December 31, 2009

Happy New year on a full Blue Moon

Taken at 6.30pm this evening and what a glorious full moon it is. It is very frosty here and there is a veritable rainbow of colour around the moon as I look from the window.
It is a lunar eclipse as well so even more magical an evening methinks:)
We visited the hospice today to donate my year of knitted items, now it is on to year four of hospice knitting:)
As this year draws to a close I wish you all a healthy, happy creative new year.

December 30, 2009

Blue Moon Eve


It is the eve of the Blue moon, a special moon and especially so this year as it falls on the Eve of new year also.

A great post on it here

Wikipedia has this to say on the subject

A trine really and I like threes:) Full blue moon, new year and new decade all starting.

A very special time to tune into the Lady Moon and all her energies. A time to think about where you are and where you choose to be in the future. Indeed what you choose to be.
A chance to offer something back, as you meditate or muse on the energies of the moon ask yourself what you can offer.
My nan always called this a giving night ,when the moon reaches its fullness for the second time in a month. She used to say that it is all too easy to ask for something and not as easy to give.
I will take the time to think how I can help, not in a large showy way but something simple. It is the art of giving not the amount.
On the eve of this special blue moon I wish you all a happy , healthy,creative and loving new year.


Colour

Colour is an important thing in my life. It lifts my spirits and it inspires me. I love all colours especially bright ones. I find that different colours cause different reactions in me and from that I can create.
At the moment my spinning colours seem to be following some kind of theme, both in what I've purchased and what I've created.
This is merino silk I can't remember who I purchased it from or what dyer it was. I wasn't too sure about spinning it when I first started as the fibre dragged in to the wheel too quickly. I suspect that was my inexperience. I put it away for a week or two then went back to it.
Still wasn't too sire so I spun the first bobbin fairly thickly.
After a while I noticed it was much easier to spin so the second bobbin was spun finely. Plied I now have 214yards from just under 100gm and i love the colours in it, they remind me of snowy sunrises.
BTW on all these pictures you will notice the skeins still have coloured thread, haven't untied it yet so don't think there are sudden bursts of a strange colour in the skein:)

This is a bit better picture of the Mandacrafts Falkland I showed you the other day. It has now been washed and set. From 194gms I managed to get 599yards . I love the different tones of purple that you see as the yarn moves. I think this may be something for me knit up.
Now this yarn is Blue faced Leicester fibre that I dyed to represent fields in early winter when the crops have been harvested. I've called this fallow fields.
I wasn't too sure as I spun it it felt hairy, almost mohair fibre or alpaca. But it got better and the finished yarn is rather nice. Socks possibly or a hat? There are 253 yards from 100gm.
I'm currently spinning more Falkland tops in woodland colours, from Mandacrafts again.
I want to Navajo ply this to keep the colours true.
Looking out the windows today it is very grey and dark so colour in my craft room lifts my spirits. As I look around I can see the vivid scarlets of the Equinox shawl, red femmes, bright oranges in some yarn waiting knitting and a veritable rainbow of colour peeking out from boxes and drawers.
Colour I love you.

December 27, 2009

What to do?

It is almost the new year and I am in a quandary. What to knit for the hospice this year?
This will be my fourth year of knitting for them and I don't know what to knit.

I also have a confession, I don't seem to want to knit at the moment. I'm enjoying spinning too much. I just want to spin, not knit the finished yarn. I think it is just the fun of creating hanks of yarn. Far more fun than knitting. Some of this I suspect is because I don't know what I want to knit.
I love sitting at the wheel and turning clumps of coloured fibre into fine yarn. A lot of what I spin is fine and I live thicker yarn. I am going to practise navaho plying once I finish on the computer. This makes a 3ply yarn and keeps the colours intact in the same order as you spin.

Of gifts and thoughts

Today the sun is shining, the snow has finally disappeared. After a few days of horrendous roads full of layers of packed ice and snow it is a pleasure to be able to travel. We managed to get to our friends and family for Christmas Day all be it at 3rd gear or less. We enjoyed ourselves very much and came home yesterday morning.
Today we decided to go into the park and see how the creatures were doing after all the bad weather. This picture is almost spring like isn't it?
Mr Mog with his bag of goodies for the birds and squirrels. No snow as you can see.
Indeed here you can see all the new buds sprouting.
But as you can see the park still had lots of snow.
Some paths were too dangerous to go on.
We received some lovely thoughtful presents.
This set from DD, she loves sheep and thought we might like these. Can you see the black sheep tea cosy?
The following gifts were from Mr Mog.
2 new books to journal in, the rainbow one very apt as you will see:)
The box on top was from our friend's mother where we go for Christmas. She is currently in New Zealand with her son and his family. Apparently it is the hottest Christmas they have had there.
Her daughter, gave us the lovely chest of drawers you see beneath the box. M always picks gorgeous gifts for us. The picture is a little shaky but isn't it gorgeous?
Mr Mog gave me these batts from Laal Bear's shop. They are called moon nights and have glittery silver strands in the middle. I will really love spinning this up. It comprises merino, trilobal nylon, alpaca silk.
Then the piece de resistance. Just look what he asked our friend Sue to create for me. Can you read the quote? Live your life in full colour. Very apt as I love colour very much:)
I hope you all had a peaceful joyous time with family and friends.

