November 29, 2009

Finished projects,shawls and yarn

As promised photos of finished projects in knitting and spinning.
This is the second shawl knit from my hand spun yarn. A little slubby and thick and thin in parts but I like that about it. I plyed the yarn with mohair and a glitter thread to add interest.
I was going to thread glittery yarn through the holes but I've decided that it doesn't need it, would be overkill.
Then the silky furry shawl is finished. It is very hard to take a true picture of it, you can't see the sheen or feel the lushness of it.

Think this will be going in the Winter Solstice gift pile
I have also finished spinning my finest yarn to date.
This is Spin a Rainbow from Mandacrafts. 200gm of Falkland tops in shade Heather.

See the finest of the spinning?
From 200gm I spun 571 yards. So 285.5 yards per 100gm, I think that is around double knit:) I see socks in its future.
I also spun 100gm of Yarn Yard shetland tops.

I am equally pleased with this as I obtained 287.5 yards from the 100gm. There again double knit weight I think.
Today is very dark and very wet. Not a day for doing much outdoors so spinning beckons once more.

November 28, 2009

Busy,busy, busy

I'm still here. It has been an odd few days what with one thing and another.

On to more pleasant things. I got my new jumbo flyer yesterday morning and Mr Mog fitted it for me. I've plyed all the yarn I had spun up. 3 jumbo bobbins full and exceedingly fine compared to previous efforts. I'd guess double knit or a shade finer. We will see when I skein it up tomorrow what yardage I have.

I have been knitting and if we have more sunshine tomorrow I'll post pictures. I've made a Baktus scarf, a silky furry large shawl in mohair and eyelash silk. Unbelievably tactile and soft.
Think that is me up to date. We are off to baby sit our 2 grandsons.

November 24, 2009

Sometimes there are good things

2 days ago a friend blogged asking for help for a friend of hers. This pals boyfriend was at the other end of the country and had been rushed into hospital. They found he had cancer of the liver and stomach. His girlfriend(my friends pal) wanted to be with him but was at the opposite end of the country and more importantly had no money. She is a single mum and has 3 children. Works in a hospital nearby where she lives. Hasn't moved down to where her boyfriend is because of the job and her young children. They see each other when they can because he too has a job. My friend put a call out on her blog asking for help for the fare down there. All the people who responded were strangers to the one needing the help but knew my friend. Convoluted or what:)
Within a very short while the sum raised was over £100 all from strangers. The girl concerned hadn't asked for help but got it. I think money is still coming in.
It warms my heart to see the generosity of strangers. All is not lost is it?
As for me a rotten day. Much pain and discomfort:(

It has been a very dark dismal day today and I long for some sunshine to lift my spirits.

November 22, 2009

I think my spinning wheel leads a double life and other similar things.

I think my spinning wheel lives a double life. In fact I am sure of it. I wonder if it spends time in faeryland when I'm not using it? Why I hear you ask? Each time I begin using my wheel I have to adjust the tension it is always too loose. I always leave it on the correct tension for what I'm spinning it makes it easier when I come back to it. It is never correct, always very loose.
We went to see Mr and Mrs Laal Bear yesterday and on both journeys the string came off the wheel and the tension knob was fully open. I wouldn't have thought the motion of the car could unscrew a wooden knob, would you?
I'm putting it down to the wee folk enjoying a little spinning. They probably collect the bits of fleece the sheep leave behind on fences and hedgerows. How else would they have warm clothes for the winter months?
It gets better:)
Since I had my hair cut fairly short some years ago I have never used hairclips or slides. Had no need to really.
Yesterday my fringe was irritating me, it has grown and kept going in my eyes while spinning. I've not yet booked a trip to the local college for a trim so I decided to snip the fringe this morning to help. Just a few centimetres but it makes all the difference. While putting my scissors back in the drawer in the craft room I followed my usual , almost daily , habit of pulling an angel card out of the tub to see what the word for the day was.
I pulled not one but 2 cards, fastened together with a hair clip. Something I don't have in the house.
With all the amazement at this event I forgot to remember the words that came out.
Spooky or what?

