Sunday, 21 July 2013

bad conscience

I had planned to do a blog entry yesterday - it would have matched the date of my last entry. but as usual I got waylaid somehow and woosh, the day was gone:( there is so much to do that my days are never long enough - and blog entries are the first victims... on top of that the last 2 weeks have been murder for me. I can't stand heat, anything over 20 deg. C is too much for me - and we've been having a rather unusual summer this time - 2 weeks without a drop of rain and temperatures of around 28 to 30 deg. C - in the shade! gardening time has been reduced to 2 hours in the morning and mad watering in the evening hours. even just putting the washing on the line has me in sweat and I was lucky that we had a bit of a respite on the one day last week, where I had no choice but to go to Castlebar (I have to admit that being on the train was heaven, though - AC on, nice and cool - perfect:). and of course it doesn't help that DS is on holidays - he is hogging the computer night and day and I wait for the moment, where he'll grow roots up here....
anyway, of course I have done some textile bits, but knitting has been down in this heat, because the yarn just clings to the sweaty hands. I managed socks - several pairs of them, mainly during the late evening. 
 this one is a sneaker, I didn't even have enough left to finish the few pattern rows and add a rib, so I used a leftover to do the latter. they look a bit odd in the pic, but that is due to the pattern on top of the foot, which pulls together a bit, when not worn. they are very comfy, though I haven't worn socks for quite some time now (too hot). I realised too late that the reddish yarn was handdyed with madder, and I was a bit anxious, when I took them out of the machine - but they didn't change colour at all, phhh.... the main yarn is regia, but I don't have the ball band anymore, no idea which colour line.
 this one is a singles, Color Flow sockwool, which I bought here, some time back. it knits up nicely, but I am not sure that the heels will last long with me. I think I might add a layer of yarn that is "woven" into the purl stitches from the inside, which hopefully adds a bit of wearing time. but I couldn't resist the colours, so it had to "move in":) I have two more balls in my stash, if it wears ok, they'll make socks - if not, I am sure I can find another use for them.
 they were normal socks, but instead of a rib I started with the pattern immediately (k2, yo, k1, k2tog), which gave a nice edge that rolls up and forms little waves. I have used this as a rib pattern for another pair I started a few days ago, where the leg is knitted in 4 colours.
then I used up yarn from my stash to knit a "bread and butter" pair - very unusual for me to knit socks without any pattern whatsoever - but it made for very relaxed knitting during the heat wave:)
this is another pair made from stash yarn, regia, my favourite sock yarn. I do prefer yarn colours with less jacquard effect. in hindsight I should have made this pair for me and the one above for DH, but now it's done (I prefer this colour way). the foot is stockinette...
...and the leg is 2 rows of k stitches and two rows of slipped stitches - but I've already forgotten how exactly I did those. the pattern is from "the sock knitter's handbook". The slipped stitches form an interesting pattern from the inside. it looks a bit like wet, rippled sand on a beach... (forgot to take a pic of the inside)
I worked a teensy bit on the DK border, but not a lot, some other things came in between.
 this one for example: I dyed some viscose fibres with the berries of alderbuckthorn. some of it turned greyish blue, another batch was more greenish in colour (when the berries are unripe, they dye yellow!). I had the tops for years, before I decided to spin them up into a fine singles. I also had a cone of fine white linen and I plied both together into this yarn - not sure if I should call it glacier or glacialis:) it looks a bit like the greenish-blue ice of a glacier..
 ...and it feels heavenly cool just now to knit with. I found the pattern for a shawl "frost flowers" on ravelry. at first I thought I might knit up a "summer scarf" - but I hardly ever wear scarves - and certainly not during summer, when it's warm anyway! I started knitting anyway - my second idea was a summery shrug. all the while I spun and plied more of the yarn - until it hit me that I have more than enough to make a sweater. the sleeves/shoulders would run horizontally, the lower part vertically. I'd have the lovely pattern on both lower sleeves and the bottom! not sure if I follow through with it, because I'd have to wear something underneath - but that's the plan for now anyway:) I loved knitting the pattern - and I am nearly finished with the one arm, though most of it has only lines of faggoting now.
not having done any blog entries recently, I still haven't shown the potholder I made to show the Connacht Textile Crafters a finished project in Double Knitting. I needed new potholders and had ordered some cotton last year. the spirals on the sides are "stolen" from the Fia pattern above, the horizontal ones were added to make a square (similar pattern, just a row more in the middle). the triskele I drew on paper myself. I'll add the chart on my new pattern page later - I sorted through my files and put it away too well:)

