Saturday, 11 August 2007

finished socks

today was definitely a day to stay inside - drizzle or heavier rain pretty much all day kept even the dogs inside most of the time! it felt more like a wet late autumn day than a day in the middle of august:( I used the time to knit some of the bias tape - but after a while it became so boring, that I exchanged it for the second sock in opal yarn. the leg part is a waffle pattern, 2 rounds of knit, 2 of 2 knit, 2 purl - the rest was a basic no-thinking-required sock. by accident I discovered that on a german tv channel there was a "Miss Marple" night running - so I finished the second sock during "Murder most foul":)) I just love Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple - slightly excentric - but of course, being a knitter herself, she cannot do wrong for me! none of the other actors who played Miss Marple even managed to come close....
I also did quite a lot of my needlepoint - finished part two, started part three, but discovered a counting mistake halfway through and had to undo part of the stitching:(( after that I wasn't in the mood to keep going. tomorrow seems to be the same weatherwise, so maybe I can catch up and finish part three!

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

colourful fibres....

... make for fast spinning! it's great fun to spin the space-dyed merino, every few seconds another colour! the first bobbin was full yesterday; after setting the twist I think it's ok like this to knit, even though it isn't the perfectly even yarn it should be. but then I always said I can spin fine yarns much better than the chunkier ones:) though after the experience of spinning 4 fine yarns and cabling them into one thicker (needle size 4 doesn't really count as chunky yet?) to knit the teeswater afghan - I have become more careful about my time and effort! it's ok to spin fine yarn for very special things or smaller projects - but working large stuff out of them is not something for the impatient knitter - or people under time pressure for presents! well, live and learn..... I have to take a break from the thick and colourful stuff now - I need more very fine yarn for the embroidery.... never ending story no. 324! what a difference, the two-ply for this is about 1/4 of the merino:)) also I have been thinking about how to finish up the belt bag (fanny or bum bag sounds so ordinary:)) later. I would need some bias tape to set in a zipper and do the seams - but the likelihood that I find something suitable in Ballyhaunis - is in the minus area, impossible! so my initial idea was to cut my own, but I don't have fabric that matches either. my thoughts now are to do my own bias tape - knitted! it's probably even more boring to do than to knit an attached i-cord around a long moebius scarf, but at least it's multicolour yarn! and the bag isn't exactly going to be enormous, so I should be able to do it in a reasonable time - or so I hope. it's mindless knitting - perfect for a long tv evening - if I could find something worth watching that is.

Friday, 3 August 2007

sampling away

I couldn't help myself (always a good excuse, I find:) - and started to sample some of the tops. the first one was the very colourful space for Stefan - I wanted to try it out to choose between a thicker singles (on the right) - or a 2ply from finer yarns. of course I had to knit it straight from the bobbin (well, more or less, I wound it into a ball first, but didn't set the twist). after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing from Stefan - he decided for the singles (here without the green bit) - my choice too, not only for the clearer colours, but of course it is far less work to spin without having to ply it too. the yarn feels softer too when knitted - and didn't slant, despite not having been set.

I started on the alpaka tops too - argh, the black is so gorgeous that I don't want to stop spinning it. it really is pitchblack, even darker than the black welsh I got a few days ago! I think there is no natural black in sheep's wool as deep as the one from alpaca. now the question is: do I use the grey with bits of black and white, do I use the black as main colour and accents of the other two? or do I dye a bit of white - as a highlight in the black, grey and white? red, dyed with brazilwoold maybe? or some purple dyed with cochenille?? I better decide soon, a lot of work - and only 4 1/2 months do go to christmas:) this will definitely be a 2ply, my only decision so far in this.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

vanishing picture

I had to put this picture up separately - every time I started to move it - it vanished:(( anyway those are the many small amounts of wool top I described earlier - great choice, I'll se koi carps on my crochet bag in orange and yellows!

two deliveries in one day!

first you wait for ages and nothing arrives... and then we receive two large orders in one day! I have to explain this - our cottage is situated bang in the middle of a very narrow road, more like a gravel path. interlink, dhl etc. have large vans and don't fancy squeezing them down to us - so usually they give us a ring that they are on their way, could we come up to the main road to collect. looks a bit funny, with larger parcels one of us comes running with the wheelbarrow:) well, anyway, in the morning the guy from interlink rang that he'll be coming later, no problem. I kept the phone line free as much as possible, but of course, nothing ever works as planned and my mother rang exactly when it's the usual time for the dhl guy to announce he'll be there in 5 minutes. (viking always delivers the following day, so I knew he'd be coming today). I put the receiver down, when it rang again - he was already waiting on the main road and could I come up. I snatched the wheelbarrow and off I went - arriving panting, tongue on the ground, of course:)) as soon as I had the 4 large boxes inside the house - the interlink guy arrived from the other side, but I was lucky and he brought the 20 kg box up to the entrance:)) living in rural ireland does have it's quirks:))

to cut a long story short - not only am I well provided now with paper, printer ink etc. - to start on the design exercises. I also received my "woolly" order from germany. several kilos of NZ lamb tops, 3 kg of white, grey and black alpaca tops, one space dyed for DS, one kg mulberry silk (for the "colibris in silk" challenge), one kg of tussah/wool mixture in case my design doesn't work so well with pure silk, 50 silk hankies and - as seen here - one kg of differently coloured wool tops, great for felting bits and pieces etc.... the ball is the space in bright colours, DS chose it, we'll see if he still likes it when spun.

I am in a woolly dream - would love nothing more than just to grab everything and start spinning it all at the same time:)) never mind using the new sock needles (bamboo), the peg loom and all the other bits. but I have to get to work on the embroidery things first - the etamine de laine scarf feels lovely as do the silk chiffon scarves......

nothing like a bit of retail therapy - even if it's done by mail order!