Monday, 20 August 2012

I must stop.......

.....buying fleece, hand-dyed roving and yarn - yes I really must!  Instead of getting out my purse I should really get out my dyes.

I have far tooooooo many fleeces, but I am in the process of buying a Bowmont shearling - well that's OK because Bowmont fleece is is softest and makes beautiful yarn suitable for the most delicate skin.  I promised faithfully to Mr S that I would only buy one fleece this year - the Polwarth Cross.  I then bought two Shetland fleeces, one a silver grey and the other deep deep brown - they were an absolute bargain who could resist, and the Bowmont well I have been after one for ages................ he is very understanding and has a stash of wood...........................

When it comes to roving and yarn I see something that I fancy and ooophs there another addition to the stash which I could have reproduced myself at a quarter of the price.  So rather than going shopping today I have been dyeing/copying some colour combinations that had caught my eye whilst browsing the web.

A couple of months back I bought from a fellow raveler some Southern Cross Fibre because I do so want some of this fibre.  It's the exclusiveness that is intriguing, not that I really need anymore of the squishy stuff!  The colours are quite spectacular, but there is a three year waiting list and I really can't be waiting for years just to join a club which would commit me to buying every month.  So I have been trying to match the colours....

This is Tequila Sunrise in a Texel fibre - wouldn't have chosen Texel myself, very hairy and the resulting yarn is not the next to your skin sort of yarn. 

If you break it down there are three colours in this - Red, Orange,Yellow and some left undyed.  The red goes from very dark to pinkish and the yellow and orange blend to give an apricot colour and yellow runs into the white and becomes very very pale.  This was one of the first yarns that I spun on Patience.

Another colourway, another SCF, that I also got from a detash was Burke

In this one there are four colours in addition to the bits left white, dark brown, dark blue, pale blue and tan - the top one is the original and underneath My Burke! Needs more white but otherwise not too far away from the original..

This is my take on Jelly Beans -  I fractal spun mine so the colours aren't so defined but not as wishy washy as the photo shows, but the actual dyeing was easy so I may do another and spin it in blocks of colour.

So next time I reach for my purse I must make myself stop and think could I do that, and if the answer is yes then take a good look and wait until I get home!   Undyed fibre is between £2.40 and £3.00, more for a luxury blend, and dyed tops anything from £9 to £15 and above........ no contest

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Third Time Lucky Perhaps?

Along with other members of the SpinDyeWeavers I demonstrated the art of spinning at the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show yesterday and like last year it rained.  Yesterday's rain was more like a monsoon deluge than British summer rain - for nigh on 4 hours the heavens open and discharged enough water to re-hydrate the Sahara Desert on a small corner of Dorset countryside.

Although we were in a marque and sheltered from the rain, the water came up through the ground and turned the grass to a mud-bath.  Our tent was one of the drier ones - in others it was reminiscent of  Fibre East, although no worms my knowledge!

Despite the rain we had a fab time, got to talk to loads of interested and interesting people - the most common question was 'I have a wheel do you know anyone that wants to buy one and how much is it worth?'  Well we are pretty clued up on wheels but pricing an unseen wheel is not something than can be done with any acuracy!  If you ask does it spin, the response is generally I don't know it hasn't got any string (drive band) well that pretty well answers that question - a spinning wheel with no drive band doesn't spin...

The second most common question/statement is about fleece - usually alpaca (no surprises there) and often of dubious quality.  Well August is pretty late for fleece sales - most shepherds shear in June/July and sell soon after.  One man had unwashed fleeces that were 20 years old and in 'perfect' condition - rather him than me that's all I can say.

Biggest surprise was that we won Second Prize in the Action Crafts section - which was amazing and totally unexpected especially as we didn't know there was such a competition!

Also got talking to a lovely lady who spins in Verwood who was fascinated by my Calendar Wheel (may go down to meet them in the Autumn) - in fact the wheel did get a lot of attention, especially from the men and Mr S did a lot chatting which was good, because it must be a bit boring spending the day with a group of spinners when you don't spin....  

Have finally managed to throw the spun yarn on the wheel rather than stopping, doing a quarter turn back and then winding on....there is no stopping me now..............!.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

10 little known things about the Olympics

There was a big thing on Ravelry regarding the use of the name Ravalympics for a competition that ran at the same time as the actual Olympics.  Knitting apparently disparaged the work of athletes, but the US Olympic Committee missed the fact that until 1948 Arts and Crafts were part of the Games - so perhaps we should pushed for the re-introduction of such competitions for 2018......

