Well, the only trouble with my afternoon's occupation, was that I didn't want much tea last night, but it was worth it for the good company.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
It's turning out the way I predicted with the phone camera: I'm getting to take photos in situations where I never would have had a camera with me. In the midst of enjoying that convenience, though, I do find myself wishing for some of the features of my real cameras.
Aren't I a contrary creature!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Here's L's pinwheel star block ready for final assembly: I'm so pleased with how these blocks are turning out. It's one thing to design a project for myself, choose fabrics and see how it works. It's quite another thing to generalise from those choices so the students can choose their own colours and fabrics and still get the overall effect. This block depends on the play of light, medium and dark fabrics to form the double effect of the star superimposed on the pinwheel and I'm excited to see it so clearly in a different colourway. The final class is next week and several of the students can't be there, so I jumped ahead a little bit last night to explain the borders that go around this star.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I was spinning at the Carlton library earlier in the afternoon while waiting for Anna to finish work. I received what I consider to be the ultimate compliment from a tween girl who was watching me, "That's so cool!" Did I happen to mention I love my drop spindle?
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Now for the geometry. I figure if you can make a square, then you can make a cube. So I had a go at designing a helmet: Two squares for the sides, a square for the top and one for the back and a rib band at the neck. I think it needs a band around the front as well and the wool is rather uninspiring, but it was fun working it out.
Monday, August 24, 2009
This afternoon's forecast is for gale force winds, rain, hail and thunder, but so far we've only had blue sky with a few clouds and a shower or two. I mean to get out in the garden this afternoon and start pulling up some weeds. That is, if the forecast is wrong! Meanwhile I'm doing a bit of cleaning up inside. Failing that, there's always plenty of spinning and weaving to do and I have some merino to wash. My challenge for later this week is to see whether I can spin this fleece finely and evenly enough to use it for a warp.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Some of us had to design elements of the project before we could start. Others just had to decipher the instructions. Then out came the warping boards and cones of fibre and it was all systems go.
Here's one of the warps going on to the loom. J has already wound her warp--several different colours, as you can see--and is now placing groups of threads in the raddle ready for threading. The other set of hands belongs to her helper who is handing her groups of threads from the back of the loom to make her task easier. As for me, I still have my double cloth project on my loom, so I'll have a bit of weaving to do before the next project can go on. I did wind my warp for the new project--I scored the Huck Lace in yellow cottolin. So that will appear in a post as soon as I can get on to it.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Her description of the museum and the fabric samples made my mouth water! I'm not planning a trip to London anytime soon, but it sounds like it would be worth it just for the V&A museum.
And how did I get on with my visit to the Guild and finishing my threading?? Well, the truth is, I didn't. I just didn't go. I must remember to put a line through the morning after an evening of teaching. I don't have the mental energy to apply myself to anything much.
Now today, I must do some weaving. I have class tomorrow and I have to finish the double weave project. We're starting on a round robin exercise next. That means that we each set up a project on our loom and then work around the class weaving a sample on each of the looms. By the end of the exercise we each have up to ten samples. At least that's the plan. Getting behind in the middle of that is not an option.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Now I need to drink another cup of coffee and get myself to the Guild. I have to catch up on the Summer and Winter project which I've been neglecting. I still have to finish the threading, so I will need that coffee, even if it makes me a bit late.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The pattern book also includes gym boots and soccer boots. I don't anticipate any babies in my life in the forseeable future, but I do want to try knitting some of these booties.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The photo on the card is by Richard Woldendorp, Contour farming near Northam, Western Australia wheatbelt, 1990. The photograph is in the National Library of Australia Pictures Collection.
I am fascinated by this photo, and by some of the others I've seen on his website. Originally from the Netherlands, Richard became an Landscape photographer after moving to Western Australia in 1951. He has a special interest in aerial photography. I am imagining the vast contrast between the landscape of the Netherlands and that of Western Australia. My own tendency when photographing nature is to get as close as I can, making the most of small details, so photos on this huge scale are like a shock to my mind's eye. That's a good thing!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I caught up with my friend M at Rathdowne St this afternoon. My favourite coffee and flourless pear cake with icecream was on the menu. I think I'll call that dinner. What's more, I had my new phone to play with--my first ever phone with a camera. M and I share a love for random photos of little treasures, so it felt good to catch this pic in her company. It's a detail of the mosaic on one of the shop fronts.
The camera was the main reason for getting a more advanced phone. Up until now I've been more than happy with a "grandma" phone that does the basics like making calls and sending the occasional text. On the other hand my commitment to digital photography has gone from the great luxury of my dSLR a couple of years ago, to the compact digital camera I bought earlier this year because I couldn't carry the SLR with me everywhere. Now of course I'm so used to having the camera in my handbag that I feel deprived if I'm carrying a tiny bag and no camera. Solution? A phone with a 5 mega pixel camera!
Now I'm going to establish my credentials for a "grandma" phone . . . I can remember my first mobile phone as a major purchase--and it was maybe ten times the size of the one I just bought . . . I can remember when a 5 megapixel camera was pretty good going as a camera. . . we won't talk about the little film cameras and polaroid cameras I remember from when I was young! So, I'm going to give myself a little time to find my way around my new phone. But I'm pretty happy with the shots I've taken on it so far. . . and by the way, I have even managed to make a couple of phone calls.
