Wednesday, 1 April 2015

SAL Wednesday 13/15: At Last ...

Spiral Tarot

... something new on the needles ! But don't get too excited, it looks likely that it'll be on them for a while's #3 in my Big Six Project. Using delicious Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace in the colorway 500 'Natural', I have started a shawl delightfully named 'Sirin Bird':

Can you see the beads glistening ? The pattern calls for 2688. Otherwise known technically as 'squillions'. Of size 8/0 beads, painstakingly applied individually with a 0.6mm crochet hook after the stitch has been worked.

Another new thing I am doing is using Destructo Boy's new tablet (why new ? the clue is in his name - it fell out of its protective case onto the sidewalk and the screen shattered) to store and knit from the pattern, seeing as how we bought him a 10.1'' one when we thought we were buying him a 7'' one. They lied like a dog when they said size doesn't matter, believe me: bigger is bestest.

But as it's week 1 of the Easter Holidays, I must escort Destructo Boy and Pal to rollerskating (I know no fear; or rather, the route to A&E is a well-trodden path) while you sip your coffee and calmly look through what other people are up to over at Life & Yarn ...

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

SAL Wednesday 12/15: Repeating

Victorian Romantic Tarot

Well, you're going to ask me ''how are things going, show me the progress on that blimmin' cricket sweater'', aren't you ? After all, it is the only work in progress right now, any other stuff on any other needles is just gathering dust ... and you will think that like the person in the 4 of Swords there, I have done nothing but snooze since last we spoke.

Actually, that would have been nice. I do love my bed, my favorite piece of furniture, so comfy and snuggly and warm and spacious and ... what ? What digression ?

Oh OK. Here is a photo of the sleeves:

Yeah. I know. Looks pretty much the same as last week, doesn't it ? Even down to the running out of yarn thing.


I ordered, received and have used up 2 additional balls. Each ball had a different amount of yarn, as you can see from the bit that is unused. And what is left ... plus the 1 ball remaining ... will it be enough to complete the sleeve caps and the neckline ?

This time I shall gamble, I shall not order any more of this yarn until I have used up every single inch of what I currently have left.

Place your bets, please, while you pop over to Life & Yarn to see what else is going on ....

Friday, 20 March 2015

Tarot Blog Hop Ostara 2015: The High Priestess

Gentry Smith


Well, this quarterly themed Hop seemed to come round rather suddenly, don't you think ? 

No ? 

Just me then. OK.

 My Eviller Twin is the Hostess with the Mostest this time, and the theme that arose from her twisted creative mind is this:

 The Theme

Welcome to the Spring Fling Tarot Blog Hop. It’s the Vernal Equinox and daylight and night hours are equal; time to Fling caution to the wind and get creative. For this edition of the Hop, I have chosen a theme to get your creative sap rising. 

The standard Tarot deck is over 500 years old and the cards are very much a product of that time, particularly the Major Arcana and Courts. So I am asking you to consider which cards you think need to be updated, removed or added to reflect our modern society? 

Are there any glaring omissions? What is redundant? Which card has you scratching your head wondering where it fits in today? Or do you think that archetypes are so universal that there is still a relevant place for all, be they Hermits, Pages, Knights or Emperors? 

You can focus on a single card or overhaul the lot if you wish. You can be academic and serious or utterly frivolous, rename the cards in modern context or create a completely new one or several, the choice is yours. Have fun :)

Universal Waite

Well. Because I'm in a generally grumpy mood right now, I decided that in fact nothing needs changing, the cards have remained the same for 500-odd years, and quite frankly who are we whippersnappers to change something that has worked so well for so long just on a whim, our modern fascination with all things new, our modern consumerist values: it's old, let's bin it. If we followed this urge uncontrollably, many museums would be empty. This is the Fixed aspect of my sign speaking.

