Sunday, 2 December 2012

A Walk and other fibrey pursuits

Today the Saint and I walked from Shawford to Winchester along the Itchen Navigation. It was a beautiful cold wintery day and we saw kingfishers and herons along the river.

Outside Winchester is St Catherine's mound which we climbed to admire the view.

The Cathedral is in the distance where the Christmas market is in full swing and we headed down towards it to meet friends and have some delicious snacks before returning home.

At the top of St Catherine's is a very ancient labyrinth which has been walked by pilgrims and others for many decades. It is one of my favourite places to visit.

We found a bench along the river on the way into town and I down to rest and to knitt on the front of my Maxfield with this view of St Catherine in front of me, basking in the knowledge that I have walked it for the first time in 4 years. I walked 6 miles today. It is a wonderful achievement for me.

The Maxfield had grown in leaps and bounds and the body and sleeves are complete. I have fallen more in love with this pattern as I have knitted it making the problems at the start a distant memory. I am even considering a second one...

It has grown as I have been knitting on the train to and from the The Hants Guild Exhibition in the Winchester Discovery Centre where I have been involved with the exhibition.

Here are a number of pieces waiting to be placed.

Kismet and I had an adventure last Wednesday as I carried her through the town attracting lots of strange looks before she was placed here for me to spin on her.

I love the mini yurt which was in front of me because it was a community project that many of the guild ladies were involved in. It is completely handmade with traditional techniques. Everything is tied together with hand braids. It is about 6 foot high and has the same size foot print. It is truly a beautiful piece.

Mary's loom is quite dwarfed by the size of the room but from this angle it looks quite grand and attracts a great deal of interest. I love the felted bird pods which are hanging above it.

When I have been home, I have been stalking my Secret Santa partner on the Ravelry boards and found time to knit my only Christmas knitting this year, for her. It is the Petals Scarf by Jennifer Fleury which is a wonderful little knit and I will be making one of these for myself too. The box is all packed up and ready to post on Monday.

My other spinning projects have also come along. The 'Burst into Bloom' colour way from Yarnchef is complete at 880 yds of pretty pink lushness which may just grow up to be a shawl when life slows down a bit again

and the spin along with Tina for the Sheeps Heid with fibre from Hilltopcloud is still great fun. We encourage each other and share what we do and I have completed the grey Shetland now with 54 yards.

There are 6 little skeins, the 2 on the right are the Bfl and the other 4 are Shetland. There are 3 colours left to spin.

On my loom, I have been playing and sampling, weaving with merino tops to see if I can create a fabric I can use for various items that I would like to make. It has been great fun and I am indebted to Sue, our felting genius, from the guild who has shared her knowledge with me with such kindness and no hesitation. I have never INTENTIONALLY felted anything so this is new territory for me and I have had such fun playing with this, in-between all the other bits that I have going on at the moment.

I used the Theo Moorman technique again, as I did with the photos and this is how it turned out.

 I then rolled the sample in a pillow case and secured it with bits of old tights.

After 30 minutes in the washing machine at 40 degrees the first sample has truly felted but the fabric was very thick.

After a second attempt that was the same as above, the third one was much more successful as I was able to make a secure thinner fabric which was what I wanted to do.

It is softer and is more pliable.

As soon as I have a little time, I shall be winding a warp to explore this technique in a larger way and if you watch this space, it might even appear in a blog.

Thanks to all of you who comment. I enjoy reading them and it is great to have contact with those of you who read my blog.

1 comment:

  1. All so beautiful x

    I have never been up to St Catherines mound, but really must having seen these pictures and the labyrinth. Thank you for sharing.