Saturday, 27 March 2010

This week's progress

I've really got into crochet lately, and this top was a try out for a number of techniques which will lead to a crochet cardigan in the next few weeks (I hope!). This was made from my left over handspun chunky - mostly a jacob/icelandic cross, with some undyed merino. It was fun making it and it's cosy for this time of year when you still need a little warm wool.
I also ripped out and reknitted the sleeves on this top which I made a year ago from my chunky merino - I'd never been entirely happy with them and decided they had to be remade. It was a success, so I can wear this again now.

This week Mum and I went to our local yarn shop in Crawshawbooth; she wanted to buy some cotton for the Aubretia cardigan in August's The Knitter magazine. She settled on Paton's DK in an emerald shade, really nice, and she's started already. I browsed the shop and decided the Paton's 4 ply cotton looked rather perfect for my crochet cotton cardigan. I've worked out the pattern now and hope to be able to get the yarn soon. In the meantime, I have lots of other projects to finish off, as always!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

More Crochet

I've been getting into crochet a lot lately, and here's another flower design from the excellent Queenieamanda. It's called Begonia and is simply lovely. I've also been working on other crochet projects, more of that in my next post.
For my spinning this week, I've been working on a sample of fleece which I got free a long time ago. I couldn't read the breed on the bag, but it was ready washed - too washed for my liking. Lanolin makes wool easier to spin and this was very dry; in addition because it was a little over processed, I couldn't card it perfectly and was left with little slubs in the roving. I tried to get them out, but eventually conceded defeat and decided to spin it with the slubs in for a thick n thin yarn. Actually I think it will look quite nice when it's dyed as the slubs will pick up the dye differently. Also had a small length of singles over, as you can see from the photo.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

My First Shawl

I've been knitting for over 35 years and had never made a shawl. Maybe it's more popular in America than in the UK - when I joined Ravelry I was astonished at the number and variety of shawl patterns available. So I saved one in my favourites until later. It's called Traveling Woman.

It actually only took a few days, and I did enjoy it though I had to concentrate hard. It's so easy to miss a yarn over in these patterns, and that throws you off. The pattern was easy to follow, and I quickly got the hang of it, so I can safely say I am now a shawl knitter. My only regret was not having more than one skein of yarn - I would have liked to make it bigger.
This week I finally finished spinning the alpaca I bought last June at Woolfest. I have 5 skeins of it, and it is lovely yarn. It will sit around for a few months now while I think about what to make with it. I've now moved on to spinning up some samples I got when I bought a full fleece in 2008 (yes, 2008! and that fleece is still largely unspun), along with a small quantity of a fleece I picked up on the moors near here last summer. It's all destined to be sock yarn for next winter - 51 yards done so far.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Crochet

I started crochet later than knitting - in my late teens, as my Mum had never learned herself. So I taught myself from books and magazines; my technique may not be classical, but it works. Still, I do need practice so I joined a Crochet-Along on Ravelry, in which QueenieAmanda publishes a new flower motif each month till the end of the year. This is the first one - Jonquil, and I'm quite pleased with it. A bit different from granny squares!

In other projects, I'm about to put my skirt aside for a little while as I need the circular needle it's on for a shawl I'm anxious to knit. My granny squares are progressing, and I'm now working on a new knitting design which is fiendishly difficult - at present I can't quite work out why the second piece doesn't match the first. Will think about it tomorrow when my brain is fresher. I always have several projects on the go at the same time - I don't like to be bored knitting, and I do find big projects get a bit tedious. So it was nice to make a flower this afternoon...