Tuesday, June 30, 2009

done and distracted, and new toys...

Clogs II are done, so I have what feels like the essential Yo-yo with new completed project photo. I've been fishing, in a knitterly sense, so there are now many more fish. And gifts, there have been some gifts arrive, and while it seems cruel to show when I can not share ... I've been enjoying touching and squeezing the yarn and looking forward to making .. so I just have to share with good heart. Lastly, a new book (or two), and if you are not already listerning ... then I highly recommend you listen to at least this one podcast.

So I now have new felted and fitted clogs. These started at over 13" long from toe to heel, and are now just under 10" long, and they fit. The felting started with a plunger and a bucket (on good advice from some one who was perhaps fitter with larger biceps?) and finished with 3 hot sudsy washes in the washing machine.

They replace my now 2 year and 1 month old clogs .. which started by being knitted from white yarn with a brown sole, but were dyed ruby before use. Obviously dying felted, or fulled :-), knitting is harder than dying loose fiber, or fluffy light yarn. You can see how the dye has worn away although I am at a loss to explain how it is so worn over the instep. I could claim that this was a result of excessive tidying up after my cubs .. but those who know me and my house would protest that can't ring true. These have grown with 2 years of near constant wear, and I do feel inclined to send them thru a tighten-up hot sudsy wash, to see what happens, and perhaps a soak in a dye bath?

So with Bayerische being disrupted by the clogs, and needing something that was an easy knit and yet not another new project .... I have returned to fishing, or fish knitting, or to be most accurate, knitting sardines from sock yarn for my slow food inspired fish blanket.

I now have 151 fish, 91 stitched into the blanket. and 50 ready and waiting. I am trying to keep more of a record of what colours of fish I have, needing to balance the balance of white and orange with all the other colours. The second fish image shows the folded fish blanket surrounded in the drawer with odds and ends of sock yarn, from various knitted sock projects. I have dreams or plans of knitting a fish a day, or 5 fish a week ... but then weeks go buy and no fish.

This yummy and interesting fiber is .....Navajo Churro, direct from a reservation via Jocelyn in California. We swap interesting spinning and knitting treats at odd intervals. The latest Spin Off has an item spun from Churro ... so that is inspiring although I'll admit this is the most interesting fiber I've come across so far. J sneaked a note in saying she wasn't entirely sure of the fiber herself, the Navajo use it for rugs and she wouldn't be offended if it became stuffing. The challenge is on .. to find a way to use it.

In the same package came this lovely pattern, and a week or so later the yarn for it. Tightly twisted merino painted in the skein, from Blue Moon Fiber - designed by the Yarn Harlot herself! Which reminded me that I have a bit of an anti about people who save things for best, stemming from the large clean out we had to undertake when Mrs B (Bears mum) died. She had cupboards, no - rooms full of things bought and needed but saved for best. The sad thing was much of it was in perfect condition but unusable, the unused thick cotton sheets were to small for modern thick mattresses, the towels were smaller than our luxurious bath sheets and were old fashioned colours and patterns, the kettle and pots saved for when the old ones wore out .... were dull and aluminum and lacked a modern non stick coating. I ranted about people who couldn't enjoy the good things life brought them, and nagged those around me to enjoy what they had ... not keep it for best.

And what have I done ... but keep another such kit designed by Cat Bordhi, for 'best', so now I have two, and they really should be the very next socks I knit, together with the un-knit 3 or more Vintage Purls Sock club kits .....all of these need to be knit, for in knitting the socks, I create left over sock yarn for my fish blanket, and the circle closes neatly.

In the last Spin off there was heavy advertising for Spin Control by Amy King. Bear noticed and asked if I 'needed' to get it, I demurred, I wasn't sure. Then a week ago Book Depository sent me an email notification that my pre-order was being filled and would ship soon. I had to admit to Bear that it appeared I had indeed wanted the book, and must have placed a pre-order some many months ago, and subsequently forgotten I had done so. It is here now, and looks good, a nice primer for lots and lots of different techniques, 9 ply anyone, core spun anyone? I've also been reading my way thru another recently acquired book, The Joy of Knitting by Lis R Myers. That one I've enjoyed (although the chapter on how to structure a knitting group left me wondering what she was like to be around .... with ideas of buying and dividing skeins of yarn and organizing the group to sample it in different ways and report back - I'm in charge of my knitting not my fellow knit night companions), I know its older (2001), but it is overall good and I am tempted to buy her other book, The Joy of Knitting Companion (2003), just to keep it company on my bookshelf. OK Amazon one click buying latter, and I have bought it.

Some time last week I rode the usual bus home with the at the time latest episode of Cast-Off by Brenda Dayne. Episode 81: to be of use, seems so 'right now', to zeitgeist, so contemporary, so where I am now, only just a little ahead of me ... that I highly recommend taking time to listen. Brenda is always good, but this time her investigation and analysis of current thinking about craft, and making and things we surround ourselves with seems to be even better than her usual polished podcast. I think Otto might be my new muse .... I'm off to tell her ... right now.

take care
na Stella



that was long but a fun read. i will try and access her podcast.

Knitting Linguist said...

Ooh, I'll have to listen to that podcast (I'm behind); I love the theme that she's chosen for this round of casts, so I'm looking forward to it. I'm glad that you enjoyed the packages! Now, of course, I'm craving the blue yarn you've got there (must wait for sock summit, I think) :)