Thursday, January 25, 2007

Snowed in

I'm a bit late posting with the results of last Fridays Spinning. It actually took me most of the weekend off and on to finish this orange skein.

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I am not very practiced at doing anything less than chunky so it seemed like really hard work to spin this fine. And not very even but I am getting better. Unlike Judy, the Spindling Scot, who spins beautiful even lace weight, metres and metres of it. I am so in awe. I really liked the colour and shine on this. Here is a close up.

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It is for my Spin to Knit pal. I also dyed her the superwash merino roving in purple, orange and magenta.

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I then packaged it all up for her with a few extra goodies ready to post on Tuesday. But... we have been snowed in since then. This is the view up the road.

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I had forgotten to take my camera off macro mode so the photos are a bit blurry. The garden is looking picturesque.

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But the cats have a thing or two to say about the situation.

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Poor Fish (who is pretty big) was sinking so far in his belly didn't clear the drifts. It is funny seeing cat paw prints everywhere sunk so deep.

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It does make our rather dilapidated yurts look quite romantic though.

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And everything in the garden is so pretty.

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See our trusty landrover in the background? It helped us make our way to the local village shop yesterday but it was closed. Even the landie was skidding around but we did get to rescue the postman from a snowdrift. It is due to get even colder over night, -6c, and not rise above zero tomorrow but then we are back to +8c for the weekend so we should get to the post office and shops then.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday Night Spinners

Tonight is my first night joining the Friday Night Spinners.

Which is good as I have stuff to do for my Spin to Knit swap partner. I posted previously with a picture of the yarns I was going to mix. I sorted them into piles to card. Orange wool, alpaca and mohair with tussah silk and some copper glittery stuff.

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I made 5 piles but it was too much for each batt and I ended up with 8 batts.

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This is a close up.

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I will post pictures of what I spin on Monday along with the other Friday Night Spinners.

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Sunday, January 14, 2007


I am currently involved in 2 spinning swaps. The first is Spin to Knit and I received my first skein from my pal yesterday. 70 m of a lovely tussah silk in beautiful hand dyed pinks, greys and mauves with a lovely subtle sheen. I must find something special to make with this.

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The second is
Spin me a Treasure an international swap based in France. My spoilee is into natural colours rather than vibrant colours so this was my starting point.

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A creamy carded wool from local sheep. A mixture of carded kid mohair (from a friends goats), angora (from local rabbits) and silk. The ball is a very fine 2 ply silk and a necklace of mother of pearl chips. I intend to spin the fibres into quite a bulky yarn, possibly flamme and then ply with the silk 2ply threaded with the mother of pearl. Something completely new for me.

The result is slightly coiled which I quite like.

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I wasn't sure how frequently or how evenly to place the mother of pearl so I went with every 30-120 cm roughly and tried not to make it regular. I was concerned that the beads would wear on the thread as I slid them down and it did in fact break twice. I just tied a knot and trimmed the ends and it hardly shows.

Getting back to Spin to Knit, this is what I have organised for my spoilee.

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My spoilee likes orange and is very easy to please so this is my starting point. Orange wool (left), alpaca (middle), and mohair (right). In front from left tussah silk, trilobal shiny stuff in a copper colour, soysilk and recycled sari silk fibre. Time to get the drum carder out.

I have joined the Friday Night Spinners an will get the button up soon.

Here is some recent spinning.
The pink is local wool plied with a grey/purple mohair (my own goats)
The blue is shetland and kid mohair.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

FO and UFO's

First finished object of 2007, and it is a Christmas present (late). I have 2 follicully (spelling?) challenged brothers and a similar son. Since they all seem to wear beanies (only black of course) I thought I would make them in some really soft (but not girly) yarn. This is Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk. Lovely to knit but with a slight tendency to split and deliciously soft. For the next one I will increase the rate of decrease near the crown to flatten the top a bit more and maybe alternate the decreases between left and right slanting and see what that looks like.

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Next up ... the table of shame. My UFOs after I frogged the ones I wasn't going to complete and removed the 4 crochet projects that currently hurt my hands.

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1. Keiths brown shetland jumper that I spun and knit him and which he burnt a hole in the back of by leaning against the rayburn once too often - to repair.

2. A little damage to a tank I knitted him that needs repair.

3. Cardigan from my own handspun almost completed but not sure I have enough yarn so may have to alter it a bit (approximately 19 years old!)