However. Let's examine the question more closely. What about such cards as II The High Priestess, X The Wheel of Fortune, XVI The Tower, XX Judgment ? Are they arcane ? Old-fashioned ? Inappropriate to modern life ?

I think not. And we'll use II The High Priestess to illustrate why. Here she is in her original Rider-Waite glory, stuffed full to the brim with symbolism, dripping cold detachment and mystery:

Rider-Waite Tarot

What applications could this Persian-looking maiden leader of a temple and cult have for us today ?

I shan't delve into the symbolism, much as I love it.

I shall show you how modern artists can take an old image of an archetype and breathe new life into it for the modern generations, making it more accessible and applicable for our times:

Erik C.Dunne
Druidcraft Tarot
Victorian Romantic Tarot

Each of these version remains true to the original portrayal, still chockfull of symbolism and meaning, but with a distinct modern and individual twist that the modern tarot user may find far more appealing than the somewhat garish colors and flat linear art of the original Rider-Waite deck.

It is these differences, the alternative slants, the new insights brought by modern creators and artists .... these are why deck choices are so personal: what resonates for one reader may disgust another.
Of course, let us not forget the downright odd and weird, so far outside the original box they can hardly see it, let alone remain chained to it:

H.R.Giger Tarot
Tarot of the Magical Forest
Fantastic Menagerie Tarot

I know, right ? I am very grateful for the interwebz which makes all these uniquely superb artists and their decks so readily visible. And these are only 6 versions of The High Priestess - there are SO MANY out there waiting for you to discover. And buy. 

Wait - did I say that last bit out loud ? 

Yes ? Ooops.

 But before you go shopping exploring, check out the blog before me and the one after ...


Wednesday, 18 March 2015

SAL Wednesday 11/2015: Know When to Hold 'Em

Housewives Tarot

 I have been somewhat lacking in what the french call va-va-voom since finishing the Tru Wuv Shawl: I have been merely doing pootling knitting - lesiurely, straightforward, no complexities, 18 row pattern repeat ... Mini Diva's retro/vintage cricket sweater:

Front and back complete, no errors ... I decided to knit the sleeves TAAT (Two At A Time) as usual - it seems a bit of a drag, but not half so much as having to make one followed by the other:

Again - nice and straightforward, increases every 6 rows, no issues.


Let us zoom out a bit:

I have 3 more repeats to do, or another 8 1/2 inches before getting to the top of the sleeves, plus the border of the rather deep V-neck. And that is the last unused ball of yarn.

One of the problems with using retro/vintage/just plain old patterns is many of them don't list the yardage of the recommended yarn, and one can't find any information on it - this pattern was for Wendy Pure Wool 25g. and needed 16 balls/400g for the size I'm making (or Wendy Courtellon Double Knit 20g, using 23 balls). I had bought 10 balls(500g) of Drops Cotton Merino with a total of 1198m/1310yds and thought that would be enough.

My unwillingness to live the adventurous life on the raggedy edge increases weekly, if not daily, I'm sure. I've ordered another 2 balls.

Go see how other people don't run out over at Life and Yarn ...

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

SAL Wednesday 10/2015: Stressing

Tarot of the Magical Forest

I know, I know - I am perfecting the shame-faced look, let me tell you. But there's so much happening - I've definitely got the freaked-out froggy-eye look going on right now too.

I'm trying to restrain myself from being too much Momma Bear with Destructo Boy's school while trying to get him a little necessary extra attention - but because he's right there in the middle, not being the horrible gifted kid nor one of the naughty kids, he is being overlooked. As a result of my conversation today, our 10 minute parents' evening has been rescheduled to next week, for a minimum of 30 minutes .... I am sure his teacher and I are both anticipating it with joy and a glad heart. And the horrible kid's behavior is causing all kinds of dramaz in their little gang which is now having repercussions among the mums ... what fun.

Arrangements for TABI's 2015 Conference are well under way, but I do wish the rest of the team would realize it would really be so much easier and quicker if they'd just do what I want, since, yanno, what other option can there possibly be ?

