Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fibre East, Ysolda and such like

Well, the last few weekends have been amazing! I've done lots of crafty things and now I'm finally getting around to sharing them with you...

So, lets start with some knitting. After I finished the tam, I decided that I needed to do something with all the yarn I still had. After a false start on a feather and fan pattern I was trying to make up, I created these simple mittens. I've done a raglan thumb for ease of knitting.

Handspun mittens

There is even still a little yarn left! I'm thinking about making some flowers or something with it. Any ideas?

Leftover handspun

Well, my dear mum saw the hat I made and she liked it so much that she asked me to make her one! So, I took some yarn I dyed myself (with natural plant dyes, no less) and set about making another one.

Naturally Dyed

and here it is:

Mum's hat

I made it exactly like the hand-spun version, same mods and everything. :)

Well, that's about all the knitting I've done lately. Well - that's finished anyway!

The weekend before last was very wet, but that didn't stop us from visiting the Bishop Wilton Show. There were some lovely exhibits in the craft part of the show, though not many - I think people were put off by the weather. However, we'll go again next year!
The Sunday saw the Malton show, an altogether larger event. The exhibits at this show were also of a very high standard. (I'm thinking about entering something myself next year!) I especially enjoyed walking around the chicken, duck and rabbit section. While we were wandering round, I cam across a man who makes crochet hooks, and I couldn't resist this one

jumbo crochet hook

It's in excess of 10mm, and will be great for some rugs I want to crochet out of old fabric scraps.

Last weekend was Fibre East. It's a small festival in Thurleigh, Bedfordshire. I love fibre festivals! This was on the smaller side, but no less exciting. We knew it was going to be a good day when we started with a very nice cuppa and Hubby had a bacon butty. I wandered around for a while and oogled lots of nice things. I did pick up a long cable for moebius and some 3mm tips for the Fyberspates Lace.

I also bought this lovely thick 4ply Shetland. It's so soft and yet sturdy. Love the colour too! The chap said it would take dye well, but I think it's nice as it is.

Shetland 4ply

I stopped by Woodland Turnery and picked up this rather nice inch gauge (that's for working out the WPI or Wraps Per Inch of a yarn)

Inch Gauge

And this mini niddy noddy, which is shown here with my standard sized Ashford niddy noddy.

Mini niddy noddy

I ummed and aahed about my last purchase, mostly because I already have over 1000g of alpaca fibre which is to be spun.
But the colour was so nice! It's rose-grey, which is a kind of pinkish tinged grey, though I have a bit of brown and a bit of white in the bag too...

Bag of Alpaca

Now all I have to do is spin it, and make it into something nice!

Well, last but not least...
On Friday Ysolda Teague visited York.
I went along to try on some of the samples from her new book Little Red in the City and to get my own signed copy. (woot!)

I even managed to get a photo with her, which was nice!

Ysolda's visit

Ysolda was really lovely, just as you'd expect from reading her blog.
I almost bought a sweater-worth of yarn too, but it turned out that there were only 4 balls of the colour I fancied. Shame, but probably for the best. I'll have to use some of the yarn I already have!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


So, last time I posted, I was showing you my new handspun hat. However, I did say
"It does still need blocking, to make it less pointy and more wavy."
Well, I finally got around to it, I dug out a loose-bottom pie tin which was a good size for blocking this hat with, and smooshed it into a tam shape.
Handspun Hat - Blocked
Once it was on the pie tin, (bottom off) I sprayed it with water to make it damp (not wet) and the left it overnight to dry.
Handspun Hat - Blocked
This morning, it's a lovely shape, though the rib has lost some of its stretch, as you'd expect.
Handspun Hat - Blocked
and it looks more star shaped and less pointy when I wear it.
Handspun Hat - Blocked
Of course, today the sun has come out and it's not really warm enough to wear a hat. I guess it will have to wait on the hat rack until the weather is right. Cold enough for a bit of a hat, but not cold enough to want your ears covered!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Another Handspun FO

After the success of the bookmark I present a hat!

