Thursday, December 14, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I got some little mixed-up snippets of yarn at the LYS that were being sold in bags for like, one dollar. Just little odds and ends, things to incorportate into spinning, felt, etc. There was some cool stuff in said bags, and I decided to tie together some of the longer pieces and make a ball of random yarn. I was amused to find this same technique discussed in the December Knitty. Anyway, here is the ball and the resulting knitting....
I just left all of the knotted areas on the right side and did not bother weaving them in. Kinda created a cool organic effect. The finished piece is about 6" wide and 8" tall. I'm thinking of affixing it to a copper sheet metal background with some fused Angelina and stuff. I'm sure that this little swatch of goodness will probably be resting until after the holidays so that I can find the right approach to making it into a finished piece.
Finished spinning and plying the "Purple Pewter" yarn. I was hoping to get 350 yds from 4 oz, got about 340 after plying. About 15 wpi and someday, I think it will have to be a lovely little mini-triangular shawl thing. However, considering how flaky I am, it will probably become something else entirely.
"Estrus"...about 150 yds, don't care what the wpi is (I'm lazy)... red/purple wool with purple coily things plied with sequined thread and little bits of novelty yarn, flags of red metallic fabric and lotsa "Red Wing Flash" Angelina. Does anyone else think that "Red Wing" is sorta a gross name for a color? Could be just my dirty mind at work (I wonder if that is why my subconcious helped me name the yarn "Estrus"?). I also made some felt beads with the leftovers to add to the finished project for embellishment. (Not pictured, again... I'm lazy. However, I am amused that this technique was also discussed in the Dec. Knitty. I must be a fiber psychic.)
OK, that's all for now. Am leaving for Boston in a week and a half for x-mas and meeting new in-laws. This should be fun... seriously, they seem to be looking forward to meeting me. Plus, we have a nice guest room complete with our own tree, a fireplace, private bathroom, and best of all, a plasma TV with about 5,000,000 channels. If worse comes to worse, I know where I'll be... The funny thing is, while I'm really looking forward to meeting my new brother- and sister-in-law, having chowdah at Legal Seafoods, drinking Guinness at The Black Rose and such, I'm really, really looking forward to going to The Fiber Loft in Harvard. I'm such a dork that I am even packing a drop spindle so that I can spin whatever exotic treats I purchase there... anyway, must go wrap presents and do stuff. Happy holidaze!
Thursday, November 30, 2006
I get pointing out the man's size, since that will obviously mean knitting a larger hat. But his ethnicity? I didn't see anyone else's race pointed out in future/finished projects. I dunno why this bugs me so much, but I get the feeling this chick may be one of those pasty yuppie types who just feels so good about the fact that they are, in fact, Acquainted with a Person of Color. So much, that they even Knit for him and feel the need to point it out on their blog. What a Susie Dipshit.
In other news, I started a scarf in Patons Soy Wool Stripes... I'll post pics tomorrow, as the camera is acting up. Sorry for the brief rant, but jeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
I'm calling this one "Purple Pewter"... I've spun up 2 of the 4 oz (Corriedale blended with "Marcasite Flash" Angelina) and hope to get about 350 yds after plying.
And, been playing with some stuff I wet-felted, had laying around for months, then dug out to see if I could make it into something quilt-like for an upcoming miniature quilt show. The base fabric is wool felted with silk/novelty yarn. I couched some other threads over the top, including some cool Diakeito "Diamist"; stitched some tuile fabric in place, and added some mohair locks for fun. An explanation of the piece (which I'll submit to the show's organizer), entitled "A Star is Born", follows the pic:
The wet-felted background for this work was created several months ago, in response to my thoughts on the birth and death of stars in our universe. Over time, layers of tuile, lines and shapes stitched and couched in string were added, inspired by the wonder that comes from the notion that what we consider order evolves from that which we consider chaos. I am further fascinated by the fact that this process reverses itself as stable systems enter into a state of entropy. Still, the work needed something… after a short break, I found this blood star that was initially discovered at Mill bay Beach (already dried and deceased).
