Friday, October 27, 2006

Baby's First Mukluks


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

Some random delicious goodies

So many things going on lately that it is a wonder I actually get things done! Here is a project I finished about a week ago and forgot to post:


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.

dichroic pendants

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


I finally checked out the blog of one Stitchy McYarnpants. Oh dear God, I found the pattern of my dreams- and just in time for the holiday season. Just click the link- if you haven't seen this, you are in for something special and beer-related.

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

Artist's Trading Cards, Autumnal Batts, and Crackheads

As promised in the last post, here are some pics of my ATC's:


"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.

PS: To end on a nicer note, I have posted links to free original patterns in the sidebar. Enjoy!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Catching Up

Wow, six weeks or so since my last post. Suffice it to say that I have alot of catching up to do... I've been busy with so much stuff since I returned from Portland. Am cranking out leaded/fused glass goods for local holiday bazaars besides all of the things I have been knitting, spinning, and mixed media-ing.

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...

naiadnaiad close

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: