Thursday, June 30, 2005

T minus 2 days

yup. two more "work" days. Of course the last few days are cleaning up my lab notebooks, making sure that the people in the lab know where all my stocks and files are.... housekeeping. terribly boring.

I have actually been knitting. But i don't want to take pictures of it until the items are finished... so that's not very exciting. There's a nearly complete sock. Kat ordered the zippers for our Ribby Cardi's. That means i need to get off my arse and finish the knitting. i literally have 2 more inches of the second sleeve. what is my hang up?!?!

Look at this cutie!
Its a little sheep pin in felt made my Trish Miller of "Heartfelt Designs". It might be Toby, Ivan, or Puff - the 3 sheep whose fleece are now in my living room. (Thank god the weather finally cooled down a bit here - that raw fleece smell was starting to take over the room!)

Last night i showed Sarah (a.k.a. "Sarah-beads") and Linda how to do Bovine Protein Liquid Chromatography. We had lots of fun. I tried to recreate the Peacock roving that i used for Trista's yarn. (it came out pretty close.) I also dyed some in bright rainbow colors. i'm a total sucker for anything in rainbows.

Friday, June 24, 2005

more rabbit!

and now, another shameless cat and wheel picture -

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"please spin up more of that bunny stuff mom.... it was so good to nap in..."

Thursday, June 23, 2005

sshh!! we're hunting wabbits

It turns out that carding fiber is the PERFECT activity for me to do at SnB! i can go on autopilot and chat away without messing up any stitch patterns. I got loads of it carded on monday night. see that? its three more skeins towards The Orange Sweater! Pictures here on the floor in a big 'ol jumbly mess. i have to leave them that way until i've washed and set the twist, otherwise i forget that they aren't finished and they get mixed up with my other yarns. its a system, of sorts.

Sometimes the Inspectors take a particular liking to one skein or another as its waiting to be washed. I got bored with Orange, so i started spinning up some Romney / Angora blend that i purchased a few weeks ago from Spinning-A-Dream. Let me tell you, this stuff really IS dreamy! The blend is yummy soft and a very well prepared roving. Sabine decided it was hers to nap on. (You know she thought she was sneaky and hiding here!)

Here's where the ADD kicks in. Now i've got 480 yards of this dreamy yarn (light worsted weight) and i can't imagine what i might knit with it. No, i can imagine HUNDREDS of things i could knit with it, but just can't decide. my mind jumps from possibility to possibility and nothing is able to jump out as "the perfect project". I love the natural gray color, but i could also overdye it... but it matches the Kabuto i got from Trista... I could make myself a pretty angora scarf and hat set.. but i've been saying i was going to make a nice manly scarf for my brother in poland... i've got more fiber, i could keep going and spin enough for a bigger project...

For now i'll just fondle it, hide it from the felines, and let it marinate in the brain and the stash

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Circular Needle Case

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Here's the needle case i made for Sarah-yarnstore's circular needles. She was in a desperate state before.

Want one of your very own? Or stitch markers? handcrafted knitting needles? Handpainted yarn? Also finished knit items, stained glass, beaded jewelry, paintings, pottery and more! all made my local women for sale this weekend at the Artisan Women of Worcester event. Sunday from Noon - 5 pm. There will be demonstrations from artists, coffee & pastries, and a lovely afternoon for everyone. Please join us!

Monday, June 20, 2005

more fun with trading

as my time at work winds down (TEN DAYS!) i'm ramping up so many other creative activities. I'm looking forward to some free time in july to do nothing but craft all day long. awwww yeah! It won't be nearly enough free time, though, as i'll also need to pack the house for the move to waltham. then some travel, and unpacking, then school starts. eep. Hopefully i'll even break out the stained glass equipment for a bit. I like to give stained glass as wedding presents, and i've got 7 weddings to attend this summer!!

Some more exciting trades in the works:
I've mailed off some fun roving to Christina from Fernhouse Studio - in exchange for some of her beautiful notecards. Check out her panda puppet... how cute is that?!

I've continued shooting rolls of black & white film for many months now, even though i haven't had access to the darkroom at the craft center since my class ended. I probably have 20 rolls in a drawer in my dining room waiting to be developed, including those from my trips to bermuda and europe. Now i've met a knitter with a darkroom! Sarah's mother Lora offered to trade yarn for the use of her darkroom - and was even sweet enough to hold my hand and walk me through developing film again! I haven't printed from them yet, but the first 3 rolls that i developed last week came out ok. (as in, they weren't blank or black!) I'm so excited about printing the pictures and developing more in the next few weeks.

In lieu of fiber pictures, here's one of my favorites that i took last summer:

Its the crumbling face of a golden tiki idol that stands front of a closed polynesian restaurant.

Friday, June 17, 2005

screamin' greenie

I finished spinning the yarn that i made for Trista.

She had some Noro Kabuto that she can't wear because of wool/alpaca allergies. She was going to make a catbed out of it, but i screamed "blasphemy" (wool, alpaca, silk, cashmere blend!!!). So she offered to trade me something from my stash, but i've got nothing trade-able in the stash (that she wouldn't also be allergic to). So i spun her a custom yarn from merino roving that i dyed. I used 6 oz of this blue/purple/teal blend and 2 oz of some really REALLY loud green/blue/yellow. The little bit of eye-bleeding green was just enough to lighten the whole thing and bring out the teals and purples i think. I forgot to add up the yardage, but it should be enough for a super yummy catbed. Now what should I do with my lovely kabuto??

