What the heck is Wings of Goose?

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

My first spin and other stories

I haven't felt like writing much here recently. I've been really busy with life, which I'd rather, but I also haven't had any finished projects to show. Then I remembered I hadn't posted my spinning yet, which was rather exciting and I'm really looking forward to having another go.

I'm planning to knit a hat with it, as I thought I should knit something with my first effort.

The mohair cardigan is coming along nicely and is really enjoyable to knit.

Here is the main pattern, although for some reason blogger keeps turning my images around. This and the image below should be rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise.

In the magazine that the pattern is from, someone has done a practise swatch for the lace pattern. I was quite amused to discover, after the swatcher declaring how great it was that she had made the swatch as she could refer back to it when working on the real thing, that it is actually nothing like the pattern instructs. The pattern proper is correct but the border, so basically the whole of the wavy part at the bottom, is completely wrong.

I hope she didn't rely on it too much!

I'm rather excited as I have a new job starting next week. Ok, its unpaid, but I'm so looking forward to interacting with people in a work environment again. I'm going to be volunteering in a charity shop just down the road. I've been thinking about it for a while, and yesterday there was a big sign in one of the charity shop windows (there are many on this particular street), asking for volunteers. I went and asked for more information and had a nice chat with the assistant manager; I'm starting next Tuesday!

Monday, 18 May 2009

Nursery rhyme purse and a spindle

I made this little purse one day last week when I should have been working on my patchwork.

The fabric is a delightful print called Mother Goose and Friends and is covered in sweet little images from nursery rhymes and childrens' tales. On the purse is the goose who laid the golden egg, four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie and inside on this sweet little patch are the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker.

I haven't yet decided what I shall use it for as I'm a very practical person and not one to change my handbag every time I leave the house, or move the contents of my purse into another. No doubt I shall find some little thing to keep inside.

And I finally removed my spindle from her box on Friday when I had a visit from my knitting friend. Originally I just planned to show her the fibre and spindle but of course my husband had to have a go and then I was inspired to attempt it myself later on in the afternoon, not by my husband's efforts I might add! I took to it immediately and instead of just spinning a small amount I decided to use all the fibre that came with the spindle to make one batch of yarn as I though it would be nice to actually make something from my first spinning efforts. Here's a sneaky peak.

The more I spin the more consistent it gets and the yarn is now coming out in what looks like aran weight, though the first few metres I know will be rather lumpy and uneven.

I've also designed a new header for the blog but for some reason it doesn't want to upload. Hopefully a more exciting looking blog will be here soon.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Sickly sweet nostalgic quilt

This is the quilt I've been working on to finish for the exhibition in a couple of weeks time. I have so named it because although I love the combination of fabrics it is rather sweet looking, and nostalgic because my mum gave me all the patterned fabrics I have used in it.

For the binding I made strips out of the remaining fabrics. I was originally going to turn the back over to the front but that would have been so dull compared to how it's actually turned out I'm glad I didn't.

I love these two photos below. They remind me of linen stacked in a cupboard. I love the look of neatly folded linens and fabrics, even folded towels. It is essential the edge showing is the soft folded edge however, as if end edges show it spoils the overall effect I think.

I'm looking forward to seeing this hanging from the ceiling at the exhibition. I'm going to produce some information about the quilt to hang on the wall and maybe some cards for people to take away. I'm really excited at the thought of people looking at my work again after so long.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

3 new species

On Saturday we went to the Forest of Dean again and had the excitement of seeing three new bird species. We went first to Nagshead nature reserve in the hope of spotting some Pied Flycatchers. Apparently quite a few people had been out looking for them and waiting a long time. We were strolling down a path through a bluebell spotted forest to the lower hide and there was one, just sitting on the fence wire!

It then spent a little while flitting about in the trees next to the path so we got a good look at him. He was very sweet, and fluffy like a long tailed tit.

We then went on to Cannop Ponds which are pretty much around the corner from Nagshead. There we saw a new tit, though we couldn't determine whether it was a marsh or willow tit. Apparently those are the two closest looking birds there are. We also had the pleasure of spotting a Redstart, high up in a tree.

Apparently Cannop is a good place to spot them! I stole those photos from Marno, he's the bird photographer, I just look through my binoculars, although this often results in me getting a better look at them in detail as I don't have to mess around with getting the right setting, I just look. Its funny, since becoming interested in birds, the more common species become less exciting. I used to get really excited if I saw a chaffinch, but now I want to see rare birds that are hard to spot. I still love the more common birds though. Tits and Robins are among my favourites.

