Monday, July 28, 2008

d00d! srsly.

A second blog update, on the SAME DAY. Have I been smoking crack? Well, no. If you count delicious fibre and yarn as crack though (and alot of spinners and knitters would) then you are close, very very close.

I said I would be back with pics of show purchases and whatnot, and so I am. I tried to take a picture of it all in one spot, but bench space is limited at the moment, and the fact that I managed nearly break a bloody hip tripping over one of the kids toys last night, pretty much prohibits climbing in a chair to ake a photo from a height my dodgy camera will allow. As a result - this post is seriously pic heavy. SERIOUSLY.

First off, some people pics from the show.
Here are Donnie (first two) and Mandie (third one). I think it's a great shot of Mandie , and the second shot of Donnie shows off the utterly STUNNING shawl she was wearing that she knit. A shawl which, I believe, found itself a new owner.

Here is a quick shot of Sally, shopping the EGMTK stall at the show:

And the gorgeous Naked Pippi (with vintagegrrl closeby) Flipping me the bird.  Oh come ON, it had to be in at least one pic?

I did take some other pictures at the bbq and the show, however due to aforementioned dodgy camera, they really aren't even worth posting. There are plenty of other who took great shots, and posted links to them on Rav, so I will just let those with fabulous cameras and mad photography skillz do the showing :)

A quick note on a couple of things I bought at the show but did not photograph: one was a niddynoddy, for helping the skein up my yarn :) yet to try it out, but am pleased to finally one! Now I have the niddy, the swift, all i need is the ball winder. 
Also, from the lovely Donnie, I bought a set of nickel plated knitpicks options. I put buying a set off for aaaaages, justifying it by saying I don't use circular needles *that* much.  MY use of circs has increased, but I still put it off. Finally I bought a set at the show, and I have been a knitting a 'Helena' cardigan for miss chaos from them and OMG. WHY did I wait? WHY did I put it off? So smooth! SO much easier on my hands! They certainly come HIGHLY reccomended from me. And considering I now know hoe to magic loop - I bought a couple smaller pairs of fixed knitpicks circs too. For socks, y'know?

Onto the montage!
To save some room on the blog, and not spend four and a half hours uploading effing pics because blogger isn't terribly good at allowing me to do that, I photoshopped up a little montage-y thing of the purchases I made.

From left, to right, top to bottom there is:
Two batts, from ArtemisArtemis on etsy, colourway 'Narcissus'. Technically not a Bendi purchase, but as they arrived on the Friday I have encluded them anyways. They contain silk, bamboo, firestar, merino, jeebus, a whole host of stuff!
Polwarth Merino and Mulberry Silk blend by Wendy Dennis. I spotted this on the Friday, but left it till the Saturday to purchase. I am a fan of yellow and this colour was spied by me from clear across the shed lol.
'Coldstream' mega blend from EGMTK. This is a blend of Optim, Soy and Bamboo and was chosen by Mac (watching him squish fibre is kinda amusing.. "ooh! oo-oo-ooh!" ROFL)
Chocoholic part uno - alpaca / merino / corriedale blend
Chocoholic part duex - merino / corriedale blend
Merino - 50g of each colour which i am planning on doing a gradient type spin with.
Fibreworks alpaca/merino/kid mohair blend yarn - so pretty with such lustre! I think I am going to use this one for a shrug for Miss Chaos to go over the top of whatever dress i make for her birthday
'Imperial Reign' merino angora blend from EGMTK. I love love love this
Finally some BFL soy blend, again from EGMTK. With those greens and yellows, I couldn't say no.
The red shot with black is merino and silk, blended and dyed by VintageGrrl and from all the girls is a thankyou for playing hotel :) Awwww
The beautifully bright and majorly funky orange yellow and blue is merino, from EGMTK. I haz no idea how it got into my bag. (thanks Mandie!!!)
Back to the left bottom is some Optim from Virgina Farms Woolworks
a small smidge of a preview of the scarf I am working on using some 8 ply Fibreworks yarn I bought, the colours of which are amazing
And finally my new spindle, gorgeous Apricot wood, hand turned By the lovely Lewis who was so friendly at the show. I was totally ecstatic to find this one was the last one left by Saturday when I got there - there had been about 20 there on Friday!! And it was the one I wanted. It is sitting on top of the other batt I got from artemisartemis, in rainbow colours. Such beautiful fibre, and a gorgeous spindle - I think this is my new happy picture of the month.

