31 August 2012

When the going gets tough ...

It has been a strange week for me, workwise it was not very productive: I have been working on this proposal for the last few weeks and just when I thought I'd got it, it all fell to pieces. And for some reason I can't seem to get it together in the way I wanted, and on top of that, I'd missed my deadline (self-imposed).  So, you might say I was a little frustrated.

Vivian told me to get knitting when my brain's got scattered, so I did. I managed to finish the Sugar Veyla that I started last week. They came out quite well I think, and I decided to give these to my cousin for her birthday, hope she likes them.

On the spinning front I made little progress, still trying to grasp the drafting technique. And, not content with having just one spindle I made one myself using this tutorial except I made mine a bottom whorl.

This was my first try at making anything with polymer clay, the centre cracked a little bit when I pushed the dowel (bamboo super chopstick cut short) through the hole even though I did let it cool. I dabbed the cracks with super glue so hopefully it will hold. It spins a lot faster than my top whorl which is quite nice. Next time I will make the hole bigger before baking.

Oh well, that's me wrapped up for this week, it hasn't gone as planned but one can't always has one's own way, such is life. I guess we'll have to make the best of whatever there is :)

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!

24 August 2012

Learning to spin :)

I have been playing with my new toy the spindle this past week, and I think I'm on the right track, well I certainly hope so!

This is what I've got after a week's work, it's a slow progress and I'm trying very hard to get a consistent thickness, my biggest problem is know how much fibre to draft, and making sure the non-drafted fibre doesn't get twisted prematurely. I'm longing for the day that I finally "click" and just let my fingers take over... 

I recently joined a swapping group on Ravelry called Silly About Swaps. I've never swapped before, mostly because of being where I am that I often feel quite the odd one who might spoil others' fun. Fortunately in this group you have the option of sending electronic goodies as well as real one, all depends on your budget. There are all kinds of swaps going on like The Genie Swap, Travelling Blanket, Tea and Cake... There is also a Birthday Swap and as it was my birthday last week I got quite a few patterns from Ravelry Download that I've been longing for, and received some goodies in the post as well. I was really overwhelmed by this influx of goodness and felt quite spoilt, especially these days due to our vast distance from all the family the run of the mill gift giving at birthdays and holidays are usually "money in the bank".  

One of the patterns I received is the lovely Veyla by Ysolda Teague to whom I am a fan, so among my other obligations (sweater for mum, sweater for her other sister, etc.) I couldn't help but cast on:

Project Name: Sugar Veyla
Pattern: Veyla by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Bella Baby Sugar in dusty pink
Cast on: 22 August 

Notes: I don't know who the recipient will be yet, it could be one of my cousins whose birthday is coming up, or it could be one of the lovely swappers from my swap group, we'll see...

Oh, and I finished the back piece of Purple Dusk that I started last week for my mum. I'm planning to make the sleeves using Barbara G. Walker's top-down set-in sleeves method. It'll be my first time trying this method, wish me luck!

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!

17 August 2012

Fibre Birthday ... to me :D

I feel a bit deflated after all the excitements of the London 2012 Games, the closing ceremony was somewhat disappointing if you ask me. But I did like the part where Freddie Mercury popped up on the big screen and got the crowd going, wasn't he fabulous! Brian May's solo was also fantastic, they are true legends.

At the beginning of the Ravellenics I entered three projects which were blogged here and here, then as a last minute madness I decided to finish one of my WIPs that's been hibernating for a while, and here it is:

I called it Mohair Minimalist Pullover, a mod version of the Mohair Minimalist Top. It's just plain stocking stitch knitted from top-down and it's seamless without any finishing, just cast off, weave in the ends and Hey Presto! It was started in April and should've been finished ages ago, but I got distracted and it went in hiding with one sleeve to go, if it hadn't been for the Ravellenics it might not see daylight for some more months yet.

This week I started a project for my mum whose birthday is in October. She likes geometric shapes especially if it involves circles or portions of a circle, so I thought she might appreciate this one. The pattern is from DROPS and calls for two strands of their yarns, but I have this beautiful Shadow Tweed in my stash and the gauge was spot on (yes, I did swatch this time!). As you can see the two front pieces are done, the back piece may not be so quick as it's just plain stockingnette. I'm taking a leap of faith on this one and hoping fervently that the assembled piece is wearable!

Today is my birthday, I'm not into birthday celebrations, not since I hit 30 anyway and that was a lifetime ago! The old man has been asking what I wanted for my birthday and I told him that I wouldn't mind learning to spin. See I used "wouldn't mind" - it's a typical expression that runs in P's family, it means "Yes! I really would love that!" - shows I've been married for too long, ha!  Anyway, he said "why not, go for it!" So I did.

I found an Introduction to Hand Spinning course run by the Handweavers and Spinners Guild of Victoria, the classes run over five weeks and cover contents from fleece preparation, wheel adjustment, to different types of twist, fibres and dyes. The classes were due to start last Wednesday, but I got a phone call a few days before telling me that the classes were cancelled due to lack of enrollment. I'm sure you can imagine my disappointment.

