Sunday, March 25, 2007

Projects and Photos.

Rummaging in the stash mountain I came across this combination and have been trying ever since to decide if these two yarns go together or not. I've even knitted up some small swatches to see how they look knitted up. So the question is - do they 'go'? At times I say 'yes', then change my mind and think 'no' the green needs a quick bath in some blue dye to take the edge off it a little....
I may make my mind up at some point. And what is this all for? This is Poppy. The pattern was in one of the UK Knitting mags (Knitting - if I remember correctly!) and the original was done in Noro Silk Garden and Cash Iroha (spellcheck says this should be IRA!! LOL)- well I've no such luck to have a stash of Noro to use. (I do have a ball each of Silk Garden and Kureyon but then I want a jumper for me not one of Emily's dollies!) I have enough of the green to do the sleeves of Poppy with the body being variegated and am not sure if this would work or not - can you tell I'm desperately trying to get my stash yarns to play nicely with each other and give me something wearable?

FO-wise I've one sleeve to go so not too far off now! I will get cracking tonight!

Anyway - as we've had some beautiful spring days lately I suppose I should change the subject and let a little light in.

These following photos were all taken not too far from where I am in a place called Eastham Woods. There's a lovely coastal path that follows the banks of the River Mersey to the woods which were formerly a Victorian Pleasure Garden complete with Bear pit and Water Splash (an early roller coaster) which nature has now reclaimed but remnants are still to be found like fountains and rhododendrons in amongst the trees. It's a bit like finding the lamp-post in the woods of Narnia but not quite as magical as you're under the flightpath for Liverpool Airport so you get loads of planes taking off and landing not so far above you. Anyway I didn't get as far as the fountains etc but enjoyed natures display of blossom, catkins and fresh green leaves so thought I'd share these with you. Doesn't Spring just lift your heart? It always does for me!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Who needs a Golden fleece?

When you can have a rainbow from your dye pot!

I thought I'd make the most of the sunshine and get some shots of my latest dye pot sessions which I'm really pleased with - what they will end up as I do not know but either way I've ended up with some really zingy fleece! I'm using more of the Cotswold Curls that Mum

donated to my fleece stash (which incidentally is actually the same age as me! The curls that is not the stash pile!)

First of all was a combination of Yellow, Magenta and Turquoise. As you can see I've ended up with some of those sap yellow/green shades again (good thing I like them!) along with more greener shades and shots of magenta and there are tiny blueish spots that you can't really see from this shot.Next I wanted BLUE!! A lot of the turquoise dye hadn't been taken in the last batch and so I thought I wouldn't waste it and tried for a blue mix using the turquoise, blue and lilac and also threw in a small skein of yarn from a giant cone I have, the label for which I think DH seems to have thrown in the bin! Anyway this lot is really bright and zingy - I think I may have overdone the dye somewhat!! The colours here are pretty accurate in showing it as a royal blue/purple mix.Finally I fancied some fiery tones and tried some red, yellow and magenta. Initially I had too much water in the pot and ended up with a non-descript cornflake orange which was a bit boring so I put a few squirts of magenta in here and there and set it simmering again and was much happier with the results which again are fairly accurate - just how much brighter could a flash make an already bright fleece?

So there you go - a mix of indoor and outdoor lighting to show off some vivid fleeces to play with. Now the next important question - Just what am I going to do with it all?

BTW - I'm being a bit of a slow knitter at the mo. My Jaywalker is at a standstill until I can get another 2.25mm dpn to replace the one DD broke but the jumper is nearly finished, well I'm almost finished with the 1st sleeve so not too far to go - I will have more FO's to follow in the not too distant future!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Lets try again!

