Sunday, September 30, 2007

Dear Blog...

...Please accept my sincerest apologies for neglecting you for so long. I did not mean to, but things (real life) sometimes get in the way as they have this month. I mean, have you looked at my calendar lately? There has hardly been a day where I haven't needed to be somewhere, doing something, or at home, doing something else! In the future I will try to be a better blogger - but I will not promise.

Yours sincerely

Yes, I have been a very bad blogger recently, but I have not been idle! Spinning, knitting and family life have figured greatly during the last few weeks. First up, knitting. No more progress has been made on Mermaid but I do have a FO! I have started, and finished (well, almost, maybe) an EZ Baby Surprise Jacket (as yet, unblocked) for our little grandgirl due in January. I made it out of 3 balls (75grams) of Cleckheaton Merino bambino 4 ply (yes, I know, Aussie wool. What can I say?). It is beautifully soft but only measures 35 cm (14") around the chest so will definitely be a newborn size. A pity, as January-February is not usually a cool time of year. I guess to make a larger size I would need to use DK weight yarn, not what I really like for a young baby.

Didn't I do well with the seam? Well, I'm pleased with it at any rate and, when it comes down to it, that is all that matters! I have never done mattress stitch before so that is what the fuss is all about. I still need to find some buttons as well as decide about the neckline. There is only a very little bit of yarn left from the 3 balls, probably not enough to make a little collar (picot edging, ruffle - I haven't decided yet). I don't mind buying another ball, though, as I could then make a little pair of booties or socks to match. I had considered making the neck edging in lavender or aqua to match but I don't think I will do that. Maybe if I had put in a stripe or two of it but I didn't as I had wanted to make one as the "pattern" reads. By the way, my thanks go to Dawn Adcock for her very helpful notes!

On the spinning front, I attended the first day of a very worthwhile silk spinning course tutored by Priscilla Lowry (no website to my knowledge). I have not had much experience at all at spinning silk and Priscilla very ably introduced us all to this fascinating fibre. We spun up small samples of both tussah and bombyx mori silk as well as degummed cocoons, yellow cocoon strippings, throwsters waste and mowata cap. No photos yet - I forgot! One interesting tip Priscilla told us was to NOT put on handcream just before spinning the silk! Apparently, once the silk yarn has been washed and knitted grey streaks will appear which will never come out.

We also were treated to having a close look at a number of garments which Priscilla has spun, designed and knitted. These garments were really beautiful. Again, I am sorry that I have no photos of these. I didn't think to take my camera to the course and I do regret that now.

For more of your viewing pleasure, I thought I would include a photo of a skein of yarn I spun quite a while ago. It comes from Hallblacks and is a blend of merino (or possibly halfbred, I'm not sure now) and silk which was gilled after carding. While not particularly well-spun it is nevertheless to-die-for soft! It will probably end up as a scarf but I may dye it as the colour is not one I can really wear near my face.

Familywise, we had the grandgirls to stay for a weekend again! Lots of fun, with a trip to the park to see the wallabies and play on the swings etc. D put up a small tent on the lawn for them to play in which they seemed to find exciting. All in all it was a delightful visit with them!

So that about fills in all I will talk about this time around. You can see that my lack of posting did not equate with a lack of progress craftwise!


Charlie Chuckles said...

Hiya! A new knitting blogger on the block here!

Just wanted to say that surprise jacket looks brother's wife is having a baby next month and I have been toying with the idea of knitting one for the new arrival. Think you have helped me make my mind up!!!

Stell said...

nice BSJ, and I've been knitting on thursdays with Jenny of dunedin (spinning Jenny :-) )who also raves about Pricilla L's workshop down south. I can't wait to be able to take part in all that.