Hello again!

One of my New Years resolutions was to do more on this blog. Well… better late than never, right? (Last post was in September, eeek!)

Well, my little one is over a year old now, I can’t believe it, how on Earth did that happen so fast? I adore her so much. I also have another teaching job which is good fun most of the time.

But what of the crafts?!

I haven’t really knitted a lot recently. Just nothing seems to have caught my eye. Crochet, however, has been quite popular the last couple of months. I found my Attic24 Log Cabin kit under the bed where it had been languishing for quite some time and pulled it out. I think I had done five squares. I’ve now completed eleven out of sixteen. It’s a slow project, but easy going. I cannot wait to sew it all up together.

I also started making my own graph blanket from the popular radio series ‘Old Harrys Game.’ It’s a comedy series based in Hell from the demons and the devils point of view. Very funny. I won’t put that up until I’ve got it a bit more done though. I’ve got two out of nine squares done.

For a while I haven’t really been into my spinning. I’ve found time-wise it a bit difficult, but I went to Woolfest on Saturday and my interest just sort of exploded again! I bought a beautiful Jacobs fleece (you just can’t beat a nice Jacobs!), a Berrichon fleece and a North Ronaldsay fleece. As well as all the other bits and pieces, including seven issues of Yarnmaker for a grand total of £3.50! I have only been thinking the other day that I really could do with looking for back issues of the magazine. It’s a fascinating read.

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This fleece was absolutely massive, it would have carpeted the whole of the upstairs! I was ruthless on all my fleeces. I uhmed and ahed at times but then thought ‘nope, no use working on bits that aren’t the best.’ It just wastes time trying to card out yucky bits or wash out the really dirty areas. There is still a huge black bag full of fleece. The Berrichon was lovely too. I really was unsure about it but thought I would give it a chance. It came in a cotton pillowcase (just how I store mine in the shed) and was pretty clean, with a short staple. When I lay it on the ground there was loads of great, useable fleece, even with the ruthless skirting. I took maybe a quarter away to wash using three buckets. It got a three rinse bath using a 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner. It smelt lovely afterwards!

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I think this is it after its first wash. Look how clean it is!

I then set about dyeing it. I had been given a great jam pan by my mother in law, which I thought was perfect for dyeing. I set it up with warm water and added in some magenta easy fix all in one dyes.

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I think I put in 5ml of the dye. I actually used it to dye some white wool I bought at Woolfest. I did the yarns one at a time, adding a shade mixer after each yarn to make them lighter, but matching, if you see what I mean. I love these colours. Eliza will hopefully be getting a Fair Isle hat from these.

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I used the final dye to dye my raw fleece. I decided to just dye it straight away whilst it was still wet, which motivates me more than having a load of white fleece and no clue what to do with it. I wanted to make a lovely purple fleece so added in some turquoise, which made a lovely purple.

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It’s a shame it didn’t stay this way!

After rinsing, this was the result.

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On the left is wool from the dye after twenty minutes, and on the right it’s wool after being left in the dye for 24 hours. Both pretty much the same. Because the dye had the added shade stuff in it, I think it prevented much dyeing to be done and maybe also because the blue just wasn’t holding as much as the pale pink was? It’s all a learning curve for me as I don’t dye that much with easyfix dyes. I usually use kool-aid!

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I put the fleece into net bags and hung it on the line outside to dry. It’s been super hot these past few days, and I mean SUPER hot. It’s been between 27-30 degrees centigrade which is almost unheard of around here. Once dry, and filling a washing up bowl nicely, I decided to card some. I cleaned out my carder of all the old colours and bits of old fleece and started going. It’s very theraputic sorting out the fleece and fluffing it up, turning the handle and watching all the fibres align nicely. I managed to get two small batts done on my Classic Carder before dinner time. Not much done, but little and often is my motto at the moment. The pink looks very pale in that photo but it isn’t that pale really.

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It hardly looks like anything has been taken from the tub! Tomorrow, after visiting the local town to see some dolls house furniture in the new recycling charity centre, I plan on having a few hours to myself in the shade outside, sorting fleece, washing it, and then carding the rest of this loveliness up. I have a gorgeous blue fleece outside washing too. It should match this nicely as it is quite a pale blue. I need to give myself confidence in using more of the dye, I can always buy more if it runs out! The batts in this photo need running through the carder again. I usually card it all once, and then once all of them are made, card them again. I love making batts and seeing them all on the table afterwards. Argh, I’m wanting to do some more now!

But, it is getting late and little one is asleep now and I don’t want to leave her. I love just being beside her, watching her sleep. I just keep looking at her and thinking, ‘wow.’ She truly is everything I ever wanted.

Have a good night everyone, and happy spinning/ knitting/ crocheting/ crafting, etc!

xXx Love Kais xXx

Good evening everyone!

