Sunday, April 12, 2009

Autumn warmers

Phew. The Queen Of Clean (my DH's sister-in-law) has been for her inspection so I can now go back to my messy self. In between scrubbing and tidying I still managed to get some crafting done. Remember the yummy Noro theknitaholic gave me? It became these Noro Fingerless Mitts. They were fun to make and are my first attempt at glove making. I love how different the colours are in each mitt, so much fun to see how they turned out. I also made this neck warmer, based on this pattern. Instead of making it into a cowl I just kept knitting til I ran out of yarn and then joined one end to the side to make a v shape. It turned out great, so cosy, and I got two looks for the price of one! The yarn is Paton's Shadow Tweed, nice colours, but not so nice to work with. Darn acrylic content, or perhaps I was just spoilt with the Noro.

Speaking of being spoilt, I decided to use the gorgeous handspun that Mooska gave me in a yellow swap to make a
Storm Cloud Shawlette.
The yarn is divine, it's merino and is so fine I am so amazed at her skill. It's working up nice and quickly which is lucky because I can't wait to wear it! It has so many colours it should go with everything.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The muppet , his loot and some swap goodies.....

We have been blessed with a new arrival, my nephew Ashar! He was born on the 15th and he's a biggun at 10 pound 9 ounces. We just had the pleasure of a visit from the happy trio, and of course he was presented with his loot. A baby jester hat, designed by Woolly Wormhead
And of course his elephant, which I finally finished stuffing the night before the visit.
I have been having a great time sending and receiving swaps lately. The first was a magic yarn ball swap, where the sender hides loads of little presents in the ball of yarn and you knit them out. My lovely swap partner sandalwood sent me the most gorgeous lace weight yarn and was totally understanding that I would not be able to wait until I knitted 1180 metres of yarn before seeing what she'd hidden for me. So here it is, lot's of lovely swap goodies. Now I just have to get some other projects off my needles before I start knitting lace.
I sent my other swap buddy Lazzulii some of the merino silk I dyed. As I'm not sure whether she's got to her other gifts yet I won't tell you what I hid in it!
I did another swap that was a favourite colour swap. I got the loveliest beanie, some yummy yarn (more Noro!), buttons and a great poem that theknitaholic wrote for me. I was very spoilt.
I sent to sthrnx, who loves tattoos and black is her favourite colour.
The fingerless gloves are wool/mohair and seemed a bit scratchy so I lined them for her. Apparently they fit well and she seems very happy with her gifts. Now I'm in the process of finishing off a yellow swap, so I best get it done and in the post!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Almost all done, and some yarn porn......

I have been "flat out like a lizard drinking" as we say here in Oz. DS has had a little house warming with a couple of his mates and has officially become our new neighbour. I have finally got my craft room into some kind of order. Bags of stuff went to the op-shops, lots of fabric scraps and crappy fleece were composted and what was left was binned. And here we have it, my new craft room.

Yep, that is a Strongbow (Alcoholic Cider) on my desk, I think I earned it!

Froofy fringed light shade for a feminine touch, the white cupboard is mostly yarn!

Gotta love those fibre tools..... and loads of crates for bits and pieces....

Spinning wheels, sewing machines and my Oma's rugs.

Lots of stuff hidden behind those curtains, DH built some massive shelves for me......The curtains aren't the best but they will do until I find something else. I actually had time to finish off a swap present today so I even did some crafting! I am busting to get some spinning done soon, and as the weather cools I might even do some rug hooking. Craft on!

And now for the yarn porn. Here's the silk merino I dyed a while ago- gotta love the effect re-skeining has on hand-dyed yarn.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My new craft room

No crafting this past week for me. DH and I have been way too busy painting bedrooms. We live in a 1940's cottage, and the paint was in dreadful condition. The previous owner had slapped on a coat of paint prior to selling the place, and boy did we pay for his laziness. No undercoat, cheap paint and teenagers posters stuck on with blue-tac made for a major job. The old paint flaked off in sheets so we had to scrape the walls and plaster the flaky sections before undercoating and repainting. But after 5 solid days of work the job is finally done.

The rooms have been needing doing forever, but the prompt for such a flurry of activity was a change-around of living arrangements. DS is turning 17 next month and needs his own space. So I decided he could have my craft shed, a decision he is most excited about. His mates are lining up to come and stay at "his place", and the barbecue is going to be set up on his front step. He even has plans for a front verandah!

