Thursday, 16 September 2010

My new toy

I have a new plaything.

Can you guess what it is?

10 points to anyone who said 'book charkha - short fibres, for the spinning of'. Charkas are usually used to spin cotton but can also spin short-staple fine wools,silk, cashmere & quiviut - not that I'm likely to ever afford the latter.

It arrived today from loopfrogs, a fellow raveller & I had to have a wee play, despite there being dishes in the sink, laundry in the machine & who-knows-what all over the carpet.

I suck :0D

My long-draw skillz are non-existent anyway & between that & the fact that I've never spun anything other than wool . . .

Anyway here are pics -


& a close-up of my lol-worthy spinning (see what I mean about the carpet?) -


Still, like the song said things can only get better (or the charkha might get lobbed in the Forth but hopefully it won't come to that).

Saturday, 10 July 2010

New pattern

I wanted to make Mhara a shrug to keep her covered up at nursery since they're not allowed to play outside in the sun with bare shoulders. I had very definite ideas of how I wanted it to look - just covering the shoulders & with flared cuffs - & it turned out exactly as I pictured it. I was so chuffed I did a few sums & wrote it up for 3 different sizes, 2-4, 5-7 & 8-10 & it's now up for sale on ravelry & through my etsy shop.

& here's Mhara modelling her shrug -

Tour de Fleece day 8

Not a lot to report today - hopefully tomorrow's scraps will be a bit more colourful :0D

Friday, 9 July 2010

Tour de Fleece Week 1

That's week 1 gone already!

The spindle was getting heavy enough to break the yarn last night so this morning I wound off onto a spare bobbin (I intend to ply from the kate so will need the yarn on bobbins anyway for that). There was a lot more than I thought; tho' I've no idea what the yardage may be it took ages to wind off.

I decided to break out the mosaic-maker again for my end-of-week photo so without further ado, here it is.

This isn't all the crafting I've been doing today but it is all I can show - for now ;0)

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Tour de Fleece day 5

Back to muted colours. I'm missing the zingy citrus colours but I do have 700g of superwash merino fibre & lots of koolaid so I may be having a play with those once the tour is done :0D

No other crafting today, just lots of tidying. I do plan to head off to bed shortly with a cuppa & a crochet hook however . . .

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Tour de Fleece day 4

Just a quickie update on the progress of the spindled scraps -

Surprisingly enough, I'm still enjoying this. I guess the constant changing of the colours is helping keep it fresh. It's also fabulously easy to pick up whenever I have a spare few minutes.

Shop update

I've been busy. This morning on etsy I listed this headband -

& this afternoon I made not one but five orifice hooks, ready to be listed tomorrow once I get decent pics taken -

I also set up a Folksy shop, YarnJunkie. There's not much in it yet but I'll see what I can get together over the next few weeks.

Monday, 5 July 2010


Mhara got a bead box at the pound shop this morning & Rowan was going to get one too ‘til he spotted a pack of wee cars. Sure enough, by mid-afternoon he'd decided he should’ve got the beads after all so I trawled my bead box for all the chunky plastic ones I could find. To start with he had a hairy fit every time a bead wouldn’t go on the string 1st time but after unearthing some plastic cord he was off & running.

This kept my usually hyper wee boy quiet for over an hour & he went back to it after his tea. I’ve promised them more beads next time we go up town :0D

Tour de Fleece days 2 & 3

Not a huge amount done but here's day 2's effort -

& day 3 (without all the pretty fluff as a backdrop 'cos it's upstairs & I'm too idle to go get it)-

I’ve gotten through 4 different scraps so far & am finding it a huge challenge to switch between different breeds but it’s all good, if slow :0D

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Free Pattern - One Currant Bun in a Baker's Shop

Round & fat with a cherry on the top.

I made this for Mhara so she could have a princess hairdo for a friend's birthday party.

Yarn: DK weight
Hook: 4.5mm
Notions: 1 narrow covered elastic ponytail band
Pattern uses UK crochet terms

Ch4 & sl st in 1st ch to form a ring.

