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Showing posts with label bobbin lace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bobbin lace. Show all posts

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":)


Wednesday, 27 March 2013

not again....

I think blogger doesn't like me.... I tried to add the latest books to my list. first time no luck. second time no luck (yes, I did click on save and it showed the books both times) - third time... you get the drift. ok, at least all the books are visible in the entries. I'll leave it at that for now - maybe they are still flying around in the www and land later, when I don't watch?
 
anyway, I'd like to show you some more books (yawn:) - but this time they are not knitting books. I do bobbin lace as well and last christmas I took the opportunity to put some on my wish list. and those are the three that magically made it over onto my shelves (or rather into a book box, because there's no shelf space left.... maybe I should ask for more shelves, but then I'd have to ask for an extension to the house first!)












this is a ring binder with loose leaves. it doesn't look very inviting from the outside, but it's the best I've seen so far to teach torchon lace. this is supposedly one of the easiest bobbin lace varieties to learn, that's why many beginners start with torchon. Ulrike Voelcker publishes really good books, but most of them are a bit more advanced. this is a series of 3 parts (the 3rd one comes out this spring), so far I have no. 1 and 2 (looks the same, just red background). it's in german and english, which seems to be the case for most bobbin lace books nowadays. makes perfect sense, because bobbin lace books aren't sold in huge numbers, so authors/publishers have to try to reach as many readers as possible (the books are still quite costly, compared with knitting books).
the first part of the "book" covers all aspects of learning to do torchon lace, though you should know the very basics moves of "how to". with clear photos and descriptions, the first chapter shows the same pattern in lots of different yarns together with percentages of how to copy the pattern in the right size for each yarn. there are many patterns available - but the 2nd part is the really interesting bit if you're out for nice patterns! colourful scarves, the usual (and not so usual!) doilies, curtains, samplers .... enough to keep me occupied for a very long time! unfortunately I haven't found a good preview for the book (as is the case for many bobbin lace books. and amazon offers hardly any of them!). I took the liberty to take a photo of one of the scarves just to show you that bobbin lace is well past the look of granny doilies and old-fashioned bits! I hope the author forgives me, but maybe they should start to show more of them in those lace shops that sell the books!
the good thing about the loose pages is that you can take out just the page you need, without the need of copying etc. and you can buy each part separately. if you already know how to do it, just go for the patterns! I am going to get the 3rd part too, when it is published, though it is supposed to help understand the lace in depth, rather than give many more patterns for it....
 
 the second book I received looks rather boring at first glance. no patterns, just pages and pages of text/lists. but for a bobbin lace maker this is a small bible! it contains (probably) all available yarns for bobbin lace, exactly measured and compared, so that the lace maker can see at first glance how to replace a yarn for a certain pattern. I should really have bought this ages ago, because I always have to guess the thickness and have done quite a few false starts with that. the only "complaint" I have here is that the cover should be a bit sturdier - but I solved that problem myself by covering it with
rhino book covers:)
this is one of the few bobbin lace books that has a preview available on amazon. the downside is that the text is french - but from good photos and diagrams the patterns are still easy enough to follow. because I'd like to do a small bobbin lace gift here and there I asked for the book - just to find out that most would probably still take too much time to qualify for a quick/small gift:) but the patterns are still gorgeous, I just have to plan well ahead!
 and before you fall asleep from all the book reviews: this is the first deluge sock - with a few adaptations. it fits well enough, though as I said - I cannot really see the point of going through the trouble with the specially formed left and right toes. knitting is so stretchy that the simple ones fit well - unless you have extremely oddly shaped toes that is...
I had a bit of a problem to get close enough with the zoom and still end up with the whole foot in one pic -but missing one row of rib should be ok, nothing exciting to see there:) at least you can see the rain drop pattern, though the pattern in the foot is barely visible. I like the colour better than the one I am knitting with now, because it's less blue and more grey - but on the other hand more grey would fit perfectly with the name of the pattern?:)
 
