I kind of fell off the face of the earth again. Sorry about that.
So here is the last thing I've completed, which isn't saying a lot cause it only took about two or three hours. It's a flowery headband thingie. The pattern is from Krafty Katie's Blog and the flower is an "Irish Rose" crochet motif that I did with some self-striping yarn cause I'm lazy like that. I've been making a few of the flowers just by themselves to pin on other hats and scarves and things. They're fast and easy and can be dressed up with beads in the center or whatever. Add a clip to the back and they make cute hair accessories too.
I've got a lot of stuff going on lately. I got a Ukulele for Christmas, so I've been trying to learn to play that with very little luck. I think I'm gonna have to cut my nails super short and just keep them that way for that and for the pottery stuff I plan to get back to this summer. I never did get my garage cleaned out to the point where I could get that kiln going out there, but my friend Susan has a pottery studio and she's going to give me some lessons/let me use her kiln this spring and summer. She lives about 45 minutes away from me, so I probably won't be going over there but maybe once a week or so. I have the wheel and some clay at the house though. I figure I will be able to make stuff at home and take it over there once it's to the "greenware" stage if I can manage not to bust it on the way.
I'm moving the yarn store if I can come up with $2000 to fund the move. My lease at the current place runs out at the end of March. The landlord here wants to raise my rent by $300 a month that I just won't be able to afford, and he isn't fixing any of the leaky roof/skylight/window/basement things. I'm probably gonna have a big moving sale and hope that raises the funds by mid-February, but this past week was pretty sad and slow sales-wise, so there is a real question as to whether it will be moving or shutting down for good. I hope I can just move it since I found a great location which is $275 a month cheaper than my current one, but times are hard out there ya know. I may have another career change coming instead. I took a part time job at my local wine store closing three nights a week after I get done here at the yarn store, so that should help out a little bit with the moving expenses, but I don't start till later this week.
Another new-ish thing I've been wanting to do more of is printmaking. I made a linoleum block to stamp the store name on some paper bags I used here around the holidays. I also printed some holiday postcards, which I colored in with markers and stuff, but I didn't get any pictures of them before I sent them. I made this really not too detailed 3-picture tutorial on how to do that in case you're curious. It's not hard at all, just be careful and don't gouge holes in your fingers. Cut AWAY from your hand. haha One of these days I'd like to get an etching press so that I can play around with Solar Plate Etching, which is a new-ish technique (well, new compared to the traditional ones, it was invented in the 1970's) I have been reading up on. It creates an etching plate without using all the nasty chemicals. You just use the special photosensitive plates, the sun or another UV light source, and water to develop it then you print. It's pretty spiffy. A small-ish press costs around $1500 though so it may be a few months before I can scrape that together.
In a perfect world I'd like to run the yarn store and be making other art things in a back room studio so that I could be selling those also, but I haven't reached that level of organization and there aren't enough hours in the day yet for that, my Real Housewives Of Wherever addiction, and everything else I want to do. I joined a gym again and am in the process of losing all this extra weight I'm toting around - about 40lbs of it. I meet with a personal trainer lady for the first time this Wednesday, and I've also started being active with the local TAPS-affiliated paranormal investigation group so I'm gonna be processing evidence from at least one investigation a month hopefully starting this week.
Next month the work on my new giant back yard garden is going to have to start. I'm planning on about 20ftx30ft including paths, which is the biggest one I've ever tried to have. I hope it works out good this time. I've been successful growing things in raised beds and containers before, but this is my first real in-ground attempt. It's going to take a lot of time at first, but as the season goes on it shouldn't be too much work per day for me to keep up with in the mornings. I gotta get myself on some kind of schedule soon though or I'll go bonkers.
This is a fully finished Emmaline Pullover from the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of Knitty. I started it three days ago at work and finished it just now.
This is the fastest sweater I've ever knit, but probably because I made the Small size to fit my headless, armless dress form lady here instead of the XL size to fit my 40in boobage. It's top down, super easy, and would be a great first sweater for someone to make. There was just enough shaping and stuff to keep me from getting bored, which is what usually kills most sweaters I start.
I also finished a hat for my Mom this week, and finished weaving the white scarf that is on the loom in that picture. Of course there is no pic of the scarf because I gave it to my friend Julia as her super late xmas gift before I thought about taking one. Oh well, I'll get a picture of the next one.
There is a post coming later tonight about the Tulsa Fiber Fest I went to last Sunday. Stay tuned!
Gee, I wonder why this yarn company didn't stay in business....
