Thursday, 26 February 2009

Slowest-ever knitted bootees

At last, they're finished. I started these Saartje's bootees all the way back in January! I'd seen the pattern on yarn pirate's blog way back - before her little boy was born, I think, and never had a reason to knit them - but now... I'm in full baby-knitting mode. They were going to be for my sister's baby, but a colleague's baby boy is more imminent, so I'll make another pair for Skein Sister and hope that they're ready in time! I've purchased some gorgeous hand-spun hand-dyed Falkland from FeltStudioUK which would be perfect for them. The ones in the photo are made with Skein Queen Plushness in Iceberg with a contrasting Debbie Bliss cashmerino DK.

Don't forget - shop update tomorrow. Then I'm going to close up for a week to recharge the old batteries... after which there will be more Plump Plushness in Pink Lady Apple - I promise!!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Winter Clubs

The last installments of both Winter Clubs are now in the post as February is rapidly drawing to a close, so if you are a club member, look out for your latest serving of pudding or latest Unfortunate skein - it should be with you very soon...

Here are January's offerings:

A single helping of Cherry Pie in Plushness

Cakesniffers in Encore

I always do a couple of extra skeins just in case any get lost in the post and if I don't snaffle them myself, they can occasionally be found by the eagle-eyed in unusual places, but they don't usually make it into the shop.

And now I can start getting the admin done for the Spring Clubs.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Unravel - the big day

What a fantastic day!

See alabamawhirly's full-size Ishbel (by Ysolda Teague) shawl in the background made from one skein of Encore with a contrast edging.

Some yarn

Some knits

Some of the gloves by alabamawhirly are for sale in her Knit Happens etsy shop. The Zig and Zag pram blanket is a free pattern by me which you can find here. The Ten O'Clock scarf pattern is free and can be found here. The Chevron scarf pattern is by Joelle Hoverson and can be found in Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. The Print o' the Waves stole which alabamawhirly created with three skeins of Wisp 2 ply cashmere/silk is a pattern by Eunny Jang which is free and can be found here.

Alabamawhirly in her trademark yellow and some lovely friends from Ravelry.

Wildfennel and Melarno knitting the Ten O'Clock scarf in the Outcast "museum of the mundane" corner.

It was so good to chat to so many friends from Ravelry and Susan from Knit on the Net (watch out for a SQ yarn review on there) and Elisabeth Beverley with her beautiful plant-dyed merinos and cashmeres and knits, the ladies from the Kennet Valley Spinners, Dyers and Weavers guild (I'm going to go along and learn to spin - v. exciting) and the man whose name I didn't catch from Pandora's wool shop in Guildford.

Some things I learnt for the next time:

1. Bring more of everything - more yarn, more business cards, more free patterns, more change, more helpers (thanks, Whirly for helping so much - we make a good team.)
2. Knit up an item in each different type of yarn.
3. Don't dread the tidying up - it only takes a quarter of the time of setting up.
4. Don't bring sandwiches containing onions and leave them all day in your bag on the floor which had underfloor heating!

Thanks so much to everyone who came - shall we do it all again soon? Maybe six months time?!

Friday, 20 February 2009

Unravel - the dress rehersal

The table

The sock yarn (well, a small selection of it)

The favourites

Plumage in Glister

Tortoiseshell in Plushness

The panic - just have to go down to Farnham this afternoon to set up - oh, and did I mention I hadn't put any prices on yet... I should probably add that I haven't got any facilities for taking credit or debit cards.

Any yarn not sold tomorrow will go into the shop at the end of next week.

Must dash...

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Oddments and endments

Just had a very lovely family day today. Was supposed to be doing more getting-ready-for-Unravel on Saturday, but as I've worked solidly for days, weeks... and thoroughly neglected my family, I thought it wouldn't hurt to spend one day this half-term with them (though that leaves not a lot of time for more skeining and labelling and am now slightly panicking!)

So, we had a trip to London - Tate Modern followed by the Museum of London. We also got shooed off the steps of St Paul's Cathedral by some gentlemen in cassocks until the fire brigade arrived! Just after we were telling the kids about it burning down in the Great Fire of London.

Then Skein Prince and myself went along to Knit Night with the outcasts which was the perfect end to the day, especially seeing alabamawhirly's ishbel in Count Olaf.

So the oddments and endments:

Firstly, all the places in the Spring round of Squee! Sock Clubs are now taken. Summer places will open in May.

Secondly, if a lady called Mairi who emailed me through the shop reads this, could you email me again? My reply was bounced back from the email address you gave me. Thanks.

And thirdly - my spinning wheel arrived!! It's still in the box though as it arrived when we were in London and I haven't had time to have a little play yet...

Finally, I'll be dyeing up the last installment of the Winter Club yarn tomorrow.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Friday 13th (and the week leading up to it!)

