Year of Projects – week 25/52

Year of Projects – week 25/52

Knitting

The vanilla socks are finished and I’ll post a photo after Christmas, just in case the recipient reads my blog!

I started on the hat for my husband, using the corriedale fractal wool I spun (as shown in last week’s update).  I am using a pretty simple ribbed pattern, as I think the yarn colours would blur an intricate design; plus cables work best with 3 ply, not 2 ply.  It seems a long while since I have knit something with a worsted weight yarn and larger needles. So this photo is just one day’s progress, so should be finished early this week and I can do some selfish knitting.

The stressful situation I have been dealing with for a long time is finally over…so to treat myself I have bought some interchangeable needles. I prefer wood or bamboo needles, so opted for KnitPro Interchangeable needles in sizes 3.5mm to 8mm.  And they perfectly fit in the opening flap pocket of my circular needle case I made!  Perfect!! 

Colour is wrong on this photo…but you see the perfect fit

Felting

This week at my felting group I did some needle felting instead of wet felting for a change.  I used a ball of wet felted samoyed dog hair I made months ago (these parts were too rough to spin).  I then needle felted a picture similar to one I had noticed on Pinterest.  I just need to sew a loop on top and hang it on the tree. It is very lightweight. 

 

I also made some replacement pictures for a couple of Christmas frames I had.  These are clearly mice who have been tucking into too much Christmas cheese!!!  Especially the one on the left (she’s hanging a stocking on a toadstool…in case it isn’t clear.

 

Dyeing

Well you couldn’t make up my numptiness!  I thought I would dye a skein of merino silk blend yarn.  The idea being to test the different coloured landscape dyes I have and see how they turn out.  So I carefully mixed the colours, put in little pots, kept the pots of dye in the same order…..then when I finished I packed it all away having not written notes about what colours I used where!!!!  Doh!!!

The same day I also dyed my Shetland homespun yarn that I finished the week before.  I used hot pink, raspbery and opal blue colours and Oh my goodness I love this purpleness! And this will be another hat for me!  You can’t have enough purple hats!   

 Oh and for regulars to my blog, I have now finished watching all 12 seasons of Bones.  It was easy to have on in the background without needing to watch the actual screen, so I could still be productive.  Now to start watching Christmas movies!

 

Answers to NothingButKnits Holiday questions

Answers to NothingButKnits Holiday questions

One of the blogs I follow has put up some holiday questions to answer.  So here’s my answers to the latest questions on NothingButKnits  blog.

Questions

  • Have you made holiday decorations for your home? What have you made? Do you have a tradition of making something every year?
  • Did you craft for holidays when you were a child? Do you have a memory of something you made?
  • Do you gift items that you make? Do you surprise the recipient or do they request something? How do you judge their worthiness? Have you ever regretted gifting someone?
  • Have you seen a crafty project you’d like to make but haven’t?
My answers

A few years ago I made 4 decorations for my tree, to represent my sister, BIL, niece and nephew…they are a felt gingerbread couple and 2 owls using kits from Hobbycraft.  I have tree decorations that represent most of the important people in my life.  This year I filled some glass baubles with sparkly fibre and they are on the tree and I made a fibre Christmas Pudding.  Both can be seen on this previous post.

I remember making paper chains as a kid (I think!), my memory is hopeless!

I have gifted a hat and cowl set to my husband and made him a pair of socks, another hat and currently making a 3rd one for him.  I am not confident enough with sizing to make him total surprises yet.  I have made a couple of surprises this year for a family member, but I am not certain things I have made and given to other people are used/worn, except by my husband.  The new hat for my husband, is using my homespun fractal yarn.  After that  my Ravelry queue is full of items to make for myself.  Knitting is such a slow way of making things, so if people aren’t knit worthy they may be wet felting worthy instead.  I don’t regret any gifting I have done, but they may not get any more.

My Pinterest is full of crafty projects I’d like to make, but I have felting group in a couple of hours and still haven’t decided what to make yet!

Year of Projects – week 24/52

Year of Projects – week 24/52

Spinning

As we are approaching the half way point of the year of projects, I reviewed my YOP list and ticked off some things.  I had been a bit vague about what I planned to spin during the year, so have updated my YOP page and will snapshot the progress when we get to week 26, like I did week 13. 

After much indecision about what wet felted item I would make with my corriedale wool in poppy colourway (that was a prize from the Tour de Fleece), I instead decided to use it to create a ‘fractal yarn’.  On the picture below you can see the original fibre, I then split it in half; one half (a) is split into the different shades and the other half (b) is split so it has each colour in each strip.  

On bobbin 1 I spun (a) so I started with all the burgundy then all red and then all greens (BRG).

On bobbin 2 I spun (b) so spinning each of the multicoloured strips, starting with the burgundy ends each time.

