This has been a much-delayed post, mainly because my computer chucked a hissy fit every time I wanted to edit a picture, and I was determined to have this post contain pictures!
Firstly, better pictures of the moebius scarf. Since it isn’t flat, no matter how this scarf is arranged, it doesn’t seem to show it off well. And since it is a dark colour, much of it was lost in the shadows. So I’ve adjusted the contrast so that some of the detail is visible. On the right I’ve laid a small section out flat so you can see the chevron pattern created by the “right side” and “wrong side” worked from the centre double-sided cast on.
At the start of the school holidays I decided to knit and full some pencil cases from the yarn my then Year 8’s dyed in June last year. I had made one of these pencil cases before from some yarn that went horribly wrong in the dye pot. I hated the colour but made it into a very nice pencil case. It’s the one I currently carry to and from school with many essential bits and pieces inside, and the kids love it (although they threaten to use it to wipe the whiteboard every once and a while).
I sorted the natural dyed yarns into pinks and greens for one case, and yellows and creams for the second. I forgot to take some ‘before’ photos, but couldn’t resist a shot of the mucky water that came out of the washing machine – I could see it was quite bad so I had the machine pump it into the sink with the plug in, rather than directly down the stand pipe. The bucket with the pencil case in it was filled with cold water (the machine water was hot) for shocking the wool to speed up the felting. Clearly a lot of the dye wasn’t too colourfast. The rosehip and hibiscus tea in particular was a flop as all the nice dusty pinks became various shades of green. I thought it might be the colour bleeding from the wattle (olive green) and beetroot (sage green), but the yellow pencil case didn’t pick up any of the colour. The beetroot became more bluish too. The best ones were the brown onion (bright yellow) and eucalyptus (lemon yellow) in the yellow pencil case. They don’t appear to have faded at all.
Kathi arrived from Sydney via Bellingen on the Thursday of the first week of the holidays, in time to see the pencil cases above in the final stages of completion prior to fulling. By the time she returned from a bell ringing practice a few hours later, they were fulled. She liked them so much that I pulled out my bag of scrap non-machine washable wool and told her to pick out some colours, together with some matching beads for the zipper pull. She pulled out some colours that work really well together, and I knit up another one (before fulling – top; after fulling – bottom). I didn’t finish it before she left last Sunday. It’s in the post now so she’ll have it early next week.
On the Friday while she was here we went to visit Saumarez House. I’ve nearly visited several times since moving to Armidale in January 2003, yet this was the first time I actually got there. The picture on the left is of the part of Thomas House that is still standing at the farm site down the hill from Saumarez House. Sadly we missed a tour of inside the house, but spent nearly two hours taking in the garden and farm.
On Saturday we went to Uralla to visit Peter, and walked down into town with him to visit The Wool Room. The shop is now run by Nicola Wilkins, who also runs Mollydale Knits. Back in April I had bought some of Mollydale’s silk in pink and purple through Purl Yarns. This time I got to see her yarns in all their glorious colour and touch and feel them. I couldn’t resist some more silk, this time in purple and blue, and bought a skein despite still not having touched the first one.
On Tuesday my parents arrived for a visit and do a few jobs around the place that needed doing – the main one being creating a means for me to put some shade cloth over the outside of the lounge room window to cut down the heat load of the Westerly sunshine it receives in Summer (and I’m pleased to say it was very successful). We celebrated Mum’s birthday on Wednesday by going out to dinner and on Thursday we made a trip to Uralla to The Wool Room (Mum bought two skeins of blue mohair) and then back to Armidale to Wool On Wheels (WOW). WOW’s shop opened only last Saturday (before that she was doing the Sunday Markets at the end of each month), and has a range of interesting yarns, including soy silk and bamboo. There were some really great buttons too (buttons are not easy to get in Armidale!). I didn’t buy anything, but Mum bought some lace weight alpaca that she might ply with something else. I now have quite enough lace weight yarn on hand as it is… After returning home, we wound the Mollydale mohair into balls on my ball winder, and my skein of blue/purple silk. I forgot to photograph it in the skein, so there’s a picture of the ball. The purple doesn’t photograph well. Mum and Dad went home yesterday.
I’ve managed a few more rows of the kiri shawl (above) I started months ago, but mainly haven’t had the brain power. The Mollydale silk, however, was crying out to be used. And I wanted to do the Icarus Shawl from Interweave Knits Summer 2006 issue. The first chart has plenty of stocking stitch in it and does not require too much brain power, so I cast it on two days ago (below), since I need an easy project once school returns on Monday. I actually ended up working yesterday (and today and tomorrow) following a rather last-minute call to teach at an HSC Study Camp after another teacher pulled out. Where did the holidays go????