October 31, 2008

Happy Samhain from the girls and I

Happy Samhain, hope you have a good day. I'll be staying with friends for the night but I'll be remembering all my ancestors, family, friends and those who have passed through the veil this past year. I just heard yesterday that a friend of ours had died on Wednesday. It was at my first open circle there that I met Mr Mog for the second time and decided he was the man for me:) I think it was the creative way he made a representation of a God and a Goddess figure using hard boiled eggs and a few arty crafty items. Farewell Sandy,I hope your passing was free from pain.

Mr Mog photographed the Samhain shawl today and pictures are further down the page, but first may I introduce you to the girls?

This one was quite taken with the rhubarb and custard socks as you can see.
She also has a tendency to show her bloomers, just like my nan used to:) Her totem is a spider as you can see.
This one also tends to flash her bloomers when sitting, not very ladylike but I don't think she is too worried. Her turtle totem certainly doesn't fret.
Madame here is far more demure, just ask the owl.
Granny watches over them all and is a dab hand with the pumpkin.

Here you see them all together on the incense cupboard. This contains all my incense ingredients, essential oils and such.
Yes that may be a sock on the fountain. Do you not keep yours there?

Another gratuitous pose. The three smaller witches were made for us quite a few years ago and have travelled to each new home quite happily. They measure around15 inches high.
The larger one came from a charity shop here last year for the princely sum of £4 and is around 20 inches high.
The Samhain shawl is finished and this is quite a good representation of the colour. Lydia looks quite fetching don't you think?

A touch of morning sunlight on it.

You can see it is very big. Length approx 40 inches on some of the longest tendrils and is approx 93inches wide.
Quite fills the line doesn't it? I've had one or two offers for it and it is definitely going to go to a new home somewhere, but where? I've started another one in the autumn colours. Will it be for me? Not sure yet.

Then the rhubarb and custard socks came out into the frosty morning for photos. This gives a better idea of the colour. They certainly cheer me up. I love the effect in amongst the lavetera.

One side pools more than the other but I like that effect. Lets face it if I wanted perfectly matched bog standard socks I'd go out and buy some.
This sock is a mix of 2 yarns from Cecelia, Patons purple heather 4ply in grey and an unnamed sock yarn. The colours go well together.
Answers to questions.
BW I purchased a 10 metre roll of the felt some years ago from a tiny habadashers near here. I must see if he is still there as I'm getting a little short on it now. I've done largeish pieces as I have some other ideas for it. Blue didn't seem to want to be dyed this time.
Jean I think we all have our ideas of what inspires us and what we believe, that makes for a wonderful mix I think:) The red is my favourite as well:) I'm thinking possible abundance purses in it.
The femmes are my way of celebrating the individual using the elements for inspiration. They are something I came up with many years ago while writing a story to submit to a magazine. The story led me into little figures and I had to stop writing and ask Mr Mog how can I make a doll? We came up with the idea of the first one which was much simpler than these are and from then on I've just had to keep designing them. Sometimes I go quite a while in between making them, sometimes I can't stop for days. I go with the flow. I call them femmes as they celebrate the inner self and mainly the feminine side. This doesn't mean they are just female, but that my female creativity is within them. Does that make sense? I've also found through the years that the one a person chooses reflects where they are at that time or something that they need in their life perhaps.
Phew hope that helps explain me somewhat.

October 30, 2008

Samhain shawl is finished and felt is ready

The Samhain shawl is finished , perfect timing for Samhain itself even though I'm not going to be wearing it. The rhubarb and custard socks are finished also. Pictures of these in the morning when it is light. I am definitely letting the shawl go to a new home, it feels right. Now to wait for the right offer:) The main thing for me was to dye my own Samhain yarn, knit and crochet my own idea of an ethereal, otherworldly shawl. I also wanted to start and finish during the waxing moon.
I wanted something that incorporated aspects of this time, including spiders and I think the edging does that:)
So as I say there will be pictures tomorrow,watch this space.
I have also been dyeing, the felt for the Yule femmes.
not easy to see in this picture is it?

Is this a little better?
or perhaps this?
No? then how about these?

