Sunday, 30 November 2014

Monthly Goals Update

This is my last post for NaBloPoMo and although I didn't post something each day I am really happy with what I have posted. It's definitely shown me that I can blog more and I will try and keep up some of the things I've started over the last month. 

I'm rounding this month off with an update on my goals for November.

1. Pick up my cardigan and do something with it! Anything! Perhaps even knit on it! I have been knitting here and there on the right front. Not much has been done but it's better than nothing.
2. Spin some of a WIP. I have spun on a couple of WIPs this month, including one that has been hibernating for some time.
3. Knit a bit more of a sock. I'm not too far from the heel!
4. Try not to distracted by all of the things! I have picked up on old spinning project to use with my new spindle but aside from that I've only worked on a few projects.
5. Blog as much as possible during November. Well this is the last day of November and my 16th post for the month! That's just over half and I'm happy with that!

I'll be back with my December goals this week! For now though I'd love to hear what you've enjoyed reading this month!  

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Monday, 24 November 2014

Monday Musings

1. What's the best way to spin short stapled fiber like camel? I've tried spinning from the fold but is there a better way to manage the fiber supply? 
2. Will I ever finish my cardigan?
3. I'm off to a German Christkindlmarket next weekend and looking forward to drinking some delicious mulled wine! I'm expecting it to feel a little strange with the temperature being 30C though!
4. A laceweight cardigan knit from Fyberspates Gleam Lace would be fantastic....but which colour to choose from?!?
5. How do I resist the temptation to start yet another project!??!

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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Spindle Saturday!

As I mentioned a few posts ago I requested a custom spindle from Malcolm Fielding. I was delighted to find out it was in the post but also anxious that it might get lost like my Twist issue of Ply magazine. That fear was alleviated yesterday however!

I couldn't spin on it last night after work as I went to the cinema, so I eagerly awoke this morning to try it out! It is absolutely wonderful! I've only spun on Russians, Phangs or my drop spindle so wasn't sure how different it would be spinning with a spindle that has a more sustained spin. It may now be my preference! Whilst I enjoy my Russian spindles I find the shorter spinning time frustrating and have been spinning less due to this.

The spindle is a Butterfly spindle and one of a handful. The whorl is hollowed out on either side, but is made from one piece of wood, to give it it's lovely butterfly wing shape. I feel very grateful for the opportunity to own one of them. I really like the unique design and the contrast between the light Silky Oak of the whorl and the Dymondwood charcoal shaft.

The fiber that it came with is Corriedale roving which I've spun before but didn't like. This time though I'm finding it really easy to draft and thoroughly enjoying it. I may have to put Corriedale on my list of fibers I like spinning.

If you're a spindle spinner which style of spindle do you prefer?

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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Rivoli Shawl - half way through 9th repeat (out of 16) of last pattern repeat
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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Something a little different

Anyone that knows me knows that I adore food. I love to eat food but I do also enjoy cooking it. As I said yesterday I made some ravioli and I thought I'd share the recipe with you just in case you were tempted. I used this recipe for the filling and adapted it slightly. The post also includes an excellent photo tutorial showing you how to roll and stuff the pasta.


100g of strong flour (type 00 is finer if you can get it
1 egg
a slug of olive oil
a pinch of salt.

125g ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon of Parmesan
4 sundried tomatoes
salt and pepper for seasoning
Italian herbs for seasoning (fresh basil would be preferable but I didn't have access to any)



- Make this before you make your pasta.

- Finely cut your sundried tomatoes up.

- Mix them with the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, pepper and herbs.

- Refrigerate until ready to use.


- Make a well with the flour, crack the eggs into the middle of it and add the olive oil and salt. Mix the eggs with your fingers and gradually pull in the flour a little at a time.

- Keep pulling in the flour until it's combined with the eggs and oil.

- Form a dough.

- Knead the dough until it's silky smooth and springs back when you push your thumb into it.
Rest the pasta for a couple of hours before rolling it or freeze it.

- To fill the pasta cut out circles (using a ravioli or cookie cutter), put about half a teaspoon of mixture just off the center of the circle.

- Then seal them using a trace of water around the outside of the circle. Be careful here to push out any air that's around the filling as this could cause your ravioli to burst while it's cooking.

- Dust them with flour to stop them from sticking together.


I froze my parcels on trays (and later transferred them to Ziploc bags) as I made them ahead of time but if you're cooking them fresh they will only need about 3 minutes in some salted boiling water. If you freeze them then they will take 4-6 minutes.

I made about 20 altogether but possibly could have squeezed out a few more with the excess dough if it hadn't been too dry to use. 

Serve with a simple sauce and marvel at the wonder that is homemade ravioli! 

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Saturday, 15 November 2014


My goodness today has been productive so far! By 9am I had made a batch of sun dried tomato and ricotta cheese ravioli (I had defrosted a previously frozen batch of fresh pasta for so it's not all been made today) ready for tonight's dinner and done a 30min yoga workout! Then my day went marginally down hill as I took some of the skin off my right index finger but I am back on track and have just baked some oat cookies!