Round 1: Ch1 (does not count as st), work 6 dc into ring, sl st in 1st dc.
Round 2: Ch2, trc2tog in same st, ch3, [trc3tog, ch3] in each st to end, join with sl st to top of trc2tog at beginning of round.
Round 3: Sl st to 1st 3-ch space, [ch2, trc2tog, ch3, trc3tog] in 1st ch sp, [trc3tog, ch3, trc3tog] in each ch sp to end, join with sl st to top of trc2tog at beginning of round.
Round 4: Sl st to 2nd ch of 1st 3-ch sp, ch1, 1 dc in same ch sp, ch 5, [1 dc in next ch sp, ch 5] to end, sl st in 1st dc.
Round 5: Sl st to 5rd ch of 1st 5-ch sp, ch1, 1 dc in same ch sp, ch 4, [1 dc in next ch sp, ch 4] to end, sl st in 1st dc.
Round 6: Ch1, place ponytail elastic on top of last row worked & work 4 dcs into each ch sp making sure you crochet over the ponytail band as well, sl st into 1st dc.
Round 7*: Ch 1, dc in same st, ch2, sl st into 2nd ch from hook, dc in next st, [dc in next st, ch2, sl st into 2nd ch from hook, dc in next st] to end, sl st in 1st ds at beginning of round.

Fasten off & weave in ends.

*The picot edging gives the bun cover the look of an old-fashioned mob cap. It looks sweet but is entirely optional.

This cover fits my 5 year old, who has a pretty decent head of hair (thick, straight & halfway down her back). If you want to make it larger, repeat round 3 another time or two, making sure that you increase the length of the chain by 1 for each additional round. You will also need to increase the length of the chains in rounds 4 & 5 by 1 chain for every extra row you work & the number of dcs in round 6 should correspond to the number of chains in round 5.

As always, if you come across a mistake or feel I'm blethering a load of nonsense, please feel free to tell me either in the comments, by email or on ravelry where I go by the name of cherryred.

You may make as many of these as you like to sell for charity as long as you give credit for the design to me, Shirley MacDonald. Please do not reproduce this pattern or use it for personal profit.

Happy crocheting :0)

Tour de Fleece 2010 - Day 1

I've been saving my scraps from the second scrap swap on ravelry's UK Spinners forum specially so I could spin them during the tour. Here they are in all their loveliness -

I have about 200g of different breeds (all next-to-skin-soft)& a rainbow of colours, all broken down & mixed up into a big fibery pudding. Colour progression will be 'lucky dip'; I'll be closing my eyes & sticking my hand in the bag & whatever comes out (as long as it's not the same as the previous bit) will get spun. I'd love to get the full 200g spun & plied *but* I want to spindle-spin the whole lot & since the most I've had the patience to spin on a spindle before was about 15g the chance of me doing all 200g is erm slim. Still, as long as I get enough spun for this hat, I'll be happy.

Day 1 saw me breaking the scraps into roughly even pieces & I even managed to get a (tiny) little bit spun -

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Playing with sticks & string

So, I got my weaving sticks yesterday & since I have zero patience or willpower - who wants delayed gratification when you can have the instant kind? - I had a wee fiddle around with them last night.

The end result of a couple of happy hours cutting, winding & braiding is a hairband that is currently holding (most of) my mop out of my eyes.

Here's an action shot.

Yes, I know I look a little deranged but it's damn hard to take a decent picture of the top of your own head without a mirror, which is why I gave up & decided to go with a rotten shot instead. I'd have asked Iain to help but he's busy watching the football & I'm too impatient to wait 'til half-time - this may change if the pic I've just uploaded is really as bad as it looked on the camera screen.

Edit - woo, you can tell I didn't sleep well last night, can't you?

Friday, 2 July 2010

I love my postie

I do. I probably couldn't pick the man out of a line-up but I love him anyway because of all the pretty parcels he brings me.

Here are today's goodies -

Lurking at the bottom of the pile is a set of weaving sticks from The Handweaving Company to help keep the kids occupied during the holidays. I ordered them yesterday afternoon & they arrived today with free delivery - result!

The yarnz came in a package all the way from France & were sent by the lovely Yvette, a raveller who I'm hoping to get to meet sometime soon. There's a skein of Colinette Banyan, a cotton blend that's destined to become a crocheted hairband to keep my out-of-control hair off my face while it grows out a bit (keep an eye out 'cos the pattern will be going up on the blog as a freebie), a partial skein of Fyberspates Sparkle Sock & some glittery gold & silver yarn so I can make a properly metallic version of this -

Yes, I know it looks like a marital aid for robots but it's actually the sonic screwdriver that Rowan asked me to make so he & his sister can play Doctor Who properly.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Crafting with the kids

Two posts in one day - I'm on a roll!

It was the last day of nursery today & the kids wanted gifts for their teachers. I figured it'd be a nice touch if they helped make said gifts so we got out the fibre basket yesterday & got messy making some felt.

