Friday, August 31, 2007

It just felt right.

Well now. I've just pulled the bag out of the washing machine where it's been along with my work clothes (40 deg) and it's felted very slightly. This is good as the texture has remained, but I think it's probably a bit stronger. It may still require lining though. I'll just have to see how it goes. I decided on the randomly shaped wooden button for it as suggested by Miss Janelle in last week's comments. Thanks Janelle.

I did start to crochet a mat in the remaining wool but haven't got very far with it yet. I bought a new TV a while ago and it sits on a large wooden chest in the living room. Sometimes the sound seems to reverberate a bit and I think it may need some damping so I thought I'd do a mat for it. Good crochet practice.

This week I went to exciting new places as we lost the driver of our Shropshire / Gloucestershire run at short notice. I had five drops from Shrop/Glocs put onto my run (which luckily was not too busy). So having finished all my regular drops and pick ups on the Tuesday I set off from Bourton on the Water on Wednesday morning for new horizons.

My first drop was a deli and wine bar in the village of Newnham on Severn called Hunter & Todd which looked very nice. The second drop was a cafe just over the road from there called the George Cafe which as well as the cafe contained a lovely surprise. A weaving studio.

I couldn't resist asking if I could take some pictures of the studio and was told that I could, so here they are. Unfortunately none of the weavers was there so I wasn't able to find out more about what they do, or where they're from. When Jeannie, the regular driver gets back from her hols I'll have to ask her about it.

After Newnham I went to a trading estate in Newent then up to Ross on Wye to a wholefood shop Field Fayre and a cafe Nature's Choice next door to each other. I'd printed off a map of where they were before leaving so I was confident about finding them. I came off the end of the M50 onto the A40, then took the road down into the town centre. Over two mini roundabouts and into the end of the street where the shops were. I got a bit anxious as I couldn't see a road sign so I pulled over just inside the end of the road to ask if I was in the right place. That was the point at which I was told that the road I wanted was indeed straight ahead but alas it was one way, and NOT the way I was pointing.

I have to tell you that reversing an eighteen ton truck out of the wrong street across two mini roundabouts (traffic approaching from at least five different directions) is not to be recommended as a method of reducing blood pressure. People can be remarkably unhelpful as even with my hazards on as well as my reversing lights and warning bleeper it took ages for someone to actually stop and let me out even though I was coming towards them. Once I was out it all became much easier and though the centre of Ross on Wye is a bit tight and crowded I did get to where I wanted to be and even managed to score a parking space opposite the shop, (a big bonus when you have to carry stuff).

Saturday, August 25, 2007

F.O. (well almost)

Here's the bag I finished crocheting last night. It's an adaptation of the pattern for the Horse Around Purse by Carol Ventura from Crochet Me Magazine. In actual fact I only used the shaping and not the tapestry technique. I've made the bag out of the yarn that I spun from the Haldane roving that came with my Orkney (plus some on the bottom from a fleece I prepared myself, can't remember which one!). The Haldane was a bit compacted and strangely "bitty" but it's probably quite old and I managed. I spun it up and plied it on the Orkney.

