Sunday, 31 January 2010

We have eggs:-)

This week our hens very kindly made us some eggs - yay:-) six in fact.

We have had the occasional egg before but they have usually been very weak shelled and have broken. So this is really good progress as we have had almost one well made egg each day this week. DH has made himself a few fried egg sandwiches for his lunches while I waited until Saturday morning so that I could enjoy boiled eggs with soldiers......yummy, yum yum:-)

There they are.............

Look at how yellow that yoke is...clever, clever hens. They are also getting the hang of where to lay them, in the nest box, as we were getting them just deposited around their enclosure, randomly, lol!

In spinning news, I have been spinning my Blue Faced Leicester. I have completed my first bobbin, it's about 60g in weight and I am planning on spinning another 60g and then plying the two together.

The reason it's 60g for each bobbin is that this is about half of one of the sections of combed top that I got from the Spinning Weal last weekend. The lady there weights the fibre out on scales with little weights and she is very generous with her portions hence you always get more than 100g per "section", brilliant:-)

I am also seven hexagons nearer to completing the Snowflake Blanket, that's one per day (although I managed two yesterday evening). I can't decide what yarn to use for my Ripple Blanket though.....if you have any suggestions please do leave a comment:-) So far I'm considering either Stylecraft Pure Wool dk or King Cole Merino Blend dk........................but am open to suggestions. It's going to be double bed sized (ambitious I know!) so I can't afford Debbie Bliss or Rowan.

Off to the cinema later! to see Avatar.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Hen escapage! Retail Therapy and a spot of crochet

We had a bit of a mystery this week, a hen mystery!

Several times this week DH found at least one of the hens at large in the garden. He's not sure who it was because as soon as she spotted him coming around the corner of the house she came running up to him saying "help, I'm lost!" so he'd scooped her up and popped her back in the pen with the others without really taking note of who out  of the three she was.

One day we even had an egg on the path by the front door! Anyway, we checked the fencing and there were no holes so we could not begin to guess how she managed to get out......mmmm....mystery!

Anyway, yesterday I was having my breakfast here at my table and, looking out the window, I saw a hen teetering on top of the fence! She, that is Miranda, was attempting to get to the bird feeder that I had put up last Sunday for the little garden birds. I'd hung it from a branch of the Victoria Plum tree so that I would be able to see the little garden birds swinging on it while I am sat here at the table doing my thing. I'd filled it up with the mixed corn that we give to the hens, the same mixed corn the Miranda could have been pecking at right there and then if she cared to look down on the ground.

At that very moment my neighbour came around as we were going out for the morning so I grabbed my stuff and we went to investigate. By the time I'd got my boots and coat on and locked the back door Miranda was back down on the ground on the correct side of the fence as if nothing had happened! So I climbed up and took the bird feeder down and have hung it up round the back of the house. I reckon that she must have got out inadvertently as a consequence of her attempts at the bird feeder! anyway with the mystery solved my neighbour and I went off to Clevedon to The Spinning Weal for some retail therapy.

We each bought some white Blue Faced Leicester top, I also bought some bobbins and a sliding hook flyer for my wheel while my neighbour bought a really good selection of Corridale combed top which came in lots of fantastic colours, she got pink, plum and several blues. We had a really good time and the people who own and run the shop were both very friendly and helpful. As well as spinning stuff there was also a good selection of knitting yarns, fabrics and other fibre related crafty type items. I will definatley be going back:-)

My neighbour is so sweet; when we were driving back she produced this

from her bag as a present for me for driving us. Its BFL in lovely plums and pinks and I think I will knit a hat or maybe wristwarmers for myself with it as it is almost the same colours as the Fyberspates dk Scrumptious I bought with my gift voucher.

I've had a spin with some of the white BFL and it is lovely to spin with. I'm getting better at drafting evenly and more thinly and the plan at the moment is to spin two bobbins of 50g each and then ply them together and see what I get. My sliding hook flyer needed finishing so I have not used that yet but I have wiped it over with Danish Oil to protect the wood and it should be dry by now so I will assemble it to the wheel later and have a go with it.

Here it is just before I oiled it yesterday.

On the project front I completed my Garter Yoke Cardy #2; sewed on the lovely green buttons and wove in the ends.

Now I have completed it I have been toying with the idea of a Ripple Stitch Crochet Blanket. I haven't done any crochet for a long while but as I was doing some blog browsing recently I came accross Attic 24 where Lucy has the most marvelouss crochet. I just love her Ripple Blanket as do several other bloggers:-) and would love one for our bed........but......I have not completed the crochet blanket I started way back in 2006! It's a Snowflake Hexagon blanket hooked in Sirdar Aran with Wool and I have twenty-six of the required fifty-nine hexagons completed.

So, I dug out the blanket we are.....

 and a little snowflake :-)

So for my New Years Resolution !
"I will complete this blanket"

Monday, 18 January 2010

Spinning progress

I am so proud of this that I had to share it with you.
I have been practising my spinning this evening and look.....

I do believe that there are less lumpy bumpy bits!
What do you think?

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Spin a Yarn

My first week back to work after my extended Christmas Holiday was, shall we say, a bit of a shock to the system. How I love being at home, all warm and snuggly and busy doing my thing. Don't get me wrong, I love my work, but home, DH, hens and knitting is lovely, sigh. Oh well.

