Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pretty in pink

Yesterday and today have been spent at home, as I had a couple of days leave to use up or I'd lose them. I'm back to work tomorrow and Thursday and then of course it's Easter so I have a long bank holiday weekend to look forward to.

The theme for yesterday was looking at forum software and trying to remember how to install it. Fortunately, I am a compulsive note taker so once I'd dug out my scribbles I was away and had a fairly productive day. Still lots to do as I want to set up a test bed, so I need to bring it in line with the forums I set up earlier at www.ascendancylrp.co.uk... Then... I shall be able to play with impunity and not worry about breaking anything, which will be good as I have a few tweaks I want to make to the Ascendancy boards. Nothing too drastic initially, but I want to see what I can do to further inconvenience that particular breed of internet pest called the SPAMbot.

I also blocked the Victorian lace scarf which I finished a couple of weeks ago, but was waiting for a clear run (and a clear floor) of days when I didn't have other commitments.

A straightforward shot of it lying on the bed and here are a couple of close ups of the pattern.

I also hung it up in front of the window to see if I could show how the light is coming through the weave as I'm not convinced the photographs are doing it justice.

This is taken from Victorian Lace Today and is "Scarf with the striped boarder from Weldon's, Volume 5 1890". I knitted it in a 4-ply Merino from Tess Dawson, which I bought from Angel Yarns a while back and the colour is cherry.

The result is very light and floaty; it looked good straight off the needles but really came to life once I'd blocked it. It looks equally pretty as a head scarf or worn around the neck and I just love the way the light shines through it making it look like proper lace.

My one reservation is not with the pattern but my blocking technique. After gently hand washing the scarf, wrapping it in a towel and stomping up and down on it to get the water out, I duly pinned it out to dry (i.e. blocking it). Unfortunately, the points where I pinned it seem to have distorted the stitches so the edge is no where near as smooth as I wanted it to be. I steamed the edge after blocking which relaxed things somewhat, but I can still see where the pins were. Any suggestions for how you pin something out to dry so this doesn't happen?

In other news, I can report that I do remember how to ride a bicycle. I took the new bike to the park on Sunday afternoon, taking advantage of a brief let up in the rain. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that once I'd pushed off, I had no problems with cycling, other than being a bit wobbly if I wasn't moving very fast and gears remain a mystery to me but I think I'll get there with a little more practice.

Not quite so successful were my first attempts at spinning using my newly acquired spindles. I tried out the smaller one, thinking it would be easier to handle and so far I'm not having much success. At the moment, my problem is trying to keep the spindle spinning and not back spinning while at the same time trying to tease a small amount of wool out so I can allow the twist into it. I appear to have a distinct lack of hands, with the invariable result being that I can't keep the spindle going, it spins the other way undoing the tentative spin in the wool and then crashing to the ground. Suggestions on how I acquire more hands (or better use the two I've got) gratefully received!

And to answer Frizbe's question - I don't know where I'll find the time and suspect that mostly I won't, but I'm optimistic and do like to try new crafts, you know? Especially if they're pretty, involve yarn, sewing, beads, buttons or sparkly things. :)

As always, click on the images to see bigger versions...


Anonymous said...

For blocking, you may want to consider investing in some rust proof blocking wires. You can get them via ebay US (I think - my m-in-law has some)which are designed for blocking lace. Though not sure that would have helped at the edges of this one, as it's not laced up to the edges.

Drop spinning - hmmm - Claire is currently teaching me the park and drive method, where you get the spin built up on the leader thread, stop the spindle and then start teasing out the fibres, letting the spin travel up. Happy to show you sometime, though I'm still struggling somewhat with the practical, I am getting my head around the theory.

Scarf is stunning, by the way! :-)

Anonymous said...

Whoops - it's park and draft - not park and drive - brain not in gear...

Anonymous said...

Also forgot to add that you've been tagged :-)

1. Link to the person that tagged you.2. Post the rules on your blog.3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

Frizbe said...

Scarf looks great :-)
I still need to find the time to sort that crochet out.....ambles off sideways....