Jul 29, 2010

Pretty stuff in response to un-prettiness

Have you seen the political cartoons that Pulitzer-Prize-winning artist Steve Breen drew, using actual oil spilled during the Deepwater Horizon debacle? They're pretty awesome, in a strange way. I mean, they look just like cartoons drawn with the usual sort of ink, but they're drawn with gasoline-infused tar balls gathered from oil-spill-encrusted beaches. Breen literally made something pretty from something not-so-pretty, to creatively draw attention to a bad situation.

So in the spirit of using art and craft to fight bad with good, if in a not-so-literal way, I put together a treasury on Etsy today, featuring crafters/artists who are donating some or all of the profits of the featured items to a Gulf-Coast-related charity. (There's even one seller who appears to be donating more than the item price. Not sure how that works, but hey, if you have the funds ... ;)) Check it out (click the image to visit the treasury):

If you're feeling kindly, help give the treasury a bit of exposure by leaving a comment and clicking on some items. and if you buy anything, let me know! I'll give you a shout-out here on the blog, in a follow-up post, or something like that.

There's also a super-limited-edition version of my Waves of Compassion Gulf charity shawl pin in the Help the Gulf Coast Etsy shop — thanks to the organizers of HGC for accepting my item into the exalted ranks of those who have helped raise more than $8,000 so far for OxFam America and the National Wildlife Federation.

If you have any desire to donate your own item to Help the Gulf Coast, head over there right now (or, well, as soon as you can ;)) and fill out the donation form. They're only accepting donations through July 31.

And if you haven't already voted on the poll in my last post, I'd love to have your opinion on my philosophical blather. Just a couple of clicks to help a poor craft blogger...? ;)

Jul 28, 2010

A little fiber, a little cowardice

Guess what I have stashed, with no clue when they're coming out of hiding? Meaningful blog posts. I keep writing posts that have to do with personal progress, fears, emotions, achievement — all that philosophical stuff ;) — and then saving them as Word documents, thinking they need editing before I can release them into the wild. Then I let them quietly get old and fat in a folder on my hard drive.

Apparently, when I leave them long enough, I start to doubt whether there's any validity to posting them here. I start to make excuses as to why they should stay in hiding: They're too out of date now; nobody wants to read about that sort of thing; people will lose their respect for me and think I'm a crappy business owner if I post that kind of thing too often.

Notice that two of the three lame excuses I give myself are based on what other people think? (Yeah. I know. I probably "shouldn't care" what other people think, but that's a lot easier to say to myself when it has to do only with whether people like ME and nothing to do with whether they like the crafty stuff that pays for my house, food, books, and cats. ;))

So here's the moment of truth. I need you, dear invisible blog readers, to venture across the Intertubes and click a couple of times to help me out. Take my little poll and tell me what you think of "meaningful" blog posts, so I know once and for all whether I should get off my crafty arse and post them, or whether I really should save the whinging for the support groups. ;)

And oh, yeah. I haven't forgotten that I promised you fiber in the title of this post. I still need to take the "All this yarn got spun over the Tour de Fleece" showing-off photo, but in the meantime, this collage is as close as it comes:

Tour de Fleece 2010 collage

That's a pretty accurate reflection, color-wise, of what I did, but imagine a few more bobbins of a couple of different colors and you have a more accurate amount-representation.

More soon ... and please vote, me hearties, for the future of my blog posts. ;)

Jul 25, 2010

Craft or Bust Week 29 Check-In and Roundup (July 18-24)

Quiet around here lately, but that's okay. It's the "slow" season, right? ;)

Roundup of Week 28: What We Crafted From July 11-17

  • Jessica finished the last side of her dice bag — stay tuned for whether it ends up getting redone in a new yarn! ;) She also finished most of the fluffy Natalie scarf, cast on a sweater for her dad, did a ridiculous number of gauge swatches that inspired her to alter the pattern, made a chicken and noodle casserole, and posted a story about Bastille Day on her blog.

