I’m about to cast-off the thing I’m knitting and I still don’t know what it is! So perhaps it’s a Thneed, though I don’t believe I used any tufts from the Truffula Tree when I carded up the fibre* (I included some bamboo though, which is perhaps similar?)
After what has felt like days and days stuck inside while the rain has pelted and the wind has howled, the sky was beautifully clear and blue this morning, so we took the chance and went for a walk. I think we were not the first as the ducks were distinctly unimpressed by our stale bread offerings. However, there was a pleasant walk near water with coots, a great crested grebe, ducks and swans. There was also a warm bird-hide where we were able to watch birds feeding, various tits including a marsh tit and even a brief glance of a woodpecker (though I couldn’t, with any certainty, say which type it was).
On Instagram I’m taking part in a challenge (with the tag #katkatyarnpadc) to post a picture everyday to a themed prompt. It’s surprisingly difficult to take a picture that fits a prompt, so I’m interested to see how I do through January. Today’s challenge was a close-up (I took a lot of pictures before choosing one to post – so this is slightly different from the one on Instagram).
I shall finish off the Thneed and wash and block it, perhaps when I’ve done that I’ll know what it is!
*My children are of an age where I’m regularly reading the Dr Seuss books. This may explain a certain amount of silliness!
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!
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!
Today I stood in the kitchen and I could see two jobs to do next. Either I tidied and cleaned the lounge floor or I cleaned the fluff from my drum carder. Before I’d really thought about it I’d picked up the drum carder cleaning brush…
My daughter (almost 4) has been asking about the drum carder for a bit, and seeing me clean it she was again asking questions about how it worked. So, we went and found my box of fibre scraps and some suitable fibre for holding it all together (I chose some silver-grey Haunui fibre) and we had a play.
We chose colours together. Then I cut up some leftover handspun yarn – this was a first for me! I wrapped the yarn around a book, then cut it into short lengths.
We carded up a batt – but my daughter thought it was a little too subtle, so we revisited the colour selection, making three piles of fibre to drumcard into batts. By this stage my daughter was very engaged with the process and happily turned the drum carder while I prepared fibres and fed them on. She also issued instructions about the colours and fibres that should go on next. We made glitter and cut-bit sandwiches (with thin layers of fibre for the bread) for the drum carder to eat (the large drum is apparently the drum-carder’s tummy!). We ended up with four batts.
At the moment I’m not sure what I’ll make with these (or even how I’ll spin them), but I’m sure they’ll end up being made into something for my daughter.