Sunday, 29 December 2013

Tuesday Top

"Let's Start The New Year Right" colourway on Merino/Seacell from Bitsy Knits.

Happy New Year everyone!

Books That Knit

Finished reading "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern today.  I quite enjoyed it, I liked the construction and the atmosphere but I thought there could have been a bit more plot development - a bit more story. And I would have been more than happy for the book to be longer so it's not like there wasn't space.  I guess it's good to be left wanting more.

Anyway, there is a thing in the book where fans of the circus, "reveurs", wear "a touch of red" and there is this knitting reference that I enjoyed:

She hands him a red wool scarf, the one she has been knitting on and off. "I can't accept this," he says. "Nonsense," Elizabeth says. "I make them all the time, I am at no loss for yarn. I started this one with no particular reveur in mind to wear it, so clearly it is meant for you."

"Thank you," Baily says, wrapping the scarf around his neck despite the warmth of the train.

Knit worthy!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Tuesday Top

Happy Christmas everyone!  Here is some awesome fibre that I found while searching for "Christmas" on Etsy.  I love fibre sets. 

This is a "Wonder Bundle" in  Poinsettia from Wonderland Dyeworks.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Mr Spindle Returns

The Boyfriend is currently working on an update to my electric spinner so I decided it was time to get out my Turkish spindle to spin the second half of a Maude and Me merino braid.  I really like how the first half came out so I would like to spin to match...but it was several months ago...I think I am doing ok so far.

The spindle is from Subterranean Woodworks.  I really enjoy a Turkish spindle and this one is very nice.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Etsy Update

Just added a couple of new braids of Merino/Silk to my Etsy Shop.

These are two of my favourite colourways; "Comes A-Long A-Love" and "Unchained Melody".  Here's some of the first one spun up as a chain ply.  I love these colours!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Tuesday Top

I love Skein yarns.  Great colours and lots of awesome bases.  They make some fibre now too, this is "Briar" on Merino/Silk.  Pretty, don't you think?

Monday, 9 December 2013

Blocking on a Plate

I decided on a pattern for my Wanaka yarn, Opus Spicatum by Kate Gagnon Osborn.  I was going to post a progress pic but apparently I have finished it already.  So here is a picture of it blocking over a plate.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Tuesday Top

Here's some attractive Superwash merino from wskbyheather.  Love the bright colours you can get on Superwash.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Souvenir Yarn

I mentioned a little while ago that I was going to post about my trip to New Zealand.  It was just a short trip but I did manage to visit several yarnie shops as well as some of the spectacumalar scenery that the South Island of New Zealand has to offer.

I don't buy that much commercial yarn - I spin and dye my own so I don't really feel the need.  However, when I'm travelling I love to buy local yarn.  I did a bit of reseach before I went so I was able to steer our roadtrip in the direction of some good shops.

This is my favourite find:

Wanaka Station yarn from Fine Wools Wanaka.  It's undyed "wool" in about a worsted weight.  It's not supersoft (maybe a Corriedale blend?) but I love the colours and there's lots of it.  I reall want to make something with this next but I have choice anxiety.  Maybe something with stranding?  Maybe just stripes?

I've already mentioned my visit to Ashford Craft Shop and Knitcola Stitchery in Ashburton.  I got some of their Mackenzie yarn (which I made into the previously seen Tardis Socks).  They actually had a lot of New Zealandish yarn at Ashford - and they had some handspun too, as well as all the fibre.

Made a stop in Geraldine on a Sunday and they happened to be having a market day.  We went to The Alpaca Centre and I got some awesome alpaca mini skeins.  There were a whole lot in different colours in a little box and I must admit I was sucked in by the cuteness-damn you mini skeins!

In Christchurch we went to Knitworld.  It's got a good range of yarns, including New Zealand made stuff and would be the place to go if you were only visiting Christchurch.

Didn't have the time to visit Touch Yarns but their shop in Clyde is apparently very good and the place to find the possum blend yarns that NZ seems to be becoming famous for.  Most of the shops mentioned above sold the Touch Yarns brand too.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Tuesday Top

I've spun Yak a few times and I like the finished yarns a lot.  It has a very short staple length so it's a bit harder to spin than some other fibres but that is why a nice blend like today's Top pick is so good.  Supersoft Yak, offset by easy to spin Merino and some shine from the silk.  Perfect.  And I love these colours too!

Merino/Yak/Silk from Rabbit Hole Fibers.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Sexy Socks

I just finished these Tardis Socks for the boyfriend.  Didn't quite get them done in time for the 50th anniversay (that's the Doctor Who anniversary I'm talking about), but it apparently doesn't matter as the ABC is showing the episode again (again).  That's like three times in less than 24 hours!

Now whether you think these are sexy or not probably depends on how much of a fan of Doctor Who you are.  In a recent episode "The Doctor's Wife", it was revealed that the TARDIS is named "Sexy" so therefore, "Sexy Socks".

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Tuesday Top

I love combinations of blue and brown in fibre. This Merino braid from Spin Culture is just the sort of colours I'm feeling like spinning at the moment.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Beer and Bomb 4

What is going on?  Number 4 post about craft beer and yarn bombing?  Who knew this would keep happening?

