Wednesday, 16 September 2009

This is why the blog has been quiet lately...

DSC_0107, originally uploaded by Bright Side.

This is my daghter, Robyn April, born on the 18th of August at 1.18pm, weighing 7lb 8oz. We had a lovely natural birth at the John Radcliffe hospital, where the midwives were all absolutely brilliant. Robyn is now 4 weeks old and is growing really quickly. She's finally starting to be able to sleep for short periods on her own during the day (rather than in my arms or in the sling) so I should be able to do just a little bit of spinning or knitting at some point soon.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Night Sky

Night Sky, originally uploaded by Bright Side.

I've been doing some spinning over the past couple of weeks, inspired by some of the lovely Hello Yarn club fibre which has been arriving every month. This is "Night SKy", a lovely soft superwash BFL. I have 256m of 2 ply, so it's sort of DK ish weight. I'm wondering about making a stacked eyelet cowl with it, as I think that would show off the lovely colours in the yarn.

In other knitting news, I'm back working on my Copper Oxide socks. I'm finding going a lot easier since last time I tried- my knitting is obviously improving! I'd like to get this sock finished reasonably soon so that I can use the needles to make the second Nutkin sock, which is a much faster and easier knit.

Monday, 15 June 2009

FO: BSJ for Baby Barker

BSJ for Baby Barker, originally uploaded by Bright Side.

I've finished the Baby Surprise Jacket for my baby. I've knitted a size that I've guestimated will fit the baby in the winter, but we'll have to see how he/she grows first!

The yarn is mostly 3ply superwash merino by Hello Yarn, as well as a stripe of 2ply Manx Loaghtan, and spun on my Schacht Ladybug wheel. The buttons were made for me by a local woodturner, and I think that they're perfect for this project.

I'm not sure what to knit next. I have a terribly complicated sock project which has been zzzzz for ages- my knitting has improved so much since I last did anything on that project that I think I might be able to cope better with the compex charts. On the other hand, I do have a good case of baby brain at the moment, so it could all go horribly wrong. I can't spindle at the moment (too much bending over!) but the wheel is ok, so I might just have to stick to spinning until I make up my mind.

Friday, 5 June 2009

BSJ for Baby Barker

BSJ for Baby Barker, originally uploaded by Bright Side.

I'm knitting a little baby surprise jacket for Baby Barker, made from my own handspun. The fibre was Hello Yarn's superwash merino in "Peat", which I spun into a 3ply DK weight. This was my first go at a three ply and I love how it turned out. The superwash aspect not only makes it really soft for next to baby's skin, but also means that it'll be able to go in the wash! I'm knitting it on reasonably small needles as I wanted the fabric to be quite thick, but it's still quite soft and flexible.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Peat Three Ply

Peat, originally uploaded by Bright Side.

Russ bought me two more bobbins for the Ladybug for my birthday, so I've finally been able to make a "real" three ply instead of a navajo ply. As much as I love the navajo ply (no waste!) there's something slightly different about plying with three separate threads.

This yarn is 226m and 117g of superwash merino loveliness, hand dyed by Hello Yarn. The superwash process does make the fibre very soft, and I've ended up with a gorgeous bouncy DK weight, perfect for a BSJ.

I don't have any projects on the wheel or spindle at the moment. I shall take some spindle projects away with me over half term- perhaps some organic merino that I bought recently. I'd like to do more silk on the spindles too. Theoretically I *could* take me wheel away now that we've got a bigger car, but that might be taking it just a tad too far!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Peacock Feathers Shawl

FO: Peacock Feathers Shawl, originally uploaded by Bright Side.

I finally managed to photograph my Peacock Feather Shawl. See my Flickr photostream for loads more photos, or there's a set showing the whole process from start to finish.

I finished the moebius stript cowl, and although I love the texture of the knitted fabric, the finished article doesn't really do anything for me. It was a worthy experiment though, so I'm going to knit the Thrive coils into a long, thin scarf, using the enormous 15mm needles.

I've been busy spinning using my Bosworth spindle and some of Megan's shetland/silk fibre. I've finished plying it today, using my Sublime Spindles bottom whorl. I'm thinking it'll be good for our section of the 6 Guilds exhibition which is happening at some point soon. Our guild has to produce a load of purple things, and this fibre will be great for that. I might see if I can get someone at guild to weave with it.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

More coils...

