Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Cross Section of Wool

Hello :)

Sheepish post. Literally! Oh dear... 

Just came across this and thought it was pretty funky. Life's gone a bit nuts the last two months or so, hence the lack of knitting and posting. I'm getting back into things now though, I have some baby clothes to make for my (now 7 months, it's gone so quickly!) pregnant friend :)


Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Travelling Bags

Morning :)

Thought I'd do a quick post to show what I ended up putting in the travelling bags.

I had a few duplicates, so these went into one bag, and a similar amount of colours went into the second. All in all, I've really enjoyed taking part in the whole thing :)


Friday, 27 May 2011

365 Project


A quick post before I try and force myself to sleep. Swapping back to days tomorrow, and I already know it's going to be horrible trying to make it to work by 8.30!

I've started a 365 project today with Leah and G. They are both on day 4, so I'm 3 days behind but that's not such a big deal. I wanted to do one back in January, but a 52 version - one for each week instead of each day. I thought it would be much more manageable, but I just wasn't getting the 'big' pictures I thought it needed, and I also struggled to motivate myself to use Lightroom as it involves fighting my laptop. But I want to get into my photography more, and I need to get into the habit of using my cameras more often.

So I've decided this time that my 365 is going to be random. As in, it's not going to restricted to anything. Some purists would argue that a 365 project has to have at least part, if not all of you in the pictures, a self-portraiture 365. I'm not quite ready for that yet!!

I'm going to use it as a way of charting the days, almost as a visual diary. If I've done nothing but drink miso soup all day, I'm gonna take a picture of miso soup, or it could be something totally different. It depends on my mood! I'll also be taking pictures on my phone and uploading them straight if I'm out and about and nowhere near my laptop. If I don't, I'm not sure I'll remember to upload them and then I'll fall behind.

Fingers crossed with the three of us doing it, that will be enough prodding to keep us on the straight and narrow!


Thursday, 26 May 2011

Travelling Squares


I've just finished watching The Prestige (really good, I'm getting into Christopher Nolan films now!) and while I was watching it I made 3 squares for my blanket. I have a lot of individual squares from travelling to work etc, I normally make 1 a day at least when I'm not reading my kindle all the time! Had to finish The Book Thief before I could do any more though, but that's all over now (awesome book btw). I'm up to 55 squares in the blanket, which isn't quite wide enough yet, and 21 individual squares that are set aside to introduce colours randomly all over the blanket and to widen it further.

So I've ended up picking out 10 balls of yarn from the travelling bag. Here's a quick picture of them all:

First up, I made a square of the sparkly rainbow yarn you can see at the bottom of the pic. It's quite funny, since buying a Colinette creative pack and noticing how much thicker Colinette Jitterbug yarn is to 'normal' sock yarn, I've been able to spot the Jitterbug yarn balls in the travelling bag a mile off! This is one of them :)

The sparkly thread running through it doesn't really show up in the picture, but it's there :) It's quite subtle, I love it. I might have to buy a little more...

Next I decided that an area with predominantly purples, pinks and blues needed a different colour. I was gonna go green but didn't have any to hand. So I went for this ball instead. It's so small that my scales didn't want to register how much it weighed (they are only 1g scales) and there's definitely not enough left for another square. Nice though. Not Jitterbug ;)

This one is Jitterbug! Went with orange to brighten up the area. I'm aware that my favourite colours are blues, greens, pinks, purples and turquoise/teals so each time I get a ball of yellow, orange or red yarn I make doubly sure to keep hold of it and put a few squares in!

Not a bad haul I don't think! Night all!


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Travelling Bag


The first of two travelling bags arrived this morning. Had a slight moment of panic when I realised that both were headed my way and I wasn't sure which one this one was due to it not being labelled! I guess that's what you get for being greedy!

All trussed up in the bag. 

Spilled out onto my bed. I've picked out 8 balls so far (most of which are out of view) that I'm going to either whittle down, or replace with some of my own. I haven't 100% decided yet.


