Friday, 30 December 2005

C&D Quilt Sneak Peak

C&D Quilt Sneak Peak
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
First things first - C, if you're reading this, your guess about the quilt being blue would seem to be pretty well on the money. :-)

I finished this quilt a couple of weeks ago now, but have only just got around to the sneak peak. Quilting on the M&A quilt is now underway. The weather is disgustingly hot at the moment, so the air conditioner is getting a work out so that I can quilt in comfort.

Sometime in the next two weeks I'll also have to get around to making my dress for C&D's wedding. I've made a test version of the dress which seems to have worked and isn't terribly difficult, so I'm not too worried.

S & T2 Wedding Report

I scrubbed up ok in the end. We couldn't find 4 matching saris that were even remotely what S was looking for, even though her parents-in-law went to 50+ different sari shops in Sri Lanka. So we ended up with buying plain satin fabric off the roll (2 lots of pink and 2 lots of pale green). Since there wasn't any embroidery or beading or pattern which you would ordinarily find on an Asian sari, the effect was actually more Roman or Ancient Greek. Y said that I looked like Juno while I thought she (very slim in pale green) looked like one of those girls who light the Olympic flame at Olympia in Greece.
S was surprisingly relaxed on the day. We had a lovely girlie time in the morning and early arvo while the dresser did our hair, make-up, and then tucked, draped and pinned our saris into place. S's sari blouse laced up at the back like a corset and one of the eyelets busted while I was strapping her in. I managed to sew it back up enough that it held throughout the night.
The weather was ideal in terms of comfort. It got to 36 degrees C (96 Fahrenheit) the day before, but it was a very comfortable 24 C (75 F) on the day. It rained once when we were in the cars on the way to the first photo shoot, but apart from that, everything went just fine and dandy.
I had been tasked with giving a speech which I tried not to think about too much so as to avoid getting nervous. In the end I wasn't nervous - just teary, and I struggled to make it through the gulps. I've become such a sook in my old age! On the up-side, D told me afterwards that my speech was the best - nice and short!
The quilt went over well. I hope to see it in situ tomorrow at S&T2's for a New Years Eve BBQ.

Saturday, 24 December 2005

Paisley presents the S & T2 Quilt unveiled

A quick post before I go off to get wrapped up in sari for the wedding this evening. Here is the quilt that I have made for S & T2's wedding present.

S&T2 Quilt

The colours are a bit richer in the flesh - the photo was taken late in the afternoon and the sunlight washes the colour out a bit. A detail shot of the quilt, taken indoors, is below and shows the colour to better advantage.
Details of Construction:
Begun in March 2005, Completed in November 2005.
Pattern: Red Courthouse Steps by Kaffe Fassett from his book Passionate Patchwork (ISBN 1-56158-650-1)
Fabrics: Quilt top and backing - Collection of various 100% cottons (including a couple of Kaffe Fassett fabrics from Rowan), Wadding - Matilda's Own Wool blend, Binding - 100% cotton handmade bias binding.
Machine pieced, hand-quilted.

S&T2 Quilt detail

Congratulations, love and best wishes to S and T2 on their big day from Paisley Punchi.

Tuesday, 20 December 2005

Facewasher in progress

Facewasher in progress
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
Because I haven't blogged any photos in ages, here is the second Christmas facewasher - in progress.
Watch out for the S&T2 quilt photos - to be unveiled on Christmas Eve, plus an upcoming sneak peek at the almost completed C&D quilt - I'm just sewing down the binding on that one.

Thursday, 15 December 2005

Seven Sevens = Forty-nine

Genevieve tagged me for the Seven Sevens Meme but I'm not feeling a lot like being introspective at the moment - there's far too much of that going around. So in it's place, an old riddle which you've probably all heard before.

As I was going to St Ives,
I met a man with seven wives.
Each wife had seven sacks.
Each sack had seven cats.
Each cat had seven kits.
Kits, cats, sacks and wives,
How many were going to St Ives?

I will, however, list seven things that I say often:

  1. No worries
  2. It is what it is.
  3. Bob's your aunty.
  4. Not a problem.
  5. I think it's Milo time.
  6. Just let me finish this row.
  7. I was hoping to pick your brains.

Still working on the border of the C&D Wedding Quilt. C came around on Sunday arvo just gone and we made a start on making a test version of the bridesmaid dress I will wear for her wedding in January - we discovered that we make great sewing buddies as she doesn't mind doing the ikky stuff that gives me the irrits and vice versa.

S currently has her parents-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and his wife staying with her and T2 in preparation for the big wedding day (Saturday week which means that Christmas is only 10 days away). Her mother's house is also full of relatives sleeping on mattresses on the floor. Remind me never to complain about having house-guests. I admire their forebearance.

Monday, 5 December 2005

Progress notes...

  1. The C&D Wedding Quilt is nearing completion. I finished quilting the last block yesterday and now I've got some quick and dirty quilting to do on the setting squares - about 4 hours worth of quilting, then the border, then binding. The end is in sight.
  2. Currently shuddering at the thought of quilting the M&A Wedding Quilt from scratch in less than 10 weeks.
  3. In the middle of sewing up the Kyoto jumper - the pieces have been sitting there looking at me for several weeks now but I've got visitors coming this week and I needed to tidy up the sewing/spare room. I've done the shoulder, sleeve and side seams. Still need to attach the sash and the collar. I had a quick try on last night. The sleeves aren't quite as loose as I would like, but they do fit, so that's a relief.
  4. Finished the back and lower front of the Grace top.
  5. Inspired by Taylor Street and Pea Soup, this morning I started making the first of a couple of cotton face-washers which I thought would make good Christmas gifts (wrapped around a nice bar of soap) for the cousins.
  6. I put my Christmas tree up on Saturday (got a great deal on this little 80cm fibre-optic one so you get the fairy-light effect without having to get the fairy lights as well). It's a bit light on for ornaments at the moment so I'm thinking about having a go at making the needle-felted stars as featured in this post by Bethieee.
  7. I've just noticed that Knitty has their new issue up. I like the look of Tubey, Bobblicious and the Mrs Beetons (which don't seem terribly practical - but could be a fun way of getting something tangible with only a small amount of yarn-that's-too-darn-expensive-to-buy-a-lot-of).

Friday, 25 November 2005

Collins Street 5pm

I went to the NGV at Fed Square at lunchtime today for a quick wander around. As always, I seem to be drawn to this painting.

I walk along this stretch of Collins Street most days and the Zeitgeist (wow - big word Paisley) captured in this painting really hasn't changed in the 50 years that have passed since Brack put brush to canvas in 1955.

I must set aside another lunchtime or perhaps come in on the weekend and see the Margaret Preston exhibition. I haven't heard of her before, but her works look familiar. Looks like she did quite a lot of wood or lino cut prints as well as paintings.

Wednesday, 23 November 2005

Gardening on the weekend

It's now Wednesday so it's taken me 3 days to get around to blogging about my weekend gardening efforts. What a lazy blogger I am. I do apologise.

My trip to see Aunty M got cancelled so on Saturday afternoon I took advantage of the fine weather and started pulling out the ugly bracken/ferny things in the back yard (no pics - I'm a disorganised blogger as well as a lazy one). They appear to spread by runners so I'm not sure that I got all of it, I may be pulling more of it out down the track. C'est la vie.

