Woolly Happenings….


Greetings from under the Gypsy Caravan Blanket!  I came home from work today and took my laptop to bed and oooooh my goodness how nice is it to be lying down!  This last week has been exHAUSTing.  Crazy long days that start at 9am and finish at 9pm, far too much time spent out of the house doing work and other important things I can’t not do, and far too little time doing things I want to do!  Friday, Saturday and Monday I got home and was too tired to knit.  Seriously.  So here I am, lying in bed with tomorrow, a whole day off stretching ahead of me… it feels great.

So how is life for you?  Good I hope!  I’ve got lots of pretty pictures to show you today, prepare yourselves for a colour blast… Despite being busy I did have a free morning to do some dyeing, and now have so much to spin I’ve banned myself from buying anything until I’ve made a dent in my stash.  But first, I finished the socks I was knitting from the sock yarn I dyed in this post

When I took this skein out of the dye pot and dried it, I saw that I had missed bits and there was quite a lot of white in the skein….

But decided not to worry and was actually very happy with the result!  I could not believe that this random dyed yarn knitted up so fabulously into STRIPES!!!

Ta Daaaa!!!  I was so thrilled with these socks, so amazed that they patterned themselves so perfectly!  And the base yarn, superwash merino with 25% nylon is the best sock yarn I’ve ever knitted with.

KB loved them too…. so I cast off and have them to her.

I know.

That’s two pairs in a row I’ve given away, madness!  But she doesn’t really get excited over my hand knitted socks and I’ve been so desperate to introduce her to the amazingness that is socks, hugs for your feet, there is nothing like putting on a pair of socks fresh off the needles, so as soon as she said she loved them I handed them over. 

That’s her feet there modelling…..

I get heeeeeaps of people asking questions about my socks and whether I can publish the pattern… It’s not my pattern and I don’t feel comfortable pinching other people’s patterns, so I won’t be publishing a pattern on here.  The pattern is the super easy sock pattern from Knitting Rules, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka the Yarn Harlot.  It’s a very easy pattern to follow and I highly recommend you buy the book as the Yarn Harlot is hilariously funny and the book is one of her best.  Probably her best actually… I can’t wait to read her latest,  I have it pre-ordered and am dying for it to arrive in my letterbox!  The only modification I have made to her pattern is the toes because I don’t so much enjoy the pointy toed look of hand knitted socks, and you can read about how I do my nice rounded toes in this post.  So I hope that is helpful for you… buy the book!  You won’t regret it, I promise!

I started a new pair yesterday which are for me by the way….

So what else have I been up to?  Dyeing… lots of it!  As a  birthday gift, my lovely Mum gave me a kilo of white Polwarth to dye and I had a lot of fun with it over the last week…

My colours have turned out quite pastel toned, but I like that, for now I’m enjoying the soothing colours rather than the bright retina-scarring hues I’m normally attracted to!

Want to see more?

That bottom braid is 250gms, the rest are approximately 100gms each.  That’s a lot of spinning.  I am officially on a yarn diet… no more buying new yarn until I’ve worked my way through at least some of what I have.  The only exception is sock yarn… there must be an exception as I have an addiction here people and sometimes there will be times that I just need a hit.

And last but not least for today, a new friend for Harriet…. introducing Molly the Maude and Me Monster!

Molly is a bit of a mess I must admit… I used 3.75mm needles and should have used at LEAST 5mm needles because the wool was so thick!  And she is knitted from some of my very first handspun which is very uneven… it’s funny how I remember spinning it and thinking how careful I was being and how proud I was of that skein… six weeks later I pull it out and it feels like knitting with a telephone cord it is plyed so tightly but that is the learning journey!  So while Molly is a bit of a mess I still love her as she is made from the very beginnings of my spinning career and I will always have her to remind me how I used to spin!

Harriet doesn’t mind, they are quite special friends.  There is one more monster to introduce you to, but he is currently mouthless and will be until I can find more white felt… the fairies seem to have pinched the little scrap I had, so Drew the Drumcarder Monster’s ta daaa moment will have to wait! 

OK lovelies, I’m off, I hope you enjoyed your visit into my little crafty world today!  I’m well overdue visiting many of my favourite blogs so I’m off for a good look around.  Sending you all thoughts filled with love,


p.s Not to forget a Richie update….

He is just the cutest….

