Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A New Arrival

No, not that sort!! But then again you could say its my new baby!! Yes, my spinning wheel has finally come. Its been two weeks but the guy Ian bought it from has kept in touch to explain the reasons for the delay.

You`d never guess what it was would you!!

( unfortunately batteries in camera packed up after this photo so I can`t show off my new toys!!

As compensation he sent some extras, wow I couldn`t believe it as I unwrapped it.
He`d put in a lazy kate (even though I`ve already got one in human form!) with three bobbins, a pair of carders, a little flick carder, The Ashford book of Spinning, another spinning book and some leaflets on vegetable dying and spinning!! And to top it off, tucked in the parcel was two big bags of fleece!
I was totally overwhelmed, it was like Christmas! Now I just need to learn how to use them all!
Today really was like Christmas, as I also got two other parcels in the post.

First, I want to say a huge thank you to Andrea (craftydramaqueen), for her thoughtful gift and beautiful handcrafted card. I was quite teary when I opened it, it meant such a lot to think someone had gone to all that effort for me. So many, many thanks Andrea.

My final package were my Hong Kong bamboo knitting needles! I can`t believe how good they seem for the price. I`ll be able to get cracking with my Colinette hat now!!
So all in all its been a strange day, brill but strange. Ians just made me a cuppa, so I`m going to have a flick through a spinning book or two!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Warm Hands and Feet!

It doesn`t feel almost a week since my last blog. Where does all the time go? I know this last week has been different, in that Ians had a weeks holiday from work and I haven`t been too good in myself ( its bring out the straight- jacket time!)
On the knitting front, I`ve finally got a photo of my finished socks,even if it is a bit dodgy as I took it myself and cut most of my feet off!!

I`m really pleased with them and they couldn`t have been finished at a better time, bbrrrr! I`ve been cracking on with the Fetching gloves. I can`t believe how fast they knit up!! I`ve taken a photo at the thumbless stage on my first glove. The colour is actually a lovely soft pistachio green!

Ian and I had a lovely day out in Knaresborough on Tuesday. I couldn`t walk past Sheepish of course! They didn`t have the colour Noro Kureyon that I wanted, so I ended up just with the Twilleys Freedom spirit pattern book. After a good mooch about the town and a gorgeous lunch at the Lavender tea room, we headed towards Leyburn, to the Wensleydale Longwool shop to be precise!! I bought wool for another felted bag in a brown called natural black!! The lady in the shop was really helpful and so pleasant to talk to.
Good news on the home front. Kate, my dear daughter, has passed her driving test.
She was so much calmer than I thought she would be. It was me and Ian that were pacing the floor, waiting for her to return from the test centre. Mind, as soon as she got out of the instructors car we could tell she had passed. I don`t know what it was that gave it away. It could have been the ear to ear grin or perhaps it was the glass shattering scream as she ran down the drive!!

As my daughter has been complaining of bias on my blog ( i.e. her brothers had his photo on and she hasn`t!) in the interests of family unity, and because she did so well passing her test, I`m going to put her photo on!! Its blurry because its a photo of a photo, and not my usual dodgy camera work !

Friday, October 20, 2006

Todays The Day The Teddy Bears........

Well I`ve well and truly celebrated National Knitting week!! I`ve never had such a busy social life!!
Following Mondays 'knit in', CarrieAnne, Becky and I travelled to Teeside Park on Wednesday, to visit the knitting group at Borders. To celebrate the week, they were there every night, knitting away. They were a really friendly bunch. Add to that the shelfloads of fibrecraft books and a Starbucks cafe instore and you have the recipe for a pretty good evening!!
But today was our knitting groups offering, and it looked fantastic. The Teddy bears picnic was crowded with teddies, who feasted to bursting point on all the delicious grub provided!!
Our Afghan blanket raffle did really well, as did the knitted goods stall.
All the group members excelled themselves, both in the items they made and the time they gave. It was wonderful to be able to play a small part in this event.
Hopefully, we will have raised loads of money for the Hospice already, even before we sell the remaining teddies at the Hallgarth Hall sale.
The photos are poor quality but top pic shows Sheila and Anne who were manning the knitted items for sale stall.
Below them are Linda and Carrie Anne, CarrieAnne being the organiser extraordinaire!!

No sign of the spinning wheel yet, but its probably for the best as I don`t think I would have had the time to look at it!! Tomorrow I`m going to a tabletop sale in Spennymoor with Andrea, so hopefully I`ll sell some of the 'clutter'!!(Make some space for more yarn!) I`m taking my socks and hopefully I`ll get them finished while I`m there!!

Well I better go and dig out some stuff!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

He`s Done It Again!!

Oh My God!! I came home from the Darlo knit in last night, only to find my husband with laptop on lap!! No surprises there.
UNTIL, I discovered he was in the dying minutes of an E-bay auction for a spinning wheel!! And he won! I apparently had arrived home sooner than expected as he wasn`t going to tell me, and was just going to wait for the screams when it arrived!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Full House!

Well we are back to a full house since Tom returned from uni for the weekend, with mucky washing in tow of course! I must admit, it is nice to have everyone back in the nest. Or maybe I should say stye, looking at the state of the place!! The knitting/weaving addiction is definitely taking hold!

