Baskets of sheep......

.....well not quite a basket of sheep but a basket of potential sheep. 

The basket is finished but the decoration is still underway. I have failed thus far in my aim to use up all the rug wool. If I use up the rest making embellishments the basket will be covered in flowers and bits and bobs which might be a bit too over the top. Even I have my limits. The basket is fulfilling it's raison d'être by holding the sheep work in progress (ie. lots of wool), and the prototype is looking very sheepy. It was darn difficult to get the hang of the loop stitch. I thought I had worked out how to do it but the blooming sheep just got bigger and baggier by the row. I had to resort to a bit of youtube-ing and found a brilliant video by June Gillbank of You-tube is such a fantastic resource and there are so many helpful people out there. It's like having a tutor on tap. Anyway, I have now mastered loop stitch and finished a sheep. I can't pretend that I will remember how to do loop stitch in a year's time, or even a week's time for that matter, but I know I can always rely on June to help me out. 

I have a new toy. It's a knitting machine mill by Prym and it makes a knitted tube, usually described as an i-cord these days. It's really a mechanical version of a knitting dolly which you may well have used as a child. If you have ever tried to knit a cord with double pointed needles or use a knitting dolly you will know that it takes forever to make anything like a usable length , hence the purchace of the knitting mill. It was very much a case of 'I see, therefore I need'. However, it is not quite as easy to use as it seemed, but when I eventually  got the flipping fiddlymill started, it worked like magic. It's not a relaxing 'do in front of the telly' sort of thing  because you have to keep an eye on your ball of wool to make sure it doesn't get into a tangly knot. You also need to weight and wind and clamp the cord so that it doesn't turn into a nest of vipers. I had an assistant so it was a lot easier than struggling on my own, but the resulting cord is just so full of potential.......... except for the purpose I bought  it for. I had intended to knit up a huge cone of yarn I have stashed in my wool box to then use my super chunky 25mm crochet hook to make errrmm     something. I hadn't got as far as dreaming up a finished project. More thinking is required, and anyway I haven't got as far as making the cord yet. So, plenty of time to plan and dream.....I'll post some pictures of my knitting mill adventure next time.