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Yes, that is a laundry drying rack that I hang my glass on. I am such a cheapass.
Lots of puffins, salmon, lighthouse/fishing vessel ornaments, and bears... kinda hard to see everything in this pic, but I had a lot of wares in the beginning, and didn't leave with very much! I even brought some random knitted things to sell and sold a scarf! So, needless to say, I am going nuts to rebuild enough inventory for this weekend. My goal was to sell enough stuff to cover our trip to Boston... and if all goes well this Saturday, I'll have done just that. Then, I will have time to knit ;-)
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
After dyeing it with 5 packets of grape kool-aid and one 0.25 oz bottle of red food coloring, this is what I ended up with. It's about 100 yds @ 15 wpi, and SO soft. I think this will be what I do for the Twisted Knitters KAL- although, I'm thinking I may need to be ambitious and do two projects- this really doesn't seem substantial enough. So, I will probably be spinning up the Merino/Silk combo that I mentioned in a previous post and play with some handpainting... the KAL goes thru February, so that is plenty of time for me to spin, dye, and knit a few projects.
As far as the Alpaca, I think I'm going to knit up some kind of lacy gaiter thing- a pretty lil' wisp of something to wear around my neck. I'm going to Boston for Christmas this year, so I think I can make something with the yarn that looks both sophisticated and warm- yum!
I also have to say that I am doing the happy dance right now. Dems take charge! Rummy gone! For the first time in six years, I feel a glimmer of hope. Of course, this now means that the Dems will have to pull their heads out, and on that count, I am being somewhat reserved in my joy. But, as my wise grandmother always says, we can either live in hope, or die in despair...
Saturday, November 04, 2006
The Bride and Groom exchanging rings, Piedmont Point, Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park.
Had a lovely reception last night with friends new and old. There were many lovely
gifts and many a laugh to be had. Again, more pics and words later...
Friday, November 03, 2006
Other than marriage, I have been doing some fibery stuff... a few months back, Yarnpunk gave me a bag of the most random bits of fiber imaginable. Being the fiberwhore that I am, I of course took it with a smile on my face. There was everything from yak hair to combed cotton all in little .5oz bags. I finally busted it all out this weekend, and used her drum carder to make some kick-ass blends:
Blend #1: "Exotic Workhorse"- 40% mixed New Zealand wool (no idea as to breed), 20% flax, 15% camel hair, 15% yak hair, 10% llama hair. Coarse and not for wearing- but, I think a tightly spun 2-ply would make for a nice bag or rug... possibly woven if I can bear to dust off and warp up the loom. About .5 lb, so I should be able to make something cool
And, on the other end of the spectrum, Blend #2: "Spun Sugar" only about 1 oz of 50% camel down and 50% tussah silk. Need I say more? I'm thinking a 2-ply laceweight to be knit into somekind of little cowl-like thing.
I finished another Beyond the Basics hat, to be a Christmas present for my friend Jen.
And, I am making washcloths right now, about the only thing my scattered little mind can stand. However, I think this may be the world's prettiest warshcloth:
Knit on 4 mm dpn using Sugar & Creme (colorway Fiesta? or something?) Pattern found here. Gotta love those mindless projects that are done in a couple of hours... I'm going to make a bunch and give them as gifts along with some locally made soaps.
Have been trying to figure out what to use for the Twisted Knitters KAL... looking at a portion of my fiber stash, I think the Merino/Silk combo on the right would be perfect. That was the very first fiber I ever bought for spinning. With a heavy-ass bottom-whorl drop spindle. In retrospect, the ladies at NW Wools should have tried to talk some sense into me- it was obvious I was a newbie. I didn't spin for over 2 years after that little disaster. Trying to spin that shit without knowing what I was doing didn't even make for "designer yarn". Don't get me wrong, it's lovely stuff now that I know what I am doing...
OK, I'm going to go take a shower and get pretty- I am getting hitched, after all. I may even shave my legs.
