Tag Archives: beekeeper’s quilt

2017 into 2018

It been a while…we went away for a couple of weeks over Christmas and I’m still recovering. The world down south is so fast, noisy and busy! Everything that used to appeal to me, like the shops and places to eat out now hold no such joy, I just find the choice stressful.

We didn’t visit England for those kind of things though, we visited family and it was lovely to catch up with some relatives we haven’t seen for quite a while. It’s good to be home and I’ve been enjoying the peace and quiet as well as our comfy bed.

At the beginning of 2017 I started a Beekeepers Quilt, made from lots of little hexipuffs, the plan was to make one a day for the whole year. I lasted until June when somehow my focus wavered and the project got hidden away in my pile of shame with all the other unfinished WIPs. So come 2018 and I unearthed the bag full of puffs and had a wee play with them. They’re so cute, I began to sew some together and it was lovely to remember where the yarn came from for each one.

So my plan is to gradually assemble the blanket – I have enough for a small one – then decide if I want to add some more or just leave it as a little one.

To be honest, I’m not sure where it will live once finished; usually blankets are thrown over the sofas here but we have two furry and often slightly muddy dogs who love to snuggle up in them. This blanket won’t be washable, well not easily anyway, plus some of the yarns aren’t that robust so it’s a bit of a quandary. I suspect this is one of the reasons I got a bit un-enamoured with it.

Right onto some other projects: This year I’m making a temperature rug; there’s no pattern as I’m just crocheting a row of single crochet every day in a colour corresponding with the daily temperature outside.

You can see that ‘cloud’ is missing, it’s currently attached to the blanket as it was a chilly 0 degrees today. I’m using good old Stylecraft Special, but Aran weight with a 4mm hook to make a slightly denser, thicker fabric that will hopefully be suitably rug-like.

I don’t think we’ll be seeing anything other than blues for a while yet.

Before I go, I’d like to briefly show you the cushion cover I’ve just finished. Last year I thought it would be fun to participate in a fibre Advent Calender, I found one by Siobhan Crafts so had an exciting little package to open every day. The fibre was gorgeous, it had a pink theme and was a mix of mini-batts, locks, rolags and pencil roving. I spun each day onto two bobbins and plied them last week.

The package for the 24th contained a very cute orifice hook with a little sheep on the end as well as some other goodies. It was very good value as a heap of work must have gone into the dyeing and fibre prep., I think I paid around £28 for what turned out to be well over 200g as well as some other bits and pieces. I’d really recommend next years if you’re a spinner.

Attic24 is currently running a CAL (crochet along) in a kind of feather and fans pattern and I thought it’d would be perfect for my yarn as the stripes would show off the different colours in my skein. I’m super pleased with my little cushion, I had just enough yarn and it goes super well with the bright colours in our back room.

Blanket Overload

So my #hexipuffaday is going well (we’ll not mention the day when I completely forgot to make one and ended up last minute knitting in bed at 11:55pm) and nearing the end of the first month here is my little hexipuff stash

Not content with one huge blanket undertaking I’ve also started another epic one (thanks to someone who will go unnamed- you know who you are).

The Persian Dreams blanket is a gorgeousness of fair isle hexagons, grafted together to make this awesome throw. I’ve made one whole hex so far, it was much quicker to complete than I’d expected and am happily working my way through the second one. One of the fun things about it is that you can knit a different hexagon every time to make the standard blanket, if you like, and Jenise Hope, the designer, has also thoughtfully included a blank hex pattern to enable you to design your own if you like. The pattern support via the knit along thread in Ravelry is beyond parallel too.

It’s the first time I’ve knitted fair isle in a pinwheel style before and the first few rounds are tricky but once it’s large enough to knit on a circular it’s a ball.

The yarn is Knit Picks Palette, a range designed for stranded knitting; it’s the first time I’ve worked with it and it’s lovely, very similar to Shetland yarn.

Right that’s it in respect to fibre fun, now I’m going to have a wee self indulgent moan so feel free to turn off now.

