Monday, October 29, 2007

In a spin

This funny looking contraption is my new warping frame. I bought it a few weeks ago from an elderly lady who was disposing of the last of her weaving things and moving house. It was made in the seventies (as was my loom) by the same firm....Mecchia looms. One rainy day recently, Ian and I put it together, and we managed to do it miraculously without throwing screwdrivers at each other! Our instruction sheet was missing most of the relevant info. and it was a bit of a nightmare trying to see what fitted and where. I am still not sure if we got it right. Anyway here I am today, spinning this thing and enjoying the feel of the wool in my hands. It is called a warping mill, because it turns and spins around.
There is my trusty weaving manual on the chair beside it, as most of the time I am still not sure what I am doing and if I am doing it properly!

It was such a beautiful day I decided to do it outside by the garage, these little friends were busy clucking at me and telling me about their day,

and very soon I became a little weary of counting threads, and the back of my neck was becoming very hot. Time for a tea break in the shade with Bailey the cat.
Enjoying the moment I looked beside me and saw this
and thought to myself that the colours were very close to the colours of the wool I was spinning around.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Spring is busting out all over!

I took a wander around my garden this morning with a camera in my hand , instead of a trowel and a weeding bucket. Thought I would give you a visual treat, sorry that I can't add the scent as well. Blossoms abound!

Look what I found growing amongst my Migonette.......a weedy old dandelion, but it looked so pretty I left it there.

These are blossoms of a different kind. I am using these Touch yarns for Alexander's blanket. I hope to start warping the loom this week if all goes well. Another Double Weave blanket. This time I shall get the width right!

I am feasting on all these wonderful Spring colours. My garden is like a Symphony at the moment. Summer can wait, I LOVE the Springtime.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Musings on Libraries

It's Friday evening already. We have had a short week and the hours from Monday to now have gone by faster than I can blink. Yes, these days, time hurries by so much faster than when I was a schoolgirl, and the hours then between Monday to Friday were interminably long.

I have happy memories of Fridays back then. My Dad would wake me every morning with a cup of tea and a smile and on Friday mornings he would always say "its TGIF Day today". That meant "thank goodness it's Friday" and I would have a little thrill of anticipation knowing that on Fridays Dad would come home from work with a small treat. Usually it was sweets, but sometimes he would surprise us with a fresh pineapple or some grapes, and a few times he arrived home with a big box of comics!

Fridays after school for me were spent at our local library...I used to go for the heavies in those days...the thicker and heavier the book, then the more value for my dollar. I lugged home War and Peace, Anna Karenina, Tess of the Durbervilles and many others .....the more tragic, the better.
I could have the books for six weeks and then renew them if I hadn't finished reading.

It is very different in our library now. Definitely not as user friendly and we can only loan books for three weeks.They can not be renewed until (this is the crazy thing) the next day.They have to go back on the shelves first. They don't have the latest releases and most of the librarians there don't seem to enjoy their work very much.

Mindful of having to return my books this week, I have been catching up on some reading and have enjoyed reading about Albrecht Durer. In fact it was one of his prints that was my very first art purchase way back in the seventies. We still have this, rather faded now, but I love it.

This is a self portrait as a young man in Venice

and this is his father. He looks rather tired and sad, maybe a little grumpy too. He certainly doesn't look the sort to bring home treats on a Friday night.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pukehos in Pasture

We have a family of pukehos living in our paddock.Their home is alongside the ditch behind the hedge. I had to take this photo with my arm stretched out over the hedge, balanced precariously and snapping blindly, which is why it is very unclear..sorry. Their home has now become a little more exposed because Ian was baling hay nearby yesterday. Last Spring there were four pukehos, a typical nuclear family, but this year their numbers have grown and this morning I counted two parents and four juniors. They all crossed my path in an aloof sort of way, and I so wished I had my camera then.

Yesterday I received the invitation to join Ravelry . Yes, I am very excited about all the time I am going to spend on this wonderful knitting and crochet site, maybe I will have to "allow myself" a certain portion of time each day, otherwise I could imagine hours could be spent gazing in wonder at all the patterns and knitting projects. Hmm, blogging is rather addictive too don't you think!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday, but it feels like Monday

This colour seems to be prevalent in my garden these days. It is the colour of Spring and I am feasting on the sights and smells. Yesterday it was Labour Day and we spent the day in this garden
I couldn't resist taking a shot of this, the bees were having a good time in it too .
This afternoon I am working on some blocks that will be put together for a quilt..a wedding gift for no.1 son and his fiance. I have been very lazy in actually making much progress and the blocks and fabrics have been hiding away in a cupboard for many months. But for some weird reason I felt compelled to beaver away today!! It is a reversible quilt...the batik side is for my daughter in law (to be) and the black and white side for Tristan.