As I said yesterday I have been knitting on my goal projects for this month and wanted to share the progress here.

I dusted off the cardigan a night or so ago and decided that I just needed to knit it. Having ummed and ahhed over whether to use a stitch pattern on the front of the cardigan or not, I felt that, as that was the reason it'd been sat for a while, I'd better just do it in stockinette stitch so as not to let it sit any longer! A plain cardigan is perfectly acceptable and a fancier one can be knit when I'm more confident that I can do it!

After posting about my goals last night I picked up the socks and knit a few rows. Sometimes it surprises me how fluid it can be to knit on DPNs and that was the case last night. The stitch pattern breaks up the monotony of stockinette stitch and also breaks up the striping a bit.

Each night I've tried to spin a little bit and am making (slow) progress on both lots of fiber. The Inglenook is still in the mostly black part and I'm looking forward to a bit more colour coming through!

What have you been working on recently? Have you got a project that's just sitting there waiting for you to decide what to do with it?

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Friday, 14 November 2014

Midmonth Update

At the beginning of the month I wrote some of my goals. As it's half way through the month I thought I'd update you on how they're going. 

1. Pick up my cardigan and do something with it! Anything! Perhaps even knit on it! I picked it up! I knitted on it! Pictures tomorrow to prove it!
2. Spin some of a WIP.  I've been spinning on the Inglenook batt and the Woolgatherings top from this post. I've not made much progress but it's progress none the less.
3. Knit a bit more of a sock. I have knit a little bit since this post but not much. I need to get back to it!
4. Try not to distracted by all of the things! I have resisted the tempation to cast on more things or start more spinning projects...yay!
5. Blog as much as is possible during November. Well this is my 9th post this month. It's not as much as other bloggers but I'm really pleased with how much I'm managing to blog. 
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Thursday, 13 November 2014

My Everest Projects

This week has been a bad week for blogging. I've been feeling like it's Friday most days...which really isn't great when it's only Monday! However, tomorrow is Friday so yay! Anyway, today I've been inspired by Le Blog Itinérant to write this post talking about my knitting Everests.

I've chosen a few projects for various reasons. The first is the beautiful full circle Mistral pattern. I would  love to knit this in a gradient yarn but it would take a huge amount of dedication and I'm not sure that I could give it that now. Perhaps one day in the future I will!? I also am not great at knitting with lace weight yarn so this would definitely be a barrier.

The second pattern is Beatnik. I remember seeing this when I first joined Ravelry and was looking at patterns. The sweater wouldn't suit me for a start (so I have no real intention of knitting it) but the amount of cables does intimidate me somewhat. I feel it would need to be approached with a really clear understanding of both sweater construction and cables, and while I can knit cables I certainly can't correct mistakes in them!

A third Everest would be a handspun, (perhaps lace weight) cardigan. I am both a slow spinner and knitter so this coupled with my crafting ADD means it would probably take me a couple of years to come to completion!

These would be my Everests....what would yours be and why?

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Monday, 10 November 2014

Monday Musings

1. It's noticeably cooler here today with the start of the rainy season. Perhaps I'll knit on my cardigan tonight....
2. I love thunder...which is just as well as we're getting plenty here at the moment!
3. I adore having a garden and didn't realise how much I'd missed it!
4. My new Malcolm Fielding spindle is on it's way to me....!
5. Yet again I am thinking of getting a spinning wheel when I know it's not feasible....why is this!?

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Saturday, 8 November 2014


So it seems I have accumulated a lot of WIPs over the last few months! I have been putting off knitting some of them for no reason in particular and need to get cracking on them!

As you can probably tell the middle one is my cardigan, knitted from Inked Yarn in the Katharine base. As you can see I only have two sleeves and the back. I cast on the right front ages ago but didn't even get through the second row! Pathetic start I know but I confused myself over the twisted was early in the morning and I hadn't woken up yet! I have also been putting it off because I think I would like some sort of stitch pattern on the front and I need to swatch as I will probably use it all over the fronts. Perhaps this weekend I'll start doing that!

In the bottom left is the Seafoam Shawlette to Shrug that I am knitting for my step daughter. She picked out the yarn - an unknown brand and fiber content (probably acrylic) but it's quit pleasant to knit with. I haven't got very far as it doesn't need to be finished until Christmas and is not the most interesting of knits.

The Girasole in the top left corner of the photo is being knit out of 100% bamboo. It is my second time knitting the pattern and was initially intended for a friends new baby, but I didn't get it finished on time and knit a cardigan instead. This will be finished as it would be ideal as a lap blanket for when the air conditioning gets a bit chilly.

As you can see I haven't done any more work on the Rivoli Shawl. Since we moved it's been sat at the top of a wardrobe (along with most of the other knitting/spinning stuff that wasn't in shipping) waiting to be worked on again.

