machine and completed my trousers. I’m happy mostly but the waist band is terrible. It does not hold correctly and the internal stuff for stiffening I bought appears to be the wrong sort and has caused scrunching. Apart from that they were wearable on Monday for work which means I spent the whole day going round asking people if they liked my new red trousers… and that I made them. I am such a smug ba*”&$%tard.

Now I’ve got a few plans in the making. An early May holiday which the cats are now booked in for their holiday too but also their yearly jabs before their holiday. Speaking of which Otis and Jasper are good some nights but last night I could have booted them both out the top floor window. I am not good when I’ve not had enough sleep and its all their fault. If you want to see our boys visit Flickr, their latest photos are during mid groom here.

Other plans include the yearly car tax and service in May. Excitamente!

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feelin groovy.

February 12, 2009

most things are going better now. I’m almost back to normal. Working hard and enjoying having lots to do at work.

I’ve done so many little things since or during my week off that I’m not sure I’m going to be able to put it all down here without drowning you in info.

I completed a pair of socks in a week. Crikey. They are the best thing ever and I even got to wear them on my birthday. I love the yarn that Bockstark sent me and they are wonderful socks. Flickr has photos, here’s a snippet: (click image for other photos)
mount sockage!

I cleaned the kitchen, damn it needed it. I took my time whilst I was off, it was worth it.

The sinusitis is nearly gone. I cant say its completely removed. The antibiotics seem to have just about worked. I’m feeling more normal now. I spent most of the week dizzy and slightly queasy from the sinus infection. Most of it has gone now and I don’t have half as much whistling in my ears.

Daddy came over on the Wednesday of last week which was lovely. We both cried our eyes out but it got a lot out in the open that we needed and I suddenly realised, mum would not want me to be so sad. No matter how much I miss her I need to get on and look forward. A hard lesson but now I truly feel it may have been learned.

Saw the family on Saturday. We went over to Dad’s house. I got some lovely pressies. A loaf tin from Dad. A book on quick and healthy veggie cooking from my brother. Then some BEAUTIFUL yarn from my sister from the aplaca farm in her village. Plus a wedding book completed by her husband M, who took the wedding photos. It nearly made me cry it was that lovely.

Sunday I woke up in a mood to cook. Not any ordinary cookery mood either. I nipped to the shops and stocked up on a few items to make sure I had what I needed. I started by making a veggie bolognese sauce with red wine for pies and pasta and kept some back for lunch with a puff pastry pie crust. The rest was stored for later in the week.

Then I got all the root veg out of the fridge and did quorn chicken pieces and root veg stew with cider YUM and cheshere cheesy herb dumplings. This was dinner later. The rest of this also got stored. Then veggie sausage rolls to use up the puff pastry…Once all that was done it got to about 2pm we had lunch and I went for a nap. I was exhausted.

When I got up the urge to cook was still with me. I then made deep chocolate Victoria sponge with cream filling and large chocolate buttons on top. If that was not enough I then also made some lemon ginger and coconut cupcakes. Oh and Scotty made a loaf of bread. Really food for the rest of the week and cakes for me to take in to work.

 belated birthday lemon ginger coconut cupcakes

Monday, I took ALL the cakes in to work and they didn’t even last until lunch time. It was like gannets at my desk. I was very very proud of myself for home baking all the cakes and got so many great compliments. I did save a little back for Scotty but I’m just going to have to bake another one soon. Its his birthday too soon.

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too much choice, and not enough inspiration

January 25, 2008

So here is the most part of my stash. Click on the image to go to the flickr page, it has notes on most of the images and also links underneath to the original images, which in some cases have even more notes.

Now i have all this stash for a reason. To knit with it. Except my inspiration has gone. I do love fondling all of it but I still want that hat scarf and gloves for myself. I’m just not quite sure what to start on, which yarn, which pattern. I am bereft of knitting mojo and it hurts. Please help, send patterns and consider that my fingers are going stiff with boredom the longer you take to make a comment.

I do owe my blog some images of the fluff that I got from yoyo the other day. The issue and my fair excuse for it not appearing yet is that I go to work and get home in darkness. By the time I’m home or before I leave for work its still not nice enough to take quality photos of the fluff to do it justice. Hopefully this weekend will give me the time and achieve this. Also as the knitting mojo has left me and decided to shack up with kate moss (god damn I hate her for even trying knitting) which is just so unfair! Please, she gets the looks, the money, the shape and the knitting? Still I’m rather happy knowing I’ve not got some of the notches on my bed post that shes got. Give or take Johnny Depp of course.

Anyway, we have a birthday party to attend on Saturday for the twins. That will be fun and also one we will attend late so we dont have 4 hours of dealing with around 10 to 20 2 year olds. Apart from that I would like to try and dedicate my weekend to felting and flower progress. At least that is something I can do that ms Moss can not. Ha take that! In your face! because I’m the better person

oh yes.

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BOO!

October 31, 2007

BWAHAHAHA HAHA HAHAHAHAHAHA!

happy haloween.
Oh and have a VERY scary game found from Jay is Games PLEASE this is NOT suitable for anyone of a nervous disposition, or children.

Click to play The House