Colors chosen for Yule, Red to represent the fire festival, Green for the Green Man, Golden yellow for the longer days to come as the wheel turns, Purple for the dark of the longest night/shortest day and for the spiritual aspects. Remember the dark half of the year is for turning inwards, for reflection. Purple is my colour for this.

October 29, 2008

Samhain approaches and colourful days

I am still here its just been a little cold and I've been achey so not much blogging as the room is chilly.
I have been creating though and here is a little of what I've been crafting.Pictures not the best as its evening but these socks remind me of rhubarb and custard sweets. They are actually vivid yellow and bright red and very cherry to knit on. Yarn is from Onesheephill.com and I bought it last year I think. Sport weight so knits up quickly and they are for me.
Then- the Samhain shawl is almost finished. I'm halfway across the border and up to now it has taken over 6 hours to do the border despite being crochet. I think its all the curly whirlies:)

Colour will show better in daylight. It is very large and very warm. I won't be keeping it ,so if anyone is looking for a one of a kind shawl let me know. I'm always open to trades:)
I've got felt in plastic bags dyeing for the Yule femmes. They will be ready for viewing next week sometime.
Off to watch eggheads.

October 25, 2008

Bearfoot socks action men boots, and a watery femme.

I've finished another pair of socks.
Yarn: Mountain colours bearfoot in Indian Corn
Magic loop on knitpicks harmonys 3.25mm

Size made, large. I love the colour on these it really cheers up a dark day like today. These took just 3 evenings start to finish so I'm really pleased:)
Then I finished a watery femme for an online friend of mine.

She should be at her new home today so I can post her picture here.
I'm working on wing ideas for the Yule femmes. Not all of them will have wings,but several seem to be letting me know ,via my muse, that is what they would like.
I have an idea of what wings I want, raggy ones but still haven't come up with what seems right yet. Various experiments are sitting drying on the desk.
Today is dreadful. Non stop rain and wind and at 4pm it is dark already. We went out to try and get some fresh air on the prom and got soaked to the skin.
We went round the local charity shops looking for action men boots and found 3. Not 3 pairs but 3 boots. If anyone has any they don't want I'd love them please. I'm working on ideas for a few more butch femmes and they apparently will need Doc Marten style boots the muse has said. They aren't easy to make myself, I've tried, so action men look out your boots are wanted.

October 21, 2008

My amazing SP parcel:) And visiting Bears

Look what arrived this morning, my final fantastic parcel from my SP. Who BTW I have now found out is called Alison(knittingran on rav) Thank you so much Alison for all your gifts through this past few months,I hope you have had an equally great partner. You chose the most perfect gifts for me . Here you see Shilasdair baby camel handspun in purples. I have never tried this yarn before or indeed any Shilasdair so I will really enjoy knitting this up. I'm thinking a cowl?
Stitch markers with AM that Alison made me:) A bath bomb for tonights bath and a coaster with my perfect diet on it. The Celtic Cross necklace is lovely , I've always had a thing for colour changing stones, the mercurial side of me I think. But then:-
just look at Silvie my new fairy friend:) Isn't she amazing?
Alison I love each and every item you have sent and I do hope we continue to keep in touch.
Watch your mail now I know who you are:)
Today was rounded off with a visit to 2 Bears we know. Ursula and Papa Bear made us a yummy lunch of carrot and coriander soup followed by home made cakes. I always love to visit them because both are very creative and it always inspires me. Papa Bear had made a beautiful Clapotis in lilacs and his wood work is superb.
Ursula makes so many things she makes my head spin, think ornaments in felt, spinning, knitting,memory albums to name but a few. I came home topped up with inspiration.

Rosie's socks finished:)

These fabulous coloured socks are made from the yarn Rosie dyed for me with koolaid. Aren't they lovely? Thank you Rosie I loved knitting with this. I know whoever gets them in this hospice appeal will treasure them.
Short post for now, we are going to have our flu jabs. I just couldn't wait to get these socks on the blog.

October 19, 2008

Autumnal and Samhain Femmes.

I've been finishing off the Autumnal and Samhain femmes and I thought you would like to see them. Yet again I seem to have made 13 which must be significant in itself. So without further ado let us go and meet les femmes.