In the middle I have five spinning projects! Two of them I showed in my last post (alongside the sock I forgot to add to the above photo) and they are my current go to projects. The top one is some Baby Alpaca and Bunny Tops from Ixchel Bunny that I actually spun half of quite some time ago and have favoured other projects since. The middle spindle is some Nunoco that I started during the TdF and have no reason for not picking up since! Underneath that is some Ixchel Bunny Pure Luxury No. 5 that is lovely but challenging to spin.

So those are my WIPs....9 in total! I feel I need a plan of action to complete them all!

How many do you have at the moment? How do you plan to finish them when you have many outstanding?

P.S I've actually just realised I have a few other spinning WIPs tucked away...! I've wound some plying balls and just not started spinning the remaining fiber yet...whoops! Perhaps that's a post for another day?!?

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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Wordless Wednesday (captions don't count right?!)

Piratenwolle Yarn, Fish Lips Kiss Heel Sock  - Diagonal Scallop Stitch

Inglenook Fibers Black Opal - Ply on the Fly
Woolgatherings April '14 Fancy Pants Club

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Craftsy Class Review

Over the last few months I have been working my way through a few Craftsy classes. It's funny though because I know the point of them for most people is to learn a skill and work alongside the instructor, but I just like to watch them. As I have my breakfast in the mornings I like to put one on and just sit and watch it for a few minutes. I find it very interesting and know that any time I need to use these skills I can go back and refer to that particular class.

At the moment I am watching Drafting from Worsted to Woolen by Ply Magazine's Jacey Boggs Faulkner. As stated above, at the moment I'm just watching the course, but for slightly different reasons this time. I am a spindle spinner and do not own a wheel. The whole class is based on a spinning wheel and I don't yet know how the drafts transfer to supported spinning. Despite not knowing how to transfer some of the drafts to a support spindle I do feel that I'm learning and that the course is worthwhile. 

Jacey is a great instructor (as are all of the instructors I've watched so far) as she explains very plainly and clearly what she is doing each step of the drafting technique she shows. She also shows what the different yarns look like knitted up, to give you an example of how the drafting can change your yarn.
What has been your favourite crafty class? Do you watch them like I do, or do you always practice alongside it? 

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Monday, 3 November 2014

November Goals

It's the beginning of a new month and I always feel like it's a clean slate for my knitting and spinning projects. Each month I feel that I'm going to knit/spin that little bit faster and get more accomplished than I did last month. Yet, the time flies by and before you know it I've knit a few rows here and there on various projects but haven't really got anywhere!  

Last month I got distracted by the beautiful Curious Collective Shawl and cast on a new sock. This month our shipping has just been unpacked and I'm wondering what other new shiny thing(s) I can cast on! It's funny though because I'm really only knitting things for me at the moment so it doesn't matter how long those things take, but I feel bad for letting things sit without being worked on. Anybody else feel the same?

So here are a couple of goals for this month:

1. Pick up my cardigan and do something with it! Anything! Perhaps even knit on it! 
2. Spin some of a WIP. 
3. Knit a bit more of a sock. 
4. Try not to distracted by all of the things!
5. Blog as much as possible during November. 

Do you have some goals for this month? Feel free to share them here!

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Saturday, 1 November 2014

Gluttons for Punishment!

At the moment we're in a bit of a jumble. We've moved....! Yes...again! Within four months of getting into our apartment! Call us crazy if you like, but we just weren't happy with the apartment we were in so we're now in a house on the same estate. A detached bungalow to be precise - but with the addition of our own garden! 

For the last goodness knows how many years we've wanted to be have a garden but it's not been possible for one reason or another. This move though, we said from the start that we'd spend a bit more on our home to make it right for us. And that's what we've done. We're slowly getting all our furniture in place and having the opportunity to buy beautiful, handmade, unique furniture is great! 

 The garden is beautiful and once we've got chairs out there I think it will be the perfect place to sit and have breakfast of a morning and a barbeques in the evening. Along with the garden we have a lovely room at the back of the bungalow that is the length of the house and about 7 feet wide. I suppose you  might call it a conservatory but the three outer walls do not have glass covering the windows, but mesh. This room will be the last to get sorted though as we still need to buy a plethora of furniture to store all our belongings in. Our plans change frequently but I think we're going to divide it into two distinct areas separated by a beautiful wooden partition - one with a dining table and chairs; the other with some floor cushions and a coffee table. 
Being smaller it's feeling an awful lot more like home as we don't have vast expanses of empty space with nothing to fill it. Needless to say I'm looking forward to it being finished!

In other news our shipping has arrived (mostly unscathed) and has been unpacked. Sort of. We don't yet have enough furniture to put it all away but it will get sorted eventually. My yarn and fiber has of course been released from it's vacuum pack bag and is now sitting getting a bit of air! I need to go through it and make some plans to use it now I have it! 

I have been knitting and spinning and will be back shortly with an update for you now I have somewhere lovely to take photos. However, I need to get my stuff together before that happens! 

I'm going to have a go at posting (almost) every day of November for NaBloPoMo and I'd love some suggestions as to what you all want to hear about!
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