Saturday, December 31, 2005

Sock Update

Sock is progressing well. I have conquorered the heel, though 2 small holes have crept in which I will deal with later. The instep is nearly there. Aaron has had several fittings to ensure I am in the right place before I start the toes.

Found three visual sites fron the Yahoo UKhandknitting forum:-

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Experiments dying with Procion

Experiments dying with Procion

I brought three Procion dyes and Citric Acid fixer from DT Crafts @ the Knitting & Stitching show in Harrogate in November. The colours that I purchased were my favourite autumn colours: -
  • Dark Brown

  • Orange Scarlet

  • Lemon Yellow

Using the instructions that cane with the dyes and the book – “Hand-dyed Yarn Craft Projects” by Debbie Tomkies (who turned out to be the proprietor of DT Crafts!) I put the following instructions together.

I used the Jacob’s Ram fleece that Pat from the spinners Guild gave me. It was previously scouted to remove the grease and was a beautiful snow white.

Pre soak in fixer

Measure the following

25g salt
25g citric acid crystals
3litres of hot water

Put the water in a plastic bowl (I used the old baby bottle steamer) and add the salt and citric acid. Mix until the salt and Citric acid have dissolved.

Weigh 100g of fleece. Tease it out to form rough rovings, coil and add to the fixer solution. Gently push the rovings under the fixer solution. Cover and leave for 1 hour.

Preparing the dye solutions

Measure out 1g of each dye into plastic pots (I used the milk pots I used for Lily’s milk as they have good fitting lids and are clear) – my scales could not measure 1g, so I used the smallest measure spoon and used a level measure of dye. Add 100ml of water, slowly to allow mixing. Label each pot clearly with the dye colour and the date in case they are stored.
Once the fleece had soaked for an hour, it was squeezed gently to remove the excess fixer. Cling film was laid out and fleece was spread out evenly. Taking the tablespoon measuring spoon, the dye was spooned out onto the roving, each colour in turn. Once the three colours had been added the roving further was wrapped further in cling film and rolled it up to encourage the dye to spread evenly amongst the fleece. Other rovings were put in plastic bags, dye solution added and closed ejecting all the air. Once all of the dye was used the resulting packages were put in the plastic bowl (baby bottle steriliser) and microwaved for 6 minutes in 1-minute intervals.

Once cooled back to room temperature the packages were open in a sink of water and the fleece carefully rinsed. Finally there were hung up to dry.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Pre Christmas Update

Wow its almost there - so much to Blog and not enough time to fit that & preparing for Christmas. So here is the crafting update
  1. Posted Daisy's booties (finally)
  2. Finished Lizi's Curly Wirly Scarf (picture to follow when I take one just before wrapping)
  3. Almost finished the first cirly wirly scarf made from Timba fluff - more on this when I have photos
  4. Almost finished Lily's White & Purple poncho of my own design! - it just needs tassels
  5. Finished my second Needle Felting project - a Sky Gazing Hare - lots more on him and my SGH passion soon
  6. Still progressing through Sock #1 - done the heel and most of the way towards the toe - Aaron will have to try it on the get the length just right - Have really enjoyed it and hoping not to start something new before the next sock - he could be one sock if I know myself.
  7. Did my design board for the Spinning Guild (again more on this when I have taken the photos) - I'm so stupid though - worked really hard last weekend to get it finished, got Cat sorted with hers, merrily go to the Church hall & bugger - it was the week before!! Well it has got me started thinking about the bag that I need to make for the Broad Weaver Competition - I do need to get started on this and not think about it until the week before nd then madly try to finish it!!
  8. Resisted the temptation to get more yarn for my stash & more patterns - I do have a passion for patterns, the look @ them and never quite get round to starting htem
  9. Did the hat for Fred #2, but got distracted by Sock #1, so have not done much more - did have the bright idea to suprise Mum with it, but never mind.
  10. Had a great idea to make Stocking for Oliver & Lily for next year - must shelve that now as Aaron will probably go and buy them tomorrow.

Projects (thoughts) in the wings

  1. Booties/hat/coat for the little boy from next door (don't know his name yet) - I think that he is still in Special Care, so I have some time before he comes out
  2. So many babies to knit for - Nicola, Sarah Williams, Sarah Bonnie, Rachel, Barbara to name but a few - I think that I will have to just stick to booties, they worked really quick that there are so many in Zoe Mellors book I want to knit them all. If I do some in white and then broughtly coloured ones I can't go wrong
  3. Coat for Lily - Debbie Bliss
  4. Jumper for Oliver - bought blue cotton mix ages ago and never progressed from there really
  5. Finish Aaron's Cable jumper - YES must do this as he mentions it every now & then - must find it actually as I think its done a runner
  6. Work out how to get a side bar on here that shows how far through a project I am - could be good for keeping tabs.
  7. Make more stitch markers - you can never have too many stitch Markers, besides I have just joined the Secret Pal 7 group, so I am going to have to get a stash together soon
  8. Spin the Jacob fleece - well dye it first ready for the bag
  9. Fingerless gloves like hte ones that Esther made me, but with the fine sock weight yarn so they have a delicate feel
  10. Lily's Eskimo coat - Updated 2-1-06
  11. My Coat - Updated 2-1-06
  12. Fluffy 'Wendy Chic Scarf - Updated 2-1-06
  13. Bag of control - Updated 2-1-06

That should be enough for now - roll on retirement so I can knit full time (only 26 more years - depressing thought - could be more the way the government are going!)