That particular garden is in a rain shadow created by the house, so it relies totally on my remembering to water it which is a slightly precarious situation to be in. Hence I went hunting for some succulent type plants which will tolerate dry conditions.

Plant Number 1: Sedum Purple Blob, which I bought for the name as much as for its features.

Sedum Purple Blob

Plant Number 2: Sedum "Assorted Variety" - No idea about this one, but I liked the look of it.

Sedum Unknown

Plant Number 3: Jade Plant - apparently this is meant to bring good fortune - or money. I put it in because Mum tells me that it grows in very poor conditions - her Jade Plant grows in a little corner of the garden with almost no light, very little rain and crappy soil.

Jade Plant

Plant Number 4: Daphne - not a succulent, but it likes a shady spot so I just have to try and remember to water this baby. It will be worth the effort - I love the smell of Daphne.

Variegated Leaf Daphne

The end result: The attacked garden bed is in the foreground - you can see the Purple Blob right at the end of the garden bed. I'm looking forward to watching this stuff grow.

My Backyard Garden II

Wednesday, 16 November 2005

A traditional princess

I really should do some work now.... this quiz is worth doing just for the pictures though....

The Traditional Princess

You are generous, graceful, and practical with both
feet planted firmly on the ground. You tend to
be a little on the old-fashioned side. You
value home, hearth, and family life and love to
be of service to others.

Role Models: Snow White, Maid Marian

You are most likely to: Discover a hidden talent
for spinning straw into gold.

What Kind of Princess are You? brought to you by Quizilla

20 Random Things

I've been tagged by Genevieve to give you 20 Random Things....

  1. I did a Body Pump class last night. The instructor is nice but it looks like she's taken an overdose of fake tan AND peroxide - it's a strange mix - skin must be as dark as possible and hair as light as possible.
  2. I really want to buy the box set of Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter audio books but part of me thinks I should wait until the last book is out and I can get all of them together - so they match.
  3. S picked up my sari blouse for her wedding the other day - I've tried it on and it looks pretty good - when you take into consideration my spare tyres teamed with the cropped, close-fitting (prerequisite) style of these garments. The colour (dusky, tea rose kind of pink) is really pretty.
  4. I'm making my bridesmaid dress for C's wedding - when I get the time...
  5. I've never been a bridesmaid before.
  6. Our office Christmas party theme this year is the Roaring 20's. I can recycle an outfit from the last 20's Christmas party I went to 6 years ago.
  7. When I was a kid, I had an imaginary friend Terry, an imaginary triplet brother Hector and an imaginary triplet sister Euphemia. I am an only child.
  8. I am a great procrastinator when it comes to writing and posting Christmas cards. They quite regularly get posted in January. Oh dear...
  9. The big Christmas tree has just been put up in the atrium of our building. Piped Christmas music in the entry lobby is on a loop until the tree comes down in January.
  10. TV ratings season finishes this week. Now we brace ourselves for pretty much 8 weeks of cricket (lots of cricket - test cricket, one-day cricket, domestic cricket), recycled Christmas movies, the imported US and UK comedies that weren't "good enough" to show when ratings counted and tennis (lots of tennis - Hopman Cup, Adelaide Hardcourt, NSW Open, Kooyong Classic, Australian Open).
  11. I prefer a latte to a cappuccino - less froth.
  12. I listened to Billy Joel (Stormfront and Turnstiles) followed by The Divine Comedy (Casanova) on my iPod this morning.
  13. Speaking of Casanova - David Tennant seems to be popping up in a lot of shows at the moment - him and Andrew Lincoln.
  14. I'm thinking a lot about paint colours (greens?) and window treatments (Roman blinds?) at the moment.
  15. I slept in this morning and didn't do any quilting before work.
  16. I bought The Village on DVD the other day. I like Joaquin Phoenix.
  17. Sometimes, in the course of my employment, I have occasion to toddle up to the Supreme Court library where all who enter have to go through the metal detector thingy - they're friendly enough so it's no great hassle and today, for the first time in recent memory, I managed to NOT set the damn thing off! Usually something like my watch or (get this) the little metal loop on the shoulder strap of my bra sets the alarms off - look out boys - these bazookas are aimed at you!
  18. 17 down, 3 to go... I haven't finished a cryptic crossword in a while - too much quilting and knitting going on.
  19. I'm planning to buy the new Ben Elton book The First Casualty - set in the trenches of WWI - sounds like it will cheery stuff (tongue is firmly in cheek). I'm waiting till I finish reading at least one book that's currently sitting on the bedside table.
  20. I'm planning to visit my Aunty M this weekend and have patchwork show-and-tell (she's the only other quilter in the family).

SeaBreeze, if you feel like it, you're tagged, si non, ├ža ne fait rien.

Tuesday, 15 November 2005

Drum roll please....

S&T Quilt Sneak Peek
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
Here's a sneak peek at the infamous S&T Wedding Quilt (S knows that the quilt is red, so that's no great secret). The full quilt will be revealed in it's entirety on 24 December 2005 when S & T2 make their vows (again) and they actually take possession of their pressie.
Project Information: quilt is king-sized, machine pieced and hand-quilted. I began working on this one in about March (I think). I put the last finishing touches to it this evening.

One down, two to go.... Sigh.....

I need....

This meme* did the rounds a few weeks ago... but I've only just got round to trying it for myself.

According to the good people at Google, I ...

... need more sleep.
... need new upholstery for the couch.
... need her help, and Lissa would only feel guilty if Maeve came home.
... need that info for the MLA.
... need Handknitter's Handbook
... need Brian's personal details for insurance, btw, do you have his chassis number & suchlike?

*For those not in the know - the point is to find out what you need by plugging "yourname needs" into Google and seeing what comes up.

Wednesday, 9 November 2005

Summer Train Knitting Decision

Decision has been made. I'm making Grace - and maybe I'll have a go a Sigma later in the summer.

Yarn has been purchased. I'm not crazy about wearing mohair - especially in the warmer months, so I've found a cotton yarn (Panda Regal 4 ply shade R18) as a substitute which will probably be a bit drapier and not fuzzy. The colour sample on their website doesn't really do it justice - much prettier in real life.

Monday, 7 November 2005

Opinions Wanted - Summer Train Knitting Project

I need a summer train knitting project. I've not done much summery knitting in the past, but with an hour's worth of air conditioned (most of the time) train travel every working day it seems a shame not to make use of it just because it's summer and knitting is a "winter thing". So I've come up with a short-list of potential projects (are 2 options enough to constitute a "list"?).

Option 1 is Sigma which has a free-wheelin' kind of feel to it in that I can use any yarn that takes my fancy without the need for really complicated maths to adjust the gauge.

Option 2 is Grace which I realised after reading most of the pattern, is by the same designer who created the original Kyoto which I've almost finished - I really like this girl's style.

I thought about setting up a little web-poll like Genevieve to test the waters, but the thought of signing up to yet another freebie webby servicey thingy just annoyed me, so I'll just ask that any opinions or preferences regarding either of these tops be left in the comments field - that's what it's there for right?

