Saturday, October 29, 2011

Done so something new or two

Toad is finished, yesterday, amidst sunny warm and balmy weather - yes finished a long sleeved sturdy warm hand spun hand knit jersey with lined collar and cuffs for double warmth on the day we finally get summer. Just as well we live in Dunedin, for today we are back to colder days, with rain and overcast and not a lot of sunshine to warm us up. With any project ending - comes the time to start a new project (or two) - so I've done that and now have two socks on the needles, different ones.

So - twelve year old sons are not good at standing still, they dance, they jigger, they move - and on an overcast day for a while it looked like this was the best photo of Tobe wearing Toad that I would be able to show you. For interest sake, I used up every single gram and part gram of the Sock yarn I was using to line the collar and cuffs, ending with about 20cm left - so this was an excellent stash buster. I have a skein of the Blue left, which might become a hat, sometime. And I have to remind myself this is my first finished hand knit sweater .......something I am keen to do again even if it means spinning fibre in larger than 100g batches.
Front on, Toad gives Tobe Shoulders, well he has shoulders of his own but they are lean, lanky, skinny boy shoulders.I think all saddle shoulder designs do that to some degree - add in a linear and boxy shape at the shoulder. Having said that I think it will soften with wear, and use .... next winter if it still fits.

Side on gives some idea of Tobe's dimensions, front to back he is a proverbial bean pole .... over all I'm quite pleased with how it Toad (and Tobe) turned out.
The new project is a secret Christmas present, knitted toe up to keep the design kind of hidden for now. I am making Tardis socks. So far reverse engineering the pattern has been fine, cast on  two lots of 8 stitches using Judy's magic cast on, honestly the best seamless toe cast on ever IMO, increase at either end of each side for the next five rounds, then every second round until there are 34 stitches. Condensing the increases in the first few rounds gives a more rounded toe which I like.

There might be a second new project as well, for some reason I felt the need to cast on a washcloth this morning, worked in 2x2 rib with smocked details - sorry no photo yet but there will be next time.

Take care

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Matching collar and cuff

Not much to see around her, really there isn't. For some reason the only progress since last post is a sleeve, really just one long sleeve. Real news is a bit scarce - so much so that this update even contains a report on shoe polish.

So about that sleeve, elder cub liked the collar lining very much and asked if I could do the same to the cuffs. Seems a reasonable request so I've worked the sleeve down to a generously long cuff and have switched to the brown Vintage Purls yarn for the lining. He can grow 2'' or 3'' and this should still fit. So far so good, the sleeve is tapered from around 3" under the underarm to 7" from the hem. Paired decreases either side of the underarm line every 8 rows - seemed to work. I hope the lining will tuck away - and imagine it will be snug at first but cuffs always stretch out so in the long run this should be fine. I probably don't have enough brown to knit both cuffs - having only 10.8g left. I've split that into two bumps, 5.4g each and will knit the start of each cuff lining then switch to some other sock yarn remnant for the end of the cuff lining. I am tempted to use something fun like orange, or pink but know that not to be the best choice for a self conscious 12 year old male cub - so I will hunt out something dark and sensible.

And shoe polish? Yes, Bear is all smiley after a box arrived with a new supply of shoe polish. Around here is it the little things at times that provide the most enjoyment. On a Sunday afternoon Bear rounds up all the leather shoes and boots that look a bit scruffy and polishes them. He was struggling to find green, and red and the right brown polish for some of our shoes. When Little cub had pink Sidewalks from McKinnleys (local manufacture) we discovered Coxy shoe polish came in a wide range of shades online. So I ordered a surprise box of polish - brown, burgundy, soft black, red, burgundy, loden green, and a second black described as

A hard wax polish for that sharp military shine. Not for the faint hearted. A spit and polish product for a hard long lasting shine. It requires a little elbow grease to apply to get the best results. Suitable for military style shoes and boots, men’s business shoes and any smooth leather that requires a strong shine.
The mystery-box arrived today and Bear has been stacking and unstacking the pots of polish, and looking like they were the best thing ever. I guess it is a little like stash - having a supply of the things one might need in nice colours? I'm just happy he liked the surprise, I'm even happier that he likes to polish shoes although I suspect he likes us all to have nicely polished shoes more than he likes to polish shoes. Either that or he is wondering why I bought him six cans of shoe polish and if he really wants to be married to me anymore.

