Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy, Happy!

I could blog for a month on the joys of a Guild Textile Bazaar: the people, the place, books, tools, fibres . . . I'm in a hurry this morning, so I'll leave you with just one of the gems I picked up:This is a textile text book. For a woman who started in dressmaking, quilting and crochet and went on to spin, knit and weave it promises hours of interest. I don't think it will make it onto my shelf for a while. It's going to be next to the armchair so I can dip into it often.

And just for fun: who'd like to take a guess on the publication date?

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Oh the irony! Yesterday I celebrated my first day back with my own wheels by buying the walking shoes I wished I'd had for the two months I was without a car. I've been walking a lot lately. Not just my recreational--make myself and the dogs happy by exploring the neighbourhood morning walks. I've been walking to get where I need to be. Now the difference between the two is reflected in my footwear. I've got excellent runners, but their white silver and purple sportiness is not the look I want when I'm shopping, attending meetings or teaching. I thought I had quite a good range of sensible well-fitting flat shoes. But my ideas of comfort had to be adjusted to walking several kilometers a day in them. Suddenly they weren't as good as I'd thought. I wished for a hybrid: black leather walking shoes that would be unobtrusive but kind on my feet. I bought them, yesterday when I could drive to several different locations until I found what I wanted. I've decided that despite the convenience of having my own car again, I do want to keep up as much walking as I can. So while I'm appreciating the irony, I'm also making myself a promise that these walking shoes will be well used. But now I'm about to head over to Williamstown. Last time I went there on a Sunday it was a two hour trip on a bus and three trains. I'm going to hop into my little car and deliver myself door to door in less than half that time. I guess that means I don't have to wear sensible shoes.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Round and Round

I made myself this little cutey yesterday. There's another one on my needles. The hand part is knitted back and forth in garter stitch and the stocking stitch section is knitted in the round.I'm getting a lot more comfortable juggling the four needles and knitting in circles. By the way, I've just noticed the colour of my skin in the pic--don't worry, I'm not dying of cold. It's a grey day and there's not enough light in my front room to take a better shot, and I've still got "learn about white balance" on my camera "to do" list. If you need a reference point, this is actually the same yarn as yesterday's post.

Meanwhile in other news, I picked up my car yesterday. I'm very happy about having my very own wheels again. So I'm about to hop in the car and zip around to various places which have been much less accessible lately. I'm so excited that I'll have to restrain my desire to just go everywhere today!

Friday, May 28, 2010


I have a bad habit of not quite finishing things. I'll make the last stitch on a project and put it aside without weaving in the ends, for instance. It would only take a couple of extra minutes and the thing would be done. So I have a new plan. Simple really. There's now a big darning needle in permanent residence on the side of my armchair. All I have to do when I snip off the last thread is reach over and grab it before I put my work down. Here's today's example: I started the hat yesterday, just 'cause. Now It's finished, well not quite . . . but see the needle on the left of the pic? It's already threaded with the tail of the yarn. Unfortunately I stopped the process there to go grab my camera and write this post. But as soon as I hit "publish" I'm going back to finish it off. Then it will be ready to wear. Well maybe not quite--I'm still tossing up whether it needs to be blocked or not.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gizmo Gift

There's a new member in my gizmo collection. It's a home-made swift or skein holder. I received it at the Neighbourhood House yesterday, as a bit of a surprise. I was there to borrow L's car and sort out keys for my evening quilting class. One of the key members of the craft group happened in. When she saw me she couldn't quite remember my name, but she excitedly started to describe something she had for me at home. It too was nameless at this stage. I gathered it had to do with winding wool--whether it was a warping board or a skein holder or something entirely different wasn't clear. The only way to solve the mystery was to see it. She was enthusiastic enough to drive home for it and bring it back for me. Here it is: Just the right size for my 2 metre skeins, low profile so it doesn't want to tip over and with fixed arms, so they don't want to collapse in. Having said all that, the skein I tried it on wasn't in the best shape to start with and I did have a few tangles to sort out. Overall: I love the home-made ingenuity of it and I'll happily give it another go. Better yet, the generous unexpectedness of the whole episode makes me smile.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Not Pink

