Sunday, 30 June 2013

Another OPAM finish!

I have only just finished my energised scarf and have it blocked onto my ironing board.  It didn't really take that long to knit but I have been busy working on other things too.


I have also just finished combing out my collection of 'fairy floss' lol.  This is with the rest of the matching fleece which is a border leicester cross.  Hopefully in October I will be able to purchase another of these fleeces at shearing time.

Now I took Mum back over to Tongala so she could get some things and I wanted some black merino to go with the fibre I am spinning for Lance's socks.  So when her new carder comes we will be able to turn that lovely box of fairy floss into some mixed batts for spinning.  I also decided to buy us a kilo each of English Leicester.  It has such a beautiful lustre when washed.

Here it is prewashed.

and all washed and one piece prepped.

The staple length is about 8" long when prepped for spinning.

Also to arrive was some beautiful kid mohair that I stumbled across on eBay of all places.  The lovely lady in S.A. used to raise these goats on a farm and it is so soft and beautiful.  I am looking forward to blending some into the jelly sock batts.

Apart from some secret sewing I have made a few more cards to top up the box.  I had another sympathy card to make which I forgot to photograph before sending it off.

There has also been some more knitting on my alpaca blue scarf and some spinning but as it is nothing new I wont worry about boring you all with more photos of the same things lol.  Well off for a bit of a catch up on bloglovin and then some more secret sewing and spinning I think.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Weird things happening ...

in the kitchen.  There was an article in the latest 'yarn' magazine that was all about dying wool with jelly!  Yes jelly.  So with the heater being too smart and cutting out on me yesterday I decided to scour clumps of fleece and have a play.  Plenty of hot water to keep the hands warm and thankfully someone came to reset the heating unit in the afternoon.  This morning I thought I could do lots more so set to again.  Now there is a pile of wet fleece that still smells slightly like sweet jelly hanging over the bath.  This includes some more grey merino to go with the blue tops.

This is where we started.  After scouring dirty brown looking Border Leicester Cross fleece in 50g lots it was well drained and then put into a microwave safe container to which 500ml hot water into which a packet of aeroplane original jelly crystals were mixed, 450ml cold water and about 25/30ml of Cornwall's white vinegar.   This is then chucked in my 1000watt microwave for 5 mins.  Then you let it cool in the mixture until the wool looks like it has taken all the colour of the jelly and the water left looks like there is either little or no colour left in it.  Then you give it a warm rinse and dry it somewhere shady.

Now the cheap no name jelly crystals do not work.  I did one packet of these yesterday and redyed it this morning as it was meant to be green but was a lovely soft lemon.  I have not tried the natural colours and flavours one but am going to assume it wouldn't take either.  

Just to prove it here's some pictures.

In this pic we have the portwine, lime and orange flavours

and here is the grape, bubblegum, raspberry and lemon flavours  with some lovely white  border leicester cross.  The white was already pre-combed and de-seeded.  The three colours from yesterday were still in their uncombed state but will comb or card up beautifully.

Well they just look like fairy floss according to Grace. 

This last pic is what the blue, pink, yellow and green come up plied with a white.  Very pretty and no where near as strong looking.

Blue crochet socks

Here's another finish for OPAM.  Love the crochet socks as they work up very quickly and also even though they are a little bumpy lumpy when they first go on they are so comfortable.  There were from the Bendigo Woollen Mills sock wool and there is about 35gms left on the ball.  So yes they do take more wool than knitted but I don't think it really matters much.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Cards and more socks

I needed a Sympathy card in a hurry so made these two up this morning.  I prefer not to have words on my cards but to let the handwritten message inside express what we want to say.

I also started another crochet sock yesterday and almost got it done!  This will only take about 15 mins to finish off the toe and then I can get going on its mate tonight.  While in Bendigo on Saturday I stopped off at the Bendigo Woollen Mills to see if they still had some bags of mohair fibre and they didn't so I had a look around instead and found a pile of sock yarn instead.  This is crocheting up smaller than the other socks but the fit is exactly the same.   I believe it to be a better yarn because the stretch needed is perfect because it is a wool/nylon blend and is a true 4ply sock yarn.

Now what to get up to today.  I think I might chuck a coat on Tess and take her for a walk along the river before it starts raining again.  Fine and sunny here at the moment after a frost.  Then I might just have to do some spinning in the sunshine lol.  Or some stitching also featuring that nice warm sunny window. 

Saturday, 15 June 2013

OPAM finish!

Well the socks are finished!  Such a quick way of doing them that I might experiment with some more over the next week.  Need to get a few other things worked on in the meantime lol.

Like spinning this up so I can get some socks made for Lance.  It is a merino/bamboo mixed roving available from over at Tongala.  I thought a couple of bags of this would go great with some of the dark grey fleece I already have and even plyed together and I would have plenty of options for socks. 

The real reason for going to Tongala on Wednesday was to pick these hand carders up that I ordered last week.  Plus I was able to take my mum over for a look too.  She bought some lovely circular needles with bamboo on the ends as they are now easier for her to knit with as the weight is sitting in your lap rather than on your shoulders and hands.  Plus she also got 4 lots of a soft pink through to grey blend as well.  I believe she is heading back over on Monday with Pa to pick up another couple of bags in the hope she might get a jacket out of it.  I recon Pa will be a bit nervous as to what else might find its way home lol.  Last time, to a different lady, there was 10kg of different fleeces in the back of the car.  Mind you one of those bags did come to my house.  But she was very cheap with her fleece and it is a bit like collecting fabric really.  Now has that got you really nervous now Pa!

