Friday, 25 July 2014

FO Friday #5

For the Tour de Fleece one of my goals was to finish spinning and plying my Fondant Fibre punis. On Monday I finished plying the last of them so that's this week's FO! 

I love the colour of the yarn and have been hankering after some green for a while. The punis were quite easy to spin although I found the tighter ones quite difficult to draft smoothly. However, while I love the finished yarn I am disappointed with the yardage as there's only about 295y for the 100g of light fingering weight yarn. Before I counted the yardage I was hoping to knit a shawl with it but I don't think that's realistic anymore unless I were to pair it with another colour, which means buying more yarn. If you have any suggestions for what I could knit please leave a comment below!

In other news we are in Singapore now! Our plans are quite loose at the moment although we will definitely be going to the zoo at some point which I'm really looking forward to. I'm also hoping to get to the botanical gardens too! Hopefully I'll be back here with some lovely photos however spinning and knitting might be a bit thin on the ground!

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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

WIP Wednesday #2

Currently we're on our way back to Bangkok. We're taking the train, first class again, although it leaves at 21.04 so we won't get to see much scenery. Koh Samui has been wonderful and if we didn't need to get back to Bangkok then we'd definitely stay another week! We'll be applying for our Indonesian visas when we're there but have no idea at the moment how long that process takes. After that we're going to head to Singapore for a week or so! Needless to say I can't wait!

My biggest WIP at the moment is definitely my Custom Fit Cardigan. I swatched a while ago using some beautiful yarn from Inked Yarn that was custom dyed for me. It's a gorgeous blend of 55% BFL and 45% silk. My hope is that it is cool enough, due to the silk, to be worn in air conditioning. If not...well I'll most likely tolerate it anyway!! This is the third attempt at a cardigan for me, the first two were failures and frogged fairly early on in their short lives. Fingers crossed for this one please everyone!

So far I've done the back and one sleeve...not much considering I started it in May, but I'm cautiously knitting on my projects as I won't get my stash until about October. I have cast on the second sleeve but as I'm not in a hurry to finish it
I've only done one row! Obviously the pieces haven't been blocked yet and won't be until I've finished all of them and am ready to seam. Although I've found some of the pattern a little challenging to get my head around I have enjoyed this so far. The pattern is very detailed and provides you with row counts for each section. I'm feeling hopeful that this will turn out well!

The other WIP that I have with me is my beaded shawl, Rivoli. It's a stunning beaded, lace shawl by Anniken Allis. I'm knitting it using Lotus Yarns Forest Dew in a light grey. To compliment the yarn I am using silver beads; subtle but absolutely gorgeous. 

While I was busy/tired/stressed during the last term of work the shawl was barely looked at, never mind knit on. However now that I have free time/have the mental energy/am relaxed I'm getting a few rows done a day. I've now completed 2 of the 4 repeats and am nearly finished with my 3rd. One more full repeat to go and then I get to the easy part! I've no idea where I think I'm going to be wearing a shawl made from a blend of angora, merino, tencel and cashmere in Indonesia but look at could I resist?!

What have you been working on?

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Monday, 14 July 2014

Tour de Fleece

As many of you may know its Tour de France right now, which means it's also Tour de Fleece over on Ravelry. I'm participating in some unofficial teams this year and wanted to share what I'm spinning.

My first goal is to spin my yellow stonecrop batt by Nunoco. I'm currently half way through that and have wound off the singles I've done so far, so I can start the next half. It's a blend of merino, soya and silk noil and it's lovely to spin. It drafts easily and the noils and soya add some textural interest to the grey merino. The yellow and turquoise (it's showing as more blue than it really is here) will eventually be plied together. 

Next up is a WIP I've been spinning for a couple of months, my Fondant Fibre punis. I've finished spinning and plying about 2/3 of the fibre and am on my last 5 punis. I brought this with me as the yarn will be finished, and perhaps knitted with, before my stash arrives in Jakarta.

I've also been spinning on my Ixchel Bunny No. 5 although as it's so slippery and quite a challenge I find I don't go to it very often. It's gorgeous though and I'm sure it'll be a pleasure to knit when it's done. 

That's my TdF - what have you been spinning?

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Saturday, 12 July 2014

On Our Way

So we've left China. The last week involved the shipping company packing all our belongings up...including the vast majority of my stash, packing our suitcases for 6 weeks away - not an easy feat I can assure you, and saying goodbye to the great friends we made. It was strange leaving our home of 3 years but exciting all the same. 

Now though, we're in Thailand. Having spent about 10 days in Bangkok we decided it was time to head somewhere a little quieter and preferably near a beach. We got a train from Bangkok to Surat Thani and then a boat to Koh Samui. The train journey itself was fine as we went first class so had our own little cabin, that was followed by lots of waiting around for a mini bus to take us to the ferry port and then a little more waiting before we could board the ferry. 

On arrival at our bungalow, aptly named Blissful Tropical Beach House, after many hours of travel we were delighted by the view and the house itself. Lying in bed we have a sea and mountain view which is wonderful after being in the city! We're staying at Bang Po, which is a quiet area of Koh Samui and perhaps not to everyone's liking. For us though it's perfect. This is the view from our bungalow:

We've rented a motorbike for the week to give us the opportunity to do some exploring of the island. It's wonderfully green and, of course, the sea is a brilliant blue, lined with golden, powder soft sand in most places. 

My days have been quite blissful and I feel very lucky right now. I sit on the porch to eat breakfast and read my book (The Night Circus, which I highly recommend), then we go for a ride and explore and perhaps eat out. One particular restaurant made me rather happy simply because of its name: Octopus Willys. The food there was delicious though. Look at these mussels with garlic butter and breadcrumbs:

Of course there is knitting and spinning but I think I've rambled on enough for now and will save that for another day! What are you doing for your holiday? I'd love for you to share!