My red merino and white tencel fibre sat patiently on the table until yesterday afternoon. It was hard to ignore its brightness, but I had a few other tasks demanding my attention, so it just had to wait. Late yesterday afternoon I got to carding it. I wondered how the red and white would combine--it was 70% red merino and 30% white tencel by weight. Initially that looked like a fair bit of white to mix with the red, but here's how it looked carded: Definitely still red and white, not pink. I'm glad to say I kept up the momentum and got through the spinning and plying before bedtime. The skein is washed and hanging on my rack to dry. Now to get my folio in order and handed in. My spinning wheel is conspicuously vacant! It's so tempting to launch in on something new, but I'm going to discipline myself to do a bit each day on sorting and presenting the work I've done. Then I can really heave that sigh of relief.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Raffle Quilt Progress

Yesterday morning's task was to get the blocks for the Sussex Neighbourhood House Raffle Quilt ready to hand out to the people who will sew them. I started the planning for this quilt a while back, but then stalled a little. I had an overall design with interlocking friendship stars. I'd resolved the dilemma of how to piece it--valuing participation over efficiency. Last week I sat down with L and mapped out a timeline. The next thing to settle on was colours. We decided on the House colours: this blue, yellow, red-pink combo features on the mosaic facade of our building and has become our signature tune.

The quilt is going to have a scrappy look, but within this colour scheme. I picked up some paint chips from the hardware store to give people a colour reference point. We decided to ask each person to contribute blues and yellows and use a set fabric for the red colour. Luckily I had this hand-dye in my collection--just enough.
A sheet of instructions, a sandwich bag with paint chips and the hand-dyed fabric for each contributor and we're away. The Quilters' Circle met yesterday afternoon so I had my perfect opportunity to hand out the kits. A couple of the knitters who meet at the same time are also quilters, as are several of the staff, so I easily got to the target of nine blocks. Now to wait for the completed blocks to come in. Then we'll have the fun of piecing them together to make a quilt top. Meanwhile the raffle ticket team are already getting themselves organised. We're planning on selling tickets from early August and drawing the raffle at the AGM in mid-September, so the timeline is looking good.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bright Ending

This is the fibre for the last--last--skein of my spinning folio. I decided to end on a bright note: The red is merino tops and the white is the (required) tencel. They're waiting to be carded together, then spun. The tencel feels even more synthetic than did the bamboo. Its redeeming feature is that the fibres are longer than either the bamboo or the soy, so they're less inclined to slip out of my fingers. And you can see the sheen. I'm hoping it will produce an effective highlight in the red fibre. Regardless of that, it will be done. Then I've got a fair bit of tidying up to do and swatches to knit before I can hand it all in.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Time Machine

Where did my morning go? Usually posting is towards the top of my daily "to do" list, but here it is nearly half past one and I'm just sitting down to the computer. Well at least I got my current knitting project finished. Here it is--a blue scarf for a girl who turns seventeen today: Therein lies another question: where did my week go? The recipient of this scarf is two states and two days postage away from where I am. This should have been in the mail by Wednesday, Thursday at the latest--in an express pack--but here it is just coming off my needles. And while we're at it, where did the years go? It wasn't so long ago I first met her as a five year old . . . Somehow time's going by faster than I can keep up and there's not much I can do about it. Except in this case, say, "Happy Birthday" from afar and give my friend A a sneak peak of what should be in her hands already. It will be in the mail tomorrow. I'll spare you the, "my, how you've grown!" and "it seems only yesterday" . . .

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Soy "Silk"

I'm working my way through the plant-derived fibres that make up the last unit of my spinning course. After my dislike for the bamboo fibre, the soy was a pleasant surprise. I don't love it, but the fibres are longer and not so smooth. That makes the physical challenge of spinning easier. The material is not as evenly processed either. After the uniform white of the bamboo, a bit of twiggy imperfection was quite welcome every now and then. And I occasionaly spotted a bit of waviness in the fibre--not the elastic crimp of wool, but some sort of crimp nonetheless. The colour is this light honey tone: Having said all that in its favour, it's not silk. Call me biased, but look at this pic, you can see some lustre, but not enough for a real Wow.

As for environmental credentials: apparently this stuff is a made from a byproduct of tofu. That should please my vegetarian friends. I couldn't get any meaningful information about the actual processing, so I can't do a side by side comparison between cotton, bamboo and soy for "green value".

The next thing to think about is dyeing. I'm going to have to experiment. I'd lumped this fibre in with the "semi-synthetic cellulose" group, but apparently it takes acid dyes well. And if it's a tofu byproduct, then mabe there's more protein in there than I thought. I don't know enough about it at this stage.

