Catch up on projects

Catch up on projects

I haven’t posted on my blog recently so I thought I’d do a catch up post on what I have been up to.

Dyeing

I had a go at dyeing 200g of White Cheviot Super Chunky Weight wool.  I started using Azalea and Tasman colours from the Landscape dyes and then added Pilbara and then put some Ashford Hot Pink mixed with Ice (blue).  This wool was a real sponge soaking up the colours, so I just kept chucking more of the colours in!  I love the finished hank, except the Tasman colour has made a few green bits.  I don’t have much imagination for colourway naming, so this is logged in Ravelery as “Dusty Rose”.

Sewing

Today I made a knitting project bag and notions pouch.

Wet and needle felting

At my felting group I made my first picture, of a Highland Cow!  He has a hunchback and some other issues, but for a first attempt at a proper picture I am quite happy.
 

Spinning

My neighbour’s parents have a Samoyed dog and kindly collected some dog hair brushings for me to spin.  I have only done a test spin and chain ply with one handful and I’m excited to spin the 2 bags full that I have.  My first attempt was unwashed when spun and I am going to try a small washed batch to see how that compares.  The raw fur was lovely to spin with, very soft on my fingers, but my dog, Ylva, kept coming over for a sniff!
 

Knitting

My Chimney Fire cardigan is progressing, despite a number of struggles with the pattern.  I have a baking tray with various sections of the pattern stuck on with magnets and have a list of row numbers so I don’t lose track of which body row number goes with which cable pattern.  I did the same for the collar section too, where there were 3 different row numbers to keep track of on each knitted row!! 
 
 

Tour de Fleece

Finally, I mentioned previously that I had taken part in this year’s Tour de Fleece, as part of The Corner of Knit and Tea team.  I was randomly selected to receive a fiber gift and all the way from Kansas, USA came this lovely Corriedale wool in Poppy colourway.  I am thinking I may use it to wet felt a poppy handbag or poppy picture, rather than spinning it. It also came with a couple of tea bags too. 😁i
 
 
 

Dyeing practice and my first go with a drum carder

Dyeing practice and my first go with a drum carder

It has been so hot here in the Highlands of Scotland…not America hot but hotter than any other summer I ever remember, especially for the Highlands.  

So what did I choose to practice on the hottest day of the year??? Dyeing fibre! Yep a steaming hot pan of fibre and dye on a summers day! 

Despite the heat I really enjoyed the process of playing around with some of the dyes.  I already had a hot pink but combined with the Opal coloured landscape dye made a lovely purple.  This time rather than adding knots I made a crochet chain of fibre and plopped the dyes on randomly…when the dye was almost exhausted in the pan I undid the chain so the white parts could pick up the last traces of the turquoise.

I loved the finished fibre and wondered what it would look like spun.

 

Meanwhile, I went to my monthly Highland Felters meeting today and discovered they have a drum carder that you can borrow.  So when I had finished my initial construction of a Highland Coo picture (more on that when it is finished) I came home and wanted to play with the drum carder.  What fibre was literally hanging around?  Yep, I took it down from the drying pole and fed it into the drum carder.

The results are these 2 lovely batts (plus some scraps stuck on one of the drums).  I will post an update when its spun, but so far I LOVE the colours.  I am going to a 3 day music festival on Thursday but for sure I will be playing around with the drum carder at the start of the week.

Chimney Fire disaster

Chimney Fire disaster

So I decided to knit a cardigan…never knitted one before so did I pick a nice easy pattern? Hmm well easy is a matter of opinion. My pattern is Chimney Fire by Melissa Goodale.

Having got stuck I reached out to a couple of people who’d made it before and reached out to the designer, but with no replies and me getting frustrated by me not knitting it I had to resort to unravelling it.

Thank goodness for whoever’s blog I read that talked about safety line, I had put a thread through both ends of the collar so only had to unravel the upper body.

Okay so it was only 10 rows unravelled in the end, but I am still pretty disappointed and feel a failure. Plus this is the 2nd time I have had to unravel a section on this pattern.

If it goes wrong again the pattern may well be used to light a fire!

Wish me luck!

My first Fair Isle knitting

My first Fair Isle knitting

Some free acrylic yarn, a free pattern from Ravelry and watching some YouTube clips and I was ready to start my first Fair Isle knit!

I made some mistakes along the way…

A weird hole, not sure what happened here

I didn’t carry my pink yarn when I was doing the all purple rows, I just carried it up to the next mixed row.

You can see on the bottom rows of pink that the chevrons are much tighter, that is before I switched to holding it in my left hand.  Once I switched to continental for my pink I was flying and it knitted up pretty quickly.

