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Making spindles with chopsticks & fimo.

I've previously posted about making my own spindles during the Tour de Fleece this year, & wanted to make some more, experimenting with whorl size and shape. The spindles are so simple to make, using fimo clay, chopsticks, a pencil parer, a craft knife and some sandpaper (or in this case a sanding pad).I'm using the chopsticks because their slight taper allows me to slip the whorl over the shaft of the spindle, and wedge it into place at the thick part of the shaft. First I shaped the chopsticks; tidying up the thick end using the pencil parer. (untouched chopstick on the left for comparison)
I marked around the shaft about 4 or 5 cm from the thick end of the chopstick. I then whittled away the chopstick corners along the length of the stick, stopping at the mark at the thick end of the stick.
See the square edge on the left, the unchanged chopstick? I lightly sanded along the stick to make it smooth & get rid of potential splinters & anything that could snag fibre.

Baby's first book

I recently became a first-time honorary aunt to little Baby Katie. Katie is 2 months old today and is the loveliest most quiet & content little baby I have ever met; she was smiling at 2 days old! At a whole 2 months old it is time that her Honorary Auntiebought her first book... so I took a little wander into Hodges Figgis in Dublin city centre last weekend in search of a suitable publication.I wanted something that little Katie could enjoy when she's a little older, sitting on her Granny's lap having stories read to her, and when she's a little bigger she can read to herself. I wanted something classic, that I enjoyed as I child. And then I got distracted by this...

'The Surprise' by Silvia van Ommen ; this picture book tells the story of a lovely sheep who decides to surprise his friend.
There is much tootling along on a scooter; there is dyeing; there is shearing...
There is a spinning pink poodle with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth;
There is winding t…

Spinning artefacts at the National Museum

Summer; a time for holidays, for not being in work & for doing things for the fun of it. During some recent time off work I visited the National Museum on Kildare Street. I had noticed a couple of spindle whorls in the medieval section on a previous visit and wanted to take a closer look.
Of course, you can't take photos in the museum so I was restricted to making a few sketches.
I was delighted to find more spindles & related artefacts in the Viking section too. Considering my recent attempts to make my own drop spindle I was fascinated by the variety of whorl shapes & materials.

There were whorls made of bone and steatite
A variety of spindle shafts made from copper alloy, wood & bone. Based on appearance alone there were both top-whorl and bottom-whorl spindles in the collection.
In the medieval section there were spindle whorls made of antler, stone & bone. Both were about 1 1/2 - 2 inches in diameter.

Also in the medieval section, there was a wooden object li…

Tour de Fleece; final tally

Due to various family commitments over the last couple of days I have completely missed out on keeping up with the Tour de Fleece deadlines, and regular blog posts. I have finished spinning sport-weight 2 ply yarn, from a LHogan batt.My total Tour de Fleece spinning; 4 substantial amounts of yarns I am very happy to use & some hand-made spindling experiments.
I've also had the chance to take a workshop with Louisa Harding; the workshop provided a chance to experiment with combining different colours & textures to make a wee purse. I chose a combination of oranges & pinks, and I can safely say that this is the most girlie sparkley thing I have ever knit. I'm also very inspired to experiment with more colours; more experimental yarn combinations.

Knitters' day out - WWKIP 2010

The Dublin-based knitters celebrated World Wide Knit in Public Day on a lovely Saturday afternoon, in St Stephen's Green.
There was yummy icecream..... Park Attendants (it's okay - we had a permission slip)

...knitting...
...yummy apple cake...
...free monster!...Super French (we are never the biggest spectacle there)

I showed off my Swallowtail Shawl, and others obliged by looking impressed..Cookies!
Crochet lessons
Best napkins ev-ah!
And even some cross-stitching.
It was a very pleasant day with many familiar faces, and a few strangers too. I am thoroughly convinced that the Irish Weather Gods are knitters as we had very pleasant weather too. Next year I will plan ahead & bake something too!

Handspun Yoke Cardigan

I have practically finished my handspun yoke cardigan, after much spinning, knitting, tinkering with the pattern, and more knitting. I still have to weave in ends and find buttons, but it's the weather is too warm for such a cosy cardigan right now - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
I made several modifications to the pattern; to suit my tastes & chosen yarns;
Sleeves; the sleeves in the pattern are straight. This would mean that the sleeve would be very loose around the wrist, which I like the look of, but find impratical. The pattern called for 54 stitches to be cast-on; I cast on 46 stitches, then knit for 2 1/2 inches and increased by 2 stitches x 4 times. This meant that I increased to the recommended 54 stitches when the sleeve was 10 inches long. I then continued to knit straight, as recommended, and added an extra half inch length.
Yoke;
The pattern suggests knitting the main, commercial yarn at a slightly loose tension, and knitting very slightly thicker h…

Hurrah for the Marlay Park Hoodie

I am thoroughly thrilled to have finished my version of the Central Park Hoodie within the Ravelympics time limit. See my smug grin? See my smiling eyes? I've realised that I do a great little teapot pose, and that the balcony containers need a bit of tidying.


Yarn; Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed Aran (approx 1200 meters)Pattern; Central Park Hoodie Needles; 4mm & 3.5 mm for ribbing Buttons; handmade, by Incomparable Buttons, bought at This is Knit.
Named for my local park, this is my first ''proper garment''ever; I am happily surprised by the fact that it fits, that the individual pieces fit together, that button bands are not that difficult and that the hood is rather pointed and more than a little 'elfin' looking.
So in one fell swoop, I have won a Ravelympics medal for 'WIP Dancing', completed item number one in my 'Ten for '10' list and used a chunk of yarn stash.