Clearing bobbins

I’m working on a new design at the moment, so I don’t have a lot of knitting to share.  So that’s a little tease and here are some finished yarns from clearing off my bobbins ready for Spinzilla.

1177m of 2plied super fine Shetland. I haven’t washed it yet but I expect it to be heavy lace weight/light fingering weight. Love the colour of this.

200g of Merino / Silk blend top became 800m of fingering weight yarn. I love 3plied yarn, so I spun roughly 66g onto each of 3bobbins and made this great 3ply. I N-plied the remnants.

I had some tiny sample bits on a few bobbins so I plied those off to go in my box of oddments. All N-plied, some dyed mulberry silk, undyed mulberry silk and cotton.

The result… 

… a big pile of bobbins! I have some many Schacht bobbins as each wheel comes with 3 or 4 bobbins and I have 3 Schacht wheels that take these bobbins. The huge bobbins are the Hansen Woolee Winder bobbins. My Schacht-Reeves bobbins were already clear and aren’t in the photo. I managed to clear all the bobbins on Friday thinking it was the end of October and Spinzilla started today! I have no idea where that week went in my brain, but I’m glad to have that week back! Spinzilla starts a week today.

Spinzilla prep

They forecast a bit of a heat wave for the south of England for today and tomorrow, 30C they said. I was a little grateful when it remained somewhat overcast, but a warm pleasant day.

Spinzilla is all about community and challenging yourself and of course spinning. The small fee also raises money for mentoring the spinners of tomorrow. You can find out more about Spinzilla here.

The only UK team did really well last year, I think we came 7th out of all the terms. It was our first year entering and I think we will spin even more this year. So many people were inspired by our team efforts that there are 3 UK teams this year!

The goal of Spinzilla really is maximum yardage in 7days. So I try and do any prep I want to do in advance and choose things that are quick and easy to spin. I have mainly chosen mill top, some we were given some by our team sponsors (Curtis Wool and John Arbon) and some which I bought to spin for a jumper. 

But I like variety and variety in spinning is better when you intent to spend a whole week spinning and doing very little else. So yesterday I blended some hand dyed BFL wool top with some hand dyed Silk top, into lovely airy rolags which are easy to spin and will break the monotony of the indeed tops I’ll otherwise be spinning.  

My method for getting even amounts of fibre in each rolag when blending tops, is to attentuate each length of top out to the same length, then hold them all together like a roving and braid (crochet chain) them all together. Then for each rolag I can simply pull another chunk of fibre off the roving and hand card it. It also makes it simple to stop part way through and carry on later without forgetting what proportions I was doing!

I was going to do some more today, but I was struck with a migraine, ugh! So I rested this morning until Bobcat decided that he was going outside and proceeded to shout at me, a lot!

By the time I was ready to oblige he had eaten his lunch and curled up on a blanket! Howver as soon as he heard the key in the door he changed his mind, trotting off out the cat flat, with Alan more cautiously following me out the door. Alan concurred his fear of the grass today, with the help of a bee that apparently looked exciting enough to risk walking on the strange wet grass! He didn’t catch the bee, which was probably for the best as a cat with a sting in its mouth is the wrong kind of excitement!He soon decided that sunbathing and watching Bobcat’s antics was a much better idea. He might look like a furry beast, but really he is delicate fella who prefers clean smooth carpet to wet grass or gravel and dirty mud. He still carefully picks his way over the patio as if the concrete is dreadfully uncomfortable.After spending nearly 2years as an indoor cat I was quite surprised that neither Bobcat nor his old play mate started a fight when Bobcat wandered up behind him. I’m sure there will be many scuffles as territories are reasserted, but I’ve never seen these 2 get really nasty with each other.

I sat and watched the cats and their silly adventures for nearly 2hours and as I was thinking about rounding them up to go back inside, a heard a voice in the road near by. Bobcat belly to the ground, ran for the door growling as he went and shot upstairs. Alan totally bewildered by the whole thing sensibly decided he should follow. Bobcat doesn’t much like people, especially those he doesn’t know and it’s good to know his instinct when scared is to leg it indoors!