Take care - with any luck there may be more knitting or spinning to report next week, and maybe even a finished object.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I knew that this fibre lark was addictive, really I did, but sometimes it takes a particular project to remind me just how addictive working out how to do something can be. Today I have significant progress on Toad, one sock is done and the other languishes. I've also managed to manipulate littlest cub into knitting a top down raglan for Curley Bear.

Addictive, defined at the FreeDictionary as

ad·dict (-dkt)
tr.v. ad·dict·ed, ad·dict·ing, ad·dicts
1. To cause to become physiologically or psychologically dependent on a habit-forming substance: The thief was addicted to cocaine.
2. To occupy (oneself) with or involve (oneself) in something habitually or compulsively: The child was addicted to video games.
I think that the second meaning is the one that is most applicable here, that I found myself both occupied and involved in something that was compulsive. With the hem of Toad completed I found myself ready to finish the neck edge. Originally I had planned to knit a plain band in 2x rib, then I wondered about a cable worked around the neck ... and then I started to think about a Henley style neck with a zip. That seemed the best for this jersey, a thicker and more robust yarn seemed to be a good match for a zippered and collared finish. I could see this was heading towards a warm outdoorsy sweater. First stop was the local big box craft supply store for a nice zip.I found one, it could have been longer but then again maybe shorter is better.

Then I steeked the front, and considering I had not planned to steek the front that was probably a brave move. But sometimes I'm not the kind of knitter to let a lack of planning get in the way. Having steeked I picked up and worked a short facing either size of the cut edge - this would be the outside facing for the zip. Once I got this far I had to keep going, unable to work on anything else in-case I lost the plot and didn't remember what I was doing (don't laugh - it has happened when I've parked a project and returned to it) .

Then I picked up and knit a collar around the neck edge in 2x2 rib. When the collar seemed long enough to fit the zip I switched to a softer yarn and knit the inside of the collar. I worked a knit transition row at the colour change. For the inside collar I used Vintage Purls Vintage Sock, the left overs from Double+1. I worked a mock i-cord edge at both ends of the collar, slipping the first 3 stitches of each row, and purling the last three.

I Grafted the centre section of the collar down to the neck edge, working from the centre out and using pins to keep the ribs lined up. I was quite pleased with how it turned out.

I left the last inch or so of the collar not grafted, and picked these up and worked a narrow band in rib that could cover the inside of the zip tape. At this stage the project looked very messy and I hoped that my loose plan would turn into something that worked and looked presentable.

Last night was family movie night, mostly as one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies was screening on TV, and we all like Johnny Depp at his most outrageous. So I finished the collar and stitched in the zip. I was secretly quite surprised that something that had looked so messy finished up looking quite planned and almost 'like a bought one' as my Nana would say. She was a child of the early 20th Century and completely converted to making life easier by buying rather than making. If I had five kids and my washing machine had a mangle roller maybe I would love the convenience of modernity as well.

This is where I am at now, with a finished zippered collar, faced with soft sock yarn, and the first sleeve is well on its way to the elbow.

The Bubble socks are now done. All done, and I'm pleased with them. This was my first completed hand spun sock and I was pleasantly surprised at how even it knit up. Next time I would try and make the yarn a little firmer in the twist - this seemed very low twist compared to commercial yarns. Then again unlike commercial yarns the stripe pattern is one that would only occur in a hand dyed skein of pencil roving.

And the littlest cub is working her first seamless garment, a top down raglan for her teddy. She was very good and followed instructions to cast on and work the raglan increases without really understanding how it would all work. Until now she has planed and executed a variety of bags and pillows with seams all on her own but I was keen to get her understanding the advantages of seamless. Once she got to the sleeves she saw how it would all work - and I was quietly impressed that she recognized the need for casting on stitches at the underarm to make the body fit nicely. Right now we have just transferred over to circulars - she has her own, and she is working out if she needs to increase as the body gets longer. Bears have quite cute shapes - this one is pear shaped, a pear shaped bear, so some increases might be judicious.

Take care

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I might have started another pair of socks ...

just might have. Usually I like to have only one pair on the needles at any one time, but sometimes a new sock is just the right answer. We have just been away, visiting a few Air Museums around the south island, Wigram and Ashburton, both homes for flight training bases during World War Two. Like most knitters I made sure I packed enough knitting to keep me busy for three times longer than we were away - you know just in case. I'm not sure in case of what, in case we got held up and didn't get home, in case the weather meant that I was stuck inside knitting (not a bad thing in the scheme of things), in case I got bored with what I was knitting and wanted a change. That last one is probably the best reason, and in fact I found that knitting continuously on the same size needles did tire my hands out and switching to a different size needle and project did my hands good.

