Sunday, January 31, 2010

greetings from the land of miscrossed cables

If this sweater ever gets finished, it'll be a miracle.

Arrows added, as if it's not obvious enough. ha.


p.s. Yes, the yarn really is that scrawny and dry-looking, but it's only temporary. It's weaving yarn and will bloom nicely when I scour it at the end. If I ever get to the end.

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le monstre goes fishing

Happy 46th birthday to the Beadmakerbaker!

Who may be getting older,

but we're still working on wiser,
and he's definitely not growing up.

(note repaired glove thumb!
Jesse and Mike in the distance, making more ice fishing holes.
Thanks to Steve and Shane for photographic proof of the insanity.)

Pattern: Alsace Le Monstre hat
w/ supacool corkscrew horns.
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

d'oh 2

A couple of years ago, I had a twist in the cast-on of a sweater for myself. I called it an accidental mobius at the time (which it's really not, I have since learned) and thought I was quite a knucklehead for not paying better attention at cast-on. Well, apparently I'm still a knucklehead because earlier this week, I noticed a twist in my current green sweater.

Crappy lighting, crappy knitting!

I was out at the time, so I just kept knitting. I was planning to steek this sweater to cardiganize it anyway, so I knew it would be an easy fix.

Snip snip up the steek,
flip 'round that bit to the right.

Continue knitting in the round,
as if nothing ever happened.

At least somebody around here knows what they're doing...

Nice wheel!
Owned by the Nathan Hale Homestead.
Stained, poly'ed, assembled, and tested by Scott.


My friend Sandy, mom to this little cutie and this one, guessed that the yarn-winding happening in this movie was Errol Flynn's Robin Hood. Right on!

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Maybe Classic Elite Yarns would appreciate my editing services more than Lamb's Pride did?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone while the uke band plays for about 100 seniors who are singing their hearts out!

I spy 1

When watching a movie in the evening, we frequently spy fiber arts in action, often when we least expect it. I've started snapping a pic when it happens and will see if you guys can guess what movie it is.

Winding a ball of green yarn from a hank stretched on the back of a chair as an impromptu swift.

Do you recognize the flick?
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Monday, January 25, 2010

warm tootsies

Both of the guys in this house are in need of new slippers. Scott's last pair of felted clogs held up well to four years of lots of use, so I turned to that pattern again.
A couple of days later, we had some ginormous slippers ready to be felted. It's hard to gauge the scale from this pic, but Jesse's dwarfed feet are a whopping size 13.

Paton's Classic Wool felts beautifully. Two times through the wash cycle and they were perfect. They dried in a day front of the wood stove.

Stitched on the suede soles for durability and to make them less slippery. Happy boy with toasty tootsies!
Nebraskaknitter, the sweater Leah's knitting is Cabled Cardigan #173 from Vermont Fiber Designs. Y'know how I was feeling good about spending so little money on the yarn? Yeah, well, joke's on me, since we just ordered about $150 worth of glass rods so her dad can make her some gorgeous buttons for it. Of course he'll have lots of glass left over for more buttons and stitch markers and who knows what, but it doesn't feel like such an inexpensive sweater right now! ;-)
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

making the most of what we have

Oh, we ain't got a barrel of money,
Maybe we're ragged and funny,
But we'll travel along,
Singing a song,
Side by side.

We're a pretty resourceful family, finding ways to make the most of what we have and turning extras into experiences/things we want. A few examples from the past week:

Have: 5 cones of 100% wool yarn scored for $2/cone at the weavers' guild yarn tag sale almost two years ago.

Leading to: A challenging cabled sweater that's being knit by Leah. Both sleeves and ~6" of the body are done now and she's just barely into the second cone of yarn, so the cost for this sweater's yarn is going to be around $6.

Have: A microcontroller experiment kit that includes servo, arduino, piezo element, potentiometer, photo resistor, temp sensor, and instructions/introduction to playing with it all. Worth every penny we paid for it.

Leading to: Our hefty stash of electronics components scavenged from discarded/broken electronics at our dump's put-and-take. The perfect next step for a tinkerer like Jesse.

Have: Glass buttons and stitch markers, handmade soap, knitting patterns we're done with, craft supplies and equipment we're no longer using.

Leading to: The above luscious yarns through a Ravelry swap group. Roving and fabrics (velvet, satin, brocade) for the seamstress still in the pipeline.

Have: Time in winter to finish (stain, 3-4 coats poly) and assemble a Kromski spinning wheel for a nonprofit organization whose work we support.

Leading to: Good feelings from a volunteer job well done, possible loan of their portable weaving loom for a few months.
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

To blogger, I say

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone, since It has gone kablooie with the last two long posts written the usual way.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

goin on 'round here

Jesse's weaving.

I'm knitting.

Leah's sick, so while she's home, we're making her a duct tape body double/dress form.

This snippet of yarn was dyed in beet/carrot juice this morning.

And we're learning to play the ocarina on our iPhones. Srsly.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

just doing as I'm told

I've been itching to knit some nice new mittens or gloves, but kept telling myself, nah, we all have some and don't need more. Then Pat mentioned a January Mitten Knitting group on Ravelry and I joined it with the idea of browsing their projects on occasion, but not necessarily jumping on the bandwagon to knit a bunch of them because, like I said, we have mittens.