I'm still strongly focussed on getting my spinning requirments ticked off, so just now it's most valuable feature is that it is done. Now for a soy-wool blend--maybe today--and two tencel skeins. The countdown continues!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Green says, "Go"

This post is textile related only to the extent that I really need a car to lug my textile stuff around. I've been without one now since Easter Sunday--nearly seven weeks. I wish I could wax lyrical about the joys of public transport. Once upon a time I would've done just that. But now, sorry, no! In the years since I was a committed public transport user I've acquired some rather cumbersome craft activities. What's more, now that I'm teaching, I'm carrying equipment around for a group of students, not just for myself. And I suspect I'm just not as patient as I used to be. I want a car!

Last weekend I looked at a second hand car which is being offered for sale by one of my students. I'd done my homework: the make and model suit me--small, but with adequate and versatile luggage space. I'd driven a few similar cars. I like the way this one goes. The price is more than I'd budgetted for, but then the car is better than I'd planned for--not that I'd planned for my car to be written off, but there you go. I'm, ticking boxes so far. Now the dilemma. I claim to know a fair bit about textiles, but cars are not really my thing. How am I to know whether I'm buying myself a convenience or a truck-load of trouble? Thankfully the state automobile association has an inspection service for people like me. I booked a "comprehensive inspection". I was a little apprehensive about receiving the report. Would it be in a language I could understand? Would it help me to make a decision? It arrived this morning: Yes and Yes . . .
These guys must be used to working for everyday car buyers. There's a huge long speil about all the things they looked at--very impressive. Then there's a summary statement. Oh, I love summary statements. For each group of items they give a green light--go--an amber light--caution--or a red light--stop. There's a short paragraph to spell out the significance of each. OK, I can deal with this. The car I'm looking at got green lights in all sections--go, go, go! The road worthy inspection is booked for next Monday. I'm looking forward to being a whole lot poorer and a whole lot happier. Oh, and did I mention . . . the car is blue--bright metallic blue:)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pointy Sticks

For the past few years I've been edging myself towards the possibility of knitting socks. My main obstacle was the fact that I normally knit with one needle tucked under my arm. If you think about the geometry, you will soon find that there's no way to make a circle of knitting with an armpit in the middle. Believe me!

This year I've done several small projects on circular needles. That's been ok. So, now for the challenge of double pointed needles. Four of them:
Please note: this is not a sock. If all goes well, it will be a little wrist warmer. I like to break my challenges down into small, small steps. For the first few rows I was constantly dodging and rearranging needles. Now I've got a bit more of a rhythm going, but it's still rather awkward. It seems as though there's more bulk of needles than actual knitting in my hands. Come to think of it, I guess there is. So, I'm persisting. I'm given to understand--isn't that a great cop out phrase!--that if I just keep knitting along, I'll eventually stop worrying about the four pointy sticks I'm holding and get back to enjoying the knitting. OK, knitting, knitting, knitting . . .

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wool to the Rescue

Earlier this week I vented some of my frustration at the bamboo fibre I was attempting to spin. I'm proud to say, I persisted with it. That sample is done. I even did two versions in the hope of finding a better technique. But it was not to be. Whether I carded it or folded it, the bamboo fibre remained slippery, short and hard to handle. It was a little easier to manage when I folded it over my finger and controlled it with both hands, but I never got to love it.

For my next challenge I have a bamboo-wool blend. After my experience with the pure bamboo, I wasn't looking forward to it. I carefully read the requirements. There was no indication of how much bamboo has to be in the blend. OK, so it's legitimate to use a wool-rich blend. Great! Here it is: 70% wool and 30% bamboo. That's a fair enough blend. The bamboo is definitely there--it's the white stuff in the pic above. Carded on my fine hand carders and just about spun up already. I stopped before spinning this last bit so I could take a shot and post it. The mix behaves like an easy flowing carded wool. Occasionally theres a bit with more bamboo than average and it slips a little. I've had only one breakage. Oh, so much easier. As to the purpose of 30% bamboo in a wool-blend. I dunno! Novelty? White highlights?--I'd rather have silk! Because it's on the list and I have to do it to get to the finish line? That's honest at least.

