Friday, March 30, 2007

Finding Water Check In

This weeks Finding Water, Uncovering A Sense of Resolve, has been a difficult week for me. I've missed at least 3 days of morning pages, and it always makes it harder for me to get back into writing, when I've missed a day.

I did manage to fit in a visit to the children's section, of the local Waterstone's Bookshop, and made a few inspired purchases. This first book is called The Night Pirates, I really liked the collage style illustrations and it's become a favourite bedtime story for Neo too. It's very politically correct as the pirates in the story are actually little girl pirates who borrow a house for a disguise to steal some treasure from some grown -up pirates.

I've had my eye on this Oodles of Doodles book for a little while, so was glad of an excuse to buy it, I'll show you more of this when I actually get some drawing done.

I'm still battling with time and balance, but I keep planning my way out of it. I find trying to fit everything and Finding Water into every week quite a struggle, but I'll persevere with it! I would still like to do The Artist's Way but have decided if I do start it, to spread each week
over 2 weeks because I think I could balance everything a bit better that way.

Recently I've read Neil Gaiman's Coraline, it's also aimed at children,as is this book The Wolves in The Walls which is beautifully illustrated by Dave Mc Kean.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Knitters Treat Exchange Questionnaire

1. What's your favourite type of yarn?
I love natural fibres like wool, silk, linen, I love noro, but think its badly made and overpriced now that I can spin.

2. What's your least favourite type of yarn?
Acrylic or eyelash, although even eyelash could be recycled into something else on a wheel.

3. What's the first thing you do when you visit a new yarn shop?
I’d have to check for fibre first…because it’s such a novelty to be able to see and touch fibre before you buy it around here.

4. What other crafts do you do / would like to do?
I spin, knit, sew, draw, paint, collage, do needlepoint. I’d like to try my hand at making my own paper, and I’m really into those amigurumi dolls, but haven’t got around to doing any, and I’m keen to do tapestry weaving but there are not enough days in the week!

5. What magazines do you currently subscribe to?
I subscribe to Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits. I've only recently had the IK and think I prefer the Vogue although I do enjoy reading the articles even if I don't like the patterns.

6. Put this type of magazine in order of preference: Crochet / Other Craft / Knitting / Food / Home / Fashion / Celebrity Gossip / Garden
Crochet / Knitting / Other craft / Crochet / Home /Fashion / Garden / Celebrity Gossip / Food

7. What items do you like to knit / crochet?
I like to knit small items like bags, hats, gloves, socks, scarves, I also like to knit garments like cardigans and jumpers. I haven’t really crocheted much but I like to play with the hook and yarn in a freeform manner!

8. Are you allergic to anything?
I’m not allergic, but I don’t like nuts. I can be a bit sensitive to some bath products, but I’m not able to pinpoint anything specific.

9. What do you like to* smell of?(*This is not a typo. The question is: What do you like to smell of)
I like fresh subtle smells, nothing too overpowering. Lavender makes me sneeze.

10. What's your favourite way to relax?
I like to spin, swim or have a nice hot bath.

11. You're stood in front of a Victorian style sweetshop, an Italian cafe, an old fashioned bakery and a dainty tea room. Where do you go first?
The sweetshop

12. What do you come out with?
Peppermint creams, maple fudge, coconut ice.

13. Where do you go next?
Tea room for a traditional cream tea with clotted cream scones, sit back and watch the world go by.

14. Any other words of wisdom for your pal?
Since I started spinning I am more fibre obsessed than anything else, although I still knit and want to make more time for collaging and drawing. I like coffee, but I'm not a hardcore coffee person, I like vintage stuff…like magazines, buttons, beads, fabric, and I even collect the pretty paper bags things come in.

brown paper packages!

Look what the postman brought me yesterday morning, a brown paper string! This is the first package from my secret pal...don't worry secret're not late getting this package out, if anything I would say you're early, I think I must be the first person in Secret Pal 10 to get a package, well done and thankyou.

