Saturday, June 28, 2008

finished! finished! finshed!

Yes - three finished items, which means its one of those manic posts where I say look at this, and this, and this, and this ... and you wonder if I even slept since the last post. Well, I did sleep, and I did go to work, and I even hosted Toby's 9th birthday party, so cleaned house, and yes, I knit some, and spin some and no - I am not on drugs, just a coffee or two a day.


The first of the finished items is Bears hat, Koolhaas by Jarad Flood. Erika warned me these were addictive, and she is right, I already feel the pull to knit up another smaller for me, in a paler creamy grey version of the same yarn. So from go to whoa a fast 4 days. And now Bear no longer has Elmer Fudd comments (if you are interested here is the before photo).

and the crown, now I do have to admit for some reason the pattern instructions didn't work out for me. I frogged the crown several times, but then just winged it and worked in decreases in pattern as I went and it finished out ok. I can't find anyone else who had this problem, so its probably just me.


And my mittens, all done, all twined and ends kitchenered closed and woven in and felted slightly and warm and light, and wonderful. Can you tell I am just so happy with these mittens. They were hard work, and at times seemed plain and quite unspectacular, but now - I'm in love with them. In real life the grey has touches of blue and pink and green, and is a lot warmer than this shows.

And spinning, last post I was off to ply, and ply I did, and the result is done. I mis-represented the fiber last post, it is in fact 400g of English Leister and Romney hand dyed in the lock by Margaret Ruck of Waikari Wools. I spun a ply from each 200g bag of fiber and plied these together, but interestingly ended up with one pale skein and one dark skein. Still they work well together, I've got 424m, so enough for a shimmery scarf. This week I am on leave, so will be able to spin on Wednesday morning at the guild spinning, I'm quite looking forward to that - I've got some special blend from Jenni that is white and shimmery to work on, its got silk in it.

This is not-my-Toby's blanket, I knit it for him before he was born, and before I knew he was going to be another Toby. I blogged the whole process, collaborating with his mum Gill, about the fair isle pattern, and the steeking and the boarder. Gill sent this with a note that her Toby was nearly out of his crib and the blanket had done Stirling duty. She gave me permission to share this image of the blanket with her Toby.


And finally, I warned you this post was a bit manic, here is the last FO, number 3 (the second twined mitten was number one, the skein of yarn number two making this number three - the blanket was finished ages ago so doesn't count). Its only one of a pair of mittens, but it is finished. So far this year Bear has a new hat and scarf, and from last year Toby has his lined mittens and his hat, and Poppy has her hat but has lost one of her mittens - since I'm still dithering around what lace or/and sock to knit and I procrastinated further with a Mystery sideways mitten by EZ from Knitting around. Knit on 4mm its to be a mitten for an adult, I knit mine on 3.25mm with some yarn that Poppy and I had dyed a year ago, with Sour Grape drink mix. Its pretty scratchy yarn but I feel obligated to use it given Poppy was involved. I doubled the yarn but the mitten ended up to large. I felted it to shrink it a little, and I'll knit another one, but its still to big. Perhaps a visiting girl child in need of mittens will need these, or they could live in Poppy's drawer for the next year.

So thats me, no further along in deciding what lace to knit, I suspect as I'm on holiday and trekking around for the next few weeks I'm reluctant to start something with a complicated chart till I feel settled. So perhaps I'll just continue to muck around with little fast projects for a bit longer. I've just downloaded Odessa by Grumperina because Ana was wearing such a nice one last Thursday.

Last day of work tomorrow, then 2 weeks of leave before I have to go back, can you tell I'm smiling already?
Take care - Stella

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Nice hat - but what about the mitten?

Wednesday, blog day, and I know I said there would be no knitting other than my twined mitten until it was done, but .... well, I didn't keep my word. Shoot me or hit me with pointy sticks, but its just knitting. I knit something else, not only that but I started something else, yes I did. So today I'll introduce my new knitting project, tell you what I'm up to with the mitten and why the mitten-knittin stopped, and leave you with a video showing making and knitting up backwards loop increases.

