Sunday, January 31, 2010

All of a spin

Somebody gave me this grotty old fleece a long time ago. Well, not exactly grotty because they'd washed it, possibly in a washing machine, but the experience didn't do the fleece any good and getting rid of it was the only thing my benefactor thought they could do with it. Of course I shoved it in the 'too hard' basket until I could get around to having a proper look at it. Several years down the track that time has come and for the past few weeks I've been teasing it apart, in my spare time, to spin into useful yarn. I don't like working with carded wool, preferring to use a flicker to comb out the individual staples. (a flicker is like a miniature carder, but used differently) It has been an absorbing job involving grabbing the pointy end of the staple (the grown end not the shorn end) and pulling it out of the mess so that it can be combed. This little pile of fleece is the last of it and I can't say I'm sorry though it has been fun. Next comes the dying and I'm really looking forward to that. I have some cold water die that uses the heat of the sun or any warm situation to set the colour. The dyed yarn is left in a plastic bag (recycled of course) for 24 hrs then rinsed in clear (tank) water. I haven't decided what colour to use and I have no idea how I'll use the yarn. Probably a couple more weeks will pass while I decide. So far I have these three skeins and will very likely have 6 or 7 by the time I've plied that which is already spun. A blanket?... poncho?... jumper?...deciding is a lot of fun too.
Hope you have enjoyed 2010 so far. Bye for now until next time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Quandry

I'm finishing off the clothes for the latest little doll that I'm dressing, here she is in her undies. Not a makeover this time, just some new clothes.
I wondered what mothers of little ones think about buttons on doll's clothes. I love to finish the little garments off with buttons and buttonholes or press studs but of course they're a choking hazard. Learning to do up buttons helps little fingers to become dexterous and they have buttons on their own clothing; however, some kids have a real 'mouth thing' and everything goes in there, so buttons could get chewed off anything. Velcro is definitely the safer option but it sticks to everything and is a real pain in the neck. Of course I'll ask my friend, whose doll I am dressing. It was her daughter's and she plans to put it away in case she becomes a grandma one day, so it will probably be played with by little children.
I think I've just answered my own question - Velcro is the safer option. I'll save buttons for competition dolls clothes but I'd love to hear the views of a mother or two.
Our daughter, her husband and the boys came home yesterday. A joyous reunion - 11 weeks is such a long time. Their little dog Pepper wagged his little tail until I thought it would fall off then jumped into their car without a backward glance. Oh perfidious Pepper. Lol. Not very flattering. Time for our walk now. It will feel strange not stopping at every post.
Bye for now until next time.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Just for fun

You know those trauma dolls that lots of organizations make to comfort children in hospital? They're supposed to be made up in plain calico and left without features so that the little patients can finish them off themselves with a felt tipped marker. They're just a plain cookie-cutter shape and really easy to make and after making a few and sending them off, I thought it might be fun to make one up as a finished doll. I made the legs a little longer by adding some shoes on the bottom and I think I should have made the arms a bit longer too. I drew the face on with some pens that are made for that purpose and added some mohair knitting yarn for hair. She should be very easy to dress because of her naive shape and I'm looking forward to making her some clothes. Not yet though, a bit of self-discipline needed here, there's another three dolls waiting for some gear (half way through 2 outfits and haven't started the other) Still, at least she's got some panties so all is right and proper.
Our daughter and her family are due home from Canada and the States tomorrow. One more sleep. It's been eleven long weeks and I can't wait. I'll bet Pepper will be pleased to see them too.
Hope you're having a really good day at your place. Bye for now until next time.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Clutter Clearing.

