Year of Projects – week 45/52

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Knitting

Elda – I finished the slipped stitch section and I am happy with the colour variance of the spare yarn that Helen from Ripples Crafts so kindly gave me for free.  The Estonian Braid lines are in the original colour and the slipped stitch the new.  Seeing what is left off the new colour I know I made the right decision, as there wouldn’t have been enough for the braid as well.

I’ve started the arm again, this time with a larger needle size and not picking up extra stitches and so far I am happier with the fit on my arm and the gauge.  I am hoping to do the sleeve knitting in the car to Yorkshire, as it’s a 6+ hour teip each way.  I may get car sick but I’ll give it a go.

 

Quick Sand – I had a plan to do the Quick Sand cardigan, by Heidi Kirrmaier in home dyed BFL/Silk yarn, but I think I need a lot more practice in dyeing batches the same colour first.  So I ordered some Drops Bomull-Lin (linen/cotton) yarn to make it.  The original pattern is for linen yarn. 

The Drops yarn I bought has been used by many other knitters to make this pattern and they all seem to have gone down a needle size to get gauge and a nicer fabric, so I have as well.  I’m knitting the M2 size even though my measurements are nearer the M1 size, so I’m hoping that it will fit.  The way the pattern is written I can switch to the L size when I finish the yoke, if it’s looking too small.  The cardigan is supposed to have up to 3” of positive ease…I think I’ll be nearer it having no ease, which I’d be fine with.  The yarn was reasonably priced, after washing the swatch it feels nicer, but to knit with it has really cracked my right index finger after 1 day of using it.  I started to try Portuguese knitting on the purl sides, you wrap the yarn around the back of your neck and do most of the stitch movement with your left thumb.  This is not the right project to practice this on though, the yarn could decapitate me, it’s so rough and harsh under tension.

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You can’t really tell on the photo, but the yarn has both cracked and blistered my skin!  I’d like it to be finished by summer, as that’s obviously linen wearing season, but I may need a finger cosy when knitting it…is there such a thing????

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Dyeing

I had the urge to try some more dyeing and thought I’d have a go at making a gradient set.  Using Landscape Acid Dyes in Opal colour.  I first divided one skein of BFL high twist sock yarn into different smaller skeins.  I basically wrapped 1 skein around my niddynoddy, the same amount of wraps, then cut and tied them.  I ended up with 6 evenly sized mini skeins and a slightly larger one.

I have these handy garden ties, that are like reusable zip ties and ideal for mini skein dipping!  Anyone else’s mind leap to skinny dipping?  Nope, ok just me.  Anyway, I’m happy with the results except I did get a tiny bit of Marine blue cross contamination on some of my 5 gradient minis from the 2 speckle practice ones I was playing with.  

I’m not sure what I will make with them yet.  Maybe socks!  We shall see.  I carried these around the house trying to find somewhere that the colours would come out right but no joy.  Anyway you get the idea, but they are more vibrant and richer turquoise colours.

 No felting, tiny bit of spinning and weaving, but no visual changes since last photos of those. 

 

 

 

 

 

Year of Projects – week 44/52

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Felting

I didn’t have as long at the felting group this time because I had to nip into Inverness first, so I took along some fibre for a project that wasn’t on my YOP list, but has been waiting almost 25 years for me to do it!

In June 1995 my mum and I went on a silk painting course at Westhope College.  I think it was for my 23rd birthday present.  Anyhoo, one of the things I made was this painting of autumn leaves.

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This has sat in a drawer and moved house with me 6 times and been waiting for me to do something with it!  So, I made a felt backing for it to make a cushion.  I will iron on some interface behind the silk to firm it a little and then, when the felt is dry and ironed I will sew it into a cushion.  This is just the back of the cushion, so its hints of leaf shapes, rather than accurate leaves…I mean who is even going to see the back?

