Thursday, February 08, 2007

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Stash-busting progress

Using this....

I've been making this....

with a largish hook I made 130 chain and started randomish stripes using dc (double crochet or single crochet if you are from the USA)

I'll keep going till I run out of yarn in these colours. It's a snuggly throw 'cos some of it is fluffy yarn. Just right for cuddling up with one or two others and watching a film on a rainy day.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thought for the day

from Jan Struther, the author of "Mrs Miniver"

" HARD words will break no bones:
But more than bones are broken
By the inescapable stones
Of fond words left unspoken."

Having finished ASH of T in U (see previous posts) I needed to start something quickly so, like a drowning man, I grabbed the nearest object. I suspect that many of you carry out the same good work that I do, I rescue old green Virago books. And so it came to pass that as I was in desperate need , "Try Anything Twice" by Jan Struther lay in reach on a tbr pile on the hall table.

This book is a collection of writings that were published in various places including The New Statesman (where my 2nd son, Greg works), and Punch. If you feel like finding out more, then you can read the whole book online.

This is ideal "train reading" and so I am already halfway through and in very good humour. Who cares if the train is 5 minutes late, it just means that I can get properly started on the next piece and know I will be able to complete it by the time I'm feeding my monthly train pass through the ticket monster. Perhaps the train companies should dole out similar "in transit" books to keep us all smiling. Speaking of going to work by train, I love it most of the time. I have a group of friends that I made because we travel in the same direction at similar times. I even have a lunch date with one of them tomorrow. Mmm can't wait, we're off to Giuliano's in the Apple Market. Pumpkin ravioli here I come.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Good news / bad news ?

The good news is:

Someone loves me enough to send me a book......

BUT the bad news is:
All that arrived was an empty envelope with a huge shark-bite out of it and no contents.

The even BADERER news, as one of my children used to say, is that when I popped down to my local sorting office at the crack of dawn this morning I was told that I would have to phone CUSTOMER SERVICES aaaaghhh!

I wonder if it was this edition?

Oh yes, forgot to tell you - I have finished "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian". If you are in between books at the moment the I can highly recommend it for an entertaining but thought- provoking read.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Ploughing along at full speed now

You will have to forgive me for not posting a pic or anything interesting but I have the final furrow of "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian" in my sights now....

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Children never listen to what you tell them do they? I told my eldest that he was absolutely NOT to buy us anything for Christmas. Financially things are extremely tough for him at the moment even a penny spent is a penny too much. But.... this is how he disobeyed me - see above. Bought in the Christmas German market, a salt and pepper set, in one of my favourite colour combinations., blue and orange.
Group hug everyone... aaaah!

Yes I am still alive

Life, mainly work, has been so hectic recently but I am still here.
Nothing much made recently apart rom several pairs of socks, including a trial toe-up pair and a real toe-up pair. I appreciate that working this way you won't run out of yarn, you can just stop when you don't have any more. The trouble is that I found it required more brain cells per sock.

Meanwhile, I have actually started to read a book this year, see above. So far I'm up to page 80 and thoroughly enjoying it. My mother-in-law married a younger man very soon after she was widowed, though the great age difference was not as big as in "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian". Some of the comments of the two daughters in the book by Marina Lewycka could have been lifted straight from conversations in our family.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


1. If you had an extra hour would you do with it?

2. If you had an extra week what would you do with it?

3. If you had an extra month what would you do with it?

4. If you had an extra year what would you do with it?

The beauty of this experiment is that in the extra time you don't have any responsibilities, commitments etc so you can do what you want, wish, like, dream of ......

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Cosy Times

I'd been wanting to have a felting session every since my Sunday with Dawn down at Dorking with felting queen Gillian Harris. On Saturday I was determined that nothing should get in my way and here is the result. the design is from Gill's new book and despite my husband thinking it is a jellyfish it is actually a cupcake. This has been made as a present for someone and so I can't say any more.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Young and slim is beautiful

Saturday morning brought ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ from DGR in deepest darkest Devon so you can guess what I did next. Yes, large mug of tea in hand, and a refill a bit later, I sat down and read SKELLIG by David Almond, cover to cover. By the end my T-shirt was dripping wet and the box of tissues empty. I must be getting soft in my old age. I don't think I want to read any other books by DA for fear of them not living up to this.

