Saturday, 29 December 2012

Advent Calendar Scarf 2012: The Final Post

At last the Advent Calendar Scarf is knitted, blocked, dried and ready to wear! Just in time for the spring-like weather and the typical British rain, of course.
I will have to find other ways for wearing the scarf because it is too long for the usual way I wear it, but too short for some other things I have tried. Of course I would want people to be able to see some of the details and I hope I don't stretch the scarf too much so it gets all out of shape and needs another round of blocking already. 
At this point, if I just drape the scarf along my neck, the ends actually touch the floor! All right, I am not particularly tall, so that is no surprise, really.
On the whole I enjoyed this KAL even if the patterns as such were not a challenge and the scarf itself is just a sampler - something I am generally not very fond of. But the great thing about this particular scarf is the idea behind it: knitting something throughout the Advent season to finish on Christmas Eve was a wonderful idea. We all love Advent calendars, and this is a knitter's version. We should have many more of these, perhaps not just scarves, but all sorts of projects. 

Now that the scarf is finished, all participants have a pretty item that will remind them of this time of year. Lots of us now have this scarf, yet not all of them are the same. Some made changes, others made shorter or narrower versions - but the experience we had connects us.

For more details on my scarf, visit my project page on Ravelry here.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Advent Calendar Scarf 2012: Now Blocking

Now that the Christmas presents are out from under the tree and there is space on the floor again (at least a little bit), it's finally time to block the Advent Calendar Scarf! Earlier today I let it soak for 20-30 minutes which helped a lot to make the individual patterns stand out more. Since it is an absolutely huge scarf, I have folded it in the middle before pinning it onto the blocking mats. 
(This is the most accurate colour.)
Originally, it was my intention to block quite aggressively, but the patterns are clear enough without putting in too much effort, so I simply tried my best to get everything evenly laid out. The dimensions of the scarf are: 18” x 102.5” (46 cm x 262 cm). I know, that's huge!  Can I just say how glad I am to have blocking wires for such a big project?
I am really looking forward to wearing it soon.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Wishing You a Merry Christmas

It has crept up on us again, hasn't it? Christmas is just around the corner, we're doing our last Christmas shopping, planning the menu for the big day, and trying not to stress out. This morning I finished the grocery shop at 8 AM in an incredibly crowded store, so now I can relax till after the holidays. Unless I managed to burn Christmas dinner, all will be well.

This will most likely be my last post before Christmas, so I want to wish you a very merry Christmas time wherever you are. I hope you can enjoy it and do what you like best. It will be over sooner than you know it!

I leave you with my latest pair of fingerless gloves that I knitted just before starting the Advent Calendar Scarf (which is progressing nicely, by the way). Can't believe I forgot to post about it earlier! This is a free pattern called Knotty by Julia Moeller. She has very beautiful glove designs, but this is one of the very few free patterns available. These gloves are lovely and warm and ideal for me when I work on the computer in our cold flat. Brrr!

See you after the holidays!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

WIP: Advent Calendar Scarf 2012 - Day 16

We're now more than halfway through the KAL and I have managed to keep up, to my surprised. I was away almost all day yesterday and had a had time catching up with that day's pattern. I was finally done at midnight. 

Here are a few shots of the (unblocked) patterns since day 7:
It's fun to be part of such a KAL, but I am very annoyed by the many errors in the patterns every day. If I remember correctly, there was just one day without errors. Also, the English translations sometimes contain errors. On day 15 this led to completely different patterns as knit by German speakers and English speakers. The English ones were totally mangled and didn't look nice at all.

It's not a very original scarf. It is a sampler of different patterns that is easily assembled if you have stitch dictionaries, which is why I haven't joined the scores of others who have heaped praise on the designer/assembler. However, the good thing about it is that you have a very special scarf at the end that is special because of the occasion rather than anything else. Having knit throughout the Advent season is an achievement and contributes to the enjoyment of Christmas.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Liebster Award Nomination, or: How to While Away Half an Hour

Questions for my Nominees:

                                              Here are the Rules for Nominees:
1. List 11 facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
3. Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award.
4. Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or less followers to nominate.
5. Go to each bloggers page and let them know about the award.
6. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.