Well, I know I say this after I haven’t blogged in a week or so, but it really has been a while! Almost nine months I would say.

There is a reason for that. I was busy working on my own special make, the most precious thing I have ever ‘made.’

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Please meet my gorgeous little girl, Eliza. ❤

She was born on the 3rd June at 00.45am, after a 25 hour labour. She missed her due date by 45 minutes! It was quite an intense and involved labour which involved being induced and having lots of intervention but I’d do it all again, easily. Me and her Dad are so in love with her, as is the rest of the family.

She is now 35 days old and I just adore her! Of course, she is always wearing handknits and hand made clothes. It just wouldn’t  be right if she wasn’t, haha.

Here she is in the dress I sewed her yesterday.

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It was perhaps a little tight, but looked so cute on her. If I were to make it again I would put snaps on the back and not sew them on. It made putting it on her a little difficult! This was made using up two fat quarters. One for the front and the rest of one for the straps. I also used an old pillow case to line it inside. And I finally got to use up some lace I had lying around for ages.

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The baby version of the Baa-ble hat. I love it! So quick to knit up. I think this would be pretty easy to size up to make a bigger version.

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I made this using a pattern from a mini book from The Works that was in part of a kit. It didn’t go quite right in the pattern so I made up quite a bit as I went along. Made using Drops yarn. (You can see my big pregnant belly at the bottom of the photo!)

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I was so pleased with the make below. I’d always wanted to make a romper. It’s still too big for Eliza to wear yet which is fine. I like her looking so gorgeously dainty and tiny! Again, the pattern didn’t seem quite right in some parts so I made it up as I went along for the top parts. Also, I wasn’t sure if I would have enough of the main yarn colour so I did the elephant pattern twice, simply reversing it at the top. Turns out I had plenty left! I used Drops Karisma and the pattern was from 60 More Quick Baby Knits.

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Some of the baby clothes hanging out on the line a month before having her. It just made me smile so much seeing these. I sewed the little dress shirts at the front. They are made from pillow cases! I also sewed all the little nappy covers too. She hasn’t really worn any yet. When the weather is warmer and she does not need to wear leggings she will have a pair of these on.

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A lot of hand knits from over the years all on the line airing out! They had been stored in a case for a while and smelled a little musty. Rather than hand wash them all which wasn’t really neccessary and would take too long, I simply hung them out on a breezy day and they came back in smelling lovely. She looked adorable wearing the dress in the middle, next to the orange cardigan.

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Lots of little nappy covers! I love the piggy ones. I need to start making some bigger sizes.

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Does anyone remember this? I started on these squares a couple of years ago and I did manage to sew them together. I got fed up of seeing them just lying there so decided to get something done about it. I made the white bigger at the top to give it a little more length and then started going round it. I was just going to use the glittery red but everyone kept saying to use glittery green too. I’m glad I did. I crocheted a simple picot edging which I think finishes it off nicely. It’s now tucked away in the cupboard ready for Elizas first Christmas. The gingerbread man was the first C2C square I ever did. I am in love with C2C! (Corner to corner crochet).

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Can you tell I like making blankets? I bought a pack of Laura Ashley vintage fabric squares at a car boot and pondered for a while what to do with them. I decided on a little cot quilt. I simply pinned and sewed them together and then backed them using an old sheet from a charity shop. I then folded the corners and edges over to do the binding. I LOVE this way of binding a quilt. You will be hard pushed to persuade me to do it a different way now! I might do a tutorial for that actually, it’s made my quilting life so much easier.

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I really love the way this looks in her cot. (The bunny in the corner is Bunny Girl. She was given to me when I was born so I thought it only fitting my little girl gets to have her from the day she was born too. I love Bunny Girl and I hope Eliza finds her just as much a comfort as I did growing up and as an adult).

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I started this hexagon quilt in 2015, June or July, I think. It was my first time ever trying out English Paper Piecing. I was hooked! I now absolutely adore paper piecing. This quilt was always going to be for my baby. I cut out (and Mum helped with this too) so many hexagons, basted the fabric onto them, and then sewed them together. Sixteen flower shapes all joined together with patches of blue. All of the hexagons were hand sewn together. It was a labour of love! The only time it was not sewn was at the very end when it was being quilted. I did the same quilting method I described above. I was kind of sad when this project was over as it was always there to go back to, if you know what I mean. Now I have started another EPP piece, not quite knowing where I am going with it yet. I just love the way it is there, in the little case, waiting to be sewn together when I have a spare moment or two.

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I am currently sitting in bed typing this, whilst my little girl sleeps in the cot next to me. It is no secret of mine that I always wanted a baby and it was a long, often very emotional, process getting there. But now my dream is here and I am so, so, SO happy.

