Last weekend saw a trip back to the village where I grew up, and I was beyond giddy about being in Yorkshire again*. The visit was for a family party but I also took the opportunity to go and meet some lovely Wensleydale sheep.
One of my younger brothers has a small flock of sheep and whilst I wasn’t that bothered about the ones he has for meat (Texels and Suffolks) I had been very much looking forward to seeing the Wensleydales as I am on a promise for at least part of a fleece next time they get sheared. Crafty baby looks like she was as pleased to see them as I was.
On the needles:
Once again my main projects have been contract knitting which I won’t bore you with but I did learn a valuable lesson which I will share.
One of the projects was a circular baby blanket similar to the Vortex Pi Shawl I made for crafty baby. I got a bit cocky, the pattern was very simple and after doing the pi shawl I thought I’d be fine without stitch markers to indicate where to make the yarn over increases. I was not. Noticing a missing yarn over 3 rows (when I had got to 400stitches in each row) back wasn’t too much of a problem I just created one using a crochet hook (thanks to some advice from a very helpful person on Twitter) and worked the extra stitch up through the 3 rows. Noticing a missing yarn over 38 rows back was not so easy. I tried the crochet hook trick but it left a visible ridge all the way up from the missing yarn over. The only thing for it was to rip out all 38 rows, almost half of the blanket! I could have cried but instead I inserted a life line in contrasting yarn and ripped back. After I picked up the stiches I dutifully put my stitch markers in and made sure to count the stitches in each section every few rows to make sure I wasn’t missing any more stitches. NB: ALWAYS use stitch markers on projects that require/ suggest using them.
One other thing from the blanket, it was worked in the round from a tab cast on at the centre (if you are familiar with knitting triangular/ semi-circular shawls you may well be familiar with this technique). I have to say, for a circular shawl/ blanket, I’m not a fan and if I was making the blanket for myself I would use the crochet cast on round a magic loop instead.
I did cast on some knitting for me as well though. As an antidote to the socks of doom I cast on some vanilla socks using the yarn that I frogged from the jazzy cardigan a few weeks ago. Its the Regia Design Line sock yarn in the Kaffe Fassett colourway, not sure of the exact shade though as I seem to have misplaced the ball band.
I love my vintage pink dpns and I’m really enjoying knitting the socks, so much so I plan on casting on another pair of vanilla ones for my OH.
Strictly speaking I haven’t really done any spinning but I have introduced someone else to the joys of it. One of my younger brothers recently taught himself to knit and was bemoaning the notion of fast fashion so I thought I would buy him a drop spindle and some fibre for his birthday. I got a starter kit from Hill Top Cloud and I was really impressed with it. He looked a tad confused when I gave it to him but after I offered to show him how to do it on my spindle he seemed much more interested.
I was expecting it to be a bit of a challenge teaching him as he is left handed so I thought I might have to reverse the hand positioning when explaining it to him but it seems he picked it up despite my garbled instructions. Most people’s first attempts come out in a thick and thin art yarn style, not my little brother, oh no, he seemed to achieve a consistent lace weight single right from the off with (at most) one slub in the whole length which I was able to pick out without any problem.
Erm, I was a bit naughty this week but I don’t feel too bad as I had some birthday money for spending on crafty stuff. I did however feel guilty enough to make sure that my purchases had been put away in my craft room before my OH saw them.
On Wednesday** I walked 5.5 miles to Wooly Knit in Diggle. Luckily they have a lovely café so I treated myself to coffee and some cake before shopping. I’d made a list before I went but still came away with items that weren’t on my list. They have bargain bins in the shop and I am a complete sucker for them so I cam away with some self striping sock yarn, a mixed bag of merino tops in pinks and greys and 2 bags of mixed BFL and Exmoor fibre for spinning. I didn’t get chance to take a picture of these before I hid them in the craft room but I will add pictures later on when I spin/ knit them.
I also treated myself to some more spinning goodies from Fondant Fibre. In honour of my trip to Yorkshire and meeting my brother’s sheep I ordered some Wensleydale fibre in a fantastic colourway of pink/orange and green. It reminded me of apples.
You will notice there is also a packet of blue fibre in the picture, this was a free sample that came with my order and was a total surprise to me when I opened the package, it also included a little silver charm as a free gift. How is that for fabulous customer service? I think I can safely say I will be ordering from them again, especially as they have some lovely fibres to choose from and I am ready to move beyond spinning merino tops.
As I mentioned at the beginning I went home for a family party last weekend and as I had consumed the following in less than 24 hours I thought it best not to bake anything for myself this week;
– carrot and walnut cake with cream cheese icing (made by my sister)
– shortbread (made by my mum)
– coffee cake (made by my mum)
– date and walnut cake (made by my mum)
– key lime pie (made by my mum)
I’m not admitting to how many pieces of each I had, lets just say I left happy.
* I can actually walk to Yorkshire in 10 minutes from where I live now but I still got excited.
** This is why the blog post is late this week