About Crochet with Raymond

I'm a crochet obsessed, reiki master, crystal healing, yoga junkie, counselling student, in a happy long term relationship... and Raymond's mum!
This entry was posted in Dyeing Wool, Knitted Monsters, Richie the Lamb!, SOCKS!!!. Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to Woolly Happenings….

  1. MeredithJean says:

    I have 3 words for you… SOCK A HOLIC

  2. Ann says:

    Your blog always makes me smile. And I love little Ritchie. I’m a city resident who has started acquiring fleece via my hobby of 3-sheep trialling. So far I have coloured merino, alpaca, and border leicester, so next Saturday I start a 5-session spinning course…… ! Haven’t tried this since ‘craft’ classes at school in the very handspun 70s. Cheers, Ann

  3. steffi8534 says:

    oh my the dye with the greens & pinks and purple and blue and…..its beautiful! LOVE it! I too am a sockaholic..just haven’t yet figured out how to be brave enough to make my own yet..
    richie is a darling and growing like a weed..I hope you have a wonderful week as well.

  4. Teje says:

    Good morning Alice! KB:s socks are really beautiful and I think that yarn became lovely with some ‘white’! I just adore all those beautiful colours you have made!
    Kisses to Raymond and Richie!

  5. Rachel says:

    Beautiful socks, beautiful colours you’ve been making, and I love the monsters, i ahev a daughter called Molly, so I have a soft spot for that one🙂

  6. Rachel says:

    Beautiful socks, beautiful colours you’ve been making, and I love the monsters, i have a daughter called Molly, so I have a soft spot for that one🙂

  7. Lu Douglas says:

    Oh lovely NZ hooker, this is a fabulous posting! The swirls of colour make the grey day here better! You are hilarious with your play on words without realising it – ‘dying for it’, you wrote! oh ahhaha! dying, dyeing…And if you need help with your sock yarn addiction, I can’t help you. I keep buying sock yarn because it makes me, (yes it does) but I think knitting socks is such a hard job and can’t imagine just picking up the needles and going for it. I wish I could. I started a green pair last month – my first. I got brave…but they are just castons, the poor things! LOL the ‘telephone cord’ diameter yarn. And hey Richie, don’t grow too fast. You are just toooo cute as you are! Keep brainwashing KB, Alice! You will win her over in the sock world. I actually, seriously thought I had gotten to have quite intimate knowledge of YOUR feet and their shape so I was a bit shocked to read that those feet are KB’S?? Are they really? Maybe you have matching feet and that’s why love blossomed.
    🙂 have a great Tuesday, A. Lu x

  8. AG, I just love your Richie. When I grew up, we had the sheep’s kraal right behind the house, and one of my best memories was being woken to twin lambs In My Bed with me! Their mom rejected them and my dad brought them straight in. And now my poor boys grow up in the city!

  9. RegulaRegula says:

    After an exhausting English class, your post makes me smile again. Thank you.

    I’d rather be at home knitting and crocheting than fighting with this ungrateful bunch of boys. And what’s wrong with the idea that studying English is fun?

    Usually I am fun, you know😉

  10. Regula says:

    I’m feeling like knitting a monster …

  11. Lu Douglas says:

    Oh, and I’ve been making granny squares, not as many as I’m craving as work is getting in the way, but they are different colours and I’m worried about how I join them and which colour to use. it might look ghastly if I don’t know how to do it with taste!! Sorry, but can you suggest something? I looked at your blanket and your outside borders are all the same. GOOD THINKING, Alice! maybe that’s what i should do. perhaps I have solved my problem. 🙂 xx

  12. dutch margreet says:

    Your socktoe knitting is exactly the way I learned from my Mum and later at school too, I just bind off sock turned inside out the three-needle way. No ridge to be seen or felt, because it quite nicely flattens. My Siamese, same colour, was named Siri (I got a male when promiced a female, name alreaydy chosen as Sirikit, like the Queens name), I still miss all my cats and dogs that have gone to the rainbowworld. I even had a goose with a lame wing I called Gijs. Love to read and see your blog and yarny and animalthings.

  13. crochetingdoc says:

    I don’t know exactly what to say…the yarn is scrumptious, Richie is so so very cute and as for the socks…I have to admit, I am quite jealous! Beautiful!🙂

  14. Julie says:

    Aww Richie is so cute. The latest socks are superb, no wonder KB loved them so much. Stunning dyeing!

