Hello everyone. 

What’s been happening in my little world then? Well, I’ve just been trying to keep as busy as possible these past few days. It’s been hard, super hard, but I’m trying my best. 

I managed to clean up my room as best as I could, heck, I even hoovered! Haha, you can tell I’m a fiberholic, my room looks like the floor of a shearing shed! Anyway, I tidied up the best I could and I’m loving the neatness. Contrary to what most people see, I do like a nice, neat tidy room. I will have to put some photos up of my fiber/yarn/wooly stuff stash areas. 

Whilst I was tidying up the cupboards I found a piece of clothing; one of the first items of clothing I ever made for myself. I tried it on, and it fitted quite well. A little stretched, but then again, I have put on a little (!) weight since I made it a few years ago. 

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It sort of rolls up at the bottom which is super annoying. I have use a rib stitched edging, but obviously not enough. Ah well, it was my first attempt so I’m still happy with it. The one thing I did notice was that was my first time also of making stitches to make the edging on the arm and neck holes. I didn’t add them properly, but sort of stuck my needle under any bit of wool I could get it under, and knitted them off somehow. Of course, I know better now…

 

I bought the first wool in agges the other day. The local yarn shop was having a small sale and I picked up each ball of wool for £2 eac. I ADORE the colours. 

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I really fancy making some cute baby cardigans with them, I think something with a lacy pattern would bring out the colours beautifully. 

I’ve also done some spinning on my gorgeous Bliss.

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EmpressFibres hand dyed roving (Kool-Aid) in ‘Juicy Fruits.’ ( 😀 ) 50g. This was turned into… 

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Again, this is me trying out fractual spinning.  The long strands are where it has been tied up, and are not part of the finished wool. 

I also had a go at spinning this – 

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I called it Pretty Princess, because of the pinks and purples in it, but looking at this picture I should have named it ‘bruise!’ I don’t have a picture of it finished at the moment, but will try and add it later. 

I’d like to process some more of my own fleece and dye it with some more kool-aid. That way I could spin a lot, lot more than just 50g at a time. I mean, I have plenty of plain roving, and I could dye it with the kool-aid, but how awesome would it be if I did my own fleece, from scratch?? 😀 You never know though, I have plenty of kool-aid left over, that could be my fun thing to do tomorrow. 

Yesterday I had a go at making rolags. I have been desperate to do these for ages, and decided to have a go using the Louet Carders that I now own. I found out some of my coloured merino and had a go. 

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The lighter fibres next to the carder, near the top right are dyed rovings by me. Not sure what type of roving though. The blue was dyed with Dylon, and the two pink shades are with food colouring. I started off by tearing strips off and putting them onto the carder. I then brushed down the fibre to pack it onto the brushes. 

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I did this for a few more layers, and then, using the paintbrush, I rolled them off into a neat cylinder. The first rolag I did wasn’t as neat as I would have liked, but the second one was great. I then did a blue one, and it was… ok. 

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I tried spinning with the first rolag, and … yeah… it’s not something I plan on doing again soon. They look great fun, and so pretty, but spinning them isn’t as fun as I thought. It’s probably because I’m more used to spinning the fibers all aligned the same way, but with rolags they are sort of the opposite way – quite a challenge for me! 

Yesterday I found some fat quarters in my cupboard also. Some really, really pretty squares of material I had forgotten I had. I measured one out, and thought about making a knitting needle cover for my bamboo double pointed needles. I am pretty sure I thought about making this at the start of the year (see very much earlier blog posts!) but nothing had been done about it. So, I thought, why not? 

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I’ve managed to sew some bias binding onto it – well, some of it. It’s slow going because I’m doing it all by hand. I have got a sewing machine, but I find it a hassle to get it all out and set it up. Ah well, we shall see. I might get it out when I get fed up with sewing by hand. 

