Thursday, February 22, 2007

Message for Joyce? a great week

Hi all

this won't be a long entry - more a taster... Joyce - you left a comment on my blog but I have no way to contact you - please send me an e-mail to

I had a great Monday - playing on a Babylock Embellisher, and then discharging some black velvet - Will blog with pictures over the weekend. Then tonight - I had the great pleasure to meet Sheila and Jonathan Bosworth of They are in London for a short holiday and came along to liberty this evening to join the knitters for tea. Sheila kindly gave me a lesson in spindling and I have acquired two of their beautiful spindles - a purpleheart (first choice as purple is my favourite colour) and a zebrawood one. I even mananged to spin a little presentable yarn. What fun it was. Again - more of that later over the weekend - when there will also be even more fun to report... roll on Saturday.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Hooks and More Fabric

Hi there

Here I am again - so soon - but I couldn't wait to tell you all - and show you about my arrivals in the post yesterday.

Just look at these GORGEOUS hooks I found online. I got this set of Japanese hooks from an ETSY vendor. Saw them and could not resist. They remind me of those pretty jelly shoes we used to wear on the beach as kids:) They have yummy soft handles and are shaped for great grip etc. The brand name is Hamanaka.

They come in a lovely clear plastic box. Aren't they just great. I also got my FolkWear pattern for my dressing gown - i am pleased with it. Really gets me into thinking about costume. I intend to print / dye some fabric and use it to make up some pieces that are costume or costume inspired.

I know that some of you enjoyed the photo of my screen printed linen. Here is another peice I'm working on too. It had two layers of space dyeing - to give the lovely greens etc. Even before it was dry - I had rinsed the fabric after dyeing it and had hung it on the line at the studio - to dry. I walked past it again and again back and forth to the tutors house during that lovely sunny afternoon last autumn.

One of the other students that day had mixed up some blackcurrant thickened dye - used for screen printing - with procion dye - so that the hand of the fabric isn't changed. She was using it to print using this big square foam block - the colours were so lovely. i love deep purply / aubergine colours.

Well I looked at that fabric again - it just would not let go - so lovely blowing about in the sunny breeze - and suddenly I saw it - it told me it needed those words printed using the blackcurrant paint. i was very pleased with the result and when I'd printed the blue linen the other day with the metallic paint I liked the dark gold and it is good as another layer ontop of the blackcurrant. it's not yet finished - will probably need more printing - I have a couple of ideas for it - but need to talk them through with my tutors.

The words - in case anyone is wondering are : from Tennyson's Morte d' Arthur - about the Lady of the Lake.

"A voice of the waters, for she dwells
Down in a deep, calm, whatsoever storms
May shake the world"

I was struggling with several major issues in my life about a year ago - and through using some ideas/themes that I started with during city and guilds and at a workshop with the committed to cloth tutors - I 'found' that quote in the poem - and it was exactly what I needed at the time. It summed up so much.

Here is a closeup.

The other item that arrived in the post is my pattern for the dressing gown. it's the Entari - shown clearly on the diagram of the separate garments.

Here is the pattern I will use for the gown. I'm also just - as I'm writing this - that I might print and dye a lining - not with metallic ink - but procion dye. I had wondered how I would deal with the sleeves as they are so long and the wrong side of the fabric would show - the inside of the sleeve - but dyeing and printing some fabric for the lining might be what it needs. I am thinking that with no facings etc on the gown that dyeing some silk might be the answer for a bias binding finish all round the edge.

Off again to the studio on 15th and 19th - so hoping it will develop then - I'm sure it will.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

January Come and Gone...


Well it's been a while - January has come and gone - thankfully!! Never the best month of the year for me.

Creatively been busy - sadly none of the pictures I really wanted to show you - as the camera memory card decided to throw a wobbly today and all my recent pics - including a couple of beautiful baby ones are gone:( So much for modern technology...

Beth and I have dyed some gorgeous Blue Faced Leicester Sock Yarn (superwash treated), some 50% Suri Alpaca/50% BFL in 4 ply weight. Partly cos I found a source of undyed yarn in quantities and at prices that I find OK, partly cos wanted to play with dyeing yarn - can do fabric etc - but wanted more practise on yarn, and partly cos a few of us got together for a post xmas/birthday bash at a cafe we like to meet at now and again. So Beth and I dyed the yarns for our friends. I'm so sorry I can't blog the yarns close up so you can see the beautiful colours. But the recipients enjoyed their pressies - you can find two of them at "...and all that stash..." and "Knittiotheraphy" and no I still cannot add links etc to my blog.

A couple of the BFL sock yarn skeins that I did to play with the colours and a BFL Lace weight are shown here - but sadly not the ones we did for the girls.

I also had two days in the studio at Committed to Cloth last month - one the regular day and the other for a day i missed late last year due to the 9-5. I dyed 5m of silk/viscose velvet - to make a dressing gown. In lovely peacock colours. Here are a couple of pics - but of course you can't easily capture the richness of the colour or the texture.

I also screen printed a piece of linen that I'd previously screen printed. The first layer was a lovely swirl that I had printed with blue. Over that i screened a piece from Tennyson's Morte d Arthur - about the Lady of the Lake. I had typed it into Word and then tweaked it with WordArt. Very pleased with the result. Here is a pic - close-up. I used the same text on some green that I'd previously dyed - a sateen cotton.

I must be careful though - have hurt my hands/wrists/arms with the screen printing - i realised I hold the squeegie far to tightly and put too much effort into it - I must be careful - as almost three weeks later and post a visit to the osteopath I am still suffering.

I am also looking forward to going to SkipNorth in early March - we go and stay at a hostel in Haworth for the weekend and can learn about spinning (which I would like to do), dyeing etc and get the chance to visit the Knitting and Crochet Guild and also - of course - go shopping. I missed last years - but am told it's great fun.

In the next few weeks must make time to finish my CV and get it out and about.

I have made a little progress on my various pairs of socks. They grow a little here and there - as the mood takes. I finished the middle garter stitch square for the hap shawl and am now on row 14 or 15 of the borders - I picked up all round the square and am therefore knitting the border in the round.

I also found a lovely pattern for an aran weight beret with beautiful bobbles - designed by Ruth / WoolyWormhead. i am knitting it in a tweedy violet yarn from Rowan - but it's also troubling to the hands - specially those bobbles - so a I do a row here and there - and am getting there. it really is lovely and as someone who finds hats not the most attractive on me - but knowing I have managed to get away with a beret from time to time in the past - I am keen to see this one finished.

that's about it for now.