Sunday, October 10, 2004

Splutter

Hello to you all out there! Including the ones who don't know this blog exists. LOL.

This has been my last weekend of freedom for a long time to come. Blah. Back to the four letter word in the morning. Ick. I've had just over a month away from it and I've enjoyed not having to drag into the city every weekday. But something has to pay the rent and the bills and buy food and most importantly YARN!

So what have I been up to? Carding lots of alpaca fleece! And discovering that:
1) I am allergic to some component of the dirty fleece - today I've had a "heavy" chest and feel claggy inside.
2) It is better to card the dirty fleece to get some of the dirt out, then wash it, then card it again, if you want the cleanest whitest fluffiest fleece (of course chocolate coloured ones will always have brown fleece). I've tried carding it, spinning it and then washing it - comes out a grotty shade of brown/grey - obviously dirty. Good for ferals maybe but not what I wanted. I've tried washing it then carding it, then I've had to wash it again. Carding, washing, carding seems to work. Hope I have not over processed the fleece.

How does the fleece get so dirty? Like what do alpacas do with their time? Have dust baths? Plus I've been picking out lots of bits of bush moss from it.

One aim of all this activity is to get this - the materials for my thrummed mittens:
all ready to thrum

I have no idea how much yarn I need but I don't have the recommended yarn and in pawing through my stash decided that I'll have to use the royal blue Cleckheaton. I think I'll only use the white alpaca fleece with it at this stage - the pink is just too girly. Though I have used wool the same colour in a top for me, but that is a not quite finished object.

So I've cast on the two mittens (two sets of DPNS - hooray for me!). This way I hope to not suffer the problem of only getting one mitten done, sorta like the one sock syndrome. I can do the cuffs on the train.

Here's something that blew me away when I did it:
curved armpit cast off
This is the little top I've been working on whilst crossing the Nullarbor. it is based on the White Lies Designs Shapely Tank. Today I put some short rows into the bust. Then two rows later I cast off and voila - I have a diagonal cast off! It isn't straight! That blew me away. It is so obvious that it wouldn't be straight but I never thought about it not being straight, unlike every other cast off I've ever done. It excited me so much that I had to get pictures of it as soon as all the old pics were deleted. OK, so I am easily amused. In the scheme of things, this should mean that there will be a bit more ease in the armpit area, not that I am full busted but I do sometimes get that horrible gap. Do you like the slightly chewed beehive needle, by the way? It may have been a cat that chewed it but it could have easily have been me - I used to have the habit of nibbling on things when thinking or nervous. When I cast on for the top, I was less than amused to discover that I had only brought one 4mm bamboo needle with me and one plastic 4mm needle. Their mates were 1500km away in Melbourne. Sigh. Still the odd couple seem to have worked well enough. Tomorrow, if I am lucky, I will seam up the tank and do the edging for it - I was going to make it a tee top but I am too lazy to figure out how to do the stripes.

Finally, here's a picture of sunset from a couple of days ago:
fires in the sky over Melbourne 8th October

Well that's yer bloomin lot for the day, as Peter Cundall would say. Anon!



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