Talking of sewing, I’ve found out that I want to start learning to sew properly. It started with working on the needle case, and then looking at some beautiful quilts people have been making. Mum and I went to HobbyCraft today and I found some material there, for an advent calendar. It was £8, but reduced to £6 as the material was apparently cut incorrectly. I had a good look at it and it didn’t seem too bad. I think the material was just trimmed a little too close to the edges of the calendar, but Mum and I thought we could just put some bias binding or something over it to keep it holding together and looking nice. 

What do you think? 

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The left side is the calendar and the right side are the pieces that need to be sewn up to make some cute little pockets! I think this would look awesome in time for Christmas – there’s another challenge for me to complete! 

I also bought something else I had been wanting to try for ages – a mini mosaic coaster kit! This cost £2.99 and I thought it was so cute!

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It had everything needed inside. 

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I thought that it would be more child friendly actually, and have the actual sized pieces for the shaping, but no! All it had were the mini squares so I had to work out how to cut them down. In the end I used a glass nail file and some sharp scissors. There were plenty of squares left over, but not enough to make the same thing again though. 

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It worked up slowly, bit by bit. 

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Until I was finished! 

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It looks a bit of a mess, but I’m pleased with it, and it shall do very well for my cup of tea I inevitably have by my side. I had a tiny packet of grout to go with it, but I’m afraid I mixed it up too watery. The grout just did not thicken up 😦 Ah well. I put it on anyway, wiped it with a cloth, and it’s currently drying. 

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It looks really bubbly 😦 I hope it works out! 

Right, I’m off now – got this to look forward to! Mum’s meringue pie – MMMMMMMMMMMMM! 

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Have a great night everyone! 

xXx Love Kais xXx 

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I keep my promises — it’s giveaway time!

Awesome give-away – come see! xXx

not your average crochet

what the winner will receive

A beautiful yarn bowl handmade by my lovely and very talented friend Lauren:

yarn bowlA full skein of KnitPicks Billow (100% Pima cotton) in the shade Ice Lily:

billow bulky pima cotton in ice lilyA full skein of KnitPicks Brava Worsted (100% acrylic) in the shade Mint:

brava worsted acrylic in mintAnd finally a thread/yarn cutter keychain (I have one and have put it on a necklace chain):

thread cutter keychainI have tried both kinds of yarn previously and enjoy working with them very much, particularly with a yarn bowl made by my friend!

giveaway info

The giveaway is open from right now until November 25, 2013, when I will randomly draw the winner.  It is open to anyone, regardless of where in the world you are located.

giveaway rules

To enter in this giveaway, you must do ALL of the following:

  1. Follow this blog (can be via WordPress, e-mail, or Bloglovin’)
  2. Share this post by reblogging it…

View original post 89 more words

Hello everyone. I know I’ve been posting a lot recently, but well, things aren’t seemingly going quite well for me at the moment, and it’s a way to escape thinking about things. 😦

I realised that we have had the chickens just over three months now and I thought before and after photos of the chickens would be a nice idea. For those of you who don’t know, I have three chickens and they were given to me as rescue hens. Previously they were battery hens. I’m not going into the ins and outs of batteries, but I hate them with a passion and cannot fathom why such cruel places exist. So, before I got my beautiful girls, their lives were hell on Earth, basically. Now they have a lovely yard to run about and play in, places to dig, places to sun themselves, a lovely large coop with plenty of space, and as much food and drink and treats as they want. They are spoilt rotten and they deserve every bit of it.

We have Donna, Rose and Sarah-jane. All named after Dr Who companions in case you didn’t know. 🙂

Some of the photos might be a bit … urgh, but the photos I will show you are of the first couple of days we had them, all the way up to today.

Well, starting with Donna.

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She was the only one without missing feathers when we got her. Donna in Dr Who is a fairly mouthy companion, loud, rude and brash. Likes to get on with things and always first in line. This name suits this Donna perfectly. She was the first one to explore her coop, the first one to go straight for the food… the first one to escape! First one to get into the kitchen, haha. That horrible pink tag on her leg was taken off instantly. She is noisy and likes to walk around you, she isn’t afraid of anything. When Freddy goes near her, like today, she just pecks at him, making the poor dog jump! I think she had been out a month or less when we were given her.

