Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Ladies Who Go To Yarn Stores March 25, 2017

IMG_2733  Janet and Susan outside NW Yarns in Bellingham Washington

IMG_2734  Window display, NW Yarns


IMG_2735  Colors!

IMG_2728  Knitted 3D Piece by Textile Artist Ann Maki – on exhibit at Social Fabric, Bellingham Washington, March 2017


Regrets July 12, 2016

I haven’t played my recorders for a couple of years or so.  I was just busy with other activities and the time and place where the monthly recorder meetings were held were no longer convenient.  But recently I tried playing the recorder again and found that arthritis in my hands made it difficult to play.  Alas.  Up until now the things associated with aging haven’t really bothered me.  But now, trying to play the recorder is painful and it is bothering me to find that I just can’t spread my fingers with enough agility to make playing the recorder possible.  I really wanted to attend and play in an up coming one day jazz workshop.miscellaneous-ian-009  In younger days with the bass recorder.  7 or 8 years ago?  in my early 70’s

I have a friend of similar vintage whose mother had very bad arthritis in her hands.  My friend is taking piano lessons to hopefully ward off similar problems.

Come to think of it, my own mother also had bad arthritis in her hands in later years.   She was an avid knitter, as am I.  When she moved to Hawaii, knitting was no longer so important in her life.  So I don’t know if she could have continued to knit if she had wanted to.  Knitting is still important to but I could substitute other fiber activities just as satisfying.  After all, my abandonment of weaving has been partially age related and I don’t really miss it – I can still maintain my interest without physically crawling under that big Glimakra loom.






The Fourth Dimension – Hyperbolic Crochet April 21, 2010

Filed under: Art works,Crochet,Exhibitions,Fibre,Science fiction — Janet @ 9:18 am

The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef – A Woolly Wonder

This exhibition is a must for all textile enthusiasts, mathematicians, scientists, science fiction buffs, etc.  It really is spectacular.    

Back in October I wrote a brief blog about the Crochet Coral Reef Project.  At that time the invitation was made to participate in working on the Irish Reef part of this worldwide endeavour.   I didn’t find time to participate but now I was delighted to see the completion of the work by some of my textile friends. 

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about a weird book title award.  The winning title for 2009 was Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes.  I couldn’t find any mention of this book at the exhibition but I had better luck over at Hodges Figgis.  They looked it up on their computer but couldn’t find it – I went off and searched in the crochet books and lo and behold there it was.  It was quite expensive but I couldn’t resist buying it.  It is a wonderful book.  I suggested that the man should give it to me free since they didn’t know they had it but he wasn’t buying that idea.  Nevertheless I am delighted with my purchase, particularly when he told me it is now out of print.

Just a few photos for you of bits of the exhibition


From the upstairs part of the exhibition, I could look down on the bicycles for the Dublin Rent-a-Bike scheme.  Hmm, I thought – those bikes look easy to ride – should I rent one and cycle the streets of Dublin – here was my chance!  But, alas, the streets of Dublin are quite daunting – particularly the big buses.  So I made my excuses, no helmet etc., and missed my opportunity.  Maybe I’ll be better prepared next time and I’ll choose a quiet Sunday morning.  Meanwhile I’ll think fondly of my Dutchie bike waiting for me back in Seattle.  Isn’t she a beauty.     

      my Seattle bike, with blue helmet


Getting Ready for the Knitting and Stitching Show October 27, 2009

This is a busy week as we get ready for the Knitting & Stitching Show.  Setting up day is Wednesday October 28 and then the show is open to the public from Thursday the 29th to Sunday November 1st.  I’ll be on duty at one of the stands – up on the balcony at the stand of the Irish Guild of Weavers Spinners & Dyers.   This year the emphasis at our stand will be on spinning.  At the show there is a chance to do a lot of shopping.  Last night I decided to assess my current stash of knitting yarn.  Here is the result.

Stash assessment 053  Current stock of knitting yarn, October 2009

The above picture should remind me not to buy any more yarn.  Watch this space.


Bitter cold March 23, 2008

Following the surgery on my toes last week I haven’t been able to wander very far.  This has left plenty of time for reading and knitting – I don’t mind that! 

