A post from Norway

This is going to be just writing as I can't seem to add pics from my iPad today.

This finds me sitting in a bar in Norway surrounded by my lovely C, Mum, and my bro his wife and two kids, fire blazing, people milling around because unusually its warm and the snow is melting! We've had a lovely time the last few days skiing, and have loved the views and the place we're staying.

Mum is knitting a scarf with the pattern from Aberlady (from the Alice Starmore book) out of Triskelion Lleu in Aqua; everyone is together and pottering, and I am reading the TinCanKnits blog on A Year Of Making by Emily Wessell. Makes me want to do that!

So - in this my 50th birthday year I shall try to record making something every day!

Today - relationship with my nepheew, and a little bit of sock knitting!

Triskelion British Yarn club - 1st delivery!

So arrival of mystery package - I realise it says Triskelion on it - hurray! It must be the first yarn from the club. I tear the package open to find - a yarn named Afron Hafren (or the River Severn).  A meaningful name for me - grew up in Bristol (near the Severn estuary) and holidays in Powys all my life near Pumlumon (Plynlimon in English) where the Severn has it's source. 

As you see it's a beautiful gleaming tonally dyed green/blue, 235m in 100g British Wensleydale. Probably a bit greener than this suggests, it's hand is drapey but with some tooth. Can't wait to knit with it!

Knit Nottingham Opens new shop - newsflash!

Eleanor has moved her shop - it's now much bigger and even more fabulous! I was lucky enough to go to a pre-opening party on Thursday 31st March - it looks fabulous! So many people helped, but mainly this comes out of Eleanor's fertile imagination and HARD WORK for the last 5 years. I am well impressed. 

New address is  9, Trinity Walk,  NG1 2AN


Eleanor's Vlog!!!

5 years later...

...and I've decided to get back on here. We'll see how it goes!

I think it was 2011 when I last posted, so I have lived a fair bit since then, also knitted quite a lot, worked more than I intended and now started a little desultory sewing (thanks to Liz). 

I think it would help me to post a bit about my general making of stuff - perhaps there might be more finishing? I don't in fact ever feel guilty about having lots of things on the go at any time, or things around for years - this is something i do for fun, not work. However, sometime is don't finish things I'd like to be wearing! 

I'd like somewhere to talk about things I see and love too - and I shall start there, having just come back from a wonderful holiday in Norway, where I was particularly smitten by the Rådhus in Oslo. 

So - some pictures:

Batts and Fibre

So last weekend we had a family outing to Fibre East - Shelley, Emily and me went early and did a Batt course with Jill, then Sue, Pat, Nanny, her friend and Alice all joined us to wander around, watch sheep being sheared and buy stuff!
The batt workshop was great, getting ideas about colour, blending fibres, making batts on a theme and accidentally putting a deposit on a drum carder!?
Then we wandered around and bought lots of fibre, most of it for me to spin for Emily, but some from picperfic for me to spin for me!
Here are some pictures of the batts and the finished sample skeins - I guess my first art yarn!
Bad Day on the Motorway (complete with cars!)
bad day on the motorway 2bad day on the motorwaybad day on the motorway 4bad day on the motorway 3
Walk in the woods - think winter time
walk in the woods 5walk in the woods progresswalk in the woods  2walk in the woods 4
Then some lovely dyed fibre from Picperic - whose stuff I used for GTs shawl during the spintelligence course;
Twinkle - 70% superwash merino and 30% trilobal nylon - for Emily, two skeins
twinkle picperfic 2twinkle picperfic
Susie - 75% organic merino, 25% mulberry silk - 3 skeins, probably for me
susie picperfic

I will do another post soon to show all the natural, undyed stuff we also bought, including some fleece that needs washing and scouring - looks like I am getting a stash fit for a busy winter!

Spinning update

So its been ages since I posted last and I have been spinning lots, but just keep forgetting to keep things updated - so here is a quick whistle stop tour of what I have been doing recently.

On herbie;
"Evening Lights" world of wool merino and silk blend bumble bee, and charcoal merino.
513 metres, 215 grams, 16 wpi, (largest on small whorl)
green & blacksgreen & blacks 3green & blacks 2
"Midnight Blue" world of wool merino blend and plain black. 153 metres, 165 grams, 10 wpi, (smallest on large whorl)
black & blueblack & blue 2
"Shetland Greens" 100% shetland from knit studio newcastle, maker sue's crafts for enthusiasts. 171 metres, 100 grams, 14 wpi. (largest on small whorl) fractal spun.
shetland green yarnshetland greens

On spindles;
"charcoal gleams" wool and nylon mix for socks. singles spun on spindle, plied on ashford. 267 metres, 101 grams, 17 wpi
nylon and wool 2 plynylon and wool 2
"Seaside pebbles" Some single colour merino I carded and spindle spun a while ago, 95 grams, 13 wpi
carded mixcarded mix 2

Current WIP;
mini trindle, aiming for lace weight 2 ply, 20 grams sample of BFL in gothic colourway from Freyalyn's Fibres.
mini trindlemini trindle 2

Soon to come will be the Tour de Fleece, where I am competing for the spinnotts team, and the aim is to spin everyday of the tour, with challenges on specific days.