Edit: found the file, put it up as my first pattern on the pattern page (see above)
some time back the "leg" of my colander fell off - the metal ring at the bottom. it's not very practical to use, when the base is round and the gadget rolls around in the sink - but I didn't want to throw it away either. then the upcycling bug hit me, when I saw a guy in the local hardware shop taking off the chains of a bird feeder... they were easy to attach and I have a new hanging basket for one of my fuchsias. which looks much better now, thanks to all the sun and my diligent watering:) (twice a day...)
one of the ash trees started to grow huge fungi last year! I left them on and they fell apart very quickly. then I read about dyeing with tree fungi in a german blog and thought I might give this one a try. I am not 100 % sure that it is the same fungus, but it looks very similar and the colour on wool is lovely. I managed to take off all of the large shapes and left them outside to dry - one thing all that heat was good for! Anke only used 5 g for her dyeing - I'd have several hundred grams! I am going to give them a try later in the year, at the moment there are too many other dye plants I have to collect. I don't have all that much undyed material left just now, because next saturday I am doing a demonstration about dyeing with acid dyes for the Connacht Texile Crafters - and need all my yarns and fibres for that. there are still black violas, delphinium and a lot of dyer's chamomile waiting to be picked. then there's tansy coming up soon as well... and I have aquilegia and the first dahlia flowers in the freezer. and mahonia berries...never a dull moment for a dyer:)
one of the things I'd like to dye during the demo is a sock blank. the photo in the header is my inspiration. I'd like to do another picture sock, the tree in black and the part of the foot, too and the rest of the leg in the colours of a sunset. I don't know if it will work out the way I intended, but I made two sock blanks. one is just as wide as a row for a sock in circular knitting. the other one is about double the width... not sure which one will work better, but I knitted with doubled up yarn to end up with two identical socks, if at all possible.

and I changed the look of my blog a bit - when I saw the nice background water feature I couldn't resist - made me feel a bit cooler during the heat we're having:)


Anonymous said...

liebe bettina, welch ein reichtum an Arbeiten! und zum Färben mit Pilzen..da habe ich bei Karin gelernt,man kann gut mit getrocknetem material arbeiten..bei der Trockenheit kannst du die Pilze gut sammeln, gut zerkleinert einweichen und dann testen..eventuell mit weinsäure. alkalis verändern..liebe grüße wiebke

wir haben nur 24 grad..und heute früh war es nur 12 grad, da lüfte ich das ganze haus und nun wird alles mit rollos gegen die sonne geschützt, so bleibt es schön kühl drinnen.
aber nun werde ich johannisbeeren ernten..zum essen nicht färben.
mit johanniskraut färbte ich wunderbar grüngelb..und violettrot..

Nina said...

Gosh you've been busy! I love all the socks you've done. I hope the swirl one wears well as it's quite lovely in both colour and pattern. I totally understand about the heat! We've had day after day of hot,muggy weather and sometimes it feels hard to even move, let alone accomplish anything useful. You will post about the dye demo results won't you? It sounds like it will be a lot of fun.

Woolly Bits said...

Wiebke - langsam wird es auch hier kuehler, wenigstens etwas. dafuer begluecken uns nun wieder haufenweise muecken - nichts ist perfekt:) die roten johannisbeeren haben sich die amseln schon schmecken lassen, aber ich habe meine stachelbeeren gepflueckt - und schon eingefroren! und gleich hinterher alle moeglichen blueten, weil ich solarglaeser noch ansetzen wollte. das johanniskraut nutze ich allerdings grad erstmal fuer mein rotoel! vielleicht hab ich dann ja noch was uebrig zum faerben spaeter....

Nina - somehow socks were the only thing I could bring myself to knit::) the swirl socks feel nice on the feet, because of the yarnovers they are quite stretchy and adapt well to the foot. we'll see how long the heels last:) and I am sure I can take pix of the dyeing results after the demo at least; because I only demonstrate I keep all my results and take them home. at least that's the plan:)

Elke said...

Hallo Bettina,
schön, dass eure Insel wieder grün wird!
Schick noch ein bisschen Regen rüber, wir können es gebrauchen.

Woolly Bits said...

Elke - heut ist grad mal wieder sonne angesagt, aber die letzten beiden tage war es sehr feucht. vorgestern kam das wasser von 2 wochen in 2 minuten runter... und gestern waren heavy showers angesagt, aber eigentlich hat es fast pausenlos geregnet - also waeren "minutenlange trockenphasen" die bessere vorhersage gewesen:) naja, der garten hats gebraucht, man sieht richtig, wie alles viel gruener aussieht!

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