Sunday, 3 February 2019

Organise my time - get more done!

It's the same old cry isn't it? There's just not enough time to do everything I want.  My head is reeling with ideas for things but I'll get nothing done in a timely way unless I get myself properly organised. It's a real life skill which comes back to bite me unless I'm really disciplined.

So..... I finished my little cowl, made with the First Ever Skein I dyed:
It is yet to be blocked and I'm hoping it will soften and drape better because it is a little scratchy. I absolutely loved doing this pattern (please don't look too closely for mistakes). Although I have decided I really don't like knitting nupps (pronounced noops). I will knit this pattern again because it was a pleasure and after about half way I didn't have to frog back so much. I'll put little beads where the nupps are though because they are quite messy - I haven't quite mastered the technique.  I wanted this finished before 2nd February because we were booked on another workshop.  This time at Lucy Locket in Seaburn. It was great! We used natural dyes, which looked completely different when they were dry.  The next two pictures are the same skein of yarn, wet and uncooked, then dry.

No wonder I had trouble getting reds for my crochet hexagons!

I had intended to make my first pair of socks because I expected we would be using sock yarn but we didn't.  This base was 100% Blue-Faced Leicester, so probably not hard wearing enough for socks. I should have used the first skein for socks and the ones I dyed yesterday for the cowl. Hey ho. Live a day and learn a thing.
The pink was dyed with cochineal and madder with little touches of cochineal/baking soda solution which turned it mauves-pink in the tray but disappeared when 'cooked'. The little mini-skeins above became blue (indigo) with splashes of madder which all but disappeared; the yellow one was dyed with fustic, (from tree bark I think).
The yellow was closest to the wet colour. Carol (my sister-in-law) did a mixed colour and then a fustic skein
She was using indigo blue in this shot.
She also used cochineal and the end result was a lovely pink and blue skein.

Alex wanted some gold/yellow/toffee colours for her yarn
This was how she started - the whole skein was coloured deep yellows and toffee colours before it was heated.
After heating the colours turned much lighter with some pretty salmony colours.   I love the idea of dying with natural colours but I think I need a lot more practice to get the deep colours I want. I know it is possible because I have bought them.

We had a lovely day despite the worry of not being able to make it because of a heavy snowfall over night. The only problem was the last little hill up to Alex's house so she walked down and met us at the main road.  The roads were still slushy but we made it to the workshop.

We had lunch delivered from the cafe next door - just the ticket for a cold winter's day. It's a long time since I had such good mince and dumplings.
Lucy's shop was a lovely mixture of yarns, hand-dyed yarns and other crafts.  I got some felt to make Luna Lapin (the book was a Christmas present from Will), and some cotton to make a very fine crochet cloth.   Lucy is organising a wool festival in Newcastle in August - Woolness - which celebrates the positive mental effect that crafts have.

I haven't decided what to make with my new yarn but I think it will go into my blanket stash which is mainly made up of fingering weight blue-faced leicester wool.  That project is my long term love and I don't mind if I never finish it!

Itching to do something yarny last night, but baby-sitting meant I couldn't do anything too complicated, I went to another Christmas present.  These are 15g balls of Scheepjes Stone Washed Aran. I can get two 4" squares from each little ball.  There were 50 in the box and I bought some more neutral to make alternate squares.

I'll be popping some little balls of yarn into a project bag with scissors and hook so that I can take them out when I have an odd ten minutes to spare.

Mmmm John has just brought me a peanut butter and banana smoothie as I type.
Yum.  Steph has taken the boys across to see her mother so John and I are enjoying a few minutes of quiet.

I'll be cutting out a bag this afternoon which I'm designing for the class. It will have compartments for various things and pockets too. A proper Quilter's Bag. There will be other things to go with it, including a travelling sewing kit, ruler cover and cutting/pressing mat. Everything you need to take a project to class.

First I'm going to do a little work on a pattern which was requested by one of the ladies which I'll need to test out first.
I made this design for Steph's friend's baby but didn't write it out. So that is my job before the demolition squad gets back and hopefully I'll be able to do some sewing tomorrow morning before work.

The hens are fed and the eggs collected - I've had to chip a hole in the ice of their drinking trough these past few days - but they fluff up their little feathers and get on with searching for grubs and other things that hens love. I'm going to get some fat balls for them which I only really give them in cold weather.  There's a nice little pile of fresh eggs so a cake may be in the offing later. John likes poached eggs for his breakfast too.  They'll be moving into their new house in about a week and peace will reign once more.  In the meantime I'm enjoying the company.

So - off to the cutting table (ha! my dining table) Have a good week everyone xxxxx

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