Well I'm home after a busy time at Mum's knitting and weaving (results to be posted once completed!). I have re-uploaded my FO photos for my earlier post that was being problematic - I have absolutely no idea why blogger decided to stop showing my photos. They were there for about half a day after I posted them and then nothing so fingers crossed they will stay there this time.
As for the previous post that was just a random shot of some beach debris that Mum and I found on a beach walk that I thought I'd use for a test shot. I had written an explanations for you all but blogger spat that post out so that is about 2nd or 3rd time lucky hence the lack of words!
Normal knitting service hopefully with photos of FO's will return shortly but I may be busy over the weekend as my little bro is moving in to his very first house with his girlfriend so it will be a case of chasing round Ikea for cheap cutlery, plates, glasses, etc before coming home to help shift boxes and stuff for them.
As long as they're better at labeling boxes than I was it will be fine. I got so sick of packing when I moved once that everything was just labeled 'stuff', 'more stuff' and so on including the box with my rock collection in it (it's a geology thing! God help you if you take me to a pebbly beach!).
Anyway I'm waffling - I hope you can all now see my photos. Do please let me know if blogger is naughty again so I can try to fix things. Fingers crossed!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Testing Testing

Can you see me?

Friday, March 09, 2007

Finally Some FO's!

Well I did say I'd have some FO's to show you soon but I've been a bit slow to photo them plus there's been a few dark and gloomy days that make for poor pics. So, determined to keep up my 'better pics' policy I waited for the right conditions.
So to start we have the completed Twillies Freedom Spirit vest top.

I made it longer than the pattern said to because I wanted to try and cover my belly and avoid sneak peaks of it and so bought an extra ball of yarn . . . which was never needed as the yardage of Spirit is great. These balls just seemed to keep on going and I've still a fair bit of the 4th ball left over! The colours are fairly accurate - lovely subtle stripes blending throughout the fabric and I really love them all - so autumnal, earthy and woodsy (if you know what I mean!). So I give the yarn a resounding thumbs up and it's warm and squishy soft too!

Number 2 on the FO parade is a quick little instant gratification knit from the 'Knitting Pattern a Day' desk calendar from sometime in August (OK - I peeked!). Can you tell what it is yet?Of course it's just what we all need and want - a felted vase! My Dad was here when it came out of the washing machine and was put to dry on the radiator (filled with a bag of dried beans and rice to keep the shape) and was heard to comment 'So it's not water tight then.' I had told him I was making a vase so I guess I'd filled his head with traditional vase thoughts! I meant to take a photo of the insides before I felted it as this was also my first dabble in colour work. Those greeny bits are supposed to be a check pattern but they don't show clearly due to my poor choice in contrast yarn but the reverse of the work did look neat which was good seeing as it was late and I was kind of making it up as I went so no 'official' techniques were used!

Next onto the fibre front. My dyes have been burning a hole in my pocket as it were waiting for a suitable pan to dye in. I gave up after a bit and tried some Cotswold curls in the microwave with unsatisfactory results - the colours just didn't want to blend this way. Anyway, after a trip to Ikea (resulting in a big 5l pan for £10 - my max dye pan budget), the dyeing was back on. I'm pleased with the results as well. The fleece that had been microwaved ended up with black, green and yellow bits surrounded by parts that hadn't taken any dye so this was overdyed greeny yellow to give the below results which are quite a true representation of the zingy sap green.

There was still a bit of green dye in the pan after taking the first lot out so another load went in after having a quick vinegar/water soak with a dose of blue dye which produced this icy green/blue which isn't as pale in reality. Also in there I dunked a small skein of wool/silk mix from a giant cone that I thought would work well with the curls for my next spinning project of boucle yarn (to copy Mum!).

You can really see the difference between the yarn and the fleece and it almost seems hard to believe they were in the same dye pot!

Also in this shot is my current bobbin of spun stuff this time some beautiful Jacob fleece from Sandie at Yorkshire Woollybacks This is such a lovely soft fleece which I'm spinning without carding and having just given it a little wash but it really wasn't that dirty at all. Fellow spinners I heartily recommend her fleeces - she really looks after her sheep and their coats and it show in their fleeces. I've also had one of her Suffolk shearling fleeces (baby sheeps first haircut!) which was also very clean and beautifully soft and is being saved for a project for Emily from Interweave Knits latest issue but I need to calculate yardage etc before I let you all in on that one!

Finally some silliness also taken from Mum. I'm:

Kinetic Artificial Technician Hardwired for Efficient Repair, Infiltration and Nocturnal Exploration
Get Your Cyborg Name

And DH? Well of course he's:

Biomechanical Artificial Replicant Responsible for Yelling

Get Your Cyborg Name

And I couldn't miss out little DD:

Electronic Mechanical Individual Limited to Yelling

Get Your Cyborg Name

It's all just a bit of fun after all!