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House of Lavene

My first client for Machine Knitting orders was Anne Lavene from House of Lavene.

I machine knitted a lot of her designs and fell in love with some of them.

One of the main designs I knitted was the “Forester Jacket” which had godets in the back and round the bottom of the jacket.

foresterjacket

I first found her patterns unusual to knit from as they are all in schematic form and not written word.

I knitted a lot of the Forester Jackets in various colours and was always very impressed with the end result.

Anne Lavene has now changed course in her business and is setting up a new website etc and I am looking forward to beginning knitting for her again soon. As for now I wish Anne all the luck in the world as I know she has been going through a difficult part of her life.

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Little Sis’s 27th Birthday

I have finally completed the Lace Sampler Scarf which I have been knitting since last year in the Rowan Kidsilk Haze. It was a nightmare pattern and was so intricate.

Once I had finished knitting it I was handwashed it and blocked it out, as it was blocked out my little sis turned up and fell in love with it, but I said no she couldn’t have it as I was going to sell it to recoup the cost of the yarn (2 balls).

As she has been quite down lately I thought I would surprise her with it and presented it to her at her birthday meal last night (all I have to do now is get a pic of it on her).

Lace Sampler Scarf

As you can tell from the pic it is rather on the long side and I had to stand on a chair to take the pic to ensure I got all of it in the picture.

Here we are the terrible trio.

terrible trio

My parents made themselves at home in the comfy chairs.

My dad

My mum

My mum looking as if she is paying attention to my dad.

My parents

These are the real terrible trio.

Terrible trio part 2

My little sis trying to act posh ready for Chester Races in July.

Posh Spice

Still acting posh

Once we had finished the meal my little sis decided it would be a good idea to go for a drink round town. Now bearing in mind I don’t really drink (the odd glass of wine at the weekend) and we had drank a bottle of champagne between us and a Smirnoff Ice each I was starting to feel a bit on the tiddly side. But as it was her birthday I went along with her.

A couple of cherry brandies and southern comforts later and of course not forgetting the sambucca, this is what we looked like.

Having fun

And a few more drinks later my little sis decided she could pose like Victoria Beckham as well as looking like her.

Poser

Whilst we were out I bumped into a few mates from Primary School whom I hadn’t seen since I left Secondary School. It is really strange that they recognised me straight away but it took me a fair few hours to remember them and that was after getting their first names and finally their surnames. Why do men change so much but us ladies stay the same???

Around 2 o’clock I was ready for my bed and came home. Today I have been feeling slightly worse for wear and am not sure whether it is a hangover (no headache) or just my Pancreas acting up.

I think I will call it a Pancreas flare up for arguments sake, although everyone else calls it a hangover :))

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Curious Yarns

Last week I finally completed the Curous Yarns Lace Socks and hated it.

The yarn was awful to knit with and I thought it would be softer once washed but it is still very scratchy. The yarn consists of Wool and Nylon and I would not recommend it to anyone.

Curious Yarns Lace Socks

I think the company has closed down or at least their website is down and at the time I recall waiting months for my order to be delivered so did not order from them again.

If you know of any reasonably priced nice and soft sock yarn please let me know

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Heels for Bellocq Stockings

I have finally reached the heel part of the Bellocq Stockings and have completed 4 repeats of the Vine Pattern for the foot part.

4 reps Vine Pattern

I have also completed the Short Row Heel on them and they look quite impressive.

Short Row Heel

The pattern states that you can complete the heel using either the Cuban Heel or the Vine Pattern. What is the Cuban Heel????

I have posted a question on the Bellocq KAL on Ravelry so am waiting for a response there, but please please if you are reading this and know what the differences are please let me know.

I am quite excited about getting the stitches onto circular needles as I have not really knitted much using Circs so again any tips greatly appreciated.

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Life Just Keeps On Kicking You When You’re Down

Why does life keep on kicking you when you are down?????

After another stressful weekend (am I miscarrying or is it just a reall really heavy period!!!) I had hoped things would get better, but oh no, why should it!!!

After having a pretty lousy night’s sleep I decided to go golfing this afternoon with hubby, I knew this was going to be a stupid idea as I was still getting period pains and I was tired, but I thought some exercise might help, so off we went.

The first couple of holes in RAF Valley weren’t too bad, then my wrist/thumb on my right hand began hurting, a lot. I knew that this was due to the carding of some fleeces at the weekend and then the lousy golf shots I was making (hitting the ground before hitting the ball) was the reason it was hurting again (the dr had said RSI would re-occur). But, I soldiered on up until around 100yards away from the 9th putting green, where hubby said enough was enough as the tears were streaming down my face with pain. So off I went watching hubby putt and away home we went.

Well, when I say away home, we had to make a stop at my parents to drop off my dad’s new laptop and that is when I realised my bracelet was missing. Now I thought of the obvious, when I had taken my golf glove off on the 9th tee to check out my hand it had possibly fallen off, or on the last shot it had fallen off when I took my glove off, so off we went back to the RAF base to have a scout around the 9th.

After an hour of searching there was no luck, so I thought perhaps it had fallen off during the night in bed as I could not really remember when I last saw it on my wrist and just assumed it had fallen off on the golf course.

We dashed home and I had a scout around but oh no why should life be kind to me, there was no sign of my precious gold bracelet which hubby had bought me a few years ago. I was and still am devastated. I knew it had gotten a bit big for me so had altered the catch to close on one of the smaller loops and had checked it was still the correct size a few weeks ago when we went out for a meal for hubby’s birthday, but obviously it was still too big.

