Wednesday, 31 December 2014

the last entry....

... for this year:)
just a few more hours and the old year is gone. I had planned to write sooner, but christmas got in the way, as usual. and yesterday blogger didn't like me - I couldn't open the blog, never mind put a new entry in. it still doesn't do what it is supposed to - the new header picture just doesn't want to stay in the right size. but you can see the weather we had over the weekend - mostly sunny during the day, but pretty frosty (down to minus 6 deg.C) at night. in the morning everything was covered in white and the dogs, who like to drink "dirty" water from buckets etc., got a shock - because their lovely water was replaced by discs of sheer ice:) the look on their faces - they ran from bucket to watering can (emptied out) and to the pond - nothing! what a relief to find the water dish inside full to the rim:)
nothing left of that today - most of the day we had either drizzle or rain plus a lot of wind - and the rain is going to be stronger tonight. lovely - it seems we have to light our sparklers inside the porch again, just like last year! 
I did manage to finish all christmas gifts in time, but I only realized yesterday that I forgot to take some photos. never mind - I did take a few at least. I also spun bits and pieces - but again, I didn't take pix - yet! I hope the new year brings improvements to my forgetfulness - there's room for more!
anyway, here are a few of my "fiddles":
 I made a "christmas tree" in patchwork. I had planned to make one on a wall hanging, but I realized that there won't be enough space to hang it in the recipients' home, so I thought a 3-D pyramid to sit on the table might be easier to put up. originally I had planned to make a foot/trunk, but after I put the bottom in, I liked it better this way. putting on the beads was a real fiddle, because the inlay is so tough that my beading needle looks like a hook now:) but I managed with a thimble and patience... I have the base of a second one ready, but the plan is to put on more of the "chain garland" and less (or none?) of the single beads...
seems like I am on a patchwork roll just now - I also made about a ton (ok, maybe around a dozen:) of those  decos, little hexie wreaths with a christmassy charm to dangle in the middle. I made batches in red/green/gold and one in purple and neutral, all to be given as small tokens - they fit nicely into an envelope with a christmas cards.
I also made most of my cards, but nothing textile - and of course they went out before I took a picture....
and I knitted my very first chimney sock! I've had a book with patterns for ages, but when I need them, I usually need them urgently - and end up making one out of felt! this one is knitted with leftovers of handspun in "rosewood" and a lacy edge from handspun silk/linen. in real life it's much bigger of course - no point in making tiny chimney socks (where would you put the goodies then?)... luckily I only need one of those, given the fact that I seem to suffer from single sock syndrome at the moment. I did finish one pair for DH - out of a "new" sock yarn, 8ply, a good bit chunkier than normal sock yarn. I think it's too thick to wear the socks in normal shoes though - but they warm birkenstock-clad feed nicely:) what I didn't like so much was the ball size - way too much for all but the biggest sock sizes, but not enough to knit a second pair. I compromised and made wrist warmers out of the leftover yarn, because I only bought one ball to try - and wouldn't have any other suitable sock yarn to use it with!
as I said I made other things, spun some yarns etc. - but this will have to do for now. I'll try to be better with picture taking - but at least I took one of my cookies! most of them rather last-minute, and I didn't do a single "cookie cutter" variety this year, but at least they taste nice, even if they don't look fancy!
time to get ready for the changeover - no new year resolutions for me - they usually only last for a few days anyway!  I hope all of you have a wonderful year to come, always enough fibres to play with and enough time to try out all your ideas!
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

good weather...