Sunday, 22 May 2011



So last week I left it as a half finished bag with up to the handles sown together. This morning I got back from Watford and seeing as it was all nice and sunny decided that it would be a good day to throw open the curtains and do some sewing in natural light!

I sewed the handles together in three different ways in the end, not very good at this reversible malarky! I got there in the end though, and ended up with this...

Yay! A fully reversible bag! I turned it back inside out though and went over the handles again as there was one area where I'd run too close to the edge of the polka dot lining and I was a bit concerned it would run.

So after doing that, I then turned it back to the right way around, and then decided that I couldn't be arsed to hand sew the handles because I never intended to actually make it reversible anyway. So I did the lazy option of sewing straight across and doubling back across the top of the two handles, making a loop. And got this...

Ta dah! My first finished sewing machine project! Regardless of the fact I actually started it in January then ran aground, I reckon I could make one of these in a few hours if I started another one. It's surprisingly roomy - I don't really pay attention to those 1/4 inch seam allowance notes yet :S - and believe it or not, there's a full skein of sock yarn sat in the bag in that picture. This is my knew knitting bag (see what I did there?) and it's gonna be awesome :)


Friday, 13 May 2011

Productive Morning

Woke up today bright and early, and the sun was streaming in. Thought it was a good time to dig out my sewing machine again and make progress on the Japanese knot bag I started back in January!

I cut out the fabric wrong and then had to order another fat quarter, only for it to get lost in the post and then sort out a replacement...

Anyways, with fresh eyes it was a lot easier. And I realised that I had only cut the fabric wrong in the main fabric pictured above, which I have 2 metres of. Hadn't needed to order more after all! It's a pretty blue polka dot fabric though, and I'm sure I'll use it up.

Cut out new fabric, ironed on the interfacing, then did the same for the circular base except that I cut it out of the incorrectly cut fabric to save on time and fabric as I'd already ironed the interfacing on back in January.

Then it was simple to pin the fabric twins right sides together, and sew up the sides from the bottom. Trickier was pinning and sewing on the circular base!

I've done both now, so all that remains is the handles I think! I'm using this tutorial here which is fab :)

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Monday, 2 May 2011

Mam's Socks


I promised to have these finished this weekend before I left, so just adding a few more rounds of ribbing and then casting off.


Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Kool-Aid Yarn


Just a quick post to show you the results from Sunday...

Quite pleased with it! There's a little more red than I had planned in there - I used the same volume of red and blue but red has covered a much larger area, but I do like it. I'm going to use it for my May pair of plain vanilla socks I think! And then the leftovers will go in my sock yarn blanket :)


Sunday, 17 April 2011

Kool-Aid dyeing in stages

First grab your yarn, and your kool-aid sachets. Choose your colours wisely ;)

I bought my kit from DT Crafts and this is their method. 

Unwind your skein of yarn. Posing it for a picture is optional.

Let the yarn soak for up to 45 minutes. This needs to happens so that the dye penetrates the wool completely, otherwise it goes blotchy. Depends what effect you're after I guess!

Note: This one just looks like spaghetti, my previous skein (90% alpaca, 10% nylon) looked like curly noodles after soaking!

Pour your kool-aid into an empty (clean) bottle. Note how the powder is white, yet magically turns blue when it touches water!! :)

Make up all the colours you need while the yarn is soaking. It doesn't take too long. 

These are Ice blue raspberry (blue), lemonade (yellow) and strawberry (red).

Take out the yarn from the water it's been soaking in, and squeeze the excess water. I squeezed a bit too much, and by the time I got to the second and third colour had to put some water back on it. A spray bottle might be an idea if you have one, to keep it damp. 

I'm awful at not tangling yarn while handling it! This is how not to do it! :)

Pour/dribble/drizzle/chuck your dye over the part of yarn that you want that colour. This time I did it in sections, the first time I dyed I did vertical stripes, which means very short colour repeats, and much more blending of the colours. Check underneath to make sure you don't have any white bits, and fill in the gaps if you don't want them. You can gently squeeze on the yarn to get the dye to move around a little more. 