  15. I was awoken this morning at the usual time (5:50!) to find it cold and dark! Autumn is definitely on the way here, and it’s still August. I was feeling a little grim……. Then I picked up my iPhone to check my email to find your wonderful colourful post in my inbox. It completely brightened my morning (which is saying something, it’s 9:11 and I still have all the lights on!) so thank you!

    I’ve been looking for a nice easy sock pattern to give them a go, and I already have Knitting Rules! Although I only read the first few (hilarious) chapters so far. I’ll be going back to it today, so thanks again. Of course the kids have just spotted the monsters over my shoulder and I’m now being nagged to make them some – so I’m not sure if I should thank you for THAT😛

    Anyway, I LOVE your colours and have to agree with the comment from Lu Douglas above – I also did a double take when you said they were KBs feet!

    Have a great week, dear Alice

  16. Carol says:

    Oh Richie, you are so cute (don’t tell Raymond I said that, then again he knows he is a handsome chap).
    Well having debated which pattern to follow (and looked regularly on the charity shop shelves), I have followed your advice and bought Knitting Rules, can’t wait now. Already one of my balls of sock wool has been made into several brooches, don’t want the others to go the same way.
    Love the new socks, no wonder KB did, what a foot model!
    Carol xx

  17. Kath says:

    I just love your blog. It brings a smile to my face every time I read what you have been up to. And Ritche, my word he is cute. Very very cute. Almost as cute as Raymond.

  18. Jane Cohn says:

    Beautiful colors are a joy to knit. Hope your weather improves soon. It is in the 90s here and your posts about snow are refreshing.

  19. Love, Love, Love the dying you have been up to! I have been playing around with my Earth Pallete Dyes and some eco dye I got from America (some teeny tiny sample packets but boy what colours!) That orange and the blues with the olive green…..yummy! Lovely socks and aren’t you a sweetie giving them straight to KB, you will convert her eventually 😉 Nice present from your mum too xx Isn’t it fun to have something to keep from your first skein of spun wool, I made a small mitred corner pin cushion that I wouldn’t dare to show anyone else now. Lucky we evolve! 🙂

  20. Joyce says:

    Hullo Alice, your yarn colours are so pretty. Have a wonderful week at your place, and goodluck with the yarn diet, other than sock yarn.

  21. Dori says:

    Alice, what talent you have! Those braids are absolutely stunning, and the socks are amazing as well. I aspire to be able to spin like you do. Loving the progress on Richie too. He’s a darling. xx

  22. Sarah says:

    Love, love the colorful fiber! I’m always happy to stop by your blog and get a jolt of color to wake me up in the mornings.

  23. ohangelina says:

    oh that little lamb just gives me the best feeling…such a cutie. i love the white bits in the socks! and i adore pastels…. the bright eye painful acrylics some host just give me cringes… x

  24. chinamommy says:

    Oh that pink and orange yard in just GORGEOUS (one of my favorite color combo’s EVER!!). I’ve only been crocheting about a year & 1/2 but love it and LOVE your blog!!! If anyone wants to get in on a crochet hat donation please check out my blog- there is always a tab at the top that gives details. I collect hats for the little kids that live in Chinese orphanages. All sizes, colors, & yarns are welcome!!
    Oh yes, and your socks!!!!! NO wonder everyone wants them!!

  25. chinamommy says:

    oops… pink and orange YARN (although, I guess it’s not “yarn” yet….)

  26. Lynne in MI says:

    Well of course Sock Yarn Does Not Count As Stash. If it did , some of us would be way to close to achieving S.A.B.L.E (stash achieved beyonde life expectancy) & who wants to get there?

  27. Melissa says:

    You know that they have 12 step programs for addiction, right? Oh well, I don’t think this one is causing harm to you or anyone else…..except maybe your wallet…Mine suffers the same. HOWEVER, I’ve heard through the grapevine on Ravelry that sock yarn doesn’t count as stash AND unspun wool doesn’t count either….but I could be wrong. LOVE Harriet’s new friend Molly. Might have to look into making these for my nieces. They aren’t into dinosaurs too much. Your wool dyed beautifully. Can’t wait to see how it spins out. And KB’s sock are gorgeous! Enjoy your week!!

