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Monday, 28 March 2011

I'm not dead.....

... I'm just taking a break:))

if you live in ireland, maybe you remember that kitkat spot from several years back (it's the king aka Elvis, who says this!).
if I waited any longer with a new blog entry, I could boast a 2 month break actually:(( sorry, but I've been so busy during the last 2 months, that I just couldn't find the time to blog. though most of the jobs were more of the same: working on the roof repairs (we don't only have to repair the damage, which is fiddly and a lot of work. we also have to prevent it from happening again - which means lots of jobs all around the house) - travelling to and from the dentist (no, it's still not finished. the wisdom tooth came out, the doc tried to save one molar, 4 weeks later I had to go back - last week I had to get an extraction anyway:(( back this thursday - and it's still not sure I'll be finished then - we'll see....). also the usual - spring means lots of jobs in the garden, several projects as gifts, preparing meetings for our spinner's group, doing translations - it never ends.

I did finish a few things though! here are a few:
this is a stacking toy - when I found the instructions at Lion Brand I just couldn't resist it. I had the stronger colours, pink, green and yellow, but needed to dye the rest - for the cotton I used procion dyes. should I ever do another one I'd actually switch on my brain before putting it together - the flowers in the "pond" at the bottom are pretty much invisible, when all the rings are stacked....but to make sure that baby doesn't start eating flowers or  bug pieces, I had to fix everything very tightly - which makes it close to impossible to take the flowers off again without destroying them and the base.
the base is a very long-necked frog, who looks out of a pond with water lilies on the surface. the lowest ring is a bumble bee, then follows a butterfly, a lady bug (ok, ok, I know that the red isn't ladybug red, but I dyed several lots and none turned out to be the proper colour:(() - and on top there is a dragonfly. the butterfly wasn't in the original pattern; I made it up because there was so much "neck" left free - and also the sizes didn't fit so well between bumblebee and ladybug. it's all cotton and washable - and I hope the recipient little boy has fun with it:))

his mum calls him froggy, so here is a little fat froggy I made for her....
then there was my friends' birthday - I made a scarf for her. the base is crocheted in a blend of black alpaca/wool, the eyelash yarn was pulled through and I left a fringe on both ends.of course I forgot to take a pic of the finished scarf - here you can see it in progress, the black was covered with the blue/red/purple....

she also received a mouse tea-cosy - inspired by a photo on ravelry. it's fully lined with a layer in brioche stitch, the flowers and mice are done with naturally dyed yarn, the base is done in sock wool.
all quite straightforward, I just had to figure out how I could do wheat ears - which I ended up doing in embroidery...
this is a necklace and a pair of earrings I made during a workshop about beginner's beading. I got kind of carried away and bought a few bits and pieces apart from the beads - a beading board, a tool to make proper spirals and round shapes, some beads, some wire, a book etc.... I guess I have to add "beading" to my labels:))
this is one of quite a few skeins of yarn I spun in the meantime. several were made as samples for a demo about "spinning fibres other than wool", which I did last saturday at the museum of country life. not very interesting to show them, most are natural white - so far (that might change after the dye workshop we'll do in july, same place). I spun soy silk, baby alpaca, linen, jute, hemp and some other small amounts, to have a spun sample for all the fibres I had to show. but this is a special skein - it's a silk brick dyed with fresh, ripe rhamnus frangula berries (alderbuckthorn). I have a plan for it - though I don't yet know whether I'll weave or knit the project....

I also couldn't resist doing a short spinning session after reading about spinning paper in the latest issue of spinoff. I grabbed some silk wrapping paper (for glass etc.), cut it into long strips, dampened it and spun it the next day - into something that looks like yarn. after plying it with a blend of linen and cotton (commercial yarn) I think it's reasonably "soft" - though of course not suitable to wear next to the skin. but the mind boggles at all the possibilities.... one thing I learned though (which kind of falls into the above category of switching the brain on before working:)) - if you want to spin paper, you can cut several layers in one go - just don't dampen them, when they are still together! it's a bit like trying to sort out a pot of spaghetti.....

I am also working on the biggest project of all - which I am halfway through, but cannot show it - you just never know, who reads a blog:)) patience - I will show it eventually....

so this is it for now - I hope I can blog again more regularly - latest when I have finished the above mentioned important project (never mind the house and the teeth:)).

9 comments:

Delighted Hands said...

Hope you are feeling better in the teeth dept! No fun. This is a great catcher-upper post-just beautiful work-the baby toy, scarf, beads and spinning really stand out! Hope the house situation works our well for you!

Zebra said...

Wie machst Du das nur, neben all der Arbeit mit dem Haus und dem Ärger mit den Zähnen noch soooo viele Projekte durchzuführen? Respekt, gute Besserung und ich bin gespannt, was das wohl für ein Geheimprojekt sein wird!
LG aus Deutschland,
Zebra

Woolly Bits said...

thanks, Cindy - my tooth (or rather the hole:)) seems to be healing ok... the rest just takes time!

Zebra - es ist ja nicht ueber nacht gearbeitet, immerhin hatte ich fast 2 monate zeit zu friemeln:)) und ich gehe nicht "ausser haus" arbeiten! das geheimprojekt - hat was mit handnaehen zu tun, soviel als tip:)) danke fuer die gruesse!

Bettina

Leigh said...

It has been a long time! But oh my, what lovely projects. I absolutely love the stacking toy (thinking my soon to be here granddaughter). Also the mouse tea cozy!

How is your wiring project coming along?

Woolly Bits said...

Leigh - the wiring... we're still working on that one! we had to use the good weather to work on the outside, close the entry holes for the rats between wall and soffit etc. now, that the weather turns wetter again, we'll finish the inside job - I hope we're done in 2-3 sessions. that should be it - hopefully!
the making of the stacking toy was fun - but I wouldn't mind doing one or two larger projects for a change again - with less sewing and fixing:)) I hope the baby likes it though, the rings are probably great for chewing on:))

Janet said...

Do you have the pattern for the stacking toy?

Woolly Bits said...

Janet, yes, you can find it here:
http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/90075AD.html

you have to join, but it's free and they have heaps of other patterns.... I added the butterfly ring and made the pattern up to fit in size between bee and ladybug. the wings are a variation of the bee wings:))

Grand Purl Baa said...

Very very very cute and clever stacking toy!
Ta for visiting QOTTC.
Cheers
Loani

Richard said...

Yipes! You have been a very busy bee! And did being as busy as a bee inspire the theme of your stacking toys? Anyway, I hope the renovation is about to wrap-up. We can't be certain of the weather these days.

Richard Boles

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