Monthly Archives: November 2012

A Christmas stocking for my nephew Aaron

This year will be my nephew Aaron’s first Christmas, so I thought I had better make him a Christmas stocking, similar to the one I made for his big sister Jenny a couple of years ago:

and the other side:

I used Cascade 220, and 3mm needles so it makes a very firm fabric.

I also wove in the un-used colour every other stitch so that little fingers and little presents wouldn’t get caught up in the floats on the inside.


Spinning sampling

At the end of October the Hampshire guild held a Wingham sampling day which I went along to. Similar to the one organised by the Kennet Valley guild that I attended earlier in the year, the idea is that you bring your wheel, pay a fee, and for that fee you can try as many bits of different fibres as you would like during the day.

Here are my samples knitted up, with the fibre they came from lined up below:

The two samples with no fibre next to them are tussah silk on the right, and possum/merino on the left (it came out a bit thicker and is distorting the knitting). The others are merino, or merino/silk. The merino/silk are the ones with the shiny white flecks.

I have really enjoyed seeing how the colours change as you progress from fibre to spun yarn to knitting. It has been a very useful experience, and I am starting to get more of a feel now for how colours mix together and what I do and don’t like. I am looking forward to having a play with my drum carder soon and making my own mixtures.

Some sewing and some weaving

My sewing is rather sporadic and usually leaves rather a lot to be desired. However at Fibre East this summer Anna showed me a lovely project bag she had made, and it was so nice that I had to have a go myself.

Anna recommended this tutorial, which is very nice and clear, lots of photos, and idiot-proof instructions 🙂

It is hard to tell from my photos but the bag is fully lined. It is the right size for a small knitting project, the yarn in there at the moment is two 50g balls. The fabric was a pair of fat quarters sold for quilting that I got from C&H Fabrics in Winchester when I was at the In The Loop conference.

I have some more fabric to make a second bag but at the moment am deliberating about whether I would like the second bag to be the same size or slightly larger than the first. I shall continue to ponder.

In another departure from the knitting, I have done a little bit of weaving. The West Surrey Guild of Spinners, Weavers, and Dyers held a pair of weaving workshops in October suitable for total beginners (there were also tutors there to help improvers), so I went along and had a go.

Sue helped me to warp up the loom, then I had a go at a bit of plain weave:

Then a  bit of twill weave:

Then a bit more twill weave where I tried to improve my rather wobbly edges:

I enjoyed the playing with different colours and getting interesting patterns, although I don’t think weaving is for me. It was great to be able to have a go at everything at the workshop, and then borrow one of the guild looms for the following week so that I could have a proper thorough play, but without having to buy all the equipment first.

A quartet of hats

After our trip to the Alexandra Palace Knitting and Stitching show in October I came down with a monster three-week cold, and spent some time drifting round the house sniffing, coughing, and feeling sorry for myself. The one good productive side of this is that I knitted up 4 hats, which have now had a good wash to remove any lingering germs 🙂

First was an Icelandic inspired hat, I started knitting this at a workshop with an Icelandic knitter organised by Janine at Ash:

The yarn is Istex Lett-Lopi, and I used 5mm needles.

The snowflake pattern is based on one from one of the Lopi books though I fiddled around with it a little, Sue suggested the Vikkel braid, and I made the rest up. The yarn is rather hairy and I was a bit worried that I would find it scratchy, but I think it is going to be ok. Even though this is the thinner of the Lopi yarns it still makes quite a nice warm hat, and I predict it will see lots of use in the coming months.

The second hat is a bit cheaty because it is only baby size, but it is very cute. This is for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s first baby (a girl) who is due to be born around Christmas.

The pattern is Beamish by Woolly Wormhead, the yarn is KnitPicks Swish DK (100% superwash merino) in Hollyberry, I used 3.75mm needles, and made the 16in size. This was a quick and fun knit, and I enjoyed the squiggles on the top.

My third hat was also a kiddie pattern by Woolly Wormhead, this time Queenie, but I sized it up to fit me.

I used Artesano Superwash Merino, and 3.75mm and 4mm needles.

The yarn was lovely to knit with, but is quite drapey. I think a slighly more substantial yarn might have been better for this style.

Towards the end of our photoshoot of this one, my Director of Photography said “try not to smile quite so widely”:

I think my modelling career may be on hold. This does rather remind me of the old maltesers advert with the crocodile and the wide-mouthed frog.

The last hat is yet another Woolly Wormhead one, though this time one designed for adults. This is Meret:

I used Cascade 220 which I bought at Ally Pally, 4.5mm needles, and knitted the 22in size.

Another fun knit. It has been rather gratifying to knit some smaller projects where you can actually see your progress and have a finished item in a reasonable time. I shall be all kitted out for the winter too now 🙂

Spinning some Southdown

I do love a bit of alliteration 🙂

This is the skein of Southdown wool fibre I started spinning at the end of this year’s Tour de Fleece and have now finished.

There is 120g, about 340m, 3ply construction. I spun it using my 4th speed on my Suzie Pro, which is about 13:1.

I have enjoyed adding to my knowledge of different breeds of wool. This was the first time I had tried spinning Southdown. It is a very bouncy fibre, and feels quite different to either Merino or Bluefaced Leicester. It is not super-soft but I think will be ok for socks. I plan to make the Having Hope socks by Diane Mulholland, and think the yarn will hopefully work well, giving structure to the cables and hopefully not being too multi-coloured to see the pattern.