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And relax…

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Sadly I had to give up the Tour de Fleece towards the end due to a very, very painful shoulder. I most probably over did it a bit on the spinning, but that’s me, go at it ‘hell for leather’ and suffer the consequences after!

I did manage to produce some yarns I am very proud of and once this shoulder heals or I find a way to work with it, I will go back and finish the yarns I started.

The one above is a merino and embroidery thread art yarn, only about 20g as it took some time. Inspired by the final day of The Tour, coming down the Champs Elysees at night and the wonderful display on the Arc de Triomphe.

Th yarn below is another Limegreenjelly hand dyed merino. This is the finest I have ever spun, so producing a 2 ply DK yarn, which belonged to me for all of 20 mins. A friend saw it hanging on the line drying and bought it!

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There is another I am half way through spinning, a grey Gotland fleece, I haven’t got photos of it yet, but it has the most wonderful curls that I didn’t want to loose, so I haven’t carded the fleece, but spun it as it is, it’s producing a slubby art yarn, silver grey and black. I can’t wait to show it off.

One thing I did learn during The Tour, is the existence of Spindolyns. It’s a drop spindle that spins in a base, so you can prep the fleece with two hands.

I’ve ordered one for my birthday!! Woohoo!!

So until then, I have a little relaxing time now, making clocks, and hats for various people….

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Tour de Fleece.

And so it begins…

I have joined as usual Team Jellylegs for those fans of Limegreenjelly rovings, Team Spindlers for those spinning on Drop Spindles, Team Climbers for those who have set thmselves a challenge and Team Breakaway for those spinning Art Yarns.

The challenge originally was to spin 600g I have 2 Limegreenjelly plaits, 100g each, a Yummy Yarns UK art batt 100g, Some undyed Blue-Faced Leicester 100g and some undyed Merino 100g, but I have also got quite a lot of sheep fleeces that have been given to me so I thought I’d do a bit of that too, and then there’s the Russian Merino tops….

Think I should have joined Team Hopelessly Committed too!

Well so far so good,

Day 1 was spent sorting out which fibre would be spun on which spindles.

Day 2,

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50g of the Limegreenjelly Merino. 

As soon as I saw this yarn I knew what I was going to do with it. The Yellow, Green and Red are colours of the Tour’s shirts so I went on a search for little bike charms.

Day 3, whilst waiting for the charms to arrive,

 

50g ImageI began spinning the Toffee Twist Russian Merino Tops.

Day 4 the charms arrived.

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My first skein of TdF 2013. “Tete de la Course” Merino and silver plated bicycle charms.

Day 5,

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My 2nd skein  100g “Marsaille” the Yummy Yarns UK Art Batt. So called because Cavendish won this stage. And 3rd skein 50g “Erik” the Russian Merino Tops. 

 

Day 6,

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This day was spent washing, carding and spinning some sheep fleece. 50g done.

Day 7 was spent at the local craft market. I did get some spinning done, but not a great deal. Day’s 8/9 were written off. I was aching like mad so had a rest.

Day 10 should have been a rest day but as I’d already had 2 days off, I thought I’d catch up.

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I’m working on my 2nd Limegreenjelly fibre, Merino again. The first 50g is done  and I’ve washed more sheep fleece.

Today is day 11. I’m at work so all my spinning will be done this evening. I’m hoping to get the other 50g done so that can be plied.

The most wonderful thing about Tour de Fleece is seeing everyone’s spinning projects, there’s some really clever people out there, I am mesmerized and in awe of it all!

So far 350g of my target of 600g is done, not bad for the first week.

Time to get back in the saddle.

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It’s here!!

At last it’s here!

That shark hat pattern I promised you…ages ago. It’s here! My very good friend Linda tested it out for me, made some adjustments and now it is done and will be available here or in Ravelry. If you ever want to add me there you’ll find me as “Riggwelter”.

After knitting the hat I had some trouble with my shoulders, so put the needles down for a while and did some felting instead. I find I can use fibre like I would paint, playing around with texture and experimenting with combinations.

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In this fabulous online shop World of Wool you can get a 500g bag of waste fibre for £10. You’ll never know what you’re getting, but sometimes you can get some really nice fibre blends which can be spun.

