Monday, 25 May 2009

Has anyone seen my mojo?

Things have been rather quiet on the blog front the past week or two, mostly as I haven't really had anything much to report. Or at least nothing suitable for public consumption... Not that this blog has a huge readership of course.

The big news is that in the two weeks since returning from London, I seem to have lost my knitting mojo. This is a great shock to me and is very inconvenient since I'm knitting to a non-negotiable deadline at the moment on a project I'm not going to write about because my tiny readership includes spies!

But seriously, my knitting mojo has gone. I sit down to knit and I don't want to. Plain and simple.

Weird and very frustrating.

To top things off, I've been off sick for the past week recovering from minor (but excruciatingly painful) surgery which has meant that I've not been able to spin as it involves too much movement. Today I feel much better and tomorrow I'm intending to back to work, so hopefully come next weekend things will be back to normal!

Work itself is also weird and stressful at the moment. The financial situation is hitting everyone and academia is no refuge. Doom and gloom is abounding at the moment in unreasonable amounts. Workloads in the meantime are not abating and I had to put my foot down again last week as some were pushing to get me to commit to working weekends through to summer 2010. You have no idea how guilty I felt for taking a few days off sick.

Otherwise... I've ordered a new fireplace and fire for the living room, which will hopefully mean the house is slightly cosier next winter than last. With my extremely low tolerance for cold, two weeks of snow just about did for me this year! I'm intending to take Before and After photographs for posterity...

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Venturing into the fabric stash...

I got home from London last night completely shattered and was in bed by 10pm. Not that I've done any better all week; the course was hard going with a lot to take in... On Wednesday night, I was practically falling asleep while trying to knit!

I stayed at the Jury's Inn, Islington and can report it was OK. Nothing special by any means, but certainly nothing to complain about...

Except maybe Friday morning, when they'd had a private party stay over the previous night which meant that going down for breakfast was hectic. At one point, the staff were stopping guests going into the restaurant while they waited for people to finish so there would be enough seats and you could get near the food!

Today has been a fairly gentle day. I've done a little (and I mean a little) housework. Tried to catch up with email and this afternoon, I was very brave and ventured into the fabric stash, mostly to see what is actually in there.

Here is approximately half of it, which was all I could face digging through in one session.


Once I'd laid the previously heaped fabric on the bed, I was pleasantly surprised at how little there was. Heaped in a corner, it looks far larger, although I'm going to admit there's still a lot of material there... And I've absolutely no idea what I'm going to do with it.

Natural fibres dominate my stash and in this particular heap, we have wools in various weights...


Including some very nice suitings.


Cotton canvas, mostly in a suitable weight for either robes or coats and varying colours.


I'm a sale shopper, which means I end up buying left over lengths of fabric rather than buying specific yardage with a project in mind. Or rather I used to. These days, my fabric acquisition has tailed off dramatically as I've come to the conclusion that I already have far too much of the stuff! I've had a tendency to buy fabric with future, potential projects in mind, mostly costume, semi-period and fantasy based. My eye is drawn to neutrals, reds, burgundy, plums, maroons and rich browns...

Two meters of each colour here which I remember buying intending to make a short summer jacket for me for normal day to day wear, rather than costume. Only I couldn't decide on the colour, so naturally I bought both!


You can see why I have a fabric problem perhaps?

I also have a loving for cotton moleskin and brushed cotton in all it's variations. I just love the feel and before you know it...


Again, not bought with anything in particular in mind. I just liked it and the next thing you know, it was mine!

Then there are the fancy fabrics.


Silks, silk mixes, even cashmere. Not a lot of each and with the exception of the cashmere, bought with linings in mind. The pink silk/cotton I was thinking would be a fantastic lining for Georgian waistcoats for example.

The cashmere... It sparkled... Other than that, I have no excuse.

All these fabrics have been duly noted and sorted so they're at least bagged up with similar fabrics now. I've put them into Ikea bags so they're easier to stack and move, with the eventual aim to get shelving in upstairs to hold them. Then of course, I need to make them into something...

Monday, 4 May 2009

And then there was one...

I can officially state that I now have only one spinning wheel in the house. My original wheel was passed on a couple of weeks ago; finding a new home with someone I hope will get along with it better than I did. Meanwhile I finally took the borrowed wheel back to its rightful owner yesterday, leaving just the wheel I own in the house.

The corner housing the wheel definitely looks more corner like and less cluttered now. Charlie (the cat) has yet to notice that I've stolen one of his favourite hiding places, but I'm sure he'll cope... And yes, Charlie does consider sitting behind a collection of spinning wheels to be a great hiding place.

I plied up another two bobbins of the Blue Faced Leicester and finished the yarn on Saturday evening, washing it and setting the twist. As my second go at plying, I don't think it's turned out as well as the first with some areas of the finished yarn remaining overspun. A lot more practice is required I'm thinking.

On a related note, the lady at work with the small holding decided against giving me a bag of fleece from her attic. She checked it over and reported that it was a bit manky and asked if I minded having fresh fleece instead. Naturally, I assured her that fresh was good and in fact better than stored fleece, and hopefully a bag of freshly shorn Shetland will come my way in June.

In the meantime, the bag of BFL Humbug continues unlimited and is perfect for my practice spinning... Although I hope that I can use the resulting yarn and turn it into something. Eventually.

Finally, by way of a warning, real life continues to be busy at work, with even finding time to read email presenting difficulties. I'm off on another training course this week, so I don't expect much in the way of internet access...