But, life has it's ways of working things out. This morning I got this present from P:

Isn't he sweet! The old man's mellowing with age and learning to be romantic... just hope I can handle this little thing and don't get my wits into a twist!


As I was typing this post I got another phone call from the Guild informing me that the Introduction to Spinning classes will run again starting in September and would I like to join? Oh Yes Please!

So, to quote The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - "Everything will be all right in the end. If it's not all right, then it's not the end." - Happy Fibre Arts Friday! :-)

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!

10 August 2012

Baby Dressage & Charity Rowing: Take Two

I can't believe it's Friday again, where did the days go? The London 2012 is almost coming to an end, during this past week I followed the games as much as I could, mostly through the official app - it has become my new routine, the first thing I reach for upon waking up is to grab my iphone and check the results. Team GB has done a fantastic job so far, although still far behind USA and China but that's only expected. The highlights for me so far are Jessica Ennis winning the Women's Heptathlon, Mo Farah winning the Men's 10,000 meters, and of course Andy Murray winning the Man's Single Tennis.  Oh, and Usain 'Lightning' Bolt struck twice :)

I did watch some live events whenever I could which afforded me the opportunity to work on my Ravellenics challenges, and here's an update:

Finished: Sweater Triathlon and Baby Dressage (#1)

The sweater is based on EZ's February Baby Sweater but much enlarged and without sleeves. I made notes of my calculations which I will add to my project page on Ravelry when I have more time. But I'm a bit miffed with the yarn for the sweater, all four skeins are of the same colourway and dyelot, but as you can see the fourth skein is decidedly paler than the others. I will have to explain to my aunt, hope she won't mind.

The baby kite jacket has come out well, it does look like a kite don't you think? It's very squishy and stretchy and I like the applied i-cord edging and button loops, it should be perfect for a growing baby. But for some strange reason I could not find the buttons I'd bought for it, anyone with psychic powers out there please help me!

Round Two: Baby Dressage & Charity Rowing

Pattern: Jacket from the Doreen Baby Set, available from Free Vintage Crochet
Yarn:  Patons Australia Dreamtime 3ply, 375 yards / 343 meters
Hook: 3.5mm
Start/finish:  7 - 9 August, 2012
Notes:  This is a very easy make, and only took 3 days. If I were to make it again I will make less starting chains and make the neck smaller.

I think that's me wrapped up for the Ravellenics 2012, I know there is still some time till the closing time but I'm working tomorrow (Saturday) morning and helping out at a fund raising event at my son's school in the evening, so there won't be much knitting/hooking done this weekend.

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at  Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!

03 August 2012

Baby Dressage, Charity Rowing, and Sweater Trianthlon

The Olympic Games 2012 are well and truly in full swing. The opening ceremony was fantastic, after the spectacular show at Beijing 2008 it was a hard act to follow, but London has done it in true British spirit and surpassed many expectations (IMHO). It made me feel proud to be British and really homesick for England.

To show my support for the games I am participating in the Ravellenic Games 2012. In case you don't know what that is, it is the yarn/fibre crafters' version of Olympic games (although we're not allowed to call it anything '-lympic', it's a long story and let's not go there). There are events like Scarf Hocky and Sock Put, during the weeks of London 2012 knitters/crocheters/spinners alike took part in these events while watching the sporting events, it is definitely more about taking part than winning, and having fun of course. Anyway, if you're reading this blog you're most likely to be familiar with all this, so without further ado let's have a look at what I've been up to this week...

The events I'm taking part in are: Baby Dressage, Charity Rowing, and Sweater Triathlon.

Baby Dressage (& Charity Rowing, they can co-exist): link to my project page on Ravelry

Pattern:  Baby Kite Jacket by Frankie Brown, available for free on Ravelry
Yarn:  sport baby yarn from stash
Needles: 3.75mm
Cast On:  28 July 2012 (it was supposed to be the time of the Opening Ceremony but due to time difference I waited until I got up on the 28th)
Notes:  This is not a seamless pattern but I was intrigued by the construction, it was all done in garter stitch which is perfect for watching TV. I have finished knitting the pieces and sewn the seams for sides and arms, all that left is sewing the back seam, the edges and add button(s). 

The finished item will go to KOGO (Knit One Give One) which is a Melbourne based organisation providing knitted/crocheted clothing and blankets for various charities such as the homeless, women & children in refuge, premature babies, rescued animals and many more. I have been involved with KOGO since 2008 and I feel privileged knowing that my creations will help those in need. 


Sweater Triathlon (link to my project page on Ravelry to my project page on Ravelry)

Pattern:  It's a cross between EZ's Baby Sweater on Two Needles & February Lady's Sweater by Pamela Wynne
Yarn:  Moda Vera Bouvardia, worsted weight
Needles:  4.5mm
Cast On:  28 August 2012
Notes:  I am really making it based on the baby sweater as it has a round yoke, took me a couple of tries at the maths but I think it's working out alright. Again the garter stitch section makes a perfect TV project. I did plan to knit an inch or so in garter after the sleeves division but as you can see I got distracted and went straight into the gull pattern. Oh well, I can't be bothered to go back. 

Well I am fairly happy with my progress, but now I must sign off to watch more games... and more knitting of course :)

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at  Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!