Thursday, September 30, 2010
This coming Sunday is the first in the month--October already!--and I'll be at the Guild for a few hours of easy spinning and conversation. That seems an ideal opportunity to get on with this project. Maybe I can complete it before it officially gets on to the to do list. It's fun to trick myself that way occasionally.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
They're growing in hanging pots outside my north window and are just starting to cheer the place up. I've got a list of phone calls to make and work to do in the garden as well as the usual indoor tasks. I guess I'll wait and see how long the sunshine and my energy last.
Monday, September 27, 2010
I'll take this with me this morning, though I doubt I'll have time for much knitting. I'm off to pick up a minibus from the Council offices. I'm taking my Monday morning group in to the city to visit the Immigration Museum. Driving a twelve-seater minibus is a bit of a stretch for me, but I'm up for a new challenge. I'll have a little time before I pick up my passengers to get into the rhythm of the new vehicle.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Cellulose fibres gave the best results. Silk was pretty good. Most of the wool samples took the dye rather weakly. The exception was my 70% wool-30% cotton skein, which was a real winner. As a quilter and silk-lover I'm happy to acknowledge the positives. As a spinner and wool-lover I want more! I've emailed R, who leads the Natural Dyeing group at the Guild, with some questions. One of my Indigo books suggests a different recipe for wool. That's not surprising given the different fibre structure, but how can the vat satisfy the needs of the dye for a higher pH environment as well as the wool's desire for a lower pH. . . ? I guess I've got a lot of learning to do. That's just fine by me. Meanwhile, I can tick another task off my list and decide what to do with this bunch of samples. You can see from the pic that I've carefully labelled each one, so one option is to paste them all up nicely and add them to my folio. On the other hand, I could just play with the variety.
Now I'm going to leave them hanging in the bathroom and head off to brunch with my weaving buddies. One of the weavers is off to London with a one-way ticket, so we're gathering to wish her well on her way. My contribution to the meal is a batch of orange and date pikelets, courtesy of my friend L's recipe, so there will be sampling of a different sort in the next few hours.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
My evening's quilting class was punctuated by dramas with security alarms and missing keys. In between I had a couple of hours at home. I needed a safe little project to give me a break from the rather intense day. I tried this little lace lattice stitch from one of my stitch dictionaries. A four-stitch, two row repeat makes it easy enough to remember and intricate enough to catch my attention for a concentrated breathing break.
This morning I got a little over-confident and tried to keep up the rhythm of stitches while chatting with a friend on the phone. I didn't quite get it right, so I'll have to undo a few rows. There are double increases and decreases on every second line, so I'm not sure how I'll go picking it up again. OK, I just convinced myself to un-knit it rather than take it off the needles. Then a bit of cleaning up is on the agenda before my afternoon appointment.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Here's some sage that's sitting in my window-sill. Sage didn't figure in yesterday's conversation, but I've been promising myself to take this picture. My friend A brought me the sage from her garden . . . roast pumpkin and sage risotto is on my menu for this week.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
This little collection belongs to J, one of the students who is only doing the class quilt at the moment. Mind you, she is working on an elaborately smocked Christening gown for one of her grandchildren at the same time. She bought the dinosour fabric for her grandson. She plans to just put a border around it, since she has four grand-daughters waiting their turn for quilts like the one she's currently working on in class. The Beatrix Potter print is just irresistable. We talked about ways to handle the framed pictures so as to minimise stress. I don't recommend stitching a seam parallel to a printed black line to beginners. In fact it's a task I would avoid for myself.
As for me, I'm feeling a little slow this morning. My next stop is the Council offices. I need to discuss the plans for my studio with the planner there. I'm hoping it will all go through OK. Then it's back to the shed company to hurry the building permits along. I only wish I could get that process into the spring racing mode!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Oh, and the raffle quilt will be drawn at the end of the meeting. It's been a significant part of the Neighbourhood House community this year as we've designed and constructed it together. I can't wait to see who gets to take it home.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
In case you can't read the fine print: this is the Morris Ltd, Fish and Poultry Department bike! As a craftsperson I'm fascinated by the way all the components were designed and assembled for the task. As a cyclist I hope the fish and poultry in that front basket weren't too heavy. It would be quite a challenge to ride steadily on the cobbled bluestone streets with a full load. I'm not going to think about the odours wafting up from the basket on a summer day.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Eventually we got into the swing of the workshop. Marilyn showed us how to set up an Indigo vat from scratch. I love from scratch! Here's the stock solution sitting in a warm bath while the various components do their thing:
That dark blue colour of indigo turned into a yellowish-green as the dye turned into its soluble form. The magic was watching it oxidise again after dyeing the yarns: the unique blue gradually reappearing on the fibre and staying there.
By the end of the day I was so bonded with the process that I couldn't resist the invitation to take a leftover indigo vat home for myself. It's in the car as I type. In fact I must bring it into the house so I have room for passengers today. I spent the evening reading my Indigo book and dreaming of possiblilities. I know, it's not a great time for me to find a home for another bulky source of colour, but I find myself justifying myself in a million ways. Basically though, I love this stuff, and there's always room in the house for those you love.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
I always find it hard to judge how large to make these blankets. This one will tuck under my feet and come up to my shoulders when I've got the recliner out on the armchair. That seems like a good size to me. My taller friends might wish for a bit more length, but there are at least two more blankets available in the living room, so that will be just fine. Now I get to chose my first project to make with the leftovers.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Meanwhile there has been much more digging activity in my back garden. Nothing as cute as the nectarine this week: mainly clumps of dietes. I have decided that if I every need to build an air-raid shelter, I will plant dietes over the top of it. They are among the toughest things I have met. There were eight clumps in my tiny back garden. Five have been dug up and shipped out. One is lying in pieces waiting for a trip to its new home and two are tenaciously holding on. My mission for today is to make them let go. I wish I knew some enthusiastic basket weavers. Failing that I'll have to do a couple of trips to the green dump.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
Sitting tight is also on the agenda for my Shed/studio project. I dropped in to the Council offices yesterday to check on the permit process. It's taken a week for the application to make its way into the system: from the actual mailbox to when it appears on the computer. The next step is waiting for allocation to a planner. Once it's allocated it will then be considered. The two week "fast track" process I've been told about is apparently immobilised by the delays in getting the applications to the planners for consideration. Did I say I'm not good at sitting tight. I'll probably make a couple of calls today to see if there's anything else I can do. Not that there aren't plenty of things to be getting on with at home. I must remember to keep calm and breathe slowly. Oh, that's so hard!