Oh I forgot to say, this is a children's book, whateverthat means.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Let's all play BlogTag

Now that I've confessed my addiction to the utterings of DGR I can happily trail along behind her blog entry for today. She talks about her son receiving a desperately needed autograph from Gary Lineker. My claim to fame is that I am in possession of a hand-written note from poet Laurie Lee.
One wet and windy westish country evening I turned out to the Bath School of Art to attend a poetry reading by Laurie Lee. I was so overcome with his down-to-earthness and the way he had turned a rather grim day into something special that I wrote and told him so, care of his publishers. Can you imagine my ecstasy when this hand-written IN REAL INK reply arrived on my doormat and survived the teeth of our border collie who was partial to paper?

Friday, October 27, 2006

If you can write you can write

I joined the "Woolf for Dummies" class over on writer Susan Hill's blog. I bought the books: two biographies and The Voyage Out to start with but of course, as we all know, having the coloured pens and a nice new ruler doesn't magically mean you can do Maths or Physics or whatever your worst nightmare is. Life is too short. Maybe I will go back to VW, in fact the postman dropped a second-hand copy of Moments of Being through my door yesterday and a cursory glance promises that this will be very readable. So I have been searching around for something to read when I do read, which these days is very little. It's not that I don't WANT to read, in fact I gaze admiringly at the "big girls" who plough through piles of books AND manage to write something interesting, instructional and pleasurable about them.

Top of the list of big girls is DoveGreyReader. Other people can't start the day without a cup of coffee or a cigarette but there is no way I can get on that train to work or do what I should be doing at the weekend without my daily dose of DGR. How she manages it I don't know although she has recently posted hints about her methodology, much of it involving the sensible use of her spouse's talents and her own skill of knowing when NOT to interfer (see her comments about staying well clear of the kitchen when the three men in her life are doing manly breakfastly things).

Oh dear, typically me, I've wondered off the point. Where was I? Talking about what I am reading now, I think. I dipped into Kate Atkinson's Behind the Scenes at the Museum. I haven't actually abandoned it because I am enjoying the way it is written. It alternates between the autobiography of a girl from the moment of her conception, mentions trivial objects in the narrator's life and then procedes to give the backstory of the object. I have a penchant for books that are mainly about women, especially those written in the first person and preferably with nothing TOO nasty in the woodpile. So far An Experiment in Love (see review by Margaret Atwood) is fitting the spec exactly with the added bonus of a touch of convent schools and nuns. Oh my goodness, I'd forgotten about nuns. There are quite a few of us who have a thing about them. What a wonderful blog subject. I feel like going off at a tangent but I must save that for tomorrow or whenever this dilatory blogger gets round to blogging again...

I'm feeling a little like Ronnie Corbett when he sits in his chair at the end of his show and rambles on then gets back to his original point by saying, "anyway, I said to my director..."
I started writing this blog entry because I am so enjoying An Experiment in Love that I thought I would have a look for a review to see what others thought. Up popped Margaret Atwood's review and that's what made me realise that... if you can write you can write!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sunday Never Felt So Good!

Almost half a year since we first met, Dawn and I met up again to play with fibrous stuffs. This time it was at a felt workshop with Gillian Gladrag (alias Gillian Harris).

Her home is a wondrous Aladdin's Cave of colourful arty stuff. No details here. I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise in case you decide to take part in one of her classes. No more than five in a group and lunch provided. Who needs afternoon tea at the Ritz? Who needs a weekend at a spa retreat? This is the stuff for stressed-out souls. Fluffy, soapy colour therapy.

Arranged around the soap dish and small pieces of merino fleece tops are the five items made by the five of us who eagerly lapped up Gillian's expertise, enthusiasm and tea-making skills.

