Tuesday, 28 October 2008

What is the name for a group of UFO's?

There has to be a name for them, doesn't there.

I'm not talking about the individual UFO's out there. You know....start off knitting that jumper for a significant other, or, in my case, for me, and then you realise that there isn't time in the day for it, if everything else is going to happen, or it's just not working and eventually you'll have to do something....

No, I'm talking about all those, 'gees, that's a good idea, I'll just try that...'. Doesn't matter that they seem to increase daily, or that the deadline to finish something looms. No you'll just have to try it and see.......and before you know it you have....

A great idea for using up those leftover yarns. Just do a little mosaic pattern and change when you run out of yarn, just like in fairisle. Oh, they'll look good as fingerless mittens.

Or, I can't take needles on the airplane, so I'll crochet a background for the crochet and weaving sample. (Yes, Australia is in the dark ages...they took my nailfile!) Maybe that will make an interesting scarf. I do have some lovely yarns to weave.

Or, maybe I'll make another knot scarf with this knot yarn. Oh gee, it's not quite working, so I'll make a reversible lace scarf, but now it needs blocking......WHEN IT'S FINISHED!

And then, finally, there's the one, that's been sitting around for ages. The lovely twisted single, knitted so that there is extra twist, but I can't finish it because, I want to embellish it, but I have no idea what to do, and, if it isn't finished, then I don't have to come up with ANOTHER IDEA!

Monday, 27 October 2008

Back from Sydney

I've come back from an arty weekend in Sydney. Two friends and I went up to see the Woollahra Small Sculpture award, including attending the opening and artist talks, as my friend was an, not I.....

It was worthwhile going on many accounts. A beautiful building and a beautiful view. Finding out the winners. I loved the highly commended, but the winner provoked much discussion! The Woollahra Council and Award committee people were very friendly and helpful and seeing all the entrants was worthwhile. I felt that I could make it into this award, I just have to get it right? It was alot of fun attending and supporting my friend, whose work stood out well, including being well displayed...another plus for the organisers.

We also got to be tourists for the weekend, visiting the Gallery of NSW with it's beautiful Monet exhibition, which was well worth a visit, and the permanent collection, including an excellent Contemporary section and some good iconic Australian work.

Took a trip on a ferry. You sort of have to, don't you? Though I think this is more iconic of Sydney in my mind than the big showpieces.

However, you can't go past the Opera house. Though it looks like it needs a bit of a spruce up, it's still amazing and beautiful. Love it.

Great weekend. I'm tired now!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

I've finished a painting

I've finally sorted out a little computer issue that has made blogging difficult. Should be good now.

I have been busy! I've finished another painting. This was an incredibly good exercise in colour. Being a technique where you only apply dots of paint and you build up layers of all sorts of colours, I'm happy with the result and may just have sorted out some of my colour issues.

I really don't always comprehend the use of colour, but this exercise and the mantra 'it's only paint and paper, so it doesn't matter', have helped enormously.
I have also completed this scarf, which was really an exercise in casting off and casting on. I used a beautiful boucle to hide the cast off and on edges, which don't always look good. It created a really great ladder up the middle. Though it does take a long time and boucle doesn't make it any easier, I'm happy with the result. So much so, it's gone straight onto Etsy.

Friday, 17 October 2008

I do love to weave

It doesn't feel like it this week, but I have been working. I'm onto my next woven wall hanging, about half way up at this point. Again, I'm using a mix of handspun yarn, three different textures, this amazing black tape, like video tape, but not! and also add in some gold wire which I will twist prettily once off the loom.
It's slow as I didn't prepare the warp for this pattern. I wasn't really thinking that far ahead. But I do know what the next one will be...

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

What did you first knit?

Snb yesterday was a joy. Lots of people, sharing projects, ideas, yarns, problems and even finished projects. Here is the scarf of our new knitter (I think I said spinner, yesterday...probably wishful thinking on my part!) And here is her sample feather and fan. A whole morning was spent winding the yarn for her next project and she is very excited.