Check-in for Week 29: What Have You Done Lately? (July 18-24)

Phat Fiber JulyAs for me, I wrote every day, even when I felt like a sucky writer, and spent almost all of my Tour de Fleece spinning time finishing the endless bobbin of Rubies and Sapphires Merino. Sunday, I took some photos of Phat Fiber batts, wrote descs, and listed them in the Etsy shop and spun the endless Merino. Monday, I created a sales tax tracker/calculator spreadsheet, paid my sales tax literally 30 seconds before the online-submission deadline (so piratical it almost deserves to be called creative? ;)) and spun some more of the Merino. Tuesday, I reorganized my Amazon.com wish lists so that now I have eleven or so (ha, ha!), spent time pondering yarn choice and then ordering yarn for a test knit, edited a bunch of tags on my Etsy items, updated my Etsy profile, and (guess!) spun some more Merino. Wednesday, I wrote a writing critique for the Critters group, but did not spin any of the endless Merino because it was a TDF rest day. Thursday, I wrote a blog post draft but didn't post it because it severely needs editing, spun yet more of the endless Merino, and e-mailed a friend about a costume collaboration idea for Dragon*Con ... cackle. Friday, the test knit yarn got here, and I tidied up the shipping materials area (which required some creative box-stacking ;)) and FINALLY finished spinning the endless Merino! At least, the singles ... Saturday, I started spinning the second purple Gypsy batt and made brownie cookies.

What did you do this week? Share your own crafty accomplishments in the comments here, and don't forget to use the standard check-in format on the rules page!

And as always, if you're new to Craft or Bust, check out the CoB rules page and sign up if you like — it's easy!

Jul 20, 2010

Shawly stuff: new shawl pin design, new tips and tricks

In case you didn't see me blathering about it on Twitter or Facebook, I achieved some great off-butt-gettage (that is, I got off my butt ;)) on the Star and Crossbones Web site recently. Yes! I finally started filling in the long-empty freebies page! It's all for you, O wearers of shawl pins: a tips and tricks page for ring-style shawl pins. Check it out, let me know if it sucks, let me know if you love it, etc. And if you have tips or tricks on how to use a ring-style shawl pin (or another kind of shawl pin; I do have plans on adding more tips and tricks pages), drop me a comment, or something. I'll be sure to give you credit if I use your suggestion. :D

There was other off-butt-gettage last week, too. Proof!

Getting ready
Wire and wire-pounding tools await!

And this is what came out of it:
Sneak preview: beaded shawl pin

Ta-da! A new shawl pin design! I'm going to make some more soon, so keep a weather eye out. ;D

...What, you want to actually see what it really looks like? Oooookay, fiiine...

Another picture of the new shawl pin design

Wish me further productivity — and oh, if you have any requests on bead colors, feel free to let me know. I have probably every color of bead on the planet sitting in my bead stash from the Long Ago Jewelrymaking Days, so I should be able to oblige. ;)

Jul 18, 2010

Craft or Bust Week 28 Check-In and Roundup (July 11-17)

Hope everyone's summer's been good so far. Ours has been rainy and odd, but I've had worse. ;)

Roundup of Week 27: What We Crafted From July 4-July 10

  • Jessica finished her Citron (awesome! Love that goshdarn pattern), made two more sides of her brother's dice bag, cast on a fluffy scarf for a friend, made goulash, invented a recipe for un-puddingy banana pudding that tasted good, applied for more jobs, took some cool photos while hiking with friends (check them out on her blog, and made mix albums for her family.
  • Susie made a dress of questionable tastefulness — I feel like there should be a (tm) after that ;) — and blogged it here, wore it to a Good Event and blogged that, too, worked on a knitted fish hat (which sounds hilarious), worked on a design for transforming a shirt into a skirt, and added to her hoard a very grand total of 30 vintage crafts magazines. Teh awesome.