I wonder if she will enjoy crafts like me? I intend on letting her try as many things out as she likes, seeing what will be her calling in craft.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Have a lovely night.

xXx Love Kais xXx

Wow, it’s been a while! I used to be pretty good at keeping up with my blog posts but I haven’t done many crafts in a while really. I have been busy though, that’s a good enough excuse, right? I haven’t even been on WordPress checking out everyones blogs.

Well, first things first. I moved house! Me and A have finally got a house together!!! It’s in the village where I live, only five minutes walk from my parents house. It’s a decent sized house, good sized kitchen and living room and two bedrooms. The downstairs hall is really big and that is where the chinchillas live in their large cages. Plenty of room for everyone! I’m glad the two cats get on well enough with them. There was a bit of climbing on cages to begin with but they seem to have settled that down now. The chinchillas (especially Molly) have started trying to bite them though the cage if they get too close now. I’m glad they are sticking up for themselves!

I’ve done a bit of knitting and completed my seafoam stitch blanket. I know I mentioned it in this blog a while ago, but not sure when.

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It is pretty big! I was going to do a border around it but I found once I sewed up the ends I really liked the way it looked. It fits the bottom of a double bed like a runner or fits nicely on the top of a single bed. It’s pretty heavy!

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I really like the stitch definition.

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I am so pleased with this one! This was the Groovyghan CAL and I was so excited to finish it. There were two or three parts I did not join in with (the long pieces right across the blanket) as I liked the small parts that I needed to sew together. (Sssh, I LOVE the sewing up part, just not sewing up the ends!)

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It’s really nice and warm and fits across the double bed. I’ve managed to sew in half the ends at the back and boy, did that take a loooong time! You can see the ends sticking out from the unsewn half.

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The look quite small, but are pretty warm and sizeable. The crochet blanket that is underneath is one I actually bought from a charity shop a few months ago. It was dumped into the box for dog blankets. Not saying that dogs don’t deserve a beautiful blanket (I LOVE my dogs) but this one was stunning. It looked brand new (just made) and it seemed such a shame that someone had crocheted something so beautiful and it was just dumped in a charity shop. I bought it for the massive price of £2. It completely covers the double bed and it sooo warm, especially on these cold nights. Thank you to whoever made it, it’s well loved!

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Here are my lovely hand-made blankets. Think we shall be warm this Winter! I’m missing my other sewn one, a mini picnic blanket.

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Lovely and warm!

Right, I’m off to go and read a few Golden Hands magazines (remember them??) and then eagerly wait for ‘The Missing’ to come on BBC1.

Have a great night!

xXx Love Kais xXx

Well, that’s it for another year. Woolfest has been and gone. I had a great time and I’m sure so did everyone else who went there.

For those who don’t know – Woolfest is an annual event held just outside Cockermouth (don’t laugh!) in Cumbria. I think this is the eleventh year it has been run, but don’t quote me on that. It is held in a giant auction mart and there are so many stalls there, selling all sorts of things, from clothes, to animals, to fibre, to wheels, to tools, to anything woolly you can think of.

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I really enjoy seeing the animals here. I now desperately want an angora rabbit, especially an orangy, beige one.

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The sheep are a definte bonus too! Here are some Herdwicks, some sheared, some not. (First time I haven’t bought a Herdwick fleece this year, but I have one in the shed ready to be washed).

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I think this gorgeous guy is an Exmoor Horn ram. He had a sign on the pen saying ‘I am a lovely boy, but sometimes I can get grumpy, so please don’t put your  hands in the pen!’

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My favourite – North Ronaldsay. It’s a fairly coarse fleece but I like it for the history and unusual eating habits of the sheep. They graze on the beaches and eat seaweed. We used to have some when I was little so they make me feel all nostalgic when I use the fleece.

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Some photos of inside –

This stall had a lot of X fleeces, including Merino X Shetlands. Quite expensive, so I didn’t buy anything from this stall. It was here when I was looking through a pile of fleece packs that I helped a German lady with understanding the prices here. It was the highlight of my day helping her, in GERMAN. (I love the German language and would LOVE to chat to people in German, but no-one around here speaks it!)

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Look at the size of this drum carder!

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I was fascinated by this huge loom.

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Joe’s Toes – A stall specialising in making slippers out of felt. You could buy the seperate pieces to sew together.

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Wool!

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It doesn’t look very busy here, but at some points it was very crowded.

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I love the little fat sheep at the bottom of this picture.

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So, what did I get?

I think I was maybe a bit more restrained than last year… no… no, I wasn’t. I just spent less at Wingham Wools as I have a massive box filled to the brim full of fibre! I spent a lot less on raw fleece but still seemed to come back with as many huge sacks.

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I bought (what I can remember, the fleeces are now in the shed) –

  • North Ronaldsay grey/brown fleece
  • Black badger fleece
  • Shetland X Hebridean fleece
  • Hebridean fleece
  • Soay fleece – (£1!!!!)
  • Jacobs fleece

I think there was another but I can’t recall what it is. I also got loads of bits which you can just about see in the picture.

