Sunday, December 30, 2007

Tomorrow brings love in the shape of things

Remember this? Made with Grandma's handspun and some other bits and pieces.

Here is how it turned out.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Being good isn't always easy

Another iteration of the jewellery (or knitting notions) tray. I was just messing about, really, and the shape of the base was so simple I didn't bother to write down exactly what I did. It was refreshing to just forge ahead without taking notes.

The base is knitted and the sides and inner walls are crocheted. It's made from more gorgeous Happy Spider hand-dyed wool (I don't know the name of the colourway but it is a very bright blue with pinks) combined with a soft green, which I also used by itself for the crochet parts.

Update - that colourway is Sour Raspberry.

After felting I was really happy with the result and immediately cast on another, this time with blue. And it turned out that I didn't remember exactly what I had done - it came out a bit bigger.

Really, I'm going keep to telling myself: Always take notes.

Don't those colours blend nicely?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Build a time machine and go

I suppose there is no reason I should have been surprised. Say you knit most of an item, the kind of item that generally comes in pairs, and then put it aside for a year without noting the specific needles used, trusting to your knowledge of what seemed at the time the only possible correct needle size for the job. Say you then picked it up a year later, finished it off with different sized needles (by design) for the last part. It looked great. You washed it and it looked even better, and it seemed a good size too. So you embark on the second of the pair, reasonably sure of the needle size. Partway through you think it is coming out a bit... looser? Could your tension have changed? Do you need different needles after all? But you knit on through this minor doubt.

So then, do you have any right to be surprised when the second half of the pair, after its bath, is obviously - HUGELY - bigger than the first.

I'm still holding a little hope that it will shrink as it dries. I may even have blasted it with the hairdryer on hot just to help it along.

Also it's possible that the second one will be a better fit for the recipient, so at least I can be pretty sure I will be able to replicate it when I knit it again. Sigh.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Loving you... is it the right thing to do?

I knitted a tree. When I saw the Fun Fur Kitchmas Tree pattern I had a vision inspired by the Queen Victoria Building's enormous tree covered in Swarovski crystal ornaments. I know someone who is very very enamoured of that particular tree.

I sprung for a few Swarovski beads, including the star (actually a starfish) for the top, and the rest are faceted glass beads.

It's stuffed with wadding, and the base is crocheted over a cardboard circle. Looking at that picture makes me think of Press Gang, because that's what I was watching (straight through all five seasons, obsessively) at the time.

How crazily green is Canberra right now? It still feels weird to have rain.

When K saw me making this tree he had a vision too. In a lucrative business deal the shop had aquired a free 'Sea urchin light' - a battery-operated star shaped light on a stand. A bit odd really. But build a fluffy tree around it and suddenly it all comes together.

Yes that is a lot of star relative to tree. The size of the tree was limited by the height of the stand.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

She's so beautiful now, she doesn't wear her shoes

This afternoon I dropped in to visit my sister and to hand over the socks I made for her. She was a bit confused about how to wear them. But she's a clever girl and I'm confident she'll figure it out by the time the weather is next cool enough to wear wool socks.

Fortunately, our other sister did a better job of modelling one of the socks earlier this week.

It's Opal Prisma, from the Bead and Opal Wool Queen. And the circus stripes really suit this girl.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Could make you want to stay awake at night

Donna Lee noted the uncanny resemblance of this blue felted dish to a cat food bowl. Unfortunately I don't have a cat, but my dogs are always very happy to take their food from any receptacle on offer.

Today I got my sister started on some felting. I had to demonstrate how rough you can be - in fact, have to be - with your knitting. She has knit two big rectangle pieces out of Sean Sheep Armytage, her first knitting since we were kids, and plans to cut them up into coasters.

This wool felts pretty quickly, and it was so cool to see her excitement when she could feel and see the change happening. That's why I love felting by hand.

For a quick break in between bigger gift projects, the other night I tried out some of Grandma's handspun for a pod. Grandma's wool is bright green and gold plied together, switching to bright blue and gold. The switch happened right in the middle of the pod, I didn't manipulate that. For a second strand I used a softer green (Panda Carnival) and then a softer blue (Sean Sheep Spirit), hoping it will all blend nicely with felting.

I must be really feeling the green in a big way right now. Aside from the new pod (which is actually greener than it appears in that picture), two of my gift projects are green, and I am swatching some green totem for a 'somewhere down the track' project (dying to start now... but too many things on the boil). And then there are these new aquisitions. NO IDEA what I will do with them, I bought them this week from The Potty Knitter out of curiosity. Above, banana fibre. And below, recycled yarn. A beautiful combination of fine strands of different fibres and colours, though not spun together so I will have to knit carefully on blunt needles, I think.

Monday, December 03, 2007

How do they get the grainy bits SO soft?

(They.... hit 'em with a hammer I expect.)

For some reason it makes me think of an ashtray. I wish I had taken time to make the sides a good bit higher. Cleckheaton Merino Supreme felts beautifully, in spite of its 20% acrylic content.

I was interested to see that the garter stitch ridges stuck it out through the felting, only partially subdued. Not quite the effect I was going for. With other wools I have gotten garter stitch to go flat. Felting is just unpredictable.

(I reckon an elephant sits on 'em)