Friday, October 31, 2008

I can Crochet (sort of)

I have had a bit of a go at crochet this week. I am using aran weight wool and a 5.5mm hook and it seems to be going OK. My previous attempts, before being shown how to do it properly, were not too spectacular. I got as far as making granny squares very, very slowly if someone started me off. It made my fingers hurt from pulling the loops over the hook and my wrists would ache after 10 mins. My one and only stitch turns out to have been trebles.

I didn't realise that the hook was supposed to be tilted and would then slide smoothly through the loops or that the yarn was held in my left hand, wrapped between my fingers to tension it. This method of crochet was so much easier. No wrist pain, no cramped fingers at all and I can do more than 1 stitch : ) I even managed some double clusters on the last row and now have my eyes on a scarf for me to snuggle under my Winter coat.

Remember this yarn? It was last seen disguised as the Little Leaf scarf of Doom. I think it looks much better as a sock.

And finally, my Alpaca is spinning up nicely. I have about 40g on my 50g spindle and still have plenty of room for more.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Learning to Crochet

I am a member of the Coventry Knit Wits group and they are a very friendly, cheerful and helpful group of knitters, crocheters, quilters etc. Most weeks someone is sharing something they have learned which makes the meetings fun and interesting.

Two weeks ago Julie showed me how to make a proper slip knot and how do do a chain using a crochet hook properly with the right things in the correct hand. She also taught me long tailed cast on which I have used for my second scarf attempt - more below about that.

Last week Jane took me in hand and taught me all the basics from my foundation row up to reading a chart. She was very patient with me but I'm not sure how much sunk in, watch this space for my first attempts LOL.

Meanwhile, I have cast on my Little Leaf lace scarf again:

This time I am using a semi-solid from the Yarnyard. It is one of the early skeins so it doesn't have a name. I hope the close up shows the way the not-quite-solid colour gives a rippling effect to the lace without overwhelming it.

The yarn is Bonny, a sock wool/nylon mix in 4 ply. There are 460 yards so I should get a reasonably long scarf from it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

That was quick!!

I have frogged my Little Leaves scarf already. I got to row 48 and realised that the yarn, beautiful though it is, was swamping the lace pattern. It just didn't look right and the lace couldn't be seen properly, so it had to go. The yarn will be converted into some socks for me : )

I nipped up to my very well insulated loft to have a look at yarns and came down with a skein of semi-solid sock yarn in green. I have got to row 20 now and it is looking much better. Hopefully photos will follow over the next day or two.

On a bad note - the sale of the farm fell through today. Strictly speaking, it didn't fall through as the buyers made an offer 25% lower than they were going to pay and left it to us to decide whether to accept this revised figure or not. The contracts were going to be signed this Friday so I think this is a pretty mean trick to play on behalf of the buyers. MIL felt she would prefer to say no rather than take this offer, and DH and BIL all agree. Fortunately MIL is content to stay put rather than loose 25% of the property value. I suppose, in this economic climate, gazundering is going to be all around now : (

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Knitted leaves

I am really getting the hang of knitting for myself now. This week I have cast on this project:

It is the 'Little Leaf Lace Scarf' by Sivia Harding. I am using Opal sock wool in the Neon colourway so that it will be nice and vibrant against my black Winter coat. The needles are Addi Lace circulars and I love the slight 'nobble' at the end which helps with doing the psso bits.

On the sock knitting front I have finished the 1st sock in Regia Mirage Earth. I decided to do 30 rows of rib and 40 rows of down to the ankle for extra grip and cosiness.

I spent 3 days in the wilderness known as second sock syndrome, but pulled myself together today and have made a start on the next one : )

Edited to add: My lovely ducky stitchmarker is from Yarnimals

The lovely Sprite has made me loads of stitchmarkers including sheep, pigs, and 4 custom-made cats. I also have horses and elephant markers from her : )

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fibre Achievements This Week:

FO's: I finished my 'worm socks' and they are now hugging my cold toes. I even had to put the heating on this evening for the first time this Autumn.

WIP's: I immediately cast on the next pair for me. Its the Regia Kaffe Fassett mirage again - but this time in the Earth colourway. I am making the rib longer to keep my ankles warm. I discovered that my 'non-biological' Tesco Colours washing power has enzymes in it and I think that might be why last years socks have now disintegrated.

Spinning: The Alpaca fibre spinning is going well. I have been spinning 1o minutes a day for 8 days now (I missed a couple of days) and have spun up 25g. There is 100g in total and I have split it in half and will ply the 2 halves together when I have finished.

Buying: And last - but not least - a custom dye job from Babylonglegs. I had a yen for some green fibre and this is what she came up with. 100g of BFL. Scrummy!!!!!