Down the Hourglass Socks

I was lurking in Ravelry’s Free Pattern Testers forum a while ago and was drawn to these socks as there was a cuff down option plus written instructions. I love starting a brand new pair of socks so I can watch the pattern emerge on the leg and these socks were no exception.

Down the Hourglass 01The pattern has lots of front/back crosses and front/back twist cabling which meant at times I was juggling six DPNs!

Down the Hourglass 12Down the Hourglass 09This pattern is better suited for solid or lightly tonal yarn to show off the detail of the pattern, which may get lost in a heavy variegated yarn. Ages ago I bought two skeins of sock yarn from Yarn Haus called Suzy Hausfrau Sock. It’s 80% merino / 10% cashmere / 10% nylon and really suits this pattern.

Suzy Hausfrau CamelThis was an enjoyable knit although I must confess for the first time ever I suffered a bit of second sock syndrome as I wasn’t looking forward to all those twisty cables again 🙂 The end result is so worth it.

Down the Hourglass 05Down the Hourglass 11The heel fits nice and snuggly…

Down the Hourglass 10Now I just need to wait until winter so I can wear them!

Down the Hourglass 07Down the Hourglass 08Down the Hourglass 04I have just finished spinning, plying and washing this beautiful Ixchel Bunny Cashmere Fling Top which is a blend of cashmere, tencel, bamboo and glitzy nylon. This colourway is Minions and it’s plied with blue rayon.

Ixchel Minions 07And these rather nifty tools arrived in the mail last week. Can’t wait to start using them…

ToolsPlus this pair of sock blockers.

Sock blockersThey’re all from Gympie in Queensland and can be purchased from Lumigrafika on Etsy. I love sourcing goodies from local suppliers. They’re all so talented!

Last week I received an email from a work friend who wanted me to drop into her office at lunch time as she had something for me 🙂

This gorgeous little tin which opens with a zip and features sheep on each side – of course 🙂 It seems my friends are on the look out for sheepy things for me 🙂

Sheep tinAnd lastly, this little sheep hopped into my arms as I was browsing in an Opp Shop at lunch time.

Opp shop sheepHow could I not take her home? She’s just too sweet 🙂

One more photo of those lovely socks…

Down the Hourglass 02That’s my news for now. I wish everyone of you a wonderful Christmas day. Please stay safe and here’s to a 2016 filled with fun, fibre, frivolity and of course yarning!!

Until next time…

Melanie

 

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New Sock Blockers, Squirrel Cage Swift (and a little more yarn)

If you recall I told you the story recently about the new bobbins I had made, by a local retired wood turner, for my Little Peggy Spinning wheel. Well, today I picked up my newly made sock blockers and squirrel cage swift!!! I am so excited as they are gorgeous and look sooo good.

How’s this for a lovely pair of sock blockers!

New Sock Blockers 01

New Sock Blockers 03

I love the detail at the top of the blockers. He did such a great job!

New Sock Blockers 04

Now to my new squirrel cage swift. That’s the new swift on the left hand side and the old one I bought earlier this year on the right hand side.

New Squirrel Swift 01

The new one is slightly taller and has a slightly larger base which makes it a bit more stable when I’m winding my skeins.

It’s so lovely and smooth and the cages turn so effortlessly…

New Squirrel Swift 04

It also has more holes along the side for the various sized skeins that I have…

New Squirrel Swift 05

The reason I wanted a new swift was because the old one was a bit rickety and not very smooth in places so the yarn caught at times. Without me asking, my wood turner smoothed down the old swift, re-glued the base and gave it a coat of varnish so it’s as good as new. Now I have two fantastic swifts! Can’t wait to start winding some skeins now!

On the way home from picking up these goodies, my car suddenly had a mind of its own and for some reason or other I turned left into the Lincraft car park. Well it seemed silly not to slip inside to see whether I could pick up some yarn that could possibly be on sale. I mean….you’d do the same thing wouldn’t you?

Here are a few little gems that I found…

Some gorgeous Panda Magnum Soft 8ply acrylic which I am going to use to make this crocheted ripple blanket. This website has a great tutorial which I’ll be using.

Magnum Soft 02

Sixteen balls in total for AU$3.83 each. Beautiful colours aren’t they?

Magnum Soft 03

Five balls each of the following colours of Shepherd Colour 4 Me Prints at AU$4.18 a ball. It’s an 8ply 100% wool and each ball weighs 50g. I think they’ll make cute little toddler vests and hats.

Colour 4 Me Brights 01

Colour 4 Me Outback 01

Colour 4 Me Sea 01

I couldn’t walk past this gorgeous fluorescent yellow Cleckheaton Country 8ply 100% wool in the colourway ‘Neon’. Six balls at AU$3.48 each. Again, perfect for toddlers’ hats and vests.

Cleckheaton Country Neon 02

And finally, this lonely ball of Cleckheaton Country 8ply in the colourway ‘Citron’ was all by itself. I felt sorry for it so bought it to add to the collection of this colourway that I have in my stash!

Cleckheaton Country Citron

All I can say is that I’m stockpiling for when I retire (hopefully in under four years’ time) as I probably won’t be able to afford to buy yarn at the rate I do now. That’s my reasoning and I’m sticking to it 🙂

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend as much as I am. Until next time…

Melanie

Spare Bobbins for my Little Peggy Spinning Wheel

Firstly, I would like to thank one of my readers (Deanna) who contacted me by email recently to let me know how much she enjoyed reading my blog posts and in particular the links to free patterns. This email gave me such a thrill as quite often no comments are made on some posts so I often wonder whether anyone is reading them; are they enjoying them; should I continue? Thank you so much Deanna!

As you’ll recall I managed to buy a Little Peggy spinning wheel on Ebay in April this year however she only came with two bobbins.

Little Peggy 04

In September I visited one of the local festivals held in my area called RedFest and it was there I stumbled across local woodturners who were displaying their goods. I managed to chat to one of the retired gents who’d been woodturning for over 35 years and asked him whether he’d be interested in making me some spare bobbins. So I drove to his home and took one of the two bobbins from Little Peggy and asked whether he could make me another four.

Last week I drove back to pick up my bobbins and I am so pleased with the five (yes he made one extra) bobbins he made. That’s the original bobbin at the top and the five new ones below.

New Bobbins 02

Original bobbin on the left and new one on the right…

Old left New right

And wait…..there’s more! I also took along the old squirrel cage swift that I purchased in June this year in the job lot which consisted of a spinning wheel, chair, lazy kate and the swift.

Squirrel Swift 04

Now even though the swift works well there are some rough edges on it. My personal woodturner 🙂 was instantly fascinated with it and how it works (I took along the wool winder to give him a demonstration) so he’s going to make me another one that’s nice and smooth all over! I also took along this picture of sock blockers…

Sock Blockers 02

And he’s going to make me pair of them!!! I found this template online which I also gave him. There’s a great downloadable pdf on the web page.

So you can see I’m quite excited about having my own personal woodturner!

Until next time…

Melanie