Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Well. whoop-di-do!

I am now the happy possessor of a little gadget that reads my memory cards, and it works!

So, here we go.

wolf lichen yellow?

Bit silly, really, putting this one up. It is actually bright daffodil yellow yarn, dyed with wolf lichen, but the colour simply hasn't been picked up by the camera. Ah, well...


Spiraluscious! With obvious error, but I didn't spot it until I had finally started getting the border right, and there was NO WAY I was going to frog at that point! Blind men and galloping horses, and all that.

noro jacket

Noro jacket, showing highly sophisticated method of joining yarns (those ends will be dealt with, I promise!) Not exciting, but will be useful.

barni helping with sock knitting

Barni helping me with my Araucania sock. (He has helped some more today, and one of the needles now has a neatly deckled tip. Such a love!)



Both ends of the Gallery, Temporary Art Space, wherein I spend my Thursday afternoons at the moment.

So, back to what passes for normal around here.

I've been needle felting today in preparation of the workshop in a couple of weeks. I had actually forgotten what fun it is. I also forgot just how easy it is to jam a needle right through a digit. Fortunately, they are thin and sharp, and only hurt and bleed momentarily. All better now....

OK, so the DSM is watching a documentary on tv about what fun maths is, so I am blogging and about to look through beads, having seen some funky necklaces in town today that I could perfectly well make myself.

Each to our own.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Oh, the frustration.....

If not being able to put up photographs of this glorious spring day. Still, the end is in sight, as either Nathan will sort it out, or I will get one of the card readers that people keep telling me about. I had been labouring under the misapprehension that you had a camera with either a usb cable connector, or a card reader. But seems I'm wrong, and I can for very little money buy myself a gizmo so I can use the newer camera and read the card separately. Such clever stuff.

Anyway, today has been quite spectacular. Cold, I suppose, but with a black sweater on in the sun, warm enough to have coffee, and then lunch, outside. The young cats have been reveling in it, rushing about exploring. At one point, they dragged Neelix out with them, and we had the delightful sight of all three in single file, heads and tails up, prancing along the top of the gabions.

It hasn't all been sloth and self-indulgence, either. We went to the local garden centre yesterday, and bought all sorts of things, you know the usual sort of garden centre spring frenzy.....Seeds, seedlings, pots, feed, SLUGDETH (the environmentally friendly sort, at least that is what it claims on the tin - we have to do something.) Beds have been dug, pots weeded, paths cleared. I have planted out ten little heather plants where there used to be an unsuccessful herb garden, and they join all sorts of bits and pieces moved or rescued from elsewhere. It was a positive treat to be working out there, but I had to drive myself in to do some tidying upstairs and some stuff on the computer that I have been putting off for ages.

There has as well, been fibre stuff of course - it would a be a strange day if there wasn't. AH on Friday, again full, again a good day. A brand new spinner, who I could see had "got it" in one way, she knew what to do; but couldn't quite sustainedly achieve it! As people do, she was fairly brain dead come near the end, so most unusually for me I took to barking instructions at her ..."treadle! draft! let it go!" and suddenly it all came together and she was spinning a great yarn, with a big smile on her face.

Maybe I have a Jekyll and Hyde personality?

I had intended to do some dyeing today, but haven't managed to fit it in. Tomorrow, perhaps, as a treat?

The other thing we achieved yesterday was to find venues for the Nancy Bush workshops. Nancy has very kindly said that she will do two in HB if I like to arrange them, so it is slowly taking shape. One venue, for Saturday 4th July (how appropriate!) is now a firm booking, and we have a TBC one for a weekday workshop elsewhere. I shall be going public with details just as soon as I can.

Meanwhile, I have a couple more emails I must send, and then I am desperate for a cup of tea. I'm all discombobulated with the hour change, need a boost!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Stupid title for a post, but it expresses very well how I feel.

Stupid camera is still not talking to stupid computer, despite following the advice of a seemingly helpful young man at Samsung, and of our computer geek in Mytholmroyd. The newly downloaded driver didn't help - the pc now claims not to recognise the hardware at all. And trying all the cables that fitted the camera achieved nothing.

I have found the old camera, but not as yet the cable for it. So, no bloody photographs, again.

I do have a few things to show. I'm working on two pairs of more or less generic socks, one thick, one thin. The rib jacket from Yarn Forward is making slow progress. I persevere, as it will be a very useful garment. I've spun a little yarn, a pretty purple from a Ravelry swap. And I have the intense yellow - yes, it came out all right - from the wolf lichen. But no more dyed stuff as yet, I only remember I want to do it when it is really too late in the day.

