Sunday, October 29, 2006

Felted flowers

I've not been too well after ceramics last Thursday :( I did my first batch of glazing and by the time I left the class my face was covered in a horrible rash and I was dizzy, lightheaded and had chest pains and really weak muscles and brain fog supreme. Poor old me. Looks like ceramics might have to be struck off the to do list. I love it as well and am getting to grips with throwing at last.

Anyway some good news. My copy of Craftsman magazine arrived on Friday and blow me down if I wasn't in it! Well, my tea cosy that won at Wonderwool Wales was in it, to be more precise. I was very chuffed. Trouble was it's under my real name, not Cledry Yarner, so if anyone likes it and wants to buy one they won't be able to find it :( Never mind - it's my first time seeing my work in a magazine - I loved it!

Seeing as I haven't been well I've been trying out my needle felting stuff. It's easy, portable and doesn't need a lot of energy so it was ideal for this week. I've made some flower brooches which are needle felted then machine embroidered with shiny threads for a bit of embellishment. Here are the ones I've finished so far:

The flowers themselves are 2-3 inches accross with the leaf being about 3/4 of an inch so they're a nice broochy size. I've attached a safety brooch pin to the back.
They're not as complicated or detailed as some of the marvellous creations you can see but for a first attempt I'm chuffed with them.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Celtic Challenge 2006

It was a lovely sunny day yesterday and armed with my Ashford traditional I trundled off to Tregenna Castle Hotel in St Ives to participate in the 2006 Celtic Challenge. Scotland were defending the title they won in 2005 where they were the quickest in the Sheep to Shoulder challenge to turn cleaned fleece into a jumper in a day. There were reports in the local press that the Scots jumper may have been more suited to a small child and at one point there were reports that the jumper had no back but these all appear to be unfounded ;) This year, however, there can be no doubt that we were well and truly beaten as Scotland finished their 63 square blanket in the allotted time whilst Cornwall produced only 42 squares. Congratulations to Scotland you beat us fair and square.

The Cornish spinners did sterling work, keeping the knitters supplied with more yarn than they needed at all times. It was a great laugh and I hope to be invited back next year, though I'll sit in a different chair as the press photographers seemed to hone in on it. I'm never keen on seeing photos of myself so here's hoping they find something else to put in - lol

The lovely Champagne Bohemian was there on the knitters table and at one point looked quite bemused as 6 of the knitters got up and wandered off to see what was happening outside! Maybe no-one had told them it was a competition - lol

It was a thoroughly enjoyable day with local schools coming in for workshops and a great atmosphere. There was a video link between us and Scotland with an MSN type chat going on. The banter going back and forth was very funny.

There were several other record attempts during the day. Knitting with the largest needles was one - apparently the gig oars they knitted with last year didn't count as they weren't needles so they had special, giant needles made this year by an oarsmaker in Henley or somewhere:

Beauties aren't they? Wonder what they'll do with them now?

Here's Frances Jago attempting to beat the speed knitting record. She knitted 251 stitches in 3 minutes which doesn't break the record but certainly ranks her somewhere high. Her hands were flying so fast I had to put the camera on sports action setting to stop it blurring!

The carding team kept us amply supplied with batts of organic Romney from a farm up the road. It was lovely wool and some it had been dyed with tea. That wool was a bit sticky and I mused at one point whether it was the milk and sugar which had made it sticky - fnar.

More pics below

Celtic challenge #2

For some reason Blogger has messed about with the spacing of this post and I can't sort it out. Have I told you how much I hate blogger? :D

This lady had the prettiest wheel - she also sat in the same seat as I'd been in and was the one that press photographers and cameramen went to - lol

Photographing me photographing you aha! Audrey and me in cameras at dawn

Some of the lovely ladies of the spinning team being filmed by the BBC

Audrey talking bobbins - she plyed for Cornwall - quite literally!

