Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Episode 9 - Catching Up

Full show notes are always available at, under the Podcast button.

Thank you so much to all of you for your kind comments and well wishes, it means a lot to have your support.


I have signed up for the sock yarn swap on the Louise Tilbrook Designs group.  It's a simple straight sock yarn swap with your partner, no crafting required.  It sounds right up my street.  If the name Louise Tilbrook rings a bell, it's because it's the non-Ravelry name of madmum, who so kindly donated a skein of yarn as a prize for the Crafting Library KAL.  I have sent my skein of yarn off to California and I am waiting to see what I get in return.  It's very exciting!

Louise is also running a KAL starting on 1st January and running to the end of February which involves you trying a new sock knitting technique.  I'm not sure I'll be joining in, but I have donated a skein of yarn to the prize pot.  (Well, I will when I dig one out!).

Done and Dusted

Polar Cape - blogged here.

Handspun Determination - test knit hat for EllysKnitsInSanity using handspun yarn.  I blogged about it here. You can purchase the pattern on Ravelry.  The tutorial for the alternating cast on can be found here.  I used a Clover Pom Pom Maker.

I made some mitts using Rowan Lima that I frogged from another project.  I'm much happier with what I've got now.  I just winged the pattern.  The mitts work well with the handspun hat.

I made a second Sockhead Hat by Kelly McClure using Countess Ablaze Count Cashmerino in the This Ain't a Scene colourway.

I love this version as much as the last one.

Honey Cowl is a free pattern from Madelinetosh that has done the rounds for several years.  Now I've knit one, I understand why.  I used Skein Merino Silk Sport in the Opaque colourway.  It's gorgeous and a good size.

If I could afford it, I would knit a whole garment in this yarn as it's beautiful.

I knit my very first indie dyed sock, the project is Self Striping Socks and I used Big Foot Knits by Andi Smith to develop my pattern.  I finished the first sock and the leg is was too loose.  After ripping out the leg and reknitting, I'm really happy with the socks.  The yarn is Twisted Limone Tangy Sock in the Knock Your Socks Off colourway and I love it.  I might have ordered another skein of this yarn.


I finished a variegated version on my Refraction Shawlette pattern using a recent purchase from Posh Yarn, Pamela Sock.  This yarn has all my favourite colours, plus sparkle!  It's warm and comfortable and I've been wearing it a lot.

Posh Refraction 01

The photo does not do it justice.

I've also done some spinning:

Hilltop Cloud Blue Tit (80 grams, 165 meters) - 56% Merino/26% Shetland/16% Kid Mohair

I started this on the Rakestraw and decided to start again on the Tibetan, as it sat for so long. This is quite uneven. This is the nature of two-ply. It’s a fingering/sport weight, very pretty and light.

The Yarn Yarn Superwash BFL Blackcurrant Sorbet (106 grams, 157 meters)

Spun on the Lightweight Wildcraft Tibetan spindle, chain plied. It's a sport weight.

Fondant Fibre Shetland Pink Gradient (93 grams, 135 meters)

Spun on the Medium Wildcraft Tibetan spindle.  It's a two ply yarn that has barber poled beautifully.  It's soft and springy and a DK weight.  I recommend you visit the shop.

Limegreenjelly Merino Silk (94 grams, 148 meters)

This skein is not very consistent, but the effect works. It varies from a sport to a dk weight. It’s butter soft though and a glorious colour.  It's a true 3 ply and I had quite a few odd singles left over because of my uneven spinning!  I still love it though.  It was spun on the Medium Wildcraft Tibetan spindle.

Hilltop Cloud Peacock (99 grams, 115 meters)

Spun on IST Crafts Tibetan spindle and plied on Medium Wildcraft Tibetan spindle. The yarn in a true 3 ply and is a fingering/4ply weight.  Blogged about here.

All these yarns have been spun worsted.

Nose to the Grindstone

French Cancan by Mademoiselle C was started at the beginning on October using stash yarn, Stylecraft Ethical Twist 70/30 in the undyed colourway called Camel.  The yarn is 70% wool and 30% alpaca and I hoped that it would have enough drape with the alpaca to compensate for not having any silk.  I wanted my version to be warmer and bigger.  I'm trying to use up all this yarn that is left in my stash.

