Saturday, 11 June 2005

SP5, Silkwood, Fame and a Promise

My day started pretty well - had a postcard waiting for me from my secret pal. Hello whoever you are! Will keep an eye on my pal's blog to see how my parcel goes down.

Then the debauchary started. I went to The Yarn House in Caterham where Silkwood yarns (the ones Nickerjac dyes for) were having a kind of open day. Sheila, the yarn house owner was there and Jan had made a avictoria sponger and there were biscuits - already my idea of heaven without the inclusion of a tonne of yarn. Debbie Bliss, Rowan and some unusual brands. One was alpaca - so soft. But enough about the stuff I didn't get. Let's get down to what I did. First off some nice sock yarn. Image hosted by Safe. Nice. Something for when I'm on the move. (Pooch is now complaining that although I am quoting star wars I am only ever saying the one line - "Always on the move". You can not please some people.

Then we come to my first Silkwood purchase....4-ply blue and green 100% wool. Image hosted by I only bought one skein but that was just to see how much I'd need for a simple jumper. Although that doesn't fit too well with my promise, but more of that later.

Then, I just couldn't help myself. They had all this 100% angora and it was about £20 a skein so way out of budget. But....goddamn them, there were some smaller teeny skeins that were *only*"only"?.....£7. Image hosted by
Now look, for someone who has never felt angora I can understand that this will sound insane. But but but but it is soooooooooo soft. Unbelievably soft. So soft. Softness in earthly form. Mmmmmm. (Just don't ask me what I intend to do with it.

And now, ladies, gentlemen and everyone else, here it is. 300g of delicious, sensational, hand dyed, 'aubergine' pure wool boucle. Yeah baby yeah. Image hosted by

So now I have more yarn, but we'll get to that later. First let us deal with 'fame'. Of a sort. Not really, more like just been deductively recognised. I got to the shop and went inside and a lady asked if I was Alexandra. I was gobsmacked but she was on the UKHandknitters list and had heard I was coming and was someone she didn't know. The later a couple of people asked if I were Lixie - one after seeing my boogle bag or whatever the damn pattern is called. So there you are - the knitting world is smaller than you think, although actually I never thought it was that big. In a reverse of this I hung around especially to meet Nicky of Nickerjac fame. But then I didn't get to say that much too her as that is one popular lady. Is quite cool to think I might have one of the skeins she has dyed though.

And so finally, the promise. You see I have had to cancel my woolfest trip and genoa holiday because I can'r afford them all, and so Silkwood was my 'holiday'. And then during my enforced stay-up-late night last night I got a 1000kg cone of aran weight wool from a scottish company on ebay. And promise is...30 days without buying wool or yarn or anything that I could foolishly try to knit with. Ditto knitting accessories. 30 full days. So until 9pm on 10th July no new yarn shall pass my mitts.

Forced knitting

Image hosted by

Flat downstairs having a party. Means their loud, awful music is louder and awfuller than usual. Will therefore finish this tonight. Will sew up when am more awake.

Oooo, moody post today!

Tuesday, 7 June 2005

SO tired

Got up at 6.30 yesterday to get on a coach with a load of reluctant colleagues to go to Bristol to our sister company. I didn't join them on the tour but had a quick meeting with the cutest man ever (His name is Nick and he has grown his hair recently and lost some weight and now looks Byronic. He's a graphic designer and that whole art/scinece mix always gets my attention. Pooch has been informed of his existence and he is now my Liz Hurley equivalent). Then off to Cardiff for the launch of their grad school and then nasty dinner in New Orleans diner (what did I expect!). Then train back to London which was hugely delayed so didn't get home til 11pm. And then Pooch was all talkative. Then rushed out this morning and found all sorts of things not done for the event I've got on in 3/4 hour. Then tried a new sandwich filling for lunch and it was nasty. Oh dear, what a poor little thing I am determined to be today!

On the upside managed to get lods of knitting donw on the trains yesterday. Doing a sari silk batwing cardi/bolero on 9mm needles and the colours are gorgeous. Will post a photo once I've calmed down!

Sending my secret pal her first little parcel tomorrow. I really hope she likes the things.

Sunday, 5 June 2005

There's knitting and then there's Machine Knitting

Oooooooo yes. It happened yesterday. The machine arrived from Ruth yesterday - so nice of her to bring it round. It is a brother kh891 and has a ribber with it. I set it up this morning Image hosted by and look what I got! Within about 20 minuites of opening the box! Image hosted by

The main problem is that it didn't come with a manual so I am using a scanned one from the web, and the picture quality on the scans is poo. So I couldn't work out the wholoe casting on thing and so I think I should have moved the cast on hook strip thing away after the first cast on row maybe. Instead it just sat there and hings got a bit ruffled:

Image hosted by

I'm hoping there are some lovely machine knitter out there who can clue me in on what I am doing wrong. I have a couple of books on order from amazon an some punchcards from ebay but you know I'm just so impatient! Is so exciting! Will be able to do all the small guage stuff on machine and the bigger 5mm + by hand which I much prefer. Lovely jumpers and skirts here I come! Woo hoo

Kool Aid - how to

Ok, so you get your kool aid (I get mine from but there are other suppliers) and carefully rip the packet open. DO NOT INHALE THE POWDER.

Get some tupperware or something like that and mix the powder with about half a cup of water. For my yarn used about half the packet but could have used less - depends how much you want to dye.

Put your yarn into a skein and secure it in a couple of places so it doesn't tangle. You can only use animal fibres - cotton won't work.

If you are going for variegated then put a different colour in two different bowls with the water and plonk the skein in on top with half in one bowl and half in the other. Add some more water until the yarn is just covered. Squash it about a bit to let the dye penetrate. Then just walk off and leave it for an hour and open all the windows because by now your house will smell like strawberry shortcake's pants.

Make sure all the yarn has been covered and then lift it out of the tupperware and squeeze the excess liquid out of each colour. Get a piece of clingfil and lay the yarn on that. Remember not to agitate it too much if you're using wool as it might felt. Wrap the yarn loosely in the clingfilm.

Set up a steamer on the stove top and lay the clingfilm wrapped yarn in there. Put a lid on it and go away for another 30 minutes. Take the wrapped yarn out of the steamer and leave it to cool down completely. Carefully unwrap and carefully rinse any excess kool aid out using a sink of water. Leave to drip dry and when it is (dry) knit with it!

I have yet to discover how colourfast it is!
Related Posts with Thumbnails