Sunday, 28 July 2013

Third Year of Projects Week 4

So I've had a busy week of playing with yarn. I mentioned last week that I was designing a chart for a Celtic Knot Hexipuff, which I have now done:

 photo DSCF3942_zps190f0ddb.jpg

I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, and if you're interested, you can access the chart for free here. It doesn't tell you how to make a hexipuff though, for that you will need the pattern for the Beekeeper's Quilt from Tiny Owl Knits, which I can highly recommend!

 photo DSCF3964_zpsab33a87e.jpg

I've also swatched for Arielle. No idea of my gauge yet though, because I followed some advice on Rav and let the swatch hang under it's own weight for a few days to see how the cotton would stretch, so that will be my project for next week.

 photo DSCF3971_zpsadb6cce6.jpg

The main knitting I've been doing is Tubby here. I've finished the tub itself, but if you look to the right, you can see two small bubbles. The pattern calls for 25 of these, and they all need eyes! I hope I can bring myself to knit them all, they're incredibly fiddly and not very fun to make. I think I've decided that I don't like knitting toys with lots of small parts.

 photo DSCF3972_zpscde6596c.jpg

And this is why I said I've been playing with yarn. I've been winding balls of yarn that I got from ebay into skeins for washing, and in some cases dying. This is 25 skeins, including 10 which were originally 5 balls of yarn, so I had to split the two strands apart before skeining. Not pictured are the 18 other balls that I wound into skeins, which are all either drying or dying.

 photo DSCF3956_zps2d674d08.jpg

And then this is what I've been doing today. As you can see, there is some very greeny blue yarn and one skein of yellow. I've been playing with different dyes and concentrations to see what effect I can get, and I'm sure that next week will be full of pictures. I've used 2 colours of icing dye (though one doesn't seem to have worked and overdying will be needed), as well as some acid dyes I got from Woolfest last year.

So that's my busy yarny week. I think I need to relax now!

 photo 5825787323_4738d46a99_z-001_zps2ca68ebf.jpg

Monday, 22 July 2013

Free Pattern: Celtic Knot Hexipuff

 photo DSCF3940_zps0b3c3734.jpg

This is a chart for a celtic knot cable which can be used with hexipuffs from the Beekeeper's Quilt pattern by Tiny Owl Knits. This pattern does not give instructions on how to make a hexipuff, it just has the chart for the cable. The equivalent purl increases and decreases should be used, instead of the ones given in the pattern. 

 photo Celticknot_zps775bd690.jpg

Please click on the above chart to enlarge it, and then right click on it and choose save image to save it to your computer. Alternatively, a PDF copy of this chart can be found here

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Third Year of Projects Week 3

This week I've been knitting madly on my handspun Lindisfarne Shawl and I've got it finished.

 photo DSCF3928_zps49dfc359.jpg

 photo DSCF3924_zps1e69876f.jpg

 photo DSCF3929_zps7d4e7f79.jpg

 photo DSCF3930_zpsb94634a8.jpg

I'm so incredibly pleased with it. The gradient dyed yarn worked perfectly with the pattern, as it changed from orange to yellow at exactly the point that I needed it to. If there had been any more orange, the fill in sections at the top of the chevrons would have been orange at one side of the shawl, and the gradient wouldn't have moved up the shawl properly. I did a lot of complicated maths to make best use of all my yarn, as I had less than the pattern suggested, and it worked really well, though I did have to do a larger garter border at the top than as written. It's come out the perfect size, and it's perfect for summer evenings, because it's very light but still warm.

I realised that I have spun 1/2 of one of the singles in the shawl, the entire of the other, plied them, dyed them, and knitted them up this month! I think I'm mad, and I think I need to go do some housework now!

I've also been knitting a few hexipuffs for my beekeeper's quilt when at the hospital, as it's a really portable project, but it's still going to take ages! I've just tried to knit one with a celtic knot cable pattern on it, and it seems to have worked, so I might release the chart as a freebie next week.

My plan for this evening is to swatch for Arielle, since I'm making it out of cotton, and I think it'll need soaking because it'll stretch and I want to see how much.

So that's my knitting for the week. I've done rather a lot of shifts this week, as I've been on the emergency surgery ward, including an evening shift which is never fun to do as a student!

 photo 5825787323_4738d46a99_z-001_zps2ca68ebf.jpg

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Third Year of Projects Week 2

So this is my first update of the new year of projects. I have finished one knitting project (a pair of socks I've literally just bound off), but it's Sooper Secrit for now, so I won't be showing pictures of it today.