December 24, 2009

And so the wheel turns once more with joy and sorrow balanced.

At this time of year we remember family and friends who are no longer with us, no longer able to enjoy the get together that Christmas brings. It is always a poignant time, made worse this year as we are awaiting a phone call to inform us of yet another death:(
There has to be a balance I know but that doesn't mean it has to be easy to accept.
The phone call? My DD's partner's father. He is on morphine and family have been told it is only a matter of days:( Very sudden as we thought the hospital were on top of his condition, apparently not.
Not much Christmas spirit here sorry.
Where ever you are may your day be filled with much joy and love.

December 23, 2009

My first handspun socks:)

I finished knitting my first pair of socks using my own hand spun yarn. I am very proud of these:)
The fibre was organic Falkland tops purchased in a Rav destash. It is dyed by Mandacrafts and sold in her Etsy store.
These are for a Yule gift:) The colour changes remind me a little of Noro yarn but of course I don't tie knots in and add a completely different colour change as Noro do. The colour is Heather and it does remind me of hillsides full of heather.
I also finished some spinning. This is also Mandacrafts Falkland fibre, colourway purples. There is 194gm here and I spun 599 yards from it.A little better than double knit thickness I think? I love it and I don't yet know what it will be knit as, watch this space.
We have still got a white skating rink for a road but the main roads are now all but clear. Hope it stays like this for Christmas day as we are invited to friends a little distance from here.

December 22, 2009

Winter Solstice snow grows deeper

Despite the wheel turning towards the light, or because of it maybe, we have more snow here. We think around 6-8 inches fell overnight.
It makes everywhere look very festive
Who needs lights on a tree when you can have snow instead?
It is the crisp snow that we have, not the slushy stuff.

Very beautiful to look at but not easy for travelling. Getting out of the drive and up to the main road was dicey, the main roads were ok as long as you stayed in the parts already driven on. We had to go out to drop some things off with a friend, it couldn't wait and we wanted to see her anyway. We also took the opportunity to meet up with my son and give him his Christmas gifts. For yet another year both Mr Mog and I have gifts from him. He hasn't grasped the concept of wrapping them but he thought of us and that is all that matters.
Now BW this picture is for you. I was going to take a shawl and a cloak out for the Lord and Lady but as you can see they provided their own wraps.
Completely untouched by human hand.
Our tree was laden with snow blossoms
The railway and dragon's hoard corner are well hidden with the blanket of snow.

This is the view from our front door this morning. Now at 4pm it is just the same, the only difference a few tyre marks.
The creeping juniper is all but covered as you can see.
We have bought food for Christmas Day in case we are unable to go to our friends and stay. If we do manage to travel it will stand us in good stead for Boxing Day and beyond.
I've finished wrapping Mr Mog's gifts bar one which is not quite finished. I think I may go and spin for a while.

December 21, 2009

Solstice giveaway winners:)

Congratulations to the winners of the shawl and the hand spun yarn, names drawn today. Hope you enjoy the gifts. I will send after Christmas around 29th December to allow the mail to get back to normal.
Oh you want to know who won?

Sea
Lynn
please email with your addresses:)
BTW BW, watch out for pictures tomorrow of the Lord and Lady wrapped up for the weather:))

Happy Solstice:)

On this the shortest day of the year I wish you all a very happy peaceful solstice. May the blessings of the Lord and Lady be with you. May your creativity be blessed by their energy and may their love shine upon you

December 20, 2009

On Solstice Eve , we shall have snow

'Tis Winter Solstice Eve, the eve of Yule and all its festivities. The longest night and the shortest day. After this the days get longer as we turn towards the light once more. Maybe only a minute or two a day but soon to be much brighter.
A sombre time for a lot of people with the darkness and the cold. I haven't suffered as much this year as some previous years. I know that we have to have the inward thoughtful times to balance the energies of spring and summer. There are some days I could wish for longer brighter days but I also enjoy the snuggling up inside in a warm chair or bed. Time to reflect on the year passed and the year to come.
We had freezing ice yesterday morning and minus 3. Teatime we had a lot of rain.
This morning we woke to this:-


A covering of snow where ever we looked. Not mushy snow but real crisp crunchy snow:)
The Lord and Lady are contemplating the labyrinth with its coating of white.
Mr Mog's railway and trees are no longer green and Buddha's glass was full of white powdery snow.
The stepping stones are whiter than usual.