My show and tell for the morning was the yarn I dyed with the Red Onion skins. I didn't start with any mordanted yarn and that gave me the dark brown. The second skein was dyed with the remaining dye and some copper coins in the pot. I'm not sure the coins did much, I think I'll try a much more scientific method and actually pre-mordant properly. Unfortunately, I do have to wait for the red onion skins as Jenny at the Greville Rd Fruit supply doesn't supply as many.

I did like the colours achieved and found a pattern in one of Barbara Walker's pattern books, called 'String of Purls', which just might make a nice pattern with the two colours.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

More fractal spinning

I have spent the weekend spinning around town. On Saturday, I spent the afternoon at Incube8r and managed get a good start on my new fractal spinning skein. Incube8r was not very busy. We were wondering if the combination of a beautiful sunny day and perhaps a feeling of gloom kept people from coming out to shop.

You do remember this beautiful Hand-dyed silky wool I bought at the Australian Sheep and Wool show in July from Virginia Farm Wool Works ( I decided that, as it had very definite areas of colour and the colours are very distinct, this would be excellent for another try at the fractal spinning.

The 9"x5" market was on Sunday and it was very quiet. We did, though have a little celebration in advance of children's week. So I sat there with some very bright red, yellow, blue dyed English Leicester and taught some children to spin on a stick. This was fun and surprisingly successful. It is difficult to do, I did manage to rope my youngest into sitting on the stall for the day, but I doubt he'll do that very was a very quiet (read boring) day for him, though I did appreciate it.

I also did manage to spin more of my fractal stripe. If I manage to get the colour happening well and then knit something to suit, there are those waiting for the result. It is a beautiful 120gms of the loveliest coloured wool.

Today is SnB and our new spinner has finished her scarf and is looking for her next project. A shawl, but as she is of smaller stature wants something elegant or unusual, even maybe with armholes(?). The Wendy Dennis wool she has is thick (around 8ply to 10ply) and multi-coloured. She'll be doing a sample with feather and fan today, just to see, but is willing to try something else. Suggestions anyone.....

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Not more fingerless mittens

With the market (9"x5" QMM) on Sunday, I've been finishing off these fingerless mittens. I just thought I'd show you all as these are the brightest I've done yet. Several requests/queries indicated that I needed to make some purple (I can do that), pink (!) and aqua (?). I also threw in some onion-skin dyed yarn, which is much more me.

It's interesting doing colours you wouldn't normally select for yourself. I decided to purchase some handspun yarn from the HWSG in pink and purple, and use that. I haven't worn pink since primary school. Mum made me a hot pink drop waist short sleeved dress. I did like it then, but since haven't worn anything like it.

However, I do feel that somehow, they've become a product of my personality and I like them. Hopefully, they go well on Sunday.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Bollywood yarns

This month at Experimental Spinning, we were playing with plying with a Bollywood theme. I brought some recycled sari silk yarns that I had purchased in San Remo. These provided the inspiration for colour combinations.
I'm not sure I quite achieved a real Bollywood effect, but they're very bold yarns.
There was some discussion about cable and crepe yarns. My take on this is that if all singles are plyed together at the same time, then it's a cable yarn. The yellow is my cable yarn. If the yarn is built up with successive plyings then it's a crepe yarn. The crimson yarn. They give very different effects. I think I might follow up this line with some research. In the name of accurately and consistently describing yarns, it might be worth it.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Puff yarn scarf

I think I'm in love. I took my Country Conference puff yarn down to the beach, just to knit it up quickly and see how it looks. It looks wonderful. I'm definitely going to make more of this yarn.

I knit on 15mm needles for this scarf as it proved to give a reasonably dense fabric.
I did try on 20mm needles, it was very open and if there was enough yarn, this would make a great shawl as it was very bouncy.