Thursday, December 28, 2006

No new knitting this past month. I hurt my pointer finger on my right hand and have had a lot of inconvience and irritation from it. I finally had it looked at at the docs today and at least it appears to be something that'll go away. I'm going to start back to knitting this week I hope.

Friday, November 24, 2006

"Black Friday"

Today, the day after Thanksgiving, people in the US loose their MINDS when it comes to shopping. The DH and I had to make an early trip out to Lowes for housepaint. To combat the projected long lines I brought my purse with my Pi shawl in it and knit while waiting for the paint to be mixed and also while in line. Hopefully if I keep plugging away at it I'll be able to get it done this next month. Life is crazy right now as we're moving out of a house a state away and into a house here and are down to one vehicle due to a wreck last month. I'm hoping to get some Christmas knitting projects started as soon as I get some comfy funiture in the new home so I can sit and knit without hurting my shoulder or back. Felting is on hiatus as well but I hope to pick it back up the first of the year. Housepainting and organizing is the name of the game currently.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Today I knitted a baby hat in wool for the Dulann project or the preemie project that I had started as a teaching project yesterday at the shawl knitting group. I've been asked to teach a couple of (prob slow paced) classes on knitting in the round for caps and things. I'm shocked and flattered, esp. since I've not been knitting even a year at this point. I'm going to work this week on a pattern and a handout. One of the members actually called on her cell phone to stop by and get some help picking up dropped stitches today. I was really happy to be able to help out.

Toddler sweater diaster!!!
DuH! I started a sweater for Joshua about 2 months ago or so. Today I tried it on and it completely doesn't fit. I'm going to do some rapid decreases and make it into a hat. An adult hat. I could scream. Really loudly. Next time I'm knitting a size above and with thick yarn and big ass needles!!!! At least it'll come out useful in it's life as a hat and it's wool so it'll be warm. It was some of that nice Paton's Classic Wool merino in a self striping colorway. To make up for this atrocity I am doing the measurements for another sweater using the Elizabeth Zimmerman book "Knitting without Tears" which seems appropiate somehow! I think I'm going to model the next one off a 3T sweater and go from there.

New Knitting group...I'm trying to organize a local knitting group similiar to my BAM group in SC which I really miss. Those ladies really inspired me and I didn't realize till I moved up here how fastpaced the learning enviroment was there! Hopefully I'll find knitters here and we'll all learn and enjoy ourselves learning new things about knitting just as much.

Monday, November 13, 2006

PrayerShawl Group

I went to the local Prayer Shawl group today with my halffinished shawl. Fortunately I found somone willing to take it over as a project. I have discovered that I cannot knit with needles over about size 10 1/2 without it causing arm problems. I also am not using any acrylic yarn if I can manage because it just doesn't seem to have give to it like the natural fibers. I mentioned I'd be willing to knit weekly (would jump at it actually) and one of the ladies said that was a possiblity. I'm also working on getting together a group of local knitters to sit and knit and socialize---there are three of us so far! I'm really happy about that.

Check out this link...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Cautionary Walmart Tale and other things...

Last night while out at dinner our car died inexplicably. We had purchased it at Walmart within the last 3 years so we took it there to get it replaced as per their advertised warrenty. They refused to honor their replacement policy because they had "changed the numbers on the battery now so you'll have to buy a new one that has the current numbers". Walmart's return policy seemed very dishonest to me on this one and the service was crappy as usual. It was supposed to be covered, we bought it there, they failed to live up to there advertisements and policies. I won't be making anymore big purchases there unless it's an absolutely unavoidable situation. I've been reading and thinking a lot about "ethical shopping" and besides the horrible service am coming up with a lot of reasons to avoid shopping at Walmart. One of the things that interests me is the CSAs which I can't remember what it stands for but it's a buying club that purchases locally grown, organic foods. My big fear on that one is that I'm rather picky when it comes to veggies and I don't like a wide variety of them. In general I also prefer to buy from local businesses if at all possible rather than the souless chains that really don't do more than knock the mom and pop businesses out of service.

