Monday, 27 August 2012

Antiques Roadshow and spinning!

Yesterday, the Banyule City Council put on a sort of Antiques Roadshow at the Banyule Arts Space, as part of their Winter in Banyule festival. This was the last event. I don't usually get a chance to go to the Winter events, but I was asked along with some other members of the Handweavers and Spinners Guild to go along and demonstrate spinning. I guess a sort of 'antique' art!

It was a lovely day with our spinning providing interest and memories before the 'show' and afterwards when there was tea and scones for afternoon tea, of course!

It was an excellent afternoon. I love the television program 'Antiques Roadshow', though not a collector, I do love the stories that pieces carry with them and the odd 'find' is always exciting. Our little local roadshow had some wonderful finds of its own. The $2000 bronze that had been used as a doorstop, the gold and topaz brooch that had been found at Northland and the most exquisite Japanese embroidery on silk of a pair of tigers and so much more.

And I did manage to get some lovely Wendy Dennis fleece spun.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

The view at Rose St.

There comes a time when decisions need to be made. I love Rose St. Artists' Market, the people, the stalls, the community, but, it's not working for me. This Winter has been particularly disappointing with the last two markets being, basically, dismal. I don't exactly know why. It's not Rose St.'s fault, they advertise, they're about to go through renovations that will see exciting new things happening.

As  I sat there and thought, there was the beautiful site of the stall across the way.

I love the 'squashed' look, the simple shapes and colours and then the contrast with the flowers. The young man sells jewellery, but also makes these pots. They're handbuilt. Just love them.

I will think about Rose St. next Winter and I'll have a last market there, for this year, in September. I look forward to it.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Yes, it's yarn!

For nearly the last 10 years, every 1st Saturday of the month is Experimental Spinning at the Handweavers and Spinners Guild. Yep, next meeting on the 1st September we celebrate our tenth (oops) birthday. I've been convening the group for all that time and would miss any of it. We continue to have fun and explore all sorts of yarns, fibres, colour and, of course, ideas. If you want to come along and help us celebrate this momentous achievement, don't hesitate to come along, we'll be there with cake and spinning wheels and a few games, from 1 till 4pm.

For the August meeting we attempted, successfully, I may add, tail-spinning. Lexi Boeger in her book 'Intertwined' describes it. Also many years ago we did a version where you spun the locks together, Lexi describes using a core yarn, which is much easier!

I chose English Leicester, which has an amazing crimp, giving you that lovely curly lock look, with a sheen that dyes beautifully.

We all managed to create amazing yarns and the most interesting part was that the yarn wasn't very overspun, which was a surprise, as it is not a plied yarn. This yarn lends itself to being used just as a decorative yarn without having to be transformed by knitting.

Next time I want to try a variegated fleece, Jen did a fabulous grey skein which she wore to coffee. There were also wonderful colours, with dyed mohair being a standout.

Loads of fun!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

All about the socks

Anyone who has started on the knitting socks journey, ie. has knit more than one and the dreaded second sock sydrome need no longer be mentioned, will tell you that these are the perfect journey, waiting room, etc. project. They're small enough to just pop into a bag. Once you've mastered the basic idea there are few difficulties (unless, of course, you choose to embark on a difficult patterm), and, you can never have too many hand-knitted socks, that is, unless there are also others who appreciate handknitted socks, and then you have the never ending reason for knitting yet another pair of socks. And, they're just complicated enough to be enjoyable to knit.

The reason I didn't tell you about the yarn is that it is just a yarn from Spotlight that I picked up when I had the delightful combination of a gift voucher and discount voucher! Wool with a bit of nylon. A good combination.

It's interesting yarns for socks, I've found that the cheap and cheerful are as robust and reasonable as some of the more beautiful yarns. And, helpfully, packing space at a premium, you don't need a pattern, with the sock pattern conveniently on the back!.

I'm now modifying patterns for my feet: right foot bigger than left, and, I tend to wear a hole in the toe first so that is re-inforced in the same way heels are. While toe decreasing I knit in between the decreases as follows:

     Row 1: K1, slip 1....
     Row 2: Knit

This gives a lovely reinforcement that seems to be working.

And simple sock patterns can be modified when you start the second:

Alternating bands of knit, then purl give a big cuff that I hope will hang over the edge of my ankle boots, of which I have a small, not quite yet, collection.

The next socks on the horizon are black!