Back to my wheel. If I can complete the spinning, ply and finish this skein this morning there will be four more on my list. And now I can look forward to the helping hand of wool in two of them.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Feeling Foolish

Yesterday I complained that my Powershot camera was suffering from a disturbance and making whirring noises--great technical terms those. I got myself out of trouble with another camera and immediately went into problem-solving mode. Strange phenomenon: I can live with all sorts of undone tasks, but a problem with my camera prompts instant action! I rang Canon's support line and spoke to a technician. I figured I'd make sure there wasn't some obvious error on my part before going down the warranty-repair path. I described what the camera was and wasn't doing. The technician sounded serious, and said I should send it in for repair. By that time there wasn't much left of my morning. I had to get to my regular Monday afternoon appointment by public transport and there was no way I was going to get to the camera store as well. That turned out to be a good thing. I'm guessing that my subconscious was worrying away at the problem while I was otherwise occupied, because when I got home, I suddenly thought of this:
Yep, batteries! Usually when my camera runs out of juice it gives a simple command on the screen, "please change the batteries". Admittedly there was no such signal and the camera apparently did have power because there were lights and movement. I wasn't long since I'd changed the batteries either, but I usually use rechargables and these were everday disposable batteries. It couldn't hurt to try. So out with the old batteries and in with a fresh pair. Now the camera works fine! That's a good thing and I'm glad I got to feel foolish in the privacy of my own home.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Better News

Alright, so I'm an addict who can't do without my pic fix. The Powershot Camera which is my daily companion is suffering from some sort of disturbance, but I do have a dSLR. I've been too lazy to use it much lately, but thankfully it's all good. I've pulled it out, dusted it off and taken this morning's picture: The original yellow-green in the foreground, the new blue-green in the background. And there's enough to make an itty bitty scarf or some wrist warmers.
What's more, I've searched through my folders and boxes and managed to track down the warranty for my Powershot. Now I just need to get myself to the store on Bell St and hopefully it will be up and running again soon. Meanwhile, I might just refresh some of my SLR skills.


My camera's playing up, so I can't post the picture of the overdyed wool-silk yarn I wanted to show off today. The yarn is leftover from the Engagement Gift blanket. I have several odds and ends in that bag. They'll be great for making cosy little winter accessories, but it wouldn't be fair to expect some-one to wear a leftover bit of blanket, however nice the yarn might be, so I'm spicing them up in the dyepot. This hank has morphed from a lime green to a strong emerald green with the addition of Landscape sky blue, but the camera just makes whirring noises. So, sorry, no pic. And I must add getting the camera fixed to the list of things to do in the next few days. Drat!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

B*#@%* Bamboo

Bamboo: not currently on my favourites list. Here's my little pile of discarded, broken ends from the first 8g or so of my spinning:
  • OK, so it's glossy and white with good drape and inherent antibacterial properties.

  • OK, so the plant grows quickly and is incredibly versatile.

  • But--it's a pain to spin! It's slippery, doesn't hold twist well and breaks easily;

  • And at the end of the day, the yarn doesn't make me sit up and take notice.

I have to finish this sample of bamboo alone, then do a sample of bamboo-wool blend. The bad news is that I then have to do the same for soy and tencel, and I expect them to behave in about the same way. All three are semi-synthetic cellulose fibres. My vote is that they should just stay in the factory where they've been chemically broken down before being extruded into fibres. They can just go ahead and form a yarn there, without coming out half prepared to tease and frustrate a spinner's fingers. So! On the other hand, bamboo does take dye particularly well, so maybe, just maybe it will redeem itself.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Infinite Filament

I bought this reel of silk filament at a clearance sale, I don't know how many years ago: I've used it a lot. Mainly to ply with. This morning I used it to ply the last of my angora-merino drop-spindle yarn. As if it wasn't delicious enough already! The strange thing is the reel never seems to get any smaller. Of course I didn't weigh it when I first brought it home. It was part of a boxload of stuff and I'm sure I only paid a couple of dollars for it. It isn't really infinite and maybe if I live long enough to spin up all the fibre I have at my house I'll eventually get to the end of it. But meanwhile, there it is in its fine magenta lustre waiting to be added to one more skein

Friday, May 14, 2010

Autumn Tones

Despite what my cold toes are telling me, it's not winter yet. We have two weeks of Autumn left.
I spun up this merino yarn last winter.It was easy spinning while my friend S was here to visit from Canberra--something that didn't require too much concentration. The variety of colours kept me interested. Then came the challenge of plying. The different colours are close enough that they would have been ok just as a two-ply yarn, but I decided to emphasise the colour variation by Navaho plying it. Then I wound the skein, washed it and put it aside. Somehow it never quite made it into a box, so last week I found it in the mass of stuff on my big table. Did I put it away? No, I thought I might have to do something with it. Now it's found its way onto my needles: a simple garter stitch to let the yarn do the talking. I'm enjoying watching the colours appear in turn: blending and contrasting. Meanwhile I'm hoping the weather will take its inspiration from my yarn and give me a bit of warmth and contrast. We've had several days of grey drizzle. I'm ready for a change.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


It's been more than a year since I bought my tiger myrtle drop spindle at the Southbank Market. I bought some of Charly's angora-merino tops at the same time. We've been a long way together, my drop spindle and I: public transport, cafe's, car breakdowns, doctor's surgeries, . . . we've seen them all. Don't ask me how many hours, but it's been time that would otherwise have been wasted. In fact, drop spindling has enriched my time and relieved what would otherwise have been tedious or frustrating moments--oh, and in case I was in your company while drop spindling, let me quickly say, some delightful moments too!

