Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Shops updated

I've done a little shop update today. On MISI there's some bright and fruity laceweight. On Folksy there are some sweet flowers: and some
fly agaric toadstools lurking in a bed of moss in the woods

Folksy will probably have another small update later in the week.

After hideous insomnia last night (I seem to be becoming more prone to it again, after being insomnia-free for several years), I drank too much caffeine today and feel somewhat drained now. I'd better catch up on some sleep if I'm going to be fit for marathon election TV viewing on Thursday night!

Monday, 3 May 2010

Election crafting

An Abstract Cat election line up:


left to right: laceweight BFL in Fire Festival, Superwash merino sock in Deep Blue, Superwash meinro sock in Jealous Sky, Silky baby alpaca laceweight in Lime 'n' Olives and BFL DK in Sunny.

If you're in the UK, you can't fail to have noticed we have a general election this week. Until the last couple of years I didn't have much interest in politics beyond issues I felt very strongly about (e.g. the environment, university tuition fees), but having left the relative shelter of academia, and knowing more people with direct involvement in politics has changed that.

Anyway, I am preparing for some marathon crafting on election night - with pizza, and wine, and hopefully cupcakes:


If you're planning a similar crafting/eating extravaganza (or planning marathon crafting to avoid the election), I have lots of yarn in stock whatever your colour (the above is a teeny sample) and lots of yarn if you're undecided, couldn't care less about politics or don't want anything with a political association. There's still time (just) to order if you want some election night crafting. This post has been about my Folksy shop, but there's also loads over on MISI.

And finally, I can't remember where I found this (probably http://www.icanhascheezburger.com , but lolcat of the moment:

Thursday, 29 April 2010

The joys of spring

I'm trying to convince myself that blogging gets easier with practice... but I'm not one for actually communicating. Most of the time I wander round in my own little bubble-world.

I haven't done as much crafting as I'd like to lately for a variety of reasons. I started and finished the lovely Lyra's Stole (Ravelry link) by Alison Collins using some of my Abstract Cat Bluefaced Leicester laceweight yarn. I modified it the pattern a little, and even though my interpretation is riddled with errors (not the pattern!) I love it. It was my 'TV watching' project and TV watching projects always end up messy with me. Also, I hate blocking things, so it's typically wiggly. All that said, I love the way it turned out:


I'm still working on my Eva's shawl in autumnal colours (AbCat BFL laceweight again). I think it's going to be huge, and I'm only about 70% through the yarn:

The bag at the bottom right is a 'Miya' bag from Nicsknots. It's very handy for storing wee projects, and I will be purchasing another when funds allow.

I'm also dabbling in some simple design. Often I start designing and then get put off for some reason or abandon projects, but this time I'm determined to finish this one. Using my Abstract Cat Silky Baby Alpaca laceweight (100g/800m, £14) I'm making a lacy scarf:

Please ignore the ripply chain - I'll try and sort it out when I block it. This started out as being a stole, but I seemed to lose my ability to count when I started it, and kept miscounting the starting chain, so I reduced it and am making a lacy scarf instead.

There has also been an exciting development: I will be selling my Abstract Cat yarns at UK Ravelry Day Marketplace at the University of Stirling on the 13th and 14th of August (as yet I'm not listed on the website). Neither my partner nor I drive, so we have to rely on public transport, and this is the yarny event closest to my home, so I'm very excited to be able to exhibit and sell here. It's gong to be nerve-wracking but hopefully a lot of fun!

Well, much as I loved the snow, I'm glad winter is over. Now, roll on warmer weather so I can wear t-shirts all the time! Lately my partner and I have been watching some great DVDs; we've got hooked on Mad Men and The Big Bang Theory. Love them!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Must try harder...

I believe my New Year's resolution last year was to blog more often. It was also my NY resolution this year. Failed on both counts I think - not to mention being hopeless at responding to comments (partly my email provider's spam filter's fault - I keep telling it not to put Blogger responses in my spam, but will it listen?)

Anyway, there has been crochet. Lots of crochet, just only one finished project that's been sitting for a week waiting to be blocked. There has been snow, and although it's all gone bar a few patches of mucky compacted ice, the snow rather delayed dyeing activity. There has, finally, been dyeing, and provided the weather is reasonably bright today 'll be hitting the virtual shelves tomorrow.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


I liek bright colours, al the more so at this time of year with the long hours of darkness that trigger my SAD, badly. :(

A few weeks ago I gathered up all my yarn scraps and started working on my never-ending granny-square afghan, using the aran to bulky weight yarns. By the time I decided it was big enough it was a good 6 foot square:


There's all sorts of yarn in there - Colinette Point 5, Patons Diploma Gold, unbranded mohair, mystery yarn... It's lovely and warm. I've now started on another using my sock to aran weight scraps, but this one will be smaller. More of a lap/TV watching blanket I think. I'm aiming for 4-5 feet square this time.