Knitting

Well I have been back and forth with Elda and my goodness this yarn is coping amazingly well at being ripped out.  The sleeve was too tight so I ripped it out, then I got half way through the braid/slipped stitch edging and it was puckering so I ripped it out to start it again but picking up more stitches.  I have some extra yarn (about half a skein) from Helen at Ripplescrafts, she was so generous to give it to me for free.  The colour isn’t exactly the same tone, but I think if I use it on the braid section then it will be part of the design feature of it and not matter so much.  Then I will split the remaining original colour yarn and do the sleeves as long as possible with that yarn until it runs out.  No photo, as with all the ripping out I have actually less progress than last week!

Spinning and Weaving

Not much change since last week, so no pictures.   

I bought from Helen a small gradient pack to weave a scarf.  Helen had made one with one of the blue packs and that can be seen on her Instagram.  I managed to resist the purple pack and went for grey, Peat and Rocks.  I also bought a skein on sock yarn from her in lovely blue shades.  Check out me, breaking away from my pink and purple obsession!!

Dyeing

I did do some dyeing this week, testing what the unmixed colours look like and then made some random purples mixing the blue and red toned dye mixes.

 

Year of Projects – week 26/52 Half way!

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This is a longer post than normal, as I am doing a snapshot for the half way point and have had quite a busy crafting week.

Knitting

Finished Object

I finished my husband’s latest hat.  Two by Two pattern by Anne Gagnon, available free on Ravelry.  As my husband has a large head I increased the needle size.  I hadn’t actual measured the length of the yarn I had spun, so I was getting a little nervous and started the decreases early, but it still fits.  I could probably have done a couple more rows but that’s the problem with bottom up hats.  Playing yarn chicken is stressful.  (Which reminds me to find a simple toe up sock design for the 2nd pair for myself.). The fractal handspun Corriedale has interesting subtle colour stripes.  He says it isn’t as warm as the alpaca hat I knit him, using Anne’s Ribs n’ Cables design, but he likes it…I think.

Cast On

I started knitting a shawl this week with my Rowan Lima yarn.  It is unusual yarn, as it isn’t plied, its like one long crochet chain, but in worsted weight!  It’s 84% baby alpaca, 8% merino and 8% nylon.  It is purple!  I am so predictable.  I bought the yarn at a de-stash sale 6 balls for only £3 total!!!!  It couldn’t have worked out better though, as it is a perfect match for a really warm hat I knit with some purple alpaca yarn I bought in Cusco, Peru!  The pattern I have chosen is Void by Melanie Berg.  

This pattern has brand new stitches I have never done before (LT2, RT2, kfbf and bundle).  I mis-read how to do an LT2 (left twisted) stitch and got my knitting in a knot and frogged it 5 times!!!!  Eventually I viewed some YouTube clips and finally realised where I was going wrong.  With the lack of memory and soft drape that alpaca has I am not sure this is really the right pattern for it, but I am going to stick with it and see how I get on and can always re-make the pattern with a different yarn choice in the future.  

Oops!!!  On Saturday afternoon I realised I made a mistake a couple of rows back but with the complicated stitches I tried tinking it back but failed, so I have now popped a marker in the spot I need to create a new stitch.  With my rubbish memory I will no doubt forget where the mistake is, like I did with the cardigan I knit.  Also it’ll be hidden by my hair when worn, if I grow my hair longer lol!  I will get it back on track later today.

Lintilla is still parked at the moment, but as Void requires a bit lot of concentration I may pick up Lintilla when I need an easier project.

Advent

My husband bought me a yarn advent calendar, which arrived late, so I had a binge on opening the little parcels.  They are art yarn singles and until they are all open I am not sure what I will do with them.  Here’s a snapshot of the colours so far. Suggestions are welcome, as I haven’t made anything with art yarn before.  I did think about making some mini mittens as an advent for next year, but uncertain how much yarn I will have.  I have found a cute pattern called Smittens, so may try that and see how it goes.

