We went out today to Chatswood to get the Christmas shopping done. I am getting bigger by the day,a dn I figurd that if we didn't at least get most of it done now, we won't get it done by Christmas. It was already starting to get busy at the shops, and Christmas is over a month away!
We've managed to buy almost all our presents - only a couple more to go. I am so thrilled. It did take us the better part of four hours, but at least it's done now. Folks, if you haven't started your Christmas shopping, start now!
My company is collecting presents for for the Starlight Foundation kids Christmas party. We have a Christmas tree in the lobby of the building and instead of Christmas ornaments, it is decorated with cardboard stars. Each star has the age group and gender of a child with suggested gifts. The idea is that we'd take a star (or two or three) and buy an appropriate present to match that star. Chris and I got a star for a toddler and we found a really cute toy at Toys R Us today. It's a bulldozer with a handle so the todller canpush it around by the handle. It is brightly coloured and I almost wanted to buy one for my Bubba. Maybe next year, when Bubba will be old enough to play with it.Spinning progress
Now that school's out for the year, I can get on with knitting and spinning. Remember that red top that I was spinning for Hui Leng
? I finally got started on it.
I decided that spinning the two shades of red will produce a really obvious barber-pole yarna nd I wasn't sure that was what I wanted. I have 75g of each colour, so I split them. I am spinning 1 bobbin with 50g fire-engine red and 25g rust red and the other bobbin will have 50g of rust red and 25g of fire engine red. I didn't bother carding the fibers todegther, so they are not evenly blended. Instead, what I did was split the top lengthwise and pre-draft them together. I then spun the top by olding the two colours together, getting a somewhat random swirl on the singles. I hope that once it is plied, the result will be more muted, with the colours showing through without being as 'out there' as the barber-pole I would have otherwise gotten.
This shows the true colours of the fibre.
For some reason, the rusty red isn't quite coming through in the photos. I don't know why it looks purplish - it isn't at all!
I also finished spinning the alpaca and wool yarn that I was previously working on. + =
A closer look at the resulting yarn...
I am not very happy with it. It did come out softer than I thought it would. The alpaca didn;t feel very soft or smooth when it was a carded roving, but now that it's all spun up it does feel better. However, there are quite a number of short fibres that were carded in together with the longer ones. Had I prepared it myself, I would probably not have included those fibres in the mix. After I washed the yarn, it started shedding - a lot. It was like the yarn was molting! The sink was full of short fibres hich I had to fish out to prevent them from clogging up the drain.Yuck. Once it was dry, I thought it would behave better, but it shed again when I was winding it into a ball. In fact, it shed somuch that I had to vaccum around the area where I was winding and use a clothes brush on myself! Perhaps I made the mistake of not spinning it tighter, but I was afraid that if it was too tightly spun, it would end up feeling like rope - coarse and hard. Ugh.. any ideas as to what I cando to stop this shedding? Will it stop shedding on its own after a while?
When I felt the yarn after spinning, it felt soft enough to knit into a hooded scarf for my father-in-law. However,now that I know it sheds so badly, maybe a hooded scarf is not the right thing for it.Maybe it needs to be made into something thatw ill be felted - like felted mittens, for example?? Two or three Christmases ago, I made my father-in-law (who was then just "Chris' dad" to me) a hooded scarf toreplace his old tatty one. He wears a hooded scarf (and is probably the only person I know who does) all through winter and through much of spring and autumn as well. He wears his scarf over a collared shirt so it doesn't have to be supersoft, but has to be reasonably hardwearing and warm. Now that scarf I gave him is also starting to look a little oldandworn,a nd I thought a new hooded scarf may be a good Christmas present. I guess I just have to start thinking fo another yarn to make it from as this shedding alpaca/wool one is just going to make the poor man sneeze!Baby knitting
Remember the Pakucho cotton I was using
? I had so much left over that I ended up making ababy bolero out of it. The pattern is from the One Skein book by Leigh Radford. The original pattern was knitted in one colour, but I had enough of the yarn in both colours to knit stripes, so why not?
I still have enough left for another hat, so maybe that is what I will make, or perhaps a pair of baby mittens.
Oh and remember the bonnet I started
? It didn't workout. It's large enough to fit a toddler, so it's going into the charity bag I think. For my colleague's baby, I decided to make the hat from the Pea Pod pattern
It is approximately newborn size and should fit the baby now.
I also made a teeny tiny version of the hat just in case Bubba has a small head. There isn't much of a chance of that happening since both Chris and I have big heads. Anyway.. just in case, you know.. and if itd oesn't fit, it can go into the charity bag.