Aug 10, 2008

Preview of the new chain mail

Brian and I went to the beach for this week's weekly meeting, and while we were there, we busted out the camera and finally took decent photos of all his chain mail, which will eventually go up in the Etsy shop. Here's a preview:

Chain mail Honeymoon Island Aug 10 08

Chain mail Honeymoon Island Aug 10 08

Note to self: Do more photo shoots on the beach. ;)

More handspun yarnage

This one is from a while ago, but I think I forgot to take pictures:

Kool-aid-dyed Merino

And this one was made from singles that were originally meant for plying with Spring Misty:

Pink variegated handspun

It originally looked like this:

Pre-dyeing singles

Aug 5, 2008

Pantone rocks

Is it bad to be wearing next season's colors this season? ;)

I'm excited by this fall's Pantone color forecast — it's full of colors I already own and wear. And like. ;D In fact, I'm wearing the navy/ivory combination today. Ha!

When I remember to, I love fashion. ;D

Aug 3, 2008

Return of the Jedi Crafter

Let's start off with the generic disclaimer-of-absenteeage: It's been so long since I blogged. Ergh. There, now that I've gotten that out of the way...

This job has been sucking my soul, but the boy and I have Plans. We're going to BE crafters, dammit. I have someone sending me an application for a local show, Art Arbor, which alas does not have an online presence except in the form of reviews and miscellaneous mentions. Art Arbor is at the beginning of November, which was when the boy and I were planning on really getting cracking anyway -- considering it's the beginning of holiday shopping season. And if we can't get a decent inventory built up in what, three months? Then we're loser slackers and will never succeed at being crafters. ;)

But we Must Succeed, so that I can get out of this ridiculously, unnecessarily stressful job. It's not actually the job that does it, it's some of the people -- but I digress. Here's a sampler of what I've been doing while I've been off the radar:

Spring Misty Merino, plied

Scrapilicious Mini Tote

Purple Pie Shawl

Weaving on semi-rigid heddle

Proud Peacock BFL singles

Tropical Easter yarn

Slippery Slope sock close-up

Harvest market bag

And oh yeah ... I went to Hawaii for the first time. It was for work and for like 2.5 days (about a day of which was spent on planes or in airports...), but I guess that's better than never. ;)

Mini Hawaii Trip July 2008

And also (there must always be an "and also"): I MUST HAVE a yarn bowl. Someday. I must. I love pottery. I love yarns. This involves both. Yum!

May 10, 2008

Want a pocket wheel...

Another tiny, portable, disasssembling wheel that I want. Very cool. Even smaller than my Sonata...

Mar 30, 2008

Oven-dyeing experiments

So the Evil Corriedale of Eternal Stickiness got re-washed last week, and this week I decided I should comb or card it so it's more easily spinnable ... but while I was playing with the combs and hand cards, I decided that dangit, this stuff should just be spun up so I don't have to worry about it any more. But if I tried to spin it undyed, well, a wool with a history of being a pain already would drive me up the wall. So I looked up some oven-dyeing instructions and had at it in an extremely haphazard way. As long as this stuff got some color into it and was spinnable afterward, I wasn't going to complain. Here's what came out:

First oven-dyed wool

Which should make a pretty cute yarn, self-plied. ;) It was almost dry this morning, and if only I'd put down the big drying screen it would have been even closer. Oh, well. That's what I get for being lazy.

But the oven-dyeing thing was so easy and fun that I decided to do another batch today, since I have some white rovings that are just sitting around taking up space, but that are part of the personal stash and need to be spun to practice on. I'm also trying to use up some of the random food dyes I have sitting around, so I did this tiny batch of roving solely with Easter egg dye (one orange tablet, one "red" tablet that turned out pink, and one "green" tablet that turned out yellow, which at least I managed to expect ;)). Voila:

<Wool + Easter egg dyes

And this is what it looked like fresh out of the oven:

Fresh out of the oven

Yay. :D Irritatingly bright, isn't it? But although I'm not a huge neon person and none of the colors are among my favorites, I still really like it. I'm making an attempt to branch out in my spinning fiber color enjoyment so I can broaden my horizons (and maybe spin yarn I can sell rather than getting attached to *snort*). See? I'm doing pretty well so far ... right? ;)