It doesn't seem all that much, but we had a busy weekend with Guild on Saturday. (And very nice it was too. My DSIL is the current Chair, and she is doing a good job.) Then, Sunday was Mothering Sunday, so we went to York. Monday, the DSM took a day's leave, and the weather being sunny but fine, we did a bit of pottering in the garden. We had originally intended to have a day out, but this seemed a better way to go, with the fee being no cooking - lunch and supper being had out at favourite spots. Supper was particularly good, especially my soup - cream of cauliflower with a seared scallop as garnish. Very very yum.

(I am realising the Blogger for some unknown reason is doing that weird thing of obliterating the next letter if you alter the preceding one - aaargh. Can't cope with that, may have to go!)

I'm gallery sitting again tomorrow, and I had some photos of that as well, but they too will have to wait.

More later!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

You just have to take the rough with the smooth

So yet again I am spending way too long sitting at the dam' computer - or rather, computerS. I wanted to upload some photographs and now, NOW, dammit, the Digimax is no longer talking to the laptop!!!

Back to hunting for drivers on teh interwebs, none of which do I seem to be able to find, just lots of software that will tell me that I am missing drivers. Only in the case of my Samsung driver, apparently it is something different, and at this point my brain started to curdle and my ears bleed. So, for now, I am giving up. I may go back to the camera shop and ask their advice again. Although they were ever so slightly dismissive last time, there was a definite edge of "oh, the little old lady with her problem." Of course, I could get the DSM to do it - or would that be cheating?

This means that I cannot show you the evidence of my triumph. I have finished Spiraluscious!!!

(I am sorry about all the !!!, which I generally try to be extremely sparing with, but it is a mark of the strong emotions being engendered here today.)

Anyway, yes, it is indeed done. I took it with me on my course last week as relaxation for the evenings, got over half way with it, finidhed it off during the week all bar the Kitchenering. I had to wait for spousely help with that (it fries my brain.) But, completed last night, and ends sewn in today.

And photographed in the lovely spring sunshine, but we've been there already.......

I'll drag the Fuji out again, I think. I don't want a totally photoless blog.

Other news. Remember the missing scarlet bra? It turned up. Um. In the stash. As to how it got there, I have absolutely no idea, none whatsoever. Personally, I blame Barni.

And speaking of cats, thank, many thanks to all those who left me messages about Maxie. The DSM, the other mogs and me all miss him, but it is all part of life's rich pattern. Ruby was the funniest, she was definitely aware that something had changed, she kept stalking around on the bed on Friday night glaring at the DSM's lap where Max should have been. And the snowshoes have suddenly turned into lap cats. Although that could have something to do with not having the central heating on so much....I suppose!

Friday, March 13, 2009

01.11.1996 - 13.03.2009


max and pond

Max on roof

Max Plank

max and stash

I don't have any kitten photographs I can show you. Max came into our lives before digital cameras, and I don't have the heart to go hunting for the albums just now.

We got the results of a second round of blood tests for Max this lunchtime, and they were not good. We took him down to see a vet late this afternoon, and she found that one of his kidneys was grossly enlarged. It was time to let him go.

Max was beautiful, loving, brave and funny. We shall miss him a lot.

Carol and Max

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

To continue.....

Sunday, first. Knitting at The Bear. Comfortable chat, quite a bit of needle-clacking, and a truly great soup. Celery and rice, yum. Definitely one to attempt to replicate.

Then it was off to Alston for the class in precious metal clay. I have wanted to do this for ages, and I certainly wasn't wrong when I thought I would like it. It was stressful - I am not good at working on fairly small things, using quite a bit of tight hand control. Plus I had to design. By the end of the first day, my hands were shaking and I was knackered!

But I got everything I wanted out of the class and then some.

Ready to roll

Ready to roll. You use the cards in a stack the size of the number on the top to get the thickness of clay you want.


One of the most fiddly bits - I cut a surface design from thin clay sheet. It collapsed putting it one, but it worked out all right in the end..


Pieces drying on a hotplate prior to firing. Or in case of the leaves, like mine at the front of the shot, drying between coats of slip being painted on. Most of the work on here are not mine, sadly!

Oit of the kiln

Fired pieces being taken out of the kiln. The temperature, I believe, reaches 1650F. Unless I misheard....

My pieces!

My haul. I tried a few different techniques and had no irreparable disasters.

And finally....

First, and favourite

My first and favourite piece. Here, it is on a purchased silk cord, but I rather fancy doing a kumihimo braid for it. And one day, I will do Mark 11, to put right all the things that I can see that I could have done better. But I love it!