The best laid plans of mice and men... so much for my careful plans to have four days of dyeing this week to allow plenty of preparation for Unravel. Tis a sad tale of woe and misery:

There's a rather vital ingredient to the dyeing process called citric acid. I'd ordered several kilos well ahead of time but the delivery had been held up due to the snow last week. After phoning the delivery company on at least four increasingly shouty occasions, and waiting in for three whole days, it finally arrived mid-week, by which time I'd lost two days of dyeing. The irony is that I had ordered another batch from another company which actually arrived two hours before the original batch. Now I have kilos and kilos of the stuff! But at least I can dye again.

Then last night, around eleven o'clock, Skein Princess was violently ill - I think that's the most polite way to put it - and has the day off school today. Apparently half of her class are off with a stomach bug. Poor SP - she'll miss her school disco and Brownie promise tonight. She's doing a lot of sleeping today. But the upshot is... no dyeing today.

Which means my four days have shrunk into one measly day. I'm breathing deeply and reassuring myself that I already have quite a few skeins needing to be labelled and I got loads done yesterday, so all will be fine (please reassure me!)

I have a few skeins of Plump Plushness, normal Plushness, Blush and Desire for a small shop update tomorrow. And tomorrow is also the day that any spare Squee! Sock Club for Spring places will be released in the shop. There won't be many again as almost all existing members have resubscribed, but I have tried to expand the clubs to maximum capacity so there will be a few.

Click here for more details and the prices are here:

Spring Sock Clubs

Pudding Club - single helping - £42 or $69
Pudding Club - double helping - £79 or $130
Unfortunate Club - $38 or $62

And there hasn't been a whole lot of knitting going on due to the large amount of reskeining going on of an evening. I did complete one Saartje's bootee for my sister's forthcoming sprog-event in Plushness in Iceberg colourway but it came out more the size of a doll's shoe than one that would fit even the smallest baby, and she's having a BIG baby - oh yes, the consultant has reassured her it's big and will have to be delivered three weeks early. She's a midwife so she knows herself.

But I can show you some knitting from eleven years ago. I made a pram blanket for Skein Prince when he was born and found it the other day, much ravaged by cats, but still just about holding together. Apparently the pastel-coloured chenille (cringe) was too much of a temptation for their sharp little claws!

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Ten O'Clock Scarf - free pattern

All day, every day, I look forward to around 10pm when I can finally sit down and start my knitting for the day. This scarf was no exception, and every day for about a week, I sat down at 10ish and knitted a few rows until it was finished.

I designed it to be easy for a first lace project. The patterning row is every fourth row, so you have some nice, relaxing knit and purl rows in between. I knitted this one in Skein Queen Desire DK in Pigeon Street colourway. This scarf could be knitted in different yarn weights and needle sizes and I'd love to see a solid, or semi-solid version.

Here's the link for the free pdf pattern.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Stash enhancement

I've been doing a little fibre and yarn acquisition of my own lately:

This BFL roving is from the lovely Juliet at Artist's Palette Yarns. She has some yummy stuff in her shop and I love her colours. This is for when my spinning wheel finally arrives. Who knew it took so long to send out a wheel? This is for when I master it and I can't wait to see how it turns out.

And this little beauty is from Shunklies on Etsy. It was only after I'd ordered them both that I realised I'd been attracted to such similar colours. Can't wait to get started now.

And these little Socks that Rock skeins arrived from Blue Moon Fibers and were part of my Christmas present from Skein King (how good is he?)

Lemongrass in lightweight
Grimm's Willow-Wren and Storey Time in Silkie

I love using Skein Queen yarn (of course!) but it's an extra special treat to get a parcel of yarn actually arriving instead of departing.

Thursday, 5 February 2009


We very rarely get more than a smattering of snow in these here parts. And the schools NEVER close because of snow. It has been a very strange week this week. The primary school has been closed for one day, and the secondary school for three whole days!!

View from my bedroom window at 4am

View from my bedroom window at 6am

Question: Does this country fall apart at the slightest hint of snow and ice? I'm sure our Canadian friends would be shocked that a couple of inches of the cold white stuff would bring such chaos.

My attitude to the snow:
Day 1 - Whoopee - son played out in it for the entire day - whoopee! Isn't it beautiful. I love the snow.
Day 2 - it's a bit icy. His school is closed again. Oh no, his mates are round playing Guitar Hero at full volume when I'm trying to work. Hope it melts.
Day 3 - phew! Both at school
Day 4 - fresh snowfall. Listen to the school lists on the radio. They're both off! Good, that'll be no moaning and "snot fairs" but they have no interest in playing in the snow. Take them for a long walk through the sloshy slush to the Post Office.
Day 5 - more snow forecast... get the wine...

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Finesse, Elegance and Plushness

And the last shop update of the week includes:

Faded Roses in Finesse - a brand new extrafine merino/silk laceweight

Sweet Mint in Finesse

Lantern Parade in Elegance

Rose Red in Plushness

Faded Roses in Plushness - 6 skeins

Winter Hedgerow in Plushness

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Elegance and Plushness

Some more skeins added to the shop:

Limoncello in Elegance

Pumpkin Pie in Elegance

Lantern Parade in Elegance

Purple Turtle in Elegance

Iceberg in Plushness

Golden Plum in Plushness