I've just started the edging.

I've been working a little on Ridgeland by Marc Smollin and Viajante by Martina Behm.  I've also started another pair of socks using indie dyed yarn from Penguin Soup.  It's in Tuxedo Glitz in the Rainbow Dash Colourway.  I'm using a slipped stitch pattern that is inspired by Pin Striped Socks by Julia Swart, but has been adjusted to fit my new basic sock pattern and I am slipping stitches for two rows instead of one.

The yarn is lovely and I was able to get it using a discount code, so that the price fell under the £15 limit, which meant I didn't have to customs charges etc.  I probably won't be able to buy from there again, unless there is another sale, but I do recommend the yarn, it's very soft and pretty.

I have also started my first Christmas knit.  I'm only really making for my niece and nephews this year so I don't drive myself too insane!  I'm making a cardigan for my littlest nephew after hearing that he hates having things pulled over his head, I think this is a good way to go.  I'm also able to use stash, Cascade 220 Superwash in a medium brown and a dark brown, which I'm striping.  The pattern is Beyond Puerperium by Kelly Brooker in the 6-12 month size.  I'm planning on doing long sleeves that are un-tapered.

All other knitting projects have not been touched.

Splashed Out

Wildcraft resin support spindles (I bought TWO!).


This one is a medium weight at around 26g and has rush flowers embedded in the resin.  The other one is lightweight and weighs 20g and has chocolate coreopsis flowers embedded in it.  It took a while to get used to the different tip, from the wooden spindle I have, but I am really enjoying them now.  They do drop spindles in both wood and resin too.

I have been a very lucky girl because my friends went to Nepal and trekked up to Everest Base Camp. Whilst on their trip they found a yarn shop and bought me some hand spun YAK yarn from one of the local villages.  There is 280g in this skein and it is only very loosely plied.  I think the down and the shorter hairs have been spun together to make it warm but still quite weather tight.  It has a lovely sheen to it.  I will have to knit up a swatch and wash it to find out what the gauge of the yarn is before I can decide what to do with it.


I am not going to list all other stash enhancements as I'll be here all day.  If you are interested, go and look at my stash page!


I discovered a new trick for my Sunflower Swift, I used it to hold my spindle as I wound off the singles!


It worked surprisingly well!

Quest for Knowledge

I took a Craftsy class; Spinning Dyed Fibers with Felicia Lo.  It taught me so much that I want to put into practice, especially doing little samples and how to combine colours together to either mute them or make them more vibrant and distinct.  I highly recommend it even though the class was demonstrated on a spinning wheel and I'm a spindle spinner.

I think I am getting better at spinning from the fold after finding a great video on YouTube.

It was also demonstrated in Felicia Lo's Craftsy class.  I have been practicing and now I understand the process a little better, the yarn is becoming less clunky. I think the next yarn I spin will be done woollen.

Crafting Library


I have subscribed to PLY magazine and have received the first two issues.  The second issue, Color, is the one I have been most interested in, as it has explained a lot about how to do exactly the same sort of thing that Felicia Lo talks about in her class.  The magazine and the class have reinforced each other.  I am quite a new spinner, and PLY is targeted at more intermediate spinners, but I have still got a lot from them, even if it is just new terms to research.  If you are you still are a beginner but are someone really interested in learning, I think you would get a lot from these magazines.

Online Community

The giveaways so kindly donated by Nulaboola have come to an end and I drew for winners using  The winner of Knit to be Square Book: Domino Designs to Knit and Felt is number 2, Simoon.

Knit to be Square Draw

The winner of Knitter's Handy Book Of Sweater Pattern: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes and Gauges is number 26, DizzySue.

Handy Book Draw
I will pass your details on to Jan, and she will be in touch for address details.  Thank you Jan, it was very kind of you!

Another, very generous, listener DebrisUK has donated a great book, Knit to Flatter, by Amy Herzog.  To enter the draw you must be a member of the group and leave a comment on the thread with the answer to this question: "if you were to ask a designer to create a knitted garment for you, who would you ask?", because Deb wants to know!  I will leave the thread open until just before the next podcast, so I can announce the winner on the next episode.  Thank you Deb, it's lovely that you want to give something to this little community!