This is here today –

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She looks like she has lost a little bit of weight, but I think she doesn’t have her feathers fluffed up as much as the other photo. When she is annoyed she shakes her tail feathers, haha. Gorgeous girl 🙂 So naughty too… she got on top of the shed roof a while ago… 😀

Ok, the next chicken is Rose. Now, Rose had very few feathers when we got her. A very scrawny chicken. These photos aren’t too nice at first, but they get better.

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She had very bare wings, no feathers on her chest, or on her bum area. Her head had hardly any feathers at all either. Her tail feathers were just meh too. When we got her she was so shy, so scared and she just stayed in her coop for a little while, just terrified. She had only been taken from the battery place a couple of days before we got her, so she must have been so scared of all the new things happening.

This is only about a month or so later.

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Her feathers had taken a little while to start sprouting, but then they all sort of came up at once! Here she is with her new, soft, under feathers. As you can see, she isn’t bothered by Freddy in the slightest. None of them are. They even walk underneath him! Rose was the quiet one, but now she is the one who also gets in trouble for being naughty! She has started jumping up places, and trying to get into the kitchen. She likes being cuddled and will sit on your lap enjoying being stroked. She sort of half closes her eyes and tucks her neck in, like she is roosting. It’s so lovely to see.

And the final transformation? It’s stunning, honestly. Here is Rose, this photo only taken half an hour ago.

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Complete with all her feathers, looking fat and beautiful. The feathers are soooo soft!

The last but not least chicken is Sarah-Jane. She hasn’t changed tooo much since getting her. Sadly her feathers seem so dry still, and her skin is just quite poor and flaky. If you go into their coop there is loads of tiny white bits on the floor, which I think is her flaky skin coming off! We have tried some various creams, and have poultry spice so hopefully something will work for her.

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Bit difficult to see but you get the idea. You can see on her back she is completely bare!

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Well, thankfully that has now changed! Sarah-Jane was quite forward at first, even though she had only been out perhaps a couple of days too. I think she was in the same rescue as Rose. She isn’t very shy, and will go up to you, but isn’t as forward as Donna, and now Rose. She likes to watch what is going on, and prefers to see the others try new food before she does. She does like sitting sunning herself and spreads all her wings out to keep warm. She also likes being cuddled, and will half close her eyes in enjoyment. She purrs too!

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Here she is today. As you can see, her feathers aren’t as nice as they perhaps could be, but as long as she is warm and happy, I think she will be ok 🙂

Here is a picture of what her back looks like now.

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The soft looking brown feathers are her new ones. She seems to have lots of feather bits poking through, but most of these fall out, are pecked out, or are so dry they just don’t last. I doubt very much her tail feathers will ever come up properly either. She has some more feathers growing on her front too which is good, as that was completely bare too.

I love this next picture of Rose and Sarah-Jane.

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They look so content! Sarah-Jane actually did sleep for a while, she was so warm and cosy. Donna didn’t want to go in, and was quite happy staying in the coop.

Anyway, I’d better go just now, better make sure they are all behaving themselves! Hope everyone has a great day, and I’d love to know if anyone else has chickens?

Byyeeeeeee!

xXx Love Kais xXx

 

Soo… I tried something a little different today. Remember when I said that I had bought some silk cocoons? (Cut ones though, I refuse to buy anything which is bought about by cruelty). Today was the day I finally decided to try them out. The silk is very long and thin and catches on everything. 

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Cocoon fingers!!! (Childish but funny 😛 )

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I got hold of an old picture frame which had been thrown away, and took the back from it. On this I inserted eight drawing pins. Not the best thing to use, but it’s what I had on hand at the time. I put a pin in each corner, and one in the middle of each side. This is where I was going to put the hankies once they have been stretched.

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I then got hold of some fairly hot water and put into my individual dyeing jars. My thoughts were that I could keep an eye on each cocoon and watch it transform. Also, so that it won’t stick to others making it harder to use. I put a cocoon in each jar.

