Monday, September 17, 2007

I'm not worthy.......

"Brenda has added you as a friend!"

That's Brenda....... as in Brenda Dayne....... as in Cast On.

Is it wrong that I am SO excited to find this in my Ravelry inbox today....................

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Today (Sunday) I've been spinning.

Each New Year I make one resolution. I resolve to either learn a new craft or to learn something new about one I already do or join a Guild or maybe choose a big project and make that the focus for the year (just wait until you see 2008s project!!!!!)

In 2005 I decided I wanted to learn bobbin lace - that was a challenging one so I carried it over to 2006...........more on bobbin lace another day.

Last year almost by accident I began to knit more and more. I learnt how to knit socks, discovered Podcasts (All hail the mighty Brenda), laughed and cried with the Yarn Harlot and wondered at the genius of Elizabeth Zimmerman.

Now as many knitters have discovered although the access on the internet to fantastic yarns is compelling as we tackle more and more innovative projects our tastes become more and more specific. For example I want to knit a Forest Canopy Shawl in sage green. Not any shade of sage green but a particular shade that I can see in my minds eye. Once a knitter becomes that focussed on the yarn I believe there is only one thing for it........................learn to spin.

My 2007 New Years resolution was to learn to spin!!!!

There are no classes near me so I began by reading everything I could. I started stalking wheels on ebay hoping for one within my budget. I sent off for a beginners spindle spinning kit and had a go.

Then I found it - an Ashford Traveller on ebay. The price was promising and it was collection only (about 20 miles away). I bought her home and had no idea what to do next. Slowly over the next few weeks I lovingly cleaned her (she had been sat in a garage for goodness knows how long and was a sorry state) I replaced hooks, springs and tied a threader to her. I spent 4 hours cutting and unravelling horribly greasy, dirty fleece that was trapped around the centre of the wheel and then a further two getting same fleece off the bobbins. Finally she was clean and tidy. I sat practising treadling getting to know her, listening to the slight creak which I couldn't cure.



In June I went to Woolfest. By this time I'd had Lizzie for a couple of months and hadn't spun anything. At Woolfest I walked around watching people spin, asking questions and buying roving (and yes I did buy a whole fleece - well you have to don't you).

Since then I've spent several hours with Lizzie. She's been patient as I've fumbled threading a leader through the orifice. As the yarn repeatedly broke off the bobbin she sat and waited while I worked out what I was doing wrong. In return I listened to her teachings.

We've got a long way to go Lizzie and I. Today we took this:



and after a couple of hours we had this......................



I wonder if Lizzie knows how to ply?

Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm in............



My invite arrived yesterday (so no Thursday blog) two days after Franklin Habit.....and I'm thrilled.......so far it's exceeding expectations. Go and see for yourself at Ravelry.com

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Any day now...............

You signed up on July 2, 2007
You are #12040 on the list.
227 people are ahead of you in line.
19926 people are behind you in line.
36% of the list has been invited so far


OMG - I just know my invite is going to arrive say on Friday - I have a tutorial all day Saturday and wont be able to do a thing.............but at least I'll be in.

What do you mean you don't know what I'm talking about - take a look here https://www.ravelry.com/account/login

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Then & Now

Then

In 1999 I decided I wanted to do a millennium project. Although I’d been stitching since I was about nine this was when I became a Stitcher.

I went into town to a large department store chose a sampler bought a flimsy frame went home and made a start using the needle and pre cut floss that came with it using the kitchen scissors to cut the thread. Sitting at home in the lounge I plodded on keeping the project in a carrier bag at the side of the sofa.

Now

In 2007 I decided I wanted to start a significant project but wasn’t sure what. I logged on to my favourite stitching forum and browsed the posts in the finished projects section. I looked at peoples wish lists to see what they were stitching.

I then went and googled some specific designers name to see if they had anything new.

I went downstairs to the lounge opened up the dresser and rummaged around the numerous frames to find out if I had one large enough for the project I had in mind.

Then I took the materials list over to the basket at my stitching nest and looked through several floss boxes to find out what I didn’t have.

Then I drove to town to a lovely needlework shop for a chat and to get whatever materials I could from there. Back home I went internet shopping to get everything else.

I wound new floss onto bobbins as it arrived and prepared the fabric. I logged on to check for any known errors in the pattern. Fixed the fabric into my freedom frame and popped the frame onto the Lowery Stand. Picking up my Gingher scissors I cut an appropriate length of floss threaded my platinum needle and placed the first stitch.

As I stitched I listened to my favourite podcasts and updated my online friends as to the progress I was making.

I love my hobby!!!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week

Would you ever stitch one of your BAPs a second time? (This does not include starting over because of mistakes, bad fabric, etc., rather than stitching something from the first stitch for a second time.)


Probably not.

There are a couple of pieces where I have enjoyed every stitch. They have been a real pleasure to work on. For some reason everything has gone right - the fabric has a lovely feel to it and is nice to work with. Some of the stitches are a challenge to begin with but then once the pattern begins to flow a meditative quality takes over. There has been no frogging and no fudging. I've stayed focussed and finished the project in a timescale appropriate to its size (large). When framed it fulfils all my expectations.

However, despite this pleasure I can't imagine ever stitching them again. I believe that the pleasure I experienced was appropriate to a moment in time and place. For example by the time I finished one BAP I'd moved house (twice) changed my job and experienced serveral other life enhancing moments - it only took just over a year.

I should imagine it's a little like revisiting a childhood haunt or meeting up with an old flame - somethings really should stay in the memory.

Disclaimer - this doesn't apply to knitting - I am an addicted sock knitter (not a BAP? Do you know how many stitches are in just one sock!!!!) - the same pattern and the same yarn. I've just finished a BSJ and experienced all of the above and can't wait to cast on another one - anyone expecting a baby?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Hardanger

I love Hardanger. I won a cup at the village show in July with a piece of Hardanger. I've another piece almost finished - just a few beads to add. Then there's is a wonderful tablecloth I'm working on (it's huge) I may be some time.

Finding good Hardanger designs can be tricky - there's Nordic Needle but they have so much choice it can be intimidating. Other designers may have a couple of pieces in their portfolio but finding them can be challenging.

Imagine my delight when I discovered www.ColsCreations.co.uk. A wonderful collection of designs from a very talented lady. Simple and effective I think there is something for everyone. If you want to give a Hardanger a go but don't want to commit to a huge project then try a candle wrap. And what about that Wedding Pillow - I wish somebody I know was getting married cos it is just fab.

My clicky finger is twitching and I think I may just be popping some Hardanger in my basket very soon.