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Sunday, 4 December 2011

it's creeping up....

christmas I mean! not that it feels like christmas outside -it's cold enough today, but windy and wet at times as well. and somehow - not christmassy, even though it's the 2nd advent sunday today! well, never mind how it feels, it's time for gift and card making etc. and I have been doing a few of the latter. the first one nearly made me go gaga - I should have known of course, but I wanted the motive for a mouse lover and grabbed it up against my better judgement. half stitches and aida don't go as nicely together as full crosses, but a few here and there are manageable. but aida, half crosses plus tiny backstitches - yuck, I can tell you, that will be the one and only time I do this project. the outcome is ok, but the backstitches took me nearly as long as the rest of the embroidery. and because I hate french knots with a vengeance, I took small beads for the black dots and the mistletoe berries...
after all the work on this one I had to make up some time with the next designs....


 .. which is why this star is much more simple in design. a few crosses, normal backstitch and a few beads...
just like this one, but I think they loose a lot of their charm in the photo, when you can't see the sparkle of fabric and beads.











last week we had our final meeting in the spinners and craft group and as usual we did a secret santa. I received a mysterious box - roses at christmas?:)

 not so, the contents are pure christmas colours after all! I thought they are for decoration, but no, they are actually meant to be napkin holders, made from felt. hm, not sure our household deserves something like napkin rings, but I can always hang them up as deco instead.

at the same meeting I stocked up on some merino fibres. I wanted to use more purples with the green tones I dyed last time, but was too lazy to start dyeing again. and then there is that scarf design I have in my head - with progressing colours from white via grey to black. that's the bags on the right....


I didn't make it to the knitting & stitching show in Dublin this year, but luckily one of the members of the group went - and was able to find a few goodies from Oliver Twists that I had asked for. some more multicolour embroidery threads; the one at the bottom is the mix of greens I used for the christmas SAL a few weeks back.  actually it's much safer to send somebody else to that stall with a shopping list! every time I go there myself I buy much more than I should... but the colours are so inviting that it's hard to be reasonable!
of course in the garden it looks bleak most of the time now - no wonder in the constant miserable weather we're having. but bang in the middle of my veggie bed sits the crabapple tree "Everest". and despite the mucky weather it is still full with the tiny fruits! I picked and picked buckets full for juice, but eventually I ran out of space (and steam:)... pity about the apples, I thought and when I heard that somebody is using them like sloes to make a liqueur, I thought: why not? ok, the 800 g I picked didn't make a dent in the stuff that's still on the tree, but the result looks nice - and smells gorgeous! not for me though - another christmas goodie to go away eventually....
I plan to put a few of the best looking apples into the small bottles for decoration, but I am not sure if the rest will be edible. the sloes are too acidic and bitter for this and I assume the crabapples will be as well.

of course I've been knitting as well  - nothing like a bit of that in front of the warm oven! this is a small giveaway project, a cowl. I used the same pattern I knitted for the slouch socks, which gives a wrinkly furrowed look to the cowl. I used smaller needles for the top and larger ones for the bottom, that's why it looks a bit odd in shape. but it feels quite nice around the neck and is long enough to cover v-necks or larger neck openings. they knit up quite qickly with needles size 4 mm and I was able to use exactly one ball (50 g) for each - couldn't stop myself, had to make two, because I had two balls of this yarn:)
spinning has been all purple these last few weeks - because I wanted to finish all those yarns dyed with logwood (they do stain the fingers a bit when spinning, but after washing the yarn this stops). all of those are from the same dye bath, several dips and everything is purple:) the lightest one on the left is alpaca; there is some wool/silk blend, some mohair, and the darkest one on the right is south american top. I wasn't sure what to use the yarns for, but after translating the article "handspun gallery" for the latest spinoff I decided that I will make a vest like the one featured - only much longer than shown. and I think to set of the purple a bit better, I'll spin some contrast colour, maybe a darker green? not sure yet, but nothing will happen on this front before christmas, so I still have plenty of time to get inspiration on that matter.
 enough photos now  - back to more knitting (mittens) and spinning (green silk/wool this time!)