Yarn stash news...holey moley AC Moores was getting rid of their Alpaca, cashmerino, and mohair!!! I have a whole drawer full now---intant yarn stash at seriously discounted prices. I guess I better get cracking on Christmas and 12th Night presents which is what most of the stash is for. The mohair though is all mine--4 purple skeins and one white. I want to do a shawl and possible a lace scarf. I also want to start some more socks soon. The DH is so awesome...he just keep shoveling yarn in my cart as an early birthday present!

Today we went to a craftfair here in NC and meet a really nice gal. I hope to drag her into yarn mischief and arts&science goodness (lets see if we can get her addicted to felting or spinning!). I'm hoping to take some more spinning lessons soon from Lydia as well---try out the spinning wheel. If I could spin that way without hurting my shoulder I'd really be interested in spinning and then dying my own wool.

Felting for the vest is done at the first stage of the project. I now need to refine the vest pattern and test it before cutting on the felt. I'm really happy with it thus far and I hope to have a working vest by December. After that I have a super uber felting/garb project to begin that I hope to have complete by Tourney of Ymir (assuming they have it) in Febuary. Any later and it'll be too hot to wear it:>. I also had fun felting some lavender dreads from the SAFF wool that had been dyed with logwood and rinsed in amonia. Wore that out to dinner but our friends didn't seem to like them. Oh well, I did and the DH did and that's what matters.:>

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I'm getting ready to go down to SC for BAM and really looking forward to it. I ran into a website on lj today about wool dreads and am sitting here wondering how hard it would be to make some kind of hat/headband with cool colored wool dreads.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

More felting

Today I decided to get to work felting a garment and so have gotten the back of a vest made. I used the Icelandic mix I picked up at SAFF and am well pleased with it. Hopefully the weather will be good this week so I can work on the front pieces. I'm a little unclear whether or not this is a caftan/jacket or a vest but I expect it'll reveal itself to me during the creation process. I'm also posting a pic of the babyhat for the church knitting group tomorrow.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

My DH gave me this lovely sweater today. I'm wondering if I could use it to pattern a sweater to knit. Seems like it would require shortrows?

recent projects...

Felted Hat from SAFF--made during the "Katherine Hat Class" by Chad Hagen which was absolutely wonderful. I can't wait to try another one:>
First of two of a variation of the Fetching pattern from The picot top kept rolling down so I skipped it, also changed up the numbers on the cables. I'm really enjoying the alpaca yarn at this point.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Today I finished one of two fingerless mittens in Alpaca based off the "fetching" pattern from but changed to suit my hand and style preferences. I got rid of the picot edging. It was awesome but folds over too easily and instead I used a set of slightly larger needles to do a stretchy bindoff. I want to start the second mitten tomorrow and hopefully finish it by the end of the week. I also need to start a shawl or baby hat for the Prayershawl group I've just started attending. We moved from a place with 4 or 5 knitting groups meeting each week to a place where I've only been able to find one. I like charity knitting---it's nice to feel like something I'm doing might mean something to someone who needs a pickmeup.

Knitting projects on the needles:
fingerless mittens
toddler sweater (paused do to lack of knowledge)
knitting projects to start
charity baby hat
shawl with dyed yarns

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair

I was able to attend classes at SAFF this weekend and had a very fun, educational, and tiring time. I took an all day felting class on hat felting on Friday which was extremely well taught by an artist and author named Chad Hagen, then Saturday I was able to take a natural dyeing with exotic dyes class followed by another felting class making round seat cushions with a dyed inlaid felt design. Boy am I sore from standing up most of two days and all the pounding implied in the felting process but it was well worth the efforts. I'm hoping next year to just get a hotel room and take classes all three days. I never did get to see all the vendors, exhibitions, or animals due to the heavy class schedule. When I finish tweaking the hat I'm going to put up a pic of it but for now here are pics of the yarn and the situpon.

