You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘craft’ tag.
Here’s the latest knitting project, (the lace tank from vogue knitting spring summer 2007),
Strung across my toes at the beach. I was able to work a few rows today while the baby slept on my lap. Idyllic, right? There’s more to it than that as you would know. But I’m happy. So why say more. All is well and craft and some brain activity gets a look in now and then. I’m using my wool and recycled silk handspun yarn.
I don’t seem to have had as much time for crafting lately – though there has been a fair bit of knitting on train journeys. Just not much time for concentrated effort at home. I will get back to it now though.
One night, when I was really tired and my eyes were blurry but I still had an urge to do something with my hands, I reached for some old plastic knitting needles I had thrifted from an op shop. About a year ago I had read something on line about boiling them up, bending them and creating bracelets. Indeed, I had seen one of these bracelets in a wonderful Jewllery store in Balmain called “The Punch Gallery”. It was selling for about $40, I think. (I KNOW!)
Anyway, I didn’t want a bangle but, having just finished a circular vest, I needed a shawl pin or closure of some sort. So I boiled some water and began to submerge the kniting needles, one at a time, and play. I tried to be careful of burns and initially used a teatowel and tongs to try and manipulate the plastic. But I became impatient and ended up just quickly wiping the plastic needles dry and then twisting them around my fingers. Did it hurt? Umm…not much.
The needles do become quite flexible but I still managed to snap some. I think it’s a good idea to have a few so you can experiment with the “feel” of them and get used to how far they will bend. They need a longer time in the water if you are going to try to spiral them around your fingers, but less time if you’re creating large circle for a bangle. Ocassionally one of the ends came of the needle as it was boiling, which was a shame as I like the old numbers on the needles.
Quite cute really and pretty functional. I added some beads to the end with Tarzan’s Grip Glue. They are very light so I can wear them even on a lace shawl. Though I’m not sure that they are stylistically a match for lace!
Recently my computer broke down and we had to send it away by courier to the warranty place. It was scary to ship off this contraption to unknown people who would operate on it and return it without any contact. Weird. It also cut me off from contact with the virtual world of blogs and information. Very, very weird. It made me ponder how I ever got through a university course with just pens, paper and books.
But now the computer has returned to my life. I did miss it and the lovely blogs I am subscribed to while it was away. Though I have to admit that life felt more delightfully ponderous, without it. Without the constant interruption of email notifications and the slight anxiety that arises from not responding quickly enough, I was calmer. Without the myriad craft sites and blogs to read, I crafted. I am happy to have it back though, but it’s good to remember that I can do without it and that friends will understand if I don’t get back to them immediately. Also, that if life is feeling a little too connected I can unplug myself.
One of the things that I missed out on doing was saying a big “Thank you” to Jeanie from The Marmelade Gypsy for sending me her collaged tea caddy , which she offered as part of One World One Heart. It arrived ages and ages ago but I have been unable to post about it until now. Here it is sitting very happily on my kitchen bench next to one of my favourite tea mugs.
I sent off my own OWOH prize ages ago too, but have yet to hear that it arrived safely. Now that I have my computer back I can find the recipients address and email her….but I hesitate now – perhaps she’s simply been offline too
I’ve been stuck at home because our car is having a long vacation at the mechanics – some extensive surgery is required and each day I ring they say another day is needed for recovery. Now being stuck at home when you live by the sea is hardly a hardship. Each day I’ve walked and gazed at a new ocean.
I have also discovered that I am far more productive when I can’t go out to the shops to buy food, to pay bills, to have a coffee, to “just get out of the house” etc.
I have really enjoyed working on my picture and am pretty pleased with it, though I know there’s a long way to go before my people actually look like people. Still, I like it and it’s meaningful to me.
Over Christmas I treated myself and bought two weaving books in order to play a bit with the loom that Vivian has lent me. This is esentially so that I can decide if I am interested enough to get a loom for myself. The books I bought were “Weaving Made Easy” by Liz Gipson and” Woven Treasures” By Sarah Lamb. I’ve really enjoyed reading both of them.
“Woven Treasures”, has some really interesting hand manipulation techniques in it. (Listen to me using the jargon – I have no idea if that’s actually what they’re called!) “Weaving Made Easy” does help make weaving understandable. I have started weaving a very light hounds tooth scarf, making sure that I beat very lightly. I’m getting better at the selvedges. I need more work on consistent beating. But I’m pretty happy with it so far.
I’ve also started knitting some socks for my Sister’s birthday pressie. The car repairs are going to bleed us dry so it’s just as well I can knit something for her. I hope she will like them. They are the Annetrelac Socks by Sandy Beadle. I’ve used Moda Vera Noir sock yarn, in Laguna colourway. Thanks to Salihan who picked it up for me at the last Spotlight sale.
