Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fear Not the Fair Isle

1akgloves 001
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Mittens, mittens, they're everywhere and I love them.

I finished DD2's mitts and I am now planning a pair for the teacher for her hristmas pressy. Poor lass she shivers so on the playground at home time and I think a coat may take me until DD2 has left school LOL but mittens are 'doable' so I will do.

DD2 turned her hand over for you so you can see the palm.

1akgloves 002

I added her initials and will put a cord on them and thread it through her coat sleeves, in an atempt to stop them getting lost. Or if lost, to find their way home.

What are their chances, do you think?

Meanwhile in other news, I have been spinny spinny spinning with Sarah. Sarah? Yes, Sarah!

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My new Majacraft Pioneer. Did I tell you about Sarah? Oh I did! Well, she's wonderful and we make beautiful yarn together. Photos to follow because some of it is secret. Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone, promise? Good I knew I could trust you to keep a secret LOL

Happy spinning and knitting and lots of mittens to you.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

All the way from New Zealand

1apioneer 001
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

May I introdce you to my Pionner by Majacraft?

When I bought Julia earlier this year what I really wanted was a Matchless or failing that a Majacraft - any of the Majacrafts would do, lovely wheels. But the price was out of my reach and I didn't want to wait and save up LOL so I got the Louet Julia instead and I am very hapy with her. We have tried each other out now and settled into a routine of reliable spinning and comfortable lightweight, I have plied and navajo plied and 3 plied and I am happy with how she spins.

So what did Majacraft do to cause me to buy wheel number two? The brought out the Pioneer, an entry level, no bells and whistles, basic wheel that is in my price range. So I bought one of those too and today we are a two wheel household.

I am keeping Julia, DH and I discussed the relative merits of selling on a used wheel and he persuaded me it would be better to have two. I do love that man!

I do realise, by the way, that is I had saved up since I wanted a wheel I could now have a top of the range Majacraft for about the same price as these two seperate wheels LOL but the what would I get if I won the lottery? Why, a Matchless of course.

There's no pleasing some people!

The Pioneer, as yet unnamed, are getting used to each other, boy the Majacraft wants that yarn badly, it pulls it out of your hand way more than the Louet, LOL but we'll get used to each other and just look at the size of the bobbins! Now I need time to spin up allllllll my stash.

Happy happy joy joy!

I bought the Pioneer from Designscape Concepts as it worked out cheaper to buy it in NZ and pay for it to be shipped here even when you added on the VAT duty slapped on by customs than it was to buy it here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Finished and the Mitten Mania continues

1amitts 001
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

I finished the pair and by doing the second one on the next size up dpns and blocking the first one HARD they fit. DD1 has swiped them and they are parading around school. I am a litle concerned she will loose them and be very upset, but at 15 yrs old she is probably too old to have them threaded through her coat on a cord. DD2 however is not! I have cast on for a pair for her and finished the bulk of the first one for her last night. I added a thumb this morning and it is blocking as we speak. I finally found a use for all the palstic inserts from baked potatoes that I have collected over the years, they're great for cutting up to block mittens. See! I knew they'd come in useful for something.

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my swimming lesson knitting now that the FLS is off the needles is this shawl. It has an unusual construction, using increases along one edge only and then shrt rows to acheive a trangle with long wings which tie behind your back, great easy carry along project as its just gs. Miles and miles of gs!

My creation

I received the second part of my Zebisisdesigns fibre and spindle club yesterday - isn't that pretty :) Mmmmmm merino. I am having fun spinning n's fibre for this month too which is also merino. Not enough time to spin because I am knitting more again. But my new wheel is waiting for me at the parcel force depot - I got myself a Pioneer from majacraft and by importing it saved money, so it was a bargain, right? Right!

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Meanwhile, if the Posh melee has meant you miss out on Posh Yarn then head over to Socktopus or Purlescence who are both stocking Cariad Yarns now, Posh's sister company, the blue skeins at the bottom of the photo were my consolation to myself this Sunday when I couldn't get any Posh :) the other cakes are from stash and I am going to make something wonderfully Emily, a cardigan, a throw, a wrap???? I don't know, what do you think?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mad for mitts

1aglove 005
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

I've done a tiny bit of fair isle knitting but never anything as 'difficult' as this, and I loved knitting it. Luckily the great pattern helped - here's the other side and the paw print and fish bones are just the best bits
1aglove 004
I can see many more mittens in my future. This one (I still need to knit it's pair) used 13g of cream and 12g of black. It's a little small but I am going to block it hard and try to knit the other one more loosely. Only two evenings to do this so could have them ready for the weekend when snow is forecast. Brrr!

Mitts seem to be everywhere, Posh Dee has just sold out of her mitten kits and Natalie at the YArn Yard is on the verge of releasing her mystery mitten.

I am pressing on with my Tess d'Urberville shawl as it's all garter stitch and an easy chat and knit project. Did some moe this evening whilst educating 15 yr old DD about musicals - last week it was Sound of Music this week we watched the Wizzard of Oz and next week we have Oklahoma, lots of singing badly and pop corn :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Giving makes you feel good

As we approach Christmas and the nights have already drawn in I am beginning to wonder what I will get the gang for presents this year. Pausing to reflect how lucky I am to have my lovely family I also want to draw your attention to those who are not so lucky as ourselves. Natalie over at the Yarn Yard has had a brilliant idea that will keep on giving and giving I hope for years to come. Visit the information about p/hop here and think about making a donation next time you knit a free pattern. With so many areas in the world where doctors and nurses are in short supply and much needed, this is an excellent charity to support and following the example set my Stephanie, the yarn harlot, we can all say a little 'thank you' in a way that will have a positive impact, for the good fortune we have enjoyed and continue to enjoy in our own lives. So, a present for DD1 DD2 DH DS1 DS2 baby boo and one for MSF.

I am working on a pattern to add to the list of free patterns that are connected to the p/hop project and in the meantime have had the good fortune to use another free pattern to make DD2 a little hat to keep out the chills, using my hand spun too.

My creation

and I also finished my February Lady Sweater another free ravelry pattern

My creation

buttons are vintage glass ones from my button stash :)

I will be making a contribution to the p/hop in return for these two free patterns and the fun I had knitting them.

Finally another good cause that you just have time to support. Anne has been having an auction to raise money for a Cancer charity. The details are over on her blog go make a bid, you might just get lucky :)