So I wanted to take the Bubble sock but two reasons stopped me, first it is a chart and so not good travel knitting and second it was nearly finished so wouldn't have provided enough knitting. This is where Bubbles is at, and if tonight turns out to be a tv night (between the two extremes of Big Bang Theory, and The Borgias) I should be done today.

I did take Toad, my handspun Texel sweater that is in progress, and made lots of progress. I am nearly about to start the lower hem, 2x2 rib I think, with maybe a garter band above and below. Elder cub is 12, and taller than me, say 5ft8", so I'm happy to make this long just in case he has not stopped growing. I think it will be body band/hem, then neck band then sleeves, that way I won't have to worry that the neck will draw up the shoulders and shorten the sleeves. I am almost tempted to work something fancier at the hem, say a cable or such but then again .... perhaps I should keep it simple. Whatever I do I will have to match the cuffs to the hem so I am keeping that in mind as the cuffs are significantly smaller so I'd need to find a pattern with a repeat size that would fit around cuff and hem neatly.

One of the best reasons to keep projects simple is that at least one of the projects needs to be a pick up and go project. While I was away I wanted to start Toads Christmas prezzie, a Tardis Sock on the road. I had the pattern, the project bag, the needles and the yarn (Vintage Purls of course). Then just before we left I discovered that the sock was knit top down, and not only that but the words Police Box were formed first - I wasn't going to be able to knit that in secrecy in a motel room for very long was I? So I grabbed a lovely icy blue Vintage Purls sock yarn and a nostepinne to wind it with and decided I would knit something for younger cub. This is the first attempt, a quadrant toe and a cable that I had charted in my workbook. The cable in a slightly different form was part of Bears Paws 3, but this time I'm working it continuously. As things go I realized that the cable would work better if it was more woven and symmetrical around the center ... so I frogged.

This is take two, and as I started the pattern row I realized that I could work a cute baby cable up the middle just to complicate things even more so I allowed two center stitches which spaced the cable out a little more. I love the pretty pale blue of this sock, I'm thinking an eye of partridge heel and maybe even some sort of lace cuff or cast off.

Another day of knitting and the sock is looking like it might work. Part of me wonders if I should have a baby cable along either side and part of me thinks that it is just fine as it is.

That is progress so far, I'm still on leave for a few more days but I'm in the midst of finalizing another column for Entangled so I'm keeping this post short. I thought the article was to be on Scale but as I write my way towards the importance of scale in crafting I find I'm defining craft first and have yet to get to the scale. And I have some great images to use so I'm going to have to fit the scale in somewhere. Writing is a bit like knitting, sometimes the direction that is best isn't quite the direction that you imagined you would be going in.

Take care
na Stella

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday -Thursday

Way back when I worked in an Roading engineering office, in the mid 80's, we had a set of made up weekday names, Thursday-Friday, or Monday-Tuesday, or Wednesday-Thursday. When ever we had a short week at work, when there was a public holiday, usually on a Monday or Friday, the workflow seemed out of kilter. Having a Monday off work made Tuesday a bit like a Monday so it became Monday-Tuesday, and Wednesday a bit like a Thursday so Wednesday-Thursday. When working I try and blog in the weekend and on Wednesdays, this week I'm not working and my weekend post happened on Monday and my Wednesday post on Thursday - hence the Wednesday-Thursday of the title. I've been busy - in a good way, comfortably working away at the things that I need to do and the things that I want to do, and even at some things that other people want me to do. I'm enjoying this not being at work, at 8:45 I find myself able to do things rather than preparing for a day at work. Oh I'm not planning to leave work but I am enjoying not having my days ruled by a 8:30-4ish timetable, and not being ruled by the cubs school day of 9-3.

Today there is progress on Toad, the sleeves seemed to have come out well, I've entered three proposals for Handmade 2012 (from beginner to advanced knitting), there is a very full tucked and gathered petticoat to puff out younger cubs dress, I've prepared next years diary, and Bubble socks grow(but no new photos of that today).
Oh and news - heads up keep 9, 10 and 11th of March 2012 flagged in your diary. There is to be a knitting retreat in Dunedin - code named Unwind, more once details are finalized.

So Toad, which is so named because that is what we have always called older cub when his behavior drives us to distraction - as in he is a being a bit of a Toad. Toad now has the beginnings of sleeves, and after two or three partial frogs I'm happy with these and have started on the body.
Most of the shaping in the sleeve cap is at the top, with almost not shaping for the second half of the armscye.