Friday, October 27, 2006
As stated in my last post, I knitted the Green Serf Booties from the IK website. The upcoming baby for whom they are intended is an Alaskan with an adventurous mother. Therefore, he or she is going to need a pair of mukluks as soon as possible and I thought this pattern could be nicely adapted to the look I wasa going for.
I knit them with Cascade 220, and after fulling, whipstitched a crochet chain of Fun Fur to the cuff. Although I hate Fun Fur with a passion, I think this is proof that it can be a cute accent in the right setting. Inititally I was going to trim the cuff with rabbit fur, but this proved not to look as neat as I thought it would, so here we are.
I am happy with how the booties turned out, but had some major issues with the pattern. I did not like how it called for knitting light worsted weight yarn on 2.75 mm. This would have been fine normally, but for a felted item, there was not enough space between the stitches so that the fabric could mat quickly and firmly. It took many washings and even a trip through the dryer (which I never do with felted knits) to get them how I wanted.
Also, the author called for cutting the felt in order to thread through the laces. I feel that even in the most firmly felted fabric that cutting makes for a weak spot that can tear- especially by a baby who has just discovered their feet. My solution was to thread 2 strands of Sugar & Creme cotton through the places where I wanted the laces to go so that the fabric would felt around the cotton and leave a nice little hole like so:
Anyway, I have some other projects on the horizon, but they are on hold whilst I work on more stained glass goodness and shred my fingertips with said glass to the point where even knitting becomes painful. I am a sheer masochist during this time of year- anything to make a buck ;-)
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Felted clogs (yet another pair) from the Fiber Trends pattern. I had a mild catastrophe with the initial felting... becuase I included 1 strand of Skacel Gatto in the cuff, the cuff did not felt as fast as the rest of the clog (duh), so I thought I would have to knit them all over again. These are for the future stepdaughter, so I was heartbroken that they looked rather floppy. Fortunately, I read in Felted Knits that you can remedy this problem by running a strand of yarn through the cuff to cinch it more tightly. So, that's what I did and threw them back in the washer. They came out perfectly and I hope she loves them!
More felted stuff (I know that knit fabric is technically "fulled", but felted just seems to type more easily). I made this purse a gazillion years ago, and just could never think of how to embellish it... I did some needle-felting on it that was "interesting" to say the least, which I tore off after realizing that it looked like a bad acid trip. So, the poor little purse sat and sat, until I pulled it out a few days ago, did some blanket stitch with some fine boucle, and affixed one of my fused dichroic buttons to the flap.
Speaking of things dichroic glass, I finished some pendants to sell at the bazaars.
It's very hard to photograph dichroic so it really shows to complexity of the colors, but hopefully you get the jist of their appearance.
And, because my spinning wheel is always beckoning, even when more pressing matters are at hand, I spun up one of my autumn-inspired batts into a 2-ply light worsted weight beauty, about 12 wpi. One would think that the diverse colors would make for something muddy, but they all seem to work together just fine and the overall color reminds me of terracotta. Therefore, this yarn is named, you guessed it... "Terracotta".
On the needles: I am working on the Green Serf Booties from the Winter '06 IK (online patt). Should be finished tonight- and I am working them up with a little Alaskan twist, as they are for my friend Natasha's baby (who lives in Anchorage), and she is due to pop in about a month. Will post pics when completed...
Monday, October 23, 2006
You see, in my native Portland, the Pabst Blue Ribbon (or PBR to those in the know is the hip beer to drink among the 21 (yeah right) to 35-year-old hipster demographic. One of my best friends and his wife are accomplished afficianados of the PBR. Therefore, he is getting a PBR hat, and for the lady, a PBR totebag. They are just gonna poo themselves when this gift comes into the mail! The best part is, I just know that they will rock shock these things at the local watering hole, known as the Portway, which in an odd twist of fate, also happens to be one of the first bars I ever went into when I was an infant. Really. Long story, perhaps to be finished when these gifts are done.
