Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Lateral thinking

I'm not a skinflint, but the price that some suppliers are charging for basic bags straps is completely ridiculous. One was selling two 'leather' straps for £14 plus postage......making an expensive addition. I do make matching handles , but sometimes a nice strap/handle can make all the difference, turning something basic into something special. I had checked out the local charity shops, but either the bags were grotty or pricey. There is an up-market charity shop in Chipping Sodbury, with designer bags at nearly designer prices, so I wasn't any closer to solving the dilemma and I had two bags just waiting for the finishing touch...

Then I happened upon some bags in the sale in a well known supermarket - absolutely awful, so you could see why they were reduced - but the handles were perfect - so perfect handles for £2 and two zips - what a bargain (well two bargains actually, 'cos I bought two) The girl on the check out gave me a really strange look - nothing new there!

Today, in another supermarket - belts reduced and actually buy one and get one free - so two lovely 'real leather' straps - the cost £1.50 - and I got the extra large ones!

So lateral thinking or what Mr S calls the Ikea syndrome, just because something is sold for one purpose it doesn't mean that you have to use for that - I remember that a while a ago we made a bedheads out of two shoe racks - and very chic they were too.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Brighton pebbles, not rock.....

We are having a week away to make up for the lost holiday at Christmas we had to cancel due to the adverse weather conditions.

Really Mr S needed to consult the Mass Observation Archive which is housed at the University of Sussex - as you never know how much will be useful so we booked a whole week, and then got through everything in one very long day. So now we have a few free days in which to relax and time to fulfil our annual tradition of throwing pebbles in the sea.

Know this sounds daft, and I can't remember when it started, but for years now, every Christmas we throw pebbles in memory of people no longer with us and for those who need a helping thought.

Besides the pebble throwing, as yesterday was sunny but cold and we 'walked' along the 'Lawns' in Hove and watched the sun coming through some clouds over the English Channel. Mr S misses the sea, being a Plymothian, and needs regular doses of ozone to get him through the year. But the ozone is just not the same here as it is on the Hoe in Plymouth - where the sea is more ocean than channel.

Spinning is on hold, but I am managing to get some of the Polworth fleece carded a job which seems to get put to the end of the queue at home when there is so much else to do, particularly now I am officially back working on my thesis. In this I have agreed with Mr S that I need to pace myself - before his surgery I had been working more or less 24/7, which was really silly, as I am registered part-time! As my friend E said I am very good at telling others not to over do things, while doing the exact opposite myself - so I now work most mornings and have the afternoon for other things - which should mean that I do not become a very 'dull girl'..

Saturday, 1 January 2011

I have resolved...

...to never dye in lots of 100grams any more.

I have come to the conclusion that it might be fun to have lots of brightly spaced dyed rovings, but only dyeing 100grams is very shortsighted, for try as you might you can never exactly reproduce a spaced dyed roving - believe me I have tried as these two pics show it is nearly impossible with the vagaries of space dyeing to get a good match.

First dye of the colourway Make Believe

Second Dye of the colourway Make Believe - and this despite using the exact same amount of dyes in the same proportions - batch one is much greener than batch two which has come out with more pinky mauve than greens................

Why? Well the other day I was searching for some yarn to make a small shawlette - and despite the massive stash (according to Mr S that is) I found that I didn't have enough of any one colourway to make it - so hence the resolve.

So here is my first 200grams of Falkland - Holly Bush, it is in fact much darker than the pic shows, dark brown, berry red and, disappointingly not holly green. The green is more muted than I hoped for, but nevertheless it is 200 grams which is the important thing here.

Thought - will bigger dye batches mean that the 'massive' stash will take on mountainous proportions?

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