4. Cushion cover in Colinette Fandango and sari silk - halfway through one side.

5. Pink chenille lotus bud bag - 25% complete.

6. Sari silk bag, too wide and shallow, need to lengthen it.

7. Shorty cardigan from Rowan pattern (adjusted) in Colinette Point 5

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8. Triangular garter shawl in Colinette Silky Chic and a commercial boucle.

9. Fingerless gauntlets in Colinette Tagliatelli 47% complete.

10. Isabeau Tote in SWTC Oasis Soysilk

11. Pair of baby boottes - one done. Of course there is an incentive to finish these now.

12. A scarf in SWTC Melody.

13. A triangular shawl in some strange yarn I got from Prudence Mapstones stand at Ally Pally.

14. A coat in Colinette Shimmer 5.

Also currently on the needles (begun this year) another beanie hat in Sublime and the Swallowtail Shawl from Interweave Fall 06

Thursday, January 11, 2007

In 2007 I will...

Ok I guess it is time to set my New Year determinations in stone. So in no particular order...

In 2007 I would like to:-

1. Be a better correspondent, especially to my mother.

2. To aid myself in this I need to consolidate my address book. It was difficult sending out Christmas cards since as you can see (this is just a representative sample!) I have addresses in a multitude of old diaries, notebooks and bits of paper. I have been known to send birthday presents to old addresses since I lose track of which is up to date. Time to change.

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3. Sell more on eBay than I buy. In financial terms that is, I have already sold some DVDs and made a lose as I didn't realise the postage charges had gone up or how much Paypal charged for the privilege of using them.

4. UFO's - all projects currently in progress (I will be posting on this soon) to be completed or frogged by midsummer.

5. In future I will make notes on or label ALL projects. Especially if I make alterations to existing patterns or make it up as I go along. Hopefully then I will avoid the situation of some of my current UFOs where I have no idea what I was doing or why the pattern with the project seems to bear no relation to the work in progress.

6. I want to knit more from my stash. I am even considering joining the Knit from your Stash 2007 movement. I need to fine tune the rules though to make sure I will be able to stick to it.

7. Talking of stashes, I have more than just yarn. In particular I have in excess of 250 silk shirts left over from some that I bought from the recyclers to tear up and knit. Unfortunately some of them were just to good to contemplate tearing up and they have become presents, been sold on stalls etc. Now, though it is time to deal with the rest. (If anyone out there has a desire for a silk shirt, email me the size, colour and any other desires and I may just have one to suit!).

8. Ditto to 7), I have a large stash of wool jumpers etc from jumble sales (that's what I do when I visit the UK) which I was going to felt and make stuff with, so I need to get on with that.

9. Every year I endeavour to read at least 10 books by authors I have not read before. I have always managed it and appreciated it. I am reading less these days though so I think I will set my self the target of 5 by authors I haven't read (I am talking fiction here not knitting) and 5 recommendations I wouldn't normally have read. I am going to start by reading something by Sheri Tepper on the recommendation of my SP8, Lorena.

10. I shy off the usual 'lose weight and get fit' resolution since for years I would resolve but not do. However I am inspired by my Funky Scarf pal, Linda, who has lost loads of weight. I definitely need to do something about my health as I have suffered a lot of joint pain lately which I am sure can be helped by diet so I will leave it at a determination to prioritise my health.

11. Of course I want to knit, last year I wanted to get to grips with cables which I did and this year I want to tackle lace. I also want to make lots more gloves. They are nice portable projects, make great gifts and a little of some really yummy yarn goes a long way. Like socks there are thousands of styles and designs and I would like to experiment and investigate. So for me 2007 is the Year of the Glove.

12. I want to blog a bit more and to lurk less and comment more on other blogs.

13. Well that is a nice balanced number. So to round it of I would like to try to live more by the buddhist principles I ascribe to. In my dealings with others to communicate from my higher self to their higher self. To take responsibility for all my words and deeds and accept the consequences. To try and live more in the moment and not worry about the past or future too much. To attempt to create value in everything I do. To be happy.

'Nuff said.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

X-Rated, not for those of a nervous disposition - really

It has been apparent for some years now that we have killers in our midst. With at least 2 distict modus (or should that be modi?) operandi it is clear that there is more than one perpetrater and that the links between crime scenes suggest one or more serial killers.

In the last couple of weeks there has been an escalation with 1 to 5 murders a day.

A recent crime scene.

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The usual suspects.

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Caught in the Act

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Enjoying the rest of the wicked

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