Sunday, August 12, 2007


I'm currently taking part in the Knitty Rut Busting Sock Swap in which we're committed to helping each other venture wider into the realms of sock knitting. My personal rut is using multi coloured yarns and MUST attempt a short row heel which apparently is also something my upstream SP is struggling with whereas my downstream SP is locked into a colour rut.

DH was working at home on Thurs and rang me up to let me know a package had arrived - 'it contains knitting things and a book'. Couldn't wait to get home but Thurs night is Knit & Knatter night. It's run by Gill who worked with us for a while and who we all miss and a couple of work colleagues attend and are getting very excited about getting back into knitting and the prospect of felting. It's run in the Old Market Hall which shows the best films and has a cafe bar which has a lovely atmosphere. Several of the staff are getting interested and eagerly picked up the needles. Last week met Sarah has also got back into knitting after a long break and similarly inspired by the yarns and patterns now available. Usually set out to just go along for a coffee and intend to stay a short while but seem to spend a good two hours there.

Did get home and rip open my box but it was too late to photograph the packages and couldn't open them when they were so imaginatively wrapped.
What isn't shown is the fact that paper used to bulk the package out was bright turquoisey blue so it really was a rainbow package.
For someone living in Wales where there are as many sheep as people this ribbon couldn't have been more appropriate and just love the way it matches the paper.

This card explains the theme of the package - DIY and in this case Dye Your Own. Inside there was:-
2 large skeins of 100% Merino wool,

20 sachets, yes 20 sachets of Kool Aid

A Knitty notebook for making notes on my dyeing attempts

Simple Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts which she has been recommended as the book to use to get to grips with short row heels - now apparently my SP also has a similar thing about short row heels so hopefully we'll conquer them together (as she also has a copy of the book) and last and not least this wonderful skein of Cherry Tree Hills yarn which is the most wonderful vibrant purple which the following photo doesn't really do justice.

SP what have you done?????????

I was up at the crack of dawn last Sat morning playing around with dyes and Kool Aid

This is some yarn I'd bought some time ago - a Louet/Koigu type merino spun sock yarn. I'd started knitting Monkey socks with it but the colour was so wishy washy that ripped it out after knitting the cuff. Anyway 2 packets of Black Cherry and 1 packet of Grape Kool Aid later - VOILA I heat the yarn up in a saucepan on our camping stove which worked well for this and it really is a lovely jammy/cherry colour. What does become apparent quickly is that to get intense colours you do need lots of Kool Aid. I also attempted to overdye some green yarn that was a bit too yellowy green for my taste but although it came out a much brighter green, alas it also felted quite a bit.

Had such fun though that M bought me microwave - cheap off eBay and some supplies so I can play some more. Watch this space!!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The sun has got his hat on, Hip, Hip, Hip, Hooray!

At last we're enjoying a bright hot sunny summer day. My last entry was compiled on a sunny day back at the beginning of June and since then it's been grey and done nothing but rain. Shouldn't complain too much though as we've been very lucky and only experienced limited inconvenience due to localised flooding.

Work hasn't been much fun over the past months but one of the most interesting things I'm involved in is working with Freshwater Mussels. They're rare and declining fast, so left with no option other than taking small numbers and keeping them in hatcheries. The mussels are kept in the square tank at the top of the steps and because they need juvenile salmon as part of their life cycle these are kept in the circular tanks. This is a shot of a mussel taken looking directly down at it in the tank. Working up at the hatchery where it's so peaceful and doing something practical has been a prefect antidote to all the other stuff going on.
This sunset was incredible especially since it was the evening before the heavy rain and flooding.

On the knitting front completed these in the Posh Yarn 4ply Cashmere - Turtle that I pictured in an earlier entry. These are for my father-in-law. It's a pleasure to knit them for him since they provide some comfort when his feet are swollen and he's not feeling too well. Knit the leg, heel flap and gusset on a pair of Potamus only to find I'd made a bad mistake so frogged them right back. Couldn't face them immdediately so am busy knitting another pair for Bloodquaffer as part of Sock Swap 2 so can't post a pic just yet.

Because it's been so wet and cold, making jam felt just right. This is a mix of strawberries, raspberries, loganberries and cherries and looked so inviting and smelt wonderful. Got half a dozen jars of what I've called Summer Fruit jam and since M doesn't eat much fruit at least know he will enjoy this.