Friday, 22 February 2013

Still Winter!

After a few days of mild temperatures and bright sunshine, today it is snowing again.
Luckily I have finished my Log Cabin Shawl, so I am warm as toast.

Tomorrow I am going to Unravel. This will be my fourth year at this delightful event and I am looking forward to it. Last year it was so mild that people were eating and drinking outside in the sunshine, but that isn't going to happen this year! I don't have many plans for purchases, but I would like to get some hand painted sock yarn and a toning plain colour to crochet La Vie en Rayures.

I've made some raspberry muffins to share as I hope to meet up with a few friends.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Is it Spring Yet?

Today it looks like Spring outside, as the sun is shining and there isn't a cloud in the sky. But outside it is cold! I've put two washloads on the line, though, as there is sun and a nice breeze, so I think things might dry quite well.

I've washed the recycled skeins I  unravelled last weekend and they are drying:

I've found this pattern,  Old Forge, which I think might look lovely in the recycled yarn, paired with a bright aran for the centre.

And finally, I'm on the last strip of the Log Cabin Shawl, after which I just need to add a border. I'm loving it so far!

Sunday, 10 February 2013


Nearly 20 years ago now I was staying in the village of Ambleside, in the Lake District, when I found  a little wool shop, now sadly defunct. It had some lovely, natural grey-brown Blue-Faced Leicester in an aran weight, and I bought some to make this sweater (the one on the right):

Well, twenty  years ago it was pretty fashionable ;)

I started knitting the sweater and I finished the back. Then I stopped knitting for a while and it was five years later, if I remember correctly, that I picked it up again and knitted the front and one sleeve. I started the second sleeve - disaster! I ran out of yarn. After some searching on the internet (no Ravelry in those days) I found a supplier of the same brand of yarn, but they did not have the same colour. They sent me a shade card and I chose a contrasting yarn which I used to make stripes on the remaining sleeve, the collar and sew up the sweater. What was I thinking of!

Well, it didn't look great, and I was not very careful about finishing in those days either, and the collar didn't lie properly and the sweater was very very heavy and really too warm, and, long story short, I never wore it.

I recently found it at the back of the wardrobe and I knew I was never going to wear it, but I still loved the yarn so I decided to unravel it and recycle the yarn.

I got started last weekend. Here's the sweater after I had removed the collar and the first sleeve. You can see how bad the striped sleeve looks. Plus there is a mistake in the front left cable.

I skeined up the yarn from the collar and the first sleeve using my niddy noddy and it looked like this!

Like poodle wool and incredibly sproingy.

The next step is to continue unravelling the sweater and to soak and dry the skeins. Once they are all processed then I have to decide what to make with them. Something I have noticed as I have been unravelling is that the yarn is quite soft and has a halo. I don't think it is ideally suited to cables as it softens them and they don't pop as much as they should.

One possible use for the yarn is to make a Girasole Blanket. I've wanted to make one of these for a long time. I think it would be soft and warm and would show off the yarn beautifully. On the other hand I still have a yearning to make it into something I can wear.
To be continued...

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Butterflies in the Glasshouse

Today we went to see the butterflies in the tropical glasshouse at RHS Wisley. We had to queue for an hour to get into the glasshouse, but that is a good thing as the number of people in there at any one time is controlled so you can see the butterflies and take photos without being too crowded.

I took lots of photos.


Great Mormon

Achilles Morpho

Tree Nymph

Clipper - blue

Tiger Longwing

Scarlet Swallowtail

Tree Nymph

Malay Lacewing

What a lovely way to spend a cold, grey winter afternoon.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Knitting Update

I completed the handspun scarf on Monday and blocked it. Then I had to wait until today to have enough daylight to take a decent photograph. I really like it, and it is light and warm, too.

I've also made progress on my Log Cabin Shawl

I am using a pack of Jamieson's Spindrift which I bought one year at Ally Pally, and some left over sock yarn. The thin stripes are in a mixture of Trekking XXL and Crazy Zauberball. It's fun to knit.