Once you've done all the sections, you need to 'cook' it to fix the dye. The citric acid in the kool-aid just needs heating up. Scoop up your yarn and put it in a pot. Add water because it's really important that it doesn't boil dry. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

(You can also do this in a microwave - put in a microwave suitable container, add some water and heat on full power for 3-4 minutes in 30 second blasts. When I did the first one mine took longer, I wanted to be sure that it was bubbling!)

(You can also steam the yarn on the hob for 20 minutes, or for 5 minutes if using a microwave steamer.)

Just to show the almost finished object :)

Simmering away nicely :)

Take the pot off the heat and allow to cool. Once this is done rinse the yarn well - insects are attracted to the sweet smell of the kool-aid so make sure you double rinse it! 

Once rinsed, lay out flat to dry, you don't want gravity over-stretching your yarn and ruining it! 

Once dry, rewind into a skein until you want to wind it into a ball. It's better to leave yarn in a skein until you need to use it, as winding yarn into a ball puts tension on the yarn, stretching it. 

Have a lovely Sunday :) 


Dying to have fun


Went to bed at 9pm so now I'm wide awake and apparently unable to sleep for more than 5 hours straight.

I was working today, well yesterday, so on my way home I popped into the supermarket near work and picked up a new 20cm stainless steel stock pot. It wasn't too expensive, but I would have preferred a larger size ideally.

It's going to be my new dye pot. And that must be true because I've written 'Sara's dye pot!' on it! I'm gonna have a go this morning hopefully, before I go to work, planning on splitting an undyed skein of yarn I bought off eBay into half, and dyeing it some wacky colours for the sock yarn blanket.

I'm also thinking of buying a lot of 5 skeins of sock yarn and some acid dyes and just having a go. Hence the stock pot, for kettle dyeing. If anyone has any recommendations for acid dyes please get in touch :-)

Have a lovely Sunday xx
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Yarn Porn

Evening :)

I promised to show what lovely yarn had arrived this week!

First up is the package from The Knitting Goddess. It contains a Take 5 mini skeins pack in Flower Power, and 4 individual mini skeins.

All laid out in their colourful glory :)

Left to right: Sunset mini skein, Take 5 Flower Power mini skeins (attached to the label), Ocean mini skein, Turquoise semi-solid mini skein and Bollywood mini skein. 

Bollywood, Ocean, Turquoise and Sunset.  


I also had a Jitterbug creative pack from Colinette Yarns delivered. I was a little dissapointed with it though, not really my kind of colours at all, and the whole pack just screams 'BEIGE/BROWN!!!' at me!

There is a little hidden gem in there though, I love the hot pink skein. I do also like the skein next to it, with flashes of pink running through it. The skein on the left is 107g, almost a full skein so I think I will keep it intact for a pair of socks. 

There isn't much to the mini hot pink skein but it should be enough for 5 or 6 squares! :)

The last shot is just the collection of yarns wound into balls that I'm knitting from at the moment. You can see that the pink Colinette, and Ocean and Sunset skeins from the Knitting Goddess have already been put into use! I'm making individual squares from smaller skeins, so that I can dot the colours around throughout the entire blanket, rather than have concentrations of colour in a one area.

Happy knitting :)


Monday, 11 April 2011

Sock Yarn Squares


Here's a quick update so show you progress on the sock yarn blanket so far. It's beguiling, because it seems like it's growing really quickly due to the squares being pretty quick to knit, however I'm gonna need about 700 of them!!

Actually, having taken the picture it really doesn't seem like I've done anything at all! I've done a lot of individuals because I've been making 2-4 squares from the same yarn due to rapidly running out of yarn scraps! I've bought a Colinette creative pack, and some gorgeous mini skeins from Knitting Goddess so hopefully supplies will arrive soon! I've also signed up for two travelling swap bags through Ravelry, and picked up mini skeins through Folksy and Etsy. I'm also thinking of biting the bullet and buying another dying kit, this time using acid fast dyes which seem to have stronger, bolder colours. If that goes well I might be tempted to start selling mini skeins myself as there are a lot of people knitting sock yarn blankets! 

