Tuesday, 31 December 2013

so long 2013

(lots of pics…)

 In 2013, I knit some socks…

 … I learnt to steek….

 …I re-visited spindle spinning and this time, it clicked…

and the spindle stash magically increased...

… I did some sewing too, but it's all been blogged before, or it's un-photographed, and if there's no photos, it didn't happen… 

… I spent 3 weeks in Spain and Portugal...
Santiago de Compostela,
San Sebastian (Donostia)

followed by a week in England which included a trip to the National Trust property of Tyntesfield,

and the Fashion & Textile Museum (Bermondsey St, London) to see Kaffe Fassett: A Life in Colour.

 … I did my annual shoe count… 52 pairs in the collection. As far as storage goes, I think I have reached peak shoe.

What will 2014 bring? More knitting, more sewing, more travel, more shoes and the continuing fantasy of less clutter.

 Happy New Year.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Catching Fire is catching

I went to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire this week.  In the opening scenes, Katniss is out hunting in the woods and wears a woollen cowl/cape/neck&chest-warmer type thingy and being a crafter of stuff-with-wool, I got a bit distracted for a while.  "I could totally make that..."*
(The movie was fantastic btw.  It's been a while since I read the books, but in my memory it seemed to stay pretty true to the books and the arena looked a lot like I imagined it would.)
A quick search the next day (seriously, what did we do before Google, Ravelry and Twitter ...?) and it emerged that I was definitely not the only one who was mildly obsessed with the Katniss Cowl.
There are already 5 patterns on offer on Ravelry attempting to recreate the design.  None of them are quite what I have in mind.

...I'm plotting.  I'm thinking that the fleece I'm spinning at the moment would work with this.  I have clear idea in my head on how to do the rolls around the neck.  I'm not sure how I'll do the shaping on the lower panels.  Next step - doll-sized cowl as a test piece.

* The books were written for "young adults", hence my lapse into teen-speak.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Year of the Finished Project - October Update

I didn't really set any goals for September.  But I have two finished projects to speak of from that month.

This was a fairly last minute decision project. The cot quilt used up some of the already-cut-out strips that I carefully cut up several years ago with the intention of making a bigger quilt.  I'm pretty certain that bigger quilt will never eventuate - I think my urge to make that pattern is waning.  Perhaps I'll use some of what's left of them to make a scaled down version of that original idea (strips sewn together then cut perpendicularly to make squares which are then moved up and down to make diagonal stripes).

Gentleman's Plain Winter Sock

Socks.  I've got to use up my sock yarn somehow.  These are the Gentleman's Plain Winter Sock pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks.  I also spun a bit more Romney fleece.

Plans for October.

Knitting: I have two pairs of socks on the go at the moment.  One pair is using up leftovers - I'd like to finish the pair this month.  The other pair is a Christmas present. I aim to have at least the first sock of that pair finished.
I also have two cardigans on the go. They won't be finished, but I'd like to have made some visible progress.

Sewing: It's October and I still haven't touched the number 1 UFO on my list which is the denim log cabin quilt that's sitting in a bag under my bed.  By the end of October it will no longer be under my bed, I will have decided on a quilting treatment and have made a start on that treatment.
Old Photo:

Pop over to Lynne's blog to see what everyone else is up to in their Year of Finished Projects.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

FO: Cot quilt

IMG_3585, originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.

Finished stitching the binding on Friday night and threw it in the washing machine. Luckily Saturday morning was sunny and a little bit breezy so it dried in time for the afternoon baby shower. Lil's husband was very impressed. "It's like a REAL quilt!"

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Motivation by deadline

Quilting progress, originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.

So I realised that Lil's baby shower is actually next weekend and if I was going to get a little cot quilt made in time, then I really needed to knock it over (mostly) this weekend.
Good progress has been made. I can also count this against my tally of UFOs as it uses up some of the strips that I carefully cut up a few years ago in anticipation of making a quilt that has never eventuated. I might still attempt the original idea - on a smaller scale - with the strips that are left.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

New month, new season, new leaf?

All winter I've been feeling that I've been distracted by "oh, look, new stuff" kind of projects and that I haven't been very productive.
However, on checking my list of UFOs that I made at the start of the year, I have made some further progress on processing the never-ending black fleece that I got from C's dad.  In fact I have spun up 1 sheep's worth (there's another sheep's worth in a bag I haven't dared open yet).  No current photos (note to self - must take photos of black fleece yarn) to prove it, but the fleece prior to spinning looked like this.


So that's one step forward in clearing up the UFOs, but then I couldn't resist buying a new fleece when I went to the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show (yay!  Y and I finally got there this year.  We're hoping to go back next year too.) and I have made a start on spinning that fleece too.

