Saturday, 6 August 2005

Raspberries and cream

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If I was to tell you that this was merely one of the good things that happened to me today you'd guess I'd had a pretty good time. And you'd be wrong because i had a fricking great time.

But wait. One has to approach these things in a logicial manner, plus provide something of a build up. I got the new rowan mag the other day and there were one or two things that caught my eye.
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Yes, I know it's pompoms. But there's just something about it that makes me laugh! There were loads more like all the flower corsages and the button gloves and several jumpers. So a pom pom maker is obviously the next thing to be purchased.

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Yesterday night I spun this silk and so naturally when I got up at 8am this morning the first thing I thought was 'I must boil some water and dye that with koolaid.' So that is what I did. I put the skein in the boiling water first then sprinkled the powder over the hank putting lots more on one side of the pan than the other.
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It is now drying so I'll post a pic once it's done. So having done that you'd think I would sit back and have some breakfast. Maybe catch up on some reading. But no. I got out the old ball winder and wound up the silk tess gave me. Then I sat there and looked at it for a while. Come, join me in a moment's reflection.
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My reasoning went thus - this is beautiful and so needs to be seen. It won't take much of a beating to ruin it. There's not enough to make a top out of. It's too floppy for a flower brooch. I know, I'll make a chain necklace like the scarf on the front of loop-d-loop. So here we are.
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It is still a wip but I'm planning to finish it off for syon park tomorrow.

So then I was in waterbeach visiting Liz from Bradford fame. She's a dude. Her house is wonderful and frankly, I want it. Plus there were two cats. One was pedigree and could obviously tell with one flick of her tail that I was below her so hopped it. The other was nuts, but in a good way. So affectionate! I got some quality stroking in. Here she is
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She is actually even prettier in real life. But I wasn't just there to be fed amazing food (this is where the raspberry meringues and cream come into things, following a gorgeous home-made quiche. Liz was teaching me the art of temari ball making. So off we went. I'm not going to go into all the steps because although it all went pretty smoothly it is rather involved. Not something for the train unless it was a very smooth journey. Suffice to say this is what we were aiming for.
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This is the sputnik stage as Liz described it. All the pins are measured out and there are metallic ley-line type threads secured to it. I really enjoyed choosing all the colours and the best part is that there is huge stash potential without getting a huge stash as all the embroidery floss packs away quite small. Not that we didn't make quite a mess.
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Amazingly the cats don't chase the threads at all and the cute one (pictured here - not really bringing out the great size of the fluffy wonder) left all the apparatus alone while making the odd attempt at scaling my lap. I really love cats. This one was an excellent cat too.

Anyway. Here is what I had done by the end of the afternoon....
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Am I pleased with it? Are you joking? It's awesome! Even though I say so myself. And when I say that I'm talking about the whole temari genre rather than my little first attempt. I can see these making beautiful xmas tree decorations for mum and rob among others. 'The Temari book' is snug on my amazon wishlist.

I am so lucky with the people I have met online. I am off to syon park tomorrow to see tess, les and nik, all met through blogging. Oh my god, how could I have forgotten the big news though?
Pooch has agreed to the spinning wheel

Yeah baby. Pooch - I know you'll read this. You're really very lovely. xx

I spin you spin we all spin together

Could spinning be the new knitting for me? Have spent all evening hunched up in a chair using the drop spindle. Now you see pooch, this wouldn't happen if you let me get a wheel. And don't think I haven't noticed it's 11pm and you're out on the raz. I'll be banking that one.

No pics as can't locate camera but have set the twist on a load of blue faced leicester, camel and yak I have spun and done 20g of silk which I intend to get at with the koolaid tomorrow. Green maybe?

Have printed instructions for doing two socks at the same time on two circulars so may give that a whirl too. So busy, so much to do, so little time!

Thursday, 4 August 2005

Mega poo, mega yay

I do seem a bit weird with my juxtaposed moods at the moment. The mega poo bit I *still* can't talk about but it got a whole lot worse today before I was reassured by those in the know but am still nervous.

What cheered me up was seeing this photo again that Les took of me in their garden with 2 of their lovely cats on Monday. Can't believe that was only three days ago. (For those who like to be able to count there cats there is one on the ground and one sitting in the basket of orangey pink wool on the right.)

The golders green group last night was very nice. Two new people came along and Liz was on good form. There was a lot of dpn discussion. Guys - stop kidding yourselves about the whole dpn thing - THEY ARE EVILLLLLLLLLL.

Was working on the dreamcatcher cardi last night and have got about a 1/4 of the way up the circle. Going to do a load more of it tonight while watching a nice Morse with my Pooch.

Sleep well everyone x

Tuesday, 2 August 2005

Smell that sheep

First off - Pooch is lovely. Not just because he washes up....
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It turns out the stuff going on at work will take another week before it is properly concluded but Pooch has been lovely about it.