Check-in for Week 28: What Have You Done Lately? (July 11-17)

What I did this week:

Getting readyI am really, seriously amazing myself by still writing every single day. Anyone want to take bets on when I break my stride? ;) This week I also wrote a draft of a Twitter-related article on Sunday, along with brainstorming some crazy ideas for group spinning activities, carding 21 whole ounces of batts, spun the neverending turquoise yarn on my spindle, and rearranged my Etsy shop. Monday, I craft-store-hopped to find packaging for my Phat Fiber samples, which is kinda crafty, I guess. Tuesday, I slightly redesigned my Phat Fiber sample labels, made a whole bunch of packaging, packaged a ton of samples, made a bunch of shell-shaped charm pins and a shawl pin, and started spinning some beautiful purple batts from Enchanted Knoll. Wednesday, I spun some more of the purple batts, blogged, and designed and uploaded the shawl pin tips and tricks page on the S&C Web site. Thursday, I spun some more, made more shawl pins (including a new design), and took a bunch of photos of newly-made things. Friday I went out with a friend and was creatively self-promotey at a bar ... ha, ha — I did hand out six business cards. ;) Saturday, I started a new bobbin of Rubies and Sapphires Merino yarn, and that was that.

So! Share your own crafty accomplishments in the comments here, and don't forget to use the standard check-in format on the rules page!

And again, if you're new to Craft or Bust, check out the CoB rules page and sign up if you like — it's easy!

Jul 14, 2010

Serenity, attachment and growth; enlightenment through crafting

The Pearl cat woke me up this morning by being loudly disturbed about the first mate locking him outside last night, so I'm awake with the respectable people for once, sitting on the floor with my laptop, drinking mint tea and reflecting on all kinds of deep things. This is apparently a natural consequence of my being sleep-deprived in a way that involves being up far too early. (At least, the reflecting part is natural for sleep deprivation. The mint tea and sitting on the floor are less common side effects.)

So far, aside from making tea, renewing a couple of shop items, and chatting with people on Twitter, I've used my unexpected morning to work on spinning some batts I've had stashed for a little over two years.

Enchanted Knoll Gypsy batts
Gypsy batts from Enchanted Knoll Farm

See all that lovely texture and variation? I'd forgotten, in my quest to spin smoother and thinner yarn, what it was like to spin solely for the sake of spinning. This morning, in making spun order out of that seeming chaos, I rediscovered it. That's a testament to how well-prepared these batts really are — they're not uniform, so I have to pay attention to what I'm doing to spin them reasonably evenly, but they're easy to spin, without stuck-together clumps that distract me from the purity of adding twist, drafting, feeding yarn onto bobbin, repeating. For the first time in a long time, I wanted to keep spinning past my allotted time, never mind if the tea got cold.

Interestingly enough, this fiber was in my stash last year during my first Tour de Fleece, and I stared at it quite a few times without bringing myself to try spinning it. I didn't trust myself last year to do it justice; I also didn't want to let go of that bit of treasure in my stash. Today — or really, yesterday, which was when I started spinning the first batt — I was finally ready. I was no longer attached to it being just as it was; it, and I, were ready to transform.

And this is why attachment is forbidden to Jedi (so quoth Anakin Skywalker). Attachment obstructs change, progress and growth, and it certainly obstructs one's ability to promote peace and justice in the galaxy. ;)

Anakin's not my favorite Jedi by a long shot, or even a great example of how one should behave (uh, yeah — being whiny, melodramatic, dishonest, and having rage issues doesn't exactly make one a prime candidate for Best Jedi of the Year OR Best Person of the Year...), but the point behind the "attachment is forbidden" policy is still solid, in pretty much every area of life — at least, in mine.

Now, it's extremely important to differentiate between attachment and passion. Attachment may be potentially bad, but passion can be very good. True, it's also on the list of Jedi no-no's, but IMO, to some extent it's okay even if you're a Jedi, no matter what the letter of the law says. Being passionate about justice, for instance, but not letting that passion control you, would be great if you were a Jedi because it would probably inspire dedication. The key is not letting passion control you. Letting your passions inspire and motivate you is the positive side of passion, but when they start to control you, things veer back into the irrational attachment category.

Of course, if you're not a Jedi, you have a lot of leeway for letting your passions control you, since your attachment is pretty unlikely to be a matter of life and death if your passion is, say, cooking, making yarn, designing jewelry, or offering great customer service. ;)

Still, you get the point. Reason plus passion can equal creativity, but attachment plus creative desire can equal creative block.

