Monday, 7 February 2011

back to normal?

well, not quite, but the damage wasn't quite as bad as we first thought. it's a lot of work and will cost a lot of money too, but it looks as if we're able to repair the damage - without having to move etc. after all. puh, what a relief. I know that a lot of work is still to come, but we don't have to do it all in one day - as a matter of fact, we'll have to wait a few days until we have certain materials before we can do anything more under the roof.

time to catch up with blogging! I managed to work a few presents in time - but as it was "just in time" - I forgot to take pix of everything. I did however take one of a piece of embroidery, which I made as part of a book cover. the book was a coffee-table book about ireland and I thought a three-leaf clover is just the right motif for this. I didn't design this myself - I used a picture I found on a postcard for st. patrick's day, but changed it to suit my embroidery. the original had loads of tiny dots, which would have been total overload in beads, so I only put a few on here and there:
the lines are embroidered in Oliver Twists handdyed silk, some single colour, some multi-colour. I like to use these, they are fine, but well defined and keep their shape well. most lines are done in stem stitch, some coral stitch and the circles are done in back stitch. the beads are from my stash - and the base is natural white wool felt, which was lovely to stitch on - definitely a base I'll use more of. I added a velvety fabric for the back and the two flaps, though my head was slightly addled, when I started to sew it all together! it was rather late at night and with my medicated brain I first cut the lining too short (which I only noticed after I finished sewing...). I undid every seam, did it all again - only to find that I put the wrong sides together, so that when turned properly - the motiv was inside:(( I decided to stop this and - third time lucky - managed to put it together properly the next morning:))  and the book made it in time for the recipient's birthday - yay!:))

I also finished the yarn from fluff - by plying it with some fine natural white wool yarn, commercially spun. I was told that it felts easily, so the plan to use it for socks was scrapped. I'll keep it for now, maybe it will be used for a hat or mittens? it's not a huge amount but should be enough if I use a bit more from the white yarn as well.

as I said january wasn't our best month! not only did we discover the roof problems, my teeth gave me trouble (still do:(() - I also managed a total yarn disaster! I had spun a blend from 70 % cotton and 30 % wool. superwash wool I thought (would have made sense, because the other blends used superwash wool and I expected that this would certainly be the case in a blend with cotton!) I plied it with fine cotton and dyed it with procion mx dyes. the plan was to make a baby blanket like a meadow with daisies. the base was supposed to be green, with big fat yellow dots around which I'd sew i-cords in white for the flowers. white, no problem. yellow - great. green worked well too, but when I rinsed it a lot of dye came out... I decided to put it all into the washing machine for a quick cycle on low temperature. when the machine had finished and the door opened - I discovered 5 of those Bob Marley skeins like the one above:(( for a few minutes I wasn't sure whether to laugh at my stupidity or to cry because I managed to destroy 750 g of lovely material.... eventually I decided that I have no use for 5 green door wreaths, so I started to entangle the first small skein a bit. to my surprise the strands were quite easily separated and off I went. it took me quite a few hours to turn the felt into yarn again - but I managed to and I am glad I did, because the yarn feels very nice and soft and knits up well, too!

this is the yellow (unfelted) yarn and the green (felted and separated again). there is a visible difference, the green yarn looks a bit like boucle, but it's usable and feels nice to the touch - and is not likely to felt again, when the blanket has to be washed:))
it was a relief to be able to use the yarn after all - I am not easily depressed, but when nothing works as planned even I can get a bit down. I nearly finished a few other projects as well, but I have to wait for a few bits and pieces I need to complete them. 


Leigh said...

I thought I was the only one who did things like you did finishing the embroidery. Makes it all the more a relief to have it done, doesn't it!

That's such good news about the electrical damage. And an even bigger relief, I'm sure.

Nice recovery with the green yarn! I recently shrunk a pair of Dan's socks that I thought were superwash! I do love your marled yarn. So pretty with the natural white. It will be lovely no matter what you do with it.

Sandra said...

samstag nachmittag hatte opa ja ein paar gäste. stolz zeigte er seine geschenke. mit jutta, die deine stickerei sehr bewunderte, überlegte er dann, was das motiv wohl sein könnte. meine vorschlag -kleeblatt- wurde dann nach kurzem überlegen akzeptiert. ;-)

Delighted Hands said...

Wow, what a roller coaster but all with happy endings......what a hoot to see the green 'wreath'! So glad the yarn came apart-amazing!

Woolly Bits said...

Leigh - not at all, I've done some dumb things before - like putting sleeves in the wrong way round etc.:)) esp. when I am short of time (which I usually am, because I am a "last-minute-girl":))
and yes, it was a great relief to see that we won't have to leave the house - the yarn didn't even come close in comparison:))

Sandra - ich fass es nicht, das ist doch voellig eindeutig ein kleeblatt, oder???? danke fuer deinen vorschlag - demnaechst schreibe ich dann noch einen titel zu meinem werk:)) ich haett ja gedacht, dass es vor allem zusammen mit dem buch drin eindeutig ist? naja, kuenstler werden ja gern mistverstanden:))

Cindy - yep, nothing like a bit of excitement in life:)) and now I can laugh about the feltyarn - but I didn't think it was such a hoot when I pulled the green mess out of the wash:)) well, live and learn - now I know how to make boucle yarn in a different way:))

Nina said...

I'm so glad the yarn for the blanket worked out so well in the end. The colours are so nice and bright, like spring in yarn balls!

The embroidery is lovely and perfect for a book about Ireland! I've learned from experience that I should never sew things together when I'm tired or it's late. I make all the mistakes and it takes me 3 times as long to fix them.

Sprotte said...

Hallo Bettina,

weiterhin gute Besserung für Zähne und Dach!
Möchtest du in diesem Jahr wieder Knöterichsamen haben? Dann sag mir kurz Bescheid!
Ich habe übrigens jetzt auch einen Blog, ganz frisch:
Kannst ja mal zu "Besuch" kommen.
Liebe Grüße,

Anonymous said...

hallo hallo
oh je, ist ja graesslich mit dem dach!!! wuensche guten fortschritt mit den reperaturen! und natuerlich auch gute besserung mit dem zahn! ich habe letztes jahr dasselbe dilemma mit garn gehabt, welche ich bloederweise in die maschine geworfen hatte... hat auch wie bei dir funktioniert, es zu entwirren, und jetzt ists ein pullover :-)
lg aus pembrokeshire

Zebra said...

Hallo Bettina!
Da finde ich endlich Deinen Blog und dann lese ich von all dem Ärger, den das neue Jahr Dir schon brachte! Ich hoffe, von jetzt an geht es steil bergauf!
Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland,

Eliane Zimmermann said...

tausend dank für dein angebot, sehr aufmerksam! ich bin gerade in berlin, habe eine recht schnelle leitung zur verfügung und rate mal, wofür ich die nutze? ja, zum runterladen von nicht-irland-internet-tauglichen katalogen! und zum youtuben. danke trotzdem!

Jinx said...

Well ... maybe this could go as a sort of Artyarn? Good that you managed to separate them. They look lovely, after all!


Bea said...

ach, jetzt weiß ich auch, wie "felted tweed" hergestellt wird und mir ist nun klar, wieso es so teuer ist ;)