Every winter, as the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, I find myself buying more yarn (and now fibre). I think that I’m just trying to surround myself with soft, squishy, brightly coloured stuff as a protection against the cold and dark and bleakness outside. Basically, I’m building a pillow fort out of yarn.
This is the last couple of weeks’ acquisitions. And there is more on order. It’s mad, really, as I already have more yarn than I really know what to do with. And I’m not entirely sure it really helps, as the black dog seems to be slobbering all over me right now. One consequence of which is that I don’t feel I have anything interesting to say right now. It’s taken me over an hour to write these few words, and I’m not convinced there’s any point hitting publish because I can’t imagine anyone will want to read them.
Basically, SAD sucks. If anyone wants me, I’ll be hiding in my stash with my daylight lamp on.
I finished another pair of Earl Greys for T:
The yarn is Twistle from The Yarn Yard, a (discontinued) high-twist merino/nylon sock yarn. The colours were perfect for socks for T, but because of the extra twist the yarn is only 400 yards to 100g, rather than the normal 400m, and that isn’t quite enough for T-sized socks, which is why one toe is plain grey. (It’s one two rather than both because I was weighing the yarn as I got to the end of the first sock, and was delighted to finish with exactly 50g left – only to weigh the completed sock and discover that it weighed 53g, so the skein must have been slightly over. But I couldn’t be bothered to unravel the first toe to make them match.) I won’t be trying to use the high-twist sock yarns for socks for T again!
I also finished this year’s Woolly Wormhead Mystery Hat. This is knitted in Fyberspates Vivacious DK in wonderful bright magenta.
I knitted the non-slouchy version but it’s still pretty slouchy, and the yarn is quite dense so it feels surprisingly heavy, particularly compared to the Tea Cake tam which is very light, but I like it a lot.
I used some of the leftovers to make myself a new keyring, as my sheep keyring has reached the stage where it looks like a blob of grubby fluff and a pipecleaner rather than an actual sheep.
This is Skein Queen Debbie Orr’s Sweet Little Owlets pattern and the buttons are from Susan Sharpe.
I’m still plugging along on my Pi Shawl, but most of my knitting time over the last few days has been spent on Martina Behm‘s Trillian. I cast on for this on Wednesday evening, having finished T’s socks at knit night and needing something that I could knit on the bus on Thursday morning that didn’t require me to wind yarn; I’m using some Schaefer Anne in the “Virgina Woof” colourway that I wound a couple of months ago for a shawl that turned out to be too lacy for the variegated yarn to work well, but it’s perfect for the garter stitch of Trillian, and the pattern is absolutely addictive. I have even been taking it to bed with me to get a few more rows done before I put the light out!
My latest finished spinning project.
50g of Bluefaced Leicester/merino roving from Hilltop Cloud, spun into two lots and plied together on a drop spindle. It wound 64 times round my 0.9m niddy noddy, so about 57m at approximately aran weight. I’d been hoping for thinner but actually the spindle I’ve been using is 48g so I’m probably never going to produce really fine yarns on it. I do have lighter spindles (15g, 25g and 33g – when did I acquire a spindle collection?) so maybe I should use one of those for my next try at spindling. Or just use my wheel, of course.
It’s definitely my most even yarn so far, in any case, and I love the pearly colours.
Posted in Knitting
When I bought my phone, from a friend who had upgraded to a newer model, she sent me the case she’d bought for it as well, one of those rubber clip-on cases that protects the back of the phone but leaves the screen visible. I’ve been using it ever since, but recently it seems to have got a bit manky (probably not unexpected with four-year-old rubber) and I fancied a change. I don’t particularly want a new phone, and can’t justify the cost anyway, and it’s not easy to find cases for such an old model (it’s so old I can’t even upgrade it to iOS7, which having upgraded my iPad I’m really quite happy about) apart from the slip-on version which fit a wider range of phones. And if I was going to have a slip-on case, well, I thought I could probably just make my own.
I used this tutoral and fabric left over from my penguin skirt. It only took me an hour to make – a perfect project for someone who’s trying to ease herself back into sewing and doesn’t necessarily have that much time to devote to it. (It’s also a good reminder that it’s perfectly acceptable to only spend an hour each weekend sewing, if that’s all I’ve got – I don’t have to have marathon sewing sessions and produce an entire garment in one go. Actually, a bit every week until it’s done might be better.)
It’s a good size – the phone doesn’t fit so snugly it would be hard to get it out quickly to answer a call, not that I get a lot of calls anyway, but it feels reasonably secure, and I like having a pocket on the front for my headphones as they do keep getting tangled up with my keys in the front pocket of my satchel. And it has penguins on, which is guaranteed to make me smile every time I look at it!
The theme of the design competition at this year’s Glasgow School of Yarn was “Iconic Glasgow”, and the winning entry was a hat cunningly designed to look like the wrapper of a Tunnock’s Tea Cake, designed by my friend Lauren. I couldn’t resist volunteering to test knit the pattern, and now have my very own Tea Cake Tam!
It’s knitting in Jamieson and Smith’s 2-ply jumper weight yarn, and the corrugated ribbing makes it lovely and cosy over my ears.
It took me less than a week to knit and is such a fun hat I’m sure I’ll be wearing it lots.
If you want to knit your own (and who could resist?) Lauren has now released the pattern, and it’s free on Ravelry until the end of the month: Tea Cake. I’m wondering about making another one in blue and yellow like the dark chocolate version. Though for now I think I might just settle for a cuppa and an actual tea cake.
This is the skirt I altered yesterday. Unfortunately, it appears to have gone from being too small to being slightly too big and the waistband keeps slipping down to my hips, while the top I was wearing today is fairly short, so it didn’t quite work. I should probably take it in a little bit this weekend…
I like the colour combination, though.
I decided that the first thing I was going to spin on my wheel was a batt of Manx Loaghtan which Liz sent me a couple of months ago. I think it was a good choice – the batt was lovely and airy and drafted really easily, but I didn’t end up accidentally drafting too much as I did with the North Ronaldsay roving I’d used for my first try last weekend.
Spinning on a wheel is so much faster than spindling. I did a little bit on Tuesday evening and then an hour or so yesterday and half an hour today, and managed to spin up the whole 65g of fibre. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to divide the fibre into even amounts before I started and when it came to plying I only managed to get 45g of 2-ply before my second bobbin was empty. Still, I think it’s pretty good 2-ply. Quality over quantity!
I thought I’d try Navajo plying the leftover singles, which was less successful (that’s the left-hand bobbin in the top picture). I think I should probably have treadled more slowly as the yarn just got horribly overtwisted as I was trying to make the loops. I ended up throwing that bit away, along with the last couple of grammes of singles which appeared not to have any end that I could find and had to be cut off the bobbin.
Still, I’m pretty happy with my 45g of 2-ply. Maybe I’ll try spinning from a braid next weekend…
(I have also done some sewing this weekend, the first time I’ve touched my machine in almost six months. I had a vintage skirt with a broken zip, so I wanted to replace the zip but also decided to remove several inches from the top, so instead of being a too-tight midi-length skirt with a fishtail it’s a knee-length gored skirt that fits well round the waist. It went pretty well and I’m looking forward to wearing it again.)