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Saturday, 29 January 2011

I keep starting new stuff!

What I should be working on is my weaving, so I'm blogging about that!

For some new scarves I decided to wind a beautiful cream linen warp. I have enough for three scarves, which is what I have been doing since restarting my weaving. This is about as imaginative as I get, three different variations. Hopefully, as I explore different weaves I'll become more experimental and imaginative!

The pattern I've chosen is a shaded twill. The weaving is easy as it is a straight twill treadling in the first variation, which is what caught my eye. The variation is just another twill treadling. The 'trick' is in the warping. This is in the variety of 'grouped' thread twills. In this particular twill, threads are grouped together on the same shaft, and also, other parts limited to only two shafts.

I've just started the first scarf using a linen/cotton yarn in a light brown or dark cream...whatever! So the difference is quite subtle. So subtle that I almost abandoned it in the first inch. I did manage to talk myself out of that and now I'm quite pleased. (Sorry, photo will follow soon!)

I will do the second variation in a slightly thicker and brighter yarn, maybe yellow. The third variation is as yet unknown, but will consist of a colour?

The book that I'm using is an oldie but a goodie...'A Handweavers Pattern Book' by Marguerite P. Davison. It's all four shaft patterns, they're very well explained. So much to look at, it's really hard to choose which one to try.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Isn't January a funny time?

You think you have all this time to catch up with projects, jobs, friends, exhibitions and well....you find things half done. So, I've started quite a few things, but haven't really finished much.

I did finish this though:

I know, it's another shawl, but if you look closely, it's a new pattern and one I'm really happy with. It consists of actually picking up fabric and hooking it onto the knitting machine and continuing knitting, creating a fabric that moves and is more three dimensional. There is a first one, but it disappeared at Rose St. very quickly. It was beautiful in a really gorgeous cream cotton that I only had enough for one.

The other reason that I like it, is that this one seems to represent another step. I've been doing alot of machine knitting, but it's not something that I have ever done alot of, except, of course, when I had to learn how to use the machine, an intense 6 months. The shawl represents, for the first time a style that I feel reflects my aesthetic and a more professional approach to mistakes, and a more capable ability for fix mistakes.

It's as I've often said, the test of a skilled and professional person is not how well they do the work, but how well they deal with the mistakes.

I feel happy to have reached this milestone.

And, I did manage to go and see an exhibition: West Africa: Rhythm and Spirit at the Immigration Museum. Well worth seeing, as are most of the exhibitions at this lovely Museum. This particular exhibition is worthwhile just to see the two minute film showing a group of men and boys weaving. Breathtaking!



Saturday, 8 January 2011

Cricket in Sydney

Yep, hubby, youngest son and I drove up to Sydney for the last test match of the current Ashes cricket tour. After a disappointing Melbourne test we hoped for, at least, a high spirited effort by the Australian team. We saw lots of runs made (by the Brits), lots of good bowling (by the Brits), an incredibly vocal Barmy army (supporting the Brits) and a win (by the Brits)!

The Barmy Army was amazing, not only confirming that we should be a republic by their very pointed rendition of God Save the Queen. (It can't come fast enough.) Not only this but they managed to steal Waltzing Matilda; though I couldn't make out the words, which was just as well as their Mitchell Johnson chant was very pointed!

Anyway, it was lovely to see the Sydey Cricket ground, with it's heritage Members stands and being a smaller ground, how close you felt to the play.

Of course, if you go to the cricket you have to take some knitting. Sitting in the sun on a couple of hot days did slow me down but I did get some done.

I chose to take this pattern from Vogue Knitting Holiday 2008 edition. It's working up beautifully with the yarn I purchased with my Sheep to Shawl win prize of Zara by Filatura di Crosa. It's a beautiful yarn, very soft but with good definition so you can see all the work in the pattern. I'm not sure I have enough, but if it becomes a sleeveless vest that's OK with me. That's what I'm likely not to be able to do.

For the spinners, this yarn is very interesting. It is a very high twist yarn with a beautiful softness. This has alot to do with the Italian extrafine Merino, but also that the twist is achieved by combining SIX two ply yarns together. Whilst there is alot of twist overall, each component is softly spun. This is much easier to achieve with machines as there's alot of spinning. I'm very happy with my choice!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

This is not what I'm working on?

You know how it is in Summer....it's a break, a chance to try new things and experiment and do all those things you've been dreaming of, over the year. Now's the chance. I really wanted to do lots of weaving: rugs, scarves and really play with my new loom. I really wanted to do some experimenting with the knitting machine.

This would all be possible, as the new extension has enabled us to set up a big workbench with all the tools in the new garage and my workshop is now dedicated to just my stuff. Wooppeeee!....well after we move everything, (finally done) and I rearrange and store and sort out all the mess, (in progress). All good....

Except this is what I have been working on:

Yes, it's French knitting. Please don't ask me why I'm not knitting an icord instead. For some reason, knitting icords is sort of annoying and this is sort of nice. I'm just using up scraps from my stash. I really can't throw out any fibre, even the browns! and I'm making a rug. I think in the end I will sell it. I'll probably only charge for sewing up time, as that's the only bit I don't enjoy about this project, and it takes along time. I've already spent FIVE hours sewing up.

The next one will be for us. I'll know how long it will take, how much yarn I'll need and I'll be able to plan it a bit more than this one. I look forward to that.

For now, it's just fun!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

A New Years Resolution

As another blogger bemoaned her lack of blogging and the wish to regain her momentum, said "Isn't that what new years resolutions are for?". All I can say is 'Yep'! So here is my first blog for 2011.

I have been a bit thin on magazine reviews, for no other reason that my head has been IN the magazine and not here. A little bit of luck on New Years Eve provided me with the latest edition of Vogue Knitting (or Designer Knitting after it has been sent to England, repackaged and sent here! Hasn't anyone told them that England is the WRONG direction!) I didn't expect anything but there it was.....

I love this:

and this:

and would love to modify this dress to something else!


Oh, and here is our lovely extension. It is finished (basically) and we've furniture and TV and it's the lightest and biggest room in the house. We love the terrace and the view!

Unfortunately, the landscaping is still to come. 2011 project....I thought it would all be over.

Anyway, I hope your New Year celebrations were filled with friendship and fun and achievable resolutions. See you somewhere, sometime, I'll be the one with the busy hands!