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... the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves ...
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Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10216

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 18 7:43 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

I think summer in Tasmania is being as unpredictable as usual; heavy rain, wind, cool weather in varying proportions.

It has been very mild here in the UK. In fact I had to take my jacket off while working on the log sacks yesterday. I went to see the state of bluebells, as I was expecting some to be up, but none at all at my test site, which is in the lowest and warmest part of the wood. No idea why, but I would have expected them by now, being so mild.

Log sacks again yesterday, and managed to deliver 20. I have another 20 on order before Christmas, but want to have a bit of a stock if I can in case one of the other outlets wants more. Have an order for 15 more after Christmas, but that is less urgent.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1774
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 18 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nothing very exciting today. Except I have finished work for nearly 2 weeks. I think it is the Jan 2nd when I go back if that is a weekday. I am surprised you are expecting to see bluebells up-are they around normally at this time? If I see a leaf before May up here it would be a revolution!
Good to have stock in waiting for the times when other things are wanted too. I chop wood quietly all year round and so now when my arm aches I can have a break and cover the needs of others without the pressure of "having to". Tomorrow will involve some chopping and stocking the store I deal with so that no pressure early next week. I am off on Monday.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10216

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 18 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Got another order in for log sacks, so a few short at the moment, so it means doing some more and delivering tomorrow. I still live in hopes of having a few in stock over Christmas, but think I may be working on them again at the end of the week.

Yes, the 2nd is a Wednesday Gregotyn, so at least you will have a short week. I am living in hopes of having Sunday off, then at least 3 days over Christmas. One problem with not going away is that we are still here if anyone contacts us, so have to fulfil orders if we can. No more log loads until after Christmas though.

We have the Christmas hampers to hand out at food bank today, and I have been instructed to get 20kg of carrots if the local supermarket doesn't donate them, so that will be fun. Will be a rather busy day, but I have survived in the past, so should do today. At least it means that over 80 families will have a good Christmas with chicken, vegetables, fruit, mince pies, cake and whatever else we can give them.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1627

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 18 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Happy Solstice and Christmas and all that stuff (hannukah too I believe). MR has nagged me that I must post occasionally, and I really did intend to shower you with lovely photos of my doings over the last few months, but the phone won't talk to the computer so its a bit tricky really.

I have basically been knitting. Hats mainly, a vest, and a jumper which has stalled due to other pressures. We have a new shop in town and she wants to sell my knitting! And my other shop wants me to design kits (it's all a bit overwhelming). So I designed a hat. The process involved knitting it four times to work out the kinks, writing up the pattern, then knitting it again from the pattern so I could work out all the bits of the pattern which were flawed. I now have to work out how many metres of yarn I used which is a little less simple. The new shop currently has about 8 of my hats for sale though unless some Queensland tourists were in town today and felt the need to rug up, I can't imagine too many will be sold in the near future.

As well as designing a hat, I have also knitted several others for raffle prizes, interest and general activity. I am a member of a FB page called the Fair Isle Fisherman's Kep which supports the museum on Fair Isle, and the pattern sales support the museum, so I have also knitted two of those - experimenting with Latvian braids in the process.




here's a vest I knitted on Commission no less! This is it as a work in progress.


This jumper is for me - it involves vast quantities of moss stitch so was a good thing to be able to knit while doing my impression of Madame LaFarge at Council meetings prior to the elections (which produced a new Mayor!!). Unfortunately I forgot which size I was knitting so I have to unpick it back to the part where the shaping starts or it will never fit over my head once it is sewn up.


This is the beginning of the hat I made as a raffle prize - it was won by someone who hates me, so I hope she liked it enough to keep it and use it!


This is the first iteration of a truly ugly hat which someone commissioned - it is supposed to be a pug but it seems Intarsia is not that simple when knitting in the round, so I gave up by the time i got to the head and tail with the thought i could duplicate stitch them on. But once I got it off the needles it became apparent the barely adequate pattern had provided the wrong needle sizes and it sat down below my nose when on (and I have a large head!). So it was re-knitted on the flat, on smaller needles and finally finished up looking like a black blob, but the recipient was thrilled with it, so there's no accounting for taste.

And here's a shot from the Bullock Fest in August which I think I might have promised last time. I will continue to wrestle with the technology and try to recover the rest of my photos from the phone (fairly essential since I want to use some to ornament the pattern once I print it out), and see what I can do. Meanwhile - happy Christmas - especially to you Gregotyn - I expect you will be cut off from communication soon due to Library closures.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1627

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 18 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I tracked down my old cable, logged on and off ten times, threw the computer at the wall (well, perhaps not that bit) and finally managed to extract my images from the phone. So here's a few more.




This is the vest i knitted for a colleague on commission - he chose the colours!




Here's the hat I designed -I was thinking about beaches, and rocks and kelp and stuff. I called it driftwood. When I work out the yardage I will post it on Ravelry - but don't hold your breath haha.



