Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Spinning, what else?

God, I just realized that there was about two whole month of radio silence, and sorry for that. I always want to be a really good girl and write this blog more frequently, but... well, not getting into explaining myself (as I've been told I have a tendency to do). There were some crafty things happening, including some sewing, but what is I turn to when I do not kno wwhat to do, or what to post about?  I will show you some spinning instead...
This is a long standing debt of mine, I promised this in exchange for a bag of DROPS yarn a friend of mine could not use, as she thought they are to prickly...(how can that be still eludes me, but the sake of avoiding hurting people or cause controversy, lets just say I accapet the fact that there are people who think (khmm feel) that certain yarns are prickly...)
Anyway, she thew a bag of yarn at me, and though it took me a long while, here is what she gets in exchange...
It started out as a 100 gramm braid of merino and silk combed top
Which I dyed to a long color repeat
From a darker beige, through the color of sand, passing into the blues of the sea, and the beach sky.

 Ended up with 510 meter two ply softness, and as I was turning our conversation back, after making up the skein and measuring the length,  I saw that my friend originally said she'd like about 500 meters of yarn for a particular shawl project... Mission accompished.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

weekly spinning

 I decided that weekly spinning will mean, not that I show some spinning every week (though it may come to that... or it may not), but rather whatever I spun/ finished or just decided that I would show that given week.
Accordingly, here is a hank of yarn I spun for somebody's request.
This yarn is not "me", nor in terms of its colors, nor it being a kind of "art yarn", however, or maybe for this reason, I enjoyed spinning it.

About 100 gramms of fine, 18 micron merino, about 260-280 meters.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Hole in the... fabric of time and life...

Yes, I know. April was a month where I seemed to dissapear. I keep saying this... so I will just trying to stop figure out where the month of April went, and show you something I made...
This time it is weaving...
I told you, weaving is something mystic for me, it is like whenever I sit down to a loom,, time, and space dissapears... Like I am in a totally different dimension...or universe...It is a strange feeling of being at two places, I am here, I think, I even talk, make a conversation, and at the same time I am sowhere else. It feels like it is not my feet that steps on the pedals, not my hands that throw the shuttles, but when I stand up, I do feel, that they were indeed my hands and foot.  I just see as the threads cross each other, and make order of things... Monotoniously repeated movements, step on the right foot, throw the shuttle from right to left, catch the shuttle with the left, step off the right foot, beat in, step on the left foot, throw the shuttle from left to right, catch the shuttle with the right handm step off the left foot, beat in, and start again. Even if I do not do any patterning, and/or stripes, as I put in the weft, one by one, it reminds me of life, day by day, it repeats certain elements, there is morning, there is daytime, there is night, without fail, No two days are alike, and no two weft is perfectly the same, even if we use commercial yarn, we use our hands, sometimes, I beat a lit stronger, sometimes I leave a slightly bigger triangle... I do strive to be as uniformly even as possible...but as with life...it will even out at the end. This is increasingly true when I use handddyed,  handspun yarn, when every weft I throw in makes me amazed, and wonder, because it is even less alike, and the end fabric is still relatively even... and when I have something to do? a pattern, or stripe, or just a line of silvery thread to break up the monotony? Like Sundays or holidays... when the days are just different... some life is totally irregular, and some patterns are just as irregular, like mine.. and sometimes I wish for more simple, more organized life, like in there scarf I wove last week, they are appearing at pretty regular intervalls... just like Sundays.

The shawls were made in Judit's workshop,
Yarn: 100% silk, from India, and some silver thread.
Photos: Judit Lukács

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Hole in the wall

No much rather in the fabric of time, where about twenty days of April dissapeared... I can't say, without a trace, as I still have dye under my fingernails, and braids of wool, hanks of yarn lying around to prove that there was a Day of wool, and I did prepare for it, and I did work about nonstop for two weeks afterwards to make up for the time...no, not lost, because I do not think those times spent with the perparation for the Ball, the Ball itself, the preparation for the Day of Wool, or the Day itself is anything but spent in the best possible way... creating and enjoying.

However, I will have bills to pay in the next month, my son will want to eat (me? not as much, I have so much weight to loose), so work needed to be caught up with, and by the time I looked up and out of the window, expecting birdsongs and springflowers, I saw this...