This is one of my all time knitting inspirations, the last page in a Mon Tricot 1800 Patterns, Knitting Encyclopedia. I bought it some 18 or so years ago when I knew how to knit and followed published patterns that I bought at the yarn shop or found in knitting or craft magazines. At that stage my knitting was quite conventional, knit flat and seamed as I had been taught and as most of the patterns encouraged one to knit. I was working early mornings in newsagents and heading off at 9 to study at Uni. This book came in amongst the magazines and I was fascinated by it. Partly because it was a book of knitting stitch patterns not garment patterns and this was the first time I was introduced to a library of stitch patterns. But I admit it was a little series of diagrams on the last page that hinted at other ways to knit garments that really caught my imagination. At the time I was studying for a Clothing degree and learning about construction and pattern-making and was curious about what the last page showed. Ever since then I've continued to be curious about the simplicity of the method that page illustrates, the neckband, the shoulder strap and the simple construction in the round. My first few sweaters for Toad as a baby were knit this way and I felt so brave starting without a pattern and mastering knitting on dpns. Of course I'm not convinced that this is by any means the True Aran Knit Technique, just one way of many, and I understand the myth of the Aran sweater is questionable - but I'm still inspired by the last page in a book I acquired 18+ years ago and it really did spark my knit journey.

Bookbinding, I love this, not as portable as knitting but very satisfying. And look I can make books that look like books that shops sell! The orange bound book is the diary I have made for next year, using DIY Dayplanner software, Nice fountain pen friendly paper, card and gifted end-papers (thank you Karen). Because I made it and I'm impatient - this diary starts with October of this year and continues right thru to March of 2013. I've found that I need a few months overlap at the beginning and end of a diary to plan the next year, so this should work well. Next to it are two Copic bound books which open flat and are lovely to use, I like those but think I like my books with hard cased spines. Maybe Coptic for workbooks and notes and the hard spine for other uses?

Like this.This one took me a few tests to make it work neatly - but I think I understand the maths and measurements now and would make fewer mistakes next time.

Look I even worked an old fashioned index to mark the months! I have vague recollections of my dad doing this to some of my school books in Primary school but no idea why or which ones.
Looks like one of Toads Best friends has arrived for a sleepover - so I'll go and make sure all the cubs are comfortable and lunch is sorted.

na Stella

Sunday, October 09, 2011

You would think that with

two full weeks leave from work I'd be relaxing, and maybe even knitting. Well I've been relaxing but to those around me I seem to be far from relaxing. Since Friday at 4is when my leave officially began I've slept in until 8am on a Saturday and Sunday, cut and sewn two dresses and initiated littlest cub into use of a sewing machine and iron, finished binding my diary for next year, made two boxes to store assignments in, blocked my yarn and knit some. And it is only Monday, not only that but lunchtime on Monday!

So the vintage pattern worked out well, appears my little contemporary 9 year old cub is pretty much a vintage size 12. She is tall, and the dress has 'growing-room', which I am loath to remove as if I do she will certainly grow overnight. This is the second dress, the first is sleeveless in a white, tan and taupe plaid. The best thing is that the sun is warming up our part of the world and she can wear these without freezing.

This one we even went so far as to construct the little decorative bow trim, and attached it to the center front waist. When I say 'we' I mean little cub as she sewed the bow herself and most of the seams on both dresses. I stepped in on the more tricky curved seams where errors would matter, like the neckline and setting in the sleeves. I cheated and resorted to a hand-prick-stitched zip, I can and do machine zips in but love the vintage look and the process of hand prick-stitching in a zip. I do machine the tapes to the seam allowance for security but like the custom hand made touch of working the zip this way. What you can't see is the shocking pink bias banding inside the neck, waist and hem that neaten up those edges of the dress. Little cub wants a petticoat that makes the skirt go out more, so that is on the cards for latter this week, as will be a few more of these pretty dresses. I have a notion to return to the opp-shop and source a few nice vintage plastic buckles and buttons as trim for the next few.

One of the last things I had to do before the end of last week was tidy up and file away all the admin side of marking. As I worked thru the Year one Essays and the Year 2 Lit Reviews I kept them in two photocopier box lids. You know those ubiquitous shallow cardboard boxes that are put to use in most offices. I like my desk to be a nice place to work and worn ripped photocopier paper box lids just were just not contributing a nice ambiance. I'm not sure a pile of written assignments to mark could ever contribute a pleasant ambiance, but I'd like to think it could be nicer than it was. Today I sat down and constructed two shallow boxes, that easily hold A4 sized paper. The left over wallpaper from the cubs bedrooms covers the outside(Designers Guild) and the wallpaper from the hallway(Liberty) above the wood paneling lines the inside. There was a lot of learning going on in making these, and the second is neater than the first, but both are 100% nicer than a photocopier paper box lid.

