Thursday, September 30, 2010


Hi Everyone,

I've had a wonderfully busy day in my studio today working on projects for the December issue of Stitches. I love the December issue as I get to think up allsorts of wonderful gifts and holiday fare. Since it's a hot and sunny time of the year here, I'm working on summery projects but also have a few gifty things for those who will be spending December in more wintery weather. I'm doing the last part of the birthday calender series and am stuck trying to think of a picture for November. Any ideas, anyone?

I also gave in today and spent some time at my spinning wheel. I have some beautiful rainbow tops that a friend dyed and I am in the process now of spinning it into a funky yarn. Here are some pics.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Lovely Long Weekend

It's been a really lovely long weekend. We started it off with dinner on Thursday evening with friends we haven't seen for too long. We had a wonderful meal and a good laugh and catch up.

The rest of the weekend has been spent dyeing yarn which has turned out beautifully. The weather has been perfect for dyeing and I've really had a lot of fun. I've also had time to upload some new yarns onto my ColourSpun shop and to read my new book which I'm really enjoying. It's called "The Power" and is about the law of attraction.  

Here's some of the yarn I've uploaded today:

I'm off to do a bit of knitting now - hope your weekend was also wonderful :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hello Again

Hi Everyone,

I've had a really long, unintentional break from posting here while I caught up with myself. After I broke my last computer I seemed to be in reverse for a while but I'm happy to say I'm well and truly in forward gear again.
 I have finished the writing of "From Fibre to Fabulous - a South African Knitting Adventure" and the knitting is almost done too - hopefully by the end of next week it will be there and then I plan to spin some yarn, that's something else that I haven't managed to find time for these last few months. I have some really way out, wild ideas for some funky art yarn that I really am dying to make. It hasn't been all book and nothing else though, I have managed to squeeze in some dying of yarn  and whilst playing last week I worked out a new technique for colouring :) My first batch was snapped up and so I'm going to make some more this weekend. We are promised perfect weather, so the sunstoves will be out and working overtime! I'll upload it onto my shop at  next week but here's a little taste of what it may be like. The way it is done means that each skein, although part of a family of skeins, has it's own unique character.

I have also done instructions for a little Rose Neckpiece that I would like to share with you today.

Rose Neck Piece
© Dana Biddle

Wear your garden on your neck. This lovely neck piece can be made using either wool or cotton making it suitable to wear in winter or summer.

What you will need
1. DK yarn – wool or cotton, about 10g in your chosen colour for the neck ring and bits in assorted “rose” colours for the rose necklace. Available from ColourSpun Natural Designer Yarns
2. French knitting dolly or circular or double pointed knitting needles 3 or 4mm
3. Knitting needles – 3 or 3.5mm
4. Crochet hook – 3 or 3.5
5. Scissors or snips
6. Knitters needle (rounded point) for sewing up
7. Wire neck ring
8. Some beads to make matching earrings (optional)
9. Findings for earrings – head/eye pins, earring hooks/studs.
10. Pliers – round nose, long nose and side cutters (for making earrings)

Begin by making a French knitting cord long enough to cover your neck ring (if you are not sure if it will fit, rather make it too long than too short). Do not end it off before removing it from your knitting dolly, or knit an icord using the circular or double pointed knitting needles. Cover your neck ring by sliding the knitted cord over it from one side and then if necessary unravel some knitting until it is a perfect fit – Not stretched and not gathered. Cut your yarn leaving about a 20cm tail and thread onto knitter’s needle. End off cord by passing yarn through all 4 stitches and pull tight. Tightly wind the tail around the end of the cord and end off by threading the yarn under the binding. Snip off end close to work. Repeat for the other side.

You now have a covered neck piece to embellish with roses.

Crochet. Large rose – start with 8 chain. Work 2 single crochet into each chain. Turn and work 2 single crochet into each stitch. Work 2 more rows increasing into each stitch. End off leaving a tail of about 20cm. Wind crochet into rose shape and stitch to hold. Position on neckpiece and attach.
Small rose – work as for large rose but start with 5 chain and work only 3 rows.

Knit. Large rose – Cast on 10 stitches. Work 4 rows in stocking stitch increasing into ever stitch on every row. Cast off leaving a tail of about 20cm. Wind knitting into rose shape and stitch to hold. Position on neckpiece and attach.
Small rose – Work as for large rose but cast on 7 stitches and work 3 rows before casting off.

Knit – work in stocking stitch. (Make 2)
Leaving a 20cm tail, cast on 3 stitches and work 2 rows.
Next row – K3 into 1st stitch, K2 into 2nd stitch and K3 into last stitch (8 stitches)
Work 3 rows
Next row – K2tog through back of loop, K4, K2tog
Next row – purl
Next row – K2tog tbl, K2, K2tog
Next row – purl
Next row – K2tog tbl, K2tog
Next row – P2tog
End off leaving a 20cm tail. Position leaves on neck piece and attach both ends.

The 2nd neck piece is knit with cotton and embellished with a covered bead.