The entrelac has been really fun to do, despite a few false starts where squares were knit back on themselves.
A few months ago I did have the thought that I should make some gifts for Christmas. “It would be thrifty and more personal”, I reasoned. How did it happen then, that I have nothing home made to give? It’s really very simple, I got distracted.
Firstly by the Icarus shawl. (Even though it’s just a mini Icarus)
Because it seemed absolutely imperative that I knit myself a shawl for the 40 degree days directly ahead of us. I do really like it though. Initially I thought I would dye the white to match the green, but now I like it as is. I’m not sure if you can see but I knit the last two rows in a similar green so it sort of ties in. The green is my handspun and hand dyed alpaca, courtesy of Tauret.
Then I thought that I absolutely must design an embroidered cuff because I’m trying to figure out the best way to attach findings to embroidery so that it can move beyond brooches. This one uses hooks and eyes – I wonder if somebody makes sterling silver hooks and eyes?
Ever noticed how hard it is to photograph your own hand? Especially when that hand has rather short, stubby fingers and, since you don’t have a digital camera, you are actually using the camera function on the video recorder.
Ahhh…That’s the one! The cuff uses feather stitch, chain stitch, lazy daisy stich and palestrina stitch for the side seams. It has little glass beads between each “flower”
The other day I was travelling to Sydney by train and was probably meant to be making some sort of Christmas gift, but I discovered that I had no pockets in which to carry my ipod. Fortunately I had a crochet hook, some cotton and some newly aquired crochet skills thanks to my friend and excellent crochet teacher, Salihan.
So I whipped up an ipod cosy whilst two bemused teenage girls looked on and talked about me while I worked not one foot away from them. It seems that crocheting makes one deaf. Not that they were rude. It was just quite strange to be talked about in the third person by someone sitting directly opposite me.
Thanks for teaching me to crochet Salihan.
I am in serious danger of becoming a Jack of All Trades, Master of None. Life seems to short to and I want to try so much. I desperately want to try lampwork and have found a class nearby, but when I pressed the organiser on the minimum tools needed to continue afterards she did not reply. I don’t see much point in spending $380 on a weekend course if I don’t have enough money to continue with the work afterwards. Not that I acutally have $380 anyway, but as the course isn’t until October I was thinking I could put some birthday money towards it…anyway…this isn’t about not being able to do things…this is about being able to do new things!
My lovely new and generous friend, Hope, gave me a whole bunch of fibre to spin with from her, (quite sizeable, I have to say), stash. I’ve spun up quite a lot of it and just skeined up and set this:
I’m not sure what type of wool this was but it was from a bat and had little bits of white fluff in it. I’ve navajo plied it and I’m pleased with the result. I really enjoyed spinning from a batt – the fibre was really light and fluffy to work with.
Hope also gave me some alpaca. I’ve never had any alpaca before and didn’t want to ruin it, so it was with some trepidation that I set out to dye it yesterday. I bought an old pot from the op-shop and took down the “Rhonda Trounce silk and wool dyes” that my Mum had passed on to me. They didn’t have any instructions so I loosely followed the kettle dyeing instructions posted on the “From the Dyepot” forum on Ravellry. I’ve done Jelly crystal dying in the microwave before but haven’t done any kettle dying or steam dying. I soaked the fiber for about 4 hours in a vinegar and water solution, filled the pot up a little way so that the water line was just level with the fibre and proceeded to pour some of the dye into the pot. The dyes are already liquid so I didn’t have to do any mixing – but I had no idea how strong they were. I used a deep green and a purple and dotted it around with a chopstick. The water looked more intense than the actual colours turned out, I think. So I’ll take note of that for next time. The dye was exhausted though – only clear water left at the end of the simmering processs. At the moment the fibre is still drying – but here’s what it looked like in the pot.
And now for a closer look – notice how the purple combined with the green to make a sea blue kind of colour?
So far, though I had hoped that a bit more purple would show through, I do like the results.
Now while the pot was simmering, I had to do something. So I taught myself how to tatt using this utube video paired with this instuctable. I went back and forth between both sites so I could work out how it was done. It done by totusmel, whose blog I found through the one world one heart event. Many thanks to her for the instuctions.
I managed to make a flower!
But not before some mishaps:
- It took me a little while to realise that each ring had to be joined back into the same picot created on the first ring. I can see the potential for freeform tatting in this
The other morning we were having breakfast on the balcony and noticed 3 perfect spiderwebs in the bushes. They were quite stunning and I wished I had a proper digital camera so I could get a better shot for the blog.
Isn’t that amazing! Small wonders.