Method in my Madness

You may have noticed recently (especially if you like my Facebook page ) that I have been quite.. ahem... 'prolific'... posting pictures etc
There are a few reasons for this, one being I am exhibiting at the Bakewell Wool Gathering in October, and that in itself needs exposure. It's a lovely show, friendly, easy to get to and also has a MASSIVE car park :P 
So yeah, need to motivate myself to do awesome things for this, as it's the only 'show' I am doing this year.
Another reason is that I have a new android phone, and it is brilliant, so it makes posting to Facebook/Twitter etc very easy...
But, the main reason, is that I have been feeling more creative and inspired recently, and I think being able to communicate that to everyone via social media is keeping me motivated :) 
The main reason though, is keeping the Black Dog at bay. 
So please bear with me as I clutter your lives with colour... but, in my defence, who doesn't like seeing happy colours pop up on their FB news/twitter feeds every now and then?
The last couple of days have seen me documenting my method (such as it is) of dyeing fibre...
First of all I use some inspiration. 
This is a picture Beast took on our recent holiday to Cornwall... he took it with his phone, and this picture was one of the reasons I got a new phone, for the camera... so I can take beautiful photos like this too!


Next, I formulate a 'colour plan' ...

... pre-soak the fibre, then mix my dyes and add the colour.


Then it gets cooked, left to completely cool, rinsed and then put on to an airer to dry. This is when I have to resist poking/picking at it, and let the top open out naturally as it dries.

 And when it is dried, I get to roll it up into a circle of wonderment and share the beautiful picture with you :)

09.01.2014 | 3 Comments

Sock Yarn for a TeenOgre

A little while ago, Thing 1 asked me to spin some yarn up, and make him some socks. A few minutes later, I was able to pick myself up off the floor, having recovered from the shock of it all, and agreed to do it :P
I had a look through my stash, and there wasn't anything suitable for:

a) A TeenOgre
b) A TeenOgres feet

So I put a shout out on Twitter  about it, and the lovely and most awesome Spinner Lady, Katie came to my rescue :) She sent me some BFL/Ramie tops, and I was good to go.
First of all I decided to spin it up un-dyed... then quickly realised that was a bad idea... so I dyed it up... (picture above)
It was lovely to dye, and spin, and I had a great plan to get it to self stripe. I weighed and measured and all that gubbins, was confident in my consistency etc... but it didn't self stripe all the way through  :P
It started well... !!!!! onto the knitting. 
It'll be interesting to watch it grow, at least >.<

07.17.2014 | Add new comment

Hayley Cowl

This design is something I have been working on for a couple of months now, and I finished it at KnitClub last Thursday... am pretty chuffed with it too :)
It's knit in the round,with 115g of Memerino and edged in the handspun pictured above :)
The edging is an i-cord bind-off, which gives a lovely roll to it, which mirrors the stitch pattern.

You start with a provisional cast on, work the main body part which consists of four pattern repeats... Then you change to your edging yarn, and work up to an i-cord bind off. Then you go back, undo the provisional cast on and work up to another i-cord bind off in the edging yarn.

I have every intention of writing the pattern up... honest!!

07.14.2014 | Add new comment

Getting my Spin On

I got my spinning MoJo back... thanks largely to my very good friend Laura (Artygal on Ravelry) She goes to a couple of local guilds, and borrowed a blending board from one of them and brought it to KnitClub. Well, of course I had to have a play, and made some little rolags, and span them up as 'homework' ... and that is all it took to get me hooked again.

This 3 ply was a joy to make, due largely to the beautiful ingredients :)

(Top Left: SCF Polwarth, Top right: JulieSpins Merino and bottom is some merino I dyed aaages ago, thought I had felted it but it just needed 're-educating' :p)

I have enough of the fibre left to make maybe another 100g, so enough to do something with... maybe :P 

I am just really happy that:

a) I can still Spin
b) I actually WANT to spin again

I have called this awesome creation 'Coming Home' ... 

03.27.2014 | 4 Comments

Dyeing Fun ...again :)

I had a lot of fun dyeing this 460g of MesMerino!! 

I did it a couple of Saturdays ago, during the most INSANE storm. It was that insane, that I had to close the door to my studio, as hail was coming in the door, horizontally :O
Outside was full of awesome, smoky colours, and I had these 4 skeins left to dye ... so I just looked out of my studio window and just went for it :)

02.03.2014 | 1 Comment

Very Proud Mama :)

Today, my eldest son, Daniel, experienced his first few games as a Mini Soccer referee. He trained to do it a few weeks ago, but as own games have been on Sunday morning the past few weeks, he's not been able to manage any so far (Mini Soccer games are always held in the mornings you see) 
'Beast and him did it together, as it was a tournament for kids with special needs, at the Dome in Leicester, hosted by our club, Birstall Utd Juniors, and orgainised by the county FA.

 He came back with the biggest smile on his face, and the words 'amazing' and 'awesome' were to be heard come from him... and that level of enthusiasm from my Teenogre is very rare :)

He's growing into a proper young man, but he'll always be my baby :)
♥ Love ya Boy ♥
01.18.2014 | 1 Comment

Exciting News ~ Sock Club!!

