Blue Friday

Posting on behalf of Mum (whippetsgalore), who's been blending more colour on her drum carder for spinning and enjoying it. She says "The first is my sample of 2 mixes. Not quite Aqua, so I've called it Blue Lagoon. The other one is Bluebell. I am very pleased with them; I find it much more fun spinning with mixed colours."

Finished Object

It seems ages since I finished anything, let alone something so pleasing. Thanks to Guzzisue and Allabitrandom for the suggestions - Ravelry did indeed have lots of patterns for a sample quantity of yarn. I've adapted this a bit (decreased it to a point and made the tassel).

OK, it's not very neat at all, and I have something to learn about blocking. It looked much better before I did that. More lustrous and plump. I think when I squeezed out the water, it stayed squeezed. But then again I suppose it would get flattened between the pages of the book / magazine.

BUT I love the colour (thanks to L'Oreal), I love working with pure silk (first time) and it's a great pattern, effective but easy and quick to knit.

It was all a bit 'on a whim'.I'm going to do it again and take much more care.

Repairing a broken spinning wheel

This is an Ashford wheel, but other wheels are constructed in a similar way, so I guess this solution will also apply to any wheel.

Here's the problem, the hub has come apart leaving the spokes loose and the wheel wobbly.
First of all, if you can't see a pencil mark somewhere across the two halves of the hub, make one of your own. This will make sure that it goes back together correctly.
Knock out the locating pin which goes through the hub and crank. Take the con-rod off the end of the crank and pull out the crank. (This is usually hard work).
Now you can separate the two halves of the hub. clean off any dried-up old glue, and then apply some new wood glue. Follow instructions on your wood glue, and be sparing - you don't want it squeezing out all over your spokes and hub.

Push the crank back in far enough to make sure that the hub is aligned properly (some candle-wax to help it slip in a little more easily). Use two G-Clamps to squeeze the hub together. Check your pencil mark to make sure it's matched up properly. Protect your hub with some scrap wood and tighten the clamps up well. Leave to dry overnight or as directed by your wood glue before putting it all back together.

Blending fibres

Tried mixing silk with dyed merino. Sirino? Merilk? Either way, the result looks good enough to eat!

Ow, sore thumb

I coloured my hair the other night and once again frantically looked for something I could dye to use up the remainder. I grabbed these few silk caps. They haven't taken the dye quite as well as the wool that I tried last time, but I love the delicious colour.

This is the first time I've tried spinning pure silk straight from the cap. I'm a little disappointed that I haven't managed to get it quite as even as I'd like, but I do love the colour. You have to be heavy-handed with this type of silk - the fibres are very long and strong. Hence the sore thumb! But I do have 20 yds of beautiful yarn. What can I knit with this small sample quantity?

The Wild Rose Traveller spinning wheel

I have a friend called Tabs who has lots of colour and isn't afraid to use it. Me, I'm much less confident about using colour and might not have gone ahead with such a strong pink and green if Tabs hadn't suggested it. This is the Wild Rose Traveller spinning wheel.

I was inspired by our native wild rose, or 'dogrose', and by Tiffany's Dogwood Tiffany lamp. The wild rose is a beautiful flower that appears on our hedges in the summer and produces the rosehips that we make delicious wine or a syrup full of vitamin C.
I always thought that the American 'dogwood' and our dogrose were one and the same. On Tiffany's Dogwood lamp, the flowers look remarkably like our wild rose. But apparently they're unrelated. (note that these dogwood flowers have 4 petals). My spinning wheel design is based on this lamp, but I've adapted the design slightly so that it more closely resembles our wild rose.

More information and photos at

Spring competition - my ideas

The daffodil image and more details of this competition are here. These experiments are obviously just for fun. I had two ideas. The first was the one I thought would be most successful, but I've decided I don't like it. The green is a mix of spearmint with primary green (it looks more blue in the photograph than it really is), and the reddish-brown is a mix of natural brown with nutmeg. I'm not fond of the barber-pole effect, particularly with such contrasting colours.

For the second idea mixes the same mix of green with yellow. The green overpowered the yellow, and it needed much more yellow than I expected. A thick single is plied this with a very thin thread of the reddish brown. I like the look of plied thick/thin, and I like the variegated look of the yellow/green. Much happier with this and I tried knitting and weaving samples.

lo-o-o-o-o-ong circular

The Ravelympics seems a long time ago, my main project is still not finished, but I did far more spinning and knitting during the Winter Olympics fortnight than usual. Sitting up and knitting through the early hours was a first (and last!)

I am just a few rows off finishing now. But what long rows! I'm finishing off with a k1p1 rib all the way around the bottom border, up the front, round the neck and back down.

This requires a 160cm (5ft) needle. Simple! a cable connector costing £1.50 joins two cables and the same tips I've been using to knit the rest of the cardy.

Getting creative with colour - Aqua

On behalf of Mum, I'm posting some of her recent work with colour. The dyed fibre was from a selection bag so not sure of the type, but the mix is 50/50 blue and green, with some undyed white fleece too. She's very pleased with the result, rightly so!

Egg-cellent and egg-citing sit and spin day

Easter Sunday saw our first North Norfolk sit and spin day. Five of us met in the beautiful setting of Alby Crafts and, well, sat and spun.

Meg had the foresight to bring a drum carder which fascinated those who hadn't used one before and proved useful to others who'd spun the fibre they'd brought with them and needed to card some more! Meg cards amazing batts incorporating all sorts of chopped-up bits and pieces, which she then felts or spins.
The day was a real success. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and loved seeing what others were doing. Everyone got on famously, and there was much exchanging of numbers and talk of meeting again.