And lastly I will squeeze in a better picture of the scarf I am working on - yarn and pattern could not BE more made for each other than these two, and I am hanging out to get it finished, washed, blocked, and on my neck lol.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Let's do the time warp again

I am exhausted. Still! Bendigo sheep and wool show, and the additional bbq, were over a week ago now, and I have still not fully recovered from the amount of energy the whole thing sapped from me. It was the driving that did me in in the end, I know but phew! There ain't enough sleep in the world!

It all went very well though. The bbq was an absolute blast, with loads of people turning up for a feed and a good time. I had great fun with questions being asked to win the prizes, and everyone wearing handknit socks lining up and flashing their feet so I could choose two winners of sock yarn. Anyone else at the Lake that day must have thought we were a crazy bunch but what the heck! We are! lol.

The show itself was totally awe inspiring, with so many pretties to look at, so much amazing stuff by way of fibre, tools, yarn, and just colour, colour, everwhere you looked! I was shown so much love by ravelers as I walked around, it was brilliant and as corny as it sounds, i felt really uplifted by it all. I am set for stuff to spin for quite some time, but more on that a bit later - the next post I do will be fairly pic heavy once I get around to snapping shots of everything I bought (some of which is already in use lol)

Moving backwards though, I did head out to the show on the Friday to meet up with Catsmum, and that was thoroughly enjoyable, and aslo went to visit her on Thursday of this week gone also. I was shocked and awed by the amount of gorgeous things she has, and totally enamoured by her very cute little puppy. Miss Chaos also seemed to like the puppy, Mr Mayhem was not so sure, but they both really liked the goats! It was a nice trip all in all, and one I hope to do again soon.

A couple of days before the bbq, my package in the 'we've got you covered' swap arrived, and the clever organisers had made Bex my swap pal, so oh my - the haul of awesome stuff I got was great! There was much squealing and jumping about on the bed as I opened my 'pirate treasure' parcel. Inside was 50g of laceweight from the knittery, undyed! two badges with skulls on them for the children (got to warn the world of what is coming their way lol) two beautiful soaps, one cinnamon and one banana (I have been using the cinnamon one which I just love) a pair of gorgeous fingerless mitts in black, red and grey, and the most stunning cowl knit in pearl ten malabrigo. In all seriousness I have barely taken the cowl off since I got it, I love it that much. All nicely packaged in a leather jewelry box, shaped to look like a pirates treasure chest with skull and cross bones on top.


As for my swap pal? I sent her a nice teapot and cup set called tea for one that all pieces together. I made her some fingerless mitts, in nice autumn tones, the same pattern I then made for myself. I also sent along a block of maya gold green & blacks chocolate, and I bought some Merino and soysilk blend from Mandie of EGMTK in the 'brewed' colourway of copper and charcoal tones, and then spun it for her into a lovely hank of handspun yarn. Man, I hope she liked it! (it hurt to give that skein away, I loved it so!)

Next post - pictures of show haul and bbq!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Show us ya pink bits!

First off - last post I mentioned the symmetrical braided gauntlets I made for my swap pal, and how much I loved the fit. As it turns out, I had a skein of mmmalabrigo just begging to be made into a pair for me, and truly - who was I to say no? Out came the needles, and out came the malabrigo, and when they bred - they became my new mitts. Super warm, super cosy and just beautiful to wear. (please excuse the dressing gown - it's cold!) I love them a lot!

