Last week I finally got my act together and finished off the little shawlette I was knitting for my friend at work. This is the second time I’ve used the pattern, and just quietly, I think I like this second one better than the one I made for myself. I used Cascade 220 Heather, and the colour is a gorgeous Autumn gold/brown. It’s great to see someone other than myself wearing my work too 🙂
I also had a fairly productive weekend in the yarn dyeing department, since I was running out of the yellows/oranges/chocolates I’ve been using for a shaped garter shawl for myself. The pattern (Celadon by Ambah O’Brien) is another simple relaxing knit, so it’s coming along rather quickly.
As if I needed ANOTHER hobby. I don’t have enough time for my existing hobbies as it is. However, over the weekend I decided to have a go at dyeing my own yarn. I really love the look of the speckled yarn that is the rage at the moment, but it’s so specialised, it’s very expensive.
I’m using cheap superwash merino to practice on, and it seems to be holding the colour very well. I’m also just using food dye (although I did buy a packed of black dye powder today for my next attempt) and vinegar, as a cheaper option for now.
I began with tying the yarn into a skein (they came as balls), and soaking it in a mixture of luke warm water and vinegar (a couple of ‘glugs’, I didn’t measure the exact amount).
I then put the tray onto the stove and heated the yarn and water/vinegar mix to simmer point. Taking the tray back to the sink I went about dotting the colours onto the yarn. Some of the colour mixed with the water, and some of the colour landed on yarn that was sticking out of the water and concentrated there as speckles. I used a toothbrush to get the smaller speckles, with a mixed result.
After I was happy with the colour placement I left the yarn/dye/water/vinegar to cool back to room temperature, before rinsing in the sink with another vinegar mix, and finally a bit of hair conditioner to keep the yarn soft and get rid of the vinegar smell.
It took two days to completely dry on my clothes rack, and I plan to re-ball the yarn tonight ready for use.
Wow, this last month has been a hectic one! Between work, uni, a funeral and a trip to the mainland I haven’t had time to scratch myself! Oh and I managed to get a really bad case of the flu and asthma which knocked me down for over two and a half weeks.
Things are slowly getting back on track again now so I thought I’d share some pics of the knitting and crochet I’ve done this month. The cedar leaf shawlette I’m knitting for my work mate is progressing nicely, with about half the leaf pattern to go before it’s ready to block. It’s currently sitting on a chair behind me at work, so I can knit during my lunch hour.
I started a knitted shawl for myself while I was on my mainland trip, following the ‘Waiting for Rain’ Pattern by Sylvia Bo Bilvia. I’m using Madeleine Tosh Merino, and it’s a joy to knit. Unfortunately it’s on the back burner now as I have a few other more pressing projects to complete.
I got my crojo back over the weekend and powered ahead with the blocks for Frida’s Flowers CAL. I’m suddenly really enjoying crochet again and these blocks are great to work up. Week 3’s block has about a billion ends to weave in though, which I most certainly did NOT enjoy. Great result though – I think it may be my show entry for this year.
I’ve also put my Persian Tiles afghan on the back burner for a while. It seems I need more hours in the day for crafting 😦
Here is my Rainbow Wrap, officially blocked and looking lovely on my table! As much as this pattern sometimes irritated me (it was a well-written pattern, but it made me go a bit brain dead after a while), it’s turned out to be a stunner and I’m really happy with the end result. As you can see the colours look great together when folded, or tied around your neck 🙂 I can’t wait to wear this to work tomorrow!
I’ve been enjoying my knitting so much over the last couple of weeks that it’s been REALLY hard to get back into uni study! I’m proud of myself though since I haven’t started a new project for a while, opting to instead work on WIPs already on the needles. Despite having some really lovely yarn all balled up and ready to work with, I’ve been a very good girl and haven’t touched it. Yet. Of course the whole ‘no new projects’ thing will change in the next week or so when I get my yarn delivery from the UK. I’ve bought some Stylecraft DK to do the Persian Tiles crochet blanket pattern by Janie Crow. All of you lovely knitters/crocheters living in Australia will know that our local supply of acrylic yarns is severely lacking, so I’ve bought this stylecraft to see whether it’s any better than the crappy Spotlight acrylic we can get here. Seriously though, that’s not a big ask.
My latest WIP progress has been on my rainbow wrap! I put it down at the halfway point because I was a little depressed about the amount of work I’d already put into it, only to be half done! After completing the cedar leaf shawl and my sock (yeah, I haven’t done the second sock to that either, I have some serious second sock syndrome going on) I felt a bit better about continuing on, and I’m very glad I did. I’m really enjoying working with that yarn again.
