Thursday, March 22, 2007

Some recent knitting

As part of SP10, our hostess has asked us to post something about what we are working on.

That is easy.
I have been knitting three different things today.
The first was a hotchpotch of my knitting and some from two other people.
Last Thursday I ran a workshop on knitting with wire (and beads) for the Derby branch of the Knitting and Crochet Guild.
Clearing up at the end, I found one piece of deep purple wire knitted and cast off, and a piece of deep pink wire still on the needles.

Getting up at 05.25 this morning, I grabbed these, 4 dpns and another reel of wire.
On the 06.06 train to London I joined these bits of wire together, and knitted a bit more before casting off. Having done that I reverted to knitting my latest pair of socks.

These are being made from some leftovers, half Opal Hundertwasser, and half Fybrespates.
These are my favourite socks at the moment, and are nearing the point when I have to try them on in order to gauge when I should turn the heel. Not easy to do on the train though!
They are being knitted toe up with a simple short row heel, as I usually do now.
Most of the leg part will be 3x3 ribbing.
I'll change to that when I think that I want a change of action.
Most of my socks are fairly similar in construction.
I just have fun in deciding which yarns to mix.
Having arrived at Olympia this morning for the Stitching show, once Yvonne was there and the stand set up I went to browse, and found some fantastic sequins. Back at "Relax and Knit" I threaded some onto the trailing end of the purple part of the knitted wire, and sewed them on.
I wore the piece all day, and then gave it away.
So no photos, but it looked so good against Chris's jacket that I just had to give it to her.
She always teases me that I never wear the same piece of knitted wire when she sees me.
The clothes might be the same or certainly similar each time though!
Later I threaded more sequins on to the turquoise wire, and cast on a few stitches.
I asked someone to choose a number between 1 and 9.
She chose 6, so that was the frequency with which I placed the sequins.
Here is the piece, looking way too flat for my liking.

I am not sure how it will develop.
I nearly always design on the needles when working with wire.
Watch this space!

I may wear this at the show at the NEC next week.
Of course now I am at home, I have my full range of 0.02 mm wire to choose from.
That could make a major difference.
Who this will be for I don't know.
I will probably wear it initially.

It may then go on display in the Art Room.
I may sell it (if I am lucky), or possibly give it away!
Of one thing I am certain, I will not duplicate it!

The latest socks on my ebony needles are always my favourites, but here are the ones I finished earlier this week.
I grabbed them this morning, and wore them despite not having sewn the ends in yet.
And here are the two colours of Lorna's laces Shepherd Sock that produced this combination. I'm not sure of the names right now.

Today was the first show of this year for me (back to the Art Room tomorrow). It was great to see Yvonne, Nic, Adrienne and Fred. I'll be seeing Yvonne and Fred next Thursday at the show.

Yvonne was wearing a cardigan, that has inspired me. Unusually I have some thick (DK, but thick for me) yarn, wool in a bright purple. This has been hanging around for the better part of 20 years.

I now have some thoughts about how I might knit it up. Must go to bed and think on it!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

A variable week

There was no lip-reading class today, so I was able to meet with a couple of friends for lunch.

The venue was the Reflections Cafe at the Attenborough Nature Centre, which is just off the road to Nottingham from Long Eaton.

As it was quite a nice day I turned down the offer of a lift from the other Mary, and cycled.
It takes about 20 minutes, depending on wind and traffic.

The reserve is in some former gravel pits, and attracts an amazing range of birds notably waterfowl. The link to sightings will tell you what has been seen/heard there recently.

Tomorrow is the final ceramics class of this session in Nottingham, which will mean that I have more time in my week from now until May. I am going to see some new pieces that will have had their second firing. Last week, the kiln was just cooling down, which was frustrating.

Then on to an evening event at the Beetroot Tree in Draycott , to take part in the launch of artsderbyshire.

Wednesday should be an ordinary Art Room day, or as ordinary as they ever get.

Then Thursday will be the first show date for me, at Olympia on the Relax and Knit stand, promoting hand-knitting and crochet.

Back to the Art room for Friday and Saturday.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Having fun

My latest parcel for the SP9 exchange only went in the post last week, the reason being that I put some time-consuming gifts in it.

