Ravelling and Unravelling….

It has been a frustrating week on the needles..I have started and unravelled a pair of socks more times than I care to say, thrown them across the room and finally decided that the pattern didn’t work for them anyway!!  The yarn is a highly variegated sock yarn from Easyknits and it just doesn’t lend itself to a lace sock pattern…what was I thinking??

2013-01-09 13.33.27 So I have now found a much easier ribbed sock pattern from Kate Atherley which is a free pattern on Ravelry and which you can find here:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/basic-ribbed-socks

Ravelry is the best resource on the net for Knitters, Crocheters and Spinners.  You can while away many hours looking at designers, patterns and what other people have on and off their needles, and believe me I do. Sometimes I think I spend more time dreaming about what I’m going to knit rather than actually knitting anything and I’ve got the queue to prove it 🙂

I am knitting the socks using the Magic Loop method on a set of circular needles rather than using Double Pointed Needles (DPNs) and have to say that I find it much easier as there are no awkward ladders which you get sometimes with DPNs as you move from one needle to the next.  Also, I am rather prone to loosing DPNs, the boys like to use them as swords or conducting batons and  Merlin the Spaniel likes to have the odd chew on my wooden ones.

If you are interested in having a go at Magic Loop the best tutorial I have found is from VeryPink.com at :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVXLOG1L8LM&list=PLBFC09DD42E53EAC4&index=54

At the end of February,  the Unravel Knitting Festival takes place at Farnham Maltings in Farnham Surrey.  This will be the third year and it will run for two days over the weekend of 23-24 February 2013.

Unravel

This year’s advertising illustration commissioned by Farnham Maltings from Illustrator Amy Blackwell promotes the ‘Best in Show’ competition which will take place over the weekend and is open to all visitors.

Advance Tickets for Unravel cost £7 for a day or £10 for the weekend and can be booked via www.farnhammaltings.com .  Workshops are also being offered although many of these are now sold out.

I am really excited to be attending my second Unravel on the Saturday and am taking part in a natural dyeing workshop run by Judy Hardman as well as meeting up with lots of knitting friends for a picinic lunch.  It should be awesome and I’m looking forward to blogging about it too.

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Feeling Exposed

So 2013 is to be a year when resolutions are kept.  I don’t normally make resolutions; they seem such a waste of time to me because I know that I am never going to give up chocolate or alcohol for a year or never shout at the kids again!  But at the end of 2012, after a year of what felt like a lot of steps backwards I decided that I needed something to focus on; a few things which would challenge me.

The biggest of these is to start a blog, not because I want to share my whole life with the world but because I just want to try and keep a regular record of life here, for me, for my boys.  If anyone else is interested in reading then hey that’s great and if you love to knit, dye yarn, cook or spend time in the garden then so do I and that will be mainly what I blog about.

Another new step forward this month has been to undertake a yarn dyeing commission.  I have dyed my own yarn for a while but only to give away as gifts or use for my own projects, such as this gorgeous scarf I knitted, a pattern from the fabulous Kates Twirl and which you can purchase from her Ravelry Store  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-diamond-dot-scarf

The Diamond Dot Scarf

The Diamond Dot Scarf

The yarn is a fingering weight sock yarn in Baby Alpaca which I dyed in an old pot on my Aga.  The colour is a washed out slate blue which reminds me of delphinium petals as they start to fade once the plant has finished flowering.  Anyway, to get back to the commission I was asked my a friend if I could dye 10 skeins in a palette of silver blues.  Each of the skeins have been dyed to the same recipe but each one has had a subtle change made to the dye bath so that they are all unique but could also be used together for a large project.  8412882377_f61031d89c_m

I was so thrilled to be asked but whenever you start to undertake something for another person, all those doubts creep in of whether it is good enough, will they like it etc.  I’m not sure it is something I would want to make into a full time profession. The hand dyed market is saturated and I enjoy the process of small scale  colour experimentation too much at the moment to want to make it anything bigger.  Plus a small child of nearly 3 who wants to be involved in everything you do does make for an added complication 🙂