Sunday, 25 August 2013

Singles Storage

So I'm having trouble deciding how to keep my singles when I've spun them and I'm waiting to finish the rest of the fiber so I can ply them. At the moment I am keeping them all in a box with a bit of cardboard in the middle as I don't have enough spindles to store them on. I currently have 4 spinning projects on the go and cannot yet start to ply any of them. How do you keep your singles? Do you finish one spinning project at a time and then ply straight away or do you have multiple projects on the go?

On the left is Inglenook Fibers Parrot Tulip singles, in the middle is Nunoco Iridescent Puddle, top right is Inglenook Fibers Peacock and bottom left is Southern Cross Fibers Frosted Almond. 

I'm off to spin on my Nunoco batt now. Have a great Sunday everybody! 


Saturday, 24 August 2013

New stuff

This week has been a busy busy week. The kids are back in school so this means less time for knitting and spinning. Due to this, I intend to spend as much time knitting and spinning tomorrow as I possibly can to make up for this lost time!  

I was very pleased, however, to receive my copy of the new Ply magazine at the end of the week and couldn't wait to start reading it. I haven't finished it yet but so far I'm impressed. It's full of well written, interesting articles that often contain beautiful and useful pictures and diagrams. Although I haven't looked at the patterns in detail they appear to be easy to follow and well laid out. I highly recommend looking into the magazine if you haven't already. I'm excited to see what is in the next issue! 

On another note, I have decided to take part in a blog hop with The Blog Hub group on ravelry. The theme is WIPs and the aim is to try to finish some WIPs before September 18th and blog about them. I don't have a great deal of WIPs but would like to finish my pair of socks and my shawl. I would also like to get some spinning done that I have started but am not sure I will be able to. What current WIPs have you got on the needles?

Sunday, 18 August 2013

All The Things

This week has been exceptionally busy due to the start of school coming so knitting and spinning time has been sparse. The kids are in on Wednesday and my body is not cooperating as I am coming down with a cold. Perhaps I will use this as an excuse to knit and spin as much as I can!? 

First up, pictures of the Low Tide Cardigan by Tin Can Knits. I gifted this to the recipient yesterday and although it is a bit big at the moment by the time it cools down it should be a great fit. I am really looking forward to seeing it being worn.  

Next up socks! I am trying to stash bust a bit at the moment as, for some reason, I want to buy all the things!! I started knitting Spice Man socks using some now discontinued 100% merino sock yarn in the Parrot colourway. The pattern is easy to follow and I have just started the gusset and hope to finish it soon. As you can see I'm knitting them two at a time, toe up, on one circular needle. This is my first time using this technique and although it was fiddly to start with I really like it now. The needles are Dyakcraft Heavy Metals which I am in love with and as a sock needle I think they are ideal. 

New on the needles is a Belgian Waffle Boomerang by Susan Ashcroft. It's a really well written pattern and very easy to follow. I am using one of the recommended yarns, which rarely happens, Fyberspates Faery Wings on my 5mm Darn Pretty Interchangeable Needles. The yarn is simply gorgeous to knit with and feels very luxurious. I am sure this will be a pleasure to wear through the winter months here. This is my favourite shape of shawls so any recommendations of patterns are appreciated. 


As I said last week I was keen to try spinning with rolags. I picked out a lovely sample from my Secret Garden Phat Fiber box and away I went. I believe the fiber is from Woodland Hills Alpacas and it spun up into a beautiful little skein. A blending board is definitely in my future but perhaps I will have to suffice with buying rolags for the time being. Where do you like to buy yours from?  

On my spindle at the moment is a Nunoco batt. The colourway is Iridescent Puddle which is a gradient that goes from  purple, to green and then jade. I started at the jade end and am almost at the end of the purple of the first 50g. I want this to match up as much as possible so will two ply it. I have 200g in total so hopefully I can knit something gorgeous at the end. 


On a more technical note, I have recently purchased Knit Companion as it is currently on sale. Has anyone used it? Do you have any hints or tips? Do you like it? I will hopefully start using it soon but am keen to hear your thoughts on it in the meantime.  

Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Socks are always a good choice

Before we left for the airport I had to make the all important decision of what knitting and spinning I should pack for holiday. I am not good at making decisions and probably should have thought a bit harder about this...socks would have been a great choice, but did I think of that?! No, I didn't! Note to self...always bring socks on holiday! 

