Saturday, 17 January 2009

more lace

I've spent much of the last week and a half playing around with lace samples. I've tried various yarns and various needles with each of them. Different sizes too. I was really trying to find what worked best for me.

I've searched out patterns and knitted swatches. Then I've made some notes and frogged what I had done.

However, for the last few days I've been concentrating on making a stole using some of my discoveries from the swatches. I bought some gorgeous lace weight merino called Diana from Katie at Wired for Fibre, formerly Live2Knit. The colour was called PEACE and it was so beautiful that I just sat and looked at it for several days before winding it. I've never had any problems winding wool from Katie, and this continued the pattern. No trouble at all. I'm using a vintage pattern and will show some pictures when I have done a bit more. So far, about six inches.

I did email both Morris and Sons and Araucanià about the dreadful ball of sock wool which made three separate balls and was so full of tangles and knots that it took over eight hours to sort out. The skein was full of tiny bits of wool knotted in amongst the skein and there were five ends visible when I opened it up It made three balls. That was almost two weeks ago that I emailed. I have had no reply from either. Not one word and I consider that very poor customer relations. I emailed the retailer as they should know that they are not always being supplied with a good quality product. I emailed the manufacturer as they also needed to know that there could be problems with their product. I am not happy about the lack of response. I can hardly avoid patronising Morris and Sons, although I will get what I can elsewhere now, but I certainly will not be buying that brand of wool again. That's a shame as I had been after some since they first got it in. The wool feels lovely and the colours are beautiful. However, I will not risk getting another rubbishy skein which wasted many hours.

Monday, 5 January 2009


The fact that it's now into the second week of the new year and I haven't blogged since before the end of December says it all.

The last couple of days have been hot and tomorrow and Wednesday will probably be hotter.

I tried winding some Italian lace wool. It was a muddle and took quite a while. I think the slowness dimmed my enthusiasm. I have cast on for four different stoles and frogged everyone of them.

Then I picked out the lovely Arucanià sock wool from Morris and Sons (Tapestry Craft). If I had thought the lace wool was a muddle, this was infinitely worse. I could see five ends of wool as I opened it up. There were also tiny pieces of wool loose through the skein, about 3 cm long. Not long enough to have one tied the skein. Knots abounded. It took me about six hours to sort the tangle. The wool is great and I just love the colours, but the mess!! I ended with a largish ball, one medium ball and a small one. Sounds a bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. My enthusiasm for sock from this wool rapidly faded as well. So I had another look on Ravelry and found some pretty scarf patterns. Again, I've started four and not liked any of them. So the wool has been put aside until it's polite enough to tell me what it wants to be or cowed enough for it to do what I want it to do.

Enough! I fished out the large sheet I bought from Vinnies at Hornsby last week for $5. I discovered why it was cheap. it had been badly cut from the bolt and was all askew so I had to spend some time straightening it up. I sat on the western deck before it warmed up around there and made myself a pair of the wide legged lounge pants in Amy Butler's In Stitches. I'm pleased with them but need to take the hem up more. I'm not tall and thought I had made enough allowances for my height. I haven't sewn for ages and discovered I still could load the bobbin on my 14 year old Husqvarna but the buttonholes are a disgrace and I used to do such neat ones. Sniff. Still, there is enough left for another pair and I can use the first as PJ pants.

It's hot and I'm tired. I'm home alone till the end of the weekend. Son and DIL went last Saturday to Perth. He picked up a lucrative IT contract at a time when his own work was shut down for a month and he was without a salary. Last night about 3:00 am, I was woken by a beeping sound. I realised it was the smoke alarm in the hall outside my bedroom which was signalling every thirty seconds that the battery was getting flat. I know the sound of the true alarm and this wasn't it, but I did get up to check. Went back to bed but the noise was irritating. I couldn't reach it but bashed it with a broom. No result.

Small Sweetpea, the Abyssinian who lives here, decided she was rescue cat. She jumped on the bed near my shoulders instead of at my feet. Clawed me till she drew blood. I calmed her down and was nearly asleep when she decided to comb my hair with her claws! Finally I slept downstairs on the lounge with Sweetpea keeping a watchful eye on me.

It's still beeping but not as frequently. I don't mind using ladders but the alarm is on the ceiling close to the railing around the landing. I would have to be near the top of the ladder to reach alarm and I think that's silly when no-one else will be here for days. Hopefully the battery dies soon.

What a whinge. If it's not one thing it's another. I did have a great lunch in the city yesterday with friends from interstate after attending a church somewhat out of my tradition. I enjoyed the day very much.