Choosing colours -


Working hard -



Drying in the sun (which sadly hasn't shown its face today) -


All done & ready to hand over -



The recipients were thrilled & hopefully the brooches will get at least the occasional airing.

Naughty, naughty.

Oops, has it been 6 months already? It's okay - I didn't keep any of my other resolutions either. Still, I'm here now so what have I been up to?

The short answer is not a lot. I've been making stuff but haven't been organised enough to keep track so I think I'll just start afresh from now.

Major excitement recently has been 2 new crochet patterns available either through ravelry or from my etsy shop.

First is Lady Marmalade, a burlesque-inspired washcloth (or dishcloth if that's what turns you on) -

Second is Velvet Kitty, a cat o' nine tails/flogger with optional beads for a little added sting -

I did put naughty in the title for a reason y'know ;0)

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

I'm baaaaaaack!!!!

& I can't believe how neglected this poor blog has become! So, since it's a new year & I'm full of (very likely temporary) good intentions, I've resolved to update at least once a week. We'll see how long it lasts.

First thing I guess is to have a quick rundown of the second half of 2009 - you know, the bit that I've totally missed. There's been a wedding (not mine), a holiday, the usual swaps & loads of other stuff. Here goes . . .

The end of July saw DH's niece get married. I was thrilled - at last, an excuse to buy DS his first kilt! & knit him kilt hose to go with it.


DD3 also got to wear the party shrug I crocheted for her & I even managed to knock up a quick shawl for me - a good thing too as the wedding was held at Aberdour Castle & the wind whistling through the ruins was rather chilly. Check out my new silk dress too - in Monsoon's sale at 70% off woot!



On ravelry there were a couple of big swaps;

In the Swapperneckers group I got the most fantabulous package from bcowgirlswt -




The scrummiest fingering-weight alpaca & fibre, fibre, fibre (plus a 3.25mm crochet hook - a size that I just can't get here in the UK) -




There were even noms for the kids -


In the Ankh-Morpork Knitter's Guild we had the big Guild Swap when midatlantic totally outdid herself;


I entered as a member of the Guild of Seamstresses (hem hem) so the scantily-clad chocolate goddess was appropriate as well as delicious;


As well as all the goodies in the pic there was a beautiful extra-long hot pink skinny scarf, crocheted by midatlantic. Sadly, I still haven't gotten a good pic of this despite wearing it almost constantly altho' you will see it peeping out of my collar in a couple of our holiday snaps.

Here's the package I sent midatlantic in return;


The wrap was crocheted in a 50/50 wool/acrylic blend & was a joy to make;


The AMKG also had a Detritus mini swap when I got a fabulous spinny parcel from Brownie22;


In October we had a week in Pitlochry & were lucky enough to have almost a whole week of good weather, which meant lots of walks in woods & around lochs as well as a fair few ice cream cones from the kiosk by the river (Baileys ice cream - om nom nom);

IMG_1154 pit





I can't leave out Halloween! DD3 was easy to outfit - she took one look at a cat costume in Asda & fell in love. DS was a bit more problematical since he decided he wanted to be the dragon from Room on the Broom & there's a distinct lack of dragon costumes in the shops. Thankfully I had a big skein of red yarn that turned out to be enough for a dragon hat, fingerless mitt 'claws' & a pair of wings to sew onto a black tunic;




Over the last few months of 2009 I joined Hogwarts @ Ravelry (just cuz I'm a big kid) & have been taking part in various classes.

For transfiguration I crocheted & felted an owl using my own pattern. Here he is with the house scarf (i'm in Hufflepuff heh) & the wand, both crocheted to my own patterns too.


There was also a temporary transfiguration project so I crocheted a cabled headband/earwarmer/neckwarmer using my own handspun. It has 3 different interchangeable flowers. This was my own pattern too.


For Astronomy we had to write about a celestial body, then spin/knit/crochet a representation of it & *then* knit or crochet a moebius scarf, cowl or shawl (something I've wanted to try for a while). I chose Aries, which represents the golden ram whose fleece was stolen by Jason & the Argonauts. I decided to use this as my theme for the whole clas & spun up some golden fleece (heh) for assignment 2;



& used the resultant yarn to knit my moebius cowl;


For Apparitions class I made the dragon outfit for DS but you've already seen that so I don't have to add more pics :0D

So, I think that's me mostly caught up (& if there's anyone still reading this far down then good on ya!). I've loads of stuff on the go still but if I actually manage to stick to regular posting no-one'll have to trawl through such an epic post again ;0)

Cheers for reading,

S x