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Monday, December 21, 2009

Burial at sea

Decided to day that it was time to give the king and queen of beach combing a decent burial at sea.

I used to take these along to jewellery from junk workshops and the haul included the odd wire wrapped reject.

Three basins full of hand picked gems.....quite an emotional burial.

....but also very cathartic. Making space. Ashes to ashes and a'w that.

.....and sea glass returned to the sea.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hot stuff!!

I whipped up a cover for my baby hot water bottle with some leftover Noro yarn. The little devil is in there for life, there is no means of escape. I'm tempted to felt it now, complete with bottle inside. There is not much room for manoeuvre. Would be interesting to see if the felting is powerful enough to crumple the rubber of the hot water bottle. Suspect this kind of felting may be the stuff of Superman comics but I'll fill the bottle first, just in case.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hand in glove

Finished the cotton gloves for my friend. There is actually a prefferd space through which the thumb should exit. Decided to send them hand in glove to indicate this fact.

Doon the Watter

Off on another craft cruise...

This is my current knitting container. It's a sample for a workshop I did once for International Women's Day. The title was how to turn yourself into an old bag.

Cotton gloves for my vegan chum. No-one has actually road tested these yet. I suspect they might catch in everything. Think they'll just be for glamming about in, not for any practical purpose.

These huge cargo ships often sit offshore. They are like floating cities.

Arriving in lovely Rothesay on the Isle of Bute. Used to be the height of sophistication to holiday here in the Victorian era.

It was a beautifully calm day

Sailboats everywhere you looked.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


I learned a valuable yarn lesson today. When someone says they can't wear wool, it's a good idea to ask why. I know it seems a little intrusive but trust me, it will be worth it in the long run.

Wool allergy, I assumed when my friend let me into her secret. Nasty, itchy, scratchy. So I replaced it with lovley indie dyed silk from stash. Smooth, sensual, sensational!

Errrrrrrrrrrrrr, only my friend doesn't have a wool allergy. She's a vegan.

Now she's a good friend and knew she was a vegan. I've even fed her on accassion. I know vegans don't wear leather shoes and I understand why. It's perfectly logical. Now that I think about it I can even see why no silk. But why no wool? No sheep are harmed in the process. Maybe it's just the whole thing of animals being the slaves of man. Whatever. I have my idiocincracies too. I can't abide two pence pieces.

Luckily another good friend brought me a present of this grand ecological cotton. I'm even going to make some changes to the pattern. Perhaps the new hitch hiker's gloves will be better than ever.

Lets hope the third time is the trick.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I'm making a pair of silk hitch hiker's gloves for my friend who can't wear wool. This is indie dyed silk, quite bulky. I picked it up a while ago and it's been crocheted and frogged a few times before it found it's calling. Goes particularly well with my pyjamas I thought.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Harris Haystacks (it's my wrestling name)

I'm making a jacket from the big dod of felt I created a while ago. I just went at it with the scissors. Well, you can't make an omelet without cutting chunks out of eggs, can you?

I was playing with Harris Tweed to see if I could make jewellery. These look like mini haystacks, don't they? They might have a part of play in the finished garment.

Felted flowers

Not a huge difference between felted and unfelted, in fact, almost indiscernible to the naked eye. This is Lamb's Pride. Thought it was supposed to felt at the drop of a tap? It certainly splices beautifully.

I only learned how to splice recently and in case, like me, you've lived to this age without the knowledge......

You unravel the two ends of yarn you wish to join always presuming it is of a suitable felty type. Then, the instructions I originally found said, you spit on it. Now I'm anti spitting. Violently anti spitting. If there are any spitting related incident on the TV I have to leave the room. I was explaining this hindrance to successful splicing to a colleague who does a lot of knitting in public and she explained the alternative. You enmesh the two unravelled end with each other and run then between your lips in a lady like manner. This particular pal makes her own roll ups so it's kind of like licking your Rizzlers. Much more ladylike than actually gobbing in your hand.

So..............having covered the wetting down aspect of splicing in more detail that strictly necessary, you rub the two wet ends briskly between the palms of your two hands and they miraculously felt together! It's my favourite party trick at the moment although obviously it doesn't work with super wash or yarns with a low wool content.

Still, I think I prefer the slightly more matt felted flower in contrast with the very openwork scrarf. I may chuck the flowers in the washing machine a second time or even give them a quick going over with the sander. Now there's an idea!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Spring is bursting out all over..............

Well not spring exactly...this is part of my Christmas knitting. I'm going to chuck these in the washing machine and see what happens to them. The plan is to use them to embellish a scarf.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I'm having a bit of trouble walking at the moment which certainly makes me appreciate the beauty of the outdoors when I finally get there.

There are lots of crunchy things around.............

...and fluffy things.

Here's a ready made seascape I found growing on a bench. They do say this kind of lichen only grown in area where the air quality is good. I'm very lucky to have all this beauty on my doorstep.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Swaning around

There is some fabulous wrought iron in and around Rothesay, on the Isle of Bute. On the top of this lampost you can see the town crest.

Imaging building this house then going to the trouble of having all this ornate ironwork installed. Some of the poshest seagulls on the west coast of Scotland must live up there.

I love the colours in and around the harbour. Always lots of orange in marinas, isn't there?

Contrast the state of the art new ferry walkway in the background with the old fishing boats.

Mind you, must be hard for the locals to have us tourist gawping at them as they go about their ablutions.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Rothesay here we come!

We were off on our travels again yesterday.
I love the use of rope in and around the sea. Thought this was a particularly brilliant intervention.
There as lots of this going on...

Elizabeth Zimmerman's February baby sweater. Don't ya just love it?

