OK, it’s been quite a gap on the updates. It’s been a busy few weeks and I’ve not really felt much like crafting. But this week I’ve finally done something! I mean, not much, but projects are inching forwards.
My knitting mojo has returned, at least enough to get moving with the second sock. I suffer terribly with second sock syndrome but I’m finally about two thirds of the way there now. You may remember me moaning about the size of my partners’ feet, and here I am again asking ‘Really? Does this really actually fit? Are you sure the other one is the right size?’ I’m about to turn the heel on clown sock #2 so hopefully finished by next weekend.
This year I have chosen Fellview Fibres for my advent calendar. I love how Carol turns her inspiration photos into fabulous rolags. I’ve just found time to make a start on spinning them up. This is day one ‘Winter Weekend Walk’, a blend of merino, alpaca, and silks. I love the pop of shine from the silk and the sudden softness of the alpaca. I aimed for a low twist spin with this one to keep the softness, and it is beautifully soft, but it’s quite underspun in places so I need to keep an eye on that with the remaining rolags. Next up is Golden Oak, which is a Shetland, merino, Corriedale and silk blend.
So small progress, but progress all the same. I’m hoping to finish up work this week and start my Christmas leave so I’m hoping to be a bit more productive on the crafting front. We’ve had a real cold snap this week so I think that’s it for me with the garden for this year. I’m looking forward to choosing my seeds for next year over the holidays. I definitely want to start getting some plans ready for next year. See you next week!
I’m so slow with my crafting that I don’t often post a WIP Wednesday as I have rarely made enough progress between my YOP updates to merit one. However this week I’m trying out something new so here’s a quick look.
I’ve been meaning to take a look at embroidery for a while now and so when I came across these kits produced by The Crewel Work Company I had to give them a go. I’m only on the first stitch so far which is stem stitch. I had to have a few goes at the tree trunk and although it’s still not quite right I’m calling it good enough!
I’ll make a post about the kit once I’ve made a bit more progress but I have to say I’m finding it very easy to work with so far for a complete novice and I adore the historically focused patterns.
Well it’s been a busy week this week. Sadly not on the crafting front so much. Wednesday was super busy at work due to staff shortages so between that and watching things unfold in Parliament I didn’t get much spinning done that day. Thursday was my partner’s birthday (and still partly glued to what was going on in government) so we went and did brunch and had a mooch around the bookshops and delis. Friday/Saturday I tried to get in the garden where I could as things were starting to get out of control.
So I did manage to spin every day but I’m not as far through as I wanted to be. I’m about a quarter of my way through this merino/cashmere/silk blend. I’m hoping to be consistent enough for a 2-ply lace so I’m making more of an effort to spin a short forward draw. My default spin tends to be short backwards, which is quicker and easier but I now realise a lot less consistent. I’ll stick with 25g to a bobbin because I’m terrified of snapping the fibre and losing the end in the bobbin if I keep going!
The garden has been a bit overlooked due to the wet weather we’ve been having, this sudden change has been a good opportunity to get back out there. I harvested some more shallots and potatoes this week and turned some of these:
It looks rock hard but it’s actually perfectly crispy 😂 Potato pizza is one of my greatest discoveries of lockdown.
There’s some good progress in the garden overall. I’m hoping the tomatoes will start to ripen in the next week or two. The courgettes are coming along nicely, and we’re harvesting a good crop of peas once a week. There isn’t any sign of the beans yet, and most of these were eaten earlier on in the year so I’ve only got a few surviving plants. The patty pan squash are looking healthy but not cropping yet and the rhubarb is out of control. I’m hoping to offload some of this on colleagues this week, either as fruit or a cake!
The nice thing about being in the garden is seeing a bit more wildlife including this cinnabar moth who was particularly striking:
I also have a family of slow worms living in my compost bin. I could really do with turning the heap but I really don’t want to disturb them.
That’s this week’s projects. I’m hoping to have finished the lace singles next week and to have worked on some of my other spinning projects. I’d really like to get the final skein in my sweater spin finished before the end of the tour!
I’m pleased to have found the time to knit this week, and I have knitted every evening. Unfortunately it’s still slow progress on my Boxy sweater due to the tiny needles and yarn. Still, it is great TV knitting and I have made good progress with Succession if nothing else. Next up for my knitting will be The Sopranos which for some reason I have never got around to watching.
I haven’t done much with my other indoor or outdoor projects this week. I did go and see the kitchen people to at least get started with that project. They have a very long lead in time for getting work done which is probably a good thing given my inability to make decisions about the finer details. Hopefully we’ll get some quotes underway for that in the next week or two.
That’s it for me this week. I think next week’s blog post will look this this plus a couple of inches! I might have an update on my spinning but I don’t think I’ll be at the plying stage which is the bit I’m excited to get to!
It’s been a while since I posted anything but the end of last year was just so busy I found it difficult to get much crafting done. I have managed to make some progress over the Christmas period:
The Man-Socks of Doom are slowly getting there. They would have been finished by Christmas but I went wrong on the heel turn and lost heart at the thought of unravelling. This is definitely one to finish for January.
I finished my corespun yarn and I will do an update for this later in the week once I’ve worked out how much I have. I’m not sure whether I like this or not, and I have absolutely no idea what to actually do with it, but I really enjoyed the process of making it.
I’m making my way through my Hilltop Coloud 12 Days of Cristmas spin. I’ve decided to spin this as a traditional 3-ply mixing and matching the fibres in a combo spin. I’m enjoying it so far. This is my progress with the first six days.
