Thursday, July 29, 2010

29 July: A Wednesday Walk

Another in the occasional series of walks - this one was in Weardale, starting from Wolsingham. The route took in Tunstall Reservoir, seen here to the right of the dam -

The water level had been low for long enough that plants had grown round the overflow area -

The weather was fairly kind, just a few drops of rain (the magic overtrousers needed only to be carried); we had an excellent picnic lunch, eaten as we sat on rocks and contemplated the rain clouds at the bottom end of the dale; and the route provided plenty of interest and a few challenges, as well as wonderful views.

We returned to tea and birthday cake, a good hot soak and a lie down.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

27 July: Holiday socks

Socks are a good project to take away on holiday - simple, portable, and small. Here are 2 pairs from our recent trips, finished at home-

For my Dear Husband, absolutely plain and in manly colours from the Yarn Yard, bought at the Woolfest, these socks replace some older ones which are now past it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

24 July: Catching up

Recent projects have mostly been rather uninteresting to photograph - spinning fleece mostly, but there have been a few small items now rounded up into a picture -

There are some inkle bands - two narrow ones done on the old loom, and the green/blue one done on the new moon loom. The ball of off-white yarn is spun from an Estonian batt from Wingham at Woolfest (I spun that one evening when bored with Le Tour), the dull purple sock yarn is from the Yarn Yard - a plain sock in progress for my Dear Husband - and the beaded row counters were made very quickly, after seeing something about them on Ravelry, and finding the instructions on eHow; I tried out various wooden and glass beads, and several different types of yarn.

Then yesterday I was reorganising my archery stuff, and decided to make a cloth bag for my recurve bow, so that I can carry it in one piece, rather than keep on taking it to bits and re-assembling it every time I use it. The piece of fabric in the box that was large enough also happens to be bright red, and made of microfibre. It is, therefore, very tough. It had also been in the fabric box for about 25 years, since I bought it in Peterlee when I was working over there.

Anyway, last time the sewing machine was used, there was a problem with the tension, so I decided to sew this by hand. It was hard work, but at least there's the feeling that it's done satisfactorily.The tie is a narrow inkle band, originally an experiment for shoelaces, but I failed to get the ends narrow enough to thread them through the lace-holes. Still, it's just right for this purpose!

One and a half fleeces have been spun, and some of the resulting yarn has been woven and is now waiting to be made up into the planned bags - more experiments.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

14 July: Summer in the city

Our recent short trip Down South included a glorious walk in the Weald (the clegs down there bite just as hard as up here), a visit to Penshurst Place, and on the hottest day of the year, a trip into London to see the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy.

While many of the exhibits left me thinking of the Emperor's New Clothes, there were a couple of dozen I actually liked, and even one or two I might have been able to stand on the walls at home - if the walls were big enough, that is. Many of the pictures were enormous. So were many prices.

I was intrigued to see that nearly all the artists, who evidently strive to be individual in their work, are completely uniform in the rectangular format; the few non-rectangular pieces were generally much more interesting.

As well as paintings and sculptures/assemblages, there were books (interesting) and architectural models (mostly very boring); and photographs, mostly interesting, though personally I found it slightly irritating that David Hockney didn't stand in exactly the same place every time he photographed The Twenty Five Trees etc.

Of course, with so many items to display, not all of them get a good position - two of my favourites were quite difficult to see properly - one was a huge collage of Babel Towers, which was partly obscured by a gigantic gorilla made of coat hangers, and another was a photo of a Northumberland Beach, which was high up above the end of a wall where a film was being projected.

I was able to knit on the train home yesterday, getting part way up the leg of the second of a pair of socks for my Dear Husband. Now I must get back to the fleece that was being spun before our trip; 6 skeins done already and 2 or 3 more to do.

Monday, July 05, 2010

5 July: The new inkle loom

Last night it had to be done - try out the new inkle loom, made by Michael Williams and collected from the Woolfest.

The yarn is a ball of merino/tencel sock yarn from the stash which will never be socks, and which will probably make a very nice little woven pouch. There are 71 warp threads , and plenty of width left for a wider band. Not all the pegs are used for this band.

I find it's a bit high to work at when it's on the table, but it will fit on my lap, resting against the table at the back, and that is very comfortable. The warp is moved on quite easily; the shed is not as wide (high?) as on my Ashford inkle loom, but I expect I'll get used to that.

So now there's a weaving project started, as well as 2 knitting projects, and a Hebridean fleece partly spun. And Le Tour has started. What a good thing I don't have to go out to work any more!