Thursday, September 4, 2008

Crafty Crafty and a Review

Well, it is nearly the end of the summer hols, at least for my sister and dad. The weather hasn't been great this year, although we had a great time in France, and have had a great time getting crafty this holiday.

Pops and I have been doing lots of potting and spinning and weaving this holiday. I love it! We've been to the Milland Pottery about five times now to learn from Angela Carter how to make pots. It's great fun, and really nice and messy. So far neither of us have produced the perfect pot (especially when you see them next to Angela's stuff...) but for a first attempt these ones came out really well, and our later attempts are noticeably less wibbly-wobbly.

We have also been to the Willow Close studio twice, where Pops is learning weaving and I am learning to spin under the excellent tutelage of Carol Keats. I really love spinning. The whole time we were in France I just couldn't stop.

This is the first yarn I spun, a thick and thin single of natural Corriedale roving, dyed Blue Faced Leicester roving, and uncarded natural Jacob fleece. It's really fuzzy and soft, and althougn it is by no means the perfect yarn, I'm pretty proud of it all the same. I like the fact that it is all the colours of Party Rings biscuits! It crocheted up pretty nicely into a headband/strange necklace thing.

This is the yarn I produced last time. Carol did a brilliant exercise on colour with us. I used her drum carder to make up 8 rolags in various colours of Merino roving and uncarded natural Jacob fleece, before spinning and plying. This yarn is much more even than my first attempt! There are about 8 different colours gone into each of the singles. The colours came from a stunning postcard picture of a hosta, but the darker turquoise reminds me of a kingfisher.

(The yarn pictures were taken on the sill of our new double glazing...they're really nice but there is still a layer of dust over the whole house from when they were installed). (Sorry to go on about something as dull as double glazing).

Here is a small section of Poppy's weaving...I reckon she's bloody brilliant at it!

Mum came along too (for she is the Lady with the Car) and made a plate with Angela and a beautiful little woven piece on a pegloom.

The garden is stunning but I don't have any pictures yet, so I will save that for next time.
REVIEW: "iNTERTWINED" by Lexi Boeger (Pluckyfluff)
This was my holiday read and I love it. The instructions don't cover the basics of hand spinning but even if you are a beginner, as I am, this boko will be a really inspiration. It covers a load of techniques, has some beautiful patterns and some really good advice in it. It's a fun book - easy to read, colourful, and with a nice layout. There are also beautiful photographs and really clear diagrams. Above all this book is truly inspirational - the technqiues are really interesting and combined with some of the unusual materials used in the book the effects are STUNNING!! If you're a spinner, or even just like textiles and fibre, buy this book, and discover what yarn is really about.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

An affliction

I think that the ferry journey on the way back from my summer hols in France has done me in a bit. It was a really awful journey: the boat was full to bursting with people, one of the engines blew up, and when my dad and sister went to the cinema it looked like they'd never come out again (the only good thing about their cinema trip was that my father managed to restrain himself from singing and dancing to the entire Mamma Mia soundtrack). I am afraid to say that motion sickness claimed me. And now I can't get rid of the blooming thing.

Motion sickness is the sort of thing that I have always thought was made up by people who wanted attention or were seriously mentally ill, along with allergies to peanuts, oranges, donkeys, etc. I assumed it was just plain moaning designed to compensate for people's weakness and stupidity. I suppose I have been proven wrong; either that or I am turning into a hyperchondriac. It could well be watching too much New Tricks.