Monday, 31 March 2008

Spin and dye

So I went to the Stitch and Craft show at Olympia on Friday. I was supposed to be a knitting focused day - but the only concession to that appeared to be that the free draw prizes for the day were provided by Simply Knitting magazine. So I wandered around once without buying anything, and lacking inspiration decided to book a workshop instead.

The workshop was a revelation. Using a hand held spindle I learnt how to spin silk into yarn. Although it sounds pretty straight forward, the technique is all in getting the thickness of the yarn as consistent as you can and applying the right amount of twist so that the finished yarn is useable. So here is my first finished spindle. I have another couple of colours ready to spin, and have to decide what I'm going to do with the yarn as to whether I should ply this with itself or mix the colours. But I'm converted.

Also over the weekend my daughter and I decided to get the Kool Aid out, and dye the first batch of wool from the lovely stash acquired from Mel as part of the Swap. So this is our grape and strawberry mix. We're really pleased with the result so far, again just need to work out what the end product is going to be.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

I'm still here

With 7 days left until I return to work I have one crafting aim in mind. To at least finish the metallic braids on the Queen of Peace. It is so tempting to try to fit in all the non crafting stuff as well that it will be a tight squeeze. But a necessary one if I am to have any space for the potential stash additions that may be picked up this Friday at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia. I don't have any specific purchases in mind - which probably means I'll come back feeling disappointed if there is nothing that jumps out at me, but never mind! That said it was a craft free long Easter weekend as the family went away and had a lovely time in a cabin in the snow. Must get those pictures developed.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

My Swap parcel has arrived!

Hooray, I have the most wonderful parcel of goodies from Mel. She managed to keep her identity completely secret until the parcel arrived, but matched all my preferences and wishes.

Needless to say the kids helped me to unwrap each of the purple tissue paper covered items, which made taking before and after pictures rather tricky, but here are my spoils: A lovely handmade felted bag, just the right size for sock projects, which contained some lovely Fyberspates sock wool and Brittany bamboo dpn; some undyed wool and a whole box of Kool-aid, gloves and aprons to get the whole family dyeing; a gorgeous cat mug and decaffeinated Earl Grey to be enjoyed with Jaffa Cakes; sweets to share amongst the family; and a box of Lush goodies; and last but definitely not least a cute wooden keyring sock blocker.

I've really enjoyed this swap, it has worked out really well for me both up and down stream. Thanks again Mel.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Inspiring Crochet

So after a lethargic week with headaches preventing much progress, I headed off to a Rowan crochet workshop at Purl and Co in Ipswich with 2 companions. There were 10 of us all together, most of whom had tried crochet, but were looking for additional confidence. Our tutor, Jane Crowfoot, was very patient, starting us off in the morning with a sampler of the different stitches and their effects on the fabric created. In the afternoon we were let loose on the cotton glace and kid silk haze to create our own item to meet our own objectives. A number of the group choose to attempt to recreate one of the amazing samples that Jane had brought with her. By the end of the afternoon, everyone had a good size creation to take away with them. Star of the day was my daughter, who despite being considerably younger than the other participants managed to create a spiral with a ruffled edge, and then a beaded flower with petals. The items pictured are my items, with the leaf in progress until I can acquire the right size hook. My only advice to anyone else signing up for workshops at this venue, is to notify any dietary requirements early - unfortunately I didn't, so my coeliac companion brought her own lunch. But all in all a very enjoyable day.