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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Tour de Fleece and Kitty Cats

I'm going to start off with the kitty cat mention.   A few weeks ago I finally decided to change our kitty's diet.   Star is overweight, both have dandruff and Ray always seemed to want to sleep.   I'd done some research and the fact that the kibble we had them on was partly made from grains which are not something any cat in the wild would eat, and the fact that the food has been cooked also concerned me as many of the good things in fresh meat are destroyed by cooking and it can make digestion harder for cats.    It took about 2 weeks for the girls to be prepared to eat fresh meat, but they now seem mostly ok with it and the only kibble in the house now is the emergency earthquake feed.
Things I've noticed as a result of this is that both girls have a lot more energy; they've been behaving like kittens again (my lounge suite is not impressed), this includes Ray who I now rarely find asleep on a bed somewhere.    Also both of them have much softer fur; the dandruff is still there at the moment, but I think there's less of it.
The only real problem is remembering to thaw food for them each day, can't nuke it to thaw it as that partially cooks it, but if you have cats you know patience is not their strong suit.
Ray kitty says "I like this new food"
My cotton yarn for weaving arrived today, so I can start thinking about warping up again, am thinking about waiting a little longer though as I'm doing another weaving course over the next few months so might warp up for that once the first class has been done later this month.    
I will have plenty to choose from now, Fran the lady who gave me the loom has now given me most of her yarn as she has shifted to tapestry weaving and no longer has any need for the fine weaving yarns she had taking up space.   I need to put some more shelves up and then I can go through what she's given me and see if it'll work for the project I want to do for my course.   I'm thinking curtains for the studio.

In spinning news I've been starting on the Tour de Fleece and have spun 100g of Merino from Heavenly Wools in the colourway Dragon's Breath.   This is being spun in the fractal method; I've done the stripped down bump already and am just starting on the bump I'm spinning from end to end.
It's even prettier in real life.
No knitting, the spinning and school holidays have taken over my knitting time; plus I've been helping Dh build stuff in the garage too.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The First, But Not The Last

Cowl that is.  Still needs blocking, but it's10.24pm so that can wait.   Instead here is the appalling selfie taken in our lounge with the cellphone

Colour isn't right, it's more green and brighter; my top is actually peacock blue, not navy to give some idea of just how off it is.
It's from my handspun Fibre2Go on a base of 50% merino, 30% alpaca and 20% silk in the colourway Mediterranean.   I still have some left, but was running out of crappy beads (ranged in height from 0.5mm to 2mm, holes varied in size and the colour on the inside of the hole came off as I put the beads on), also my hands are complaining, mainly due to the fight to get some of the beads one.

This is closer to the colour and you can see the beads clearly; the real colour is more vibrant though.
It's sitting on my current reading material "Madam Will You Talk" by Mary Stewart; I'm currently resurrecting some of my old books and re-reading them.

I will definitely make another cowl, I've got some merino there that's aching to be one, but it's worsted weight and will not be beaded!    I do want to cast on my jersey too, but thinking the cowl might be more use right now when I'm feeling the cold and already have a good selection of jerseys to choose from.

On the weaving side nothing is happening yet, I've been trying to source the Cottolin I need for the next project without any luck at all.   The NZ supplier is overseas for another month, the Aussie one's website won't let me order (tried 3 browsers on this PC and 1 on Dh's PC)  and I even tried a Swedish website, but they were out of stock!   In the end I've ordered 8/2 cotton from Webs and will use that when it arrives.   I'll order Cottolin once Agnes is back in NZ.

Spinning has been temporarily on hold, I wanted to finish the cowl first, hoping to do some on Saturday though.   I did drop off a heap of fibre to be processed today though; will have to wait a couple of months, but that's no hardship with my stash!

Friday, June 13, 2014

I Am Now a Weaver!

My first ever woven project, straight off the loom!
I don't know all the lingo properly yet, but the yarn is DK set at 8 EPI, or at any rate, the reed is 8 slots per inch done in plain weave.   The ends are a knotted fringe.  I definitely want to do more!

I also finished and sent off the hot water bottle covers
All wool with lace embellishment.   I kept the one on the left as it uses some of the lace from my wedding dress and has sentimental value.

 I might have had some recent yarny purchases, they all have a reason though, so here goes.

John Q Earthwise sock yarn from the Knitworld sale; I love this stuff!

Earthwise in grey, especially for socks for Dh that he will be able to wear to work

More Earthwise in my favourite ever colour!   This is for me

This was sold as "grey", it's more of a slate blue and is a heavy laceweight merino/angora with a smooth spin.   This was my only true impulse purchase

Vintage Purls in purple, bought to make a Nightingale cardigan adapted from a sock pattern; the original one I saw was done by Jettshin on Ravelry and is stunning.   My contrast will be a lagoon blue.

I sent in a photo for a facebook yarn gradient thing and my photo was picked!   This is a worsted weight and will be a quick cowl fairly soon I think.

