Thursday, December 27, 2012

After Christmas already!

SO long since I posted! And now Christmas day already gone! Some problems kept me from the computer but yesterday went well.
Might as well just bang up photos taken over the past weeks:

Well a few pics for now - I think tye speak for themselves.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Winter woad

I planted some seeds from some of my woad plants in August. I thought they might germinate next spring - however, a dozen grew into fairly large plants by October. While they have not had much sunshine so probably had less indigo in them, I decided to take a chance on using them to dye 2 oz of my sheep's fleece that I had already combed into tops.

Below: strained leaves with baking soda being oxygenated

Below: sitting in a warm water pot after spectralite added

Below: wool soaked for 1/2 hour then lifted to turn blue in the air

Below: Powder blue top

I added another 2 oz and got an "icy blue" after soaking.

It's a pale blue only but rather nice - a wintery blue I suppose.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Relearning spinning wheel - standing up

I got my Ashford Traveller wheel with it's 2 treadles several years ago and it's worked well for me but in recent timesI'm having such a lot of trouble sitting down. Sitting provokes pain around the greater trochanter of the femur and ischium on the left side.
That makes using my wheel pretty impossible. E-spinners are SO expensive that I dismissed the idea of getting one of those 'though I could have used one while standing.
I decided treadling while standing up - obviously using just one treadle at a time . Actually it works! - I alternate beet - but so far I'm successful using the right-most pedal only. I'm gradually getting my drifting similar to how it was while sitting down and plying doesn't seem to present much problems.

The picture is not great. I tried to show my left foot on the right treadle while spinning a single.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Another bird in the hand

A few years ago, a robin came into the house and I carried it around for quire a while before it got lifted on a gust of wind and flew away. I think a link to that little vide is on my blog somewhere.
A few days ago, a finch went into the garage - probably through the cat flat and ended up beating itself against the window. Lucky for it, Rufus, master killer cat, wasn't in his lair in the garage so I was able to scoop it up and carry it out. It clung to my fingers until it got its breath back then eventually flew off.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pictures and places from October 2012

I prepared and spun up some Alpaca that Alex McCleod sent me. I thonk the Alpaca lives in Waterford while he lives in Wexford. It's a nice strong but soft yarn. The pattern is an adaptation of "Feather Duster" shawl pattern.
The grey is some wool from my little flock.

The autumn came to the trees this October, on the way to Loch Ennell

Portlick lough below was beautiful this October

Little wrist warmer form handdyed hand spun

Quercis Alba (White Oak) pattern using hand spun Merino (70%)- Silk (30%) from Winghan Woolworks

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A visit to Devon and Cornwall

Went to Devon and Cornwall via ferry at the end of September/beginning of October.
Nice to be able to load all you want into a car and head off without worrying about bag weights etc. However, we took the faster ferry from Dublin to Holyhead. It had not run for the two previous days due to rough seas - the seas were calm enough for our trip but also rough enough to churn the stomach quite effectively (I wasn't the only ashen-faced passenger that day). However it got there in 2 hours which is fast enough.
We spent the first night in Sough Wales - Aberystwyth - in a small  sea-front hotel. Nice to see the sea right across the road from the bedroom. That's one thing I miss while living in the midlands of Ireland.
The photo on this web page shows the place we stayed or very close anyway:
The we headed to Devon - lovely countryside - not surprising it makes good cream.
Stayed there too then on to Cornwall and took in some of the usual sites - Lands End,  Stonehenge, The  Eden Project. These are all good to visit but I (and I think "we" ) loved driving through the windy roads and passing through the small attractive villages and towns all through Devon and Cornwall. The face that it was late tourist season meant we saw daily activities such as children being picked up from school and people generally going about their business 'though there was still a good many visitors too.
We were very very lucky with the weather - it was dry but for occasional slight showers here and there and the sun was out a lot of the time.
I've added some photos - higgled-piggeldy:
Tintern Abbey


Lands End


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Connacht Textile Crafters Exhibit

Paul and I went to the National Museum of Country Life in Mayo Saturday last.
Liked all the exhibits including those set up by the Connacht Textile Crafters.
A very helpful lady showed me how cross stitch is done and I viewed the craft displays. Here are pictures of just sone of them:


Friday, September 14, 2012

Hairy Bolery finished

So it's" Knit first and ask questions later"!
Finished the little multi-green bolero - but what to wear it with??
Looked in wardrobe and several clothes shops and nothing stands out as friendly to the darn thing.
Doing grocery shopping in a supermarket and noticed a dress in what seemed to be a good color for it so went ahead and brought it home:

So it's a bit too short for me - maybe with heavier tights +/- boots in winter?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hairy Bolery

About 8 oz od cross-bred (TexelX) fleece combed and dyed with Buddlia flowers and leaves some time ago. The roving was intense yellow so I over-dyed it with Ashford blue in various concentrations to get shades of green.
I spun it on my little 1/2 oz spindles into singles. I origionally intended to use it as light fingering weight singles for a cardigan so carefully spun it with not too much twist and dried the hanks with slight weighting. But after knitting swatches of the singles, I didn't like them - they seemed a bit ... sleazy. I preferred to use the yarn doubled - so I might as well have plied it anyway. Ah well.. Decided to make a short bolero type top - it's almost done here - just some more rownw and perhaps a tie belt to add.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tessie's coat

Tessies hair turned into Tessies coat (spun, knit and some dyed with cochineal).

 Well, she moved her head - no she's not a two faced b....


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Weaving Rosanne's Brown Black Fleece

Started weaving Rosanne's Brown Blck fleece on the rigid heddle.
Using Kathleens's rug wool for the warp and between-locks wefts. Started with eight rows of warp then a row of locks, wrapped around four warps on a closed shed then six rows of weft between each row of locks. It seems a bit long and I'm not sure if I should have wrapped over six or eight warps, giving a shorter shag length but then it would not be so lush so I'll plough ahead with it. I aim to make it about 20" wide and 60" long but it may turn out smaller.

Locks wrapped in plastic garden netting before being plunged in hot water with washing up liquid for cleaning.

First three rows of locks woven. Well this is more about feel than looks :).


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Peppers, tomatoes and courgettes in the porch

These did quite well in the porch in their pots unlike much of the seeds planted outdoors this year

The plants I got from Fernhill Garden center did pretty well despite my fairly hit-and-miss care. Tumbler has produced a lot of little tomatoes and I pull them off when they turn orange then let them ripen on the garden table in the porch.