My progress on this cardigan is painfully slow, though I’m really enjoying the knitting. I’ve been way too busy spinning the last few weeks. But I have now nearly finished the first sleeve, so hopefully I’ll have more to share later in the week. 

Dyeing workshop

Last weekend I taught a dyeing workshop in my garden, for 6 knitting friends who hadn’t done any dyeing before. 

All the dye stocks ready to go!

We mainly dyed mainly yarn, with a little spinning fibre. Thank you to my students for use of their photos, my phone decided to died half way through the day. 

We had a great day, filled with colour and chatter and cake! You’ll notice that they were often inspired by each other’s colour choices, so there are some similar skeins dyed by different people.

Here are some of the students finished yarns.

Great sets of gradient mini skeins!

And using bits of left over dye from the students I dyed these random skeins and some BFL fibre. 

September sun & a felted bag

I have no idea what is going on with the UK weather, usually September is the start of the weather I love. Autumn is my favourite season, with cooler days and nights and the start of a few rainy days and of course all the Autumn colours. (Autumn = Fall for my US friends)

But it has been unseasonably warm here this week, with the kids back at school without their coats and hats and mittens seeming like a distance concept still. I suppose I shouldn’t complain when the weather man says highs of 29C next week, but to be honest I’d rather it was a bit cooler and I could get on with some DIY with sweating!

So instead I’ve spent this week getting back into the work groove after 6weeks of school holidays off. During this long holidays I keep up with customer emails, Ravelry and knitting on current design ideas, but the actual hard work of designing and teaching gets set aside.

I’ve updated the blog and added some of my patterns to the pages here, which used to be available through my web shop, which is now closed. So I thought it would be helpful to have my designs all in 1 place here. So I’m nearly done with that. 

I’m re working one of my oldest patterns and that will be tech edited and rereleased in the next few weeks. 

Spinning, oh how I love to spin to relax after a busy day at the computer. 

With these 2 bobbins of slightly slubby chunky merino 2ply yarn finished, I settled down to make a felted bag for my Flatiron wheel. I like a bag to store the whorls, oil bottle, spare drive band and brake band and any other bits like WPI gauge. I decided to make this bag slightly bigger as I know I will take this wheel out to events and it would be nice to be able to tuck a spare bobbin in as well. 

For knitting that will be fulled (some just call this felted) I don’t bother finishing the yarn first, I find this makes for firmer felt fabric. So I lazily knitted straight from the bobbins. As soon as the knitting was done I went to the sink to felt it, and once it was wet and soapy, I thought “oh no, you silly woman! You should have taken a photo.” Before felting this bag was very loose and shapeless and obviously much bigger!

My method for felting knitting is as follows; 

Run a bowl of hot as I can get it warmer from the tap and top up from the kettle. I wear thick rubber gloves to prevent scolding myself! Add detergent I find dish washing liquid (aka Fairy Liquid) works well to the hot water. 

Soak the item in the hot water until it’s wetted through, then start felting. 

You can either run a 2nd bowl of cold water and refill it often so it doesn’t get warm, or use the cold tap running.

Aim of the game is to put the hot wet soapy knitting into really cold water, over and over. This is the quickest and least energetic felting process. 

I agitate the item in the hot soapy water, rubbing it between my hands and scrunching it up, then move it quickly to the cold move it around until it’s cold, squeeze the cold water out with my hands and return it to the hot water. Squeezing it out helps stop the hot water going cold and saves having to refresh the hot water. 

Repeat, repeat until it is firm and I’m reasonably happy with the size. This method works well and prevents sections getting stuck together or creases forming which is quite common if you just throw it in the washer. 

I was only at the sink about 15mins. It’s probably quicker if you are really vigorous and use a sink plunger or something, but I’m too laid back for that. 

Rinse all the soap out thoroughly, pull into shape. Then I put mine in the tumble drier as this firms the felt up really well. I put it in until it’s almost dry.

