Sunday, 23 February 2014

Fibery Fun

This week I've been mainly spinning so haven't got a great deal of knitting done. The knitting I have done hasn't been so great - I dropped a couple of yo's in my shawl and they were right above SSKs or K2 togethers, making fixing them very difficult. I'm not going to rip back as I'm really not that bothered by the mistakes and would probably make it worse. Perhaps I should have been using lifelines as I went along?!?

As for spinning; I started this beautiful top at the beginning of the month. It is Ixchel Bunny Magic Bunny Top and was the Dec '13 club colour way, Aurora. It's a lovely blend of merino, firestar, cashmere and angora. 
 I've divided the braid in halves and am almost finished spinning the first half. I'm really looking forward to seeing the final yarn. 
You may recall from a previous post that I had some Pygora goat locks in the way to me. Well they arrived and they've sat in my stash for a while as I've got to dehair them. I've only got 4oz but it's going to take quite some time; they look lovely though and I really hope they will be worth all of the time and effort! 
 What I've done so far...not much considering I did this over the course of an evening! 
I'd love to hear any tips for spinning locks as it's not something I've tried before. Ideally I would like to keep a little of the curl in my spinning but not too much, any suggestions are much appreciated. 

Have a great weekend and don't forget to follow me on bloglovin' if you enjoy reading the blog each week!
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Sunday, 16 February 2014

Beads beads beads.....

Since casting on my first beaded project I have searched high and low for another beaded project to sink my teeth into. It came in the shape of some fingerless gloves by, funnily enough, the same designer as the beaded shawl I'm knitting. 

Starlight is a fingerless glove pattern by Anniken Allis and it is perfect! I had many false starts though, when searching for the right yarn/bead combination and was almost at my wits end when I found the perfect match! 
The yarn is Fyberspates Superwash Lace, which I got in a sale about 2 years ago. It's been languishing in my stash ever since, as I've never found the right project for it, held doubled though, it's great for this pattern. I really like the pink and green beads as for me they had just the right amount of colour and interest to this already gorgeous pattern. The fist one was quick and I finished it in a couple of days, however the second one is taking longer due to being back at work.

I'm adding beads using some picture hanging wire, as I can't find a crochet hook small enough here and the Fleegle Beaders I have aren't quite the right size for the yarn. 

While I'm on the subject of it I thought I'd share my thoughts on the Fleegle Beader now that I've used one enough to make a judgement. I bought the 0.8mm, (which I'm using for the Rivoli shawl) and the 1mm size.

The beader took a while to get the hang of and initially I didn't enjoy using it, however after I went back and re-watched the video on youtube and it seemed to click. It's easy to put beads on but I could see how a bead spinner would be convenient for loading it.

The two stoppers are very useful; I find that I use one at the top and one at the bottom, as that seems more secure than the beader tip. 

The packaging isn't something I'd keep it in and in fact, when I received mine one of the tubes was broken at one end. I also think it would be helpful if it came with a little slip of paper illustrating how to use it. It's incredibly inconvenient for me to use youtube where I live and this would have been most appreciated. 

Overall I'm pleased I purchased the beaders and can see me getting a fair amount of use from them over time. The biggest size might be something I consider in the future. 

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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

WIP Wednesday #1

As I've mentioned in the last couple of blog posts I've recently started knitting the Rivoli shawl. I thought that now would be a good time to show you as I've completed the first repeat and managed to take a photo where you can actually see the beads. 

The knitting is very simple but very effective. I am adding beads using the Fleegle Beader which I have found easy to use as well as considerably faster than using wire to add the beads, as I was doing before the beader arrived.  

The yarn is Lotus Yarn's Forest Dew in fingering weight, (it's a light fingering) and is gorgeous to knit with. It's a blend of angora, merino, tencel and cashmere, If you can try it, you should! 

One thought that has occurred to me is that the silver beads are perhaps too subtle but I hope that once it's finished they will stand out more. What do you think? Would you have used coloured beads? If so, what colour? 

What are you working on this week? Feel free to share in the comments section below! 

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Sunday, 2 February 2014

Normal Service Can Now Resume

It's New Year here now so happy year of the horse to you all! I hope that it is a great one. 

Because of the holiday I get a 10 day break, which I'm incredibly grateful for as the last couple of weeks have been manic and I haven't had a great deal of time to do what I want to do. 

Knitting has been quite minimal, as has spinning, but I do have an FO to share with you today.

I finished my handspun Gravitate shawl. I used my Inglenook Fibers Parrot Tulip yarn and I really like how it turned out. The colors aren't necessarily me and I think I prefer it in the skein but it is a fun shawl that brightens up the grey days here.
As I'd knit this previously it was quite quick. It's also (I think) mistake free which is probably a first for me! The colours and textures are highlighted quite well in the shawl and I'm pleased with the combination of pattern and yarn. 
 You can see here that the yarn has lots of neps and different colors. I really like the white against the orange and the odd bits of sparkle. 
As you may be able to tell I didn't use all of my yarn and could probably have worked the pattern so that I did. I'm OK with this as I was ready to be finished with the shawl. 

I am working on the Rivoli Shawl and have nearly finished the first pattern repeat. It's taking quite some time for each row as there are about 360 stitches on the needles plus the beads. It's not a complex pattern although does require my full concentration. Any photos I take don't seem to capture how beautiful it is so I'll leave photos until I have more done, in the hope that I will be able to capture it's elegance better. 

As for spinning, I'm working on some stunning Ixchel Bunny Pure Luxury No 5. It's a blend of yak, cashmere, tencell, bison and angora. It's a tricky fiber to spin as it's so slippery but spinning from the fold really helps keep it under control. It's stunning as it is and I'm positive that the results will be even more beautiful. If you haven't tried Charly's fiber then you absolutely should! 
That's all for this week. I hope that normal blogging will resume from now on as I will have more time to knit and spin! 
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