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But I found to my dismay that the water was just not hot enough, and I didn’t want to make it hotter or it would ruin the jars. I decided to find out my big dyeing pot and filled it half full with boiling water and some clothes washing powder. (I read that somewhere it would help clean and degum (?) it).

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I dropped them all in, and tried to keep them apart as much as possible. I tried to get a photo of them softening up, but as soon as the camera got near the lens got misted, haha. Once they were able to be squashed out of shape (pretty easily) and were kinda gooey I could start the hanky making process!

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The cocoons were so soft on my fingers. I did recall seeing on eBay that people were selling the cocoons as as way of making your skin feel nice and smooth. You soaked the cocoon in some warm water, stick your finger in it and rub it over your skin. Sound odd, but it does feel nice! (Though to be honest, they stink…).

I took the cocoon and stretched it as much as possible and put it over the pins on the board. Unfortunately I don’t have photos of this process, but it was a bit harder than I thought it was going to be. I mean, easy to stretch, but not easy to get into squares, haha.

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Very poor first attempt, but I’m learning, and I enjoyed the process. I did this for the other seven. Not all of them went on as neatly as I would have liked, and some didn’t even make all the nails. Patience and practice I think 🙂

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I think this is all eight. I only did that many to see how it works. I have another 22 or so to go, so that can be another days work. I then took these hankies, board and all, and rinsed it under the sink. My head kept saying noooo, they will felt! (But of course it won’t, it’s silk, not wool!) They can get matted, but I took extra care and did it really carefully.

I then peeled the hankies off and put them in a layer of kitchen roll paper. then this was rolled in a towel and stood on for a couple of minutes to get all the moisture out. Once done, I undid it all, and voila! A set of silk hankies! It is still drying as we speak, but this next photo is basically it. I’m so pleased.

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I don’t even want to spin with it, haha, I wanna keep it forever 😛 Nahh, I might try spinning with it tomorrow, we shall see. And if I make some more, I would like to try dyeing them too.

Overall, an interesting little project, but time consuming if you have lots to do, and not much to show for a lot of work. But, I found it interesting, an educational experience, and something I would def. do again. 10/10. I’d recommend it, even just to try it. But remember, get the cut cocoons, not the uncut ones. 🙂

And how did the rest of today go? I’ve got half my lessons planned, yay! Hopefully do the rest tomorrow. I also did mountains of washing and tumble drying, as well as folding.

Little Saffy is still here and she seems to be doing quite well. Her eyes were a bit stuck so I’ve eased them open with warm water and she has been crawling around on me. She has also eaten some bread and biscuits, which is great! And, the best thing? She tried biting me! Which hopefully means she is starting to get back to normal. She seems pretty weak at the moment, but hopefully she will improve. Such a sweetie.

Anyway, off to go do something else now, very probably wool/yarn related.

Have a great evening!

xXx Love Kais xXx

Post 2 – continued due to photos not uploading on other post!

I read a little e-book today about spinning silk. Well, I skim read it, and decided to have a go. Last time I spun silk it was so thin, it was just not enjoyable. And it was plain white. A while ago, I dyed some of my silk hankies and thought that these would be nice to try tonight. I tried to spin them as fairly thin singles, to play into a dk weight.

First of all, I checked out what colour of hanky I would like to try…

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I decided on the ones in the middle, the darkish ones. I split these up into the thinnest hankies I could.

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You should be able to see right through them. (I dyed these with kool-aid too, if anyone is wondering). They looked super dark together, but when they are split up, they become paler. You then take one hanky, and tear a hole in the middle. You then pull this hole wider, until you reach the edges of the hanky. Then you pull it a bit more, until it is as thin as you want to spin it, just like drafting wool. You can then pull the hanky apart, so you have one long, continuous piece of roving. (Warning, if you have even the slightest bit of dry skin on your hands, or a pulled bit of you nail, the silk WILL catch onto it – guaranteed!)

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I really like how the colours thin themselves out, but merge so beautifully together. This produced a really gorgeous candy cane striped yarn. Once you have predrafted it, attach it to the spindle, just as you would with any normal wool.

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Then happy spinning!

