Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Today is Wednesday, or at least it is here where I live, in fact late afternoon Wednesday, after a full day at the 'office' that was only supposed to be an hour or so before heading home to finish up preparation for the weekend workshops. You can imagine how that goes, pop in to work for a 9am meeting that has been rescheduled and rescheduled and rescheduled, the meeting attempts to cover what is several hours work in the scheduled hour ... and predictably we finish several hours latter. It was a marking meeting, so following that there was the several hours of post-marking admin, logging copies of mark-sheets in the system, sorting and filing things ready for students to pick up, documenting any changes discussed, and then and only then was I able to escape .... late-afternoon! Given I'm not full time this year, that ended up being a standard work day .. so much for heading home to prep for the weekend.

So here I am, quickly updating the blog, what else can I do in the half hour I have whilst I wait for small cubs to arrive home? Not enough time to make inroads into any real work, and I suspect there won't be a weekend blog but there might be a Monday one. One the cubs arrive it gets really busy, one needs to snack, then turn around and head out for a swim lesson and the other can do his homework, then there is the evening meal to find and prepare and clean up after .. .and after that what do you know the day is mostly gone. At least there is the evening to work in. I'll clear the table and settle down to plan the hand outs for my workshops ... I have tonight and tomorrow and if I skip knit-night I'll even have tomorrow night. It might just come to that. What I can say is that the material will be 'fresh'!
I have now have a full suite of little hottie covers, all soft and warm, in a variety of gauges, with all sorts of closures and textures.

This is my favorite, I do have a weak spot for simple graphics. Combine that with soft possum merino that is soft and fluffy and .... mmmmm its even warm without the hot water inside. I have all the processes and notes and things all ready for that class, little design templates and cards to use to test colour combinations, and a lesson plan.

The master workshop content is also coming along. The handmade people wanted me to modify my original proposal from a workshop to more of a lecture .. so I did. I now have nearly 2 hours to cover darning knits ......oh my, that could be one geeky boring session but I'm doing my best to make sure its not. I've been building a bit of a contemporary look at the current view of darning and mending ... using books from my shelves. It looks all theoretical but I've picked out the super interesting and almost funny bits - I promise. For example, Heather Nicholson wrote that in days gone by the most common labor saving device most families had was a daughter!

Then the lecture-workshop will look at historical methods of darning and mending. I have a goodly collection of old-books on teaching needlework and those have come in really useful here. They are all so old that I can happily use images and diagrams from them as the copyright has expired. My earliest one is 1886, and I go up to some published in 1913 - when teaching needlework was very much part of the curriculum. Using those as sources I've got a plan to position mending as important but forgotten, and omitted much of the time. Again I'm going to keep it informative and interesting, although I'm not sure about including the instructions for 'French mending' of fine knits, suggesting using one strand of human hair for a really invisible finish, even to specifying that the blond and red-heads were the source of the strongest and best hair to use! Tell me is that creepy or interesting?
I'll finish up with five or six examples of different types of mending and one example of something awaiting a mend. Along the way I hope for a bit of audience participation, that people will contribute what their understanding of mending and darning is, but I'm not promising to darn any ones socks. People should go away with a deeper appreciation of making and mending and some knowledge of how people used to mend.

I've also finished spinning the sock pencil roving, and now it sits waiting for me to ply it. I was lucky enough to score another on Monday in her shop - Cululus all misty grey blues (Morag will be smiling as she knows I am a complete sucker for any and all grey-blue that she dyes).

I have worked a sample in 2 ply and in 3 ply ... and I'm not sure which to go with. The three is rounder and heavier, so I will knit it up and see how thick it will be. The two ply is finer - and I worry it might be to light for socks ... I guess I just have to knit up both sample skeins and see what they are like knit up.

So thats my day so far -how was yours? Still no cubs but the bus will be here any moment ... so I'll head off to fix snacks.
Take care
If you are in Wellington this weekend, pop into TePapa and say hi!


Tanya said...

Wow! I wish I lived closer so I could participate in a workshop or lecture of yours. It sounds awesome!! As it is, I will have to settle for reading the books you have a picture of there and continuing to read your blog to learn from you.

nilda said...

I have a select number of blogs dealing with fiber and knitting that I browse during my web time and I just have to tell you...I don't know what it is about your picts, but they make my mouth water. I feel like I should be able to eat fiber. Loonie or on the cusp of a new evolution of mankind? hmmmmmmm :-)

Knitting Linguist said...

Oh, I'm with Tanya - I wish I could come to your lecture, too! It sounds really, really interesting (and your book pile looks like my summer research reading, too - three of those books are sitting in my pile of Things To Read right behind me even as I type). The sock spinning is beautiful - I can't wait for mine to arrive. I'm leaning towards a three-ply for socks, but I might just be biased that way because of all of the admonitions I've heard that "sock yarn my ALWAYS be three-ply!" :)