So, anyway, went out last night with our friends Nic and Yeshe. We  went to Temple Brewery for a couple of beers ( I had a Bicycle Beer).  As we were walking back to the car what do we spot but a yarn bombed shopping trolley.  It was quite nicely done, even the unit for your $1 coin deposit had a little drawstring cover.

Sorry for the dodgy mobile phone photos, didn't have an actual camera with me.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Tuesday Top

This is an awesome blend of Merino, Yak and Silk in the "Mountain Bluebird" colourway from Raven Ridge Fiber Arts.  The original fibre is the grey colour and I love the depth of shade that it has given to the blues.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Something Finished

I've been focused on knitting projects lately but I did finish these two spinning projects yesterday. 

The first one is "Comes A-long A-love" on Merino/Silk, a new base that I'm adding to my Etsy store soon.  The second one is some SW Merino spun thick and thin, I dyed this one too but it was an experiment so the colourway has no name (poor colourway), let's just call it "Go Aussie, Go" for now.

These two won't be available in the shop (unless someone really wants them and lets me know quick) as I'll be sending them over to sunny Perth.  My lovely Mother-in-Law has a market stall selling her amazing sewn items and she's been selling my handspun yarn too.  You can find her at the Mundaring Market the 2nd Sunday of each month, and she's usually at the Midland Market for the rest of the month.  Say "Hi" from me if you see her!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Tuesday Top

Love Fruit Pastels, love this blend of Polwarth, Baby Camel and Silk in the colourway "Fruit Pastels" from Cat and Sparrow Fibres.  They are from Australia too which is nice.

Monday, 4 November 2013

I Finished Something...

I finished my Business Casual socks.  They came out great and I'm learning to make my socks fit better!

My feet are a pretty average size so you would think I would be pretty safe making the "average" sock - as specified in many patterns that is "women's medium".  For the most part this is pretty much true....but...I do have longish feet so I usually add some length to the toe...and I do have small ankles so I usually add some tight ribbing to the tops and a bit of length too. 

These changes are pretty easy but the sizing I couldn't work out was the ankle?  heel? see, I don't even know what it's called. My socks don't fit around the diagonal of my foot, from the bend at the top of my foot to the back of my heel.  I thought about it a bit and I worked out that adding a few extra rows to the heel flap would add a bit more fabric at the point I needed and, indeed, these socks fit great!

And here's a picture:

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Etsy Update

I've just added a couple of sock yarns to my Etsy store.  And these Merino braids will be added soon - some old colourways as well as a couple of new ones.  Head over to HalfBaked HandDyed to check them out.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Tuesday Top

Over the weekend I went to New Zealand.  I have more to report on that but for today I thought I would show off my purchase from Ashford which has it's headquarters in Ashburton. 

Quite large Traditional at Ashford

I bought this Perendale sliver which I am going to dye.  The Perendale is a breed developed in New Zealand from the Cheviot and Romney, it's a dual-purpose sheep producing fibre of around 32 microns.  It is especially suited to hilly country but it seems that it is not being used as much recently.

I've spun up some Perendale recently that I got from Maude and Me.  It's not supersoft but it was fun to spin and it made a springy yarn with an interesting texture.

Maude and Me Perendale "We Are Not a Football Team"

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Sunday, 13 October 2013

What's on the Wheel?

This week I've been spinning up some Merino/Silk top.  It's a new base that I'm planning on adding to my Etsy shop.  I dyed up a set in my latest fave colourway, "Comes A-Long A-Love" as a test.  I'm spinning from one end to the other without splitting the top and I'm going to chain ply to keep the long colour runs.  It's coming along nicely so far although there is less blue in the mix than I was expecting.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Tuesday Top

This roving has great colours and I'm sure it is soft and easy to spin but what I like about it the most is the way it's presented.

These are "Wooly balls" from three little crows. A crazy mix of pencil roving wrapped up how people often wind self striping yarn. There are lots of different colour combos and I think it looks cool!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Something Finished!

I actually finished this a little while ago but it was for a secret swap partner in the Color Swap group on Ravelry that I take part in, so I couldn't show it until it was received.

This swap, as well as being based on a colour that each swapper gets to pick for themselves, was also Autumn themed.  My partner chose pinks from Autumn flowers.  I hand dyed some tonal pink sock yarn and made a leafy themed lace shawlette.  The pattern is Saroyan, from Liz Abinante.  Lots of people have knit it, we're talking about 7500 people, so there are lots of mods and different versions to look at on Ravelry.  I used one of the mods which involved a new to me increase, KKL.  I love a new stitch!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Tuesday Top

This week we have an interesting blend of Manx Loaghtan and Silk from The Double Ewe.  The mixed colour looks great and the different textures of this top would make for an interesting yarn.

The Manx Loaghtan is a rare breed sheep native to the Isle of Man.  It is naturally brown in colour and is another breed of sheep that is multihorned.  So cool, check this guy out!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Tuesday Top

This week we have some "Alice in Wonderland" themed fibre from Fiber Quirks.  I loved matched fibres and these come as a set of a gradient dyed braid with a matching semi solid.  There is so much scope for combining colours with these sets.

