22 June 2009

midwinter shawl

My very first shawl. I wasn't sure if I would really be a shawl person, but this has decided me. I most definitely am!


the throw over the shoulder pose

you can wear it like a kerchief

looking SO thrilled to have a new shawl

out of focus but I like it

Edited to say: as I wrote on the flickr page, excuse my expression in that photo, I was concentrating hard on getting into the right spot before the self timer of the camera went off, and didn't think about smiling or even looking relaxed!.

Also, in answer to RW's question, that is our house I'm standing in front of. It's mudbrick.

The main body of the shawl is a Totem 8ply from the op shop, originally a ghastly beige and dyed by me a variegated olive, and the ruffle is the Bendy 'Rustic' 8ply, in 'Graphite' colourway. The pattern is the Wool Peddler's Shawl, with the lace section replaced with a simple garter ruffle. The Ravelry project page can be found here.

This shawl turned out exactly as I pictured it in my head. How wonderful it is to make a garment that I absolutely love and will get lots of wear from. I am so thrilled with myself.

It's the perfect winter solstice gift.

21 June 2009

shortest day

winter solstice

Happy winter solstice.

19 June 2009

a Friday, in no chronological order

15 June : sunny winter's day

Once upon a time Suse sat by her fire, drinking stout and eating fish and chips for dinner. Her eldest boy was spending the night elsewhere and she could hear her younger two in the adjoining room laughing with the hysteria of Friday night as they played table tennis on the dining room table. She watched as her husband wandered about the room, asking if anyone had seen his book, his glasses, his sanity.

Once upon a time, very close to midwinter, Suse got up very very early indeed and marvelled at the sliver of moon hanging in the ink-dark sky and its neighbouring glittery star. By the time Suse reached her meeting at the top of a not terribly tall building, the city was spread out before her, soft in a shiny mauve and apricot dawn. She watched seven hot air balloons hover above the skyline and laughed as her colleague said you have to have a birthday ending in '0' to ride in one of them. She wished she had brought her camera to the meeting, but acknowledged that it is not usual practice so really she shouldn't be too hard on herself for not having it handy. She daydreamed about the new camera that will arrive on Monday, and decided that at next month's wintry dawn meeting she will take the camera and tohellwithit.

Once upon a time Suse received a message that the dvd of Sense and Sensibility (oh, Mr Rickman!) was awaiting her collection at the library. Having been at work since the shiny apricot dawn, Suse thought it quite reasonable to leave work early in the crepuscular chill of pre-twilight, and she drove and drove and drove, planning a girly evening of knitting and Jane Austen confectionary by the fire.

Once upon a time Suse arrived at the library two minutes after it had closed. And so instead of wine and Regency frocks, Suse decided stout and a good book would have to suffice.

The end.

For Rae, who weaves her fairystories on the other side of the world.

17 June 2009

lost in austen

3 June : the cotoneaster is fruiting

While I was procrastinating writing my essay recently, I sent a link to my lecturer who I happen to know is an Austen scholar. (My essay, and the subject I'm taking, are not related to Jane Austen, I should add). Anyway, I thought she'd like it, and she did. You might too.

It was this. (You'll get it better if you know and love Twitter).

She sent an email back the next day saying Capital! Excellent! Now get on with your essay! and enclosed a link to this. Which everyone can enjoy, twits or not. It helps to be an Abba fan though.

Since I handed in the essay I've been on a bit of a Jane Binge. I watched the whole of Persuasion on YouTube in ten minute increments (oh Rupert!), and as soon as I hit publish in a min, I'm going to watch Emma on dvd to see if Kate Beckinsale is less annoying than Gwyneth.

At the very least it'll get Dancing Queen out of my head.

Edited to add: Oooh, look at this one! I'm having so much fun ...

12 June 2009

the long and winding weekend

on the way to Lancefield
on the way to Lancefield

There's a particular bend in the long and winding road to Lancefield where the road dips as it winds and the landscape that spreads out in front always makes me breathe out a great sigh of satisfaction.

on the way to Lancefield
there were pretty clouds everywhere on Friday afternoon

I had promised myself that on this craft weekend (a long one, no less, as we celebrated the Queen's Birthday) (heaven knows why, and I believe Lizzie's big day is actually in April so go figure) that I would not be taking with me the essay that was due on Tuesday. But life, and death, and children's concerts got the better of me and so it came to pass that I headed off to craft camp at Sewjourn with my spinning wheel, sewing machine, needles, fibre, fabric, yarn, my laptop and a dirty great pile of books and journal articles and seventeen pages of essay notes.

over the back fence
oh it was cold and damp the next day

This was an "extra curricular" craft weekend that came about when Janet and I decided August was far too long to wait for the next weekend in the regular scheduled programming of craft camps. And so I investigated the options and found that the long weekend was the only available free weekend at Sewjourn. Being a long weekend and at fairly short notice, only a handful of the regulars could make it and while sad, this also meant we could open it up to some others who we'd wanted to invite in the past. And so the new Queen's Birthday Spin Off Craft Camp tradition was born.

lounge room
that's the lounge room and the door with the little heart on it is where Eleanor and I slept. Aawwww, sweet. (My shoes).

I think I'm the last one to post about the weekend so if you've read the other bloggers you are all probably up to date with the goings on by now, as most people kindly listed all the participants and detailed all the action of who made what. (And yes, I made an essay). Eleanor, my delightful roommate, is blogging about craft camp all week, complete with poetry, I believe!

I can't not do a summary though, can I? A feature of the weekend was the wide variety of activities undertaken - leatherwork, sewing, knitting, spinning, writing, tapdancing, quilting, crocheting.

tea time
Eleanor and Janet drinking tea

Eating, laughing, talking, and staying up far too late. Hanging out by the fire, rescuing a frantic bird, grooving to Stevie Wonder, eating soup and other excellent foodstuffs, drinking wine, dancing round the lounge room to Echo Beach, laughing at all the purple (in a supportive way, mind), dodging the rain, celebrating a birthday and taking photographs.

I did put the essay together, but managed to intersperse sessions at the computer with a few sessions at the sewing machine during which I made a smock style grey linen top, complete with homemade bias binding around the neck, of which I am very proud ...

grey linen top

... a blue chenille wheatbag to wrap around my tummy while essay writing, and my feet while sleeping ...

handspun skein

... and a session at the wheel produced a skein of spun and plied yarn. I'm gradually getting the hang of this plying lark.

new skirt

Oh, and I sewed a wrap around skirt in a sort of purply-grey-mauve stretch denim.

over the south fence

The essay is now in, and reading it in the cold light of day I'm pleased with it. There, I've said it. If I now disappear from the blogosphere forever you'll know I failed miserably and can't face you all again, having just said out loud I think I kinda nailed it.

a sunny Sunday afternoon

I've been trying to think of a satisfactory concluding paragraph but have got brainblock. So let me just say a huge thank you to JanetEleanorCarolineEllenMagdaJennySuzieLeslie for coming along and making it so very ace. I'll come back another time and link to all those names. I'm being handed a cup of tea now which means time for bed.

Also, thanks to Jan whose amazing venue is like a dream come true. Every time.

9 June 2009