Now look:I've spun my way through all this delicious fibre and it's ready to ply. I'm not enough of a purist to ply it all on my drop spindle. The first attraction of drop spindling for me is portability and plying vast lengths of tightly spun lace-weight yarn from two little bobbins in not portable. I'll use the wheel for plying and set myself up with a new batch of fibre for my drop spindle. Hmmm, what to choose? I'll ponder that over a cup of coffee while I gloat over my beautiful bobbins. Or maybe I'll just gloat for now and choose later.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I'm getting to the bottom of the list of silk yarns for my Spinning Folio. Thankfully this end of the list deals with various forms of "silk waste": lumpy, bumpy interesting stuff. Yesterday's skein was coloured even! Raspberry merino tops blended with sari silk waste--"throwster's waste"--on my hand carders. I selected pink and orange tones and got this warm mix. Just as well since yesterday was also the first day this year that I've kept my heater on all day. I appreciated having some warmth in my hands.

I went on to blend some white silk waste with mohair and wool. Two bobbins are spun and ready to be plied. After that all I need to do is work through a list of cellulose fibres and put everything in order ready to hand in. But today it's beading. I'm off to the Neighbourhood House soon for my first session of Jewellery Making.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

More Beading

Here's a detail shot of one of the other chokers I made on the weekend:I'm happy with the combination of pale blue, green and silver foil--it speaks to me of spring which, given the wintry weather that has set in here, is a welcome thought. Incidentally the camera has picked up more red tones in the background wood. It's exactly the same piece of table as yesterday's post and natural light. I really must learn more about how the colour balance works in my camera. It's on the long list of things I want to learn.

Monday, May 10, 2010


These are not the colours I like to wear:But I'm preparing for a Jewellery Making class at one of the local Neighbourhood Houses and I want to have a variety of examples to show the students. Going deliberately out of my comfort zone was fun. Plus when Harmony Day comes up again next year and we're all scratching around for something orange to wear, I'll have this choker in my collection.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Quiet Afternoon

What to do on a quiet Saturday afternoon at home? Play with beads! My friend M came over with her beading bits and pieces and I pulled out some of my collection. Between us we covered a fair bit of space. Just as well I'd managed to clear off some of the table earlier. I put together these amethyst and silver earings for M. I also got to make a couple of chokers as demos for the beading class that's coming up in the next week. At least I think it's coming up. The date has been set, but I'm not sure if there are enough students for the class to go ahead. I'll have to check on that tomorrow.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Today is the second Saturday of the month--it's a workshop day at the Guild for last year's Spinning Certificate group. Right now I should be on the bus on my way there. But instead I'm at home: being gentle to my sniffy nose and scratchy throat. It's another colour workshop today: an opportunity to work with acid dyes for wool. Normally I'd jump at it.

I'm not really sick enough to stay at home--just a burst of hay fever really--moderate nuisance value. But it's been a difficult week and everything has been twice as much effort as usual. I'm heading out on the train to Williamstown tomorrow. That will mean three trains each way. Usually I don't mind. Catching the train can be fun. I have plenty of crafts to keep me occupied and I always end up with an interesting conversation or two. I just don't have it in me to make the effort today. OK, I'm staying at home. I can explore the dyeing another day. I can do some of the myriad creative projects that are cluttering my big table. It's OK. If I read this post to myself three times over, maybe I'll be convinced.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Hat Magic

Earlier this week I began to tell the tale of "Three Hats" One was too big, one was too small and there I was wildly waving my magic wand to conjure up one that's just right. Well, failing the magic wand, I reverted to my more usual techniques. I mixed up a dye pot of Landscape Grevillea for a skein I'd spun many moons ago. There's a fair bit of yarn there, so once it had gobbled up all the Grevillea colour, I gave it a bit of Kangaroo Paw for afters. Here's the result: I rinsed it; spun it out in my salad spinner and hung it out to dry before bed last night. It's not quite dry yet. That's OK, I'm still without a car and so I'm anticipating several hours of public transport over the weekend. I'll have the makings of a hat to keep me company.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Last year's Feather and Fan Scarf story ended with the completion of the knitting and grafting two halves of the scarf together. But I had a little bit of the yarn left over. Since it was such a special yarn--Finn Cashmere, drop spindle spun and dip dyed with love--I didn't want it to just disappear into the odds and ends box. On the other hand, there really wasn't enough there to make anything much. I decided to just play with it and see what came up.

