Thursday, 12 February 2009

Humouring the child within

I don't talk much about my life outside knitting on this blog as I want to keep the focus on the creative part of me which as someone with, believe it or not, a serious career can get sometimes get a bit crowded out.This blog has helped me keep a hold of my creative side in many, many ways as it makes me stop and think about and celebrate the things that I am making with my hands and the learning experiences and the fun that I am having. In my working life I have a great deal of responsibility and can't pick and choose the bits of my job that I fancy doing and those that I don't. As a knitter, the world is my oyster!

With all this pressure in my day job, is it any wonder that in my knitting life I can be a little erm.... undisciplined.... Having said that, I am happy to reveal that I have managed to finish something - here are my latest commuting socks knit in JKnits sock yarn in the colour Reno. I really like the way that the colours have fallen and the fabric is soft and silky. As a 'knitting experience' however, I found the yarn quite slippery and splitty and difficult to pick up if mistakes needed correcting.


I've also finished spinning the Yarn Yard merino silk roving. As you can see, it's got a bit of thick and thin about it but what I was concentrating on was getting a heavier, more rustic yarn that showed as many of the colour combinations as possible from the roving.


I tried to spin the singles quite softly and then concentrated on plying thoroughly so that the plies relaxed and puffed up as much as possible when they were spun against each other. I'm planning to make an entrelac wrap with it so I wanted to make the most of its 'next to the skin' softness.

I really appreciated the kind words and comments on my last post about my worries for my friends affected by the Australian bushfires. At the time of writing I had no idea of the scale of the destruction that was unfolding. Luckily my friends are all still safe although the fires came very close to them indeed.

Sitting here, so far away,watching the snow melt it was easy to feel rather helpless so I am really glad to tell you about a campaign that a fellow knitblogger, Jacqueline has started over on her blog Serendipity . I am lucky enough to have met Jacqueline in person a couple of years ago so am particularly happy to support her campaign. She is asking people to make a donation to the Australian Red Cross which will entitle them to be entered into a draw for all kinds of really lovely prizes donated by other knitters. I had a good rummage in my stash to find something special to offer and am adding these five skeins of Rowanspun 4ply in a very pretty pale pink called Sugar. This yarn is discontinued so very hard to find. There is enough there to make a good sized lacy scarf or shoulder shawl or a hat and glove set.

Finally, even though it's over a month away, some of us are starting to get excited about the annual Skipnorth knitter's weekend away in Yorkshire where knitters from all over the UK and further afield, meet up in a youth hostel in Haworth and prowl the surrounding countryside for mill shops and spinning emporia and haberdashers extraordinaire before retreating to the hostel for workshops and spin ins and lots of cake eating.
Someone asked what our best ever bargains had been from previous trips and I remembered about a kilo of coned Noro Silk Garden that I bought a couple of years ago for the ridiculous price of £10 because it had been water damaged and was in fact still wet when I bought it. It was then that I discovered what a niddy noddy was and bought one at Winghams to skein up and dry the yarn. As it turned out, one cone dried perfectly on the youth hostel radiators once the waterlogged cardboard cone had been removed and here it is in all its glory - 400g of glorious colour. Now I know the Noro isn't to everyone's taste, it's pretty rustic, tends to have all kinds of vegetable matter in it and can be knotted in the middle of a colour change, destroying the gradations of colour that are its best feature. As you can tell from my spinning, I'm firmly in the rustic camp and love the stuff!
As for the niddy noddy, it was soon joined in my house by a spindle and some roving. Now, two years and two spinning wheels later perhaps I can blame my spinning addiction on two cones of damp Noro...
You can probably predict what happens next... Despite having loads of projects on the needles and plans for designs and class plans and grown up stuff like that I got it into my head that I wanted another Noro clapotis and I wanted it NOW! I know everybody in the knitting universe has either knit one of these or considers themselves way to stylish to fall in with the common herd but I love them. I think this will be my seventh, some of which I have given away, some I have kept and wear on a very regular basis. I'm a smart casual, simple sort of dresser, my winter uniform for both work and home is a black long sleeved t shirt, denim skirt or trousers and boots. If I throw a clapotis or other hand knitted scarf or shawl around my shoulders I feel dressed and can constantly ring the changes without thinking too hard in the morning!
So I cast on...
and have been knitting on it greedily ever since. I keep meaning to stop after each colour change but then I want to see the next one and then I want to get to the bit where you drop the stitches because it makes me feel naughty and I'm wondering if I can finish this in a week...
Because I can you know....if I want to.

6 comments:

LynS said...

I love the orange / grey / indigo of the merino silk roving you have spun. I also appreciate vicariously your generosity in giving yarn to support the Australian bushfires knitterly 'raffle'. The fires will become a marker for catastrophic events in Australia - and will inevitably lead our society to examine yet again just how we can co-exist with such force within nature.

RooKnits said...

Your handspun is just wonderful, I love the colours and can't wait to see the entrelac...
I can't wait to see the Clapotis either, those dropped stitches are just so addictive. I know you can too!

LittleBerry said...

I liked the socks when you first showed them, I still like them....

I love the hand spun and I do like the colour combo, I'm a sucker for orange and grey :o)

celadon2 said...

Love the handspun, I've never knit a clapotis. Wonder if I ever will?

dreamcatcher said...

That was amazingly bargainous Noro, it will look wonderful as a Clapotis :-)

Thank you for the link to the Serendipity raffle, have now participated and will mention on my blog too later.

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