No - smile its Christmas soon and I should get some time to knit

Secret Pal

I have just joined the Secret Pal 7 group - a chance to talk to and send/receive gifts from like-minded knitters & crocheters all over the world! Can't wait to try this out

After help from Cheryl I can now put buttons in my blogs & then I worked out how to put it in the side bar !!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Daisy's Booties

I have been asked by where I got the pattern for Daisy's boot - well it was from Zoe Mellor's Book - 50 Baby Booties to knit. They are all fantastic, so the problem is choosing. However they are so quick to knit that you can do several!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Stitch markers arrived!

I meant to post this earlier - I have received my first set of Stitch markers from America!! we a few days ago really. Thanks Lori they are lovely and have been put to good use on my first set of socks, though you can't really see it in the picture.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

More on what I bought @ Harrogate

http://www.clicketyknits.comWell where to start:- - company that I got the dyes from. Turns out that I have their book too! - needle felting booklet was fantastic to get me started - company that I got the gorgeous sock wool from and a great pattern for doing all sizes of socks & even baby socks - they are based in Leamington - hmmm may be buying more sock wool!

Other interesting websites: - Kid mohair from Australia - wow these people make fantastic felt dolls - I really should have bought one of their doll kits where you got the wool & pattern to knit clothes for the doll too. - the Knitting & Crochet Guild website - I have emailed the local representative in the hope of getting more information that will help Knit-Wits get off the ground. - Knitting & crochet supplies - more knitting supplies - Wingham wools - they were not trading there, but did have some coloured tops that I bought to do needle felting with. - interesting stall that sold knitting kits for baby & children's clothes including the ribbon & tags - wow fantastic bloke who showed me many ways to take luceting to new heights!! - just what it says in the address - a button company!

Daisy's Booties

Baby Daisy Emily Marshall was born relatively quickly and without any complications on 25th November 2005 at 8.56am weighing in at a mighty 6lb 4oz - well done Wendy!

Here are her lacey booties fit for a little flower

They are pruple honest, not blue as they appear in these photos. Now I just have to get them posted before she grows out of them.

My first Socks!!

After many attempts to get the rib band started I have finally made a start on the sock from the yarn & pattern that I picked up @ the Knitting & stitching show in Harrogate.

The yarn is fantastic I just love the colour changes. this sock is for Aaron, but after measuring both our feet I found that they were infact the same width, so it will be the same pattern for both of us.

So far I have done the rib band and now working on the stocking stitch - the fun will start @ the heel!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Needle Felting - sooo simple

My first try @ Needle felting & I'm so pleased with the results. I gave the bear to Mum as a thankyou for looking after the children

Stash from Harrogate

Knitting & Stitching Exhibition - Harrogate 26th November

So what did I get?

  • Beads
  • Wool
  • Sock wool
  • Dyes for fleece
  • fleting needles
  • colourful scraps for needle felting

Had lots of fun & can't wait to get started on new projects


I have finally finished the Christmas Gnome - well a couple of weeks ago, but I find it hard to keep up to date with this blog.

Oliver found him downstairs and I had to think quick, so this is Fred and he is one of Santa's helpers who has been sent to watch Oliver & Lily to make sure that they are good. Oliver thinks that this is great and keeps talking to Fred and stopping lily from trying to play with him.

I took him with me to Harrogate & Aunty Eileen was so taken with him that she wrote out the instructions, bought the 'Foxy' wool @ the show to make his beard and had some of my wool so that she can get started!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Innocent little hats

Innocent, the Smoothiw makers have a campaign to get knitted hats for their little bottles. Each hat donated will be put on a bottle tro sell. Once sold, 50p goes to chariety to help the elderly - more details -

Knitting places on the web

Joined the Yahoo UK Handknitters group and the Knitters Review forum -

Great places to chat to likeminded knitters

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Lily's Lemon Jumper - progress

I have finished the front & back and they are bang on the dimensions that I wanted to knit. I joined the shoulders and picked up the collar to knit a simple collar (2 rows of 2x2 rib then 7 rows of stocking stitch), which rolled over.