I've been thinking a fair bit about the boundary between jewellery and textile accessories lately. I'm about to teach a couple of sessions of jewellery making. Add to that the light and airy Northern Hemisphere patterns coming out for their summer season and I have lots of food for thought. I decided to crochet a little neck band with the yarn I had and then see what inspiration comes to embellish and add to it.

This is where I'm up to so far:
  • a few rows of crochet, long enough to drape around the neck;
  • a tab with a button hole--on the right;
  • a reinforced strip to hold a button or bead-- on the left.
  • loose ends which haven't been woven in, dangling in case they're needed to attach something or other.

Now I have no more of that yarn. I'm going to improvise with other materials until I come up with something I like. But first, I'd better do a little more of the spinning for my folio and take my morning walk before it starts raining again.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Delicious, Deceptive

Just look at this silk!This is a macro shot of some of the silk cap I've been spinning recently. Silk cap is the degummed cocoon of the silk worm, which is then stretched out on a frame. My task is to stretch it out still further until I can spin it into a yarn. It's beautiful and I love both the sheen and the irregularities that come with this form of silk. But this is tough stuff! I've been told that gram for gram it's stronger than stainless steel. And after a day or two of working with it, I'm ready to believe that story. The fibres are very long, so the secret is to get as much distance between my hands as I can when I'm pulling it apart. Even then it takes quite a strong grip. My fingers hurt. My wrist hurts. It's time to take a break for a bit. But I know I'll forget the pain quickly and come back to this gorgeous, shiny, lumpy bumpy unpredictable, irresistable scrap of natural goodness.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

End in Sight

Here's the checklist I'm working from to finish my Spinning Certificate Folio requirements. I got myself a bit more organised over the weekend and checked off the skeins I've already completed. There are a few more silk blends to do on this page. I'll happily tackle those this week. I love working with silk and I've already done the fine smooth ones last year. Now I'm looking forward to some interest textures and colours with the various forms of silk waste. The next couple of units were felting and dyeing--I got those all done at the time. Then there's a section on various cellulose fibres: bamboo, tencel, soy etc. And that's it!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Fairytale, Please

Once upon a time there was a teenager who loved hats. One day, while walking through a tulip festival, she spied a bag of hand dyed alpaca fibre. "Oh, I would love a hat made out of this!", she cried. Do you remember the story? I can't say the magic quite ends there, but as her fairy godmother I have to admit to a great deal of human fallibility. I spun up the alpaca, and some merino, plied them together and crocheted a lovely little hat. Please note, a lovely little hat. Now, in my defence, I will say that I also designed and crocheted a lovely cap as well, and it was not so little. To cut a long story short, the hat was too small. Back it came in the mail and I've made several attempts to stretch it a little. I don't think I've been very succesful. In my frustration, I took 100g of burgundy wool I had lying around and crocheted up a nice big baggy hat. Here are the two: The hat at the top is done in treble stitch: it's loose and floppy--it could look very good on a teenager with attitude, but I won't know until she tries it on. The one at the bottom of the pic is the original, done in double stitch: quite firm . . . quite, quite firm! I'm hoping it's a little bigger than it was when it arrived, but I can't be sure unil she tries it on. So, as the author of the tale, and the supposed author of textile magic, I'm planning to make a third hat. According to the fairytale formula, this one should be "just right". Oh, please!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Another Cutey

My mind is full of so many textile tasks and possibilities that I don't know what to write about. So, rather than agonise over the complexities, I'm going to keep it short and simple. This fabric was the wrapping for a surprise gift I received the other day: Cute blue paw-prints. I love blue, I love my dogs, I love cute and I love receiving gifts. It's a smile all round. And I get to decide what to do with another fat quarter of irresistable fabric.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat

One of the local Quilting Shops is in the midst of their big Sale. With fat quarters at $2 each, it didn't take much convincing for me to pick up this little cutey:I've been promising to make some pot mitts for a cat-loving friend. A little bit of sewing today and the job will be done. I don't need to add anything to these feline characters. They carry the story all on their own.