Wednesday, 2 November 2005

Cup weekend in the Grampians

We had an extra long weekend in the Grampians, staying in a holiday house in Halls Gap. Highlights included:

A hike in to see the Beehive Falls.
Beehive Falls

looking at Beehive Falls

A day trip to have lunch with my parents - my Mum was game enough to take on the challenge of providing lunch for 5 extra grown-ups plus 2 toddlers, including 1 vegetarian and 1 wheat/sugar/dairy intolerant. We had a delicious meal and the kids had a great time picking lemons from Mum's overladen tree in the back yard. Mum met S's fiancee/hubby T2 for the first time and reported to me later that he was "very handsome". She's a lucky girl our SeaBreeze.

We called in at T1's old boarding school that he attended for a year when he was a "problem" teenager and managed to run into the only teacher left at the school from his time there - not bad going for a Sunday! T1 was stoked to take that little trip down memory lane. We ducked in to my old school too and spotted the vice principal who's been there since at least 1979 and never looks any different. Why are all these teachers hanging out at work on a Sunday arvo?

From our little holiday cabin, we could look up and see The Pinnacle. We did the climb up to the top (took about 1.5 hours from the car park).

Half Way Mark:

Half way to the Pinnacle

View from the top looking down to the township:

The Pinnacle

Arrived back home yesterday, having dropped off Y, T1 and the girls at their little house in the big woods. I listened to the Melbourne Cup as I was driving back into Melbourne, and gave a little "woo hoo" when Makybe Diva won for the third year in a row. I don't think something like that will happen again in my lifetime.

Yesterday was the first hot day of the summer to come (32 degrees C which is about 89 in fahrenheit), so I tried out the air conditioner for the first time (I haven't lived in a house with air conditioning for the last 5 years, so it was a great novelty) and found I could keep the living room cool enough to quilt in which is a relief in anticipation of the mad quilting frenzy that will be the summer of weddings and blasted wedding quilts. Bah humbug!

Wednesday, 26 October 2005

Paisley's Quilt History IV

I haven't blogged any photos for a while so here's another instalment of quilt history. This quilt was made in October/November of 2001 to mark Aunty Sheila's 90th Birthday. It was a last minute decision at Mum's instigation so it's probably the quickest quilt I've ever made. I was "between jobs" at the time (having just got back from a year in London and then having the whole world go crazy - no-one was hiring librarians) so I patched this quilt, with Mum as my apprentice and then madly tried to quilt as much of it as I could before I flitted off back-packing around New Zealand (I'd figured that no-one was hiring before Christmas so why keep bashing my head against doors - plus S had just finished a contract in Wellington and was in need of some R&R). Fabrics were mostly scraps sourced from my stash. Mum loves the nature of scrap quilts where you can recognise pieces of the past (like a school dress or an old apron). The centre pieces of the snowball blocks was purchased for the project. I didn't quite get all the quilting done, so it was left in Mum's hands with strict instruction about binding techniques.
Aunty Sheila died last year, at the ripe old age of 92, so the quilt has gone back to live with my parents. This photo was taken - along with a lot of the quilt pics from my Flickr stream - at my 30th birthday party - a quilt exhibition which S organised (unbeknownst to me) in cahoots with my Mum, Y and C - everyone managed to keep the secret which was a huge achievement. This is my public thank-you.

Tuesday, 25 October 2005

Quilting update #564

Mad quilting-fest is paying off. Averaging 3 hours of quilting a day over the past couple of weeks has got me to the stage of just the border left to quilt on S&T's gargantuan monster of bloody-king-sized-bed-wedding-quilt. T did a translation for me so that I could quilt their names and the wedding date (in Sinhalese) into the border. I've done them in English too so it's a bi-lingual quilt. I've quilted about a quarter of the border so the end is definitely in sight. Long weekend away is coming up though which will be spent with S&T and Y&T(plus offspring) so that project will have to go on hold for the four days (yes - super long weekend - woo hoo!). Perhaps I'll take C&D's quilt along and work on that. (Poor old C's work has sent her out to Woop Woop for six weeks when she really needs to be at home finishing her Masters and putting the finishing touches to wedding plans. Hello C if you're reading - digging lots of holes? scaring bungarras?)

Monday, 17 October 2005

Another food-blogging detour - Rice Bubbles and Copha ....

To further the comment conversation from my previous post - I thought the thread was getting a little long :-)

Rice Bubble Recipes: (they still go snap, crackle & pop)

Instead of Rice Krispie Treats, we make Chocolate Crackles with our Rice Bubbles using a very old-fashioned ingredient - Copha (a solified coconut oil) - which apparently isn't available anywhere outside Australia, and even here, it seems to exist for the sole purpose of making chocolate crackles. I can't think of any other recipes which call for this, except maybe White Christmas (another Rice Bubble based sweet treat). You could substitute melted chocolate instead of copha plus icing sugar plus cocoa powder and the effect would be the same - only a bit richer I guess. My suspicion is that the recipe originated from a time when chocolate wasn't readily available and affordable - hence the cheaper chocolate-approximating-substitute alternative.


8 oz copha
8 oz icing sugar
3 1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder
5 cups Rice Bubbles
1/2 cup sultanas (optional)

(1) Combine sifted icing sugar, cocoa, rice bubbles, and optional sultanas.
(2) Melt copha and add to ingredients and mix thoroughly.
(3) Spoon into paper cups and allow to set.

Sultana Bran advertising:
It tends to be marketed at families as a "healthy" cereal that kids will eat. Slogans have included: "Don't mention it's healthy and they'll eat it by the box-full". Currently they're running TV ads with kids plus mum dancing around the kitchen singing "Sultanas from the grapevine; make Sultana Bran taste so fine; sweet, juicy sultanas from the grapevine" (think Marvin Gaye or Creedence for the tune!).

Wednesday, 12 October 2005

My second ever meme

This one actually tells you a little bit more about me....

10 years ago: Sitting final exams / finishing final essays for my BA (majors in German and History). Sharing a house with C & E.

5 years ago: S and I had just arrived in London for a working holiday. I spent a year there working as an "evening researcher" for an investment bank.

1 year ago: Same job as now. Planning a trip to New Zealand with my parents for Christmas (my step-dad's brother lives in the Sth Island). Despairing over the re-election (again) of John W Howard.

Yesterday: Had breakfast; Did some quilting; Went to work; Came home; Went to the gym (got a trial membership at Fitness First) and did a Body Pump class - the instructor was good although she'd gone a bit overboard on the peroxide and the fake tan; Watched The Bill and Foreign Correspondent whilst doing more quilting; Went to bed.

5 Snacks I Enjoy: sultanas; Arnotts Monte Carlo biscuits; vegemite on toast; carrot cake; custard

5 Songs I Know All The Words To: "Bizarre Love Triangle" (New Order), "Sexuality" (Billy Bragg), "Cupid's got a brand new gun" (Michael Penn), "Eleanor Rigby" (The Beatles), "Message to my girl" (Split Enz)

5 Things I'd Do With 100 Million Dollars:- With 1 million I would pay off my mortgage, buy my parents a new house and car, buy a Toyota Prius, go on a luxury holiday. The other 99 million can go to charity. I'd only worry about how to spend any more than a million.