Just a quick creative update. My cardigan is starting to take a little shape. I've nearly finished the border and the pattern is forming which is really exciting. I'd love to understand stitches to the point of being able to write my own patterns. I'm also making the binding for my quilt, which I'm going to continue with now. I hope you have a pleasant day x

Friday, 8 May 2009

Slow progress and inspiration from others

I'm currently at an annoying stage where I want to get on with knitting the cardigan, which I have now cast on and knitted a few rows of...

It looks rather like a sunflower in that photo.

And this is the photo of it in Knitting magazine. I really like the dress the model is wearing as well! Talking of dresses, I've just been looking at this stunning dress on Kate Davies' blog and it has really inspired me for a new dressmaking project - well after I've finished my current sewing project. A patchwork I've been working on for some time. You may recall it was one of the first things I blogged about here. Well, the poor thing has been left for so long as I seem to gravitate towards knitting above all the creative things I'm involved with, but, thanks to some very kind people, I no longer have to give up my patchwork class and there is an exhibition of the years' work in a few weeks. I've decided to concentrate on getting it finished in time for that. I haven't had work in an exhibition since my degree show so I'm really looking forward to the opportunity.

I still haven't removed my spindle and roving from the box in which I put them the other week. I think they'll be in there for a little while now as I need to time concentrate... oh, how strange, its just come into my head that I had a dream last night about trying to spin! Its so peculiar when that happens. Have a pleasant day x

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Things I've been up to

Yes, I've finished the small little jumper. Just going to block it and somehow get it to our friends. I'd rather give it in person as I'd like to see their reaction.

I'm pretty new to this giving of hand made knitted gifts so its rather exciting. I did find the sleeves a bit of a pain as they were knitted on dpns. I have no problem with socks and I find knitting in the round easy, but I had a problem with ladders up the needle joins on the arms so not entirely pleased with them but the rest is fine. I also found that the final amount of stitches before the seed stitch for the neck started didn't seem to be correct for the size I was making, but it didn't matter as I just decreased some extra stitches in strategic places.

I've now cast on (finally) for the mohair cardigan. I've never used Kidsilk haze and I think it's going to be tough. It's so fine I dropped three stitches in the first row which is just knit, and I don't know how to pick up cast on stitches if you drop them. I did try to work it out but it seemed easier to just start again. I knit the row very carefully the second time and didn't drop anything, but I think it's going to be a slow project. I also made an astonishing discovery while knitting my swatches. I have been purling wrong! I've been doing it ever since I taught myself to knit it would seem. Basically I've been wrapping the yarn around the needle clockwise instead of anticlockwise which has caused all my knit stitches to be twisted, but its only doing a swatch in this yarn that's made it visible.

If you look halfway down on the photo above you'll see that every other row from the middle downwards the stitches cross over instead of going away from each other.

Its a lush colour don't you think?

This weekend I went to Bath and happened upon this delightful bead shop. They run day courses and I have to say that although I'm not the biggest beading fan, the beads they had were beautiful and not at all typical beads. They were such good quality and really diverse so I could be tempted to give it a go. Hmmm, perhaps after I've tried spinning which is still waiting for me.
We also went to Chavenage House near Tetbury (we being me and my parents). I thoroughly recommend paying a visit to this fascinating place if you're in the area. The owner of the property conducts a tour of the house and a bit of the gardens which lasted just over two hours for us, and he is such a character the time went by very quickly. He clearly really cares about the property but also giving your money's worth as its not particularly cheap - but it was certainly worth the £7 each! Just make sure you arrive at the time it opens as the tour begins then and lasts the whole time it is open, I believe 2 - 4 pm on weekends and bank holidays, so if you arrive later you could miss a fair bit, although he is happy to go over it all again I think.

Here are some photos I took on a walk this weekend at my parents. How lovely it was to have the sun shining for a little bit.

Last week was my last week of patchwork as I've decided its not really a priority to pay for since I'm not working. I'm still working on a patchwork I'm making out of the fabrics my mum gave me a few months ago. I'm on the quilting now, but doing it by hand due to my dreadful efforts on the Romania quilt which I have still to finish. I have to say I really like working with so many different mediums as you aren't tied down to one project but can pick up whichever one you feel like doing.