Sunday, 28 July 2013

Jolly holidays

Here there guys! As the title suggests I'm on my jollies now. Two weeks off work. Bliss. I think my body is more than ready for this as I've got sciatica from hell, a neck in spasm and to ice the cake I also have sinusitis secondary to a cold (sad face). 

The weather has turned. It's now much cooler and it's rainy. For those out there in the UK I apologise, for the next two weeks it will rain. This is because I'm off! Whenever I'm off the weather is atrocious. Unless of course I holiday in another country, at which point the UK usually experiences a heat wave!! Any hoo, just being at home when my time is my own will be a delight. 

So this week has seen me getting T's crossed and I's dotted ready for my holidays. Work is as ready for locums as it can be, the girls are nervous, but I'm sure the pharmacists covering for me will be great. 

Home is still looking like a war zone! Matthews is making steady progress on the kitchen, the ceiling is done, in the old kitchen/new office, the desks are moved, the washer and freezers are moved and new shelving has been put up. He is now on the floor. He decided he wanted American black walnut parquet flooring in the kitchen. While it looked beautiful, I did wonder if it would be the best plan as it's a slow, complicated job. But no, that's what he wanted. So as I am visiting with my mum and dad this weekend the floor is going down. I'm glad I'm not there as work has been VERY slow and I'm fairly confident the air has been blue on more than one occasion!!

Work progresses and it's looking good.

Feeling the love this week - 
I'm trying to be good. Honest! I'm trying to work solely on Jean's scarf. But it saps my happiness and sometimes I just give in and work on something else. 

It is growing slowly but surely. I'm thinking positive thoughts. 

When I'm not being a saint and doing what I should be doing, I've been working on Neil's socks. I making up a vanilla pattern, but I wanted a slipped stitch heel as I'm sure he's hard on his socks. So I'm using Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson as a guide. This book is great. There are 23 great patterns, but what I like most are her basic socks. They are 3 patterns giving different heels, I use them as the basis of a recipe. I'veused her heel instructions and made up the rest of the sock to fit. A great resource. 

I'm onto the heel flap now, but I'm not sure I've turned the heel right. It's not looking very turned at the moment. I think I may revisit the pattern and check I've read it correctly. 

On the spinning front I've nearly finished the black merino on my wheel. I've got about 1/2 an ounce left. I'm trying to concentrate on my consistency. I'm wanting to spin this thicker. I'm aiming for a DK weight or thicker, but my default spinning setting is hair thin, and I keep finding I'm spinning too thin. Must concentrate!

I also finished that iridescent puddle sample from Nunoco on the Turkish. I took the cake off the spindle and hoped to ply from the centre pull ball. Only snag was I couldn't see the start of the single in the ball! I didn't want to ratch around inside too much and end up with barf, so I decided to N-ply it. I tried on the spindle, but it was an epic fail and I lost a few precious yards, so I plied on my wheel. 
I'm happy with the results. I'm getting more confident with the Navajo plying technique. I'm looking forward to spinning a Nunoco batt and keeping the colours true this way. 

It seems I may have anther addiction on the horizon too! This week I dyed some fibre. When I was at Woolfest I bought a few bags of natural top. I wanted to make a tonal braid so I picked a bag of merino/silk blend and had a play. I have 3 dye colours, purple, dark violet and plum. I wanted dark and lihpght shades, so I made 3 strengths of each dye and used all nine dyes on the braid. It isn't go as planned as I used way too much dye for each colour. This meant the colour saturation was effectively the same in each pot. 
This may look like cling filmed innards, but it's my fibre cooling. I applied the dye and used the microwave to set it. It took a lot of rinsing as all that excess dye had to come out. 

I'm so happy with the result though. It's come out great. My good friend Marion has offered to give me a lesson. I'm definitely going to take her up on that and I'm going to buy more colours. 3 shades of purple just aren't working for me any more!

On the horizon - 
This afternoon I'm collecting a friend's child that I'm minding for a week, so next week will be spent entertaining children, but I'm hoping that I should have a fair bit of knitting time too. I must ocu opinion the dreaded scarf. Her birthday is in 10 days! Eeeekkkkk!!!!!! As a reward for knuckling down, I'll work on Neil's sock. I did think I may cast on that second evenstar I threatened to start ll those months ago, maybe if I'm good and finish the scarf I'll cast it on. 

On the spinning front, I'll work on the back/silver merino. Maybe I'll put something new on a spindle.

Have a great week guys!