I haven’t made any crafting goals for the year ahead beyond trying to make sure I do something every week, however small. I think for now finishing up some of my WIPs will be the main focus and I certainly have plenty of those. I’d like to try and use up some stash, I know there is some beautiful purple Malabrigo there somewhere. I’m hoping Wonderwool will run this year. It’s my local yarn festival and it’s been two years since it was about to run as a physical thing. I’m going to try and keep my yarn purchasing at a minimum with the exception of that.
Non-crafting goals are to get more books read this year, I’m aiming for 75. I do include audio books otherwise I find having to choose between crafting and reading difficult. I’m also hoping it increase my running this year so my January challenge is to run at least one mile a day. The weather here is pretty atrocious at the moment so it’s a hard call as to whether I should have made it a swimming challenge!
That’s it for my quick update. Wishing you a happy 2022 and good luck with your own projects and challenges for the year ahead.
I missed a posting last week because things have been super busy on the work front. I think I’m back on top of things again now (famous last words and all that!)
This week I’ve mostly been spinning because even endless rounds of stockinette stitch socks was too much. Well to be fair, I turned the heel, messed up somehow, ripped it back and haven’t had the heart to pick it up again so spinning it is.
I’ve made a start on an art yarn gradient using fibre from the 2020 Fellview Fibres 12 Days of Christmas Calendar, you can see the original batts here on the Fellview Fibres website. I wanted to do something different to my usual ‘spin it and see what you get’ although I’m a bit sad I’ve lost the lovely lustre of the blend. I’m not quite good enough to spin a balanced singles core spun yarn so I’ve gone with making a plied core spun.
I’m spinning it around a lace weight cotton core and then plying it with some gold thread to keep that Christmassy theme. I still have to finish the yarn so I’m not sure what metreage I’ll have at the end yet but I’m hoping for enough for a knitted cowl or maybe I’ll try a woven project but I think that would need to be mixed with another yarn. I’m also not really sure how to measure the WPI with art yarn so I need to investigate that.
In other projects I’ve given my wheel a bit of a polish as she looked a bit ‘dry’. Maybe the winter heating affects her too, I’m starting to feel like the central heating is sucking all of the moisture from my body too. At this rate I’ll be a desiccated husk by December! I’ll try and remember to give her an oiling too as I don’t think I do this anywhere near enough.
As for the garden is pretty much going to ruin now. I think I’ll just close the curtains and check on it again in March!
I’ve finished up my Vanilla socks this week so it was nice to get those off my needles and on to my feet! I’ve also made some progress with the two pairs of socks I’m working on for my partner. It really is strange how large they feel in comparison to mine – I have to keep making him try them on to double check sizing.
I seem to have stalled on my spinning so I want to try and get back to that in the next few weeks. My spinner’s ‘12 Days of Christmas’ arrived from Hilltop Cloud in this cute, hand printed bag. I’m really looking forward to getting started with this. I may even start it early as I’ll be on leave for a good chunk of December but that seems wrong somehow.
Otherwise it’s been a quiet week on the projects front. I did pick up a new book which was James Rebanks’s English Pastoral. I’ve really enjoyed his other books on shepherding in the Lake District so I’m looking forward to settling down with this one, it comes highly recommended.
What’s the collective noun for unfinished socks? I’m thinking it should be an ‘embarrassment’. Here’s my embarrassment of socks. I just can’t stop starting socks! I was on the home straight with my plain sock until I realised I had messed up the heel turn and I had to rip it all back. I’m hoping to finish it up this week. I’m committing myself right now to completing the rest before the new year. Maybe. I mean, have you seen the size of that one for my partner amongst all my size fours? It looks like a clown sock!
Other than knitting I have been trying to get some things straight in the garden. Dry days are very few and far between here at the moment but I did manage to clear a vegetable bed yesterday and get my autumn shallots planted. I have another set to go in but I might be waiting a while for another dry day. I also harvested the last of the veggies which included a reasonable haul of courgettes, some peppers, and one single, tiny aubergine! I was super excited at that as I didn’t expect to get anything at all from the plant given the weather.
That’s it for me. I’m hoping to find time for a bit more crafting activity over the next few weeks as I think (hope) I’m through the worst of my busy period at work.
I’m having a bit of a sock thing right now and I currently have three pairs on the go. I love how this sock fits so much that I’m casting on another for my partner (since he’s going to be waiting a very long time for the Ogopogo ones). They’re perfect TV knitting. I think I’ll change the heel in the next one and maybe go with Eye of Partridge as I prefer that to the rib. It’s nice to be knitting small socks!
There’s been a new yarn purchase for said socks. I love the colour and feel of this Malabrigo yarn.
There was one other purchase this week which was a Hilltop Cloud 12 Days of Christmas fibre calendar so that’s my festive spinning sorted. Other than these I’m hoping to see the year out making my way through some stash yarn. Probably.
That’s it for this week. I’m hoping work will get a bit less frantic soon as it does tend to get in the way of crafting!
This week I’ve been enjoying an easy knit. I’m so impressed with how quickly these can knit up. I haven’t managed to find a lot of opportunities to knit this week but I’ve still managed to mostly complete one sock. Knitting for small feet is definitely much more fun! Most small sock patterns I’ve knitted have tended to be 64 stitches but I’ve found that these, at 58, are a much better fit.
I’m been feeling a bit guilty for leaving my Librarian’s Socks untouched this week but I just didn’t have the concentration. As consolation I have ordered some red sock yarn so that I can cast on simple socks for my partner while he’s waiting. He’ll probably get these before I finish the others!
It finally stopped pouring down this week so we managed to get in our logs for the winter. My autumn shallots have arrived so if it stays dry over the next week I’m going to try and sort out my vegetable beds to get those in. I’m also starting to look forward to planning next year in the garden. Once again I’m not sure if I’ve ordered one lot of seed potatoes or two but I’m sure I’ll plant (and eat) however many turn up.