Thursday, 25 September 2008

I'm here, more or less.

spinning 019
Originally uploaded by Bearium

Sorry not a very inspiring title for a post but it's been a funny couple of weeks and I just can't get motivated enough to blog. So I'll leave you with a hint of one of the things I've been up to and a promise of a big update soon with lots of pictures.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

FO - Mitred booties

Mitred booties
Originally uploaded by Bearium

I've been hoarding this pattern for a while now waiting for an opportunity to knit it up and now one of my friends is about to give birth, it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Pattern: Party Popper from the December 2005 edition of Knitting Magazine.
Needles: 2.75mm bamboo dpns
Yarn: Patons Fairytale Dreamtime and Mondial Merinos Extra.

I've probably not even used half of each ball and the next time I do them I'll definately be using a self patterning yarn. There are enough ends to darn in without creating yourself extra work and adding stripes yourself!

Need more fibre in your diet?

I currently love my postman, admittedly I have been stalking him for the last few days, but today he brought me this fabulous pile of squishy fibre - nearly a kilo of it! There's 100g an amazing blue green blend of BFL that reminds me of Monet's Waterlilies and then 250g of merino in scarlet, pink and purple and to top that 500g of undyed Corriedale. I'm not quite sure what to do first spin or dye. So in the meantime I'll sit and stroke it.For someone with just a spindle this latest splurge may seem a bit excessive but I have news. Spinning wheel type news. I took myself off to Lavenham last Monday to visit the Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers and met the most wonderful bunch of ladies (and one gent). I was absolutely blown away by their welcome, they sat me down had a chat, offered me some tuition and then uttered those magic words, "would you like to try my wheel?". They were incredibly patient as I messed up time and again but I loved it. I got to try an Ashford Traditional (which coincidentally was for sale), a Louet S10 a Kromski Polonaise (I think) and a Sonata. I think the Sonata was probably my favourite, the double treadle action seemed to be really smooth and I definately found it easier to master. Still a Sonata is a bit out of my price range for now but I can dream. I enjoyed myself so much I found myself signing up for membership there and then and to top it all, one of the members is going to loan me a wheel. She's moved onto an Ashford Traveller but has an old traditional sitting in her spare room unused. She just happens to be passing through Colchester on Friday so I'm going to meet her and collect it. Whoohoo!!

Learning to spin with a wheel is like learning to drive a car all over again but I can't wait to getting cracking. Roll on Friday I say!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

15 minutes of fame

Did I mention some while back I went on a secret knitting mission and got paid for it? I think I did and I've been meaning to blog about this again for a while. Anyhow, see those new batch of Lets Knit knitting demonstration videos, the ones from July onwards? that's me that is!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

On the needles

So in between trying to get everything updated for the shop, getting ready for the start of the new term and dealing with "the family" and what could turn be an ongoing problem with my grand parents, sometimes I do actually knit.

I managed to get my parcel posted finally for the UK Swap and the best news is that Caroline seems to be quite pleased with it. I forgot to take a picture of the bits before I posted it but if you wander past her blog here, you can take a look.
Having been bought a set of Addi Lace needles (thanks again Machelle), I've also rediscovered my love for the Mystery Shawl. I fixed the mistake and it's now going swimmingly. Well, fudged the mistake would probably be a better description. Having unpicked it and redone the increase row twice already there was no way on this earth I was going to do it again. Two extra stitches? no problem! A couple of discreetly placed extra decreases later and I defy you to find the "corrections". I have also discovered though that while I can sit and knit lace in front of the tv, taking it along to SnB is one step too far. We gossip too much for me to concentrate! Also, (sorry I'm wittering on a bit tonight) you see that tucked under the shawl? I finally got my sticky mitts on a copy of A Gathering of Lace and I am so going to have to find the money and buy a copy - it's superb! I'm always a bit reluctant to just send away for books as I like to know I'm actually going to get some use out of them first. The local book shops will always order things in but they don't carry a stock of knitting books, Colchester is obviously considered just a bit too provincial and probably not trendy enough. So I now have another whole set of things to add to my to do list.
More often these days I spin or dream about spinning. My latest ram raid on the Essex library service netted me these and I've been devouring them ever since. I would dearly love to buy a wheel but I just can't justify it at the moment. Unfortunately there are too many other things that have had to take priority (grr, Clarkes shoes!) and there's also the possibility of a trip to Australia in the next few months. Just the small matter of cutting through the bureaucratic nightmare that is our education system to make it actually happen. So anyhow I've been investigating the possibility of actually making one myself. I think I need to do a bit of further investigation but it could happen. Maybe. That is if I can resist the lure of ebay and the chap who's selling reconditioned Louet's and I can get over the "I want it and I want it now" thing that I have going on at the moment.So while I wait for my newest parcel of fibre to arrive, here's some progress pictures. Singles number two and three from the spindle. I still haven't plied these yet as they are so completely different and I also got sidetracked by the rest of the undyed Corriedale that came with this. I was in the middle of sorting out the stuff for my swap parcel when I suddenly thought, I know why don't I dye it and spin it up. After having a bit of a panic that I'd felted it by accident (I was probably being a bit impatient about it drying) it actually turned out rather nicely. When my new fibre arrives I think I might try and repeat this colourway or something similar to it for myself.

New Bags!

Time for a quick shop update as today I'm adding the first of my hand bags so here's a sneaky peak. So long as the power doesn't go off again I'll be adding the rest of the yarn too. I've also had my first sale too (thanks Annette). Rightyho, best get a wriggle on or it'll be time for the next round of the school run again.