 
 maybe I shouldn't mention the word spring anymore - hardly a blog where there's no moaning and groaning about spring - or rather the lack thereof! but if there's none to be had - I make my own! lots of greens, a bit of yellow and some white - I spun myself a snowdrop yarn! only, the snowdrops to take a photo are gone by now...one skein comes with small beads, the other one is the same, just without them. it's all merino (only the yellow is corriedale) and I plied with a commercial viscose thread. which had a live of its own during plying, that's why I had to break the yarn with beads on one - it became so kinked that I just couldn't get it apart (story of my life just now:)... all the fibres apart from the viscose are from derryaun crafts here. all in all I should have enough for a medium sized project - it's just that I have no idea yet for what. nothing unusual in that, I have to admit:) it'll go as a show & tell to the spinner's meeting of our group, the Connacht Textile Crafters this weekend, and after that it can hang in my room for a while - until the real spring arrives and I have to make another yarn. maybe one with a lot of grey and very tiny specks of blue this time - for the real spring we are having??? as you can see from the header - the fluffy clouds and blue skies are gone here! 
 

Monday, 6 July 2009

finished at last

I did it just in time - I finished the bobbin lace fan. I was rather worried about putting the lace to the base, because in the instructions I found in an old issue of the german "kloeppelverband"it all looked quite complicated. but eventually I decided to just put my used pricking (covered with sticky plastic) onto the lace pillow and fix the fan "arms" with pins. I used cotton buds to spread wood glue thinly and pressed down the lace - that was it. as long as you make sure that all the arms are spread properly, it's all straightforward. just don't do as I did and follow the advice to press the fan together after all this - or at least wait longer than 3-4 hours - or the lace might stick to the back as well as the front:(( I had a major panic attack, but managed to loosen it all again after a bit of fiddling! if I hadn't noticed the recipient of the fan would probably have looked rather bemused to take out a fan that only opens halfway...
so this is it - my first lace fan:
I am off for a week now - and my special bobbin lace callus has time to soften up again:))

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

summer is here!

we haven't had temperatures like this for quite some time - our last summer lasted 2 weeks and wasn't particularly warm even then. but since last thursday we've had temperatures between 24 and 27 deg. C - in the shade! way too hot for me (I think I was a chocolate bar in a former life:(() - so I am trying to hide in the house or at least in the shade during the day... knitting and spinning are only possible in the evening, because everything sticks - and housework takes place before 11 in the morning - or not at all if possible!

but at least I can do bobbin lace... and this is a good thing, because even though the pillow sat right behind me, I didn't manage to do all that much in the last few weeks. this shows my progress - and most of it happened in two days! a lot still to do and my time window is shrinking quickly!!
in the meantime my pre-ordered fan base arrived as well! it's made from pear and I like the colour a lot - a warm brown tone. I was surprised at the smoothness of the timber - and also at the amount of sticks in between the edge pieces! when I have finished the lace the finished fan part is glued to the base. I hope it'll turn out well - I might make another one for myself, because I like the way it looks. or maybe I'll go for a miniature fan first, because our topic for the group project from the Connacht Textile Crafters is "miniatures" as well.
I am going down for a glass of iced tea now - and hope for a slightly less hot weekend (probably all the people in warm climates are laughing their heads off about me just now:))....

Monday, 27 April 2009

it works...


... much better now!
today I received the wooden "stackers" I ordered for my bobbin lace in germany, from here. (available in english, too!) I had seen them somewhere ages ago, but couldn't find them anymore on my usual links. I finally found them under 2nd hand equipment - though they look brandnew! I tried them out immediately - finally enough space on the pillow, no tangles and no mess anymore! of course they're not suitable for transport, but perfect for stacking when working! I can separate the bobbins according to the lace pattern - which makes controlling the large (ok, for me at least!) numbers of bobbins much easier.
I did a good bit - but will take a break now, my finger is suffering in silence:))
I also finally used the dyebath with alderbuckthorn berries - but I can say already that the fresh berries give nicer colours. it looks like a muddy brown, which is entirely my fault. I kept them for a while after defrosting (had no choice, because we got a new freezer and they had thawed through by the time the new freezer worked), simmered them after they fermented a bit.. and then left them for quite some time, until the top layer was lovely greenish-blue mould:(( I took that off, strained everything through old fabric nappies - but of course the nice colour is gone... I was told mould does change the colour of avocado peels - so why not my berries as well. pix to follow once yarn is dry....

