Saturday, January 13, 2018

A Feather and Fan Cowl

I acquired some Merino Tensil blended roving and spun it into a sport-weight balanced 2-ply yarn las November.

I've knitted it in the round into a long cowl, designed to wrap twice around the neck.

It is made from a Feather and Fan pattern between garter stitch edges




It's quite a nice thing - I need better photos though.

Washing my Rim & Button Hothead hat

I don't recall what the original patternI for this little knitted hat came from, but I liked how it came out when applied to some lightweight hand spun wool I had.
So I applied the same general idea to some more hand spun wool I had dyed with graduated colours, interspersed with some grey alpaca singles.

This post itemises how to wash and dry a finished hand knitted woollen hat.

Add some washing up liquid or shampoo to warm water in a bowl and sink the wooden down in it.



Let it sit for 30 minutes or so


Squeeze it out, refill the bowl with clean warm water and soak again



Repeat if necessary and squeeze out.
Roll up in a towel to remove excess water



After maybe 10 - 30 minutes, unroll and either lie flat to dry:





or hag in the hot press to dry:



Nice and dry now:






The grey alpaca (from Waterford as it happens) is a single spun on a drop spindle. Because of that, stocking stitches twist. I let it twist for the first band I introduced after the dyed wool yarn sectionsbut then made it straight by knitting into the back leg of the stitches in later bands of grey. 

Who knew there could be so much interest(well for me anyway) knitting up one woolly Hothead hat.














The Knitting Machine

I was the amazed and overjoyed recipient of a knitting machine, donated to me by a very nice lady whose mother can no longer make use of it.
That was at the end of November last, 2017.

I was flummoxed at first - I had no idea ho big it was going to be - big as a piano keyboard - nor did I understand how the carriage or needles got together to form a piece of fabric.
I was much relieved to find that the original manual was present and correct.
It is a Mnit Master Model 155 and there are still many in active use out there.
I was particularly fortunate to find youtube videos by "theanswerlary' who is an expert in all thing knitted including the workings of knitting machines.

I made my first swatch on this chunky version of its king in December -


I don't have punch cards yet to avail of it's capacity to do a form of fair isle or intarsia but no doubt in time I will get some.
Meanwhile, I'm using it mainly to knit iCord (aka Idiot Cord). Turns out that knitting, in sucking stitch, strips just 3 or 4 stitches wide causes them to curl up into pseudo-iCord, thus saving me the trouble of knitting and knitting massively long stretches of garter stitch strips to bind plat into my knitted rugs. 
Thanks to theAnswerLady again, I decided to try crochet rather than platting these strips which I can produce in a much shorter time than by knitting them 
The result is interesting - not quite as elegant as my platted rug technique, but I'm warming to it.
Glad it handles my hand spun sheep wool very well!








Will see how it goes.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

December 2017

Busy putting non-fiber things on the other blog, Love The Seasons

                    Seasons Greetings!           

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Prince of Wales craft market

I found myself in the lobby of the Prince of Wales hotel Sunday last (Dec 3).!
I went along with my wares and gadgets and of course Molly the spinning wheel to take part in a Christmas Market there.
I believe this is their first foray into this particular type of venture (I'm sure they do lots of other meetings etc) and things were a bit cramped when I arrived at 9.30 to set up for 10 a.m.
Tables are one thing but they bing with them the need for surrounding space - which was missing hence I ended up in the lobby, alone - boo hoo. Other were in the hall leading tot he market room so I think I was better off then them.
Returning to the main room when things had settled down I found it looked very cororful and organised and I was a bit sorry for myself alone, in the lobby with none to chat too watching the patrons checking out (some having had an interesting evening the night before I think).
However, things picked up - as thy often do - and I had many great fibre-based chats with patrons and quite a few of my creating have found new homes.
Me, looking a little lost after spinning and plying all the raw fibre I had brought with me.

Sorry man with sleepy baby, I thought I'd edited the photo -GRRR.

Never mind, things got a lot better later on.
Indeed we had a school of children turn up to sign carols and the atmosphere was very festive.






I said goodbye to some of my favourites:







Still here is the Yak and Silk Cowl I spun a while ago from some nice roving:



Wearing this double-sided lace knit is like having mobile central heating while it is very soft and light. I suppose the original wearers have a great need for warmth where they live.

To be continued.












Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Little Craft market

Attended the little craft market upstairs in V de P's shop.
Went well despite quite low visitor numbers (people don't seem to notice the posters directing them upstairs).

In any event I got most of 100 gms or merino-silk-bling roving spun into two singles as I sat by my "stall".

I was surprised by the number of people who bought my knitted hats - and, amazingly, I didn't get any of the anti-wool comments that I've come to expect. That my be because it was a very very cold day.

A couple of scarves went too - what I really loved was the way people selected hats that suited them - some hats I had wondered about their suitability - and then people came and picked ones that made them and the hats look good.

I've hoping to get a photo or two (from my daughter and some very lovely ladies) to post here at some stage.


Bye for now.


Some photos came through:
My Table (less some items :) )

Got To spin the Merino-lace singles


Plied them later


Daughter took this photo


Lovely ladies sporting my hats



Have enough yarn spun now for another rug



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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

For Vincent de Paul Craft market

I've promised to set up a table in the VdeP shop in Athlone Saturday next.

I've selected some of my handmade items to offer.
Hopefully SOMEONE will like one or two.
Anyway it should be of passing interest at least and I'm bringing my spinning wheel 
to spin up some new roving I got at the Knitting and Stitching show in Dublin

A selection of my handwoven wool scarves


Handwoven Acrylic scarves (some don't appreciate wool)


Brown sheep and Brown Lamb handspan wool hats




Artyarn I spun and knitted in to a rakish hat I call 
"Rebel Girl"

Swirl hat knitted with handspan BFL roving

Handspun Merino knitted into a beret I call
"Blueberry"

Ribbed beanie - handspan hand dyed in muted colours

Handspun hand dyed little hat - I call "Green Apples"


Some Tough gLoves and Hotfoot bed/boot socks with an
art yarn headband

Cushion cover - crocheted wo


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