Then I received notification that I, as a member of their group, had won a set of four mitten patterns from Kirsten Kapur/Through The Loops! Nice!

Hmm...lots of pretty, cabled mittens. I have yarn that would go nicely with any of those designs, but, well, I'm working on sweaters lately so maybe I'll make mittens after the sweaters are done.

Less than an hour later, I was walking into our local post office when something caught my eye.

Do you see it? Lower right corner,
resting on the post with the button that opens the door?

A single lost mitten.

A single lost HANDKNIT mitten.

Pattern: All the Water
Yarn: Dye Dreams Celestial
Size: S/M, which fit my large hands
Mods: None, but I added twisted cords to the cuffs, as usual, so they can be tied together and/or through a buttonhole to help prevent the sad scene at the post office.

Sometimes you pick the projects and
sometimes the projects pick you, y'know?
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

winter warmth

Spending a sunshiny afternoon with friendly New England Textile Artists near Boston to construct an afghan that will be raffled off as a charity fundraiser.

Coming home from the above gathering with door prize winnings including this incredible baby camel and silk hand-painted top in the most gorgeous subtle ocean blue-green colorway. I hope my spinning skills will do right by it. Meanwhile, I'm petting it frequently.

English muffin bread, fresh from the oven. I'm a big fan of this bread, with all its toasty nooks and crannies to hold my surprisingly good dairy-free butter-like substance.

Guys out ice fishing two days in a row. Jesse shown here on Friday, drilling the first hole of the day at a frozen cove. They had so much fun that they got together with a bunch of fishing buddies yesterday and nine of them were happy on the ice for many hours. Fresh trout dinner, caught by Jesse!
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Friday, January 08, 2010

lest we forget

This blog's scope is usually limited to our playtime with textiles and glass, but there's also a whole lot of other cool making of stuff going on, courtesy of mechanically-oriented Jesse. What follows is a collection of his current projects, one of which may be especially of interest to the yarn-lovin' readers of this blog.
Rubber band-powered, pump action K'nex crossbow, the engineering for which kind of blows my mind.

An early Arduino microcontroller project with programming in C language. He and I are learning this together. Again, k'boom goes the mom's brain. He's being very patient with me, especially when I do the Happy Snoopy Dance when things actually work.

Rocket design program, through which he is designing and testing all sorts of crazy rocket contraptions and configurations while learning computer-aided drafting along the way.

Version 1 of a Lego yarn cake winder with dying batteries. Plans already in motion for bigger, better, faster, possibly using an old sewing machine motor and a dimmer switch, which is a good thing because I have a Philosopher's Wool sweater kit just waiting to be wound up for casting on! :-)
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Pic from my mom, budding lace knitter,
providing blog fodder from Florida,
where she's knitting Juno Regina
and even fixing her own mistakes!

Leah, meanwhile, is loving loving LOVING Patterns of Fashion, from which she is learning to draft her own patterns for historic clothing. This book was a gift from my sister for xmas and received with a squeal. This is a work-in-progress, with edges unfinished, fancy cuffs still to come, and only the underskirt of her hoop skirt, which will eventually have petticoats and a navy blue or burgundy overskirt. The top looked kind of funky at first -- neat-o construction but we were not quite sure about the execution. Then she put on that hoop skirt and the hanging fabric sections at the bottom flared out so beautifully over it and we all went, "Oh! Now I get it!" We have so much to learn.

There's an expectation of underlying knowledge that Leah might not really have, but she's figuring it out as she goes, experimenting with supplies that we have on hand (the fabric above is reincarnated from the bridesmaid dress I wore in my sister's wedding while seven months pregnant with Jesse). I have a feeling we'll someday look back on these initial efforts and smile like I do when I think of my first Hardanger embroidery, the linen threads of which were cut with an Exacto knife because I wasn't about to invest in super sharp teeny tiny pointed scissors for something I was just dabbling in. I can only hope that Leah's first experiments with sewing period clothing bloom into a full-on passion for it, similar to my Hardanger obsession that lasted many years (and would probably still continue today if I put down the pointy sticks and picked up a threaded needle).

I just noticed that the seamstress above is wearing knitting needle earrings that she made, a cable needle necklace given to her by our friend Leslie, clothing that she's sewing by hand, and likely handknit socks. Living and loving the handmade life.
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Thursday, January 07, 2010

deathflake j

Deathflake mittens knit by Leah, for big bro Jesse. Same pattern mash-up and style as the Deathflake pair she knit for cousin Zach.

Zach's pair were knit with Peekaboo slit for his fingers while bike riding, in Zach's favorite colors of black and turquoise. Jesse's were knit with slit for trigger finger access for his Airsoft gun, in camo-compatible black and Army green. They are as yet unblocked but got put to good use yesterday during a three-hour Airsoft match with his buddies on a day where the temps did not get above freezing.
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Monday, January 04, 2010

when knitters help a knitter move

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