I got a bit over-excited with my first kep. It can double as a scarf haha. The patterns were partly my designs and partly from Sheila McGregor's book on Fair Isle patterns.



My second effort was a touch more moderate. Both await a tassel to finish them off.




And this is the loathesome pug. It was not quite so shapeless once I tweaked the stitches and blocked it.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34530
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 18 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

nice stitching, imho the pug was a pattern issue
getting wool to act as the pigments and form in a "life drawing " requires planning to allow for the dpi resolution of the wooly pixels.

my mum used to have me transfer a design or picture into stitch pixels onto mm squared paper to find out if it would work as fair isle knitting.
a scale "drawing" of a provided/bought knitting pattern done as pixels on paper will give a good idea as to if it will be worth knitting up.

iirc the general rule is if you want detail enlarge the image size and do a part of it or choose the image carefully to work using the low dpi of wool

mm square paper is a direct match for fine wool and fair isle needles of 25 stitches to the inch , other scales require a size adjusting copier to scale the pixels on paper to the stitch size

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6256
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 18 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That is some very impressive knitting.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1774
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 18 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I am so pleased to hear from you, Cassandra and a very Happy Christmas to you. I was beginning to wonder if it was something I said or didn't do!
The second pug is the real thing, Cassandra, I would be inclined to ask the pug gang leaders if they are interested from a show point of view, they could go global. Pity you never met my mother,(not much chance as she has been gone about 35 years). She was an A1 knitter and would have admired your work and ingenuity, but she would have been unable to make patterns up. We used to sew chair seats, well I had to help, as she often got behind with the orders, being someone who couldn't say no! But no way could I knit even to help mother.
I was going to write, but can't find your address, I have it somewhere.

Dpack, you have lost me with pixels,-female pixies perhaps?

I finished work yesterday for the holiday; the boys will be at it till Monday afternoon about 5ish. and someone will be on call the whole weekend in the event someone has a breakdown and can't get to feed their sheep or cattle. I am out tomorrow night, and Sunday night and then I am going to friends on Monday for a couple of days. I sometimes think it is popularity, but guess it's really pity!

I have loaded the local shop with kindling twice today-I don't think some of the locals realise there is only one day when the main village shop is not open. And the school children are now going home, a really late term this year. I have to go to Welshpool to shop in the morning-after that it is too late.

The old flame is still sending the emails, but Kent is a long way to go, I didn't think twice when I was 40odd, but now such a journey would need planning! I have to go to the doctors today, one of my tablets will run out and when I went last time they omitted to put them in as they couldn't get any, but didn't bother to tell me! They have an alternative now so off there first then food and bed!

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34530
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 18 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

pixels are little blobs of colour that add up to a picture.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1627

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 18 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Dpack, yes a graphing issue - that and I could not countenance a black pug having yellow ears so made my life a little more difficult by adding an additional colour to the mix using a different brand of yarn which, despite being four ply was actually thicker than the five ply I was using. And a bit fuzzier too.

Pixels are little squares Gregotyn. If you imagine a bit of graph paper, the individual squares are pixels. When designing an image you need to overlay the picture on the graph paper then colour in the corresponding squares. I do this at a large scale then shrink the image down to see if it actually shows what I want it to show, then adjust accordingly. But this pattern came with its own graph which I followed. I still hate it, but at least she paid me generously (more than double my asking price), so it's all good.

I have designed a few motifs for myself now. Recently someone local with a lot more hutzah than me published a book of patterns which claimed to be inspired by the Tasmanian landscape. The colours were (perhaps) appropriate but she had used traditional fair isle motifs on the garments. I plan to work up some patterns using self-designed motifs more reflective of the local flower forms and landscape character, and colours more reminiscent of the landscapes around these parts. She even used Jamiesons wool which was a strange choice given the number of local wool mills and yarn producers. All very odd.

I suspect I will have the fire lit tonight too, but after that the weather will be warming up for Christmas. I have to drive a patient to Swansea on Monday so will be rather tired after that - a long drive on roads crowded with people heading to their shacks for Christmas.

ETA - if anyone is particularly interested in the knitting, my Instagram account is @stix_n_string. It focusses on crafts, my pets and occasional bits of landscape as I drive around the area.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1627

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 18 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Oh. and that Bullock Festival photo I forgot to add.


Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10216

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 18 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for all the pictures Cassandra; you have done us proud. The first pug looked more like a bull, so can't think what the original pattern writer was thinking.

The only reason I can think of for using the Jamieson wools is that if they are the same as the Jamieson and Smith ones they are such lovely colours, but perhaps more suited to the UK than Tas. I look forward to your interpretation of the local colours, but to me they seem more brown than the UK.