... not for going out, no - but for crafting away inside:) we're having the "punishment" for the lovely september weather; a lot of rain, often windy, foggy, cool - or maybe it just seems that way after the long spell of nice weather? it's normal november weather really, nothing unusual for us at this time of the year. just this morning I heard on the radio that it's only 6 weeks until christmas! maybe it's for the best that the weather isn't exactly gardening friendly, otherwise I'd be even more behind in my christmas crafting:)
I seem to have reached the age, where the eyesight changes. lately it's become a bit difficult to wear my glasses, when doing finer stuff close-up. which means that knitting in front of the tv isn't so great. either I can't see my knitting properly or I can't see the screen. that's why I've been spinning a lot - I don't need to put away the glasses to see the spinning:) but it also means that I've not been as productive with the needles as I should! it's not even project spinning, some of the tops just popped out of bags I've dug out of storage!
 I found mohair top that I dyed with cochenille at least 3 years ago... it's darker in real life, but as shiny as it looks in the picture. very smooth and dense - probably good for lace knitting, though I think I wouldn't like it close to the skin...
this on the other hand is 75 % viscose, 25 % silk. very smooth, very shiny - and extremely heavy! probably nice to wear, though too chunky for lace and I have no idea what to use it for! I bought a kilo of this, but I only have 650 g now - no idea, where the rest of it went. but I am sure I haven't knitted it into anything, I would remember! off to the stash - for now.... 
these are some of the teeswater tops I dyed here and there. I think the green on the left and the red were dyed with leftover easter egg dyes, the right one is far darker green and not so grey looking in spots - the camera is playing up again! all of them would be suitable in thickness for the "persian dreams" blanket - but I am not sure that the colours would work well together... we'll see about that. over the last few years I dyed and spun quite a lot of the teeswater top, there should be plenty more colours for this. I do have to spin a load of the main colour first though:) not sure if it's going to be natural white - or if I should dye it black? 

this is the result of spinning the blending board rolags from my last post. it's much more blended than my usual batts from the drum carder - probably, because I don't like putting the fibres through the drums too often (sheer laziness:). it's easer to do on the board, though it probably takes longer to load and draw off again.  
I also finally finished the baby alpaca cardigan! I don't know why I procrastinated for so long, it took ages to knit, even though the spinning went smoothly. it must have been the sleeve caps, because I had to block the parts first to calculate a proper fit... I used attached i-cord all around and put in button holes for the front.  I hope it arrives safely with the recipient and soon (for some reason the mail to Berlin always takes longer than to any other german destinations:()

the pattern is called horseshoe lace, simple to knit, just 8 rows (or was it 10?) and a 10 st repeat. if you turned it over it might be called angel wings:)  
those two cowls are the leftover silk threads from the first petal cowl plus some black handspun merino from my stash. for the first one below I worked the purl rows plus the k row before in colour, but there wasn't enough silk left to do that in the 2nd cowl. so I only worked the purl rows, which means that some of them look like sashiko embroidery:) but maybe the slightly more muted look makes it easier to wear, if you don't want to look too colourful?:) it's wider as well, because I realised after knitting the first one that I don't like cowls so tight-fitting!
 the blocking was fun with those two - I rolled up two rubber foam fillings for neck rolls into a towel and pulled over the cowls. no pinning involved.....
and of course I had to make more rolags:) these two batches went as spinning fodder to Berlin as well - I used similar greens, but more yellows and rusty reds, so that the yarn should look more autumnal than the greens I spun up myself. it's mostly merino and south american wool, plus handdyed silk and soy silk for the glitz. 
I also found some bigger sample bags in my stash. the dark brown is yak, there's guanaco, alpaca, some angora and cashmere and the shiny beige is soy silk, dyed with coffee. it still smells like coffee, after such a long time in the bag:) the rolag diameter is much smaller because the fibres were fairly short - apart from the soy silk. I hope I am going to see a photo of this when spun up - could turn out to be cafe latte?:)
when I am not spinning or knitting I am making embroidered christmas cards. just 6 weeks left - tick tock:)

Thursday, 30 October 2014

if time flies....

