Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Episode 13 - Unlucky For Some

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


The STSAL2014 finishes on 30th April 2014, so there is still time to get your spinning of 100g/3.5oz of fibre finished.  There have been some amazing entries posted in the FO Thread, so even if you haven't joined in I highly recommend taking a peek for inspiration.

Malachite Punis 12

I finished my Fondant Fibre punis in the Malachite colourway and I loved spinning them on my Enid Ashcroft Bocote Tibetan Spindle.  The final yarn is a true 3-ply and is a light fingering weight. There are 267 m/292 yds and I am really happy with how my long draw technique is still improving. The yarn is nice and lofty as a woollen spun yarn should be.

I took part in Sarah's KAL, #CFTCSPRINGKAL. Sarah's blog is Crafts from the Cwtch. The KAL started on 15th March and runs until 30th April 2014 and the pattern I knit was Miss Winkle by Martina Behm. I'm using some old stash yarn, Flinders Sock by The Thylacine in the Pepperberry Colourway.  The yarn is 70% merino and 30% seacell.  I bought this yarn in January 2011!

Miss Winkle 02

I also plan on knitting the Spate mitts from Journey by Shannon Cook and Jane Richmond.  I was lucky enough to win the book from Stockinette Zombies a while ago.  I have wound the yarn I plan to use, Dream in Color Classy in Plum.

I have got the yarn from Alafoss, in Iceland, to start the Maren cardigan, which is from a Craftsy class, Top Down Icelandic Sweater, with Ragga Eiriksdottir. I'm now a Craftsy Affiliate so if you buy the class after following the link, I will receive a small payment.  The class was excellent and covers stranded colourwork, and steeking the sweater as well as lots of other little tricks, such as adding ribbon to stabilise the button band and crocheting on button loops.

Lettlopi for Cardigan

My main colour is rich navy colour with, soft very light grey for the contrast colour. The light aqua colour will be for the accents.

I'm playing around with some lace patterns as I would really like to design another big(ish) shawl. I think it will have some vague Faroese influences to it's shape. The shawl I knit in this style was by Anne Hanson and it is called Maplewing.

Done and Dusted

The fibre I was spinning in the last episode has resulted in some gorgeous yarn.  It is a 2-ply construction and it is roughly a light fingering/3-ply weight.  It is 350 m/283 yds in length.  The Fondant Fibre MCN is delicious and I want more! I blogged about it here.


As I have been ill, I have lots of basic knitting and spinning. After finishing the STSAL2014 project I wanted to do something mindless and without much thought. I spun up some BFL fibre from Gale's Art I bought before Christmas. I spun the yarn as a 2-ply, worsted style, keeping it lofty to ensure a smooth yarn which retained some of the bounce of the original fibre.  I got 221 m/243 yds of a DK weight yarn, that self stripes. I blogged about it here. Elizabeth Green Musselman of the Dark Matter Knits Podcast kindly gifted me the Cattywampus Hat to knit with yarn.

I finished some Twisted Limone Tangy Sock socks, in the Find The River colourway.

Find The River Socks 03

I shortened the length of the foot on these socks as an experiment to prevent baggy heels after wearing for a day.  It worked but the first day was rather snug.  I probably won't repeat the experiment.

I finished the Lerryn Mittens by Rachael Coopey that I originally started for the Winter Warmer KAL.  The pattern was from the book The Scrumptious Collection Volume 3 published by Fyberspates and reviewed by me on the blog, in January 2014.

Lerryn Mittens 02

The mittens are knit in The English Gentleman DK by Countess Ablaze in the Shiver colourway.  The 50% BFL/50% Masham of the yarn gives a really interesting texture. I talked about Rachel Coopey's new book Toasty Vol. 1. The book uses Titus yarn made by Baa Ram Ewe.

I finished the cowl that I originally designed for my Mum's birthday. I used Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the Saffron colourway, that was a gift from the lovely Tara. Thank you Tara!

I went back to working on Ridgeland by Marc Smollin. I started it in October and it got put to a side when Christmas knitting became important.  I never picked it back up, but as I decided I wanted to to finish off some of the WIPs that I've got laying around, I got on with it. I blogged about it here.