I 'set the twist' in the wool I spun yesterday as soon as I got home. Here it is:
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Elegantly hanging off the balcony with half full water bottle as weights. I NEED A SPINNING WHEEL. Pooch - I know you're reading - take pity on me dude. If I hadn't had such a great day yesterday I would have cracked today - really helped me get through it.

Not in the mood to write much so just a quick update on the cardi from loop-d-loop. Am just up to the bit where the circle starts.
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And last but definitely not least Becky sent me gorgeoous sequins that say 'love' on them for knitting into things accompanied byt the most fabulous card. Can you see it in that picture? It is all balls of red wool and it is *fabulous* - thanks so much.
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Am suddenly knackered. And need to stop blogging and start knitting!

Monday, 1 August 2005

Woo hoo for cats, rabbits, tess, les and Nik!

What a wonderful day! I know I'm going to forget something so let's just bang up the pictures and let them speak for themselves...
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Yeah baby - cats. There were 8 all together and it was absolutely like cats to the left of me, cats to the right of me, cats all over me, and I loved it. I love cats. I was never less than a metre from a cat for the whole day. And then there were rabbits - loadsarabbits. They were so cute - I never knew andora rabbits have fluffy ear tips. There are pictures of them on Silkwood's blog so you can enjoy them there and see all the gorgeous colours they dye in (that Tess dyes their trimmed fur in, not what colour they go when they pop off).

Calming down slightly and remembering that there were actual humans there: Tess and Les are such wonderful people. They made me feel so at home and gave me free run and I got to spend hours spinning on one of their wheels (that's right, 'one of' - there were many many wheels). Les was awesome teaching me all sorts of new techniques. He showed me Navojo weaving which is woo ha another craft to get into to put on my list. And explained peg looms. And he kept sorting out the spinning wheel for me when I botched it. And he was wearing those funky braces withe the measurements and tools on. Really should have caught them on film for posterity. And tess - she was great - so easygoing and so knowledgable about all sorts of stuff. I hope Pooch and I (if we make it that far) end up like that. So comfortable with each other but not resigned to anything and understanding each other but also still fighting your own corner. hassles about the stash. And dude, talk about stash.

Nik was there too and was on good form. She was spinning inspired by the pluckyfluff book. But her yarn was absolutely gorgeous and I can't wait to see it knitted up. I managed to spin maybe 50g (?) of merino with the odd wendsleydale bit thrown in. I need to 'set-the-spin' by immersing it in hot water and then leaving it to dry under tension. I think it's supposed to be hot tomorrow so I might do this in the morning and leave it to dry from the railings outside the window during the day. Tess also gave me some gorgeous silk in colourway 'carnival' (you can see it on their blog) which is just absolutely completely and utterly gorgeous. It really was an excellent day although all I contributed was flowers....

.....because finally I had a go at one of the flower badges I was thinking about after seeing some at Loop. I think I might follow Nik's suggestion and start another blog with the pattern and so on on so that people can post their pics of theirs when they are done. Suffice to say this is what my first attempt looks like:
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I made another in a huge thick/thin wool while I was there and tess had done a more demure one in some blue/green 4-ply (the same colour and weight as the stuff I got from the yarn house) and when you put the smaller one inside the larger it looked pretty cool. Loads of room for mucking about there! And they are so quick to do. Anyway, enough babbling. I'll post the blog address here when I get round to it.

Any other news? Well, hum...things look set to kick off tomorrow at work. It's been occupying my mind but should all be settled by this time tomorrow. I am re-energised (again!) to try my hand at more machine knitting and to do some navajo weaving and to start the 'spinning-wheel-for-byrne' campaign aimed at Pooch.

SUCH a great day!

Sunday, 31 July 2005


I've had some questions from commenters recently and haven't answered them so inspired by Crazy Aunt Purl (the definitive blogger) and to fill some space here goes....
  1. tabbytuxedo said...I don't think I've seen your knitting badges... What do they look like?
Well tabbytuxedo, the time is at hand because I have put some on ebay (OK, this is a shameless plug but what the hell.) My seller thing can be seen here. There is some yarn up there too. Bid away buddies.

Right, so that's that done. Yes, the selfish motivation for this post was wonga but then I just got turned down for *another* loan so I need to start this business somehow.

Have started the dreamcatcher cardigan from loop-d-loop with my trusty denises just as I planned (I love it when a plan comes together) and have - you'd never guess - been watching a couple more episodes from my A-team dvd. Don't you just love the A-team? Especially Face of course. Anyway, denises are lovely and mean that I no longer make the granny-click-click noise when I pound away on them. Have done about 2 inches of 1x1 rib. I hate 1x1 rib but it's got to be done. At least this is it out of the way.

Was checking out my stitch dictionary for aran stuff to use on Rob's jumper (have gone off that cycling aran pattern) and came across the one for some kind of hem where you knit a bit and then do a row of (yo k2tog) then knit a bit more and fold the two sides over to meet. This is what the flower badges were when I saw them at Loop. So...well...I deserve a little break from the rib don't I? I might just go and whip up another wip. Now I've got my denises it's not like I'm short of needles.... so no pictures this time but more coming soon.
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