Tuesday, July 22, 2014


They are done!

Now, I've finished 5 NEWTS and have lots of new yarn :)

L to R: Single ply (slightly fulled), 3 green skeins of 2ply, 2 skeins of Navajo ply, 2 skeins of yellow cabled 4ply, true 3ply and true 4ply. Total yards of finished yarn: 4000. (9500y of singles)

I'm most proud of this lot. 300g of batts (merino/polwarth/silk) into 1962y (about 1800m of 2ply laceweight)

The light green is my best yardage ever: 1392y/1272m per 100g of singles. Not sure I'd ever bother to knit with laceweight, but I might weave a huge green scarf with it, or something. We'll see...

So the NEWT is done, and I also finished Quidditch. When the final round started, I sat down and started spinning; 6 hours later (I watched "Oklahoma" and "The Green Mile" while I spun, and finished at 3:30am) I was the first person to hand mine in. Slytherin is doing so well in this Quidditch game that hardly any of us needed to actually compete in the Final, we were that far ahead. But I had to do All the Things...

Then the Tour de Fleece started. I started off my spinning with this colorful orangey one, which is one of Kathy's Fibres, a new mix of BFL, mohair and silk. Really nice to spin. Spun into 2 skeins of 2ply (for socks :) with a fractal pattern.

 Then I spun up this one, which was the 3ply for my NEWT. It was fiddley to ply (I like n-ply better) but I do like the way it mixes the colors up.

And then I did green laceweight for daaaaays... :)

 This is the newest club fibre from Kathy. It's the Winter edition; not very Wintery colors, but she said she was thinking of Minestrone. lol.

 I also got some more BFL/mohair. Hehe.

Jasmine had her birthday! She's 6, now, and I gave her the 'sweater dress', plus the top and leggings to go with it. She couldn't have a party with her prep friends (middle of the holidays) but she spent the day with 6 of her cousins, so she had a ball!

P.S. I measured her. She's 127cm tall. (!!)

The hood is weird, and mucks up the nice cowl neck. She doesn't care; she wanted a hood. I unpicked the top of the cowl neck, did a Fleegle heel, and some rounds of ribbing. It looks so bizarro... LOL.

Made a few more hats :)


And a "mock cable" hat.

Most fun are these little cute things. The green one was from last month, and the blue one with extra buttons is this month's work. Next month: a new nephew to put into them! Hopefully, I'll get to see at least a picture before he grows out of them (if he's not already too big... LOL)

Next time, what I got up to at the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Festival last Friday!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

End of June

I spun up one of the lots of Wensleydale. Don't like the feel of it much; it's a bit coarse. It spins up pretty easily, though.

Had fun making this one. I started this one in church, as I sat there with just Zachary, and I told him I was making him a green hat. He flung his arms around me and said, "Oh, thank you, Mummy!" with lots of enthusiasm... So funny. I added some Shrek ears, too, which he loved. Really. This is his "I'm an OGRE!" face :)

 The second lot of laceweight is done. I have 150g each of the dark and light green, so I decided to spin 3 skeins, one of each, and one with a strand of each. So the one on the left here is the new one, with a strand of each, and the one on the right is the previously spun laceweight in the dark green, for comparison.

 This one turned out to be the thinnest yet: the single was 100g and measured 1240m.

I also pulled out this green "Dream in Color" yarn, leftover from Jasmine's 3rd birthday top, and made up a teeny Puerperium. Only took a few days to knit, but I washed it, and it took several days to dry! :) It's for my nephew (due soon)... and I think I'll make another in blue Rios. I've washed and de-pilled Jasmine's old top, too, which Zac has now grown out of. Might give it to Lyla (the new nephew's big 2yo sister) so they can match. Hehe.

Also spun a bit of merino. Was trying to spin this thickly (for Quidditch, where the minimum was 300 yards) but accidentally got twice that length (in singles). hehe. 

I finished spinning this one, today, again, trying to spin thickly. 648y. I just can't spin the fat stuff very well. It ended up being only a quarter of that, because this is the 4ply yarn for my NEWT. It was fiddley to keep tension on 4 plies at once, but I like how it worked out. 

The Tour de Fleece is coming up shortly. The Hogwarts Headmistress asked me to be the captain of the team this year, which is fun, and exactly 100 people are signed up so far. Think I might start with some green :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Stash Wars

In the first battle of the Stash Wars, I got up at 6:45am (on a day that was my turn to sleep in) and put my little computer onto the ironing board (so as not to wake any children). 7am was battle time, and I was ready with my trigger finger. It was the battle of the Southern Cross.

