Wednesday, June 27, 2007

To Woolfest, To Woolfest!

Thank you, thank you all for your kind words of solace and comfort. We are feeling a little better. Sitting up and taking nourishment. We will be brave, we will grow from this experience. And yes, we will try again. We will not give up. Another bag will be made (maybe not quite so huge this time, perhaps a tiny purse, and I don't mean purse in the American sense as in 'huge holdall' but the kind of ickle pritty thing you use to keep small coins in), and we might even try a spot of hand-felting in a bowl of very hot water, just to get a feel for the skill.

And the bag that was created is a beautiful bag. That has been decided. Those of you who called it a work of art, a superb example of shibori, a sculptured piece, you have my sincere thanks. Without your generosity, that bag might have gone out wretchedly into the night, thinking it was not fit to live. Instead it will be loved and cherished. And it will at some point be decorated with Celtic interlacements to make it even lovelier.

It's not white by the way, though it does look like that in the pictures. It's a very pale green, exactly the colour of glacier melt water. And it's a roving so soft that it separates if you glance sideways at it. (Boy, have I had some practice in fusing two broken ends together...)

Oh I solved the problem of unwinding it from the big ball, by the way. Apparently it is triple-plied. Darn, if I'd known that at the beginning, I could have made the bag much faster, with all three plies and a much bigger circular. Do they usually wind these rovings in triplicate?

Now, to progress. The self-designed smock-thingy is progressing finely. Finished the front this morning.

Even sewed the pocket flaps into place immediately, because that's one of those jobs you hate doing, isn't it? Thought I'd better get it out of the way pronto. Now galloping up Sleeve 1, so as not to run out of steam before the project is done. 3/4 length for the sleeves, with big moss stitch cuffs.

It's kind of fun making something exactly the way you want. Rather like building your own house, only I don't think I could ever decide where I really wanted each room, each corner, each door or window to be. I'd always be thinking afterwards that I could have done it differently. But with this sweater it should be OK. I worked out what was needed, and then put it into practice.

The next of these practical projects will concern a much-loved jacket bought decades ago and worn so much that it is now starting to fall apart. I'm simply going to copy it, dolman sleeves, amazing colour work and all. (Listen to her, confident isn't she? Oh she's riding for a fall....)

But no more of that for now. Tomorrow we dash over to merrie England so as to be at Woolfest in Cumbria when the doors open at 10 am on Friday. Hoping to meet Ambermoggie there, and maybe Anne as well. Richard is coming too, and we're going to take in Hadrian's Wall on the way, and on the way back, a haunted inn in a haunted village (those of you who live on the Durham/Northumberland border will know exactly where I'm talking about). Full report on ghosts seen or not seen when we get back on Saturday.

No, no, of course I'm not going to buy anything! I'm just going to look, OK? Just look. I can hold back, I can restrain myself. And anyway, we're travelling light with only cabin baggage, so I couldn't possibly...

Now - remember that time I asked DH to photograph a teeny tiny inscription on my lovely circular needle from Ed Jenkins? And he said it was no different to photographing ants? Well, since so many of you pleaded for this one, here, for your eyes only, is a rare glimpse of some French ants,busily engaged in milking aphids for their daily pinta.

There now. Doesn't that make your evening?


Quite forgot to say - as I was trying to watch Wimbledon today (rained off again, it must be late June), I thought to myself that this was a very good way to get some knitting done. And then I realised that that was the very thought with which I had commenced blogging! So it's almost my blogversary! Started on July 9 last year (the rain had extended Wimbledon into a third week then, will probably do so again this time round), so PRESENTS are going to be in order for some readers. Will think about it over the weekend and post some tempting details before the great day.

A year. Well, well well. What an amazing difference it has made. The friends found, the laughter shared, the information garnered. And twelve months ago we didn't know each other!

I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
Did till we blogged?


Kelly said...

Congratulations on your nearly-blogiversary! And have an enjoyable trip to the festival. You needn't think for a second that anyone believes you'll be coming back empty-handed!

I started some Brigit socks last week - thanks for the link - and thought of you :)

Angeluna said...

OMG, nearly a year! It has been a grand year, I must say.

So glad you are going to pick yourself up by your britches and dive back into felting. At some point.

Fibre show? Jealous? No, I'm not jealous. Haunted Inns and Hadrian's Wall? Heck, if I want to see some scenery I can walk out, look to the foot of my hill and watch the floods go by! Nope, not jealous! OK, OK, have fun.