I figure I'm gonna need about a case, and the BF hates the PBR. This means that I will be working on these projects while either (a) drunk, (b) hung over, or (c) both. I suppose I could just invite some frineds over to help me drink the stuff, but I want the manufacture of these gifts to be all mine. I want my friends to know that I drank all of the beers that are now their fashion statement. It's about 10 am, on a Monday, so I think I'll get started. I have a long day ahead of me...
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
"Plugged In"- polymer clay, oil pastel, decoupage
May be hard to see in this pic, but the cord from the TV plugs into the brain at right... I think we all know where I'm goin' with this one.
"Dancing somewhere in between the Mountains and the Sea"- needle felted wool, fabric, beads
This little figure pops up quite a bit in my work- I'm always somewhere between the mountains and the sea, so you get the picture...
"Tripping once again over the Tidepool Fantastic"- fused glass, found objects, beads, wire
I am eternally enamored by our local tidepools and just love the Blood Stars that are prevalent here in Kodiak- this is my homage to them.
I also have another ATC that is still a work in progress- the title is "Your Golden Goose is Cooked". I'll just let you use your imagination 'til I finish it.
Also carded up some fall-colored batts and spun some yarn.
The 2-ply worsted weight yarn was inspired by the colors of heather in Scotland and I think I will incorporate the 135 yds or so of it into a hat for my friend of the same name.
On a more personal note, I would like to thank the Slim Shady wannabes who live in the apartment below for waking me up at 5:30 this morning. They were obviously doing some sort of stimulant drug, and my bets were that said drug was the crackrock. Now, I really don't give a rip if someone wants to smoke crack in the privacy of their own home, provided no one is getting hurt but themselves. But, when you take it outside and wake me and the other respectable people in this dwelling up at 5:30 in the damn morning, my ass is gonna get pissed off. Like Whitney Houston once said, "Crack is wack... crack is wack!" So, I am done for now, because me and my airhorn have a date with someone's bedroom window.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Speaking of my trip to Portland, I did not get to do the Grand Tour of all things Fiber that I had hoped. In the interest of saving $$$, I didn't rent a car, so I was bussin' it quite a bit. It's funny, after living in lil' ol' Kodiak for 3 years, public transportation was an absolute joy- all of the people watching was fabulous, especially since getting from my parents' house to downtown requires passing though some rather colorful areas of town. All that, and it was free knitting time too! Anyway, I did hit a couple of shops- one called Knit Knot in Portland's swanky Pearl District. A nice little shop, but they charged more for their yarns their that we do in Kodiak. Knowing what people pay for shipping in Kodiak, that is ridiculous. Also went to knit/purl, a lovely shop in the heart of downtown. However, the ladies who worked there were umm... how can I say this nicely? I guess I can't. They were straight up beotches, people, beeeotcchhhess. The only saving grace was that I found a nice friendly boi who made my last minutes in the shop bearable.
My question is this- has the whole knitting thing gotten so popular that now people think they have the right to be snotty? In a yarn shop? Let's get something straight- if you are going to work in/own a yarn shop, that is not the place to be a snob (I can speak from experience, since I work at the LYS). It is not like you are working the MAC counter at Saks, sweetie. Furthermore, yarn is something that should make you feel happy and extend that sense to your customers. OK, there, I said it.
With all that, you are probablay wondering what I have been working on over the past six weeks. Well, one of my many endevors has been some Artist's Trading Cards for a local show. I'll post pics of the cards in my next post...
And, I have been doing lotsa leaded glass... salmon and otters and bears, oh my! The otter is still a WIP, since she needs eyes and suff, but you get the picture. This is but a small fraction of the pieces I will be selling- there are also puffins, fishing boats, fairies, butterflies, and all kinds of fused glass goodies. Will post more pics as I get everything together.
Also just completed a scarf called "Naiad". Lengthwise knit on Size US 11 needles (60" Addis) using Old Shale stitch. There are some shells attached to the fringe not visible here. The colors were inspired by how the sea looks after a storm has passed...
Designed a hat for a class I am teaching that introduces circular knitting while also introducing lace, color, and cable work. It was a fun challenge creating a pattern that incorporates all of these techinques without being too hard for the students- and make something not totally fugly. Unfortunately, this picture does the hat little justice.