That also occurred to me the other day when I was doing some lovely lovely math related to new spinning fiber plans (see, math IS useful — it should be required that math teachers provide a variety of concrete, real-life examples as to why kids might want to use their math skills in the future). I had two pounds of fiber waiting to be split up, imbued with colors, and carded into nom nom nom batts, and even after rechecking my math to correct all the ludicrous errors, I found that two pounds was an ample amount for what I want to do. Amazing!

Why amazing? Because two months ago, two pounds of fiber seemed like nowhere near enough. And that was because I was attached to my stash.

Phat Fibery stuff, July 2010
Getting un-attached help me turn this around-two-pounds of fiber into...

Phat Fibery stuff, July 2010
...THIS glittery pile of happy fiber! ;D

The point of my babbling becomes clear now, I hope. ;) Even two months ago, my attachment was driving me to hoard my precious spinning fiber, even the stuff I had bought specifically to dye and blend and spin for the shop. Like, uhhh ... my attachments were literally keeping me from producing what I need to produce to have money to feed me and my cats and my boyfriend, and nice things like, you know, a house to live in.

So where the heck did my attachment go?

I think the real answer has multiple parts. For one thing, I've been slowly untangling my brain, even by setting goals and failing to meet them. (I read somewhere recently that truly successful business people don't go into business expecting to succeed — they go into business expecting to fail and to learn how to succeed. I doubt it's universally true, but the idea has a truthful ring to it...) Untangling my brain inherently means letting go of ingrained, unhealthy ideas, so naturally a lot of random attachments are getting loosened in the process.

For another thing, I've reached a financial turning point. I hate to admit my hard-won savings are looking thin, but there it is; they are. However, I'm not even a little sad about using that financial cushion to give myself time to untangle my head and really figure out where I want to go with my business and my self. It's something I should have done a long time ago and didn't because I bowed to the ill-considered opinion of a figure of some authority, who really should have known better — and now I have proof that I should listen to myself first, then to others only if what they're saying jives with what my heart and soul say. But having less money to work with now gives me more incentive to look at what attachments I'm being silly about, and what things I own really contribute positively to my life.

Oh, I'm not a glowing Zen icon of perfect emotional balance (...yet? ;)), and I still feel cranky or disappointed or negative some days, but I can see myself shedding more attachments as the summer goes by. I'm walking without my emotional crutches more often now.

And that's what attachments are, really, not just for me, but for many people — a crutch; a poor substitute for true balance and an impediment to self-reliance. Interestingly enough, letting go of personal crutches is making me more creative, more productive, and maybe even a better business owner. And all this personal growth is coming out of my decision to be a crafter, to use my savings, to take a risk, to follow my dreams, to stop letting fear-based advice sound like a reasonable choice for my life. Funny how it works like that. ;)

"Attachment is forbidden. Possession is forbidden. Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is essential to a Jedi's life. So, you might say that we are encouraged to love." Anakin Skywalker, Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Jul 11, 2010

Craft or Bust Week 27 Check-In and Roundup (July 4-10)

Craft or Bust Week 27 Check-In and Roundup (July 4-10)

I need to do something exciting with Craft or Bust so you guys have more incentive to participate. I guess we've hit the mid-year doldrums. Thanks, Jessica, for sticking with me last week. ;D

Roundup of Week 24: What We Crafted From June 27-July 3

  • Jessica finished her dad's socks on Saturday (you are a living knitting machine, chica), and you can see them in all their glory on her blog. She then cast on a dice bag for her brother and knit about a quarter of it, resurrected her Citron and knit about 35 rows (whew), packed up some RAKs to send, read the second Percy Jackson book, and watched all of season 2 of True Blood. Wow. Busy week.

Check-in for Week 26: What Have You Done Lately? (July 4-10)

What I did this week:

Still writing every day. (Surprise. ;) It'll be a shock if I manage to keep doing that until I'm done with the book, though.)