...where does it go? there must be a huge heap of it somewhere, because I sure don't have any to spare!
anyway, before I start writing a whole entry of excuses, let's just say I've been too busy to blog:) I did however knit, spin, garden etc... and I can show you a few results:
 I made a blending board out of a piece of carding cloth and the bread board my son made as a woodwork project in school (the timber would be too soft to cut something on it, but it's perfect for the new job!) - the downside of this is that making rolags like these is addictive! once I start I can't stop and I work away until the fibre bag is empty! and just now I realised that I forgot to take a pic of the spun yarn... hopefully I'll be quicker with the next entry!
 I didn't only spin the green rolags, I also finished the handdyed purple superwash, which I plied with a fine blue bamboo single yarn - and some leftover fine soy silk, when I ran out of blue... I started a cowl with it, because it is very soft and feels good on the skin.
I also spun a good skein each of red and green teeswater top, which had been hanging on the rack for a long time. didn't wash it yet though, but maybe my next blog entry could show you all the finished skeins I forgot here:)
and I hope that those berries are still on the shrub, when I need some colour for my christmas wreath! 
 our group project for the Connacht Textile Crafters was "houses" of any kind. I don't have much space to put purely decorative things up, so I decided to make something useful instead. I made a roll out of knit/felted gotland, which I lined with fabric to hold my crochet hooks. the roll is held together by a "roof" in green. to make it a bit prettier I added sea glas for roof windows. I embroidered some vines on and windows, added knitted curtains, a little bell with loop - and a silk fuchsia for decoration. the edge of the roll forms the "door" to the fairy cottage.
there were as many different houses as there were makers, everything from felt to zentangled paper houses. they will be put on show in the Museum of Country Life in Castlebar - I think in November/December, if I am not mistaken!
close-up of the crocheted fuchsia  
of course I have to cave in and buy a few cross stitch magazines "shortly" before christmas - same story every year in september! this time there was a freebie of 3 mouse cards on it, perfect for my mouse-loving friend's christmas card. I will frame them all together into one card, because I doubt that I can find a ready-made fitting card for this odd size! I was very proud of myself to finish the first christmas card in september, but since then I didn't manage a single one - so maybe I should pull my head in and do a few more instead of boasting:)  
I do have a good excuse though! I found the perfect pattern for my birthday gift of 5 gorgeous naturally dyed skeins of silk yarn (find more here). the pattern is called "petal cowl" by Xandy Peters. the original uses a multi-coloured yarn, but of course you can use separate yarns - you just have to darn in a few more ends:) and I have to admit that a yarn with wool content might be easier to use, because the non-elastic silk yarn was a bit tight in places and the very unusual way of increasing (12 sts into 1!) would probably look a bit tidier in stretchy wool. I find the pattern really unusual, but not terribly difficult to knit once you get the idea behind it. the next pattern in that direction will be the "Foxpaws" (on ravelry) - but I haven't chosen a yarn for that yet. oh, and I used up the short lengths of silk by making two more petal cowls. the main colour is black and the "zing" silk is only used as an accent. and the cowls are smaller, close to the neck.
and before I start with the foxpaws I am going to knit the "morvarch" shawl by Lucy Hague - which I would probably have finished by now, if I hadn't made a mistake at the beginning of the center! I blame the magic loop method (I know that I have a shorter 3.25 mm circ, but I haven't found it - yet...), which pulls the knitting together, so that I couldn't see the mistake. you can see 3 purl stitches, where there shouldn't be any! I debated whether to rip or not - but it was bang in the middle and I know I'd just stare at it every time I look at the shawl - so I pulled it all apart again.....
 another project by the CTC was our 2nd postcard exchange. last time I knitted a piece in estonian lace; this time I wanted to do something different, so I dug out a piece of marbled cotton I made in a workshop years back and added some embroidery and beads. the back of course looks like a postcard, with lines for the address etc. - just in fabric. I called the pattern streamers, looks like a bit of fireworks to me.
and this is the card I received in exchange - totally different in style, just like the houses. this won't be used - I'll keep it myself as a memento of our exchange.
so you see, I haven't been lazy all that time. the garden is taking a bit of a back seat by now, most of the leaves have fallen and when the mornings are misty and damp, you can see the other "weavers and spinners" outside at work (see header). christmas is coming closer, so out come the needles, yarns and threads:) I need more christmas cards.....

