Monthly Archives: July 2010

Upcoming patchwork knitting workshop Saturday 21st August 2010

Rosie Sykes, Heather Murray and Jill Brownjohn will be holding a patchwork knitting workshop using Horst Schulz’s techniques.

Times: Saturday 21 August 09.30 – 4.30

Cost: Β£40.00

Venue: Marlow Bottom, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, UK

This 7th annual Workshop will be small so participants gain maximum practical benefit.

Skills needed: cast on, knit, purl, decrease.

Details from or telephone Jill to reserve a place 01628 471397.

Le Tour de Fleece: Days Seventeen to Twenty-Two

Good: My neck is loads better, and is very nearly back to normal.

Bad: Some nasty insect has bitten me on the ankle and it has swollen up horribly over my ankle and down my foot, and developed a nasty looking huge orange blister, so it looks like I have an under-ripe cherry tomato stuck to my ankle.

Good: The swelling is better than yesterday, I can now walk. Yeah! It is also not nearly as painful, I now only feel like I am being stabbed with hot needles for most of the time rather than all of the time πŸ™‚

Bad: I can’t treadle the spinning wheel, and I can’t drive the car πŸ™ I don’t have enough range of motion to tilt my foot up and down, and at the moment I can’t even get my foot onto the clutch peddle let alone change gear (though it was probably greatly amusing watching me try).

Good: With all the sitting and not spinning time I have managed to do quite a lot of my City and Guilds class homework, although progress has been hampered by feeling a bit grotty.

Bad: I probably wont be able to get to the class tomorrow unless the swelling goes down enough for me to drive the car.

Good: I did manage a bit of spinning before the swelling got too bad, nearly done on bobbin 5 of the merino / silk.

Bad: I really wanted to finish this before Knit Nation next week so I have all my bobbins clear. So I had better hurry up and get better soon.

Le Tour de Fleece: Day Sixteen

We had a lovely day out today at the Singleton Rare Breeds show at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. We saw lots of sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, poultry, fleeces, hand spinning, and knitting, and met up with a surprising number of people who I know.

The animals were all beautifully turned out, and in general were very well behaved, although there were a couple of escapees and one Manx Loghtan sheep who was doing a good impression of a toddler in a supermarket and lay down on the grass in the path and wouldn’t get up πŸ™‚ Here is a Kerry Hill sheep and owner:

I was amazed again in the variety that exist within the sheep family, the Soays were tiny – not much bigger than a cat, and the Teeswater huge with long ringlets.

There were of course some purchasing opportunities, we had a yummy hog roast for lunch (not a whole one πŸ™‚ ), and I bought this gorgeous IST spindle.

60mm spindle, 22g, tulipwood on sycamore with a walnut shaft.

I managed a bit of spinning this evening, continuing on bobbin 5 of the merino / silk, inbetween chasing the foxes out of the back garden and stopping the neighbours cats jumping in through the lounge window (oh the delights of summer).

My neck is definitely better than yesterday though still a bit niggly. Hopefully tomorrow will be better still.

I’ve been having continued problems with heavy treadling, but following some reading up on the Majacraft group on ravelry, I tried cleaning out the hinges with compressed air and then using silicon lubricant. Hopefully this will have done the trick. They were also recommending white lithium grease on the hinges so I shall see if I can pick some up.

Le Tour de Fleece: Days Six to Fifteen

Well a lot of stuff has been going on here in the last week and a half, but not much spinning.

Last friday we went to Stratford to see Morte d’Arthur done by the RSC, the inlaws treated us in celebration of their birthdays. It was a really good production, very gripping and imaginative. We were back home on Saturday in time to clear the piles of stuff off the seats in the lounge just in time for my parents to come and stay for 4 days. They went home Tuesday, and I collapsed in a heap. On Wednesday morning I woke up and couldn’t move my head (sleeping is a clearly a dangerous activity). It is a lot better now but is still very painful, and although I can now move my head side to side it still wont go up and down properly. I have had enough of it now and would like it to just get better.

It is a bit painful to spin (actually its a bit painful to do a lot of things) so I haven’t done very much, although I have made a bit of headway on bobbin 5. Another dark photo today I’m afraid.

I am feeling a lot less tired than I have been the rest of the week though so I am finally starting to get caught up on bits and pieces which need doing.