This is a" quilt as you go" quilt. Each block is pieced with the batting in between and all three layers quilted together .The blocks are joined by a very narrow strip which is hand sewn on one side. The idea came from this book Reversible Quilts, Two at a Time by Sharon Pederson

It is a very different concept to the types of quilts I have made in the past and I expect that is why I have been dragging my feet , these fabrics aren't really me and I haven't enjoyed the process as much as usual. But having said that I know the recipients LOVE the fabrics and can't wait for the finished result , so I will keep ploughing on . It is going to look great on their bed.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Lilac and Lavender

I have had such a lovely day . A leisurely pot of my favorite tea this morning with a new pile of library books, and some freshly picked lilac to treat my senses.

One of the books that I have delved into today was Felt Wee Folk by Salley Mavor. This is a beautifully illustrated book giving exquisite and detailed instruction on making tiny fairy folk, using felt, wool, wooden beads and pipe cleaners. I am going to have a go at making one of these cute little dolls before I have to return the book.
Whilst browsing through the pictures of these wee folk I was reminded of the little fiddler I found in a craft shop in County Wicklow, Ireland. Here he is:

A wander through the garden to pick some lavender
Some family around to share lunch, and an afternoon with a baby to cuddle, a little crafting , music and some little ones giggling and playing nicely together ....(quite an unusual feat in itself).

Tamsin showed us how to weave our native flax. By the end of the afternoon this was turned into a small basket. A delicious pizza dinner and now three tired children all tucked up in bed to spend the night, with a Craft Fair to look forward to in the morning....who could ask for more.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A New Blankie

Today was a very good day.
Mum had her plaster removed and her elbow is looking pretty good.

We took her to a posh restaurant for lunch then the supermarket (her favorite place) and then the hairdresser's (next favorite) for a new hairdo. She was very happy and I was relieved that all was well with her arm.

Last night after Eve had gone home to her own little bed, I wove the last few inches on this and with a flourish snipped it off the loom, because I was too impatient to untie it carefully. Here it is....drum rolls please......

My first attempt at Double can just make out the fold in the middle of the fabric, hopefully after the fibres have settled this line won't be noticeable.

This blanket / throw is for my youngest daughter Sarah, to keep her warm and cosy and "close to home" when she is living in another city and far from home comforts.

When I finished this for her I was reminded of her first "blankie". Here he is Sarah, I haven't washed him so he still has the unique blankie smell..

The next "blankie" will be for No 2 son Alexander. He graduates from uni this year and has work lined up straight away...yay Zander!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sweet and Small

It is amazing what you can get away with, when you are sweet and small and only two.

My little Eve (grandaughter) is staying with us and I find her an endless source of inspiration .

She decided to play with these today
I had these in a little stack put away, another uncompleted project, but Eve discovered them and inspired me to find some cotton, my crochet hook and make a few more.
This is the pattern from a book by Erika Knight "Essential Crochet"

An afghan, throw, blanket or anything you like really. It is a bit like Grandmother's Flower Garden because it is made of hexagons.

Some more little things for little hands

Some pretty glass stones in a treasure box

and these two friends Eve found on my window sill

She found this finger puppet very funny, and chased Basil and Billie all over the kitchen calling "moo moo".Cows are her favorite animal and "cow"was her first word. She lives on a dairy farm with lots of cows .

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wonderful, Wild and Wicked

The last few days have been rather wild and wicked, wet and rather wacky too.

My trip to Christchurch with two of my patchwork friends was a very memorable time. We packed so much into those three days that the time seemed to go in slow motion.

We drove down in torrential rain, but still made good time and we enjoyed a lovely Thai meal that evening. The food was so beautiful that I had to take a picture

That evening we also went to The Art Centre to see the Art Festival film Golden Door A wonderful film set in 1904, with some impoverished Italians leaving Sicily and emigrating to America.

The next day was spent in the Malls trying on clothes and shoes.This was a brand new experience for me as I have always found shopping for clothes rather boring and tedious.I have disliked the image revealed to me in the tiny dressing rooms, and have never shopped with other friends as a fun activity before.

However, I really got into the feel of it and had such a great time that I can't wait to do it again...bring it on I say!! Of course, my company had a lot to do with it. My two friends are sisters and I must say I certainly felt like their sister thank you J and M.

That evening we had a very special meal at Rotherhams of Riccarton. The meals and the service here were superb, and it certainly was a night to remember.

The next day...more shopping, a pot of tea and some sweets to share

We had lots of tea drinking episodes whilst we were away, this has to be one of my favorite occupations!

The whole time we were away I was subject to a nagging pain in one of my teeth, but I didn't put voice to what I thought was happening. After a sleepless night on Friday, I knew without a doubt that I had a raging tooth abscess. So yesterday afternon I visited the emergency dentist on call for the weekend, and she confirmed my diagnosis and opened it up, filled it with a dressing and sent me home with lots of painkillers and antibiotics.

This is my 4th tooth abscess and each time it means I have to undergo root canal work and then a crown to protect the tooth . Aargh, an expensive time and lots of hours in the dentist chair!

Yesterday I couldn't eat anything and had to watch my Mum tucking in to Vogel toast with cheese and advocado, munching away she said..."never mind darling, this time next week you'll be feeling much better, have you any more apricot chutney?"

But there has been some progress made on the knitting projects, check these out

Things are growing along quite nicely.