 

Dyeing

This week I dyed 100g of Blue Faced Leicester fibre and wanted to try some different colour combinations in heather colours.  I used my landscape dyes from Kraftkolour in Fern (green), Ice (turquoise) and Raspberry (deep pink) and a touch of Ashford hot pink dye.  I pre-soaked the fibre in some citric acid, gently squeezed out excess water and then applied the colours in stripes both neat and mixed in pairs (landscape dyes only).  I then rolled in cling film and steamed for a bit.  Some pink escaped into the water so I later soaked up the colour with 25g of mohair.  Once the dye bath was exhausted I put the BFL fibre back in but this time without the cling film and directly in the water…just to be certain the hot pink had enough citric acid contact to ensure it set.  The landscape dyes already have setting agent in it, unlike the Ashford.

Of course I love the results…what’s not to love about something with shades of purple in. #purpleaddict 

Not sure whether I will use it for wet felting or spinning.

 

Christmas

I would like to wish all my fellow YOPers and anyone else who follows or stumbles across my blog a Very Merry Christmas.  My MIL and parrot arrived today and most food shopping was done.  Tomorrow they pick up the turkey, trimmings etc. and then we just need to get another Christmas pudding (yep we’ve already eaten one!) and some Christmas cake (which usually lasts to Easter!)  We played cards this evening and probably will most evenings, so I am not expecting much progress to report next week….but now follows my half way update.  

Other than The Grinch I still haven’t watched any Christmas Movies yet!!!  I watched the 4 seasons on The Killing this week, definitely not Christmassy!  Will put Elf on when I do some ironing later today.

 

Half Way Point in the 8th Year of Projects

So already we are at the half way point of the Year of Projects!  Although it’s the 8th year it has been running, this is my first year.  At 13 weeks I took a snapshot, so here’s my 26th week snapshot. 

There are 50 items on my list and I have completed 24 and made a start on some others, so I am pretty pleased with my progress.

Wet 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 (for spinning not felting) on Ravelry @ date of posting! 
  1. Perpetual purple merino ✅ wk 3
  2. Plum merino and gold bamboo ✅ wk 3
  3. Ethereal ether ✅ wk 8
  4. British 56s ✅ wk 12
  5. Shetland ✅ wk 24
  6. Camel & silk ✅ wk 24
  7. Corriedale poppy ✅ wk 24
  8. Blue Faced Leicester (dye it first)
  • Master chain ply ✅ wk 12 (Himalayan blend chain ply nice and smooth at joints)
  • Create a fractal spun yarn ✅ wk 24
  • Spin some tweed yarn
  • Create my own wool and silk blended spin
  • Create an official (not accidental) art yarn
  • Spin first batch of Samoyed dog hair ❇️ wk 6

Dyeing

  • Dye some of the natural fibre tops and/or homespun yarn from my stash
  1. Samoyed Dog hair
  2. Bamboo
  3. Merino/silk blend
  4. Merino/suri alpaca blend
  5. Corriedale fibre
  6. Blue Faced Leicester ✅ wk 26
  7. British 56s ✅ wk 4 and 11
  8. Portland

Also, over dye ethereal ether ✅ wk 6

  • Dye undyed commercial spun skeins
  1. Cheviot chunky wool ✅ wk 6
  2. BFL/silk blend
  3. Merino silk blend ✅ wk 25
  4. Merino bamboo blend

Knitting

  • Finish my Chimney Fire cardigan ✅ wk 14
  • Make my husband a pair of socks ✅ wk 18
  • Make my dad something for Christmas ✅ wk 25
  • Make something with purple and gold homespun yarn ✅ (Hitchhiker wk 11)
  • Make up a matching accessory set from my perpetual purple paradise homespun yarn
  • Make the shawl with my Rowan Lima yarn ❇️ (Started Void wk 26)
  • Make a 2nd pair of socks for myself
  • Learn brioche stitch ❇️ (YouTube watching wk 13)
  • Learn fair isle knitting and knit one of the small fair isle items in my queue ✅ wk 3
  • Knit (or crochet) all the scraps of left over sock and sport weight wool. ❇️ wk 12
  • Knit something Two at a Time ✅ wk 18

Crochet

  • Make an octopus for a preemie (cotton and hook arrived wk 13)
  • Make a jellyfish for a preemie
  • Get to grips with UK -v- US terms!

Sewing

 

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!

 

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.