Sunday, 28 February 2010

On the crochet home straight

Ok, so I had little bit of a "oops!" moment with the Snowflake Blankie since my last post.....I ran out of the blue yarn at 57 snowflakes!

I discovered that this particular blue has been discontinued in that particular yarn- fiddle! The very helpful lady in the LYS found a similar and suitable colour - Loom Blue - in Sirdar Click Chunky but she didn't have it in an Aran weight.
So I had a rummage about on the interweb and I ordered two balls of Loom Blue Click Aran from Knit and Sew in Swansea. I ordered the yarn on the Sunday evening and it arrived on the Tuesday; that is such good service plus the price was much cheaper than I was expecting - brill all round. Actually it's really nice yarn, comes in some lovely colours and is machine washable so I may try some out in the future for a sweater.

Anyway, all the snowflakes have now been completed - yay! and they have been sewn together into strips and I am now in the process of sewing the strips together after which I will do the edging.
Here is how far I have got as of this evening - three strips sewn together draped over the back of my chair. There are an awful lot of ends to sew in as well, but I'm getting there:-)

and a close up

Actually it is a bit odd but I don't mind sewing the blanket together, I'm quite getting into it which is strange because I usually really do not like sewing up my knitting projects; the sewing up part is usually where the project ends up being hibernated. In fact I don't like the sewing up part so much that I usually opt for seamless construction even if it means getting the calculator out and converting the pattern. Maybe this is a good sign, or maybe my head just works differently for crochet.

While I was at the LYS I could not resist the thought of the Ripple Blankie and so I bought some more yarn for it; more Patons Diploma Gold DK, here it is.....


Pretty colours:-) I now have quite a good collection of colours and I may even make a start this week (fingers crossed) but not before finishing the Snowflake Blankie, of course;-)

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Crochet blankie update

The Snowflake Blanket is coming along. I now have 46 hexagons completed so I need another 13 more before they all get joined together.
Here is a little preview.
and here is the "stack"

I have been steadily working on it each evening. This week though I haven't been too well, I had a cold and have been generally full of germs. I worked from home on one day as I think my collegues had got a bit fed up with the sneezing and tissues and general grumpyness that is me when I'm unwell.  I just don't do ill very well at all but I'm feeling much better now - yay:-)

So, to celebrate I went to Marmalade Yarns in Frome to get some yarns for my next crochet project.....a Ripple Blanket, and to see what the shop is like now that it has different ladies running it. 

I can report that it's still lovely there and now there is a sofa nook with magazines to read and a comfy chair by the window as well. The yarn selection is really good too and they have yarn from Coldharbour Mill in Devon; so local yarn store with local yarn yay!

I got a bunch of colours in Patons Diploma Gold DK because I am planning on making a blanket for our double bed and that will take a lot of yarn (and a lot of time) and I really can't afford Rowan or Debbie Bliss, gosh that would be expensive. Patons Diploma Gold DK comes in lots of pretty colours and is machine washable, soft and not likely to be discontinued any time soon. I do have some bits and bobs of other dk yarn in various colours that will also go into the blanket but it will mainly be Patons Diploma Gold DK

Here's what I got.
I am being strict with myself though and I will finish the Snowflake Blanket first before starting the Ripple.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Gratuitous dyeing pictures of fibrey goodness

look, look, look!!!!
This is the BLF that I dyed on Sunday. I'm very pleased with it :-)

Here it is in super close-up fibrey, yummy, gorgeousness........
I am so pleased:-)... can you tell? lol:-)

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Black and blue all over...with a bit of green as well


I have been busy, busy, busy:-)

Yesterday I took my spinning wheel round to spin with a friend of mine, J, who lives a few villages up from ours. She keeps some Welsh Black and Soay sheep and we did a bit of a fleece swap. I took the Jacobs that my neighbour gave me and swapped a bit of that for some of Js Welsh Black. Here it is
You can just see a bit of the Jacobs under the Welsh Black. J has a drum carder so we had a go at carding the needs washing again though as it is rather sticky with lanolin and was more dificult to spin than the Welsh Black.
We drank tea, spun and chatted away, had some lunch, chatted some more and then I had to go off and do some shopping for food (boring).

Today as well as carding (by hand... would now love a drum carder...sigh) and spinning some more of Js Welsh Black I also had a play at dyeing some of the BFL combed top that I bought on the expedition to the Spinning Weal that my neighbour and I took a couple of weeks back.

First I soaked a length of tops in warm water. The tops was weighted out in lengths of 100g (ish) in the shop so that is what I used. I put a slosh of white distilled vinegar into the water before adding the top to soak for about 20 minutes.
While the top was soaking I covered the kitchen work surface in newpaper (the Times sports pages do have a use afterall) and layed cling film on top of it. Then I made up four colours of acid dyes - yellow, blue, green and jade. I then took the top out of the soak and squeezed out most of the water laying it onto the newspaper in a zig-zag so that I could work on one section at a time like Picperfic describes in her spiral dyeing tutorial
I didn't dye my top in long sections of one colour though....I kind of just dyed it in a random colour sequence and blended the colours into each other.
Here is the roll of dyed top in my steamer on the AGA. I got it going on the hob, put the lid on and popped it into the bottom oven for ooooh about....30 minutes or so. 

When it was done I took the steamer out of the oven and just let it cool down to room temperature. Then I rinsed the top in lukewarm water with a bit of vinegar and then just plain water. I squeezed the water out as much as possible and then put the whole lot into the salad spinner and gave it a good old spin to get as much water as possible out.
It is now drying on the rail of the AGA ...........................
and it should be dry by tomorow so that I can put it into a braid like you see on Etsy:-)


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