So that's about all that I can show as some of the sewing is secrets sewing for my santa sack.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Crochet sock

Well after pulling out bits at certain stages and redoing them I almost have a crochet sock ready to wear lol.  Now not bad for a first off but by tonight I should have the toe finished and the second one well on the way.  I have used some thin 5ply to make this one as a test but they will make great bed socks and are not too thick either.  So with the right sized sock yarn I might just be on a winner lol.

I also decided to restart the zig zag scarf on Saturday night and it looks much better with an edging stitch and deeper strips.  Will take a photo of it later.

Now these two gorgeous balls are waiting until I spin up the other 600gms.  I think it is pretty close to an 8ply too which is handy.

Busy with things in the morning and then as it is going to be nice and wet again I will be happily inside spinning, knitting and starting on my secret sewing for the santa sack over the next few days. 

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Post FNWF and an OPAM and also a birthday stash item

Today I have finished the 2nd pin cushion and hemmed my jeans.  Now I know you can see white in the hem at the moment but after it is washed you do not see it.  So both things only took about 3/4hrs and would have been very achievable last night lol. 

Next, while doing loads of washing, I chose a pattern for the 'birthday' wool.

Now why people think it is necessary to wear a leather belts over knits is beyond me.  Looks incredibly stupid really.

So that got me to 8am and wondering what to do next.  Decided on a DVD and have a play with the energised yarn.  Energised basically means an over spun single,  ie not plied together.  It essentially knits sideways.  For it to show better on my scarf I should have made the stripes deeper but I am happy with the result and the slubs in it are ok too. 

It is a beautiful yarn to knit with as it is so soft. 

Then after all that it was lunchtime and walked the doogie for a while and have now decided to pull out some yarn and hook and see if I can crochet a sock lol.  I think that is the to do list covered plus a couple of extra's.  Now I need to concentrate on not making any more knitting projects as I still have a pair of socks, Lance's jumper, blue scarf and white scarf on the list. 

Hope everyone else had a wonderful FNWF too.

Friday, 7 June 2013

FNWF results

8am and the ironing and dishes are done.  Off for a few groceries and a fabric shop after the school run.  The day is going well.

10am Fabric in wash and having a very delicious lemon tart for morning tea.  Traced out the stitchery for the xmas swap sack but that is secret sewing so no pics lol.

Next I finished spinning up the grey bobbin and decided since it was so nice and relaxing sitting in the sun that I would go ahead and ply them too.  So from two single bobbins I have ended up with two full bobbins plied!  Went further than I thought which is good. 

 Here it is skeined off and washed.  It is a bit lighter than the photo and will hopefully look great knitted up.  I have a fair bit more to spin before I have a jumper lot.  

 While I had the skeiner set up I wound off my white homespun.  This is the energised yarn so it is not going to knit up straight.  Instead it will want to head off to one side so I have found a pattern which will allow it to zig/zag itself as a scarf.

 While waiting for Grace at piano lessons tonight I worked another 11/2 inches on my scarf.  The scarf is just over a mtr long now but the ball of wool doesn't seem to be shrinking much.  So I might end up with enough to do a thinner scarf as well.  We'll have to see when this one is finished.  

Now it is after tea and I am going to settle down to do some more knitting.  I think I might leave the hems and pin cushion until tomorrow now.  Almost got to the end of my list but those germs have given me a bit of a headache and I am tired.

Friday Night With Friends

Its here!  I am going to make a day of it and have quite a few things on the list that I would like to achieve today lol.  I am so looking forward to spending it doing things I want to do rather than all the things I should do re ironing lol although really there is only 10 things to iron.  I'm still fairly choked up with this bug but am much better than I was.  We'll see how much energy I can summon up.

Choose fabric for xmas swap sack and trace out design and start embroidery.
Finish spinning a bobbin of grey fleece to ply off tomorrow. (very close)
Hem a pair of jeans.
Iron those 10 items lol.
Sew up second SKOW pin cushion.
Do some knitting on my lace scarf (just past the half way mark!)
Wind that energised yarn from a few weeks ago into balls so I can knit it.
Maybe have a go at some crochet socks!  Could get interesting but maybe it should wait until I am less fuzzy in the head lol.

As for tea tonight, its going to be pizza! (and I'm not cooking them either)

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Santa Sack Swap

I've just very eagerly signed up for the Santa Sack Swap over on Cheryll's blog
So looking forward to doing some very secret sewing over the next 4 months for it and then all the suspense of not being able to open our parcels until Xmas day!  I might actually get some surprises this year lol.

Not a lot has been happening here as Grace has been one very sick girl for the last 7-10 days and had kindly passed on her horrible chesty cold to me in the last three days lol.  I cant remember the last time something made me so sick that all I feel like doing is lying around in bed.  So not me!  Hopefully it will leave me quicker than it has Grace because I had all these great plans for some creative goings on this week.