Charlene from Creative Awakening nominated me for the Liebster Award, and even though I don't like these kind of chain mail type things (even though they masquerade as "awards" and are just meant to generate more views) I thought it would be a fun interlude for once. I will do my best to answer though I must say I am in a contrary mood tonight!


Eleven facts about me:

-  I am half German, half Bangladeshi and grew up in both countries.
-  I got a PhD because I loved the subject, not because I wanted to do something with it.
-  I wrote a book that's been published.
-  I am a damn good short fiction writer and poet, I have been told.
-  I taught myself to knit using online tutorials.
-  Fellow students wrote about me in our school-leaving magazine that I was most likely to move to the UK. 12 years later that's just what I did.
-  I am an extremely fast learner and especially good with crafts.
-  Basically, I believe I can do whatever I set my mind to.
-  The farthest country I have been to is New Zealand, right in-between the first two LOTR films.
-  I was in Canada for 15 minutes. Plus 30 in the traffic jam between Canada and the US.
-  I met my boyfriend in a chat room.
-  I woud like to learn Maori (and a slew of other languages).

And on to the questions:

1. If you could be anything for a day, what would it be?
 I would be a famous writer known and revered for her literary skill, innovation and knowledge of the craft. That's what I always wanted to be so it would be nice to experience that kind of a life.

2. What is the kindest thing that you didn't tell anyone?
I can't think of anything and doubt I ever did anything extraordinarily kind. Perhaps I did and forgot about it. You never know. If I did, it was probably a small, simple gesture that meant a lot to someone.

3. Do you have any regrets in life?
Ask me again at the end of it. I tend not to dwell on things I may not have achieved quite the way I wanted to. What will be will be.

4. What animals inspire you? What animal would you be and why?
Humans. I quite like being pretty high up on the food chain, actually.

5. Tell us about your pets.
We aren't allowed pets in our flat, but I used to have two gerbils before moving here and would love to have some again. I have seen how people keep gerbils here in the UK and am appalled. Mine had a darn good life! Sadly, they died shortly before my move to the UK (though that was very practical of them too because I couldn't take them with me).

6. Did you ever not tell anyone you loved them even though they did? What happened?
No. I'm no Penny.

7. What song speaks to who you are and your soul?
It depends on my mood and my circumstances. I must admit there were more suitable songs in my teens than now in adulthood since we tend not to need moral support through song lyrics at some stage in our lives. Also, I haven't listened to music in ages, though I like Adele a lot, especially her song "Someone like you".

8. How many languages do you speak?
Fluently? Two: German and English. Probably followed by French. Then I know some other languages I learnt at various stages, but would like to refresh to be able to converse in again: Dutch, Bangla, Spanish, Italian, Russian (though I am not keen on this one), Elvish (oh yes...). And a refresher in Anglo-Saxon would be lovely!

9. What do you think makes up the human spirit?
Define spirit. I suspect that's what you are asking me! I have no idea. To me what people refer to as spirit or soul is simply character. Therefore it differs from person to person.

10. If someone gave you a million dollars for a day - what would you do with it?
Well, I would enjoy a whole day and night doing the things I love with the one I love. We wouldn't need that much money, actually. So as not to lose any time, we'd stay in the area, probably go to a spa, have a lovely dinner at our favourite restaurant, and that's probably it. So I guess it is a fairly normal date night, really. Huh, that surprised even me.

11. If YOU were on a boat in the middle of the ocean with two horrible people who killed each other and yourself, what would you do to keep your spirit from dying? 
Given my definition of the spirit/soul, this would be a rather pointless thing to do - not to mention impossible. Besides, there is nothing after death. Anyway, I thought the soul never dies? What kind of spiritual belief system is this?