Dyes used...Logwood, Cochineal, Red Sandlewood, Henna, and Brazilwood. Felting used mostly a Norwegian mix that I"m in love with! Picked up a hat form so I suspect I'll be doing some experimentation here and there. I was very, very happy to run into some of the ladies from my SC knitting group which I really miss these days living in NC as well as some of the folks from our history group. I was happy that one of my gals pointed out some gorgeous handdyed sock yarn and my dh is trying to wrap it into a ball for me to knit from right now. We also picked up some replacement needles for my needlefelting supplies and the folks actually remembered me from last year when I bought supplies and then came back the next day with a fully finished and decorated felt hat:>. I Love my felting and this year was even more interesting as I've picked up knitting as well. Too much fiber to choose from...

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Well, it's been a while since updating. We're in the middle of a move up to NC right now which has seriously cut into my knitting and fiber arts. I'm trying to find a new knitting group but have been unable to hook up with any yet.

Current projects...
Wool sweater in the round for Joshua
fingerless gloves from in alpaca

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Yesterday I warped a small frame I found in the attic that my dh made years ago for me to do tapestry weaving and I tried a small Sprang pouch. It wasn't very hard to do but I did make a few errors that of course I didn't find til I took it off the loom. Probably I shouldn't sprang while watching scifi. It's interesting yet seems like a fairly limited form when compared to some of the other fiber arts I've done. Today I started a toe up sock with my Lionbrand selfstriping yarn that I had picked up on sale 2 months ago for about $2.25 a piece. I'm going to use the Turkish sock pattern on it to become accustomed to the pattern before trying a multicolor pair. I'm finding it nice to be able to work on small projects like socks when we're driving up to NC or to weekend events and such:>. I'd also like to start another pair of CIC socks in this month. I have finally gotten my classes picked out for the Southeastern Fiber Fair up in Asheville, NC in Oct. and if I get the classes I've picked I'll get to take dyeing fibers, rug felting, and hat felting. I'm really excited about this opportunity and hope to be able to save up some money to take and get new needles for my needle felting tools as well as fiber for future felting projects. Lots to do!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Just a Spranging...

Last night I decided to try a small Sprang sampler. I looked up Sprang on the internet and used the directions on Phialla's Stringpages in addition to "The Techniques of Sprang" by Peter Collingwood. I took a simple rectangular loom that we've been using as a taperstry loom and set up the warp, then used knitting needles and chopsticks to hold the twists as I worked. I used sportweight white acrylic cheap yarn at 20 threads in the warp. If I redid this project I'd used about 60-80 to create something usefully sized. It turns out the process is very easy and you can add to the patterning based on how you twist the strings. Due to previous injuries in the shoulders I found it physically difficult to do after about an hour because of the way I had to hold my arms out in front of me which hurts the rotator cuff areas of both shoulders, and the fronts of my shoulders are still hurting this morning. If I could hold it in my lap I think it wouldn't have had that effect. Today's quest is researching backstrap looms. We'll see if anything comes of that:>.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Kirghiz inspried Yurt

Ottyl and Briar of Northern Atlantia (Virginia I think) have a really great Yurt that they made themselves inspired by Kirghiz yurts. They steam bent the wood which they obtained at a local sawmill, and used industrial felt to create a look similiar to the real thing. They are now experimenting with felt making to eventually replace the current felt with the real thing!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Mongolian Ger

Mongolian ger minus the outer canvas that was set up in the merchant's area at Pennsic by We bought a felt chessboard and container with ceramic Mongolia pieces and have had a blast with it:>. I love the painted detail on the ger and especially the braided ropes.

Monday, August 21, 2006

packing out...

Here is a pic of my DH in front or our yurt right before we pack out. We're sitting in a hotel room right now cause our truck threw a rod and we're both really missing living in our yurt home.

