Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Spinning, boxes, quilts and candles

Spun 100gm of plain white merino. I toyed with the idea of dying it (either Kool-Aid or food colouring) and chickened out. I am having such a good time spinning yarn instead of rope that I didn't want to court disaster. Maybe I'll buy some fibre just for dying! I'll let it rest for the week and then ply it. If all goes well I will do a fairisle pattern with it and the superwash merino I spun a few weeks ago.

Here is the prototype for a wooden box that can hold a stitched item in the top. Looking good!

I go to the Needlework Festival twice a year with my Mom and sister. Occasionally my daughter or niece join us. Invariably my sister is looking through fabric for another quilt idea. And I get caught up in the excitement. But I am not a sewer, don't have a sewing room and unlike knitting or stitching that I can pick up and put down many times before finishing, when it comes to sewing I want to start and finish in the same day. So, after having fabric sitting around for a few years, a dear friend measured, planned, cut and sewed a frayed flannel quilt for me. It is GORGEOUS, she did a great job. I just need to clip and wash it. But that isn't stopping me from putting it on the spare bedroom bed!

During Sunday dinner, we noticed that one of the candles was becoming quite grotesque, while the other (you can see it in the background) was burning quite normally. It made for great conversation and prolonged the dinner hour (a bonus, when most days dinner is wolfed down and everyone is on to other things). As I commented to my son, sometimes a failure is a lot more interesting than a success! Wouldn't you agree!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Making progress - stitching, spinning, knitting stash

It has been a somewhat productive week, making progress on some things that were set aside for a while.

First and foremost, this is what Hedgy looked like on Saturday morning,


and this is what she looked like at the end of the day.

She is coming along nicely I have asked my husband to make a box that I can put her on the lid of. Framing and cushions, the most common finishes, didn't seem right. A box seems perfect. I just have to give him the dimensions now.

Then, I will get back to the "brown beast", and I am looking forward to it. I have a renewed energy and enthusiasm for it, and feel like I a back in the rhythm of stitching.

Here are the results of plying my merino. Along side some wool my sister gave me in a batt a few years ago. I spun it last year, so this is the results of washing it. And, finally, alpaca that I was disrespectful of last year, but with the new whorls, it improved substantially. Spun last year, but washed this week.

Cleo couldn't get enough of it!

And, last but not least, the ruffle edge wrap from Vogue Winter 2006/2007). A customer came in with this wrap on in December and I loved the look. I had some yarn in my stash that I thought would work. On the way to that I found a different yarn and thought it was even better.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cows and Bats

Okay, so it is really Cowls and Batts.
The Leaf Cowl is knit, now I need to block it and Martina had a great suggestion of beens on the points of the leaves, so will take care of that shortly, work ends in and then block.

I am happy with it, but not super thrilled, but maybe beads and blocking will take care of that.

It was a good use of the handspun rope (knit on 12mm needles). Started on Boxing day as a mobius shawl on much too small needles, morphed to a mobius on larger needles, morphed to a cowl and leaf shawl with a winding vine that was not working, and finally became a cowl with a simple, shrinking leaf. Will be up on Ravelry when it is finished.

The first ply of The Sheep and Spindle (aka The Spindle Loft) Superwash Merino is finished. I am so happy (so far) with it. My husband made me two new whorls and bobbins for my spinning wheel to take it down from a ratio of 1:10 or 1:20 (he measured and did a calculation) to 1:5 ish (okay, so i wasn't paying attention to the detail). What a difference. I am not spinning rope anymore. I have time to draft (before I had to completely prepare the fibre to the thickness I wanted because the spin was so fast it just sucked it in). Will let it rest for the week (have been listening the Stitch It Podcast and Meghan mentioned this), so will give it a whirl. Meghan also had a great tip for the bobbin challenged (I have one of three sizes, no lazy Kate, etc. Which was the conversation that ended up in the measurements and the whorls and bobbins of different sizes). She uses her ball winder with a toilet paper cardboard (which I have dozens. Don't ask, just know that we have a large basket in the kids bathroom and I opened it up one day to realize it was FULL, and they had not reached the recycle bin) and winds the singles onto the cardboard. Then, takes the carboard out and uses the centre and outside pull at the same time to make a two ply out of one ball. I have knit out of the outside and inside to maximize a ball of yarn. So, I will see how plying goes. Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year - and new strategies for blogging

I am trying out a new strategy this year...take photos generously and upload them immediately to flickr, then blog once a week. The photos are in easy reach and should make blogging faster and easier.

Legoman was a hit with my daughter (we even got a few smiles!) and every Lego lover in the family. A brilliant design from Amber Allison

I finished a few items for ornament exchanges, here are a few of them.

And I finally did some spinning, and what a difference a larger whorl has made. I actually feel like I am making yarn and not rope.

And a photo just for fun....bread anyone? Cleo curled up on the lace table cloth in the breadbasket and fell asleep during Christmas dinner.