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These two are part of a tablet/ipad case made to sell. I love to play with fibre, try out what will felt, what won’t and if they don’t then will they get caught in the fibre without breaking my needles!! I think I lost about 6 making this, but I love it.

Then I thought, well if I can’t knit for the time being…why not crochet? I was a bit nervous as I haven’t used my hooks for quite some time, and it took me a long time to get the hang of them anyway! I ended up buying a children’s book…why I ever though I could just pick up a hook and get started I don’t know. But it’s the learning process I enjoy, give me something new to try and I’m happy as larry, though once I have mastered it, lived it and breathed it… I tend to leave it for a while.

So, I went to the trusty Ravelry site to find a pattern but amazingly couldn’t find anything I fancied or anything that didn’t use a chart (I haven’t mastered that yet). So, using Nikki French’s “A Complete Guide to Knitting and Crochet” I found some “Granny” squares and off I went. and ended up with this…

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I’m really pleased with it. It’s slightly too big for me, so I will sell it in my Folksy Shop or Market stall (which ever goes first) and make another with a smaller hook. It was good to get back to making big stuff again and that feeling of great accomplishment makes a big difference.

And once I have written out the pattern in a language most people will understand, I shall post it on my Knitting Pattern Page.

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Love Ravelry…

I’ve joined a group in Ravelry with the intention to make Christmas gifts before December the 24th! This months is to make hats. The moderator kindly does all the searching, suggests some hats and everyone knits either her suggestions or something else…..I opted for the something else;

So, bumbling around Ravelry for a quick, fun, child’s hat I found these…

Brilliant, just what I wanted.

I then remembered a lot of people asking me about shark socks (I think the pattern goes live in October). Where it looks like the shark is eating the wearer’s leg….fun!

What about a hat that eats the wearer’s head? What child wouldn’t think that was fab!?

Looking at the fish hat pattern I realised that this wouldn’t be able to be knitted in the round as some intarsia would be involved, then I had to change the shaping, and the tail and add teeth.

Lo and behold the Riggwelter’s Shark Hat (It still needs a name, my friends on Facebook are working on this)

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The pattern is being looked at right now, so once I have the go ahead from a knittyfriend, I shall publish the pattern here and on Ravelry, for free, naturally.

So exciting!

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Well hello there…

 

Right…well, it’s been some time hasn’t it. 

After falling quite ill for 6 mths, being diagnosed with CFS, FM and RLS I am slowly finding my way back to the surface.

I have found that I am unable to knit big projects anymore, so concentrate on little ones, gloves, socks etc and still spinning as long as I take it easy….so all that aside.

Let the crafting commence!

I’ve just finished spinning this:

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Some superfine Merino, Camel and Silk from Limegreenjelly. Beautifully soft.

I’m making Mr H a pair of Manly Man Man Mittens.

While I’m concentrating on making little projects I might turn my hand back to designing again…watch this space…or Ravelry….s’up to you.

See you soon x

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What was I saying?

It seems the “Manx Missile” is back on track…I really felt for him standing up there on the podium, crying his heart out. It just goes to show that saying is true…”If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again”. I almost live by that saying. I love to learn new things and I won’t leave it until I’ve won, I suppose you could say that I become obsessive. I will live and breath the new task. But what do I do with it, once it’s learned? Nothing, I go on to the next thing. There’s another saying; “Jack of all trades, master of none”, oh yes, that’s me. There is hardly anything I won’t try (as long as it doesn’t involve leaving the ground…and water…not keen on those!). Fibre wise, I’d love to be able to do it all, but I will also admit that if I really feel I’m “fighting a loosing battle”, I’m quite happy to wave the white flag and surrender.

designed by Barbra Breiter

Lace…the bain of my life. I look at all the beautiful shawls and scarves and wraps and I long, really long to be able to produce such stunningly, wonderous garments. Alas, I do not have the concentration, the time nor the patience needed to make them. I will get there one day, but today is not the day. No, today is the day for mastering the corespun yarn, on a drop spindle!

First attempt – it wasn’t pretty!

