Monday, 19 November 2012

Chatter from the Workbox

I have had a monday morning moan over at DyeVerse.org if anybody is interested – things are though on the up….  Stay here if you want to read about my ponderings on craft. 

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Here’s a photo of the workshop over at Coldharbour Mill. I am sharing it here, because it looks all festive now the dark nights have taken hold.

I am pleased to report that some felting is underway again…

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Not sure what this is going to be.. or even if it has a purpose.  It exists purely because I was lonely, cold and sad last week.  I needed something to warm up body and spirit, and felting certainly does that !!

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It developed with the assistance of some glorious jewelled locks of Wensleydale supplied by Skeins from the Fibreholics sample bags. 

It has a gauze backing and so far I have only felted the edge, which creates a pleasing stained-glass effect when I offer it up to the window (well it would if it wasn’t raining and squally outside at the moment !!)

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I didn’t like it at all when I finished, as it was heavy, dark and dense – all the symptoms of over-rigorous felting which has sort of destroyed the light effect of the wispy rovings.  But now it has dried out, especially with the overflow of gauze backing left on it sort of reminds me of a Miss Faversham – bridal vibe…

I think I shall revisit this and add a little more felt and general texture further up.  I also have some fabulous notions from Carolyn Saxby of Love Stitching Red. 

These are handcrafted Tyvek in some beautiful colourways which compliment the colours of the project.  

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I bought them to make some Art Yarns with, but when I offer them up to my felting, they blend and compliment, so may well use them by embroidering them on – or even art yarn felted in – don’t know yet…

As they are incredibly light – they will compliment most things.. I am going to have to watch myself though, I could get addicted to just enjoying these in their own right, like my fibre…

I am, as always, knitting…..

but importantly now I have decided that I am going to freeze to death this winter if I don’t do something about my legs.  Socks and blankets are not good enough.  Socks are only one layer – blankets good, but they fall down around my legs and don’t stay put when I am painting or sitting in the back of the van. 

I am sat writing this blog post and my upper body is super toasty but the draft around my legs, despite having layers on, is very uncomfortable (the joys of a summer cottage in winter !)

I need another, more substantial layer…

Tubular Blanket Pattern

So here is my rough workings.  I seem to recall my mum knitting something like this that I wore to school as a skirt when I roughed it out (thank you Mr Moon, calling me fatty – you were the reason I didn’t go to school for more than a year after that…my mum was furious…not about me being called fatty but about you taking the piddle about her knitting !!!). 

But the idea sort of developed from the lap blankets that horse carriage drivers wear, and something in my distant memory about an outfit I had to wear when riding side saddle.  When I got off the horse I would trip up unless I tucked it in somehow (can’t remember).  So I can see adaptions developing and some additions of some soft leather to provide a “lap”. 

I have skeins and skeins in my stash of Fibreholics’ samples.  I am intending to weave a very good friend a luscious shawl, but best intentions and all of that.  So I think I will use these samples to create a random fabric – no shortage as they are on box 19 now I think. 

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Best get on with this, sooner rather than later, then I can continue enjoying and painting such super scenes as this (Instow, Devon – this weekend) in comfort and warmth.

The spinning wheel (or rather both of them and the drop spindle) have now been brought back into action.  I can justify spending the time producing more now, that I have emptied my stash a little. 

I am spinning some rovings produced by Wingham Wool Work.  I have a delicate mint blended colour with 76 merino and silk, and a blues and dark brown in just the merino.  There is a Kilo of one, and haven’t got a clue how much the other is.  I just grabbed a bag when they visited Devon earlier in the year. 

People ask why I spin commercially prepared dyed roving when I have so much of my own.  It is because it is “easy” on the mind.  My stuff is in short batches and no sooner do I get stuck in, it is finished, so I have to make decisions about what next.   My choice I know… I could make larger batches quite easily, but at the moment life is difficult enough without having to hang around waiting for wet fibre to dry. 

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Also when something is as beautiful as this – does it matter who created the colour way and put all the hard work in to prepare it?  I couldn’t by the wool in the shop, so it is worth my time to spin it, and it is considerably cheaper. 

On the spindle I have some camel and merino dyed by Amanda of Mandacrafts  .  It is in the Victorian Velvet colourway which I have spun before in Falklands Wool – lovely, dark, deep and sumptuous.  I will probably knit a cowl with it, as I have 200g, more than I usually spin on a spindle. 

I wanted a portable project that I could lose myself in and I am certainly doing that…

And what are you up to?

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