Saturday, 9 July 2011

Carders vs Populus balsamifera

The kids decided to collect poplar (cottonwood) fluff to make doll pillows... And I couldr resist the soft white piles.

Well, it turned into a bit of a war. There definitely was no spinnable fluff after the war was over and this photo is what my hand cards looked like after trying to clear the fluff out of them.

But, I won in the end. Me and a trusty vacuum cleaner!
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Saturday, 18 December 2010

Jolly Holly

My oldest daughter really wanted to make this Holly Wreath from an Usborne Christmas craft book and so we spent the morning happily cutting and gluing and sewing, with the help of the littlest one too.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Bye Hobbes

Well, Hobbes proved too smart for us and was returned to his farm where he would have ample work with the cattle and the sheep. Next time I will get a dog when we are not in the midst of beekeeping!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Hobbes and Why I will not Finish My Sweater on Time

Puppies are a lot of work. So much for my resolution.


It’s so interesting when two seemingly unrelated worlds suddenly collide. The other night, I was happily listening to Lecture 4 of the Massey Lectures, this year by esteemed Canadian ethnobotanist and anthropologist Wade Davis and about whom I could write for pages and pages, well, maybe not, but still he is fantastic. The lecture was about spirituality and the earth and how the earth is a metaphor for that spirituality. It was fascinating listening and I was happily knitting.

Usually when listening to these lectures I have been spinning, which would have made the coincidence I am about to speak of even more amazing, but this night I was knitting socks. Anyway, Wade Davis began speaking of his first introduction to the Incan spirituality of Peru. His introduction occurred in the town of Chinchero, outside of Cuzco. I paused the recording in surprise and thought for a moment. I checked some of my books and magazines and yes, he said, “Chinchero” and yes, that is the town in which Abby Franquemont was raised by her anthropologist parents studying textiles. Abby Franquemont is another fascinating personality all on her own. Author of Abby’s Yarns, a blog on textiles, and author of a very, very good book on spindling, Respect the Spindle, published by Interweave Press, computer geek extraordinaire, and all round interesting person (as far as I can tell, not having met her). I can’t list all her accomplishments as I am not her personal biographer, but let’s say that there are many. She has written evocatively about her time growing up in Peru.

Abby has mentioned several times a woman by the name of Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez who is a cultural hero in her own way. She founded the Cuzco Textile Museum and encouraged the handwork that has been traditionally carried out in her region,handwork that was increasingly at risk due to the encroachment of “modern” life.

Well, back to the story… I pressed play and listened some more and I heard Davis say, “with my good friend Nilda Callañaupa” and I almost fell over. If only I had been spinning it would have been perfect!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Pretty Things

I started making these as gifts and the other a friend bought one as a gift for another friend! It's kind of exciting! I don't know if or when I will make more but it was certainly fun. There is a strange satisfaction in hammering wire and feeling it curl and harden under the hammer.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

The Land of Gnomes

The kids saw this in an issue of Living Crafts and we thought we'd give it a try. It's quite cute, although I have decided I don't like the way that Welsh Mountain felts. It was a lot of work. I used the bubble wrap technique for the first time and that worked quite well. The trees are supported internally by pipe cleaners, which for us does not work at all. The trees are VERY floppy and I will have to figure out a better way of supporting them. The gnomes in the background are our Waldorf Math Gnomes.