Yes, thick, twirling snowfall... yikes. I hate winter, and cold, my stomach churns at the sight of snow even in wintertime....but in April? You do not want to hear, what I think.

Just to make myself (and maybe whoever reads this blog) feel slightly better, here is a video of one of my favorite regency dances... which is called, fittingly... Hole in the Wall. Enjoy. Tomorrow is the monthly historical dance club... there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The morning after

In which I am not talking much, but show you the  first few pictures, that came off my phone...
Hopefully there will be more, and in more details, until then:

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Victorian underwear, or why it is good for you to go to Irish dancing

There is two days until the ball, and the appropriate panic settles in, as in we won't be ready with everythin in time, with whom I am going to dance, what if I forget wich figure is which in a certain quadrille....
In the meanwhile we are working on a full set of victorian underwear, including the open bloomers, and chemise...
I will let some pictures do the talking while I am trying to get over the  fact that in the middle of working on the underpants the electricity went off around 8 PM on sunday, causing me to nearly get a heart attack and a nervous breakdown, having absolutely no idea where to turn for help, when I remembered that one of the guys in the Irish dancing club is doing some home repair works and does housecalls.... and he was nice enough to drop everything for us and fix the problem,

Of course everything is done twice, with some differences (mine has a bit more lace for example) but Zsófi is much better shape to show off underwear.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wekkly spinning... if you start at it, go all the way...

If I will wear a handknitted thighs for teh ball, I can't have shop-bought gloves on my hand, now can I?
Therefore, this is 80 gramm, 430 meters of two ply silk.
(The things that hide in the drawer under my bed...like silk fiber, just because alpaca is not really historically accurate.)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Debt- Peerie flowers again :-)

Between working on our ball-ensemble, and desparately trying to keep up with work, I've been looking over pictures trying to find something to post about (I don't think another pic of the half-done neverending white sock would suffice), when I realized I only showed you the inside of this hat.
Right after I finished my Ingrid sweater from the lovely Flora yarn, I was pretty high on the love for this yarn, I just had to start something new right away from the leftovers.
  The pattern is Perrie Flowers from Kate Davies, and I can only say, go get it, it is a great pattern.
The had became a Xmas present for my highshcool friend, who is, "incidentally" Christopher's godmother...She told me that she was wearing it on the tram one day, when someone kept looking at her, then approached her and asked if she knit the hat, because it is beautiful... she said "No, I got it from my friend"..."Was it Anett??? because she knits stuff like these..." LOL, when someone recognizes your work on the street...
Pattern: Peerie Flowers
Yarn: DROPS Flora
Needles Knit Pro Signature 3,5 mm.
Pictures: Christopher Laurent Deli

Friday, March 10, 2017

With all I've got... right?

One thing nobody can accuse me... that I do things half-heartedly... So when it comes to a reenactment ball, I am not only making my own (and my friend's) ball gown, complete with a hoopskirt and pettitcoat, but I need underwear and accessories, like someting to wear on my feet, right? And what a knitter is to do, when said knitter is in need in some traditional thighs?
Yes, that is the right answer.

Whether I will be ready in time, or not, is a totally different question.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


