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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Day Seven (Sunday 17th May): Your Time, Your Place

Where and how do you take time out to knit and/or crochet? Maybe you don’t take time out at all and instead have your needles twirling as you try to juggle a multitude of other tasks with no ‘spare’ time to think of. Maybe you enjoy nothing more than to crochet whilst  winding down from a yoga session, chatting with some friends in a nearby cafe.
Whether social or solitary, tell readers about your crafting time and space, and where you either most enjoy (or can simply find a few snatched moments) to turn yarn into something even more beautiful.

I knit on the way from school in the mornings as I'm walking home, only a few rows but that's how we build a sock anyway.  I knit while waiting at the doctors office, waiting for youngest to get out of class, just before bed and sometimes while watching a movie at home.  I always have a pair of plainish socks on the needles for the walking and the waiting.  The world is my crafting space; nowhere is out of bounds so far, in social situations knitting is what keeps me calm and stops me from running away.
I keep something more complex for the evening and daytime knitting when at home, but at the moment I'm concentrating on one pair of socks as I'm getting low on socks for me

Day Six (Saturday 16th May): Polls Apart.

Blog Survey

Today's post is simply a small survey (3 questions) asking what type of content you prefer to read, I'd love to find out!

Day Five (Friday 15th May): Something A Bit Different - Worldless


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Day Four (Thursday 14th May): Bags Of Fun.

Time to delve into that most treasured collection of tools, notions and oddments as you are asked to spill the contents of your knitting or crochet bag, caddy or other method of organisation and put your crafting unmentionables on display.
You may wish to talk about your bag of crocheting tools as a whole, or delve deep into the contents of your knitting caddy and talk about the contents each in turn. Good, clear photography can help readers familiarise with your tools, and you might just help someone find a new item for their wish-list if they are awe-struck by your pom-pom maker.
 Ok, I'm pushing the envelope a bit on this one, I'm not going with a collection of tools etc, I'm going to show you the one tool I would hate to be without.

 This is my Nancy's Knit Knacks ballwinder and it'll wind up to 1lb (approx 500g); I've not wound that much as 200g is usually my max but it does a really good job on everything I've thrown at it so far.  It's not cheap, but sometimes it's worth paying the extra for a really well made tool like this.

There are other tools I love, my Clover Chiba darning needles, my Chiao Goo knitting needles (both fixed and interchangeable) and my Clover row counters but in most cases I could make do with other things, but the ball winder is the result of making do with things that didn't measure up and now that I have it I will never ever go back!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Day Three (Wednesday 13th May): Experimental Photography And Image Handling For Bloggers.

Today is about changing things a bit for project photography.    Like most people I normally take a shot of my finished yarn/project from above or the side in decent lighting with my cellphone camera or occasionally the real camera.   It'll often be on the carpet or the bed or if fine outside on a particular rock or half tree trunk that we use for a seat.

Today I popped outside with my latest finished yarn and tried a few outdoor props I haven't played with before.   Some didn't work that well like the ladder and the car door.   The letterbox wasn't too bad, but the almond tree was my favourite (not the yarn's favourite, the yarn was not happy due to rough catchy bits)
438m of 3-ply merino.   There is some more to come, this was a full plying bobbin; I'm expecting to get to 600m total.   This still needs washing as well.   I'd say it's a heavy fingering weight now, washing will probably make it bloom into a DK

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It's All About You

Day Two (Tuesday 12th May): It’s All About You.
Cast your hooks and needles aside!
This year you are challenged with one of those tasks that some bloggers can find quite daunting: but there’s never a better time then when we’re all in it together, so let’s shift the focus and turn the attention from the things we make to the things that make us.
The important thing here is to remember that you don’t have to go into great personal detail and certainly do not have to reveal anything too personal. You can be as candid or as private as you like, but you can also give your readers a feel for those things that you like to do outside of your crafting.
  • Do you like to walk or keep fit
  • Do you read or enjoy movies – are there any personal favourite books or films that you would recommend?
  • What is your dream holiday destination, job, dinner party guest list?
This post can be about your reality, your aspirations, past, present or future. Enjoy talking about you. If you really don’t want to write about yourself, though, use your creative license and invent yourself an alternative persona, whether you are a spy, deep-sea diver or astronaut (who just happens to love yarn).
So, that's what we're looking at today.  Anyone who follows me already knows some of this stuff as I've always kept things pretty real on here.   You already know my house is often a bomb-site and that my crafting is my sanity choice so I cope with the challenges of parenting two special children.
You also know I'm currently attempting to clean up my food choices (we won't mention the macaroons currently sitting across from me), you also know I have very little willpower but am also working on that!

I've just taken a short break from plying yarn to do this and have lunch, today I think might be vege soup (from a packet unfortunately).  This afternoon I'll be working, I get paid to handsew collars and zip facings on merino/possum knitwear, it's a small help to the budget.   That's another thing I'm working on, reducing my unnecessary spending (yarn, fibre etc); I've already made some progress on this but have a way to go, remember the willpower?

Films - luckily I like kids movies, youngest is currently full bore into How to Train Your Dragon movies so I'm watching a lot of that, currently watching Wall-E but my tastes are fairly wide ranging.  I love zombie and vampire movies, but I also love things like Pitch Perfect and The 13th Warrior.
I'm interested in historical costuming and I sew for my family as well.
I love reading, currently re-doing all the Terry Pratchett Discworld books and I read a lot of Anne McCaffrey and Diana Gabaldon, a bit like my movie choices my book choices also range over a fairly broad area.

