A Crafter's Diary: 11th - 17th April

How are you coping with life at the moment?  I'm finding that the lockdown here in the UK is tedious and hardwork.  Its not that I don't have things to do, I have plenty, but I'm finding that I get overwhelmed easily and sometimes I struggle to cope with all the things going through my head.  This blog is becoming a way of letting me get things out the system.  Links on the titles lead to my Ravelry Project Pages (which you can see if you're a member) where you'll find more technical details including extra links to the pattern, fibre/yarn and where I brought it from).

Works In Progress
Spinning
Glitzy Mallard
Last Sunday, I finished spinning up all my singles for the Glitzy Mallard and have been letting them rest for most of the week.  You might remember from last week, but this is going to turn into a 4-ply cabled yarn.  So briefly, that means that I've spun all my fibre into a long single.  I then plied from both ends of a centre pull ball, with about twice the amount of twist I needed to balance it into a 2-ply yarn (for my own reference, I used my 18:1 whorl).  I literally just finished that today.  So that'll rest for a while (definitely all weekend, longer if I don't want the bobbin), then I will ply it again from another centre pull ball to make a hopefully balanced, cabled, 4-ply yarn.  I've no idea why its called a cable yarn construction.  Perhaps I'll get round to looking that up for next week.

Glitzy Mallard

Sunset Silk
I decided I wanted a challenging spin on Tuesday.  So I'm attempting to make a 2-ply lace weight yarn that matches one I spun sometime last year.  The catch?  Well, firstly, its beautiful but shiny and slippery and trickier to work with Mulberry Silk than with wools.  Secondly, I'm spinning it super fine.  But mostly, the original yarn I spun on a drop spindle.  I'm trying to match it with a wheel spun yarn!  Wish me luck!  I'm using my fastest whorl for this which is a 20:1 drive ratio.  So far, its going well!

Sunset Silk 2

Knitting
Trick of the Light MKAL
For those who don't remember, I'm knitting a mystery shawl.  A clue gets released each Wednesday ad I try to knit it up as fast as I can so I can share it with you on the Friday!  I finished Clue 2 over the weekend, it was a lovely section of garter stitch stripes.  Clue 3 dropped on Wednesday morning and I've been hard at work knitting it!  I just love the lace pattern.  One way up it reminds me of lampshades, the other way up it reminds me of candle flames!

Trick of the Light MKAL

Melody Jumper
I've got a new project on the needles this week!  Well, actually, it replaces a different jumper project.  So I was originally knitting the Autumn League Pullover and while I was enjoying working up the pattern I decided to take a moment to try it on and I discovered that I just wasn't enjoying the raglan decreases and where they were sitting on my shoulders so I spent a great deal of time deliberating and decided just to rip it all out and start with a different pattern that I'd enjoy more.  Absolutely nothing wrong with the pattern, just not for me.
So, introducing, the Melody Sweater.  I mean, I'm going to all it a Jumper.  I don't know why, I just don't like the name Sweater.  It sounds kinda hot and gross rather than warm and snuggly to me.  But anyway, this is a fairly new pattern that got released late last year.  Its not had many projects on Ravelry yet so I feel like I'm taking a bit of a risk with it, but it was free and I love the patterning.  It has a construction that I've not seen in a jumper before, although I'm sure others like this exist - I have yet to finish a jumper by hand and most of my jumper knowledge comes from the podcasts I listen to and the things I see being knitting by my friends and in my various Ravelry groups.  But you start at the bottom and you knit a delightful twisted rib hem with a lovely lace pattern.  I've finished that part.  Then you knit stocking stitch up to the arm holes (this is the bit I'm currently working on) and put the body aside.  Then you knit the sleeves from the wrist up to the armholes.  Then some clever knitting means you end up joining these three parts and knitting a lovely circular yoke and afterwards you just need to graft the underarm stitches together.  Pretty clever if you ask me!  You'll likely see this in progress on the needles for quite some time so I'll probably explain this to you all over again so you'll understand it in time!

Melody Jumper

Weaving
Scarf
I'm still working my way gradually through my woven scarf.  Its still got many tension issues but I'm hopeful that it'll come out wearable in the end!

Woven Scarf

Finished Objects
Spinning
Herb Butter
Yay!  A finished yarn!  This is Herb Butter.  It is 96g and 76m of a delightful worsted/aran weight yarn!  The fibre is Blue Faced Leicester that I dyed myself.  Some of it was dyed with Chamomile, some with Henna and some with Landscapes Acid dye "Fern".  Once I had dyed the fibre, I blended it into very overweight rolags on my blending before.  I predrafted each rolag and then spun the single from that.  I opted for a chained 3-ply yarn in order to match a yarn I had already made from the other half of the fibre used here!  Its absolutely wonderful and before you ask, I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to use it for!

Herb Butter

Knitting
Seafoam Scarf
The Seafoam Scarf went along so well this week that I finished it!  I've mainly worked on this project when I've had video chats  because it is easy to knit and didn't require too much thinking on my behalf.  It is definitely interesting how the colours came out.  The yarn is handspun and I thought had similar length colour repeats.  I recently moved onto the second skein and have discovered that the first few stripes are definitely much shorter than in the first skein!  They are also slightly thicker yarn so this part of the scarf bulges out slightly!  Oh for the joy of handspun yarn!  But I absolutely love it.
The pattern is the Seafoam Scarf by Joan Janes and its a nice, clear and easy to follow pattern.  I'd say its an advanced beginner pattern because it involves making yarn overs to deliberately drop them which can be a bit scary the first few times you do it.  This isn't the first project I've used dropped stitches on so I just merrily went on my way!  I used 4.5mm needles for approximately DK/worsted weight handspun.  It was a little bit of an inconsistent thickness yarn (which is why this pattern works so well for it) so there are some parts with much less drape than others, but it'll definitely be a scarf to keep me warm.  Which is totally why I knit it as we approach summer...  I deliberately used up all the handspun and managed to finish the pattern exactly as written (I played yarn chicken and won) - it was about 212m of handspun for a scarf that is about 15cm (6") wide and 130cm (50") long.
You can find all the details in a clearer format on my Ravelry project page if you're a member there!

Seafoam Scarf Seafoam Scarf

Connecting With Me
Enjoyed my blog post?  You can connect with me on Instagram, Facebook and Ravelry!  I tend to keep my Ravelry project pages well updated so you can find out more details of these projects over there.