Sunday, January 29, 2023

Day 8 And Dyepot


Mmm, well, day 8 looks like another arm waving, but the whole piece could be upside down or sideways or something. Jane is tricky with these things! 

We are going away for a few days; I've been working diligently to finish a yarn order before we go. It took me all day yesterday to spin wool enough for 6 skeins. I plyed it this morning and then dyed it. I'll rinse it when it's cool, hang it up to dry and wind it into balls tomorrow. It is quite finely spun, so I'm petrified of felting it. Spinning matters, or perhaps fibre matters, always have opposing forces - to dye evenly you need to stir the dyepot often, but stirring leads to felting, so you must stir as little as possible! 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Day 7 And A Dinosaur


Day 7 is just one ring. I hope I have it right!

It turns out that it's no easier for my customers to find good quality towels in the right colours than it is for me.  Plan B was to make a brown dinosaur with features in bright felt. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023



Last week, a friend brought me two batches of eyelash yarn. Rather churlishly, I said I didn't want it. It would just go into my stash and never be used. But I offered to knit Grace a scarf with the yarn and she accepted with alacrity. So here's the first one. I knitted it in garter stitch on very big needles. I think it came out rather well. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Day 6


I think it's looking like half a gnome, but I'd expect a gnome to involve more colours. Jane has us puzzled as usual!

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Jack's Pullover


I've finished knitting Jack's pullover so he's set for next winter. The pattern is Rain Sky by Drops Design. It's knitted top down in the round, which means I didn't have to sew anything together and done knitting was done! I used Magic Loop for the neck and sleeves, which was new to me and well worth learning. 

Day 5


I redid the first five stages of the tat it and see. So I could correct my mistake on day 2! The thread I was using was labelled as 20, but I think it is 40. It was too thin, too dark and too twisty. I know it makes more sense to complete the tias and then redo the motif in another thread, but messy Catherine Wheel joins were the final straw. 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Day 4


I've done day 4. It looks like a question mark, which is appropriate enough. 

I"m making good progress on Jack's pullover. I'd like to get on and finish it and go on to the next woolly project.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

A Rabbit


I've been working on a hooded towel order, a pink rabbit. It should be collected this morning. 

I've run into a bit of a problem with towel orders. The towels like this one come from a towel factory shop that has good quality towels, in a very limited colour range. If I need another colour, I buy towels somewhere else. But...I've had complaints about the quality of those towels. My solution is to tell the customer to bring their own towels and I will turn them into creatures. In the meantime, I'm going back to bath puppets! 

Monday, January 16, 2023

Day 3


I concentrated very hard on day 3 and didn't make any mistakes, as far as I know! 

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Day 2 Spot The Mistake


I made a mistake on my Day 2 of the tat it and see. If I was a perfectionist, I'd have started again. I'm not, so I didn't. I'm sure the eagle eyed among you could find it easily enough, but I don't think it'll matter in the overall scheme of things. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

And We're Off

 Today is day 1 of Jane Eborall's Tat It And See for 2023. A fun way to start off the tatting year. I found my silver shuttle that I like to use for the tat it and see. And wound some Milford thread as per instructions.  Whether green is the right colour for what we're tatting, I have no idea. That's part of the fun. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2023



Jack has a very good crop of sweetcorn in the garden. We've been eating fresh sweetcorn most evenings for weeks. And giving away a fair bit. But cobs were in danger of getting overripe. Rather than let them go to waste, I decided to freeze some of them. I followed this tutorial . I packed the corn from two cobs into each packet:

I'll be able to use it in dishes where I usually used tinned sweetcorn. 

Jack's flower garden is looking good too. The lilies on the veranda are slowly opening:

The Flame Lilies are magnificent:

And dahlias on the veranda are providing work for bees as well as brightening up the place:

Monday, January 9, 2023

Procrastinate Not


One thing about having a lot of power outages, you learn to get on with the job when there is power! I finished the 10 puppets for Sarah's order over the weekend.

Of course, there is the question of priority - should I sew while the power is on, or write emails? 

Friday, January 6, 2023

Knitting, Yes; Sewing, No


On Wednesday I sewed four puppets and thought I was well on my way to fulfilling the order for ten, and restocking. Alas, no. Our electricity was off all day on Thursday and all day on Friday, there was no chance to keep sewing puppets. Instead I knitted Jack's pullover. Once I was past the yoke, it was very easy knitting, round and round, all knit stitch. 

This is how it looked after I'd used two balls. It's clear that five balls of yarn will be ample to complete the garment. So I abandoned my plan to knit the sleeves before finishing the body. I won't have to put all those stitches on a holder if I do the body and then go on to knit the sleeves. 

The electricity is on, so I had better get back to my sewing machine. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Green Beans


Jack's green bean crop is not all that large, but it's too much for us to eat fresh. I don't want them to go to waste, so yesterday I cooked them up as green bean pickle or curried green beans. 

It made exactly four bottles. There was none left over for tasting, but I'm sure it'll be fine. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Back To Work


The shop down the road that sells my puppets on commission has been clamouring for more stock for a few weeks, but I had only two left in stock and making more wasn't high on the priority list over Christmas. Yesterday I made three more puppets and delivered five this morning. I also have an order for ten puppets, so I'll do those and then make more for the shop. 

Monday, January 2, 2023

The Evolution Of A Project


I think it's a bit of a swizz to call this Classic Wool when it is made from 80% acrylic and only 20% wool, but there you go. When I saw it in my local craft shop, I thought it was just what I needed to knit Jack a new pullover for next Winter. The one I knitted for him in 2021 is looking stretched and shapeless, in spite of my redoing of the neck.  

The owner of the shop reckons I'll need 6 balls to knit a sweater for Jack, but the yarn is sold in packs of 5. Hmm. I bought a pack of 5 and thought I'll knit top down so that if necessary I can add contrasting stripes at the bottom. 

First thing I needed was a pattern. I meandered through Ravelry and Pinterest. It turns out that Drops Designs have quite a few top down men's patterns. I really like the look of Lagoon, but the stitch they call English Rib seems a real fiddle, with yarn overs and slipped stitches and what not. I considered changing to an ordinary rib, but I'm not familiar enough with the top down structure to go making such changes. I settled for Rain Sky instead. 

Next - needles. I have 3 mm and 4 mm circular needles 80 cm long, but not 60 cm long. The solution, according to the pattern, is to work the Magic Loop technique. I've seen references to the Magic Loop on the Paradise Knitting newsletter I receive every day, but know nothing about it. I followed the link on the pattern to a tutorial and gave it a go:

There's a lot of sliding of stitches, but it's quite easy and gives a smooth tube, without the ladders that I got when I tried working with two circular needles. Thumbs up. 

Next step was to knit a tension square:

It was fine, so I duly printed out the pattern and ringed all the figures for the medium size. And began knitting:

I used the Magic Loop technique for the neck, but now that I'm working the yoke, I'm just knitting round and round. I'll go back to the loop to do the sleeves. Of course, the growth is quite quick at this stage, but will get slower as I keep adding stitches for the raglan. The increase technique is also 'new to me' - yarn over before the marker, and then twist that 'stitch' on the following round.