Wednesday, 25 July 2007

some finished things to announce

I finished some of the projects. the"wine and rose" mitts from the winter issue of knits (06) turned into "denim and delphinium"; at least they are blue, and instead of cashmere I used tussah silk, handspun two-ply. might make another pair for myself, they looked quite nice, but next time I will choose a finer yarn or larger needles (might have to recalculate though) to have a more open lace pattern. and I might change the rather boring pattern in the arm part! I do like the wavy edge and the hand part, but the lace pattern in the rest is not exactly spectacular! or maybe I do change the border at the lower end too and knit the wavy edge instead of the turned-over seam?
the dye experiment with the delphinium turned to be mint green, no blue in it, but I also finished the rest of the mixture to free the bobbin. I left it all as a single - not sure if I should dye the second half too - and if so, what colour would go well with the mint green.
I won't have time to use it just now anyway, as I just have to get going (and quickly!) with the workshop projects. yesterday I did nearly finish some very fine bombyx mori, dyed rosewood with fuchsia flowers. this I will need for the planned scarf, together with some other silk yarns, which have been finished for some time now. not sure, if I should ply it though, I need some rather fine yarns for couching too.

not much happening on the knitting front; I didn't have time yet to spin some of the alpaca for the dog pattern for the back of the hp sweater, can't keep knitting without it. because I needed something to knit quickly for a train ride to castlebar last thursday, I grabbed a ball of multicolour sock yarn and started a simple waffle pattern - for myself = sock knitting without thinking:)
also I have been working on the seascape bag, the body and the carry handle are done, now I am thinking of the deco part. I tried to crochet a fish sideways, but the yarn was to thick - to have a nice shape the fish would have to be enormous. either I have to switch to another technique - or use a different yarn.... have to put it on the backburner though, or I'll never make the embroidery projects.... that's always the same with me: I don't like working on the most urgent project and doddle around with those I don't need yet:(

when in town we did go to the "creative resource center" in castlebar to get some cardboard - and were very lucky to get some other good stuff. quite a lot of yarns, which doesn't happen too often, so I took as much as I could carry. the colourful stuff is cotton, very fine, but good quality. the blue stuff is cotton/linen two-ply, same for the white cones on the left. the one in the middle was a great find: pure cashmere, though very fine, but that can easily be remedied:)) or I could use it as it is for one of the projects from "victorian lace knitting". one cone of frizzly stuff in white, I guess polyester or similar, but useful maybe for "christmas knitting", or some smaller fancy projects. I am just hoping to get my peg loom soon, the order from germany is on its way and I am looking forward to some pegloom weaving, as it should be much quicker and easier to set up than normal weaving. we could use some new carpets, either in wool for my room or the sitting room - or some in cotton (old t-shirts?) for the bathroom! I am not going to use up the pink, the green and the yellow together though - don't want to go blind from the dazzle:)

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

in love!

I shouldn't have opened the bag, I know - my own fault really! I only wanted to peek in for a second - and put the bag full of fibre away again to spin later.... well, good intentions - they don't work out all that well most of the time! I received a surprise parcel a while ago with two bags, one filled with a cashmere/himalayan sheep mix (veeery soft!) - and the other with a top in silk and wool. uaah... that stuff is addictive, I just had to grab it and start spinning! one hank and a dark black conscience later - tada, the first hank....
the photo doesn't quite show the lustre - the yarn is soft, but cool at the same time. I am going to put it into the last dye bath with delphinium flowers to see if the fibre mix will take up the two colours I achieved on separate batches of wool top and silk - denim blue and mint green!

I also finished the third hank of hedgerow dyed teeswater - I just spin all the different colours as they come - can separate them later, though I don't know yet what I am going to do with it. quite nice as a single too, so far I plied all the teeswater I spun. there is still loads in the bag, mostly yellows and greens....

this is the wool I am going to use for the "seascape" bag for the connaught spinners and weavers - and I decided to use the wave pattern in tunisian crochet, even though the colour changes aren't quite as visible yet in the lighter colours. not sure if I leave it like this though - or throw it into the washing machine afterwards to make the "fabric" stronger. I might use a fabric lining instead, so that the crochet pattern stays visible - assuming that the stitches in crochet change as much as knitted ones, after being felted. the advantage of using a lining would be that I could put in some of that pelmet vilene to give the bag a stronger shaping. when this is finished I am going to put some deco on, freeform crochet for seaweed etc. - and maybe some bright orange fish to pop out:) if it looks halfway decent I will enter the pix into the anniversary challenge for the OLG - though I have to either fix some driftwood to the bag or embroider it with daisies (not the best idea?) - or put on five fish to make sure that I cover two of the four design features set in the guidelines.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

it's a jungle out there!

you could sing this line - and it's true. after the warm spell and the weeks of rain it's not a garden anymore - but a jungle. I tried to walk around on the paths a short while ago, but everything is so overgrown by now that I am wet up to the waist - and got nettle stings up to my elbow:( not funny - I think I am going to refuse working in there until the paths at least are usable again! I did take some pix - the dicigam is great for general use, but for close-ups I still prefer the "normal" one! let nobody say that eucalyptus doesn't grow in ireland! they do and to quite a large size (comments of the gardening neighbour about 10 times a year: "look at the stem!":)) they also flower - but that picture was a bit wobbly, I have to take a new one another time - as it started raining again....
some nice colour combinations popped up too - I like the red of the crocosmia"Luzifer" together with the yellow Lysimachia.
and the bench under the large ash tree is pretty overgrown now, but gives a nice "framed" view; in a year or two the cypresses should be closing the upper gap!
nothing new on the textile front - I am still spinning the wool/silk mixture, which is totally lovely, to put it into the delphinium dye bath (which starts to smell a bit yucky, I better hurry up with the yarn!). and I took some of the turquoises and blues out for the crochet bag, the first sample was ok, but I'll try a few more before I decide which one I'll use. I did receive the crochet book Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet from borrowbooks.ie - so I can start with crocheting the scarf with diamond or spider pattern that was shown in the latest spin-off magazine. I still have quite a lot of tussah silk left over from the cushion and might even be able to do a similar dye job on it later!

Thursday, 5 July 2007

half a promise....

...fulfilled! well, nearly - I did finish the pattern part of the hp sweater front..... only a few more simple rows of dark blue for neck and shoulders and it's ready - to start the embroidery that is. we can't have Dumbledore without face and glasses now, can we? I better get on with the spinning for the shaggy dog - luckily I won't need much, should be done pretty quickly. I pulled in all the threads immediately, just to get that job over with! oh, of course - a few stars are to be added too - and some sparkle for the "put-outer":)

good news on the camera front too - today we received the parcel with the replacement! deja-vu or what? putting in the new settings and off we went - it works, but then we better wait a few days to see if it still does so in a week's time...

outside the weather is still dreadful - I managed to pick most of the delphinium flowers yesterday - in a dry spell of about 5 minutes. half of them were glibbery - I hope this doesn't influence the colour as I plan to put in yarn made from a mixture of half silk and half wool - in the hope that the silk takes up to blue and the wool to mint green as in the sample before!
the good thing about the yucky weather is that I can keep on working with textiles inside - I just started the socks "nordic lights" from the winter 06 issue of spindlicity - I have handspun teeswater ready - just love the pattern! and I did some samples for the "seascape bag" for the connaught spinners.... the crochet for the basic shape is probably done quickly - the bits and pieces around might take a bit longer!