For those of you who know Dawn and me, can you guess which are our works of art?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Middle Ages Are Over

Phew! Bed just after 3 am on Friday morning having finished the medieval costume. It was due to be worn last night (Saturday) at a medieval banquet so I hope it was fit for purpose. We had no internet connection here for almost 36 hours. I have no nails and I am bald. Well what else is there to do other than biting nails and pulling hair out when you are disconnected from the world? So, no connection and I couldn't go out as the engineer was due to drop in "anytime".

Ta da! I did some more weaving on my rigid heddle loom (pic to follow). Now, you know those instructional books that have diagrams/photos of what NOT to do. Well, that's what my weaving looks like. Having said that I am still very pleased and know in my heart that I am unlikely to progress much. I am just too impatient but it does keep me out of mischief.

I have learnt several things from this project. It is very important what you choose for your warp. I should NEVER have used that slubby very fragile red yarn, especially not at the edges of the warp. No matter. My "thing" is all mine apart from some input from offspring Greg when I aked "what colour shall I weave next?"

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Just left port

Almost reached the 100 page mark in THE VOYAGE OUT (page 93) but not yet steaming along comfortably. I have yet to get my sea legs. I couldn't read on the train as I was lucky enough to bump into one of "train friends" and chatted with her for the 12 minutes train ride. However, I did catch up as I very stupidly left all my keys at home and so had to wait on the station till middle offspring's (Greg) train came.
So why didn't I do some reading last night? Well I had this medieval dress to make... don't even mention the word tension to me! Those of you who are possessed by a sewing machine will understand. Anyway before I could get on with that I had to be a guinea pig. That elderly wise crone, Ann of Corfe, now has a walking, talking webcam and just had to try it out. Yes, it works and I was able to see the result of Ann of Corfe's magical powers. She spins yarns about being a hair's breadth away from owning a bus pass BUT she looks to me as though she has only just moved up to "big school". As the woman in "When Harry Met Sally" says "I'll have what she's having"!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

I need to catch up

with the rest of the class. I decided to join Susan Hill's WOOLF FOR DUMMIES autumn class.
This involves reading chapters of the Lyndall Gordon biography together with selected VW books. So far I'm still on Chapter 1 of "The Voyage Out".

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Lazy Blogger

I can't believe it. I knew I hadn't blogged for a while but my last entry was on 1st September. Why don't I blog? Because I am too busy reading DoveGreyReader and Susan Hill. And of course once I have read their daily offerings I feel that anything I upload will not be worth bothering with. What these writers have in common is that they open our eyes and minds to the world of literature and also,as a bonus, life in the country.

DGR is "only" a gifted amateur, or rather was, as those in the world of books have been sensible enough to make use of her obvious talents. You can read more about DGR on Norman Geras' blog. Susan Hill has achieved a wider audience out in the "normal" world by having written (and had published) many books. Some of these are "ordinary" novels, "I'm the King of the Castle" has been used as a GCSE set book for many years and has mainly been the cause of SH's overflowing inbox. She is also the creator of detective Simon Seraillier, with who I have yet to become acquainted. On top of this she wrote "The Woman in Black" which was adapted for the stage by Stephen Mallatrat and has been running in the London West End for 17 years.

This morning, following my usual ritual, I read DGR (she will always be my first love) followed by SH. SH is fond of throwing out lines of prose or poetry and challenging her readers to identify them. She knows that someone will catch them and today Walter J Essex obliged by identifying 'the idle hill of summer.' as a line from A. E Housman's, A Shropshire Lad.

Having read my two favourite blogs I usually spend the rest of the day following up on subjects they have discussed and going over off on about twenty different tangents. This morning my roamings led me to the website of The Poetry Society whose home was always on the top floor of the Royal Festival Hall. Due to extensive renovations of this building which dates from the 1950s the Poetry Library has been closed for some time but when it reopens in 2007 I urge you to pop in.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Readers Imbibing Peril (R.I.P.) Autumn Challenge

I've decided to join in this spooky reading challenge which involves reading 5 books that
that "meet the very open, broad criteria of being scary, eerie, moody, dripping with atmosphere, gothic, unsettling, etc. and vow to read them."