Abso-knitting-lutely on Google+

A lot of my friends on Facebook are considering moving to Google+ in the near future since further disadvantageous changes regarding privacy are about to take place. This move may be inevitable so I decided to set up a profile and a page for Abso-knitting-lutely too. At the moment there isn't much to see, but if you want you can follow me there.

I am still figuring out how things work there, but I do intend to update the G+ page as often as my FB page for the shop. Maybe I'll see you there?

Friday, 7 December 2012

WIP: Advent Calendar Scarf 2012 - Day 7

There may not have been any great challenges while knitting the Advent Calendar Scarf, but today was filled with a slight bit of trepidation. Why? Dropped stitches. Not the accidental kind, but the deliberate dropping of stitches in day 7's pattern.

Just as I finished the first few rows of it, I realised that I had accidentally dropped a stitch somewhere. Not a problem, I just picked it up and knit on. In the back of my head, though, I worried about how this might effect the pattern once I finished it and would be forced to drop stitches. It could be quite disastrous and instead of the drop stopping where it is meant to, it could go all the way down the entire scarf, thus ruining my work of the past week. 

Well, there was nothing else I could do. I just had to finish knitting and see what would happen in the end. I got to the final row and started dropping stitches... 
... and it worked! Each column of dropped stitches ended just where it was meant to. My four hours of knitting were not in vain! Huzzah!

In the Ravelry group dedicated to this KAL, some people weren't happy about having to drop stitches because this makes the scarf almost twice as wide as the previous sections. However, I decided to trust the pattern and I hope the designer knows what she is doing. I must say though that the scarves without dropped stitches are also looking great. Everyone has done a very good job so far.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

WIP: Advent Calendar Scarf 2012 - Day 4

Day 4 of the Advent Calendar Scarf KAL is drawing to a close and today's pattern was a nice relaxing change. Somehow I am spending far too long knitting the scarf every day - much longer than I had expected given information from knitters of previous years.

After day 3 I finally took pictures of my scarf. It is made with laceweight yarn, so the design will only come out fully once the scarf is finished and blocked aggressively. At the moment it looks like this:
I am using emerald green beads which don't come through as clearly as I had hoped. Since they have  a silver centre though, they do sparkle. I like that.
I bet Day 5 is already online so I shall go and have a look at it now. Another day of knitting awaits!

Monday, 3 December 2012

No Time This December

In between knitting the Advent calendar scarf (update to follow) and sleeping as if I were a hibernating bear this winter (as every winter), I don't really have time for anything else this month, it seems! So it's a good thing I made new items for my shop recently that I will add in regular intervals when I have a spare moment between knits. I tried my hand at bunnies, whales and Russian dolls for stitch markers that turned out quite well and there will be new necklaces too.

I am so glad I finished all my Christmas preparations so early! Today I bought the duck for our Christmas dinner (it's now in the freezer), I sent off the presents to family and friends abroad, I've put up most of the decorations and the Christmas tree will follow as soon as I figure out exactly where to put my spinning wheel - it is now where the tree normally is. We really do need a bigger flat.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Tricolour Neck Warmer

The herringbone neck warmer is finished and ready to be washed and blocked before making it to the shop.
It is really nice and warm and just the right height too and not itchy at all as far as I can tell. The material is a nice soft merino and the zigzag herringbone pattern makes the fabric look interesting too.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Advent Calendar Scarf KAL 2012

This year the third Advent Calendar Scarf KAL is taking place on Ravelry and beyond. Last year I saw a few people knitting it and I thought it was a neat idea to knit a portion of the pattern day after day from Dec 1 - 24. In the end you have a finished scarf to wear just in time for Christmas. 

You can join the official Ravelry group here where you get all the info and help you need, including the daily patterns. The group is in German and English and currently it is buzzing with excitement and conversations about yarn choices and decision: Beads or no beads? Long or short scarf? Wide or narrow? You can also find the links to the scarf patterns of the past two years there so you can get an idea of what this year's scarf will look like.

Come and join the fun!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Polwarth or Not Polwarth? That Is the Question.

