Sunday, January 29, 2006

Checked Blanket

Blanket in 2 weeks, well I was hoping that it would be finished today as Its Uncle Brian's Birthday, but I still have 50 or so rows to knit, so he will have to get it late - pictures to follow

Postcard from New mexico

Thanks SP - I got your card - New Mexico hey bet the weather there is better than the miserable weather that we are having here - its so dark & dreary - good for knitting though, you can curl up and knit lots!!

Really enjoying SP7!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Kool-Aid dying

Wow- this is so much fun. I go a selection of Kool-aid sachets from Kool-aid UK and have great fun experimenting. Here are the colours:

  • Berry Blue
  • Cherry
  • Tropical Punch
  • Orange
  • Lime-Lemon
  • Grape
  • Strawberry starfruit
  • Mango

Here is the Jacob's Ram fleece pre-scoured and waiting to be dyed

My first experiment was with Grape. so here's how I did it.

  1. wet approximately 50g of pre-scoured fleece & put in a plastic bowl. I used Jacobs & as you will see from the results, it did not give a true 'matt' finish and was a little blotchy.
  2. Mix 1 sachet of grape Kool Aid with a little water - hmmm lovely smell
  3. Once mixed add to about 2 pints of water or enough to cover the fleece. the exact volume is not too important as the fleece will take all of the dye out of the liquid!
  4. Pour dye liquid into the plastic bowl with the fleece. Gently the push the fleece into the liquid to cover
  5. Microwave on high in bursts of 2 minutes. Let the fleece cool between each burst and inspect the fleece.
  6. Once the liquid is clear and the fleece has taken all the colour, let it cool, rinse in clean water, squeeze and air dry.

Fleece dyed with grape after 4 x 2 minute bursts in the microwave

The results

Monday, January 16, 2006

Busy busy

I've had a hectic few days and need to update this blog thoroughly, but only get the time it takes me to eat my breakfast. Thankyou to my Secret Pal for my card - I just love attention.

I will hopefully add more tonight, including Kool-Aid Dying, more curly wirly scarves, update on my coat and Uncle Brian blanket - & anything else I can think of.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Secret Pal 7 Questionnaire

  1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or naturalfibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand?

    I love all sorts of yarn & the yarn has to suit the project. I knit lots for my two children, so bright colours and softness is important. However I also do freeform knitting/crochet, so there I need interesting textures & colours
  2. Do you spin? Crochet?

    Double wammy – I spin and crochet. I learnt to crochet first, when I was about 5 years old. Spinning however has been a recently aquired skill, using drop spindle and a spinning wheel and now absolutely hooked!
  3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

    Hmmm, not much really – I have not found/made a holder yet!
  4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

    I learnt to knit as a child, but did not really knit garments until I was expecting my first child. Since then however I have always had a project or 2, or 3 or many, on the go. I have done cable, and recently socks, but yet to do any fair Isle, so probably intermediate really, with more skills to perfect.
  5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

    No, but like the idea of one
  6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

  7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

  8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

    Dying and felting – both wet & needle felting
  9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

    Very varied from Classical to punk & rock, stay away from rap, R&B, dance etc
  10. What's your favorite colour? Or--do you have a colour family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

    All of them, but if I had to choose a single colour it would be purple. My favourite season is autumn, so warm earth colours are good too.
  11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

    I have 2 children, Oliver 5 and Lily 19 month. Also 2 dogs, Timba, a coliie cross & Pebbles a Jack Russell who thinks that he is a cat! Ooh and a husband
  12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

    All of the above
  13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

    So amy to choose from I love them all
  14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

    Sidar snowflake
  15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?

    Curly Whirly scarves
    Baby booties
  16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

    Anything for the children
  17. What are you knitting right now?

    Coat for myself
    Socks for my husband
    Blanket for my uncle
    And probably others
  18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

  19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

    Both, but I only have 1 set of circular (4mm)
  20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

    Any, but have more aluminum than any other
  21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

  22. How did you learn to knit?

    Grandma showed me when I was small, self taught from books to work out patterns & update my skills
  23. How old is your oldest UFO?

    3 years
  24. What is your favourite animated character or a favourite animal/bird?

    Love ‘Hello Kitty’
  25. What is your favourite holiday?

    Camping with the children
  26. Is there anything that you collect?

    Aprt from knitting stuff? – stitch markers
  27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

    Simply Knitting (UK)
  28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?

