Monday, 2 June 2014

Episode 14 - I'm Just a Little Bit Obsessed

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


I drew the winners for the STSAL2014, they are on Ravelry on the FO Thread. They are as follows; rosebob won the PLY Magazines,  patternwhisperer won the Fondant Fibre Project Bag and Fibre mariamc67 won the Camel/Silk Punis from Elly’s Knit (in)Sanity.

I was recently asked to talk about where I live on the podcast, which has inspired the next craft a long. I thought it would be interesting to find out more about where our community lives. Essentially you need to craft something that relates to where you live and describe how it relates to your home. eg Using locally dyed yarn or knitting a pattern with a name that reminds you of a local landmark. The craft is flexible, it can be knitted, crocheted, spun or woven (basically any craft on Ravelry).

The Where I Live CAL (Craft-A-Long) will start on Saturday 30th June and will end on Sunday 31st August 2014. The project must be started AFTER the start date and be posted into the FO Thread before midnight on the end date. WIPs and UFOs cannot be used for this. You must be a member of the group and you should post a photo of your finished object and link to your project page on Ravelry. You must explain WHY and HOW your project relates to where you live. The FO Thread will open on Ravelry on the start date, but I will open a chat thread when this podcast episode goes live where you can discuss your ideas and ask for feedback about your choices. You should tag your project STWILCAL and you can use the same tag as a hashtag on Twitter and Instagram or any blog posts. You are free to double dip. I will talk about where I live closer to the start date. Prizes are to be determined once I have a rummage through my stash,

I am joining in with Fiber Trek's Island KAL and the In A sKnit Got sKnit to Do KAL,

I am doing Stash Dash with The Knit Girllls this year again. I am going to try and force myself to abstain from yarn and fibre purchase until I've achieved my 5000m target, unless it is required for a specific project that is obligation related eg birthday presents.  I need to get a handle on this stash!

Done and Dusted

I finished my 8th pair of socks this year. This time they weren't striped! Made from Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock, bought from The Golden Skein. My first of BFL socks and they won't be my last, especially if they have a high twist.

Little Boxes Socks 01

I love the stitch pattern and how it works with this yarn. Thanks to Jo from the Shinybees Podcast for the mention about my socks in her latest episode.

The other knit I finished was the Cattywampus Hat that I talked about making in the last episode, using my handspun BFL yarn made from Gale's Art fibre. Elizabeth Green Musselman of Dark Matter Knits Podcast kindly gifted me the pattern and I just had to cast on straight away. I could NOT be happier with this hat.

Cattywampus Hat 01

I took the option of adding an extra 5 sts to the cast on, as I wanted a slouchier hat than some of the projects I'd seen, as recommended in the pattern. After blocking the hat is drapey and soft and is light enough to wear in slightly warm weather. I won't be able to wear it much longer though.

I spun some Fondant Fibre rolags I bought last year and was scared to spin in case I ruined them. I finally felt confident enough to try them and spun them long draw.  The resulting yarn is a 2-ply fingering/4-ply weight yarn and I have 348 m/380 yds.
Fondant Fibres Rolags 03

I used the Enid Ashcroft Ebony Whorl/Bocote Shaft Tibetan Spindle, which I love. The yarn is fluffy light and soft. As this was spun from my oldest rolags or punis I decided to enter this project into the Oldest Anything Craft Along being run by Emily of the Watcha Swatchin Podcast and Molly of the Deepbluerenegade Podcast.

I started and finished two more spinning projects. The first was Paintbox from Spin City. I spun it worsted with 3 plies and got 144m of worsted weight. I am thinking of knitting some Masonry Mitts by Vera Brosgol.

Paintbox 03

The second project used Fondant Fibre pre-drafted nests of organic merino in the colourway Smoke Screen. I spun it worsted as a true 3 ply.

Fondant Fibres Organic Merino Nests 04

It was sport weight and I got around 166m/181yds from 100g/3.5oz. It is very soft and bouncy and it was a dream to spin. It was the first time I'd spun this particular fibre blend from Deb and it is gorgeous. It feels like it has more crimp than regular merino which makes it loftier.

