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Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Spinning at The Threshing Barn

Well quickly I HAVE to say that Woolfest was AMAZING!! (Blog to follow soon!)

But...before I get onto that I feel I should fulfill my promise to tell you about all the wisdom Janet passed on to me the other week with regards to spinning. I had the most wonderful day down at The Threshing Barn; I had prepared some bits and bobs before I went and spent the day learning and creating some really lush and funky yarns!

So, here are the pictures...


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First a pink, chunky, slubby yarn in Merino plied with one of the samples I got in the Fibreholics sample box- this is just so soft it's unbelievable; the only thing I'm disappointed with is that I spun in some sparkly ric-rac braid with the subbly base and it looked rubbish!

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Next my beaded purple yarn- I am really pleased with this! It was spun with a thick clockwise and a thin anticlockwise, plied anticlockwise; holding the thin ply tight allowing the thicker to wrap around it forming 'beads' on the yarn. Again it's in Merino and feels so nice to the touch- it's not so even all over but for my first attempt I'm really pleased and will definitely do another like it!

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Then there's this little gem- literally it sparkles- its got lots of little beads all over threaded onto silk hanky (unspun) plied around a crazy carded pink base with silk waste and throwsters to add texture!

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But this has to be my favourite! I LOVE IT! A mixed merino and fabric cabled yarn (2 2 plys plied together) The base is a mix of colours that were taken from the silk fabric I spun it with and the result is a really chunky colourful art yarn- Lush!

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And last but by no means least my first attempt at a boucle yarn! Not so good but I understand the principle now at least- very time consuming!

So as you can see I had a really busy day, producing lots of exciting results! I hope you like them!

Happy Browsing x

Monday, 21 June 2010

Pretty Little Flower

So, I planned to do this when I had completed my hat but I just didn't have the right yarn at the time- but....when I took my visit to the Black Sheep to get my cotton yarn (for Flannel #2) I found (in the bargain £1 bin) a ball of the most gorgeous mustard coloured Mohair yarn by Jaeger no less! Well I just had to have it and when I got home it struck me that this would be THE perfect yarn for the corsage I had in my mind for on my hat!

So here it is...

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I crocheted three separate ruffled circles and attached them together using a red button with a brooch pin on the reverse so the corsage can be worn separately from the hat to wear as a brooch, decorate a bag or maybe attached to a piece of ribbon and used as a hair band? So many possibilities for this one simple little item!

So now I'm in love with the pattern- it's just SO easy! I've got another two done just not photographed yet and when I get around to it I will write the pattern down and get it on here so you can have a go too!

Also on the way is a new yarn which I spun at the weekend and the results of the amazing day I spent with my spinning teacher/mentor Janet from The Threshing Barn! My new yarn is a coil in Maroon and Navy- the texture of it is simply lush!

Any how, that's to come but it's Woolfest this weekend AND I'm getting a drum carder which I am sooo excited about! Woolfest is just the perfect opportunity to get some really interesting fibres to try it out with so that will hopefully be on the way soon too. I'm at such a frustrating point though with my spinning and I just don't know what to do- I've had all these possibilities opened up to me by Janet and now I've got too many ideas and I can't spin them fast enough to get them out of my system! Aargh!

Happy Knitting from a frustrated spinner x

Monday, 14 June 2010

So Many Patterns, So Little Time...

So...after the success of my first flannel (Flannel #1), I decided to attempt another one! I also made a case for my boyfriend's iphone which I thought I'd share with you too- so 2 patterns today!

First up-Flannel #2.

This flannel is slightly bigger than the first and also completely square (21 x 21cm) which I am rather proud of. It is simply a double crochet stitch using some yarn which I bought (after the success of the 50% cotton yarn and the first Flannel) which was soya cotton (Sublime- 50% soya sourced viscose and 50% cotton). This yarn felt much nicer than the first even though there wasn't much difference- and I love the colour too!


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So, for this flannel, you will need:

  • 50g ball of a cotton based yarn (you will not need all of this).
  • 1 pair of 4mm knitting needles.
  • General items for tying off and weaving in ends.

The gauge is not crucial for the pattern so don't worry!

