Thursday, 21 May 2015

Indulgent Post

My first time ever at Chelsea Flower Show. I've never been able to go before because it is always in term time and the weekend days would have been just too busy and impossible to see anything. I went on Wednesday, it was fantastic. Gorgeous gardens, colours, scents, things to buy, people to see. I loved it.

What about that sweet teapot with a plant in, definitely something to try once I've found a little tea pot at a car boot sale.

How about the garden in a pond rather than a pond in a garden, fantastic. The mirrored boxes that held the cactus' reflected all the available light and looked as though they had lightbulbs in them. What a great idea.

So many alliums, on display in the floral marquee and amongst the planting in so many of the gardens. Many varieties were on display, they seem to be able to do the formal and the informal, I love them.

All in all a really good day. I will definitely go again next year, I've joined the RHS so hopefully I can go on a member only day which will make it less busy. 

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Feeling Sheepish

O.K. so its been many, many months since my last post. I would apologise but I doubt if anyone is  reading as its been so long since there has been anything to read.
I have recently been feeling the need to blog if just to record some of my craftiness. Things I have made, how and why with pictures. That was mostly what this blog was about anyway so I'm going to try and rekindle this and be more disciplined with it as a record for myself mostly. I might revamp the blog a bit, ditch a few things, add a few things just for a change.
I thought this first post for ages should contain lots of colour so here is a picture of my Ripple Blanket with the Cosy Colour Pack.

More colour than you can shake a stick at. This pattern and colours are from Lucy at Attic24, the pattern is in a list of her crochet patterns on the blog. Lucy's patterns are so well written, I'm loving the rhythm of the hooking and watching the colours as the blanket grows. The yarn is Stylecraft Special DK, cheap as chips but great for this project as its soft and washable.

Recently I have been attending a sewing group on  Tuesday evening. We have made a peg bag, a chicken doorstop and most recently a large beach bag. Mine is not for the beach, it is for the above blanket. I didn't choose the fabric so it is by sheer chance that it looks as good as it does in the bag.
The bag is huge, just as well for a blanket project. The outer fabric is from Ikea, I hand quilted it as the design was perfect for hand quilting and it wasn't quilt sized to it didn't take long.
That's it for now, I'm off for a walk and then some more hooking.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Self Striping Sock Wool

Keeping the skein smaller really helped with the tangling and winding and gnashing of teeth. (see my previous post) This blue and yellow was much easier to manage. I've knitted a small bit of it up just to see how it looks and I love it. 

I have been dyeing again today, trying to recreate the colours in this picture of foxgloves that I took at Chatsworth back in August.
I made up a green using easidyes and put that in the big pot. I put half of the skein in the green dye and rested the other half on the metal rack above the dye mix. I then sprinkled magenta dye crystals on top of it, put the lid on and simmered for 15 minutes. When it's dry I'll put a picture on, the natural part of the skein ended up pink in places and some of the green ended up blue, I've no idea why. However, I like it and can't wait for it to dry so I can knit it. There was quite a lot of colour in the big pot when I removed the skein of yarn so I put another one in, its a lovely blue with shades of green, love that too.
That is the big problem with all of the dyeing, I want to knit it all and not sell it on Etsy. And it is selling, I sold two skeins this week.
I've just ordered another 5 skeins of undyed sock wool, merino this time, so more dyeing at the end of the week. Fab!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Dyeing Self Striping Sock Yarn

I love knitting socks, they are a quick satisfying project. However the best thing about knitting socks is sock yarn. Self patterning, semi solid colours and self striping. I have dyed wool for socks but I really wanted to have a go at self striping.

The blue and red was the first attempt and it's knitting up beautifully. I had no idea how wide each stripe would be, the large skein I wound I did on my sisters deck between two chairs. It wasn't easy, as as soon as I started her three cats and a dog turned up to help! I dyed it, washed it, dried it and tried to get it back into a small skein or ball to knit. Nightmare! It was twisted and tangled, I had it spread out between my kitchen, living room and conservatory, it took ages. The stripes are about 9 to 10 yards each and knit up to about 10 rounds.

Thinking that the red and blue stripes are a little wide, the next attempt was for a slightly smaller skein. About half of the red and blue, 4-5 yards. Easier to make the smaller skein. These two pots have been steamed, the dye is all absorbed and now it is drying. Can't wait to knit this one up. I have tried to keep it from tangling this time, and as it's smaller it should be O.K. Such fun!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Sewing and Dyeing

I'm playing with dye, encouraged after my day at Toft I bought dyes and yarn and I have been playing. The skein on the right was the first one I did. I 'painted' it in magenta and blue on cling film and then I put it in the microwave. It was a bit hit and miss as I wasn't sure how long to cook it for, when I took it out quite a lot of dye came out of it as I rinsed it, this could have been as there was too much dye or because I didn't cook it long enough. I'm not sure whether to wash it again or over dye with another colour. The skein on the left was dyed with the left overs of the first skein. I love this one, how the colour changes are so subtle, there is a true lavender colour and mixes.

Having done that I got bored waiting for the yarn to dry so I made this knitting bag from a pattern from Emma Garry. The fabric was from the Fent shop in Skipton, the outer is John Lewis and the lining is Liberty. The Fent Shop is fantastic for fabric and notions, all brands, pieces, bolts etc. 12" zips only 50p! I always visit when I go to Skipton, sadly they don't have an online shop so you have to visit. What's not to love about a visit to Skipton I say!

I had a good day creating yesterday, and now I'm off to Derbyshire for the Wensley Yarn Workers Exhibition in Cromford. I'm doing socks! 

I think I may have found my blogging mojo!

Monday, 30 September 2013

Follow the Bunting!

Yarndale, what can I say? It was brilliant, so many people selling gorgeous things. Bunting everywhere, a lovely sunny day, a double decker bus decorated with bunting on the outside and sheep on the inside. Smiles and happy faces. That was my experience. Some however were turned back as there was no parking left and some left waiting for ages for the loo or a coffee.

I'm sure that problems encountered this year will be rectified for next year because it was too good not to do again.

Ducks by the canal, the walk to the venue was delightful with bunting and yarn bombing all the way.

Trees with Pom poms and bunting.

Wow! Just wow!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Saturday, 7 September 2013

Dyeing Yarn at Toft Alpaca

It was really sweet how the mummy alpacas surrounded the babies to keep them safe as we entered their field, they were so close we could hear them humming to each other.

I spent a lovely day learning how to dye yarn, it was a great workshop, Debbie Tomkies was full of information, she showed us several ways of dyeing yarn to achieve different effects. We also made a range of colours using different quantities of dye to see how easy it was to make the colour we wanted.

This was my main effort, hopefully when I've knitted it up into socks it will be striped in the three colours. I'll post pictures of the socks when they are knitted. 

Harriet at Toft Alpaca was the perfect hostess, the lunch was lovely and the piece of carrot cake as huge. I would really recommend workshops at Toft.

I didn't come home empty handed. Not only did I have my dyed yarn, I also bought 500gms of grey alpaca fluff for spinning, its so soft.