Koolhaas hat, by Jared Flood, Erika temped us all a few weeks ago by showing us her finished Koolhaas hat at knit night. Then this week it snowed, just a little off and on Tuesday. Bear rugged up to take the morning bus in the cold cold weather and, well lets face it, he has very little hair and only one really warm hat. Unfortunately it was a bit of a gag gift from his brother, for it is a tartan shooting hat with fake fleece lining and real leather ear flaps. Now when a man of a certain age and body type wears a hat like that, every body, and I do mean every body tends to call him Elmer Fudd. Thats just not nice, my Bear needed a new hat, and I felt like knitting Koolhaas. I rummaged around in my stash and found some Hummingbird Ikaros 12 ply which matches in tension to that required and cast on Tuesday night. Its a quick knit, just look at my progress although much of this did happen in the fracture clinic and physio waiting rooms with Toby today. This hat is a nice knit, I feel one in a more girly colour coming on next for me - or would that make Bear and I one of those couples that start to dress a like?
Now I do know that at least 1,721 people have already knit this, and that is just the ones on Ravelry, and I'll be 1,722nd, but this is a very nice hat, after all 1,947 people have it in their queue. I'm not entirely sure why its important to know how many other people are knitting it, or wanting to knit it, kind of geeky unless I was Jarad Flood, but Ravelry allows us knitters to see info like that.

Now why wasn't I knitting the mittens? The ones I said I would knit until they were done, well I wanted to show some one the live stitches ready to go around the thumb, before I knit up the thumb, so they are on hold. But I have finished the fingertips and grafted the tip, so have only the thumb to do. I've also been spinning a little and after this post I will return to finish plying my lovely blue/purple/red/teal/black/cream Lincoln Romney singles. I am hoping I will have enough to knit a scarf with. The latest spin off arrived, and there are some tempting things in there like the variations on the scarf shown on the front cover - perhaps just right for the plying I'm going back to? I like that magazine, it makes me confident that I can spin for garments, and the mitten patterns seem the perfect solution to the pile of 100g of this and 200g of that fiber that I have collected over the last few months. I have also been dithering around looking for a new project, and am thinking of lace. there are a few things that tempt me, this for example.

And lastly, a technique video showing the backwards loop increases I've used in my BSJ. I explain and talk as I knit, so there is probably not much to add.
video
ok - so tomorrow i battle the excel beast at work, building a better spreadsheet for marking, and I redesign the booklet our students get for their final paper, tonight I ply and post, and Tuesday I'm on leave for a week and a half, glorious leave, and I've got a guest coming.
So take care, I will
Stella

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sock yarn club!


Yes - New Zealand has a sock yarn club, and I'm in it. This week my inaugural sock yarn parcel arrived in brown paper and tied up with string, I knit a little more on my twined mitten and made use of a sock technique for adding the thumb stitches, I've also been spinning, and I went opp shopping and found knitterly books to add to my library.

But first the sock club, Vintage Purls has been selling on line for a few months now, and I have quite a few of her products, knitpics needles and hand dyed sock yarn. My first sock club parcel arrived complete with yummy yarn, chocolate fish, knitpic needle, custom pattern, and even a little skein of thread for the provisional cast on. In real life the read is so warm and fireballish that the socks have to be toasty warm. Now I'm faced with even more of the dilemma of which of the yummy yarns in my stash to knit up into socks next. Not a bad position for a sock knitter to be in, really.


And still my twined mitten lingers, but it grows. This is my main knitting project, I aim to knit on no other till its done. Last night after the knitting photo shoot, I knit a little more, so now the top narrows with the first of the decrease rounds being knit. But this is where I was at mid afternoon Saturday.


When I got to the end of the thumb gusset, like any cuff up mitten, there was the need to park some of the stitches ready to become the thumb, and cast on a few more before knitting the rest of the hand section. I remembered Judy's magic cast on, and used it to cast on the extra stitches and it worked a treat. I now have live stitches ready to knit up to the thumb, rather than a cast on edge from which to pick up stitches for the thumb. The advantage in working them this way there will be no odd ridge inside the mitten, just seamless knitting. Using the magic cast on was easy with the twined knitting because I already had two strands of yarn in use, but methinks I will try it for underarms and other places where I need to cast on, then pick up and knit from the cast on. I will have to add an extra stitch at the corners, but that seems to be standard practice for picking up around shaped openings.


And while I limit myself to finishing my mitten, have been distracting myself by doing a bit more spinning than usual. I'm about 75% of the way thru spinning this Romney Lincoln blend. The first 200g was spun from dyed multi-colour locks which I combed, the second 200g I have carded and am spinning from the sliver. I am hoping the ply spun from the locks will have dramatic colour changes, and the ply from the carded sliver will be more muted. Together that should made for a coherently coloured yarn. The staples are really long 10-15cm, so spinning this is unlike anything else I've spun so far - an interesting learning curve and the fiber is so lustrous.

