Sunday, June 25, 2006

a new Tradition

Finished today: Cardigan sweater, Tradition pattern from Philosopher's Wool. This is my first all-over Fair Isle sweater and the first ever done with two-handed knitting technique, over which I am ga-ga. Also first steeks, which I think are pure brilliance in no-fuss sweater construction. Yup, it's a bit too small, but I still love it. Must make more.

I worked on this as a diversion from the Dale of Norway ladybug sweater that I was knitting for a friend's baby-in-the-works. I have yet to figure out why, but the 24-mo. size sweater is turning out big enough to fit 8-year-old Leah, with room to spare. I am not exaggerating. The sleeves are on gauge, but the body? Not so much. I do love this pattern, but can do without these shenanigans, so it's being abandoned for now. Next? To be determined.

Yes, I am fully aware that I completed the 100% wool cardigan above as we are heading into July. Yes, I am fully aware that gauge issues are not the fault of Dale of Norway or the adorable ladybug pattern. Sshhhh, you! Just leave me alone in my happy place and don't confuse me with facts. :-) Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Scotia shots

After a fun day at the beach today and before the next barrage of work begins, I took advantage of some quiet time this afternoon to post pics of our trip to Nova Scotia. Link here and in the sidebar. :-) Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 08, 2006

bearly here, then off again!

Okay, queer title, but it's how things feel. Within the past day or two, we finally feel like we got settled back in from the trip to Pennsylvania -- mowed the lawn, caught up on laundry and work (oh so much work), visited and chatted with many friends, etc. -- and off we go again to Nova Scotia tomorrow. Still, we're definitely looking forward to it because we'll have a cottage on the beach and lots of interesting places to check out while we're there!

The little bear above is Leah's own design, knit as a birthday gift for a friend. It's a mini version of the bear she made in April, which was donated to the Mother Bear Project. She is especially proud that her own handspun yarn was used for the bear's shirt. It makes me happy to see her just dive into a project from her imagination, confident that she'll figure out how to make it happen, and usually quite successful. (Sorry for the cruddy picture quality. We were rushing out the door when I snapped the shot and must have had a setting wrong on my camera or something.)

Jesse is tickled that his invention demonstration videos have been viewed over 80 times! Inspired to do more, now that he's found a way to show his stuff to others besides his family, he's working on something top secret right now that involves wire cutters, paper clips, balloons, a Nerf gun, and K'nex. Hmmm...

One of Leah's pals is here for a sleepover. They put on fancy dresses, set up a tent in her bedroom, and spent the evening sewing doll clothes in there. ??? :-)

I'm off to work on my own top secret project, which is coming along nicely, except for my increasing concern about a possible gauge problem. I am perplexed by this, since I did a gauge swatch at the beginning and all was good. So this project may end up being scrapped after all. We'll see.

Talk to you all when we get back from Canada. The newest issue of Spindlicity magazine should come out while we're away and Leah will have another article in there, so check it out! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

makers and bakers

So, I mentioned earlier that there have been some other things going on here, besides work, and now I have pictures of some of those things to share.

First, here you see the budding seamstress with her doll, Lucy, which Jesse and I made for her when she was just a toddler.

This week, the seamstress gave Lucy a complete makeover, including latch hooking on some new, long hair and sewing a new wardrobe of many dresses, blouses, skirts, an apron, a shawl, some cord belts, a sleeping bag and pillow, and even knitting her a scarf and some little booties. All without a pattern or much guidance, again breaking all the rules but learning soooo much and completely in her element.

Next, you see a tool of K'nex, made by Jesse, to free up the spinning wheels while winding yarn into a skein. We used it this morning. He added the "stabilization system" ;-) and he's refining it further now, with a brake band to keep the bobbin from spinning too freely. I also posted a few videos of Jesse demonstrating how some of his Knex guns work. Videos here, here, and here. These were filmed earlier this spring, when he was being quite serious because he was sure he could create kits for his weaponry, in collaboration with K'nex, and make a fortune. :-)

Last, a pic of the first skein of yarn I've ever spun. (woo hoo!) Far from perfect, but none too shabby, considering my very minimal amount of experience.

And the baker? Well, as I mentioned below, he's been baking in the bakery and being a beadbaker too. I think this is enough pics for today, but there are certainly more to come soon (probably after vacation), as he made some watercolor-ish floral beads that I think are fantastic!

a beady little breather

Whoo boy. I usually don't mention my work too much, but right now I just have to because it's been all-consuming. (Luckily, this is only a temporary state of affairs.) I've been nose to the grindstone ever since we got home last week. I'm back on top of things now, just in time to head out for Nova Scotia. Took a few minutes yesterday and today to pay attention to Glastonbury Glassworks. Believe it or not, after much searching and umpteen tries, I finally got the Paypal buttons to work! And do you know how I did it? The exact same way I've been doing it since the very beginning!


See, Blogger has this Preview option when you're composing an entry, but it's basically useless because the Preview you see is not truly what will pop up on the screen when you publish. Generally, the spacing is off and the fonts don't look like they will, but in this case, the Preview showed all sorts of junk associated with the Paypal code. Of course, I didn't want to confirm and publish this junk, so I just kept thinking I wasn't doing something right. Finally, yesterday, I wondered how it would look if I did publish it. I figured if it looked like a big mess, I could delete it immediately and go back to the drawing board. Lo and behold, it did exactly what I wanted it to all along!

So okey dokey, then, today was time to clear out the sold beads and add some more to the offerings, with Paypal buttons for oh so much more clicky online convenience!

Otherwise, all that work in the past week has left me with little to show in the fiber department, but we did manage to get everything in order following the vacation to Pennsylvania and make reservations for upcoming trip to Nova Scotia, and keep all of our clients happy too, so that counts for something. Leah's been sewing like crazy, making an entire wardrobe for her doll. Jesse's fishing and reading and inventing. Scott has made a few new sets of beads, including some from glass we picked up at Youghiogheny Glass last week (pictures soon). I did some spinning of luscious colorways from Grafton Fibers, picked up at the Jamaica VT Fiber Fest. I'll probably ply my singles today and a picture will follow.

My last sign language class was last night. I'm sad to see it end, but happy that I was able to imagine a conversation with myself in sign on the way home and had another conversation in sign with Leah this morning. Jesse just rolls his eyes and groans, "Mommmm," when I do it, but he's picked up a few signs along the way too. We've learned about 300 signs in class, so I think that's pretty cool. I can't swing a summer session because it's 2 nights a week, but hopefully will be able to do the next level in the fall. We shall see. So much to explore... Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Pennsylvania trip - list version