I've also had a load of sock yarn arrive from Ravelry destashes and a sock yarn club, so I'll get on with taking pictures of those in the next week or so :)

Happy knitting :)


Friday, 8 April 2011

Promising Beginnings

Morning :)

I started on my sock yarn blanket yesterday, and immediately realised just how long it's going to take!

I'd like to do mine so that it's big enough for a double bed, although ideally I'd prefer it to be larger than that so that it can drape over. And seeing as it's going to be a few years before I can buy my own bed, when I do eventually buy one, I'd like it to be a tiny bit bigger than a normal double  - a queen or a king ideally. Which means I have to make one that's huge to begin with.

I do have a fleeting fancy of making a single though, because I know when I move I'll have a single bed and I think that would look really great - and possibly more achievable within 6 months! But I know I'll probably never want to do another again, so I'm going to just have to suck it up and supersize it :)

What you probably don't realise, but I know full well, is that each of those squares took me the best part of an hour to knit (I'll get quicker) and are only 4.5 x 4.5 cm. Yep, centimeters! This is gonna need thousands.

It's enough to make a girl turn to...

And buy some....

When the going gets tough, the tough goes shopping it seems!!


Thursday, 7 April 2011

First Square

First square of about 1,700!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Monday, 4 April 2011

Growing nicely

My TAAT are swimming along. I've already done more thank this, but I didn't have time to take a picture before I left for work. They are now 19.5cm long, and ready to begin the heel.

These are size 6 socks, and I'm going to give them to my mother. The yarn is Debbie Bliss cashmerino, which as you might be able to guess is made of merino and cashmere, with a little rayon thrown in for durability :-)
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Its a new month!

So its a new pair of socks :-)
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Friday, 25 March 2011


It's surprisingly hard to take pictures of your own feet! 

Thursday, 24 March 2011

First Attempt at Dying Yarn

A month or so ago I bought a Kool Aid dying kit from DT Crafts. It was really good value, and came with comprehensive instructions and 12 sachets of Kool Aid so I thought 'what the hell' and bought it.

I had it delivered to the family home, as the house I'm renting in now doesn't have a microwave and I knew that you needed a microwave to 'cook' and fix the dye. However the instruction booklet also details how to do this in an oven, or on the hob so I brought the kit back up with me to Reading :)

I used a sachet of Lemon-Lime, Grape and Berry Blue Kool aid, and this is what I got!

The colours are a little more faded than how they were when I initially poured the dye on, but I love the overall spring feel of it.

It looks even better skeined up! I wasn't amazingly impressed with how it looked to begin with, but each time I see the skein I feel a little more happy about it. I'm thinking lacy socks maybe, or something which will show off the variegation but (hopefully) avoid colour pooling. Difficult I know! I didn't think about how short the colour repeats were going to be as I trickled the dye on, that was after when I realised that most of them are only going to be 2-6 stitches long! So the overall effect will be interesting I think!

(I rinsed the yarn well, but it still smells sickly sweet! I laid it out in the conservatory to dry overnight/next day. When I went to check on it in the morning the conservatory was full of flies! It was horrible :( Mam used some Raid and we left it for half an hour. Had 'fun' sweeping up fly bodies afterwards :S)


Yarn Winding


Last week was my first chance to use a yarn winder. My knitting class leader has one, and brought it with her so that I could wind my latest purchase into a ball so that I can use it. I'm thinking it will be awesome in a pair of Leyburn socks off Ravelry.

It's an oldie but a goodie :)

The yarn was custom dyed for me due to a slight listing mix up. I love the colours running through it :)

You can just about see my nosty in the background. Using a yarn winder is a hell of a lot quicker though!

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7