Tuesday, March 3, 2015

New Home For Ducklings

The ducklings are getting a bit big now to spend all their time in the yellow crate. So yesterday Jack  made a pen for them outside the diningroom window, with the yellow crate turned on its side to provide a shelter. They seem to be happy in there, nibbling at the grass and running around. They came back inside for the night. There are owls and other hazards at night and it could get chilly out there for ducklings with no mum to keep them warm.
They're not really easy to photograph, but this gives some idea.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Snip Rings, Not Chains

A few months ago, I had to back track on my tatting because I'd made a mistake that was too far back to get to by undoing stitch by stitch. I was about to cut off everything beyond the mistake when I realised I could cut the rings off, cut the shuttle thread,  but leave the chain thread intact. It was so obvious that I thought everyone must know that except me! But when I read Martha's post about how she had a similar revelation, I thought it might be worth writing about. So here goes, step by step:
The second ring has too many picots.

Cut the last ring, taking care not to cut the chain.

Ring removed.
Slide the chain along at a picot to expose the core thread.

Put the hook under the core thread and pull so that it is removed from the middle of the chain and the chain unravels.
It'll look like this.
Repeat until the whole chain has unravelled. On a short chain, you can do it in one, but on a longer chain it's better to do it bit by bit.
Snip the next ring.
Continue until there is only one ring left that you want to undo.

Don't cut the final ring too close to the chain, because you want some thread to join to.

Now there is enough thread to join the new shuttle thread to and the ball thread remains intact.
Voila! There are only two ends to hide instead of four.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Edging Progress

I'm making progress on Wanda's Queens Crown Edging. I don't want to do all row 1 and then all row 2, so I do two paired shuttles worth of row 1 and then one paired shuttles worth of row 2. That works well. What's it for? It's an edging for a skirt that I haven't sewn yet. It's a bit odd to do the edging before the skirt exists, but I wanted to try Wanda's pattern and the sewing mood hasn't struck yet.

All six ducklings are fine this morning, so that's good.

Of Dragons, Festivals and Ducks

I'm making progress on the dragon socks. I redid the heel because I'd put it on the opposite side from where I want it - I want a whole dragon to show on the top of the foot.

I didn't write yesterday because we had traipsed off to a non-existent yarn festival. Non-existent because it takes place in March, not February! Daft isn't the word for me. I have duly amended the post I wrote last week about the upcoming festival.

Two of the little ducks are looking unhappy this morning. Jack has given them a dose of antibiotic, so I hope that will do the trick in making them feel better.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Once Bitten.....

On the one hand, I've been bitten (again) by the sock knitting bug. On the other hand, having run out of blue wool on the last pair of socks I knitted, I wanted to be sure I had enough red wool to knit Sandra Jager's Red dragons. I knitted this swatch, then unravelled it and  measured how much wool it took so that I could see if I have enough wool. I do. Originally I planned to just knit dragons around the top of the socks, but I've decided to put red dragons around the top of each sock and black dragons on the rest.  Once again I'm using handspun wool in combination with commercial sock wool. This colour red is difficult to dye, so I'm happy to have a little ball in my stash.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Wanda's Edging

This is Wanda's Queen's Crowd Edging, which is on her pattern page on her blog. The pattern is very clear, with a written explanation and charts. It's a clever pattern which uses two shuttles to go this way and that. In the top example I used size 40 thread. The lower one uses Anchor Freccia size 12, which is like a size 10. I have to keep my wits about me in tatting this. I've discovered that Freccia stands up to opening rings quite fine! I haven't blocked either of these. Thanks Wanda, an interesting pattern.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Pair

I've finished knitting my Celtic Spiral socks, following Catherine Devine's chart, which I found on Ravelry. My fairisle in the round technique did get better as I progressed. There are some dubious needle changes at the beginning. It's not easy to get the gap between needles smooth without making it too tight. With a 'double' fabric of handspun wool and commercial sock wool, these will definitely keep my feet warm this winter.