Once I started working with it I realised that it's quite underspun and underplied too and a bit thick and thin so I'm considering felting the bag to give it a bit more strength. It's fairly dense fabric anyway as the whole bag is done in single crochet so it probably won't shrink an enormous amount but I feel that it would mean that any weak spots would be strengthened, and you don't really need weak spots in a bag. In a way it's a shame as I like the texture of the bag and I know that felting will lose that.
I also need to choose a button for the fastening. These are a selection of the possibles. I guess it's going to depend partly on how much the loop shrinks when (if) I felt it. If I don't felt it I'm going to need to block it as the strap has a tendency to curl at the edges.
I quite like this bag, and people at work like it too. They seemed quite interested, lots of them asked what I was knitting!! One asked if I took orders, I said that I didn't as she couldn't afford it but I'd teach her to crochet for free. She declined though!
One of my friends is keen to learn to knit socks though as she has found that she seems to be allergic to the elastic in bought ones. I'm going to put together a kit for her to get started.
As if I haven't enough hobbies on my plate I've signed up for a bra making course in Leicester at the beginning of October. The course is run by Michelle Pye and is for one day. I tried to book it a couple of weeks ago but it was full, luckily for me she's had a cancellation and I'm in!
I noticed a few months ago that I was getting a bruise under my left arm where the wiring in my bra was rubbing and it occurred to me that although I'd put on a significant amount of weight I was still wearing the same bras. After taking a long hard look at myself I also realised that I had bulges over the tops of the cups on my bra. Now I just HATE to see this, I think it looks as if women are trying to look smaller than they are but of course it just makes you look like a slattern (great word!) and so I went to get re measured and buy me some new bras. Unfortunately I seemed to catch M&S at their busiest time so although I got measured I didn't get any help with fitting and I couldn't find anything that fit me. I left feeling fat and depressed and continued to squeeze into my old bras. I have since succeeded in having two successful shopping trips one to BHS and one to M&S where I've managed to get some bras that fit. But at BHS I tried on EIGHT different bras, all the same size, and only TWO of them fitted me.
So I've decided that I may try making my own, that way you can get a bra that you like, that fits you AND you can have matching knickers too if you want. I've found a blog run by and for lingerie makers. It's called Bra Makers and I've put the link in my sidebar as well as here.
I must admit I did think that everyone would think I was a loony wasting my time making underwear but almost EVERYONE I've mentioned it to seems to think it's a great idea. (I suspect this is 'cos they think I'm going to make their bras for them but even so!). This just proves to me that yet another one of the more basic things that all women (or nearly all) have to do is a complete pain in the arse!
What a surprise!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Watch this space.....

Hoping there should be an F.O. here tomorrow.

In the meantime, here's a pig I made earlier.

Quite a lot earlier.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Between 5 degrees north and 5 degrees south.

Well yes that's me, languishing in the doldrums, no wind in my sails and not a lot to report. Must be the time of year, I don't think I'm alone in my disinclination for blogging activities.

Last weekend I went down to Ro's and we went to Tigers' second pre season friendly match, which was against Bedford. The first was in Cornwall but that was a little far to go as getting time off work in July and August is a bit problematical unless you book really early (like last year!!!). Chronic shortage of cover drivers (nothing to do with cricket!). It was nice getting back to rugby but a little warm for a game which should really be watched in the teeth of a howling gale with snow falling.


Tigers won the game comfortably (which was to be expected as Bedford are in a lower league than them) and a good time was had by all.

Last night I made a pair of earrings and a matching necklace. I'm wearing the earrings as we speak, but will save the necklace for more dressy occasions I think. I've also done my hair since I took that picture and thusly am less witchy looking now. I'm going into town soon to do some shopping and to visit the Huddersfield Food Festival .

I will try to resist the lure of the Kirkwood Hospice shop at which I am compelled to buy those little round things with holes in of which we are not allowed to speak in front of Ro as she has a phobia about them. (Oh, okay, buttons for those of you who haven't worked it out yet!).

I have been knitting. In fact I've knitted Coachella twice. The first time I misunderstood the instructions and it was too small, the second time it's big enough but I'm not entirely happy about the way it fits. I think it's one of those jobs that looks okay when you arrange it and stand in front of the mirror but as soon as you try to breathe or walk or move your arms it goes funny. So it's sitting in a bag waiting to be frogged or finished. I really need a second opinion but I forgot to take it down to Ro's last weekend.

I've also been spinning (no pictures) more of the Haldane roving which came with my Orkney. This in the second colour, a sort of salmony orange. This together with the brown is destined to become a crocheted bag (possibly). I was even considering a touch of beading on it which is why I got the beads out last night which led to the earrings.

Are you getting a theme here? Bit of this, bit of that? no real planning, nothing getting finished? Zooming off at tangents all over the place? Think a bit of discipline may be in order. We'll see.

for the record Ling has had her baby; a little girl called Zoe, and she's beautiful. Congratulations Ling!

Anyhoo, catch you later.