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.

Yarn Festival in Klerksdorp

I read recently in a local newspaper about a yarn festival that is coming up this week, from the 25th to the 28th March. Most festivals I hear about are in major cities, much too far away for me to go to, but this one is in Klerksdorp, a mere three hours drive from me. It sounds very interesting, with handspun wools, felt et cetera on display and workshops in knitting, crochet, felting etc. I'm not planning to take any courses, but I do hope to go and take a look. Anyone who is interested in finding out more can contact Petro Nel, her e-mail address is 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Growing Apace

The ducklings are growing at a great pace. When they arrived, just over a week ago, they struggled to reach the water bowl; now they're looking down on it. They're eating sheep meal, cut up young sweetcorn leaves, and as many grasshoppers as I can catch.

 We needed to clean out their home yesterday. Jack joked that we'd have to put them in the bath. I said that was a good idea because the bath is easy to clean. So into the bath they went, for the short time it took to clean their crate:
They're beginning to outgrow their home, we'll have to make a bigger one for them.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Singing The Blues

I knew I had plenty of blue wool in my sock wool stash, so I wasn't too worried when I realised that my ball of blue was not going to be enough to finish my sock. But when I got the wool out, it turned out to be a different shade of blue. Oops. It's not too serious because the socks are for me, and I don't mind! The difference is not too startling and I don't think many people will notice.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

One Sock...

I've finished one sock, following Catherine Devine's chart. And made a start on the other:

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

More Pouches

I made these pouches yesterday for socks so that I can post them off today. In my stash I found some ribbon that goes perfectly with the flower socks and the TIAS keeps the animal theme for the giraffe socks. The goat has been lurking in my tatting file instead of the tatting box, which is probably why it has taken him a while to find a home. No matter, he's off to New Zealand now.

Linda's doily

Linda has moved house and is really too far from me now to come for tatting lessons. But she is doing well on her own and has submitted her doily for the competition. This pattern is from the Burda magazine that Tally Tatty sent me, minus the outer row. Linda was battling with the outer row and running out of time. Since it was already big enough to conform with the specifications, I advised her to submit it as it is. It's pretty already and it wasn't practical to finish the outer row in the time left.

 I submitted my traditional doily for the local level competition, but not the Under an African Sky doily. I'll see if I can get the latter exhibited as an example of modern tatting at the national competition later in the year, though quite how I'll achieve that I don't know.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sock Progress

I'm making progress on the Celtic Spiral socks, though it's quite slow going. I have to keep my wits about me to know where I am on the chart. The trick is to relate the row I'm knitting to the previous row. The blue stitches are all continuous so if I have a blue block with no blue beneath it, I know I've made a mistake.

 I'm working the sock inside out, as I did the giraffe socks, so that I won't pull the floats too tight. I also followed another of Terry Morris's tips and tried them on to make sure that they would go over my heel. I've positioned the sock heel so that there will be a whole spiral going down the top of the foot:

Friday, February 13, 2015

Ducks On My Doorstep

On Thursday we found six little wild ducklings on our doorstep. We're a bit puzzled as to how they got there. The pan, which has water in it for the first time in several years, is a couple of hundred metres/yards from the house, which is a long way for little ducks to travel. Jack thought of taking them back to the pan, but there are far too many dangers lurking - herons, owls, mongooses, snakes.... They'd be someone's dinner as quick as a flash. So for now they'll stay with us. They're eating and drinking and grooming themselves, seem to be happy enough in their plastic crate.


I finished embroidering Kit Chameleon according to the brief instructions. Then I turned him into a cushion.  I was afraid that those bits of fabric and ric rac would be a bit vulnerable if people were leaning against him, so I covered him with organza. It works well - he's protected without being obscured:

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Celtic Spiral Swatch

The purist in me says, 'You can't mix handspun wool and commercial'. The pragmatist in me says, "Why ever not?' The pragmatist wins. This way I use up some of the shop bought sock wool I have on hand and don't have to dye more wool.

When I saw Catherine Devine's celtic spiral socks on Ravelry, I had to download the pattern. Actually, the pattern isn't given, just the chart. That's fine, I'll adapt my usual sock pattern to suit the chart. The swatch is the first step so that I can see how the fairisle pattern knits up and work out how many stitches to use for the sock.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Kit Chameleon

I was given this kit as a gift Christmas 2013. It has sat around for a while, so I thought it was time I gave it a go. The kit comes with the chameleon applique pieces sewn to the backing, then a selection of ric rac, threads etc and an instruction page. The intention is that you 'do your own thing', so the instructions are fairly minimal.
I've made a start and it's going along more quickly than I expected:

Monday, February 9, 2015

Dew Drop Earrings

It took a surprising amount of experimentation to get these split ring earrings to hang correctly. I got it eventually.

Flower socks

I decided to regard my first attempt at these socks as a practice run. I spun some more wool and started from scratch. The pattern is by Wenche S Roald. The pattern looks to be written in a Scandanavian language. Perhaps there was an English version on Ravelry, but it didn't really matter, I used the charts and my usual sock pattern.

 I like the flower on the heel. I saw quite a few patterns like that when I was searching Ravelry. I know the motif might be hidden under a shoe, but the wearer would still know it was there.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Tatted and Seen

Snip, snip,
Today our task is done.
Our thanks to Jane
For so much fun.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


For all my experience, I sometimes underestimate how much yarn is needed for a project. I thought I could use wool that I had on hand to knit a pair of socks. But half way down the foot I realised I didn't have enough to finish the sock, let alone knit another sock. Oops. Back to the spinningwheel.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Day 12

With 40 rings
I think we see,
This must a pair
Of scissors be!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Giraffe Socks

I've finished knitting the giraffe socks. The chart for the giraffes is by Sandra Jager. They're made using wool that I spun and dyed. Anything else I should say?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Day 11

The tatting takes
Another turn.
Lock chains 'tween rings
Is what we learn.