We have some Montesumas chocolates, which are very nice, and even better Neo didn't like they're mine all mine, a lovely scented candle and some hand dyed sock wool, in a colour my pal is calling Pansy.
Even better is the brown paper they were wrapped in (background) and the delicate and pretty tissue paper they are standing on, great for collage!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Random Tuesday

Oh the randomness of Tuesday...the excitement mounts, drum roll...I found this over on Knittiotherapy's blog and thought it was such a cool idea I snuck away with it like a thief in the bright daylight of a Tuesday morning!

There are 643 tracks on my Nano at the moment, most of the time I listen to the radio, but when I do listen to tracks on shuffle... well it always seems to know what to play.


So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool...

Opening Credits: Everloving - Moby

Waking Up: Return to Patagonia - Lemon Jelly

First Day At School: Sleep Well Tonight - Gene

Falling In Love: Modern Way - Kaiser Chiefs

Fight Song: Lovestain - Jose Gonzales

Breaking Up: Get It Together - The Go Team

Prom: Hold Tight London - The Chemical Brothers

Life: Charlie – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Mental Breakdown: Long Time Coming - The Delays

Driving: The Man Comes Around - Johnny Cash

Flashback: Apples and Oranges – Dogs Die in Hot Cars

Getting back together: First Time I Ever I Saw Your Face - Johnny Cash

Losing your virginity: The Beach Party - Hot Chip

Wedding: As Good As It Gets - Gene

Birth of Child: Phatt Bass – Warp Brothers

Final Battle: And Da Drum Machine – Phat B

Death Scene: 40 Years/Back - Royksopp

End Credits: Survive – David Bowie

Would you like to see this film? I think Natalie Portman would be ideal in the lead role, we might have to keep Random Tuesday as the title of the film...although an alternative would be Far To in Thursday's Child Has.....

Thursday's Child has to go....more later!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Riddle me This!

My love of Rubics Cube type puzzles meant me digging out my favourites from my collection and the yet to be completed Bart Simpson earlier today. The above cube is obviously a desk cube that doesn't need completing, you just have to adjust the day and date everyday, but it's the only one I've ever seen.

This little 2 x 2 cube is my favourite, it looks simple until you pick it up and start turning it.

Bart Simpson is also a 2 x 2 cube, but is causing me a little frustration, well actually all my cubes cause me frustration but it's an enjoyable challenge. If I knew how to solve it just by a few turns it would have taken the fun out solving this puzzle years ago. What makes Bart even more frustrating is just the shape of the pieces and the fact that he's difficult to turn.

No knitting content today...I've finished the fronts of the Vogue cardi and have started on the sleeves!

Thursday, March 22, 2007


From this....

To this...

Last week with Finding Water, I didn't manage my artist's date or a walk, so this weeks plan was to kill 2 birds with one stone by taking myself on a walk through Hastings Old Town.

I had also decided to take some of my handspun yarn to Made in Hastings to see what they thought. This is the yarn I spun Monday evening, its 100% merino from the bright batts I made with occasional threads of cut silk waste mixed in.

The lady I spoke to said ''It's like Noro''.

I secretly thought to myself when I finished it, that it's like Noro....Noro without the bits so I'm obviously thrilled that someone else can look at it and see the similarity, because when you sit down to spin you don't really know what the end result will be.

This has to be my favourite so far, I've taken loads of photos because I love the randomness of the colour mix and it just changes at every angle.

Now to my friends, what do you think? and what do the colours remind you of?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Count Your Blessings

Can't believe its been almost a week, I'm in one of those ruts where you just don't know where the time keeps going.

This week in Finding Water we are Uncovering a Sense of Automony...for me this means just keep knitting....and yesterday I did some more spinning. Sometimes it doesn't feel like enough, I want it all and I want it now.

Remember me carding these bright colours into batts back in January, well yesterday I felt ready to spin it, photos coming soon.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

True Colours

I've really struggled to capture the colours of this silk yarn, and the problem is not the sunshine, I've tried shade, overcast, black background, white background, flash....and then it dawned on me that I had just the same problem with capturing the true peacock colour of Shedir.

