Archive for the ‘spool knitting’ Category

Going around in circles

Thursday, 29 May 2008

I took my Gardening Bag and its strap-in-progress and spool to the knitting etc group tonight, which was fun. I overlapped briefly (I was late) with someone crocheting granny squares, and the others were knitting socks, so we were all working around and around, and mostly on tubes!

I went straight to a great shiur afterwards, and did a few more rows before it began, and then later on during it, when my general level of fatigue was inclining me to drop off unless I had some kind of physical movement going on. I made sure to be mostly looking up at the lecturer, and obviously paying attention as I worked my spool! Now I just have to work on not being angry and frustrated (mostly with myself), as that’s what the shiur was on.

138. The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

This is one of those Atwood books I really enjoyed, for its comedy, cynicism, cultural and literary references, and general silliness, pointedly based on the silliness in the Odyssey and Iliad. Penelope is a great narrator, knowing about the events of her era but completely oblivious to the real feelings of those beneath her. It’s not that she doesn’t care about her maids, say, but she just doesn’t believe their emotions outweigh her needs.

139. The Story of Slavery by Sarah Courtauld

And this book gives some background as to how a Penelope might come to devalue the sentiments of a maid or other slave, no matter their normal interactions. It does focus later on 18th and 19th century slavery in America, but has brief chapters earlier on about how widespread the variants of the practice were, throughout time and place.

140. Archie’s War: My Scrapbook of the First World War by Marcia Williams

While not an original, authentic, scrapbook of a young and adolescent boy in WWI London, it certainly seems like it could have been. There is a lot of information about the time and attitudes of that time in a believable story. The illustrations are very good.

Still Reading

Friday, 23 May 2008

Three more books for you today, which should have come in somewhere during the last crochet/moving posts. I’ve found a tube from which to make a spool for the strap(s) of my gardening bag, but haven’t had a chance to actually make it yet.

126. Only a Show by Anne Fine

Beautifully illustrated (by Strawberrie Donnelly – isn’t that a great name?), this is about one of those small difficult episodes in the life of a shy child that adults or the supremely confident could also do with reading for added sensitivity. Anna’s class teacher gives them all a week to produce a five minute performance of their choice, and terrifies poor Anna, who is one of those children who quietly rubs along at the back of the class, never showing the talents she displays so abundantly at home. Her little brother Simon wants her to give a puppet show, just as she does for him every night before he goes to bed, but she isn’t confident enough to do it, so she considers a few other options along the way. She gets her grandmother to teach her to knit as something she might show her class, and that becomes significant later on. A fun book for progressing readers and their families and friends.

127. Keeping Pets: Dogs by Louise & Richard Spilsbury

Lots of information about how to assess the capacity of one’s family to look after a dog, and then if they can, choosing and looking after the pet, training and generally committing to it. I do like this series.

128. Tell Me About Sojourner Truth by John Malam

Sojourner Truth is one of those heroes of the Abolitionist movement in America 150 years ago whose name I have known forever. Still, that sentence about wrapped up my knowledge before yesterday. This is a short biography of a woman I think I’d like to learn more about. I hadn’t even realised she chose the name Sojourner Truth for herself when she began working for freedom for all.

Overly popular

Thursday, 15 May 2008

The popularity of the spool-knitting drop-in has not abated, and I’ve run out of tubes to rework into spools! I’ve put out a request at work for more (preferably in a variety of sizes), and put the girls’ names on the ones I’ve made already. I’m also taking more yarn along. I got to see some great completed projects today already, and thoughts of how to develop skills and new projects to use the technique for. Lessons in straight crochet are becoming more popular again too, which is great.

I got to do a bit more on the granny square blanket, but once involved in shopping for the new flat I simply didn’t have the hands available. In work I got to practice with the Brailler (I’m amused that the manual specifies that they are available in blue and green, when I got a grey one!), and I think I’m getting the hang of it. I’m going back to redo all the exercises with it, but I think I’ll continue progressing on the graph paper, as I can (messily) do that on the bus.

I’m really happy at the moment, what with the new flat, its peace and the fun of doing it up, learning (Braille) and teaching (yarncraft) things I enjoy, reclaiming my social life, reading again, and getting compliments. I even got to 23,000 steps on my pedometer today. It’s fabulous!

