Thursday, 31 July 2008

Oh baby, baby..................................

Ok there have been a lot of births this year to both family,friends and colleagues so Baby knitting has been high on the agenda throughout the year. I have to say I love it and having something small and quick on the needles is a delight. The problem is not being able to post until I have given the gifts so that it doesn't spoil the suprise.

Recent knits include the Cabled Cashmere blanket.......




I have also bought the following kit to knit up for a friends little boy....



It's knitted in a lovely green and blue Sea wool, the same yarn I knitted the SeaVines Vest in back at Easter. This is going to be a holiday knit and part of my enrty to the Ravalympics as part of Team Socktopus. More details once I have cast on at the opening ceremony.

I also have a little short sleeved pink cardi cast on but I haven't got any pictures of that yet. I have already completed the back and need to whip up the two fronts at knitting group on Sunday evening.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Been dyeing to show you............

My recent visit to the Natural Dye Studio at the weekend reminded me that I never got around to posting about the dyeing workshop that I ran at school at the start of June.

Take one lovely warm Saturday afternoon and 12 enthusiastic young fibre artists, undyed yarn and pots of Kool aid ..................................






and what do you get.............






We even had a go at winding up into balls using the Nostepinne in Knitting club the next week....



Thank you too to Eleanor who stayed to help me as the person who was going to be running the workshop had to pull out last minute. We had a really great time.

Oh and this was my little effort........


A lovely tencil merino yarn from

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Open Day at the Natural Dye Studio..................

This weekend was the open weekend at the Natural Dye Studio over in Suffolk.
It was an early start picking up the first contingent in Richmond at 8:15 am ready to circumnavigate the A406, otherwise known as the North Circular. Riding shotgun were, Socktopus, Indieknits, Dianemullholland, Larissa, Froggy and I was driving. First meet up was outside Starbucks so we could make sure we were set up for the day then it was off to find Borders at Brent Cross and then Silver Street Station. The journey up was going to take around three hours.

Well the pick ups went fairly smoothly with only one slight variation to the location of Silver Street Station care of Google maps, for some reason only known to them they chose to locate it in the middle of a housing estate. Anyway without too much trouble we located Larissa and we were off.

We finally arrived at the Natural Dye Studio at around 11:45 to shouts of, "Is the BBQ on yet, I'm starving."

I finally got to meet Andy of face to face rather than just through Ravelry and also the lovely Jenni of Fyberspates who had some of the most lucious yarn called scrumptious, it truly was.

So straight into the shop for a look around and some purchases ......





Look at all those lovely socks and yarn, I just stood there staring and druelling, how do you even begin to choose when all the yarn is that delicious.

Well I did manage to find a few things to buy like this little lot......


Yes that is roving in there, and no I don't spin, well not yet anyway, Diane has promised to get me started. It looked so lovely and was so soft I thought it would be a great mini project for summer.

This is the scrumtious that I bought from Jenni and I am going to use it to make Hey Teach from this months Knitty summer surprise patterns. I so adored Sarah's that she is wearing in this picture. It's the little lacey number in red,she's the one standing up.


After some initial purchases, some chatting, knitting and some burgers it was time to pop off to the dyeing room and watch the demo's from Amanda and Jenni. Apologise I forgot to take my camera in for this bit but Indieknits has some great photos on her blog which you can look at here.

I did get one of the dyeing room though......


It was fascintating to watch the process and then see the end resulting yarn.

The yarn hanging out here to dry is the yarn from the dyeing demo which both Alice and I fell in love with and insisted to Amanda that she let us buy it and take it home wet!


Here it is wound up once it was dry.......


And again after I re-skeined it this morning to separate out some of the fibres....


It's a beautiful blend of alpaca, silk and cashmere, all my three favourite yarns in one. That's probably why I also bought a skein in laceweight.


We had a really fantastic day and it was great to go with such a fab bunch of friends, it made the 6 hour round trip worth every minute. I finally arrived home at 10:25pm. Thank you everyone for a great day.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

The great big sheep........................

Yesterday was the day of the Alternative Village Fete outside the National Theatre in the Watch this space area on the Southbank. I went along to join the boys from Iknit who were getting everyone to knit for their Great Big Sheep. You can read more about what they are doing and why over on their website.








My contributions..................




I went totally loopy....................
Thank you Gerard for giving me a quick tutorial on this stitc because now I can go ahead and make my sheep tea cosy. Never miss an opportunity to learn something new.

Oh and there were some male knitters spotted and they were very proficient. The one in the yellow stripe was speedier than me and knitting continental style...




I had a really great day sitting out in the sun knitting hailing chants of "Oh your back again Craig" to which I got the reply "Oh your still here!" I finally left just in time to hop on the train and arrive on the sofa for a slightly delayed start to Dr Who care of the V+ box. Thanks boys and I hope it goes really well at Camp Bestival in a couple of weeks. I hope the sheep will eventually come to live in the shop!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

My, my,my ..........Delilah!

OK so I can now finally blog about my secret project.
Here it is ....................




A little while back there was a thread on Ravelry on the Yarnforward group asking for a test knitter. Well I am generally known for my speedy knitting and with half term coming up this was a realistic possibility so on my doorstep (well actually Carl's school) arrived a package containing lots of balls of this.


I really like this yarn and a few years back knitted an entire mens sweater in it. I love the way that it ages when it washes. It really does shrink and fade just like your favourite jeans.

Anyway I was asked to knit a lovely, summery lace halterneck.


I love the fact that it is knit in the round which gave me another opportunity to use my knitpicks. This time it gave me the perfect excuse to justify having also bought the metal tips as they really are better to use when knitting cotton.


I think this photo shows off the lacey pattern well and also how the dye is only on the outside of the yarn.


This one shows more of the detail from a different angle.



Luckily for me there was also loads of yarn left and I was allowed to keep back enough balls to knit a top for myself. I have to say for that I will need to make a few alterations to accomadate the slightly larger bust. I will be keeping a few more stitches on the needle and picking up extras behind the first cup on when knitting the second to give a little more coverage.

Also it is worth noting here I think that although the back of the top looks a little too large on the model in the magazine this is because it had not yet been washed and when it is washed the yarn shrinks by about 20% as well as fading so it will give a better fit. This is worth considering which size to knit when you have chosen which type of cotton you wish to use. Also worth noting is that Sirdar also do a cheaper shrinkable cotton which you can purchase for around £1.30 a ball at the Black sheep, so that makes this a very cheap summer knit.

If you are looking at it and thinking it is two complicated I can assure you it's not it is just two rows to the lace pattern with no complicated stitches, just very effective.

It seems really strange to see my name in print in such big letters too. I would have had a photograph of that too but I couldn't get a clear enough picture with the camera.