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I’ll explain these soon when I finish this post.

xXx Love Kais xXx

 

Hello again,

Woolfest is only a day away, I am so excited! Right now it is Wednesday and it is held on the Friday and Saturday. I don’t think I need to tell people who have read this blog before about how excited I get about going to this once-in-a-year-opportunity. My Mum and Dad are coming too, my Mum usually does, but I’ve badgered my Dad into going too, so I’m happy, happy, happy! I don’t get to visit other wool shows (bar the ICHF show in Glasgow, but that is more sewing – something else I adore) so Woolfest is pretty much my once a year buying opportunity for fleece and other related products. I haven’t bought a fleece online in a few years bar an alpaca seconds I got last year. I have been spinning some of it though so at least it is being used. Being seconds it takes a lot of time to prep. It took a while to sort out the decent stuff, then wash it, then sort out the decent stuff once again.

I finally got round to using up my North Ronaldsay wool that I spun up last year. I love this but it infuriated me no end that I had spun it up entirely and not actually done anything with it. My Dad suggested a shawl might be a good idea and I agreed with him. It was too rough and scratchy to go against the skin so a good shawl for poor weather or cold would be great over the shoulders. I decided using the pattern ‘Margarets’ Prayer Shawl’ on Ravelry as a start-off, using a 6mm hook. Instead of changing the last two rows at the end, I simply repeated the same row over and over, using a 3dc stitch per gap.

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As you can see, the shawl is pretty tiny. I am going to see if I can buy a nice brown North Ronaldsay fleece to continue it. A nice, two tone shawl in the same fleece breed. I don’t think it will need much blocking as the wool is holding its shape really nicely. But I do need to wash it as the wool is still slightly greasy and a bit itchy.

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What a lovely sight!

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I had a bit of a spinning binge and managed to spin up quite a few of the batts I had previously prepared. Using the unknown brown fleece I knitted my Dad a thick, warm hat for Winter. I had changed the pattern slightly because I did not like the way the ribbing looked when turned up for the headband. I ribbed as normal, and then when it came to the main part of the hat in st-st, I simply knitted the other way, making the ribbing look ‘right’ when it was turned back up. (Sorry if that makes absolutely no sense at all!).

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I also spun up some of the black shearling Hebridean fleece. Why have I not done this before?! It wasn’t very nice to prep, but oh my, what a joy to spin! I got three small skeins of wool and the colour is lustrous. I think the wool would look very nice in a fair-isle type pattern but nothing has caught my eye yet. The Gotland fleece was quite nice to spin too and the different colours were interesting when spun up. I plan on using some of this fleece to make some pin loom squares. I might get some Gotland when I go to Woolfest. (Did I mention I was going to Woolfest?!)

Yes, I quite fancy making another pin loom blanket, this time using natural coloured fleeces, all prepared from raw fleece by me. This will probably be an ongoing project throughout the year, rather than something I sit and work on. I really like the idea of another pin loom blanket. I wonder if I can ask Dad to help me make some more pin loom squares, but a bit bigger. My one is 8”. Maybe a 12” one might be nice.

My brother gave me some interesting sack fleece fabric yesterday when I visited him. (Happy Birthday, Franz! Eldest little brother is 25 now!). I had been thinking for a couple of days how nice it might be to try rug-making. (I can hear my family groaning now – ANOTHER hobby?!) I know a vintage stall at Woolfest sells rug making tools so I’ll have a look and see how much they are. Maybe a nice rug for in front of the TV – as long as A’s cats don’t destroy it.

My list for Woolfest –

North Ronaldsay fleece x 2, hopefully a brown one.

A small, white fleece.

A few interesting coloured fleeces, hopefully a fairly short staple.

Some ‘grab bags’ of fleece from the breeders stalls, maybe some more Hebridean and I would like to try Valais Blacknose. I’ve heard it is really coarse though.

A drop spindle from Spin City. Her spindles are beautiful.

A rug tool or two.

Some wool tops from Wingham Wools.

Silk Hankies from Wingham Wools. (IF they have any! Haven’t had them for a couple of years now).

Cheap magazines.

Alpaca from Wingham Wools.

LOTS of photos! (My Mum is the photographer of the family, she will enjoy doing this!)

Oh, I also designed a tote bag to take to Woolfest. I’m really proud of it. What do you think of it? Finally got around to using those dyed locks!

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Sewing the locks onto the penciled drawing.

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Backstitching the face of the sheep. I really love the nose. It wasn’t meant to be there, it was a slip of the needle, but it really works!

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Have a great day everyone!

xXx Love Kais xXx

Hi everyone,

It is now just under five weeks until Woolfest! Sooo excited! I am pretty much only going to buy raw fleece I think, and one extravagent purchase – a new drop spindle. I am hoping to buy one from Spin City. Her spindles are beautiful, pretty, glittery and oh, so many words to use!