I once did an interpretation of a dog tooth check for my weaving that used what I would call our local colours. I understand the original black and white doesn't show up in the Highlands of Scotland, so was worn by ghillies to blend in. Round here it shows up like a sore thumb, so I used a darkish mixture green with a mixture rust rather like autumn beech leaves. I found it far more pleasing.

My current project is Shetland wool from tops that I have spun and am now knitting up into a cardigan. Grey at top fading into white at the top. I couldn't find any instructions for doing random flecks of one colour on another, so just used short bits which will need a lot of sewing in at the end, but the effect isn't bad.

Gregotyn, before you go off line, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, and look forward to hearing about your holiday when you return.

We have some log sacks to fill and deliver today, but otherwise hope we can then have a few days off.

Husband and son came to food bank with me yesterday where we handed out 140 hampers. I think that is the most ever, and we were very glad of their help to carry the boxes out to peoples cars. One woman took her family's (two cardboard orange boxes plus some bags) home on her mobility scooter. There was hardly room for her. One or two toddlers got ousted from their pushchairs and had to walk as the hampers got put on their buggies. Overall, good to give to so many people, but does make me cross that it is needed.

Hope we hear from you again soon Cassandra, and if not in touch here before the big day, a Merry Christmas to you. I will try to post Christmas wishes on FB for you before it happens where you are, but I sometimes miss, being 12 hours behind you.


gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 6412
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 18 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Greetings Cassandra.. that is a lot of good work
Good to hear from you

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1774
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 18 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I still have today to go on the pooter, MR., sorry if I misled you. I am off to another friend tonight for a meal where I called yesterday, as her parents were there and usually at this time of year her brood, 4, all gather back home as one is abroad and the others are scattered between Manchester, Shrewsbury, and Liverpool. The abroad one backpacks round the world, next destination is Vietnam, where he is going to teach English. It appears that the only thing you need to teach English is the ability to speak English, no Vietnamese tongue needed!

Thank you for the pixel definition, dpack, I am but a bear, and of very little brain. I guess that they are the sort of things I had to follow when I had to do sewing for my mother who used to do table cloths, on binkerette, (a holed cloth), and the like for people-for sale-and when she was behind I was roped in, though I suspect that when she realised I could do the job she took more on than she could have coped with, as I was always a soft touch for my mum. I also copped for chair seats in Florentine stitch, much easier than embroidery and table cloths. Anyway thank you dpack and Cassandra, I am a wiser man.

I have done my early shop this morning-Tesco's and Morrison's for the last of my needs. and got out before the rush started by 8am, filled up with fuel and came back to check the firewood at my customers' shop, then here.

I am out tomorrow afternoon to my neighbours as I am invited for a birthday party and will get to meet his parents and sister and on Monday off to Bridgnorth for another bout of food and presents. I will almost be glad to get back to my desk at work for a rest! We are usually quiet after Christmas in the stores but the mechanics are always flat out because their cover is for emergencies, and by the end of the holiday there are plenty who want routine maintenance done ready for spring.

I hope you all have a good 'holiday', and a Merry Christmas to you all.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1627

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 18 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It seems I am doomed to a less than happy Christmas - the neighbour is on the rampage once again. It all started about a month ago when I heard a general mumbling from the far side of her place as I walked the dog down the far side of my place - words to the effect of 'you lazy c*nt' which I finally deduced might be a reference to the need to cut my grass. So I have been assiduously removing the hazards ever since, in between wet spells which have thwarted my efforts. This morning, forgetting it was Sunday, I started up the cutter at 8 am and was working my way down the side of the house only to come across a note, carefully positioned, reminding me it is illegal to cut grass before 10 am on a Sunday. So I stopped work and retired indoors, only to discover that the cutter (which is not in the best of health) would not resume work. So I am a bit screwed really.

Headed into town having sent her a note pointing out that entering my property was illegal but unfortunately that seems to have triggered an 'episode' so when I walked into the local Supermarket this afternoon she called me out, accused me of entering her property (which I have not entered since before the time I was working in Hobart) and leaving cigarette butts there. Apart from the fact that if I were sneaking around someone's property nefariously I would be smart enough not to leave evidence behind, I have not been smoking for over 12 months (bar the odd ciggy when seriously stressed, like now). And if she expects me to believe it is possible to drop two A4 sheets over the six foot fence and have then arrive neatly on top of each other with the lettering facing up on a breezy day, then she really is terminally stupid.

I have asked someone if he can call in tomorrow and sort it out (he doesn't have his own cutter so hopefully can get mine to work) as I will be out tomorrow and Boxing Day and damned if I will be cutting grass on Christmas Day. I have also called the captain of the local fire brigade who will doubtless be her next port of call so he knows what is going on.

Sigh. And now I have a particularly insensitive stranger scheduled to call around to have a look at the neighbour over the road's place with a view to buying it. I may tell her all about the neighbour's behaviour in the hope it will deter her.

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