Monday, April 30, 2007

As it is my birthday today, we drew the birthday competition this morning, there were 5 correct entries, and Neo had the job of pulling a name from the hat....drum roll please......the winner is Sheila. Who guessed correctly that I was number 16. Did you notice how odd the numbers on that photo were, there were 6 combinations of 6 and 7, which were 6,7,15,16,42 and 43, with a 5 (32) in there for good measure. I was born at home in house number 7, and I know its a lucky number for some, I like to think its lucky for me too.

Ok here are some pictures...

I was born at home and was a much longed for baby for my mum and dad, my older sister Jackie is 12 years older than me, although she would have liked a little brother...but had to wait another year for one, musn't forget to mention the younger sister too! As you can see I was quite a bonny little thing, I was born with dark hair but by 1972 it started getting lighter.

And eventually I ended up quite blonde, in this school photo I would have been about 5, I love the blue dress, I'm not sure whether my mum or Jackie made it but I do have the same fabric in pink and yellow, waiting for a special project, in my fabric stash.

Thanks to everyone who took part in the competition and everyone who visits and supports me by commenting on the blog.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Works in Progress

Can you see what it is yet? maybe I should have put a ruler in for scale, I've still got the Vogue cardigan waiting for blocking, but I've been busy with other things and having a little dabble with amigurumi too!

I wasn't happy about having nothing on my needles, so I printed out the Knitty magic toe up cast on and started my first toe ups, this is my first time knitting socks on circulars, and I couldn't see the point of knitting one sock and then the other, now I've worked it all out although can you spot the deliberate mistake!

Yes indeed socks are meant to soar on 2 circular needles, I wasn't paying attention this morning and managed to knit both onto one needle, doh!

Gratuitous cat pic, just because I felt like it, Keith thinks I've lost my mind because I've started collecting Willows fur, just wait until my cat loving friends start to collect they're cat fur and send it to me too, completely barmy.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Doodle Magic

Well it's been a week of finishing homework for my C & G course, and not much knitting or spinning going on either. The art work has been fun this time, and I just want to show how a simple doodle can be transformed digitally into a pattern, that could be used in any crafts discipline aswell as knitting.

This is one of 6 small doodles in my sketchbook that I had done a while ago with a view to making a lino cut for printing, but it was also ideal for the contour lines exercise we had to do at college last month.

This is the same doodle simplified into contour lines and coloured in.

And this is what happens when you start to play around with it a bit, by cropping it and mirrororing it in a repeat pattern. This is one of six doodles that I have used in this way as part of my homework.

I can almost see this last sheet translated into some kind of lace edging!

The blog has been a bit sluggish of late, but I'm hoping to get back in the swing of it this week, I'm almost up to my 100th post!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Who's That Girl?

There was no getting away from the fact that I have a birthday coming up in 2 weeks time, so to celebrate this auspicious occasion I am holding a competition. I am offering up a skein of Posh Yarn, Lucia sock wool (30% cashmere 70% merino) in colourway 'Chortle'. This is an earthy blend of pale green, ginger, pale blue, and terracotta, since I am born under an 'earth' sign....all you need to do to win is pick me out of the line up above, just leave your answer in the comments, all correct entries will be entered into a draw on the 30th April. If no-one gets it right I will enter everybody into the draw and I am happy to post where-ever!

Marianne had this Birthday Calculator up on her blog this week:

30 April 1970
Your date of conception was on or about 7 August 1969 which was a Thursday.

You were born on a Thursday
under the astrological sign Taurus.
Your Life path number is 6.

Life Path Compatibility:
You are most compatible with those with the Life Path numbers 3, 6 & 9.
You should get along well with those with the Life Path numbers 2, 4, 8, 11 & 22.
You are least compatible with those with the Life Path numbers 1, 5 & 7.

The Julian calendar date of your birth is 2440706.5.
The golden number for 1970 is 14.
The epact number for 1970 is 22.
The year 1970 was not a leap year.

Your birthday falls into the Chinese year beginning 2/6/1970 and ending 1/26/1971.
You were born in the Chinese year of the Dog.

Your Native American Zodiac sign is Beaver; your plant is Wild Clover.

You were born in the Egyptian month of Epipy, the third month of the season of Shomu (Harvest).

Your date of birth on the Hebrew calendar is 24 Nisan 5730.
Or if you were born after sundown then the date is 25 Nisan 5730.

The Mayan Calendar long count date of your birthday is which is
12 baktun 17 katun 16 tun 13 uinal 2 kin

As of 4/15/2007 1:46:31 PM EDT
You are 36 years old.
You are 444 months old.
You are 1,929 weeks old.
You are 13,499 days old.
You are 323,989 hours old.
You are 19,439,386 minutes old.
You are 1,166,363,191 seconds old.

