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The rose was awake all night for your sake

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and the soul of the rose...
sunlit teapentel waterbrushes

A few final, idle touches of England. The wind-blown rose reminds me of Maud, but then, as it’s one of those poems that is so musical that you memorise it without even realising, I find lines (both floral and florid) going through my head quite often.

Come into the garden, Maud,
For the black bat, night, has flown,
Come into the garden, Maud,
I am here at the gate alone;
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad,
And the musk of the rose is blown.

waterhouse-the%20soul%20of%20the%20rose

John William Waterhouse - The Soul of the Rose

Tea & roses go beautifully together too, in tea rose perfume (still my favourite), rose hip tea, and Cath Kidston mugs. My mug was the first thing to hand when I wanted to try my new Pentel water brushes (Amazon UK | Amazon US). They’re great fun, and perfect for travel-sketching or for watercolour doodling when you can’t be bothered to get up and fill a couple of glasses with water. And it just occurred to me that they might come in handy for spit-splicing too, though I tend to use my tea for that!

roses

By the way, if you would like to do your hair like the lady in the painting (& I spent most of my teenage years striving very unsuccessfully to look Pre-Raphaelite), then you might like this video. The fishtail or herringbone plait that Sam demonstrates is also the one I used for the braided tie for the Cornflower Hat, so you’ll be a step ahead!

15th September, 2011  // Photographs // tags: , , , , , .

Weekending

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common%20blue

There’s been a profusion of butterflies here over the last few days, all fluttering madly and hardly ever landing during their fleeting lives. This little chap stopped for a drink just long enough that I could snap a few photos. Doesn’t he look like he flew a bit too close to a pot of blue pigment?

cotton
I love being by the Aegean. I love the landscape & the colours & the myths. I like to imagine the coastline without any of the buildings that now clutter it; it must have been even more achingly beautiful back then.

Some things never change though… I bought these skeins of lace-weight cotton at the market for 1.50TL (about 60p or 90¢) each. So cheap! But hand-winding lace-weight is disheartening work; the ball doesn’t get bigger and the skein doesn’t get smaller. The Turkish word for a skein is “çile”, which also means “suffering”. Coincidence? I only wish I looked half as cool and serene as the girls in this painting by Lord Leighton.

Leighton-Winding_the_Skein

The cotton is for a pair of shawls I’ve been working on, inspired by summer & classical literature. I’d say more, but perhaps they should remain a MYSTERY? ;)

lace-weight cotton

10th July, 2011  // Life, Photographs // tags: , , , .

Sunday Morning Knitting Project

knitted earring holder

Well, none of us are in heaven… and it’s Sunday. But don’t worry, I have a project that’s sooo quick & simple, it’s sure to cheer you up. :)

Here’s what you need:

  • an old wooden frame. You won’t need the glass, but you can brighten it up with a lick of paint, if you like.
  • a few thumbtacks. I used 18.
  • small amount of lace-weight yarn, and suitable needles. I used some undyed cotton, and 3.5mm (US 4) needles.
  • (optional) s-hooks

Knitting
If you already have a nice swatch lying around, and it fits your frame, perfect! But if you’d like to make one just like mine, here’s the stitch pattern I used. You’ll need to make it about an inch shorter than the outside of your frame (or wherever you’ll be pinning it) on the long side & the short side, so that you can stretch your lace out to look nice. My frame is 18.5cm x 13.5cm on the outside edges. I cast on 30 sts, and worked 4 pattern repeats.

Lattice Lace Chart LATTICE LACE
Cast on a multiple of 7 sts + 2.

ROW 1: K3, *k2tog, yo, k5, rep. from * to last 6 sts, k2tog, yo, k4.
ROW 2: P2, *p2tog tbl, yo, p1, yo, p2tog, p2, rep. from * to end.
ROW 3: K1, *k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, rep. from * to last st, k1.
ROW 4: P across.
ROW 5: K1, *yo, ssk, k5, rep. from * to last st, k1.
ROW 6: *P1, yo, p2tog, p2, p2tog tbl, yo, rep. from * to last 2 sts, p2.
ROW 7: *K3, yo, ssk, k2tog, yo, rep. from * to last 2 sts, k2.
ROW 8: P across.

Rep. these 8 rows until swatch is desired length. Bind off loosely. No need to weave in ends.

Note: Check KnittingHelp if you need help with abbreviations, or working stitches.

Tacking

Secure each corner of the swatch with a thumbtack to the corners of the frame (make sure the wrong side is facing you!).

Then push a thumbtack into the centre of each side.

Secure with more thumbtacks as necessary.

Make sure it looks good on the right side…

Wind the yarn ends around one or two thumbtacks so that they’re secure. Trim off short, so that they can’t be seen from the right side.

You’re done!

Hang up your earrings. If you have some s-hooks handy (you can buy them at hardware stores), you can use them to hang rings and necklaces up too.

You can also use your swatch as a pretty key holder.

knitted key holder

Or just hang it up as a piece of art. ;) Have a great week!

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22nd May, 2011  // Balay, Home // tags: , , , , , , , .
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