At the moment I am doing something for myself again and spinning up a braid of lovely, incredibly soft and silky fibre. Sadly, I do not know what fibre it is! That's a bit annoying. It all got a bit confusing because the fibre I was originally supposed to get got lost in the post twice. The third time it was dispatched, it finally arrived, but since the original order could not be replicated, instead of one merino braid in a particular colourway, I got two very different braids in very different colours. I can't complain though, they feel wonderful. So fine! And the staple length is excellent as well at over 10 cm. I was told that these two braids are something more special than ordered and I suspect they are actually Polwarth. Since I never tried it before, I can't be absolutely sure. 

Yesterday I started spinning up the first braid (the one with the earthy shades) and was very surprised by how wonderfully it spins up. No fuss at all! I am making a fairly fine single to later turn into a 2-ply lace yarn, as usual. It's great not to have to watch your hands all the time and to just spin something up fairly quickly. I am thoroughly enjoying this!

Speaking of spinning, I finally finished spinning up the three randomly dyed merino fibres (a total of 50g) from long ago. I had used dyes that just weren't working for me and had to re-dye them, which unfortunately led to a slightly felted fibre. Spinning it up was horrible and I hated it. I was so glad to get done with it and surprisingly the yarn turned out very well. Especially the turquoise one is very soft against the skin. 
So now I am knitting it up to make a small cowl to sell in the shop. By now I have made more prgress with it and am almost done. I love the herringbone zigzag pattern!
I look forward to seeing it once it's washed and blocked.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Interview on Chanelled Creations

Today is a very exciting day! Ana from Chanelled Creations has interviewed me as her Featured Artist on her blog this week. You can read all about what I make, how I came to sell my products in the first place, and a little about my creative process too. 

I can't promise that all your questions will be answered, but there is certainly a lot of information that I would not have supplied had I not been made to sit down and think about the interview questions. It certainly made me think more about what I am doing, and that's a good thing. Let me know what you think!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Etsy Update: Pink Charm Bracelet

This pink charm bracelet with glass beads, heart charms, "Made with love" charm, and rose quartz beads tinkles like little bells while you wear it. It reminds me of those Indian ankle bracelets that we used to have when I was little. I love the sound and was surprised to hear this beaded bracelet recreate that sound.

The bracelet is 21 cm long, but it can be adjusted in regular intervals if you prefer a narrower fit. As always, the bracelet comes with a small chocolate brown organza bag, ready for gift giving.

Check it out at AbsoKnittingLutely!

PS: The blueberry muffin and acorn necklaces are now available in the shop too.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Killing 3: Even More Jumpers

Are you ready for the start of The Killing 3 tonight on BBC 4? I certainly am. I was sad to read that this is going to be the last series. I've enjoyed following Sarah Lund around Denmark and trying to figure out who the killers are. It's been gripping every time and I never really knew for sure who'd done it. Somehow, I even managed to knit while reading subtitles. At one point I even forgot that I don't actually understand Danish and that I'd better get back to read along again.
This is my favourite jumper from the series, though I can't decide if I prefer it in blue or off-white. I am sorely tempted to knit it one day! Maybe I should buy the DVDs one day and just knit the jumper as I am watching all three series. I wonder if I would be done by the end of it all!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Etsy: Cosy Chunky Beret

My friend Verena was kind enough to let me use her as a model for my chunky white beret, so we had an improvised photo session in Little Southgate, Bath, while window shopping. It was improvised, though it wasn't meant to be: I warned her I would need to take the pictures and I even remembered to pack the beret (quite an achievement considering I have a brain like a sieve these days), but... I left my camera at home. 
Thanks to the magic of modern mobile phones, however, we managed to take pictures after all. I am glad we did and I am especially happy that Verena agreed to model the beret because it definitely looks better on someone with long hair. My short crop is absolutely pointless for this purpose.