I’ve just told my workmate/friend/boss that I’d make her a cedar leaf shawl, so I guess that project will fit in somewhere between the rainbow wrap and the persian tiles blanket. I already have the yarn for that – a lovely golden autumn shade of Cascade 220 Heather. Yummy. I’m wearing mine today for the very first time, and I’m so in love with its colour and drape. Lorna’s Laces yarn might be pricey but Oh. Em. Gee. So lovely.
I’m on fire! The beach shawl is finally finished, after a big push over the last couple of days to get it done (so I can move on to a NEW PROJECT! shhh). I’m really happy with it; I love how the colour has worked out. I’ll block it over the weekend and hopefully will stretch it to a larger size – at the moment it’s large enough to drape over my shoulders but I’d need a pin to keep it around me. I’ve now started the Cedar Leaf Shawlette, which looks absolutely gorgeous and seems to be a rather quick knit. I got a call from my local yarn store yesterday to tell me that my second skein of Lorna’s Laces Shepard Worsted Multi in the Baltic Sea colourway has arrived and is awaiting my purchase, so that is what I’m using for this shawlette. It’s an amazing forest colour – greens and browns reminiscent of a forest floor. Perfect for this leafy shawl! It’s beautiful to knit with too, silky and smooth and it glides across the needles like a dream.
Christmas is getting so close now I can almost taste it in the air! To be honest, I’m not particularly excited about the actual day (I’m not religious so the day doesn’t mean much to me) but I AM excited about the three full weeks of holidays I will have over the Christmas/New Year break when our office closes. I haven’t had holidays since Christmas last year, so I’m really hanging out for some down time. Since we don’t have my partner’s daughter here until January, I decided that I wasn’t going to go to all the effort of putting our large Christmas tree up. So last night, I gathered some enthusiasm and decorated my ’emo’ tree, which of course is black with silver decorations. It’s only a two foot tree, so it’s sitting on my dining table. Very simple, but very us this year.
My fallout wrap is coming along very nicely! I’m so pleased with it, and it is still a joy to work on. I’ve discovered that while I have trouble crocheting on the bus, I can in fact knit to my heart’s content and not feel the urge to vomit into the hair of the poor person sitting in front of me. Now that the rows are getting quite long I can only manage two rows on the way into work (express bus) and three on the way home. I’ve got some lovely yarn on its way to me from the states, so I’m trying to get this wrap finished as soon as possible so I can start something new and exciting. I also can’t wait to wear it as it’s so soft and light.
FINALLY! I crocheted the last stitch on my CAL on Sunday night, and I almost got a bit teary! It’s been an epic adventure, and I’m SO happy with the finish product! While I haven’t blocked it for the final time (my dogs have been inside at night and they don’t have any manners when it comes to stepping around things), it’s now draping casually over my bookcase in my office at work, centre stage. I’m so pleased with myself for keeping at it and finishing it off – I usually don’t have the patience for this scale of project, but I’m proud I did it!
On another note, I’ve been busily making cotton coasters of various colours and patterns to give to my boss’s wife who owns a salon here in Hobart. I originally gave them a set of coasters for Christmas, and since then she’s been using them in the salon and has been getting a lot of comments and queries about them. I gave her a couple of sets to display late last week, and they’ve sold already and I have new orders coming in….so now I’m happy I’m crocheting for money (and good money at that, Hobartians sure like to pay for quality, can’t complain with that!) I’m stressed out trying to keep up with demand as well as fitting in time to crochet my usual projects. Busy times! I’ve asked my sister to crochet some coasters too and send them to me, to try and keep up with demand. This way it will help her out as she is in a worse financial situation than me at the moment, and give her something to do with her hooks 🙂
I’m not going to lie, since my partner’s eight-month stint of being without a job, life has been a bit of a struggle and even six weeks after we’ve started bringing in two wages again it’s been hard to get on top of those bills that had racked up the months before. HOWEVER! My yarn addiction has been growing steadily over the last ten months to deserve ‘hardcore junkie’ status, and since I’m in charge of family finances – well, needless to say that I can somehow always find some money for more yarn purchases.
Last night my sister showed me photos of her latest yarn purchase, which included several bags of pretty varigated acrylic 8 ply from Ice Yarns. I have had a few bags of this lovely yarn in the online checkout for about a week or so now while I waited for the money to be able to buy it, and this morning I couldn’t handle the jealousy anymore and bought it all! Hopefully it will get here within a week; I am VERY excited.
For today post pics, I’ve got some CAL progress images for you. Unfortunately the latest flower border looks a bit like big dark spots, but I think looks kind of funky 🙂 This blanket is also starting to be quite beneficial now that the weather has turned and it’s snowing – it keeps my lap nice and warm while I work. I can’t wait to finish this in the next two weeks as then I will be able to justify starting another with that lovely Ice Yarn on the way!
Also, my new set of Clover hooks arrive this week! Yay! They are AMAZING!