Full show notes are always available at www.stitchedtogether.co.uk, under the Podcast Button.
I will be starting the Winter Warmer KAL (#stwwkal) and the cast on, NO EARLIER THAN on 21st January 2014 and it will run for 6 weeks, 4th March 2014. The project to be completed is an accessory that will keep you warm and toasty in the cold; hats, scarves, gloves, mittens or cowls. To enter you must be a member of the group on Ravelry and you must post a photo in the thread which will be opened on the cast on date.
The prize will be 4 x 50g skeins of King Cole Superwash Merino Chunky in the Silver colourway.
This yarn is one of my favourites. It is bouncy, soft and machine washable. It would be perfect for something like the GAP-Tastic Cowl, to help you stay warm this Winter.
I'm going to try and make a note of how much yarn I use and how much yarn I make or buy this year. Hopefully it will help curb my yarn hoarding tendencies.
Done and Dusted
I got the M. Richard the Whale pattern by Stacey Trock and finally found the perfect recipient in my niece, whose favourite word seemed to be "FISH" the last time I saw her. I used Cascade 220 Superwash in the Summer Sky Heather colourway.
For her brother I made a little Beyond Puerperium cardigan by Kelly Brooker, again in Cascade 220 Superwash. I made the 6-12 month size and striped it, leaving a solid dark brown button band, using intarsia.
I finished spinning some fibre from All The Pretty Fibres, who are based in Germany. It was my first experience of spinning a batt. I think I would have been more successful spinning it woollen style. However, as I have some more in a pretty green I can actually try that experiment.
The yarn is merino/silk and is 238m of a fingering/4ply weight yarn. I spun it on my Wildcraft Medium Weight spindle and the yarn is 2-ply.
My first attempt at spinning woollen style, using long draw, gave mixed results. I used the embedded video to learn how to do woollen spinning using a supported spindle.
The yarn was made using a blend by Hilltop Cloud called Jane Seymour, which is part of her Queen's series. The blend is made up of 50% Merino/25% Shetland/12.5% Milk Protein/12.5% Firestar and was nice and airy to start with, which made spinning it from the fold much easier. The resulting yarn is 150m/99g of sport weight yarn, made as a 2-ply using an Andean Plying Bracelet. I used a book and a chopstick as a tool based on a tutorial by Rosemary Knits.
I finished some socks in the Penguin Soup Tuxedo Glitz yarn. I stopped to try a heel experiment. I have tried the new heel on these socks. They fit brilliantly. The slip stitch pattern was inspired by the Pin Striped Sock pattern by Julia Swart.
After my success with the Fish Kiss Lips Heel on the first pair of socks I decided to try another pair. This time using some Twisted Limone Tangy Sock Yarn in the Pippin Colourway.
I also knit up some socks using some old sock yarn from stash, it's Regia so I can throw it in the washing machine. I made the leg longer on these socks and I am happier with the sock now. I think I can finally say I'm happy with the new vanilla pattern.
I also finished monsters for two of my other nephews. They are big fans of my hand crafted monsters, and receiving them as gifts seems to be tradition now. The first is Toothy Joe the Mailbox Monster from Rebecca Danger's Big Book of Knitted Monsters.
The second is Mike the Monster by Stacey Trock.
Two cowls were made, one in aran weight yarn, using buttons to close it. The yarn used was Babylonglegs Radiance Aran in the Belladona colourway.
The second version used worsted weight yarn and has tie closures. The yarn used was Malabrigo Rios in the Lettuce colourway.
Both versions use 100g of the yarn. I am still looking for a few more testers for this pattern.. There is a thread on the Ravelry board if you are interested.
I dyed some more yarn, blogged about here. I then used the yarn to knit another Sockhead Hat. I think this one is my favourite. Full details are on this blog post.
I had a request for a neutral colour cowl that my Mum could wear (no wool). I dug out one of my most precious skeins, Skein Queen Oasis Grande (a camel/silk blend) in the Titanium colourway, and created a pattern, which I'm thinking about writing up.
Nose to the Grindstone
I decided to cast on a new shawl project, with no pattern in mind. This is an half-pi shawl shape which is elongated by extra increases at the edges on the right side row. I'm using Malabrigo Lace in the Indiecita colourway and making notes as I go.
I have been working on the French CanCan Shawl that was started in October. I am using Stylecraft Ethical Twist in the Camel colourway. This yarn is very soft and drapey, but also has a halo. It's going to be so soft and warm.
I've done some more work on the Viajante and cast on another pair of socks, using my new Knitters Nightmare yarn.
I decided to knit a cowl for myself based on the design I created for my Mum, using yarn kindly gifted by Tara, MadTosh Sock in the Saffron colourway.
Bought some Spin needle tips from Chiaogoo to try. I quite like them as an addition to the Chiaogoo Interchangeables set. The cables and needles from both Spin and Twist work together.
I got some Knitters Nightmare Boogieman Sock in the "Thank You for Being a Friend" colourway.
I couldn't resist this Posh Yarn Diana Lace in the "Worst Kept Secret" colourway. I got two skeins because I want to make a big shawl this year.
I bought some fibre from Fondant Fibre and the fibre included some very pretty punis for me to try. There are only 45g and are made of superfine merino, shetland and firestar. Deb very kindly also sent me some kid mohair ones to try too.
The main reason I ordered though was to get a trio of natural wool fibres, Shetland, BFL and Corriedale, in different colours. There are 50g of each and I think they would go together as a 3-ply, beautifully.
The Falkland/Silk braid in the She Got The Moon In Her Eye colourway is another interesting blend, I wanted to try.
Using some Christmas money I bought an Enid Ashcroft Bocote Tibetan Spindle. It's an amazing spindle and working with it is a complete dream. I used the sample merino punis from Fondant Fibre to give it a test run.
Before Christmas I was tempted into trying a new yarn from Countess Ablaze, The English Gentleman DK, in the Shiver colourway. It fascinated me because it looked so different from the normal indie-dyer yarns. It is 50% BFL and 50% Masham, which gives it a fantastic texture.
When I bought this yarn I had a project in mind and I hope to knit the Sssstarter mitts that were in Knitty Winter 2013 by Ruth Garcia-Alcantud.
At Christmas I discovered I had a fabulous Christmas gift from my brother and sister-in-law, and skein in the same colourway, but a different base.. The yarn is Countess Ablaze Traveller Lace and it is a camel/silk blend, a little like the lovely yarn I have given up to my Mum's birthday gift, only much lighter.
The Knit Kit
Nostepinne - I am learning how to wind it properly using the embedded tutorial.
Quest for Knowledge
I have done a dyeing experiment using Wilton Food Colouring. I blogged about the tutorials I used.
It was definitely supposed to have more purple!
I tried again and got the purple!
Then I tried some fibre in yellow.
I also decided that the time had come to try the Fish Lips Kiss Heel by Sox Therapist that has been raved about on other podcasts. I did a little test heel using scrap yarn, inspired by this project.
It has definitely speeded up the knitting of socks, the fit is great, and I do like the way the short rows are constructed. The "pattern" was a $1 well spent.
Thank you to LadyKnitterly, eagleeyeslf and A29301 for the iTunes review. The Ravelry group membership is now up to 200! Thanks for joining in and remember to introduce yourself or post recommendations for indie dyers. I would also love to see photos of your work in the "What Have You Made?" thread.
The winner of the Knit to Flatter book, generously donated by DebrisUK, is ilovemyipad, post number 19.