I’ve been busy with my fibre again and am happy with what I have done so far. I still have a huge bag of Zwartbles to card and a white Shetland. Maybe if I have a bit of time on the weekend I will try and get it done. A good few hours of carding might build up my arm muscles a bit.

What do you think of this lovely Gotland?

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I bought this at Woolfest last year – 500g I think.

It went through the carder twice. Here it is on the first round.

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Look how lovely and wavy it is! I opened all the locks out by hand, it took sooooo long! Def. a bit of TV watching whilst that went on. I got five batts out of this fleece.

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This is fluffed up lamb Hebridean. I got a small 200g bag from Woolfest last year too. I’ve always been a bit wary of Hebridean but this one was lovely when washed. Unfortunately I got rid of about half of it whilst prepping it due to second cuts, etc. But I have got three batts out of it.

 

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This is the unknown brown fleece that I found tucked under the stairs. It felt VERY dry but carded up really well. I got three batts from this. I’m REALLY looking forward to spinning this one.

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Alpaca! Even with the amount I washed I still have been getting rid of about half of what I take out of the bag. In future, I will not cheap out and buy seconds alpaca. As you can see I have made some rolags out of it. I filled the box and when spun it gave me a heavy, packed bobbin on my Bliss. So, I imagine another box will give me a full bobbin again and I can get perhaps two decent skeins out of it. Even with the washing there is so much dirt coming off it! My hands are left black at the end of it, haha. My blending board has been getting some decent use out of it lately.

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This picture makes me very happy! I fancy taking some decent photos outside though, this picture is a bit blurry. I imagine this will be a lot bigger when I have carded the rest of the fleeces.

I also fancied doing some more dyeing. I used kool-aid again and used the white Shetland as soon as I finished washing it. I didn’t wait for it to dry, just put it straight in. I also left it all curled up instead of carding it, as I want the fleece to get a mix of colours, not just one solid colour.

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I pushed as much fleece into each bowl as possible. Each bowl got several minutes in the microwave, the dark dyes getting longer. The red ones were nearly impossible to get the water to run clear. When I spin it, I will have to give the red skeins an extra rinse. I didn’t rinse these in the washing machine, but left them to dry outside. I loved the colours the pink lemonade dye gave.

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My little work station at the side of the kitchen. My lovely dried, dyed fluff. Each colour made a decent sized batt.

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They were very easy to card. I decided to use a diz for the first time on my carder and made roving properly. I was so impressed with how easy and effective this is! Why have I not done this before?!

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Most of them I managed to get done with just one ball of roving.

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I spun up the pink one in the photo. Small skein, but sweet.

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Lots and lots of fleece! I still can hardly believe that this was from a manky Shetland fleece!

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I got this little machine at a charity shop in Ayr. It looks complete. It is a Simple Frame Knitter, made in the early eighties. It looks brand new! I can’t wait to try it out properly, but I’ve left it at A’s for now. I had too much luggage to carry back this time.

I’ve also done a bit more on my CAL. I have sooo much to catch up on!

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Well, the next bit of this post is a bit sad. My lovely Martha died a few weeks ago. She was getting on a bit and not really eating a lot. (Except cucumber, she LOVED it). She had plenty of cuddles towards the end and died in her sleep. I miss her a lot and it’s not the same seeing five chickens when there should be six. Love you, Martha. ❤ This is one of my favourite photos of her. Beautiful girl.

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This post is dedicated to my wonderful dog, Ben. On the 11th May this year, it was six years since he has been gone. There is not a day going by where I don’t feel like something is missing from my life. He was a wonderful companion and friend. He was taken far too soon and if he were alive today he would still have many more years to go. I miss you so much, Ben. I hope you are happy with your best friend, Bo, who was also taken almost exactly two years after you. I love you and miss you loads too, Bo. Words can’t really describe how much I want to see and cuddle them again. Maybe one day I will. ❤

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Ben – 2004 – 11.5.2010

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Bo – 2003 – July 2012

xXx Love Kais xXx

Hello,

It’s been a few busy days of crochet, crochet, crochet! I don’t know how my poor fingers are keeping up with it to be honest. After blocking my handspun blanket the other day, my index finger actually went numb. I couldn’t tell which end of the pin I was pushing in! I always use a ridiculous amount of pins when I block but it’s never done any harm, just taken a bit more time. I probably leave a less than 1cm gap between each pin. You can imagine how many I used for my blanket then. I kid you not, there must have been about a thousand pins. Ouch!

Here it is blocking.

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An example of how close the pins are!

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And here it is unblocked, still thankfully retaining its shape.

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I’m so pleased with this! After I finished blocking it, I found the rest of my handspun that I wanted to use for this blanket. I had four small skeins ready. I have put them in the order of colour that I wanted to use round the edge.