I have been knitting (and frogging) on the new project, a top down set in sleeve sweater for elder cub. This was the state of play last Friday and you may notice that there are no needles in this work. I removed them having realized that frogging was required. Yo-yo, currently stealth cat as she has lost both bells, waited with me as I arranged for the photo.

I had to frog as it became abundantly clear that the sleeve cap I was knitting was suitable for someone with very defined biceps, perhaps even ones enhanced with steroids. Elder cub tends towards the slighter end of the range of shoulder and upper arm development ... so this would never look like it belonged to him. Currently state is that this is back on the needles and I've worked beyond this point and am nearing division for the sleeves and body.

And yarn, finally I have blocked the Wabi Sabi River Stones fibre, Merino, alpaca, silk and angora 50g and 272m, or thereabouts. As usual no plans yet to knit this one into, but I really enjoyed spinning it and love the colour ( or lack thereoff).

So I'd better go, younger cub has plans to invite a whole host of friends around tomorrow afternoon and that can only happen if her room is tidy. Her version of tidy and mine differ, in that things under the bed, and toys on the floor and washing not out in the laundry bin, and stuff like pencils and hair ties on every surface are things I'd like tidied away. I'm nearly as unreasonable as I remember my own mother was about keeping my bedroom tidy.

Oh well best go and see what progress has been made.

cheers - stella

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Look - new project!

Today - its a midweek post, work has me 'running' with lots to do before I have two weeks leave. I'm not planning any special trip, just 2 weeks at home with the cubs - its school holidays and apparently 12 year olds are a tad old to hang out with 6 and 7 year old's at holiday program. We might head away for a few days to visit my brother in Christchurch, then again we might not. I have plans to see if younger cub has any interest in sewing clothes ...and I've lined up a vintage pattern to tempt her. I've a new project, yarn that is nearly done, and bubbles nears its prototype end.

So - younger cub is nine and a half, yes really. Wasn't it only yesterday I was blogging a wee shrug I made for her forth birthday? Any way - with two weeks at home I was thinking of things that we could do to keep away from the tv and going to town. There will be playdates and a movie, and sleepovers and baking - but I thought she might be old enough to sew something to wear. Until now I've sewn stuff and she has hovered but not really participated. I was at the local upmarket-oppshop and spent some time going thru their box of vintage patterns. This appealed mostly as Younger cub has asked if we could make a dress that goes 'in at the waist and then out'. this seems as shapely as I'm prepared to go for a 9 year old. Construction seems fairly simple, a centre back zip and darts, a gathered skirt, with the neck finished with a binding. I have traced the pattern out in card. This was the fist time I had to make sense of a vintage pattern, which have no printed marks on the paper at all. Appears that in the 'olden days' coded perforations not ink were used to mark important match points- which was kind-of fun to translate to modern pattern making conventions. The pattern also assumes a lot of knowledge on the part of the seamstress, as the instructions are not specific as to how one does things. I'm thinking a pink or lemon gingham for the fit-toile and if it works we will finish it as a wearable dress and let her pick something more fun to make after that. We will be making B or C, as the collar section is missing and I am not prepared to draft one until I know the dress fits her.

I started a new project last night, a sweater for elder cub. This is the shoulder straps, and I've cast on across the back neck. Then there will be some short rows to shape the front neck and raise the back neck. I'm thinking set in seamless sleeves worked as one in the round. I have Barbara Walkers Knitting from the Top in my knitting basket and I'm making decisions as I go but documenting it so I don't get too lost. I sat in on Morags Vintage Purls top down class in Napier which kind of inspired me to put what we explored into practice. Yarn is hand spun 3 ply texel(a kind of sheep), kind of crunchy and light and feels hard wearing.

I did make some progress on the Wabisabi fibre, now it is plied, but not yet blocked. So far loving it .... and with plying quite tightly the yarn has already started to fluff a little with a halo. I'm expecting the angora to fluff into more of a halo and the merino to give this a bit of bounce. Two ply, fine fingering, and no idea of the length yet. I love the grey-blue- white transitions and there did seem to be long runs where the two plies were the same shade. I've been treated two more batches of hand dyed fibre from Wabisabi, truly my fibre cup run-nth over.

