Tuesday, 27 September 2011

a weekend

I didn't have a Making Monday, I had a chaotic what-day-is-it-today-anyway Monday. It was a local long weekend holiday here ('the September weekend') so the schools were off on Friday and yesterday and my Beloved took those days off too. We went to the Glasgow Science Centre on Friday - worth a visit but as it was a holiday it was busy and Very Noisy.

The kids loved it - Miss M especially liked the bubble thing!

I got thoroughly bewildered over the weekend though, never sure what day it was - culminating in sending my daughter off to school today in the wrong clothes and without her PE kit because I forgot it was Tuesday. Poor kid is wearing a pinafore, blouse and tights - not the easiest to change out of. Thankfully my Beloved had left for work before she asked for her tie, and I can't tie ties so that was one problem evaded. I dropped her PE stuff off at the school office later to pass on to her, but as she struggles a bit getting out of her pinafore I'm wondering how she's got on... I am useless!

Non-achievements of 'making' Monday include :
going to Sainsburys with the intention of trying on the top I saw there last week only to discover that there were only two left (in sizes best described as Far Too Small), discovering that the new trainers I bought for Miss Mouse the day before were half a size too small, and taking Miss Mouse to the Heritage Loch (duck pond) to feed the ducks and finding the somewhat inadequate car-park was full.

On the upside we got Miss Mouse's shoes replaced with no fuss, Miss Mouse wasn't bothered about the ducks, we got a birthday present for her friend, and in Sainsbury I ran into a friend I hadn't seen for ages. Achievement of Sunday - aside from getting the wrong size shoes for Miss M - was going to Lidl and getting new kitchen scales with 1g increments, which are already making mordanting so so so much easier. Already? Yep, mordanted this morning, have simmered red cabbage (bleurgh, I mean really - have had the back door open and scented candles lit) to have another go at red cabbage dye.

Doesn't that make you want to heave?

And the yarn has just gone in! Smell aside, I'm quite excited about trying the cabbage dye again as I got interesting results last time.

After commenting on Sakthi's blog to the effect that I couldn't find my nostepinne (and yes it is a lovely word!), it turned up, so the other night I wound my calendula-dyed wool from last week into a lovely squishy cake.

Could also be a weapon. Well, you never know when it'll come in handy.

That's all folks!

Thursday, 22 September 2011


I did it! I grafted the two bits of my cowl - without any tears or anything! Not perfectly of course - despite the instructions I still managed to have it go crooked, but nobody will ever notice that when I'm wearing it. So I finished it on Tuesday morning, blocked it Tuesday afternoon,

(quite proud of my ingenuity there actually - I'd been wondering how I'd block it and worked out that a rolled up camping mat was perfect), and wore it to knitting night that evening. It was my 'coven' who gave me the yarn for my birthday, so they were pleased that I'd a) used it and b) broken into the scarey world of lace knitting in the process!

So that was my first time following a lace chart (turned out to be a doddle - thanks, Gudrun, for a nice clear chart) and my first time doing much fiddly grafting (had only previously done the few stitches on the toes of socks) - all in all a success. And with the very changeable weather this week, the cowl has been very useful already. Malabrigo's a reaaly warm yarn, isn't it?

I tried to photograph myself wearing it for my Projects page on Ravelry but the only picture that didn't look silly was the robbing-a-bank pose, which looks silly in a different way.

I've done a bit more dyeing too - a marigold (calendula) one this time, with just enough flowers to make a pale yellow. As ever the yellow hasn't photographed well, but trust me, it is yellow and it is pretty.

It looked absolutely nothing in the dye-pot and I had to restrain myself from chucking other things in to add some colour, but it was worth the restraint. I don't know whether I'll bother with calendula again - I love the flowers but the colour I got from them is not dissimilar to the one I got from horsetails last year, so I think on the the whole I'd rather use the weeds for dyeing purposes and grow the marigolds just for my own pleasure.

