Last Post!

I have decided to end the Without Seams blog. Over the past few months I haven’t really felt like posting updates. I tend to keep my project page on Ravelry up to date, and it feels like an extra chore to keep the blog up to date – I suppose that after  two years, blogging has lost it’s novelty for me!

I will be moving all the patterns over to Ravelry over the next few weeks (my Ravelry username is milobo), so if you would like any of the patterns, you should either download them now, or you will be able to find them over there if you have an account.

I will be disabling comments in a couple of weeks, but if you have a question about a pattern you can PM me on Ravelry

Handspun textured scarf

sticksandstring2

I’ve enjoyed spinning a few textured batts recently, and have been looking for a pattern to use with small amounts of textured handspun. I found a nice simple stitch pattern and came up with this scarf

handspun textured scarf 3

Unfortunately I only had about 50g of yarn, so the resulting scarf is a bit short – just long enough to tie around my neck ( I really needed 75 – 100g), but I’m pleased with the effect, and will be using the stitch pattern again

Here’s the pattern:

I used approximately DK weight yarn (approx 11 wpi), and started with a foundation Ch of 19 Ch using a 5.5mm hook to make a scarf approx 5 inches wide. The stitch pattern is a multiple of 2 + 1

Using UK terminology**

Row 1:  miss 2 Ch, insert hook into next Ch, *2 Half trebles together inserting hook into next 2 Ch, Ch1, repeat from * to end working one half treble into last Ch

Row 2: Ch2, miss 1 st, *2 half trebles together inserting hook into Ch1 space, and then into next stitch, Ch1, repeat from * to end working one half treble into top of turning Ch

Repeat row 2 until scarf is desired length or you run out of yarn, fasten off

**For those using US terminology use half double crochet instead of half treble.

Frog or Finish

jacob skein

October has been my finishing month. I finished spinning the Jacob yarn (see above), and decided to make a Lacy Baktus scarf -really pleased with it, and have already worn it quite a lot, although the yarn is slightly itchy.
handspun lacy baktus

There have been quite a few unfinished projects languishing in my yarn basket over the past few months. A couple of weeks ago I decided to have a clear out – mainly to make room for new fibre I bought at the IKnit day in September and the Knitting and Stitching show earlier this month (see below).

Iknit day and Knitting & stitching day fibre

I decided to be fairly ruthless, and commit to finish a few before starting another project, or get rid of any project that I don’t really like anymore. I ended up frogging a couple of things – the flared lace smoke ring, which according to my Ravelry page I started in December 2007 ( I decided I would never wear it) and the Green Liesl cardigan (really don’t like the colour at all – the yarn had gone to a charity shop). I also decided to frog the crochet alpaca lace scarf as the yarn didn’t really fit the pattern. I am now using the yarn to make the Luna Lace scarf from the Shear Spirit book. The pattern doesn’t look like much on the needles, but I’m sure it will look really nice after blocking.

alpaca lace scarf

I’ve managed to finish a pair of socks I started last December,
blue admiral

and my bog jacket – pictured here before blocking.

bog jacket

I decided to add garter stitch front  bands and a belt instead of the applied I-cord. I quite like it, but wish I had used larger needles for a lighter, less dense fabric.

September Spinning

trio of spindles
I can’t believe summer is already over . We’ve had some lovely trips in our campervan in England and France over the summer. I took knitting and spinning projects with me, but didn’t really spend much time on them. I have however acquired quite a few new spindles over the past few months (see above).

As is always the way, as soon as autumn draws in, I have the urge to knit and crochet more. My one finished project since my last post is my feather and fan comfort shawl
featherandfanblocked
The yarn is a 2 ply yarn spindle spun from some Corridale top my sister bought me last Christmas. I’m really pleased with the colour transition.

During one of our summer camping trips I managed to pick up a bag of washed Jacob fleece. It’s the first time I’ve ever bought unprocessed fibre and it’s been sitting in my fibre basket for the last few months waiting for me to get around to buying some carders.

I decided to go for mini carders from Forest Fibres (great service by the way). At first I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but after consulting some of my spinning books along with some very helpful videos on youtube, I managed to produce some fairly decent rolags. Here’s one from my second batch.
jacob rolag

I actually find carding quite satisfying, and I really enjoy spinning from rolags.

I’ve got a couple of ideas for new crochet designs. These will be for handspun yarn – I need to spin the yarn first before working on the patterns, so they might not be ready for some time!