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

it's getting autumnal...

even though the sun is out quite  a lot, there is that autumnal feeling in the air, esp. early in the morning and in the evenings. it's cool (if not downright cold at night! funny, how 8 or 9 deg. C feel mild in spring, after the cold winter, but freezing in autumn, when we're used to summer temps), often windy and I could swear that the leaves of my jap. maple are turning colour already! on the other hand knitting or spinning are so much nicer, when the fibres or yarn don't stick to sweaty fingers:)
I am not complaining, I don't mind the cooler weather, esp. not, when I have to ride the bike into town or work in the garden. the only thing I could do without is cleaning my oven in the evenings, but I am not lighting a fire yet - a month or so still to come without ash and dust everywhere:)
I wanted to test knit a beret, so I needed some yarn. why is it that there's never the right yarn in my stash for a project, even though all my boxes are overflowing?:) I remembered that I still had pre-draft in grey wool/silk and when I dug through some of the boxes, out came a ball of handdyed, handspun soy silk. a fine single yarn that I used to ply the grey with. the colour changes are very muted, barely visible in the hat.
 of course none of the guys was willing to model the beret - so I had to "blow" a balloon into service:) unfortunately the very round face doesn't do the design justice - and my drawing skills aren't much to write home about either. but you'll get the drift....
 the hat is worked in the round, but in hindsight I'd choose a smaller needle for the crown, because the pattern is a bit loose like that. and admittedly the yarn is rather soft for this style, so the beret is quite slouchy. with my non-existent hat face I looked like a baker's boy:)
but the yarn is very nice to wear, so I used it to make a collar out of it, it's called over the moon collar. I think I am going to make one for myself as well - but I'll add at least one pattern repeat and maybe use a slightly thicker needle than for this. in the picture on ravelry the collar is much wider and longer and I'd prefer it to not meet in the middle, but buttoned over like the turquoise one from the pattern...
 this is another lonely sock that was finally partnered:) I dyed the yellow with dyer's chamomile some time back and added the purple by hanging the undyed part into a pot with acid dye. where it met the yellow it turned into a browner purple - and knitted up it looks like a shadow behind a star. the first sock (on the left) had a lovely big yellow "star" on the front leg - but unfortunately I didn't manage to get the same done for no. 2:( which has a yellow blob on the back of the leg part - not at all star-shaped:) it's a straightforward sock, but I purled all stitches that were yellow on the needle (not on the foot of course, where I only purled on top).  
well, that happens, but they fit and they're hidden under jeans most of the time anyway, so I didn't change the toes of the second one.... (oddly enough the 2nd one is slightly larger than the first. I think I must have changed the needles from one sock to the next, because the number of rows is the same)
lonely sock no. 3 is in the process of getting a partner:) no more sad singles in the basket - soon!
embroidering my felted star bowl was next on the list. I put on some silver lined beads as well as 4 little silver bells - looks very wizardlike now:)  the kettle for making the magic brew....
 it seems I have a thing for combining purple with yellow...
 and I finally started hunting for a coat pattern for myself! yesterday it was all my old "verena" and interweave knits mags, today I browsed through the heap of vogue knitting issues. believe it or not, despite all of those, I didn't find a single pattern that I really liked:( same on ravelry! either they're too bulky, have a weird shape, are too short or too long or in a pattern that would be quite complicated to adjust. in the end I started to knit a gauge square in this pattern. it's a brioche type, but not the normal one - there are simple knit rows on every 4th row. I'll try it in 4 mm and maybe also in 3.75 - thinking that with the length of a coat the knitting might distort if knitted up on bigger needles. the idea is to knit a simple straight shape in this pattern. probably with inset sleeves to make it less bulky - and to add a wide rib to the front, plus collar.... a snuggle-upper coat:)

