Sunday, 2 February 2014

What I did in my Holidays

Good morning people!

Now THAT was a quick week. I can't believe that in 24 hour's time I'll be at work again. Boo Hiss.

Week in review and feeling the love -

Monday was a great day. A really great day. I spent it with my friend Marion. She is my fibre guru. There's nothing she doesn't know. And she's an all round good egg! What more can you ask for? I'd been planning to have a dying tutorial from her for ages,but life just kept getting in the way.  Finally though we got together and had fun.
First up I learned how to prepare my dye, what happens when you use different concentrations, and how to mix your colours.



How fab are those colours? Can you see there's a purple thing going on? These are the samples we investigated with. They're rug wool so Marion could trust me not to manage to break them! I'm thinking they need to be a fair isle tea cozy for something. 

Next up came different techniques for dying. We used hand painting and steam to dye some top of Marion's. Wow! The colours were wonderful. I am, however, a terrible blogger and didn't get a photo of that. Gosh darn it. 

Next on the list of things to do was tidy up. Well, use up what dye was lurking in the dye baths anyway. I had brought round the yarn I'd bought to play with so we dyed 200g of the lamb's wool. 

As an aside I was a tad miffed about that particular purchase. I bought a lot if 500g of lamb's wool from eBay. The listing did say that the lots weigh between 475g and 525g. Mine weighed on the nose 
475g. I have to way I wondered how many weigh more, if most of them weigh 475g and it's a cunning plan to get more sales from their product. Having said that it's not a bad product and for £12 I really can't complain. But I can wonder!

Any hoo, back to the dye pots. Those two 100g skeins turned out lovely. A gently tonal lilac. 



Then we started to play.

We caked up two 50g balls of my sock yarn. After a good soak we put them into a dye bath of turquoise. Once the dye was exhausted we turned the cakes over in the water and added purple (obviously!). I'm do impressed with the results

The skeins were supposed to be matched. After all, they where treated the same. They're clearly not the same, but I can't wait to make them into not quite matching socks. 

It was at this point I remembered I'm a mother and had a child to collect from school. Oops! In my rush to get packed and back home, I forgot to pick up my purple dye. As it was, it's not necessarily a bad thing. I may have been tempted to dye ALL the things for the rest of the week otherwise!  Once I collected the child, I did play a little bit though. It would have been rude not to!


These skeins where made using the same technique as the purple ones. This time I used yellow first and then added turquoise. I caked the yarn far too tight at the dye couldn't penetrate very far into the ball. But I like the results anyway. I like the speckled effect.  Soon they will be socks for Marion. 

Tuesday was also a dying day. This time it was me changing colour. I wanted to have quite a big colour change. I went to the hairdressers to have a dip dye done. Now, at this point I should maybe mention that it's been 25 years since my hair as been it's natural colour. I wanted to have the purple at the front covered over and returned back to my 'natural' dark brown and the bottom of my hair purple. 

I did say that I'd post pictures on the web of the results. They are conspicuous by their absence. I'm not 100% happy with how it turned out. I know my hair will go bright purple. I know this because I've been doing it for the past 5 years. The hairdressers didn't manage it though and the ends are a dark auburne red colour. Which in itself is odd because I watched them put on the exact same hair dye as I use. Still the results aren't bad. They just aren't what I wanted. 

A deflated, sad kind of day. I consoled myself with knitting on my scalloped tulip socks. 

Wednesday was a frustrating day. I spent the morning battling with technology. Frankly I'm a little tired of it now. The result of my musings is that you can now stream the podcast without the need to download it. Unless a techno genius can tell me in words of one syllable how to get iTunes to listen to me, I give up. Sorry guys. But there's more to life! It seriously ate into my knitting time. How rude!?

On the upside though, I got the pattern finished and published for the Scalloped Tulip socks. I'm really pleased with how it turned out and I can't wait to see what other folk make of them. If love to see someone else knit them up and love them as much as I do. 



My afternoon was completely scuppered by family needs. Harrumph. But being a wife (ish) and mother will do that to you. I picked a poorly boy up from one school and a stranded boy up from another. All in all, not a lot of knitting got done. 

Thursday was my knitting day. I wanted to finish the in preparation socks. February was looming and I wanted to nail the pattern so it was ready should it be needed for Friendship Fetish February. I did finish them and I amended the pattern. That amendment has been linked on my project page and on last week's blog if anyone out there downloaded the first version.  It's essentially the same, but I've added some simple patterning on the back of the leg which ties up with the patterning on the top of the foot.  



It's not a great photo, contortionism isn't my bag, but can you see the purl detail which crosses around the back of the leg?

Friday was a busy day.  Lots to do. My parents visited yesterday so Friday was a day to haul ass and clean up. Not that the house was a pit, but you know what I mean don't you!? I did my Friday big shop. I cleaned out the rats (much less stressful for them now I have the travel box for them) I dusted, cleaned the kitchen and bathroom and got the washing done. 

I flew around the house with a sense of purpose. I wanted to get the jobs done so I could sit quietly and guilt free and listen to my first installment of my Swatch Like You Mean It class. I have homework to do! 

Before I got to settle down with my homework I felt like I needed to make some progress on Ben's socks. I got one done but didn't cast on the second because swatching has my attention now! I know!? Get me!?

On the horizon - 

Week one of my class begins properly on Monday. I can't wait to see what's in store for us. 

I need to work on Ben's second sock and also a hat I promised Jean. I'm knitting her a Drizzle. I've nearly finsihed the first stockinette portion. 

I need to finish my homework today and I'm not quite 2/3's the way through. 

I need to work on that poor unloved peacock shawl. 

And don't mention the spinning! I just realised yesterday that the brown merino/silk top has been on the wheel since the beginning of December! That is so bad!  I need to focus. Maybe after I've finished my homework I should dedicate some time to it. 

We'll see. 

Have a great week

Ellen x