Saturday, March 17, 2007

Dangerous new hobby ....

Apologies for the delay in the post, Wednesday is my blog night, because of tv, home work, study, and other stuff - but last week I took Toby to a classsical guitar concert on wednesday. Music from South america, at the local art gallery. The audience numbered a whole 3.5 people, and 96 empty chairs, Toby being only 7 was the half person. Toby has signed himself up for guitar lessons, rented the guitar and been practicing, so i thought it important to encourage in some way. It was good, but a tad 'focussed' being one of 3 adults in the audience, Toby clapped with wild abandon after every set, which I was a little suspicious was hammed up and in part pleasure that the artist had stopped playing. He also kept annoucing that he also played guitar but mum wouldnt let him bring it, He knows 2 notes E and A - I didn't think he was ready for play in public.

Thursday evening went on my parent of a school child obligations to be part of the school fair committee, and friday we had drinks after work to kind of open the new building, and saturday my dad was here for the weekend, which was a surprise and nixed the activity of knitting and ignoring the world for the night.

Chris's regia socks are progressing, onto the final leg section of the 2nd sock. I stuffed up the stripe matching, being a grey stripe ahead of where i should have been so they dont match exactly - but who looks at 50 years olds feet in hand knit socks and mentions the mismatch pattern of stripes by 0.5 cm?

Fish - count is now a school of 73 I think, but I do need to reconcile my calculated count with formal stock take of actual fish in the drawer. I am nearly out of left over sock yarn, but I realise I need many many more in goldfish orange and white to balance the whole thing if i do in fact plan a chequer board effect. Some how I have a number of 100 in my head, a blanket of 10 x 10 - so will see how that works out size wise in the next few weeks.

I dragged the sewing machine out this morning and worked on two projects. Dragged as it lives on the lowest level of a hall closet and needs to be set up on the dining room table. How I wish I had a sewing room, where things were always set up. I could go to work to use the equipment in the production rooms, but that just invites students to ask questions, and when I work/play there in the weekends I spend more time as teacher than working on my own projects. I love my job, but 7 days a week, no way.

First project was modifications to an Indian Lengha outfit. My 4 and half year old daughter, Poppy, attended Indian dance lessons last term through her Montessori school. She is blond and blue eyed, and loved it - Bollywood here we come. A workmate returned to India over the Chrismas new year break and I asked if she spotted a cheap Indian costume if she could buy one. She did, white and gold, a bodice, a lace up vest, and the skirt and pants (joined into a single waistband) - all heavily embroidered on the front in gold and pearls. The length was perfect, but the waist was tiny, about 4 inches to small - and my girl is tall and thin in comparison to some of her classmates, those indian genetics must make for super thin childen. Luckily the skirt/pants were constructed with two huge 2 inch pleats in the front, which just needed releasing. I was able to purchase exactly the right colour matching georgette polyester (eeegh shudder shudder - my fibre snobbery raises its ugly head) in the local budget craft fabric shop (- Spotlight) to cut a new waistband. I love the theatical ness of the outfit, all the embroidery is on the front, none at all on the back - you know - because - well its only the front that people see ?

2nd project was a gathered skirt in teal blue crinkle cotton with a silver stripe for Poppy - construction time was less than an hour, more like 30 mins. Cost was $2 NZ, the fabric was on the $2pm table at spotlight, and I used thread and elastic I already had - No pattern, two side seams using the selvedge, narrow hem, and elastic casing at the waist. Poppy calls it her 'swooshy' skirt, made for dancing.

and the new hobby i am trying out - weaving. I have been noticing the adverts and podcast reviews of the ashford knitters loom, and I remembered there were several table looms at work just abandoned. We don't teach that any more - a tad crafty and not very current fashion. Although a student wove tarten wool fabric strips into a new tarten fabric a few years ago and made kilts which were so punk and frayed and just plain amazing, she teamed them with leather jackets she also made and long, black and laddered textured knitted garments (on a domestic knit machine - but I still swooned).

So I borrowed a loom, a fixed heddle ashford table loom that must be over 15 years old. I contacted Ashford - who are based near my Dads house, and they sent me an old how to instruction book in full colour photos. I warped it up last weekend and wove. At first I was tastefull and used pale grey, white and beige yarn, then after a while those images of knitters weaving with 'fancy' yarns got to me and I introduced a forgotten feathers yarn from the depths of my small stash. I convinced myself that no one expects a knitters first project to be really beautiful and useful, so why should my weaving be? Do I like weaving, yes, do I want to weave, Yes, can it replace knitting No. Did i like weaving with feathers yarn - no no no no no, nore did I like knitting with it which is the reason it is in my stash.

Why weaving is fun but is not yet going to replace knitting in my life,
  1. I can't do it on the couch while watching tv
  2. I have to sit upright at the table and cant curl up (simillar to 1. but slightly different)
  3. takes more set up time, and so planning, no cast on and go aspect
  4. not sure i like the result, what do I do with meters of hand woven fabric without looking like an alternaltive hand woven, hand spun, hippie?
I also discovered that cotton yarn is as fiddly to weave with as it is to knit with, slippery, and with no stretch or memory. Still I think i will buy the loom from work, they don't use them, and I would like to have this as an option in my 'craft arsonal'.

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