I then plied the 2 bobbins together and that creates a fractal yarn.  If you want 3 ply you would split the colours in 3 ways, e.g. bobbin 1 BRG, bobbin 2 BRG BRG BRG and bobbin 3 BRG BRG BRG BRG BRG BRG.  

I love the end result and look forward to dyeing some fibre myself to give it another go.  This handspun yarn will be used to make a ribbed hat for my husband.  He has green eyes, so it should suit him well.

I also finished spinning my Shetland wool, transferring what was on my spindle onto the larger amount on my spinning wheel.  I set it and then remembered I am going to be dyeing it so probably didn’t need to soak and snap it before dyeing.  Ah well!  Once I have dyed it I will post a photo!

My camel and silk handspun yarn is dry so that is all labelled and ready to make something with.  It is the softest yarn I have ever held.  Has anyone just kept hanks of wool to cuddle!?  It is soooo soft to touch I love the feel of it. 

Hopefully in this photo you will better see the colour differences between standard and chain plying…the colours on the chain ply are more evident (top and bottom hanks).  I haven’t chosen a pattern for it yet, something to go against my skin for sure!  

Knitting

I have cast on a new pair of socks, this time just a vanilla pattern, in the hope I will have them finished before Christmas! I decided to cast on 64 stitches with my 2.5mm sockwunder needle and so far it looks a much better sized sock.  I can’t believe how fast I can knit a vanilla sock with this needle, highly recommend for speed.  Next on the needles will be the fractal spun yarn hat.  My Lintilla has been temporarily parked, I thought I could try alternating between projects but the socks have a deadline so are getting all my focus.  

Felting and fibre craft

I have mentioned my fairies before, but thought I would post a picture of them all hanging, so you know where they live! Also I ordered a couple of empty baubles from World of Wool and popped some sparkly fibre in them and hung them on the real Christmas tree.  They are very hard to take a photo of and you’ll notice a reflection of Bones TV show lol!  I am already on Season 10!  

 

Finally, I was inspired by @Gilliangladrag Instagram to make a fibre christmas pudding.  I used milk protein top for the brandy sauce.  If you need a few moments of joy each day then I recommend following @Gilliangladrag and watching her daily stories.  She owns the Gilliangladrag Fluff-a-torium shop in Dorking, England.  Unfortunately, I live hundreds of miles away so haven’t been, but have bought her fibre blends and some other bits from her online shop.  

 

 

Year of Projects – week 23/52

Year of Projects – week 23/52

Sock trouble

This week I unravelled/frogged the troublesome sock that was too big.  To be honest for the hassle the pattern repeats were I’m glad I don’t need to knit its buddy!  Plus with the yarn colours I prefer the sole anyway!  

I ordered a 2mm Addi Sockwonder needle and will try again (with an easy vanilla pattern) to make a new pair that will fit someone I know!  I think with a 2mm needle and casting on 72 stitches will be better than the 2.5mm needle.  I realised when I made my husband’s first socks I’d cast on 64 stitches on 2.5mm needles, so no wonder this was so much bigger!  This yarn seems slightly thinner fingering weight so I’m hoping CO72 with 2mm is going to be ok!  What do you use when you are knitting men’s socks?

Once I have some opinions from my fellow YOPers I will cast them on.

The troublesome sock – RIP

Knitting

My Lintilla scarf is progressing, I haven’t included a photo as I’m upstairs and its downstairs…imagine last week’s photo with extra ruffles lol!

Spinning

Mostly though this week I have been concentrating on spinning and have now finished spinning and plying the 200g of camel and silk fibre.  Today I soaked and snapped all the yarn and boy does it smell like there’s a camel in my utility room!  I quite like the smell, but its very different from sheep wool smell.  For the final batch I filled a bobbin completely and then chain plied the whole bobbin in one sitting and I am really pleased with the result.  It not only shows the colours better, but the plying is just so much neater and more consistent than the 3 bobbins to 1 plying I did with an earlier batch.  As it is still wet there’s no photo, so I’ll post next week.

Needle-felting

I tried to needle-felt a small landscape, from a postcard image but it is so bad I am too embarrassed to put a photo up.  Laziness on my part not spending time doing it properly.  I did however make an Autumn Sparkle fairy to hang with my other fairies

Wet felting

I have ordered 400g of black Icelandic sheep fibre (top) to make the waistcoat on my year of projects list.  I have never used that breed of wool before, but the World of Wool website says it is very fine and is excellent for wet felting and nuno felting.  I will be using some of the sari silk to decorate the waistcoat (I think in US you’d call it a vest?)  Anyhoo that will be a job for my December felting group day in a couple of weeks!  I may have ordered a few other bits and bobs as well…oops! 

If you’d like to see what the other people are up to in our Year of Projects group have a look (if you have a Ravelry account).