Then stretch over a form of some sort until fully dry. 

Finally a use for all the different shapes and sizes of tuppawear I own!

The finished bag hanging on my Schacht Flatiron. 

The bag has a row of eyelets around the top. I added extra twist to a length of the yarn and folded 4 strands and let it twist back on itself, making a cabled yarn. I then threaded this through the eyelets to hang up. It also has a small side pocket for the oil bottle as this is probably the item I use most often from the bag. 

Still loving my Flatiron. 

Schacht sent me these great pin badges, so I will share some with my fellow Schacht wheel owning friends.

Spinning and outdoor adventures

After finishing the dark Merino scraps for a little spinning wheel bag, I started on 200g of Merino/Silk blend tops.

The Flatiron really made spinning these singles a breeze. I will 3ply them for a fingering weight yarn. You can see a small ply back sample on the top of the bobbin.

After 2 years of having indoor cats, (because a local man who allowed his dog to enter my neighbours garden and kill her cats on 2 seperate occasions, he didn’t care) the risk seems to have gone and we have decided to let our furry beasts out again.  Alan had never set foot into the outside world before, so he was quite timid, mostly sniffing around the patio!

He had a little look at the grass, but thought better of it and pottered off back inside. Bobcat on the whole hand walked the whole garden perimeter and spent a lot of time munching grass!

He’s a fat little cat and could do with the exercise after spending the last 2years indoors. He really loves it outside, I’m sure the grass won’t spoil his diet.

Tomorrow there will be knitting I promise.

The Flatiron

After an excited wait my new Flatiron from Schacht Spindle company arrived this week!

These great new wheels come totally flat packed, hence the reasonably small box for a 22″ saxony wheel. So I cleared the table and set about assembling this modern wheel. Looking at the table of parts might feel a little daunting if you’ve never assembled a wheel before.The team at Schacht have not only created a great product that is precision cut and beautifully finished, which makes the assembly straight forward, they also created this Assembly video which should put you at ease.

Assembly takes about 90mins and all you need is a Phillips head screwdriver and a straight head screwdriver, they have included all the other tools you need.  Only fully tighten things when you are told to and for the nuts and bolts holding the nut still with the spanner and turning the bolt with the screw driver/hex key is easiest.

90mins later and a few drops of oil and we were up and spinning!  She’s sturdy and quiet and nice and fast.

Oh and I didn’t tell the most unique thing about this wheel. You’ll notice the flyer is on the right, rather than on the left like most saxony wheels. Well Schacht came up with a design that means that every Schacht wheel can be set up with the flyer on the left or the right. Change your mind, loan your wheel to a friend, sell your wheel, then you can take it apart and reassemble it with the flyer on the other side. Brilliant!

I decided for her first spin I’d spin some oddments of black, navy and purple merino into a thick slightly textured yarn to knit into a little fulled bag to hang from my Flatiron with the oil bottle and spare whorls etc in.

At the moment I’m knitting a cardigan in natural grey Falkland 4ply yarn that I was given for my birthday. More on that next time.

Getting back to it

I decided last year that I would take a break from blogging and social media, in the hope that it would make me more productive. Life had becoming challenging in many ways and I was left feeling like something had to give, and my silence was the result. Well it didn’t help my productivity, I have discovered you will soon fill your time with other activities, but not the productive activities you hoped for! So I’ve decided I would rather blog which I enjoy that do random unproductive things like play silly phone games or watch mind numbing tv. So I’m back.

I’ve also joined Instagram as NinjaBexKnits, so you can find me there for lots of photo-y goodness!

We had a lovely family holiday camping this summer, there were some beautiful sunny days and seriously wet and windy weather. 

On the way to the Isle of Wight it was beautiful.

Later in the week it was seriously rough. This was at Shanklin at high tide. We enjoyed some amazing ice creams, with free added sea salt while watching the crashing waves.

I’ll share some more about our trip and the knitting I did in my next post and tell you what exciting wheel arrived at my house this week!