Ridgeland 04

I finished some vanilla socks knit in the Nicole C. Méndez striped yarn I talked about in the last episode.  I love these zingy colours.

With these socks I used a trick suggested by Emily of the Watcha Swatchin Podcast, in order to maintain the stripes I knit the heels using the other end of the yarn and after it's finished switch back to the end I knit the rest of the sock with. I means there is no disruption on the stripes.

I knit a Whippoorwill by Carina Spencer for my friend Rachael.  She fell in love with a rainbow one that she saw on the Great British Sewing Bee.  She asked if I knew what it was and it's Sarah's version knit in Kauni Effektgarn, in the EQ colourway.  She's getting it as a late birthday present as she only spotted it a week before her birthday, but she liked the wip on the needles that she got in a gift bag.

Whippoorwill 01

I manage to start and finish another pair of socks since the last podcast. These, once again, are knit to my vanilla pattern and the yarn is from Penguin Soup and was an oops. I don't care because I love this yarn, Tuxedo Glitz, and it meant I could afford to buy it and get it shipped from the US.

Finally, I have released my Ribbon and Rings Cowl pattern for purchase.  It's on Ravelry, priced at £1.75.

Nose to the Grindstone

I started the Simene Stole I liked from the Scrumptious Collection Vol. 3, the yarn I bought, Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace in the Teal colourway, is gorgeous. The lace pattern is easily read and I'm enjoying doing a bit of lace that isn't too challenging.

Simene Stole 02

I decided to work on some socks, other than vanilla, so I found a pattern from The Knit Stitch Pattern Handbook: An Essential Collection of 300 Designer Stitches and Techniques to add to my normal sock pattern. The pattern is called Little Boxes and it has made the socks even more squishy than I hoped. The socks are knit from Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in the Tornado Over London colourway.  The yarn is BFL and nylon and has a very high twist. The yarn was bought from The Golden Skein as a spare skein after the club shipments had gone out. It is cheaper to buy the club shipment, but as I have a finite budget I  was happy to buy just my favourite skein.

Socks No 8

I've just cast on Sleeves by Martina Behm.  I bought the pattern a while ago and I've finally collected enough sock yarn scraps from my stash that I think will work together for this pattern. Some of the scraps are more like half skeins.  They fit very nicely in my gorgeous new bag from Fondant Fibres.

Sleeves 01

My sock yarn blanket squares are progressing nicely. I have 24 now. 

Splashed Out

Another 2 skeins of Countess Ablaze The English Gentleman DK in the You Keep Me on the Edge of My Seat colourway. It's a DK weight, measuring 262 yds/240 m in length made of 50% BFL/50% Masham. It's a 2-ply woolen construction,

There was a free postage offer on Stockinette Zombies a couple of weeks ago for Juno Fibre Arts, so I bought Milly Singles in the Peacock colourway. It's a 4ply/fingering weight yarn, 400 yds/365 m in length and comprised of 100% merino.

I got an Oops from Penguin Soup in the Tuxedo Glitz base.  It's black, green and yellow striped.  I loved this base and the socks knit from it are one of my favourite pairs.  I was delighted to find the base discounted in a colourway I liked, even if there is an oops! It's 430 yds/393 m in length, comprised of 75% merino/20% nylon/5% stellina and is a 2-ply construction.

I also ordered some fibre from Spin City quite a while ago.  It took a little longer than expected to get here, however the vendor added an extra batt to compensate, along with a lovely apology.

The batts concerned are gradients in the Meteor colourway. They are made of bamboo,corriedale and merino.  I have 200g/7oz of fibre running from grey through to navy blue.

I also got a lovely blend, in the Paintbox colourway. It's comprised of alpaca, merino and BFL and weighs 100g/3.5oz. Funnily enough, one of the participants in the SAL, mariamc67, is spinning this exact blend.

I went a bit nuts last week and ordered some amazing organic merino fibre, in the Inked colourway from Fondant Fibre.  I got 100g and it feels really different from normal merino.