Goings on

I may well do this as two separate entries, even if I do write them up on the same day. We'll see.

Saturday. I was at Bowland Guild to do a cut-down workshop on natural dyeing. I had said that I wasn't going to do any more, but I gave in, and I'm glad I did. I enjoyed brewing up pots again, and it was very simplified so not too arduous! I set up alkanet root, weld, madder and indigo.

Alkanet without any mordant. I didn't get to see any results, but don't expect that it amounted to much as it wasn't left anywhere near long enough to cook, everyone was so impatient!

Weld and madder with 10% alum:WOF directly in the dyepot. Both worked well, particularly the madder. I did ammonia afterbaths with both, the weld brightened considerably, the madder less so. But introduced another technique.

Dyeing workshop: madder

Indigo. I used the Jacquard pre-reduced form as I left it too late to get any instant from the States, and really didn't feel like doing a proper vat. But I actually liked the pre-reduced - it was very nearly as easy to do as the instant, and gave a good colour. My only quibble was that the "grains" were more like a slab of toffee and it was therefore hard to dissolve, but we did get there in the end!

Dyeing workshop: indigo

None of the fleece was dyed to a deep shade, and a lot of stuffing of dye pot went on! But much fun, too. this was only meant to be a "taster" workshop, giving people an idea of what can be done in a fairly minimalist way, and in that, I think it succeeded. Hope so, anyway.

Dyeing workshop

Dyeing workshop

And in preparing for it, I found a small stash of wolf lichen from our last trip to California, which I have just used to dye some of the whitefaced woodland. I think the colour may have degraded a little with the passage of time, but still a reasonable yellow which will most likely be overdyed. Later this year, with any luck, I shall gather some more!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I've been putting off posting....

My camera non longer talks to the pc, and all photos have to be uploaded onto the laptop. Which means I have to boot up the laptop, sometimes twice if it doesn't pick up the wireless network. Not to mention going and finding the cable which is always somewhere else. And it is a royal pain in the wotsit. (When I do eventually do the deed, I'll either post photos, or a Flickr link, promise.)

So, I haven't yet dealt with the photos from last Sunday's get together with the York Ravellers, and it really is time I did.

Not that there is all that much to say. We had a lovely day, and I gather they did, too. The DSM's five beginner spindlers all were twirling away by the time we left, and I think my three wheel spinners got something from it as well - certainly the least experienced made a huge amount of progress.

I am really enjoying all the fibre activity that there is at the moment. I've just got back from coven, which is why I am tapping away at the computer. I always need to chill a bit after driving back, or I won't get to sleep easily. and that is quite enough of a bother at the moment, thank you very much. Anyway, we sat and knitted and chatted, to the accompaniment of one very large cat purring and one very much larger dog snoring and farting. Chester is a smashing hound - I want to say bull mastiff, but I could be wrong there - but he has some Habits. One of which is letting his tongue hang out, and then dropping back down and going to sleep with the tongue lying on the carpet, which looks rather silly, and was putting my tongue on edge thinking about the feel of it.

Then, Sunday is a knitting meet-up in Tod, before I go off for a couple of days of playing with precious metal clay, which I hope I don't make a total bish of, the material is too expensive to waste!

And as well as all that, I'm doing a natural dyeing workshop for a local guild on Saturday, and tomorrow evening is the opening of A's gallery in the Piece Hall. Hopefully, photos of that to come.

I am managing to continue with spinning the white faced woodland, some of which will probably go in a dye pot in the next couple of days. And knitting. An inch or three on the jacket, slow but progress. But the Jitterbug sock got frogged. I finally tried it on, and although it fit fine around the foot and the ankle, the heel was way too snug. I can't quite work out how that happened, but it has died and been reborn with a few more stitches. Fingers crossed.......

Readers of a sensitive disposition should look away for this last section as it concerns an item of ladies underwear......

The other night, for reasons that I will not go in to, I decided I needed to remove my bra. Not at bedtime, you understand, some time and somewhere else. (A new bra, and sometimes those need breaking in, ok?)

Right now, a bra, even a brilliant red one, is an inanimate object. And being red, and being mine, not, I would suggest, easily mislaid. So where, then, is it? I have turned the house upside down, looked behind and underneath things, gone through the laundry basket, removed all the sweaters form their shelves in case it had got tangled up with one of them. No sign whatsoever. I don't get it - or indeed, find it, and I am running out of places to search. Could this be an international conspiracy? Could one of the snowshoes have dragged it off somewhere? At the moment, I have no clue. But I am peeved. It was new, and pretty.

And red.