A little while ago, the sockladyspins who lives in the far north of British Columbia had a blog entry about knitting and felting.  I admired her beautiful knitting and commented that I would find it hard to felt the items as I thought they looked lovely the way they were.  But she pointed out that in that bitter cold of the far North where temperatures hit 40 below and cattle have to be fed regardless, a felted hat and mittens would be so much more useful – and she had knit her items extra large on purpose having felting in mind.  The felted results were beautiful too but of course stitch definition gets lost in the process.  Needs must.  What I’m getting round to saying is that this exchange of comments prompted me to read a book which I have had on my unreads shelf for about 6 months.  I have read a lot about the development of the American West but know very little about what happened in Canada. 

the-pioneering-years-smaller-size.jpg  here was my answer – The Pioneer Years 1895-1914, Memories of Settlers Who Opened Up the West, by Barry Broadfoot.  This a Canadian publication, first published in 1976.  And it is a wonderful collection of memoirs about the western part of Canada.  In almost every memoir in this 400 page book the extremes of climate are mentioned – this really emphasized to me the need for warm clothing in that bitter bitter cold of their long winters. 

Knitting and reading this book – that’s what I’ve been doing while resting the sore toes.  I obtained the Canadian publication at the Dublin City Book Fair last November.  I am participating in the March Dublin City Book Fair tomorrow – I hope I can find another Barry Broadfoot book.  (And I’m also hoping I sell enough of my own books to justify purchases of all the other treasures I might find – the anticipation is half the fun.) 

I’ll take my knitting of course while watching potential customers peruse my books.  This is a good opportunity for knitting my yarn remnants into those squares, eventually leading to another blanket.


Sketchbooks and Photographs February 4, 2008

Filed under: Dyeing,Fibre,Knitting,Photography,Sketching,Spinning,Weaving — Janet @ 8:46 pm

The workshop theme this month for the Online Guild of Weavers Spinners & Dyers is sketchbooks.  Our first assignment was to select a photograph, any photograph, any source, and examine it for a couple of days.  Now we have to say what we like about our chosen photo.

town-centre-fashion-avenue-resized.jpg  This is the photograph I chose.  A photo I took some months ago of one of the approaches to the new DundrumTown Centre.

I sat in Starbucks this afternoon and thought about this photograph.  Starbucks is away in the interior of the new Dundrum Town Centre here in Dublin. The new Centre is vast and my photo shows only one aspect of it – and it’s an archival aspect.  This area used to be one of the approaches to the Centre.  However, several months ago this approach was sealed off and there has been a lot of construction activity going on behind the hoardings.  Secret construction activity as far as the general public is concerned.   What will be revealed when the hoardings come down??

My thoughts about the photo as I sipped my coffee

1. the photo is mine and I can do what I want with it – crop it, enlarge it, reduce it, etc.

2. I know the location

3. it’s an archival photo in our changing urban scene – this area is now all construction material and machines and hoardings – what will it look like when the barriers come down?? – will that lovely stone cottage on the left still be there?

4. in the photo I like the clean lines, the reflections, the pop art, the sense of depth, the sense of height

5. I like the boldness of it all – this is a multi-purpose area – a Bold New Town Centre cum Shopping Mall

I’m not sure where all this analysis is going to lead to in our workshop but here is another photo showing some of the activity going on in this area.

fashion-parade-in-dundrum-sealed-off-resized.jpg  not a very good photo of the barriers – I’ll try to find a better one.


Fabric words used metaphorically September 18, 2007

Filed under: Fibre,Knitting,Words — Janet @ 9:16 pm

Fabric words used metaphorically – that’s the theme this week on Wordsmith.  So here’s another one – buckram.  Not a word I am terribly familiar with.  But according to Wordsmith,    

“buckram (BUK-ruhm) noun

   1. A stiff cotton fabric used in interlining garments, in bookbinding, etc.

   2. Stiffness; formality.

verb tr.

   1. To strengthen with buckram.

   2. To give a false appearance of strength, importance, etc.

[Of uncertain origin. Perhaps after Bukhara, Uzbekistan, a city noted for

  “Dick and his father were henceforth on terms of coldness. The upright
   old gentleman grew more upright when he met his son, buckramed with
   immortal anger.”
   Robert Louis Stevenson; The Story of a Lie; 1879.”

Now I’ll try to work it into a theme for today in connection with my knitting.  For me, the word buckram  conjures up an image of a horse and cart – like the surrey with the fringe on top in the hit musical Oklahoma.  But maybe I’m getting it confused with buckskin.  Looking up buckskin in the Oxford English Dictionary I see that one of the definitions is “a thick smooth cotton or woollen cloth”.  At least we’re still on the theme of fabric related words.

I’m working with fibre, but not to make cloth.  I’m combining my knitted and crocheted pieces and scraps to make an Eccentric Blanket.

eccentric-piece-sept.jpg this shows the progress I have made as of Sept. 18, 2007