I also pre-ordered some laceweight in the same colourway. It's 100% Mulberry Silk and is 900 m/984 yds.

Fondant Fibre Lace 01

In my week of madness I also ordered some yarn from Countess Ablaze, both from this March's 12 Caesars Collection. The first is Viscount of Spark in the Riots and Revolts colourway.  This a 4ply/fingering weight yarn in 75% merino/20% nylon/5% stellina, 400m/437yds.

The other skein was Count Cashmerino Worsted in the If They Deserve This Honour colourway. It's 80% merino/10% cashmere/10% nylon, in a worsted weight, 210m/230yds.

I managed to score another Enid Ashcroft spindle.  This time it's a Compact Tibetan made with a Thuja Burl whorl and an Ebony shaft.  It weighs 25g and is beautifully balanced and spins incredibly fast.

Enid Ashcroft Compact Tibetan Spindle

Lastly I bought some yarn from John Arbon Textiles, two skeins of Alpaca Sock, one in Charcoal and the other in Sapphire. The yarn is a 4ply/fingering weight made of 60% alpaca/20% merino/20% nylon. There is 309m/338yds in each skein.

I bought this yarn with the intention of making a colourwork hat or cowl. I'd not used it before, but it really appealed to me.  I'm getting into "woolly" yarn lately.

Of course there is the bag from Fondant Fibre.

Fondant Fibre Bag
I went on a bit of a bag spree and bought two from Daisy Bun Boo, one was a regular size project bag with pretty bunting on it.

Daisy Bun Boo Bag 02

The second bag is Extra Large and has camper vans on it. I couldn't resist as we had camper vans when I was a child and I loved them.  This bag is HUGE and is perfect for storing my sock yarn blanket and yarn scraps.

Daisy Bun Boo Bag 01

Toolbox & Quest for Knowledge & 
Crafting Library

These are all in one this week as I talk about  I love the Craftsy format and have tried lots of different classes and they all have been incredibly useful, as I talked about earlier. As I rave about the site so much I decided to become a Craftsy Affliate, because I really believe in their product and would be recommending them anyway, and by becoming an Affliate there is the possibility of earning something towards the running costs of the podcast.  So, if you want to support the podcast you can join Craftsy, which is free, using this link and I will receive a small payment. If you use this link and you buy anything within 30 days, I will also receive payment. These payments will hopefully go some way to offsetting my running costs and postage bills!  I've also joined the Amazon Associate program and I've provided a page on the podcast and blog websites called "Support the Podcast and Blog". This goes into more detail about how I'm hoping to carry on funding the podcast.

Online Community

I'd just like to thank publicly the person (who wanted to remain anonymous) who made the first donation I've ever received.  It will go towards paying postage on the STSAL2014 prizes.  If anyone wants to contribute to the costs of running the podcast and sending out prizes, there is a drop down menu on the right of the podcast part of the website.  It's a drop down menu to select how much you want to donate as I'm not set up as charity and therefore I am unable to put a donate button on the site.

Lyndsey of Countess Ablaze has very kindly offered a great prize to you. TWO skeins of This Ain't A Scene on Tia Merino (single ply superwash merino fingering weight - 400 yards / 366m) and a black tote bag (380mm wide x 410mm deep) with long handles, to put it in. Lyndsey has kindly offered to post these items worldwide to the winner.

I love this colourway and used it to make one of my many Sockhead Hats. It's bright and fun, just in time for the warmer weather. As you have two skeins you could make a matching set of hat and long mitts, or maybe a large shawl. I think Concavus would work brilliantly as a showcase for this yarn.

I have opened a thread on the Ravelry Board, and the contest closes on Friday 16th May 2014 (to give International entrants a chance I'll close the thread when I get up on Saturday morning. To enter you have to be a member of the group and state what your favourite colourway and base would be from Countess Ablaze, if you could choose from any of her current work.

Lyndsey very rarely does giveaways, so I'm especially grateful to her for being so generous.  I hope I can tempt you all as much as I've been tempted by her yarns over the last couple of years, they are wonderful to work with and her colour sense is incredible.