Friday, 26 February 2010

Not very much going on

It's been nearly three weeks of sniffs and sneezes, a time when energy has to be mustered to just get through the working day and get home to collapse in a sorry heap. Not much of anything has been done, but an effort has to be made this weekend to prepare the house for a celebration next week. The eldest daughter will be 21 and she will come home from university to share a family meal with grandparents, aunt, uncle and little cousins. Unfortunately daughter number two will be absent, on a college trip to London to visit the BBC and the Houses of Parliament, so not something she can miss really. I'm sure her big sister will save some cake for her!

I have started the fleece, it spins nicely but I really need alot of practice so it's fortunate that it was so cheap.

I bought some gorgeously soft wool 'Hug' which knitted up extremely quickly into a nice chunky jumper for me. I tried to take a decent photo but the light was not helpful. The balls were on sale for 69p each so I am very pleased with the result.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Split Ply Braiding - having a play

Last Sunday my friend Cath and I went to a workshop on Split Ply Braiding. I didn't know what to expect but had an enjoyable day sat around a table of like minded ladies, having a play with threads, learning how to make cord (lots of winding a contraption - aptly called a 'Cord Winder'!) and coming home with some samples of braiding, which I will make into key fobs.

Very basically it is a braiding technique using plied cords (often 4-ply) which actually go through each other. It is a traditional method for making camel girths, harnesses and similar items in India, but it has evolved into a craft technique that can also be used to create three- dimensional structures like hats, and belts and jewelery. A small tool, not unlike a latch hook for rugmaking, called a Grip Fid, is used to push through the threads in a way that braids a pattern.

The samples on the left are mine, and the other picture shows Caths. I was quite pleased but it won't be a craft that I will pursue, Cath on the other hand was much taken with it and bought supplies to continue at home. The expert was a very nice lady called Julie Hedges.

We all brought something for lunch so that was nice as well, my contribution was Lemon Cheesecake. Isn't it good to spend some time fiddling, experimenting with colour, learning something new and satisfying that need to 'play'? Even if it means that the ironing didn't get done at the weekend!!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

A pleasant weekend.

A relaxing weekend was needed and that's what I've had. Puttering around the home, some washing, ironing and a good amount of knitting. I also popped into a few thrift shops and I think I have found a few bargains.
In the Cats Protection League this lovely wool, all ready to spin. A whole bag for £2.50. I think I will spin, knit and felt a bag with it. I am not sure what type it is, is very soft - Merino perhaps? I am still a complete novice at this!

In the Cancer Research three balls of Click for £1.50 - lovely.

This is on the way to being a tea cosy, not for me though because my kitchen is blue and yellow! I might do a few of these I think.

I cannot believe how quickly the weekends go by. We will be starting a new project at work in the next couple of weeks and things will get even more manic than they already are. The weekends will be even more precious then.

Monday, 11 January 2010

A Return

I was looking over my blog during the Christmas holidays and it confirmed to me that I have missed blogging. It was a time consuming hobby, what with posting and reading others posts. At the time I lapsed the demands on me were too much and something had to give. However, what I have come to realise is that the world of blogging was one that inspired me to do things, try harder and learn more. I also have missed taking photos which are a lasting record of my life here in Shropshire, one that I can always look back on and keep as a history for my children (and hopefully grandchildren).

Quite alot has changed since my last post. I hated my part time and well paid job, it took alot of effort and some considerable time to change, and when change came it was a big one! I now work 40+ hours a week in a stressful, lower paid role, but with really great people around me. I have made my choice but of course it means much less time to do the things that inspire me. Nevertheless I will do it gladly for now, and will attempt in 2010 to return to the things that give me pleasure.

Two plus points are that my new job is no more than 1/2 a mile from my front door, and the view from my office window is this . The hedge is gorse and blackberry, there is a gently sweep down across glorious farmland, and then up to Titterstone Clee. I never get tired of this view, it changes every day. Today the Clee is obscured by yet more snow clouds.

Finally, how brave are these little ones?