I miscalculated the length of the sleeve, so re -worked the figures. Once knitted however I realised that the cuff was a bit tight and would not last her very long. Back to the drawing board to recalculate again allowing for her chubby wrists. I'm only half way through one of the sleeves, so hope it worked this time.

Stich Markers sent

I packaged up my two sets of Stich Markers - not sure who got which pack.

Looking forward to getting my little parcels

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Stitch Marker Swap

I got my pals to send markers to today - they are both in the US

Can't wait to see what is in store for me - will hopefully get mine send in the next day or two.

I have started the sleeves to Lily's Lemon jumper and finished the Christmas Gnome that Oliver has given the name 'Fred' - probably because he watches far too much Scooby.

Photos will follow soon

Saturday, October 22, 2005

RED Rules

Your Hair Should Be Red
Passionate, fiery, and sassy.You're a total smart aleck who's got the biggest personality around.

Lily's Lemon Jumper

This is the first project that I have designed from scratch. I took inspiration from Debbie Bliss's book How to Knit that has a great section on designing for children. So with measurements and a Tension square in hand I drafted the pattern. So far I have knitted the back & front and to my surprise I am bang on for measurements. I don't know why I thought that my calculations would be wrong, its just it is my first attempt and I was not expecting it to go so well (hopefully I have not spoken too soon).

So sleeves and neck band to go. I want to double check the sleeve length before I start as it has a drop shoulder and therefore the sleeves themselves will be shorter. More to follow once sleeves are underway.....

New Knitting Book

I went to the new Borders shop @ the Coventry Ricoh Arena. The craft section is amazing and the books were really reasonable. It took forever to decide which one to buy and it had to be one or I could have come away with half a shelf. So I settled on Nursery Knits by Zoe Mellor. I have another of her books and she loves colour. This one is just as good with lots of creative ideas, so many that I don't know which one to do first.

Here is a few of the items that can be produced from her book:-

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Lettering using Tablet Weaving

Yep - you can even to lettering!!

10 minutes Tablet warp!

The Saturday was the Coventry Spinners, Weavers Guild meet. This workshop this month was demonstrating how to warp up tablets, something that I have had many a furstrated time with.

I was amazed - Anne Dixon showed us a fantastic method that produced a continuous warp where you dropped cards off each time round. There was a little fidding to get the Z and S twist cards right.

It took a while to get the tension right, but I was very proud of the final product.

This isn't mine, but an example of what can be achieved.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Row counter

I came across a photo of a stitch counter that looked very interesting - here is the prototype (photo to be added as there is a problem loading atm)

For each row completed move one of the amber beads into the center circle. Once you complete 5 rows you move the single row beads back and put a green bead in the center circle. It will count up to 39 rows.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

My first Stitch Markers

Well they are here - I have had a wonderful creative evening. 15 Stitch Markers - so I have made the 12 that I need for the swap and tried out different approaches. The wire is quite thin, so I may try a thicker one next time, but it was ok to start with.

Jewels in a box - I love the earth colours - I think that I may use some for my design board

These have 'lobster trigger clasps' that allow you to place them inthe boddy of knitting to mark the start of an armhole for instance.

The main stitch markers - looking forward to doing more of these

Stitch Markers

Right - I am all set up to start making my stitch markers & signed up @ more news when I have made my first one

Found a good site that shows you how to make stitch markers -

and this one - very good step by step -

Luca's Money Pouch

As with the potion holder this pouch is constructed from a circle this sides built around. For this I used DK Cotton. 6 rows of tr to form the circle then build the sides as with the potion pouch to form straight sides. 13 rows of tr to form an eyelet row. A final row of dc to secure the eyelet row.

False bottom made by crocheting a separate circle to match the bottom and sewing it inside and leaving a small gap to allow a malda, paper or gem to be slipped in

Twisted cord of the same yarn.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Ameena's Potion bag

This was designed for Ameena to put her potion bottle in for Whispered Tales. When she mixes a potion it only lasts for a short amount of time and this pouch will allow her to carry it around with her until it can be used.

It is a very simple design using Cotton 4ply. 12 tr into a slip knot ring to make a very secure tight start to a circle. Next Row 2 tr into each. Next row 1 tr into the single tr and 2 tr into the 2 trs to form the rough circle shape. In this case I completed total of 3 rows before forming the sides. To build up on the sides of the pouch make single tr through the top of the stitches from the previous row. Where there are 2 tr then t tr through both stitches – this makes a straight cylinder. Trebles for the next9 rows then 1 tr 1 chain miss tr to form an eyelet row for the cord. 1 row of dc into each tr and ther spaces between. Final fancy scalloped row by 5 tr into 2nd tr miss 1 tr then slip stitch. The scallops are then added around the bottom to complete the flower look.

Twisted cord of DK cotton used for Luca’s potion pouch and the 4ply used here.

Wow - here I am

I have finally found a place to write. I have the design bug well and truely, so be prepared for my notes and ramblings