Monday, 4 August 2014

back to normal

after all the excitement of our trip - we're back home and back to normal as well. hm, nearly back to normal... our luggage went missing on our trip out and we're still waiting for the airline to do something about it (i.e. refunding our emergency shopping...). but other than that we're in summer holiday mode = taking it easy, where we can:) the weather isn't too bad either. after a few very muggy, uncomfortable days at the end of july we're back to our more "normal" summer weather: sunshine, showers, temps less than 20 deg. C and only light winds. I've become used to that kind of summer weather and the hot and windless weather in germany made me feel slightly suffocated and breathless (and sweaty:)....
luckily our luggage was brought to us later - luckily, because the flower hexies quilt was in it! never mind my clothes, I'd have gone crazy if all my work had gone lost! irreplaceable really, because nobody would pay a decent wage for craft projects like that if they did go missing! anyway, we got it back and the recipient seemed happy enough about her gift:) I will start another one soon, but not yet - I have to finish at least a few of the projects I started, but didn't finish because of all that hexiemania! first on the list are a few single socks that need partners in life! I finished a pair of socks on the trip or rather the second one of the pair after we came home:
they're nothing special, my normal socks really. I did start with double the amount of stitches as cast-on, because I wanted a wavy edge. I worked 1 k, 1 p and 1 k row, before I cast off half the stitches, ie. I k 4 sts, cast off 4 etc. the rest was plain stockinette, apart from one 3/1 cable, just to keep awake while knitting:) barely visible in the photo. the sock yarn was dyed by me last year during the dyeing demo in our textile group. I used gooddall's food dyes, which is astonishingly stable during the wash! no change whatsoever at 40 deg. C wash with normal washing powder! 
the edge is wavy enough - but I should have turned the whole thing inside out, because the edge turns down slightly.
there are several other "singles" in the stash - one of them is the purple/yellow then "starry night", the mottled green "jungle leaves", the deluge etc... if I manage to keep at it, I should have several more pairs of finished socks in the box in 2 weeks time:)
during our trip we did a workshop about wet felting here. I knew the theory of wet felting, have done one flat "picture" and a few small felt balls. but I hadn't done a hat or bowl before. so that is what we did during our 3 hours, first a "star" felt bowl and then a small treasure stone. obviously everything purple in the photos is mine:) the plan is to adorn the bowl with a few tiny silver bells, a bit of celtic embroidery and maybe a few silver lined glass beads... material is at the ready - I just have to start:)
of course the garden turned into even more of a jungle during our absence. luckily we had some rain here during that time - (most) men aren't really to be trusted to water flower pots very well:)
this is the dahlia "bishop of llandaff" - with lovely red flowers and very dark reddish leaves. I love the simple blooms, which stand up much better to our wind and rain than the gigantic cactus dahlias, which need staking for every single bloom:(  
the fuchsia with the very small red-pink flowers is doing very well in the container, together with lovely lobelias (I couldn't find pure blue ones, there were only mixed palets on offer:().  
I forgot the name of this pelargonium, but I like the oddly shaped single flowers - and the bright pink/rose colour that really sparkles in the sunlight:) 
my alltime favourite for containers and windowboxes is this though: sanvitalia procumbens. it's sold as an annual, but they survive the winter easily, as long as they are sheltered from hard frosts! one dose of fertilizer in spring and off they go. they seem to flower for months on end, never drop spent blooms and look so sunny and friendly, that I have to smile every time I look at them! like tiny little sunflowers.... did I write that before?:)  
we also put up window boxes along the wall between coal shed and studio. I planted tagetes, sanvitalia, fuchsias and put in seeds of nasturtium, all of which are growing away nicely. but I also put in some wildflower seeds here and there - and very pretty they are! I love poppies, but there are never any wild ones around in the fields here. they go so well with cornflowers and corn-cockles...  
and I also have some felt flowers for inside now:) the workshop during our last CTC meeting was about making a wreath with summer felt flowers. we wound chunky yarn around a polystyrene base and added flowers, made from felt and beads. thanks to our tutor Susan Basler we were able to use some lovely leftovers of her handmade felts, which gave the flowers a much nicer look than shopbought felt could have done. I only finished half of the flowers and had to do the rest at home.... I didn't sew or glue the flowers to the base, but used pins only. which means that I can re-decorate my wreath with autumn leaves, holly and berries for christmas etc...
btw - did you notice? only a bit more than 4 months to go - and it's christmas again! hard to believe with the sunshine and exuberant flowers outside... time to get the mind geared towards gift-making:)