All in all it has been a really busy week around here. More planning for the Bendigo BBQ has occurred, knitting the gauntlets, the kids have been a smidge on the nutty side, and there's been loads going on. One of the main takers up of time though has been the quilt for my neice, which I wanted finished by Sunday morning, when we were headed to the IL's for a large family get together. I started cutting on Tuesday morning, for a single bed sized quilt. (yes, I can hear the screaming from some from here, and I am well aware many people just thought "you are an idiot!!!")

It is now known as the quilt of many lessons due to the many things that making it has taught me. The first of these lessons is that yes - a single bed sized quilt IS doable in less than a week from start to finish even for a beginner. However - you don't really want to do it quite so quickly. It's far from ideal. I had planned to make the quilt according to the pattern in a charmed quilts book Ihave. I bought one charm pack of 50 squares, then bought other fat quarters in matching and contrasting fabrics, and cut them into the same sized squares. Sewing began in earnest. I then cut out the appliques, and ironed them on. By this point, the squares on top were all sewn together in two halves, and appliques were ironed on, but certainly not sewn. I had the fabric for inner and outer borders and backing and batting sitting there ready to go, but they weren't cut either. It was Saturday morning. It was at this stage I decided to be tricky and satin stitch the appliques down after I had sandwiched the quilt together. I wasnt sold on them to be honest and I wondered if they made the whole thing just, too 'busy'. It was around this point I vividly remember telling online friends *ahh.. I'll be right. If Iend up finishing it at dawn, then thats ok. Won't be the first time I have pulled an all nighter!*

I sewed the two halves of the top together, then began cutting the inner and outer borders, and sewed them on. Ironed it all very carefully, then got Mac to lay out the backing on the loungeroom floor and sticky tape it down, and lay the batting over the top. I brought the quilt top down, lay it over it, and pinned it within an inch of it's life. It was, at this point 12.30am, Sunday morning. I headed back to the machines and began quilting.
By three 3.30am Sunday morning, those appliques were becoming a major issue. They were starting to look REALLY busy and I was itching to rip them off. I still hadn't satin stitched them down and I knew I had a choice to make. Either rip them off, and get it done in time for the gathering - OR - leave them on, go to bed and accept it couldn't be done in time, suck it up and post it in a week or two when I could bear to look at it again. I took a pic of it, partially quilted, appliques still on at this point, for posterity. Tell me - what would you have done?

What did I do? Ten minutes after I took that photo, the quilt top was sans applique. It hurt to pull them off, and I felt bad because pulling them off meant - in my head- admitting defeat or being lazy. However afterward, I hooked up another redbull to the metaphorical IV bag and headed back to the sewing machine, and something odd began to happen. The quilt which I had started off loving, then became less than enamoured with, began to get a nice sheen to it again. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a real big fan of pink. It's just - not me. So for me to be falling in love with it, ecspecially at 4am, and given it's pinkness - was odd. It was then I realised I really did like the combo of fabrics I picked for the squares. They were pretty, and girly, without being overwhelming in their pinkiness. And the appliques had seriously been overwhelming the plain beauty of the colours and patterns in the squares. Removing them was the best thing I could of done.
I finished the quilt, hung it over the couch and headed to bed at 6.30 am Sunday. By 9.30am I was out on the back deck, taking pics of the finished item.

Then, it was off to the IL's for a family gathering and present the birthday girl with her new quilt which was very well received.

I did learn a lot though. I learned that sometimes, less really IS more. I learned to trust my instincts again - if I had of ditched those appliques when I thought they were going to be a bit busy for the quilt, I would of had it finished a day early, and retained what little modicum of sanity I have left by actually sleeping. And when I finally got to bed last night, while I really did sleep the sleep of the dead, I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a steam train, and entirely unable to bend or twist. The muscles in my back are frozen and burning and I am in quite a bit of pain. And so I learned that I am no longer twenty years of age and able to pull an all nighter without batting an eyelid. Not that that is likely to stop me from doing it again.

Tonight - a long overdue date with my spinning wheel, followed by another rare, and early night for me. I MUST be getting old.