Anyway as part of my research into the Arts and Crafts side of the Games I came up with these little known facts:

One.    The 1944 Olympics was due to be held in London, but because of the war only a small event was held at Lausanne – the IOC HQ

Two.    Arts and Crafts were included in the 1948 Games for the last time, because it was considered that the participants were actually professionals

Three.  The 126th annual Wenlock Olympian Games was held this year.  Much Wenlock was the home of the true founder of the modern games.  This year the Games included ‘Kwik Cricket’ and Gliding
Four.    There were only 9 sports in the original 1896 games.  Here should have been 11 but rowing and yachting not held because of the weather

Five.    Launceston Elliot – a Scot – won gold in the one armed weightlifting having only got silver in the lift now known as clean and jerk – his style was not as good as the winner!

Six.      Motor boating was included only in 1908

Seven. Oscar Swahn, a Swede, won silver in 1920, he was the oldest sport medallist at 72 – in double-shot running deer – he was also the oldest sports competitor and was nominated in 1924 but didn’t compete – he would have been 76!

Eight.   John Copley, a British graphic artist won silver for his ‘Polo Player’ work of art in 1948, at 73yrs 11 months oldest Olympic medallist.  Crafts featured 1920 to 1948.

Nine.    Youngest male medallist was in 1896 in the team gymnastics, he was 10yrs and 9mths.  But it is thought that a cox in a gold winning pairs oar boat was only 7 years old

Ten.     In 1900 more athletes took part than spectators who watched.

Other stupid things connected with the Olympics
In Much Wenlock this summer the local children took part in the ECOlympics - LOCOQG obviously missed this.......
The owner of The Olympic Cafe when told he couldn't use the name simply removed the 'O'.
An acquaintance who lives in Much Wenlock told me that LOCOG had told the Parish Council that they couldn't use the name, because it was the 'official' name of the mascot...................
It was reported that suppliers of food within the Olympic Park are not allowed to sell chips (french fries) unless as part of a meal - because you know who sell bags of dried out cardboard at exorbitant prices that they call french fries.....
It was rumoured that anyone wearing a Pepsi T Shirt and Nike trainers wouldn't be permitted entry - this drew the anger of IOC who stated that LOCOG had over stepped the mark - and they had too rigorously interpreted the rules regarding copyright issues and their sponsors.......................
There were sheep in the Opening Ceremony

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Its nice to go travelling....

Last week saw Mr S, Molly, my Ravellenic2012 Shawl and me on the road again and once again we headed for London this time for the Olympics.  We had been lucky enough to get tickets for the Velodrome, but Mr S wanted to watch the Road Time Trials and the location he plumped for was Kingston Bridge. 

Here we (me and the shawl) are on Kingston Bridge in the rain, an example of true dedication both to knitting and cycling - we arrived in Kingston and bagged a place on the bridge at around 10.45am, the Ladies Time Trial started at 12.30pm and the Men's Time Trial at 2.15pm - the last rider went past at approximately 3.35pm. 

This is Chris Froome and it is the only picture taken by Mr S in which you can actually see that it is a cyclist - all the others are a lovely view of the corner by John Lewis.................  for those interested Chris Froome took the Bronze Medal and, of course, Bradley Wiggins the Gold.  I did see him (Wiggo) for the brief three seconds that it took him to cross the bridge - honest.....

Another reason for visiting the capital was to return the Woolsack cushions I had taken to Nottingham along with a further two that I had made from the left overs at Fibre East.

This one is knitted in some beautiful yarn from Sparkle Duck and was a joy to knit with, lovely and soft and of course in my favourite colour........  I may have got lighter in the cushion department, but I came away from 'J's' with enough yarn for another cushion..............................  Having been inspired by the two beautiful cushions she had made especially for two paralympic cyclists, one is blind so J had used Braille writing on the cushion - absolutely brilliant, I am knitting another Union Jack cushion in natural shades.

Saturday we collected our Games Maker's Uniforms - have to say a very slick operation and not too much trouble getting artound on the trains and tube - the BIG event was Sunday and the Velodrome.

Arrived as the heavens opened and the trusty cape came into its own again, but then the sun came out and we ambled through the Olympic Park along an awful gravel surface that reduced me to using Mr S's socks as pushing gloves..........   The Velodrome is truly amazing and we had a great view of the GB riders, particularly Vicky Pendleton! 

and I took my shawl too...... although I only managed two rows in the Velodrome, I did knit on the train.

A truly brilliant day and an experience of a lifetime!

Related Posts with Thumbnails