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Monday, June 01, 2009

For the love of handspun

Phew what a weekend! It was almost a relief to get back to work so I could have a rest, sometimes there's a lot to be said for a sedentary job ;-) On Friday evening I had plans to go to the theatre with Helen to see Othello. We met in town after work and debated a while over whether to go for the cheap and cheerful Mexican place or a blow-out dinner at Jamie's. Jamie won hands down, yum! Happily we'd met up really early so there was time for dessert and the play was great too.

On Saturday I got up early and caught up on the episodes of Springwatch that I'd missed during the week. It's sad that Bill Oddie isn't presenting this series but the birds and animals are still fabulous. Plus there's Simon King who I've been a little bit in love with ever since I realised that David Attenborough was a bit too old for me :-) It's especially exciting for me this year as I was able to take part in a Springwatch survey - normally I've never heard/seen the thing they're asking about - about cuckoos. I just left my comment on the Springwatch blog (please note that if you click on this link the page will take sometime to load as they've had 11027 responses!). Felix and I heard two cuckoos (or at least one cuckoo in two places) on our walk last Monday.

Anyway I was rewarded for my early start by a parcel from the postie containing some gorgeous sock fibre which I had ordered from The Thylacine on Thursday. I'd mentioned to Megan on earlier in the week that I'd spun all my fibre and she just happened to let slip that she'd updated her Etsy shop - she's such an enabler! It was hard to choose between all the colourways, I really liked this and this but as I wanted to try spinning some more sock yarn I plumped for this blend of superwash merino in the Hartzview colourway.

Hartzview sock fibre from The Thylacine

Megan also included a couple of samples of superwash merino/seacell and undyed superwash merino/bamboo which I spun and plied to get my hand in before tackling the sock fibre.

Spinning samples from The Thylacine

I wanted to try a 3 ply yarn with the undyed fibre and thought that I could save time and fuss by spinning each of the singles onto the same bobbin in a different position. Not such a cunning plan as it turned out. The third ply kept breaking and in the end I got more of a 2.5 ply! I shan't be trying that trick again. I did end up with two cute mini skeins though. I loved both the merino/seacell and the merino/bamboo. They're both really silky and shiny and I love that shade of blue.

Samples from The Thylacine

Between all the spinning I've been working on a lace scarf in the Artist's Palette fibre that I finished spinning and plying last weekend.

Oriel lace scarf

Oriel lace scarf

I've been blocking on the needles as I go to get a better idea of the size of the scarf and how the lace is working out. The stitch pattern is from one of the Harmony guides. I've been wanting to try it out for ages but was intimidated by the 28 row repeat. Turns out it's not so scary once charted and it has a natural scalloped edge - love that! I'm also loving knitting with this handspun, it's really soft and blocks like a dream.

On Saturday we went for a walk around the gardens at Blenheim. Sadly, although I remembered my camera I forgo the the memory card and batteries so I can't show you pictures of the swans with six cygnets that we saw on the way there, or of our latest discovery, the Secret Garden - although I'm not sure that you can really call a garden "secret" when it's both signposted and marked on the map. I'll get pics next time though.

On Sunday we made up for a lazy morning spent knitting (me) and marking proofs (him) whilst listening to The Archers omnibus and watching Andy Murray in the French Open by walking all the way from Wolvercote to Folly Bridge along the Thames and then into Oxford (about 5 and a half miles). We then undid all that good work by diving into a brownie with vanilla icecream at G&Ds - gorgeous!


Moggle said...

Scrummy, they spun up nicely :-)

Ruth said...

ahaa! It was you! I totally had my eye on that fibre from Thethylacine and was a bit gutted that it had been sold. I'm glad you have it though as it is gorgeous and you will probably do a much better job than me! Looking forward to seeing what it becomes =)