Doesn't the car look clean? A mantle of snow to keep the dirt away.
The road as you can see is a road less travelled today.
We set off to see a dear friend but blizzards and maniac drivers on roads thick with snow drove us home again. No sense in risking accidents, why do people ignore weather conditions and drive at their usual breakneck speeds?
We have roast rib of beef in the oven and a pear cake cooling, the spinning wheel calls me to come and spin silk. I fear dear friends I must answer it's call.
I wish you all a happy Winter Solstice how ever you celebrate. I'll draw the winners for the hand spun yarn and shawl tomorrow so watch this blog.

December 16, 2009

Cumbrian floods and knitting shop(s)

We had occasion to visit the aged parent in Cumbria today
We decided to go via Cockermouth as we wondered how one of our favourite cafes was getting on with recovery now the floods have subsided.
Sadly the shop was deserted and empty and at the moment no signs of work being done on it. I think that many places maybe didn't have full insurance after previous floods so that could be one reason? Cockermouth was a hive of activity, builders wagons everywhere and skips all down the main street. Lots of work being done to repair the damage but I'd suspect it will be many months before the main street is back to some kind of normality.
Looking at these pictures over the main bridge in the town it is hard to believe the vast amounts of water that poured down the streets.

It all looks so innocent doesn't it?
Lots of shops have opened temporary premises in the old job centre, most of the banks have portacabins in the supermarket car parks. One of the most poignant sights for me as a yarn artist during the media coverage was the sight of balls of wool and knitted garments floating down the street. This wool shop is only a few yards away from the bridge and is still boarded up. There was a sign on the door with a phone number for enquiries. I don't think the lady has a web site as many people on Ravelry wanted to order online to help support the business.


It was very moving to see pictures the local schools had done pinned to all the devastated buildings.
I didn't take any more pictures , these were enough to remind me of the power of Nature, not always pretty and kind.
As Solstice approaches fast I am heartened by the positive energy that the people in Cumbria are showing despite being so badly affected by this tragedy.
If you were thinking of visiting and shopping there please do, they need all the support we can give, especially financially by spending in the shops, hotels and other businesses.
The Wool Clip in Priests Mill is a cooperative of Cumbrian people, they use Cumbrian sheep fleeces to create yarn, wearable items and more. Despite the floods they are still open for business.
Don't stay away.

December 15, 2009

Hospice knitting 2009, the total + solstice giveaway

I thought you might like to see the grand total of items going to the hospice this year. They will be going to St Catherine's hospice this time.


Do you want to know the totals?
There are 17 pairs of socks, 2 hats, 1 cowl, 2 scarves and 6 shawls or wraps. Enough to keep the patients and their families warm I think. This is the third year of knitting for the hospice and not the last.
Wonder what I should knit next year?
Many thanks again to all the very kind people who donated yarn for this project it has been much appreciated.

On to the Solstice giveaway, I thought you would like to see the prizes.
One very warm snuggly shawl and a pin to hold it closed.
1 skein of my very first hand spun, Falkland yarn and enough for a hat, gloves or cowl. Maybe even socks.
The winner will be announced on the Winter Solstice, Monday. I'll get Mr Mog to draw a name from the comments this month.

December 14, 2009

Winter Solstice shawl

The Winter Solstice shawl is finally finished in plenty of time for the festivities:) Not that I'm going to any but there you go. It is extremely hard to photograph red, the same goes for mohair also and frankly photographing anything in this weather and light is nigh on impossible any.
But moaning apart I am very pleased with this shawl.
I did random bands of colour as and when I felt like changing. I did lacy parts with the same reasoning. I felt like a row of holes then I knit them.

Yarn is a mix of hand painted mohair, iridescent lurex thread and some Filatura di crosa rusty mohair.
Beads are deep blood red, orange with silvery band, iridescent red and clear crystal iridescent.
Unblocked because i think the weight of the beads will block it.

So what do you think? Does it remind you of Yuletide fires and warmth?