The Hills are Alive

My plan to weave in a section of yarn ends on my advent sweater (Serenity by Joji Locatelli) each day worked a treat. I seriously underestimated how many there were; I’d forgotten that as I had worked each colour from the top over the back and each side of the front, several colours had six ends not two. It turned out that there were over 80 in total! However, I did a sleeve’s worth and so on and the ends were soon completed. It is such a gorgeous sweater to wear and the yarn is so very soft.

We took this picture on Sunday, during what we call our ‘country walk’. We are so lucky that we can get onto lanes like this within a kilometre or so of our front door. The main pic of today’s post is the view of Moel Famau, to the left of where we were standing.

A woman wearing a hand-knit sweater and a linen dress stands with her back to the camera and her hands in her pockets in a country lane. It is a sunny day and the jewel colours of the sweater almost glow.

Last week I asked you to keep your fingers crossed for me regarding a submission I’d sent, that I was due to hear back about by Friday. Well, it worked! I had an acceptance email on Wednesday morning!! Since then, I’ve been grading the pattern (10 sizes for this one) and starting to write it up and I am now waiting eagerly for the yarn to arrive in the post.

Can you believe that my flowers from last week are still going strong? The yellow roses have opened up and become all frilly on the edges and the deep red carnations are a lovely contrast.

My Fiery Dragon Skin Cowl is done and very cosy in my hand-spun yarn. I still have to pinch myself a bit that I only started learning to spin this time last year and I am making yarn I can use when knitting up my own designs. That disbelief is going to get to a whole new level once I have finished a project with yarn from Doris, isn’t it?!

A hand-knit cowl in hand-spun shades of blue, green and greeny-gold wool is on a mannequin covered with black fabric. A cream wall is reflected in the mirrored door behind.

In the meantime, here is my current spinning, some Southdown fibre, from Hilltop Cloud. The two bobbins are intended to have stripes of different sizes as I am attempted fractal spinning; you split the fibre lengthways, then one half lengthways again and then one of those lengthways again. The horizontal finished bobbin contains the singles spun from the fibre that was split more often and the bobbin still on the wheel is being spun with the other half of the fibre, so there are much longer stretches of colour.

A close-up of a bobbin in progress on the spinning wheel, with the other bobbin balanced horizontally above it to show the contrast. The wheel treadles and rest of the background are out of focus.

As I’m waiting for yarn to arrive for two commissions at the moment, I decided to cast on something small in the mean time. I posted about this sock on social media the other day and I’m pleased with how it’s coming along. It did take me a while to adapt to using the KnitPro single 25cm long circular needle, especially trying to work out which hand the shorter needle tip felt best in, but it’s feeling more natural now. That’s a 2mm needle in the pic with 80 stitches per round. I did once have 2mm bamboo needles, but they did not last very long. Sue likes her socks knit to a tight gauge – it makes them last better – and bamboo just snapped in my hands. The stripy yarn is fabulous isn’t it? This is Zandra’s Rainbow, one of the Zandra Rhodes colourways on their Signature 4-ply yarn for West Yorkshire Spinners.

A brightly coloured stripy sock in progress sits on a wooden desk in front of its ball of yarn. The yarn is pink, yellow, dark blue, maroon, scarlet and olive green.

I have spent several hours on the embroidery so far. You can see progress from last week, but no sense of the image yet. But this is only working from the central page of nine…

A close-up image of a very small scale embroidery in progress. The fabric is a cream coloured linen with black, dark brown, grey and green threads. Bright red threads mark the central lines of the design.

There has been slightly less baking than I would have liked recently, but Audrey2 is waking up again after a short time in the fridge. Hopefully I will be making another loaf in the next couple of days. I was feeling more than a bit off-colour yesterday, so there was definitely no baking, or much activity at all!

That’s all from me for today. I hope you all stay safe, stay well and do what makes you happy. K x

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