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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.....
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