Sunday, January 20, 2008

A "new" old book and knitting.

I was able to go back to my favourite market stall again yesterday. I found a rather fascinating little book. It is 14cm (5and a half inches) tall, 9cm (3 and a half inches) wide and 4.5cm (1 and three quarter inches) thick.
As you can see the end papers have this DMC logo. The stall holder told me that the books probably came from the 1920s. There is no publishing date.
It is packed full of instructions for all the kinds of needlework you could imagine - "plain sewing", mending. "sewing upon white stuff" (whitework), crochet, knitting, tatting, embroidered laces, needle laces, and so on.
I shall really enjoy exploring this book. An unexpected find.
Well, the knitting has carried on this week. I have almost completed my Ice Queen. Hopefully, the last of the bead picot bind off will be finished this evening.
My workroom is currently being graced by the presence of three Amaryllis on the window sill. The first of these flowered for the first time this morning. A double white, it is absolutely gorgeous.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ice Queen and yarn buying.

Hello again! I've been a bit naughty this week, buying more yarn and beads.

From top left to right - Malabrigo lace weight yarn - violetas, two tubs of beads to match; Lana Grossa Cotton Fun, sock weight yarn; Fyberspates sock yarn in Toffee and Banana. These will keep me out of mischief for a while.

This is a better view of the Malabrigo yarn with the two tubs of beads. The beads are Gutermann Rocailles 9/o colours 6655 and6690. These are intended for a second Ice Queen, the Knitty design. The next photo shows where I've got up to with my first Ice Queen.

The following photos show the Band RR which I mentioned last week. It is now completed and will be in the post in the morning.

For further details on this project, please go to the Stitching Sisters Blog.
The inspiration for this was a wonderful book I found in a Charity Shop. It is so full of exciting photos and illustrations, just perfect for any textile artist.

The photo beneath is one of those I used to base my design on:

The last two show my original design, which got rather altered by the time it was stitched, and a close up of the finished band.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

A happily creative 2008 to all!

I hope you have all had a creative start to this new year.

The orchid shown above was given to me as a Christmas present by one of my pupils. A truly delightful, and much appreciated thought. I love flowers.

This holiday from school has been a very creative one for me. I've been very busy with the Band-Robin. The stitching is now getting close to completion. I started the Ice Queen cowl, but have now ripped that back since I really wasn't happy with the way I had knit the pattern. It really wasn't quite right. So I shall start that again once I have got the stitching completed for the Band-Robin. (Photos for this will have to wait until after the sampler has found its way on to the next participant.)
I have also ripped back the Naive socks which I had also started knitting. The wool I was using, although wonderful to knit with, was really too dark to show off the subtle cabling of the design. The yarn will be great for a plainer pair of socks.

The other day I bought myself three huge balls of aran weight yarn (400g x 3!). Its not such an expensive purchase since the yarn is a mix of acrylic and wool. I needed some bright colours to lift my mood. The red is destined for a cardigan and the blue for a warm cowl to go with my blue jacket on windy days. Yes, I do have a scarf. But this is such a nuisance when it is windy, since I really can't keep it warmly and comfortably round my neck.
Amongst all this activity, I completed Hazel. Yes, it is too cold here in the Northern Hemisphere, to wear it just now. I really enjoyed making it though. The cables are such fun to do. I have plans for a cardigan/jacket to go with it.

I also decided this week, to sort out my fabric stash. I'd had to live with such a lot of it blocking access to a cupboard for rather too many months. The cupboard housed my collection of books and a number of other textile bits and pieces. So I spent a useful day sorting it all out. The books now reside in a bookcase in my workroom, just where I can use them. Wonderful! The pile of fabric has also gone, it is now sitting inside a large box in my cupboard and the fancier fabrics also sorted into the relevant drawers and shelves in my workroom. All my stash of fleecy fabric is together at last, sitting on the shelf under my sewing table. I have plans for a couple of new jackets.............
Amongst it all I found this
An unfinished aran jumper that I had completely forgotten all about. I must have left it partly because I was using metal needles at the time. I find I can no longer use these - they make my wrist and fingers ache far too much. Nowadays I use the reinforced plastic needles or bamboo. So much nicer. Now, I am not certain whether to rip this back and use the yarn for something else, or to finish it. I shall wait for a few days. I don't wear jumpers very often, so I could turn the design into a cardigan...................... but a jumper is so cosy when going out on a walk...........
Have fun!