It all started with a challenge between three dyers. Southern Cross Fibres, Hello Yarn and Spunky Eclectic decided to each do some special edition dyeing, based on a picture. We put a bunch of pictures into the mix, and then voted. They took the top three and chose one to base their colors on. Here's the winner:

David of Southern Cross Fibres was first. He dyed 40 lots each of Bond (a merino/lincoln mix) and Spelsau. Each fibre also had 40 lots of a coordinating color, so there were 160 lots (about 100g each). They sold out in 15 minutes :)

And I got two of these Spelsau lots

And four each of these Bond :)

I'm going to work them all into a jumper and accessories of some sort, maybe an Idlewood and some gloves and a hat... not sure yet.

The next battle was the battle of Boogie, in her shop Spunky Eclectic. This was a battle of only two fibres, and although I missed it by five hours there was still some Wensleydale left. So I nabbed two :)

The final battle was the Corriedale Rambouillet Battle of Hello Yarn. It was the first night after I did three night shifts, so I stayed up until 6am for the update. I clicked "refresh" on the shop page every 5 seconds, so was right there when the battle began. It was sold out in seconds! I missed All. The Rambo was particularly pretty, look... but never mind. I've kind of spent all my Bendigo money, now... lol. Well, I have some from Mum and from Nathan, and some Flybuys money, and 5 or 6 weeks still to save up. Hehe.

So the Tour de Fleece is coming up, and I'm trying to finish off the green laceweight at least. I've almost done another bobbin full, with one more to go after this. It's slow going, especially with silly work getting in the way :) and I've been knitting Jasmine a top, and myself a hat. But it's getting there.

The silk in this one makes the singles a bit stronger, I think, so a bit easier to keep thin. The single, folded back on itself like in the second pic, is what the finished 2ply should be like, so if I can keep it under 1mm, it should be more than 25WPI.

And now, back to spinning. I have 2 hours before picking up Zachary from kinder...

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


I've been finishing them.

Chocolate Socks, as I've been calling them, or Cardio Socks. I listen to a podcast made by fellow House Cuppers (and Slytherins) called "The Weasley Sisters", and they decided to run a Cardio Sock Swap. You had to make at least 25% of your socks while exercising, and then send them to your secret swapee. (I'm not sending mine to X yet, since the deadline is the end of June)

This next pair are Jaywalkers. I thought I'd make them for Kelly's birthday at the end of the month. I used some hand-dyed yarn that was supposed to be stripes of red and white and blue with sections of navy and stars... but it didn't quite work (cover your eyes):

So I did some overdyeing experiments

and decided on a darkish purple, which came out kinda reddish. Much better. These are Kelly's photos (and feet):

And as soon as I was finished those ones, I cast on these ones, using up some handspun that I've been meaning to sockify for ages. The handspun is quite thick, comparatively, probably the same as 8ply/DK. I did the foot with 2.75mm needles (very dense) and the leg with 3.5mm needles. They're waaaarm :)

And mine!

Yep, I've started some new socks. But they're cabled ones that may take me a year... so next time: New Stash. :)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Lots of spinning

I've got yarn and fibre under the bed, up on shelves, in the store room, in my daughter's cupboard, and in several little bags that don't fit conveniently anywhere. So I know that spinning (AKA "using stash to make stash") is not resolving my space issues, but I love it all the same.

This "term" of the House Cup game is mainly dedicated to spinning. It includes the Tour de Fleece (where we spin our wheels along with the Tour de France blokes) and I've found, in past years, that the Tour distracts me from my big projects (OWLs, NEWTs and Order Missions).

This year I feel very organized, because I'm doing spinning for both my NEWT and my Order Mission. I haven't started the latter, yet, but the NEWT is now at 50%.

The project was to take 1100g (or so) of fibre and turn it into some single-ply yarn, some 2ply, some 3ply, some 4ply, some cabled 4ply and some navajo-ply. Here are

a skein of singles yarn (felted), a skein of 2ply (the green laceweight), two skeins of navajo-ply and two skeins of cabled 4ply. I wanted to finish the cabled yarn before I handed it in; funny thing is, it's put me pretty close to 75%. All I have to do, probably, is one more skein of 2ply laceweight to get there. Hehe.

This cabled yarn. Sigh. I liked the second skein better. It was a bit fatter, and I knew to overply the first 2ply a bit more before I re-plied it into a 4ply.

Here's the yarn, 2plied, with a bit of it folded back on itself into the cabled 4ply. Not sure what I'm going to do with it, but I really do love spinning Bond. Nice wool! Very smooth or something :)

 Also finished a few more hats :)

This one is my first try of Madelinetosh Pashmina Worsted. It's merino, silk and cashmere! I made the cabled rib bit a bit longer this time, because it's supposed to represent a jellyfish. (We were studying bioluminescence in Care of Magical Creatures). The colorway is Paper, and it's a very, very soft variegated grey. Love everything about this yarn.