42 WIP’s

Everyone who knows me knows that I have a problem. Some call it Strartitus, some call it UFO Syndrome, others just call me mad.

A friend on twitter posted about her Sock WIP situation, which inspired me to dig through all my wip’s and photograph them all. I thought I had a sock problem, turns out I don’t really, but my wip problem as a whole is pretty extensive.

My Ravelry projects search told me I had 54 in progress and hibernating projects. I thought I should take some photos and update the projects and see if I could reduce the number a little by doing some finishing and some frogging.

Some of these projects hadn’t seen the light of day in at least 4years, at that point I’m not sure you can call them a ‘work in progress’!

I thought I’d share my madness with you, to make you all feel better when you have a few projects on the go. If your situation is worse than mine I’d love to hear from you!

I’ve decided on a few Action categories; Frog, Quick Finishing, Finish, Medium Wip, Slow Wip, One day maybe.
All the projects have a link to my project on Ravelry (they are all public so you don’t need to be a ravelry member to see more photos and details and find the patterns).

Started in 2008

Sock Blanket

Sock BlanketEveryone has one of these right?

Progress: 20%

Action: Slow wip

Started in 2009

Lizard Ridge Blanket

Lizard RidgeI started this and knitted a couple of panels and realised the proportions would be wrong, so it was re-started. I’d love to see this finished.

Progress: 5%

Action: Medium wip

 YoYo Pinwheel Jumper

YoYo Pinwheel JumperThis yarn is like a boucle and really slowed my desire to finish it, as did the giant belly bullseye look. I’m not sure I’d ever wear this out in public, but I like the design and the feel of the fabric. Just needs the sleeve finishing then the bottom and neck ribbing.

Progress: 80%

Action: Medium wip

Wicked Red!

Wiched Red!This project has been part frogged before due to a baggy back and never really got off the ground again. I really want to wear this.

Progress: 5%

Action: Medium wip

Pretty as a peacock shawl

Pretty as a peacockThis is a lovely pattern, but I don’t think this hansspun lace weight does it justice.

Action: Frog!

Started in 2010

Happy Sagrantino Shawl

Happy ShawlThis pattern is a little time consuming but good fun. The soft silky bamboo yarn works well.

Progress: 60%

Action: Medium Wip

Handspun Bird Seed Jumper

Handspun Bird Seed JumperLovely idea, but it’s brown, I don’t do brown!

Action: Frog!

Pretty as a peacock cardigan

Peacock CardiganAwful photo as it’s been very crumpled in a bag. I had this great idea to turn a complex shawl into a cardigan. I think it will work and it would be fun to wear.

Progress: 5%

Action: One day maybe

Wicked Kidsilk Haze

Wicked Kidsilk HazeI have thought of a light and airy kidsilk jumper for ages, this one got started and not a lot more!

Progress: 5%

Action: Slow wip

Leg warmers

Leg warmersWho takes 4yrs to make some leg warmers? Me it seems! I knitted the first one quickly, then at least a year past and I knit the second, but the guage was different despite the same needles, so it got frogged. This second leg warmer just needs 2 rows!

Progress: 95%

Action: Quick Finishing

Handspun Evenstar Shawl

Evenstar ShawlLovely pattern, brilliant silk handspun for it. Just lost concentration I think.

Progress: 25%

Action: Medium wip

Hexagon Sock

Hexagon SocksFun socks, I think I got bored with all the picking up stitches and the ends! Would like to see these finished.

Progress: 55%

Action: Slow wip

Started in 2011

Hex Blanket

Hex BlanketThis blanket has become a cover for the back of my arm chair. All it needs an edging and straps to secure it to the chair.

Progress: 95%

Action: Finish

Toe Up River Socks

River SocksI made these toe up as I prefer to knit socks that way. I think these suffered second sock syndrome.

Progress: 55%

Action: Finish

Green Laminaria Shawl

Green Laminaria ShawlWhy did I start a shawl in green? The pattern is lovely though, maybe one day I’ll cast on another in a colour I like!

Action: Frog!