Friday, 24 April 2009

a little progress


I finally managed to start my bobbin lace fan. it's not a terribly difficult pattern - but the material, silk, is quite slippery and also rather fine. with all the needles in between I am not entirely certain that the yarn works well, at the moment it looks a bit loose... I hope it works, I won't have time to order other materials and work the whole shebang again!

the other problem is the number of bobbin pairs I need! there isn't enough space on the pillow to lay them all out, so I have to fasten and undo groups of them as I need them... every time I do this the half hitch loosens and because the silk is so smooth, they tend to slip off the bobbin tip:( annoying - I realise I should have ordered those tiny rubber rings to avoid this! I am also waiting for several wooden "racks" to keep order within my bobbins. they look the same as the one on top: a "U" with two very long branches, but the new ones I ordered have a needle at the closed end! which means that I can stack the bobbins I don't need upright (by pushing the needle into the pillow) = saving a lot of space in the process, which makes it easier to work with the rest!
of course I could have chosen a different pattern to avoid the amount of bobbins. there are patterns, where you work a "ribbon" with only a few bobbins and crochet the bits together continuously - but I don't really like the fiddly crocheting much.
"luckily" the weather isn't great at the moment, which leaves a bit more time for inside work - no fun crawling around in the garden during heavy rain! isn't it sad when you're hoping for rain to get on with other work?:))

Saturday, 18 April 2009

bobbin lace

this mysterious photo is not a new lampshade - it's the pattern for the bobbin lace fan I am about to start (well, not just now, but later this evening!)... each of the small holes stands for a pin around which I'll lead the threads for the lace. winding the bobbins (esp. 56 pairs!) and doing the pricking - are the two jobs, I like least in lacemaking! it takes a lot of time, because it has to be accurate - I pricked for nearly three hours to finish the comparatively small fan pattern!

this photo shows the black and white photo of the finished pattern - it also serves as a guide for me - I can see which patterns I have to use to achieve the result I want. the upper part is done the same all over the fan, but in the lower part the "pyramids" have three different patterns, to keep the lace making interesting. of course the pattern could be varied, either by using different "stitches" or by changing the "spiders" etc. it's quite easy to change torchon lace; it can be done at any time and often there is no change necessary in the pricking. of course one could use colour effects too - but I prefer the black silk lace I have planned, to give an elegant finish to the whole fan.

this shows the finished pricking from the upper side - it's the actual size (about 40 cm wide and 16 cm high) of the fan when held open. (if you're interested in the pattern, I ordered it from here, where they offer the silk and the base for the fan as well)

I stopped making lace for a while, because I don't really use lace doilies, collars etc. that much. spinning and dyeing was more practical at the time. but compared to the times, when I started lace making (nearly 20 years ago!) the offer of yarn and patterns has changed a lot! of course, white and black cotton and linen are still in use today - but there are gorgeous silks on offer, some even multicoloured, also colourful cotton yarns - and wearable patterns, too - even though most of them take quite a bit of work to make them. I ordered patterns for blouse sleeves, some scarves and even berets from here several years ago - and when I saw the beautiful shawl pattern, I couldn't resist and ordered it as well:)) of course the yarn used is a bit thicker than for tiny doilies - but still, my eyes widened a bit, when I saw that the full size pattern spreads over 13 A 3 pages:)) but I'd still like to do it (after working the fan), though not in reds and pinks - blues and purples are more my colours. there's plenty of choice in either schappe or tussah silks - or maybe even one of those multicoloured ones, where I could concentrate on the pattern alone? it's done in continous lace with only 33 bobbin pairs, so not too bad really.