Yarn Enabling

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Not only did I get to the knitting & crochet group this evening (yay!), I taught three kids to spool knit today, with one of them adding in beads already! I’ve shown them someone else’s striped project, and told them about other types of colour use, and they all went home with their spools and should be showing me how far they’ve got tomorrow or Friday. (They also asked me about other things that can be done with the crochet hooks they were lifting their loops with, and more kids asked about crafty skills too.)

Basically, one began looking at the Klutz Spool Knitting kit that was lying around, and I said I’d teach her, on the spool from the kit, and her friend asked to learn too, so I took off the elastic band project I began a few weeks ago so I could give her the spool I’d made then. And five or ten minutes after the third girl came in and asked to learn too, so she unwound some address labels from their cardboard tube, and then came back an hour or two later, after I’d made another spool for her.

I took some pictures as I went, so I could show you how I make these spools, which come out much stronger than any others I’ve made. Besides the tube, one needs about six large paperclips, which can be bent by hand against the table.
Creating a knitting spool 001

I use normal sticky tape to get the hooks in place.
Creating a knitting spool 002 Creating a knitting spool 003

And then cloth tape (for repairing books) to actually hold the paperclips in place.
Creating a knitting spool 004

Wind the cloth tape tightly around the clips and the tube. This makes for a good strong spool, as can be seen from my elastic band project (which did pull hard) that I took off the first of these spools I made. (The elastic cylinder is just about big enough to get my finger into.)
Creating a knitting spool 006

Beyond that fun, my Perkins Brailler arrived today, although I didn’t get to really look at it (hopefully I will tomorrow) and won’t get to show it to you, or even play with it much, until I can bring it home next week. I’m up to lesson 13 of the RNIB Braille Primer, working on graph paper, so hopefully I’ll be able to pick up the use of the machine quickly and keep progressing.

Plus two more books read. This has been a pretty good day!

122. Modern Peacemakers: Aung San Suu Kyi: Activist for Democracy in Myanmar by Judy L. Hasday

The current discussions of Burma (because of the trouble getting aid from outside into the country, let alone to the actual victims of the cyclone) inspired me to finally actually read this, and I’m glad I did, as I learned a lot about the Lady, as she is called in some chapters of this book, and the country she is from. I had known that Burma/Myanmar is a very (self-)isolated and brutal dictatorship, and that Aung San Suu Kyi, as leader of the opposition movement seeking democratic government in the country, has spent many years under house arrest, but I didn’t really know any more than that, so I was glad to learn more.

This series is about the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, and gives lots of background about both the person and the situation they work(ed) in, and I’ve found all of them that I’ve read quite enthralling.

123. 100 Things You Should Know About Penguins by Camilla de la Bedoyere

I’ll get over all these series sometime soon, but they are very useful, and in many cases informative and interesting too. This looks to be a good one, with clear and cohesive numbered paragraphs that can be read either in order or at random. There is general information about penguins, but also plenty of space given to the varieties of them. I hadn’t realised there were quite so many, myself.

Being Boring

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

I think this might have been among the greater amounts of time between posts since I began the blog, so I apologise; I just don’t seem to have done very much so far this week! (Well I have, but not the things I blog about.)

98. The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort by EllynAnne Geisel

I finished this book yesterday (by which I mean Tuesday), and found it a bit overdone. The author is very enthusiastic about her subject, and has some great photographs, nice patterns and interesting anecdotes, but I amn’t convinced aprons make for a philosophy of life or history, the way she promotes them. This isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy reading the book, just that I wasn’t swept along by it.

I didn’t crochet at all last night, for no good reason, but I did get a good bit further on with the Seraphina this evening at the knit (etc.) group, although it’s still not finished. I really must end it off in the next few days, however, as I really want to wear it on Pesach.

I made a little knitting spool today, from bits and pieces lying around at work (so no photo, I’m afraid). I used the tube from a roll of address labels as the spool, six of the large, strong paperclips (which I bent the smaller end of slightly, by hand against the table, to hold the yarn better), and cloth tape to hold it all together. The whole thing is really very strong, as I tested it with a whole series of elastic bands as the ‘yarn’. I amn’t sure what to usefully make with a spool that size, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something, and if nothing else it’ll show some possibilities to one of my potential crochet students who preferred to learn this craft instead, and is using the Klutz Spool Knitting book/kit. It’s a very good kit, and has some great ideas and equipment for making necklaces and bracelets with or without beads, but I want to show her that there are things even beyond that (like making patterns with more than one colour of yarn, for instance).

Hm, perhaps I should photograph some of my home made spools, and the scarves I’ve made with them. Not now, but hopefully soon…