This is one bad side effect of losing weight, my watches are too big, my wedding ring is getting a bit big and all my clothes are getting too big. In saying this the inches are coming off but not the pounds which is what I really need to lose otherwise no IVF on the NHS in May.

I am so depressed and everytime I think of my beloved bracelet I start crying, all I can think is when did I last remember seeing the bracelet on my wrist???

Whilst looking for the bracelet in the bedroom I somehow managed to hurt my neck as well so am well and truly injured and just want to go to sleep and hope that my bracelet mysteriously re-appears tomorrow.

Wish me luck!!!

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Dyeing Fleeces Part 2

The past few days have been awful. Not only have I had to put up with knowing I am not pregnant but have had the heaviest period ever and now am well and truly fed up. Yesterday was spent crying and being doped up on painkillers trying to deaden the pain, by last night I was so depressed I just came up to bed.

Today has been a bit better, I decided to throw myself into dyeing some more fleece. You will be glad to know I had a success, I decided what the heck and put 50g of fleece and 6g of dye into the pot with some white vinegar and let it simmer for an hour!! What do you know, it worked, so I successfully dyed 300g of fleece, 100g in Moss, 100g in Coral and 100g in Slate.

The colours are below in the shade chart which I got from Forest Fibres.

Forest Fibres

I also hand carded the Turquoise which I dyed the other day and it has come out lovely and soft and a lovely colour.

All I need now is the energy to sit down and finish spinning the Zwartbles fleece so that I can have fun spinning this dyed fleece.

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Dyeing Fleeces

Today has been one heck of a day. After all the wishing and praying, yet again I am not pregnant, a week late but not pregnant. The day started off with terrible pains (all those women out there that have bad periods will know what I mean, to all those men imagine being kicked in the privates every 5 mintues and you will sort of get the point) which gradually worsened throughout the day. By lunchtime I was ready to go back to bed and hide under the covers as the thought of not being pregnant again totally wiped me out, all I wanted to do was cry and sleep and cry and sleep.

After taking a couple of painkillers I decided today would be a good day to throw myself into having a first attempt at dyeing some fleece, so off I went.

Firstly I separated my Texel fleece which I had carded at the weekend into 100g bundles. Why 100g I here you ask, well, I had 6 “quick and easy dyes” which hubby had bought me for Valentine’s, all in different colours (I haven’t got the colours up here as I am in bed but will post the colours another day). I also happened to have had approx 600g of the Texel fleece.

After separating the 100g fleece into bundles of 25g I chose the Turquoise dye to try first. I measured 2g of the dye and mixed it in the large pan (my old pressure cooker which doesn’t work anymore did the trick) and brought it to 50°C (using my trusty thermometer). I then soaked the 25g bundle in some warm water, squeezed the excess water out and placed it in the put. I left it for 30 minutes.

When I went back and lifted the fleece out it hadn’t really taken the dye, so decided to put it in for a further 10 minutes. Again the fleece hadn’t really taken the dye, so after some thought I added 3g of dye into the pot and added some white vinegar (supposedly to help the take up of dye) and left it another 30 minutes. After this time it had taken up some more of the dye and was a very pale turquoise so took it out, rinsed it and left it to drain.

For the second batch of 25g, I decided to leave the dye stock in the pot and added an extra 2g of the dye and again left the fleece in for 30 minutes, this time it had taken up a bit more of the dye but not enough.

The third batch I had more success, after adding a further 2g of dye (now a total of 9g for 75g of fleece) and more white vinegar and then hiking the temperature up to 85°C (I know, I know, I took a risk of felting the fleece), I finally had success. The colour was lovely, the only problem was that it was a totally different colour to the first 2 batches.

The fourth batch again had another 2g of dye (total of 11g for 100g of fleece) and some more white vinegar, was left for 30 minutes at 85°C. It came out perfect, just like the third batch.

On a whim, I decided to place the first two batches back in the pot (I didn’t add any more dye or white vinegar) and left it at 85°C for 40 minutes. Luckily it came out near enough the same colour as the two successful batches. PHEW!!!!!

The said fleece is now drying on a mesh rack and I can’t wait to give it a quick card to see how it actually looks. I think I will use the small hand carders as it won’t need much carding and I don’t really want to lose any of the fleece to the drum carder.

I am a bit hesitant about having another go tomorrow as I don’t really know what amount of dye to use. The 85°C was definitely a success and the white vinegar also helped.

The dye I used was from Forest Fibres on Ebay as were in granular crystals so were easy to use. The instruction sheet wasn’t much help as it didn’t say what temperature to use or how much water to use. It did say to use 5g of the dye to 100g of fleece hence why I used the 2g for 25g of fleece. I researched the temperatures in a natural dye book I had purchased and it had advised to go no higher in temperature than 50°C, but was obviously not high enough. The instruction sheet which came with the dyes did say to simmer the dye stock with the fleece for 30 minutes, but what would you call simmering, to me simmering is when there are gentle bubbles on the surface of the water!!!!

Anyway, once the fleece is dried I will card it and take some pics for you to see and will post the colours etc and further website details for the dyes.

As for now, I am off to read the latest Yarn Forward Magazine which arrived this morning so that I can try and find out where the missing pattern for the free cobweb (cashmere/silk) yarn which I received with my subscription is.