As for my spinning, you guessed it . . . I'm still working on silk caps! I have to finish this bobbin and then do one more bobbin before I'm done with that spinning task. I also have to knit a swatch straight from the cap--I'll try to post details of that one.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
My textile task yesterday was spinning more silk caps. Either I was having a lucky day or my technique is improving, because I managed to get through a fair bit without breaking the yarn or making my hands hurt. I'll see how I go with it today.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
- The cocoon is degummed by boiling it gently in water and soap. That gets rid of all the goo which the silkworm uses to hold it together.
- That had been done a while ago and the cocoon had been dried again. So it was soaked in warm water all day to get it thoroughly wet.
- Then C, who was demonstrating just pulled the cocoon apart with her fingers. She hooked a bit of it onto one of the wooden spikes which you can see on the board.
- Then it was a case of stretching and stretching until the cocoon was entirely stretched over the frame.
- Several layers of cocoon later and there you have it.
- The hanky takes a while to dry. Then it's time for more stretching to get it ready to spin.
I always knew silk was remarkably strong, but my hands actually hurt after a couple of hours of spinning yesterday. Pulling those fibres apart so that they can be spun evenly is quite a task. I have a crazy image in my head of a textile gym--spinning wheels instead of exercise bikes, silk to stretch for arm strengthening and large cones of wool for weights . . . only kidding!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
As it turned out, my hands weren't the roughest in the class on Saturday. We have several members who come down from the country. They exchanged stories about stacking firewood, lost work gloves, boots and redback spiders. I must remember that comes as a package deal along with the paddocks, sheep and beautiful views which they also enjoy.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Our topic for the day was silk. We worked with silk caps and tops and had a demonstration of stretching out coccoons to make a silk hanky. I spent the last part of the afternoon blending mulberry silk tops with merino. I now have about 40 g of lustrous luxury to spin up.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
So, happy birthday and congratulations to CCCK. May you live long and prosper and continue to sell lots of wool to enthusiastic crafters.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Choosing and collecting the different colours took me several weeks before I started the actual crochet. I wanted a good variety while representing J & A's favourite colours--thankfully they're complimentary: green and burgundy. The teal contrast was an easy enough fit and I thought I was well on my way. Well I guess I am well on my way, but no matter how carefully I plan, these projects seem to develop a mind of their own. This one is saying, "More light green, please". I hear the message loud and clear. So I thought I would buy some more of the apple green colour. I went back to the shop where I'd bought it, but that colour is all gone. I do have some other options and there are several light greens I could use. I also need an incentive to visit one of my favourite wool shops to see what they're up to. It's CCCK's first birthday this week and it's far too long since I've been there. But at the same time I am a little annoyed with my wool. I'm asking, "Why couldn't you tell me earlier?" but I'm not getting much response, just, "More light green please". "OK, OK, I get the message". By the way, I hope listening to textiles won't be considered a sign of insanity. I'll admit to being somewhat crazy about my craft, but I know plenty of people who tell me their projects talk to them, and no, I'm not hearing voices, so don't worry too much.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
This little wall hanging was a postcard challenge at Essendon Quilters many years ago. There are several things I'd like to improve technically if I were making it again, but it hangs on the wall in my living room and makes me smile.
I guess the variety of options is part of the fun and the excitement of quilting. If I made a different quilt every week, I can't imagine ever running out of options and possibilities . . . then again, if I made a different quilt every week, I can't imagine getting much else done at all!
Now that the triangle sample block is done, I'd better do some work on my spinning before class on Saturday. And my loom is still on my table where I dropped it when I walked in the door on Saturday afternoon. I don't think running out of options is a problem that I need to worry about much.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
As you can see, it's not quite finished. I still need to do the corner pieces for the flying geese border, but it's nearly there and I'm pleased with the result. I can send out the list of requirements for the students today and put the block on display, maybe tomorrow.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
The happy couple are coming to visit in the next school holidays. I've just realised that's only just over a month away, so I'm going to have to focus on this a fair bit if I want to send it home with them. Meanwhile I've set myself the challenge of finishing the triangle sampler today. And I need to take it easy--yesterday was a big day. I think that means breakfast and another coffee should be next on my agenda.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Within half an hour of my posting the photo of my completed bushfire blanket the postie arrived with a parcel from Bendigo Woollen Mills. I'd ordered the wool I need to start my next project a week before, and there it was on my doorstep just when I needed it. Here's my collection so far for the Engagement Gift blanket which is my next armchair project: The key colours are apple-green and burgundy with touches of teal. The mega balls you can see are from Bendigo--200g per ball: they're alpaca rich and mirage yarns. How could I resist with names like " apple rich" and "rich wine"! The mirage has a little bit of mohair in it to provide some texture. One of the other yarns I've chosen has some slubby silk in it. I'm not too happy with the colour reproduction in this shot, but I'll sort that out another time.
I've also been working on my double weave project for my weaving class today. It's just about time to pack up the car and head off. I have a "twisted cord twister" on my shopping list from the Guild's craft outlet. That will help me finish off the fringes on the bushfire blanket.