and Willie...
In 1989, when, after finishing the special technical/vocational school (where I went after graduating from highschool) I started to work as a dressmaker, but I would not sit into a factory lane, or a workshop, I wanted to work from home, in my own rythm, which means sometimes working 20-24 hours in a row, sometimes not even going close to the machine for days (mind you, I work the same way as a translator)...
The basic requirement of working from home was to get an industrial sewing machine and an industrial serger. As a student just out of shcool, I had no money, and honestly, I did not even knew much of machines)... I could only afford the cheeapst possible machine with my fathers help, and even then I had to look for the one that costs even less.... He was Willie, a machine produced my Wilcox and Gibbs, and the table on it says the license is from 1939... It was old and rickety when I got it, there were no spare parts, no spare needles or knives.
I still used it a lot over the years, we sew a lot of clothes together, but I always felt...its backdraws... It worked with an arched needle, which was not produced any longer, shops sometimes ground a tiny bit off the edge of a different needle for me (but they either managed to cut just the right amount...or not). There were problems with the knives as well, the last one was cut out from a totally different machine's knife...
One of the reasons I avoided sewing for so long (all the while there was an urge in me, I dreamt of making clothes), was that I knew there will be only struggle with this grumpy old machine. Even on the red dress it messed with me, it bunched up the stitches just where it shows the ugliest... I am so sure that in the hands of someone, who loves old machines and knows what s/he is doing Willie could come back into life, or, because of its age, and because it is basically still in working condition) I can even imagine a museum or a collector taking interest in him,... in any case I sent him into retirement.
Everyone: meet Richie. He is the successor of Willie.
I made the decision and seen it through in amazingly fast, especially for myself as I tend to mull over a lot more on a lot smaller things, and this involved quite a bit of money as well. It did not hapenned because of the ball gown, as it was in my thoughts/ plans for a while, but I can't say the dress didn't hastened the process :-)
I wanted an industrial grade machine, because I am used to working with one... back in Miami, I had a household serger, and... let me put it this way: I did not liked it much (OK, I hated it. Desparately). Interestingly enough, Though in that 28 years salaries increased many times over, as did most of the prices, the amount of money these machine sell didn't changed that much... for about 30-50 000 HUF you could get a cheapo rickety one, like mine was, for about 6-90 000 HUF you could get a medium used, 4 threaded one, and for about 150 000 you could get a really really good one, but those are only needed if you are regurarly sewing things like bathing suits, leotards, and similar stuff, which I will not. So it was an easier decision to get something that is definite improvement over the old one-
I am courious, if working with Richie will be easier, and what will it mean that insted of only three, Richie is capable of handling 4 threads...

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

heti fonós - bloody, umm bleeding red.

In the meanwhile, while we are getting around continiouing the ball gown saga I will show you something from the more usual topics... some spinning, ok?

I spun this red silk from a commercially compbed and comercially dyed red silk top, to use as an accent in weaving...

And just as a reminder, if you think that commercially dyed stuff does not bleed... you are wrong. This bleeds like heck... good that I am planning to use it with something black... ish.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Trial version

We now have the trial version of our dress almost done :-)
There are these "cheapo fabric stores" that sells factory leftovers and those pieces that are less than good quality, usually dirty, missprinted or whatever problem but sometimes there are real treasures to be found there. And I found this otherwise lovely dark red and black pinstriped fabric there, for a lot less than the taffeta we choose for the real dress. Since I haven't actually made a real dressing item in about 15 years I thought it is absolutely necessary to do a trial run, partly to refresh my skills, partly to check the pattern, and partly to work out some methods.
I could have taken a pattern from some book, or pinterest and enlrge it, but This thing is risky enough as it, and I didn't wanted to add another risk-factor, thus, after looking at about a thousand dresses from the era, and decided on the basic shape and style, I headed over to etsy and choose a relatively simple (and not too pricey) pattern we could work with.
Zsófi's presence and help was yet again invaluable. Even if the technical knowledge and skills are mine, I could not have done it without her. This dress is a result of a mutual effort.
It was so exciting to see it come together, to do each step, to figure out just how to things like putting in the boning (something I never done before)...
Or figue out how to do the edges at the neck and the waist (yes, by handsewing), to the sleeve, which messed me over a few times, so I was even thinking of leaving the whole thing sleeveless, but I just could not let it get the beter of me, now, could I?
The skirt was a pretty simple dtraighforward deal, compared to the bodice, I still messed it up a bit, but I am not taking it apart, but think of how to hide it.
When the whole thing was more or less put together and it really looked like a ballgown, we were screaming and jumping up and down like kids... Even though Zsófi was already late, we just had to go downstairs and make pictures of it...

It was like a time travel, and joy mixed together..
It was darned cold (especially for an off-shoulder ballgown)...
We could not miss out taking a pic in the elevator... I alone hardly fit into the elevator, Zsófi could only come in, when I took my crinolin in my neck)
And showing what is underneath.... I did said that even if I had a corset underneath, we haven't yet done other underwear so I wore the dress over whatever else I was wearing... strech leggings, handknitted socks (From DROPS Fabel of course) and a bio slipper. 

We could not wait to put up the pictures up in Facebook, where the post had a tremendous succes (I never ever had this much like on any of my posts, but who is counting LOL).
One of our dancing friend even took me to walking in a nice park :-) 
To be continued... we now need to go and do a bit of shopping and then we can start on the "real" dresses.