Doing battle …

05/03/2014 § 2 Comments

with lace weight yarn!

Having treated myself some while ago (here) to the yarn, yarn winder and umbrella swift, I thought I was ready to spring into hooky action.  I’d done my research and found a few likely patterns and off I went.  The results however, weren’t so good.  Watersmeet was tried and unravelled on no less than 3 occasions, using different patterns.

I absolutely LOVE the yarn – it’s astonishingly beautiful, but whatever shall I make?  Here’s my latest attempt – a scarf …

Ripply Scarf Pattern

Ripply Scarf Pattern


a beautiful pattern, but I'm still not sure

a beautiful pattern, but I’m still not sure

What do you think?  It works up quite quickly but I’m in trouble over the edges and I’m not sure whether this is working for me. This isn’t like me – I don’t do INDECISION – I usually sort it out very quickly and see projects through to the end.  This time – I did something I try very hard NOT-TO-DO :: I started with a different project and colour …

Rose Snood

Rose Snood




A simple enough combination of trebles and chains, I intend working in this fan pattern for about 10″ and then add a pineapple border at both ends.  But again, indecision has set in.  It’s curling dreadfully and I’m not convinced that a final blocking will sort this out.

I could do with some advice – any directions to patterns that spring into your mind, that would work well for 800 yds of lace weight yarn, would be much appreciated.  I’m thinking scarves or snoods.  I know it’s going to take me till next winter, so I don’t mind if it’s a bit of a challenge, though I’d be very happy with simple, hook-along crochet too.

Let me know – I’m getting worn out by this particular battle!

Adaliza x



Yarn winding …

11/01/2014 § 2 Comments

and sumptious new yarn!

Have you discovered the Natural Dye Studio?  They’re based in North Devon, an area I know very well and love immensely.  I’ve made several bits and bobs for myself as I adore their lace weight yarns.  I made these, my favourite of which is my Tearose Shawl.

NDS yarns are named after local places – Withypool, Lynmouth, Watersmeet, Parracombe – ah, I’m almost there on the Cliff Railway, walking up Glen Lyn Gorge which seemed like my second home when I was little, out across the bay in one of the Oxenham’s boats or walking the dogs on hot summer days and paddling in the Lyn rivers on the way up to Watersmeet.  Now the yarn, that arrives so quickly – often within 24 hours of my placing an order – takes me back and I soak up all those happy childhood memories as I work with hook or needles.

Before Christmas I decided to treat myself to some new ‘toys’ and now, finally, I’m all set up.

yarn winder

yarn winder

Such a simple little gadget that clips under a worktop or table.  As the yarn winds around – by turning the handle – the angle of the winder means that a symmetrically wound yarn ‘cake’ is formed.  The only moan that I have is that the wire yarn holder (on the left) doesn’t stay upright easily, even when it’s clicked out, and if that drops the yarn gets into a horrible knot under the winder.  I hold the bottom of the wire thingy and it works just fine.

Here’s how the yarn starts out …

Skein of Blue Faced Leicester wool and silk

Skein of Blue Faced Leicester wool and silk – 800 m !

Oh those colours and you wouldn’t believe how soft and luscious it is in the hand.  Just imagine winding 800m of lace weight yarn into balls – I’ve done it in the past and 3 hrs later, with all limbs aching, I’ve wondered if I’d ever recover in time to make anything!

Ten short minutes later here’s what I have …

3 yarn cakes

3 yarn cakes

Ahhhhh - those colours

Ahhhhh – those colours

a perfectly wound cake all ready for crochet

a perfectly wound cake all ready for my hook

Now, I’m missed a bit out – another vital ‘toy’ that I treated myself to.  It’s all well and good having a skein of yarn and a yarn winder, but what you really need too, is one of these …

yarn swift

unbrella yarn swift

a yarn swift

my yarn swift

and a collie watching my every move!

I found it very difficult to photograph my yarn swift, so the first image is from Amazon – where I bought both my swift and winder.  I won’t recommend any suppliers as there were a few problems, but I’m delighted now they’re both here.  I rigged them up very quickly on either side of the breakfast bar this morning.

I’d have loved a wonderful wooden swift, but although relatively cheap and cheerful, my vivid green one appears to do the job very well.

So, what’s on my hook?  Well, nothing at the moment ‘cos I’m deliberating about what to make.  Anything made from lace weight yarn is going to be a WIP for months so I’m currently searching for a perfect pattern.  Probably crochet but possibly knitting.  Any bright ideas anyone?  Do point me in the direction of some good patterns if you know of any.  I’m thinking of a wide and lacy shawl or scarf.

Enjoy your weekend – the sun is shining here – YaY!

Adaliza x




Almost time …

07/09/2012 § 1 Comment

to start adding an extra layer and here’s what I’ve made, to keep me warm through the chilly days (and evenings) to come …

I’ll admit to being inspired by Alicia over at Posie Gets Cozy. I have no idea whether this is the same stitch that she used, but Smoke is created from Solomon’s Knot stitch which is oh, so easy-peasy.  Ooh it’s totally delicious and now I’m working on this one …

The smokey blue shawl is Rowan lace weight yarn – 800 mtrs of it! It’s very large – about 2 yards long and 3/4 yd wide with a picot border.  The dusky pink yarn above is from the Natural Dye Studio and is called Tea Rose, which is as delicious name as a yarn could wish for!  It’s baby alpaca, cashmere & silk – soft as a cloud!  I wound it into a ball on our last night-of-the-summer holiday in Dolly, a couple of weeks ago.

Naturally, I didn’t just buy one hank of amazing stuff, whilst jaunting around Tiverton and made the discover of a lifetime – The Wool Merchant shop.  I also treated myself to the skein below – called Moss.  So what’s the other Lace skein?  It’s one of my favourite – Drops yarn, this time lace weight – baby alpaca and mulberry silk.  I don’t usually work with black, but I treated myself to a new dress which is going to be worn to my friend’s wedding in December.  I plan to make a jacket and want to have a shawl/scarf to complete the outfit, so black it is!


So, I’m preparing for the chilly times ahead with Smoke, Tea Rose, Moss and Sooty – and am rather looking forward to the frost and snow!

Our boys are moving out and as I speak, the lines are full of washing, drying in the magnificent sunshine that we’ve enjoyed here over the last few days.  The patios are full of furniture from the summerhouse and shed and on Sunday I’m driving a huge van to Bristol where they can do the unpacking!  It’ll be nice to find a fridge with some food in it and a bathroom with some clean towels, but I’ll miss them as they both embark on the next post-university stage of their lives.  I’m rather pleased they’re both in the same city although living with different friends – the best of both worlds hopefully.  It’s not too far away and we can take day trips to Bath every few weeks to treat them to lunch – until they’re too busy to fit us in!  Just the way it should be! Possibly more shopping time for me too!

Alton will be enjoying a sunny Art & Craft market tomorrow, so come and say ‘Hello’ if you’re passing.

Enjoy your weekend.


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