Friday, 24 September 2010


I watched the Mythbusters 'knock your socks off' episode last night while finishing Miss Mouse's socks, twitching the whole time as they did terrible things to handknit socks. Despite that, M's socks were completed without too much stress, and very nice they look too (I think).

Remember I'm supposed to be particpating in the 12 in 12 sock knitting challenge? Ha! June's socks are half-done, M's count as July's. The Boy wants his cast on asap.. they'll be August I suppose.

Looking back through my blog to my last mention of pink, it was in the spring when I was getting all excited about blossom. So, just to bookend the pink theme, here's a hollyhock flower from my garden.

So many shades of..... beige

So we're at the season of mists (Gaiman flashback) and mellow fruitfulness (actually a maths teacher flashback there) and what am I stewing up? Rosehips! These are from rosa glauca in my garden. I'd read somewhere, and typically now I can't find the source, that rosehips will yield an orangey dye. So I tried it and got..

Looking hopeful there isn't it? But alas when it dried it was beige again. Quite pretty but just another beige when all's said and done.

The top skein in the pic above there is from the rosa glauca. I also tried rosa municipalis (that is to say rosa rugosa planted by the road by the council!) - lovely hips but although it yielded a more intense colour (the lower skein) it's still just beige! This picture doesn't show the colour very well actually. So, anyway, chalk that one up to experience.

However when I look at the pile of skeins I've dyed myself I'm pretty chuffed with the results. The cat seems to like them anyway.

And the maths teacher? Well I had a maths teacher who was from Orkney and he once said he'd always thought 'season of mists and mellow fruitfulness' was just 'poetic nonsense' (sounds better if you know what an Orkney accent sounds like!) until he went off to college on the mainland and was blown away by the autumn.

Anyway, as well as messing around with my subtle and tasteful hand-dyeing, I've been digging out brightly-coloured acrylic from my stash to practice crochet with. And look, I'm getting the hang of granny squares at last! I also did an accidental Granny triangle the other night while watching a DVD (Joss Whedon this is your fault..).

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Mellow Yellow

Following the yellow theme and as a direct result of Scarletti's comment on my last post...


My own piece of seventies kitsch! This horse was given to me by my uncle when I was small. He was in the army and was stationed in Malta at that time so I'm fairly sure that's where the horse came from. It's looking a bit battered these days. Once upon a time he had a mane and tail but, aged about three, I did a little hairdressing. Oh dear.. However my daughter thinks the horse is wonderful and is hugging him as I type.

Monday, 13 September 2010

All yellow

I've been brewing again - thought I'd better get on with it as we're getting into autumn now and there won't be much left to work with in terms of plants.

The yarn in the left-hand picture was dyed with horsetail of some kind - I'm not that great at recognising weeds - and initially just looked off-white but turned out to be a very attractive pale yellow.

For the next batch I used the same liquor but chucked in a few marigold heads to see if that did anything. And really I do mean a few - maybe four at most that had lost their petals already and one that still had petals but was past its best. The picture above is how it looked while stewing. If you're doing this properly you're supposed to simmer the plant in the water, then strain before adding the wool. Needless to say, I couldn't be bothered! And actually once I'd dyed the yarn and given it a rinse, most of the bits of marigold came out pretty easily - flapping the skein around helps!

This is it drying on the line - the photo doesn't do justice to how mustardy it was looking - I was really taken aback at how much of a difference to the colour those few manky bits of marigold made!

And the finished result!

You wouldn't believe how happy this made me! Ridiculously so. Though the kitchen smelled of weeds and wet sheep for some time..

I just googled 'yellow lyrics' and discovered that that yellow song is by Coldplay. Oh dear, I'm so out of touch.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

In the olden days

Inspired by Silverpebble's post about old photographs, here's one from the mid-70s - me (in the red jumper), my brother (the blond) and friends Edwin and Sandra having a picnic at the peat-hill. By the look of the peats - dry and ready to be bagged - this is mid-to-late summer.

We don't have many photo prints from childhood but my parents have a whole load of slides which we need to get scanned at some point. I can't wait to see what there is! We had a good look through them holding the slides up to the light but of course you only get the gist, no detail.

Monday, 6 September 2010

The Knit Camp Experience

Knit Camp (the weekend bit formerly known as Ravelry Weekend) was the weekend before most of the schools went back here and I feel as if I've not had a chance to stop and think about it since then - hence the slow updating on my other blog and the stunning lack of action on this blog! The thoughts have been going around in my head though.

Setting aside the many criticisms that I've heard of the whole Knit Camp thing, I enjoyed it! But then I was going for the day to mooch around the marketplace not attempting to attend any classes. The only bit of personal criticism I'll level at it is regarding the 'goody bags'. Personally I wouldn't have been bothered a bit about the goody bags if they'd not been promised - but they were. From what I gather those who arrived early enough (i.e. on the Friday) did get a few bits and pieces in their bag. I had pre-bought my ticket 'too late' so got hee-haw. My friend who'd pre-bought her ticket a couple of weeks before me got a 'goody bag' containing leaflets about the university. Gee thanks.

But to the marketplace - this was, for me at least, almost overwhelming! I've never been to any big knitting kind of events - the nearest thing was a Yarn Yard tea and cake afternoon at Antje's house. So was I like a kid in a sweetie shop? You bet! Angela and I made a complete circuit then had to sit down with a cup of coffee to calm down before going back for another look and a little purchasing. So much stuff! Eventually I was able to focus on it :-).

In the picture above is something I've wanted for a long time - it's a braiding disk from (I think) the Mulberry Dyer. I've wanted a marudai for ages since first trying kumihimo with a bit of card. 'Proper' marudais are phenomenally expensive, even the perspex ones, but I got this smaller and rather lovely wooden version for under fifteen pounds. And it's prefectly adequate for my needs. If I ever get round to using it. Which I will, eventually!

The other picture is the rest of my loot - a skein of gorgeous blue yarn from Abstract Cat, very pretty stitch markers from Sulky Cat, buttons from TextileGarden, and some Alpaca/Shetland yarn from Blacker Designs (no idea what I'm going to do with it yet, I just liked it) whose website is the one I go to when I need soothing neutrals to look at. Unpictured is a Jamieson & Smith kit for a kid's Fair Isle jumper - it's one I've been wanting to do for a while, since my son was a peerie moot in fact, but now he's Too Big so his younger sister will get it. I just hope her skin can cope with Shetland wool - mine can't, there's a confession for you.