And in addition, Titch and I have volunteered to run the cricket club's Breakfast Bar this summer, and have pretty much a blank canvas to work with, which is good but at the same time is requiring brain resources that I can ill-afford.

So it's quite amazing to me that I have got as far as I have with Mini Diva's cricket sweater:

For now I am going to ignore all the hassles and watch some mindless drivelly TV and knit some more .... you can pop over to Life & Yarn to see what everyone else is up to this week ...

Friday, 27 February 2015

FO Friday: Stash Enhancement Tally

Fairytale Tarot (Hunt)

 ''It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a woman in possession of too much yarn, must be in want of more''. (with apologies to Jane Austen)

It IS a sad fact that one's stash is always in need of enhancement. Never mind that you have already achieved SABLE (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy, ie. you will never live long enough to knit/crochet all the yarn you own) - although I myself am innocent of this crime, I know others who are not. One of them might be Eviller.

This year I had decided that as much as possible I was going to knit from my stash, buying new yarn only when unavoidable, for example, my Big 6 Project (more about this another time) or for a specific project for someone's birthday, say. That kinda thing.


 What can you do when someone (Belo) gives you good folding cashmoney for your birthday and says, ''spend it on yourself'' ? It would have just been rude not to pop into Jenny Wren's, seeing as how she's lovely and her shop is full of yummy squishiness just as she had a sale on and buy a me-sized sweater's worth of this gorgeous peachy-coral Lanas Stop Baby Wool, wouldn't it ?

The pretty KnitPro crochet hooks kinda fell into my basket at the same time. Plus, they're tools, so don't count as stash at all.

And then my friend Dianne sent me 800m or so of lovely undyed silk and some Muga silk, towards my Big 6 Project:

So of course they don't count as they were an unsolicited gift. And the birthday vouchers my Good Twin gave me enabled the addition of the following, but they are also earmarked for the Big 6 Project:

I try not to look at the destashes on Ravelry when I'm trying to avoid temptation, but this happened to catch my eye, and it was just so vibrant I had to have it. Yes, had to, I tell you, it was meant to be mine, especially at the knockdown price it was:

And as if that wasn't enough - you're right, there is no such thing - I won a giveaway on JenACKnitwear's blog, a lovely kit of a stole pattern and 800m or so of Frog Tree Brushed Suri fingering weight to make it with:

Yes, you may gnash your teeth all you like while I lounge here cossetting all these piles of luscious yarn ...

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

SAL Wednesday 8: Cream's the Theme

Fantastic Menagerie Tarot

The kids spent half-term with my MIL and their aunties and uncles, and therefore the week for me passed too quickly in a blurry haze. No, not alcoholic in nature, but chemical. I spring-cleaned. And now I regret the waste of time, because within a 1/2 hour of their return, clothes and belongings were strewn everywhere, and a bombsite looked clean and tidy by comparison.

You'd think I would have found time to complete the Tru Hate Wuv shawl, but no. I have some 16 or so rows to go, which doesn't sound like much, but the current row is 660 stitches long ... yes, that's a calculation from the chart as there is no way I can be bothered to count that ... so it's taking a while.

For light relief, I started the cricket sweater of Mini Diva's choice; and am loving the Drops Cotton Merino - so soft ! So squooshy ! So inexpensive !

And I am desperately trying to ignore the Eviller Twin, who seems to have got totally swept away by insanity and thinks that we should knit this:

Yes, you're right, it is a beautiful shawl. No, neither of us speak/read Japanese. Yes, it is charted. No, it doesn't use standard knitting symbols.

I have a taser if she comes too close. Purely self-preservation, you understand. I am already way too familiar with crazy myself, and need no 'help' that would disrupt the fine balance I struggle to maintain.

Go read what normal people are up to on StitchAlong Wednesday over at Yarn & Life ...