Year of Projects- week 22/52

Year of Projects- week 22/52

Having taken a break from the problem sock situation this week, I started to knit “Lintilla” pattern from Martina Behm (designer of the hitchhiker shawl which I’ve done 3 versions of).  This is my first pattern with wrap and turn stitches and in the variegated yarn from Ripples Crafts I really like it.  This is sock wool with some nylon in, so this isn’t going to be a cosy fluffy scarf/shawl, but it is ideal for practicing new stitches and should last well and stand up to lots of wear.

At felting group this week I made a present, which will need to be posted on here after Christmas.  I am really pleased with it, no idea what the fibre was, as it was out of my stash I bought with my spinning wheel.  

I had some time left over so used some black suri alpaca fibre and sari silk to make a thin scarf.  It is very thin in places but its lovely and soft and has lovely drape to it.  It is hard to photograph to do it justice.  It was an experiment really, but a nice result.

I have been working my way through episodes of Bones on Amazon Prime, whilst doing a lot of spinning.  This is the baby camel and silk blend I have mentioned before.  The smaller (bottom) skein was Navajo plied (chain ply) and you can see (hopefully) that you get separate sections of colour rather than just the barber pole type effect you get when you ply 3 bobbins (which is how I plied the larger top skein).  I’m only just over half way through spinning it all, so I am hoping to get a decent sized item out of it when its finished….what that item will be I am not sure yet.  The colours are subtle and again not photographing well.  The weight is DK-ish, i.e. worsted and sport weight in places!

I thought I’d post a wee photo of my Shetland spinning on my spindle, so I can check progress.

Making things definitely lifts my spirits, so it has been a better week.  Oh and I have managed to sell some kitchen gadgets and a game.  My Christmas presents arrived this week…I will wait until Christmas to use them, but they are fibre related so I am looking forward to trying them out after Christmas. More on them and their outputs in the new year!  

There’s another felting group in mid-December, so I need to have a think about what I’d like to make then, perhaps do some needle felting for a change.

 

 

 

Hoarding update

Since writing my post about Hoarding I have done a huge amount of ruthless clearing out, be it selling stuff on Facebook, donating items to the local Red Cross shop, taking things to the tip and filling our recycling wheelie bin.

Amazingly someone bought all the foam from our old sofa!  Also the oil pastels, some acrylic yarn, a chair, a collection of rubber stamps and pending collection a massager and basket making supplies have been sold!

I’ve given away some poly/cotton thread reels and upholstery fabric.

I donated a huge suitcase, that was filled with bags of office clothes, summer clothes, clothes too small for me, coats, shoes, handbags.  Plus some office equipment and drawing pads and coloured pencils and all sorts of random home office items.

I’ve thrown out broken picture frames and lots and lots of ‘memorabilia’.  I had every handwritten letter I have ever received, many of which were from penpals I don’t even remember!  Every Valentine’s card I’d ever received!  Every school report!  My first pair of ballet point shoes!  Old watercolour paintings I’d done that were really poor.  Old calendars I’d kept to paint the pictures on them.  So much stuff!

I have kept letters from my dad, my friends Elaine and Annie and my one and only letter from my childhood bestfriend Stephen. Everything else went in the recycling bin.  Only my ballet shoes did I keep thinking about retrieving from the bin, but when the bin men came this week I watched them and other random junk disappear for good.

This week I have some kitchen gadgets and games to sell.

Here’s some of the envelopes from my friend Elaine from 1991/92 when I was an au pair in Michigan…you can see why I kept these!

 

 

 

Goodness knows what the postman (or rather mail man) thought!!!!  

My crafting cupboard has everything at easy reach and without having to take anything out to get to something else, that’s a huge difference to the mountain of stuff that was previously balancing in there.  There’s still more to go through but I’m getting there.  

Emotionally I feel okay about the clear out, but it’s hard to tell really because I have a much more stressful thing going on at the moment that is perhaps overshadowing any feelings about the clearout.  I don’t think I am going to regret anything I have got rid of and hopefully I haven’t just contributed to other crafters’ hoards lol!

Year of Projects- week 21/52

Year of Projects- week 21/52

On Tuesday I finished the 1st sock of the pair that were going to be for my dad, but it will be too big for him, so they are now for my husband, but he asked if I could add some elastic to the cuff!  So some appeals for ideas on a sock knitting group on Ravelry, I have been given some ideas on how to knit a new cuff and cut off the old (they are a top down pattern).  So after a couple of days thinking about it I decided to have a break from the socks and knit something else.  Then spent the rest of the week trying to pick a pattern and yarn combo to work on.  I did do some more spinning of the camel silk blend and chain plied some…not my best chain ply as some look core spun.  Oh and I have been doing my backdoor Shetland spinning before bed (that may sound odd if you haven’t read previous posts).

I have gone back on antidepressants and hopefully they’ll start to kick in, in a few weeks.  In the meantime, I am going to try to get some structure back to my days.  My decluttering has continued and this week I dropped off a massive suitcase full of clothes I haven’t worn for years.  Plus some other bags of random things I no longer need.  But my creative juices have not been flowing this week.  

Next week I will have some photos and new creations.