Sunday, April 13, 2008

Here's the finished Wiggle Socks for baby Ollie:
They are really soft to touch!

And I'm so pleased with the results, I've decided to use Cat Bordhi's magic number system to use the alpaca/wool handspun to knit a pair of 'philosopher's socks' from the same book. And I've started on the toe today. I can't believe how satisfying it is to see a yarn I've spun myself turn into a garment. Lor, I am such a geek.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

More handspun baby socks:
I purchased Cat Bordhi's 'New Pathways for Sock Knitters' Book One, t'other day - and thought a pair of Charlie's Wiggle Socks would be a good project for using up more of my handspun rainbow merino from Wingham Wool Works. This is the last of the rainbow merino (I bought just over 100gm of fluff in three different colourways and I'm very tempted to purchase some more) - and it's a wonderful ginger/rust/gold/green colour - reminds me of the hedera leaf. I've already spun and knit up the first wiggle sock - it looks great and feels so soft. This is a very bad picture of the first little sock before I used EZ's sewn cast off - taken in the sun this morning. Then I took the dogs for a walk and spun the rest of the fluff you can see on the table above. This is the finished single spun yarn nestled amongst the violets. That's a better representation of the colour than in the first picture.
And here I am about to andean ply it.

Isn't that granite waymarker great?

Meanwhile, Tilly the arthritic one had wondered off and got herself lost. MUCH drama - she is deafer than me so can't hear me shout her name! Fortunately she's got a tag on her collar with her name and my phone number (as well as the vet's). A certain kind Donna picked her up about a half hour later (Tilly had been busy retracing our footsteps) and Donna phoned the vet - who advised her to take Tilly to my neighbour's (as my neighbour's daughter works at said Vet's). Meanwhile, Syd had decided to take advantage of my distracted state and roll in a dead sheep. One bath later and alls well that ends well.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

As may have been observed, I've been obsessed with using my Ashford drop spindle since I bought it at Skip North.
It spins so fine - and it's portable and I can do it while I'm walking the dogs. Tilly is so slow these days, what with her arthritis and the fact that she likes to sniff every blade of grass en route - our walks take twice as long, so spindling is ideal while I'm waiting for her to catch up.
Here's a skein of angora/wool that I spun from the fuzz that my secret pal sent me way back in July . I can see the progress I've made - it's so much more even than anything I've done so far, I think. I photographed it outside with some grape hyacinths - it's been lovely weather the last couple of days - like someone pulled a 'Spring' switch! DH saw a swallow. Beware though - snow showers forecast for the weekend...

Maylin sent kindly sent me some purple dyed yarn from her own goats (along with a load of other goodies) when she heard I'd got my spinning wheel (and as a birthday present) - I've only just got round to spinning some of that up - one of these skeins was carded before spinning, the other wasn't.

Anyway, DH and I were invited round to a friends for supper on Saturday, so OF COURSE I took my newly acquired spindle to show it off - that’ll teach me - got talking, drinking and then suddenly realised it had disappeared. Looked around, and after several minutes found it. In the dogbasket, being gnawed on by my friend’s Jack Russell.

Now I realise what soft wood it’s made of! It still functions - after a fashion - even with great gouges taken out of it. Look at those teeth marks in the shaft and the huge bites in the whorl - in the pic below.

Here you can see the little skeins of yarn I've been spinning from the 'rainbow' dyed merino from Winghams Woolworks in Wentworth (the same fuzz that the Saatje's bootees were spun from).

I felt in dire need of consolation and ‘tlc’ (t’was such a shock, you understand), so I’ve gone and ordered a Golding RingSpindle all the way from the States as compensation. See the Purpleheart 2" 'sweetheart' spindle on this page. Well - it had to be, you all understand, don’t you?

I've had a touch of 'startitis' of late too - I won't own up to all the castings on, but I will show you the Baby Surprise Jacket I finished. I've wanted to knit the BSJ by Elizabeth Zimmerman ever since I first read about it - the construction looked fascinating. I finally got around to ordering the pattern from the Schoolhouse Press and it arrived promptly. Had to cast on immediately - used (washable soft left over) stash I already had (feels very virtuous!) - and tried the fibonacci stripe patterning. It knits up very quickly - only took a couple of evenings to end up with this:

And here it is all sewed up. I made a teenytiny mistake in the shaping on the left front which only I know about, right? Noone will notice if I don't keep going on about it. The little coat reminded me of a Chinese smoking jacket, so I used Chinese type metal buttons (that have also been sitting around in my button box) to fasten it with. It has a home already - I caught a neighbour's baby on Monday night (lovely home birth) - and turns out these colours are Mum's favourite. So this cardigan goes to Baby Isla with lots of love.