I cast on and finished was Starshower by Hilary Smith Callis. It is a shawly cowl in an interesting lace stitch. I have wanted one for a while and then when I bought a new skein of yarn from Countess Ablaze, Lord Kitchener 4 ply in the Come Back in The Seventh Year colourway, I knew it would be perfect for the project and cast on. I blogged about it here.

Starshower 05

Nose to the Grindstone

With the Simene Stole, I have decided to extend the number of pattern repeats I do in each side of the stole. I have finished the first half and I'm about to start the main chart on the second half. I decided to do 7 repeats of the main chart, instead of 6 and I think this extra length will be more comfortable for me as I have quite a long arm span for an average height girl.

Simene Stole 02

My Sleeves project has stalled a bit, but that was always going to be a reasonably long term project, along with Simene Stole.

Sleeves 01

I've cast on two pairs of vanilla socks. The first is pair of socks is in a Regia yarn that I got from The Sock Yarn Shop. I haven't knit many socks in machine washable yarn recently and I decided to cast these socks, in Design Line Ombre Stripes in the 377 colourway, on Rosewood Cubics KnitPro Double Pointed Needles.

Socks No 09 01

The second pair is knit in Knitters Nightmare Boogieman Sock in the Seashore colourway. I managed to get my hands on another oops in this base of yarn as my favourite socks are in this yarn.

Socks No 10 01

The project for the Island KAL is a pattern from a new book I bought, Coop Knits Toasty Volume 1 by Rachel Coopey. It's a great book and there are at least 4 projects I want to knit from it. I cast on Ripon, which is a hat knit in Titus 4-Ply, as are all the patterns in this book. It is cabled and slouchy and I knew I wanted to wear it with my new bag. I had a skein of Titus but I wanted something brighter. I bought some Jamieson & Smith 2-Ply Jumper Weight in the 132 Very Bright Turquoise colourway, I've used this yarn before and I knew it would work well as a Titus replacement.

Ripon 01

In the spirit of stash dash I decided to cast on a yarn eater type project. I'm using 4 different strands of yarn to knit a cushion cover for use in the garden.


It's nice and sturdy and I think it will hold up well to garden use. Once this is done, if I have enough yarn left over I will cover another cushion we already use in the garden too.

I'm knitting a shawl from the Fondant Fibre rolags I finished.  It's Demiluna by Lhevinne Amor. This is my entry into the Got sKnit to do KAL, provided I can get it cast off and blocked in time.

I'm plying up some pretty fibre from Countess Ablaze in the Baby It's Cold Outside colourway. I'm spinning at as 3-ply as I enjoy the appearance of this type of yarn.


I'll talk about the spindle in Toolbox!

I'm also spinning some rolags I made myself, which I'll talk about in Quest for Knowledge!


I got a blending board for my birthday. I used birthday money to buy lots of fibre to use.

My very first scruffy rolags! I think this is going to be fun! #igspinners #craft

I think the rolags I made as my first "proper" rolags are too dense. They have the density of punis, whilst being the size of rolags! Any tips are gratefully received.

New spindle from Spanish Peacock. It is made from walnut and wenge. Thanks to Emily from the Fibre Town podcast for getting it for me.

Spanish Peacock Tibetan 03

Quest for Knowledge

I have been trying to find out more about blending boards. I have made a couple of trial sets of rolags and I now have a set that I am working my way through, with the hope of getting usable yarn.

There doesn't seem to be much information about how to use a blending board beyond videos like the one below.

It is hard to gauge how much to put on. Any tips would be gratefully received.

Crafting Library

I got an email on Earth Day from Interweave saying all digital downloads were deeply discounted. I bought The Gentle Art of Plying with Judith MacKenzie McCuin. It's a superb video that taught me lots. I highly recommend it.

Online Community

MaryQEP won the Countess Ablaze Giveaway. Thank you for all the entries, this was our most popular giveaway to date, and I'm not surprised.

Buddleia Butterfly 03

I was delighted to hear that my inspiration photo in The Golden Skein contest came first. This means my photo (show above). This means that the yarn dyed for the first quarter of 2015 will be inspired by my photo. I also get the yarn, which is very exciting for me. I'm really looking forward to seeing what the dyers do with this photo as there are some interesting colours in the photo.