As a leaving picture - here is my current spindle family, including the new steampunk spindle from Knit in Nottingham, made by anglergifts.co.uk and my two trindles from trindleman on etsy - but the mini trindle is not in the family shot!
spindle familyspindle family again

Spun loveliness blocking

So pleased with this! I've weighed what's left - have 35, so presumably I used 65g in the shawl (but it's wet and blocking, so can't weigh it now).

maia blocking

See the lovely texture!
maia texture

maia texture detailmaia lace and texture detailmaia stitch detail

See the lace!
maia lace detail

maia wingmaia edge detail

I'm really pleased with it, and think that GT will love it. Enough left for me to make a little cowl for me...

A couple of FOs and a new WIP

Barb and I agreed to do the knitalong for Roxanne Mystery Shawl by Feministy and I decided to do it in Fleece artist sea wool, which I'd bought from Purlescence, in the colour 'earth'. It meant I was a bit short on yardage, but I just felt it would work.
Here's the start:  roxanne mystery start-up

And here's the finish:

roxanne 1
roxanne 2

The blocking wasn't ideal - did it in this 'log cabin' in Scotland we stayed in for a week around Clare's Etape Caledonia bike race (81 miles in highland Perthshire). It was LOVELY! We had a hot tub on the balcony to sit in and toast the race afterwards (and perhaps get just a little - um - tired and emotional). Anyway, so the stripy towel - not so good for the pics!

We did a lot of driving and I cast on for another shawl - this time Taygete, by Romi. I'd thought I might, and so had yarn for it with me - the remains of the red Colinette Jitterbug I had from the millshop and used for Audrey in Unst, and some deep teal in the same. I'm really pleased with it!

Taygete falling 1
Taygete flat
Taygete onTaygete detail

And the WIP - well I only have pics of Clare's element - the spinning. It's yarn from her Spintelligence spinning club. The fibre came from Picperfic and is 50% 18.5micron superfine merino, 30% cashmere and 20% silk - so soft! Minniemoll has pics of her fibre and what she spun here for those of you on Ravelry.

GT yarn 1GT yarn 3
GT yarn 2

I'm using it for another of Romi's 7 small Shawls - Maia. This yarn is much lighter weight, a laceweight single. I think it'll work out really well.

The lovely MissFee!

The lovely Miss Fee sent me a present! It arrived while we were in Scotland, and though we've been back a week, our neighbour was then away so I've only just received the package. I knew I was getting a Folca box, because when Fee talked about them and I cheekily liked the orange - she said she'd send me one!

Being Fee - she generously sent me two different purple yarns too! How exciting :-)

The circle of varied colour yarn is Margaret Stove laceweight, and the other is Welsh Wool, also a laceweight twoply, slightly heavier than the other.
Missfee pressies 2

I've filled the little boxes within boxes.
Missfee pressies 1

See how neat it is! It opens out, and then folds back in, and safely stores all those lovely little tchotchkes!
folca 3folca 2folca 1


So I have accidentally bought a spinning wheel - and given that we are feeling slightly anxious about the last payment on the house the timing seems a little off - but couldn't resist. Herbie is a ladybug bought from The Threshing Barn. I went there on a day of tying wheels - firstly an ashford joy, ashford traveller and kromski fantasia at Wingham Wool Works - great place for browsing and accidentally buying all sorts of fibre! Then, having not liked the joy which I thought I would, and liking the Kromski but recognising its limitations we went on to the threshing barn where I tried the Schacht ladybug and a louet julia. I really liked both, felt the Julia was a bit easier to spin - but it had been a trial machine for 6 months, unlike the bug which had been out for 2 weeks only! After oiling the bug and trying again I really liked it, and think with the option of double drive as well it will take me a lot further. So I bought it - with money I got from teaching 300 GPs!
It seems that wheels, like bikes need names, so I would like to introduce Herbie;
Herbie front
complete with tensioned Lazy Kate.
I have spun a variety of things over the last week - all very beginnerish, which is odd after having cracked things on the spindle - but part of the fun is learning more! Most of the stuff has been rather overspun, but I have managed one successful although somewhat uneven skein;
mint stripesmint stripes close up
after a variety of rather shambolic few skeins!
Herbie first attempts

Now might start on some of the fibre I got at Wingham wool works to see if I can be doing something slightly more successful for my fist Guild meeting this saturday - may have to go back to a spindle!?

joining in

So having started to seriously get into spinning, and being involved in a couple of combined projects with Emily, I have been invited to join the blog!
This is just to say Hello, and I will see how I manage to be a part of this?!:)

To date I have mostly spindle spun on the 7 spindles I have, making a variety of yarns, a lot of which were samples. I have made the samples into 2 scarves, and am now doing Spintelligence challenges via Ravelry, and have started the monthly challenges on the Spindlers forum to get the skills to spin a host of different types of yarns. I have also sucumbed to the thought of a spinning wheel and am going to try out a few different ones at the end of the week, so we'll see what happens - Emily is coming along as moral support, and because there is fibre and yarn for sale too!