Key: dc=double crochet

To Begin:

  1. Create a 35 chain base chain.
  2. Rows 1-41 dc into each chain in the base chain.
  3. Tie off.
  4. Weave in ends.

I am a novice at crochet but even I found this easy. I much prefer this flannel to the first, but I welcome your feedback (good or bad). If you give it a go maybe send me a picture and let me know your thoughts?

Next- Iphone case.

I made this for my boyfriend as he gets really worried about his Iphone getting scratched, however now I have completed it I rather fancy it for myself (it fits my smart phone and also my friends other mobiles- so it's pretty universal). When knitting, it looks a little small but the stretch helps to keep the cover tight and protect the phone.


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So, for this pattern, you will need:

  • 50g ball of a double knit yarn (you will not need all of this).
  • 1 pair of 4mm knitting needles.
  • General items for casting off and weaving in ends.

The gauge is not crucial for this pattern either so don't worry!

Key: k=knit, p=purl

To Begin:

  1. Cast on 36st.
  2. Rows 1-6 Moss Stitch: Row 1 Moss Stitch (*k1, p1, rep from * to end). Row 2 Moss Stitch (p1, *k1, p1, rep from * to end). Repeat these rows twice more (makes 6 rows in total).
  3. Rows 7-12 1 x 1 Rib (*k1, p1, rep from * to end).
  4. Repeat these 12 rows twice (36 rows in total).
  5. Finish by repeating rows 1-6 (42 rows in total).
  6. Cast off in Moss Stitch.
  7. Weave in ends, sew up side seam and bottom.

I hope you enjoy these patterns- If you give them a go maybe send me a picture and let me know your thoughts? I welcome any feedback (good or bad).

x

Sunday, 13 June 2010

As Promised...Fibreholics

Well, I told you that I ordered a Fibreholics fibre box the other day, well it arrived while I was over in Huddersfield for a few days, but what a fantastic thing to come back to!?!
I can't even begin to tell you about all the colours and textures, it was amazing, so here's that all important picture...

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If you've ever heard of Fibreholics then you will know (but if you don't well...) you can get a small or a large sample 'box' of either 5 or 10 20g samples (and they do yarn boxes too!). Well I got a large box because I was just too greedy and wanted all these fantastic samples! The only trouble is that I was so excited about the samples that I had already spun one of them before I realised I hadn't taken a picture as promised! So here are 9 of my 10 samples, Whoops!

What I can tell you is that they are lush! So bright and vibrant- I ended up taking this picture outside on the grass to show off all the gorgeous colours and complement the theme of the garden party- I even got a cheeky toe in there on the bottom left corner!

I am visiting my friend/spinning mentor Janet on Tuesday and I intend to use the Fibreholics samples to produce some really funky art yarns, so...watch this space!

Flannel #1

I recently recieved a bag of yarn and needles from a kind neighbour and found a ball of SIRDAR Calico yarn (60% cotton 40% acrylic) in the bottom of it. With it I decided to make a Flannel as I have seen quite a few patterns recently for them and thought they looked quick and easy- and they are!
I simply sat down and cast on! The result was a square flannel 21 x 19cm, of garter stitch with a moss stitch border. Even though it was only simple I was so pleased with the result that I thought I'd share my pattern with you...but first here's a picture...

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So, for this flannel, you will need:
  • 50g ball of a cotton based yarn (you will not need all of this)
  • 1 pair of 4mm knitting needles
  • General items for casting off and weaving in ends
The gauge is not crucial for the pattern so don't worry!
Key: k=knit, p=purl

To Begin:
  1. Cast on 41 stitches.
  2. Rows 1-5 Moss Stitch (*k1, p1, rep from *, to end).
  3. Rows 6-62 Moss Stitch Border with Garter Stitch centre panel. Every row (k1, p1, k1, p1, k to last 5 stitches, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1).
  4. Rows 63-67 as Rows 1-5.
  5. Cast off in Moss Stitch.
  6. Weave in all ends and steam.
I hope you enjoy the pattern, I completed it in about an hour and a half with considerable distraction (and I'm not the fastest knitter in the world!) If you give it a go maybe send me a picture and I welcome any feedback you have to give.