5 Places I'd Run Away To: Wanaka (New Zealand), Tuscany (a la Liv Tyler in Stealing Beauty), Pearl Bay (fictional location of Seachange), Barcelona, Halong Bay (Vietnam - to live in a floating fishing village).

5 Things I'd Never Wear:- stiletto heels, eyebrow ring, fishnet stockings, make-up every day, mini-skirt.

5 Favorite T.V. Shows:- Inspector Rex, Alias, The Amazing Race, Spicks & Specks, The Forsyte Saga.

5 Biggest Joys:- finishing a quilt, long after-dinner discussions with family or friends, surveying my living room after it has been cleaned and tidied, knitting on the train, completing a full cryptic crossword with no help (a rare occurence).

What is Cool In My Place... the fridge. Not being cool is my cool.

Tagged - Seabreeze

My first meme

I was tagged for this meme by Genevieve.

The Rules:
1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five other people to do the same.

19 August 2005

"I am busting to blog some pics of this, but I know S reads these pages from time to time, so pics will have to wait until after the wedding (24 December). "

I choose to tag only 1 - Seabreeze - S - you're it!

Move is complete... Quilts are not...

I'm pretty well settled in now with all my boxes unpacked and stuff arranged in a relatively orderly fashion. I'm particularly satisfied with the layout of my craft room/spare bedroom which gets some nice morning sun. Must take some photos to show when I get time.

I've slowly come to the realisation that it is a little over two months to S & T's wedding (24 Dec - egads!) and that I really need to get a wriggle on with the quilting. Especially since I still have about half the quilting to do on C & D's quilt (14 Jan!) and quilting still to commence on M & A's (middle of Feb - can't remember the date). So I'm getting up early in the morning at the moment and trying to do an hour of quilting before going to work as well as working on them in the evening. I'm making progress but it's a bit hard to gauge whether I'm really going to get them finished. I operating on the blind faith assumption that if I keep on plugging away then somehow it will get done. The same belief got me through two university degrees so it can't be completely misguided.

Kyoto knitting is exclusively on the train at the moment. I've just started the second sleeve, then there's just the collar left to go. What a pity that I can't quilt in a practical fashion on the train. Still - it gives me knitting time or a chance to work the Sudoku and attempt the cryptic x-word. (My mum stayed with me for a week while I was moving - she's got into sudoku too - my step-dad thinks we're both insane).

Monday, 3 October 2005

Moving house...

Well I've finished cleaning the new house so it's now ready to move my furniture in - removalists are booked for Wednesday. I couldn't face pulling up the carpets and booking floor sanders and polishers as well as cleaning. I'll save that for a new project down the track. At the moment I just want to move in and get settled. There's no rush to do anything. I had the carpet steam cleaned this morning and the fellow said "don't let anyone tell you that's bad carpet - it's really high quality Axminster". In essence, he's correct. It is very high quality carpet and it's in pretty good condition. It's just a rather lairy floral print. Perhaps we won't notice it so much when all the furniture is in.

Monday, 26 September 2005

Sari Silk Knitting

Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
I put the Kyoto knitting on hold for a couple of weeks while I made this capelet from the recycled sari silk I bought back in August. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. The silk was a bit of pain to knit with because it twists something chronic and I had to keep clipping it and dangling it to spin and untwist whilst being careful not to untwist it so far that it completely deconstructed. The pattern calls for the edges to be crocheted which I didn't do. The silk would not have been easy to crochet and I don't think that this cape really needed it. If I'd used a plainer yarn, then the crochet would be a good idea.

Thursday, 22 September 2005

Paisley's Quilt History III

E & J's Wedding Quilt
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
Back in 1997 when we were young and foolish, I set a precedent and made a quilt for a friend who got married a lot younger than the rest of us. Unfortunately I haven't got any photos of that quilt and we've since lost touch. So this quilt here is the first of the wedding quilts to be made in the noughties.

The 7 point star was foundation pieced to get the stripes and then joined up. The colour wash took ages to plan. The living room was full of little piles of fabric with numbers pinned to them and notes about dark, medium and light values.

I lived in a tiny flat at the time and didn't have enough room to baste the quilt flat so the basting was done while I was house & dog sitting for S. Dog J was so good while I was clambering around the floor with my basting thread. He seemed to understand that to scramble around on the quilt was a no-no and was happy to just sit and be with his punchiamma.

Time constraints meant that this quilt was machine quilted. The quilting was done in yellow thread, following the straight lines of the central star and radiating out to the edges. I finished stitching the binding the day before the wedding. I spent the wedding day morning finishing making the dress that I was going to wear. Perfectly timed in the end!

Friday, 16 September 2005

Puzzles rule!

Genevieve has inspired me to try my hand at Sudoku and now I can see what all the fuss is about. Seriously addictive. But yesterday's was "diabolical" and I seemed to be going along OK using just basic logic. Pride commeth before a fall though. Suddenly I ran out of correct spaces and realised that there must have been some faulty logic along the way and of course there's no real way to rectify it unless you remember what order you entered everything onto the grid.

It reminded me of a Latin curse I learnt in my university days (not in class - didn't study Latin, but a friend had a book of "useful" Latin phrases) - Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant! Which apparently translates as "May faulty logic undermine your entire philosophy!"

I couldn't face starting again. Plus, the quilts needed some attention. So I threw it in the recycling bin in disgust thinking "tomorrow's another day".

[My other favourite curse from the book was Utinam modo subiunctivo semper male utaris! - may you always mis-use the subjunctive - I studied French for 7.5 years and I never got the hang of the subjunctive - what the hell's a "mood" anyway? See here for other useful Latin phrases - quoted, I believe, from the same book]

I took another Sudoku from The Guardian to work on while I was at the blood bank yesterday and the nurse who was taking my blood told me that she was pretty hooked on them as well, but one of the other nurses (can't remember her name, let's call her Beryl for argument's sake) was the real Sudoku Queen of the donor centre. Then of course on the train this morning (when I was knitting, not Sudoku-ing) I was sitting opposite a mum working through a book of Sudoku whilst her two daughters were doing wordsearches. Sudoku is everywhere. Puzzles Rule!

Wednesday, 14 September 2005

Detour into food blogging, gossip mags and the blood bank...

I'm not terribly domesticated when it comes to the kitchen. It's not that I can't cook. When I can be bothered I can turn out most things in a relatively decent fashion. But "bothered" is the important word in that sentence. I live alone so I have very little incentive to bother most of the time, apart from the joy of feeding myself. Which, of course, Nigella Lawson would say is the most important joy of all. It also doesn't help that as well not getting home until 7pm most nights, I am one of the great supermarketing procrastinators. I put it off until I really can't scratch together anything resembling a half decent feed from what's left in the pantry.

However, yesterday I got (relatively) inspired by the extract from Nigel Slater's new book in The Observer and in particular, the recipe for Baked Lamb with Rosemary and Tomatoes. Slater is big on each thing to it's season, so I'm a bit out of whack (it's early spring here, his extract refers to early autumn - that's the trouble with living in the southern hemisphere), but whatever. :-)

So I went to the supermarket, from which, once I'm actually there, as long as it's quiet, which it was last night, I get a certain amount of calmness from trundling up and down each aisle and mentally marking things off the list. I browsed the magazine racks, but resisted the temptation to purchase any - I really don't need to spend $4 just to read about the latest "calamity" to befall Princess Mary during her pregnancy. Why do the gossip mags have to create all this drama? Surely they could just celebrate the fact that she has looked gorgeous all the way through her nine months of bump-ness - with no fashion faux pas - which can't be said of every expectant mother. I digress. Where was I? Oh yes. The supermarket (shameless plug for my former employers!).

