Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Daylight saving

Last Sunday we set the clocks forward for spring daylight saving, you know spring forward, fall back? Now instead of it being light when I wake, it is dark, a small change but a significant one, I know that in less than a month it will be light when I wake again, and that the longer twilight evenings are worth every minute of morning darkness - but for now, my body is out of sync, I'm not hungry at meal times, and I'm not sleepy at bed time, and its dark when I wake up. I have been on leave this week, and I thought I'd have lots to blog today, but as the last post was Monday, and today is Wednesday there is not much knitting progress to show. I have been working on my Peruvian knitting technique, and making changes to the design for the wall hanging so there has been frogging, there is almost no progress on any other knit project, but I do have new and old things to share. The last installment of the Vintage Purls Winter 2010 Sock club arrived and it is pretty, and two vintage fountain pens arrived, and a vintage pencil, and I have ink in colours I never knew that ink came in. Ink can it seems be as exciting as yarn.

So as this is a officially a knitting blog, first I'll write of knitterly things, the current work in progress (WIP) project and then the new sock kit, after that I can let the post wander of into non-knitting territory, and you can stay and read as much as you want.

New project, or nearly new project, the wall hanging. I restarted this, I had based the design on Kaffe Fassett's 'Poppy's' but the 12 stitch floats were way to long to strand easily ... so I frogged and reworked a similar pattern but with a smaller circle. I also took the opportunity to rethink how best to knit a wall hanging, so I've added a 10 ridge garter boarder all around to keep the edges flat. I spent a wee bit of time googling yesterday, it is a word isn't it? Googling? I watched the videos of Andrea Wong knitting and found a few others on you tube that showed me a way to tension the yarn in my right hand, little things that I had not paid much attention to when watching Andrea in person. I also came across a few blog posts that detailed this kind of knitting and was impressed with this one, suggesting that those little cute hangars that come with socks (like socks need hangars!) are useful Portuguese pin substitutes. At the moment the knitting feels 'slow' but that is because I am having to think about where my hands are are what they need to do, when I look at what I knit in an evening I am pleased.

My other knit projects have been ignored, and I really should not do that, start projects and then ignore them. The Vintage purl sock kit arrived Monday, and I want to cast on .. but let me see, one part mitten to knit, one shetland blanket, one wall hanging, and one large blanket ... I really need to tame and finish at least one of those before I add another. Like all her sock designs this one is pretty, with interesting cables, this is part lace part twisty cable,and is in a lovely purple blue, and look another bead and more knitting stickies! The toe is shaped to flow around the cable lace ... oh I really need to make space in the knitting basket for this one, and soon.

With all the fibre and yarn I 'acquired' while away I can still be tempted by local offerings, not local fibre but stocked locally. This is pencil roving, so very very nice quality, Schoppel Wolle InSilk 70% merino and 30% silk. I have never had a wool silk blend this evenly mixed ... it is a joy to spin.

Added also to my spinning basket is a wee extra from Crafty kiwi, way back in May of this year we were both part of a fibre swap, and at the time he said 'opps I forgot to add the last thing'. The swap parcel was so full I couldn't think what he forgot .. but this week M who had been away to a retreat brought back the forgotten fibre. Silk hankies! Oooooo, wonderful, I couldn't resist just teasing one out to see how that worked .....and they really do look like hankies complete with a wee hem!

And now the blog takes a turn for the non-knitterly, the trip to the second hand shops on Monday was not as fruitful as I had hoped. I did score a lovely fine Sabatini Cardigan, no not from winter 08 - probably a spring collection some years before, but nice and it fits, Toby failed to spot any lego treasure. Not finding fountain pens is fine, as two have arrived in the post over the past few weeks. The top one in this photo is an unbranded one, with a 14K nib, from Trademe, refurbished and writing nicely, the second one is a refurbished Burnham #60 from Ebay UK, again with a 14k nib, but this time a stub nib, and so so smooth, and the last one is one of two pencils I bought from Ebay USA. These are Autopoint pencils and they use a 0.9mm refill, Bear has the other one. These pencils have a nice quality feel and weight and seem to be the perfect size and balance. Why vintage fountain pens, well ... Bear found his fathers pen and we identified it as an Wahl Eversharp Skyline, from the 1940's, his dads is just like the burgandy one with the gold striped cap - it is a beauty but needs some repair (a new sac and some nib alignment), then Bear he was generous enough to gift me a 1.1mm Conway Steward pencil that was either his mums or his grandmothers. I dug out my Parker 45, boring old stainless steel but with a 1mm italic nib which I have owned since the mid 1980's, and then found blogs like Daves Mechanical Pencils, and Carpe David. Oh the wonder of discovering vintage pens and writing tools over cheap disposable ball points, and of discovering inks in colours that I only thought fibre came in. I have only tried Damson, Saddle Brown, and Monaco Red so far, all of which are a world away from black, blue-black, and blue, and I can see that I need to try more, and perhaps even some other brands that are available here in New Zealand. I feel like I've discovered a world of networked pen-geeks, a lot like the network of fibre and knitting geeks I count myself as one of .... they have the same sense of generosity and sharing of knowledge that the knitters online have.

next post ... more knitting I promise, its KSG - aka knitters study group saturday, so there will be something to post from that. I'm not sure I'll be at Thursday night knitting, depends on Wee bear and the travel arrangements to collect her ...

take care
na Stella


Knitting Linguist said...

I like the start of your wall hanging - i have always loved that particular Fassett pattern, and i think the idea of making art of it for one's home is fabulous! I also like that latest Vintage Purls kit - she does wonderful stuffl. Do you know when her next club is starting? I may need to sign up, i so enjoyed her kits!!

I decided that it would be the better part of valor not to click on the links to fountain pen ink ( although we'll see how long i hold out). They look so tempting...

Jane said...

I came across your blog on A Year With Horses. I was very caught by the name of your blog. It made me laugh. I am a spinner and knitter also. Love the kitty paw mittens, beautiful and intricate. They also have my favorite braided edge. (I do that on all my socks, I love it so.)

Drooled over the photos of fiber, and in general wanted to dive into something gorgeous to spin. Thanks for the boost!

Vanda Symon said...

That Burnham pen is the smoothest fountain pen I've ever written with - it's divine!

Enjoyed looking at your traveling wool acquisitions (-:

Elzemhobby said...

Hello NEW ZEALAND.Greting from Turqia.