30 August 2008


We're off to Norfolk for a short break - I'm hoping to do lots of spinning .......and stuff while we're away so will post upon our return.

We'll be in a strange car - one that is bigger but actually has less space rather strangely. However it has air conditioning and a fab stereo and is quite nice to drive - slightly nippier than mine (well actually quite a lot nippier!)

I've prepared a heap of rolags in a fibre that's a blend of llama, silk and wool, which I dyed with logwood to a rather nice purple colour. Should be able to post a bit about this when I return.

20 August 2008


I had planned to do a little post on how to do a curlicue today - however someone drove into the back of my NEW car today, so this evening was actually spent phoning insurance companies - and being annoyed - especially at the relentlessly cheerful hold messages!

So curlicue tutorial will follow soon........

19 August 2008


Just in case anyone wants to know - here's how to do a curlicue - it's really easy - a great finishing fringe for a beginner - or novelty earings made from those wee bits of really fabulous handspun yarn.

start by making a chain of any length you fancy - for the green & pink one in the pic I did a starting chain of 7.

Next do another 3chain to make your first treble (double for Americans) then do 4 trebles into 4th chain from needle.

from here on do 5 trebles (doubles) into each chain.

The principle here is that there are too many stitches for the piece of work to lay flat - so it will all curl up on itself - once you've finished just manipulate the curl as you want it.
The picture above is how it might look as it comes of the hook - just start at the end and coil it up on itself so it looks like the picky below

now all you need is to do is make enough for your fringe

Woad dyed curlicue earings - made with yarn dyed in Norfolk.


Over the weekend I finished off my Ireland scarf - hoorah! I'm really pleased with it too - it's been my consolation for the lousy "summer" weather, because I've had an excuse to wear it!

It was the simplest pattern:

I made a chain with an uneven number of stitches

then I did a row of double stitching (singles if you're American) before starting the pattern rows

then the patten consisted of one row of - three chain to make first treble(double if you're American),* chain one, miss one double stitch, treble into next double stitch repeat from * to end.

then three rows of double stitching - then repeat pattern row and three rows of double to end of scarf (finishing with only one row of doubles after the final pattern row).

I added some rows of double stitches in a solid colour and then some more in a matching barley twist yarn at each end, then I added a row of curlicue danglies done in the barleytwist yarn.

notes about spinning of the yarn I used for this can be found at

12 August 2008


Well I say - I've joined Ravelry - finally.

It's amazing - I'm completely hooked (no pun intended!) - there's just so much going on there. I love looking through all the patterns - and there're FREE ones too - I've picked loads as favourites.

I love the fact that you can look at other peoples projects and read their notes - errata and things to look out for eg with sizing or choice of yarn. You can also see how patterns really look when hand knitted by ordinary mortals (as opposed to the designers version on the cover).

It's also nice to have a record of projects of one's own - both for current organisational purposes and for reference in the future.

Then there're the groups - linking with like minded people - I've joined the Time Team group and the Ravelympic Slackers Group already along with the UK Swappers group (which I don't really understand yet, but hey what the hell).

If you're into Knitting and Crochet I'd strongly recomend Ravelry - it's just so cool.

9 August 2008


The title of Saturday's meeting was Spinning in the Museum Gardens - however the weather intervened and we were, sadly, indoors instead. It was, nonetheless a fun meeting - one of those chatty informative ones where you find out snippets of useful info that can be taken away for future use - in this case we were talking about weaving and it came up that someone in the Mid Essex Guild always leaves thread on the loom so that a new warp can simply be tied to this and pulled through - how cool is that.
We had visitors from the Mid Essex Guild (hence the previous conversation) which was particularly nice, and the museum had a Roman event where they built a bread oven based on an upturned basket covered in clay - this was fired by lighting a fire inside, the embers were later scraped out and bread was cooked inside. The first loaf cooked to a crisp on the outside in 5 minutes flat, whilst remaining soft inside. They also had a little bakery type stall set up demonstrating other Roman delicacies.

Inside in the dry with us was another lady in Roman attire demonstrating drop spindling and weaving on a warp weighted loom.

I spun more green and pink fibre towards the finishing of the scarf that I started in Ireland - this is nearly finished now, just a curly fringe to complete the look - so, by the end of the week.......