The beret is now available at AbsoKnittingLutely.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Etsy: Making Jewellery

At the moment I seem to be having a busy creative phase, so while I am knitting the Knotty gloves as a fingerless version to keep me warm in our very cold flat, I am also making jewellery in the evenings.
For the past two nights I have made necklaces and bracelets from a variety of beads including semiprecious stones, glass, the occasional plastic bead, and in one case even polymer clay. They have all turned out really well and I am keen to make more. (The blue bracelet featured above is now available here.)

I am particularly happy with the blue acorn cap necklace made from a real acorn cap and beads. I would like to try and make some more at a later date too. The muffin necklace turned out well too. Originally, the muffin was part of a stitch marker set, but I thought it was too big for anyone to use it in their knitting. As  apiece of fun jewellery it is much nicer. The pink bracelet has a wonderful sound to it: when it moves, the silver hearts sound like little bells. 

Soon I will have to take pictures of the last two bracelets I made in white and natural tones. Making them in the middle of the night meant I had absolutely no light for photos, of course.

Right, now I better get back to knitting those fingerless gloves!

Monday, 5 November 2012

A Spare Ball of Yarn

After finishing my Woodland Hoodlet a long time ago, I was left with a random ball of Rowan Big Wool. I had no idea what to make from it other than a hat, but as I had only just made the perfect hat around the same time I wasn't going to make another for myself. So last week I decided to knit a hat to sell in my shop.

Easier said than done! I think I frogged a number of different hats 5 times in total until I finally ended up with a simple classic beret. It looks good and I hope to take pictures with someone modelling it soon. Unfortunately, berets do not suit me at all!
It's the right weather for hats now and we even had some snow yesterday. Of course it has all melted away again now and the sun is shining. There is no way I am leaving the house without a hat though!

Monday, 29 October 2012

WIP: Beekeeper's Quilt

When I started the Beekeeper's Quilt, I suspected it might turn into a three-year project or something along those lines. As it happens, it's been almost a year since I began. After 11 months I have reached 40% of the total minimum number of hexipuffs. This is what it looks like, a heap of 149 hexipuffs:
So far I have used a whole 450 g bag of fibre filling in those hexipuffs and just bought another one and I still have lots of leftover sock yarn too. I am not entirely sure where to store all the finished puffs so I may well need to buy a large box to keep them in or move some of my fibre and yarn stash around to make room.

However long it may take me to finish the project, I might need to knit a few more hexipuffs because I might make the quilt twice as large. This way I can use it on the double bed or wrap up in it properly. Also, I have been thinking about knitting a tiny quilt to cover the seat of my ultra-comfy Ikea armchair. But once that's done too, that will be it! No more hexipuffs, ever!

Although... never say never.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Shop Update: Mini Muffin Stitch Markers

They were among the top favourites when I first started making them and now they have made it to my shop: little muffin stitch markers! They come in four different flavours (alas, they are not edible): mint, cherry, blueberry and strawberry.
The hardest part is getting the frosting right! Not too thin, not too much all at once. And it's all done by hand since I don't use molds or extruders and the like. These muffins can take quite some time and you'd probably be faster making real muffins in the meantime.
I have recently started using new types of rings for my stitch markers and they are wonderful. Slim, made of silver, and suitable for needles up to at least 7 mm. They are much better than the large plastic rings I had before, and I no longer have to make do with jump rings that can get caught in knitting.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

WIP: Seascape Stole

Though I was convinced in my last post that I would start a new pair of socks again, I have been feeling like knitting something different. There is a shawl pattern I am keen on, but I don't yet have the right amount of yarn for it. So for now I am finally getting on with my Seascape Stole. It is not as hard to work on as I remembered, but I really need to focus on every stitch and make sure to have a life line just in case. Only last night did I have to undo three of the four rows I knit because somehow I must have knit together two stitches without realising. The yarn is so fine and fuzzy that it is hard to see the stitches sometimes.