I’ve not been too well, and am having more bed bound days as well as being unable to speak much (thanks to walking 100 yards the other day – worth it for the view though!). M.E. is a hideous illness and I seem to be worsening, to the extent that we’ve decided against going to the Edinburgh Yarn Fest later in the year as I’m just not going to be able to manage it. Those who know me will understand what a huge thing this is for me.

I’m blessed (I know, cringe) with a wonderful husband, as you know, plus a handful of friends who staunchly and unfailingly offer their support. I’ve also had offers from acquaintances that have touched and reminded me of the generosity of human spirit, all the more important in these troubling times.

However, I have also discovered how disappointing some folks can be. Especially the ones who I suspect like to think of themselves as ‘good’ and ‘kind’ people. There has been the inevitable cull of one-sided friendships, something that happened fairly early on and I have become accepting of. 

What I haven’t yet learned to accept is the failure of some people to even acknowledge me now I’m unwell. I post a lot on Facebook about M.E. and my health, to raise awareness and also as a way of eliciting some kind of social contact. Being housebound, I don’t get to meet up with friends or family in the way I’d like. So just a ‘like’ on one of my posts goes a long way, a comment fairly makes my day. It’s not hard is it? Although somehow it is. Not from so called Facebook contacts I’ve never met in real life but from actual family for one. I can’t help thinking of how I would behave if it had been the other way around. It makes me cross (and hurt if I’m honest).

Ok that’s enough of that. Thank you for taking the time to read so far and I’ll be much less self obsessed next time, I promise.

Peaceful endings and exciting beginnings

I really thought I’d blogged about this, but clearly only in my mind, as I can’t find it anywhere. Sigh.

Ok, so one of my ‘goals’ (this is a very loose term, more a mild proclivity towards) for 2016 was to spin 100m of 2ply from 100g of fibre. In November, I realised that if I was going to do this then I really should get on with it.

So I found this beautiful top from Fiber Artemis, a blend of merino and silk and got spinning

Photo courtesy of Fiber Artemis

It was a joy to work with, as you can imagine, and I tried to maintain the gradient so spun each braid (I had two) as they came, from one end to the other, then plied and ended up with this

1146m and 108g; the gradient would probably look a whole lot better if I caked it but I prefer to keep my yarn in skeins until I use them.

Another thing I did for 2016 was keep a spinning record; just a basic one of how long each final plied skein is and what it weighs.

My total for the year is

That’s plied yarn. It included silk, flax, cotton, quviut, angora, cashmere, alpaca, soy and plain old wool. I tried several new techniques (part of my Tour de Fleece challenge) like corespun, wrapped and beehives as well as wheel spinning, learning how to use support spindles and the occasional plying on a Turkish.

What an amazing year it’s been! I’m so fortunate to be able to work with such beautiful fibre and equipment.

My ideas for 2017 include continuing with the Beekeeper’s Quilt (it’s going well), as well as some more spinning goals. I’m going to stay with the recording and try and up it a little. I’ve ordered a notebook where I plan to keep more information including a sample of the finished yarn; I’d like to improve my techniques too so I’m looking into attempting a Certificate of Excellence via the American Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers.

It will need a huge improvement in my skills, but it looks like it’ll be fun to try for. We’ll see..

I’m also planning to try some mosaic knitting; if you’re not familiar with it, it’s a colourwork technique that uses slipped stitches to create a beautifully complex effect with not much complexity involved. The pattern I’m considering is this and I have some yarn that’ll work perfectly.

Which brings me to my final and scariest goal. To abstain from buying yarn or fibre online. I have a huge stash and want to see how I can work through it. If I go to something like the Edinburgh Yarn Fest (highly likely!), then it’s ok to spend spend spend there. But otherwise not. This is truly terrifying so I’m taking it one day at a time tee hee. I’m not someone who berates themselves for not stitching to goals or plans so everything is always subject to change.

Have a very happy New Year and thank you taking precious time to read my ramblings.