Floods and other stuff

Dreadful flooding in Cumbria and in Dumfries and Galloway, both places we have lived and Cumbria is where many of our family and friends still live. My heart goes out to all affected by these latest events. To see places you love surrounded by water is dreadful and more so for all the people who have lost homes and possessions. One of the most poignant things to see from a woolly persons point of view was the devastated wool shop in Cockermouth and all the yarn and display stuff floating down the street leaving only a jumper hung up. Many of the people flooded had no insurance as the insurance companies would not insure them after the last floods. They will need all the help they can get to resume their lives.
Back in the 1970s I lived in Fleetwood and we had major floods there. The rescue and relief organisations were hampered by all the ghoulish onlookers who drove from many miles away to watch the tragedy. After speaking to my sister in law yesterday it would appear that this still happens. Why do people have this desire to see other folks misfortunes? If they are going to go there could it not perhaps be for something positive like helping to clear up? It is the same on motorways when there is an accident, traffic on the opposite side to an event is just as bogged down due to the self same thing.
It makes me ashamed to be human:(

On a brighter note;-

We were supposed to be up in Cumbria yesterday at our spinning guild. After seeing the warnings not to travel we decided to be sensible and not do so. We still had a spin in, Laal Bear and Mr LB invited us over for the day. 3 spinning wheels whirred along while Mr Laal Bear made us all a fabulous roast lamb lunch, followed by a blackberry crumble and custard that Laal Bear created. Yummy food and great company. I got to see the painted wheel that Mr LB had done, very very pretty wheel. He is a super artist. He also has a touch of whimsy in his writings if you check out his blog. You will find out things about the fairy folk you never knew:)

I have been knitting as well as spinning. I've finished my first Baktus scarf, a quick easy knit

I'm also currently making a shawl in a mix of mohair from the Woolclip and a furry eyelash yarn. This is the most silky furry shawl I've made in a long while. Very tactile and warm.
Here is a picture of some of the finished spinning. It is waiting for a dry day to set the yarn. The red one I had difficulty spinning for some reason so I did a single slub style and plied it with rayon embroidery thread. Will be great for femme's hair me thinks.
As you can see the upright swift is getting plenty of use as is the windmill one Mr mog made me.

Mr Mog and I decided we could do with a bedding box or chest each to keep our fibre stash in. I'll leave him to show you pictures of the one he has, suffice it to say he now has enough fibre and fleece to fill a chest:) Thanks must go to Laal Bear and Artis Anne for sending him spiralling down the stash route.

Mine is quite a Gothic storage chest , it came flat pack and despite having a very painful back Mr Mog put it together for me.
I managed to find enough fibre to fill it as you can see.

Mind you I think the amount I'm spinning lately is helping to use some of it.

November 19, 2009

New moon, spinning, Bach flower remedies.

Well we are in a new moon cycle, how is it for you? I've not found much lessening of my pain yet but it is early days.
I'm trying some of the suggestions to counter it and hoping for better days.
It has been the most dreadful week here, lots of rain and gales. Mr Mog has injured his back moving and dismantling a shed then laying new flagstones for a new shed that is hopefully here next week. He did it all himself not a good idea but hopefully his aches will soon go.
He appears to have fallen in love with an Ashford Kiwi, especially after seeing some of the pain jobs done on them. Joking apart I think it is the portability aspect he is keen on. Much easier to take to spinning guild I suspect.
I of course am holding out for the elusive Lendrum. I know some time there will be one with my name on.
At the moment I am loving spinning on the traveller, the double treadle helps so much with balancing my joints and it is a pleasure to spin.
Nothing much to show picture wise as some is for Yule gifting.
I'm looking into Bach flower remedies. Don't know a lot about them and to be honest some of the books are way too much information. I think a poster overview may be more helpful certainly initially. Then I can read more on which I am attracted to and why. What thoughts do you have on them?

November 16, 2009

Thank you:) And still need a Lendrum spinning wheel.

