Sunday, September 24, 2006

many thanks.. Knit Yoga and to someone else the name of whose blog I have forgotten for finishing their Swallowtail Shawls. They have inspired me to pick up the sticks again on mine.

I gave up at the beginning of the third chart 'Lily of the Valley Border 1' as was having a little trouble with the instruction to purl 5 together. I gave it a go with a crochet hook but still found it a bit awkward. On the unnamed blog I picked up the tip to slip3 p2tog pass the three slipped stitches over, so I've been doing that instead and it makes it a whole heap easier. I have now finished that chart and have embarked on the next. Of course, being lace and still on the needles it looks like a pile of pooh. (Well I'm led to understand that that's the reason anyhow!) But I am full of optimism that once finished and blocked it will look like a beautifully blocked pile of pooh!

Other news. I knitted up a pair of socks whilst the shawl was in the doldrums. These are the Dublin Bay Socks from the Knitterati blog. They're knitted in Lorna's Laces "Ravenswood" on 2.25mm aluminium DPNs. I love the detail down the side of the sock and the Partridge Eye pattern on the heel flap. I'm not so keen on the colour of the yarn though so they may be the first of my Christmas pressie knitting.

The inspiration for knitting the socks was that I'd dyed some sock wool with the remains of the Kool Aid that I bought a while ago. Unfortunately although it inspired me I was too impatient to wait for it to dry, hence the socks in a completely different yarn. Now I'll have to start a new pair of socks to use the yarn I dyed. Never mind, good portable project and you can't have too many socks, especially if you're planning to give them away and it will soon be the start of Socktoberfest! These may be another pair of Crusoe but using the number of stitches on the basic pattern that comes free with Opal sock wool.

Finally news on the spinning. I'm a bit fed up cos I was getting on pretty well with the new wheel whilst at Ro's but now I have it home I'm struggling a bit. I think that part of the problem is that I was spinning raw fleece at Ro's and I found that pretty easy. However we met up with the person who will be teaching me to spin in a couple of weeks time who was horrified to hear that I was spinning raw fleece and told me in no uncertain terms that it was the work of the devil and that I would probably die a horrible and lingering death from the crap that abounds in raw fleece (I exaggerate, but only slightly). So being a good girl (and Ro had given me some to play with) I dutifully tried spinning some Corriedale roving that she'd bought (I think at Woolfest). The problem that I'm having is that I can't keep the damned stuff together and the yarn keeps breaking. This wasn't happening before. I dunno if it's the roving, the way the wheel is set up or just me but it's very disspiriting. I fear that I'm going to have to wait until the course starts before I actually get any spinning done and I'm a bit peed off.

Never mind, back to the knitting!


Ling said...

Love the colour of your Swallowtail shawl. Love the detail on your socks, too.

Ps - if you need any more kool-aid, let me know. I have a small stash!!!

Cherry Rolfe said...

Lovely pics - thanks for the Socktoberfest link!

Ro said...

I got the Corriedale from the Alpaca Spinner (Linzi) who used to have a workshop in Rockingham and has now moved to Norfolk. See one of Ra's previous postings (last year) for photos of her workshop.

Ro said...


Nothing better for getting down to knitting than seeing someone else's beautiful FO I think, one reason why knitting blogs are so numerous and successful perhaps?

Woolly Wormhead said...

Spinning from roving is tricky for beginners - basically, it'll be a worsted spin which means the fibres are alighned (parallel) and don't grip each other too well.

From raw fleece or carded wool it's a lot easier - your teacher will explain all this.

Meantime, to get the hnag of spinning from roving try the following:-

Tear the roving into 8" or so lengths.
Then split it down the middle into thinner strips until it's reasonably handleable.
Next, tease the fibre apart until they look whispy.
Now, gently fold the roving in half lengthways (i.e. so that it becomes 4")
Gently pinch a point at the corner of the fold, pull out a few fibres and anchor that to your leader yarn.

Working with roving this way allows plenty of air to get in making a more even yarn, and allows the fibres to start gripping straight away.

If you want any more help, just shout!