in the enlarged photo it's easy to see that the lace maker can change the pattern, either by choosing different stitches, or by changing colours - or by outlining certain areas with thicker threads or different colours. it reminds me a bit of freeform knitting or crochet - the pattern is the base and the lacemaker works it out the way she wants.

of course I still keep knitting my jacket, but progress has slowed a bit - due to the large amounts of work in the garden - where I'll go in a few minutes to keep the war on weeds going:)) the weather is brilliant today - warm and sunny and only a very light breeze - a perfect spring day!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

happy easter!


for me Easter is about colour - and lots of it! the weather normally picks up at that time of the year and the garden is more colourful as well. this year the garden is quite green already - in comparison to last year, when Easter was so early that I barely managed to scrape together a few twigs for our Easter deco! spoilt for choice I was - and the painted eggs are barely visible in all the greenery and flowers!

I also managed to get my plate of cress ready in time - after being either too early or too late in the last few years. mind you, it's not only decoration - we all like cress, be it with the hard boiled eggs (we have to dye eggs the evening before, even if it's already midnight:)), in salads, on sandwiches - or just on its own!


then there is the cake - I made a poppy seed cake with topping - but had a lot of yeast dough, too much for one baking sheet. it's quite difficult to find fresh yeast over here, so I was delighted when I saw some in the shop in Ballyhaunis, where they sell a lot of Latvian, Russian and Polish foods! the size of the pack is odd though - 100 g, too much for my usual recipes, so I cut off smaller amounts, wrapped them up and put them in the freezer - stash of a different kind:) I haven't used fresh yeast for a long time, so I was rather surprised how fast the dough rose - one time it nearly "crawled" out of my bowl! anyway, I made cinnamon swirls with the rest of the cake dough - and they went down a treat, even better than the cake!
a lot is happening in the garden, too! I was rather surprised to see one of my "bleeding hearts" in full flower, while the 2nd plant has only started to show some new shoots! the lockets look old-fashioned, but it's quite easy to grow and the bumblebees seem to like it too!
one of the typical irish spring plants is the wild yellow primrose - the yellow dots on the stone walls are visible all over. the cowslip on the other hand isn't as easy to find, but I raised several plants some years ago and they seem to like it here - they started to spread out a bit and I found those two self-sown plants in one of my self-built stone troughs (made from cement and some peat).


and this is one of the colourful delights I am waiting for each spring now - one of the berberis plants we grew from seeds. the leaves are dark green and the flowers and buds are such a bright orange, that the plant looks "on fire" when the sun shines on it! I love the contrast and also that this is the first very strong colour in springtime! usually the flowers of spring have lighter colours and this shrub really stands out. there are many other varieties though, another one has huge spines and bright yellow flowers, but somehow it looks pale in comparison. I tried to dye with the ripe berries (they are blue, attractive too!) of this plant - but they only gave a rather unspectacular beige, nothing worth picking the berries for. they are edible - but very acidic too, not surprisingly they are sometimes used as a replacement for lemon juice:)
not much is happening on the craft front. I have done a lot of spinning - but nothing new, I just needed more yarn for the grey jacket/coat i am working on. I also finished the first bobbin of merino/possum blend - and started with the brown BFL - all materials for a vest I have planned.
I am still waiting for the bobbins and stuff I ordered from Germany. though I wound all the free bobbins I have and prepared the pricking for the fan - I couldn't start the lace without the rest of the bobbins:(( I hope they'll arrive in the next few days... I also ordered the pattern for a shawl made in bobbin lace and a waistcoat - we'll see if I ever get around working the actual project!

