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.

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. 

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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Triangular Shawl Calculator

Here’s a little way to calculate the maximum number of rows you can work on a shawl (top down shawls only). You need to have knitted at least 20% of your yarn to do get an accurate answer, though it will return a result with more than 10% yarn used.

Triangular shawl
This calculation will work for any shawl pattern that starts at the top and has a consistent number of increases in each row. (ie. 4increases on every right side row and 2 sts on every wrong side row, or 4increases every other row.)
(Examples of this type of shawl are: ‘Swallowtail’, ‘Ishbel’, ‘Aeolian’, ‘Kiri’, ‘Traveling Woman’, My ‘Dew Drops’ & ‘Danish Ripple’ Shawls)
(I know these shawls have slightly different shapes, but trust me the maths works for all of them.)

You need to know:

Number of Constant stitches in each row: (eg. Swallowtail:5, Ishbel:7, Aeolian:5or7.) (usually edge stitches on each side + centre stitch) (If you don’t know this don’t worry too much as it doesn’t make a huge difference to the result.)

Total yarn weight: (This is how much yarn you have available for the project, in grams is best.)

Used yarn weight so far: (This is the total weight of yarn minus what you have left un-knitted.)

Rows worked so far: (with many shawl you can count the number of holes running up the middle next to the centre st and x2).

RESULT
Maximum Number of Rows:

This result is the number of rows you can work with the yarn you have available, it allows you 3rows worth of yarn to cast off which is sufficient for a very stretchy bind off.
If you pattern has a lot of increases in the final few rows, ie lots of yarn over’s for a pointier edge you will need to subtract a few more rows to allow for that.
If your pattern tells you to cast off with the yarn held double you will need to subtract a few more rows to allow for this.

This calculator requires javascript to be enabled.
I hope you find this page useful, I provide it free for everyone, please link to it here.
Contact me through Raverly, or email me if you have any questions.
P.s. Please don’t blame me if the answer doesn’t work out for you, I provide this script working to the best of my knowledge, free to everyone.
(c) Bex Hopkins 2010, please do not attempt to steal this script.
If you would like to know how this is calculated please contact mes.

Sock Yarn wip5

Thank you to Clare for some blue sock yarn, this photo is of the little bit, there’s also a whole ball!
ClareL\'s Sock Yarn
(Clare has just started a sock yarn blanket, using DK yarn, its going brilliantly!)

Thank you to Twiglet Queen for some more sock yarn.
Twiglet Queen\'s Sock yarn

I’ve now done about 40squares of my sock yarn blanket, but I won’t post a picture, as it will hopefully be abit more dramatic when I’ve done some more!

I also managed to buy some King Cole Zig Zag 4ply Sock Yarn today, I got it at a wool shop in Wareham. It was £3.99 per ball (100g) which will do a pair of socks with some left over, which is really reasonable compared to some of the other patterning sock yarns. It is 50% Superwash Wool 50% Nylon, but feels nice and soft.
King Cole Zig Zag Sock Yarn

Just to add… I finished this, its an Ipod Cosy, it’s a pressy for Karen, as she was kind enough to give me some of her beautiful Handspun yarn. The yarn was intended for my sock yarn blanket, but it was a bit thick and I was worried it would felt. Karen didn’t know what to knit with it, so I made her a cosy and hopefully there is enough left for a little phone cosy or purse for me.
Karen\'s Felted Ipod Cosy

Sock Yarn Blanket wip4

I managed to do 4 squares from the donations of yarn I received last night, and there will be many more!
I finished my first big square (counting as 4 squares), taking the running total to 22 (+ the 1 lost in the sofa…).

From bottom right, Grey-Light Brown is from Katrina’s yarn, Brown-Black and Cream are from Bea’s Yarn, Blue-Green is from Tanya’s yarn.


Tonight I’m going to try and do some of my Stained Glass Fan Bag which I really want to get finished so it can be my knitting bag 🙂

Sock Yarn Thank you

Thank you to the SnB’s for their very generous donations towards my sock yarn blanket, I think I will have to knit faster! I’m so pleased with the variety and colours, as I tend to buy the same sorts of colours all the time.


Thank you to Karen for her beautiful handspun wool, this is quite thick compared to the yarns I have already for the blanket, so I might do the squares with fewer stitches and see how it comes out, or I might have to make Karen a small and pretty gift.






Thank you to Bea for her cream with bright specs sock yarn and cream-brown-grey with red specs sock yarn. I think the darker one will knit up especially nicely, I might do this at a make square to take advantage of the colour changes.






Thank you to Katrina, who I met for the first time this evening, for her blue regia sock yarn and pinky-beige, green, brown sock yarn, I’ll really interested to see how the latter patterns when knitted.
As promised I will try and type up my version of that pattern for you. 🙂






Thank you to Tanya for her blue-green-purple regia sock yarn, which is the leftover from her first sock.





Looking at this large pile of wool, which has kindly been given to me, I feel the urge to go away and knit a square from each and add it to my blanket.

Thank you to everyone for their kind comments about my hand made bamboo needles, I hope you enjoy them and welcome your feedback.

Sock Yarn Blanket wip2

I’m now knitting square 7, I love this project so much!

Thanks to the Bournemouth SnB’s who have offered me leftovers, I’m really looking forward to seeing the different selection of yarns and how they knit up!
I can definitely see myself buying sock yarn to make socks, so that I have different left overs!

Quick Update Re: Colourful Designs Shop Hopefully I will be adding some knitting needles in about 2 weeks time!

Sock Yarn Blanket wip1

I’m starting a blanket made out of scrap sock yarn. I’m in love with hand knitted socks and the beautiful yarns.
So I’m going to use the remnants I have, and any I receive from others to make this blanket.

My reasoning behind this project is…
I have a condition called Fibromylgia syndrome, it causes me to have chronic pain over most of my body most of the time, the pain doesn’t respond well to treatment, so most of the time I just have to put up with it. Among other things it makes it very hard for me to sleep and I get cold limbs.

So I tend to spend a lot of time sitting in a chair, instead of in bed, and to pass the time I knit, as I don’t have the energy for much else. I have numerous blankets which I have tried to keep me warm, but they are all so heavy they make my legs hurt more.

So… I want to knit a warm but lightweight blanket, that is just the right size for me. I did start one, but the plain blocks of colour drove me to boredom and it has since hibernated. I have recently fallen in love with knitting socks and beautiful sock yarns and I thought that a sock yarn blanket, where I can knit little bits at a time would be brilliant!

If you’d like to give me your sock yarn remnants place email me. (Anything 4ply with some wool in it would be brilliant, any colours.)