Troublesome mohairSunday, I made an Excel spreadsheet for tracking business stuff like fees and profits. Semi-creative, right? I also washed 4 oz of Clun Forest fleece, wove a cotton inkle loom band, and spun some more of the Merino/Tussah left over from making my Kindly Robin Goodfellow batts. Monday, I finished spinning the Merino/Tussah and started plying it; made another inkle-woven band in pink cotton, made 4 copper shawl pins (3 Waves of Compassion ones and this heart-shaped one), plied some flame-colored Shetland wool, spun a batt of Wooly Hands fiber in Citrus Salad, and researched pick-up patterns in inkle weaving. Tuesday, I spun the rest of the Wooly Hands fiber and plied it, pledged some money to tiny-but-awesome speculative fiction publisher Panverse Publishing (and if you like science fiction or fantasy, you should go and pledge, too! You can get a copy of their first anthology!), and sold three items in the Etsy shop (not creative on my part, but it helps motivate me to stay creative!). Wednesday, I dyed a whole goshdarn pound of Corriedale (WHEW — I think that's more than I've ever dyed in one day), hand-stamped some card stock for thank-you cards, made another Excel spreadsheet for tracking my Tour de Fleece progress, made 3 more WoC shawl pins and a star-shaped shawl pin, and spun some of a previously dormant bobbin of Merino. Thursday, I designed, printed, cut and glued product packaging for my shawl pins, dyed 8 oz of mohair, photographed my shawl pins, and spun some more of the Merino. Friday, I dyed 4 more ounces of mohair and fought with the rest of it to get the dye to rinse clear, wrote a draft of a shawl pin tips and tricks file (if you have suggestions for creative uses for shawl pins, let me know! I'll give you credit if I use your idea(s)!), volunteered to test a hooded shrug that looks completely perfect for me, and finished the bobbin of Merino I was working on. Saturday, I met Brandy, who won the hurricane shawl pin giveaway, face-to-face at her favorite coffee shop (photo forthcoming, as long as Brandy lets me post it!), and spun a tiny tiny bit of Ashland Bay Colonial wool on my drop spindle.

What. A. Week! How was yours? Let me know what you did in the comments, and don't forget to use the standard check-in format on the rules page!

And again, if you're new to Craft or Bust, check out the CoB rules page and sign up if you like — it's easy!

Jul 8, 2010

Mushrooms, compassion, yarn in orange and green, and a geeky song reference

Did you see the new Tour de Fleece 2010 tab up at the top of the blog? I'll be updating that page to reflect my overall progress while I continue to blather in individual blog posts. Seems neater that way, huh?

Plied this Shetland in the wee hours of Tour de Fleece Day 4:

Tour de Fleece, tail end of Day 3

And spun these singles from a set of Wooly Hands batts:

Tour de Fleece, Day 4

Yesterday, Day 5 of the Tour de Fleece, I finished plying the green singles:

Tour de Fleece, Day 5

...made some new Waves of Compassion shawl pins to fill recent orders...

Waves of Compassion x3

...and dyed a full pound of Corriedale fiber for the Phat Fiber sampler box. No pictures of that yet, but maybe if you wish at me, I'll get some soon. ;)

As a bonus from the world, maybe for getting so darn much done in one day, I finally found the tiny fairy ring that I was searching for a few weeks ago. Where was it? Fifteen feet from where I sit every day, under the huge live oaks outside the windows.

Little mushrooms

Looks like it's going to be another busy day today, but if all goes well, there will be a shop update tonight.

For some reason, I now have a song from Mulan stuck in my head.

Once you find your center/You are sure to win...

Jul 5, 2010

Inkle loom suggests a name; Tour de Fleece Day 3; and another flashback

Latest weavy discovery: My inkle loom is great for stashbusting. It takes so little yarn to make an inkle strip, and so little time to warp the inkle, and so little time to finish a strip, that my secret, till-now-unspoken goal to make an inkle strip a day for the duration of the Tour de Fleece looks almost too easy. (I'm sure it won't be, since something is bound to come up and hurt my productivity, but theoretically, I could double that goal and still make it.)

I may have to dub my inkle loom Stashbuster. Or something like that. ;)

Because seriously. Look what Inkle Love helped me make yesterday and today:

Cotton inkle bands
Two inkle strips I made on Day 2 and Day 3 of the Tour de Fleece. Both are made from dishcloth cotton. The blue one is something like plain weave, while the pink one is warp-faced, like inkle bands are "supposed" to be.

