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Shop Update

This evening I decided to do a mass shop update as I had quite a bit of Merino fibre that I had handpainted and not listed.

Below are pictures of the fibre that has been listed this evening. It is perfect for spinning or felting.

granite (1)

marine (1)

ochre (1)

pea1 (2)

plum

sky (2)

wallaby (1)

Next time I’ll share the handspun yarn I have put up in the shop.

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Spinning Bamboo, Silk Fibre

Apart from spinning my welsh ewe fibre I have also tried spinning bamboo and silk.

The bamboo was a challenge as it wanted to be spun thickly and I wanted to spin it fine!! Sometimes it was very slippy and othertimes it was rather sticky!! I must admit I didn’t really enjoy this fibre. The fluff got everywhere and it was definitely not very easy to spin. The only thing that was positive about the fibre was that it was very soft and glossy..

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Silk on the otherhand was lovely to spin. I loved the colours and it was lovely and soft to spin up. It was rather slippy to spin and again wanted to be spun thicker than I wanted but it was a true joy. The fluff did get everywhere, but as it wasn’t as fine as the bamboo it wasn’t such a problem. It was lovely and soft and glossy and am definitely looking forward to spinning it again.

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Happy 1st Birthday!!!

On the 11th of March my gorgeous niece turned 1. It doesn’t feel like a whole year since she was born. She is a truely loving little girl who I adore and would do anything for and I wish I got to see her more often.

Anyway, as it was her 1st birthday and she likes the Teletubbies I decided to knit (yes, knit) all 4 of the Teletubbies. So I searched my stash for the appropriate colours and the colours I didn’t have I bought and I am pleased to introduce Dipsy, Po, Laa Laa and Tinky Winky.

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laa laa

tinky winky

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I also found the really cute “Baby Mine” pattern the Yarnharlot.

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So of course I knitted it up. It is a bit big for my niece at the moment, but in a couple of months it will fit her perfectly.

HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY TO MY GORGEOUS NIECE!!!!

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(Belated) Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

I know I have been MIA for a while, but Christmas was really hectic and I didn’t get much time to myself, on top of that I wasn’t very well, but the good news is “I’m Back” :>>

I hope everyone had a good Christmas and received lots of lovely pressies..I did :DD I received the “KnitPro Symfonie Rose Deluxe Interchangeable Needle Set”. They are gorgeous needles and can’t wait to use them, just need to find the perfect project for them.

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I also received the “KnitPro Symfonie Wood Double Pointed Needle Set”. I didn’t know they came in a set so when I saw these online they definitely made it onto my Christmas list. All I need to do now is find the perfect sock pattern.

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As well as the knitting needle sets I received a “Candle Making Kit” and also a “Soap Making Kit”. I have always wanted to learn how to make candles and soaps so am really pleased to receive these kits. I have already had a go and the candles came out really good, the soaps weren’t a huge success as I didn’t manage to melt the dye correctly so they ended up with black spots in them (I was making green soaps). I intend to remelt the soaps and have another go and will post pics soon.

I would love to hear what you received for Christmas and also if you know of any perfect projects that I can cast-on for then please let me know.

I hope that everyone has a great 2011.

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The Fearless Knitting Workbook – Chapter 4

Here is my fourth installment of my review of “The Fearless Knitting Workbook” by “Jennifer E Seiffert”.

The fourth chapter is entitled “Cables and Crossed Stitches”.

I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter as I always find cables a very complex stitch pattern and I usually end up crossing the cables the wrong way..

The first square was a basic cable square and involved knitting from a chart…I usually knit cables from row by row instructions so was interested in finding out whether chart knitting was going to make things easier…I am pleased to say that it did…Seeing the cables graphically on the chart made it much easier to cross the cables the correct way and am really pleased with how it came out…

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The second square was entitled “Expanded Basic Cable Square”…this square was again knitted via chart and was relatively simple to follow..