Blackberry Jewels

Clare (she's ShortyC on Rav) has spun me some lovely yarn, which was part of her 4th challenge with Diane Mulholland and her Spintelligence club (see the last post). The challenge was to take 100g of 20% bamboo/80% merino and slightly overspin 2 singles, then slightly overply the yarn, to make a good wearing sock yarn. We counted rounds on the niddy-noddy, and made it 260m, not bad!

I made Elm Leaves for my godmother, and extrapolated a neckwarmer for Mum. (£.25mm for the former, doesn't show the lace that well, and 4mm for the latter).

challenge yarn knitting

challenge yarn knitting

challenge yarn knitting

challenge yarn knitting

challenge yarn knitting

two new projects (ummmm)

So, I've finished my lovely Shur'tugal socksshur'tugal on
shur'tugal front
shur'tugal heels

Knitabulous yarn, socktopus pattern.

I really do love these socks, might knit them again.

Anyway, I followed these by casting on another Daybreak shawl for Clare from the Old Maiden Aunt yarn I bought in Stirling last year - superwash merino in Lon-dubh (blackbird) and jasper.
daybreak old maiden aunt WIP

daybreak old maiden aunt detail

BUT I am going to knit something else first - new to my stash but not bought by me...

Clare is part of a brilliant scheme by Diane Mulholland, called Spintelligence. Clare gets a parcel of fibre every 2 months with instructions so she's learnt LOTS from Diane 9I think she may carry on for another 6/12 if she can).

Here's her yarn - it's 20bamboo/80merino fibre from Artist's Palette Yarns. She had to spin it then overply it as a two ply to try to make a strong sock yarn. She played with the colours - one ply is more striping than the other.
Here it is just skeined:
clare yarn skein detail 3

And here I've balled it.
clare yarn ball 2

I'm going to use it for my godmother's 60th birthday present (end of Jan!) in some cuffs - Anne Hanson's Elm Leaves, I think. Should be gorgeous.

Shur'tugal for S62011

The yarn is Knitabulous Salwar kameez:

knitabulous salwar kameez

The sock is Socktopus' Shur'tugal (dragonrider). I really like this pattern, though it's bitten me a few times already! Just in sizing - I started off medium on 2.25mm - too small (I did 2 repeats after the ribbing); went up to the large size still 2.25mm - and still a bit small after 4 repeats! Success with 2.5mm in big size. BUt I've dropped to 2.25mm from the start of the heel flap (which I've done longer by 4 pairs of rows).
photo 1 Shur'tugal

The s62011 sock-knitting KAL!

A process has been going on on Ravelry in the Morris and Sons SnB group (which I used to attend) to decide a group personal sock club for 2011. A personal sock club is one wear you put aside sock yarn and patterns at the start of the year and then pick a bag at random at appointed dates and knit x no of socks over the year.
As a group club, this is a bit different - there's been voting, with various patterns frontrunners then dropping out, and the final list is:

Jan/Feb Shur’tugal Start 1 January Due 28 February
Mar/April Nutkin Start 1 March Due 30 April
May/Jun Leyburns Start 1 May Due 30 June
Jul/Aug Fox Faces Socks Start 1 July Due 21 August I'm NOT doing these!
Sep/Oct Nanner Start 1 September Due 31 October
Nov/Dec Boyfriend Socks Start 1 November Due 31 December for Clare

I may do Slant instead of Fox Faces, if so I'll use my Knittery 'Bloody Mary' yarn, I think. Or I could do Skew with my Hundertwasser Opal yarn. However, I may only do 2 or 3 of the socks over the year anyway, we'll see.

The important thing about this sock club, is to use yarn that you've already got - and I'm trying to use some of my Aussie-related yarns, too. 

Mine are (front to back) Knitabulous Salwar Kameez (courtesy of Lyns) for Shur’tagal, Sundara Candied Chrome (given to me by Lara for Nanner, The Knittery Earth (also an Aussie yarn)for Leyburn, then Yarn Yard Cairn in ? colourway for nutkin, of course and Koigu Kpppm for the boyfriend socks - for my girlfriend!

yarns for s62011 a