  28. Faye says:

    Your hand-dyed roving is really coming out splendidly! To me it looks just as gorgeous as roving selling on etsy for lots of money! Way to go! Sending you love and some Texas heat to New Zealand!

  29. minaandme says:

    So good to hear from you again. I understand how busy life can get! 12hr days are no fun. It looks like you’ve been quite productive regardless! More lovely socks, some absolutely beautiful dye-work, and another little monster! Gracious! I’m sure KB will soon learn to love socks in her own special way, especially if you keep making up such pretty things for her! Best of luck with all of your spinning and looking forward to meeting Drew🙂
    PS- my hubby saw Harriet in your last post and has declared that he requires a little knit monster of his own. I think I feel a new book purchase coming on!

  30. JulesM says:

    I love how your socks turned out. I’ll have to check out that pattern, it looks like a good one. Richie is just the cutest ever!

  31. colors colors colors. AWesome!

  32. Sarah says:

    Your socks are great, I hope someday to be able to make socks. Very colorful pictures today. Is there a knitter or crocheter anywhere that does not vow to stop adding to her stash until she has used up some? Yarn is very addicting! Until next time………………

    Sarah from Texas

  33. Penelope says:

    Molly you are just toooo marvelous, I like her little rough edges Alice, a brilliant way to capture those first spinning memories. I also seem to be super busy at the moment and exhausted despite having had a week off work. Growing up Alice is a busy old thing, not that I am complaining it’s just busy, go go go all the time!
    Love how your socks for K have turned out, lucky her :0) Thaks for showing us Richie, too sweet and cuddly for words xox Have great rest of the week and enjoy your intermittent Alice times x P

  34. Julia Grant says:

    Love love love your socks. Beautiful. How long does it take you to make a pair? Just curious. I just finished my very first pair and am hooked. I have to keep going to youtube when I get to the heel but for the most part, easy peasy. Love your blog. Love from England. Julia

  35. Henny - Holland says:

    Thank you Alice, I have ordered the Knitting Rules, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee by Amazon.
    Can’t wait to receive it. I want socks like you, I love them.

    Greeting, Henny (Amsterdam, Holland)

  36. amandaspatch says:

    Whoo you’ve been busy! These days I am too big of a lump to do much so reading all you’ve done makes me feel so very tired as I imagine trying to do it all. I’m blaming it all on being 5 weeks from my due date, but actually maybe I’m just being a tad lazy too (shhhhh).

    I’ve been bitten by the crochet bug lately though, possibly because it is one thing I can do while sitting on the sofa for hours on end and is easy to leave off for the many trips to the toilet without losing count of what I was doing. I have made a ton of baby hats (for everyone else, because our little one has been given so many lovely handmade things from other people!), I finally completed the two baby blankets I had half finished (one which was my very first crochet project and so was slow going three years ago and has been left untouched for far too long!), as well as a pair of fingerless gloves and finally figuring out the sheer mathematical simplicity (and genius) behind adapting and creating crochet patterns and making my very first one! It’s still being checked by a friend to make sure it works as I’m sure I do things that aren’t quite the normal way of doing things, but cannot wait to share it. My ravelry queue is slowly going down and my finished projects rapidly increasing and it is such a buzz! Of course all this experimentation means I have had to frog quite a few bits (and Tim has taken a real shine to the term “frogging” and asks me regularly if I need to frog my work haha). But it’s all good🙂 I still have so much to learn, but I have finally reached the point where I am able to whizz along with a pattern now so having to undo it and start again doesn’t feel quite as tedious and disheartening as it did when it took me hours to complete even a small piece of crochet!

    Hope you enjoyed your time under the gypsy caravan blanket. How lovely… I dislike being cold in winter but I do so love snuggling up under a blanket, with a hot drink and something I love. There really is nothing like being cosy, is there?

