Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Decisions, Decisions!

I have made a tiny bit of progress on the second sock but only so I would have something to take a .photo of - not feeling inspired by socks this week.

I finished the Diane Chamberlain novel, The Shadow Wife, I enjoyed it but not enough to rave about it. So now I need to decide what to read next. Here are some of the books I could choose from but I dare not start anything until I have prepared the next chapter of the Philosophy of Freedom for study group. I think it is going to take a lot of concentration to get through it and I'm not sure where I'm going to find the mental energy to do that.

I have brought these three small skeins out to try to think of a project that they would suit. I would love to use them together on something but they are very different fibres and weights.

The plain dark skein is yak, the silvery grey is silk/cashmere and the last skein is yak plied spiral plied with gold metallic thread. Any ideas for small projects where they could work together would be greatly appreciated - inspiration needed!

I also have this on the needles which is just a sample square to see how my highly textured silk plied with beaded metallic thread knits up. It's early days yet but I think I am going to like it.

To see what others are up to check out Ginny's Yarn Along and Frontier Dreams' Craft Along.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The Problem as the Solution.

My lovely friend Ele from Pentiddy spent an afternoon with me recently  to look at the Misty Cottage small holding with the eye of an experienced permaculture practitioner. One of the principles that I find so useful in Permaculture is the idea of a problem in one situation actually being a solution to another situation. Not only is this a good way to look at the land and the work on the small holding but also it is a constructive way of looking at life in general.

A clear example of this at Misty Cottage is the humble dock.

These plants are all over the place and very difficult to get rid of. They have enormously long tap roots and the tiniest amount of root left in the ground quickly grows a whole new plant. Producing food organically is important to our family so we don't want to use any chemicals to kill them but digging them up is often ineffective. So, time to look at the dock from a different perspective. They turn out to be a good food source for some of our animals. The hens and pigs love the leaves and the turkeys love the seeds!


Brilliant, because the amount we have here could impact on our monthly feed bill!

Now that the children have returned to school craft work is resuming, I have finished the first sock and am in the process of casting on the second.

I am ready to set the twist on these hand spun yarns.

The first one is a highly textured silk plyed with beaded metallic thread. I love creating this yarn and really enjoy the almost exotic look of it.

The second is a navaho plyed merino and the third is yak spiral plyed with gold metallic thread. The yak just feels so delicious, really soft and smooth, quite decadent really!

You may remember me writing about a silk brick that was calling me.

Well I have succumbed to its siren call at last! It proved to be impossible to draft as it was so I have been making punis to spin it from which I think will work much better. I also like the way the colours are diffused in the process. Not sure what I will do with it once spun, I guess I will have to wait and see what the yardage turns out to be.

This week I am reading my first Diane Chamberlaine novel - The Shadow Wife. I think I will enjoy it when I finally give myself permission to spend a decent amount of time reading it. 10 minutes here and there are not enough to get into a story properly.

Why not share what you are working on and reading with Ginny's Yarn Along and Frontier Dreams?