I haven't quite settled on my list but so far it will be:

1. The Haunted Woman (1922) - David Lindsay
2. The Castle of Otranto (1765 ) - Horace Walpole

Watch this space!

Friday, August 18, 2006

What is the difference between a bicycle and a picture?

So what is the difference between a bicycle left outside a house and a picture on a webpage? This has been worrying me some time. I work for a company that provides images for books, newspapers,magazines, company reports, TV stills, adverts etc etc in fact anyone who wants pictures of our specialist areas comes to us, negotiates a Licence fee for the use of that image in a particular way. We take some of the money for overheads ands admin(including my salary) and a sizeble chunk goes to the creator of that image, the photographer. The copyright of the image belongs to the photographer and we just market the temporary, limited use of it to our clients in exchange for the licence fee.
Now if I leave my bike outside my house and an unkind person removes it I can involve the police who can pursue the "borrower", charge them and there is a possibilty that the bicycle thief will be convicted. Even if the bike is returned I suspect that they could still be charged. We all know the thief shouldn't have removed my bike and of course we never even consider committing such a crime.

So, I repeat, what is the difference between a bicycle and an image on a website. That image belongs to the photographer. His livelihood, his mortgage, the food in the mouths of his children all depend on him having some return for his work. So why do we all consider it fine to "borrow" images from wherever we find them and put them on our blogs?

I know why we do it. Every morning as soon as my eyes open, I log onto the computer while the kettle is still boiling and can't wait to see what my No. 1 blogger has written about. Not only does she write, she provides me with all sorts of interesting info and images. Sometimes she writes about things she has made and delights us with her very able images of these crafts. Sometimes she goes for a walk with her camera and shares what she has seen. She also informs us about the happenings in her area and ably illustrates what she writes with well-researched pictures. And everyone I know grabs an image of the bookcover when they write about a recent read that they have enjoyed.

We are slowly being educated to understand that we must pay licence fees for software. We know that we shouldn't download music without paying for it, because just as photographers need to live, so do musicians and song-writers.

So why is it OK for us to "borrow" pictures? Or is it?

[Note: This is not a personal attack on any particular blogger just the ramblings of another intermittent blogger who tries to steer clear of using the images of others but isn't always successful]

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I'm warped!

Finally I've warped my 80 cm rigid heddle loom more or less properly.
I think that much as I yearn to be a weaver I am probably not meant to to be one. I'm definitely a freeform person and with weaving you have to be precise.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Invaders repelled

I've decided to go for the scorched earth policy where my front garden is concerned.
The reason for this is what I think is Geranium macrorrhizum with the common name of Bigroot Geranium. This is not the showy bright red lollipop flower that gets bunged into pots in Mediterranean lands this is the perennial geranium that is related, I think, to the cranesbill family.

If I tell you that the blurb about this plant suggests ...

Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, virtually every bit of a divided plant, whether it has roots or not, will grow away and produce roots then I think you will understand how I have been fighting a running battle for the past few years.

I am definitely one of those people who advocates a "natural" looking garden if that means that I can look at it and have to do absolutely nothing. However, this thing has been threatening to cover the car, the house, hubby, rabbit and me and all in about the blink of an eye. Our front garden is mainly "crazy paving". There are borders around the edge of the pocket handerkerchief-sized patch garden and what the previous encumbent called her "flower basket". I have to confess that my mother and I succeeded in demolishing the handle of that monstrosity within a couple of years of us moving here. It is now just a circular bed in the middle.

Here are a few more pics to show you what I have done in my onslaught and what is still left to do.

Friday, August 04, 2006

I've not been turned to stone....

