Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Colorful bursts for gray days

Scott is having much fun with the dichroic glass stash and so am I. And I'm tickled with the pics I've been able to take of these lampwork beads because I've heard countless times that it's extremely difficult to get a good photo of dichro and it would be very frustrating if I couldn't share an accurate representation of these beauties' shimmer.

Leah is moving right along with her spinning. This is her third skein of yarn, Mohair Blended Cloud in Blue Spruce colorway from Adams Family Farm. It's a blend of mohair, wool, alpaca, silk, angelina, and rayon shimmer. The picture is fairly accurate in color, but doesn't show the sprinkle of green and purple sparkle throughout, just enough to bring this yarn to life without being flashy. Leah spun the singles and I plied them for her because she isn't comfortable with treadling backwards yet. We were happy to see that this skein is well balanced, hanging in a U without twisting -- a goal reached!

Besides being motivated by the success of her current spinning efforts, Leah is thrilled to have been accepted as a contributor to the new Kidspin section of Spindlicity online magazine! Her first article will be in their spring issue.

I've been challenging myself with the two-handed fair isle knitting technique, learned from the downloaded video clip from Philosopher's Wool. I'm nuts about their sweaters and ordered the Traditional pattern to knit for myself in cardigan style sometime soon, but thought it would be a good idea to get comfortable with this type of colorwork on a smaller project. I bought yarn and a stained glass hat pattern at Green Mountain Spinnery last weekend and set out on my mission Monday. Boy, was it awkward at first, but in just 3 inches of knitting on this hat, I'm already significantly more comfortable and psyched to do more.

No pictures of Jesse's most recent undertaking because it's still in research and development mode. A few days ago he created a remote-controlled Lego Mindstorms vehicle that moves into a Lego garage, the door of which is opened by a Lego gear mechanism, and moves forward slowly until its sensor touches the back wall of the garage, then backs up a short distance and causes the garage door to automatically close. From there, he returned to a lifelong interest in steamboats. Now he wants to build a working model, so the past couple of days have been filled with research, reading every library book available on the subject, online browsing, drawing schematics, and visiting the hardware store. The model steam engines that we've found aren't functional and the functional steam engines aren't within a price range we'd consider, so Jesse and Scott have been working diligently to come up with plans made from inexpensive, available materials. I haven't been a participant in this process at all, so I'm curious to see what they'll come up with and where Jesse's mechanical interests will go from there! The rocket they're building is almost ready to launch too.


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