So I did my groceries, went home, threw a quick herb and mushroom pizza together (the lamb thing takes an hour in the oven - I didn't want to wait until 9 to eat my dinner) and then made the lamb thing to eat later in the week. I get to have the first instalment for my lunch today - I have to eat a decent lunch. I'm giving blood this arvo and they make a point of asking you whether you've eaten enough food and whether you've drunk enough water. I'm fine with the food thing, but I have to make a concentrated effort to drink enough water on these days. The first time I gave blood, I made an effort, but it was just wasn't enough so the donation took ages and was a bit gluggy and uncomfortable. I learnt the hard way - drink more water!

Friday, 9 September 2005

What a great idea

Six and Half Stitches has been experimenting with Shibori Felting. Looks like fun. You could use the texture to simulate a moonscape perhaps.

Yet another project to add the mental list of "things-to-try". Perhaps I should write these ideas down somewhere. If I actually recorded them, I might remember them. But then the likelihood is that the list will grow longer and longer and more and more disheartening as so few get ticked off. My theory so far has been that if it really really speaks to me, it gets done, or I realise that not having done it hasn't made my life any worse for it's absence.

Theatre review to follow this weekend. We're going to see Stuff Happens tonight.

Thursday, 8 September 2005

Quick WIP update

  1. Kyoto is coming along nicely. I've done the sash, back, left front and have almost completed the right front. Will probably take a break after the right front is complete to have a go at ...

  2. Knitting up the sari-silk into the cute capelet.

  3. C & D quilting is on hold while I try and make a dent in the S&T quilting. Maybe machining would have been a more prudent option...

  4. Another round of bridesmaid dress shopping is scheduled for Saturday with C, S, C's sister and S-I-L plus 2 toddlers. Wish me luck!

Monday, 5 September 2005

Look what I bought!

Chez Paisley
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
I mentioned about a week ago that I was planning a move. What I didn't say was that move was going to be into my first non-rented home. Paisley Womble will very soon be a proud mortgagee with a 2 bedroom unit including carport, little backyard, laundry taps in the bathroom and a whopping great linen press crying out to be filled with quilts, yarn stash and other crafty goodies. I'm starting to get excited at the thought of colour schemes too (the little-old-lady wallpaper has to go!).

Tuesday, 30 August 2005

Paisley's Quilt History II

Japanese Style Garden Path
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
Japanese Garden Path Wall Hanging. (sometimes referred to by the unitiated as "that stained glass one") Hand pieced applique and hand quilted in 2003. Held in the private collection of Y & T.

I love this design. It is tempting to make another one in a similar vein. It's an adaptation of a couple of quilts from Kitty Pippin's "Quilting with Japanese Fabrics". The stepping stones are basted over paper and appliqued on, then the paper is removed (through a small cut in the base fabric). The pebbles at the bottom use the clamshell block and the blossom at the top are little hexagons, similar to those used in grandmothers flower garden quilts. The quilting is mostly outlining apart from the black border which is quilted with arcs which are meant to resemble rake marks in the gravel. Very zen!


C & D moved house on the weekend and I popped in on Sunday evening to pick up some of the boxes which I had lent them for that purpose as I will be moving myself in about 4 weeks time. Having seen how much stuff they have, I am feeling heaps better about my accumulation of stuff. It pales in comparison to them. :-)

I'm trying to be really organised and sort through and turf stuff beforehand. I ruthlessly - well, perhaps selectively would be more accurate - culled my fabric stash last week and space bagged it (Space Bags are those big plastic bags with the valve that allows you to vaccuum out all the air). Space Bags are so much fun - it's quite cathartic watching it shrink down to it's maximum density, sucking out all that pesky air. I've gotta get some more I think.

Thursday, 25 August 2005

Got the camera back

Green Silk Sari
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
S has a vivid imagination. I can't have put the camera back in my bag. It has been retrieved from the sari lady's house without further incident. Phew!
This is the sari that S wants me to wear for the wedding. There is also a pink version (see my Flickr photos for a shot of that). They're possibly a bit pale for my taste, but I'm assured that our underskirt and sari blouse will be in a darker tone which will lessen the "pastellyness".

Tuesday, 23 August 2005

panic stations...

I can't find my camera! I had it on Sunday night when S and I went to look at saris at a private home a couple of suburbs away. I took a couple of photos of the saris that S really wants us to wear - the snag is that this lady only has two saris and there are four bridesmaids so the plan is to email the photos to S's b-i-l in Sri Lanka and see if he can match them. We've exhausted all the sari shops in Melbourne and none of them have much in way of matching saris, or if they do, they're just not nice ones.

Where was I? Ah - my camera. I went to fish it out last night at about 10pm to download the photos and couldn't find it. I went out to the car - in my dressing gown - and felt around under the seats. Nothing. I checked the box in my bedroom where the camera usually lives. Nothing. I double-checked my handbag which I had taken with me to the sari lady's place. Nothing. So I started thinking, "maybe I put it down on the saris and then forgot it when we left". So, sent a txt to S who rang the sari lady this morning - she didn't spot it yesterday but will double check this evening.

Now here's the "but". S told me this morning that she remembers me putting my camera bag back in my bag after I took the photos because she remembers thinking to herself "oh, she's sooo meticulous [read anally retentive]" as I did so which is funny because that is such a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

But anyway. If S's recollection is correct, then where the hell is the camera? Since I dropped her off on Sunday evening without getting out of the car myself, it stands to reason that the camera must be in one of two places. The car or the house. I will have a proper hunt tonight. Blogging is not so much fun without a camera. Especially when I've just finished the sash for Kyoto and want to post about it.

Friday, 19 August 2005

Blog surfing + quilt update

I am loving Yarnstorm's series of little people - vaguely skittle shaped bases which are then dressed, accessorised and given a detailed biography/character break-down. The latest instalment is Jacqueline & Josephine, but I think my favourites are Delphine Susan and her boyfriend Magnus ("Big Wink") . Maybe it's because Magnus is a cryptic crossword clubber.

And for the sheer fun of it, I love the matching set of aprons that Angry Chicken has made for her August edition of the Tie One On gallery.

S & T Wedding Quilt Update
I am busting to blog some pics of this, but I know S reads these pages from time to time, so pics will have to wait until after the wedding (24 December). However, I can report that I have finally finished piecing the quilt top. I put the final border strips on last night. Now I just have to cobble together the backing piece, sandwich and baste the top, wadding and backing together and then quilt it (which I do by hand). I must be insane.

Wednesday, 17 August 2005

What kind of knitting needles am I?

I took the test. I am bamboo. I like bamboo. I use bamboo needles. There should be a pic below that goes with the quiz result, but it's too big and puts my blog template out of whack. So imagine this: a set of bamboo circular needles gleaming in the sunlight as they nestle against a ball of brownish mohairish looking yarn. Then return to the scheduled programming below.