Interestingly enough, a look back at last year's Day 2 and Day 3 TDF progress shows that I was weaving on a new-to-me-but-not-actually-new loom (my 4-inch Weavette) last year, too.


Anyway, I finished spinning the Merino/Tussah leftovers today, and plied them:

Tour de Fleece, Day 3

Which brings me to...

Tour de Fleece 2010 Stats — UPDATED July 6, 12:22 a.m.

  • Yards spun, total: 264 yards singles-only, or 396 542 yards of singles + plying yardage
  • Ounces spun, total: 0.6 ounces
  • Skeins spun, total: 2 (2-ply hand-dyed Merino/Tussah in Oceany, 132 yds; 2-ply flame-colored Shetland, 146 yds)

TDF 2010 spinning records:
  • Most singles spun in one day: 0.2 ounces
  • Highest combined yardage (spun singles + plying) for one day: 200+ 346+ yards
  • Highest yardage plied (2-ply) in one day: 278 yards
  • Most skeins finished in one day: 2
  • Fastest rate-of-ply (2-ply): 6.64 yds per minute (398.4 yds per hour)
If I spin some more tonight, I'll have to update that, of course, and I'm probably going to confuse myself soon, but that's okay. I'm trying. ;) — NOTE: I did indeed spin some more, so the stats are indeed now updated. :D

Jul 4, 2010

Of wool-washing, yarn-spinning, and reminiscing (TDF Day 1+2 update)

It's been a while since I posted photos of yarn, hasn't it? I must have been saving up for the Tour de Fleece. Here's what I spun yesterday and intend on finishing today (if I can ever meet my self-assigned inkle band weaving requirement for the day ;)):

TDF Day 1: Merino/Tussah leftovers

There's also some Clun Forest wool drip-drying over the bathtub after a nice hot bath, which could get spun this tour — why not? I bought it from Maya at Springtree Road a couple of months ago and have been a lazy bum about washing it until now ... but really, taking a couple of months to wash a fleece is GOOD for me. There were a few that had to wait a couple of years ... and some hidden in boxes around here still need scouring. Maybe I should always buy fleece in 4-oz increments — makes it easy to just throw it into a mesh bag and drop in a wash tub.

Oh, I suppose I could divide it up as soon as it gets here, too, but that seems a little out of character for my current self. My uber-organized, ever-productive teenage self really likes the idea, though. Alas. I ought to have discovered spinning and raw fleeces while I was in college. That would have given me time to get really good at both before I got brave enough be publicly fibery online. ;)

Veering back onto the topic of the Tour de Fleece, I remember last year's TdF, and it seems like forever ago. I was still at the Office Job of Doom, and the tour started exactly a year ago today — on July 4. I came home late, thanks to Independence Day festivities, and I'm pretty sure I got mopey when I got home, since I really don't enjoy feeling pressured to do things that are supposed to be fun. But in the spirit of Craft or Bust (I even used the word "bust" in my blog post from that day ;)), I refused to let my mood and my lack of time beat me: I spun. I spun about two inches of yarn. With my fingers. But still I spun.

Tour de Fleece Day 1

This tour, I'm yet again suffering from bouts of grumpitude at the idea that I have to spin every day — which is silly of me, and I intend on ignoring my grumpitude and pressing on this year, too, just like last year. But more notably, last year I was also suffering from Fiber Fright — the fear of "using up" precious, valuable stash. Thinking of it does make me a little edgy, but it's edgy because I don't want to end up with the fiber-artist's equivalent of writer's block again. My long-awaited point: I haven't actually had Fiber Fright this year. Maybe I ought to add "yet," but then again, maybe I ought not. I may have broken my Fiber Fright tendencies ... and that's a really nice thing to discover. Kind of appropriate to discover on Independence Day, too, I guess; it's a sign of my growing independent spirit? No? ;)

Well, happy Fourth again, anyway, and may the Fourth be with you all! ;)

Craft or Bust Week 26 Check-In and Roundup (June 27-July 3)

Whoa — is it Sunday already? Last week was emotionally truncated — meaning it started out tough and then got unexpectedly better, so the rest of it felt a little like a vacation, hence it was shorter than I expected. ;) Anyway, let's CoB!

