Tuesday, July 21, 2009

John's Birthday Present

Our future son-in-law turns 40 and will be needing this when they go on their honeymoon in August. Made from hand spun wool. A bit of a rush job since I was given only a few weeks notice that John didn't have any warm woollen jumpers to take away on their honeymoon. Even with lots of things still in the pipeline, I couldn't restrain from volunteering to make one for him. Its nothing fancy, just plain knitting. Just as well, I like knitting without the constraints of a pattern to follow as I hate having to work to someone else's ideas. I find it much easier to work out the needles and yarn then make up a swatch from which to get my gauge. It makes figuring out the rows and stitches a breeze instead of juggling needle sizes and tension to achieve the "correct gauge".Since the sleeves are picked up along either side from the shoulder seam, it took only a few key strokes on the calculator to work out the decreases for the sleeve length and width. With only the two side seams to sew up the jumper was finished except for a quick wash and press.
I hope you get lots of wear out of it John.

Spring is around the corner

To cold to spend time in doing wood work or even in doors without a heater going mornings have been down to 1C. Once the sun rises over the roof its warm enough to venture outside and soak up its warmth, by this time its 19C+. So with Sue's Canon A430 I sat taking these few photo's

Lavender has been attracting the bee's wish we knew where the hive was so we could taste this sweet nectar.

Kangaroo Paw is looking good also

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Workshop Pencil For a Friend

I was asked to make a Pencil from Acrylic the kit was supplied by Dave it came from 043 Turning , the kit is a Workshop Pencil and has a 2.5mm lead.

This was my first try at Acrylic not as bad to turn as I had thought, having worked with resin's and fibreglass in the past.

In thanks Dave presented me with a tool box he made at TAFE Dave is an excellent Carver producing both small and large works. Having trained in New Zealand he has some traditional skills.

Sock's for Ray

Two Pairs of socks for Ray. Well, it should have been one pair for me and one for Ray but when it came to trying them on, I found that even the small size I made was a bit big so Ray got both pairs. Fortunately he got the second pair in time to wear to the wood working show which turned out to very cold and wet.

Christina's Shawl

The start of a new Shawl for my daughter's Matron Of Honour, Christina. I wanted to make this black with a little blue in it to give it some sparkle but still be a versatile piece for her wardrobe in the future. The black two ply wool was a good start. To add the sparkle I spun up a thin two ply silk and dyed it with cerrulean blue silk dye but then added some more silk dyed with a black ink to give a silver grey so that the blue would not dominate. Setting up always takes ages and without planning the silk warp thread placements it seemed to take even longer. The weaving was a standard twill but with a tabby binder every other pict. I tried to keep the tension fairly loose but found that by the time I got to just over half way, the warp was showing sings of wear and I was hoping that I would have no major dramas like a silk warp thread breaking. Something like that is fairly difficult to correct. Finally I cut the piece off the loom and spent the next two days tying the overhand knots in the ends to give the decorative finish I wanted. Next came the fulling in the washing machine on a gentle wool cycle and a very short spin then drying outside in the sun. Shrinkage was minimal which was just as well as there was really not much margin for shrinkage in the length of the warp.

A quick press under a cloth with a steam iron and it was ready for delivery. I hope Christina likes it.

The finished Shawl

Jet Mini Lathe Copy Jig

One of the members of the Ornamental Turners Australia David Laird made up an easy to use copy jig and cutters/tools. This can be made to suit almost any lathe for repetition type turning or more accurate one off's from simple or complex patterns.
I had the pleasure to be able to demonstrate this at The Sydney Timber & Wood Working Show this year. Cutters are made from HSS tools steel.

Oregon Bowl & a Hall Table

Having been given some Oregon or Douglas Fir from a building site, a Hall Table is in the process of being completed, I have kept some of the smaller bits or turning.

This bowl is/was a practice piece along with using some newly designed tools given to me to try out the bowl turned out better than I thought it would. Hollowing out was a a constant battle with tool needing sharpening this was due to the resin from the knot and the knot itself.

The hall table during dry fit up after Allan dropped it off as he once again cut and prepared it to this stage, I have some additional work to do yet.