Celebrities who share your birthday:
Kirsten Dunst (1982) Jeff Timmons (1973) Carolyn Dawn Johnson (1971)
Michael Waltrip (1963) Isiah Thomas (1961) Carl XVI Gustav, King of Sweden (1946)
Jill Clayburgh (1944) Burt Young (1940) Willie Nelson (1933)
Cloris Leachman (1926) Eve Arden (1908)

Top songs of 1970
Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel I'll Be There by Jackson Five
Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head by B.J. Thomas Close to You by Carpenters
My Sweet Lord by George Harrison I Think I Love You by Partridge Family
Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Diana Ross American Woman by Guess Who
War by Edwin Starr Let It Be by Beatles

Your age is the equivalent of a dog that is 5.28336594911937 years old. (You're still chasing cats!)

There are 15 days till your next birthday
on which your cake will have 37 candles.

Those 37 candles produce 37 BTUs,
or 9,324 calories of heat (that's only 9.3240 food Calories!) .
You can boil 4.23 US ounces of water with that many candles.

Your birthstone is Diamond

The Mystical properties of Diamond

Diamonds are said to increase personal clarity to help one see things clearly as well as be straight-forward and honest. Supposedly, the higher quality the diamond, the better it is supports these qualities.
Some lists consider these stones to be your birthstone. (Birthstone lists come from Jewelers, Tibet, Ayurvedic Indian medicine, and other sources)

Opal, Quartz, White Sapphire

Your birth tree is

Walnut Tree, the Passion

Unrelenting, strange and full of contrasts, often egoistic, aggressive, noble, broad horizon, unexpected reactions, spontaneous, unlimited ambition, no flexibility, difficult and uncommon partner, not always liked but often admired, ingenious strategist, very jealous and passionate, no compromises.

The moon's phase on the day you were born was waning crescent.

You can try the birthday calculator for yourself here

Sunday, April 08, 2007


I started spinning this new yarn last Sunday, I've decided to call it Whirlpool, its a merino, alpaca and cut silk mix, plied with a rayon thread.

I've also been invited to join The Weekend Whirls, a group for spinners, soWhirlpool was aptly named for my first posting over there.
Initially I couldn't come up with a name for the yarn...but felt compelled to name it. On the flipside I was thinking it doesn't need a name, its just yarn, you don't need to call it anything.

The blues and greens were still asking for a watery title, I even tried hanging it from the ornamental fountain in the garden for photos, but cascade or waterfall just didn't fit. I do believe the yarn starts to speak to you as you spin, some of the other skeins I've spun have whispered to me or a picture has come into my head. Although apart from asking to be named, I only have 120g so this yarn is asking for a small project.

It seems slightly ridiculous to me that I havent actually knitted anything with my handspun yet...although I've come to realise that I don't 'spin to knit'. I was very interested in Anne's question about Why Do You Spin over at The Weekend Whirls.

I spin because I love to spin. It fills some craving deep inside me, mixing colours and textures to create something new. At the moment I am feeling my way around different techniques, which is why I like to make small batches. As an artist there's almost a battle between making a yarn practical and pushing the boundaries into new territory art yarns, and I'm still in the experimental stage, but always my main adversary is finding the time, but I firmly believe weekends are specially for spinning, and weekdays too!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before!

Our SP10 Hostess has asked us to answer the following questions...

1) How old were you when you learned how to knit?
2) Who taught you?

I think I must have been about 6 when I first learned to knit, I was in the Brownies and we used to knit squares for blankets for Oxfam. I never did any casting on or casting off, mum would have been there to do that bit, I don't even think I learnt to purl at that time, just good old garter stitch squares. A combination of Brown Owl and mum would have taught me.

I don't think I did much knitting then apart from the requisite squares, until I was 12, and the knitting fashion at the time was to knit with one large needle and one small needle to give a lacy effect, I fell in love with a jumper pattern and asked for the yarn which was a fuzzy emerald green and black mix for my birthday. I don't recall how much of it I actually did by myself or how much mum had to help with it.

scribble part 2

I took my new Turkish spindle to the 1066 Spinners monthly meeting this morning. I spent last night practicing the Andean plying technique, with the three small muffins I had made, and then after spinning a fourth mini muffin this morning I demonstrated the technique for Mary and Linda.

The front ball is the plied Corriedale pencil roving, the other 3 balls are all merino tops, I've just been mixing and making rollags in shades of blue and purple merino to co-ordinate with the Corriedale.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

scribble yarn

Some people start out with a spindle, which I think is a great way to try the craft of spinning, before the rush and push of treadling a wheel. I want to become proficient with a hand spindle so that I can confidently and competently demonstrate this ancient art, and maybe capture the imagination of others.

Yesterday morning a special package that I'd ordered arrived. As you all know I can spin on a wheel. I have a couple of homemade top whorl spindles, but I just hadn't got to grips with them, not to be defeated I went to Wanda and Ed at Jenkins Woodworking and treated myself to a Turkish drop spindle. If you've tried to spin on a top whorl and don't feel like you're getting anywhere, it may just be the spindle, not you. As I have now found the right spindle for me is this Turkish spindle, it's a work of art, perfectly balanced and I love the way it makes a little centre pull muffin, ready to ply with another.

I was feeling a little down in the dumps earlier, but I was also keen to have a go with the Turkish spindle. As I spun a little pencil roving, Neo was doing a little drawing, I decided it would make a fitting background for my spinning as he was using exactly the same colours.