This weekend i am being gifted 3 raw fleeces!! or is it "3 fleece"? whats the correct plural here? Anyway, I was contacted by a local woman who has 3 sheep on her property that are getting a late season shearing this weekend. She said they are "old-world merino". She usually donates their fleece to Old Sturbridge Village, but they don't want to take them this year because of the late shearing, and she doesn't have a need for the fleece. So she's giving them away for free. wow! I will probably have them sent away for processing because i don't have a drum carder and merino is known for being extra-greasy. I have no idea how clean or healthy the fleece is until i get it. My guess is that these guys are "living lawnmowers" on her property, so they are probably uncovered throughout the year and will be pretty dirty. i'm still "wicked excited" though!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

"working" from home

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"Hi! i'm adorable! get out of my face please"

I'm supposed to be writing a journal manuscript right now. I stayed at home today to spare the lab from the horrendously bad attitude i've developed lately. I have 12 workdays left at my job. Well 11, since its 3 pm and i'm in my pajamas, doing everything i can to avoid 'real work'. i've finished Trista's catbed yarn, made a circular needle case for Sarah, done dishes and laundry. (you KNOW that i'm avoiding work when i resort to doing laundry.) I spent an hour working on this paper... now i'm uploading pictures from Cummington MA. That's way more fun than work! I would show you interesting pictures of finished yarn and needle holders, but the cable i need to download images from my digital camera is in my desk. so here's more from cummington:

I absolutely love little Jacob sheep and their wacky horns:
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Sheep dog trials:
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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

so much fiber, so little time

i've been a fibery whirlwind for the last week. so much i feel like posting, but i'll try to break it up over the week.

i've been spinning orangey yarn that will eventually become a sweater for Big Orange. I've got that orange and gold/yellow fleece from Winterberry Farm, and also extra red roving. I'm hand carding them and then spinning from the rolags. I'm not blending them completely together because i'm going for that variegated, heathered Noro-ey look. I'm seeing Fitgerald in my mind.

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I spent three evenings of movie watching carding rolags, spinning two bobbins of singles, and then plying. The product? 300 yards. If i estimate 1500 yards for a men's large... 8 more skeins to go. for the spinning alone. I am beginning to understand the origins of that sweater curse. its all about the time and energy one puts into a gift like this. As i sat carding more rolags, i started to get a little hostile. This is why these things are cursed. its about the time. Can't you just see some poor knitter spending 100's of hours lovingly knitting a sweater, only for it to be mistakenly tossed in the washer and ruined?

"What are you going to make for me that would be this involved?!" i asked (accused even), brandishing a hand carder his direction.

He inched towards the other end of the couch, looking more than a bit scared.

"if this sweater ever gets within 100 yards of a washing machine, so help me, i will strangle you". ('this sweater' - the two skeins of yarn on the coffee table are already a completed sweater in my head.)

At this point he decided it was best to go to another room for a while.
smart boy.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Knit a little, talk a little, knit a little, talk a little

Cheep! Cheep! Cheep! Talk a lot, knit a little more.
(can you tell I used to watch a lot of musicals? Music Man was one of my favorites)

We were invited to move our Monday night knitting group to the LYS Knitter's Paradise here in Worcester. The timing couldn't be better, since we were starting to outgrow my living room. hehe. We had a great time... Gossiped a lot, ate a little birthday cake, even got a wee bit of knitting accomplished! If you are in central MA and are interested in joining us for knitting, spinning, and some very colorful conversation - let me know.

I managed to start and finish sleeve #2 for the Pirate Sweater. Kids clothes are such a cheat, I love how fast they knit up! Of course I've left he hard part, the intarsia, for last. I need to do that at home where there's less distraction and I can concentrate on the pattern. if i try to talk and do intarsia i'll definitely end up with some kind of weird-mutant-skull-thing.

Monday, June 06, 2005

drive by blogging

some quick thoughts:

- Saturday i learned how to make felted beads at Sarah's house. how fun! i'm going to try making some cat toys this way because the needle felted ones weren't sturdy enough. Her kitty Max shredded his in approximately 2.5 seconds, and Griffin seems to have shredded his over the weekend as well.

- I spent 12 hours in the car on sunday driving from MA to philadelphia and back! insanity. While i didn't get loads and loads of knitting accomplished, i did re-start the Pirate Sweater. I finished one sleeve without getting car sick, and I have new energy for finishing languishing projects!

- More reason to love being a scientist/crafter: Angora Bunny Genetics! even thought i'm way out of practice with genetics, i'm fascinated by the discusions of bunny coat and eye color at the BareHare!

- Saturday morning i brought this home:
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yes, its a(nother) loom. This one is a 4-harness, 6 treadle Harrisville Designs floor loom. Yes, i know i have a table loom that is not being used. (which i am now selling if anyone wants it!) Yes, i know i don't have any time for another craft, let alone weaving. Yes, i know i am a crackhead. The woman (a chemist!) needed to get rid of it and was selling it for such a ridiculously low price that i just could not let this one pass. I AM going to get to use it one of these days. i swear.

Friday, June 03, 2005

cat toy

my mittens got me in a 'felting frame of mind'. I borrowed some felting needles from Trista and make a little ball of dyed wool with a jingle bell in the middle. I was going to put some catnip in there too, but then i thought a catnip/sheep smell double whammy might be a bit much - like a feline speedball or something.

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Market testers immediately approved.

I was going to take a nice, natural light picture of it this morning... but it had strangely disappeared. It will probably turn up tonight in bed. or next week in the laundry basket. or never again - lost to the alternate universe of well love cat toys. it was easy enough to make.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

my sheepy namesake

i could've had a fleece from a sheep named Daria! dang. would it be too obsessive to reserve her fleece for next year? yeah, probably.