If you search on You Tube you will find plenty of tutorials…though they are for the spinning wheel (I came across a lovely one where the lady was spinning yarn that looked like a Christmas tree, complete with presents and a star! But I can’t find it now), but the theory is just the same. The main difference is, you have two free hands with a wheel as your feet are doing the spinning.

Here’s a quick demo

So, you need one hand to hold the core with tension, one hand to hold the wrapping fibre and another to spin the spindle…hmmm…unless you have a willing spouse, child…dog(?) to hold…something, I didn’t think this was going to be easy.

I then thought teasing fibres whilst spinning is going to be out of the question, not enough hands, so prepping needed to be done. On my first sttempt I had already spun the yarn.

Welsh Black tops, spun with silk then plied with merino.

I then attached the core yarn to the drop spindle, holding that with tension between my thumb and finger. The wrapping yarn  I placed between my index finger and the next so it could freely slide, while my right hand did the spindle spinning.

Like so; the fibre needs to be kept well away from the spindle otherwise you end up with a big fibery mess…which I suppose could be interesting in itself!

After spinning I washed the yarn in hot water and soap, so lightly felting it all together.

TaDa! merino/bamboo/flax/tussah silk corespun yarn.

Just a little bit of patience and knowing what you hands are doing and it’ll all be ok. Another yarn I’ve been working on is Limegreenjelly’s “Ocean Drive” Merino/Bamboo.

Which is turning into a very nice sock yarn weight yarn if it’s left in it’s single state. I’m not sure whether to make socks or wristwarmers…I’ve seen a couple of patterns I’d like to try – Archie’s socks (ravelry link) or there’s the hat heel in Knitty and these Mary Wristwarmers. I would dearly love to be knitting lace…

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Buns and bikes and batts…oh my!

*fanning myself franticly!*

The Tour de France got on it’s way on Saturday evening and as always, the house goes a bit Tour mad…the poster of the route has gone up and Cycling Weekly will be bought and ITV4 will be on almost religiously for the next three weeks.

And of course the fibre and spindles are out too for the Tour de Fleece…where spinners all over the world have wheels moving as fast as Cavendish on a winning sprint…or, maybe not going by yesterdays performance!

That was a pretty impressive crash!

So what’s my plan of action for the Tour? Well, Cycling Weekly gave me an idea. On the front cover it poses the question “What type of Tour rider would you be?” Now, during the TDFKAL the “riders” would state which jersey they would be working towards, but in the Tour de Fleece, we don’t do this so I decided to see which kind of rider I would compare to instead.

hmmm..

Cycling Weekly suggests that sprint climbers need to propel themselves upwards so being a small or medium in size helps. Yep, sounds good to me, not sure about the stocky build and large quadriceps…(where are they again?) though.

Climbers have long legs and ferocious aerobic power…that’s me out then being a measly 4ft 11″!

Sprinters can be any size (cool) have a strong core (yep) and arm and shoulder strength…hmmm.

and then Time trialists…have narrow shoulders and a small frontal area…(uh yeah, that’ll be me then), flexible, yep,  and feel more comfortable in a low position. sounds perfect. So the aim of the Time Trialist? Fastest average speed…

So, this concludes that I shall keep spinning as much as possible, speeding up for the straight and slowing for the bends. I had intended to spin everything I have until I bought a load more fibre. So now I’m going for as much as possible as long as I keep going, no days off.

During the prologue I finished Jo’s “My Velocity” BFL/Seacell

Sadly after spinning so much on Saturday, I had great difficulty spinning on Sunday as my hands and arms were aching but I did manage 50g of a Merino/Alpaca/Camel and Mulberry silk blend, which was incredibly light and easy to spin, although it made me sneeze like …a big sneezey thing!

Now this beautiful fibre is now spun into DK weight singles I have aptly re-named “Velo” .

Purchased from Limegreenjelly

Chunnky singles. Merino/Alpaca/Camel/Mulberry Silk

Laceweight singles so far. BFL/Bamboo which I think I may ply with some Black Welsh tops.

It’s back to the doctors for me today. After being told I will have to wait 6 months to see a specialist about my legs, I’m pretty annoyed so a fair bit of…not shouting but a little more than gentle persuasiveness (oooh think i just made up a word) and get this sorted. Just some non drug induced sleep would be nice.

Good luck with the spinning and knitting everyone!