OK, I think this is enough for one post- have been doing lotsa spinny sorta stuff too, but my hands are tired and they need a break from typing for a bit. I'll leave you with this parting shot of my dog Japhy during a hike we took yesterday on Kodiak's lovely Pillar Mountain:
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Not too much on the knitting front (although I had a disaster with some Felt Clogs- more on that later). Am busy packing (paying especial attention to what to knit on the journey) and making venison jerky to take down to Portland, as we leave EARLY tomorrow. Will be sure to post many pics of my Grand Tour of all things fiber in the NW...
Monday, September 04, 2006
It's only about 65 yds, but I am going to include this in a lengthwise-knit scarf with some autumn color yarns. She was inspired by the fall colors of Vine Maples in my native Pacific NW. They are pretty much the only tree in those parts that turns the gorgeous shades that folks back East are so fortunate to have in all of their trees. The base yarn is good ol' Ashford Corriedale sliver (about 5 shades blended together on Yarnpunk's drum carder), plied with some (gasp!) yarn I found at la Target in their dollar section along with some snippets of stuff left from a cute lil' capelet from a while back.
Speaking of free use of nice drum carders, I also blended up these little rovings, inspired by the colors of peacocks. Again, same Corriedale sliver, with loads of Angelina in both "Wisteria" and "Peacock" (big surprise) thrown in. I'm planning to ply it all with some nice aqua viscose and heavy black quilting thread while trapping bits of peacock feather and some eyelashy-kinda stuff in the yarn. There is a whole cool story about my love for peacocks, which I will share when the yarn is done (it is really deserving of its very own post).
OK, now for the possible fug. I mentioned in the last post that I was making an Old Shale stole in Kureyon #74. Despite my recent love affair with Kureyon, I think I found one colorway that is not cool. At all- see?
I think if all of these shades were combined, it would make puce. Puuuuce. Yuuuuck. I mean, I'm thinking about just casting off and felting it into a potholder (which would be good, since I just ruined our last one). You know, as a potholder, she would still be functional and appreciated... but just not worn anywhere but in my kitchen, you know? I like how the ripples of this fabric show off the colors in Kureyon so nicely, so I think I will just take the concept and apply it to another colorway. Sorry #74, you have lots of personality, but I just do not think you are the one for me... I'm going to start seeing #147 and see what she can do- she is a nice series of blues, after all, and I think she wil make for a nice watery effect with the Old Shale stitch. No really #74, it's not you, it's me...
Sunday, September 03, 2006
As far as what I'm working on right now, I started a scarf for my mom in Blue Sky Alpacas (sport weight) in a nice heathery brown. I'm using the Eyelet Panes lace patt used for the Glasgow Lace top in the latest issue of IK. Didn't care for the top so much, but the patt is pretty in scarf form. Also started an Old Shale stole using Noro Kureyon #74. I'm going to full it slightly, which I think will make the Kureyon feel soft enough for shoulder-wrapping purposes. Plus, it was a good knit for going "out the road" today with my Dad (yes, we only have one road in Kodiak). What a blast. Again, I will post pics soon, but must run off for an Alaskan Halibut/Sockeye Salmon dinner. Life is so unfair sometimes...
Thursday, August 31, 2006
But, now that I am planning for autumn/winter knitting, the only question is what to make? There is some nice cobweb alpaca in the stash that is begging to be made into a stole, some Kureyon that methinks would make a neat vest, loads of sportweight Halcyon 2-ply for a nice stranded colorwork sweater, enough natural worsted weight to handpaint and make some sort of kimono/wrap thing... the possibilities are endless... and that is just how I like it. In fact, I guarantee that I will change my mind at least 17.4 times before actually biting down on a good project. But hey, I am definetly more of a process knitter anyway, so it is really a win-win if I cast on several projects and end up with only a couple completed pieces. To paraphrase Ursula K. LeGuin, it is the journey that matters in the end...