Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Creative Post of the Year!

So, among other things I created for Christmas were a necklace and bracelet that I cannot put up here 'cause I forgot to take pix, a necklace and earrings that I cannot put up for again the same reason, and a few other things I *did* take pix of:

That is a slightly better picture of the snowglobe I made for the brother and his wife.

Those are bath salts. I made ten little bags of them, three glass jars, and three plastic bottles (my grandmother has issues with dropping things, and I'd rather not have her dropping glass).

My mother's necklace. Turquoise beads with silver spacers and glass teardrops.

My SIL's necklace and earring set. A combination of metallic glass and painted freshwater pearls.

This upcoming year, I think I may work in wood. But I have to finish the yarn I've been working on! I don't have pix yet, but I have 335 yards of slightly overspun laceweight new zealand wool that needs to be put up here! :)

I hope everyone's had a wonderful year, and I hope the new year sees you happy and crafting! :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

A lot of my pix are on my other camera, so shall have to wait...

But in the meantime, I can show you the pix my husband took of one of the gifts I gave this past weekend:

Yes, it's a wedding snowglobe.

I will just say trying to find glycerine this close to christmas was an interesting feat in itself, but you need the glycerine to keep the glitter suspended. I think I put a little too much glycerine, but the globe works, and my SIL was entirely happy with it. :)

I've been saving up to do this one myself for a few years... Had the supplies, just hadn't done it yet. And she loves snowglobes. And they finally got married this year. :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It just dawned on me...

... That although I haven't posted it here, in the last month and a half I've made:

15 beaded ornaments and six glass ornaments with different things inside, four necklaces (two more to go), one bracelet, two pair of earrings (two more to go), ten sachets and one glass jar of bath-salts (two more glass jars and five more plastic bottles to go), and I'm halfway through making a snow globe. I've also been spinning new zealand wool in my spare time.

As soon as this holiday is over, I'm getting a nap. Then I'm getting a jump start on next year.

Of course, I say that every year...

Things I've been working on...

... Oh, like christmas stuff.

I can't post the presents yet, people might be watching. Well, that, and the husband seems to only have put up a few of the things that I've taken pix of this week. Must rectify that. :)

I'll probably be taking pix on location, so to speak, since things aren't done yet.

But I do have something to confess... I found out the hard way why they put plastic wrap around spools of memory wire:

Yeah, I wound up with a giant slinky. ;)

But the latest ornaments for the family are now ready to go! Fifteen of them, so not only do people have choices, but if the brother's in-laws show up, I don't show up empty-handed:

There's four different varieties:

And the glass ornaments I made last week:

Some time this weekend (or not, since I'll be at the family's places this weekend), I'll show some of the other presents I've been working on!

If I don't come back, Merry Christmas! And for those who don't celebrate, happy holidays!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wherein I declare myself an idiot...

Okay, yesterday, we celebrated christmas with the in-laws.

Among the presents were three gifts I had made. A glass leaf necklace with gold accent beads (magnetic clasp), a beautiful tigers-eye necklace (lobsterclaw clasp) with matching earrings, and a blue mother-of-pearl shell necklace with silver celtic accent beads with matching bracelet (toggle clasps).

The only one I can currently take pix of is the glass leaf one (will take pix later), since my MIL asked me to change the clasp for her to make life a little easier. The glass beads are apparently so heavy they overwhelm the magnetic clasp. She had a spare clasp that has a screw-in bit to go with the magnetics, so I'm going to change it out.

The tiger-eye I can at least show some of the beads I used to make it, as with the mother-of-pearl one, but I can't show the finished product, 'cause they're already with the recipients. Yeah, I wasn't thinking when I wrapped them. Alas, I am an idiot.