Saturday, 21 March 2009

beginner weaver....

when I learned how to spin a few years back, I became very enthusiastic and wanted to learn how to weave as well... actually - I always wanted to learn both! as a teenager I was keen to browse through craft books and magazines - but even though I was always busy knitting (or doing crochet) we didn't have enough money or room to buy a spinning wheel, never mind a weaving loom (and no, at the time somehow spindles didn't come up). my mother did own a small rigid heddle loom though - and eventually I asked for a small school loom, but not much came of it. in contrast to knitting weaving isn't something you pick up in passing, I guess! after fiddling about with our first warp and making small mats or runners, the looms went back into storage. I don't know what happened to my very small kid's loom, but we did save the larger RH and I took it with me when I moved to Ireland.
when I saw on the german mailing list for handspinners, that the wheel producer Kromski builds the "Harp", a rigid heddle loom, I eventually bought the widest model. I put it all together - just to hide it under the table in my wool room - with good intentions of course to use it very soon. but nothing came of it - until the RH and backstrap loom workshop with the OLG started at the beginning of march! this finally was the incentive I needed to get started! ok, the harp is still where it was before, but I managed to warp a smaller loom and wove a small table runner on it.
this is it:
the picture isn't great, but it shows the stripes I wove into the white linen and if you look very closely, you can see three blue stripes in the warp as well.
this is the weaving still on the loom, but it shows the warp stripes better. I had planned it quite differently though. being pigheaded I didn't listen - and used fine linen thread instead of thicker wool yarn. that was fine when I measured the warp, but when I finished warping the loom and started to weave, I realised that with a widely spaced fine warp like that I'd end up with onion netting, if I tried to do a balanced weave. instead I beat harder and ended up weaving a weft-faced piece. well, the warp was long enough for a scarf, but feeling the fabric I decided to switch plans to make a table runner. the linen yarn is too hard to wear close to the skin and with the fine yarn I'd probably sit and weave a scarf in 2012!
at first I also had problems with abrasion on the warp threads. I thought the linen would be tough enough, but moving the heddle up and down meant that eventually my first warp thread broke. I managed to fix it, but I became very careful afterwards not to move the heddle too hard! I didn't knot the warp threads or work a fringe, because the plan is to add some bobbin lace on both ends, done with the warp threads, which I left hanging quite long for this purpose.
so - the next project will be done with wool yarn - and I also try out another way of warping to see which one I prefer. I did find however, that weaving is probably nearly as addictive as knitting and spinning. I had problems going to bed at night - because I "just wanted to weave a few more rows" for the last few evenings:)) another bad habit in the making....

Thursday, 25 December 2008

finished projects

before a new and exciting (at least where fibres and textiles are concerned) year starts, here come a few of the finished projects I've been working on during the last few weeks.
the above socks aren't really exciting; my normal way of knitting socks, but I like the colour "Alaska" (reminds me of lichen, moss and wintry trees) and because it took me quite long to do the 2nd sock - they deserve a virtual outing:) by now I know that the doubled up lower part of the heel works well - the other pair I worked like that hasn't shown any signs of thinning yet, despite my wearing them as much as I can! so I am hopeful that this will save me from mending for some time ...
this throw was a present for my parents. it's knitted in squares with 2 different patterns. in rounds from the outside in, so the same cast-on will give the same size without fiddling. the simpler one is knitted in plain knit and purl rows: 6 rounds in k, 1 in purl, 5 rounds in k, 2 in purl etc... on each of the 4 corners I did a 3-into-1 decrease and the square forms automatically. the other square is worked in a similar style, but with lace rows and bobble rows too. all is knitted in cotton chenille, which gives it a soft touch, but still leaves it fully washable. and it even works well with the tussah silk cover I knitted last year - a fact that I had totally forgotten until my mother mentioned it:) who thinks about last years knits?
last but not least are the napkin rings in bobbin lace - which were made as an exchange gift for the OLG Christmas Exchange. I had asked beforehand about suitable colours and was told that there is some blue and yellow and orange - and red wine to boot! that left me baffled for a while, because it isn't all that easy to include several colours like that in bobbin lace - the working threads tend to mingle, depending on the pattern, and I didn't have enough time to work several samples to find out what will work. eventually I decided to to a classic white lace (linen), to include beads in all 4 colours and some multicoloured thread (cotton from Oliver Twists), where the dark colour would be lightened by the white threads running through it. on each side one pair of fine wire gives a bit of stability and makes it easy to reshape the rings without having to starch them all the time. I really enjoyed making the rings, even though the time was a bit short in the end. but they arrived in time - and I am going to do more lace again after a few years of hiatus.
so here's the proof that I haven't been idle - but now I am off to enjoy one of the christmas presents - 10 back issues of "wild fibers". and maybe a bit of quiet spinning - for the first birthday present of the coming year! no rest for the wicked - and none for the rest either:))