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I used only a simple SC crochet stitch around the edge. I also only used the first two colours as I felt anymore would spoil the simplicity of the blanket. I sometimes have trouble in knowing when to stop so I am pleased that I saw how nice it looked when I layed it down after the second row. I was also going to do a ripple stitch around but no. There was not enough yarn left anyway! I was playing severe yarn chicken and only ended with a couple of metres left from each skein.

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I have of course, the usual photos that everybody seems to take when they finish their blankets!

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I also finished my mini crochet square blanket and I think it looks pretty good! Very bright colours but cheerful at the same time!

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I have a small blanket pile now, I love it!

I found ANOTHER blanket that needs doing. It is a Christmas one, so at least I have plenty of time to work on it! I have done three large c2c squares and am over half way done with the fourth one. I plan on SC’ing around the edges with cream and then crocheting a top edge with ‘MERRY’ and the bottom edge with ‘CHRISTMAS.’ We shall see how that turns out! I’ll get photos for next time.

Have a great day!

xXx Love Kais xXx

 

Hello everyone,

I just want to say a quick thank you to everyone who follows my blog – I now have 101 followers! Thank you so, so, so much! It means a lot that people are following my blog, it must mean I am at least writing a little bit of what people find interesting.

I did start this blog off to show off what I have knitted and it just took off from there. People have witnessed my skills developing, learning crochet and my favourite, learning to spin. I have learned how to dye and created tutorials. I have created my own crochet patterns and learned so much about keeping chickens! So, once again, thank you very much for reading what I write.

So, what have I been up to?

Well, I am very excited to show off my, almost completed, hand-spun, hand-dyed, hand-woven (that was a mouthful!) blanket. I have spun all the yarn for it, mostly dyed it all myself and all have been woven on a (hand-made!) pin loom. I would recommend getting or making one, very simple, yet effective. I was looking through my wool stash the other night and came across thirty pin loom squares. I think I put them away because I planned on making a bigger blanket. But I looked at them and thought, ‘why not?’

I had already blocked most of them, but one was left. This was carefully blocked.

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I laid out all the squares on the bed.

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Don’t they look a raggy mess! I managed to sew them up quite successfully. I was very impressed with them really as, even after blocking, some squares were bigger than others. But the next day, the blanket got put into a hot bath to soak for ten/fifteen minutes. It was very heavy to get out! I rolled it into towels to squeeze most of the water out. I had already laid out a blanket and two towels on the living room floor and then placed a large piece of cardboard on top. The blanket then got some SERIOUS blocking. I kid you not, I must have used about a thousand pins.

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The squares look mostly the same size now and are mostly in straight rows/columns. I will unpin it tomorrow morning so I hope it will retain its shape! I even got my Mum to steam iron over it to give it a steam blocking too as it seemed to dry very quickly whilst I was pinning. Can’t be too careful, right?

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Please excuse the mess in the background. The blanket looks kinda of small, but I plan on putting a crochet border around it. Using handspun of course!

I’m very excited for this project.

I’ve done some more spinning. Some for the blanket using fibre I found under the stairs (don’t ask…) and some random other fibres.

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The top is Man Loughtan that was actually left on my wheel for ages. I decided it was time to ply it. This was from a fleece I bought at Woolfest last year, very clean and fluffy with lovely light brown tips. Prepped from raw, carded from batts. Batts were put through the carder twice.

The middle wool is Ryeland, also prepped from raw fleece purchased at Woolfest. This was bought in 2014… I think! This was an expensive fleece as it was so beautiful. Lots of silver and greys. I found some carded batts under the stairs and decided to spin them up. It is a nice, chunky spin. Dad wants a hat out of it, but I think it would be far too itchy for his skin! I still have so much fleece to prepare out of this though.

The bottom wool is Cheviot that I dyed with kool-aid, I think in 2013. So, a few years before it finally got spun! This MIGHT be going on my blanket, I’m not sure. Most little bits like this will hopefully go round my  blanket at least once, even if it is just tiny sc’s all around. I found LOADS of this under the stairs, all bright colours. I see some lovely spinning in the future.

What else have I been doing?

I was looking through my wool stash yesterday – look at the photo.

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Yep… I have a lot. The bottom one is full of fibre. Fibre I had completely forgotten I had. Carded Jacobs, angora, sparkly stuff, full braids. I am going to be busy this year as I am going to make sure that that box will be half empty by the end of December. The rest of the big boxes are full of acrylic and mixed yarns. One box is almost completely cotton and the top box is full of just handspun. I want to be able to knit from a lot of my handspun too. I have lots of fleeces to prep, so should have a lot of yarn to knit something decent with. Perhaps another pin loom blanket of natural coloured fleece? All from raw? Different breeds? Ideas, ideas!