This one is "Through the Looking Glass" with light orange.  Make sure to follow the link for other combos - I really like the Chesire Cat one (although it's not Chesire cat coloured).

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Something I'm Working On...

I have started kntting some more socks.  Pattern is "Business Casual" by Tanis Fiber Arts.  I keep choosing patterns with cables, even though I am bad at them, because they always look so cool.  I mean, these are totally argyle, sweet.

I decided that with these single stitch cables it was probably time to learn to "cable without a cable needle".  I'm using the instructions from Grumperina and it's pretty easy.  Definately better than having an extra needle hanging around.  Doesn't stop me from making stoopid mistakes though.  How many times can I twist a cable the wrong way? It's really not that hard to see which way it should go in the pattern, must learn to pay attention...

And the yarn is Dream in Colour Smooshy.  It really is quite smooshy, these are going to be pretty thick socks.  I guess they'll be good under the motorcycle boots.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Tuesday Top

Another fibre I haven't spun before, Jacob.
The Jacob sheep is a rare breed of small, piebald, multi-horned sheep.  They can have up to six horns, how cool is that?  Because they are naturally multi coloured the undyed roving can be really pretty.

This one is from YarnFiberWyrkz.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Tuesday Top

I have been spinning an Optim/Silk blend from Mosely Park over the last couple of days.  It's nice - very shiny and soft.
If you haven't heard of Optim fibre before it is made from a process deveoped by the CSIRO.  Fine Merino is stretched and then chemically set to make extra fine fibre, with a similarity to Cashmere softness.

From the CSIRO:
    OPTIM™ Fine has increased length and strength, as well as a silk-like lustre, but retains many of the desirable properties of fine wools, such as drape, handle, moisture absorbency and comfort.

Here is a sample from VioletLinx:

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Lotsa Spinning

This week I've had lotsa time to spin so I have made lotsa new handspun yarn.

I needed a bit of colour and I had quite a few "reject"  fibres from my Etsy store that for one reason or another I didn't want to sell, but were still lovely to spin from so I just picked what I felt like spinning at the time - pretty much for the colour, and apparently I ended up with four different fibres too.

From left to right:  SW Merino, Corriedale, Polwarth and BFL.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Tuesday Top

I've been knitting a lot over the last few days, I can't show you though because it is for a Swap on Ravelry and it is going to be a surprise.  I dyed the yarn for it and although it's not really my colour I love how the tonal variations are knitting up.  Wish I'd written down how I did it, as it was a one off I didn't worry about it, that'll learn me, right?

So, a tonal roving from Expertly Dyed, "Pink Confection" on Merino  Why so much pink recently?

Friday, 30 August 2013

Books That Knit

So, I read Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffanys the other day.  Not a bad read.  I liked the narrator. 

But anyway, knitting reference:

"Sunday was an Indian summer day, the sun was strong, my window was open, and I heard voices on the fire escape. Holly and Mag were sprawled there on a blanket, the cat between them. Their hair, newly washed, hung lankly. They were busy, Holly varnishing her toenails, Mag knitting on a sweater."

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Something Done

So, I recently finished these Simple Skyp Socks.  They were a fun, quick knit and I think they look pretty cool. 

The yarn is Cascade Heritage Sock that a kind swap partner on Ravelry sent to me.  It looked great in the hank but I'm always worried about how variegated yarn will knit up.  This stuff worked out pretty well, it basically came out stripey, which I like.  The pattern is nice and simple for showing off the yarn anyway.

And here is a picture:

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Etsy Update

I just listed some of the yarns I spun for the TDF in my Etsy shop.  I am really happy with how all of these spun up, but I love the purple/blue one which was made from some Woolgatherings fibre - a blend of Merino, Yak and Silk.  A beautiful blend to spin and I'm sure it will be amazing to knit.  Check 'em out!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Saturday, 10 August 2013

What's on the Wheel

Well, these two are actually off the wheel already, and one of them wasn't actually on the wheel at all as it was spun on my new Turkish spindle, but anyway...this is what I've been spinning recently.

The first one is from Inverleigh Farm in Victoria.  It's 100g of chocolate brown Corriedale, I've spun it to a DK weight for about 180m.

And this is the one I spun on my spindle.  I haven't used a spindle for ages - it's just too slow for me.  But as I was on holidays while the TDF was on and still wanted to spin I bought myself a nice Turkish spindle.  I must admit I enjoyed spinning on it quite a bit, I think I prefer to spin in public more than knit.  The fibre is New Zealand Merino from Maude and Me in the Alachu colourway.I've spun it to a 2ply lace weight.  There is about 240m for this 50g.  I do have another 50g and I guess I'm going to have to spin it on the spindle to match this, I really like how it came out and maybe I'll actually use it to knit something!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Tuesday Top

This week I have been looking at bases in colours other than white - like this mixed BFL from KittyMineCrafts.

The range of darker colours in the undyed top give great tonal shades and depth of colour to the dye job.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Etsy Update

I've added a few items to my Etsy store.  There are some new handpainted braids at the moment and  soon there will be some handspun yarns added - I made several during the TDF.