Thursday, 20 November 2008

busy with small things


when my parents visited us in early summer, my mother brought over some small aster cuttings. I planted them and they rooted and grew well - but nothing happened. all of a sudden lots of buds appeared all over the plants and for a while it looked as if they'd be white! I haven't looked at them for a few days (miserable weather outside!) - and today I realised what lovely colours the flowers have! I hope all the buds will open as the plants are loaded with them! with all the brown, grey and drab colours outside they are a real highlight.


inside I finally dug out my bobbin lace board again! well, one of them:) I've been meaning to do more bobbin lace again for some time and I do have some really nice patterns still in storage. but somehow I never got around to actually do much, apart from the brief demo at the meeting of the "connacht textile crafters" some months ago. somehow either the pattern was too large for the yarn I had - or the yarn not the right quality etc. but now I found a link (go to "garnstaerke-tabelle) to a page, where the lacemaker can put in the original yarn and the yarn they want to use - and the computer recalculates the percentage that is needed for resizing the pattern! perfect - I just need to go into the library and make the copies there! of course it only works within reason - but that's the same for all crafts I guess! no good trying to make a fence out of finest silk:)
what's always annoyed me about bobbin lace - I don't fancy making loads of small designs just to empty the bobbins and I don't like to throw away all the yarn that's left on them to start something new - but I find it really hard to guess how much yarn I need for a certain project! I find it equally annoying that most lace designers don't bother to give yarn amounts they needed! ok, if you use loads of small amounts of coloured threads, I can understand that. but it's not really difficult to put the finished lace in a single colour on scales to have at least a reasonable idea of how much is needed? it's not so bad with simpler linen and cotton yarns, because they are not so expensive, but some of the newer silk yarns can be rather pricey and whether or not I buy a skein or roll more makes a lot of difference if one is priced at around 10-15 euro?
I was also working on some small things for exchanges for christmas. those here are small mug coasters, 6 as a set and one larger for the teapot:) I used the same yarn, but dyed with natural dyes in different colours. I quite liked the purple-dark yellow one at first - but seeing it through the camera lens made me go argh - it doesn't fit in at all with the less intense colours of the rest. but I wanted to wait to see if the colours change in the wash! they didn't or at least it's hardly noticable. I didn't use detergent, I just popped all of them into the washing machine, with a few towels that weren't really dirty.
you can see here that the colours barely changed (most of it is due to different lighting) - but they shrank quite a bit and don't look quite so overlarge under the mugs anymore. the felting also brought out the line of increases a bit stronger, but they are soft enough, so that the pots don't start wobbling. and of course they are fully washable now:) but I still think that I better take out the purple/yellow and add another one - I'll keep the misfit and maybe add a few more - and will finally end up with my own set (usually I am the shoemaker with the bad shoes, i.e. I make things for everybody else, but I never have a set for myself! maybe 2009 is the year to change all that?:)
I still have to finish one more exchange project - and of course there is still (at least) one larger christmas gift to be made! and time is running out quickly. I have to start baking over the weekend in earnest - the 1st advent sunday is coming up soon and I always try to have at least two or three varieties of cookies in the tin for this. well, if all else fails it's down to our traditional poppy seed stollen!
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