The Pink Palace and Other Happenings
The photo below shows how I've been spending a lot of my spare time since I last posted. First we have the start of the Posh Yarn silk/cashmere mix beaded lace scarf. I was going to start on the raspberry pure cashmere Posh Yarn first to make the Victorian Shoulderette but then changed plan and decided that the beaded scarf would take precedence. The beads arrived from Earth Faire but those that I'd ordered for the beaded scarf got lost amongst the knitting colourwise, hence I discovered that it's probably better, when knitting with beads, to go for a contrast rather than something that tones. The ones I used in the end are Jaeger beads and are black with a sort of cobalt blue iridiscence.
Click to enlarge
I think the Pink Palace is in danger of becoming my second home!
The photo below will give you some idea at least of the treasures within. The drawers you can see in the photo are packed full of every bead you can imagine all arranged according to colour theme . . . . .
. . . . . and the workshop at the Pink Palace was fab!
First Nathalie went through the various tools and techniques that we'd be using before we were let loose to choose the beads, pendants, wire, chain, thread, thong or whatever our little hearts desired to make up the piece of our choice. As I was very much finding my way with the techniques and tools, I decided not to plan too much and made a deliberately asymmetrical (in that the beads just went where I decided to put them as I went along) four stranded necklace. The result is the blue concoction in the top photo.
I enjoyed this so much that I decided to buy the tools and design board the following day and I'm in the process of making another necklace (this time more planned).
The book you can see in the first photo is my favourite book at the moment which I've been dipping into over the past week. I bought it on my recent visit to Fibrecrafts and it's Handknitting Techniques from Threads Magazine. As the title implies, it consists solely of knitting related articles from the magazine "Threads". There are some fascinating articles in here including knitting in the round on straight needles, etc, and even an article on knitting the perfect rib including (are you reading this, Katie?) a very lucid explanation and clear diagrams on how to do the tubular bind off for double rib!!! A few of us have been having trouble deciphering Montse Stanley's explanation of this technique!
The beaded jacket I'm designing now only requires a sleeve and the right front to be knitted and, of course, all the i-cord for the twisted i-cord edging. The knitting of all this i-cord doesn't seem quite as daunting now since I bought the i-cord maker from Silkwood Yarns.
Metres and metres of i-cord can be made very quickly at the turn of a handle and, if DH actually does as he's promised and makes an adaptor to fit between an electric drill and the handle orifice of the i-cord maker, it'll be even easier as, in effect, I'll have an electrical i-cord maker. (Thanks to Les of Silkwood for this tip!) The i-cord maker will also come in very useful for WWKIP day as a big ball of i-cord is just the thing for knitting a scarf on the gigantic knitting needles that I also bought from Silkwood.
Regarding WWKIP day, it's all become a bit of a pain as regards the venue as we're at present unable to get a firm okay on the booking and are left in limbo wondering whether we'll have an indoor venue or not. This means that the making of the banner may not be necessary so it's really brought things to a halt until we know. We're still going ahead with the tee-shirt transfers though as, we'll be keeping a close eye on the weather and, if we can't secure an indoor venue, we'll be procuring a couple of benches on the High Street and knitting with our gigantic needles or chopsticks or whatnot alfresco style. I've been practicing the backwards knitting technique so that I don't have to turn my knitting each row with those very big unwieldy needles!
Preparations for the November Cancer Charities Craft Fair are coming on a treat and my own knitting has now been added to by a mammoth contribution from Mary-Lou consisting of several boas made on the Sirdar Loopa . . . . .
. . . . . and a couple of moebius scarves (the blue scarf on the right of the two moebius scarves was donated by Tricia) . . . . .
. . . . . as well as a beautiful Fischu.
Tricia's also, at present, knitting a feather and fan lace skinny scarf (her first lace project) from some of the donated yarn.
The yarn for the charity knitting keeps being added to and DH is now becoming a bit concerned about the amount of yarn or charity knitting he keeps coming across in the most unlikely places! The trouble is I find it difficult to resist a bargain and these big balls (oo-er) were added to the charity yarn stash recently.
From left to right, we have a 450g ball of pure mohair and a 400g ball of aran weight wool/acrylic mix (these cost £1 each from a charity shop) and a 400g ball of variegated aran weight wool/acrylic mix that cost £8.95 from C&H Fabrics.
I think I must be on creative hyperdrive because I've rescued my sewing machine from its cobwebbed corner where it's spent the last 16 years.
This is a fantastic computerised machine that can even do machine embroidery but apart from making an embroidered table cloth when I first received it as a wedding present, I've not done anything with it since! I'm a complete novice as regards sewing so I have a lot to learn!
I'm also going to be joining our local branch of the Embroidery Guild and have in my diary the next date when there'll be a talk on silk ribbon embroidery. I've become a member of Rowan International, too, which I do believe makes me now, officially, a Rowanette and I've decided to buy the Knitware software. So, as you can see, I've not been resting on my laurels!