Monday, 30 June 2014

quick update

just a short blog entry - to say that yes, I am still alive - and I finished the quilt, puh:) just in time - I slightly underestimated not only the number of green hexies I'd need (easily rectified by making more) - but also the time I need to put it all together. but it's done now, so no need to complain! I think I might be taking a break with the hexies for a few weeks - a lot of stuff wasn't done lately and I'll better get up to scratch on a few things first! but the plan is to make at least one other "wild flower garden" (for myself this time!).....
 these are some of the work stages: lots of paper inlays:) bottom left shows the back of the top, looks very 3-D! I didn't quilt the top, I just knotted it - like flower stamen, in some of the flowers, but not all of them. I thought about sewing around it all on the green edge with multicoloured thread, but there's already so much colour in the quilt! and I've done all of it by hand - didn't want to add a bit of machine work after all:)
the bottom right are my leftovers. I made 36 flowers more than I needed (not on purpose, but I can use them for the next one!). and I've only left a handful of greens - after I made more than 100 extras! I think I might choose fewer greens for the next one though - all the different greens make the whole thing a bit too unruly:) flower garden for very wild grannies:) I counted 1705 hexies - and the whole thing took about 150 hours give or take. if anybody asks: no, I wouldn't do something like that for sale! or at least not until somebody pays me the minimum wage per hour:) which would mean 8.65 per hour - that would be about €1300 just for the work - plus of course all the materials:) I can't see anybody forking out that kind of money (or even just half of it) for a tablecloth of 110 x 110 cm....
 so this is the finished table cloth. on a nice summer day:) I put thermolam in as a waddding, but I think a piece of brushed cotton would have been enough - it's not to keep someone warm after all! but at least nothing wobbles; it's soft, but not so soft that glasses or cups wouldn't stand properly. if I had more time I would have liked to handquilt a leafy border around, but that would have been cutting it a tad too fine!
 I didn't do much beside the sewing, but I needed some relaxation on the side here and there:) so I started on another one of the pencil roving "cheeses" I ordered from Studio Donegal a while back. I love the colours, but this time the roving is extremely fine and flimsy. so much so that I had to double it up to be able to spin it. I pull out one colour and divide it - to match the colours reasonably well. but it does get mixed up a bit, so the colours aren't as clear as the last ones. if one can call tweed colours clear that is:) not sure what I'll make out of it - I think maybe a bag? it's too rough to wear knitted up and I wouldn't have enough to weave a larger piece of cloth.
 the last few weeks have been pretty good weatherwise and we spent a lot of time outside. I was rather surprised to find this fellow inside - he (she?) made a racket at the window, trying to get out (yes, really, it sounded like a little helicopter!). I managed to catch it in a jar to carry it outside - doesn't it have gorgeous colours? it's called "elephant hawk-moth (Deilephila elpenor) and I have never seen one here before! I thought they might be rare, but apparently they're not.
still, I am happy to see all the different species - to me it means that our garden is a home to a lot of wildlife.... 
 my garden isn't quite the riot of colour the quilt shows and I have to admit that some of the real plants are more gentle on the eyes:) this is the rose "New Dawn", a lovely climber with porcelain pink flowers that's been growing outside our porch for many years. we cut it back last year, because it was rather straggly, but it's been coming back nicely this summer! pity though that it isn't scented - and it doesn't do rosehips either! well, you can't be beautiful and smell  nice at the same time:)
other flowers however go better with my "wild garden" colour scheme:) this is a primula vialii - and I love how the two colours set each other off! I wouldn't want to wear a dress like this - but the flowers give a real "zing" to the flower bed. small - but bright:)
this is it for now from me - lots to do, places to go:)

