Total Pageviews

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Online Hat Exhibition

The lovely Prudence Mapstone has uploaded the latest online hat exhibition on her wonderful, splendiforous site Knot Just Knitting. Click on the title of this post to see all the fantastic hats. Yes, Mariposa is there, but you must look at all the others and drool over them!

This is Mariposa, by the way - from my grumpy post. On sale for $AU7 as a PDF file, hint hint! Sirius the half Pharoah Hound is not for sale at any price. The child, however ... no, she's priceless too.

I'm not very good with plant names, especially Australian natives. But this is a grevillea of some sort (please correct me if I am wrong) and it's pretty! We try to grow mostly water wise plants in our garden.

The beginnings of the multidirectional scarf.

the beginnings of Clapotis

Not happy...

I am probably taking this too much to heart, but if I can't whinge on my own blog, where can I?

I've just had my latest pattern up on Ebay. Mariposa is a freeform crochet hat. In the pattern I explain carefully how to do freeforming, give clear pictures of various crochet motifs, talk about the contstruction methods, and I reckon it is a good pattern. It's selling on Ebay for $AU8 as a PDF file, and I sell it myself for $AU7. I just got an email from someone saying that it was too expensive and I should only charge $AU5. I politely emailed her back and pointed out that it was against Ebay policy to do that for a start, and that I thought my patterns were appropriately priced considering the time and effort it took to create them, and the prices charged by similar sole operators. Her reply was friendly and pleasant, and referred to having paid $AU6.50 for this pattern for Hermione's cable and bobble hat from the Prisoner of Azkahban. Well, I personally think, rather indignantly, that my pattern is a LOT more complex than that pattern and that my pricing is well and truly justified!

Enough complaining, back to talking about knitting.

I finally succumbed to Clapotis fever. I had vowed I wouldn;t jump on the bandwagon and knit one. Then I decided that maybe I would, but with totally different (finer) yarn, and make it wider (maybe) and longer. Then I had the chance to order some Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb, which normally we can't get in Australia. I was determined to use it for one of my own designs. It matured in my stash for a couple of months. Well, to cut a long story short, I finally decided that it felt so lovely that it was going to be a Clapotis, after all. But just because I am using the actual yarn given in an actual pattern - I'm making it a scarf rather than a wrap. A wrap would have been nice, but to wrap around my ample frame I would have needed another ball of the yarn, and I don't intend doing that (and of course would never get the same dye lot). So I thought that making it narrower would produce a lovely soft scarf that will feel wonderful next to my skin next winter.

I am also knitting the MultiDirectional Scarf from the yahoo group of the same name. using some of the multi dyed wool I posted pics of the other day. Now I have got the hang of it it is really easy and fun to do.

Big Purple Thang is in the sewing in the ends stage - I am making myself do at least one hour a day until that is done. I hate sewing in ends! It is a great pity that I only learned how to do the Russian join a couple of inches before the end of the project! Then I have to finish the edges, probably with crochet.

Plus I have started a new pair of socks for George in an Opal yarn.

To end on a low note - George has been asked to go to New Orleans for six weeks. While it would be good experience for him, I can't manage chronic fatigue syndrome and an autistic child on my own for six weeks and I've asked him to say no. I really hope he has. If we didn't have the kids I would say go, but on the other hand there must be so many loss adjusters in the States who could go and help out.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The last of the dyeing - more of the 8ply cream wool, done with Landscape dyes again. I;m not sure what exactly this will be but I love the colours!

I did a class at the craft show - turning an ordinary zipper into a beaded necklace (or bracelet). This is all I got done in an hour, but it was easy and fun and I will finish it. We saw some finished products and they were great! Simple bead embroidery and fringing and a bag of bead soup is used.

More dyeing. This is 8ply (double knitting or light worsted weight) pure wool that I have had in my stash for about 20 years, originally cream. Landscape dyes again. This is now being turned into a modular scarf.

I have been dyeing stuff. This is a lace weight mohair/wool/acrylic mix. I paid 99c for it! It contains something like 600 metres (or maybe 600 yards) and should be enough to knit a scarf. It is dyed with Landscape dyes and I am really pleased with the way it turned out.

Meet Edward Scissorfish. I bought him at the recent Stitches and Craft Show in Melbourne. I have done a tiny bit of bead embroidery before but want to learn a lot more about it, and this is supposed to be the perfect starter kit. So far I have only read the instructions, but I will start to tackle it soon!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Dyeing to use it

Every now and then I go on a dyeing jag. There's something about creating colours that I find incredibly satisfying and exciting. (OK, I know, I ought to get out more. A sore point at the moment - I have been cooped up with a sick Baby Bear all week. She is nice company but not being able to leave the house for more than a few minutes is driving me insane!)

I was going to have a go at dyeing with non-toxic stuff, as I had a fancy to use the microwave and we only have the one. I quite like my family and don't really want them to die a slow and lingering death from poison ingestion. After some Googling and suggestions from helpful Melbourne S'n'B members I had decided to give it a go with food colouring, which I always keep on hand for producing lurid icing when required. OK, nice idea, and I might even do it one day. One day when a certain 12 year old female has remembered to tell me that she used up the last of the food colouring last time she had a cooking session (butter biscuits with lurid icing). She pouted and said that she had told Dad at the time. Great, who does the grocery shopping? Me, that's who; telling the dog would have been as useful.

So I abandoned all thoughts of not poisoning the family and used the lovely toxic Landscape dyes that I love. Not in the microwave - in the dye pot (a huge stockpot that lives in the shed with DYE POT scrawled on it. I wonder if the spiders in the shed can read). And loved the results so much that I have given up most thoughts of non-toxic dyeing.

Pictures at the weekend, hopefully. I have 400 metres of 8ply drying at the moment, and another similar quantity in the dye pot. Have I mentioned that I LOVE dyeing! Yesterday's results were wonderful and I have high hopes of today's. This time I actually applied a bit of colour theory to the process (yesterday and today) and I must say the results were worth it.

I think I will be ordering some more Landscape dyes now.

The only problem is that I am almost out of the old cream Totem that I have been using. Which means I will have to buy more cream/off white stuff - probably Bendigo Woollen Mills as their prices are great and their quality pretty good.

I dyed yesterday's stuff to knit the multidirectional scarf from the new Yahoo group Multidirectional Knitting. I actually ordered some wool off Ebay for this scarf, several little skeins in the colours of the rainbow, but then immediately a design of my own popped into my head which I will use it for. That's the trouble with starting to design stuff - now I feel obliged to use only my own patterns and feel guilty every time I want to knit something else. I have the most lucious Lion and Lamb that everyone else is using for a Clapotis - I bought mine to knit something of my own design and now desperately want to knit a Clapotis with it instead and consequently it sits there doing nothing at all.

Time to check on the dye pot!