Mar 22, 2008

Dehairing llama, as written by Amelia

Amelia of The Bellwether made a blog post last year that I've just noticed, on dehairing llama and cashmere fiber by hand. That'll be useful when I finally get around to playing with that llama fiber I bought a while ago. The entire reason I haven't spun it yet is that it has guard hairs in it ... but as Amelia recommends that fiber for dehairing be washed first, I guess I have some more washing to do this weekend. Too bad it's not sunny today. Oh, well...

Mar 21, 2008

More stash enhancement: Homestead Wool

Mmmm. Lavender. That's what I smelled when I opened the box, because the Ryans are awesome people and included a little fresh lavender sachet with my animal-friendly fluffies. This is "rescue roving," from Homestead Wool and Gift Farm -- and look! They included a little green fluffy from one of their Romneys. :D

Rescue roving from Homestead Wool

Here's the description from their site:

We purchased our little Theo when he was a lamb, and he is no longer so little! He is a Corriedale sheep with soft soft wool. His best buddy is our Marshall, another sheep from the same flock...

Shari did a wonderful job blending Theo's wool with gray Alpaca fleece from our friend Jenny's flock of rescued Llamas and Alpacas. She also pindrafted the fiber, so so easy to spin, could be dyed, felted and take you wherever your imagination takes you! Definitely next to the skin soft and a unique blend.

As of right now, there are six ounces left of the Theo/Suri roving ... in case anyone is hankering. ;)

Mar 15, 2008

Fiber acquirement: Lapoli hand-dyed roving

Ordered this last week, I think, and it got here today ... Oooh, what's inside?

What's inside?

Looks like ... Pretty fibers! ;D (Ignore the slight blurriness. I've been taking pictures all morning, and of course, this is one of the two that came out blurry. ::rolls eyes:: And I'm a slacker who's too lazy to stage an equally-prettily-arranged new photo. Oh, well.)

Lapoli fibers, March 2008

Cheryl of Lapoli is new to Etsy, and is apparently not just a nice person who gives great customer service, but she cares about recycling and likes trades. Mmm ... trading. Maybe next time...

Mar 5, 2008

I'm taking up the hook again

For National Crochet Month (thanks to Lime and Violet's Daily Chum for the heads up). As -alongs are nigh on irresistible in the Quicksilver Crafter world, I'm participating in the NatCroMo Freeform Crochet-Along. It'll get me back in the crochet mood and stashbust at the same time -- double points! (Maybe literally, given Knit Wars...) I'm using this random number generator.

Playing catch-up, I did...

March 1

Random number: 2
Yarn: pink and metallic stash yarn
Hook: purple size L

March 2

Random number: 3
Yarn: pink and metallic stash yarn
Hook: size J

March 3

Random number: 8 (from candles we attempted to light in candleabra at FlaRF)
Yarn: darker pink and metallic stash yarn
Hook: size J

March 4

Random number: 14 (from page of A Dyer's Garden I'm on)
Yarn: darker pink and metallic stash yarn
Hook: size J
I'm stopped right before doing March 4, for now, because I don't know how to do filet crochet yet, and it's 11 p.m., and I need to sleep. ;)

Feb 28, 2008

The magical 20-minute tripod stool!

Tripod stool, originally uploaded by JeweledClaws.

Altogether, I think this took about 20 minutes to make, and that's including the time it took to have the dowels cut for us.

Wooden dowel rods + cotton canvas + leftover cotton warp yarn + fudging = tripod stool for this weekend at FlaRF. Huzzah!

The sides of the triangle are somewhere around 15" long. The entire thing is fairly jury-rigged: No clue how long the legs are, as we just had the dowels cut in half, and I fudged the triangle seat measurements with a Sharpie and a yardstick rather than actually measure angles. The wood could use some sanding and the legs could use a neater and more secure tie, and the edges could be hemmed under, but it works! I am amazed at making a near-instant replica of the squeaky embossed leather tripod chair I loved as a kid.