And finally - look what I scored in a local second hand book shop? Sally Melviles 3rd book on colour, and Blankets and Throws to Knit, by
Debbie Abrahams. Now neither was particularly high on my need to have list, but at the price they were listed, it seemed right they come home to join my knit library. There is a lot of inspiration in the blanket and throw book, and I since I've knit 3 or more baby blankets in the last year and a bit, well a source of blanket squares might not go amiss.

I should have a new how to video next post, backwards loop increases as knit in my BSJ. I'm finally catching up to all the u-tube requests for more techniques. I'm off to shop for dinner (home made burgers, with salad), and tidy the house ready for the week ahead.

Take care - Stella

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Grrrr

This week there has been a few battles and all of them I lost. My 'good citizen' involvement project turned sour with unreasonable demands from another person (messages sent at 6:22pm to my work email requesting things be sent that night), and at work I battled towards the summit of Mt Marking which included co-ordinating other staff and dealing with failed student(s), and there I felt like I lost as well. Now I'm not a difficult person, I'm pretty easy going, I communicate fairly clearly - but this week, there seemed a vast clouded valley of miscommunication between myself and some others - whats going on? I even offered to resign from one responsibility, but my offer was refused. I've got no idea what the others go home to but it can't be better than bear-hugs and knitting, so enough moaning about the world - on to the knitting.

So the knitting, I've twined some more, see? I'm probably half way up the thumb gusset and feeling quite proud of myself that the gusset is actually a reverse or mirror of the first mitten.

I was asked a few weeks ago via u-tube to provide a slower video of knitting crook or chain stitches continental style than the one I had posted. The requester said I knit beautifully and asked me to please not show off by knitting so fast, how could I refuse such a flattering request? With the broken Toby and other things it took a while, but finally here it is. I realise that I also need to post another video sometime soon showing how to twine with both yarns in the right hand whilst knitting crook stitches. To complete a twined surface pattern like the gusset line here - there is no way I'd switch the hand holding my yarns for only those three stitches.





And here is the BSJ bootie, from the Opinionated Knitter. The cast on edge is the top edge and the center back seam, and it has such a cute turned up pixie toe. The real effect of the clever miter shaping would be more clearly shown with stripes - and yes I'll do that once my BSJ is finished and I can use the left overs with no danger of running out of yarn. My BSJ is at the point I must put it aside and wait for the next class - 5 weeks away. There is a neckline modification and the hood to work as well, all of which are not in the original pattern.


and lastly - Feijoas! I spent my early childhood in Auckland, a far more sub-tropical place than Dunedin. In Auckland these (and all citrus) fruits grow everywhere, and I do mean every where. The bushes are used as hedges and drop fruit that is often left to rot on the ground - such is the abundance of supply. As a child we ate feijoa fresh, had stewed feijoa at breakfast, candied feijoa, fejoa cake, feijoa muffins, feijoa crumble, feijoa jelly and oh-my-gosh - the house and suburb would smell of Feijoa the whole season. Feijoa have a strong perfume, yes really - they do smell like perfume. In Dunedin - Feijoa are exotic imported fruits, with a price tag to match. When we moved here we were told Feijoa would not grow here, and we believed it, then I found a feijoa tree once years ago at a garden nursery. I bought it and found they do grow here. We have a single tree, we ignore it, we don't water or feed it, it lives in a corner of our back yard, hard up against a wooden fence, and it fruits every year. Not with the abandon of an Auckland tree, and the fruit may be a little more tart without the extra sun and warmth to sweeten it, but my tree fruits. This week we harvested the bulk of our Feijoa - and I'm loving it, they taste great and the house smells wonderfully fragrant.

Anyway - hope your week was more enjoyable than mine, and that there was something that made you smile the way feijoa's made me smile this week.
Stella

Saturday, June 14, 2008

one spoilt knitter

I was one spoilt knitter yesterday, with six hours of social knitting, first at the Knitters study group run by Lorna, and second at our little WWKIP event. As a result I do owe Bear some darkroom time to repay all the solo childcare on Saturday - A happy bear is an unstressed bear, and continuous care of small bears can lead to bear-stress. Today's post includes my latest cast-on project (a striped BSJ), a twined mitten update, a report of our little WWKIP event. and the recipe for the home made wool wash, following multiple requests, here, on email and via Ravelry.