Thermograph, originally uploaded by Bright Side.

I think I might be slightly obsessed with coils. After spinning lots of fine yarns in the past few months I'm really enjoying the practically instant gratification of a coiled yarn. This lot is made from Spunky Eclectic bfl in "Thermograph", as well as a silver viscose/metallic thread as the core. I'm going to be experimenting with other core threads soon. Anyway, this lot of coils is going to be a trial run for a slouchy mobius cowl, which I'll hopefully then be making with my "Thrive" coils. I've bought 15mm ends for my denise needles and a huge circular extension so that I can make the mobius strip using Cat Bordhi's excellent cast on technique.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Ishbel in progress

Ishbel in progress, originally uploaded by Bright Side.

After finishing my teddy bear for the baby, I thought I'd take a break from baby knitting and knit something for me. I've wanted my own small scarf/shawl for a while, so the Ishbel pattern by Ysolda Teague looked perfect. I'm struggling a little with the YO between the purl and 3 knit stitches, as when I come back to that section on the next row it all seems to have tumbled out of place, and so there are a couple of places where I've knit the wrong bit. I've checked that I'm doing the YO correctly, so I'm not quite sure what the problem is. I'm going to muddle along and see how it turns out in a few more rows.

The shawl is knit in my own 2 ply handspun, spun from Spindlefrog hand dyed falkland fibre in "Rockpool". The mix of greens, yellow and grey is just right for me.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Spinning again

Thrive Coils, originally uploaded by Bright Side.

I know that this blog has been very quiet while the crafting mojo was squished by my morning sickness- apologies. Now that the morning sickness has just about worn off, I'm finally back to knitting and spinning again. Here's something fun I've been working on for our guild Artsweek competition. It's Hello Yarn corriedale in "Thrive", which has made these wonderful squishy coils. I've been doing a bit of experimenting with coils and I think a squishy fibre like corriedale or BFL is what I like best. I've just made some in some "wool top" which although has turned out well, isn't quite as bouncy as the corriedale. I think I'll experiment a bit more with some other fibres and see what happens.

Monday, 9 February 2009


Rockpool, originally uploaded by Bright Side.

I finally managed to finish spinning this lovely Spindlefrog falkland fibre. It came out a little bit thinner than I was aiming at, but it's so pretty that I don't mind! I ended up with 518m from the 100g, which is quite a lot for me. I'm thinking that it will make a really nice shawl for me :)

On the wheel: All Spun Up 70% superwash merino, 30% alpaca in gorgeous jewel colours. Mmmmm, soft and lovely. This is also coming out quite thin, I'm thinking of a n-pled sock yarn.

On the spindle: Warratah Fibrecrafts shetland, in grey and purple, on the Bosworth spindle. It's spinning really easily, and is so pretty. I'm thinking that it'll end up as a DKish weight 2 ply.

Friday, 9 January 2009

New Spindles!

New Spindles, originally uploaded by Bright Side.

I was lucky to add two new spindles added to the collection this Christmas. On the left, a 36g zebrawood Bosworth, which spins brilliantly and is really precision crafted. On the right, a 28g oak burr banded spindle by IST Crafts- a pretty fast spinner and well balanced. I'm really pleased with both of them and I'm looking forward to using them over the next few weeks.

After having a horrible cold over Christmas I really lost my spinning/kntting mojo for a while. It's returning slowly now but I'm still not quite up to speed yet. I have been doing a little bit of spinning, which was navajo plying the second half of sock yarn. Unfortunately it's very slightly thicker than the first lot, but I think it'll be alright when it's knitted, as they're only going to be vanilla versions. Serves me right for not spinning both lots at the same time! I had to put loads of plying twist in too as the singles had sat on a bobbin for ages, and I knew as soon as I put them into soak they'd spring back into life. I managed it quite well as after a good soak it was hanging straight and didn't need any weighting. As soon as that was finished I started some falkland, dyed by Spindlefrog, in a gorgeous green/grey/blue colourway called "Rockpool". I'm spinning it fractal style in a short forward draw to make a worsted- style 2 ply, maybe fingering weightish. I want to make another baby surprise jacket from this but I want it to be small, so to do that I need the yarn to be quite fine.