I did, however, take pix of the ornaments I gave them. I'll make those available later today after the hubby uploads them. :)

Later today, I shall be making more ornaments for the *other* half of the family, plus a turquoise necklace, and possibly an amethyst one and a garnet one. I'll try to remember to take pictures this time, otherwise I'll be able to take pix on the recipients on Christmas. :)

I also have spun a *lot* of wool lately. I was plying all the way through yesterday while we were at the in-laws (they're used to this. Doesn't phase anyone at this point. You know you've made an impression on the inlaws when your brotherinlaw gets you a gift card to a major hardware store, and your Godsisterinlaw gets you a gift card to a major craft store. Yeah, they don't know me yet, right? ;) My MIL also got me a gorgeous acacia wood bowl, she knows I love wood with character. :)

Okay, so I'll head down to the parents place on Christmas, but they're about 400 miles away. My grandmother, uncle, parents, brother, and his wife will all be down there, plus the new in-laws from the brother's new wife.

Time to get cracking on the presents!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Prelude to Christmas

So, right now I'm in the process of making a bunch of beaded holiday ornaments and gifts, so the fiber thing is not necessarily getting too far.

However, the picture is what I've got done of spinning Sarah's fur already.

Not too bad... But considering how much work has been going into getting christmas prezzies done (I should take pix), I don't think I'm going to have time to finish this month's spinning challenge...

Monday, December 15, 2008

All right, the last few days have been a bit of a blur, but I have an excuse: I got my wisdom teeth out late last week.

A friend of mine wants me to make stitch markers out of them. I think I shall decline that.

In the meantime, I've eaten lots of pudding, and done some minor spinning, but not as much as one might imagine, since I've been falling asleep more than I've been crafting.

Christmas is coming up fast, so I think a lot more of my beading ideas will be done in the next few weeks while I make christmas ornaments!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Spinning challenges

So, the December spinning challenge is up, with the theme of "My Home". So, I've decided that instead of picking colors from my home, I'm spinning the fluff that's in my home! This includes me-fluff (my hair), bunny fluff, and kitty fluff.

So far I've got a quarter of an ounce of kitty fluff (at least in looking at it by volume), about an ounce of clean bunny fur (there's more fur I've collected, but haven't washed yet), and a shoebox full of my own hair! The shoebox full of my hair is from the hairbrush in the shower, so it's definitely clean... I carded most of it the other night and got this:

Definitely a lot of hair to work with... I got pix of some of the bunny fluff, but they're not online yet.

To say that the hair is a challenge is an understatement. I spin it in one direction, and less than a second later it's trying to unwind itself in the other!

However, I'm getting at least a reasonable amount here. I'm not trying for perfection, as this seems to be some of the hardest stuff I've ever tried to spin! I suppose it's good practice for the flax I'll start trying to work on next month...

I'm discovering that bunny fluff does NOT like to stay spun. Neither does hair. We'll find out about the kitty fur.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm a bit behind...

So, no pix. Work on the blanket proceeds apace, but I'm afraid I shall not be taking more pix of it. Many of the places that will accept submissions for print won't accept one that has already been seen by others, so I will hold off on that for now. Learned that after having blogged about those kilthose a couple of years back... :) I've already undone and redone rows 47-50 three or four times to get it right...

So I'm also doing some new spinning... The latest December challenge is called "My Home". So what better way to describe my home than the fluff that's in it? So, I'm currently trying to see what fluff I can dig up: bunny fluff, kitty fluff, and *my* fluff! This should be an eclectic yarn at best, and may be worthy of nothing more than being a bit of art yarn that never gets used, but it's a challenge, right? :)

Been at work a LOT lately, so I'm more than a bit tired and less inclined to work on things when I get home, so things have been a little light for a week or two... I'll get back into things soon. Next week the wisdom teeth come out, so I may have a few days on my hands... But I may not feel like doing anything, either!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

So the Bahama Blues yarn is done! Or at least for now, since yesterday I went to Holiday Faire and the spindle that I'd been working on (the one that got smashed by the former roommate by accident and reglued) is now in the hands of it's maker, literally... He's going to make me an identical one! :)

I also managed to bend the hook on top of my plying spindle enough that it came off. *sigh* This is what I get, the hook was never very good to begin with. I'm going to have to take the plying spindle, pull out what's left of the old hook, and replace the hook. The spindle itself is good for the purpose that it works for (plying only, it's too heavy for general spinning in my opinion), but the hook was never very good.

