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

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