These two were for Quidditch, and are chunky Malabrigo hats (Emerald and PearlTen). They do fit me, but they fit the kids a little better :)

And this one was a Jasmine-request. If you couldn't guess.


I have one more week in which to finish two pairs of socks. Should be enough time, hopefully. And then it will be June, and time to go back to work.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Spinning, Dyeing & Hats

I'm such a lazy blogger sometimes! I have an hour or two, and I think, "I could write a little blog post", followed by, "hmm... maybe I'll wait until I have a few more finished things". Then I get caught up in work and life and other stuff, and suddenly it's been a month.


So. I made up a partner for Salt Collecting. Polwarth is nice stuff to spin!

The new one (on the right) was split lengthways before spinning, so the stripes will be half the width. Both skeins ended up being 300m or so each. Heaps for a hat and gloves. When I get around to them. :)

The next spin for my NEWT was the single. I spun up some alpaca, which I admit, I don't like spinning much at all. The fibres are short and slippery, and I always feel a bit like I'm trying to spin cat hair. But I liked the braid so much, that I had to buy it.

Good old Shadawyn! I've spent a few dollars in her shop. This single ended up being about 500m. I tried no to make it too thin, or to put too much twist in it. Turned out thinner than I meant! I said, in the NEWT proposal, that I would aim for 600y per 100g, to make sure I wasn't too lazy, but I was going to do less here, since the n-ply more than made up the yards. Anyway.

I decided to do some cabled 4ply next. I have two skeins of this to do, and the first is done. I don't much like the look of cabled yarn, so I decided to use a fairly solid color. This one is a wool called Bond, which I acquired from Southern Cross Fibres. (Anyone can get the fibres dyed to coordinate with that month's club, but you have to be quick.) I got two of Burnished Gold, and I love it. Bond is beautiful to spin; I wished I'd known earlier, because I would have made it the Laceweight. (David from SCF is turning a heap of this Burnished Gold into laceweight for a jumper; he's a new and ambitious Ravenclaw this term.)

This is the two-ply. You make a two-ply that is over-plied, and then twist two strands of 2ply together in the opposite direction. For me, I spin clockwise, ply anticlockwise, and then, for this, ply again clockwise. I like the two-ply.

Not fond of the bumpy look of cabled 4ply, though. Hmm.

Is that enough spinning for now? I've kind of had enough of it, for now. I think it was just the 1000y of nice singles ending up as a yarn I didn't really care for, and knowing I have to do it again.


I'm up to this old trick again, thankyou Shaylamyst. It was her idea originally, but I've done it three times now. I love my black "Glow sticks" socks, and the green version got sent to Ireland. This time I went with a chocolate brown!

I was thinking about how Smarties or M&M's would look, all crushed up, mostly chocolate with bits of colored shell. So it's called "Smarties Soup". I've already started the socks for a "Cardio Sock Swap" run by the Weasley Sisters. (Ie. I knit socks while exercising, mostly, and then send them to someone.)


I'm doing Magic Loop for once, using one of the 1m circulars that I used for the last NEWT. I still prefer using two, I think, but it's good to try new stuff. The other 1m circular is also being socked on :)

I'm making Jaywalkers in the Australian flag color, but it's not working out how I planned. My stripes are too short, and there's not enough blue. Bleurgh. I think, when they are finished, I'll overdye them with blue or purple and see what happens. (What do you think, Kelly? They're your birthday present, if finished on time...)

And these are the sock yarns I dyed for Quidditch recently. For Round 1, you had to make a project related to one of the countries on the list. You could make three, with no yardage requirement, and at the end a bunch of countries got eliminated, and everyone who submitted a project could go on to Round 2. I based the first on Australia (Penicillin colors for Florey), the second was a dye powder sprinkle job, based on India's Holi festival. (Click that link and tell me it doesn't look fun!) The third was for New Zealand, based on a jade pendant I got there once.


I've finished two more hats for the Hat Box, and started another today.

Made this one up as I went, out of leftovers. Bit small, though. Fit's Zac perfectly.

Cool Logic

Finished this one today. How do you like my model? lol. I found him in the Prime Minister's lane at the local Gardens. (Really nice Autumn day today! Blue sky, colored leaves... Sigh) I loved the colors of this yarn (It's Malabrigo Rios in Piedras). It's a fairly autumny brown from a distance, but up close...

So nice to knit!

And now, to TV and another Cool Logic hat, this time in white.

P.S. Two more shifts, and then two weeks off again! Things will be finished! Watch this space.

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