Friday, 29 January 2010

Welcome Wendy

Yesterday a new lady came into my life. She was expected and she was planned. She was also a bit dishevelled due to travelling.

You see, she had flown in all the way from New Zealand and space was a bit tight.

Of course, the only thing I could do was to give her a good oil, rubbing her with teak oil as well as oiling every joint as I put her together. She is a very cute wheel, the only sadness is that the bobbin supports have been replaced by some painted dowels. But it would be rude to point out such a defect.

Of course, importing a second-hand wheel from New Zealand isn't the cheapest way to purchase a wheel. I could probably have sourced a variety of second-hand travelling wheel in the UK for the same or less money, not that I really tried to find one.

Buying a wheel is a serious consideration and when buying a second wheel I really wanted the flexibility of being able to work on the same project away from home. In order to do that, I needed a wheel that would use the same bobbins as my existing wheel. It also needed to be small enough to stand up in my car. After a bit of hunting I managed to locate Wendy, the smaller sister to Pipy.

Also I find it interesting that the little sister (Wendy) was made by Philip Poore, the original designer, and that my Pipy was made by Ray Chisholm who ran the business after Mr Poore retired.

They are both a joy to spin with, shame I can't use them at the same time.

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Thursday, 7 January 2010

A walk with death

Tuesday I visited the JobCentre in Bath as I am now officially a Government statistic. It was interesting as I was given an appointment that was earlier than their opening time. However, they were very pleasant and also put me in contact with JTL who provide job advice, assistance with CV's, skills identification, training and advice on becoming self employed.  I am exploring all options so it will be an interesting start to the year.

Once finished, I decided to take a stroll up Walcott Street and continued walking home that way.  Viewed from Bathwick Bridge Bath still looks impressive.

I then took a walk through St John's Church, Bathwick. The church yard is lovely with yew trees, holly and ivy jingling and jangling amounst the grave stones.

This one really caught my eye - it says 'This Grave is Full'.

Next door is St Mary's Churchyard. This is no longer active and indeed the mortuary building is now derelict. The grave yard itself had fallen into disrepair but is now being maintained. Gravel footpaths have been laid and graves of note have been marked. There are some beautiful tombs in this atmospheric ceremetry.


Continuing my walk home, I couldn't resist having a quick look at the canal. I was delighted to find it frozen.

In the cold snap we finally received some quality snow. Iain succumbed to some snowy fun and made himself a snowman.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Step away from the washer ...

Your brain is mush.

The last pair of socks I knit last year were a bit of a trial. I started them when we went to Cornwall in September and ended up frogging nearly an entire sock as I refused to try it on even though I knew it was too small.

Finally, I bowed to the inevitable, went up a needle size but added in an extra couple of stitches. This would have been perfect EXCEPT that the yarn pools unattractively so I ripped it back.

I then recast on without the additional stitches and knitted a pair of socks that fit snuggly but as they were wool they'd give just enough to make them perfect.

I wore them once and they were really comfortable and I loved the colours.

This morning, feeling a lot better than I have in the last couple of weeks and believing that the cold fog had lifted I put a load of darks in the washing machine.

Let me tell you, Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn in Misty Moor does not withstand a 40C wash without some felting.

It may be a while before my niece can wear these knee high felted socks!
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Sunday, 3 January 2010

A Scarf for Iain

Last year, Iain asked if I would spin and knit him a scarf. Of course, I jumped at the chance but progress had been slow.

I am spinning BFL humbug and hope the yarn will be a smooshy soft as the top I have been spinning from. Since the New Year I finished the first bobbin and spun all the second bobbin. I only have one more bobbin to spin and then I can ply the yarn.

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Friday, 1 January 2010

Sleeves in your Pi - A Challenge

Last year, rashly Puddytatpurr and I decided to carry out a spinning and knitting challenge. For me this will be the first time I've spun for a specific project and, being people who like a challenge we wanted to leap frog onto something slightly more spectacular.

The pattern we are working to is Sleeves in your Pi (Ravelry link) and we start today and aim to complete by Woolfest.

Last year I purchased a silver grey Shetland fleece that came from a sheep called Stelatta. I am using this beauty to make my Sleeves in your Pi. Slight problem is, I haven't finished washing it yet. I do have enough washed fleece to start the project though and this afternoon I will be spinning for Iain's scarf and this evening for my Pi.

A word of warning, there follows some rather dull photos showing green fleece, and drying fleece. If you're not interested I'd stop scrolling now.

 The fleece being unrolled - it has already been skirted (sigh).

The darkest pieces removed from the fleece ready for washing.

The first load drying. The colour variation is clear to see.

The top layer is from the back towards the top of the neck.

At this stage I am slightly concerned I will not have enough fleece to make the whole project. I will have weigh and do some calculations. If I don't I'll be hunting for a Shetland fleece.

Christmas and New Year

Oh my, I can't believe it is 2010 already. We had a really quite night playing Wii and I shared a Crafters New Year Party on Twitter with some of the lovely people I have met.

Of course, before that was Christmas and I just want to show off some of the lovely things I was gifted.

From Sam came the beautiful purple laceweight from the Yarn Addict. It is soft and smooshy and there is 2,200m, that is going to make a BIG shawl.

The other 3 yarns were from my sister. She doesn't craft but totally loves receiving anything I make and I was stunned, delighted and touched. When Sue attended her village fair she came across a spinner called Mavis de V. Ashbee.  Each yarn is gorgeously soft and they are: white - local icelandic wool raised in the village (now that is local!), the magenta is white suffolk, red merino and rose silk and the lilac is alpaca and bourette silk.

Also nestled in the pack is The Yarn Lover's Guide to Hand Dyeing by Linda La Belle which I am really looking forward to reading and practicing with.

DH gave me a Wii (squeeeee!) and also a SIGNED edition of The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave. My husband just spoils me rotten. He also gave me these cute buttons from Badge the Badger. I shall smile each time I see one.

Anyway, happy New Year to you all.