Man, there's loads to blog about today! Been in a bit of a bubble these last few days - the med's still taking their toll, making me feel dizzy and nauseous so bed ridden for a few days. No way near as bad as when I first started the higher dose, just a couple of days a week rather than every day. Still, a whole day with the duvet on monday produced 3 knitted hats. Now that's a good enough reason to stay in bed, no?
Last word on the subject - yep, there are some *huge* stashes out there, reckon mine's somewhere in the middle of the yarn hoarding scale. I do love it, believe me, all those yummy wools... just sometimes the realisation makes me go " shit - look at that lot!" Nevermind.
Have had some wonderful messages and emails land in my inbox from new readers and regulars, thanking me for patterns and inspiration - you are most welcome! I like writing the patterns, being as the only time I know what I'm writing is when I post it here - very few notes are made otherwise, and it is a good exercise for my brain. And if folk gain something from it, then all the more reason to do it. Take what you wish from these ramblings, it wouldn't be posted otherwise. May hats rule the world!
My SP is great, and has got it right yet again. A new hook has arrived! Yeah man, more crochet! The best hooks I've found to work with are Brittany's; apart from their decorative ends and smooth finish making them a joy to crochet with, the length is a bonus. Maybe 'cos I'm a natural knitter, I need a longer hook in my hand. Anyhow, the 3.5mm standard bamboo hook I was using for the Hex hats decided to get a little split at the top, which was snagging in a truely annoying way... just as I was thinking of buying a new one, a 3.5mm Brittany arrived in the post! Spooky! Love it, just what I needed - thanks again SP :)
Alongside the Brittany in the photo is the new needle roll I threw together yesterday. Kinda figured I needed a more portable roll for the knitting bag, that would house and protect the main ones used for my hats. It folds in half and rolls up to a perfect size. So that meant I had to get out the sewing machine. Now, am I the only one who finds sewing takes over the whole room? I discovered to my dismay that the only machine that's working at the moment is my travel one, a bit Fisher-Price to be honest. It can chugg along ok with simple cotton fabrics, but try to put anything through it with any thickness and the motor moans and groans and refuses to work. So all the needle pockets had to be sewn by hand. Jeez. It's been years, and hand sewing ain't my strength. Still, it's neater than I expected and does the job. Sorted.
Have been a bit naughty and bought these wooden knitting frames. Infact, have also ordered the other sizes too, from this craftsman. Ok, ok, I know I don't need them. Tubular knitting can be done on DPN's, and there's no shortage of them here. But hey, they're wooden, hand-made, knitting tools with sheep motifs AND circles are my favourite shape. I rest my case. They may not get used much, yet they have already inspired me to make hats with wider tentacles grafted on and hanging off ;)
Hat time. And boy, there's a few new ones. 6 infact. Will upload most of the photos to my flickr album else blogger will throw a wobbly. There's 2 new Hex hats, and both are finished much better than the first. The reddish one looks a bit retro, and not sure whether I love it or loathe it, yet the bluey/green one is cool. Hope to be seeing a few more of these, being as the pattern has been shared ;)
Made another from that hand-dyed singles I bought shed loads of from Handweavers - not much of it left now. Just another I-cord chullo type. Have only got these really mad, bright colourways left - will have to try and think before I knit with these, else they could be a disaster.
The last 3 are from my hand-spun. Now these I do love. Makes the whole game worthwhile, seeing these grow on the needles. I started them all top-down in simple shapes, being as I wasn't too sure about how much yardage I'd produced (note to self - use niddy-noddy to check yardage). They've had a light blocking, just flat, and boy does hand-spun take longer to dry than commercial yarns! Think my fave is this one on the left, the warm purples. The shape is an easy one, using a few short rows at the end for a hint of ear flaps, and I love it's little crown peak.
These are seriously warm hats. The average gauge for these would have been on 6 or 6.5mm, yet out of habit they were knitted on smaller needles. Can't bear to have loose knit hats - they let the wind in! So am chuffed with meself for spinning somewhat more even, chunky yarns. I'll get there with the spinning. The beauty of knitting on a tighter gauge also hides the imperfections in the yarns ;) Have just checked the tension of that 75g of purpley angora spun last week - soo, soooo soft. That will be cast-on later, just not sure what style to go for - for some reason I fancy cables...
And now a 'Mum' moment. She has no blog of her own, yet this bag needs showing off, one of her first adventures with felting. The yarn was bought when she was volunteering at Harrogate on the 'Relax & Knit' stand with Yvonne and co. The colour apparently is less red in reality, yet we all know how difficult it is to get true colour reproduction with a lack of natural light. Mum's really pleased with it, and so she should be. Well done Gloria :)
*news flash* - Mum's just got a felted bag commission! Go Mum ;)
Right then folks, need to get my act together. Am away for the weekend, a SkipNorth adventure. Am starting to get excited about it but haven't even checked train times yet. Wake up, brain. Shall be lots of fun hanging out with fellow woolly folk (some of their blogs are linked up in the sidebar) and of course the shopping.... Wingham Wools being the holy grail for stash enhancement. Had better pack some expanding bags. There's also a 'show-and-tell' scheduled so need to decide which hats to take and how many I can fit in my rucksack....