Wednesday, 28 July 2010
I digress, yesterday we visited Ashby de la Zouche castle - home of Lord Hastings (friend of Richard III) and the Bosworth Heritage Centre - a trip back to the 15th century a period which I have studied in depth. The castle was lovely but the audio was terrible (we gave up listening) and Bosworth was interesting - but why oh why do these places have to dumb-down history? (As avid people watchers it was obvious that the target audience missed the points that were being made directly to them) So why can't these places also provide information in a more educated way, one that expects more than a reading age of the average 'The Sun' reader, because basically Sun readers don't go to this sort of place anyway.
Monday, 26 July 2010
Forgot how soothing spinning on a drop spindle can be - so I have been spinning in the car and caravan. Also surprised how nice and even the yarn is (was going to post a pic but realised that I can't download a pic from the camera and be online at the same time) so here is one I took earlier
Thursday, 22 July 2010
Over the rest day (Wednesday) I carded nearly 200 grams of Romney Fleece and today I spun some of it up. Lovely fibre to spin and the rovings and yarn has the most gorgeous sheen that doesn't show in the picture.
Looking forward to Sunday most, as it is a real girls only day with some tennis thrown in. We all met through playing wheelchair tennis and have played together and against each other many times over the years, but for this day no competition just gossip and a lot of reminiscing. In the evening we may even get a little maudlin over a glass or two of vino (Guess who isn't driving back to the caravan?)
Plus I get to pick my new wheels.......................
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
After this success I did the same with some Falkland in reds and pinks and plied it with white - Blueberry Ripple
And then just to continue the icecream theme I spun up some carded white Falkland and pink silk and got Strawberry Ice
Sunday, 18 July 2010
On Friday I heard of the safe delivery of a friend's baby - a girl so I need to get knitting - fast. Found the most delightful and chic pattern on Ravelry called Peach Blossom Jacket so I dyed up some Merino and Bamboo (see pic above)in a deep pink - not for me the boring baby pinks (I hope that Linda feels the same way!) also going to add a little pair of shoes and a beret - ready for autumn. All I need now is some drying weather.
Off now to label up my samples and get ready for a afternoon of spinning - just hope that the riders in the Tour decide it is time to start racing....,, although I'm pretty sure that Mark C put two fingers up at the commissars yesterday as he won the sprint for second place!
Friday, 16 July 2010
The first warp was far too ambitious for a first project - demanding 300 threads! I quickly realised that I was never going to get this on the loom and rewound the yarn. Try two ended the same way, in try three I realised that I was supposed to go the same way round the end post and not alternated with the raddle cross (this will only make sense to a weaver) - attempt four finally made it to the loom. Had I waited for Deborah Chandler's excellent book Learning to Weave to arrive I might have saved myself a lot of grief. Each chapter is a lesson and explains carefully how to and what pitfalls there are - sense at last.
Meanwhile the Tour de Fleece challenge is going well by yesterday's stage 12 I have spun 500grams and watch many hours of the actual race. MC won again yesterday although there was a bit of a 'coming together of riders' and Mark Renshaw MC's lead-out man has been disqualified for head butting - who said cycling is a gentle form of exercise?
Sunday, 11 July 2010
So far I have spun 100 grams of the orange, and 50 grams of the yellow, pink and lime plus about 30grams of the purple so well on target for finishing at the end of the second week. Spinning during the third week will be much more what have I got in my stash - so more like 'free spinning'
Life hasn't been just about spinning. I have managed to wash and dry Lucy (my Leicester Long Wool fleece) and take part in a KAL on Ravelry - Summer Flies Shawl - which I finished on Thursday evening after I had to pick back 396 stitches because the pattern said knit and it should have been purl!!!!! My fault I suppose I should have not blindly followed the pattern without thinking what I was doing! In my defence I was watching an episode of Outnumbered on G.O.L.D and was knitting on auto-pilot.....
Also on Friday I treated myself to a day at The Spinning Weal learning the art of stain-glass patchwork.
It wasn't until right at the end that I realised that I should have aligned one of the petals north-south rather than east-west. But I am really chuffed with the result so far (I still have to stitch around the 'leadwork' and attached a backing piece - but I have the basics sorted. Best for me is that it doesn't required any hand sewing which I find impossible since my accident.
On Saturday I gave my paper at South West Women's History Network Conference in Salisbury. Despite my misgivings all went and I received a lot of interesting questions at the end - phew. The day ended in a guided tour of the Cathedral Close - so all in all a very pleasant day and I even managed to do some spinning in the cool of the evening. So today I am having a quiet day..... and Mr S is making a stand for my new loom - now all I have to do is learn to warp up the darn thing.
Next week I am going to be dyeing some fibres for the Fibreholics boxes - am wondering what I have let myself in for - but it will be a challenge. Just trying to decide what constitutes 'summer sun' ...............
Wednesday, 7 July 2010
Thinking that I should really challenge myself not set comfortable targets which are totally achievable with little effort on my part - perhaps I should include knitting a bag with the spun yarn in the tour de fleece challenge.............
Continuing on this theme I am finding warping up my new loom a real challenge - will be on my third attempt after Mr S has completed the stand!
Monday, 5 July 2010
As I couldn't block while we were away it is currently being blocked and drying in the garden. For blocking I am using a tip from Peahen using playmats. These we had originally purchased for getting me around on gravel (most caravan sites seem to think that all disabled/hard standings need to be gravel for some reason unfathomable to me, for whom pushing through gravel is akin to walking through treacle - try it some time) but they are excellent for blocking shawls as well
The Tour de France started on Saturday, in Rotterdam, with a prologue time trial and as I hadn't taken my wheel away this time I spun on my oak burr drop spindle for 10 minutes. I know this doesn't sound much, but I was outside and the breeze kept blowing the fibre onto the thread and the winning rider did the course in the same time!
So yesterday after a very disappointing men's final I started on the Tour de Fleece Challenge in earnest, starting with the orange.