You are bamboo.
Warm, cozy, and thoughtful, you take your time and
enjoy how things feel, smell, and taste. You
love the craft and beauty of traditional
things, and you value the comfort and
experience of knitting as much as the results.
But while you are reveling in your warm cozies,
don't get stuck. Warm is wonderful, but so is
the whole wide world!

What kind of knitting needles are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, 16 August 2005

Mmmmmm..... silk!

Recycled Sari Silk
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
I gave in to yet more temptation today and went to Marta's for 3 skeins of this luscious slubby silk. I plan to make the Teva Durham capelet from the Scarf Style book. See Knitterista's version here. Not sure when I'll get the time to do the knitting, (what with Kyoto and quilts and all) but the vague intention is to wear it to a wedding in October. Watch this space!

Thursday, 11 August 2005

Warm and fuzzy

I got a real buzz when I was packing the knitting away to get off the train this evening. One of the other commuters getting off at my station came up to me and said "it's lovely watching you knit - it reminds me of my mother". I felt all warm and fuzzy and smiled all the way home on the bus! The joys of knitting in public.

Too see what I was knitting, please click here.

I love knitting on the train. It makes me feel like the commute time is not wasted (ie: it appeals to the thrift in me). It also appeals to the repressed exhibitionist in me. I like the idea that people can watch me knit - placates an unfulfilled desire to engage in performance art perhaps - without exposing myself to ridicule. Or maybe I just like to show off that I can do it.

Tuesday, 9 August 2005

In memory - not a crafty post

Today is my dad's birthday. He would have been 69. It seems particularly relevant for me to observe this today as C's brother died last week leaving behind 4 young children who are a similar age to what I was when I lost my dad.

My dad was English. He spent a good deal of his twenties in the merchant navy as a steward. His duties once included, much to his disgust/disbelief, peeling grapes for Princess Marina (mother of the current Duke of Kent). He came to Australia in 1968 as part of the assisted migration program - a £10 Pom. He met and married my mum a few years later. My grandad was heard to say "finally a son-in-law who can use a hammer" (my mum's two older sisters had married a doctor and a lawyer respectively). I came along a few years after that. He taught my mum how to solve cryptic crosswords - a skill which she has passed on to me in turn. In 1981 we travelled to the UK for a holiday and to attend my dad's younger brother's wedding. We never made it to the celebrations. My dad died from a heart attack on 30 August 1981 whilst we were touring on the Isle of Skye and he is buried there in the cemetery at Portree.

Happy Birthday Daddy. We miss you.

Thursday, 4 August 2005

Completed Sophie Bag

Sophie Bag
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
This photo stuff is fun. I forgot to take a photo of the completed bag prior to felting it. Sorry. It shrank to about 2/3 of the original size. I'm not usually given to rhapsody, but when I took this one out of the washing machine I couldn't help myself but say "How CUUUUUTE!". Twee, I know. It's the perfect size to hold my purse, digicam and mobile. It only cost $4 to make. It's the perfect bag. Maybe I'll make one in every colour so I can always match my outfit?

Yr 12 Sanity Quilt

Yr 12 Sanity Quilt
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
I've just joined Flickr so this is a test to see if I can get this photo-blogging thingy to work. In keeping with the theme, I thought I'd post a little bit of Paisley quilt-history - My first quilt.

Wednesday, 3 August 2005

I got gauge at 1st attempt!

Spurred on by the temptation of Kyoto, I have been surfing researching to try and find a suitable locally available yarn substitute. The Jo Sharp Soho Summer DK Cotton seemed to be the closest match in yardage/weight. The recommended gauge didn't look quite right though, so I bought one ball at the LYS to experiment with the gauge and made a start with the 3.5mm needles stated in the pattern.

I measured it this morning - 20sts/27 rows over 4" - just what the doctor ordered. WOO HOO! [Mind you, having read the various adventures in gauge that members of Kyoto-Along 2005 have experienced, I shouldn't be too cocky until I've actually knitted a real piece of the garment]. I've sent Mouse an email to join the KAL [wow - I'm even using acronyms just like a real knit-blogger] which will be my first knit-along.

So colour decisions need to be made. I'm thinking Pennant [Navy] for the main body and Sailboat [greyish blue] for the sash with maybe a splash of Thyme [dusky green] for the stripe. I was in two minds about whether to include the stripe, but I bought a Thyme ball for the test swatch and I think it would tone in quite well. The other option would be to knit the main body in Rockpool [darkish slightly bluey green] although this might not be as successful with less contrast between the colours. I guess I'll have to wait until I can see the colours in the flesh, - so to speak - instead of viewing shade cards online, before I make a decision. I think a weekend trip to Sunspun is called for. (The wool shop in the city where I got the Thyme ball doesn't have the full range of colours in the cotton).

Quilt update:

Sunspun also stock some patchwork supplies (including Kaffe Fassett fabrics). The blocks are all done on the S&T Wedding quilt. I've started stitching them together and hunting for the right fabrics to use in the border. Kaffe Fassett's roman glass print is begging to be included. Either that or some sort of Japanese-ish style print is in order. Plus a backing fabric - a red-based madras check would go well I think. I scored quite a good deal on some Matilda's Own 60/40 wool/poly wadding at the Craft Fair at Jeff's Shed last week so that part is taken care of.

S&T Wedding update:

This weekend, Saturday morning has been set aside for sari-shopping in Dandenong (which has the highest concentration of sari shops in Melbourne). S is Sri Lankan, so we bridesmaids-of-Anglo-extraction get to wear traditional saris for the wedding. We are also under starters orders to "learn how to walk in a sari". The prospective sari designer has already been heard to declare that "western girls can't walk in saris", with the implication that we shouldn't even try. S has booked a dresser though who is willing to teach us. C and I are getting a little anxious as we're a little clumsy and un-co... hmm... lessons and practice are probably a good idea.

Thursday, 28 July 2005

Stitch markers

I made stitch markers last night. (Very easy - took about an hour to make about 10 - hmmm, that's 6 minutes per marker... sounds about right... wasn't rushing). I tried a couple of different techniques. I made a couple of sets with jump rings (? I think that's the technical term) and a couple of one-offs with-out the extra ring, just looping the end of the wire to make the loop which goes on the needle. (pics are a bit blurry - camera wouldn't focus properly)

Then of course I had to take them for a spin on the needles so I knit a few more rounds on the Sophie bag. The jump ring markers seem to perform better on the needles as they have a greater range of movement (ie: less rigid). I was a little worried as the rings were not joined up (I'm not equipped for or able to solder them) and so I was jamming the ends together and hoping that they wouldn't snag on the yarn. No problems so far, but next time I might try some different rings that I saw in the shop. I think they're similar to the rings that Lisa G uses for her stitch markers.

I also went to the gym last night for the first time in over a fortnight. Did a cycle class (they call it "Pursuit Cycling" at my gym since they're not licensed to call it Spinning or RPM. I suppose "Pursuit" sounds great - in hot pursuit, but it seems somewhat ironic since in actuality you're pedalling furiously and getting nowhere) and my lungs survived without too much coughing. I'll have to wait until tomorrow morning before I know how the muscles will pull up.