In one of the boxes I found a load of crochet squares that I had made years and years ago!I remember crocheting around each square in yellow and then joining four squares together in red. It sounds bad, I know. I sort of cringed when I found it. I laid it out on the bed and decided hang on, no, it’s not THAT bad. I found some matching red, and crocheted the rest of the squares so I had sixteen squares attached. I went round the lot with red and now am working an SC around the border. I plan on doing a few granny square rounds (hdc3 in one sc, miss 2sc, etc). Then a couple of SC to finish.

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It is going to be a mini cot blanket. I’ll get a far better picture in the sunlight when it is finished.

I also remembered that I have seriously been neglecting my lovely Wonder Blanket CAL’s! One is much further on than the other and is only missing this fortnights stitches. I will see if I can do this tomorrow if I finish the above blanket. The other one is missing the last three weeks I think. Lots of catching up to do!

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I have completed almost four squares now! Attic24 blanket is slowly coming along. When I went up to A’s I took the whole lot with me so I could work on that and only that! It amazes me how much time it takes to do each square. I wasn’t best pleased when I left them in the living room on the sofa and Aya peed on them… I rinsed them with soap and water but they now STINK! They need to go in the washing machine.

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You can see the cool and warm colours emerging properly now. I worked on this whilst waiting for my train in Kilmarnock. An hours wait in the station cafe/book shop was well spent!

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I think that is all for now craft wise. I’ll leave you with a few animal photos ❤

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Aretha looks happy! They were tucking into boiled eggs with the shells still on. Absolutly lovely treat and it was a treat for me watching them. ❤

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The ground looks pretty naff at the moment as there have been a lot of heavy rainfalls. They still have plenty of grass, you just can’t see it! They have a lovely big yard though and lots of places to have dust baths and climb and just generally have fun!

Alfie has been giving us a few laughs lately!

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These dogs love their pillows, but Alfie took it one further. Pillow propped up against Freddy and he tucked himself into Mums cardigan and used it as a blanket/scarf. Sooo sweet! He slept for ages like that too. He has many funny poses – such as the meditation pose…

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He is fast asleep! He also sleeps like this –

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He loves sleeping on his back! Mind you, he is lying on his side with Freddy and me just now.

Look at them both – my whole world.

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I love Freds expressions ❤

Have a great evening everyone!

xXx Love Kais xXx

I’m finding, that since I am off work at the moment, I am enjoying some quality, relaxing hobby time. My contract finished a couple of weeks ago at the school I was working at and it is now Easter holidays. So a good couple of weeks off is amazing!

I went into our local city yesterday with my Mum. She is a bigger wool enabler than me! She managed to convince me to buy a sweaters worth of yarn as she is wanting to knit a jumper. So, we are going to find a nice pattern each, a few good horror movies, and have a knitfest! I fancy making a cardigan. I very rarely make anything for myself, except socks, so a cardigan would be quite nice. My last jumper didn’t fit me, so I am going to make sure this next one does!

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I’ve chosen the pink, Mum wanted the black and white. It is self-striping and the pattern it makes is lovely. I am going to show Mum how to do the sleeves at the same time. There will be more than enough yarn left over so I am sure I can use it up for little baby projects and so on. It was only 99p a ball as it was ‘perfect seconds.’ I can’t see what is wrong with it!

The two balls in the photo below were ones I had been after ever since I saw the lone ball in Blackpool Poundstretchers. I searched all of their yarn shelves and even behind them to see if they had another ball of this available. I ended up not buying it as I didn’t want to keep just buying single balls of wool. However, found these yesterday! I don’t know why, but I absolutely love these colours. I am sure they will make a lovely little cardigan. The yarn on top is 70% acrylic, 30% nylon and 4ply. It is baby yarn, but with nylon in it, it will make great socks!

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It really was a big yarn haul yesterday! The yarn below is not actually for me. My Auntie is giving up smoking and asked if I had any spare wool that she could have to keep her hands busy. I use up my bits and pieces to make blankets and rather than give her the scrappy ends, I bought her fifteen balls of sparkly and non-sparkly yarn. I am also going to give her one of my sets of crochet hooks in a case, so she has all the hooks she will ever need. My brother is going to print her a tote bag with ‘You Can Do It!’ on it with a big ball of wool. Most people will think that it will be that she can crochet, but she will know that everytime she wants a cigarette, she just needs to look at her bag and crochet away. I wish her all the luck because I know that giving up cigarettes is very difficult.

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I bought these today (or Mum did, I can’t remember!). A full tin of cottons for £1. Some were brand new and a couple of them are the perfect shade for my baby hexagon quilt.

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I haven’t worked on this project for a while – the fish hat from Knitty. It is for my brother who saw it and immediately wanted one for himself. I don’t much knit for other people, but it looked like great fun so I agreed. I’m half way done I think.

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As I said before, I managed to get two and a bit squares done of the Attic24 blanket. They are actually really quite big! Just under fourteen to go! I think when I got to A’s again I will bring the lot with me. Two hours on the train will get quite a bit done I imagine. And it will keep me busy the rest of the week too.