Arven adores Samhain and Halloween, she loves the taste of pumpkins and all the ritual that attends this time of year. Spiders are her friends because she travels their webs seeking out new worlds and new challenges. Arven has found a new home thank you.

Meet Arianhod, in honour of the Welsh Goddess who's name she bears. Goddess of reincarnation so perfect for this time of year when the veil is at its thinnest. She spins fibres from earth and water which make up this fabulous greeny blue. She still has to have her spindle attached. The trail of glitter represents the stars in the night sky ,symbolising the link twixt heaven and earth.
Arianhod is taken thank you
Bastet is the guardian goddess of cats from ancient Egypt, this femme encompasses her more protective aspects and is intended as a house guardian. Her spindle helps her to catch and spin negative aspects and turn them into more positive helpful ones where she can. As with all les femmes she also wears a silvery hand that says "hand made".
Fuschia wears the colours of summer deepening into Autumn. She is a creative spirit and is intended as a muse for her new home. She also has a protective cat as her totem.
Vivianne honours the lady of the lake as she is a water femme. Pisces would be her zodiac sign. She doesn't have a spindle because she uses her fishing net instead. Her allies are fish and as you can see she has a few with her. Vivianne personifies the emotional side of the self.
Vivianne is provisionally taken thank you
Andarta is a fertility goddess in her autumnal ,harvest aspect. The falling leaves represent the turn of the wheel into autumn/winter. The spider is her ally weaving the webs of inspiration and creation as Andarta weaves the threads of mist into dreams.
Ixia is dedicated to the Goddess Ix Chel Mayan Goddess of Creativity and Weaving. She carries an artists palette to capture the colours of the earth as she travels.
IXIA is provisionally taken thank you
Maranna is dedicated to the Celtic new year at Samhain,this is when her powers are greatest. The dragonfly is her ally and represents the duality of Samhain. It is the end of the year and the beginning. Maranna also reflects the light within the dark, when timescan seem worse and yet we strive to overcome it.
Thea is a tree spirit and carries a representation of her tree upon her clothes. She also has moon leaves caught on her sleeve. She spindles the falling leaves into seeds for the spring then buries them until it is time for them to grow.
Kelpa lives amongst the seaweed and communes with all the creatures of the sea. She helps us understand that sometimes tears are necessary and that they wash away anger and cleanse the spirit.
Kelpa is provisionally taken thank you
Verdia spins the autumn towards winter. She is a sprite of air. She lives amongst the branches of an old ash tree watching the year go by.
Verdia is provisionally taken thank you

Katia is a true Samhain sprite, her time is when the veil is thinnest. She shines a light into the darkness and travels along the spiders web. Apart from spiders her allies are ants and you will see that one travels in her pocket. Katia is travelling to her new home.

Brigantia values the dark half of the year as a time to go inwards and reflect on what the previous year has taught her. The mushroom symbolises the journey into the underworld. As the spring returns she starts her creative outward journey once more.
Brigantia is taken thank you
As always they can be yours and they await the journey to a new home. Send me a message if any call to you.

Finished some hats.

A catch up post on finished knitting first. A change from socks and shawls

Two hats for a blogger friend's baby.
These are knit from my hand dyed DK samhain nights. I was going to make socks for me but decided there may not be enough yarn for longer socks so I'll have to dye some more. What a hardship:) This is Woolly Wormheads Baby Icord hat

View from the top
This is Woolly Wormheads Baby Jester Hat. Isn't it cute? It took a bit of fiddling to kitchener the points as I did both hats using magic loop instead of DPNs.
I also added a row of holes to add pattern.

I was going to go to a friends knit in today but I've been way too sore past few days and wouldn't have been comfortable travelling.
Next post Autumnal femmes:)

October 17, 2008

Autumnal and Samhain femmes are on their way

Thought I'd let you know that a new series of Femmes are on their way. Some for Autumn and some for Samhain/Halloween. That should give you an idea of colours:) Watch this space maybe tomorrow otherwise sunday for pictures. They will be available for adoption.
I've kept off the samhain shawl for the past couple of days to let my chest settle down. I've been making a couple of baby hats and pictures for those will follow when they are done. It has been fun knitting something different. We have been catching up with family and friends this week which has been good. Mr Mog got his results from the glucose tests, his sugar is normal, a relief to both of us.
Hopefully if the weather is ok tomorrow we will get out for a visit to the prom, the view today was absolutely stunning over the bay. Very clear. I have often noticed that cloudy skies can give incredible views. We could see clear across to the back mountains.

