Friday, May 28, 2010

28 May: Bike race

Yesterday evening we went into Durham to see the bike race. It was a short circuit of about a mile, with 10 teams of five riders hurtling round for over an hour.

Many people were watching by the nasty corner at the bottom of South Street -

- with a backdrop of the Castle.

At the top of the steep part, none of the riders were looking to their left, at the Cathedral across the river.

On the other side of the circuit, there were fewer spectators, but just as many barriers. This was the leading group, who lapped lots of the slower riders.

There were more crowds along the finish straight, by Durham School, although the PA was deafening.

The oldest rider won; if you want to see it all, it's on ITV4 tonight (Friday).

Monday, May 17, 2010

17 May: More knitting and weaving

This neckwarmer is knitted in a stitch shown to me by a fellow Guild member - but her instructions were in French, and it took a while to identify the same stitch with English instructions.

The yarn is handspun and home-dyed BFL, and both stitch and yarn are very good for a thick soft yummy scarf.

Back to the inkles. These two are plain weave, but with varied yarns. The broad one is some multi-colour scraps of merino, and the narrow one is Suffolk and BFL.

Two more pick-up patterns. It's a bit annoying to find a small mistake in the weaving on practically every band, but I suppose few of us are actually perfect....

Saturday, May 08, 2010

8 May: Playing with patterns

Pattern + colour = great fun.

Next in the exploration of woven bands is this double chevron one -

woven in handspun Shetland yarns, 2 inches wide.

Then there's these 2 zigzag ones, different colour combinations but the same pattern -

Handspun yarns again, each band is an inch and a quarter wide. Both sides of all the bands are shown - the patterns are reversed on the back.

This next one, though only an inch and a half wide, needed a lot of threads, and the finest yarn in the stash is mill-spun. When used together with handspun, they seem to snag against each other - anyway, the weaving was "sticky", and the shed had to be coaxed open all the way along (including acres of unpicking and re-weaving.....);

but it's turned out very well, and the two small mistakes in the weaving aren't noticeable on the front. (It was only as the wrong side passed along under the loom that they became apparent - much too late to unpick.)

And then a first attempt at putting different patterns together - as a bit of light relief after the last one, they are all very easy patterns.

This one's got some sock yarn (home-dyed) along with the handspun Shetland and Black Wensleydale yarns, and it's an inch and a half wide. The photo doesn't show clearly that the striped border is yellow and brown, while the spotted border is green and brown.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

5 May: Broken specs

This morning, as I sat down to browse the Interweb, I took my specs off - not needed for the computer - and they fell apart.

It looked as if the metal prongs holding the soft bit that goes over my nose had snapped away from the frame. I found my spare pair and wore them all day, thinking I would have to go and buy some new frames - an expense I wasn't planning on this month.

Then just now, when I'd hunted about and found my last prescription, I had another look at the broken specs, through the lenses of the spare pair, and spotted that there were tiny screws in the soft-bit-that-goes-over-my nose. The screws had simply come unscrewed! Half a minute with a tiny screwdriver, and I've just saved myself a few hundred pounds! I think I'll go and order some Shetland tops instead.