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I am seriously not looking forward to sewing in those ends!

Here is a picture of the blanket that I am working on. It is the seafoam stitch and is working up really quite quickly. I do think that I will need some more yarn to finish it though, I don’t think six balls will be enough! I had to sew in some of the ends as they were getting in the way, but just loosely tying them at the ends is working for now.

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A quick blocking at the end of this might make the dropped stitches more obvious and show the pattern a bit more.

The chickens are all doing well! They are getting on a bit better now, although there is still a lot of the pecking-order going on. Rose is definitely the big boss chicken though! If you want to join my Ravelry group ‘Rescue Chickens‘ please feel free. Lot’s of chat about chickens in general, as well as a thread for all of your projects that are going on!

Hope to see you there!

xXx Love Kais xXx

Ok, I have a problem. I’ve never had this problem before. In the fibre community, I think this problem is called ‘Startitis.’

It’s quite scary. Most of my knitting and fibery life I’ve been quite good at working on only one thing at a time, maybe two at a push. This year I don’t know what has been up with me!

What I am working on – 

  • Old Harry’s Game blanket (admittedly, this is barely started, but I have all the designs done and all the wool bought for this). I am so excited to get this blanket started. There are nine designs to go on this blanket (only four shown below). I have some backing fabric to go on too, if I think it needs it. I don’t think I’ve sewn fabric to wool before, so I’ll see how I feel about doing that.

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  • Attic24 Log Cabin blanket. I saw this on her blog and thought ‘WOW!’I NEED to make this. I bought the yarn a month or so ago and started straight away. I have made all sixteen of the middles and completed two and a bit squares. It’s quite time-consuming but I’m enjoying it, bit by bit. The squares do look a bit rough but I’m hoping a severe blocking will make it go the way it should.

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  • I’ve just started a new knitted blanket with some chunky yarn I bought from Mrs Johnsons Emporium, Blackpool. (Check this place out, it is AMAZING!). I haven’t got a photo yet but the pattern is Breezy Baby Blanket. I am using Autumn colours, orangey ones. I am using Special by Stylecraft with the colours ‘Spice,”Gold,’ and ‘Copper.’ The pattern uses the ‘Seafoam stitch’ which is very interesting. I’ve never tried it before this blanket . I like the way it is knitting up though. I am working it in stripes. I doubled the amount of stitches to make a big blanket but when it came to the seafoam stitches I could see it wasn’t going to work, I had six stitches left over. I sort of threaded them through with spare yarn and left them at the side. When I am finished this HUGE project I will cut it off and sew it properly. So, if you do this, make sure that you leave off six stitches at the end. (246 stitches).The photo below is not mine but it is from free images online. The yarn is very close to what I am using.

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  • The Wonder Crochet Blanket CAL. This CAL comes out every two weeks so the next one is out on the 7th April. I have caught up completely with one blanket so have just got half of part five and the whole of part six to complete on the other blanket. I thought that people who had started two or more were mad but I can see they were quite right! The six or so rows work up quickly. By the end of the year I will have two lovely blankets completed.

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  • TAAT Socks (Two-At-A-Time). I bought this sock yarn from the Glasgow SECC a few weeks ago. I had been looking for some nice sock yarn for a while now. I’ve always made socks with a DK weight yarn so I’ve been after some ‘proper’ sock yarn for a while – 4ply. I’ve not done too much admittedly, it’s more of a handbag project. Here I am knitting in Wetherspoons in Blackpool the other day. (Check out Blackpool, it’s an awesome place!).

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This is the pattern I am using – Basic Socks

I love TAAT socks. I might try using it for baby socks next time. I have my go to pattern i use for baby socks, so I might try it with that.

I think that that is it just for now for projects I am working on. I haven’t counted any sewing projects in with this lot though!

It was my birthday the other day so my Mum took me to Blackpool for a long girly weekend. It was great fun! I bought some more chunky yarn (for the Autumn banket above) from the yarn shop just around the corner from the B and B. I also got some cheap acrylic from the pound shop (2 for 3 on baby yarns). But the best place to get things from?? The Works. Ever heard of this place? In the UK it is a cheapish craft and book shop. You can often buy the same books as Waterstones but at a fraction of the price. (Waterstones is a huge book shop selling books at retail prices. I very rarely buy from there!) I chose some books from there and my Mum and brother bought them from me. I think I got over £100 worth of books for less than £20! I like a good bargain and so do my family!

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There are loads of patterns I want to do in the baby knitting and crochet books. The sewing books are also excellent. ‘My Rag Doll’ seems to have mixed reviews online however and it is said that it is not for beginners. I still consider myself a beginner so I will see how it turns out!

Have a great day everyone, it’s beautifully sunny and warm here in Scotland today!

xXx Love Kais xXx