Saturday, October 21, 2006

I do knit!!

There has been some evidence of my recent knitting on other people's blogs, but not on mine.

I gave a simple wire piece that I knitted at a recent show to Aneeta when we were at the NEC.
Wye Sue shows it here .
I never got round to photographing it myself.
I was pleased to see Aneeta wearing it at Ally Pally last Thursday.

When I want something simple (I might mean mindless) to knit, I knit socks.
At the NEC I succumbed to yet another colourway of Lorna's Laces Shepherds Sock yarn in Black Purl.
I like this on its own, but as with many of their colours it looks better to me partnered with another colourway.

Here it is, knitted up with two rows of Black Purl and one of Amethyst Stripe.

Not a good image, it was taken in a hurry this morning when it was dull, windy and threatening rain.

As well as socks I have nearly finished off some fingerless mittens, which are still to be photographed.

But in the past few days I was commissioned to knit some wire.

The colours were to go with a handbag in green, blues and purples.
It has dragonflies woven in the fabric.

My friend picked out three shades of wire from those I presented. I then had two and a half days to come up with some jewellery.

I was able to do quite a bit of this at the Art Room.
I won't know until Monday how much she wore, or how.

The image here shows three of the four pieces I made.

The final piece, another small leaf shape, was finished shortly after 16.00 today, just in time to be handed over.

All of them had seed beads added in as I knitted one section of the piece.

The seed beads were a mix of suitable colours, threaded at random on the wire.

This was done by pushing the end of the reel of wire into a heap of beads, and seeing if I could pick up any.
The largest piece looked good on my wrist.

It was quite hard to photograph using only my left hand to control the camera.

At the time it never occurred to me to put the wire piece on my left wrist for the purpose of photography.

I need to have another go at photographing these pieces properly.

I do chose to make pieces that are much better seen for real, especially if the sun is shining.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Farewell to our "child"

In 3 hours and 20 minutes my nephew turns 18.
So, we will no longer have a "child" in the house.

As he has gone away for the weekend, we will have to wait until Sunday for him to buy us a drink.
He isn't likely to leave us though, as he has just embarked on his final two years of schooling.

Doesn't time fly!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Shelby's lists for SP9

Shelby has asked us to list some of our favourites, and to answer some questions for SP9.
Here are my answers:

Actor - Robert de Niro

Actress - Daniela Nardini

Animal - the frogs we find in our garden

Band - Curved Air (a fusion of rock and classical in the early 70's)

Book - Montse Stanley's "The Handknitter's handbook". I used to live not far from Montse, and occasionally we got together to talk knitting, and to look at her wonderful collection.

Bubble Bath - I don't ever use them

Candy - dark chocolate 70 % + cocoa

Colour - purple

Drink - water

Flower - Clematis "Betty Corning" has a fantastic fragrance, is lilac coloured, and flowers for months if dead-headed regularly

Food - a hot French bean salad, made from purple podded beans, onions and tomatoes direct from the garden

Lip Balm - anything with honey

Lotion - unscented eg. Simple

Movie - anything with subtitles, so that I can make sense of the dialogue

Place - Toronto (I lived in St Catharines, Ontario, for 5 years in the '70s, and loved the cosmopolitan atmosphere in TO)

Song - whatever is on my brain at a given time

TV Show - Dr Who

Yarn - my handspun wool/silk blend

Vacation Spot - The Yemen.
I was there in '92 before I started sketching, but it is no longer possible to travel there safely.
I'd love to go back with a sketchbook.


1. Where is your favorite knitting spot?
Anywhere well lit, where my back is well supported and I can read or watch TV while knitting.
That way I knit faster, when my mind is on something else.

2. If you suddenly could never knit again (shudder) - what would you do instead?
That would mean loss of both hands, and therefore loss of most other pleasurable activities.
I'd have to try with my feet, and take up writing by dictation.

3. If you could travel anywhere in the world - where would you go and why?
I'd love to go back to the Yemen and South Korea, both of which I have been to for three weeks. Both countries have a way of life that fascinate me.
When in South Korea, I'd love to travel on to Japan.

4. When you were little - What did you want to do "when you grew up?"
I never had any idea, except to enjoy myself, and have some time on my own.
I am the eldest of nine, and was rarely alone.
Apparently at one time I had mentioned working in a library, as it was my favourite place to escape to as a child.
I ended up working in academic libraries for over 22 years.
Now I enjoy myself, designing and making all sorts of things and working at the Long Eaton Art Room.