The second bubble sock is coming along nicely, turns out that the second is the same size as the first. I tried it on mid way up the heel and it seemed shorter but once the heel was completed the sock was exactly the same. I will knit this one again in a plainer yarn, something that will show the bubble pattern more clearly and if I can figure out how to chart the pattern neatly I will definitely share.

So, two more days at work, another day of meeting, all day meetings just like today. Well I exaggerate - today was a staff development day so the fashion staff set up a workshop and introduced some new ideas and had a bit of an explore. I did a mini lesson on what I learned at the Cutting circle workshop. Tomorrow is more a departmental meeting day - I think I'll take my knitting. Friday is a another day of meetings, and filing results before I'm not there. The weekend can't come soon enough when I think of all that has to be done first.

na Stella

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Project monogomy

I'm open to distractions, in fact some times I am amazed that I have been able to maintain a blog on knitting for nearly 6 years. Then of course I realize that knitting isn't a single thing, its a wide range of activities, from actually performing the stitches to imagining something and working through how it could be achieved, not to mention seeing all the amazing things that people do with knitting. Given how open to distractions I am when I practice project-monogamy it surprises me how fast progress can be. Take this week, my knitting has been on my Bubbles sock and progress has been rapid, so rapid in fact that I cast on the toe of number two at the Creative Fibre South Canterbuy 40th Birthday Open Day Celebrations. The Open day was fantastic, my talk was on how I teach Design, particularly Fashion design at our school of design, and seemed to go well with questions that indicated interest. The trades hall at the open day was fabulous - with lots to select from.

My plans for the leg of Bubbles worked out, I had charted the leg but not really made any decision about the cuff. As the bubbles dissipated up the leg the sock background of reverse stocking stitch became more dominant and I wasn't sure what sort of cuff would work best. I decided to try a garter stitch cuff - and it worked brilliantly, an almost invisible transition from reverse-stocking stitch to garter. Sock number two has started and is going fast, I'm nearly done on the heel flap and need to decide if the foot is long enough. The second sock feels shorter than the first - and I suspect the handspun is finer for this sock, so I might just frog back and add a wee bit more length after the gusset. I'll try both socks on before I commence knitting any more and make a decision.

The open day was fabulous, Fiona and Kathy and their team had sorted everything, including a lovely parcel of fibre and fruit as a thank you, the fiber is the large pale grey bundle at the back of this image. I couldn't help but exclaim 'Fibre! My favorite!' This is just over 200gms (7 oz) of light grey natural half-breed combed top. The fruit is in the fruit bowl and has mostly gone as my standard answer to cubs that ask for biscuits is 'no but you can have a banana (or whatever it in the bowl). That generally sorts the real hunger from the boredom peckish. In front of the fibre is a copy of Are you ready to dye by Sandra Dain, my copy was loaned to certificate student two years ago has never been returend so I replace it. Sandra's book has one of the most comprehensive coverage of dye methods I've ever seen, everything from dyepot and microwave to using syringes and dying yarn in the ball with different colours, in bags, in pots, in the oven, in sunlight, fleece, fibre, yarn, projects - a huge range of options all clearly explained with photos and clear instructions.

To the front of the book are two wee parcels of Alpaca, during my talk I explained how our students are expected to identify the designers (fashion or not) whose work they like and why, and whose work or process is the most like theirs and why. Doing so it intended to help our students work out where they fit into the world of design and design ideas and processes. As part of that I highlighted three designers whose work inspires me and explained what I understood about their process that I liked. My first two were Claire McCardell and Isobel Toledo's early work, and my last example was Schiaparelli. I included images of her shoe hat, her classic
Trompe-l'œil sweater(on my do knit list), and her skeleton dress. Afterwards I was alerted to alpaca for sale from an Alpaca named Schiaparelli from Otago Bridge Alapacs - so of course some of that had to go home. One in Pink (Schiaparelli Pink) and one in grey blue. I've already started to spindle spin the pink.

The table that distracted me the most at the trade hall was the one with vintage buttons. I was enthralled, and took home these few. Ten small glass black buttons, Victorian, circa 1880, about 13mm across. One larger flower button, also black glass, one purple turtle button in Moonglow glass, and one glass dragonfly (3cm across). The 10 small black glass buttons are destined to dress up a black or charcoal cardigan, the others are just to have until i find a use for them.

These new acquisitions go well with the vintage buttons I bought in Napier a few weeks back ... seems that I might have a new thing to stash. As I said easily distracted, but I never said that was a bad thing.

take care
na Stella