Saturday, 24 October 2009

Thank you, loyal readers!

Hi everybody,

I'm so sorry that it's been over a month without an update, and I want to thank everyone who has continued to visit this blog. Our international move is progressing on schedule, but a side effect of the move is severely curtailed crafting time. My spinning wheel has been packed away since August and I won't have it back till at least January; my sewing machine and dyeing equipment have been sold (since it's electrical it won't work in America) and the only thing I've got left - when I have a few minutes spare - is knitting. And blocking!

So here are some projects that you may not have seen. If you are on Ravelry you can see more details about any of them from my Project Page.

First up is my first-ever shawl, which I decided to make when I spun some lovely and soft grey Gotland fibre last year. It's taken forever to do - I kept adding more yarn to it! I finished it off back in May but never blocked it until this weekend. Here's the best picture I could manage without standing on a chair for height - all the chairs are packed already...

It's funny, I've never been a shawl person, but I've enjoyed wearing this today very much. It was cozy, if slightly chilly as I was using body heat to get rid of the last of the blocking moisture!

My next most recent project is the Elizabeth Zimmerman Adult Surprise Jacket. I found this an excellent pattern for using up medium lengths of handspun - I had lots of 100-200 yard skeins but nothing big enough for a whole jacket on its own. Here's a photo from when it was nearly done being knit:

Since then I have lengthened the sleeves and finished off the edges. I blocked it and the sleeves were too long, but they seem to have resettled to a reasonable length. More worrying, though, is that the collar is huge. It's far too big to wear comfortably. I need to sort it out but I have decided to wait until after I have moved and consult the experts at my (new) local knitting group for advice.

The other project that I have finished recently is one that was featured here not too long ago. It's my Sheep-to-Shoulder top made from wool that I brought back from Ireland and processed by myself every step of the way. I sewed it together, which was quite a learning experience and required a couple of restarts, and I am very pleased with the result. I might reblock it at some point to make it a little longer in the body but it works as it is; I'm just used to wearing longer tops.

I love it. It's very warm and smells delightfully sheepy. My husband is getting used to 'sheepy', fortunately.

Now for a bit of news about my Etsy shops, Elizabeth's UK Craft Shop and Sheepshape Spinning. The first one has been put into vacation mode for now. I will need a new name for it once I'm not in the UK anymore! I'm happy to take suggestions, and if your suggestion is the one that I choose I will give you a $10 gift certificate to anything in either shop. The second shop is still open for now, but all of the yarn and fibre will be suspended in late November, no later than the 29th of November, because it's got to go on the boat to America! I will try to keep most of the stuffed animals available for December in case you want to do any last-minute gift shopping, but I will probably need to shut everything for a few days in mid-December while I'm flying to the states and getting settled in our new place. All part of the adventure!