Yes, I finished the hat that I cast on last week, and I’m working on some matching mittens now. I’m totally hooked on working with my handspun; it is lush! Credit where it’s due, it’s really thanks to the fibre.

Star Hat - complete!

It does still need blocking, to make it less pointy and more wavy. I’ll have to think about making a template in the correct shape…

Star Hat - complete!

Pattern: Star Hat by Tetiana Otruta
Yarn: Handspun Bonkers Fibre, Flamingo, approx. DK/Worsted, 76yds
Needles: 6mm circular
Modifications: Instead of SKPsso used SSK, changed the purl rows in the decrease section to be the same as those in the feather and fan pattern.
Verdict: I love this hat! The pattern was nice and easy, quick and satisfying. I love twisted rib anyway! I’m glad that I chose this for my handspun! Now I just need to work out how to block it properly.

Star Hat - complete!

PS. We've adopted some Robrovski hamsters, named Bill and Ben. So cute. Expect to hear more about them!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Regaining my mojo

I found the cure for my lack of desire to knit.

I’ve started working on a hat, the pattern is Star Hat by Tetiana Otruta.

I was going to make a Moebius Cowl (Rav Link) by Cat Bordhi, but my 6mm circular needle is only 80cm long, and I really would need a longer needle. (I did try, it wasn’t happening)

Well, then I had my yarn all wound into a ball, and I was determined to knit something with it! It looks lovely in the cake, the transition of the colours really shows well.

Handspun hat in progress

Anyway, I found the Star Hat pattern – it’s written for Noro Kureyon. My yarn is not really the same, it’s a 3ply rather than a single, and it’s merino bamboo rather than 100% wool. But so far it’s looking good. I just hope that my 205yds is enough!

I’ve just finished the twisted rib, and I’m moving on to the main pattern. It’s a pretty simple feather and fan type of pattern which I like the look of on the pattern page. I hope mine looks as nice when it’s done!

Handspun hat in progress

Sadly I have to spend some time away from my knitting just now. I have cards to make. This is irritating because if I had thought of that before I wound the handspun, I might have been less sorry to stop knitting! Haha.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


Something I’m sadly lacking right now is inspiration. I don’t feel inspired to finish my current WIPs. I don’t want to start any new ones until I do.

I’ve been working on the thank you cards for our wedding. They’re getting there, and despite being quite simple I think they’re going to be pretty.

One way that I get myself inspired is to sort out my crafty stuff. I might need to invest in some more storage; given the amount of fleece I’ve been given! My dad’s managed to source me a fleece, though I’m not sure of the breed it looks and feels really nice. My neighbour has given me several pluckings of her Soay sheep (they don’t get shorn like regular sheep) and my other neighbour has said she has a fleece in her garage for me. That’s on top of the two fleeces a friend already gave me (though they could be quite pooey, I don’t know. I need to get on and check it out.) I’m not sure what the best way to store those will be, but I’m pretty sure that in random bags in my garage is not it. I guess the best bet will be to make a start on sorting it all, and then anything not worth spinning can go into the compost!

Other than that, though, I have a pretty big mass of prepared fibre I could be working with. Everything from merino silk to alpaca roving! I have rare breed sheep fleece, washed and carded, or washed alpaca locks (so soft!), or coloured merino silk, hand dyed Jacob…
My creation

And then the yarn, so much yarn! I have laceweight silk, laceweight merino, 4ply in so many varieties, DK angora, Aran weight wool or cotton and chunky wool too.

My creation

(And that’s not even all of it! There are 170 types of yarn and fibre in my stash, 340 balls, skeins, bags or braids)

Oddly, even in writing this I feel more inspired! Perhaps I’d better stop off at B&Q and buy a bucket, and oil my wheel, and sort out all of my needles ready for all these projects I’m about to begin!

I do have 10 pages of queued items on Ravelry too, 282 possible projects...

Oh well, it should keep me busy!