Saturday, October 06, 2012


Just a quick post today, I have to return to work tomorrow, at which point I will find out what the timetable looks like for nest year. I left with concerns about the delivery of the courses I teach, in particular the 'theory' course which had been relegated to a finish time an hour latter than the other courses. I was 'strong' during the week I was on leave and didn't check my email, if you hear a frustrated cry from this side of the globe tomorrow - it might be me in response to the proposed timetable.

Contiguous tempest
Meanwhile I have been knitting, spinning, and sewing, first the knitting. I restarted my top down contiguous cardigan. So far so good, I am well into the sleeve head and so far the shape of the shoulder and sleeve looks promising. I have tried the yoke on, but the addi circular needle i am using has a twisty cable and there is not enough weight in the yoke yet to make the cable behave. When blocked this yarn blooms amazingly, the effect of the possum, so I am expecting the shoulder 'seam' to I prove when blocked.

Spinning on the Pipy has gone well, and one thing I really like about spinning woolen and being home on leave is the speed at which fibre can be spun. I am near the second bobbin of 220 grams of fibre. Friday Judith Mckenzies plying DVD arrived, courtesy of the recent interweave sale. I thoroughly enjoyed watching, as i spun, she has a lovely clear manner, nice voice and explains and shows why she does what she does. If I had watched the DVD before spinning this I might have planned a three ply, but as I am planning a lace shawl this two ply is probably best.

The other thing I have played with this week is tambour chain stitch. I decided that it was best to stop stitching random patterns. The issue with random unplanned stitching is that it requires no precision in forming stitches, so I want searching for a pattern to chain stitch, well first I went searching for thread. I'm using heavy polyester thread made for quilting, as that is the kind that local shops have in stock. Having found thick thread, i went looking for a pattern to stich for practice, In one of my William Morris books, (William Morris by himself, designs and writings edited by Gillian Naylor - an amazing treasure of images and ideas), I selected 'design for bayleaf', and slightly simplified the lines to suit the chain stitch. Once I have the outlines worked, the next stage is to add shading with a slightly lighter colour green, and I have a dirty yellow that I hope to use as well. All the tambour hooks I ordered arrived, and yes the ones from are much much nicer finished and balanced than the offerings. Review and update to tambour info page shortly. For now my practice is on white cotton lawn, I prepared the pattern the old fashioned way by pricking the design onto paper, rubbing powdered charcoal to transfer the pattern to the fabric, then I finished by outlining the charcoal dots with water colour paint. Time consuming but no more so than using tracing paper, or a pencil and light box, plus really really effective, and fairly easy. I used a sticky roller to remove what charcoal remained after a good shake outdoors, once the watercolor lines were dry.

Next stage in my tambour learning, once the leaves are complete is to move to working with organza and sequins and beads! What fun .... I even have sequins coming from and a wonderful book to guide and inspire.

Take care,

Na Stella

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