Selbu Mittens

Selbu MittensHandspun and millspun, I love how these look, sadly they are too small for me. I think I will have to frog them and start over.

Action: Frog?

Red Mitred Cape/Poncho

Red Mitred PonchoThis is such a simple lovely project, I should get it finished before she has no desire to wear such things!

Progress: 50%

Action: Medium wip

Handspun Leaf Intarsia Shawl

Leaf ShawlThis one is a design in progress that I have long neglected, would be lovely to get this done and see it as a pattern!

Progress: 10%

Action: Medium Wip

Secret Crochet Scarf

Secret ScarfSecret ScarfI can’t quite believe this has been a wip for 3yrs! This is a gift for a lovely friend (who has seen it). I’d love to finish this for her. I decided to crochet with a continuous thread instead of breaking for motifs, this is slower, but means no ends to sew in and saves yarn.

Progress: 55%

Action: Medium Wip

Double Knit Sheep Scarf

Sheep ScarfI didn’t cast these on close together (clearly lots of things got finished in between), but this happens to be a gift for the same friend. This project really is a labour of love with the doubleknit and concentrate every row pattern. What was I thinking casting this on in Acrylic? Part of me wants to frog and re-knit in handspun wool. Maybe I will finish that 3rd sheep and cast it off and have it as a little banner for the studio?

Progress: 35%

Action: Not sure – partially finish?

Started in 2012

Swirl Cardigan

Swirl CardiganI dragged this out of hibernation 2 weeks ago, I’d love to get it finished before the winter as I think it will be perfect!

Progress: 80%

Action: Finish!

Lightweight Pullover

Lightweight PulloverAccording to Ravelry I cast this on just 2days after the Swirl, talk about January Startitus!

Progress: 25%

Action: Medium Wip

Neat Ripple Blanket

Neat Ripple BlanketLovely blanket, I just need to keep plugging away at it!

Progress: 75%

Action: Finish

Keepsake Lace Crochet Shawl

Keepsake ShawlI have a feeling this stalled because I knew I would run out of yarn. I need to spin some more Polworth for this.

Progress: 60% – extra spinning to do!

Action: Spin some more than Finish

Double Fun Socks

Double Fun SocksThese socks are knitted with double knitting, very clever, quite fun, but a little slow. I’d love to see these in my sock draw!

Progress: 55%

Action: Medium wip

Handspun Harlot Poncho

Harlot PonchoI’m not completely convinced I like the flecks on white of this yarn, but I will finish the poncho and perhaps over dye it.

Progress: 20%

Action: Medium wip

Buttercup Top

Buttercup TopCotton t-shirt lovely, except the yarn makes my hands tired to knit it. Perhaps it will be done for next summer?

Progress: 50%

Action: Medium wip

Handspun Shawl

Handspun ShawlThis was a lovely design idea, but shortly after starting it I saw a similar pattern. I don’t see the point in releasing a pattern that is very similar to another so it got shelved.

Action: Frog!

Cobweb Crochet Scarf

Cobweb Crochet ScarfI love the insanity of this tiny itty bitty project. I have been working on it, 1 little square at a time.

Progress: 20%

Action: Medium wip

Flyby Shawl

FlyBy ShawlThis is almost finished, it was a design I was working on. When I showed it to my SnB group someone said is it a Leftie. I was a little sad to say the least. I hadn’t even seen the mentioned pattern at the time, I later found out my construction and finished shape is entirely different. Not sure if I will ever do the pattern or not now 🙁

Progress: 95%

Action: Finish

Lia Juniper Jumper

Lia Juniper JumperThis yarn has tried to be several different jumpers and been frogged. This is it’s last chance. I’ve knit the pattern before and think the yarn will work well for it.

Progress: 10%

Action: Slow wip

Woven Throw for K’s mum

ThrowI started this with great optimism in November to finish as a Christmas gift! Weaving a double weave blanket in thin fingering weight yarn in less than a month is a tall order. Hoping to get it finished for her for this Christmas.

