Sunday, 21 October 2012

At the Beach

Such a lovely day today.  Proper autumn weather - warm in the sunshine, but damp and frosty in the shade.  


This being my favourite kind of weather, I set off for a walk with my camera and my current WIP and headed to the "beach".  This is actually the shoreline of the Menai Straits in Bangor, but it's lovely to hear the sound of the waves all the same :)


At the moment I'm working on a Rikke hat in King Cole Mirage DK.  This picture was taken a couple of days ago, I'm just approaching the crown shaping now.  Although I like the way it's turning out, I'll admit that I passed my tolerance for garter-in-the-round about 4 inches ago... It's always very tempting to think "well surely it's about right?" and CO too early, but I've experienced something of an epiphany recently...


...I've actually been finishing projects!!  I don't know what's come over me, but I finished both this honey cowl and a pair of Fables ON THE SAME DAY and in time for Wool Week! Shocker, I know!!  But being able to actually wear them and feel the benefit of them when it's cold out has definitely spurred me on to finish more projects within a sensible time frame.

But having said that, I've just ordered the yarn to make a Lamour Slipover and I have visions that I'll still be knitting it this time next year!

x

Sunday, 23 September 2012

When Knitting Goes Bad


Sometimes it's possible to get a piece of knitting SO wrong that it produces this face.  What have I done to deserve such a monster (other than, you know, get the decreases wrong and then skip a massive chunk of earflap?  But apart from that?! :P)

It's meant to be one of these.  See, pretty pretty hat, not horrific marshmallow bonnet.

Oh well.  Start again!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Fleece to FO: 2 - The Processing

You can find out more about the project here

=

I'll admit that this project has not happened quite in the way I imagined.  It's been a very stressful couple of months - not something that really needs sharing here in any detail - but for a long time this project has had to take a back seat to other more pressing things.

That said, yesterday I took a breath and opened the bag I've been storing the washed fleece in.


My goodness, there's a lot of it!!  I'm happy to report that it still has a rather pleasing shampoo-aroma (I had been a bit worried about mustyness considering how long I've left it).


With that much fibre, there's not much to do other than get stuck in.  I had thought that with carding I'd be in much more familiar territory than with the sorting and washing of the fleece.  I've worked plenty of fibre using these cards, so I was expecting it to be pretty straightforward.


What I actually discovered is just how different preparing hand-processed fleece is compared to the commercial stuff I've been used to.  I'm reluctant to say that I prefer one to the other, they're just very very different experiences.

I think perhaps one of the main things I've noticed with this fleece is that it feels very dry to the touch.  It's a coarse fibre (and I'll admit I've been spoiled thus far with merino and bfl and other such treats), but that's ok.


I worked 10 batts in total, and used 2 batts each to make 5 rolags.  (If you're not sure about the terminology, have a read of this page).

If I'm honest, I stopped at 5 out of boredom.  Utter boredom.  Carding is possibly my least favourite stage of the fibre-prep process.  Well, apart from picking (which you may have noticed I've left out completely), which has got to be one of the most tedious jobs ever invented.  My intention had been to card the whole lot into rolags ready for spinning, to keep each stage separate.  But, as I looked into the bag and realised I'd not even made a small hole in the amount of fleece that needs sorting, I soon abandoned that ridiculous notion and got out the spinning wheel (note that when in any doubt, this is always the right course of action).


MUCH more fun!  And the 5 rolags added up to one full bobbin's worth of singles, so really I can just pretend it was all intentional...:P

As you can see, the yarn it's producing is pretty hairy and fuzzy.  There's nothing really wrong with this - I never intended this wool to be made into something worn as a garment, so there's no need for it to be next-to-the-skin-soft.  In fact, the coarseness may actually be an advantage considering what I have in mind, but that, I'm afraid, is a tale for next time ;)

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Starling


I've been experimenting again.  This time, working on dyeing different fibres and then blending them together to see what I get.  Above is a 60/40 Merino/Alpaca blend, and below an Oatmeal BFL/Alpaca blend in the same proportions.


They're both lovely and soft, and very light.  I'm learning a lot about spinning recently (like to remember to check the Scotch tension rather than fight against the wheel!!), and the absolute best news is that as the holiday season at work is now over, I'll have an extra day off a week which I can dedicate to spinning and learning more about fibre processing.


To that end, I've ordered In Sheep's Clothing: A Handspinner's Guide to Wool from Amazon which I'm really looking forward to geeking out about ;)  Hopefully I'll learn enough that I can start adding some handspun to my etsy shop soon!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

And the winner is!

Step up The Queen of Kings!  You are the winner of the eggbird @Etsy giveaway!


I'll be in touch with you very shortly to arrange your prize :)

Thank you to everyone who took part, I look forward to holding another giveaway soon :) x

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

[GIVEAWAY] Reminder


Don't forget you only have until 9pm BST tonight (22nd August) to enter into the eggbird giveaway to win FREE YARN!

For more info about how to enter, visit this blog post.

Good luck! :D

Thursday, 16 August 2012

eggbirddesigns @Etsy [GIVEAWAY]


Pesky ol' IRL... once again I have exciting news, and I've had to wait a whole week to announce it (scandalous!)  But - fanfare please...

eggbirddesigns is now available through Etsy!

At the moment, there's a range of hand-dyed sock yarns in stock.  Coming soon will be hand-dyed fibres and hand-spun yarns, as well as some other fluffy-stuff!  :)

And the best news is that to celebrate, I'm holding a giveaway!  The winner will receive one skein of their choosing from the shop

Want to enter?  Of course you do!  All you need to do is:

Re-blog this post: link back to this post via your blog, and leave a message here to tell me you've done so
OR
Retweet this message on twitter
(or you can do both for an extra chance to win).

The terms and conditions and such
The winner will receive one skein of their choice from my etsy shop.  P+P will be free for those living in the UK - entrants from other countries are more than welcome to join in, so long as they don't mind paying postage as listed on the shop page.

Please make sure you comment here if you have re-blogged, otherwise I won't know to add your name to the hat!

Please also make sure you leave some sort of contact details - either an email address or Ravelry name - so that I can get in touch if you win

The giveaway closes on Wednesday 22nd August at 9pm BST, and the winner will be announced shortly after.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE :)