Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Industrial Strength Blocking

I have had a new shawl/rug ready for blocking for a couple of months but keep procrastinating because is is a bugger of a job.  I usually use the back of a rug to pin things out on, but it is not very satisfactory for the large round pieces as it is not quite large enough in one direction and I don't get enough stretch.

However given our veranda is literally falling to bits I thought it probably wouldn't matter if I hammered a couple of nails in and pulled them out again.  All the timber will have to be replaced before too long anyway - thus industrial strength blocking was born.

Industrial Strength Blocking 1

There is a towel under there to prevent snags and absorb some of the moisture.  It is still a bit wonky as I did not have a finished measurement and I had to stretch it out by eye but is is a really effective stretch.

Industrial Strength Blocking 2

I did not realise on my first couple of blockings how tight you really have to stretch the work out.  Not until I actually knitted a pattern in the yarn it was designed for and had proper measurements to block to.  Especially with lace patterns, my blocking wires are starting to look a little bet and battered but it is all in a good cause.

Industrial Strength Blocking 3

I used fencing staples which were particularly effective as the blocking wires could not jump over them as they can with t-pins when you stretch it really tight.  I did not even have to hammer them in too hard and you can't even see the holes they left.

And it was a very effective block:

Girasole 1

This is the Girasole pattern from Brooklyn Tweed (again) it is so much fun to knit although the edging seems to last forever.

Girasole 2

It is worth it though, the knitted edging looks so much better than a crocheted one.

Girasole 3

I cannot for the life of me remember what yarn I used - I think it might have been Cleckheaton but I really have no idea.  I have a fair few balls left but they seem to have disappeared into the mysterious vortex of my study.

Girasole 4

Anyway at least that is another UFO out of the way - not much of a dent in the pile so far but it all helps I guess.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Catching Up On UFOs

I was so excited at all the things I was going to get done in my five week break but the first two weeks have been killed a bit by the horrible hot weather. I am totally a cold weather person (you will never here me complaining about the cold), hot weather just destroys my ability to do anything much at all.

That being said we are partway through a week of cooler weather so I have started to get moving again.  I am hoping to get some of my enormous pile of unfinished objects sorted out, plus I need to finish the legotorium, make myself a new giant crochet Cthulhu, and get started on some bird like things for my next art project.

First UFO off the block is a very basic scarf made from hand dyed mohair.

Rainbow Scarf 3

I have had this stuff for ages and have started and pulled apart a couple of projects, ultimately I figured colours this lovely don't need an exotic pattern and went for a plain garter stitch scarf.

Rainbow Scarf 2

I am a total sucker for things in spectrum order, it just needs to get cold enough for me to wear it now.

Rainbow Scarf 1

I have not taken any pictures of the legotorium yet - still too much of a disaster area.  We have a ridiculous amount of Lego and keep adding more all the time.  Maybe next week things will be a bit more under control.

My polymer clay arrived today for Cthulhu's claws so work will have to commence soon.  I was going to make a practice version, but given I only tend to like making things once (especially when they are that big) I am just going to wing it like that last one.

For the first time since we moved to this house we have black cockatoos living in the big pine tree.  They are supposed to be native to this area but have been chased away by the feral sulphur crested cockatoos.  We have a mated pair and their fledgling who is quite big but still being fed by its parents. They have the most beautiful eerie call but chatter very melodically when they are all in the tree together.

Black Cockatoo

This is the baby, pretty much grown up but still conning food from mum and dad.  They are the yellow tailed variety, I think the red tailed ones are almost extinct.  I hope they stay around and nest on our tree.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Things are Changing

Lots of good news for the beginning of the year and hopefully a chance for me to get my act together and do more artwork.  As of this week I no longer work full time and after 5 weeks off will be working 3 days a week - so no excuses really.

I have been quite angry with my work since about September last year and found that all the times when I usually work out design problems and have my best ideas (morning shower - best place in the world) I was instead having internal rants about my job.  Not the best state of affairs, so when an opportunity came my way to leave - I went.

Stay tuned for developments, I am planning a new Cthulhu (just for me) and an avian theme to my next big crochet project.

These photos are for Mum - just to show you how alive they are:

Succulents 2

Succulents 1