Wednesday, 27 July 2005

Warning: felting is contagious

I think I've caught the felting bug. I popped into Lincraft yesterday at lunchtime and picked some fuschia coloured Cosy wool to make the Sophie bag. My excuse? I need a little handbag to co-ordinate nicely with my outfit to be worn to my cousin's wedding in a couple of weeks time. Plus the Cosy was on special for $1.99 a ball so even over-catering for the project (I've been caught out before so I bought 4 balls - 95m/50g), it still comes in at under $8 for a handbag which is not to be sneezed at.

Other temptations...

So far I have resisted the stitch marker temptation that something from nothing has paraded on her blog. But I do love the idea of admiring little bits of jewellery whilst knitting. A darn sight more attractive than the scraps of different yarn slip-knotted on the needles that I currently use to mark my spots.

I can resist no longer. A second trip to Lincraft in as many days has netted me the makings of some beaded stitch markers. I even found some timely posted instructions on adventures in geeky knitting. Looks like I've just missed out on Stitch Marker Swap 1 so perhaps I should keep an eye out for the next one. Hmmm...

The question now is, what will Paisley be working on this evening? Sophie Bag? Stitch Markers? Another block for the S&T Wedding Quilt (only 2 left to piece!)? More quilting on the C&D Wedding Quilt?

Friday, 22 July 2005

Photo posting

I had a little photo-taking session last night and remembered to bring the camera in so we have some photo updates.

Completed Corkscrew Scarf (from Teva Durham's Loop-d-Loop book) in coaster-impersonation mode...

And in it's more natural state...

Inspired by pincushion that Clementine received in her BackTack stash from Kay at Mason-Dixon Knitting, I have made my own needle felted pin-cushion from some of the left over fleece I had accumulated from a couple of dry-felting workshops I had attended. It has ended up being somewhat reminiscent of a Christmas pudding, but I like it like that. Mali, from Mali Design, who ran the workshops waxes quite lyrical about each project taking on a life of its own so I just let the colour additions happen without really thinking about them. I'm happy with it (the photo is a little bit dark - I had trouble getting the exposure right - maybe the white background was a hindrance).

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about too many ideas/temptation. This next pic is the results of that little shopping expedition. I've started knitting this one up - it seems to be working! Woo hoo!

Wednesday, 20 July 2005

Cough, cough, splutter, bark, ruff...

My cold has reached the stage where I cough - quite a lot. My boss tells me that my bark currently outdoes her dog's which got me singing the following while I was doing the washing up last night:

"...And no one at all was about on the street, When a Peke and a Pollicle happened to meet. They did not advance or exactly retreat, But they glared at each other and scraped their hind feet. And they started to Bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark. Until you could hear them all over the park..." (it's from Cats of course - Jellicle cats pretending to be Pollicle dogs, what could be more logical than that?)

I finished the Teva Durham corkscrew scarf last night. When you coil it all up it looks like a stack of knitted coasters. The short-row technique was fun and easy - the instructions for "wrap and turn" seem a bit complex when reading, but when you actually do it once, it makes perfect sense and flows quite easily. I also did the whole knitting backwards thing so I didn't have to keep turning the work every 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, etc. stitches and that was pretty easy too.

Sorry no photos at the moment. I need to get iPhoto on my mac so that I can do it all from home. At the moment I have to remember to take my camera into work and load the photos there so that I can crop/edit/resize etc and then email them back to home where I can then ftp them to the hosting site. P erhaps I should re-think where all the photos go - Flickr seems to be a popular option on other blogs. Then I wouldn't have to do the whole ftp thingy. Decisions, Decisions!

I also (finally) did another block of S&T's quilt last night - only 13 to go now! Quilting and patching went on the back-burner while I've been sick - even knitting was very on/off. I'm on anti-biotics now and I seem to be coming good. Hopefully I'll be well enough to go back to the gym next week - it's been driving me mad not going - I can feel all my fitness and strength draining away and I'd been doing some pretty good weights in Body Pump (8.5kg on each end of the bar for squats and 7.5kg each end for chest).

My brain has been exercising though - I've been doing quite well on the Age's cryptic crossword in the past week. I even came close to completing (I had to ring Mum for 3 clues) DA on Friday which is almost unheard of for Paisley cruciverbalising solo.

Monday, 18 July 2005

Hard rubbish collection

Suffering from cabin fever after a weekend of snuffly nose and reading Half-Blood Prince from cover to cover, I went for a walk round the block late on Sunday afternoon and realised that hard rubbish collection day was fast approaching. I spotted one hard-rubbish-cruiser and was tempted myself by a rather nice earthenware coffee pot, but I was restrained and left it there.

So I got back to my place at about 5.30 and managed to heave the old TV, which has been on its side acting as a bed-side table in my spare room for the last 12 months, out to the nature strip and for good measure I added the old CD/Tape-Deck/Radio which I never use anymore ["Don't cling so hard to your possessions for you have nothing if you have no rights" - sorry, thoughts frequently get punctuated with song lyrics].

Bearing in mind that it's the middle of winter here, alright there's no snow but it is pretty cold by our standards (overnight minimum was about 4 degress celsius), and it was pretty much already dark when I laid it out on the nature strip, I was a bit surprised that cruisers had already picked both items up by the time I left for work this morning at 9. I suppose the fact that I'm on a major road so there's plenty of passing traffic that could spot it is a contributing factor, but I can think of better ways of spending a Sunday evening than out and about hard-rubbish-cruising in the cold night air. Good luck to them.

Wednesday, 13 July 2005

3 sleeps till HP6!

Busy day planned for this Saturday. Hopefully this cold will have cleared up and I can go the gym. A trip to Mitre 10 to pick up stuff for my mum (her local doesn't get all the catalogue specials).
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is also on the shopping list and of course, once I've got that, all I'll want to be doing is reading it.
If I'm really organised then I'll have a look at a couple of units for sale (theoretically I'm house-hunting at the moment).
Then I'm off to see a production of Pirates of Penzance in the evening... "with constabulary duties to be done, to be done, a policeman's lot is not a happy one - happy one".
How am I ever going to get these quilts made by the end of the year? I must have been insane to even contemplate hand-quilting three queen-size quilts in a year, even if the piecing is all by machine. I'm probably about half-way through the quilting for C&D's quilt. I've pieced 35 of 49 blocks for S&T's quilt. I think the quilting will be quicker on their quilt (she says hopefully). M&A's quilt is a slightly different proposition - I bought the hand-pieced top (double wedding ring design) on e-bay about 4 years ago and have never done anything with it. I think it will suit them, so that just needs to be quilted - their wedding isn't till February so that's kind of on the back burner until the December and January wedding quilts are done.

Monday, 11 July 2005

too many ideas...

I've really gotta stop this knit-blog-surfing thing. I keep on getting ideas. Ideas require yarn. I don't have a big yarn stash (fabric stash is another matter). Therefore I must buy more yarn. Nearest LYS for work is Clegs and the new Marta's city branch. Perfect yarn for this idea is Marta's handpainted Slubby. Handpainted slubby costs $26/100g ball. Ouch.

So I bought 1 ball and will pad it out with cheaper, but beautifully co-ordinating yarn from Clegs. Luckily project is not very big.


