Saturday, December 30, 2006


Last year I knitted all of my Christmas presents this year I knitted none! Wonder what that says about me. Probably just that I have a short attention span. This year alas I have been rather too involved in spinning to have much time left for knitting. I'm sure that it will even it self out though.

I have finished my blankie which I was making out of all the odds and ends that I'd been practicing spinning and I'm very pleased with the result. Here it is being modeled by Gracie (prior to all the ends being sewn in. I have now done this).

I am particularly in love with the last two stripes, the pinky purple and the brown. These are the cheviot that I bought from jazzyhills on ebay, both carded into rollags with commercial pre-dyed merino from Wingham and plyed. It doesn't show up too well in the photo but the dark red that I carded in with the brown gives it the most incredible glints of colour here and there and the green does the same in the opposite direction. I'm definitely going to spin up some more of that.

Here's the arty shot featuring Gracie's bum.

Nextly is Ro playing with her pressie from me. You can't see a right lot of Ro in the picture as she complained that I was taking 'photos of her before she'd brushed her hair. You do get a particularly good view of the jumbo flyer though. Ro will now be spinning BIG WOOL!!!

I have more news but alas blogger is getting arsey about me uploading more pictures so I'll save that for later.

all the best!

HA HA, I may have discovered how to circumvent blogger when it's being arsey!!

Here is the extra news together with pictures....

Firstly a picture of Ro's christmas present to me. It's a Poole Pottery coffee set in the "Pebble" design and I was so not expecting it. A couple of months ago she bought herself a Poole coffee set from ebay in a different design. I saw it and said "Yes I like it, but I like this one better. If I were going to get one I'd get this one." And she went and got it for me bless her. I love it.

Second bit of extra news is another ebay tale. I said before that Ro would now be spinning BIG yarn 'cos of her jumbo flyer. She will be alternating this with spinning teeny tiny yarn having bought this .............. (also on ebay).

Have to admit that we weren't entirely convinced that it was a working wheel, but decided that as we won it for a fairly low price and didn't have the expense of postage as I was able to pick it up from Brighouse (nobbut a spit from Huddersfield) we may as well go for it, and if it was purely decorative we could re-auction it.

Having got it home I was even more convinced that there was something wrong with it as, although all the bits moved the flyer stayed still and the band from the wheel turned the bobbin instead.

I sent some close up shots of the moving parts down to Ro and she did some research and lo and behold it works on the same principal as a Louet.

And it does work, here's the proof.

It's quite a nice little wheel, but boy is it little. When I went to pick it up I had my steelies (steel toecapped boots) on as I was going in to work as well. I could barely get my toe onto the pedal. I'm taking it down to Ro's on Monday when I go to the match and we'll see how she gets on with it.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

No time for a big post this week (It is nearly Christmas you know!!!) But I wanted to let anyone who hasn't already heard about the Yarn Harlot's challenge to knitters to raise money for M.S.F. Read all about it here at the home of the Yarn harlot.

Happy Hols!

Friday, December 15, 2006


This is the washed fleece drying on my airer. I found that it only dries properly if there's air circulating underneath it. If it's on a towel on the floor however much you turn it any water just drains back through. It will dry eventually but this is quicker.

I pegged a piece of muslin (no home should be without a piece of muslin) across the top of the airer and spread the fleece over the top of it.

I just love the way the white looks like a cumulus cloud.

It is a cumulus that looks like that isn't it?

I've begun carding it now. The brown seems a tiny bit matted, don't know if it came like that or if I did it when I washed it. Most likely the latter, but it's carding out okay. Need me drum carder now, it's slow progress doing it by hand and I want to get on with spinning (not a Christmas present hint me duck, I know what they cost!)

Here are the rollags I prepared last night (before I gave up and began spinning some tops I bought from Wingham the other weekend.)

For the benefit of Artis Anne who asked I bought the fleece from Jazzyhills on ebay. Her feedback has been mostly positive, a few complaints about fleece not being clean. It's a bit of a tricky one, if you are buying raw fleece then it will be mucky to an extent. It will require cleaning. Being a novice I don't know what is reasonable. This needed a bit more attention than the fleece Ro gave me, but as I said before most sheep live outside and they will collect debris in their fleece. I've been very amused by some of the articles in Spin Off which talk about keeping sheep in coats to keep the fleece clean. Somehow I don't see that catching on in this country.

Wormhead, I found that the Ecover was sufficient to get the lanolin out with a soak in hand warm water and repeated rinsing in same. In fact there seemed to be very little grease in this fleece to start off with, though it did require cleaning. I did consider getting some of that stuff that you recommended but I have access to Ecover at work (staff discount) so thought I'd try that to start with and so far I've been happy with it.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Fleece Preparation

This is the white cheviot fleece I bought off ebay. In fact it's only half of it. Wasn't sure I'd have the space to dry all of it in one go.

Here it is soaking in the bath. The first rinse released some sand and grit but after that it was pretty clean. There was a certain amount of vegetation in it which I've had to pick out but this doesn't surprise me too much. Sheep live out in fields after all!

Here it is after draining the water off after the final rinse. Don't it look lovely?

This is the brown as it arrived (again only half of it). This had much less vegetation in it but did contain part which had a certain amount of poo in it. This went down the loo (I know, I know I should have saved it to line my bean trenches next spring! )

Here's the brown soaking in it's Ecover bath. Haven't got a picture of it drained off but it's now sitting on an old sheet in front of the gas fire drying out.

Bye the way I've re-organised my sidebar to include links to podcasts, both knitting and non knitting. Anyone unfamiliar with it who enjoys political satire do give the "Now Show" podcast a go. It's very funny!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Hmm, here's a thing. I spun this up from rollags made from the fleece that Ro gave me (the gray bit) and merino/silk commercial predyed tops from Wingham Wool Works. Then plied the two together.

Because the dyed stuff was combed in varying colours I spun it as worsted, whilst the other was spun as woolen. When I soaked it to set the ply the woolen ply "bloomed" more than the worsted, though before that they were a similar thickness. I'm assuming this is because there is more air trapped inside it. Is this normal?

I'm not particularly bothered by it as I quite like the effect, though I think it's worked better on this than it did on the one I plied with green. (no picture of that as I've already knitted it into the blankie) I would like to know why certain things happen so that I can reproduce it or avoid it next time though.

I've got some plain predyed merino which I can card into rollags and try out plied with the gray/brown fleece and see if that reacts the same way.

I've also bought 400g of white raw cheviot fleece and 400g of brown raw cheviot fleece on ebay which was waiting for me at the post office collection place yesterday. It looks as if it's in good clean condition and I think it was a snip at about six quid (including postage). I'll keep you informed on how it turns out.

Friday, December 01, 2006


On my blankie. I really like it. There's no pattern to it I'm pretty much just knitting up the yarns that I've been spinning (with a couple of bits that Ro's spun added to make it grow a bit quicker) but I like the randomness of it.

I also like to see what the various yarns knit up like once they've been spun and plied. Have to keep it up though, the plan is that when I've finished it I can take it along to the rugby to keep my knees warm. However at the rate I'm going it'll be a couple of seasons before it's finished!

Thank you for your concern about my leg. It's much better now. I was back to driving this week and behold, carrying someone's order into their living room I spotted a spinning wheel in the corner. Spinners are clearly taking over the world, or maybe just the parts of it that I move in.