This is for a weaving project from Anne Field's book

and so is this one

One of my favouite sock yarns, this is Casbah by Handmaiden

more Casbah in the Sangria colourway.
Hopefully that's it for a bit on the yarn front, it's now time to use some yarn and some fabric.   I need to get some sewing done; my next weaving project if I go by Anne's book uses Cottolin and I'm not sure if I've got any of that and I can't afford any right now (see above for the reason why).   I've got something in a bag, fingers crossed it might be that.   If not I'll come up with something to make, maybe I might try making something in yardage or a table runner.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Finally Finished!

It took a while, but I've finally finished my Riverrun socks for Dh and they look really good, it's a pity his feet are so much bigger than mine really.
Ravelled here
I'll now take Dh's Scott Base socks for my travel project and I'll soon cast on a cowl with the handspun I blogged about a few posts back.   It'll beaded with lace stitches and the pattern is Abstract leaves Cowl.  In the teal it'll look amazing.   If it turns out how I imagine I'll put it in for the guild's display later this year.

Before I can start that though I have some hot water bottle covers to make from some pink wool blanketing for the Hottie Project and some lace from stash.   I'll get started on that in the next few days, probably after Ian's birthday party.   Tomorrow I might get some pinning done, but that'll be it I suspect.  I have to go out and get some gel snakes and a Cadbury Flake to make the snake cake he asked for and probably do some more baking and of course clean the bathroom area.

I'm also working on a sketch for the spinning wheel I want to order; I want either a Kea or a Morepork on it, but the Kea I like isn't mine, and I'm not comfortable with stealing someone elses work,  so I'm trying to do a Morepork from a photo using a sketch program and Paint.    My drawing skills are getting a workout, even with the computer generated sketch I'm working from.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Todays job was originally to warp, but my helpful friend wasn't available so instead I decided to re-upholster my sewing room chair.    It's an office chair, but the old upholstery was starting to shred so it was time to redo the whole thing.

I forgot to take a photo of the whole chair, but this is the back of it to give you an idea of the "before" look.

As you can see it's a fairly non-descript sage green.
And the reveal after 3 hours of hard work

Not quiet perfect, but a huge improvement!
I couldn't get the bottom of the chair off completely, so had to work around that, but despite that I think I did a really good job and I will do it again for the boy's chair too.  Not in this fabric though, not enough left and I think something that won't show the dirt is called for.

The fabric is cotton canvas from Wholeport, I also used a Stanley staplegun to secure the fabric before trimming and reassembling the chair.   I figure it probably saved me a good $100 as it meant I didn't have to buy a new chair and it also kept this one out of landfill; win/win.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


The reason for the squee is that we now own our garage!   We paid the final payment this week and now have the remotes for the door.   There might have been a little playing going on with that.

I've also got a little spinning and knitting done.    Dh's socks are now up the toe for the first one and I finished the gorgeous teal coloured merino blend and am back to spinning my corriedale.   Had hoped to start warping the loom too, but had to make some more pegs for it first and put it on the wall.   Another shelf went up too.    I've also done the tie up on the loom for the first time; that wasn't easy as most instructions have the loom with a different set up.  My lams are on one level, not two and not in the same order; once I'd worked that out though it went more smoothly.   Some information from Doe Arnott was also a great help and I used her plan for the tie up.   Should get the warp done this week.

My loom tie up

Thomas's first sock; looking good!

And finally, the lovely merino blend yarn; this is going to be a cowl

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Moving In.

There has not been a lot of crafting, but I have managed to finish spinning my Fibre2Go on a base of 50% merino, 30% alpaca and 20% silk in the colourway Mediterranean.   It's Navajo plied and is still on the bobbin for now.
The cell doesn't like taking bobbin photos.
I've now got past the heel on Dh's first sock of the pair
Obviously this photo is from before the heel turn
I've transferred lots of stuff into the wardrobe; it's pretty chocka to as high as I can safely stack it.   I'll have to get some more boxes as some of mine are too big to fit and I'll need to put a shelf up too which I'll probably store my fleeces on.   I also have stuff on the shelf I put up above the loom; mostly coned yarn so far and there's more to put up there.

The new storage unit is full, but it's so pretty!   Downside is the sun hits it, so going to have to make curtains for the window there.
I have a lot of yarn; this is just the skeined stuff.
I'm going to have to redo the Ravelry info, at the moment I have no idea where most stuff is, but that'll come after I've made the curtains (mum is providing fabric from their lounge curtain offcuts.   I have to pick up a track, but that shouldn't be too bad if I go to The Warehouse.   Was going to go for a blind, but they're expensive for ready made and with the size of the window I think we'd have to go custom which we can't afford.   Still got stuff to go away in the new room and some stuff in the house to move out and then of course the house cupboards will need a tidy too.

Hmm, I'm not getting a good feeling about finding time to craft, especially when you add in working and needing to keep up with the normal housework.

Oh, and by the way, I wrote a piece for our guild blog about the case making clothes moth, I think it's pretty good, but would love feedback.

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