Monday, 4 July 2005

Kyoto temptation

So, I haven't knitted a Paisley-sized garment (apart from scarves & wraps which don't really count) for years and years - mostly because I'd spend heaps of money on the yarn, knit it up and then not wear it that much because I didn't like the way it sat, or my fashion sense started to kick in. BUT.... I'm am seriously tempted to get back on the garment-train... lured into the world of knitting jumpers by this pattern and the following justifications:
  1. the possibility of joining the Kyoto KnitAlong 2005
  2. the realisation that the Jo Sharp Soho Summer DK Cotton would be the ideal yarn selection
  3. the calculation that at about AUD$90 for the 14 balls required, it would not such an horrifically expensive exercise when you compare it to buying a nice jumper/sweater at Sussan or Witchery and definitely cheaper than Country Road
  4. the intent that the jumper would, knitted in suitable colours, go very nicely with quite a few of my 3/4 length sleeve tops for which I don't really have any suitable cover-ups at present
  5. why the hell not?
I should finish Misty Garden and Corkscrew first though since they're for birthday treats. But there's no harm in getting the yarn now in preparation... is there?
Corkscrew Scarf in progress

Sunday, 3 July 2005

A beautiful day

So S, T, C and I had a great day out on Sunday. We drove down to Point Nepean where they've created a state park at the very end tip of the Mornington Peninsula. It was a gun battery point from the mid 1800s through to the end of WWII and a fair amount of the peninsula is still fenced off as Commonwealth land with warning signs about unexploded ordinances.
Unexploded Bombs

But there are a series of paths you can follow to the tip of the point with great views of Port Phillip Bay, Bass Strait and Queenscliff. We climbed up Cheviot Hill (the highest point on the point) and looked out over Cheviot Beach where Harold Holt disappeared in 1967 (kidnapped by Russians in submarines so the conspiracy theorists declare!).
Cheviot Beach

If I was the Yarn Harlot, I would have had the corkscrew scarf I've just started (Teva Durham design from Loop-d-Loop) with me to star in the photos, but I didn't think about blogging this day until I got home to watch the (delayed) telecast of Live8 (I put my name to the list) and there was Bono singing Beautiful Day, which today was.

Wednesday, 29 June 2005

French Market Bag is completely shrunk

Requisite pre-felting pic
French Market Bag knitted

Drying on the clothes horse after 1 cycle of felting.
French Market Bag felt 1

To be super-specific: Asko front loading washing machine - Super Quick Cycle (35 mins) at 80 degrees C. including spin at 800 rpm (bag in pillowcase + some other darks that needed washing). I let it dry and then decided that perhaps another round in the machine wouldn't go astray.

French Market Bag complete

Almost dry bag posing with current knitting (Scarf Style - Misty Garden) after 2 (in total) cycles in the washing machine (2nd cycle went through with the towels, no pillowcase this time, at 75 degrees C. with spin at 1200 rpm - I forgot to reduce the spin speed the second time around - no harm done).
End result looks pretty good although the light purple obviously wasn't as colour fast as the darker purple and I wasn't intending to have such obvious stripes. However, the moral of the story is that you can felt in a front loader. You just have to be brave because you can't stop it halfway through.

Latest book purchase:

I ducked into Dymocks at lunchtime today and was smitten by the quilt on the cover of this book The Modern Quilt Workshop. More quilts to add to the mental "to do" list which is growing longer and longer. All just-for-the-hell-of-it quilts are hold until the 3 wedding quilts are all done. It really was inconsiderate for them to all get married so close together - no consideration for the quilter's lot!

Friday, 24 June 2005

Using up yarn from the stash.

I have yarn (Stonewash 50% cotton / 50% acrylic in grey with a white fleck) left over from making Aibhlinn and so was hunting round for a pattern to use up the 3 balls extra (it was on special when I bought it so I erred generously on the side of caution). I'm trying out the Scarf Style Midwest Moonlight. I've done about 3 pattern repeats so far but I'm not sure if the yarn allows the pattern to be shown to the best advantage. I think the fleck detracts from the lace effect. Will post a photo when I get a chance.

General progress report:
I did a couple more rounds of the French Market Bag last night while watching The Amazing Race, Lost & ER. My theory was that if I did a little bit on each of my different projects, I would hence avoid further repetitive strain on my inflamed thumb joint. Not sure that it worked (I think I'll be hitting the chemists for the Voltaren today). As well as the FMB rounds, I cast on and did a couple of pattern repeats for Scarf Style Misty Garden, finished off a pattern repeat on the Midwest Moonlight and hand-quilted one block of the C&D Wedding Quilt. I also had the sewing machine out and constructed 1 block for the S&T Wedding Quilt (30 down, 19 to go!). Hmm, maybe it's no wonder that my hand is seizing up.

Wednesday, 22 June 2005

FMB progress and colour rationale

French Market Bag is coming along (see picture in my previous post) - I've done about 6" since I finished the increases although I may have to slow down for a while, as I seem to have managed to inflame my left thumb joint.

[materials - Lincraft's Cosy in brown, green, purple and black for the handles - slightly odd colour combination I know, but I did have a logic thought process behind it - brown for the earth, green for grass/leaves/foliage, purple for petals/blooms and black for the hell of it - it's a practical colour for the grubby handling bit. I'm knitting up with 2 strands on 5mm bamboo circulars (I used 4.5mm dpns to get it started) so the result is quite firm to begin with.]

I've hard to buy some more yarn though - another couple of balls are called for if it's going to get to the suggested length and I wasn't able to match the dye-lot for the purple (hmph!). Felting will be interesting (ie: hopefully it will disguise the dye-lot variance). I've got a front-loader and I've read conflicting reports on their successfulness in felting. I guess we'll find out in a week or so.

Monday, 20 June 2005

Friday, 17 June 2005

Finally! The Apple store called this morning and my green iPod mini (4 gig) has arrived after umpteen weeks. I spent a few goodly hours a couple of weeks ago loading up a selection from my CD collection onto my iBook - currently about 1.8 days of music. That will do a few commutes before it starts repeating itself. Now I can knit on the train with a soundtrack.

Speaking of knitting, I did suggest that I would muse about knitting. Current knitting WIP is the French Market Bag which will be my first (deliberate) foray into the world of felting. When we lived in London we did manage to felt a brand new Laura Ashley woolen polo neck jumper as we hadn't worked out how to turn down the temperature on the front loading washing machine (mysterious beasts to most antipodeans). We took it back and they very kindly exchanged it. The jumper went on the handwash list and we worked out the whole temperature control theory for the machine (ie - turn the dial back as far as it will go).

Photos of the aforementioned bag-in-progress will have to wait until I figure out how to post photos to the blog. One step at a time for this Womble.

Thursday, 16 June 2005

I've never kept a diary on a regular basis before (apart from a 6 week sojourn in France at the age of 16 - I think I needed an English language outlet) so I'm not sure what makes me think that I'll be any different with a blog. But I've been lurking on other people's blogs for a while now and felt that I wanted to share my work with others outside my real world circle.
So stay tuned for quilt pics, knitting WIPs (my copy of Scarf Style has just arrived from Amazon) and the odd grump about dubious anaginds in the daily cryptic.