And for those of you in the U.S., happy Independence Day!

Roundup of Week 24: What We Crafted From June 20-26

  • Elabeth came back to check in after a while away. Yay! While she was elsewhere, she stood in a huge long line for free ice cream — check out this photo on Flickr in which some of Elabeth appears, in the center behind Girl with Red Bag. Look for the grey and white skirt, her foot, her hand, and her pink iPhone. (It's Where's Elabeth!) She then did some planning for Fall yarn orders for her store, and promises more crafting will occur soon.
  • Jessica made it halfway through the toe decreases in her dad's socks, made lemon bars, took a road trip to Canada to get German sausages (ooo, a traveler! ;)), which then got cooked for dinner, and saw 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which provoked much singing and quoting.
  • Susie came back after a week of uncraftiness (s'okay ... everyone needs a break, right? ;D) to make some solid perfume (recipe here!). Mmmm, natural perfume...

Check-in for Week 25: What Have You Done Lately? (June 27-July 3)

What I did this week:

TDF Day 1: Merino/Tussah leftoversThe giganto writing project continues; I'm up to 41,621 words as of early this morning. WHEW. Aside from that, last Sunday and Monday were more bust than craft, absorbed by Stressful Nonsense. Tuesday wasn't too much better, but I made some creative packaging for an Etsy order. Wednesday, I put together the rest of the Etsy order packaging and made a cute little hand-stamped card. Awww. Thursday, I unfolded my spinning wheel (which was still in the carrying case after its last stint out of the house), cleaned the craft room a little and got out some spinning fiber in preparation for the Tour de Fleece, took some photos of charm pins, and listed said charm pins in the Etsy shop. Friday, I took some more pre-Tour-de-Fleece spinning fiber photos and added them to my Ravelry stash page, warped my inkle loom, and wove my first inkle band! Saturday, the long-awaited Tour de Fleece started, and I kicked it off by spinning some of the oceany-colored Merino/Tussah left over from dyeing and carding for the Robin Goodfellow spinning fiber batts for last month's Phat Fiber sampler box.

Not too bad, huh? Had a couple of off weeks, but the Craft Must Go On!

What did you craft this week?

Don't forget to use the standard check-in format on the rules page!

And again, if you're new to Craft or Bust, check out the CoB rules page and sign up if you like — it's easy!

Jul 2, 2010

Spinning and cycling, Chinese eyes, and my first inkle-woven band

The Tour de France, and thus the Tour de Fleece, starts tomorrow. Some of the fiber I'm going to try to spin in the next three weeks of mad yarn-making:

Sapphire Merino

Coastal Breezes top

Merino wool (English Garden colors)

Wooly Hands fiber

...and somewhere in there, I'm going to try to spin a mile of yarn in one day. Ha, ha, ha...

In other news, I got off my butt, warped the inkle loom, and made my first inkle band. I didn't even look up any directions until I needed to advance the warp, when I needed to move the knots at the ends of the warp. (I'd originally tied the ends of the warp to the loom, but they need to be re-tied to the band itself after warping, so the warp can advance.)

I swear it took me less time to finish weaving this band than it took me to figure out how to weave my first Weavette square ... which is pretty crazy. Especially considering I basically warped the loom for it twice. I'd love to be able to use the warping method in this YouTube video, but the heddle peg on my loom is closed on both ends, so I can't attach the heddles as I warp, like the video shows. I ended up using the loom as a warping board first, then wound a little ball with the free end of the warp yarn, then I re-warped and put the ball of yarn through a pre-tied heddle as I made every other warp. If you have no clue what I'm talking about, and the video doesn't help, well, maybe I'll just have to make my own? ;D

Anyway, this is what I made:

First inkle-woven band
Inkle-woven headband on my head, and as a bonus, you get to look at my suspicious Chinese eyes! ;)

Yessss ... I foresee more inkle weaving in my future. (But after the Tour de Fleece? Or during?)
Related Posts with Thumbnails