I found I wasn't going out there much, it felt very self-indulgent to me. So DS17 will move in there and DS14 will move into his room. This leaves me with the big bedroom for my craft room. It has loads of shelves and is bright and sunny. I will be able to craft while I do the laundry and won't feel like I am deserting the family in the evenings because I'll still be in the house. I'll also be able to gather up all my craft supplies from the lounge room and our bedroom so the house should be a bit tidier too. One can only hope lol..... I'm off to scrub the paint spatters from my body and collapse into bed. Big day tomorrow, I'm moving in to my new craft room, yay!!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A little poser!

Just a quickie post today. I have done some more dyeing, this time on the silk/merino blend.I tried to get a graduated depth of colour through the skein and it seems to have worked fairly well. I'll post more pics when it's dry. Knitting wise I've been working on the Clapotis, I usually get a dozen or so rows done a night, which isn't bad when there's 107 stitches per row. I took a break from it last night to work on this little cutie from the book "The Natural Knitter" by Barbara Albright. She is a Little Sit-ster, and was great fun to make. The pattern didn't include clothes so I made her a little dress. Her legs and arms are pose able due to the pipe-cleaners inside.
Yup, she's a poser alright!

Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm on a dye-it......

It's been a busy week here at the chook yard. I'm a real homebody and I have had a few huge days out and about. On one of those days I had a lovely couple of hours scavenging the op-shops, and came home with some fantastic buys. Much of it was yarn, including some Rowan Tweed and gorgeous alpaca, as well as some great vintage yarns like Patons Bluebell crepe. I picked up a vintage ball winder which works a treat, I wish I'd found it before I handed over $55 for a new one! And I got a Speedie electric jug, which I absolutely love, I kill modern kettles with our bore water and my little Speedie is just a tad small so I was thrilled with this find.My order from The Knittery arrived, it was my first order from them and I would highly recommend them. Great price and great service, what more could you ask for? I ordered 500 grams of their 50% silk 50% merino in 8 ply and OMG it is divine. It's a single ply, similar in style and content to Noro silk garden. I can't wait to dye it up and make it into something special. I did some dyeing this week, some pure wool I acquired in a swap. It came out great, not my usual colours, but I think the person I dyed it for will like it.I also received some scrumptious fibre in another Ravelry swap from MelM. Mel sent me some beautifully dyed top and some lovely sparkly fibre to add to it.
I feel very spoilt, can't wait to see it spun up, now I just have to decide how I want to spin it. I sent some of this to Mooska, along with some mohair locks in co-ordinating colours. I loooove swaps!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Silky S.E.X. and the Clap ...... my trip to Sydney

Ok, now I have your attention! Many knitters would know what I mean by S.E.X. Of course I'm referring to a Stash Enhancement eXpedition. What did you think I was referring to? I had the opportunity to visit Morris and Sons whilst in Sydney for DH's knee op this week. Now as you would know, I tend to either recycle, swap or make my own yarn. Actually going out and buying new yarn is not my usual practice. This is partially due to financial constraints, but I also get a huge amount of satisfaction from making old yarn look new and creating my own hand spun. And of course it is also much better for the planet. So it was with a tinge of guilt I splashed out on....... wait for it ........ not one, but two skeins of Noro! Yep, I have jumped on the Noro bandwagon, I bought imported, expensive and truly magnificent yarn. I guess most people would think I was very restrained, but to tell you the truth it wasn't that hard. I looked around at all the gorgeous yarn and pictured the yarns I could make using the fibre from my goats and sheep. Now if I had silkworms I may even have attempted to make these yarns........
Noro Silk Garden sock yarn. Which may or may not become socks. There are quite a few projects on Ravelry using this yarn that are decidedly un-sock-like.
And Noro Silk Garden. Perhaps some fingerless mitts? Have to wait and see, may be a hat yet. Or maybe I'll just caress these little lovelies for a while...... Speaking of caressing I nearly forgot the Clap! Another bandwagon moment I couldn't resist. This is the beginnings of my Clapotis, a French style wrap which apparently every knitter except me has made at least a million times. I am using the recycled wool/silk blend I showed you in a previous post. It's scrumptious to knit with. I'm loving using these pretty stitchmarkers too, aren't they beautiful? Forgot to mention the lovely Knitpicks Harmony circs I picked up at M&S too, in just a couple of different sizes. Perhaps I wasn't that angelic after all!