There has not been a complete cessation of sock knitting. These little numbers came about because a friend who had attempted knitting her first sock had declared that she was not able to finish. Her arthritis just would not allow her to do it. She gave me the wool and the needles. I decided I’d knit her some socks from what she had chosen (a Patons ombre sock yarn).
As regular readers will realise, I’m not much for matching and these don’t quite match–but not too shabby by my standards! They kept me company through some epic online conferences run through Zoom, in particular.
There is just a little left for mending when the time comes. I’ve already had reports of them going camping and hiking and hopefully they will be treasured and worn a lot.
The last of autumn’s ruby saltbush went out into the world. I had in mind a spot where I would plant it, but rail infrastructure crews were busy right there. So I changed my mind.
I put some rooted but not potted Ngarrindjeri weaving rushes into the creekbed while I was out. They are likely to do better there than potted on at this time of year, I decided. Then it was veldt grass out (a more knowledgeable person has identified one of the awful weeds of our neighbourhood for me!) and ruby saltbush in, along a fence line where I have been progressively planting saltbush and nature has been progressively creating soil as more leaves are trapped in place and break down into new earth. Perfect.
I love a good bundle… in this one, silky merino shows its capacity to take up eucalyptus dyes again. In this dye pot, a cowl that was ready for a dye bath, and a garment that had shrunk enough that I decided to turn it into other items…
My partner had requested a deep, narrow cowl that could be pulled up over her head and ears under her bike helmet. Her friend had made one from cotton knit, so I copied its dimensions. You can see all that remains of the neckline in the image below.
I’ve returned to the screen printing. This stencil turned out to be the last one on the old, damaged screen. One day I decided to go buy a new one. I’ve been looking second hand for months and finally decided I’d like to be able to get a clean image to the extent my skills allow!
Oh my! The difference was immediate.
And they went directly to high vis for the large number of actions we’ve been running in the last couple of months.
The council decided to mulch one of my guerilla gardening sites where loads of their plantings died once summer and have never been replaced. I was glad to see most of them unscathed. These saltbush have grown a lot since they went in!
In other guerilla gardening news, a nearby propagator has started offering me plants for this purpose! I scored pots destined for landfill as I returned from my run one day and separated out these little darlings to grow them on a bit more before planting.
There has been a fair bit of guerilla weeding going on. A gentleman on a bike stopped just to ask me what weeds I was pulling this morning!
Here are the little bulbine lilies in their new bigger homes in the propagating area, where I hope they will get big enough to plant out soon!
There has been some arm wrestling with my spinning wheel. In due course, resolved with a new drive band, then a shortening of the drive band, and replacement of a tension spring. Until then plying was doing me in every time. This three ply sock yarn was the bitter end. I hated it. Three ply yarn is a lot of work, and you want it to look great and function well when finished. You do NOT want the plying, the final stage, to ruin it. In the end I fixed this situation by putting it through the wheel a second time and adding some twist to even it out.
And… there has been more spinning… the sock yarn is merino lamb and the yarn below is some local lawn mowing wool–not too soft but sure to come in handy for something that does not require next-to-skin softness.
You may have detected that I am not a fan of fossil fuels. Because burning them is driving the intensity of climate crisis and I am in favour of the continuation of life on earth. Anyway–we needed a banner to help us communicate our opposition to fracking in the Pilliga Forest and farmland around Narrabri, in NSW, where First Nations people and other locals have been opposing a gasfield for 10 years already. If you want to know more–check this out.
A LOT of us have written to SANTOS about this issue, me included. The letter that came back was pretty unedifying.
Some people have been putting up stickers. And a bunch of us dropped by to make our point more dramatically. With our banners!
Oh my. Some people, and all the ones I know about are women–have made a LOT of masks. Not me. I stayed out of it for a long while, and masks are still not required in my state, while they are now required in some other states. But eventually–I decided I needed to make some, and I got requests. The first ones were made from offcuts from a friends mother’s stash, and a short of mine that started out as a sarong, spent well over 10 years as a short, and now has ended up as masks and bag linings.
Next, some of the beautiful fabrics I bought in very small quantities in the Nishiki markets in Kyoto. In a different world, a couple of years ago! The ancestral hat elastic (made so it could be boiled!) joined contemporary hat elastic (hand wash only–hmm).
Remainders from a short I made, lined with pre-loved sheeting.
More fabric from Kyoto.
Some more of my shirt… These masks are 3 layers, the centre one made from fine silk.
Fabric left over from my mother-out-law’s frock, and some pretty ladybirds I could not resist… then mostly cut out in the right size fro lining rather than outer layer–uh, oh, user error!
Black linen left over after pants I made years ago (and below, their linings)…
And–some ladybirds. Thanks for the pattern to Craft Passion. She clearly posted mask patterns well before coronavirus came into existence, and has done so much to make them accessible. And if you are not too sure about the science on masks, feel free to go and listen to Coronacast and get the information from experts who know how to communicate. My masks have mostly gone to relatives and friends who live in places where they are required–and some more locally.