Thank you very much for all the encouraging comments and emails I've had. So much healing energy abounds that it is very heartening to be part of it.
I'm trying some of the suggestions received to combat the current pain. BW Yours especially. I'm not normally dependent on chemical solutions as I hate the idea but I did succumb to the various pills offered by the doctors just to get by and keep the pain under control somewhat.
I'm detoxing now and trying to use just oils, healing and positive thinking. I know that I can't get rid of my health stuff and don't wish my life away on that thought. All I want is for the pain to be tolerable and manageable.
Anyways, on with other things. I have just finished reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and loved it. I never saw the tv series but had recently re read my Graveyard book by him and this led me on to neverwhere. I'm so pleased it did as I was captivated all the way through.
Not sure what to read next, do I go back to old favourites or start something new?
I am reading a book on Bach flower remedies and their uses as I have been very interested in them for a long while. I don't want to rush in blind and just purchase some without a little knowledge.
I've been knitting and spinning. I'm making a very silky soft shawl at the minute. It is a strand of green mohair handspun from the Wool Clip and a strand of the most silky eyelash I purchased from Jo over in Ireland many moons ago. The shawl feels like silky fur and is so tactile it is unbelievable. I want to wrap myself up in it and it is only small yet.
I am still asking all and sundry if they know anyone selling a Lendrum spinning wheel. I may be able to get one new hopefully by Christmas if they arrive in the country but obviously being an impatient Leo(VBG) I don't want to wait. Plus if I can buy one that someone isn't using that would be all to the good, less cost for one thing.
So dear readers if you know anyone who has a Lendrum spinning wheel languishing at home, do let me know. I promise to take good care of it and spin often on it:)

November 11, 2009

On pain and it's effects.

What do doctors know of pain?
The way it leeches through your veins

Weeks of constant pain. Neck, head, back.
Lots of combinations of pills trying to alleviate it somewhat.
Feelings of discomfort and malaise in all I do.
Trips to doctor and optician trying to rectify whatever it is that is suddenly violently there.
Migraine diagnosis from doctor despite it being nothing like any form of migraine I've had in the past.
Anti-inflammatories given.
Trip to optician, yes eyes slightly changed. Is it enough to cause the severe headaches?
New prescription glasses - picked up today.
Anti inflammatory pills crease my stomach, no use taking pills to counter that as they make me sick.
Cut anti-inflammatory pills from 3 to 2 per day. No difference and still no lessening of pain.
Add in strong painkillers, stomach more discomfort.
Cut anti inflammatory pills to 1 per day, mix in paracetamol. No difference.
Stop anti-inflammatory, stop constant strong pain killers.
New cocktail one strong painkiller per day rest of the day paracetamol.
No stomach problems, that is good yes?
Not much help on back, neck and head pain though.
Question, do i go back? Have not taken anti-inflammatory pills as directed or for long enough so no point there.
Do I soldier on with my self help oils, healing, deep heat cream and paracetamol with occasional strong painkiller when it all becomes too much?
If I do go back it will be more anti-inflammatory pills of a different name - same pack drill same side effects. They will still make me ill. I think I've tried all forms now.
Or, will it be stronger pain killers, for side effects see above and they make me zombified. Is that a word? Who cares it describes it exactly.
What ever I do will not be a full solution.
So do I go the chemical or the natural way? Knowing that either will only alleviate part of the problem.
I would rather go the no chemical route, or just paracetamol. Better for stomach, better for inner child and her mind.
Can I cope doing so when days and nights merge in a red hot maelstrom of hurt, discomfort and pain?
Did I mention pain?
Nights are extremely long when you don't or can't sleep. There aren't as many distractions as the day holds. I can't distract myself in the night with reading, knitting or the like. I do have to try to get some form of rest after all.
My weary body calls out for rest, relief and cessation of the eternal pain.
What to do, what to do.
Watch this space. I WILL crack it some day.
After all it has only been half a century or more of this.
I can cope.
I can fight.
I am not giving up, no not me.
I can't.
I won't
You can't make me.