For the curious, this is an ad from the fall 1980 issue of a weaving magazine that one of my customers gave me. It cracked me up all day the day I got it, so I had to share it with the world right away. That's why this is a blurry cell phone picture. haha
Pogo printers are pretty much dirt cheap on ebay right now. My friend Nic got one for just $25. I remember wanting one back when they were new and selling for about $100-150, so this is great news to me. Even better news, the ZINK paper that the Pogo prints on can be manipulated in all kinds of fun ways. I don't know how long these prints will last, and I'd for sure spray anything you've altered with a good coat of sealer, but this looks like a lot of fun.
I had a decently productive week, but I still feel like a slacker. Why is that?
I seem to be following my pattern of abandoning a top-down sweater just after the arms get separated and the boring body knitting starts. I only did about two repeats of the lace pattern on the Feb. Lady Sweater this week. Work was busy, but not without knitting time as evidenced by this over half-complete Citron Shawl.
Besides that, I managed to get some time in the basement to clean up the dye area from the last class I did down there and to dye myself 4 reasonably matchy-matchy skeins of sock yarn for the Featherweight Cardigan KAL that I'm having at the shop. I don't have photographic evidence of those, but they turned out pretty awesome. I used "gunmetal" Jacquard acid dye and dip-dyed them so one end of the skein is a dark, almost gunmetal type color which fades slowly to a nice light blue-grey on the other end.
I also got the heat press going and put these iron-on's from the lobby of hobbies on some t-shirts for the baby. They're super cute, but I don't know how long they'll last before they start to crack and peel off. I wasn't impressed with the quality of the materials. I guess if they do suck and come off before he outgrows the shirts I can always draw my own skull and make some more.
Speaking of drawing, I need to start doing that again. Maybe I'll actually start filling up one of those sketchbooks I have laying around here. Oh, shiny...over there!
This week I put up all the paper flowers and things that I made a while back with the Silhouette Machine and started the big spring clearance sale at the shop. YAY! I also took more pictures of my Grandson Artie aka AJ aka Babyman. Here's one of those because he's insanely cute and has the best widow's peak ever.
In case you're wondering how the heck I have a Grandbaby when I'm only 37 years old, let me explain that. I had AJ's Dad (my son Ian) when I was barely 20. He's almost 18 now, and despite my best efforts to put a cramp in his style he managed to get some "private time" with his girlfriend. Well, condoms aren't 100% effective kids. So now we have Babyman and we love him more than we love Ian (just kidding, but he does make a better model for cute pictures).
What else did I do this week? Oh, I made some really cute bobby pins using my 1 inch button press. There is a blurry pic of the first ones I did here on flickr, but I'm going to post this photo of the second pair because I just took it with the good camera in the window with the good lighting. haha
To make these you need a 1" button press, the special attachment for the press and parts to make the flat back type buttons, some bobby pins with a little round pad for sticking stuff to, and some E-6000 industrial strength craft glue. I'm seriously thinking of making some with yarn/knitting type images and sayings to sell at the shop. I might also do some more generic type things to sell elsewhere. It's looking like a pair of these goes for around $5 on etsy.
Making buttons has gotten a lot easier with my new circle punch. I used to use a Fiskars circle cutter on a self-healing mat to cut out button designs, but the punch is so much faster. I just flip it over, and I can get the design centered every time easy peasy! The old way I probably threw away about 10% of my circles for being wonky.
They sell 1.33 inch circle punches at the button supply places for $150, which is INSANE. I got one from a scrapbooking supply place online for about $15. You can also get them at Hobby Lobby. Mine is only 1.25in, but it doesn't make a difference at all. The design still wraps completely to the edge. The one I got is called "Paper Shapers Whale Of A Punch". It's completely made of metal and very sturdy so it'll last a really long time.
I barely worked on my February Lady Sweater at all this week. Things were super busy at the shop with the sale and a new shipment of Colinette Jitterbug sock yarn going on, so I didn't have much time, and I'm only working on it down there. I also started a Citron Shawl, but it is still undocumented until I decide if I want to actually finish it or not. I'm still on the fence about that one.
I've been crafting my butt off over here. Really.
OK, mostly this week (March 1st - 7th) I just worked on my February Lady Sweater. I'm using the new Debbie Stoller Bamboo Ewe yarn from Red Heart, and despite the brand name, this stuff is pretty nice. It's supposedly "Exclusively at JoAnn's!" but any LYS can order it from the distributor if you ask them to. A bit of LYSO trivia for you, Coats & Clark owns both Red Heart AND Rowan/Nashua/Westminster Fibers. Crazy isn't it?
Anyway, so I finally made it past the boring garter stitch part of this sweater. That was my big accomplishment for the week. I also made some stickers on the Silhouette machine and used it to cut out some super cute sale signs for the shop. I can't show you those yet because it's a Spring Break Clearance Sale that doesn't start till Saturday, but I'll show them next week.