Monday, October 30, 2006

I think its arrived...

Just posting very quickly to say a large box from the USA has arrived. It looks suspiciously like it contains a yard of fabric, but I don't have time to a) take photos or b) open it for another half hour.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


"Elegance", Art on Canvas, £700

Canvas painted orange with large blue/purple square and a few stitches of plastic-looking twine. Stitches echoed by faint thin brush strokes.

Today, I went into a localish art gallery, the kind of place where you expect to pay several hundred pounds for a cheap painting, and an expensive painting costs thousands.

The notes I made are above: this was not the place to take photos.

Over at the Wittering Rainbow's blog, she's been cogitating on textile
art, art quilts and the Quilter's Guild and the craft of quilting.

What makes this canvas, with a few large stitches "art", and a piece created entirely from textiles not-art?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Great Wool Sort of 2006

Obviously, this blog post should be about the things I bought at Alexandra Palace. But it isn't. This post is really about the wool already had.

(For those interested, if you count the scrumble pack from Taj yarns as containing four balls of wool, I bought 21 balls in total.)

I've been tracking how much I bought over the last year and how much I used/gave away, and they come out roughly equal. However, that still left me with the problem of knowing what I had. Or more importantly whether I ever had enough of any one type to make the things I want to make.

Which led to the Great Wool Sort of 2006. pictures of labelled balls of yarn
It was a simple process. I sorted the yarn in the big blue box into categories (usually brand/type, occasionally yarn-type), and wrote the number of different balls of each colour onto bits of paper.

One conclusion was inevitable.

I have rather a lot of yarn.

I won't say how much, but it is a number of jumpers-worth.

Actually having enough for several jumpers doesn't bother me, it is all the odd balls, like the ones in the picture. I bought them when I was thinking about knitting some Kaffe-Fassett style jumpers. On the other hand, imagine if I'd bought enough for a jumper each time I bought a single ball...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ally Pally - a reflection

Last year's Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace is the reason I started blogging. My internet usage predates blogs, and although I read a few, I couldn't really see the appeal.

Until I came back from Ally Pally, and thought I'd check to see if anyone else had been.

I found blog after blog talking about it: but it wasn't the blogs so much, as the way the bloggers had been meeting and talking. It was the sense of community I could see they had, and I wanted to be in.

It was also something I'd seen, when I saw a grey-haired stallholder greet another greyhaired woman with the pleasure of many years of similar meetings.

Admittedly, I didn't rush in to it, but warmed up slowly. Even after I got my blog, I've joined very little in the way of blogrings or Secret Pal swops.

This year I went twice to AP. I met people from Angelyarns knitting forums. I meet (a very few) other bloggers. I even got the same cheerful greetings from two stallholders, Hipknit's Kerrie and Traveller's Tales cross-stitch kit.

I won't go to Harrogate this year, but I'm planning to meeting Kerrie on the HipKnits stand at AP in 2020, or maybe some of the rest of you too.

(Oh, you're looking for the pictures? They'll come.)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Warning: Lace ahead

wool and mosswool and mosswool and mossThese three pictures all show the same ball of Fleece Artist merino bought from Get Knitted stall at the Knitting and Stitching show at the NEC. The colourway is called moss, and you can see how accurately they have replicated the colours of real moss.

Although the wool is sold as sock wool, it tells me "I'm a shawl, a lacy shawl, a pretty lacy shawl you want to knit soon". However, I only got one skein - 325m long - which doesn't seem like a lot.

Luckily it is enough for the Diamond Fantasy shawl designed by Sivia Harding. In fact, the shawl shown on her website used Fleece Artist merino. All the 'Net Knitters I can find seem to have liked it. But I wasn't sure about.

small ball of blue yarnOn Sivia's website are some free patterns: one of them is the Diamond Lace Bookmark. My first thought was to use chunky wool, make it longer and call it a scarf. Until I realised I have just the right thing to use: a ball of fine mystery yarn that dates back to the earliest days of my stash. I bought a lidded basket at a jumble sale, when I was at primary school and once home, I found this wool in it.

I cast on yesterday, and earlier today I scanned this:
scanned lace bookmark
It's grown since then.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Going to Ally Pally

I'll be going to the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace next week, probably on Friday (by myself) and on Saturday with the S'n'B group. I'm looking forward to it.

My show guide has arrived. Last year all the exhibitors for all shows were listed in the main guide: this year each show has a seperate insert, presumably printed in the last few days before the show. Twisted Threads did send me a letter apologizing for the mix up: when I booked the tickets, I spoke about being going to both the NEC show and the Ally Pally one, so they were going to send me the Ally Pally guide. There are so many more exhibitors at Ally Pally (well over 200) that you do need the guide to plan. For the NEC one, you could just wonder round and feel sure you hadn't missed anything much.

Places to check include Habu who make a stainless steel yarn wrapped in silk. I looked for some of this last time, but didn't find any, and was most frustrated when I saw a blog post from someone who had got it. Habu has their stall at TGB7, which is opposite a wall.

Dh is muttering about not bringing too much home: he needs to see some photos of generous amounts of stuff that other people buy. That way my arrival home with a bag or four will not be seen as too excessive. Actually, he doesn't mind stuff arriving, as long as he also sees stuff being used in similar quantities.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Double duty

I combined two things I wanted to do today: a trip to the Quilt Room in Dorking with buying the fabic for my one yard fabric swop partner. Several people have recommended the Quilt Room to me, but it is quite a trek from here. However, today I had the option of driving round Dorking, or driving through it and stopping off at the shop.

I don't know what was up with the one way system in Dorking, but honestly I think it would have been faster to park my car on the outskirts and walk in. OTOH, I parked in a little car park almost opposite the shop: unfortunately when I drove out of the car park, I had a mystery choice of about seven roads that were dead ends, or the one road that takes you back into the main road system. That road is not marked, so you have to guess which its going to be, and twice I guessed wrong. If you ever need to know, turn left out of the car park.

The shop itself is made of three or four smallish interconnected rooms. One room is dedicated to bolts of fabric, another is entirely quilting books. A third room has sixty or seventy rolls of fossil fern. Another room has the notions and fat quarters and similar things. Upstairs is a large room with a table, clearly for workshop space.

I looked at the material, but I had a Purpose. I needed to buy the fabric for my one yard fabric swop partner. Well, actually I didn't need to, because I am going to the Knitting and Stitching show at Ally Pally next week, so I could get it then. But I wanted to get it before, because otherwise I'll just spend the week second guessing myslf. Of course, if I see anything better there, I'll have to keep this one for myself.

It was fun, because I was looking for something I wouldn't normally buy for myself. I knew which colours she likes, and a range of fabrics she likes. However, the range is hard to get over here, but there is another range which is readily available over here, but supposed to be similar. The Quilt room did actually have some of her range, but the colours were ones she said she didn't like. So I got some of the local range because some of the colours were right and none of the colours were wrong.

Once home, I looked through her blog archieves, and she has posted lots of things in the fabric's colours. I think I choose the right colours, it all depends on whether she likes the design. I think she is quite easy going.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Just popping in

I've been working on the embroidery I started last week: I've done the main part, and am now just doing the background.

Really, I'm popping in with a message for my one yard fabric swop partner - hello! I know the answers on my questionnaire were long and detailed, but please don't let that bother you. Whatever you send will be lovely.