Friday, 24 July 2009

Dyed a Rainbow

Busy, busy, busy! I spent most of yesterday dyeing solid colours for my colourwork. I wanted lots of really bright colours, which I have definitely achieved - get your sunglasses on! When I looked at what I'd dyed I noticed I had almost dyed the colours of The Rainbow (only blue and purple missing). These definitely had to go up on a new blog logo!

I've also been doing a painting for my daughter's new trendy bedroom. It's on a big canvas and a sort of wild black and cream flower design to match her quilt cover (which was a bargain in the John Lewis sale). I need to get this done pretty quick, she's no idea her bedroom is being re-vamped and arrives home from Corfu on Tuesday. Hopefully a nice surprise for her.

It's not quite finished yet, but here it is so far.

My new yarn ball winder arrived this morning just in the nick of time. Life is going to be so much easier with one of these, it saves so much time. I decided to splash out after it took me nearly 2 hours to wind 100g of lace yarn. I went for the basic model, no electric nonsense for me ;) In between dyeing, painting and playing on my ball winder I've managed to do some knitting too - Swedish Fish 50% done, Monkeys 50% done, Glynis 50% done and Spring Forward still a long way to go.

I'm making the most of my last few days of freedom - back to work on Monday after almost 2 weeks off. I'm not looking forward to it at all.....

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Knitting Charts

After spending the best part of the day on the computer yesterday, I've finally fathomed out how to turn my knitting charts into PDF files. Turning them into a PDF was very easy once I'd downloaded the converter, however finding somewhere to host them proved more difficult. I've taken the easy option and uploaded them to I'm not entirely happy with this as it converts them to a Google document, whereas I wanted a link which would open my pdf up directly. However, this will have to do for now as I just can't spend any more time on the computer or I'll be going cross-eyed! At least I can now share a few of my designs; only a few for now but when I get some more time for converting them to PDFs I'll pop them on here.


If you do happen to use any of my charts please let me see your finished work, and a gentle reminder these are for private use only and not to be sold or reproduced in any way.

For those on Ravelry who asked about the charts I will be putting a link to here from the Rudolph Dog Sweater. I hope it all works, if it doesn't please let me know.

This is Biddy, she was kindly looking after my knitting yesterday while I was tearing my hair out on the computer. Well either "guarding" or using it as a nice comfy pillow.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009


I've just started SpillyJane's Swedish Fish socks - what a fab pattern it is too, I just love it. This is the first colourwork project I've done for about 3 years and at last I feel I'm back in my comfort zone, doing what I like best. Cables and lace are interesting to knit and at times a challenge, but colour is where my heart is.

Starting this project has sparked off all sorts of ideas for sock designs; my head is buzzing at the moment. I need to get them all down on paper before I forget them. I've got a couple of lacy socks on the go as well at the moment, but when these are finished I hope to concentrate more on colours and my own designs.

Swedish Fish socks in progress so far:

A couple of people have approached me recently on Ravelry about my knitting charts, particularly Rudolph. Once I fathom out how the heck to get these 'live' I will post them into my blog and post a link from Ravelry. Off to ponder this.....

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Diary of a Sock

My Sock Diary so far for 2009 - finished socks, socks in progress and socks to knit by the end of December. The links to the sock patterns will probably only work if you're a member of the knitting forum Ravelry.




Crofter Socks - What was I thinking?! Knitted on two needles - heavens above all that re-joining yarn and fiddling about - I thought it was the easy option! Turned out okay though and my mum loved them. The pattern used was from a Sirdar Crofter leaflet.


Rainbow Feet - Basic Tubular Socks. Nice easy pattern, first go at Magic Loop.


None! I can't ever imagine going a month without knitting a sock now.


Happy Capricons - Jaywalkers. Loved this pattern, really enjoyed knitting it and the yarn really suited the pattern - loved the way it knitted up in zig-zags.


Scarlet Seven of Hearts AND Pro Natura Cauchy. Seven of Hearts knitted up really quickly because it was DK weight - had to do a different heel. Enjoyed knitting Cauchy, although I wasn't that impressed with the yarn.


Random Flowers (my own design) AND Tropical Heatwave (my own design and own hand-dyed).

Rest of July/August

Still on the needles, not much to see at the moment:

Swedish Fish, Turquoise Glynis, Fresh Berry Monkeys, Kelp Spring Forward

August to December

A continually growing list of socks I will hopefully get around to knitting, if not this year then next year, along with a few of my own designs.

That's it for now; 7 socks completed, 4 still on the needles and lots more to come before the end of 2009. Hooray for socks!

Saturday, 18 July 2009


If only it really was a heatwave! Tropical Heatwave is the name of my newly finished socks. These socks are a bit of a milestone for me because they are the first socks I've designed myself from scratch AND I've used the first yarn I've ever dyed. Okay, the yarn colours are not to everyone's taste, but I love bright colours and these have really grown on me. The lace pattern is only very simple, but I feel I've really achieved something and this is the first step on the ladder to becoming a 'proper designer'!

I used KoolAid dye (well it's a drink powder from America) to dye the yarn. It's a good start for beginners because it contains Citric Acid, so you don't need to add a fixer. It's really easy to use and not very messy. However, the only drawback is your yarn does seem to come out candy colours (it's like being in a sweet shop!) AND it won't dye plant fibres, such as cotton, only animal fibres. If you want to try it I purchased it from DT Crafts. Recently I've been using acid dyes and Sugarflair food colouring, the world's your oyster - dyeing is so much fun!

This morning I received my lovely new 9" HiyaHiya circular needles from Sarah at Brownberry Yarns. Whatever did I do without these needles?! They are perfect for sock knitting and so light they just glide along. I've found the steel ones much nicer to use than bamboo. They are like gold dust here in the UK and I think Brownberry Yarns are the only UK supplier at the moment - get them while you can.

The teeny weeny needles are pictured here on one of my latest sock projects (Cookie A's Glynis, from her book Sock Innovation). Ooooh I just love them!

Friday, 17 July 2009

My Foot is Here!

My first blog post! I love knitting socks, I love colours - the brighter the better, hence the name of my blog. I do knit other things as well, but my passion at the moment is socks. I'm particularly inspired by the amazing Norwegian/Fair Isle designs on Ravelry at the moment. I hope to be casting a pair on my needles very soon. This is a very quick post to get me into the swing of things and to see what my blog looks like when it goes 'live' - how scary!

My foot arrived this morning, well it's a display foot for my socks. It's all very exciting as I don't have to try photographing my feet at sorts of funny angles.

Here it is in all its glory. The sock pictured isn't quite finished yet....hopefully today.

Regular updates on my current knitting projects and dyeing exploits coming soon. I hope I don't bore you too much!