Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Aiming for a chart hit - the Old Oak Lament

Absolutely great song, please buy it. Details here.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Take a Stitch Tuesday

One of the few craft blogs I get time to read these days is Pintangle.

A while ago, the author, Sharon B, ran a weekly study, called "Take a Stitch Tuesday". She's show a stitch on the website, and people would work a sample, and post a picture of the results. She's running it again next year. So, I'm signing up.

I think I'll probably do a band sampler type thing, although that means finding the right fabric. But I've got a month, surely that's long enough...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Knitting: the next gen

There has been knitting going on. There has been lots of knitting going on. There has been much buying of wool and even the odd bit of buying of knitting needles.

For Dear Daughter has discovered knitting.

It started with a scarf. She knitted it for herself, and discovered the joy of knitting. Then she decided to knit Christmas presents, scarves and fingerless mittens. This all involved her mother taking her to John Lewis, and letting her choose some nice yarn, Rowan even, and buying ball after ball.

Tricky thing for DD was her mother's Christmas present. But I gather that is in hand, and will involve beautiful wool.

After the Christmas knitting, DD has plans. They might involve a jumper. A hand knitted jumper. They may involve a handknitted blanket. Or they may involve crochet.

Who knows?

Watch this space....

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

My hand dyed scarf on TV

I wore a scarf I hand-dyed to do a TV interview today.

The scarf was dyed perhaps twelve years ago, at a craft open day at a hall near where I lived at the time. The organisers changed a nominal fee for doing it. We started with a white silk scarf. The dyes - in this case pink and blue - were dripped onto the scarf, and then it was microwaved to set the dye. I did two, one with lighter colours, the other darker ones.

The interview went incredibly badly - luckily it was pre-recorded, but I got asked the same question about five times, before it had a passable take. In the end, they used a very short section, about two or three sentences, but I made the important points. (It was about this. I was scarfing, scafthing, critical.)

Not at all relevant to the scarf, I thought this article about creative tribes was interesting. In particular the part where the writer says that her quilt guild was subtly influencing her fabric choices, being lukewarm about the ones she choose. Nobody was to blame, but it still had effects she didn't like.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

A dearth of creativity

Can you write a craft blog if you aren't doing anything crafty?

Weeks have passed with almost no activity on the craft front: unless you count packing an ambroidery kit when I went away for a week (I was so busy I didn't even take the kit out of my suitcase).

Luckily, I have now done something creative, a "Dyeing for Shibori" course at Threads and Patches, in Milton Keynes. It was the second part of the course, I failed to get to back in March.

I'm really pleased with some of the pieces, but until I install the software for my new camera, they will remain for viewing in real life only.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Supernova, seen

With respect to yesterday's post, I've now looked at the right star in the right place with binoculars. Of course, I might be deluding myself, when I say I saw it....

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Supernova 'brightens up' 7-8 September - University of Oxford

It's a once in a lifetime chance to see a supernova. If it was earlier, and I was less tired, and had less writing to do, I'd tell you some examples of other supernova which change the course of history.

Supernova 'brightens up' 7-8 September - University of Oxford

Monday, September 05, 2011

Even Yarnstorm has comment problems....

I don't have problems on this blog with malicious comments (although another site I run does). But you'd never expect that Yarnstorm, of the pretty pictures and domesticality would?

From her post, loose ends:

:: Yesterday, I put up then took down a post about discovering that someone who had been leaving long, long comments which have caused a kerfuffle (as they say on Little Britain) had done so under three different anonymous/pseudonymous names. The penny dropped when I looked up an IP number and I decided that I was going to play host no longer. I have deleted all his/her comments, and will now be less willing to leave suspect contributions where they can be read. Multiple-identity commenters make a mockery of blog discussions and keeping on top of the incoming comments could turn into a game of Splat the Rat - not something I want to play.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lost in France

We spent the first two weeks of August staying in a recently converted watermill (with working wheel), overlooking a local beauty spot. It was lovely: but a bit like living in a fishbowl, with large number of locals coming to the beauty spot and looking at the working waterwheel etc. If we'd set up a tea and cakes stall, we could have made a fortune.

Then there was the day I opened the door in my nightie, to see people in a tent on the other side of the river. After quickly slamming the door shut, I realised I might be in my nightie, but they were still in bed…

There was a little bit of going to the beach (cloudless blue skies, and fierce Atlantic ocean), going to chateaux (Tiffauges, and Saumir and Puy de Fuy), good food, meandering through little towns, and some big ones, plenty of good food and wine.