Fortunatey I had the deckhand with me for the heavy lifting!

I think I'm going to collect images of ropey things found in marinas. My good buddy Digital Gran has been doing a wonderful series on circles. Check it out.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Out with the old

I'm having a clear up. Blocking things that need blocking and chucking things that need chucked. Or rather trying to find the right home for the right stuff.

There is just a possibility spinning might be making an entree into my life and something has to give. It does worry me that the same things applies to my head. As I stuff it full of the required new spinning knowledge, something has to fall out the other ear. Like where my car keys are. Nope, too late, that's gone already...........

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thumbs up - part three

When you've finished your caterpillars, s/c into the top of your turning chain to join and you're off for the final few rounds of single crochet. I started taking it down a stitch or two to narrow it for the fingers. Decrease one stitch in the next couple of rows.

Try the glove on and see where you would like it to finish. I quite often make the mistake of making them come up too far. Very awkward when you're trying to use your fingers. Probably just past the base of your fingers is far enough.

You could just cast off here but I chose to finish it with a row of crab stitch (backwards crochet). Darn in your ends and you're away!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thumbs up - part 2

You can make as many rows of caterpillars as you like on your hitch hiker's gloves. I made three and in each row I decreased one by missing the first stitch in order to take the diameter down to fit snugly around my wrist. If it's not appropriate for your hand, leave it out.

Once you're all caterpillared out and have finished roughly above your original cast on tail, change to single crochet. If you are snuggling it into your wrist, keep decreasing in the first two single crochet rows. I took it down to 16 st.

Work 5 single crochet rows in total then begin increasing (single crochet into the first st twice) for the palm of your hand.

Row 6: s/c increase in first stitch
Row 7: s/c no increase
Row 8: s/c increase first stitch
Row 9: s/c no increase
Row 10 s/c no increase
...or as many increases you you require. Continue single crochet until in the glove comes to the base of your thumb. Then the fun begins!

You could experiment with wrapping the yarn round the hook 3 or even four times and crocheting into each stitch. This time though, before you begin, you are going to make a turning chain, although you are not turning your work. This 'turning chain' makes your caterpillars stand up straight instead of bending over. So if you're having three yarn overs make a turning chain of 4ch before you begin. Four yarn overs, a five stitch turning chain first.

When you've done a few caterpillars, try on the glove and stick your thumb through one of the spaces between them and see if it's comfortable. (I know these should technically be called (quadruple half double something-or-others but to me they are forever caterpillars.)

More later...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thumbs up

Glad you liked the glove pattern folks. Here are the loopy stitch instructions.

Make a chain that will go round your wrist and over your hand. In the bulky yarn it was ch 20 for me but I have been told I have wrists like sparrows legs.

Join your chain with a slip stitch and single crochet round it once. I hate marking the end of rows so I just used my cast on tail as an indicator of where I should be finishing.

This is the loopy stitch :

Wrap the yarn round the hook 7 times, hook through first chain in your circle, yarn over hook as usual then start taking the 7 yarn overs off the hook in pairs (sets of two stitches). The yarn goes over the hook again between each pair of stitches. The results is a thing like a humped back caterpillar. Single crochet back into it's roots, the same chain as you used to start it. Ignore all holes and odd looking things. They are called texture. Move onto the next chain and repeat.

You should end up with one caterpillar in each of your stitches. Your circle will now consist of very big stitches and it is into these that you single crochet for the next round.

Then you're off making caterpillars again.

See how that goes and I'll tell you more later. If it's as clear as mud I can post pics.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hitch Hiker's gloves

Guess what this is? It's my new prototype fingerless glove.

There is a row of treble crochet round about where the thumb should appear. You just stick your thumb between any two stitches takes your fancy

I want each glove to use exactly one ball of Lamb's Pride yarn - I don't really know why - so I'm going to add more ruffles. I'm also going to turn it at the end of each row instead of crocheting in the round for a neater finish.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I now declare this panel finished

Palm tree! Yes, you do get them on the west coast of Scotland. A roll of painted calico fringed at the top and caught down with........hmmmmm, goodness knows what. One of those must have things you buy at stitching day out that lies in your workroom for the next fifteen years until you see it sticking out for under something some day and thing, wow, that looks just like the bark of a palm tree.

Unless of course, unlike me, you file your fabrics by colour, size, texture and in alphabetical order.

Anyway, here it is, finished. Really enjoyed it. Off to hand it in this afternoon. Please don't let me come back with another one to do. As Forrest Gump would say, a box of chocolates may be nice but two boxes of chocolates will probably make you sick.

I would think it'll be seen more from this angle once it's hanging up in which case the cow's fringe and the palm fronds will hide a multitude.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Big Mess

Big Draw was a huge sucess but tidying up will now have to take place before any more creativity happens.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The castle and the coo

Highland cow smoking a fag

Rather drunk too I would say, and so is the castle he's standing on.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Land ahoy

I decided to stuff my porpoise from the back. I think it's official name is trapunto quilting. The porpoise fabric is left over from a long and laborious project where I kept trying technique upon technique to make it work. This little scrap worked first time!

I'm particularly pleased with my land. It's a hand painted silk scarf complete with Celtic design I found wrapped around a rose bush one wet and windy day. I bet the owner was sorry to loose it. I was using it in my recent nuno felting experiments, hence the nice crinkle. Makes a great land mass with the felt giving it just the little bit of height.

Spot the deliberate mistake - shouldn't have stitched between top of bird's head and star. Oh well, a bit of fudging will happen later.

This is the castle and the coo auditioning for their big part. I really want to use this piece of knitting for the castle, even though it's more impressionist than realism. I think I'll get away with it.