  37. onnahandmade says:

    The dyed yarn and the finished socks look fabulous! Love your blog – always filled with so much color and beautiful things🙂

  38. Sock-tastic!!!! I really must get round to finishing mine (grrrr). The little monsters are brilliant – like sock monsters!! Thanks for your comment Alice xxx

  39. Joanna says:

    Hi Alice, Another pair of beautiful socks, lucky KB. It must be really satisfying to have a finished project that you have dyed, spun and knitted yourself. I think the whole process is wonderful and love seeing the pictures. Richie justs gets cuter and cuter xx

  40. oh oh, I have seen your socks and just bring wool and 5 needles in Berlin to work it will be my first socks but I do not know how to weave. Can you give me the pattern?
    I would be very grateful:) xxx

  41. Hello Alice, Raymond and KB,

    Your yarn was so yummy to look at and I bet even better to work with, So happy to hear KB loved the socks, who knows maybe she will be hooked. I know I have a love obsession with socks. I started to make my first pair but after about 20 tries gave up. I will look for a new pattern that is easier. I can only crochet, so kniting is out of the question til I learn to knit. I just love the new doll and can’t wait to see Drew, hopefuly he will find his mouth soon. Hope you had a lovely day off and to relax and knit. Thank you for all the smiles you bring us.
    Love, Misty and Pets

  42. Kathleen McFarlan says:

    Love love love reading your blog! KB is so lucky to be the recipient of your fabulous socks🙂 I think Raymond is just the most sophisticated gentleman. I have Himalayan brother and sister Jack and Sophia. They love to lie on my knitting as I work. I was inspired by your “Ornamental Potholders” piece on the Web, which is how I found you – have made two but still looking for just the right color combination for my kitchen. They will never be used, of course – they are art! Please continue to share pics and news of Richie – he is absolutely precious. I will continue to follow your adventures from here in Michigan. I am a retired nurse but just went back to work, I was so bored! Expecting my first great-grandchild in January so I am looking for a baby afghan pattern that would make a very special heirloom. If anyone has an idea – please share! Thank you and all of your followers for sharing – hugs to all!

  43. kiwiyarns says:

    Someone’s been having fun!! Very pretty, and as usual, very well accomplished. Love the self-striping socks. They’re very cool. Hope you have (had?) a great day off. xxx

  44. penelope dubois says:

    Neat how those socks came out! Beautiful, gorgeous colours!

  45. Oh! Love, Love, LOVE that bunch of dyed wool that is all blue-greens and pinkie-purples! Luscious! Maude is too cute! Does Raymond find her appealing as well? Here’s hoping things slow down a little for you so you have time to do what you love and relax a little!

  46. Love the socks! The yarn has worked out just beautifully! And nice to see that Harriet has a new friend in Molly. Too cute!🙂

  47. Penny says:

    Such pretty colours! I think it’s a great to make your beginning pieces into monsters, you’ll have them forever, they won’t wear out, like socks! (Just make sure your don’t bring a dachshund into your life tho’!) I’m sure Raymond doesn’t chew your socks!
    love Penny and Higgins xxx

  48. planetcoops says:

    Those socks look fabulous, and the white fits in perfectly, just as if it were planned. Thanks for supplying me with a regular dose of bright colours!

  49. juniperjune says:

    oh my, those socks are lovely! as are your dye experiments & monsters! i’ve been away from the internet for a bit while moving into a new apartment, but i’ll be around more regularly from now on… and next week i might actually have time to write a blog post of my own! finally!

  50. Sue says:

    Oooo all those colours all that choice how are you going to choose which one to use next! Love your socks and your monsters, so cute! Hope your workload diminishes enough so you have the energy to do what you love!:o)

  51. The terrible twosome, as in Harriet and Mollie, are just ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Aren’t they hilarious, with their little beady eyes and grrrr mouths. I love them, they have little personalities and I love that. And on a different subject, the colours of your roving are just gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, I feel like I’ve had a lovely colour hit, and doesn’t your yarn knit up beautifully, you must be so proud of the socks you made from your very own spun and hand dyed yarn, and I’m so pleased for you that KB is enthusiastic about your socks, it’s always nice to have one’s nearest and dearest enthusiastic about something we’ve made isn’t it. Well, lovely post Alice, just lovely. Vanessa xxx

  52. Kelly says:

    Your socks turned out beautifully! I think the white adds a perfect touch of contrast. Your other dye colors look great, too!

  53. Louise says:

    Hello Alice & Raymond! Love love love your creations, they never cease to amaze me. You are quite the talented lady. Hope the weather is better down your way.
    Take care,

  54. Hazel says:

    Gorgeous socks, gorgeous yarn and gorgeous blog!! x

  55. Cricri S. says:

    Hello, I used the tutorial of your potholders.
    Sorry but my tailor is very poor !! ;o)

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