April is for……Alpacas!

alpacas

Alpaca has definitely been my fibre of the month this month. I was lucky enough to be able to visit  The Naked Sheep during our stay with my parents in Northamptonshire at Easter. It’s definitely worth a visit if you are ever in the area. The Apacas were lovely, and although I was disappointed that there wasn’t any fibre available to buy, I did come away with some nice laceweight yarn.

 lace weight alpaca

I finally finished spinning up the grey alpaca silk blend from World of Wool.  This was spindle spun. I started off using the ply on the fly technique, but  ending up finishing the rest of the fibre, by spinning singles, and then Navajo plying on my wheel.  I decided to make another Storm Cloud Shawlette with this. I really like the pattern, and can see myself making a few more of these.

alpaca silk shawlette

I’ve been doing a lot more spindle spinning this month – I got a lovely alpaca/merino/silk blend from LimeGreenJelly. I’m spinning this very fine – hoping to end up with a 2 ply laceweight

alpaca merino silk on olivewood spindle

Last but not least on the Alpaca front, my sister has requested another pair of wrist warmers. I met her in Loop (just around the corner from where she lives) and she choose some Blue Sky Alpacas Melange ( a nice tweedy DK weight).

I found a nice free pattern from Drops Designs . The yarn is slightly heavier than the recommended yarn, so it’s producing a fairly dense  fabric, but I quite like it like that. Here’s my progress so far.

wristwarmer progress

Wheel Spinning

 my wheel

I am now the proud owner of my very own spinning wheel! I’ve been thinking about buying one for a few years, but had been reluctant to go ahead for a couple of reasons. I wasn’t sure I would use it enough to justify the cost, or the space it would take up – we don’t have a particulaly small house, but my husband does sometimes comment on how much space my knitting and crocheting stuff takes up ( to be fair to him though, this is probably more down to my untidiness than anything else!)

We don’t live near a spinning wheel outlet, but I had planned to visit P&M woolcraft on the way to visit my parents at Easter to try a few wheels. Unfortunately, I couldn’t wait that long, so I went ahead and  bought the wheel I always thought I would buy – an Ashford Joy double treadle, mainly because I liked the way the wheel looks, and also the compact size.

 I know these are not the best reasons to choose a wheel, but I am alsolutely delighted with it. I find it easy and comfortable to use. It doesn’t get in the way when not in use (it fits neatly under my computer desk when folded), but when I want to use it, it only takes a couple of minutes to get it out and set it up to start spinning.

When I bought my wheel (from Wingham Wool Work – great service), it came with a £25 fibre voucher, which I used to buy a variety of fibre to practise on.

I’m really enjoying wheel spinning. I’ve already completed my first wheel spun project – a storm cloud shawlette using a two ply camel /silk blend spun from fibre bought with my voucher.

The camel/silk was  easy to spin once I got the hang of it. The finshed yarn was lovely and soft, and although not very consistent, about 14 wpi.

handspun camelsilk

Here is the finished shawl – a nice, quick and easy pattern. I would definitely make it again.

camel silk shawlette

I’ve also spun up the rest of the green hand dyed fibre I used for my crocheted cowl. I’ve got about 400 yards about 16 – 18 wpi. I’m using this to make an Ishbel shawl.

Ishbel - progress

February update – knitting and spinning

February is here, and I’ve realised that I haven’t updated my blog for over a month – this is my first post of 2009.

I’ve been busy practising my spinning. Here’s one of my current spinning projects.

 alpaca silk on IST spindle

It’s an alpaca silk blend from World of Wool on a 2 inch olivewood whorl spindle from IST crafts. The fibre is beautifully soft and the spindle is lovely.It spins really well and the whorl has a lovely olive oil smell.

I finished my first handspun handknitted socks last week.

handspun sock2

These were my first toe up socks. I used the universal toe up pattern from Knitty.com. I really enjoyed knitting them, once I got the hang of the short rows.

I’ve also started two new non handspun knitting projects. The first is the Bog Jacket from Knitting Around. It’s basically endless garter stitch, but has an interesting construction. A nice mindless pattern so far. I’m using Texere Troon Tweed yarn reclaimed from another project.

bog jacket progress

I’ve also started a Japanese Feather and Fan Shawl with the Knitwitches Heavy Laceweight Cashmere I bought from last years Knitting and Stitching Show.
cashmere shawl progress

This pattern requires a bit more attention, but I think it will be beautiful when it’s finished.



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