Sunday, July 29, 2007

Need Some Oomphh!

Has anybody got any oomphh? I need some desperately!! Or a kick up the backside, one or the other! I don't know whats wrong with me, I just feel bleurgh..!

I've done a bit more on the Potty Thomas sock, just working my way round the heel, but I seem to have just lost interest in it. I wouldn't care but I love the pattern, so hopefully I'll get back on to it soon.

I've almost finished the Nereus scarf, just need to cast off or crochet off or something! But I can't find the pattern with the instructions, so that's waiting patiently to be completed.

I've done a little spinning. This was some Wensleydale we dyed using natural dyes at the spinning group the week before last, using Logwood chips. I was amazed at the colour of the dye as it bore no resemblence to the colour of the chips. It turned out a rich, deep purple, which I've spun quite thin as usual. It just feels so chunky when I try to spin thicker, but I need to conquer it!
Sorry for the blurry pic!

Wednesday was definitely the highlight of the week! I did a fantastic workshop using Ten Second Studio stuff at Graphicus, a craft company in Barnard Castle.
We learnt how to mould and decorate thin sheets of metal under the guidance and tuition of the fabulous Lynn. Lynn is one of the best demonstrators and tutors I have ever seen, and it was a privilege to take part in one of her workshops. So much was crammed into the workshop,we learnt loads of techniques and completed several projects. I was really pleased with the results and I'm definitely going to try this craft again. This is one of my projects, a manly (said in a deep voice!)notebook!

I spent a lovely evening yesterday, in the company of Ian, Tom, Paddy and Alfie at the seaside! We went to Seaton Carew, our local bit of coast, for a walk on the beach and some fish and chips! A trip to the coast wouldn't be the same without fish and chips! And we weren't disappointed! It was a lovely sunny evening and Paddy and Alfie had a fab time, with Paddy charging through the waves to retrieve sticks and Alfie getting his ankles wet as he watched!
There's something quite magical about the sea,it really lifts the spirits. I love listening to waves crashing onto the shore. In fact I get that feeling near any expanse of water, I think that's why I love the Lakes and North Wales so much. It was a lovely evening, shame Kate didn't want to go but I can't have everything now, can I!

Ian's got a couple of days off, tomorrow and Tuesday. He's hoping to repaint the front door, but I'm not sure if the weather will allow it! The garden's also crying out for some TLC. But after seeing what many folks are going through due to the terrible floods, I'm just grateful I've got a front door and garden. My heart goes out to them.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Potty Thomas!

Otherwise known as Pomatomus, the beautiful sock pattern that has swept through blogland! I think I'm one of the few that hasn't yet knitted it, but I'm in the process of ticking it off my list.
I had a few false starts. I've some Jitterbug yarn that's been in the stash a while and I thought would work well. I cast on but then read on Ravelry that this yarn is low on the meterage. So decided to try the STR yarn in Cracked Canyon. I was unsure about using this, as I wasn't sure if the pattern would show, but as I didn't have any other sock yarn decided to give it a go. NOPE! Pattern didn't show at all so frogged AGAIN! I was getting desperate now, I wanted to get started! I thought about using some undyed BFL sock yarn from Woolfest and dyeing it after knitting, but Becky came to my rescue and I bought some Trekking XXL from her in bluey shades and hey presto, I was finally away!!

I must admit it's an addictive pattern and difficult to put down without thinking 'just one more row'! But I'm really enjoying it.

Another addiction is Ravelry! I finally got my invite the week before last and I'm hooked! Having somewhere to document projects, yarns, needles etc and also able to look at others projects, patterns etc is brilliant. I know theres along waiting list, it took me about 6 weeks to get on, but its definitely worth it

I'm also crocheting the Nereus scarf from Natural Dye Studio. I love the pattern but I'm not keen on the yarn colour and the way it's 'distributed' in the scarf, for want of a better word! I loved the colours in the skein too and the yarn itself is beautiful, so soft and snuggly!

I've been really slow to post about my prize that I won on Kath's blog. When I met Kath at Woolfest, she gave me my prize, which came with a knitting challenge. No problem you may think till you see the prize!

Thanks Kath!! I tried to knit with them........ I really tried...honest, but chocolate......and me......yummy!!

The 'needles' kept breaking, so I just HAD to eat them.....or they melted so I had to eat them, there's a pattern emerging here!! I got chocolatey fingers, sugary knees and a full tummy!! Brill idea Kath, it was good fun. I'll get you back!

