Thursday, December 31, 2009
Yesterday I got as far as digging it out of the box where I'd stored it and giving it a good wash. Now it's clean and dry and ready to go, but it's going to take a bit of determination to make the first cut. Uh oh! --the more I think about it, the more reluctant I am to take the scissors to it.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
The next question to answer is how hardy do I want this project to be? The corduroy will take a fair bit of punishment without complaining, whereas the flannel needs a bit more consideration. Then again distressed flannel does look pretty good. Hmmm . . . I'm not in a hurry so I'll just let those sit together until it becomes clearer.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I'm also hoping to use it to help wind off my smaller cones of yarn when making a warp, or skeins for dyeing. The larger cones are nice and stable, but the smaller ones have a bad habit of falling down unexpectedly. All in all a very clever little gadget!
Monday, December 28, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
The setting was beautiful, with lots of green gardens--they had rain recently--and quirky little touches like this:It was quiet and peaceful--just the thing for Christmas!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
- rose petals from my garden before the weeds took over
- rosemary, also from my garden--it's the only plant that's really thriving at the moment
- orange peel
- lavender oil
- cinnamon bark
- green cardamom
- star anise
- oris root powder as a "fixative"
Sorry, the blog doesn't come with a smell widget, but try to imagine the scent in my sewing room where I've been assembling the sachets!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Now this morning I'm thinking of the fruit in terms of colours. I can't say I selected the blue-rimmed bowl for artistic effect--it was just the first one that came to hand, but it works as a complementary-ish colour scheme. At least it would be complementary if the fruit were fully ripe, but what fascinates me is the gradations of colour in the fruit itself from quite a bright green through to a mellow orange. Hmmm, I wonder what I could do with that? Now that I've taken the photo, I don't have an excuse to delay dealing with the fruit. I know if I leave it in the bowl the colours will continue to develop in a fascinating way, I also know that I will lose my motivation and the rot will set in--literally! So, cutting up and stewing apricots is on the bonus "to do" list for this morning.
Friday, December 18, 2009
It's one of those clever textile things where form follows function. The outer edges of the little squares are the highest and the pattern sinks down towards the middle--in this case, the better to hold moisture, though the same effect in wool makes a lovely warm blanket, with these woven cells maximising the insulation. So it's functional as well as decorative. I'm adding a simple edging in quilting cotton to boost the decorative value. Come to think of it, that's functional too, since it strengthens the outer edge.
OK, time to stop thinking about it and get to cutting and stitching, there aren't many days left before Christmas.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Apart from my usual slowness in actually finishing things off, the other delaying factor has been the big table. Well, not the table itself, but all the stuff that accumulates on the table. I wanted to have the whole table top clear so I could spread out the blanket and make sure all the fringes were even. Now I have a beautiful big clear table to work on. I'm hoping I can keep it like that for a while.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Now, what to spin . . . well there are various requirements for my Spinnning Certificate folio on the "must do" list. Trouble is the list isn't really written. I need to sort out what I've done and what I still need to do . . . Meanwhile, there's a bit of merino left over from the wool-silk baby skein. I might just use that as a warm up. The forecast for today is 39, so I don't think it will be much of a spinning day. Maybe I'll just gloat for a while.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Yesterday was my day for cleaning up the living room. This is where a lot of my spinning, knitting and weaving happens, so there's lots of stuff. I spent several hours sorting and putting away stuff before pressing the "clean" button on the robot. I was especially careful about fibre, since the little machine can get itself badly tangled. It does have a sensor for things like carpet fringes, but it's not up to dealing with a whole ball of wool. Here's the proof:I had some knitting on the armchair. I thought it was out of reach of the robot. I was wrong. While I was in the sewing room, the roomba grabbed, not one, but two balls of wool and the attached knitting needle and proceeded to criss-cross the room in its programmed cleaning pattern. Eventually the brushes were so tangled that it stopped. Then came the alert signal which brought me to investigate. The blue wool you can see disappearing at the lower right of the picture was cleverly festooned around two legs of my dining table. The robot voice said, "Please clean roomba's brushes". I thought that was a reasonable request. I rescued my knitting needle and unwound several metres of wool--which by then was well mixed with dust and dog hair. That went in the bin. Then I put the roomba back on the floor and pressed "clean" again. Off it went as if nothing had happened. I'm glad to say the rest of the task was uneventful. After cleaning the rest of the room, my little robot docked itself for recharging and made its little happy chiming noise to let me know the job was done. OK, so housework and I are still not the best of friends; and I'm more aware than I was of the limitations of my little robot cleaner, but the living room is looking better than it has in a long time.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Last week I bought a few metres of calico and made up these bean bag cushions. I bought a bag of "beans" to fill them. I must be getting wise in my old age, because instead of attempting to fill the cushions by myself, I rang a friend. As it turns out one of my weaving buddies was here as well when V came over yesterday afternoon, so the three of us tackled the cushion filling task. With three pairs of hands on the job, we got these bags filled with only one or two stray bits of styrofoam reaching the floor--yay team!! Now to close off the gaps and make pretty covers. My plan is to make two sets of covers so I can easily wash and change them frequently. I'll see how I go with that.
