Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Semi-Solid Solid Square Rectangle

Oh dear oh dear.  I must apologise!  It's been SUCH a long time since I posted.  I'm not neglecting you all, I promise!  I still read as many blogs as I can, but sadly I've had little time to leave any comments recently.

In my absense I've been busy working away on a new blanket.  It's still in the fairly early stages, but most of the coloured squares are now finished.  I've even sewn in the ends!

Such a lovely jumble of colour and chaos, don't you think?  I love the yarn too - King Cole Riot DK makes a great Noro-ish substitute (especially for those working on a less than Noro budget!).  It's wonderfully soft and drapes brilliantly.  A perfect blanket yarn so far!

The pattern I'm using is based on Jan Eaton's Solid Square, although I made the following modifcations (noted here using American abbreviations):
I replaced the ch3 in the first round with a dc (this helped to close the little gap that had been appearing). In the second round the ch3 became a ch2. I made up the third round as I went along: a ch1, 1hdc in same space, 1hdc in each subsequent space, and 2hdc, 1dc - 1dc, 2hdc in the corners. With these mods, each block came out at approx 6cm square.

Now all that remains is to decide how to join the squares up.  I've ordered some cream acrylic, which should hopefully arrive soon, and in the meantime I can plot out the border.


I'm also very happy to report that yesterday I finally found the patterns and ideas I scribbled down a few weeks back.  To my astonishment there are 4 different patterns and various odd doodles, most of which I have no recollection of ever doing!  Being such a scatterbrain, I didn't leave any clues as to what the patterns would make, so it'll be a nice surprise later when I sit down with some yarn and decipher them.  :)  My fingers are crossed that I'll be able to share the patterns with you all very soon!

Much love,

Friday, 12 August 2011

Sort of Spinning!

Eeeh by 'eck it's been hot hot HOT in Portugal!
Too hot to think ("Hmm, where did I put that new pattern I wrote down??")
Too hot to knit ("A SCARF!  What was I thinking?*) [*see above, I wasn't]
Just about hot enough to feel like doing nothing very much at all.

But I think you and I both know - the heat can't stop a true yarn addict (just look at how my addiction even invades a quiet game of scrabble!)  To play with yarn is so soothing, so play with yarn I did.  I've done none of the things I'd planned to do.  I'm happy to have followed a merry little path of discovery instead!

Do you remember many moons ago, I Decided-with-a-capital-D that I was going to Learn to Spin?  And then I said nothing more about it?  Well, that's because it all unravelled.  Literally and figuratively.  No matter how hard I tried, how tightly I tied my knots, the spin in my wool just wanted out.

But ooooh, don't you just LOVE it when you stumble across a solution?!  I can't remember where I read it, or who wrote it (I suspect Ravelry played a big part) but suddenly there was a solution.  A big shiny one!

Apparently, soaking your handspun in water for a bit and leaving to drip dry will set the spin into the yarn...  fandabidozee!  A perfect answer to my spinning problems.  So last night, I set about with the spindle and the merino and a big bowl of water.  And look what happened!

Ta-daaaaaah!!  :D

Of course it's far from perfect, but there's definitely still  S P I N  in there.  :D   And as far as I can tell, from here on in it's just a process of refining my techniques. 

And funny I should say that, because the lovely Sara at Tangled Happy is writing a step-by-step guide to spinning with a top-whorl spindle.  Talk about perfect timing!

Much love,