I have managed to get a bit of craftiness into the week by practising my spinning with the drop spindle; I've also been reading the spinning info books that my neighbour lent to me. And I bought this......

It's an Ashford Traditional Spinning Wheel, single treadle, single drive with a single ratio flyer. I don't know how old it is and neither did the lady I bought it off as her husband got it as part of a house clearance. So if anyone out there has any info about it's age I'd be more than interested......leave me a comment.

Any way, all this came about because during the week my neighbour messaged me to say that there was a spinning wheel for sale on Ebay for pick up only and that it was not too far from here. So I went and had a look, placed a bid and won it! She came with me today and we went to collect it. Then when we got back home she made sure that it was all set up correctly and got me spinning my first yarn.

It's a bit overspun and I need to practise loads but it was easier than I thought it would be and I'm really quite pleased with it. I'm not too sure what you would ever make with it though so I think I will save it as "my first yarn" so that I can gauge my future progress.

In other news, the snow has now all gone and the hens are much happier without it. I think that they were getting a bit fed up with it and to tell you the truth the novelty was kind of starting to wear off abit for us as well. Next door made a cool, snowman though and a little bit of him is still left...with his scarf all on the floor looking forlorn...bless.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Knit, Spin, Stash!

So, hasn't this week been cold? brrrr! but the hens are really toasty and warm; I picked Caroline up on Thursday and she was really toasty, like a litttle hen shaped hot water bottle! So my top tip is, if you are cold, pop a hen up your jumper!

So, since Wednesday we have not been out much except to get a bit of shopping and as I was off from work all this week I mainly stayed in and did home type stuff in the warm.

I have now completed the knitting on the Garter Yoke Cardy#2 and just have to weave in ends and sew on buttons. I have already got the buttons chosen; some green shell buttons which I got from Get Knitted when I bought the yarn for the project. I really like them and I reckon they will look fab. The modifications that I did to the sleeves seem to have worked out ok. I tapered them and also made them longer than in the pattern. My sleeve modifications can be found on my project page if you are interested.

My 2nd nearest neighbour has recently become a Raveler! yay:-) and she messaged me for some tips on Thursday so I popped over and we had a rummage about on Ravelry for a while. As well as knitting with needles and looms she also spins and has several lovely spinning wheels. She offered to teach me to spin to which I said yes :-) So on Saturday she popped over and dropped off a top whorl drop spindle, instructions, a bag of 100% shetland wool combed tops and a niddy-noddy

So I have been spinning! and I have made thread! and it's not too bad (well I think its ok, it may not be though, he he!). It is quite addictive and very relaxing, the fibre is so soft and it smells lovely (ok, yes I have been sniffing the fibre).

I also took the oportunity to have some boxes of work stuff put up into the attic (thanks to DH) and to catalogue most of my yarn stash, which I found out was rather large, actually rather larger than I though it was! I have divided into two stashes:-
  • The "Jumper Stash" (JS) which consists of yarn in quantities big enough to make an adult sized sweater; and
  • The ""Non-jumper Stash" (NJS) which is all the rest.

The JS has been put into a massive ziplock bag, one of those where you suck the air out with the vacumn cleaner, and put under our bed, while the NJS (also in a massive ziplock) is lurking in the spare room. Of course there are still balls of yarn and mini-stashes lurking in the sitting room, but in the main I consider it to be under some kind of assemblance of order (for now at least).

Having ordered the "Beast that is my Stash"...I then proceeded to buy more yarn! yes I know, but somehow this does not really count as it is a purchase made with the Fyberspates gift voucher I recieved from my collegues at my last job as part of my leaving present, so I was not really spending money at all. I bought some Scrumptious dk in pinks and purples with which I intend to make a Clapotis (may change my mind, but for now it's gonna be a Clapotis).

Whilst writing this post there has been several quite  large "roaring" noises outside, in fact it's just done it again, lol! made DH jump, he, he. It's massive flumps of snow sliding off of the roof!  A big wodge just came off and landed very close to the hens! they are ok though, just a bit freaked out poor things. Apparently we are in for more snow tonight. I am back to work tomorrow so wish me luck with the buses!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Stay in and Knit Day

Today is an official "Stay in and Knit Day".
Due to this..........

This is what it looked like this morning around and about our place at about 8.30am, it's very pretty but  jolly chilly and a bit grey.

The road is OK but there is very little traffic. I think that the busses may be running as there were footprints by the bus stop and next doors little car is still in the drive way so my neighbour must have gone to work on the bus this morning.

The hens had to be dug out! they are so not impressed and have retreated back into their little house, after a spot of breakfast of course.

So today is reserved for knitting :-)

Saturday, 2 January 2010

New Year, New Project

Happy New Year everyone :-)

For the last few days I have been working on this.........

What do you think? I think it needs another darker colour, maybe a red? It is my first attempt at stranded colourwork and I am quite pleased with it although I do think it could do with more contrast. It was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be and I did not get in a complete knotty mess either!

All this does mean that that Garter Yoke Cardy #2 is short of its final sleeve (and buttons) so I am planning to finish that by the end of next week, fingers crossed.

So, off to the knitting shop for some red wool....more on the colourwork later.


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