Monday, June 28, 2010

Winging It

Progress on the Moth. The body is done. Filling in all that red bored me no end. I have also been flummoxed trying to figure out how to stitch in the wings with some kind of precision. Solution- tandem needles. I have loaded up TWO needles, one on either side of the shawl and stitch in the sections alternately. "Ten stitches on the right, then ten stitches on the left."
Once the outer wings are outlined, I'll figure out the position of the red, inner wings. The irregular shapes on the lower right part of the shawl were my first attempt to position the wing spots. They need to be moved. I'm glad the creative block is over.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Skein of Spite

The photo at left shows how I spent an entire weekend! I spent a three-day weekend winding yarn and ended up so sore that I took Aleve for a couple days after. I'm still not quite finished yet! But it is one pound of SILK.

Backstory: Years ago, I splurged and bought o pound of undyed, raw silk yarn, fingering weight. I think it is about 1600 yards. The yarn arrived, in one huge skein and two 6-8 inch "wheels". I have been totally intimidated by the fact that this yarn is SILK and have carried it around with me through three different states. Meanwhile, prices have gone up. This yarn is worth more than I can afford. After knitting a ton of small projects and knitting lots of stash for the past two years, (nevermind any spontaneous yarn purchases), I'm gong to knit myself a sweater. It's time. Originally, I only knit sweaters. This will be the first in years. I've spent months dithering over a pattern and design issues. (Translation, I've gained weight and my behind got fat).

I got the yarn together. This was no problem because I have been visiting it periodically over the years. I open up the big skein. It was huge. The skein did not fit on my niddy noddy- too large. The thickness was about 4 inches when laid on a table. All of it tangled. I spent all of my free time winding and untangling one skein. So far I have five balls wound, each the size of a baseball. I still have a portion of the skein left, perhaps one more ball. I've made a swatch and started to knit. Meanwhile, that remainder sits beside me looking like the cats had a festival. I feel guilty enough that I'll try to finish it up this weekend.

Weaponized Crochet

My kid gets credit for this idea. Periodically, I ask (beg) him for ideas to make. It is his duty to supply me with information on video games, manga and anime. I have an interest, but he is MUCH better at staying current. Anyway, he suggested this a while ago and I liked it. This is from a video game, Katamari Damacy. It's fun! This particular project is in crochet, which I use as needed. Some things are just not suited to knitting. Here is the pattern for a Magnetic Katamari.Andrew picked the colors from my stash. The details..... the sphere is crocheted in two halves, which are sewn together. the sphere is roughly the size of a soft ball. The original Katamari was stuffed with fiberfill. Mine also has a rigid inner foundation in the form of a plastic canvas ball frame. The red and white nubs are crocheted separately, filled with a pair of magnets then sewn onto the base. I made the project over one weekend. The major pitfall in this project is finding magnets strong enough to be effective through a layer of yarn. I bought two kinds of magnets at the local craft store. The base magnet is a cheap, 3/4 inch bulk magnet. It supports a pricier, stronger rare earth magnet that was only available in a small size. If I make another one of these, I will plan ahead and buy rare earth magnets online in the size I need. This is a good geek gift. It would also be good for someone to play with at their desk.