Before my holiday I had started a Vertex Cardigan by Carol Feller but hadn't got very far so took it away with me to work on. I had chosen to use 3 different colours as I didn't have enough of one colour. I was using Fyberspates Shiela's Sparkle Sock in Denim and Silver and Fyberspates Sheila's Sock in Raspberry. It was all going beautifully. I had swatched and got gauge, I had decided on my striping pattern to make the most of all of the colours and I had knitted the first part of the back and started the front. occurred to me that I would need at least half of the cardigan's yardage for the pink alone. I only had a I frogged it. I considered changing the size of the pink stripe so it's only 5 rows instead of 10 and then I think it would be OK but for now it's staying in the frog pond. 

I desperately needed something else to cast on as I was going for tea with a fellow knitter from Ravelry, however I had stupidly not brought anything really simple like socks. I did have some gorgeous sunny, yellow yarn though and a pattern all ready for it, for the 1 y/o daughter of a very good friend of mine

I cast on the Low Tide Cardigan by Tin Can Knits in some Fyberspates Rural Charm in the sunshine color way. As I was sat knitting in Simply W (Whittards of Chelsea) in a shopping centre in Bangkok, chatting away, I came to the end of one of the front bodice sections to realise that I had messed up on the lace pattern. That's what you get for talking and knitting lace simultaneously so I put it down until I was back at the hotel where I could concentrate. Funnily enough, my fellow knitter had also made a mistake which she had to rip out too! 

The next day I re-knitted the first bodice part and completed the second piece and the back. I blocked them and then, a couple of days later, continued with the rest of the pattern. I didn't have time to finish it on holiday so arrived home and finished the body. I picked up for the sleeves and knit those. The first one had to be knit twice as I had done this on DPNs and the second on circulars and there was a noticeable difference in how neat they were. 

I loved knitting this pattern. The lace is gorgeous and very simple to knit. The yarn is soft with excellent stitch definition (not so great when you make mistakes!!) and shows off the pattern beautifully. Photos to follow when it's completed.

Of course I was not prepared to be without spinning for 4 weeks. I picked some beautiful Inglenook Fibers in the Peacock colour way from my stash, that I bought with peacock feathers to add in too! I haven't got very far with it. Just about 53 grams or 1.8oz spun up, wound into plying balls. I gave up trying to spin the feathers into the singles and will spin them in when I ply. 

 While in Bangkok I was keen to find some knitting or spinning shops. I found the yarn shops but they were full of imported, European yarns that were really expensive. It would have cost me about £26 ($40) to buy the yarn and DPNs for one pair of socks!! I wouldn't have minded if it had been hand dyed, self striping or something special. 

I then found a shop called The Loom. The Loom specialises in teaching people how to weave with silk. I went along for a 2 hour beginner lesson and came away with some weaving. It's nothing particularly brilliant and the edges are a bit messy but it was a good way to spend 2 hours. While there I asked if they had any spinning fiber and came away with 100g of undyed silk. I haven't been brave enough to try it yet but will soon.  

Today I think I will delve into the world of rolags. I have some samples that I received in my April Phat Fiber box a while ago that have been patiently waiting some attention from me. I am considering buying a blending board but thought I should find out whether I like spinning with rolags before I invest! 

I will leave you with some more holiday pictures. Have a great day!

Monday, 5 August 2013

The Beginning

After arriving back from my holiday in Thailand I decided that I would start a blog in order to keep a record of my knitting, spinning and traveling, and that perhaps, somewhere out there, someone else is interested in reading it too. 

Firstly, a little about me. I am from the UK but I currently live in China with my husband and have been here for 2 years now. I landed a teaching job in an international school and have not looked back since. It's an interesting life, with many advantages, although it's not always the easiest.

I have been knitting for about 3 years now and spinning for only 1. I support spindle spin only, although do see a wheel in my future at some point. Who knows when that will be though? Like many of you I'm sure, my stash is growing batt by batt and I probably need to spin just a little faster! However, I can confidently say that I have not reached SABLE...yet.

I will leave it at that for now but will share some knitting and spinning with you soon. 

Thanks for reading. Here are some photos from my holiday.