There is still a long way to go with this shawl and I have no idea how long it is going to take me, but I am glad I have picked it up again. I would really like to finish it.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Etsy Update: Fishy Stitch Markers

I have a lot of stock waiting to be listed at AbsoKnittingLutely, so I added two sets of stitch markers today. There's something rather fishy about them.
The round fish have been very popular on Ravelry and I sold quite a few of them to friends before I knew it. Now I finally got around to making some for my shop as well and I was once again surprised by how much time it takes to make them. Since I don't use any molds and have to make the tiniest parts by hand, it can take quite a while, but the results are worth it.
The second set of fish markers are new and a much plainer design. They were also fun to make and I love the colour variety.

There are more photos in the shop, so feel free to have a browse.

FO: Wetterhexe

Aaaand they're done! 
My Wetterhexe socks are finished and were a quick knit, really - it just took me longer because I was busy doing other things in-between. It is a very simple, basic pattern and all you need to know is how to knit, purl and decrease. It's a nice mindless knit on the side and looks best in a solid or semisolid shade. Don't do what I do and use yarn with too much contrast unless, like me, you just want to use it up.

Hm, what to knit next? There is a lovely skein of blue-green hand-dyed sock yarn in my stash, but do I really want to knit another pair of socks? Maybe. 



Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Christmas Puddings, Muffins and Apples

I've been busy, but I have not done much knitting or spinning at all in the past week. The socks I am working on are just about finished - I even started the final toe section -, but somehow making stitch markers seemed much more interesting.

The Christmas pudding earrings I made for myself just a short while ago are proving to be very popular, so I have been making more of them for friends. I look forward to wearing them this Christmas.
After a request for muffin stitch markers, I worked on those as well as trying my hand at apple stitch markers. The latter turned out really well and I love them!
I can't wait to try them out in my own knitting. Of course some sets will also be available in my shop as soon as I have taken pictures. Let's hope the weather will be nice enough to give us some good light for photos. Today was lovely, but I am not so optimistic about tomorrow.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Art and a KAL I Never Took Part In

I am a member of a Random Acts of Kindness group on Ravelry and sometimes people surprise you with unexpected gifts. This group is very generous and there are lovely people who spend ages talking in the chat room and the forum threads. I have been a part of the group almost since its beginning and recently won a competition to create the group's official logo.This is the scanned logo of my drawing before it was digitalised. 
And recently one of the members sent me a surprise gift: the chance to take part in a sock KAL whose theme she thought suited some sock yarn I dyed. The topic was "Whodunit" or "Krimi Socken". Sadly, the theme had nothing to do with crime at all and my 'blood-spattered' yarn didn't go with any of the patterns we would have the chance to knit. So I decided not to take part, which made me feel quite bad since my friend paid for it. 

Lucky for me, the KAL didn't quite go as planned and the designer decided to send every registered participant a free extra pattern. It is a very simple pattern, but actually I liked it and immediately started knitting it with my hand-dyed yarn. The colour makes the pattern hard to see, but I don't mind much. I no longer have a guilt conscience because I didn't take part and am looking forward to finishing the pair. One sock is already finished.
My friend didn't mind my not joining the KAL, knowing there is always a chance with a mystery KAL that you might not like the pattern. I am glad I have this extra pair to show though.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Official Facebook Page

It was about time! Abso-knitting-lutely has got its own Facebook page now. Come and have a look around (it's still rather bare, of course), let me know what you're working on at the moment, and just make yourselves comfortable. See you soon!

A Christmas and Maritime Theme

All the new stitch markers are now varnished and ready to be used. There are 5 sets in total, all packed in little organza bags. It is also quite obvious that I am certainly in the mood for Christmas:
I especially like the Christmas puddings, which is why I made two more that I can now wear as earrings. Last year I made gingerbread men, so my collection is starting to grow.
Three sets share a maritime theme and were especially fun to make. The mermaid set isn't new as such. The design is slightly different, but it is a set I made two or three times before, which was very popular. This time, the crab turned out rather huge! The fish have also been popular with knitters who also use them as charms and pendants. The octopuses are new, though. They are tiny and I really like how they turned out. Due to their size it was impossible to give them eight legs, so these are quintopuses, really. Quintopi? I like that. I will definitely make them again.
What to make next?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Baking Snowmen

In the past few days I have tried to come up with new stitch marker ideas, especially Christmas-themed ones for my shop. The only seasonal ones are a set of snowmen and another consisting of Christmas puddings. However, I have also made a new set of maritime stitch markers with a mermaid, starfish, seashell, and crab. There are a few extra fish I might add to it though and a seahorse. Then there is a newly designed set of octopuses, or quintopuses since they only have five legs. Quintopi? Hm, never mind. And finally there is a set of round fish I have made before and which have proved quite popular.

