Thursday, 3 April 2014

A day of rest ...

Not actually my gloves - even my giant man hands would be dwarfed by them; but someone else clearly had the same idea of a day off and just downed tools.  These were lurking somewhere near the bottom of a lift.  Today I went for a walk around town and discovered there's relatively little to do here.  There was a cheese market.  Also feeling rather cheated - I've been staring death in the face* every day (and winning to be fair) skiing down to ski school; there's a moving carpet thingummy I can walk down to get there.  My lack of navigational instinct is astonishing.  The first day, I got hopelessly lost and ended up "somewhere down mountain" dependent upon a kindly bus driver who took me all the way back to my hotel.  That reminds me, obliquely, of the story in the paper about the business owner so outraged at increased postal prices that he started sending small parcels by carrier pigeon.  I saw it in The Times and the link is to the Daily Star so it must be true.  As if pigeons don't already have a rotten enough time.

In between the writing, I have actually made a few bits and pieces which I'd forgotten about.  The first is another Audrey which I have to take photographs of but I'm a lot happier with this one.  I used New Lanark Mills DK in Bramble which has a beautiful lustre and colour saturation; it looks purple in one light, blue in another with flashes of yellow and all sorts.  It's also a joy to handle and doesn't split despite much frogging and uncertainty at the outset which resolved itself into a very easy make.  The Old Maiden Aunt alpaca/silk mix I used for the last Audrey was super-luxe but not being keen on negative ease for this version I went up a size and down a needle size which seemed to work to create a really nice 50s silhouette, tight at the waist and a blouson shape for the rest of it.  This time, I also added button bands without button holes.  Instead, using turquoise ribbon I attached poppers and sewed some vintage looking buttons I found lurking around.  It looks great, but you can't see it.  Yet.  Pictures to follow shortly, and will go onto Ravelry.

The other thing I made was a Kate Davies Design, the Snawheid which has found its spiritual home in Val Thorens.  It was rather timidly blocked and needs a more aggressive wet-block on a decent form to  help set the stitch pattern and provide a bit of structure to offset the ridiculous bobble that perches aloft.  Something got'a'hold and the bobble just grew and grew …

Honestly, on a mountain, what?!

Bobbles, up close and personal
The sunglasses AKA "the Wrinkle Prevention Programme" - massive. ridiculous, effective.

Something else I had a tinker with was tambour work.  Partly for coursework and partly because it was a new technique.  What made me curious is that there's actually very little written material on it, and what little there is typically focuses on beadwork.  Anyway, despite best intentions,  I did too because it was quicker.  Tip for the future - use dye-fast sequins.  For about a week my hands were the colour of the Hulk in a really foul mood.

Choosing colours

Sketching a simple design

Wrapping the frame adds tension

Colour plans, stitch directions, working orders
Working the design

From the back

Finished piece, a mix of tambour beading and chain stitch
This week I'm mostly being kept company by Black Kids Partie Traumatic, a couple of Suicide Sports Club tunes I'd forgotten about, the Travelling Wilburys and Jason Isbell.

* a small exaggeration

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