Needles ... on the move
Moving up in the world, I have shifted the blog to my new website which you may have spotted in the sidebar and perhaps even visited!
Please update your links to www.dianemulholland.com/blog
Wordpress won't let me import all the old posts however, so a lot of links may still carry you back here while I get it all figured out.
I also welcome a new contributor: Mum has given up struggling with Blogger and as Kurrajong Handcrafts
is a joint venture it seemed fitting that we share the blog as well. Watch out for her posts from Sunny Australia B-)
See you over there!
Today I have a date with this baby:
It's Polwarth tops from Wendy Dennis
, hand-dyed by my mum
. I did some sampling last week and it's soooooooo soft and lovely to spin.
Sadly though, I have to go to work
first. And a little hint: DON'T get hooked into browsing new spinning blogs on a Saturday morning when you are supposed to be out the door. Yes I did forget the time, and yes I'm probably going to be late now but I JUST WANT TO BE SPINNING. Bring on closing time!
Labels: Weekends are for spinning
Don't you love it...
... when something just works :-)
I was sitting around at work today by myself (bad weather = no customers) knitting mindless stocking stitch socks and I realised that a friend is having a birthday next week.
Enter inspiration! I chose some yarn (not hard - isn't it funny how you can make everything out of Koigu lol) drew some charts, knitted a swatch and I was away.
I struck a small hiccup about 2 hours in (solely due to me pretending that my gauge was what I wanted it to be and not what the swatch said it was), but this was easily solved by going up a needle size and down a pattern repeat. Now I'm zooming along with a glass of wine at hand.
That is how I like designing to be.
In complete contrast to my design session(s) on the weekend. Where I swatched, and swatched, and erased, and counted, and drew pictures, and changed stitch patterns and swatched again. After a total of about 4 hours over two days I returned the yarn to the stash drawer with a grumpy face on.
I am faced with the choice of creating a pattern which is more difficult to knit than I intended, or going down a needle size and yarn size for a different gauge, or changing stitch patterns again, or throwing the whole concept out the window and thinking up something else. I think I'm going to let it stew for a while.
BTW, this is still way more fun and easier than supply teaching and I regret nothing.
Oh, and I discovered something new: Splash some Innocent Smoothie
in a glass, add generous amounts of tequila and Cointreau and a couple of ice cubes. mmmmmmmmm :-)
What was that? NY resolution to drink less? I don't know what you're talking about. And anyway, it's practically health food, all that fruit juice :-D
Gotta go, there's a birthday present to finish. Is it yours? ;-)
Pretty and Practical?
Today I had a bit of a play with a new toy. I ordered some spindles a while back from my friend Claire and, on a whim, ordered a Nostepinne to match my spindle. I used it today for the first time and immediately noticed all those positives, such as perfect balance and lovely finish, which I had also admired in the spindle when I first picked it up.
These tools are hand made by Claire and her husband and the attention to detail makes them not only a practical tool but a work of art. And I like my tools pretty.
At a pinch I could probably use a cardboard tube as a Nostepinne (it's not tapered though which is kind of important) and I have often wound centre-pull balls on a pair of ice-cream sticks or folded card. But I firmly believe that a tool does not have to lose its practicality just because it has been made aesthetically pleasing as well.
I knit, spin and crochet because I love to work with my hands and I like to create, and look at, beautiful things. The tools we use can be a pleasure in themselves and add to the overall enjoyment of the creative pastime.
* Claire's spindles are here
Labels: Monday Musings, Weekends are for spinning
I finished up the laceweight. Not 50g in the end - as the second bobbin looked to be filling up much more so I stopped (in fact there was far less on the first bobbin so somewhere I messed up in the weighing out)
Here's a pic, currency comparison in two languages (have you noticed that a 5p is exactly the same as a dime - I'll only use one in future!)
Stats: Fleece Artist merino/silk hand-dyed roving; 2-ply; 33g/300m (painstaking!)
I'm not completely happy - there are a lot more imperfections than I had noticed while spinning. Not very noticable, but when trying to produce a perfect skein, well ... I'm a perfectionist. I have nothing against slubs if I meant them to be there ;-)
I am very much against the idea of spending another three weekends on this yarn but I think I'm going to need at least another 200m or so to support a decent lace project - unless anyone has some brilliant ideas for 300m?
P.S. I'll try to replace this photo with some better ones if I can - it is hopeless trying to take photos in our flat in winter.
Labels: Weekends are for spinning
Weekends are for Spinning
And this may just be useful...
I took a long-awaited trip to the Handweavers Studio this morning and this was the result:
Back issues of Spin-Off, cashmere, throwsters silk waste, mohair tops, Wensleydale curls, polyester fibre, and I went a bit silly on the merino caterpillars :-D (they're all such pretty colours!)
I plan to do a fair bit of experimenting with blending some different fibres over the next few weeks, hence the flick carders (which I was surprised were only £10 for the pair). I'm thinking mohair/merino; merino/silk; merino/curly bits; and want to try a tweed yarn. Watch out for 'Weekends are for Spinning' to see what I come up with.
Before all that though, I need to finish the first 50g of laceweight I've got taking up all my bobbins at the moment (I did think of getting more bobbins but thought that might be a bit dangerous), hopefully I will spin the last 15g or so tonight and ply it up before the weekend is over and it's back to knitting.
Labels: Weekends are for spinning
One-Skein One-Der: The pattern
Big thanks to Jan, who edited the pattern for me into proper crochet-speak, and to Jill who tested it for me as we scribbled down various
One skein Koigu KPPM (50g/175yds)
3.5mm crochet hook
Abbreviations (English terms used)
ch – chain; sp – space; tr – treble; dc – double crochet; dtr – double treble; slst – slip stitch.
Make 32 ch
Row 1: 1tr into 7th ch from hook, *ch 2, skip 2 ch, 1tr into next ch* repeat from * to * 7 more times. (nine spaces)
Row 2: Make 5 ch (turning ch), *1tr into next ch sp, ch 2* repeat from * to * seven times, 1 tr into top of turning ch.
Repeat row 2 until scarf is about 1m long, or you have about a ping-pong ball size worth of yarn left.
Tip: Work ruffle at foundation edge first, then if you think you are likely to run out of yarn unpull a few rows of the mesh before working second ruffle.
Join yarn at corner and work ruffle along short end of scarf.
Row 1: Make 5 ch (turning ch), [1dtr into first ch sp, 1 ch] 3times, *[1dtr into next ch sp, 1 ch] 4 times* repeat from * to * for each remaining space, omitting final ch.
Row 2: Make 5 ch (turning ch), [1 dtr, 1 ch] into each ch sp to end, 1 dtr into top of turning ch.
Row 3: [4 ch, 1 dc] into each ch sp to end, 4 ch, slst into top of turning ch. Break yarn and draw through last loop.
Repeat ruffle at other end, darn in ends. Scarf will increase in length with blocking.