Crafty donations and a mysterious crocheted tache

It's been busy around here recently. I've been doing a lot of study for college and I'm still crafting away but the blog has been neglected. Progress is going well on my owls jumper. I've finished the main body and one sleeve and I've got about halfway through the other sleeve. I finally figured out how to do a make one properly with this project. I'm finding the sleeves hard going but I'm sure I'll start knitting much faster when those owls start to appear on the yoke. It's a very clever pattern as just when you're beginning to get sick of it along comes the yoke with a nice cable pattern with owls. I love how it looks so far. I''m also almost finished my Montego Bay scarf, I need to have it finished so I can wear it in Jamaica for christmas.

I've also been collecting free crafty stuff in the last few weeks. Has anyone noticed that when you do a craft people who used to do said craft decide to unload stuff they don't use on you? I've had yarn donated to me before and it usually doesn't work out. I tend to end up with a load of yarn I don't know what to do with and it sits there making me feel guilty about not using it. However this past two weeks I've had some donations of a crafty nature that were really wanted and useful.

A friend of mine mentioned to a friend of hers (in a complicated chain that always brings random stuff) that I was into spinning and she said she had a load of fleece and spinning equipment that she didn't want anymore. So I called to my friends and found a bag with some old fleece that I had to throw out as it looked past its best. There can be problems with old fleece if it hasn't been stored well as it can contain moths. Moths plus fiber equals bad. They lay eggs in the fiber destroying it. Ick! So I wasn't taking that chance. But the rest of the stuff was great. I bagged a lazy kate with two bobbins, a set of hand carders and a niddy noddy. What on earth is a niddy noddy I hear you ask.

A niddy noddy apart from sounding cool is a nifty device for making a skein of yarn. You wrap the yarn around the niddy noddy and because the ends are perpendicular to each other it makes it easy to wrap the yarn and to take it off. Much easier than using the back of a chair. The yarn I have wrapped is a silk merino blend that I left as a singles yarn. I'm really happy with it, its consistent and not over twisted even though it isn't plied.

The lazy kate and bobbins baffled me a bit at first. I have a lazy kate for my wheel and the bobbins from this one wouldn't fit my wheel, so what to do with them? Then it dawned on me, I could use it for my spindle spun yarn. I've been spinning this falkland top on my spindle for months now. I'm getting a bit bored of it at this stage and I wanted to spin something else on it. So I unwound it all onto the bobbin. I used a shoe box to make a support for the spindle to make it easy to wind the yarn off. I'm chuffed with it as it's incredibly thin and even. I might be good enough at this spindling lark to go treat myself to a shiny new spindle.

It gets a bit boring spinning top that is all one colour so I decided to dye the rest of the falkland top. Now this would have been a problem if it wasn't for the other crafty donation of the past two weeks. The rather wonderful Wyvernfriend mentioned she was getting rid of some pots that were no longer suitable for her new cooker. So I asked could I take them to use for dyeing. I called over and picked up the pots and a had a great chat with a fellow knitter. Much more fun than buying pots.

Today I had finished my projects and a literature review so some fun dyeing was in order before I start studying for my exams. Even Westley tried to get in on the act. Maybe he harbours ambitions to dye himself. I'm now imagining a blue, green and purple Westley. I dyed the top a blue colour from a pot of landscape dye I got by mistake in an order from Wingham and I also threw in a bit of green food colouring. It seemed to work. Santa is bringing me some proper dyes for christmas so I'll do a post with a tutorial about dyeing when I get them.
When dyeing with acid dyes you have to use separate dye pots that aren't used for food. That's why I needed the donated pots.

And finally I leave you with news that Sherlock Holmes is alive and sleuthing away in London...

One of my random conversations with Ais resulted in me promising to crochet a tache for her. I think she may have been feeling left out with all this talk of movember. Or perhaps she just gets cold cycling round London. How and ever I made the tache and extracted a promise that she would send me a photo of her wearing it. It winged its way through a postal strike and I was sent this great photo. All she really needs is a pipe to complete the look.
Anyway I think that's quite enough rambling on for one evening. This is getting to be a bit teal deer.



Sinéad says
November 25, 2009 at 12:07 PM

You did well with your donated craft stuff! The Knitty Noddy looks great.
I love the idea of a dyed Westley, maybe in Christmassy colours?