It`s been an odd week. Earlier in the week I took leaflets to some local shops ( advertising our KnitnNatter Teddy Bears Picnic next week) and begged pleaded and cajoled for them to be displayed. Most agreed! Only one grumbled, mainly because he had been talked into putting a huge circus poster in the window. I pointed out that ours was for a good cause and he relented!!
On the knitting front, I finished my pink bag, and couldn`t wait to wash it! I hovered around the machine like an expectant father in a labour ward! I was really pleased with the result. The Longwool has felted beautifully, giving a lovely thick textured felt.

The pictures not wonderful!
As before the colour isn`t true, it`s bright fuschia pink, but you can get an idea of what it looks like.
I still need to line the bag, and I`m looking for some funky material whilst on my travels.

I`m still plugging away with sock number two. I`ve just about finished the instep shaping so hopefully it won`t be too long before its finished and I`ll have warm toes!!

Last time I was at Beckys stall in Darlington, I bought some Regia sock wool to knit some walking socks for my dear hubby. I`m looking forward to starting these as the yarn is 6ply, and I think they will knit up quite quickly.

I`ve decided to knit a hat from the Artyfacts book using Colinette Prism. I`ve chosen the muted shade called Castagne . I`ve tried to take a photo of the hank but it doesn`t look good I`m afraid!

After I ordered the wool and the pattern, I wondered if I had the right sized needles. Well would you believe it, I didn`t!! So to remedy this and to try and reduce the incidence of it happening again, I went on E-bay and ordered a set of the bamboo needles from Hong Kong. Andrea received hers a few weeks ago and they were brill! Now I`ve just got to try and be patient while I wait for them!

Have you listened to Carrie-Annes latest BritKnitCast? Its fab as usual, so do try to catch it if you can. I especially liked the sounds of the sheep race at Masham!!
I think its back to the socks!!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Here Weave Go!!

I finally found time to start playing with my loom! I found the warping up process quite straightforward and relatively painless, I think mainly due to the book Ian bought with the loom. It describes each step in such simple terms alongside good step by step photos, that even I could follow it! I decided on a scarf width because a) I wanted to try and make 'something' rather than a swatch and b) because I was really impatient and wanted to start weaving!! So heres the progress so far:

The colours in the photo are poor, they are actually browns and creams.

I`ve also started knitting a felted bag. It`s actually knitted in
the bright fuschia pink Wensleydale Longwool I bought at Masham. I ran out on Friday and luckily Becky (of Tabbydashery fame) had one ball left on her stall at Darlington market yesterday! What an angel!!
I`m now busily trying to get the handles finished because I can`t wait to see the finished felted product!!
It`s been a busy weekend as Carrie-Anne has had an open house 'stitch in' to try and make some blankets from the myriad of squares the KnitnNatter group have produced. It`s a slow process but well worth the effort. I`ve even learnt how to do mattrass stitch, as taught to Carrie-Anne by Debbie Abrahams no less!!
I wish, for Carrie-Annes sake that the turnout had been better as she had made a huge committment to open up her home for the weekend. I think she deserves a medal!!
Well I`m off to the final day`s stitch in. I think we`ll be seeing knitted squares in our sleep!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

It`s Come!!!!

It`s come!! Woohoo! My wonderful hubby`s fantastic 'surprise' pressie of a loom has arrived. I can`t wait to get it put together and get weaving!!
As Carrie-Anne warned me, the loom should be waxed before assembly, so guess what I was doing last night (after a short visit to Homebase for some wax) ? I usually leave stuff that has to be put together to the aforementioned hubby, but he`s away in Birmingham until late tonight and I know I just can`t wait till then!!
Also in the package, was the book, The Ashford Book Of Rigid Heddle Weaving. I had a brief read ( after waxing, the loom that is and not my legs !) and it looks as though it`s going to be really useful.

Now where did he put that screwdriver?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Ba Ba Black Sheep!

Well its been a busy few days! Yesterday, I went to Masham sheep fair in the company of Carrie-Anne of Acrylik fame! There was so much more there than I expected. Of course there was lots of sheep, I loved the fat lamb category! There was a cross-section of craft stalls, tempting us before we even got near any wool! We were keen to get to the spinning and weaving demo`s as Carrie-Annes friend Silvia was demonstrating spinning. When I watch an experienced spinner, I always think it looks so relaxing, , unlike my attempts with a drop spindle, most ungainly with elbows akimbo!!
It was very thirsty work , all this watching, so we found a small cafe called Suncatchers. It served the most mouthwatering menu of cakes that I have seen. On our first visit(yes there was more than one!) we sampled the beautiful carrot cake and our second sampling involved some gorgeous lime and lemon drizzle cake! Mmmmm! I can definitely recommend Suncatchers!
The day was rounded off with a small flutter on the sheep race and a brilliant display of sheepdog handling. I came home with the latest Interweave Knits and some Wensleydale Longwool Aran in a bright fuschia pink, destined to become a felted bag. I also bought some merino tops for felting/spinning and a Miniweave 4" square loom. I even bought my hubby a t-shirt and a bottle of Black Sheep beer!! A wonderful day in all!
This morning saw the second Spennyknit. Still not too busy but hopefully numbers will pick up. Unfortunately, I had to have another cake! Yum yum!
So now I suppose I should really try and burn off all those calories and do some ironing, but then again the wool is shouting!
I wonder which one will win!!