I want to make a few new things too, but will have to see whether making what's in my  head is as easy as it seems at the moment. My fingers might not be up to the task of creating some of these tiny markers, but we'll see.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Metreage? Good question.

It took me over a year to spin, ply, wash and wind this yarn, but now it's done! This is Laal Bear's Corriedale blend that I bought at Fibre Fest. It was a pain to spin, particularly on my tiniest drop spindle, because of all the material in it that just wouldn't do what I wanted it to do half the time. There is Corriedale, silk, sari silk (a bitch to thin out when drafting), and rayon thread. The red sari silk will make any finished item look stunning, I am sure, and I am looking forward to knitting with this 2-ply lace yarn. I have found a fairly simple shawl pattern on Ravelry that should be suitable to show off the yarn itself rather than the pattern. However, it may take some time till I get around to knitting it.

Unfortunately, I forgot to measure the yarn before winding it and I was not going to unwind it again! I could kick myself now. I am guessing the yarn has a metreage of 700-800 m, possibly more considering I spun 150g of this fibre into laceweight yarn. I will just keep knitting till I run out.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Two Hand-dyed Lace Cakes

These are two skeins of lace that I dyed quite a while back for my shop, but I only got around to winding them into cakes today. The problem was that we sold our dining table some weeks ago and the new table is actually a few millimetres too thick for me to attach my swift to. Unfortunately, I hadn't even thought about that when choosing the table!

After moving a side table around the room and moving other stuff about, I was finally able to get to it and so here are the finished cakes of hand-dyed laceweight yarn. I will be putting them in my shop soon - I have missed adding my yarns. This is the last hand-dyed lace for the moment as I intend to wait for more items to be sold before stocking up on new materials. It's hard to resist, I must admit! My fingers are itching to do some more dyeing, but I expect a large order of stitch markers to come in soon which will take up a lot of my time in the near future.

I wonder what will become of these two yarn cakes. They are enough for a pretty shawl and I hope they will appeal to lots of knitters.

Monday, 1 October 2012

I'm a Winner, Obviously

 I should really play the lottery more often! In the space of two weeks I won in two competitions. In fact, ever since I moved to the UK I have won things quite often even though I rarely take part in giveaways. I ought to rethink that!

This time I won a fabric bundle from Backstitch as featured by the people from Mollie Makes and I am looking forward to seeing them face to... er... fabric. How I wish I had a sewing machine now! I have been wanting one for ages, but right now is not the time to spend money on frivolities (aka necessities, as I call them). I will either store the fabric till I have a sewing machine or I might ask someone to sew something for me as part of a swap. In any case, I am excited!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Two Hats, No Hat

Well, here I was getting all excited about a new hat for the rather crisp temperatures we're having lately - and it doesn't fit!

Shame. I was looking for a project for which I could use my lovely squishy handspun and I found two suitable patterns. First, I tried the Classic French Beret, but it turns out my spinning was totally different at the start compared to the rest of it. Somehow the beginning is a lovely DK weight, but then it reduces to sock yarn weight. Oh dear. So I started on the 21hours pattern that originally used Wollmeise Twin. Excuse the nipply picture.
Never having used it, I had no idea that it is not your usual fingering weight. Argh! I only noticed things really weren't working as I finished the hat and tried to put it on. Now, my head isn't as big as most people's, but the hat sure wasn't going to fit. 
So now I have no hat and a two-weight yarn I don't know what to do with. Maybe a cowl?