Wednesday, February 07, 2007

We'll I'll be...

Just took a look at the hits on this blog... seems that folks from all over are taking a peep at the silly little things I do and say. It's funny what a motivator that can be; I mean, this is in essence an online journal which I do mostly to keep a record of the things that I create. But, knowing that people from Russia to Paris to Australia are looking at this, why that just makes me want to share what I do even more. Thanks so much to all who visit- it brightens the day considerably.

So, that being said, there are but a few things to share today:

The purple pewter shawl comes along nicely. I'm thinking two more of the 11-row pattern and I will be out of yarn and therefore, done. The size will be about what I expected and I think will make for a dainty little wisp that I can secure with a handmade fused glass shawl pin. I'm hoping that wearing it will make me feel like I'm in a Jane Austen novel, even when I am just outside picking up my dog's poo.

Am also working on a hat using Diakeito Diamusee. This yarn makes me think that this is what Kureyon wants to be when it grows up. Don't get me wrong, I love some Kureyon (and have a stash of it to prove it) but Diamusee is so soft, the color changes both surprising and elegant. Of course, as with most singles yarns, I think pilling will be a bit of a problem. I've experienced a little just in the knitting process. However, these pills were easy to remove without damaging the look of the fabric. I think after a bit of wear, all of the pills will have worked their way out of the hat. As far as the pattern, it's based on one from One-Skein Wonders created by the owner of Knit Knot in Portland, OR and is perfect TV knitting. I got most of it done last night while watching, and I am not ashamed of this, Dirt. Man, something about those scandalous shows on the FX Network. Cracks me up that it is owned by Fox, who also runs the most conservative cable news network. Rupert Murdoch is laughing at all of us on his way to the bank- making money off both sides of the moral spectrum. Good for him...

Am also doing a little spinning. This wool of undetermined origin is minimally processed, to say the least. That is what I like about it. I like the feel of lanolin on my fingers, the VM (most of which comes out whilst predrafting), the fact that this is a very organic looking yarn. There are about 7 oz of this stuff, which I think will end up as a 3-ply worsted weight. I'm thinking densely knit hiking socks with some gansey-style stitches.

Speaking of socks, part II of my Basic Sock Construction class is tonight in which we tackle the heel. I'm going to give my students a little pep talk (which is really for the benefit of one particular student) in which I discuss how when taking on a new skill, it must be approached with the mindset that you can do this. That no, this is not hard, it just needs to be figured out. I have taught myself many different art forms: printmaking, stained glass, lampworking, fusing, and knitting are just a few. Gee, that sounded arrogant, didn't it? My point is though, I was successful at teaching myself those skills becuase I went in with the attitude that yes, I am capable of this. When you go into something and say/think "This is hard" or "I can't do this", you are setting yourself up for failure becuase words like that set up mental roadblocks. I hope this works.
On another front, I made incense yesterday! It had been years since I had made the stuff, and I still had lotsa powdered sandalwood and various resins to use up. So, I busted out one of my favorite resources, The Complete Book of Incense, Oils, and Brews by the late Scott Cunningham and went to town.

After blending red & white sandalwood with dragon's blood, myrrh, and copal, some rosemary and juniper, and oils of vetivert, patchouli, juniper, and cedar, then adding some saltpeter (to make them smolder) and gum arabic to hold it all together, I came up with these little bricks:

Husband says it smells like the incense they used to burn at church when he was growing up. It's woodsy and heady and wonderful! I need to do a few more test runs, and I will come up with a more detailed post on how to create combustible incense. It's pretty damn easy, really, just a little time consuming- like most things in life.

PS: If you are visiting my blog from far, far, away (or even not so far), drop a note in the comments- just so I can link back to your own blog ;-)

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