Last Monday, I had a gathering of knitting friends! Carrie Anne, Becky, Bev and Andrea all came to mine and we had a lovely knitty day, punctuated only by food and drink!! I just wanted to say 'Thank you!' to you all and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Well I think I might just go and squeeze in a row on Potty Thomas, before I get the hoover out!!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Out Of Bed....

at last!! My back has decided to behave itself and let me get off it! It's so frustrating, all the goodies I bought at Woolfest have been calling my name and I haven't been able to do a flippin' thing! But at last, things are on the mend, I can knit and spin so I'm a happy bunny!

Becky and I have been to our spinning class today. I love it! Today we were shown how to ply properly. Shame I plied my spinning efforts last night and I don't think I've put enough twist in but I know I learn by my mistakes so I'm not too worried.

Norman plied!

I also got a pressie! Becky and Bev bought me a beautiful nostepinne, as thanks for sharing the caravan. Silly Billies, there was no need to buy gifts. Hard cash would have been enough!! But it is beautiful, so thank you both sooo much. As you both intended, not only will I be able to wind balls of wool, but also it will help me put on my socks!! Don't ask!

My new nostepinne!

Towards the end of my forced bedrest, I was able to knit and I FINALLY got my Regia 4ply socks finished. They are a bit day-glo but I love them! I'm wanting to start the Pomatomas sock pattern next, but haven't decided which yarn to use yet.

I've also started crocheting the Nereus scarf from Natural Dye Studio in their cobweb kid mohair. It's a really simple pattern, which as a novice crochet-er, I'm pleased about and the yarn is so soft. I'm about a third of the way down it so I've still a way to go.

Thank you for all your wonderful comments too. They really kept me going through the grottiness of last week.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Pooped and Penniless!

I think it will take me a week to recover! But Woolfest was a fab few days!

My dear hubby took me and the caravan over on Wednesday evening. It was a glorious drive over, the shadows on the hills were so beautiful.

We arrived at Graysonside and as we set the caravan up we got the feeling we were being watched!

On Thursday, I spent a quiet day, knitting, spinning and reading! Bliss!! But as the day went on, the weather started to change, becoming wetter and windier by the minute. It got so bad that a nearby tent actually blew over and was rescued by some hardy souls!

It was quite scary, as the caravan was rocking violently. I was so pleased to see Carrie Anne, Becky and Bev!! As Andrea wasn't able to make it, we decided not to put up the tent and just squeeze into the caravan. This is a pic of the four of us.

On Friday and Saturday, we started with a hearty farmhouse breakfast, well worth staying at Graysonside for alone! On very full stomachs, and with a lot of excitement, we went to Woolfest!!

As last year, it was an amazing combination of animals, fibres, equipment and wonderful people. I met many people who I only knew through Blogland and it was brill to put faces to the names. The first bloggers I met were the wonderful Artis-Anne and her fab daughter Kath. It really made my weekend meeting these two warm and friendly ladies. It felt as though we 'clicked' straight away, as though we'd known each other for years!!

On Friday and Saturday morning, I spent the day shopping, while on Saturday afternoon I attended the Artic Lace workshop with Carrie Anne. This was really interesting, learning about the Eskimos of Alaska and their use of musk oxen hair ( is it spelt quivert?) in knitting.

I mainly bought fibre, including Shetland, Blue Faced Leicester, Ryeland and Gotland fleece.
This pic shows the dark Gotland as well as the golden and smokey Angora from those gorgeous bunnies! There's also some Suri alpaca in there too!

I also got a couple of extra bobbins, for all that spinning I'm going to do and a niddy noddy.

I really would like to try some more dyeing, so I bought some Procion dyes from DT crafts and some natural dyes from Pure Tinctoria. The undyed yarn is in sock and lace weight.

And finally I bought some reading material, some Spin Off mags, a book on natural dyeing and a kit from Natural Dye Studio, to crochet a mohair scarf! Gulp! It seems to be simple crochet, so fingers crossed!

So all in all, a fantastic few days. And to top it all off, I won Kaths Krafty Kreations blog prize! Thanks Kath!! It came with a challenge, which I'll post about next time. So here we are worn out and skint, but very, very happy!! Thanks to the rest of my caravan comrades for a fab time! Shall I book up for next year??