Babylonglegs has been around for quite a few years now, and I have so far always resisted going down the 'Clubs' route.
This isn't because I am lazy, well maybe I am a little, haha, but I am very wary of making a solid commitment to do something, only to find myself snowed under with head stuff and life in general, and not being able to fulfill this commitment. A lot of yarnies rely on clubs for guaranteed income etc, but I don't work that way. 
I dye when inspired/inclined/unrestricted ... as my work is always of a muchMuch better quality that way :)
But I am going to come out of this comfort zone for 2014, mainly because I think I NEED to ... it's all too easy for me to hide myself away and not be creative.
This has to stop, or I fear Babylonglegs will just fade into obscurity, something I don't particularly want, and something I don't think you guys will want either?

The other reason I am going to give the 'Club' thing a try, is because my Knit Club has been a real help to me, and I really want to give something back. It is full of wonderful women, who pick me up when I have fallen down, let me rant/swear and make a fool of myself and never judge me for it, and most importantly, make me laugh from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.

They are all AWESOME, and I love them all very much :)

One of my fellow Knit Clubbers is a budding new Indie Designer, having already had two designs published, one in Issue 26 of 'Knit Now' with 'Cameo Socks' , and an other more recently in 'Twist Collective' with 'Torque'  ... not a bad start, huh?
I am really proud to be able to tell you that Fiona and I have got together to offer you the inaugural 'Fiona Hamilton-MacLaren Designs~Babylonglegs Sock Club' for 2014. 
You will get 6 skeins of sock yarn (various bases/dye jobs of my choosing), 6 Patterns and 6 stitch markers over a 12 month period, and it will cost you £100.
The patterns will be delivered digitally, and the yarn & stitch marker will come to you through the post at the beginning~middle of every other month, starting in January 2014 :)

If you break it down, you'll be getting 6 skeins of yarn for £10.50, 6 patterns for £15 and 6 markers for £1 !! (the remainder of the cost is postage & packing)

So, if you are willing to commit yourselves to this, then so are we, wholeheartedly :)

The club will go on sale on Friday 13th December, and will stay on sale until January 1st 2014. There will be 20 spaces available, as this is a manageable dyeing amount for me, and who knows, if it goes well... next year it may be bigger!!!
There is already a stickied thread on my Ravelry group, for dispatch dates/news, KALs and questions, and proud show off pictures of your finished socks :)

Please come and join us on our maiden flight, I personally think it's going to be a very exciting journey :)
12.11.2013 | 1 Comment

Play Time!

It isn't very often these days I get to have a good old experiment with colours.  I know I produce a few OOAK colours every now and then, but they were usually made whilst trying to do something else, so I very rarely remember how I did them!
I got a kilo of a new base yarn to try out last week, a 18 micron SW Merino DK, in 115g skeins, and this is how I chose to dye them :)
I haven't done any kettle-dyeing for a while, so i thought I would see how this yarn behaved with that dyeing method, and I am really pleased with the result!
I can fit 4 skeins in the dyebath to kettle dye them, so I kinda thought it would be good to be able to offer 4 skeins as a *bundle*, for childrens garments or whatever.
What do you guys think?

11.13.2013 | 5 Comments

Arkanoid ... Again !

I decided to make another 'Arkanoid'... simply because I have more scarves that are turquoisy in colour, and I'd like to keep the semi~Precious one to display when I do a Wool Show :D

Also, because I had already made one, the stitch pattern and texture completely fascinated me, and I wondered how I could make it stand out a lot more. All I could think about was the binary code sequences at the beginning of 'The Matrix', so I set about trying to recreate it :D

I had to choose the right yarn for this out of my inventory, and 'Flump' sock is perfect if you want good, bouncy stitch definition. Plus, it was no chore knitting with it, because I love it!!
Instead of going full on solid with the dyeing, it was important to leave lots of semi-dyed bits, so that the overdye would pick these up, and then they'd stand out when it came to knitting.
And it worked out perfectly, and is so much nicer in real life. Whenever it's on my head I just can't stop touching it... which make me look a bit odd, but hey, who cares!
09.25.2013 | 1 Comment

Thanks for the Memories ! !

In December last year, I did a *really* special custom dye for a customer of mine. There was no real specifics to adhere to, I was allowed full and unfettered use of my imagination ...
I dyed two skeins of 'Perfection Sock' to one of my favourite albums, "Infinity on High", by Fall out Boy, and the colours of the music just flew straight out onto the silk, with no arguments from me at all :)
One was a gift for a very good friend of hers, who is a MASSIVE Fall Out Boy fan (as is she) and the other was for her.
I couldn't say a lot about it at the time, as it was a surprise, but it was one of those custom-dyes that doesn't come around very often.
It was an invitation to be part of a memory, part of a story that involved music, yarn and friendship.  This makes me supremely happy :)

The lovely ladies in question have both given me very kind permission to share their wonderful projects with you here on my Blog. Both were WIPs, whilst travelling to a Fall Out Boy Concert, !


09.18.2013 | 1 Comment
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