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The third square was much more complex and was entitled “Multitasking Cable Square”…The reason I say it was more complex was because there were 3 sets of cables which all crossed on different rows..Thankfully the chart made it relatively straight forward to knit as you could see when to cross the different cables…This is the square that I am most proud of…

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The final square of this chapter was entitled “Plum Tree Square” and wasn’t really cables but did involve crossing stitches…The chart made it straight forward to knit and the stitch pattern really stands out..

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All in all I really enjoyed this chapter, it made me tackle cable charts when I have always steered clear of them…In future I will always chart my cable stitch patterns out as it makes life much easier…

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Woolfest 2010

Back in June hubby and I went up to Cumbria for Woolfest 2010…

As you can tell there were a lot of raw fleeces…and I was very restrained and only bought one…a gorgeous grey/black/brown Texel fleece for the bargain price of £5.

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This time I decided to knit some sheep for the Sheep Auction which raises money for Farm Africa..

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As usual there were a lot of sheep for sale that generous knitters spent a lot of time knitting.

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The auctioneer did a brilliant job as per usual and as you can tell there were a lot of people involved in setting up and running the auction.

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My two little sheep in coats raised £10.

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My scary sheep raised £5

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And my favourite piece which I knitted was the Sheep Tote and raised a staggering £25.

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At the end of the auction they raised a grand total of £800 for Farm Africa.

Once the auction was over hubby and I decided to go for a cup of tea and a sandwich and as you can tell we were both really happy with the outcome of the sale of my sheep.

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Apart from the Texel fleece I bought some shetland roving, alpaca roving and alpaca/merino roving..

We both had a great time in Cumbria and you can see the rest of the pictures over at Flickr

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Machine Knitting vs Hand Knitting

I have been hand knitting for over 20 years and machine knitting for around 5 years and enjoy both equally. The one big difference between them is that hand knitting is portable and machine knitting isn’t…

Machine knitting is a lot quicker than hand knitting and you can do all the stitch patterns on the knitting machine that you can by hand…Intarsia and fair isle is much easier on the knitting machine as the machine takes charge of the colour changes etc..Lace is also a lot quicker but if you drop a stitch then it is just as much of a nightmare to pick it up as it is when knitting by hand…

You can get all sorts of gadgets for the knitting machine, ranging from a ribber (knits all variations of rib stitch patterns), garter carriage (for all sorts of wonderful garter stitch patterns), lace carriage (for lace stitch patterns) and colour changers (for knitting upto four colours in one row).

I love my Brother KH970 and of course have all the gadgets, but it is hard work…despite what most people think you do not just hit a button and go away for half an hour to come back to a fully finished garment. You have to manually do all the shaping, if you don’t have a punchcard or electronic knitting machine then you will have to hand manipulate the stitches to get lace, garter stitch etc…You have to cast on manually, manually push the carriage backwards and forwards across the bed and of course manually cast off..and then the sewing up is of course manually done…In saying this in the time it takes you to hand knit a couple of stitches using good old knitting needles you will have completed a couple of rows on the knitting machine.

I suffer from Pancreatitis and very rarely use my knitting machine anymore as I find it uncomfortable to use it for more than half an hour and even then I will be in some pain, so most of my knitting is done by hand..

I love hand knitting, you can sit anywhere and do it…a good example of this is a knitting group…I belong to a machine knitting group and a hand knitting group..I enjoy going to both but find the hand knitting group more fun…with the machine knitting group one person is sat knitting on the knitting machine and the rest of us are sitting there chatting, whereas at a hand knitting group we are all sitting there knitting or crocheting…

Where I am going with all of this is that both hand knitting and machine knitting have their places and both require a lot of hard work and some knowledge of the craft to create a unique garment…I will never get rid of my knitting machine (even though it is gathering dust at the moment and I have a huge bookcase full of cones of yarn to knit up) and I will continue sitting watching tv and hand knitting some gorgeous garments….

I hope that this post shines some light on the art of machine knitting and if you have any questions then please feel free to email me or post a comment…xxxx