This side of the Morning…

One of my Facebook friends, Andrew Thornton, recently challenged his friends to blog more again, he had always enjoyed blogs, but had noticed that many of his favourites were not blogging as often as they used to. I’m terrible at keeping up with mine, but I thought it might be fun to try posting about what I’m working on, especially as my focus is changing a bit. I hope you will visit Andrew’s blog too, his work is gorgeous:

Ewan and Jeremy were away with our friends Tim and Henry over the weekend, so I had my first day where I could just do my own thing in the studio for months. I wasn’t working towards a show, or anything for a website. The last thing I wanted to do was bead. sometimes when a hobby becomes work, then something else has to take its place when you need something to both relax and inspire you.

A lot of my recent crafting time has been spent either knitting and spinning a sweater, or sewing I think I’m becoming addicted to French seams, it hides all the gubbins and loose threads inside the garment! I want to learn to make more of  my own clothes, so I have a few patterns I want to work on over the winter including 2 shirt patterns and even some underwear. If I want basic plain black and white it is fine, I love my Marks and Spencer’s basic t-shirt bras, but my size is difficult to find, in anything other than those colours. Most companies skip right past it, or they are over $40 for a bra if I can find them.

Stop the World, I’m Getting Off…

With everything going on around the world in recent weeks, I found the one way to stay calm and to unwind was to spin on my new wheel. I’m now finished with the singles for my shawl for the Windy City Knitting Guild challenge. I have plied about 2/3 of it and will do some more tonight. Now I have to decide what to make with it. Do I design my own, or do I pick a pattern that would be suitable for this gradient yarn?

When I got into spinning a few years ago, I started with a Purple Heart wood supported spindle from Wanton Woolies. I love this spindle for very fine, short fibres, but sadly this company don’t seem to be around anymore, so I can’t post a link. The little bowl I use for spinning with this spindle is a little sauce bowl, I have a bead crochet project sitting in it just now, waiting until I have the concentration to work on it.

My second Spindle is a Rosewood mini Turkish spindle from Subterranean Woodworks. This one is tiny, it fits in the palm of my hand and weighs 0.56 oz when empty, but it holds about 1oz of fibre if you layer it on well. I love this one when I go traveling as it easily fits into my lovely knitting bag that my friend Doris made for me. I have some white alpaca on this spindle just now.

My third was a Scott Snyder Turkish spindle, this one is about twice the size and weight of the other Turkish. It can spin various weights of yarn and I love it for plying as well. I will often take 2-3 turtles from the smaller spindle and ply them together on this one. At the moment I am spinning some hand dyed silk hankies on this one, but this photo shows a previous spin of a Merino silk blend from Ashland Bay:

Denim Blues

My fourth spindle is a beautiful drop spindle made by Mike King at Spanish Peacock. It is both beautiful, light and very easy to use. I love it for lace weight singles as it spins like a dream! This photo is from an older project, some of my own rolags I’m spinning up for a woven scarf, but it shows the steampunk style design quite well.


In my next 2-3 posts I will post about some spinning and knitting podcasts that I love and I’m thinking of maybe adding a little bit about one or two books that I love – note, these mini reviews will be based on books that I have bought with my own money and have found helpful, or I have enjoyed unless otherwise stated.

The title of the post comes from the lyrics of this Stone Roses song, so don’t be too worried! Sometimes I need to take time to zone out, to work on something that feels comforting. Is there any of the things that I do that you would like to hear more about? Knitting, spinning, beads, crochet? I want to get into more regular craft blogging, but ideas would be welcome.

Do you think there is a theme going on?

Ewan has been going to an Art camp at Lille Street Art Centre this week, so I have had my mornings free and I have been working on a few things in between laundry and other tasks. When I was picking him up after class the other day, when I saw the interesting old lino floor:

Floor at Lille Street Art Centre

So I decided to mix up some beads and bead up a chenille stitch necklace in similar colours, slowly graduating the colours from dark at the ends to lighter shades in the centre:

Floor at Lille Street Art Centre
Then I dug out a knitting project I started before I went back to Scotland, the colours were very similar! I may have to frog this and restart it, I love how it looks, but it may be too small and I want it to fit me, not Ewan!

I like the way this looks, but it may be too small...

Lumpy Bumpies part 1…

My brain is a bit scrambled with everything that has happened in the last few days, so I made today a weaving day to clear my head.

I’m trying out something called collapse weave using some of the lace weight yarn I bought with my birthday money and some hand spun wool singles made from the merino Ewan dyed for me with food colouring a few weeks ago. It was a bit pale, so I blended it into some rolags with some other shades of wool, spun it up and now I’m weaving with it.

Collapse Weave Experiment

It won’t look the same once washed, it should form pleats, or gathers as the wool shrinks, while the cotton stays the same, in a similar way to a seersucker fabric would. It could be a disaster, who knows! Part of the fun is just trying it out for the first time. If it works out, I may try making a few scarves for the shop.

Collapse Weave Experiment

Bead and Button

On Friday Kina and I went to the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is probably one of the largest bead show is the US, other than the ones in Tuscon, Arizona. I took my camera to the show, but was too wrapped up in the atmosphere to remember to take photos on the day. It was lovely to see Lisa Peters and her Mum, Donna again, and to meet Facebook friend Carol Dean Sharpe for the first time – I hope you had a great show Carol!

This is what was added to Merlin’s hoard at the show:


Last week I was on Facebook chatting to Jen about wire work and wirework tools, and she asked me if I would like to write a guest blog for her blog over at Beading Daily, an offshoot of Beadwork magazine. If you would like to see the result, here is a link to the article:

Which Wire Cutters Are Best For Me?

If you are visiting this blog from the link on Beading Daily, welcome and I hope you enjoy the website.

Just Like Starting Over…

I haven’t blogged much over the last few months, some of you may know the reasons for this. I’m beginning to work on some new jewellery pieces again, this time at my own pace. As of today I am 11 weeks and 5 days pregnant, so I am taking each day as it comes, some days I have lots of energy to bead, and other days not so much. I’m in the middle of writing up a couple of designs as patterns and I hope to have them available soon.
Starting Over