Oh, the jumper looks scrumptious.

Cornflower said...

Have a lovely trip, Jo!
Be sure to stop by The Yarn Yard stall at Woolfest and say hello to Natalie.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your trip to Woolfest. Have a look out for the Online Guild display and the Association of Guilds of Weavers Spinners & Dyers.

KimK said...

Jo, I'm looking forward to lots of great pictures from your trip! And many congratulations on your upcoming blogiversary!

Anonymous said...

Next time you are in Inchigeela, don't forget to go for a stroll in the island. Entrance is across from the video shop on Dunmanway road. Also vital is a trip to the cafe in leevalley shop for a coffee and home made dessert. In fact the walk would be best AFTER the visit to leevalley!!

Anonymous said...

I'm so jealous that you're going to see Hadrian's Wall. It's one of my favorite things in history and hopefully, one day I'll get to see it in person. Take pictures of your trip! Oh, and thank you for writing about I bought some of his stuff and absolutely LOVE it!!!

Marianne said...

Congratulations for your upcoming blogiversary! I remember the day I 'found' your blog and going back to the beginning to read all the posts...although it was only a month and a bit of posts...that was a whole lot of reading and all of it wonderful!
Have fun at WoolFest!

Kit said...

Oh my, a full year! I've hardly read that long but I look forward to every post! And thank you for the pictures of the ants, I seemed to have remembered that aphids were handy to ants but had forgotten.

Anonymous said...

What a treat! I can honestly say that I've never seen a picture of ants milking aphids, so I've learned something today! Congrats on your upcoming blogiversary, it's been a great year!

rho said...

It doesn't see possible that it is so close to a year - wow it really sped by fast...

have a ball at Woolfest and I hope you see some ghosts - and I am only a bit jealous - mainly because I am working myself up to go shopping in our very touristy area and the traffic will suck royally today (but still be better than next week - ACK - holiday with the July 4th celebrations etc)

btw I have a picture of a completed sock (and the beginning of the second sock) but can't find the blasted cable again -- geeze - can we say brain dead?

Charity said...

So glad to hear you're recovering nicely... :0)

Congratulations - a whole year, it's gone by so fast!

Ronni said...

Congrats on your upcoming blogiversary. Have a nice time at Woolfest. I thought there was a "get out of jail free card" deal with fiber shows vis-a-vis shopping.

Roggey said...

Sure. Right. No wool purchases whatsoever. I'm with you on that one. Just wait, you'll find stowaways in your trunk when you get home!

Congrats on the blog-o-thingie! I'm so glad to have "met" you =)

Carla said...

You SAID ants, but I SAW aphids and kept seeing aphids and wondering, are the ants in France that different from ants in Texas? Until finally the ants came into view, too. Whew. Texas ants. French ants. — Not really that much difference after all!

So, congratulations on your blogiversary! I've been with you most of that time although I comment little. You're one of my favorites!

SueJ said...

Hope you enjoy Woolfest & don't get washed away! Our visit will have to wait until next year. DH & dog don't want to swim on the fells & to be honest my stash is healthy!

Dez Crawford said...

Congrats on your blogiversary week!!! Thank you so much for your ongoing and generous offerings of enchanting writing, wonderful photos and lovely knitting.

And I am not one teeny bit jealous of you for going to Hadrian's Wall OR to Woolfest. Not at all. Go right ahead. However, if you see LornaJay at Woolfest, do give her a hug for me.

And about restraining yourself? I looked it up ... Article 247(c), Paragraph 4: "yarn purchased while traveling, much like calories consumed while traveling, do not count." (It was under the International Yarn Accords.) Also, the ghost of Elizabeth Zimmermann just chimed in, to remind me about Amendment VII ... "any travelling knitter must be willing to give politcal asylum to yarn in peril, and smuggle it out of its homeland by whatever means necessary."

About the wee luggage? Yarn squishes. And also? If you have an extra pair of shoes in there? Yarn fits in your shoes. And also Richard's.

Speaking of which: marvelous ant photo! Richard should send that one to "Nature." I've been fascinated by ants who "farm" since childhood: aphid milkers, the ones who grow fungus, etc. Thanks, Richard!

Fiberjoy said...

My heavens, has it been only a year? Certainly we've known each other longer than this? I can't imagine the blogging community without your posts!

I remember stumbling upon your blog when you were in the middle of the multistriped jumper - which I don't believe was ever finished?

Woolfest - Wish we were there!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Jo!
And I hope you have a great trip. Enjoy WoolFest!