Progress: 30%

Action: Finish

Started in 2013

Sectores Scarf 2

sectoresI started this to take photos for the pattern, I never had enough yarn to finish it, so it is now frogged. The handspun can go back in the stash 🙂

Action: Frog!

Rill Scarf

Rill ScarfLovely pattern, but lace weight, itty bitty needles and short shorts = slow.

Progress: 5%

Action: Medium wip

Coco BagFelted bag, will be great to get this done.

Progress: 15%

Action: Finish

Diagonal Granny Stripe Blanket

diagonal granny stripeBoys baby blanket I designed, really should finish this for operation gift box and write up the pattern.

Progress: 75%

Action: Finish

Enigma Hooded Cardigan

enigmaThis is interesting, it’s made from granny squares  arranged and sewn into a hoodie, all in lace weight yarn.

Progress: 15%

Action: Medium wip

Fine as Findley Cardigan

findleyLovely summer cardigan, I really need this for next summer.

Progress: 5%

Action: Finish

Some Assembly Required

lego_manCan you guess what I’m going to be? I’ve actually added the body since this photo was taken, so he’s half finished!

Progress: 50%

Action: Medium wip

Started in 2014

Fly with Me Shawl

Fly with mefly with meThis is a new pattern design that I must get finished. The Red sample is finished the second one needs finishing.

Progress: 5%

Action: Finish and write up pattern

Elephant Garland

Elephant garlandI had grand ambitions when I started this, but the tiny tight crochet hurts my hands. I might have to call it done at 2.

Action: Finished?

Handspun Woven Bag

woven_bag woven_bag2The weaving is done, this just needs work on the sewing machine – a lining and zip!

Progress: 95%

Action: Finish

It’s Stripes Jim

its_stripes_jimAnother pair of socks…. with a fun twist

Progress: 5%

Action: Medium wip

Handspun Nesoi Tee

Nesoi TeeLove the fabric of this. Last time I took it out of it’s project bag there was a MASSIVE spider in there, I think it traumatised me!

Progress: 45%

Action: Finish

Isle of Wight Socks

isle of wight socksThese are very recent, so I don’t feel guilty about this wip yet 🙂

Progress: 45%

Action: Finish

Modified Osney Shrug

osneyThis one is a commission so I need to get it done asap.

Progress: 80%

Action: Finish

Fox Paws

fow_pawsI haven’t decided if this is just a swatch or if I plan to carry on as a scarf.

Action: Who knows?

And these are all the other random things I found in the UFO mountain that are either odds or were marked as frogged in Ravelry, but not actually frogged.

So they have either gone into the finished pile or the to frog pile!

Brea Bag

Brea bag
Drop Stitch Scarf

drop stitch scarf

shawl of some sort?

Dew Drops Kidsilk Scarf
Dew Drops kidsilk ScarfDew drops kidsilk scarf

Em's socks

Aeolian Shawl
Aeolian Shawl
Hexi puffs
hexi puff's

Felted project bag
felted project bag

Em’s fluffy socksfluffy Em sock

Handspun baby socks
handspun baby socks

Felted project bag – needs zip
felted project bag - needs zip

Fingerless glove
fingerless glove

Phew! I can’t quite believe I survived that! I swear I missed a few.
So my gal til the end of the year is to reduce my wip’s and try very hard not to cast anything on!

I think the final number is 41 WIP’s!
Do you have more?

Knitting for babes

I finished off the girlie baby gifts for my friend today.

Buttons for the Wee Envelope, a crocheted flower for the Aviatrix Hat and face, foot pads and ear bits for Spring Bunnies Toy.

I added some fusible interfacing to the fabric for the bunny to stiffen it to make it easier to sew and also reduce fraying, only took a minute so well worth the effort. I also embroidered the eyes rather than using safety eyes as its for a baby and safety eyes are tricky to get really secure on crochet.IMG_5192.JPG

End of summer

Those three words End . Of . Summer . felt pretty painful when I woke this morning. As I hung 2 huge loads of washing (the new giant slow washer of doom does have its plus side) on the line with the mist still thick in the air, I really felt tv that autumn was on its way. I plodded back indoors and made coffee ready to face my first child free day after 6 weeks of school holidays.