I am usually a tight knitter but I was consciously trying to knit loose…but when I got to the end of my purple 50g ball I started to knit ‘normally’ and so there’s a tighter row half way up the hat.  This hat is too small for me anyway, perhaps I’ll give it away to someone with a small headed child!

What I learned…

  • Using continental knitting for my accent yarn and English for my main colour works well for me
  • I need to concentrate on keeping plain rows the same tension
  • Its easier than I had thought!

My first attempts at dyeing – Part 2

My first attempts at dyeing – Part 2

A quick update on yesterday’s blog post.

I have knitted up the small amount of dyed ethereal ether into this wee drinks cosy!  This was an early spinning attempt so its unofficial thick’n’thin!  But I LOVE the colours!  I need to try to repeat this in a larger batch and make something bigger.

Drink cosy 

Also I have spun the dyed fibre; I made a 2 ply (right of pic) trying to get different colours in each single, and with what was left on one bobbin I had some practice at Navajo (chain) plying (left).  This gave me a nice break from spinning the purple and gold tops.  I did have a slight disaster where I had z spun my singles and then started z plying them!!!  I wish I’d had a free hand to take a photo of what that looked like when I pulled it off the bobbin!!  Anyhoo, I managed to rescue it.  

 

 

I have decided I am definitely going to spin up the rest of the ethereal ether and dye it, I just don’t like the original colours when spun, but LOVE the colour range when dyed. Fingers crossed it will work. 

My first attempts at dyeing

My first attempts at dyeing

On Thursday I thought I would give dyeing a go!  I had the very disappointing ethereal ether yarn I had spun that I thought I could brighten up, plus I have bought 100g of White 56’s English wool top to practice.  This is a blend of (56?) different breeds of English sheep, so relatively cheap wool.

I picked two colours, and as it happens two different makes.  Ashford wool dye in Hot Pink and KraftKolour Landscape dye in Opal. No idea how they’d blend or work together.  I didn’t measure or weigh anything, just ploughed straight in and gave it a go.

And turned this…

To this…

I loved the colours so much I then pulled off some of the wool tops and popped those in the pot too, with random knots.

The results…

Once I have spun this I will post the finished yarn, but so far I am pretty happy with it…for a first attempt.

What I have learned

  • Don’t just get a pair of rubber gloves out…put them on before taking off any lids!  Yep, I have a pink thumb and forefinger!!
  • Dyeing is fun, but a bit smelly as I used some white vinegar
  • Worst case, the ethereal ether could still be spun and then I can just dye it all with the pink and blue…unless I think of something to wet felt with it.
  • Patience is a virtue that I don’t possess, I couldn’t stop checking on the fibre…once it is dry I will see if it has felted with all my checking on it and re-knotting.  I need a movie or something on to distract me next time.

Year of Projects 2018

Year of Projects 2018

Whilst reading MrsMcD918’s blog posts I came across the Year of Projects.  I then went onto Ravelry to read a little bit more about it and joined one of the Ravelry groups.  The ‘year’ technically started at the beginning of July but I am only a few weeks late.

So, what is on my list for the year?

Wet felting

  • A case for my craft scissors
  • A picture of my dog Ylva
  • A loose casual waistcoat or top 
  • A project bag using the plastic loop handles in my stash
  • A coin purse
  • Make a fancy scarf or wrap using nuno felting

Needle felting

  • A 3D animal…probably my dog Ylva
  • Make up some more bug related fairies…to go with my ladybird one

Spinning

  • Spin all the commercial fibre currently in my stash on Ravelry @ date of posting!
  • Spin 200g of alpaca fibre currently in my stash
  • Master chain ply
  • Create a fractal spun yarn
  • Spin some tweed yarn
  • Create my own wool and silk blended spin
  • Create an official (not accidental) art yarn 

Dyeing

  • Dye some of the natural fibre tops in my stash
  • Dye some my own spun yarn and the undyed bought skein I have

Knitting

  • Finish my Chimney Fire cardigan*
  • Make my husband a pair of socks
  • Make my dad something for Christmas
  • Make up a matching accessory set from my perpetual purple paradise homespun yarn
  • Make the shawl with my Rowan Lima yarn
  • Make a 2nd pair of socks for myself
  • Learn brioche stitch
  • Learn fair isle knitting and knit one of the small fair isle items in my queue

Crochet

Oh my is that too many things?!  But that barely makes a dint in my stash, so is it enough!?!  We shall see as the year goes on.
 
*I drafted this earlier in the week…and after a few days of knitting my Chimney Fire cardigan I am only on row 9 of the upper body and I am already stuck and have reached out to a lady on Ravelry who created one that inspired me to buy the pattern, to see if she’d be willing to help me…if not I will have to contact the designer…at this rate I will be struggling to finish by Christmas, never mind the rest of my list!