The item under study at the Knitters Study group for June and July is a hooded BSJ, but Lorna being Lorna has little sneaky tricks and clever techniques to share with us. Despite that I frogged this one inch after the cast on. I managed to mistake my counting marker (placed every 50 stitches during the cast on to prevent me loosing count) for a decrease marker. Then I knit 1" of a BSJ for a deformed baby. One sleeve was much longer than the other. So I frogged, and began again.

I also found the Baby Surprise bootie in The Opinionated Knitter and knit me one of those, but then forgot to photograph it, so will save that for next time. I think it need to be knit in stripes to really amaze, I knit it plain.


Usually when knitting garter stitch, colour changes take place on a right side row, but Lorna has a sneaky trick to enhance the colour changes. When its time to change colours, knit the right side row as *K1 purple, K1 bone*, repeat to end. Then knit the subsequent rows in bone. Look what happens, a neat little row of dots just after the colour changes. How cool is that?




And on the wrong side, short floats of one stitch long. The other trick was to knit the decreases as centered decreases. Slip 2 stitches together as if to knit, knit one, pass slipped stitches over. This reverses the order of the slipped stitches so the center stitch in the decrease is on top, and the decrease ends up straight, not left leaning. Very very nice. I've done this before, but it was nice to be reminded of all the available options.













And before I got to study group, my twined mitten grew a little, see?









WWKIP day, we meet, a small group as many of the study group knitters had already devoted from 11-2 of their Saturday to knitting, so were not able to join us to knit from 2-5 in town. A hard core of 6 of us knit away in public (4 in the photo here - the rest were shy), and were joined by another 3, one random passer by, and 2 who came looking for our WWKIP event. If a group grows by 50% - well thats a success in my book. And yes, that is some spindle spinning going on.













And finally Wool Wash - the home made kind
to 4 cups boiling water add 4 cups Lux soap flakes or grated pure soap.
Whiz using a stick blender (my original instructions said to beat using a wooden spoon - but life is to short for some things)
Add 1 cup of methylated spirits and 1 Tbsp (25ml) of Eucalyptus essential oil (or other scent)
Whiz together again. My original instructions said to put in a large jar, seal and shake until mixed - that never worked for me, it leaked and it never blended, just stayed lumpy.
At this stage it will look like greenish water, leave it alone overnight and it will set into firmish white jelly.
To use : dissolve 1 Tbsp in warm water and swish the woolens, or soak the woolens, rinse. I've been told it doesn't need rinsing, but as its soap and soap can irritate I rinse. I've rubbed this direct into dirt on Toby and Poppy's knitwear, and preschool paint, and its worked wonders. Rub the jelly into the stain before you wet the garment, then soak gently. Disclaimer - I'm not promising this is any better than the stuff you buy, or that it works better, but we like making and using it.

happy soap making
Stell

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Finished!

Poppy's shawl is finished, and blocked and worn to school, so today there is that, I've bought some new yarn, and been making wool wash. The wool wash is part of this years drive to reduce our purchase and use of proprietary branded cleaning products, you know the sprays and the disposable wipes and all of that stuff advertised on tv as necessary to keep our houses clean. My Nana keep a clean house with pretty much soap and water, and we are trying to do the same. Finally - if you are in or near Dunedin, New Zealand, on the 14th of June (WWKIP day), pop on over to the back of the Meridian Mall between 2pm and 5pm for the more public than usual knitting in public of Take Back the Knit.



But first the shawl, its done, started June the 2nd all done by June the 9th, so a very fast knit, 7 days including the i-cord ties. Poppy is only 6 - so I imagine this would take a little longer for an adult, and I'd have to say those garter rows get longer, and loonger, and looonger as the shawl grows. For a larger shawl I'd have to add an more challenging edge or something to keep my interest up on those long rows. So now I'm knitting my 2nd twined mitten and then I'll let myself start something new and exiting.


And yarn, yes new store-bought yarn, the knitters study group is spending the June and July sessions on the EZ classic BSJ, with an added hood so appropriate yarn was needed. Why is it that even with a stash of several drawers full I never had the perfect yarn in the house for these study group projects?
I'm not sure which baby this is for - but given the number of baby things I've knit in the past few years, having a baby gift ready is a good plan. The yarn is a sport weight. Oddly this weight is known in unique NZ knit lingo as '5ply' - even thought it is 3 plies each of 2 ply twisted yarn (so a 6 ply) - how does that work? The colour choice was a little limited, once I rejected the baby blue, baby pink, baby green, baby lemon, and white, so I've gone with lavender and a dirty bone accent. It is Patons Bluebell crepe yarn super-wash - so perfect for baby things, and should give a nice newborn sized jacket.