Right, bedtime for tired Heathers. I am hoping to wake up tomorrow and feel miraculously better πŸ™‚ and less whingey πŸ™‚

Le Tour de Fleece: Day Five

Finished bobbin 4! (yes I’m afraid it does look rather similar to bobbin 3)

and managed to photograph it before I went out for my Bollywood dance class. The class is marvelous fun, I am very much an unco-ordinated beginner ( this was my third class) but our teacher is very enthusiastic and welcoming and the music is very addictive. It is certainly quite energetic though, and I am feeling my lack of fitness. I thought I was doing slightly better this week as I managed to get through the warm up without feeling like I was going to die. This all changed when it came to recapping the dance we learnt a couple of weeks ago, by the time we got to the end I was doing a very convincing impression of a sweaty beetroot! I am hoping I will get a bit better at it all soon, but it is good fun anyway, and is a dance style where manic grin is an appropriate facial expression which is always a good thing πŸ™‚

Le Tour de Fleece: Days Two, Three, and Four

We were out all day Sunday but I did manage a little bit of spinning in the evening, and finished off bobbin 3.

Half way through the singles now!

It was spinning group at Ash yesterday, so I got started on bobbin 4 although I was having a bit of trouble with the treadles feeling very heavy. A bit of oil on the hinges sorted that out and I managed to spin quite a bit more in the evening.

I re-oiled the wheel again this morning, and wiped off some black gunk which was on the hinges and it has been spinning much better!

Before I had to go out today I spun a bit more of bobbin 4, hopefully I might finish this one tomorrow, it feels like I am rocketing along now (though luckily with fewer crashes than the cyclists). So here is bobbin 4 as it looks now:

And this is a recap of what I have spun on days two, three, and four, with a bit of the fibre too.

Le Tour de Fleece: Day One

I realised looking back at last years tour that I started that on the back foot too. Last year I went to the Knitting and Crochet Guild AGM on Day One but did manage a bit of spindle spinning.

Today was my brother in laws wedding. I thought taking the wheel might be a bit conspicuous though I did have a bit of knitting in my bag in case we were early, in the end I was very restrained and it stayed in the bag. We were lucky to have much better weather than the cyclists in Rotterdam and it was a lovely day, the bride and groom both looked very nice and everyone had a lovely time.

We got home a couple of hours ago, in time for me to do a bit of spinning while I watched the highlights programme.

I feel I am starting to get back into the swing with this fibre. I haven’t actually done much spinning since the demo at Clandon back in May, and was having some trouble with the bobbin jerking, but I think I have solved that now. I am definitely glad to be getting a bit of practice in before Knit Nation since I have booked into 2 spinning classes and want to be a bit more on top of my game before that.

I’m afraid I am starting off with a bit of a dark photo, but you get the idea.

This is bobbin 3 of 6, so coming along!

Spinning sunshine

Well, best laid plans and all that. I seem to have spent the last couple of months squashed flat underneath City and Guilds stuff. I did manage to hand in another wodge on Sunday (lucky Fiona!) but everything else seems to have slipped by the wayside recently. I shall catch up on blogging about the stuff I have handed in fairly soon hopefully.

I am still spinning the stuff I started shortly after Christmas. Luckily it is lovely πŸ™‚

This is a merino / silk mix from Wingham Woolwork. I think it is 70% merino, 30% silk. The merino is a blend of about 4 colours in shades of yellow and orange, and the silk is white undyed. It is such a lovely cheery colour, and I am enjoying spinning it.

The grand plan is that it is going to become socks. I have about 200g and I have split it into 6 hopefully equal bits so that I can make two lots of three ply.

After much umming and ahhing I have decided I am going to do the Tour De Fleece this year even though I know I have stuff going on during the next three weeks which means I wont be able to spin every day. It was such fun last year that it seems a shame to miss out so I will spin when I can.Β  I have joined the Lantern Rouge team for those stragglers at the back of the pack, the Majacraft group, and Jo‘s Lime Green Jelly group, though I will have to get a move on if I hope to actually start on my LGJ fibre! My goal is to finish spinning the sunshine merino/silk, I am hoping this will actually be attainable! So Happy Spinning to anyone else who is doing this, and see you (virtually) in Rotterdam tomorrow.