I've been doing a lot of non-knitting things though (warning, VERY picture heavy post ahead).

Last Sunday, when it was gloriously sunny, I sat in the back garden with a bottle of cider and a barbeque, watching Andy Murray win the tennis, and spun on my spinning wheel.

This is "Wool" which I got from UK Karma swaps quite a while ago, and which I started spinning into a single in 2012! The second is "Wool and Linen," from the same swap

 photo DSCF1791.jpg

 photo DSCF1794.jpg

I finished the Wool single, and spun up the Wool and Linen into a single as well.

 photo DSCF3815_zps661d30bc.jpg

And plied them. The larger skein is fingering weight 2ply Wool/Wool and Linen (330 yards), whilst the smaller was the rest of the Wool single, Andean bracelet plied, and is again fingering weight (70 yards). This method of plying is something I haven't done before, and I massively overplied the yarn, and had to run it through the spinning wheel again to take out the twist (although I accidentally added more twist to start with, and now understand more about twist directions and how to tell which way to turn the wheel.)

 photo DSCF3831_zpse48b4110.jpg

Then yesterday, I decided it needed dying, using Wilton's Icing Dyes. I was finding it too hot to knit, so clearly it was entirely sensible to stand over a hot stove all day.

 photo DSCF3850_zpsaae9c646.jpg

I felt like a mad scientist playing with my dyes!

 photo DSCF3862_zps136b3027.jpg

I dyed the small skein red, and the larger one yellow, then dried the yellow and wound it into a tight ball.

 photo DSCF3868_zps5cd65bdd.jpg

I put the balls of yellow into an orange dye bath, and made sure it was all cover in the orange dye.

 photo DSCF3872_zps79dde3a5.jpg

This led to a gradient effect with the yellow slowly turning to orange

 photo DSCF3876_zpsa1057614.jpg

And the finished yarn! The white flex in the yellow/orange are the bits of linen in the yarn, which obviously didn't take up the dye, as it's not an animal fibre.

 photo 1324925637098-1.jpg

I also decided (as I had the dying bug), to try a different way of gradient dying yarn. This is some sock yarn that was a gift for Renee at Confessions of a Yarn Addict.

 photo DSCF3820_zps83bda979.jpg

I split each 50g skein into 5 equal 10g mini skeins, which were still joined together.

 photo DSCF3828_zps787e542b.jpg

I then mixed 5 different shade of dye bath (yellow, 50:50 yellow:orange, orange, 50:50 orange:red and red), and microwaved the yarn

 photo DSCF3845_zps8cc33878.jpg

Here you can see the gradients really well

 photo DSCF3853_zps6a117762.jpg

And the finished skeins. As you can see, the front skein is lighter than the back, as I don't think I stirred the yarn enough to equally distribute the dye, and it is also more golden rather than yellow, as I accidentally dipped the yellow mini-skein into the orange, and it took up some of the dye, even though I took it out immediately.

 photo DSCF1766.jpg

Finally, I'd been meaning to dye this yarn blue for ages.

 photo DSCF3860_zps18da9d79.jpg

In the dye bath

 photo DSCF3884_zpsaafc09dc.jpg

And the finished yarn. It's hard to see in the picture, but it has subtle variations in colour when you lok closely, as I tried not to stir it much.

So that was my week of fibre arts! I'm now planning to knit the Lindisfarne shawl in my handspun. I forgot to include in my list that I would actually like to knit up the things I spin, as well as spin them! I've entered the dying into the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup on Ravelry as a Not Quite First Year, as I've seen a lot of people being involved in it, and it looked really fun.

Since this post is already super long, I might as well make it longer, and tell you about my life. I'm currently on a placement in Vascular Surgery, which I am really enjoying, although it's very long hours. I've also got involved in a audit, which my consultant is running, and which should be published with my name as one of the authors, which will be amazing, and very helpful for jobs.

I feel like I'm actually helping, rather than getting in the way. On Friday, I scrubbed into surgery and was actually needed to help, rather than just standing there. Only problem was, it was 8 hours of standing with no food, no water and no way to go to the toilet. That wouldn't have been a problem if the air conditioning hadn't gone funny, making it 23 degrees in the operating theatre, and at least 33 under the surgical lights. The nurses were having to mop the surgeon's brow, which they apparently haven't had to do for 20 years.