Now and again I have to do it; go through those bits and pieces that I manage to collect and do an op-shop run. Mostly its magazines and those clothes I'm never going to be slim enough to wear again, and then there are the just-cant-bear-to-part-with items. What about this? Every year it gets turned out, sighed over and put back again. Its the first piece of embroidery I ever did when I was six years old - a very very long time ago.
Mum had taken us to see the new animated, Walt Disney film Bambi and these embroidery sets were on sale as a souvenir. Mum ruled a straight line with a pencil on another piece of cloth and showed me how to do stem stitch then, when she was happy with my efforts she loaded up my needle with the proper colours and here is the result.
Of course it didn't get finished (nothing much has changed) and she kept it for the rest of her life. I acquired it some years back.
So, what do I do with it? The man of the house says "Frame it and put it on the wall." I'm very tempted to finish it; it might even find its way into the Guiness Book of Records - a piece of embroidery that took over half a century to complete. Lol.
Bye the way. I have managed to finish a few projects since I started this one.
A very noisy weather change has just blown up so I'd better go and get the washing in. Hope you all have a lovely weekend. Bye for now until next time.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Where is my proof reader?

Oh deary, deary, me. I've at last finished the Woodworker's Newsletter for the month of January. As I'm only moderately computer savvy, this usually takes my about a week of pushing text around, altering it to fit, resizing photos etc. I'm sure there are easier ways of doing these things but I haven't learned them. Never mind, I don't mind puddling around until I get it done. Then comes the proof reading and no matter how many times I check it (I don't know how Santa gets away with only checking twice) I always miss something. This time it was a couple of glaring mistakes - well, actually words left out and one miss-spell that could have hilarious implications. And I didn't find them until the newsletter was all printed up and sent out.
One thing I can be sure of, I won't be knocked down in the rush by those who want to take my place to do a better job, so I'll just enjoy a giggle at the thought of a rocking horse barbeque (that was one of the mistakes) and see what kind of howlers I will produce next month.
Lovely rain and cooler weather. Hope your day is a good one. Bye for now until next time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Quiet days.

The workshop at the Woodworkers has been quiet over the holiday break which has given me the opportunity to play with some of the scraps of wood from the waste bin and to spend some time with my favourite machine, the bandsaw. I've been cutting out these little dolls house chairs and tables. They're not so difficult to cut out, what takes the time is the sanding and painting. There seems to be a surface I've missed every time I look at them. I enjoy using up scraps that would otherwise be chucked out but I've got to be very firm with myself as I tend to develop a stash that is far more than I can use. There does come a time when a scrap of wood really is only a bit of firewood no matter how many times I look at it.
Duty calls and the Woodworkers Newsletter is waiting for my attention so I must be off. If I haven't said it before, I wish everyone out there in blogland a happy and healthy 2010.
Bye for now until next time.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hands up all those who wear a pinny - an apron - you know, those things that your Grandma wears. Aprons play a big part in my life. If there's anything messy being done it's as sure as can be that I will come off second best. I'm lost without my pinny. I wear a white one when knitting to keep my work clean. (I've read that Sasha Kagan insists that her knitters wear a white apron.) I have a waterproof one to protect my clothes when spinning (some fleeces can be pretty grotty) and potting plants. My woodworking pinny is dark green and liberally stained with sawdust and glue and I use a clean pinny when I'm cooking to protect the food from my clothes. I know that sounds daft but when I was fourteen I worked in a bakery and that's what my pinny was for - and I absolutely had to remove it before I went to the toilet. I think that was something to do with health regulations.
Mum used to put a pinny on me for school when I was little because I usually managed to come home covered in red chalk and as all the washing was done by hand (can you imagine that) my dress had to last more than one wear.
Anyway, before Christmas I made a pinny for a special friend and now that she has her pressie and it's no longer a secret, I can show it to you. I don't usually embroidered my pinnies and it's years since I did any embroidery but my friend is a dog lover and so I thought I'd put a doggie on it for her.
Am I turning into my Nana who used to sit for hours with her embroidery? Next to table-cloths, pinnies were her specialty and much fancier than this one. I don't think I have the patience but thanks Nana for the memory.
Gotta go now, it's well after lunchtime and I'm hungry. Bye for now until next time.