5. What is your favorite flavour of ice cream? Triple chocolate dairy ice cream

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

SP9 questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love fine yarn, no thicker than 4 ply (fingering) in natural fibres: silk, wool, linen, hemp.
If need be these can be doubled up.
Sock yarns containing up to 25 % artificial fibres are good too.
I don't knit with acrylics or novelty yarns.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Several cardboard tubes that previously contained bottles of scotch.
Crochet hooks stand up in an oval tin that once contained sweets.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
Advanced in some, a learner in others. I have been knitting since I was 5.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
Only a natural scent like rosemary. I don't use scented items often in the shower.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Dark chocolate 70 % or more. Salt licquorice occasionally, but I'm much more likely to eat an apple or other fruit.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I spin, make beads from porcelain, and sew (less often)

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
My musical tastes are catholic, but I favour jazz, especially Jan Garbarek.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love purples and other rich reds, magentas and their accompanying opposites ( in small amounts). I don't like pale pastel clours (I would overdye them).

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live with my husband and nearly 18 yr old nephew.
No pets, just the assorted frogs, newts and other wildlife in the garden.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves, and gloves (sometimes mittens, but I prefer gloves as I cycle).
I wear hats only in the infrequent sub-zero weather we have here.
Ponchos won't ever be on the horizon for me.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Sculptural pieces in fine wire, and socks .

13. What are you knitting right now?
Fine wire into sculptural pieces to wear, and socks.
I should work out a cardigan for myself as the weather will turn cool any day now.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
I love them.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Circular and dpn's only for me, especially in ebony or rosewood

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Both, twice over

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Decades old, and needing to be unpicked no doubt.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Any time with no obligations, and time to knit and read

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Yarn, needles etc. and seed beads for sewing or making jewellery

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Both "Mason-Dixon knitting" and "Knitting Rules" haven't yet found their way to my shelves.
I buy occasional copies of the British kniting magazines.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'm more likely to work them out for myself!

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes, an avid sock knitter. European size 39

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
June 12th

Monday, October 09, 2006

Many gifts ...

Going back a few weeks now, we had the new show at the NEC.
This is a smaller version of Ally Pally, Harrogate etc.
I went for the first day only, as I can't take too much time away from the Art Room.

Fred, Sue and Noonie were there and Aneeta was the cordinator on this occasion.
Sue posted a report on this show here, showing Aneeta wearing the knitted wire piece I gave her. It looked so good in her hair that I didn't think twice about giving it away.

Talking about hair ... I had a surprise gift from Sue.
I had been expecting to buy some cider from her, and was surprised when she pulled this from her bag:

Anyone who knows me, will know that I never wear a crown, carry a handbag or wear a PINK dress.
But the hair is pretty authentic, although not yet showing the tinge of white that I see in the mirror.

I have been waiting ages to remember to go out in the garden to show my alter ego off in her natural habitat.

This afternoon I got my act together as you can see.
What a pity I didn't use the flash to get focused images!

The following day I had to go to London to meet up with Elle and Linda, who were visiting from Ontario.

We met up on the steps of the V&A, together with Iris (my mother).

After spending some hours just looking at items on the ground floor of the V&A, we walked up the road to look at Harrods.

From there we took a bus to Selfridges, but gave up after a short while as none of us had any more interest in shops.
It has changed a lot since I worked there in the summer of '69, so I was no good as a guide.

At 21.00 Elle, Linda and I caught the train from St. Pancras to Long Eaton.
This will be remembered by both of them as St. Pancreas for a long time.

Elle surprised me by producing this from her bag:

How she managed to get it here unscathed is a wonder.

Now, not many of you will know that when I first got to Ontario in 1972 I worked on the Lilles farm. During the week I picked and packed fruit, and at the weekend went to market to sell it.

I used to get up at 04.00 to load the van from the cold storage.
Then my driver would take me to Orillia. While he rested I would unload and sell the soft fruit, peaches mainly.

This basket came from one of the Lilles brothers at Orillia market earlier this year.

The wool is from an Ontario concern, Belle Vallee Wools.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Missed a milestone ...

As you can see I'm not that dedicated to my blog, and have managed to ignore its first anniversary.
Somehow September 29th didn't register with me, other than going in to Derby to the CamTAD volunteer meeting, and back to the Art Room in the afternoon.

As of today, Tuesday, everything is back to normal.
The ceramics class I attend in Nottingham has resumed, with fewer but longer sessions.

This means that I no longer have much free time in the week, and apart from Sunday, no day without commitments.

Pictures are on their way, and some of those missing reports too.
I'm now off to take a few before the evening draws in.