Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? No, it’s…

Ermmm… It’s, ermmm… Oh! I don’t know!

The yarn I was making from wild-carded batts, that I started spiral-plying with added beads, is now finished.  While plying I had a couple of breaks in the thin single carrying the beads, but luckily I didn’t end up with the beads all over the floor!


I started knitting it (planning a lavender filled cushion for my daughter), but then she said it didn’t look pretty enough, so I undid it and started again.  Now it’s looking much prettier, but not much like a fabric for a cushion.  I’m now more than halfway through the ball of yarn, making a very pretty fabric with a nice drape, with no idea of what it’s going to become!

Here it is shortly after I started re-knitting it:


I shall continue knitting and hope that I work out what it is before I cast-off.  Otherwise it’ll become my first piece of hand-spun, knitted art, in the form of a wall-hanging!

Crafty Kits

Christmas has been and gone (Merry Christmas everyone) and one of the things I did was to make craft kits for the children.  I’m delighted with how these came out.  I started by dying up some yarn.


I added some undyed yarn into the packs too.  My daughter had a french knitting doll and my son had a set of bamboo needles.



Sadly, my daughter quickly lost interest on this occasion, but once my son was steered away from big knits like a scarf and had decided on a blanket for a teddy, he was away. I cast on for him and every so often I catch any dropped stitches and get the stitch count back down to the starting number. The mistakes are now happening less often and his knitting is neat and even.  In the near future we’ll be casting off this teddy blanket.


… on a One Horse Open Sleigh!

Perhaps it’s because we are racing towards Christmas (last week of term and it’s turning into a very hectic week), or that there were model sleighs in Home Sense on Monday (and by “model” I mean huge pieces of furniture you could sit in and cost as much as a new spinning wheel!), but I keep thinking this looks like a sleigh:


Anyway, I’m now the exceptionally happy and proud owner of an inkle loom!  It’s a very robust loom and quite large (in size it seems to be somewhere between the floor and table versions).  It’s been used for tablet weaving, so it should be a very versatile loom.  And look, the side comes off and the previous owner has been very thoughtful and threaded it up to show the longest path!


My fingers are itching to start using this, but I have so many projects on the go, it’ll be Christmas before I get there (which as I have the children in the morning and then the rest of the day to myself – for chilling out and doing what I want – I suspect that really will be the case)!

Anyway, tonight’s task is to dye some yarn and fibre to include in craft kits as a present for the children… so I should get back to it!

Mission Impossible

At this time of year the sun has barely risen before it is setting again, making project photography very difficult.  Today I have resorted to desk lights and daylight bulbs to take some pictures.  At other times I have boldly sneaked a finished skein of yarn into the local botanic gardens and taken pictures “on location” in the greenhouses.

However, the short days and low sun provide other opportunities.  It’s possible to see many more sunrises and sunsets than usual, and sometimes the light can be very warm and golden, making for lovely views.  In the last couple of weeks there have been some spectacular sunrises and sunsets, stretching across the whole sky. I was also very lucky to catch a parhelion, also known as a sundog (though according to atmosphere optics they are quite common).




So, other than watching the sky and feeding swans, what else have I been up to?  I’ve briefly had the sewing machine out and made something small to include in a Secret Santa swap (and as it’s secret that’s all I’ll say for the moment).  I had a dye session on Friday and a day out spinning at Creating Space yesterday.

I dyed kid mohair and BFL in the same colours, with the intention of making a bouclé yarn.



I also dyed Southdown (in blues and greens, though I’m not enamoured with the result) and Finnish (in pinks and reds).  The Finnish is lovely, very similar feel to the BFL, but a little less silky.  The Southdown is bouncy like the Dorset Horn.



Yesterday I spun my daughter’s wildcarded batts into a thick single.  I then carded three colours of Corriedale together and spun these into a thick single for plying.  Last night I decided I’d add to the experiment and threaded beads onto the thin single.




I’ve started to do a spiral ply with these, and can now appreciate the advice to use a commercial thread when adding beads.  Once added onto the single, the beads grip fairly well and are very heavy.  I only need a moderately weak spot in my single and I’ll have a scattering of beads all over the floor!