 

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I love the effect of the colours twisting together.

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One full spindle. I then Andean plyed it quickly, and skeined it up using my board.

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Voila! Sorry about the horrible photo quality, but I just do not seem to be able to take nice photos using lamp light. I will try and get a better one tomorrow. But I can tell you that it is soft, squishy and sooo smooth! I just love the colours. This photo doesn’t give it justice.

Anyway, I might go try out some more silk spinning before I go to bed.

Night night all,

xXx Love Kais xXx

Hello everyone.

Been quite a busy day today. I managed to finally sort out the rest of the stock in my room, and managed to get rid of loads of boxes. I’ve got all the stock in three boxes, and it is now under the stairs. Yay – more room in my room!

I’ve cleaned out my hamsters today, and was a bit concerned when I could only find one of three at first! I uncovered the fluff at the bottom and Patsy popped out, and on the bottom was poor Saffy. I don’t know what has happened to her. She seems to have lost weight so suddenly and was just lying there. I’ve given her some water, a bit of bread and some biscuits and put her in a box on her own. I hope she recovers, but looking at her, I just don’t think she will, poor thing. 😦 She is such a sweet little lady.

Umm, well, what else have I done today? I finished watching the last few episodes of ‘Wentworth,’ and bit back any retorts about how dissimilar it is to the actual Prisoner Cell Block:H. It wasn’t too bad really, and I think it was a great ending.

I completed a few more rows on the blanket today. It will one day go on mine and A’s bed. 🙂

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I also had a very quick go at making a baby blanket made with star stitch. I found some chunky acrylic in my cupboard, and my largest crochet hook (6.5mm) and got going. I think it was something like 50 chain to start, then hdc across row, next row Star Stitch, next row hdc, and so on. It looks quite nice I think, but I just know I’m going to run out of yarn real soon. I think I should perhaps do it in chunky stripes.

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I also knitted a little wash cloth using some dk white cotton I also found in the magical wool cupboard! It’s only small, and it has a pattern of some baby feet, with some bobbles for toes! Soo cute! If anyone wants the pattern I’ll put the link up later 🙂

ETA link!

http://www.knittingknonsense.com/babyfeet.html

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Right, no more photos seem to be uploading which is annoying! Let me publish this and see if I can edit it somehow. If not, check another post about my adventures with silk hankies this evening.

Have a great evening.

xXx Love Kais xXx

Hello, 

Just a quick post tonight. Remember the Shetland X handspun I showed you in the previous post? I used it all up and had to spin some more! 

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What do you think? I’m so pleased with it. I feel an immense sense of pride when I realise I took this from the absolute raw fleece – dirty, smelly, stinky raw fleece, washed it, dried it, carded it, and spun it. It looked super white when carded, but when knitted it sort of changed colour into a sort of beigy cream. I don’t mind really, but I love how soft it feels. I have some more wool left over so I’m not sure if I want to knit a little hat to go with it or some booties. Or maybe both? Like a little matinee set. 

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(Yep, that is Miss Bliss in the background!) 

I’ve also got out my CAL blanket again, and yesterday did four rows. Not an immense amount, but each row is 196 stitches, so yeah, still more than before! Really enjoying it still. But I do wish I knew where my little notebook is with all my notes on what rows to complete next. I’m having to go back onto the writers blog to find out the next lines. 

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I’ve done from the bright orange upwards, which includes the dark peachy orange and the top, but I’ve only done about half of that. It’s star stitch at the moment. I’m thinking that I would like to crochet a baby blanket using simply the star stitch. Maybe a nice whiteish blanket middle with a darker outside? All from hand spun? 

Here is the length of the blanket so far, but it is folded in half lengthways. 

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I’m hoping to get it finished by Christmas. Which includes the border – eeeek! 

Right, I’m off. Off to dream about what to do next. Off to browse Ravelry for some simple patterns befitting to the last remnants of my hand spun. Off to go do a couple more rows on my blanket. Off… to have some relaxing time 🙂 

Nighty night all, 

xXx Love Kais xXx