Archive for January, 2011

January 29, 2011

Workshops and keeping fit

Finally after almost a year of being unemployed I had a choice of 2 jobs. Tough decision but  I am now employed to take exercise classes in nursing homes around Sussex. Hopefully it will keep me fit too.
I will still be running workshops (in my free time) the first of which is next Wed in Isfield. I will be able to keep my etsy shop stocked and have a little time to complete an NVQ in customer services.
I am running a knitting workshop in March at Furniture Now in Lewes as part of the Knit 1 Pass It On campaign.This is a new national campaign to encourage knitters to pass on their skills to at least one other person.

January 27, 2011

Motorcycle Funerals

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, there on the back of a trailer was a motorbike, but what the heck was that next to it? As I followed the black transit and trailer I realised I was looking at a sidecar attached to the motorbike which was actually a hearse. As we rounded the roundabout I saw the sign writing on transit- Motorcycle Funerals. I just had to look them up! Low carbon footprint/enviro friendly???? check out the web site!

January 17, 2011

Washing hand knits

My recommendations for washing hand knits are as follows

1. Read label if it came with one

2. Fill bowl/basin with warm water add a squirt of eco friendly washing up liquid or hand wash liquid

3. Put garment into water pushing down so all of it is wet.

4. Gently swish about  and leave for about 5 mins.

5. Drain

6. Fill bowl with more water, making sure it’s the same temperature as the water you washed it in. Drain

7. Repeat this process until suds are gone.

8. Place garment in a towel and wrap it up, gently rolling it so that some of the water comes out.

9. Unwrap & re-shape garment, pulling it into shape. Dry on a sweater dryer or for small items place on dry towel over radiator or clothes airer. Move around a few times as it’s drying.


January 11, 2011

Vintage knitting patterns and accessories

I love finding old knitting patterns, needles & yarn, I enjoy using them too. The old plastic knitting needles get made into jewellery & I try & match vintage yarn with a vintage pattern to make something useful. When my aunt died a few years ago she left me a suitcase full of yarn, she worked in a yarn shop & stashed just like I do. Some of the yarn went into a baby blanket for her first grand daughter-a lovely 50% merino, 50% silk mix in duck egg blue. I have bought yarn at our Guild meetings & made knitted ball necklaces with it & was once given 2 hanks of Big Ben yarn which I reckon was over 40 years old. This was knitted up into a tea cosy, the pattern was vintage too! Old buttons adorn some of my cowls and crocheted flowers. I have many needle gauges & row counters which I use and on the go projects are stored away in old knitting bags. There is something very satisfying about using something that has already had a life before coming into yoursa dream of loveliness elegant shawl
Ovaltine advert

January 8, 2011

Wool, wheels & Christmas puddings

All the fleece is washed & sparkling clean and I have the drum carder ready to card the dry fleece into spinnable batts. Since my Christmas pudding hats sold so well last year I’m going to attempt to knit at least one a month so I have a few ready for this winter. I dyed some of the clean fleece with shades of brown & rust to create the pudding look. This too will go through the carder ready to spin as soon as I have my wheel fixed. I have put the old ‘un to work but as soon as I get any kind of speed up the drive band pings off. Slow & steady works fine but I think for all the yarn I’m going to need for the hats I need to spin at speed. The undyed wool will become the cream on top & the dyed will be the pudding.

I still have no idea what make the old spinning wheel is but it’s seen alot of active service that’s for sure.

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January 5, 2011

Washing fleece the quick & easy way

Last year at the Rare Breed Show at Singleton I purchased a Lleyn x Texel fleece. I washed some of it last year but the majority of the fleece joined about 8 more fleeces stored away in the barn. Yesterday I decided to do something different.

How to wash fleece-the quick & easy way

1.Remove any obvious vegetation & muck.

2 1/2 fill the bath tub with water just from hot tap & add a good squeeze of eco friendly washing up liquid.

3.Put some of the fleece in & swish it around, it needs room so don’t get carried away & put it all in! Leave for about an     hour giving it an occassional swish.

4.The water should still be warm when you pull the plug, let dirty water drain away.

5.Turn the shower on warm to hot & spray the fleece until the water runs clear & soap is gone.

6.Put wet fleece into lingerie bags or pillow cases & pop into washing machine, spin. I use a 1000 setting.

7.Hang over clothes airer to dry & proceed with carding or spinning once dry.

The fleece I washed had a staple of 5-6″ & had quite a bit of bounce to it, I would also wash longwool fleeces by this method but I don’t think it would suit merino type fleeces, they need a bit more TLC.

clean fleece drying
January 4, 2011

Knitting mittens

I have to confess I’d put this commission on hold. The remit was to knit a pair of mittens in black cashmere. Not much of a challenge, follow a pattern, make 2 the same (well mirror images) & ship them. Why then did the yarn end up in a basket & the first mitt stay on the needles for a couple of months? After knitting the Christmas pudding hats for grandson & daughter in law the mittens were resurrected & the order altered. I now needed to knit some fingerless mittens similar to ones in my etsy shop- the camel & silk ones-this is much more of a challenge and I have now completed the first mitten & am on the second.  Thank you Lesley for putting me up to this challenge. Photos will be posted in the next couple of days.


January 1, 2011

Out with the old

In with the new.
Happy New Year everyone, or as my old friend Sue says, ‘Happy New Yurt’ The Stanmer Park yurt is taking shape & will be the first of many to adorn our newly formed National Park. More info on Sue’s web site Knitting the Map. My resolution? not to make any!