Thursday, 1 March 2007

Catching up...

Yikes. Over a week since my last post. There has been craft-related activity going on, but there hasn't really been the yen to write about it.

I'm working away on the Gumleaf Shawl for my train knitting at the moment. I'm up to pattern repeat 22 of 25. Although I'm not sure if I will do all 25 - depends on how confident I'm feeling that the single skein of SeaSilk will last the distance. I'm making a re-assessment of this after each 6 row repeat trying to bear in mind that each repeat is a little bit longer than the one before and that the cast-off will take a lot more yarn than a regular one as its got all these little wiggly bits that gobble up yardage. The SeaSilk has been really lovely to knit with. It's very very very soft and gentle on my hands and once I got the Addi Turbo circs in the right size, the knitting went pretty smoothly (the joints on the Aero (?) circs were pretty horrible).

I think next time (and I think there will definitely be a next time) that I knit something with SeaSilk, I will choose a pattern that has a stocking stitch base rather than a garter stitch base. The one drawback with the Gumleaf pattern is that garter stitch isn't as smooth as stocking stitch and so I think that the shine and sheen of the SeaSilk is perhaps not shown to its ultimate advantage.

The ripple gets pulled out late in the evenings at the moment - when I can't really concentrate on anything else properly, so it's growing slowly. I don't know that I really have enough of a stash of 8 ply to go very far, but it's good excuse to buy just the one ball here and there of those really nice yarns (like Zara and Merino Soie) that I'm too ikey to buy in bulk for one big project.

I'm making good progress on the leg of the second Ladies Useful Stockings - just going round and round and round in plain stocking stitch, remembering to do a couple of decreases every 6 rounds. The Lorna's Laces shepherd sock is lovely to knit with, but I'm really starting to wish that S had chosen a pattern with a little more interesting knitting in it - rather than just plain plain and really long. Never mind. T2 apparently really loves his socks and is making noises about wanting more pairs since they're so comfy. Oh dear.

I spent a couple of hours at the Australasian Quilt Convention last Saturday. The marketplace was waayyy too busy. Most stalls were at least two women deep all the way across. Not fun. But downstairs at the quilt exhibition it wasn't so bad. There were two quilts that stuck in my mind. One for good and one for bad reasons.

The good one was made from old men's ties. I've had a few ideas kicking round about using the wedge shaped ends of ties to create circular motifs for a quilt, but this quilter took a different angle and focused on the labels. Each patch was a small rectangle of the tie fabric (I'm guessing maybe 2" x 3") and then the label was appliqued to the centre of the patch - everything from Hardy Amies, Dior, Lacroix, Pierre Cardin - this quilter had managed to collect a pretty big collection of "prestigious" ties and the overall effect was fun and engaging.

The bad one was not a bad quilt in and of itself. It was styled to be a bookshelf with a collection of her "favourite" books which looked pleasant enough. But she included a book by Jane Austin (sic) and one by Virginia Woolfe (sic). I try to be tolerant of "alternative" or international spellings. I am aware that Shakespeare himself spelt his own name several different ways depending on mood or whim. But AUSTIN is a CAR not a writer. And I am struggling to find any evidence of Leonard and Virginia spelling their surname with an appended "e". To me it ruined any image that she was trying to create of being well-read and intellectual. I'm such a snob. Sigh.

I did manage to buy a few bits of fabric and got a set of hexagonal plastic templates in various sizes. On Sunday I cut out some 5" hexagons to do some paper-piecing when I feel so inclined. I'm planning that it might be a companion piece to another small quilt that I already have hanging in the sewing room.

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