I could even add embroidery and padding and prettify the legs, and it'd be quite decorative. Maybe I'll make a horde and see if anyone wants to buy 'em. ;D

Feb 12, 2008

Hats for nuns!

I love it. A charity that's knitting hats for Buddhist nuns. Must ... knit ... hat...

Because the knitqueue always needs to be longer. :P

Feb 6, 2008


Regnbagsull Merino.jpg, originally uploaded by JeweledClaws.

Whatever that means. ;) That's on the label that was on this happy fiber that I spun up yesterday. This is part of the birthday fiber, the bit I bought specifically to use as a learning experience on the spinning wheel. (Hugs to my Kromski Sonata! Nom nom nom!) I've been eyeing this stuff at Uncommon Threads for months, but didn't really have the funds to spare for a colorway that didn't jump out at me. Once I started spinning it, though, I liked the colorway a lot more. Ha. ;D Now I want to dye some more yarn like this. Also: pencil roving is pretty cool. Huzzah.

This weekend, and the next five after: Florida Renaissance Festival. Considering bringing my oh-so-unperiod spinning wheel. No one will notice it's not period-accurate, right? ;)

Oh, and I just noticed that this is my first "Look at this yarn still on the bobbin that I just spun isn't it pretty" picture. Hee. ;)

Feb 2, 2008

Note to self: blocking is good

There are a couple of steps along the way to a finished product that I always dislike. For sewing, I dislike having to pin seams before I sew them -- but sometimes it reeeaaally helps. In knitting, I dislike blocking. Annoyingly, it looks a lot like pinning pattern pieces for a sewn object, which I kind of enjoy ... but pinning pieces to block takes me like four times longer than pinning pattern pieces. Oysh!

I can hear Brian outside, sawing wood for my tri-loom. I hope it doesn't frustrate him too much. ;) If I'm super lucky, maybe I'll have a tri-loom by the end of the weekend. If I'm super realistic, I should have a tri-loom shortly after the end of the Florida Renaissance Festival ... which ends in March. Yeah.

Well, at least I'll have one...? ;)

Next up: sewing seams. Which I really enjoy in sewing, and rather dislike in knitting. But not as much as I dislike blocking. ;)

Jan 27, 2008

Birthday stash enhancement

Happy Quicksilver Crafter new year! Yesterday was my birthday, and in honor of my birthday, I bought myself some yarn, including this Debbie Mumm Traditions.

Realization for this week: I think I managed to yarn diet all of 2007. Neither Brian nor I can remember me buying any yarn all year, and I'm pretty sure that if I bought any, it wasn't much. The kind of sad thing is that I didn't get through that much of my stash, either, because my knitting output kind of went *poof.* I wonder if that's related. (No yarn shopping = no inspiration? ;))

Jan 21, 2008

Adding some color with the test knit

Test knit wrap top, originally uploaded by JeweledClaws.

This is what I'm working on today: the test knit wrap top. The photo doesn't tell you too much, hopefully -- *I* don't think it does, but if someone out there thinks it's too revealing of the yet-unreleased pattern, let me know. :D

Jan 19, 2008

Silver lives!

Having a full-time, brain-draining, sometimes demoralizing job does not a productive crafter make. ;) There is hope, however: I have lately resumed my delayed-by-gauge-mishap test knit, and am aiming to take out a good chunk of that this weekend. I've even created a knitqueue, kind of like Ravelry's, except this is organized in terms of which project comes first.


Cable sweater test knit (Feb 3, 2008)
(Byron’s costume)
Brian’s Duel sweater
Licorice vest
Paula’s convertible mittens
Keri hat - see Keri hat notes
Brandy Calorimetry - cobalt
Andrew hat - brown?
Moonlight Mohair capelet
Virginia’s chenille cable scarf
Leisure socks
Anne’s socks
Mom’s shawl
Branching Out
Mystery Stole 3
KYOAMPi (garden)
Felted pumpkins
Tinker shawl

Now, off to eat breakfast, and then go thrifting (oh, dear -- I verbed a noun) for a nightstand for Brian.
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