So, for plying the last bit of the Bahama Blues (for now), I had to make do with a spindle of my own creation. It's literally made with a closet rod endcap, a dowel, a cap hook, and a rubber band:

Advantages to it are that I can move it up and down and get a top or bottom whorl spindle if need be. And after plying what was left:

This yarn is HUGE! I've gotten 255 yards out of it, and even though it's Merino and already fairly soft, it got a lot softer once I sank it into the bathtub with a lot of hair conditioner to set the twist!

Yes, that's it in my bathtub, using my PVC niddy-noddy. I love my PVC niddy-noddy, means I can sink it in the bathtub and leave my yarn to dry ON the niddy noddy instead of hanging it up with a soup can!

Truly, this hank is huge:

Actually, what kills me is when I realize just how much I have left to spin:

But, once the spinning was done, I continued on to other things... Like the blanket I'm knitting up for someone. It's just a lap blanket, but it's based on the Star Doily Blanket. However, I'm doing it with a different gauge, a different yarn, and I'm adding a bunch of extras to it with additional pattern bits. If it turns out beautiful is anyone's guess, but so far it's looking good! I'm using Cascade Sassy Stripes sock yarn, colorway 767, and I've only used a half a skein so far to get this much:

I think when I'm done I may call it the "Sunshine Blanket" or something like that... :)

Okay, so I should have been cleaning the house, or doing work today... *sigh* My get up and go got up and went, so I knit instead. At least when my energy is on the downside, I can still get something done!

I'm also realizing that any of my horizontal pictures are getting cut off on the right hand side... I'm going to have to do something about that, but for now, you get the idea. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Whoa, two posts in one day... I'm getting dizzy.

Almost forgot, other stuff that's been knitted recently (recently being relative, within the last six months)!

Finally got the pix uploaded for these. For the last year, I've been part of the Rockin' Sock Club... They send you yarn and a pattern or two every other month. I got through the first three pair, and then the spinning bug hit and the knitting got put to the side for a while... So here's the Lucky Charms socks and the Cleopatra socks!

I love how the lucky charms pattern takes the pattern itself and translates it up into the ribbing!

And there's right and left toes to this pattern too!

The heel is also extremely thick, making these very cushy walking socks.

And then the Cleopatra socks do have a nice translation from pattern to ribbing...

Yeah, this has been a year for socks!

Photos have been uploaded!!!

So, I have not had idle hands for the last few days, just an idle husband. ;) Actually, not even that, just that he didn't realize I had pix to upload. :)

And so, the final finished bit of the Bermuda Blues I was spinning:

Yes, that's a penny in the picture. :)

That's 175 yards of what appears to be worsted weight navajo ply merino! I'm still working on more, so there's going to be more of this in the near future:

See? More. Also note that the bottom of the spindle is now missing. *sigh* This is what happens when you re-glue together a spindle after your former roommate trips over a bench and crushes it. *shudder* Note the rubber bands on the spindle, that's because otherwise the glue might not hold. So I can at least continue going, although it's getting interesting when the little bits on the bottom snag the fiber. I'm expecting the current load of singles to yield at least another 50 to 75 yards of navajo ply.

But, that's not the only thing I've been working on... I'm working on a blanket for someone:

That's the Star Doily pattern, but I'm getting ready to modify it as it gets out of the doily size range... I want to expand yet repeat the pattern, and instead of making it round, I want points on all of the sides. I've got two skeins of Cascade Sassy Stripes that I'm working with, so hopefully I should get something reasonably sized. Hopefully. Watch me run out, I swear... ;)

Oh well, at least the yarn isn't discontinued, although they're no longer going to be selling it at "A Good Yarn" in Fells Point. I got two skeins of this for only $3 each! So, if I run out of yarn, I'll probably spend twice as much for one more skein... But so far I'm getting a good size, and I've got a lot of yarn to go. It's meant as a lap blanket. So far it's about 8 inches across. *crossing fingers* Hopefully it'll be a goodly size when I'm done. Let's hear it for experimental knitting! :) I'm totally in a different gauge than the original project, with a different yarn, so whether or not it'll be able to give me a good size is anyone's guess!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oy, I skipped a day, forgive me. ;)

So yesterday I didn't get that much done on my spinning. I *did* finish far more of the Navajo plying on Saturday night, but only got to a total of 175 yards. So, I am now in the process of completing more singles. Fortunately, Navajo ply means you don't have to spin a *huge* amount to start plying, so hopefully tonight I'll get enough done to keep going.