My yurt home

Here are pics of my yurt home for the last two weeks. It was very comfty and inspiring. I love living in a round structure. A buddy of ours told us about this yurt which was being sold by the original owners/builders for only $250. It was a great price for an experiment and we've more than gotten our money out of it in the two and a half weeks we've used it this spring and summer. I'd like to buy or build a 10 or 12 foot weekend yurt for short events in the future.

Felting at Pennsic

Here's the Scythian inspired painted floorcloth meant to mimic an inlaid felt rug used by Central Asian nomads and then a pic of an actual felt rug a group of us made at Pennsic War. It was a great experience and I'm looking forward to trying some more felting at home.
trying to get photos to upload
Well, we're not quite back from our vacation. The truck threw a rod and we're stuck in VA. I took a great class on Turkish socks and also had an incredible felting experience!

Friday, July 28, 2006


Hurray, my dh found the cord I needed to be able to get photos from my digital camera to my computer. I am posting pics of the socks I've been doing. The toddler socks are for CIC and I plan to mail them out this weekend. Tomorrow I'll try and put up picks of the Cental Asian themed shelves and Scythian themed floorcloth I've painted this week for our 2 week stay in a Yurt:>. We're going in the morning to make gothic themed 2 person benches and a Viking 6 board chest which I plan to use for storaging my current knitting projects and electronics. I'm really excited about the upcoming Turkish Sock class at Pennsic War as well as the Viking Bronzecasting and cooking bread on a campfire classes!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hot Tamales!

It is HOT outside! I'm at a complete standstill on my knitting becuase I'm getting ready for a 2 week camping trip in Penn. at Pennsic ( It's a big Medieval/Rennaissance reenactment event which is a lot of fun. I'm staying in my Yurt for the two weeks and will take classes on felting, bronze casting, knitting Turkish socks, weaving, and several other things I can't think of! I'm going to take lots of pictures and have lots of fun!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Adventures in Wooladdiction

Hurray! I have finished the second pair of cic socks in wool. I worked with a bluegray 100% wool and worked white in a wave pattern for two repeats around the cuff. I'm tickled to have completed the CIC challenge for this month! I'm think I'm going to try a pair of adult socks next in the lovely Trekking XXL yarn. This time I believe I'm going to try and find a pattern I haven't tried before, perhaps a feather and fan start pattern.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

One step closer...

This week my DH picked up a new battery for my digital camera. I'll soon be able to update my blog with pics whenever I want to! Unfortunately I can't find the cord that goes from the camera to the computer right now. This week I am working on a pair of blue and white toddler socks for CIC and I have just completed a blue chemo hat for BAM out of the Lionbrand Homespun. I've discovered I'm not too fond of the acryllic yarns but I have several skeins of it as they were closing out the yarn section at Gardenridge. We picked up several skeins in two different colors and a number of balls of Lionbrand selfstriping yarn in three colors for $2.25 a piece. I plan on making lots of socks for everyday use as well as presents so I figured that's a great bargain. I need to find a way to organize my yarn and unspun wool stash before it grows any larger.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Just wanted to share this little felt bear. He's needlefelted out of scrap wool with little glass beads eyes.

Ultimate Sock Chart

I've found the motherlode!!! is a website for getting your own wool to dye and appears to have reasonable prices. Better than that even is the following link, which is a chart of how to make socks! I'm extremely excited about this chart.

If I understand the pdf sock chart correctly I should be able to use it to make any socks for anyone based on a few measurements instead of guessing.

This weekend's progress...I have finished my first pair of CIC socks and am working on a second pair with a Ram's Horn pattern in blue and white. I've really surprised myself with how easy (if you can follow a chart) adding a pattern can be. I'm going to finish these socks this week then try and get another Chemo cap done before Wednesday night for BAMBAM girls knitting group.

I'm trying to figure out how to spruce up this blog with a projects graph, pictures, and links but I"m not to skilled with that sort of thing.

Thursday, June 29, 2006