More to come soon,

x

Monday, 7 June 2010

Circular Knitting...

I have never knitted on a circular needle before apart from one very small and sad sample that I did for a technical file at uni. I thus decided to grab the bull by the horns or in my case the round needle and yarn and give it a go! I found a simple pattern on Ravelry for a very simple slouch hatand cast on.

I used a yarn from my stash that I bought from a vintage knitting fair in Liverpool called 'Make Do and Knit', it was purchased from KraftyKoala and is a Double Knit (DK) yarn in 'Damson in Distress'.

My first round (cast on) was a little slack at the beginning but I undid my knot once my hat was complete and darned in the loose end, apart from that I managed quite well. I had to use the 'magic loop' technique as the plastic length between the needles was too long- this is really confusing if you have never knitted in the round before but once you get the hand of it, you're good to go.

Cast on the desired amount of stitches required and slide them to the middle of the joining plastic, then pull the plastic in a loop between the central stitches, slide the first cast on stitches up onto the left hand needle and then begin to knit them onto the right hand needle using the working yarn on the other end of the length of stitches- joining the two ends together. MAKE SURE the stitches are not twisted round the needle when you join the two ends together as this can result in a lot of confusion! However, if your confused simply by my instructions there are plenty of videos on YouTube to help you!

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This is my finished hat, the colour isn't done justice to really in this image but you get an idea of the shape. Hope you like it!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Woolfest!

I am getting so freakishly excited about the prospect of Woolfest at the moment- which has been exaggerated by the fact that today I ordered (and will soon be the proud owner of) one of the round 6 Fibreholics boxes!

I read about the boxes ages ago in one of the knitting magazines (possibly yarn forward) and thought they sounded amazing- unfortunately I then missed out on one of the May round but have managed to get my mitts on one of the June boxes which are celebrating Fibreholics Birthday!

When I receive my box I shall create another post with lots of pictures of my boxes content- I can't wait! For now though if you're interested check out the Fibreholics blog which has some wonderful teaser pictures for you to enjoy!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

A New Era

So, here begins my blog...A little about myself- I am currently studying for a BA(Hons) degree in Textile Crafts at Huddersfield University and have chosen to specialise in knit. I recently completed my first year and am now enjoying a long summer break; during which I intend to get my craft on!

I am a knitter by specialism but also enjoy all things to go with textiles in general. I enjoy little sewing projects, have dabbled in embroidery and am now a keen spinner of my own yarns.

I thought I would begin by showing you a couple of little projects I have recently completed and then following blogs (I hope) will be about interesting exhibitions, shows, shops, galleries, other projects, experiences and anything really that inspires me creatively!

I have only recently taken up spinning and visited Wonderwool Wales 24th-25th April (post to follow) where I was amazed by the amount of supplies available to those with a love of all things yarn and fibre. As a result of Wonderwool I produced this gorgeous Candy Stripe yarn with some hand painted Shetland tops and Bluefaced Leicester.


The yarn is 2 ply, each single is spun clockwise and plied together anti-clockwise. I found the Bluefaced Leicester much nicer and smoother to spin compared with the Shetland which felt like it was snapping in my fingers as I drew the fibre. I am pleased with the yarn, it looks really bright and funky and should knit well as a Dounble Knit (DK) or Worsted weight yarn.

This yarn is available for purchase in my shop on Etsy:

My next item is a project I found on Ravelry and which you can view under my projects by clicking on the Ravelry link (above). They are also available to purchase on Etsy!

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I knitted a pair of these booties from a yarn I had in my stash for a friend and then decided to produce another pair from Handspun Yarn using some fibre I bought from Wingham Wool Work. I used the pattern i found on Ravelry and knitted them from another 2 ply yarn of DK weight. This time the yarn was one ply Cashmere (from Wingham) and one ply Baby Alpca (from Wonderwool Wales). The yarn was spun in the same way as the last and the result is a super soft yarn that makes these Booties just adorable!

As a newbie spinner I was really proud of the fine quality of the yarn for the luxury booties and as would be expected the cashmere was simply lush to spin! I hope to develop more skills in spining and produce some more artisan style yarns with the help of my friend Janet.