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

slow progress

I've been working flat out on several projects - but I didn't finish all too many of them - yet! well, I suppose it's easier to finish socks, scarves and other small things, at least that's my excuse:) I have finally finished the peagreen monster - the recipient was happy, although I thought that the smaller size would have been large enough for her. but if she wants the cardie to wrap around her - who am I to complain. I am well known for preferring woollies to wrap in to "negative ease" garments!
I think it has been a rowan pattern, from one of their magazines... it's debbie bliss donegal tweed, but I have to admit that I prefer the finer Kilkarra aran tweed. the pattern gives the 6.5 mm needle, but I only used 6 mm, to make the gauge fit, but also because I liked the grip of the tighter knit better. the sleeves are wide, totally unshaped at the bottom, so maybe not very practical in use, and the fit is extremely loose (tent springs to mind:). the collar sits better on a real person - but unfortunately there was nobody to take a proper photo (as usual)....
the next nearly finished project on the needles is the baby alpaca cardigan - which has to be blocked before I can work out the upper sleeves... the lace pattern pulls in so much that it is difficult to calculate the decreases otherwise. 
the other main project (unfinished of course!) is the hexagon table cloth. all the flowers are finished, plus some double and triple ones and a handful of buds. those are all the greens to surround the flowers (at least I hope I'll have enough!) plus a few sets, in case I do need more small inserts.... 
I couldn't resist the stack of flowers - a hexie highrise in colour:) I don't think I'll need all of them, but it's better to have a few spare - and I want to do a second one anyway.... 
until my room is ready, I won't have the space for an upright board, so I put two polystyrene boards on a camping table to lay out my hexies. I know that there is too much room in between some of them, but I wanted to make sure that the colours are spread out reasonable well. (the green is just fabric pieces in this pic!). the colours in the back look more muted - but I put that down to the darker background fabric. I printed some close-ups and keep them close to my sewing corner. I pricked the first few hexies up on a piece of cardboard and started sewing this morning. to be continued... 
I also received some purple fabrics - my favourite bag is slowly coming apart and I plan to make myself a new one with some purple fabrics. and maybe a little green, but I'll test that before I sew. the pattern consists just of larger squares that are put together to form a round bag - easy to sew with the machine, even for me:). and I have no idea why blogger doesn't let me write on the side of the picture....
on the 24th of may our group, the Connacht Textile Crafters, took part in the "Feile na Tuaithe" (good thing that I can type here, I wouldn't be able to pronounce it properly...). it takes place in the Museum of Country Life in Castlebar, where they have a lovely park to put up that festival. our group was given a marquee, so we brought a few of our finished projects for decoration. Lesley brought some of her lovely quilts, which look good even from further away.  I brought my revontuli shawl (black/grey/white, right side) and the red and green thingy (shawl), that looks like a curtain here:) we had problems with putting the stuff up so that it's visible - but doesn't cover the rest... we also had smaller projects on the tables below, peg loom weaving, embroidery, crochet, knitting etc. in the background we put up our bunting, which was made by members a few years back. each member received a felt tile to decorate with one letter of the groups' name. in hindsight we should have put it up closer to the front, because the details of each tile were too far away to be appreciated; but we were worried it might rain and end up a soggy mess!
I demonstrated bobbin lace (place on the right, only my board is there:) and ended up nearly finishing a bookmark; I did the last bit at home later. not perfect, because it's hard to concentrate and talk and explain at the same time, but at least it's usable. I'll mount it on some fabric to make it a bit sturdier.
Anne, another member, demonstrated how to make buttons out of fimo clay - which was an instant hit esp. with the kids, because it's colourful and fun to look at.
we were lucky that there was practically no rain, but it was windy and cool - esp. after a few hours of sitting in front of the projects...
so now - back to sewing hexies. I had to resort to using one of those sticky patches - after sewing about 400 flowers, my middle finger wasn't taking any more needles without "complaining":)