    Anything unusual, especially for the children
  29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

    Perfect knitting in the round using double pointed needles
  30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

    Yes – but I’d rather knit my own
  31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

    December 26th – just missed it!!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Coventry Knit-Wits make 6!

Just got back from the first 2006 session of Coventry Knit-Wits and if this meeting is anything to go by, we will soon be filling the bar! A grand total of 6 of us, brilliant - anyone interested in joining Coventry's Knitting club click here for the Knit-Wits blog. I must remeber to take ca camera next week so I can photo the projects we are working on.

Wild Summer socks & UK Knitters webring

Found a cool site mentioned on the UKHandknitters Yahoo Group - summer socks

Also I'm now officially part of the UK Knitters Webring - see the side bar for the webring

Monday, January 02, 2006


We are starting the Coventry Knit-Wits sessions @ Liquid Cafe Wine Bar City Arcade Coventry Wed evenings 7-9pm.

Comment here for more details

Bag of control (Results of 1st Procion Dye session)

My own invention – the Bag of Control – A purpose crocheted bag that comfortably fits all the controls for the TV, DVD and Video. Now instead of loosing them under the sofa or being stolen by Lily they can all live together.

This is the project that I made from the fleece that I dyed with the Procion dyes. Now that it is made I have realised that although I like the colours they are not quite what I need to make my Broad Weavers bag – they should be darker and have green in there too. Anyway this was my first experiment into dying with these dyes, so I’ll just have to try again.

My coat

I don’t believe it – does this mean that I am knitting a project for me? Not a present for a friend or relative or an item for the children?

Yes – believe it.

I walked into Busy Fingers Coventry with my flyers for Knit-Wits and suddenly felt embarrassed in the Matalan bought cardy. Hmm I can’t very well promote a knitting club in an obvious manufactured woollen (if of course there is a scrap of wool in it) garment, so 5 minutes later I had the pattern, the wool and the pins to make it. Several hours over Christmas day and Boxing day later – back and right front complete – left front, 2 sleeves and border to go.

I could get used to making things for me – Wendy chic scarf is for me too, unless I get coaxed out of it nearer completion.

Lily's Eskimo Coat

Aaaahh – repeat after me –

‘I must stop buying wool!’
‘I must stop buying wool!’
‘I must stop buying wool!’
‘I must stop buying wool!’

Well…..It was so cute and the yarn just looks so nice and the purple fluff will look wonderful around the hood and cuffs and, and, and – I’m convinced.

Lily will look wonderful in this, so it will just have to be added to the to-do list!

Wendy Chic Scarf

I could not resist this yarn, so just had to buy it to make a scarf to go with my coat - more details on that later.

I have used 4.5mm needles to knit the scarf 15 stitches wide and it will be the length that the 50g ball allows. You have to really concentrate, because if you drop a stitch or accidentally knit 2 together it is virtually impossible to correct the mistake without taking out several if not all the rows. I know because I've started this one 3 times already! Its worth it though as it is sooo touchable and strokeable and I can't wait to wear it.

Curly Whirly Timba

Here is Timba, my Wolfdog, sporting my latest Curly Whirly, crocheted from his fluff.

Ever since I he was a puppy I have saved his fluff thinking 'one day I'll spin that', well I finally bought a spinning wheel, joined my local Spinners Guild and have been spinning his fluff ever since.

This scarf was made from two grooms of his summer fur, which resulted in a pile almost that same size as Timba himself. As the fluff is so soft and free from tangles, I spun it straight away with no need for carding. I plyed 2 strands together and the colours were amazing as he varies from pure white to vivid ginger and dark specs.

Once crocheted I washed the scarf to eliminate any lingering doggy smell and contrary to my initial thoughts, it does not shed - pity Timba doesn't as its a full time job hoovering up after him.

For more Curly Whirly scarf ideas see Curly Whirlies

Kool-Aid (Order)

I have just placed my first order for Kool-Aid!!

There are so many to choose from, so I took the plunge and ordered 2 of the following

  • Grape
  • Berry Blue
  • Tropical Punch
  • Mango
  • Swirlin' Strawberry Starfruit
  • Lemon & Lime
  • Cherry
  • Orange


I can't wait to try these out - if they work well then I will probably do a Kool-Aid Dying workshop for the Spinners Guild.

Instructions that I plan to use are from