Saturday, 27 June 2009

computer problems

we are still having problems with our computer - on some days it won't switch on at all, on others it goes black without apparent reason. we are waiting for ordered replacements; in the meantime I might vanish for times, because one hour a week in the local library is barely enough to clean out my mailbox and write brief answers where urgent! but - tonight the box is still working, so I am going to try a new entry!
I haven't been lazy, but most of my progress has been on the lace board. I did finish a pair of "father's day" socks (for DH, not my father...). I had bought the ball of wool in germany about a year ago, because I liked the way the colours of the yarn change, not in jacquard patterns, but slowly - as if hand dyed! and the yarn doesn't look and feel like my usual sock yarn (I mostly use Regia) - it's plied more loosely and even looks like a handspun! I have another ball in different colours, but I want to keep that for myself! I am going to make a pair of Coriolis socks from Cat Bordhi's book, but they'll take more time and attention - a rather different "make-up" from my usual sock pattern!

I am also still working on the knitty pattern "Aeolian shawl". I am in the last part of the pattern, but even though it's pretty easy to work, the rows have quite a lot of stitches and progress has slowed a bit. I hope to finish the shawl soon though to try out my new "carbon fibre wires"! they are used like blocking wires and I hope they'll make blocking on the bed faster and easier (it's no fun to crawl around on all fours for hours to stick a needle into each stitch of a large lace shawl:))
this is my latest "haul" from the recycling center! I found carpet samples, about 50 cm square, with nicely finished rims, which are useful as "pillows" for the garden, wall etc. nice colours too! I thought of putting 6 of them together like a runner - but I think pushing a needle through the finish of the rims would be extremely hard - so maybe I'll just leave them as they are! I also found several pieces of undyed cotton (blends?) fabrics, one sea grean and a purple/multicolour upholstery fabric, also a larger piece, mainly light yellow, with flowers on it (a table cloth maybe?) - and several interesting cones of yarn. the black is a blend of wool and alpaca, the charcoal has no label, but I bet there's mostly wool in it. there's one large cone (1 kg) of fine sea island cotton and two cones of a blend - I'd say linen cotton... and a smaller cone of waxed linen - too fine for knitting, but I am sure it would be a strong warp yarn! if all else failed I could just ply it up and use it as garden twine:)) DS went home with a full box of stickers, labels, cardboard pieces etc. - happy as Larry, he loves browsing around in there.... pity that it takes a trip by taxi and train to get there - but on the other hand, maybe that's a good thing - or our small cottage would one day split open and all our collective stashes would just burst out:))

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Aeolian shawl

when I finished my grey coat I still had some leftovers on the cones of commercial yarns - mainly some fine wool and some of the white cashmere. so I grabbed the cones together with some very fine schappe silk and plied them together until I ran out of cashmere. I had planned to knit the Laminaria shawl from knitty, but when I saw the new estonian lace pattern "Aeolian shawl" - I just fell for it and started to knit. the first part is very regular and an easy tv knit - but slowly the number of stitches increases - and yesterday I changed over to the "agave pattern", which needs a bit more care (but still knittable in front of the tv:)) because of different stitches and esp. the nupps. this picture shows half of the shawl - already too many stitches to pull out the full project on a 120 cm long addi lace needle (I love the sharp tips - they make knitting the 9 stitches of the nupps together so easy! makes up for the slightly metallic scent....)
the yarn knits up nicely - but I think I might increase the size slightly - which can be done quite easily as pattern sequences can be added at certain stages. I was thinking about painting the shawl after I finish the knitting - but I'll wait and see how it all turns out!
at least the weather is more like "irish summer" again and it's quite nice to sit outside for a while with my knitting - without melting in the sun:)

Saturday, 6 June 2009

just in case....

... you can't reach me via email or I won't react to comments or questions: we are having computer troubles. the harddrive seems to be effected and the computer is acting rather erratic to say it carefully:(( if I seem to have vanished - don't worry, it's not me, it's just the computer (quite old already and probably close to "kicking the bucket", if computers do that sort of thing).

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

summer is here!

we haven't had temperatures like this for quite some time - our last summer lasted 2 weeks and wasn't particularly warm even then. but since last thursday we've had temperatures between 24 and 27 deg. C - in the shade! way too hot for me (I think I was a chocolate bar in a former life:(() - so I am trying to hide in the house or at least in the shade during the day... knitting and spinning are only possible in the evening, because everything sticks - and housework takes place before 11 in the morning - or not at all if possible!

but at least I can do bobbin lace... and this is a good thing, because even though the pillow sat right behind me, I didn't manage to do all that much in the last few weeks. this shows my progress - and most of it happened in two days! a lot still to do and my time window is shrinking quickly!!
in the meantime my pre-ordered fan base arrived as well! it's made from pear and I like the colour a lot - a warm brown tone. I was surprised at the smoothness of the timber - and also at the amount of sticks in between the edge pieces! when I have finished the lace the finished fan part is glued to the base. I hope it'll turn out well - I might make another one for myself, because I like the way it looks. or maybe I'll go for a miniature fan first, because our topic for the group project from the Connacht Textile Crafters is "miniatures" as well.
I am going down for a glass of iced tea now - and hope for a slightly less hot weekend (probably all the people in warm climates are laughing their heads off about me just now:))....