Tuesday, July 29, 2008

And I would walk five hundred more

Earlier this year, plans developed with three dear friends who I don't see very often. We were going to get together for a girly/ladies weekend away. The emails were flying four ways and suddenly there was mention of how it was going to be such a cold winter weekend, full of bracing winter walks, rugged up in beanies and scarves. This image was just too tempting (even though we ended up at the coast and the weather was mild) and I knew I had to make something. Three somethings, actually.
There wasn't time for full scarves. At this point I was just getting started preparing for the first market day and I knew time was going to be short.

I settled on the idea of making short scarves to be fastened with buttons. It's a pity I don't have modelled shots. They are worn a bit like Quiltingmick's neckwarmers but maybe with a little bit more 'dangle'. The idea is for it to be just enough scarf to fill the gap in a v-neck jumper or the neckline of a jacket. After struggling with my lovely, warm, enormous, long Clapotis - it's hard to avoid draping it on the floor when I suddenly become too hot on a packed bus and have to strip off - the idea of an efficient neckwarmer is very appealing. So I have one planned for me. Modelled photo to come.

Although the actual knitting didn't take too long, it took a bit of time, thinking, pattern searching, and fear to get this project done! I found picking yarn and colours for three different friends quite tricky.

I was sure I wanted them all to be different, but, would one turn out to be nicer than the others? Would I get them done in time? Could I find the right feature buttons? (And I owe thanks to DJZ and Mum for the help with that, down to the last minute.)
This is Knit Cafe's reversible cable scarf in Naturally Merino et Soie 8ply held double, modified to work for 28 stitches as described (in Ravelry) by KelK.

I didn't want to knit exactly the same pattern twice, but I liked the effect of the reversible cable scarf so much that I went looking for a similar pattern. The Bryher cable scarf fit the bill. I used Lincraft's Lima Alpaca held double with 6.5mm needles.
Once again I modified this one from 20 to 28 stitches cast on. In fact I messed up the modification and ended up with the cables not being centred. But a further mistake made it all ok. I miscounted rows and accidentally started the second set of cables at the wrong edge. This balanced things out - a pair of cables to one side, a pair to the other side, and back again to finish it off. I'm pretty sure it's Taph who suggests making a mistake into a feature by repeating it, and I've taken it to heart!

Edited to add: Obviously I was in a hurry when I picked out and knit this pattern - now that I reread it, I see that the cable is meant to be off-centre. Actually I think my mod to make the whole thing wider caused it to be more subtly off-centre. None of this really matters and I am very happy with how it turned out. I just didn't want to be misrepresenting Katie's cool pattern.


Finally, Wavy from Knitty, in Cleckheaton Country Silk, with 4mm needles. Really nice wool, especially after a bath in some hair conditioner (smelled pretty too!)

Each short scarf took less than two balls of 8ply wool, and could be easily finished in two or three evenings.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My dreams, they aren't as empty

Billy scarf_2
So this is part 1 in the Great Scarves and Scarflets Project of Winter 2008. Plans to knit this scarf for a dear friend were prompted by K, so I engaged him for design assistance too. I really only wanted three stripes at each end but I was worried I wouldn't have enough grey for the length (four balls). Inevitably I ended up with some left over.
The yarn and construction method are both the same as for Dad's Collingwood scarf. Filatura di Crosa Zarina (grey) with Haven Merino 4ply for the blue stripes, knit in the round for a cosy, soft tube scarf. No fringe this time, I just sewed the ends closed after pressing it flat, and we were good to go.

And eventually I think I want one of these for me! It is a nice scarf to wear, sits really nicely. It is indeed a lot of stitches, but the Zarina in particular knits up so fast and even that it didn't take too long at all. This is one of the very few projects where I have actually been able to knit a few stitches at a time without looking down at what I'm doing.
Billy scarf_1 img_1465

Sunday, July 20, 2008

and Other Tales

The main reason for the visit to Melbourne was to be at the opening of my sister's solo exhibition, and Other Tales, at IMP above Greville. (If you click on that link you'll see the invitation/postcard she made using a detail of one of the pieces.)

room view
The opening went really well, lots of people gathered in the pleasant, light-filled room upstairs overlooking Greville Street, Prahran.

room view 1
With Demelza's permission, here are my photos of each piece. Clicking on the pictures will take you to Flickr where you can see them in a bigger size.

tea for two
1. Tea for two

The photos don't do them justice at all. They are all done on vintage linen (and the first two pieces came from our great-aunt) and are portraits of family and friends taken from candid photos. She doesn't sketch on the linen first: she simply draws with thread; that is, she hand-stitches the images. A couple of them have fabric embellishments too - see the shirt collars in 'Susie, the pink balloon and other tales'. This collection represents many hours of detailed work. When I saw it all set up in the gallery I couldn't have been more proud and delighted.
2. Edie and I

3. Susie, the Pink Balloon and Other Tales

4. Saturday

5. Sunday

6. Nate

7. Horse and zebra

Edited to add: The last day of the exhibition is this Sunday 27 July.