Unfortunately the afternoon didn't end so happily, when my friend R went to go home, she found her car had been smashed--so badly that she couldn't drive it home. There was no note and none of my neighbours had seen or heard anything. So she spent several hours calling her insurance company, a panel beater and a tow truck before I drove her home. So this morning I woke to the satisfaction of the bean bag cushions and the disappointment of some-one's carelessness and lack of consideration. I'll try to hang on to the former and let go of the other . . .
Friday, December 11, 2009
I tore binding strips from bits of scrap paper to demonstrate:
The top strip shows the bias seam which is used to join lengths of binding as inconspicuously as possible. The folded strip of paper hanging over the top of my notes is a double fold binding. Calculating the width of fabric to cut for these is tricky--you can see my diagram for calculating it--the formula is (3 x binding width plus allowance for quilt thickness) x 2. After snapping this photo with my phone, I left L with the bits of paper to fiddle with. I'll be keen to see how she gets on.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Since it came as tops, it's spinning up quickly and easily and getting me back into rhythm before I look at some of the spinning challenges I still need to tackle for my Spinning Class folio. And no, don't mention the word procrastination . . .
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
- the first couple went to amuse my friend A's bunny--she loves things she can chew: these she can chew and chase
- the next few went to my friend L--she reckons they're just the thing to wrap itty bitty Christmas gifts
- then several went to the Children's Centre at the Neighbourhood House--the kids can use them for constructing all sorts of wonderful things
Now I've got a few more. It's fun to think of the possiblilities.
Monday, December 7, 2009
This is the strawberry crepe we shared for dessert: fresh strawberries, chocolate sauce and cream. The venue has live music every night, so I'm guessing that Saturday afternoon is their slow time. They're gradually transforming the outside space from back-yard to "courtyard". I noticed some new garden beds since I was there last, but we still sat at a rickety table under a tree. Meanwhile my friends at Experimental Spinning were combining various fibres to make a chocolate themed batt, so I felt that I was participating in spirit, if not in person.
I've been doing a little bit of spinning and knitting each day and am starting to think about what next. Meanwhile, there's Christmas to work towards, with various bits of textiles to be incorporated into my gift-giving.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
The whole thing is one big mosaic. I love it! Great colours, it's inspiring and lively and functional and just Wow!
I bought a couple of little things and my friend M bought quite a few things. Then we went on to High St for Crepes and a sit in the shade. It was a good day.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
If I can make yarn like that consistently today, I'll be a happy spinner. I may yet need a little more twist, since I'll lose some when I go to ply it.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Well this is where the tea comes in:
I made up the strongest pot of tea you could imagine. Then I soaked my white bras in it. Now they are not white--they're a basic beige colour. That's a definite improvement. I've also bought a black textile ink to try on the purple ones. That's my next challenge.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
- I need to find a way of securing each of these little packages of fibre so that they don't go berserk in the dyepot
- They need a good soak to help the colour to penetrate properly
- I need to find the right pot to dye them in, I think I can use the smaller of my two dyepots with as little water as possible
- Meanwhile I'm desperately running around the colour wheel in my head--like the proverbial hamster--what colours shall I add?
- I'm going to put the three different fibres in the same dyepot, then they'll easily work in together for whatever project D comes up with.
- Rinsing and drying and then deciding whether to pop them in the mail, or have the pleasure of handing them over in person.
Right, I have a plan! As usual there's a small snag--yep, the kitchen sink. It's currently full of dirty dishes. Clear those and I'm on my way.