Saturday, July 30, 2016

Fun with Wool

OK I could have/should have been doing other things no doubt, but I had this experiment in mind. I had a vintage Swedish cardigan that was too big. I had bought it for a friend. I took it back--not being an Indian giver-honest! It was too big for her.
So I took off the fasteners
turned it inside out

and took measurements for all the important parameters.  Length, width, sleeve length, cuff. Using a washing machine to intentionally shrink things can be like using the tardis---decades, even centures away from where you want to be.

I stitiched the placket together--just rough basting with a wool that I hoped would give at the same rate as surrounding fabric--to avoid twisting or uneven fulling in the machine.

And then into my faithful washing machine with a bit of Dr. Bronner's Hemp soap for luck and/or to persuade the fibres to open up.

No doubt you've already sussed that it was a success or I would not be recording it here.

I tried it on right from the washer (good spin cycle means it was not soggy but definitely damp). Perfect fit. So then the dilemma--do I wear it until it dries on me (Are you old enough to remember water buffalo sandals and wearing them in the bath tub to get the right fit?)

Instead I opted for towels on my faithful dummy and silent partner, Diana. (Thanks Jackie G.)

Now when it's dry I'll decide about fasteners, whether or not to knit a baffle as on my Norway cardigan (to fill in that inevitable gap where the steaking of the original design left a gap between fasteners. Hmm. Just realised I should have put a 'this is a craft-geek post' alert at the beginning. Too late now.

And biggest decision of all--do I offer it again to my friend or keep it for myself? Ooh my conscience is pinging already.

Friday, July 29, 2016

In the Engine Room of Dunnet Lighthouse

As if Dunnet Head is not enough of an attraction, I drove up the hill today to be part of a Creative Conversation with other folks making music and art and ceramics and organising events and producing shows. And better yet--it was hosted by the new gallery in the engine room of Dunnet Lighthouse. I took a few photos.

I loved the mix of artefacts and art and history in the gallery and to see beyond the gate where I've always had to stop before.
The gallery for now is open only on weekends, but it is well worth a look for the site, for the art, for the keek behind the gate.