Friday, July 18, 2008


I'm just feeling like I'm getting caught up on my normal life after a few weeks of change and activity and a bit of travel. Oy, Melbourne was the weekend before last!

Monday, July 14, 2008

They're all saying it

pods plus_img_1361
Happyspider and I had a lovely day at the markets on Sunday. It was pretty cold in there, but we were prepared: sitting still in a big, unheated shed in winter is always going to be cold. I dressed a bit like I was going skiing - many layers.
Amongst overall decent sales, we sold A LOT of wristwarmers! Clearly we weren't the only ones feeling the cold.

There are still button bracelets ($30), a few pods (similar price range to last time), and some pears ($30) available. I'll list them here if there is interest. But don't worry, I don't expect to keep pumping my regular readers here for sales! The interest and support last time was a thrill, and greatly appreciated. I hope to fire up an etsy shop sooner or later (I've been pondering it long enough). Quiltingmick has just launched Buttontree Lane and the Sunnyboy bags sure moved fast! I wanted one but didn't move fast enough, and now I have to wait. I'm very patient though.
mostly forwards jokani
I only made one purchase on Sunday - other than hot coffee and hot food - and I am in love with it. Really, I just want to look at at, turn it around in my hands, then occasionally pose objects on it.
mostly forwards
It's a piece called 'Mostly Forwards', by Canberra fibre artist Jocelyn Plovits. It's made from dyed Canary Island pine needles.
pear looks big
I stood at her stall for ages, fondling all the beautiful pieces and trying to decide what to buy.
pod on pedestal
I used Happyspider's 'First Kiss' colourway for that last pod. Isn't that a great name?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Community Service Announcement

Moda Vera Sorbet doesn't felt.

The grotesque fleshy looking thing on the left was supposed to become a lovely pinkish pear. Instead it looks like .. well I can't think of an analogy right now, at least, not one that won't attract the wrong sort of search engine hits.

not felt

Here's the before-felting photo. It's a thick and thin yarn and I was a bit worried that the extreme difference between the thick and the thin would be too great. But it didn't even occur to me that the stuff might completely resist felting.

unfelt pears

I feel really sheepish about it, as I seem to be always telling people how easy it is to test yarns before you waste time knitting them for a felting project.

bowl o
Ack. Let's focus on these pretty brown pears instead. I am glad I was asked to make a brown one a little while ago, as I really like the way they turned out and have kept making more. (The wool is Sean Sheep Armytage in 'Sticky Date')
Please to admire their cute bottoms. Unlike perhaps many other kinds of bottoms, I think it's okay to admire pear bottoms quite openly.
4 pears
Along with pods and pendants, I'll have a few pears for sale at the markets at Kingston tomorrow. I'll also have some of mum's fantastic button bracelets.
five fruits
Updated to add: pic of the button bracelets!
button bracelets

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Loud fan and a big tin can

knitted pile

These are the pods I've knitted with Grandma's handspun. There are most likely more to come, though not until after my slightly frantic preparations for this Sunday's market stall are complete.

I felted them while in Queensland - here they are drying, stuffed with plastic bags. Unfortunately I've since decided they aren't felted 'enough' and need another go. My cousin was an observer and thought the process was pretty interesting, though I kicked myself later for forgetting the most fun step - chuckasplat against concrete! The wonderful ceramic pear in the first photo is something she made at school.

See you at the Bus Depot Markets Creative Fibre Day this Sunday?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

bisy. backson.

I'm in Brisbane for my grandma's funeral and all the sad, joyful and bittersweet family business that goes with times like these. The day she died (last Friday) I started knitting some pods with some of her wild coloured handspun. I think they will be for any family members who want them.

Then this weekend it's Melbourne for my sister's show (And other tales, Demelza Sherwood). I am thrilled that I will also get to check out Noel's latest.

When I get back home I will have many things to show, like the Great Scarves and Scarflets project of Winter 2008 (I think I'm up to number 5), Some More Felted Pears, and I hope, sneak previews of stock for another market stall at the Old Bus Depot Markets.

Recently, a brown pear made its way to TSS's place over here.