But you know what? By lunch time it was beautifully sunny and pretty warm! It averaged about 18C last week as we enjoyed our little holiday, but today it was about 23C, so not autumn at all. I noticed several posts on twitter today from upt’ North saying that the leaves we’re turning, including some very autumnal photos of golden leaves on the ground. It’s things like this that make me love the south coast, our summer is likely longer, our winters certainly milder. The weather makes up from being surrounded grockles (that’s tourists to us) half the year.
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Group Made Wedding Shawls

It’s always lovely when a member of our Stitch & B’ch group gets married or has a baby. We usually make something as a group or the few of us who know her best, make a blanket or shawl.  Early this year we found out one of the newest knitters in our group, Cat, was getting married and she knew what she wanted to knit for her wedding and what she wanted help with.

camping_half_circle_shawl_2It was so good to have guidance, sometimes we make something as a surprise without much understanding of what the person might want.  Cat wanted us to knit a special shawl to match the accessories for her wedding dress.  The yarn was Superwash Merino/Cashmere/Nylon  in 4ply/fingering weight which I dyed a warm grey.

camping_half_circle_shawl_yarnCat chose the lovely Elizabeth Zimmermann 100th Anniversary Camping Half Circle Shawl (which is available for free on Ravelry) for us to knit for her.  This went swimmingly with each of us taking it home for a week or two to complete a section and bringing it back to the group for someone to carry on.  It blocked out to a lovely size for Cat to wear on her big day.


camping_half_circle_shawl_3The lace for this shawl is really pretty and deserves some close ups, the edging is really lovely. You can find all the project details here.

camping_half_circle_shawl_1Cat also wanted to knit a shawl for her bridesmaid and decided to pick the Dew Drops Shawl pattern I wrote a few years ago. Those of you who have knitted it will know it’s not best suited to a new knitter who hasn’t really done lace. But she was brave!
Cat did amazing work knitting her way through hundreds of metres of lace weight yarn in stocking stitch, realising that the lace would take her until well after the wedding to finish and with lots of other things to do for the wedding she handed over the shawl to some other members of our group. They worked their magic and with 2 weeks to go before the wedding it came to my turn to work the last chart and cast off and block. I was quite excited, it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to knit some lace and even longer since I’ve knitted a Dew Drops shawl.

The first thing I did was weigh the remaining yarn, when the scales said 50g you could have knocked me over with a feather. We needed more than another 14 rows to make this into a good sized shawl!

I started adding an extra repeat of chart 4 and 5, this pattern is totally customisable on size and my triangular shawl calculator makes it easy to know how many rows you can knit your remaining yarn. It does all the maths for you!  My finger marks where the knitting was at when it was passed to me, with 50% of the yarn remaining, so it would have been quite small and a waste of the lovely coloured yarn.

dew_drops1A few days and 40grams of yarn later, not to mention 3 hours of casting off, I had this crumpled mess. The Dew Drops Shawl with it’s circle of lace with reverse stocking stitch looks pretty awful unblocked and I’d almost forgive someone who frogged at this point. dew_drops2
After blocking I’m sure you will agree it is worth the effort! I’m sorry these last two photos are so poor, the tremor in my hands was pretty bad when I took them!
You can see how much it grew with the blocking too!

Ta Da!!

Next time I can hopefully share some great summer holiday knitting photos with you.

Foraged Blackberry and Pear Pie

A.k.a. Purple Pear Pie!

We noticed some blackberries over the fence this morning as we played in the garden with our giant bubbles (you can find the recipe, including secret ingredient, and how to make giant bubbles wands here).
I suggested to Little E that we take a wander down the foot path and see if we could find enough blackberries for a sweet treat! She asked if we could make blackberry pie, this really surprised me as she had never been one for fruit pie or crumble puddings. So as any mother keen to have her child try new things would, I took her foraging for blackberries.
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