We saw several little embroidery and yarn shops, but they were all closed for lunch/early closing day/while their owners went on holiday.

Instead, my French supermarket scarf:

and my reduced to €5 scarf:
another scarf

Monday, August 08, 2011


A watermill sounds a bit like a certain point in a washing machine's cycle.

Just saying...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A new kit

I really hadn't meant to buy a new embroidery kit yesterday, but it was so pretty I couldn't resist.

The price - £1.50, reduced from £2.25 - suggested it had been in the shop for some years, especially is it also has the slightly gritty feeling which secondhand books sometimes have. I haven't been able to find any reference to the kit on line, or even the range, which confirms my suspicion that is pretty old.
embroidery kit
A bit of progress last night.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - 15th June


Nearly finished - just some crosses to put in round the centre.

Friday, May 13, 2011

That Dress

I wasn't overly impressed with that dress when I saw it on television.

But then I saw some pictures in Hello (in the dentist waiting room): close up seeing the details of the lace it is stunning.

Fascinating article about it on the BBC. They had to wash their hands every 30 minutes (I suppose it made sure they had a break to move around), and changed needles every three hours.

Altough I do find this commentary rather amusing...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

square of

Happy Easter: enjoy your Easter eggs, church services, local festivals, craft fairs, picnics or lounging in the garden (delete as appropriate).

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dying died

I was really looking forward to this afternoon: the second part of the shibori course I hadn't blogged about.

I'd attended the first part of the course, I'd done the sewing and now I was ready for the new experience bit, the part where I dyed the things I had sewn. Because I have never ever, not even at school, dyed anything ever.

I'd got the material, and the rubber gloves, and the dye, and the jug, and the teaspoon, and the string, and all the other bits and pieces. And carried the bags to the car, and my eye was drawn to the wheel.

Or rather the tyre. And the tyre was flat: there was no way I was going out to do some dying (my first dying ever, I was so looking forward to it).

So I came inside, and I rang up the AA, and was a bit surprised to be told the mechanic would be with me sometime between now and 45 minutes time. And then he turned up and he changed the wheel. And he showed me the cause: a pointy bit of gravel that had got stuck in the nearly new tyre and punctured it. But he also said he thought it could be repaired, so after he went, I rang up the nearest tyre place and they thought they could repair it, so I drove it slowly in on the temporary spare, and they said yes they could repair it.

So the nasty sharp bit of gravel (which for some reason I want to keep) cost me 'only' £14.20, when a new tyre would have been lots more.

But I still didn't go dying.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Very lovelorn Lovelace

And having frogged sleeve one of Lovelace and reknitted it, I discovered that I'd missed an increase in sleeve two, and had to frog that back as well.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lovelorn Lovelace

I think the problem with my Lovelace sleeve is self evident...

knitting, with error

Next time, use stitchmarkers as suggested by the pattern...

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Imagine Lovelace knitted with Rowan felted Tweed Chunky, in a colour which is probably described as cranberry. With 14 rows to 10cm it is not surprising that I have knitted most of the body in just over a week. (Wool bought Monday a week ago, needles bought Tuesday a week ago etc.)

I finally got round to taking some photos of Lovelace, but then today turned into a very long day and I'm too worn out to find the camera and upload them.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cool, in a nerdy sort of way

A minor bit of excitement, that makes me feel cool in a nerdy sort of way. Or is it nerdy, in a cool sort of way

This afternoon, I was rung up by someone from the BBC, asking me (yes, me!) about ushahidi, because I'd mentioned it here.

That's it really. But it is a bit cool.

(Ushahidi is a geographical data mapping tool used by some websites.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Who could resist posting, with a date like today's. Especially as I haven't posted all year.

Post New Year crafting is concentrating on Pax Vobiscum.

However, bad blogger (or bad photographer) that I am, I am haven't taken before and after pictures. In words, I have finished the round bit of the 'P' of Pax, done the purple of the 'x' and legs of the hunting dog.

With no pictures, I might as well have used usenet, not a blog.

I also signed up for a dying workshop at Threads and Patches in Fenny Stratford. It's split into two sessions, two weeks apart. I just need to buy some white cotton to use. In an amazing feat of self-restraint while I was there, I just bought one skein of DMC and the TIAG "Blackberry Jam" chart.

As a postscript, best wishes to the people in Queensland. In my childhood, we had an Australian game called Squatter, about sheep stations. Your sheep station could face draught for several turns: being flooded would not break the draught. But now it is real people, real lives.