One 'leg' of the knitting team

Well, as I keep saying, it really was a lovely day and very good fun. Temporary loss of the use of my right leg has been a small price to pay - lol. Thanks to Audrey for asking me and for her marvellous organisation skills. We had a spinning team to be proud of, though I think Audrey's whip may have been a little step too far ;)

Monday, October 09, 2006

What to call the felted soaps?

I've seen them called Soap in a Coat, Soap in a Sweater etc and I want to come up with a name for mine. I can't think of anything apart from Jacket Suds. What do you think? Has that been done already? Is it clear enough what it is? Will Fred Elliot choose Audrey? lol

Commenting on other people's blogs

My computer is playing silly buggers again. I've tried to leave comments on lots of blogs over the last few days but for some reason my computer won't open the comments box on most of them. I'm sat there clicking away but nothing happens. The only blog I've managed to leave a comment on is Piglotties.
Sorry about that :(

Saturday, October 07, 2006

More pics #2

If at first you don't succeed move to typepad :) I'm pretty fed up with the inconsistencies of Blogger but can't face another HTML fest so will stick with it for the time being.

When I looked at Cyndy's blog recently I saw she was knitting a lovely scarf. It looked like just what I wanted to make for my Mum's Christmas present and Cyndy said it was fairly straightforward so I thought I'd give it a go. Bearing in mind that Cyndy is a complete whizz at whatever she turns her hand to I was a bit trepidacious about 'straightforward' lol. However, after a few stumbling starts and stops I've got this far with it:

This pic shows the stitch pattern a bit more clearly

The more experienced of you will no doubt see mistakes in the pattern (for there are many!) but it's good enough for me and my mum won't notice. The only problem is that I'm making it from the graduated yarn I spun last spring and I didn't spin it all in one go. Big mistake. The second batch I've spun is nothing like the first. The maths has gone a bit wobbly and it just looks completely different. I'll soldier on and see what happens and call it a design feature :)
Anyway - thanks Cyndy for pointing me towards the pattern at Spindlicity. It's been my first attempt at following a chart and I think I'll definitely do it again.

Lastly, I'm halfway through my first attempt at shibori felting. I've wanted to do this for ages but didn't want to try with handspun. BSK have a sale on at the moment so I bought some cones of handwash wool. I made a long thin scarf on the knitting machine, scrunched it in places and tied in some glass beads. Then I bunged it in the washing machine. This is how it looks so far

I'm waiting for it to dry a bit more and then I'll take the beads out. I'm really pleased with it. I quite like chucking things in the wash to see how they'll come out. I never thought Mrs Pernickety Knickers was going to move out of my head and let me be more 'loose' but it appears that she's gone on her hols for a bit (probably haranguing Moroccan waiters about the cleanliness of the crockery) Wherever she's gone I'm happy :) I might embellish it with some needle felting and make a little fused pin for it. It's the ideal size and shape for a neckwarmer. Next week I'll definitely try some more.

Well, that's all for now folks. I hope to post a lot sooner next time. I'd like to say 'Hi' to my new readers. I love looking at my stats and seeing where people are posting from. I find the technology behind the stats fascinating. To be able to see peoples IP addresses, where they're posting from, what browser they're using and even what size their computer screen is is amazing, don't you think?

Cheery bye for now :)

Some pics for you to peruse

Sorry for the absence. Life is full of 'stuff' at the moment. Nothing drastic, just really petty niggling 'stuff'. You knaw how ee is yourself :)

Here's some updates on the small amounts of creative things I've been able to squeeze in. First, still on the fusible stuff a la Margaret Beal, I made a small book:

It's about 4 inches square and very delicate. Definitely not something you could cart around in your handbag but perfect for pasting little treasures into and keeping somewhere safe.

Next up is a bag I made a while back and didn't like. The wool didn't want to felt completely so it's more fulled than felted and it just didn't feel right. I decided to use it to experiment with the felting needles I got at Exeter and I quite liked it again as a result. I've lined it with some really lush red fabric I've had for years, stuck red handles on it and now I like it !

Right - well, for some reason Blogger won't upload any more pics. It's uploading them but not to the blog! I'll publish this one and then try another post.
The Spinning Wheel
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