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Saturday, 31 August 2013

Taking It Easy

I can't believe August is all but over, a friend of mine asked me if I still craft over the summer months, I said I take it easy, can't spin with sweaty hands, don't want a bit heavy piece of work on my lap, you know yourself. It was only afterwards when I actually quantified what I'd made since my last blog post at the end of July that I realised my version of taking it easy and everybody else's may be a bit different.

Firstly – the continuing story of Gina the wonderfleece!

I've dyed up more of her – red food colouring this time but I haven't had time to spin it up as yet.


I did spin up the lovely green (on my Louet S15), I plyed it and I got 47m to 40g, not really enough for a project but as it's my first real attempt at taking raw (off the back of a sheep with farmyard bits still attached) and dying and spinning it I was hugely proud of my efforts. I placed it in my knitting bag and brought it with me to the Limerick Stitch'n'Bitch meeting in Limerick's Milk Market two weeks ago. As my friend Liz and I had our wheels with us we attracted a bit of a crowd (I think that's what the market are hoping for as they have invited us and done everything to encourage us to meet there) we were happily answering questions and generally being our usual friendly self. We met a lovely German couple visiting during a holiday, Gabi told us she knits but didn't spin but her gran did and she hadn't seen spinning since she was a young girl. Her adorable husband went back to their car to fetch a shopping bag that Gabi had made – out of CapriSonne packets – it was a stunning creation and so imaginative! We were all very impressed and I decided to gift Gabi the small bit of Gina I had spun so now Gina has come from Dunmanway, gotten a new do, a clean up and spinning in Ballina, Co. Tipperary and is to make her permanent home in Stutgard, she's a well travelled lady! The picture below is Gabi and I posing for Lou to take our photo!

I have more of Gina spun and I'm currently working on plying her on one of my top whorl drop spindles!

Also in the above photo is a half finished hat – it's the Slouchy version of the Diagonal Stripe Hat from the Fall 2013 Knit Simple Magazine. The yarn is Hedgehog Fibres (http://shop.hedgehogfibres.com/) Camel/Silk/Mohair/Falkland roving that I got in one of her clubs, it was a delight to spin (done on my Louet S15) and ply and it's lovely to knit with and I am sure it will be so nice to wear that my daughter will try to steal it and make it her own!

What else now let me see, well hot off the needles is the lovely number below:

It's the Iron Maiden by Maiden Brooklyn (pattern $6 on ravelry), knit up with Debbie Bliss laceweight yarn (I cannot remember the name and I cannot find the ball label – typical!) It's currently being blocked on my bed, I always prefer to take photos of lacework while it's being blocked, I think it's only then that you can really appreciate how light and beautiful the finished item is.

Above is a gift I have (finally) made for my cousin's son's first birthday. I say finally because his birthday was on 2nd of July. It's not that I didn't want to make him something, I really couldn't love the little guy more if her were my nephew it's the yarn/pattern combination I wasn't liking. I bought the yarn in The Black Sheep wool store in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary (lovely lady Sinead who owns it – I recommend supporting her if you get a chance also all independently owned retaillers) I liked the wool but I hate knitting stocking stitch, I get bored and need some colour work, cabling or lacework to keep me interested but the wool just fought with every pattern I tried. Eventually I came across Tama by Kelly Brooker, it may be stocking stitch but because of it's seamless construction it's an interesting knit and I have to say I really enjoyed making it. I also did him a lovely little matching hat – again on dpns so no sewing up – and I am (finally) pleased with the results.

I don't know about other knitters but I always like to have a stash of baby presents made up 'just in case'. I can complete a baby cardi in a night or two and as it's such a quick knit I find it very rewarding when my mojo is stuggling. But alas I found my 'just in case' drawer had emptied and I needed to make up some more – and yet again Kelly Brooker saved the day! Above are my current 'just in case' stash , the pattern is Beyond Puerperium ( a big thank you to Lou for introducing me to Ms Brooker), all of these (including hats) were knit with just one 100g ball of yarn, the buttons actually look better if they don't match so it's an ideal one to lighten the load of your button tin. So all it right with the world – Edell's 'just in case' pile is restored!

I've also made a log cabin cushion cover and need to make another 3!

So as you can see I've been taking it easy over the summer and I have enjoyed it all!

Now I've come up with a dangerous idea – a handmade Christmas – so watch this space!!