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Monday, 27 January 2014

Baby Blanket's Growing

Not a good photo because it was taken under artificial light (it's raining cats and dogs outside), but the blanket has moved on a bit.  Almost halfway there now.  The baby was actually due two days ago, but Rona seems to be doing a good job of keeping her legs crossed.  There's no way this is going to be finished and in the post by the time baby arrives, but hopefully it won't be too long afterwards.

In the meantime, I've run out of wool again and am in the middle of spinning the 3rd ball. With a bit of luck I'll only need four!

Speaking of rain, my greenhouse is doing its best to turn itself back into a swimming pool:-

By tomorrow, I'll have to wear Eric's waders - my wellies just aren't high enough any more!  Luckily, we raised all the plants onto blocks above the expected final water line so they should keep dry.

My plant scientist friend suggested I should grow rice in there!  I don't think he's far wrong, do you?

Monday, 20 January 2014


WOW - almost 2 weeks since I last posted.  But I haven't been idle.  Eric's first grandson is due to arrive on the planet at the end of January (not long now), so I've been busy making his blanket.  I wasn't planning to post photos on here until it was ready as I didn't want to spoil the surprise.  I don't think they look on my blog very often though, and anyway I wanted to show you how I was getting on.

The spinning is taking me some time because I'm spinning fairly fine and then Navajo plying (3-ply), so everything I've spun reduces to a third when I ply it.  I wanted to do it this way because you finish up with a more "rounded" yarn than a simple 2-ply would be.

The fleece I'm using is from Maco Merinos and looks like this before processing :-

I'm spinning this without washing it first because, unlike a lot of spinners nowadays, I actually like spinning "in the grease", i.e. the lanolin is still present.  I'm separating this fleece into it's individual locks and flick carding the ends so it looks like this :-

How fluffy is that, eh?

Then I'm making rolags from that (sorry, no photos, but I'm sure you've seen them before on here!).

Spinning in progress :-

and finally, the knitting . . .

The knitting is only a quarter of the way through, so I need to get my skates on.  So far I've used one complete ball of the white, and then I ran out.  I've almost finished spinning the second ball, but estimate that I'll need at least another two after that.  Somehow, I don't think this is going to be finished in time for the birth, unless she crosses her legs!

One of my Christmas presents arrived just in time to start this blanket.  I've been hankering after some new knitting needles for quite a while, but held off because they are quite expensive.  Then I received two Amazon vouchers from two of the wicked stepsons (Thanks Dan and Matthew) and thought, what better way to use them than this, especially as the blanket is for Matthew's child.

Ta da!!

So, that's it for now.  I'll keep you informed with progress, but I'm unlikely to be doing any other projects until this is finished.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

St Distaff's Day Celebrations

I'm sure you remembered that today was St. Distaff's Day - ignore your French calendar which tells which saint is celebrated today . . . whoever heard of St Raymond?  (Apologies to all the Raymonds reading this).

Tammy (my next door neighbour) and I did our best and gave our spinning wheels some exercise this afternoon.

I was spinning some of my Maco Merinos fleece which has to magically transform into a baby blanket before the end of January (some hope!!) and Tammy was spinning for a woven bag she's making.

artistic shot of Tammy through my spinning wheel

Then Jak decided to get in on the act! (There's no show without punch!)

She won't do it right unless I watch very carefully!

So, that's it until next year.  Thankfully, there were no traditional pranks such as setting fire to our wool or flax, so I think we escaped pretty lightly!