9 comments:

Delighted Hands said...

Lots of fun stuff going on-the neck warmer is very clever-looks like it would feel great on! Beautiful work on the embroidery and I will be looking for the new threads on future posts!

Elke said...

Ich bin gespannt, wie der Likör schmecken wird!
Mein Baum hängt auch noch voll, aber das ist jetzt alles für die Vögel. Die Zieräpfelchen vom Golden Hornet sind schon alle ganz braun und die Amseln fressen den Matsch jetzt sehr gerne.
VG
Elke

Woolly Bits said...

Cindy - don't hold your breath with the threads.... might take some time to see results!

Elke - riechen tut er schon sehr lecker (auch, wenn ich selbst eigentlich keinen alkohol trinke:)) und die farbe sieht auch ganz gut aus, finde ich. und auch bei uns sind nur noch braune kugeln am golden hornet, der sieht jetzt nicht sehr attraktiv aus:) er ist auch nicht jedes jahr so produktiv wie der everest, aber ich lasse auch die reste jetzt haengen. man kann ja auch nicht jedes verfuegbare glas mit crabapple saft oder gelee fuellen:)

Nina said...

The Oliver Twist threads are beautiful. I do love the colours of the Merino though - gorgeous shades in each bag. Yay for mittens. I managed to put my newly knitted mitts in a safe place and I can't find them anywhere.

Judy said...

I love the character of your little bird!! What a great find with the new fibers and embroidery yarn. It's always nice to get some new fiber to play with.
Enjoy your week, Bettina.

Eliane Zimmermann said...

mein woll-blog-post ist nun doch etwas anders geworden, als geplant: http://www.irlandnews.com/category/irland ich denke, ich werde mehrere teile dazu schreiben. dieses mal ist es etwas ironisch geworden.... dein wasser-management-post ist übrigens klasse. ich finde es ein unglaubliches privileg, noch sein eigenes wasser haben zu dürfen. wir haben einen 70-meter-tiefbrunnen und das wasser schmeckt wirklich fein, frisch und lecker. regelmäßig lassen wir es testen und es ist mindestens so gut wie die modewässer mit v., die sicherlich plastik- und weichmacherrückstände in sich haben. viele grüße aus dem heute recht frühlingshaften südwesten, eliane

Woolly Bits said...

Nina - the OT stall will one day be my downfall, it is so full of colours and textures that I can't help myself and always buy more than I should:)) much "cheaper" to send someone else with a shopping list! and the merino really is lovely - esp. the purples of course:)) I hope you'll find your mittens, I am half-way through the second one by now.

Judy - thanks. the problem with the new fibres is that I don't have the time to use them right now! it's hard to pass them and not be able to play about:))

Eliane - ja, gutes wasser ist leider lange nicht so selbstverstaendlich wie viele denken! wenn man gutes hat, kann man froh sein. bei den flaschen ist es ja nicht nur das "was ist im wasser", sondern auch das "was mach ich mit dem drumherum"? aber selbst in d sind ja glaspfandflaschen inzwischen eine seltenheit:((

Elke said...

Ein Frohes Neues Jahr wünsche ich dir!
Was macht der Likör, schmeckt er schon?
VG
Elke

Woolly Bits said...

Elke - danke, ebenso! ich hab grad mal eine runde durch den patschnassen garten gedreht - es haengen immer noch massenweise fruechte am everest:) und der likoer - hm, ich habe ihn einmal durchgefiltert, aber dachte, er koennte noch ein weilchen ziehen... also ging alles wieder zurueck in den topf:)) schlecht war er nicht, aber ich denke, ein bisschen reifen koennte ihm auch nicht schaden!mal sehen, wie er ende januar dann ist....

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