knitting · spinning


It’s been a not-so-good week, redeemed by a good weekend. Been suffering quite badly this week with my trichotillomania (and my first REALLY scary dream about waking up with bald patches over my head) and that along with the move has led to me having a very anxious and depressed week. But what cheers us up lots of the time when we are feeling a little down? Chocolate and some retail therapy, in which I have indulged in both.

But I’ve discovered that retail therapy doesn’t have to be expensive – although it can also involve ordering two new spindles, oh yes. But ahead of the release of her new Adoro pattern (which has options for adding beads), Ruth at Rockandurl has done an excellent series of blog posts on beading – why you should do it and three different methods (start here).

So other than making me realise I need to get another small crochet hook (had better add that to the shopping list too) it got ideas in my head. Which patterns in my queue could benefit from beads? I’d already decided to knit a large Adoro shawl with beads, but what else? What handspun did I have underway that would look amazing with beads?

So I ended up spending a chunk of time at work on Friday bead hunting. While I’d bought some beads from Etsy before, I wanted to get some super special Japanese beads (think Miyuki or Toho) which are the sort you always hear everyone rave about.

And I sinned.

Not a big sin, as including delivery I only spent Β£6.60 (BARGAIN!) for three tubes of beads. And considering I got over 2,000 beads for that princely sum it looks like rather a good deal. But enough blather – time for some piccies. I bought all Miyuki beads and I LOVE them.

These are size 8 seed beeds – Hematite Opaque. I have plans to use them on this cashmere yarn when knitting Godiva.

Miyuki Beads

These next two were just for fun. They are both Size 11 Delica beads – this means they are cylindrical, rather than round and super tiny. You can fit 11 beads per inch, if they were all strung up on a piece of string. So perfect for some laceweight, which is exactly what I’m trying to spin up at the moment! I can’t decide which are my favourites, but I think the second lot just edge it for me – although I was least sure about these when I bought them.

These are Mulberry Transparent with a Silver Lining and are Semi Frosted. I think they would be perfect to use with this when it’s all spun up. No idea of a pattern yet though.

Miyuki Beads

Finally, these are Opal with Light Slate Grey Lining and Lustre. I think they will look beautiful with my recent fibre club shipment from The Thylacine which can become some gorgeous lace weight – possibly to be my next Adoro.

Miyuki Beads

LOVE. You know what I love even more? I ordered these at 2pm on Friday and got them Saturday morning. That’s pretty speedy. Well done the Bead Merchant.

While I’m on the topic of Adoro, the pattern has now been released and you can buy it here. The money raised from pattern sales will go to a good cause – Ruth’s blog post can give you more info.

I’ve not been idle this weekend either! I’ve been spending lots of time practicing my supported spinning with my beautiful Black Palm Rose spindle. (I cannot WAIT for my two new spindles.) First of all yesterday I was spinning lots of time sampling different fibres. A bit of camel, yak, superfine merino and so on. I’d decided that I wanted to start a proper project. My long draw is improving and I can sometimes do that fancy draft while you spin technique shown off by Fleegle and Sooza (scroll down this page for the vids). So my plan was to spin up some 50/50 cashmere/silk that I’ve had in the stash for a while. But the difference in staple lengths made me so angry I nearly ended up throwing it across the room. More practice needed there I think.

So instead, I went for a short staple blend as I’ve enjoyed the camel I was sampling. I found my first shipment from the Ixchel Fibre Club in July 2009 (hoarder, moi? Trust me there’s a lot of fibre I’ve had even longer than that!) and got to it.

Ixchel Fibre Club #2 - Shipment 1

It’s a mix of camel, angora and silk and it drafts like a dream. My consistency still leaves lots to be desired, but I think I’m adding enough twist and will get something resembling usable yarn out of it. Here’s how I’m getting on:

Camelbunny Silk - WIP

Not the best picture, as the colours are a lot richer and more vivid in real life, but my camera hates blue. And purple. And really strong reds, so we’re sort of screwed. But anyway! I’ve spun up about 15g so far (a quarter of what I have) at varying degrees of laceweight and I’m really enjoying it. I spun for hours yesterday and have so far today – I wouldn’t be able to do that with a suspended spindle – at least not without serious pain.

As I said last weekend, I sure am glad to be spinning again! Will make the most of it over the coming few days as we finish packing up, ready to move most of our stuff to the new house on Friday – with us formally moving over on the 31st. I’ll be so glad to be gone from here – will feel like such a relief – and I’m looking forward to being warmer! Most of this weekend has been spent snuggled under a duvet in the living room – and I’m looking forward to the fire in the new place πŸ™‚


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