Sunday, 6 February 2011

Spinning into Spring 2011

So here we are at long long last, blogging again in 2011! I have been extremely neglectful of my poor blog, but I'm making it a sort of New Year sort of resolution to make it regular again!
Here's a quick reminder of what this blog is about, i.e our delightful cats, and of course knitting and spinning! First off, Spangle, our gorgeous fluffy 8 year-old female (also above):

Then of course let's not foget Thom-Cat, the devious, manipulative and extremely spoilt tabby, he's almost 3 years old and it's a miracle he hasn't come to a very sticky end! (Please please don't send in emails of complaint about cruelty to animals; it's a joke! He is also a very cute, affectionate and loving creature - when he wants something that is! But we love him very much and even though he is the most evil animal on the entire planet and the naughtiest cat I have ever had in my life, I wouldn't part with him for the world!)

We have a third cat, Pete, but rarely manage to take photos of him as he runs away! So next is a photo of my latest knitting project, some ribbed handspun wristwarmers/fingerless gloves. They are knitted using merino/tencel from limegreenjelly over on the fabulous Etsy. The colour is "One Life Stand". Those of you who knit fingerless gloves will know there are several ways of knitting the thunb, and for these I've chosen to knit a gusset (in stockinette rather than the 2x2 rib of the rest of the glove) I cast on 64 stitches onto dpns using a ball of yarn which was different shades of purple, then alternated between other balls in three slightly different shades. I haven't really followed any pattern, I was going to make "Toasty" but then decided to make them ribbed, because they would be much more forgiving!
The photo below shows where I'm up to with the second glove. I've just begun the thumb gusset.

At Christmas I took part in a fibre swap on the limegreenjelly forum/group (what is the difference?!) and recently received a fabulous package of goodies! I received 100g each of black merino from Forest Fibres (more on them in a moment) and gorgeously soft BFL/Sea Cell from limegreenjelly. I've seen this fibre in the shop before and I wanted to try it but then didn't in case I didn't like it. My mistake; my loss!! I shall be buying more of this fabulous stuff as soon as I can! It is quite simply wondferful. Anyway, my Swappee has spun about half of each then plied them together to make the lovely yarn you can see in the bottom left hand corner of the bottom pic. Also included were a set of hand made buttons from Shunklies (another of my favourite Etsy shops!), a beautiful handmade-looking knitting project bag (big enough for several smaller projects or a larger one; and with small pockets all the way round the inside) and a wooden/rubber ink stamp which will look brilliant using the gold ink I just happen to have a pad of; I intend to use this to make little hand-made labels for my handspun/knitted gifts!
Sadly you can't see the box of Belgian chocolte truffles which were also in the package because they were eaten immediately! I've lost so much weight over the past six months that I can now afford to stuff my face with goodies every once in a while. But I can assure you they were lovely!
Anyway, I mentioned Forest fibres: this amazing little online shop sells everything a passionately loony hand spinner might need. They sell different types of fibre, everything from hand dyed to natural rare breeds fibres. And they also sell Ashford spinning wheels, looms and so on.
I've been looking at wheels for several months now, trying to find a good quality used one and also looking at new ones too. Forest Fibres is where I've decided to buy from, and at last I've got it down to a short list of two: the Traveller, for the fact it is very portable, and the Kiwi because it is so reasonably priced. I'll probably end up going for the Traveller because it's suitable for beginners and also for different types of yarn.
That's all for now, but as I have a whole week off at work (unless I am asked to cover at very short notice) I intend to catch up properly and let you know about all the desirable stuff, new patterns and other coveted items I've found recently online!

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