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Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Let the madness begin!!

I am at it again - no plant around the house, garden and general area is safe from me - and my dyepot! I really wanted to cut some blackthorn branches for the bark, but then I saw those little yellow flowers of Bird's foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) - and had to pick some. the colour on wool/alum is a strong yellow, really nice. then there were the tiny, nearly black flowers of viola cornuta, which is on a rampage in the veggie plot, but looks so pretty that I just leave it growing. wool/alum again - and a nice blueish-grey with a slight greenish tint. the dark blue iris flowers gave a nice minty green - and the highlight of the madness so far: aquilegia atrata, very dark reddish-purple flowers, give a lovely denim blue! and there is so much colour in the flowers that I put another piece of teeswater top (alum) into it - and it's nearly the same blue with a slight hint of lavender in it! I have to keep some of the flowerheads to set seeds - I definitely want more of those flowers for next year:))

no spinning and not much knitting going on, I half finished the second part of the lace pillow - but we are painting porch and glasshouse incl. window frames and doors and I cannot get into my room, because we had to put all the stuff somewhere:(( I can still see my spinning wheel - but just barely:((

right, back to the dye pot again - hopefully with some more nice results! pictures to follow soon...

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Lace knitting - not lace frogging!

After fiddling about with the lily-of-the-valley pattern I managed to work it out - well, more or less, one side worked well, the other side was kind of off-kilter in the pattern somehow. I kept going, but after two more rows it started going wrong again. the pattern shows a linear increase in the chart - but then the amount of stitches should go up the same - not in different steps! in the end, after "unknitting" several times (there is nothing worse than frogging in lace, it leaves the knitter with even more errors - so the rows have to be knitted backwards, very frustrating!) I just lumped it... and realized that there was another pattern like it on offer. the first 30 rows are the same, and after that the part where the error occured isn't in this pattern. to be on the safe side I counted the decreases, increases and overall stitches on the chart - and they fit! so I worked this pattern - and have the front of the pillowcase done now! of course it looks like sh...shambles before blocking, but the size fits perfectly (even though my yarn is handspun and a different size than the one given in the instructions) for the pillow inserts that are available here. happy ending to a lot of frogging? yes:)) especially as I like the outcome of this pattern better. it has more definition, less "holes everywhere" like in the first pattern. sometimes errors in patterns do have their uses!
and I received information about a new special issue from interweave - they are publishing one about felting in july! wet felting, needle felting - and also knit felting (my favourite!) - another must-have?
and in the new issue of "knitting" some more ideas of how to use knit in different ways. a special about Rachel Henderson, who adds knitting to garments such as skirts, t-shirts etc. I quite like the idea and already ideas are sprouting everywhere:)

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Change of plans

I had intended to do the vest in tussah - but after waiting for days for news about the required size, I gave up - and changed my plan. I started knitting a cushion, also lily-of-the-valley pattern, also the tussah silk - and so far it looks quite nice (well, as far as unblocked lace can look nice!). only now I am either to stupid to keep knitting - or there is a glitch in the pattern. I frogged three times and did it over and over again - but no, there must be a mistake in it. have to fiddle it out somehow, there are more increases than decreases....
and I started some samples for the planned bag project for the Connaught Spinners and Weavers. Theme is seascape and I had planned to do tunesian crochet - a wave pattern - for the main part. all in turquoise, blue and green - and later I will decorate it somehow. maybe felted fish in orange and yellow? or seaweeds in different shades of green? or maybe both? and the handle crochet with small fish worked into in a different colour? don't know yet, but I better get going as I have to work on the olg embroidery project too.... but I have to wait for the plastic canvas for this, so I can start crocheting the bag first!
and what happens if you read to many blogs? you are bound to stumble over lovely patterns - as I did the day before yesterday. a lovely peacock shawl - and no pattern to buy yet - I hope it will see life as a pattern for sale or I have to do something in the style myself. I'd rather buy the pattern and work on some nice handspun yarn, but we'll see....
the weather is dysmal today (lots of rain) - so I have a good excuse to work on the textiles:))

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Badly designed!

whoever is responsible for designing mankind (or better womankind - men seem to do fine mostly:), should be sued.... they (= whoever) must have noticed after designing man that this model was insufficiently equipped, esp. for all the work model 1 left to be done! so why didn't they design the follow-up (=woman) with more than just one pair of hand? or at least with the born-in ability to use hands and feet at the same time, to double the output and be able to finish double the workload?
to make it short - there's just not enough time in the day to do everything I want to (a problem most crafters can relate to, I am sure!). I received several new knitting pattern mags - at least one design I'd like to do in each of them. the books and papers are stacked into wobbly (wonky?:) towers that need working through - never mind the garden, where the rain of the last two days has given another growth spurt to everything. several birthdays are creeping up that I need to work presents for. then there's the "old" fibre book and the welsh black mountain fleece cum information still to be collected. the "colibris in silk" challenge, the bag project for the connaught spinners and weavers group, the planned workshop for the OLG and so on....
but - looking on the bright side - the baby cardie is finished apart from three little buttons. of course nothing pretty could be found in ballyhaunis, no trip to galway in sight - so I just have to crochet three little balls from embroidery cotton; at least I have plenty of colours to choose from there. another tick on the list.... then there is the bobbin lace celtic collar that I pulled out of the dark and dusty corner yesterday to make it see the light again! not all that much to do, if I really got stuck in I might be able to finish it in a few sessions. (not to worry though, it has only been on it's board for about 10 years, a few more days won't make a big difference...!)
the new knitting project will be a sleaveless sweater for m... someone:) I finished spinning the tussah silk (originally I wanted to dye this purple with cochenille, but now I need it quickly and will leave it the natural golden tone) quite some time ago, 2ply, needle size about 3 mm I reckon. I plan on doing the lily-of-the-valley pattern from Dorothea's book at least on the lower border - depending on the time I have maybe allover? I'd also like to do a "heather shawl" in this pattern - for myself (yep, the 2nd project for myself in about 10 years or so). but first - I have to translate the pattern! and finish the files for the olg - and order the plastic canvas for the september workshop and .... well, as I said, I just need a second pair of hands!
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