Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Closing The Hand Embroidery Network

If you are a member of the Hand Embroidery Network you will have already heard about my decision to close the network. It was a hard decision to make especially after nearly six years but I feel now is the right time for it to close. In recent times due to ill health and family commitments I have not been able to give it my full attention. I know that over the years a lot of HEN members have developed friendships with likeminded people through their love of embroidery and I am hoping that these members will find ways to keep in touch. I wish everyone my very best wishes.

I will be keeping my blog going and still sharing all of my creative endeavours with you all and hope that you will continue to follow me.

Sarah x

Saturday, 17 January 2015

It's Been Snowing!

Yep, we finally have some snow that appears to be staying! It has been on and off all week but today it looks as though it's in for the day. I love it when it snows it makes our little town look so picturesque! My little girl gets really excited. The first thing she said this morning when she saw all the snow was "mummy we can build a snowman' lol she loves the film Frozen and I think she is hoping to build Olaf the snowman from the film, bless her!

Yesterday I cracked on with knitting my little ones cardigan, which I am now happy to say I am on the raglan shaping! Yay! I had to do four repeats of the cable pattern before I reached the shaping though. The picture is a bit grainy as it has been really dark and everyday we have had to have the lights on it so dark outside.

In the evening I decided to work on a new pattern for fingerless wrist warmers knitted in the round. I usually don't knit them like this but I thought I would give it ago. The wool I hand dyed awhile ago using Kool-Aid in the microwave, so it was hanging about waiting for the right project. I might try a lace pattern pair next.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

2ply Green Alpaca Yarn

I've just finished spinning my green alpaca yarn this morning. I spun two singles and them plied them together to make a 2ply yarn of 16 WPI so should be about a fingering weight yarn I think. I might make a lace scarf or shawl with this yarn. There's quite a bit of it so hopefully I will have enough!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Handspun Slouch Socks

I've just finished some slouch socks for my husband, which I knit over the weekend in my handspun Jacobs humbug yarn. The yarn turned out to be a worsted weight yarn or 10 WPI. I started off with a pattern from a book I have but after the cuff the instructions for the short row heel were a nightmare! So I had a look at a few youtube videos on short row heel wrap and turn as I hadn’t worked the heel this way before and ended up re-writing the last part of the pattern. I'm going to work the cuff in a different ribbing for the pattern and will write it up to post on the blog if anyone is interested.

According to my husband the socks are really warm and comfortable and he loves them! So I’m chuffed with that and they only took me the weekend to knit too!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Hand Spinning Alpaca

I have been busy spinning some green dyed alpaca today. I set up my spinning wheel by the fire as it has been freezing again. It's my first time spinning with alpaca and it is really hairy! It stuck to everything and I keep finding tufts of it all over the house! I usually spin quite bulky yarn but this has spun quite fine as it is has long fibres. I've spun one bobbin and started the second late this afternoon. I had to stop to make my signature beef in all with dumplings for tea followed by carrot cake, yum! Hopefully I will get the second bobbin filled tomorrow, then I can ply the two together. I love my new Kiwi 2 as it has a built in lazy kate which for my small house makes it compact and light enough to move from room to room. When I haven't been spinning I have been updating my Ravelry projects and adding my needles and hooks. I joined Ravelry back in November 2013 but I am only just getting to grips with it. What a great resource though!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Cable Cardigan WIP

I'm currently working on a cable cardigan in Hayfield Bonus Aran tweed for my daughter. I haven't tackled cables in a long long time! The last cable jumper I made in pure new wool my mum put it in the washing machine and it came out big enough to fit a barbie doll. Needless to say the wool I'm using for my daughter's cardigan will wash a lot better at 40 degrees!

I started the cardigan at the beginning of December and I haven't really made much progress as I have been spinning yarn in between and what with custom orders too I haven't gotten much done. I bought the pattern from Patternfish which is a great online digital knitting pattern store. The cable is quite complicated but I'm loving the challenge. I just want to get it finished soon as the weather is really rubbish at the moment where I live! The wind has been really bad over the weekend and our heating boiler decided to go on the blink too! So I am huddled up by a roaring fire today knitting.

Cable Cardigan Pattern
Back in progress!
Cables close-up

Sunday, 11 January 2015

New Year, New Spinning Wheel

Happy New Year! The end of last year was hectic and I was working on one commission after another in either hand embroidery, knitting or crochet! My Etsy shop had quite a few orders as well. This year is going to be a busy one too as I have decided to take my work in an entirely new direction and see how things pan out.

My 2015 New Year resolutions are more hand embroidery, more knitting, more crochet and definitely more hand spinning! Just more crafting in general! Last year I started to learn to spin on an antique Victorian ash spinning wheel and though it was in good working order it was hard to get the correct tension and so my lovely husband decided to buy me a new one for Christmas!

Here I am spinning my first yarn on my new Ashford Kiwi 2 spinning wheel. I have just spun some grey and white Jacobs and then plied them together to make a cool humbug yarn (see bottom image). I am going to use this to make my husband a pair of thick slouch socks. It’s only fair he has the first fruits of my labour lol.