Romney fleeceRomney fleece roughly sortedReady to spin some Romney.
Romney singlesRomney pliedRomney plied

I continued my adventures in spinning using a Turkish spindle (and bought 3 new spindles - more about them another time).
Spindling merino silk singlesMerino silk singlesMerino silk, chain plied on Turkish spindleChain plied merino silk

In non-spinning land, I finished a pair of socks in August - knit from the sock yarn stash.
Oak ribbed socks

I started a new cardigan - another steeking project...
Cardigan in progress...and then I came across this really cool cardigan pattern in Ravelry and got a bee in my bonnet over it and .....
....what can I say?

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Still here...

all quiet on the blogging front for a few months eh?

I spent most of May on holiday.  I went to Spain and Portugal and then a week in England.

Holiday knitting was socks - of course.

The UFOs are kind of on the back burner at the moment.  I think they may make a re-appearance come August or September.

There has been more steeking. Hopefully some finished photos to follow in a couple of weeks.
Cape in progress

I'm also unofficially riding along with the Tour de Fleece - re-visiting my Turkish spindle.  Spindle spinning didn't really click with me when I first tried it a few years ago.  But now with a bit of wheel spinning under my belt, the process, although still slow, seems less daunting.  Note to self:  Google "slow yarn movement"
tour de fleece 2013 commence
I'm hoping to make it to the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show this year.  I think another spindle might be on the shopping list.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

sock photo shoot

IMG_2540, originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.

I've been finding it so quick and easy to just snap photos with my iphone and upload them at the tap or swipe of a little finger.
So for a long time my sooper dooper DSLR camera has been languishing in its bag. This morning I decided to remind myself of how much nicer the photos can be when I make just a little more effort.
I left the settings on auto and snapped away. I do love this camera.

Friday, 8 March 2013

FO progress report - A cardigan and some socks

Never Too Hot to Stitch!

I suppose it shouldn't come as a surprise that February is a short month as it is (almost) the same length every year.  But February was a month of getting waylaid by projects other than the previously stated FO goals.
I did complete my Shifting Focus cardigan (on 2 March, but that still counts as February right?).
This cardigan was started back in November with the goal of finishing it off in one month for NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater in a Month) but that didn't happen.  However it's done now.
Cardigan front
And see that little pink blob of knitting in the bottom left of the picture?  That's Aunty M's cardigan-in-progress which has been the main distraction.

I have one other FO to share for February.  A simple pair of stripey socks.

New socks. From leftovers.

So let's sweep the un-met February goals under the Axminster carpet and start afresh with a new set of goals for March.
1. Finish the back and one front of Aunty M's cardigan.
2. Spin a skein of black fleece.
3. Finish the Noodlehead go-anywhere bag (which was partially cut out some time last year).

Thursday, 7 February 2013

FOs and future plans

2013: The Year of the Finished Project.
Never Too Hot to Stitch!
Wow, we're a quarter of the way through February already as I post my monthly update on the Year of the Finished Project.

January's goals were achieved.  I now have a "stained glass" effect curtain in the "littlest room",

Hexagon "stained glass" curtain
a new grey twinset in my wardrobe,
two skeins of sheepy-smelling handspun (probably destined for a cardigan - I have a thing for cardigans),
Handspun - 2 skeins
and a new coffee cozy, complete with a newly acquired skill in steeking.
Coffee cozy

UFO Plans for February.
1. Finish sashiko embroidery piece (sewing)
2. Finish hot water bottle cover (sewing)
3. Finish Shifting Focus cardigan (knitting)
4. Spin another skein (or two) of fleece

For new stuff, I've got a request from an almost-5-year-old who wants a smart jacket to wear and I find it hard to say no when he prefaces the request with "you're a good knitter aren't you Punci (aunty)?"!
Then today I got a call from Mum to see whether I had capacity to help my aunt out by finishing the cardigan that she's started but got stuck on.  I adore my aunt and so I can't possibly say no to that either.
Both of these really need to be done before ANZAC Day (25 April) as I fly off on holiday the next day.  I was aiming to not have lots of knitting deadlines this year.  So much for my good intentions!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Steek this ...

I cut my knitting and nothing super bad happened.

Thursday, 3 January 2013


2013: The Year of the Finished Project.
Never Too Hot to Stitch!

I made a page where I can keep track of my progress on this quest.

I have a habit of starting quilting projects with only a vague intention of their end form.  These paper-pieced hexagons had such a start in life.  I can't remember when I started this - probably about 2 years ago.  I pulled it out yesterday and thought that it would make a good "stained glass" effect curtain for the littlest room.
So, part one of my Finished Projects goal for January is to finish the piecing and then turn this panel into a simple curtain.

Part two is to sew up the top and jacket set that I cut out a couple of months ago and has been sitting on the spare bed ever since.  My parents are coming to visit in February so it really needs to be cleared away before then.

Part three is to spin at least 1 skein from my never-ending black sheep fleece.

Then I really should get on with my first Steek in 2013 project.