I just seem to have been so busy. Grabbing a few moments here and there on the train to and from work I have managed to read two books by Canadian author Margaret Laurence.
Both books are from her Manawaka series, the first being JEST OF GOD which could be included in my collection of "spinster" reads. The most recent is STONE ANGEL, the life of Hagar told by Hagar herself. We flit seamlessly backwards and forwards in time just as the memory does.

Monday, June 26, 2006

New Pic on the Blog

Courtesy of a colleague at work, she who is sometime known as "La La Lady" and other times as "Pumpkin", I have a portrait.

I absolutely L O V E IT but I'm not sure if she is trying to tell me that I need a ... doctor or a hairdresser!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Some of My Best Friends are Jewish

Way, way back in the Middle Ages, before marriage, children and all that, I was an au pair. I know what you are thinking, but as you can see from the pic in my profile, as well as not being Swedish, I am definitely not blonde. I lived for a while in Geneva, Switzerland with an Indian Muslim family but that, as they say, is another story. What I am getting around to telling you is that when you are away from home and homeland, you pine for certain things. I'm a lover, not hater of Marmite, so that was near the top of the list. Strange though it may seem, living in the land of cuckoo clocks, cheese and creamy Swiss chocolat, I missed a nice strong Cheddar cheese and Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate, oh yes, and English books.

If you can remember back to the beginning of my ramblings you will have noted that I lived in Geneva. It was really quite difficult to find a genuine Swiss person where I lived close the UN, the ILO, GATT and all those other acronyms. Diplomats from around the globe huddled together in international enclaves and the working people of Geneva provided this elite with their every need. A brief stroll away there was a tabac that did a roaring trade in The Daily Telegraph, International Herald Tribune and ENGLISH BOOKS!!!!

Bear in mind that this was the mid to late 70s and Mr Waterstone probably hadn't even been born, or was still in short trousers, so there wasn't a three-for-two deal to be seen or the delight of a rummage in a Book Barn. Instead there was one tall twirly rack outside the tabac so my selection of English reading was predetermined. On one occasion my withdrawal systems were so severe that I decided to part with a large proportion of my miserable monthly francs. Foreign books in the town with the second highest cost of living in the world didn't come cheap but sometimes a biblioholic has to buy what a biblioholic has to buy. An orange spine and the penguin seal of approval suggested a reasonably safe choice so I skipped home with MY NAME IS ASHER LEV by Chaim Potok. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. As I said, "some of my best friends books are Jewish".

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Another one bites the dust? Not yet.

A touch of deja vu? Through the door just before six. Slim puffy white envelope lying on the floor. Ripping of aforementioned envelope reveals COSMETIQUE DE L'ENNEMI par Amelie Nothomb.
At one hundred and twenty pages this again is a very light read, so why haven't I finished it yet? Well this book hasn't yet been translated into English and so I am reading it in the version originale, in FRENCH!!! Mon Dieu!

So, I'm sure you will excuse me for only getting as far as page 30. As well as physically taking me longer to read it also requires the brain to work much harder and it is not as easy to filter out the normal sounds of family living. I could have carried on reading all night but it was the final episode of "Desperate Housewives" and I signed on the dotted line weeks ago to promise that I would watch every episode with the youngest offspring, snuggled up on the sofa together.

I'm not sure if I will try to read any pages on the train this morning. It could be disastrous. If I became too engrossed I could miss my station and find myself up in London with the grown-ups!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Small is Beautiful

Who cares if the family starve? Not me.

I walked through the front door just before 6pm. Waiting on the doormat was one of those puffy white envelopes ..... containing another book by Ms Northomb. Just one hundred and seven pages of irresistable, un-put-downable reading. Thankfully for the health and welfare of my family by 7.10 I had finished reading ANTICHRISTA. How can a non-entity become more of a non-entity? How can those who should love and value you more than anyone else turn instead to someone else? What can be more painful than being sixteen and having no friends. Read ANTICHRISTA to find out.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

LAB (London Architecture Biennale)

I'd like to pretend that it was my intellectual side that made me suggest to the youngest offspring that we hop on a train up to London town and visit part of the LONDON ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE. However, I must come clean and confess that it was actually the lure of sheep, in this case, Herdwick sheep from Cumbria and ........ knitting.