And a jar of home made wool wash, all ready to wash wool. Made from Lux soap flakes, water, methylated spirits, and eucalyptus oil, it smells divine and dissolves easily in warm water. We even use it to remove extra dirty bits, the kinds kids put into knitwear and other garments, by rubbing it directly into the dirt before soaking the garment. There is something quite nice about using things that you know the ingredients of, no worries about if they are 'safe' to use or dangerous. I love this stuff, it has a firm jelly texture, and is fun to scoop out and use, almost like finger painting. Helps put the fun and play back into laundry.

There has been no more snow, and no frosts following last weeks snow, we do live in a mild winter climate. Still I'm told harsh frosts kill wasps in their nests - so I am hoping for some more frosts to come. Oddly it was the images of snow that resulted in comments on my last post, I do forget that the temperature soars across the oceans when ours dips.

Stella

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Snow Spin Knit


We got snow this weekend, three times. Toby is much happier, teasing his sister and dancing jigs around the kitchen to escape chores, I've nearly finished Poppy's shawl and mastered a new spinning technique, and thats about it for today.

Saturday 5 of us met up at J's house from 3pm onwards to spin, at 4:30 Bear rang to let us know it was snowing. With the chatting and the spinning and the eating of yummy muffins, well we had not noticed the snow falling out side the windows. Both J and I live on hills, different hills. Bear was worried that we would get down one hill and not back up the other. We dithered, we rang various people around town to get accurate road condition reports, we spun some more, the snow stopped and we all went home. There was more snow overnight, and the next morning this. Both cubs tried to make snow men and have snow fights, but there really wasn't enough to do much with.

The snow was all melted by 11am, as it usually does in Dunedin. Score for the year, one workday frosty and icy morning, and one snow day. For those who are soon to visit Dunedin, this is probably nearly as cold as it gets.

I think I have finally mastered Navaho plying, turning one single into a 3 ply yarn using what I can only describe as a large scale version of finger knitting. Previously my attempts have resulted in curly over-twisted yarn, but this time I got it right. This is 25g of Alpaca, Silk, Merino from Doe. 62m - what can I do with 62m? Maybe I put it aside until the next time I need to make baby booties? Handspun booties - sounds good.



Poppy's shawl is nearly done, I've cast off the body of the shawl, and have actually worked the twisted chain braid all the way around, but this photo was made during daylight yesterday when I hadn't got that far. I've modified the pattern instructions a little, adding a row of eyelets (K2tog Yo) a few rows before the cast off edge. I was trying to match the eyelet detail of the neck edge, not a perfect match but a nice effect.


And a closer view of the twisted chain edge, quite effective.

The edge is worked by alternating and twisting short lengths of crochet chain stitches over each other. This is one technique that will be used again, a nice alternative to an i-cord edge.

The pattern showed long cords added to the shawl ends to tie the wrapped ends around the body, but didn't hint how to make the cords. I'm making mine in the darker yarn, as a 3 stitch i-cord. These will be woven on tonight, and the the shawl blocked ready for wear.


take care
we have wind and wet forcast for today, and I've got plenty more essays to mark before I can knit or spin some more.
S

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

opps, thats broken ....


yes, 6 and a half hours in Dunedin Public Hospital A&E department with a broken Toby. As a result yesterdays blog post sort of got derailed, or superseded by other more important events. Still I've got other news, knitting related, 2 new(old?) books, one of which has an inscription that makes me giggle at the lack of understanding in the modern world about knitting, and lastly my new and very pink project.

For those with kids, read on, for those without, bear with me or skip down to the knitting. Toby is ok, he has a nasty break near his elbow, so we are attempting to avoid funny bone jokes (they are not very funny he tells us). He failed to land safely on a jump down 3 or so stairs. This is a temporary splint-cast until the swelling goes down, and then the real deal next Wednesday. Toby is tall and thin, shaped like a twig, all 28kg of 8.9 year old, and I guess he just snapped.


Now - two new(to me) books. First A Fine Fleece is a beauty, and arrived as a surprise gift, from Suzanne. I do need to find an appropriate thank you for this a beautiful book. And Suzanne is not a spinner, so a doubly nice present. Each project is photographed in hand spun and in commercially spun yarn and there are some nice projects in there, very classic, very me. And Bear - he has ordered a hat from the book already.

