Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Expanding my horizons

I'm late with this post, sorry guys. 

My weekend schedule was a little mucked up because I went to visit my Mum and Dad. It's was my mum's birthday on Saturday so s visit was definitely in order. I had planned to write to you on Sunday morning as usual, but life got in the way. 

As the title suggests I'm going to try to expand my horizons this summer. To that end I've already started!  As I write to you I'm sitting on my mother-in-law's swing seat on her top lawn. From here I can see for miles. 
In the distance on the left you can see Penrith (not very far - only 3 miles). The middle distance is the Eden Valley. And in the very far distance are the Pennines. 

I can hear unteem species of bird singing their hearts out. Most mornings I can hear a woodpecker too. That's a first for me. There is a gentle wind which still has quite a chill to it so I'm sitting well wrapped in an old cardie I knit years ago and my Ullswater shawl by Vicky at Eden cottage yarns. 

I'm not idle while I write. 
Murphy wants me to play ball. 

I have plans when I finish writing too 

From the top I have a whiskey tube. I'm not planning on drinking myself into oblivion honest! It contains my spindle
See?!

 The spotty project bag (one of my trusty wash bags!) contains more fibre. I've been spinning this fibre for almost a year now and I'm spinning it on my trusty homemade spindle. The fibre is from the Woolclip. Jan & Cecelia dyed it, it's BFL dyed using logwood. I love how it's spinning up, I wanted to see how thin I could get it which is one of the reasons it's taken so long. Unfortunately one of the consequences of that is the roving has become badly felted. Originally I was drafting straight from the braid, but now I've stripped it so that it's almost like pin roving. It's fluffed back up a treat and the spinning is progressing nicely.

 I can't remember how much fibre I had originally (65g sticks in my head for some reason) but I weighed what I had left to spin the other day and I've got another 29g to go. I was starting to struggle with keeping the single as thin as I'd like now the spindle is getting really full, so I decided to wind it off onto my ball winder. 


My plan is to spin the last 29g, join the two ends and then make a plying ball by pulling from both the inside and the outside of my ball. I'm hoping sincerely that I don't end up with barf, wish me luck folks. You'll hear my sobs of anguish if it all goes wrong! 

Next in the photo is my gorgeous Sew Buttons on Ice Cream project bag. It contains my DragonWheel shawl. It's coming along nicely. I dispair of my early spinning. In places this yarn is nothing short of crispy, in others there's barely enough twist to hold the fibres together. Despite this, however, it's knitting up nicely and I'm happy with how the project is coming out. 

Next is my happy, happy surprise. Once upon a time I re-tweeted a tweet. This tweet came from @MagicalWorldJournals. They were offering the chance to win one of their journals and I did!!! It arrived in the post early last week and I'm so pleased with it. The journals all have a theme. Last Christmas I bought Ben and my friend and avid journaller Mel a TreeMan journal each. The cover has the face of the TreeMan on and inside each page has a lovely sketch of imps and other mystical creatures. As you can see from the photo I received the Unicorn journal. I can honestly say it's beautiful. The artwork inside is stunning

I've decided it's going to be my craft journal. I'm planning on writing in it most days, recording my trials and tribulations with all things crafty. 

I have a funny feeling that there may be some journals appearing under Christmas trees this year. 

Lastly I've just started a cross stitch. It's been a while since I last worked on a cross stitch project. There have been lots of photos from folk on twitter and Instagram of cross stitch projects, so my fingers have been getting itchy. 

I've no time scale for finishing this, but when I do, I'd love to frame it and put it in the lounge. 

Feeling the love - 

As predicted I've mainly been working on the DragonWheel shawl. It's taking some knitting. I thought progress might be slightly quicker, but the stitch count decreases much more slowly than I'd originally thought. It could be a while!! 

Other projects have been languishing untouched. 

On the horizon - 

Will I ever get the red onion socks done?
Or Hana Hou?
Or the watermelon merino?

Who knows I've got so many fish to fry now! 

Have a lovely, sunshiny week. 

Ellen