October 14, 2008

Mohair:( and answers to questions.

Well no shawl knitting today:( I woke up with a rotten cough and wheezing. I think the fibres of the mohair have set off my asthma and I've maybe swallowed some. I am going to get a mask before I do anymore knitting on it. The sea drift one didn't bother me. I think it may have something to do with the speed I wound it from the skein, maybe lots of fibres in the air and then knitting for 2 days on it. So today is sock day. Quelle surprise:)
Answers to questions asked
Lizzie you lift the bobbins off to add the skein
Round because they look right but Mr Mog is experimenting with hexagon ones now. We think that as long as we have the balance within the bobbins the outer shape shouldn't matter but watch this space.
He is going to make some for folks who ask although I don't want a big production line, he does get tired easily with the hormone treatment and the radiotherapy effects.
The sea drift shawl edging, I made up as I went along so couldn't tell anyone how to do it. It was a mixture of trebles and double crochet.
Samhain, for me the beginning of the new year. A time to let go of the past year, honour the things I've done and achieved. Good or bad. The bad things can be learnt from I always feel although it may not seem it at the time. A time when we are closer to our ancestors, the veil is thin. A time for the body and mind to go into the dark half of the year, to plant seeds that will grow as the year turns. I am not explaining properly Diane I know but a great book or series of books are anything by Glennie Kindred to give a little taste of what the wheel of the year can be, she doesn't preach or presume that her way is the only way(as some authors do).
However as always any questions please do ask. I don't have all the answrs, who does, but I'm always glad to help if I can

October 13, 2008

Samhain shawl progress

progress to date on the samhain shawl. I am loving this colourway I dyed it is so rich and gorgeous to knit with.

Hopefully it will knit up speedily as I'm obsessed with it and don't want to put it down.
Thanks for all the lovely comments on my swift. Mr Mog is going to make one or two for folks:)

October 12, 2008

Look what I've got:) A floor standing swift.

Just look what my wonderful Mr Mog made for me:) We went to visit Cecelia a few weeks ago in Cumbria and she very kindly wound my sea drift mohair on her antique floor standing swift. We decided that something like that would be ideal for lofty yarns such as the mohair which won't fit on my normal swift and obviously couldn't afford to buy one. Mr Mog took a couple of photos and came home to work out how to make his own version.
The hardest part was making the circles for the bobbins, a hole cutter for 6inch circles would have been way beyond out cost, we asked. So Mr Mog cut 4x 6inch circles out himself by hand. A lot of hard work you will agree. We have now purchased a handy kit for making circles up to 3inch so the smaller swifts Mr Mog wants to make will be much easier(I hope)

Here you see it with the autumn mohair on that I dyed several weeks ago.
There is a 200gm hank there which would normally take a good while to wind. 25 minutes from start to finish, swift to ball winder:) It would have been quicker but the mohair was matted slightly to start.
I made 3 balls of it as I don't have a jumbo ball winder yet and my little one soon gets full.

Here you see the finished balls. The colour looks so different when it is wound.
The double knit I dyed took minutes:) Can you see this as socks for me?

This was the sock yarn I dyed, it has dried beautifully and below you see the other side of it.
I am not knitting this up, it is going to a friend to be given as a prize at her knitting event.

Then I wound the purple yarn, oh the colours in this are exactly what I aimed for. This will make a wonderful samhain shawl I think. Time to wind 200 gm of slightly matted mohair? 25 minutes again. Makes it so much easier for me than around 2 chairs or over Mr Mog's hands.

Just look at the richness. It is actually slightly darker than it looks. The sun was shining:)
Well done Mr Mog, I'm sure you will have many orders for these:)
In answer to your question on pattern Jean. I cast on 88 stitches for the smaller cowl and 96 for the larger one using the moebius cast on from Cat bordhi. Then I just did K2 P2 until it was long enough. Finally I cast off in the same rib.
Have a go it is fun.
Now I just need a jumbo ball winder if anyone has one spare?

Poetry for Brigid Imbolc

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