Monday, 28 July 2008

What would Miss Deborah say?

Before doing anything else you must have a look at what Karen at Cornflower has done with her Cranfords! I think they look absolutely gorgeous and love the way that Karen has gently subverted them. I'm not sure what Miss Deborah, the moral arbiter of Cranford would say about them but I think Miss Mattie, her sister would harbour a quiet desire for a pair just like them.

Miss Deborah may well be better disposed towards this little corner of the world which has become my knitting haven in these hot, sultry days. This seat, tucked under the back fence of my garden gets the sun in the morning but by the evening when I come home provides some really welcome cool shade. She might also look benignly on my 'bower' which is entirely utilitarian. You may spot bean, cucumber, tomato, raspberry and aubergine plants. The rest are herbs for teas and cooking. Even the golden rod can be used as a dye plant. Standing sentinel at the edges of the path are two bush basil plants which throw up a wonderful scent when you brush through them. Also helpful in discouraging insects....

Spending an hour in active stillness means that the garden wildlife forgets that you are there, the blackbirds scold their newly fledged broods, a bumblebee is dropped from the air by an invisible spider's thread ,brushes itself down and carries on its way. Miss Deborah would surely smile on my quiet industry as I turn the heel on a sock and ply a spindle of yarn.

She might also be mildly impressed by my patience and fortitude. My June Yarn Yard fibre club parcel came on Saturday (warning for Club members who haven't received theirs yet, a photo does appear at the end of this post so look away if you want a surprise).

It took all my self control not to abandon my current spinning project and start on this but I resisted. I was spinning sock weight yarn from Crown Mountain Farms .Superwash Merino in their 'And the beat goes on' colourway. It's a randomly dyed roving with a fair bit of the white showing through. I divided the roving in half and then heavily edited it to remove some of the white. This I did by eye rather than weight which rather came back to haunt me later...

Over the weekend I set myself two tasks. Finish spinning this yarn and carry on with decluttering and reorganising my house. All day on Saturday I span, and span and span. The pile of roving never seemed to get any smaller. All day on Saturday I carried piles of books upstairs and down, made heaps of things for charity shops, Freecycle and recycling and the place seemed to look more of a mess than when I started.

By the end of Sunday I had plied and skeined all of my yarn and out of interest put it on the scales as it seemed an enormous amount. I had just made 176g of sock yarn, about 600m of the stuff. No wonder I felt like I'd just pedalled up the Champs Elysee with the winners of the Tour de France. I'd forgotten how generous the Crown Mountain Farm portions are and would have realised had I thought to weigh it first! I do love it though, and it is infinitely better than the same yarn that I made a year ago.

Rather too much of it for socks though...

By the end of Sunday all my knitting books were gathered together on shelves and I am starting to see floor and table space that has been hidden for a chasteningly long time.I'm even more chastened now that I can see how many knitting books I have.

Here is a small selection.I hope that you will agree that I deserve to play with my new fibre now. I really couldn't be happier with it. As I said to Natalie, if I could have sent her a telepathic message of the fibre and colour that I most desired it couldn't have been better. Merino silk in a wonderful blend of bright grass green and brooding greys inspired by a gathering thunderstorm.

It has made me rethink a project. I was planning to make another entrelac shawl with two skeins of a green and one of a pink and green blend.I've been dithering over it, however, worrying that I wouldn't have enough yarn and also that the green tones in the contrast yarn were too bluish.

I think the two club yarn skeins work just perfectly with the green to create a dramatic shawl which will work beautifully with my largely black winter wardrobe. I can see myself wearing it really clearly.

Must go - I have to start spinning!

10 comments:

Paula said...

Those craford mitts look very glam and I love the fibre colours.

Lin said...

Lovely fibre from Nat as usual, I must get spinning my stocks and then I can join her club again. Your books look good.

Mrs J said...

The yarn is STUNNING! My book collection is growing (quite quickly) but yours looks very impressive. I have the yarn & pattern to knit your Cranford mitts but I somehow doubt that the final effect will be so glam!

Auntie Noo said...

Oh my goodness how do you fit in so much stuff and work too??? - do you ever sleep? - Your little garden retreat looks wonderful. I can just see you there of an evening with a glass of something and your knitting. Perfect!

Suse-the-slow-knitta said...

I love your garden retreat and I think the Cranford ladies would approve but I have to say they would be shocked by the red Cranford mittens. Red! On a lady? Never! Its fascinating how a change of colour can change a pattern so much.

Anonymous said...

Lovely, lovely lovely, all of it...just lovely!!! Fran39 (ravelry)

Linda said...

I think I'm harbouring a quiet desire now. ;0) The Cranfords look ab fab in red. ;0)

Peter the Flautist said...

I am so glad you like the effect that I knew I wished to achieve when I first saw the wonderful and wicked Cranford mitts. Of course I must give the credit to Morgana, with whom I have worked a few times before who provided the set, did the makeup and took so many wonderful photographs (some more dark and Gothic than those you see on Cornflower), and to the absolutely gorgeous Dawn who carried it off so well.

Alison Boon said...

Those mitts look seriously glam. Love your yarn colour mix, so sorbetish. Your haven looks incredibly peaceful, a great place to be still and knit. Or is that an oxymoron?

Mandella said...

I couldn't look at this yesterday as I hadn't opened my own package, but I'm glad I've gone back now. I think your idea is tremendous and look forward to seeing the knitted results.