November 08, 2009

In praise of creative friends

This post is all about friends and their creativity specifically one friend:)
As many of you know i have the most fantastically creative Calligrapher friend Pixie Sue.
Despite being registered blind Sue creates the most inspiring work. We went to visit her today and just look what she made for us:)
The pictures don't show the subtle glitter on the canvas. It radiates an aura of well being and yes calm:)Sue is the most incredible artist, I love her canvases and her books.
I feel so honoured to own this piece. Thank you Sue.

We had a gorgeous drive over to Sues, misty and a little wet for part of the journey but coming back over Bowes Moor and the A66 the skies were stunning. such rich fire colours across the horizon and when the dragons breath started to form it was magical. I love that period at dusk, the twilight when you see things differently. Shapes form and disappear if you gaze at the hillsides. Not if you are the one driving I hasten to add.
So all in all a delightful day with very good company:)

November 07, 2009

Femmes, shawls and spinning.

Thanks for the comments:) No I don't have an etsy shop. I don't make the femmes on a regular basis only when the muse strikes so it wouldn't be practical.The other thing is that I firmly believe they go to those that need them if you understand me? I am always happy to trade for other items though. Not necessarily the most obvious things. For example I was looking for dyes the other day. Also I can always use fabulous beads and charms for making them. You can always make suggestions(VBG)
Well it is pouring it down here today. The roads are flooded and it is black outside. Not a going out day for me I fear. I've finished a shawl or two for you to see though.
Firstly with my own handspun which is always a nice thing to be able to say. This was some fibre from Feltstudio UK, Falkland fibre. I purchased it from a friend on Ravelry who was having a destash.

Only a little shawl but very warm. Haven't blocked as we have had rain for over a week now.
Then I've made an autumn femme for a dear friend of mine. It used my first hand spun art yarn which I helped to make while visiting another friend down in Wales. the femme's name is Enid, a Welsh name meaning tree bark apparently which is rather appropriate seeing the colours I've used.

I've done several pictures with and without flash as it is so dark here. Enid wears a cloak of autumn colours to reflect the beauty of the trees around her.
On her back she carries a broomstick and a cauldron. The broomstick is to sweep away all negativity from the place she wants to set down her cauldron to create.
She is quite at home among the ivy as the woodlands are her natural home.
She wears a colour changing Celtic cross, this reflects her mood as she spins and dyes her fibre for garments.
When not working with fibre Enid can be found enjoying good music and good company, she is a very sociable femme.

Then as I said shawls plural. This is the second one. Made using a mix of wool clip mohair I purchased, again, in a ravelry destash together with some filatura di crosa multicolor in green shades. not easy to show a full picture but it is a fabulous colour in real life.

a close up of the bottom edge.
Here you get some idea of the pattern. I'm pleased with my modifications on my original shawl idea. I'll definitely make this again. I'm thinking of adding beads to the bottom edge.
Then I finished spinning some fibre I purchased from Artis Anne while in Wales. I forgot to photograph it before plying. I plyed with a strand of fine lurex iridescent thread and a strand of dark blue fine mohair.
What do you think?

Enough for? yes you have guessed , most probably a shawl:)

November 06, 2009

Femmes and Samhain giveaway winner.

The following femmes are still awaiting new homes, each link takes you to the appropriate post. post
Mackentia femme of the flames,
Ilyana femme of the winter sunset
Fireca femme of the winter sunrise
Indigo ocean femme
I'd love them to find new homes for Yule:)
We put the names of all who commented in October into a witches hat and the winner of the shawl is

Congratulations, please send your address and I'll post the shawl to you.

November 03, 2009

Wanted Lendrum spinning wheel

I want to buy a Lendrum or would trade for one if anyone knows of one? I want a folding wheel with the 3 flyers for lace, plying and normal yarn.
I tried the lendrum at Artis Annes on our visit to Wales this past weekend and it is so much easier for me to change bobbins especially when my hands are so painful. We had a fabulous visit as we always do. Lots of laughter and good food. Late nights due to said chatting but such fun. Both Mr Mog and I learnt so much while we were there from them both. We now love the idea of spinning from fleece and not just from prepared rovings. It was very exciting to see Mr Mog carding and spinning fleece. He is totally hooked.

Poetry for Brigid Imbolc

  The Lake Isle of Innisfree BY  WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay a...