So in the end I've just tweaked the colours in the photos just a little bit, if anything it's still not quite 'jade' enough, but its close. The reality is a deeper Jade...picture a twinkling Mediterranean sea....I love this yarn, I have no idea what its going to be, but I've got almost 100g!

The Vogue Cabled Cardigan is progressing well, I'm only a couple of inches from completing the back although I do need to check that I've completed my knitting and design homework for my C & G Knitting Course this Sunday.

I'd also like to say a big Freestyle Thursday my secret pal, thankyou for the you have seen from my questionnaire it's my first time.

My pal has asked what my favourite Spring flower is and I think its the Primrose, something pretty, simple but understated in its pale yellow. I also absolutely love Bluebells, but because of their late arrival I don't know if they are actually considered a Spring flower or not.

Monday, March 12, 2007

I have finished spinning and plying the silk hankies...but after reviewing the photographs I took yesterday, well lets just say the combination of very bright sunlight and silk yarn don't equal very good photos. I will try again on the next cloudy day!

Conditions have been nice enough to do some alfresco knitting and I have started a new project. I have been eyeing this pattern since my Winter Vogue arrived, but being on a yarn diet I didn't really know where I was going with it, until I remembered Francesca, this yarn as you can see is Jaeger, and its been in my stash for at least 10 years, I've always liked it but I just hadn't found the right project for it, and I did have that big gap of years when I didn't knit at all (which is completely unfathomable now!) The yarn is a blend of 45% wool, 15% viscose, 14% silk, 14% mohair, 9% nylon and 3% linen, and I'm knitting it up on a 4.5mm circular.

Unfortunately you can't pick up the slight colour variations in the photo, its a blend of purples with a bit of pink, blue and green textured nepps with an almost gold thread. Perfect for Spring so I better crack on with it.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hankies at the Ready!!

Your mission....first call in here and then here now BE INSPIRED!

I've just started drafting my silk hankies and honestly it is as easy as it looks!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Life's a Peach

This is the first fibre off my Ashford Joy wheel, its free fibre of the random sheep variety, because I didn't want to use up any of my bestest batts while getting aquainted with Joy.

I'd dyed the fibre up with Kool-aid, and the one thing about kool-aid is it has left it smelling lovely and fruity.

All the time I've been spinning this up I've been unhappy with the colour, and even talked of overdying it.But there's something about it, an almost rustic feel to it, and when it comes to overdying it, that again is a whole new world to explore, and I didn't really where I was going with a new colour, was I going to try and make it a darker richer red, or just overdye it something completely different.

It could easily be said from my last two posts that I do suffer a bit with perfectionism, and I know this is a perfectly good yarn, I was going to say it isn't saying anything but maybe my negativity about the colour impedes my hearing because I can see it knitted up into a garment.

There's 250g or thereabouts in an aran weight and all it has said so far is don't put me in the dyepot.

Hang on I hear a faint whisper....someone will love me put me in your etsy shop!

Dare I think about opening an etsy shop? I've been thinking about it for a little while. I've made alot of stuff over the last few years with the intention of selling it, and I've got new ideas and things developing and etsy looks like a good place to be, so I'm gathering my gumption together and giving it a go, what's the worst that could happen....

I'll make a little song and dance when I'm ready to open.

Finding Water this week is about Uncovering a Sense of Support, and I find alot of support amongst my fellow bloggers and the comments that you all leave for me, and I'd just like to thankyou all, passers by, commenters, visitors.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Plying Pains!

This is the Wensleydale Longwool I purchased back in October at Alexandra Palace. It was giving me plying pains, originally I went to make it into a 2 ply but wasn't happy with the way the colours muddled themselves, these first two photos are the reject 2ply yarn.

Kath suggested that I Navaho ply the yarn, this method keeps the colours together, but unfortunately I'm not very good at it so it's a bit over plied, and there are a few lumps and bumps, but it is quite pretty just the same!