I'll end with a picture I took on the way to get the kids from school yesterday, purely because I love the colours:

I love it when nature bungs colours together that I would never have thought of putting together and it looks great. I probably looked really weird photographing the pavement but I'm trying to train myself out of embarrassment at things like that!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Making Monday 8

Making Monday Eight? Already?

Well, today was the day of our tattie harvest. I had two bags with potato plants growing in them and from them we got this:

Not the most impressive harvest. Though they do taste great and we (me, Miss Mouse and her friend) had fun digging them up.

And now for the scarey bit. My Crofter's Cowl, lovely knit, very quick, but.... now I have to graft the two halves together. Scarey.

I find grafting sock toes hard enough. *gulp* Well, here goes.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Making Monday 7

It was my daughter's first full day at school today (after several weeks of half-days) and I just couldn't settle to anything. I did plenty - went for a run in the wind and rain, did two loads of washing, mended rips in two pairs of trousers, persuaded the cats that no the weather hadn't improved in the ten seconds that had elapsed since I let them stick their noses out the door - but couldn't settle to anything for very long. I just kept wondering how she was getting on, if she'd cope at lunchtime, how grumpy she'd be by hometime... So I just drifted around, doing a bit of this, a bit of that, but unable to really concentrate. I even had a DVD to watch - Bright Young Things - and usually I find things like that suitably distracting because even if the story doesn't grab me I appreciate the costumes. But nope, couldn't concentrate.

And after all that, she was fine. Tired of course, but happy enough.

So, as the weather was what I'd usually describe as 'Shetland weather' I embraced the fact that I was mostly indoors today and did things such as appreciate my garter-stitch squares:

Aren't they gorgeous piled up like that? So squishy. I quite often find that I like the look of a wool when it's still a skein but it loses its allure when I knit with it. And similarly I like the look of my garter squares when they're piled up on each other but I wonder if I'll like them as much when they're sewn up into a blanket. Maybe I should just knit a huge stack of them and display the stack as a piece of art in its own right!

I also appreciated my cut-flowers:

.. cut yesterday because I knew the wind was going to bash them to bits anyway so I might as well cut them and enjoy them indoors. I followed Belinda of Wild Acre's tips in her post on harvesting flowers from your garden, so I'll see how they do. Some of them were slightly past it when I cut them of course, but, well, I felt sorry for them. I grew the calendula for dyeing purposes so if I'd been organised and had some wool wound and mordanted I could have tried another calendula dye. Oh well, never mind. And on the kitchen window-sill masking the view of the battered garden...

Can't resist the sweet-peas. Oh, and the Boy's tomato plant needs to be repotted really.

In the end, it being that kind of day, I retreated to the kitchen and mused on the importance of the onion.

Resulting in bacon/tomato sauce with pasta - comfort food for a wild day. I took pictures but they looked all yellowy, like the food pictures in takeaways. Not nice. Tasted good though.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Making Monday 6

I did it! I finally got round to getting a sturdy notebook for my dyeing record - thanks to meeting up with my friend Lyndsey for a coffee and a mooch round the shops. Funny how often we end up in stationery places!

So that was my 'make' of the day, starting my dyeing notebook. It's not very exciting to anybody but me, and looking through my home-dyed stash I realise how few details I have for quite a few of them, but this should organise things better. And that's a good thing. I also bought some teeny-tiny labels on string - you know the type, like very very small luggage labels, so I shouldn't have the lost label problem any more either.

I also went on with my garter stitch squares, using the anthemis tinctoria-dyed wool this time.

I've been on a bit of a roll, creatively, over the last few days - I finished the thick gorgous Drops Nepal socks that I started at midsummer:

These have very much been a pick-up-when-I'm-in-the-mood project - they took no time all really in terms of hours spent working on them.

And I managed to make Scones That Actually Look Like Scones:

.. and taste bloody good! I think I'm a sconvert! Sorry - who knew what a wonderful world of scone-based puns was waiting out there for me! I'll get me coat..