And the second book, a used copy, ex library, of Nordic Knitting by Vibeke Lind. Now what makes me giggle is the stamp inside the cover "Discarded, Outdated, Redundant Material", in red no less. I'm not sure if Palm Beach County Public Library put all the knitting books in this category, or just the 'old' and 'history' ones, but I'm amused and slightly horrified. As one who is collecting books on ethnic knitting traditions and finding the second hand book market prices for these beauties is robust to say the least, as one who knits, and knows many many younger and hipper knitters then me, I am still surprised that others consider knitting and knitting knowledge as outdated and redundant. I do offer an apology to any Palm Beach resident who was hoping to borrow this book from their local public library. I'm very sorry its now in my collection, but I bought it fair and square online from Amazon. Perhaps take up the issue with the library manager?

And lastly, Pam at Take Back the Knit, offered me a bag of dk/worsted weight pink yarn to knit something for Poppy. She inherited it and wanted to find a home it would be used in. Well it is pink, pinker than I'd usually choose, but Poppy is in Pink heaven. And I've chosen to knit a Danish shawl from the last issue of Spin-off, as a practice for a larger more sophisticated one for me next. This working shawl wraps and ties around the body, and seems a cute update on the poncho and ballet wrap craze of recent. The shawl is a very easy knit, with standard yarn over increases every 2nd row. This is to be finished with a two colour crochet edge, I'm thinking charcoal grey to tone the pink down perhaps.
Whilst I'm past the neck section on this shawl, but in my new/old Knitting in the Nordic tradition book I found very clever instructions on how to short row the neck to get an even better fit on this type of top down shawl. But of course that is obviously outdated and redundant information - sorry its going to take a while for me to let that one go.

Take care, I'll be taking care of Toby (Tubs to us- 'cause he isn't at all a Tubby guy).
Stella

Monday, June 02, 2008

Finished !


Yes, two more socks done and blocked and put away awaiting a new owner. Salto is finished, the birthday girl is now 6 and continuing to annoy her big brother to bits, and I've finally made a start on my 2nd twined mitten. Today was a public holiday in New Zealand, Queens birthday weekend. Two interesting facts, its not her birthday, but apparently her fathers (or grandmothers - I forget exactly which), and they don't have that holiday in England - odd. no?


So Salto socks, all done, now these are a very pretty sock and while needing a certain amount of attention whilst knitting to get the cables all equally spaced, the socks themselves are actually quite straightforward. One warning - the sock pattern is for a quite small foot, and the numerous cables 'eat' yarn. Because of this, and my stubborn-ness in accidentally knitting the very frugal 1"rib at the top of the sock a generous 0.5" to long, I ran out of yarn, and I refused to frog. With hand dyed yarn this causes problems. So there was some juggling and some helping out and some fudging and even a little frogging around to get these two beauties to match perfectly at the toe. So because they are done, and turned out better than OK, nearly perfect in every way at the end, you get two celebratory photos of my finished Saltos. And no - they are not for me .... its a mystery who's foot they will grace in a month or twos time.

Sock Stats:
Started March 20th 2008,
Finished May 29th May 2008.
Needles dpns, 2.25mm,
Yarn = Sock by Vintage Purls, St Clements (plus a extra grams of a special blend -thanks :-D).


Now with Salto finished, I've dug back into the UFO pile and so I've been twining away again, working the 2nd of the twined mittens. The days draw in, the nights are colder and we have had at least one icy frost. I have mittens, but there is something about 'new' mittens. The second time around - I'm discovering that I didn't note down all the details as I knit the first, but since I have it here, I can work out what to do, and I'm amending the pattern, with a view to posting it here.

and news, I'm all exited, I'm off to the nearest bigger smoke at the end of July, a girls spin trip. Three of us, to an Anne Feild workshop "refine your spinning". We have our places confirmed, our accommodation booked, and our flights all organised. All I need to do is find a suitcase or box my smallest wheel fits into - and I'm good to go. they will lend us wheels, but .... once you have your own wheel tweaked, and running perfect, and the thought of a spare unloved guild wheel .... is not enticing. I've also got another knitting based road trip coming up early July - for which plans are falling into place. More about that at the time. And a conference in August - I am going to have to give Bear a bit of child free time, once all my tripping around New Zealand is done.

Take care - Stell

pssst I did start a new project today. For Pops, in Pink, but with night falling at 5pm, you will have to wait a few days before I can make a photo to show you.