The two young architects shown knitting are JENNY WYNESS & ERICA CALOGERO, part of the team that envisaged and realised this project. More information can be found at and from
They are keen to cooperate with other groups and maybe even more into crochet as well. I asked their permission to put their photos on here (something we should all remember to do).

Friday, June 16, 2006

It's been a long time ...

since I read a whole book in one day. It's not quite 3pm and I've just finished page 126 of THE BOOK OF PROPER NAMES
The book had something in common with both THE ILLUSTRATED MUM by Jacqueline Wilson and THE TRAVELLING HORNPLAYER by Barbara Trapido. I can't really explain, that something in common is intangible, just a feeling or a flavour. Delight tinged with sadness. Fantasy / tragedy. You'll just have to read all three to see if you agree with me.

And finally a brain teaser, along the lines of those posed in the "Round Britain Quiz" that used to be broadcast on Radio 4 and probably on the "Home Programme" before that:
What is the connection between writers Amelie Nothomb & John Steinbeck? I warn you, it's a very tentative link because as anyone who knows me will tell you, I'm a devious character.

The Postman Never Rings Twice

He never even knocks once so I just have to be alert for thudding noises or, more often than not, wait till I get home from work and hope that any packages left on my doorstep don't decide to wander off with a passerby.

I digress.... this morning THE BOOK OF PROPER NAMES by Amelie Northomb arrived. You know some rich and famous people have personal shoppers, well I have something better than that ... I have a personal book advisor. She is DOVEGREYREADER who works her subliminal charms upon me. Years ago I always had my head in a book, or two, or three but now whether it is the pressure of work, family life, old age, the call of fibre or my addiction to online groups and blogs I hardly seem to read at all. When I do read, however, it is quite often something that DGR has floated into my brain. She is responsible for my current book THE AWAKENING by Kate Chopin and of course my decision to dip my toe into the waters of Amelie Nothomb. Not that it is all one-sided. I do credit myself with introducing her to the delights of the American Jewish author, Chaim Potok and if anyone reading this has not encountered him then I urge you to seek him out soon.

Meanwhile, back with Mlle Nothomb's book. I couldn't resist starting and I have already read 3 pages. It is such a slim volume and so easy to read that I suspect I may allow Ms Chopin's book to slumber a while till THE BOOK OF PROPER NAMES (originally published in French as ROBERT DES NOMS PROPRES) is devoured.

In an interview,in French, Amelie Northumb says "Je pense que si je peux amener les gens à lire, c'est la plus belle mission que je pourrais avoir sur terre." Loosely translated: I think that if I am able to lead people to reading then it is the best thing that I can do on this earth.

Art Show

It's Art Show time of year, this time at my daughter's school. The pieces shown above are a 3D portrait and a sculpture reflecting on war and conflict in modern times.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

SPINSTER with a key

Three books ago I was reading SPINSTER by Sylvia Ashton Warner. (see link in column on right)

Written in 1958 (the year after I was born)it is the fictional account of a teacher who recognising that each person has their own personal key vocabulary is able to reach the Maori children in her school who previously had been dismissed as slow learners.

The book is based on Ashton Warnner's own career as a teacher in New Zealand and the reading scheme described is her own highly successful method of teaching reading for which she became internationally known.

As well as fiction, she wrote two autobiographies, had a biography written about her and a film made about her life in 1986.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Warpy-wefty flower

As usual I start with a disaster. I warped up my newly acquired rigid heddle loom but stupidly I used my own-dyed, own-spun unplyed yarn for the warp. Not strong enough so calamity ensued .... warp and wefty bits surgically removed and confined to the furies of FreeForm.....

