Thursday, February 25, 2010

Knit your own drugs

Ah, sure why not?
I decided to make a present for a friend who, similar to myself is on mind-blowing amounts of drugs for pain. (That's prescription drugs for all you hopefuls out there...)

So I thought I'd put up the pattern.
For one pill you need two colours of yarn, and suitable needle sizes. I used DK and chunky, with 3.75mm and 4mm dpns respectively.

Cast on 6 stitches.
Join to work in round as follows:
knit into the front and back of each stitch (12sts)
knit 8 rounds
Change colour and knit 8 rounds.
Stuff with some stuffing.
Knit 2 stitches together and repeat all the way round (6sts)
Cut 12" tail of yarn, thread through the remaining stitches and tie off.
I made a pile of them, and made them into a mobile. This will happily cheer up any friends in chronic pain you might know...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Crochet Coral Reef

There is still time to crochet up some corals to contribute to the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef coming to the Science Gallery next month.
Its going to be a massive collection of crocheted corals bringing together mathematics, feminism, and environmental issues.
The crochet coral came about as a model of hyperbolic space, and has grown and been exhibited all over the world.
You can make your own corals and send them in to the Science Gallery to add to the Irish Reef until the 7th of March.Toxic coral.

Even better, get out your plastic rubbish, make it into yarn and crochet with that. Toxic coral goes white because of pollutants, so there will be a toxic reef at the show. Click here for instructions on how to make yarn from plastic bags.

You can here a talk by Margaret Wertheim here. I went up last year to hear her talk and she is very inspiring. And here is the website for the Institute of Figuring, where you can find out much more about the project, and patterns.
I can't wait to see the Irish Reef!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Stone scores

The last couple of days I've been working on a piece for the Dowager Marchylove. Its a travelling case for musical scores from Coney Island. (Thats the original one of course, in Sligo.)
These are some of the graphic scores I've been making, mostly on stones, with some shells.
They will be going into a travelling case made from wood, and then making their way across the Atlantic to that better-known Coney Island, and on to the Chelsea Art Museum for a Grupat exhibition in April.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Some lovely things I saw recently...

I suppose not many people would call this sea of mould lovely, but I had to photograph it before chucking it.Misty lake.
Moss on the pillar.

Made by hand

I found this bread recipe that my mother had scribbled down from a woman in her 80's or 90's in Connemara years ago.

I will list out some of the ingredients here in case you can't read it. What I love is the quantities...

1 fist good coarse wholemeal
little palm wheatgerm
2 halves side plate white flour
1 litre buttermilk (2 pint jug)
1 palm little bread soda
pinch salt

I love all the different terms this woman had for quantities. So much is related to hands - a pinch, a fist, a palm... I have my nice little set of teaspoon and tablespoon measures, 5ml, 15ml - this woman had her hands.

The side plate measure I have heard of before. Upon asking an elderly relative about her bread recipe she told me "a saucer of flour" which I had to get her to show me. This measurement seems to have predated a cup of flour.

Several times in my life I've asked people for recipes which they couldn't provide. Years of making cakes, breads and tarts meant they did it by eye and by hand, and as a result recipes got lost along the way. Like my granny's famous apple tart, never to be repeated as we could never get a recipe from her. But even if we had, would it have tasted the same? No.

And I suppose that's one of the things I like about cooking - its a chance thing. Even with a very accurately measured recipe, its different every time. The bread I make is different every time I make it, and there's an element of surprise which goes with that which I love.