If I can get my husband to upload photos, I'll be able to show them. ;)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Five days in a row. Somebody stop me!

So yesterday I had a lot of time on my hands, so to speak. Most of it was spent in phone calls or in the car while my husband drove, or during rehearsal when I didn't have to play my instrument, so there was a *lot* of spare time to play around with:

Unfortunately, the whole thing came out to a grand total of 77 yards. This was the first time I'd done a navajo ply, so I didn't realize just how much it would suck up in singles! However, I now have 77 yards, and I'm currently in the process of spinning a little more. Well, hopefully a lot more. By next Saturday I want to have more than 200 total yards done for the Quarterly Spinning challenge on Ravelry.

I did this one as a navajo ply because I didn't want to get the "barberpole effect" that you get when you spin a two ply yarn, I wanted the even yarn shading that you can get with Navajo. As you can see in the last picture, I think I succeeded. :)

Time to crack down on more singles! I'm going for a walk... And spinning while I'm at it. ;)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Running along like a speed demon...

I've no idea why my spinning has utterly taken over my life lately. However, I've been chugging away at it:

I've got a spindle full of singles, and now I'm currently working on Navajo plying. I've never done Navajo plying before, so this should be interesting...

Four days in a row of posting. I must be running a fever... ;) However, I've been on a lot of calls at work, and therefore getting a lot of crafting done due to nobody being able to see me while I'm on the phone... :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blogging three days in a row? Say it ain't so!

Okay, I'm going to have to update the pix later. Been doing a great deal of spinning today at work... First, I was in a class this morning, so I brought my little silk spindle with me. I don't have pix of that one, but I'm working on a *pound* of tussah that I purchased over the summer from Amana Fibers. Reminds me, I need to talk to her about the hobbit wool. She had hobbit wool over the summer (as in from the same sheep the hobbit cloaks were made from), and some woman bought it out from under my nose. I mean, I gave it up voluntarily, but that's 'cause she said she could get more for me. I just forgot to ask. *blush*

So I've got probably about three hundred yards of single spun of that bermuda blue/green merino.

It's coming out beatifully, and the two shades are spinning together in ways I didn't think they would. Last night I carded some of the two shades together, so I'm getting a beautiful run from one color to the next without getting too explosive about the color change. I'm planning on navajo plying for the first time, so cross your fingers for me!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Still haven't taken pix of my socks...

... on the other hand I've gotten two blog posts two days in a row. Go fig! :)

So last night I finished doing one skein of the alpaca/silk blend. Whee! :)

It is sooooooooo incredibly soft. :)

So because there's another spinning challenge on in Ravelry (and the current monthly theme just happens to be something that can coincide with the quarterly theme), I'm currently starting another one!

The November monthly theme is Marine Life:

And the current quarterly theme is calm, soft fibers, and monochrome yet varigated. Okay, the last one I did was calm ("Just before the dawn", since the colors reminded me of those sepia tones you see just before the sun comes up, and that's definitely calm), and soft (alpaca/silk, so definitely soft), but it had a little issue with that "varigated" thing. It looked more tweed than varigated. So, I'm doing something a little different and taking the Marine Life theme, and doing it up in merino wool that I picked up at MDSW over the summer. It's *definitely* the right color scheme, plus ocean scenes are ever so calming, and if I do it with a navajo ply, I should be able to get a goodly amount of varigation to it, and it is *definitely* monochromatic:

Of course I couldn't resist getting started, so that little bit was last night. I've already gotten another goodly chunk of it done since getting to work today (at lunchtime I go for walks, and spin while I'm at it).

I'm currently spinning on a spindle from The Spanish Peacock. Yes, there's a rubber band around it, I dropped it one too many times, and then of course my former roommate was a bit of a klutz and fell on it, so it's been reglued about four times now. Fortunately I will be seeing Miguel later in the month, and we will do what we can to replace it with a similar model! In the meantime, it's definitely still serviceable, but I don't trust myself to not drop it and break it *again*.

Okay, maybe I'll actually post a bit more often, never know. ;)