I've seen loads of interesting stuff, including emergency ruptured aneurysm repair, and the operation I was talking about above, which they apparently only have to do about twice a year, and I got a really good mid course appraisal from my consultant, who has also told one of my friends that I am "very enthusiastic."

So that's my post, well done if you made it this far!

 photo 5825787323_4738d46a99_z-001_zps2ca68ebf.jpg

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Third Year of Projects Week 1

 photo 5826314814_766b1c62ed_z-001_zps18ac7cd8.jpg

So it's time for my new list!

I'm doing what a lot of people are doing this year, and being much more general with my list. It will still have specific patterns on it, but also just some categories. I've linked yarn to most of my projects, as one of my aims is to work mainly from stash, and at the very least have more yarns out than in this year


Socks - 8 pairs

Hopsox  - in DT Craft & Design Undyed High Twist 75/25 merino/nylon superwash 
 photo DSCF1766.jpg

Speleology Socks - in Woolhunter Working Sock

 photo DSCF2644_zps4d90ecf3.jpg

At least 6 more pairs - either from my library or my own design, using these yarns:

 photo DSCF1789.jpg
I Knit and Dye Horses
 photo DSCF1764.jpg
Lal Bear Bounce Extra
 photo 1324925945129.jpg
Berrocco Sox
 photo 1324925637098-1.jpg
Knit One, Crochet Too Soxx Appeal
 photo DSCF2819_zpsbb874b98.jpg
The Uncommon Thread Tough Sock
 photo DSCF2493_zps6a4b37bd.jpg
Jelliebean Stardust Yarn

Other 8 items

Beekeeper's Quilt - 25/384 hexipuffs - in various blue sock yarn scraps

Tubby by Anna Hrachovec

Arielle by Kim Hargreaves - in Rowan Fine Milk Cotton

 photo DSCF1045.jpg

(Get off my) Cloud - Kate Davis - in some blue acryllic from a job lot on ebay

 photo DSCF3308_zpsc63e4741.jpg

A fairisle pattern - possibly gloves or a hat - in various colours of Shetland 4ply

Use at least 3 of these yarns (pattern to be decided):

 photo DSCF3312_zps08797a58.jpg
Acryllic sport weight from a job lot on ebay
 photo DSCF2146.jpg
Knit Picks Shadow Tonal Lace
 photo DSCF0451.jpg
Crookabeck Angoras Baby Goat Mohair DK
 photo DSCF3321_zps95b1f1f0.jpg
DK pure wool from a job lot on ebay
 photo DSCF2528_zps43521007.jpg
SMC Select Extra Soft Merino DK
 photo DSCF1067.jpg
Hayfield Bonus Aran

 photo 1324925672434.jpg
Malabrigo Yarn Sock
 photo DSCF1762.jpg

Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball


Preemie items, and other charity knits using stash yarn

Designs - 4 published
I have ideas for about 7 or 8 designs, mainly socks, and I would like to get at least 4 of them knitted up and published as a pattern

Crochet - 2 projects
A couple of projects to practise - probably from Creepy Cute Crochet as gifts for friends

Spinning and Dying - 2 projects

I have some yarn that is partially spun which I want to spin up, and I would also like to tackle the fleece I have, get it washed and carded, and spin some of it. Plus, I want to try out the new spinning features on Ravelry!

I would also like to have a go at dying the yarn I spin, as well as some other undyed yarn that I have hanging around.

This section is very up for change, as long as I do some spinning, but I'm starting with the stuff I'm not too fussed about if it all goes wrong.

 photo DSCF2025.jpg
 photo DSCF1794.jpg
 photo DSCF1791.jpg

Sewing - 2 items

I'm not ending to complete either of these, but I would like to do some work on at least one of my sewing projects Map of Yorkshire and Gran's embroidery

So that's my list. It's deliberately long, as it's everything I would like to do in the year, so I'm a bit more open with what I feel like doing. I have to say, unless a miracle happens, I don't see it getting finished, but I would like to make some progress on it.

I've already started on a sock design, using the I Knit and Dye Horses blue yarn pictured earlier, and have the design written up, with one sock knit. However, I've submitted it to a magazine for consideration (eeep!), so no pictures I'm afraid. 

I did get a very cute certificate this week though

 photo Image12_zps404f573b.jpg

It;s for volunteering to teach some beginner classes at my University last year. Don't you love our society name?

I was going to update on my life, but I'll probably do that later this week, as this post is long enough already!

 photo 5825787323_4738d46a99_z-001_zps2ca68ebf.jpg