Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Finished object, and returning to things left unfinished.

What happened to the past week, forgive me, it has been a week and a half since I last blogged. Things were busy, I suspected I was getting a cold, still do, the preliminary symptoms have come to nothing. Last week was the last week of term so there were things to do. I had a constant stream of students making enquiries about when they would get their marks back. My standard reply was that mine were done (true)' and that I was waiting for the rest of the teaching team to finish (true), and that organizing other adults was at time like herding cats ( all to sadly true). They took it well, the students, and on Friday I handed back what's could, including the three as yet unmarked, with what marks I had and a note that they had passed, one mark was still to come, the so the total would go up.

Then Bear came home, from two weeks in Christchurch helping with the 'rebuild', and the cubs started their term break, with birthday part invites, so the past few days has been a whirlwind of finding appropriate presents, within budget, and ferrying cubs to and from. In amidst all of that I knitted some, not a lot but I finished a sock, and spun, and distracted myself and little cub with sewing a new dress. Today I am indulging in finishing two books for bear, ones I printed out way back in march 2012. Feels nice to have them finally being works on.

Alien pirate socks
Little cubs pirate socks are done, not blocked in water, but blocked on feet, immediately. Being pale green, and with the eyes the skulls have a slightly more alien feel than a pirate feel, I imagine in blood red, white or black these would be spectacular.

Close up of alien eyelet
My change, was to knit the heel flap in eye-of-partridge, and to bind off with Julie's magic stretchy bind off. Oh and to add eyelet eyes to the skulls on thleg section. I knit the medium size, to fit a 9" foot, and have 18 grams of yarn left over. Not bad considering with all the twisted traveling stitches this is a dense sock. I am having thoughts about how I could make use of the skull motif with the eyelet eyes in a more floating alien way on another pair. The pattern is Pirate Danger by Jeannie Cartmel, a well written pattern as far as I could tell. I don't always follow instructions ... so can't be totally sure.

New green dress
Here is the little cubs newest sewing effort, the green floral hidden behind the sparkly silver number. If it were not for the sparkly silver, black jeans, purple shorts and leggings covered with hearts also in her wardrobe I would wonder about the image she presented to the world. Taken on just her preference in dress fabrics, cuts and lengths, she seems to lean towards the uber conservative small town girl. Still that is better the if she were to lean the other way.

Today I am sewing, books this time, guitar chord books for bear. These are two blanks I printed off for the bookbinding class I taught at unwind earlier this year. No one wanted to bind guitar chord books, the class preferred grid, knitters graph, lines, dot grid and plain pages. No worries I knew Bear would want these, and today seems a good day to complete both. Once the stitching is complete, the blanks get a good press to set the stitches, and then I will cut, cover and assemble the covers. I

Book binding, guitar chord books
And finally spinning, I am on leave this week, taken as the cubs are on rearm break. Bear is on leave next week, to cover the other week of the term break. Because I would be at home, and able to spin a lot, I decided to spin on my Philip Poore Pipy wheel. This came after a conversation with Bear where we were discussing how 'full' the house is, how much 'stuff' we both have. I suggested that a traveling wheel in bag plus three other wheels in the back room, and the big Grace wheel in the living space was part of the clutter and I should maybe sell one or more. Bear was horrified, and said no, I should use them. So this week I am using the Pipy, and I am loving it. For some reason I thought woolen spinning was best on a scotch tensioned wheel, but the double drive Pipy is a dream to spin woolen on.

Phillip Poore Pipy
Perhaps once the tension is set to a beautiful delicate pull in, any wheel works well for most spinning? The blend is a carded batt, or batts from Do Arnot, in Oamaru. In the past I have spun Do's batts worsted, short draw and found them not as smooth as the combed top that others sell. This time around spinning fine supported long draw woollen I am really enjoying the carded batts, the fibre flows easily and the prep is fantastic for woolen. What was difficult for worsted is perfect for wollen. The blend is 'Lichen', and a mix of merino, alpaca, and silk with the proportions not identified. The colors are amazing, fawn, gold, green, brown, purple, silver .... all in a combination that works and has life without drama.

Time to go and finish the stitching on the books, and see how little cub is doing with making butterscotch cookies (all on her own - I like this side of growing up).

Cheers, na Stella

1 comment:

Knitting Linguist said...

So many good things here (especially the solo cookie baking - I love that aspect of growing up myself). The socks are just wonderful; I bet they get a lot of use. And the spinning and bookbinding both look like they are going to yield good results. I hope the week of leave leaves you feeling rested and better!