My dream job would be something to do with my fibre crafts, teaching or producing, but I think teaching would suit me best, I'm fairly good at it on an off the cuff basis and people do seem to enjoy when I do my wee bits of information imparting.  Dream holiday would involve visiting fabric and yarn places all over the world including Germany, New York and the Shetland Isles.

Now I'm going to stop dreaming and get lunch before going back to plying my yarn; it's a true 3-ply (300g total) so is going to take some time, and I have to make sure I get started on work as soon as I'm back from the school run so am going as fast as I can.   I hate stopping partway through a plying session.

Monday, May 11, 2015

If You Were Yarn

I'm taking part in the 6th Annual Knitting And Crochet Blog Week over at Eskimimi Knits and the first day's topic is "If you were yarn".    Obviously the expectation is that you would choose an appropriate commercial or indie dyed yarn, but in my case I'm thinking I'm handspun.

Probably a 2-ply with the odd weak spot in the singles which is strengthened by the other single each time.   Merino for bounce and silk for strength and the pretty, probably like this one
You've seen this beauty recently, it's a dark merino/silk with sheen and bounce and recovery and strength, just like me when I have my family behind me.   My family is the strength behind the weakened spot.   This yarn is also versatile, just like me and machine washable if you have a front loader.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Healthy Dinner

No photo I'm afraid, it got eaten before I thought about it.   It's only George and I home tonight as Ian and his dad are at school camp, so I asked George to cook dinner.   The original idea was scrambled eggs, but we decided to raid the garden and fridge to find additional ingredients.

Some oldish mushrooms from the fridge and some very nice kale from the garden were added to what was now a omelet.   Free-range eggs and lots of yummy green; very nice indeed and a good start to our new way of eating.  

I've been thinking about this for a while due to my health issues (IBS, Perimenopause), I think I've posted about it before, but it got brought forward due to last night's hideous IBS event. So we'll continue as usual with meat (NZ meat is pretty good, no feed-lot animals here) and lots of homegrown veges when available, even if it does mean extra protein since I don't spray.   I know I found all the caterpillars, but the aphids are harder.   They are organic though!

I may have to purchase more spices and herbs though, I love casseroles like chicken chausseur and lamb ragout but of course the premixes won't be an option for future purchase, will have to pull out the recipe books and I'll have to take all over more of the cooking too which is not my favourite thing.   However if it works I'll have more energy which means getting more stuff done the rest of the time and hopefully also working more quickly on the paying job too.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Ug is probably the right word

Since my last post not a lot has happened.   I've done a little spinning and some knitting and some sewing, but not a lot of any of those things as I've been under the weather.

Before the school holidays I got a cold, as I was recovering from that I started feeling dizzy and off balance and that has continued ever since to some degree or other.   My chiropractor has had a good go, but as it hasn't helped that I don't think it's part of the issue.   My doctor and I both think I probably have a viral inner ear thing going on and we just have to wait it out, it's either that or related to my perimenopause.   I'm kind of hoping for the inner ear thing, at least that has a probable time frame of just another couple of weeks; the other could go on for years!   I'm also being sent in for an iron test though due to the other issues PM is causing for me which I don't need to go into here.

Financially we're feeling a smidge better, so I've bought some yarn to replace the stuff I had to sell, not all of it, but there are a few to come aside from these and I'm investing more in DK than fingering for a change as I still have tonnes of fingering
This will be a Pixelated for me using grey and dark purple as the other two colours

This will be socks for me for wearing in boots probably

and this is going with a single red skein I have to make striped socks
The other skeins coming are some plain undyed DK from Vintage Purls, some in a black/teal DK and one skein of plain salmon pink in fingering weight.  

I've got 2 pairs of socks on the go at the moment, not counting the 2 that are on hold.  
Plain vanilla socks, almost finished the gusset in the second one

This is for the GOT KAL at Wandering Cat Yarns, I'm using the pattern Riverrun and the very pretty yarn was also dyed by them.
I haven't started weaving yet, but I need to very soon as I won the New Weaver's Award for this year!    I had planned on spending it all on Texsolv heddles and a Warping Mill, but it looks like I might not have to spend it all as guild members have offered me a mill second hand and also some heddles.   I may well still need to get more heddles, but it should save me a bit so I might be able to afford another reed or some linen yarn!   The whole thing is very exciting and as soon as I'm feeling better I'm going to warp up some brushed mohair and get weaving on my current set up.
The reason I want the mill and the heddles?   The mill would enable me to warp up much longer warps and the heddles should give me a clear shed without warp threads being at different heights, the current string heddles can be a bit all over the place which means more paying attention and less rhythm.

On the sewing front I've got the bodice done for my 1810's dress, I need to trim and pin the pleats for the top of the skirt, but need the lounge floor to be free of children and my head to be clear to finish that.
This is the back, sleeves are handsewn in place
I also had to sidetrack on the sewing and do some singlets for eldest.   I got the fabric ages ago for very cheap as it smells a bit like it was in a smokey room, it's not too bad and I'm pretty sure will improve with time in the wash and air.   I think it cost me around $30 total and I got 4 of them made.  Bought wool singlets in size 12 cost about $29 each so I've saved around $90 which is pretty good
This is Kwik Sew 2464 which appears for some unknown reason to be out of print.  It is an excellent basic underwear pattern for boys aged 2 till 16.
I've got one more to do, had to make some changes as my fabric was in a tube, but it was fairly easy to do.   Next thing is the dress and then the mending and ironing pile, ick.
hemming, ironing and repair work in this pile.
And finally, I spun up a braid of fibre in the #MEGASAL in the colourway "Quoth the Raven"
It's darker IRL, my carpet is charcoal to give you some idea of how much the cellphone camera washed out.

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