Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thundercloud scarf

Kerstin and I both bought some fibre at Stitches 2010 from Redfish Dyeworks. If you ever saw her stand at Stitches you would certainly remember it for it's profusion of intense colours.

I chose this 50/50 mix of tussah silk and baby camel in a colour that reminded me of thunderclouds - although the dyer thought it was more like the inside of an abalone shell. Either way I loved the subtle mix of dark and vivid fibres.

I eventually spun it into a fingering weight 2-ply yarn. I warped my loom with a Habu yarn 20/3 bamboo in a deep purple. (Colour 3) and used my handspun as the weft. I am really pleased with how the colours are preserved both in the yarn and the woven fabric.

Now this is really a cautionally tale in weaving: I had some difficulty warping with the Habu yarn; it's very fine and slippery; but I did get the warp on and thought it was OK after some adjustments. When weaving I seemed to have difficulty maintaining an even tension across the warp. The truth became apparent when I cut off the finished item:

A lot of the bend in the scarf I was able to massage out before I tied off the fringe and blocked the scarf. It's certainly not noticeable that the scarf is not straight - but it's an excellent example of how poor warping can have a bad effect on your weaving!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chick Chick Chick Chick Chicken

I had been mulling over a knitted doorstop for our back door when I saw a sample of this pattern knitted up in Yarndogs. They were running a contest to raise money for The Race for the Cure so I bought the pattern and entered the contest.

The pattern is Susan Anderson's Knit Chickens. I used the colourwork chart created by Ravelry user ElleM which is fab. Knitted in Blue Sky Alpacas aran weight cotton in Mint Green and chocolate brown.

I didn't place in the contest but the competition was stiff - look here for some of the entries.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


I have been doing a lot of knitting - and little of it has made it to the blog lately. I am really pleased with this tam - but mostly for sentimental reasons. When I was little my Nana used to knit us sweaters - and I particularly remember shetland sweaters with a fair-isle yoke. This pattern really reminded me of those sweaters, and I knitted it in an authentic scratchy shetland wool!

The pattern is Needled's Doll Heid I knitted it in the same colours as her sample as I liked it so much. The yarn is Jamieson's Spindrift 4-ply in Mooskit, Peony, and Old Rose. The only modification I made was to add pigtails to the dolls.

I like this pattern so much, both the actual process of doing colourwork, and the finished item, that I have cast on a sweater with the same paper dolls pattern around the yoke. I have not knitted any fair-isle for about 20 years and now I have knitted this, I wonder why I left it so long.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Trick or Treat

Halloween rolled around again. We re-used and recycled last year's costumes:

Adam was Ron Weasely again (note Scabbers the rat). Fin decided to be a vampire - he was thrilled that Nigel actually had a bow tie for him to wear - clearly his vampires are more Hammer House of Horror than sparkly Twilight ones. He was most insistent on the white/grey face make-up as he said "Vampires don't have freckles"!

We met up with some friends and toured our neighbourhood.

I even joined in the dressing up. I painted on some moles - Fin asked if I had grown them specially for Halloween - I guess my make-up skills are pretty good.

The boys could barely carry all the candy they collected. Fin sorted his out into "groups" as soon as he got home.

Halloween gets more fun each year as they get more involved with the preparations.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Wig Wam Bam

(with apologies to The Sweet - YouTube link here)

Nigel trimmed the trees in the garden a few weeks ago. Rather predicably Fin was scavenging all the usable sticks and built this Tipi. He was very keen to point out that it's structured "in the old way" with the sticks tied together with vines. He wanted some bark or leather to cover it but had to make do with some fake suede I happened to have.

We both described it as a wig wam - but Fin correctly pointed out that it is, in fact, a Tipi. The cat really likes it and is often to be found lurking in it's shelter - but we only managed to get a blurry photo of her in it. Fin himself, just fits underneath.