Thursday, May 18, 2006

By public demand - More about the SHIBORI FELTING

Oh OK then, by Dawn rather than public demand .....
The original "fabric" was very loose knitted with fine (4 ply / fingering?) Shetland wool.
It was 3 times the width it ended up.

loosely knitted wool (NOT superwash) "fabric"
glass nuggetty things that you use in flower vases (mine were blue) or I believe pebbles / coins can be used
cling film / saran wrap cut into squares about 3 times the size of your nugetty things
rubber/elastic bands

Hold a glass thingy UNDER the fabric
grab it from the TOP
place cling film over top of fabric above glass thingy
wrap elastic band around cling film & fabric combined to trap glass nugget

repeat with more nuggetts + cling film + elastic bands probably in a RANDOW arrangement
to suit your eye

Put (now heavy) fabric in a net bag used for washing delicates or an old pillowcase (probably need to roughly sew this closed)
Put in washing with a small amount of washing powder & put through a washing cycle.
I put mine on 60deg - this may have been too long. 40deg quick cycle MAY have been better.

If you have a top-loader then of course you can open the machine and check progress.

When it came out of the washing machine it looked amazing. The edges of the cling film had been ripped during washing and was like thin pieces of ribbon floating from the "bubbles". Some of the cling film overthe top of teh bubbles had worn through and the blue glass was glinting like bright blue eyes.

AND THEN I REALISED ...... the nuggets were trapped!!! How on earth was I going to release them?
In a couple of places I had put a group of 5 or 6 nuggets all cuddled up together to make a giant bubble. I gently poked a small hole from THE BACK of the scarf and helped these to escape. With most of the small bubbles, I could encourage them to escape through the loose knitted wool fabric. I had to cut a tiny bit to allow a few of them to escape...

I wonder what the correct way of getting these out is? ...... or did I imprison them too securely?

Dawn wanted to see the "bubbles" more closely. Apologies for blurry pics - i think I was a little TOO close.

Sat-Prudence Mapstone Freeform Workshop & Sun- Shibori felt at home

On Saturday I managed to finally get myself to the other side of: Heathrow Airport, the M25 the M4. Now that doesn't sound like much of an achievement but haven't you ever tried to just "be" on the other side of a BIG GROWNUP ROAD and the whole universe seems to conspire against you?
I must have been on Level 7 of this computer game called Life because I had to contend with three obtacles at once. Anyway, I managed it and only arrived at the Church Hall in Iver, Bucks two minutes late.
Now I did meet Prudence briefly at Ally Pally 2005 but she was rushed off her feet with the usual mixture of groupies and neophytes buzzing around and drooling over her garments AND the new book. This time I was attending her workshop and then went on to have dinner with her in the evening.
Now on to my main reason for attending the workshop - MEETING MEL!!! I have exchanged emails with Mel G from Connecticut in the past and she generously sent me a huge package of info about "Tossed Salad" knitting & crochet and how to make a Ruana shaped garment. She is known thoughout the Freeform world for her vast knowledge of textile books and articles, especially FF.
Surprise, surprise she was dressed in her favourite colours of eggplant, as she calls it or aubergine as those on this side of the pond refer to it. I also met two people from the UK Handknitters group, Sue & Dawn. Sue dashed off to Australia on business as soon as the workshop finished but I was stuck with Dawn (& Mel and Prudence) till gone 10 o'clock at night! Dawn and I have since exchanged a flood of emails and I think we will have difficulty getting rid of each other!
Oh yes - workshop was arranged by Tracy & Jo of Taj Crafts They are lovely people and their shop is well worth a visit. I challenge you to go into their shop and come out empty-handed!!

There was another follow-on workshop on Sunday but I thought that I had better not neglect the family two days in a row but that didn't mean I had to be a martyr to family life. In between the washing and feeding and "being there" for people I had a go at SHIBORI FELTING ..... and made this

Friday, May 12, 2006

Watch this space....

Last weekend I bought a 2nd hand Ashford 800mm (32 in) rigid heddle loom.

Tomorrow (Saturday) I'm doing a Freeform workshop with Prudence Mapstone and Mel Gill from the FF Crochet group. (PM is over from AUS & MG is over from the USA)