Of course I've been working on projects using my own, Abstract Cat yarn. This is the start of the Arrows stole by Annette Petavy. My version is being made using my Baby Alpaca laceweight (100g/800m). It's going to take a lot of blocking!:

I confess I haven't worked on this since I came back from holiday two months ago - the pattern starts from the middle, but uses the yarn doubled for the starting chain then splits off after the first row. In my ususal style, this means I've got the working yarn and the yarn for the other half tangled, and it'll need untangled before I can continue. I'm sure it'll be fabulous when it's finished. (One of the effects of my SAD is that it destroys my concentration, hence my enthusiasm for mindless projects like the blanket above.)

And another shawl... This time (another) Eva's Shawl by Milobo. I love this pattern, have done it in lace, sport and aran weights and am now doing it in British Bluefaced Leicester laceweight (800m/100g - the most similar colourway I have for sale in this yarn is Taconic). I'm a little further on with now than in the photo:

Sock yarn's not just for socks! I love Alpine Frost Scarf from Interweave Crochet. Again it's a pattern I've made several times in several yarn weights. I'm curretly working on it in Superwash Merino (100g/330m). It feels lovely. The skein I'm using had an accident in the dye-bath (i.e. I forgot about it, started looking at patchwork fabric online and eventually returned to the kitchen in time to hear sizzling - however the yarn seems unaffected):

And finally... socks! 75% British Bluefaced Leicester, 25% Nylon (100g/400m). This is the skein that inspired my Retro colourway, although the patterning will be different in the skeins for sale. The pattern is Ultimate Crochet Socks from Crochet Me:

A couple of weeks ago, my partner and I visited his grandmother. She no longer knits, and presented me with her knitting bag. It's been well taken care of or hardly used and obviously dates from several decades ago. I love it! Here is my cat Shiraz, with the bag in the background - you can just see part of the second granny square scrap afghan sticking out of it:

Finally, I would like to wish American readers a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. I am planning on finding a live internet stream of Macy's parade and settling down to watch it with crochet project and (many) mugs of tea!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Shameless shop self-promotion

Recently I decided to change some of my product photographs. I'd been mulling over the skeined/reskeined photos thing since I started my MISI and Folksy shops. I originally wanted to include photos before and after reskeining in my listings but decided against it on the grounds of additional work and the fact that some yarn comes out of the dyebath looking, well, unkempt. This week I reread some for and against arguments for reskeining and decided that it would be a good idea to include pre-reskeining photos where appropriate. I only like to show my yarns looking their best. It does mean that in ideal cases you will see this:


and this:

but also this:

For some of the older yarns I've added pre-reskeining photos where I actually took them. The reason I reskein? I think most yarns look better once reskeined but it also lets me spot any mill problems (e.g. knots/joins/significant unspun sections) or dye problems (e.g. naked bits).

I've been trying out a few new yarns lately. My favourite has to be British Bluefaced Leicester laceweight (100g/800m). It's a beautifully soft and lofty yarn with a slight lustre and makes wonderful big, bouncy skeins:

I haven't tried crocheting with the British BFL yet but I'm sorely tempted to steal this skein instead of adding it to Sunday's update...

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Thursday: Twelve Teal Treasures

I spend far too much time browsing Folksy and MISI eyeing up beautiful things. So today I am sharing some of the things I love in one of my favourite colours: teal! (The photos are in mosaics so you need to click the links below to visit the shops/items.)


Row 1:
Lovebird bowl in teal blue by PrinceDesignUK - I love this range of sweet little lovebird bowls.
Teal spot doorstop by Charlotte Macey Textiles - This is neat and I wish I was the kind of clean domestic goddess that could have light coloured things in my house.
Teal and orange striped cat mini print from Illustrations by Amy Blackwell - I'm strangely drawn to this foxy-looking little feline. I also love this Christmas Card, the tone reminds me of one of the cats who lets me live here!

Row 2:
Cotton Kitchen Tea Towel from Taylor's Typographical Art Posters - a selection of kitchen words and fun fonts and with kitchen things. It's great.
Waiting White Cat Print from Eyeshoot Photography - Cat and teal. A perfect combination for me. It's also the kind of photo I always want to take but which never quite works for me.
Mosaic Dichroic Pendant Teal Greens from Mauri Ann - this is just gorgeous!


Row 1:
Lacy bird brooch in porcelain by PrinceDesignUK - I don't normally wear brooches, but this wee bird is so cute!
Nordic Blue Hares from Deebeale - I love Scandinavian-inspired designs, and this is just lovely.
Porcelain Pendant with Glass - Rainwater Craters from Seaurchin - I already own one of Seaurchin's pendants so I can testify to their loveliness. I adore the forms inspired by coral, octopus suckers and crater-forms.

Row 2:
Flower leather purse/wallet from oh!gosh - I wish I could justify buying this, but I just bought a new purse (wish I'd spotted this first)!
Plantlife screenprinted art from Summersville - I love this delightful print - her fabric looks great too!
Urban Bunny - blue from Treaclezoo - this is one of those bizarre but cute things I find myself drawn to, one of those "what's it for? I don't know but I like it!" things.

It goes without saying that everything here is now on my Christmas wish list!

All photos are from the sellers' own shops and are copyright to the individual designers. Please support these creative people!