Before posting, I photographed one item.
In fact I tried to photograph it several times, as it was a difficult subject but I wanted to keep a record of it.
This bag went off to Margaret in Maryland in the US.
Check out her blog for other images.
I had the greatest of fun spoiling her and her daughters in Secret Pal 9.
I really wanted to reveal myself from the beginning, but had to wait until I knew that the parcel was on its way.
I must learn to not spend so much time making the gifts that go in my parcels.

Monday, March 12, 2007

SP10 questionnaire

1. What is/are your favourite yarn/s to knit with? What fibres do you absolutely *not* like?
I love natural fibres, and only fine yarn ( I can always double it up if need be). I do not like artificial fibres.
I also knit with fine wire.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Needles and hooks are kept in a variety of large containers (some are ex-whisky tubes), as I have so many.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I learnt from my mother and grandmother, and could knit before I started school.
I am expert in some areas, and a novice in others.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Not available

5. What's your favourite scent?
I don't use scented bathroom items or candles.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favourite candy?
I love dark chocolate (70 % + cocoa content)

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I spin, sew a bit, crochet occasionally and make small-scale ceramics.
I also frequently dye yarn or fibres for spinning

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I listen to the radio mostly, but have extensive musical tastes, particularly jazz

9. What's your favourite colour(s)? Any colours you just can't stand?
I love purples, other bright jewel colours and the complimentary acid yellows (in small quantities).
I don't much like pastel shades, but they are good for overdyeing.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
We now have an all adult household.
No pets, as my nephew's goldfish all died of old age years ago.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves and gloves when it is cold enough. Ponchos - never, and a hat only when it is really necessary

12. What is/are your favourite item/s to knit?
For clothing I knit lacy scarves and socks mostly.
Otherwise I knit all sorts of sculptural forms from fine wire, sometimes with beads and/or sequins.

13. What are you knitting right now?
Socks as usual, and planning a lacy scarf.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminium, plastic?
Circular and sets of 5 sock needles. Ebony for socks, steel for fine wire.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
2 of each

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
So old that I'd be guessing at 30 +, maybe 40 + years!

18. What is your favourite holiday?
Any time spent with friends away from work.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Glass seed beads and sequins to knit along with wire.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I'd like to try out a Susan Bates Silvalume sock needle set, as they look so colourful.
I subscribe to SpinOff and Yarn Forward.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'm still hoping to invent some.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes, continental 39

23. When is your birthday?
June 12th

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Finally ... I got lucky

I haven't had much luck with this computer recently.
Whenever I have time to log in, I find that the broadband connection is flickering on and off, or the virus checking is slowing it all down, and so I give up, and do something else.
Then yesterday, perversely, I couldn't log in to this site.
I've freshened up with a new password, and should be back in business now.

My absence had been noted by friends, that is nice to know.

So what happened over the past 6 weeks or so?
I have been finishing off the items for the three exchanges I have been in.
SP9 is just about done and dusted.
I got a large parcel into the post yesterday for Margaret much later than I had intended.

My "colors of spring" swap, arranged in Germany was great fun (pictures to follow).
My upstream partner was generous. Her parcel however arrived partially open.
It looks as though it was all there. I was most surprised to see that the parcel came from Langen. This is the town in Germany that is twinned with Long Eaton, where I live.
All of this was just coincidence.

My downstream partner Kerstin received her parcel, and was pleased with it.

The third exchange was the Interweave Press "Spin to knit".
Here I am rather slow, as my skeins are still waiting for me to pack them off to Canada.

In turn I received this fantastic yarn sent from the US by Aleeta.
It is a mix of subtle greens/blues and greys.
This was the skein for January, and was influenced by the costumes for "The Lord of the Rings" .

She also sent this skein for February.
In an email, she commented that all her friends wanted this one. I can see why!

In the meantime at the Art Room we are preparing for a Have-A-Go Day to celebrate the first anniversary of our opening a year ago. This will take place on Sunday April 1st at the studio.

We have had able assistance from the local CVS. They have sent us help through the New Deal scheme. Our first assistant finished her 13 weeks in mid February. Fortunately she was able to overlap with the second one for a couple of weeks.

Yesterday was a great day. After attending my lip-reading class I went to the studio to meet Miss Bell who was donating some art materials to us.
No time to take it all in then, but there is lots for us to play with!