Saturday, May 26, 2007

Fair Isle Prep!

The Fair Isle in the title is the place, not the knitting technique!!
Though I would like to have a go at fairisle, perhaps I could learn while we are actually there! That would be brill !

Its only a week before we start out on our adventure, though Acrylik and I don't actually fly until June the 7th I think it is!

I am so so excited already and the packing has started in earnest. You know what I mean, clothes that have been laundered are squirrelled away in a, usually vain, attempt not to have to wash them again before you go! Does anyone else buy new knickers for their holidays? My Gran always told us to wear decent underwear if we were going out, in case we were in an accident and had to go to hospital! I think the new knickers for holidays,may be a subconscious leftover of my Grans wisdom!

The packing is a bit more complex this time, as I have to pack a case for myself and Ian and also a case for myself for Fair Isle. Add to this the fact that I think we take as much stuff for the dogs as we do for ourselves, it all adds up to lots of packing, and lots of lists! Lots and lots of lists!

This is a photo of Burkle croft where Carrie Anne and I will be staying on Fair Isle.

Hopefully the weather will be as good as it is in the picture! The croft also has its own small flock of sheep, which will be sheared while we are there and we can have a go too!! Though I don't think I could inflict one of my haircuts on a poor sheep, I wouldn't complain if its coat found its way back home in my suitcase!!

In preparation for our fibre retreat, Carrie Anne spent an afternoon getting to grips with my spinning wheel! Now I know she'll disagree, but she picked it up really quickly! Treadling the wheel(or whatever its called!), seemed to come really naturally to her, she was flying!

I'm not sure what knitting to take on my hols. There'll definitely be a pair of socks in the bag and I'd like to take some lace too, but I can't decide on a pattern ! Too much choice, I think!! I do have an ever increasing lace stash, which needs to be attacked, preferably before Woolfest so I can buy some more!!
Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post, I so love to read your comments. The meme brought some really interesting comments, so keep up the good work!! And I'll see you all in a few weeks!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Anniversary Waltz?

21 years! We've been married 21 years and boy, has it flown!
To mark such an occasion, my dear hubby bought me a beautiful bouquet. I've always wanted one of those bouquets in a 'bubble' of water! No doubt there's a proper florist-y term for the bag of water , but my knowledge of floristry is minimal!

A very talented friend called Judith, makes fantastic figures from Fimo clay, in a range she calls Jobsworthy. Take a look at her blog She made a figure of Ian for me! Ian loves walking with his beloved dogs and so she made a hiker from clay, complete with packed lunch and a thermos in his back pack! I love it and more to the point, so did Ian!

The detail is fantastic, even down to his favourite rugby shirt!

This week also saw the delivery of some Handpainted yarns. They look fab, and really for the price, you can't be robbed! Carrie Anne and I clubbed together and chose 3 yarns each. These are the ones I chose, 2 lace weight and one I want to try felting with.

I've also been tagged by Kat of Knitty Kitty Kat Chat. Thanks Kat!
I have to write 7 facts/habits about myself on my blog and tag 7 others to do the same. As I'm always one for breaking the rules, if you would like to have a go, consider yourself tagged! Here's my fact/habits,

1. I got married at Gretna Green! So did Ian! Isn't that a coincidence!

2. I'm very tall. Just under 6ft actually. I HATE clothes shopping cos nothing is ever long enough! Thank goodness for Long Tall Sally! But occasionally I do feel small, especially when I stand next to my 6'8" son!

3. I am a craftaholic ! I love loads of different crafts and would love to try loads more. I don't make as many cards as I used to, as the yarn has taken over, but I still design and make card samples for Graphicus.

4. I am a qualified nurse. I qualified in 1983, which feels light years ago! But due to quite severe back problems, I am no longer able to nurse. :( I loved the hustle and bustle of the wards and Ian thought the uniform was OK too!

5. I passed my driving test first time, though you'd never guess by watching me reverse!

6. I used to be a really bad nail biter, but finally kicked the habit about 10 years ago. I would love to have lovely shaped and polished nails, but I'm terrible for not wearing gloves in the garden or when washing up.

7. I used to play the flute at school and would love to have a go again. I would also like to learn guitar, but my memory is sooo bad, I don't know if it's possible!

Hope I haven't sent you all to sleep! Thanks for all your lovely comments too. If there's anyone who hasn't commented before, please do!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Dyeing Day.

What a fab day I had when Acrylik invited me to play!! Dyeing yarn is something thats been on my 'to do' list for a long time, but as with most crafters, there just never seems to be enough time to try everything. So when Carrie Anne asked me if I wanted to join her and try dyeing yarn, I had my pinny on before you could say niddy noddy!

We prepared all the ingredients ready for dyeing. Carrie Anne explains this really well, so I'd take a look at her Acrylik blog to get the details.
Putting the first colour on was exciting, and I think I got a bit carried away with dyes on the first skein! I was definitely a bit 'heavy handed' especially with the blue dye!

I just had to add a bit of red to the mixture and sloshed ,., I mean carefully placed a bit around the skein!

This is how it first looked, but after a few minutes, the colours became more muted. When I bought the spinning wheel, the lazy kate had yarn on the bobbins, so I plied this up and this was the yarn I used for the first attempt. It still had a lot of grease on it and was goodness knows how old. I don't know if this was why the colours were more muted, perhaps someone with much more dyeing experience can tell me why. As you can see in the next pic, the colours changed dramatically, and a little more colour rinsed out, though not a huge amount. I quite liked these earthy shades. The mix of olive, terracotta and muted yellow was beautiful.

The next skein I tried, I was much more controlled with the dyes! I still had to use all 3 dyes though! The result was much more vibrant on this yarn. It was one I'd bought from DT Crafts at Woolfest, a DK 100% wool. There was no dye at all in the rinse of this yarn and the colours stayed true.

We had such fun documenting each others attempts, and did get a bit silly at times, as you can see from the next photo! The incredible bearded lady!

I was really pleased with the finished results. The yarns look so different its hard to believe that the same 3 dye colours were used on both! So here are the finished articles, ready to use.

As I said before, I've skimmed over the process, so do please read Acrylik's blog. I really do wish I'd tried before as it was not as complex as I'd thought. As messy?.......yup!
I've still got a red thumb! Wonder if Carrie Anne's fingers are still purple?!