Saturday, July 09, 2011

Oh my - I am one lucky birthday gal

I sure am, yesterday was my birthday and there was cake, and a lovely family dinner and lovely things to open and enjoy. I headed out to the KSG (Knitters Study Group) where I provided an old fashioned pound cake, with orange zest, vanilla innards (what is the name for the bit that you scrape out when you use pods?), and cloves. The best thing about having hobbies is that when people want to give you things they tend towards things that fit the hobbies you have. When friends are also into the same hobbies and activities .. well the gifts tend to be of the most amazing kind, the kind that really fit into what you want to do and use. Right at the end of the post is a new video, which I hope is of little or no use to most knitters, and of great use to a few in temporarily or permanently in special circumstances.

So ... first, is a pen - yes I know it is a knit-blog, but the pens have been creeping in of late and there appears to be naught I can do about that. The pens, and inks, are part of my life now, and we both have to adapt to that. Remember back in 2009 when I was knitting Owls in collaboration with Suzanne, well this pen called to S and reminded her of that collaboration. I knew there was a pen in the parcel - customs forms make a point of listing what is inside, in this case 'pen and ink'. I thought there might be a Tswbi pen, as was a firm favorite in her collection. I never expected a Sailor 1911 Maki-E Owl by Pen by Kosen Oshita.

Oh wow, you probably know all about yarn-porn, delicious photos of yummy yarn and fibre, here is some some pen-porn. The pen is predictably a fountain pen, a rather special one.

Maki-E is a traditional Japanese technique of decorating using layers of lacquer and precious materials, in this case gold and shell. This pen has the signature of the craftsman artist, and is absolutely beautiful.
Even the nib is amazing, 14ct gold with some of the prettiest engraving I have ever seen. This is a Japanese Medium nib, equal to a European fine. The pen if filled with Noodlers Summer Tanager Ink, a lovely burnt pumpkin shade. I am not at all disappointed that is was not a Twsbi as this is a pen in an entirely different league.

I was also gifted the spinning fibre, Morag shared some of her limited edition hand dyed cashmere-merino-silk. She said the colour choice was a no brainer, cool blue with a hint of grey .... and the wee notepad with button detail just reminded her of me.

Then Zoomer provided samples of her new button range, sweaters and Jandles (only Aussies call them thongs). I am going to have to knit lovely cotton summery things just to make use of these .....

I have been knitting, and rediscovering that if I pick a project and work on it for a few nights that considerable progress is made. I finished the first Heart of Glass sock, and cast on the toe of the second one on Thursday at knit-night. By Saturday night I had made it almost thru turning the heel!

And I am still spinning, so far 80grams spun, and 80 grams to go. Bobbin one is now done, and about to be put aside. I hope that when I ply this on the majacraft those bobbins will be large enough to make an unbroken skein.

The second half of the fibre is soft, and pink and predrafted al ready to spin. Monday night is spin night at my house .. so I will be able to spin more then. I am trying to spin at least 30 minutes most days, but that cuts into my knit and pen time.

And I am planning the next project,sewing. I am on leave this week. Supposedly the whole week Monday to Friday but effectively Monday to Wednesday because of the Cutting Circle workshops which came up after I planned my leave. Usually if I have a few days leave I plan to sew something, and this week is no exception. Global fabrics have just opened a store in Dunedin so I thought I should 'test-their wares'. Here is a lovely pure silk which all going well should become a nice simple dress. The plain purple brown fabric will be the lining and the paler brown knit is for a long sleeved tee for smallest cub. Global has so much to choose from that I very nearly went mad and selected more than this. I wisely thought that I could sew this Monday and then return to see what else I could sew Tuesday and Wednesday?

As it is still the Tour de fleece, I'm off to spin some, and then play with a special new pen and ink and pet some fibre ... and even knit some.
Take care - enjoy the rest of your weekend - where ever you are.

Post Script
.. a few weeks ago Bear and I made an new instructional video. How to knit with one hand, the left ... for a special wee boy who wanted to learn. I was sure there was a way and yes there is, based on lever knitting. Over time I hope to add in a few more showing how to increase, decrease and yarn over ... or cables (those I can't quite get my head around how to do those yet).


adriene said...

Hehe, I think they shall always be henceforth be referred to as vanilla innards!

That is a gorgeous pen! How lucky to receive such thoughtful gifts! Happy Belated Birthday!

Suzanne said...

So glad the pen is a hit! It might, indeed, have been a Twsbi Diamond 530, were it not for the fact that the 530 production run is over and there are no more pretty coloured ones available (cyan and blue were way more interesting than the clear demonstrator, which is still for sale). Twsbi fans are now waiting with bated breath for the new 540 and the 700, which will be a vacuum fill. You just can't go wrong with an owl... :-)

Vanda Symon said...

Happy birthday - I'm lusting over your pen!

You'll be pleased to know the one handed knitting is going really well. Thanks so much for the doings and the video! He's a happy boy.

Knitapotamus said...

Belated happy birthday :) What wonderful birthday gifts you received and I am definitely liking the pen-porn. What a stunningly beautiful work of art that pen is!

woollyprimate said...

May I ask how you fill your bobbins so evenly when you have hooks on your flyer? It looks like you used a woolee winder.