Iron Crafting

February 5, 2011

I have finally given in, I’m an official Iron Crafter! I watched in the side lines for a few weeks and even crafted along. I just couldn’t get it together enough to actually join officially. My American Idol headache still hasn’t gone away. It’s also lead to some new and miserable symptoms, like muscle shocks in my face and head, a more severe type migraine that hits every time I get even a little tired, and the sensation of my brain rattling around and having a brain only seizure inside my head. Not fun at all and a bit worrisome. This is why when I say I need quiet, I really mean it! Look what over stimulation one night has done to my already fragile head!

This week’s challenge with the Iron Crafter is to make something that is on the topic of “winter.” I’m clueless as of this moment. I’ve got to come up with something wonderful though, not only is it my first week, but there is a prize too of a knitting book I’d really like! My first thought is something to do with an igloo, but we haven’t had much snow. Here’s the only real snow igloo I’ve ever built. It was really hard to do and was the only thing I did that whole day. I made it about a year ago.

*****Insert Igloo photo here once it’s found*****

I do have a winter knitting idea planned too, but I’m not sure I could do it by this Wed. It is a large gauge though, but I’m in the middle of a few other knits. I’m currently hard at work on TARDIS socks for myself and a new pattern to publish on Ravelry to help with my nonexistent income. Since I feel the need for a photo but can’t find an online copy of my dogs’ igloo, here’s my TARDIS socks as I’ve progressed so far. Well, really it’s only one sock. Two-at-a-time magic loop just gets so messy when you’re doing colorwork.

So not long ago I filled out a relatively short survey on facebook about my Internet usage habits. It said that Google would send me a free sticker if I filled it out and gave them my information. I ALMOST didn’t do it because I was worried about getting a bunch of crap in the mail and spam. Then I figured that Google already had all my contact information because of my Google phone, a Droid 2. So I gave in and clicked the final button on the survey.

The survey told me that I was some kind of super Internet user and that I use it for everything and that my sticker should arrive in a few weeks or so. Then fast forward a few days to today.

I went to knitting group with my friend today. She took me home afterward and came in. We were just going to grab a ball band to go get some more yarn to finish a gift for my grandmother. My mom came into the room when she heard us and brought a big box. She said that a package came for me. I glanced at it and told her I hadn’t ordered anything. I didn’t recognize the business that had sent it either. Mom suggested she open the box because it could be something I’m not supposed to see until Christmas. I suggested that she not open the box because the grandparents could have sent something to me to sneak under the tree and that perhaps mom shouldn’t see it. Finally, Mom and I left the room and my girlfriend opened the box. She wasn’t sure what it was and tried to describe the box within a box. Ultimately, Mom and I both burst in and I was blown away. Once I figured out it was a laptop I was afraid to open the seal thinking that surely it wasn’t for me and I didn’t want to have to pay for it. What on earth had I clicked on accident on the net to have someone send me a laptop?

Some googling on my desktop which I’d left on proved that this was indeed a FREE LAPTOP! I squealed several times and carefully started unpacking the sexy, clean, minimalist computer. It’s so light and the matte finish is so soft, just like my cell phone without the case on it. Unfortunately due to the beating the phone takes, the case is on 24/7 and will need to be replaced every few months. I love the computer so much that I don’t even care that the sticker is kind of ugly.

Anyhow, look for more posts in the future from my sexy new computer. It’s so much lighter than my laptop I’ll actually be able to take it with me places. The weight of my Acer coupled with my back and shoulder pain makes the laptop really just a wired computer that lives in bed. Plus, the battery in my laptop is barely good for even an hour! This boasts something like 8 hours, but we’ll see I guess.

The idea that I don’t have a hard drive, disc drive or anything really just seems a bit too strange for me still. I do make plenty of use of the Netflix discs still and streaming isn’t supported on the Chrome OS just yet. Hopefully they’ll get on that immediately. Netflix streaming is my number one use of the Internet if you measure by time spent online. Ravelry is a close second.

So here’s me only a few minutes after getting the computer out of the box and through the little welcome message and instructions. Yeah, I’m super stoked. Now to decide what kind of laptop sleeve to knit and felt up for the little guy. Hell, I guess I’ll even have to use it to order the yarn from knitpicks…and listen to some Pandora while I knit!

I’m really still here

July 16, 2010

I’m sorry I’ve been off the web for a few days. I had a really severe flare-up and have been unable to function at all. I have been trying to knit in my down time and am going to see what I can get dyed this weekend. We wouldn’t want to miss a Mondye!

A new goal in spinning

June 25, 2010

I’ve gotten good at spinning a bulky yarn, and just wound a ball last night of more than 150 yards of hand-spun, single-ply lace weight, which while a little over spun to maintain strength, has a very consistent thickness. I’ve got some stunning Merino that I’d like to spin into sock yarn, but I’m not quite sure if I can pull of that just yet. I’m considering getting some nylon thread and trying to spin around that as a core, or maybe spin close to a sock weight single ply and ply in the nylon thread. I’m not sure, but not that eager to spin it yet either. I’ve just been too into dyeing and contemplating some very unique colorways. All my dedicated readers should anticipate a sweepstakes in the near future to enter by voting on which lines and colorways of yarn will be released next!

Then today while looking across for an exciting project to try using my Hippie colorway on, I found this yarn from insubordiknits and I feel the intense urge to pull out my spinning wheel, some dye, varous fibers, and of course my needle felting supplies!

She calls her colorway vitreous humor and sells them for $50 a hank of 75ish yards, with a total of 10 eyes spun into each hank. I’m a fine needle felter, so I think I need to make yarn with needle felted items spun in! I want eye ball yarn so badly, but she’s got a waiting list of 125 people according to her store. I’m thinking I could do my own! Then I might have to figure out what other creepy handspuns I want. Do I just want eyes, or do I feel some skulls (which I’ve needle felt before) or maybe random vertebrae and a kidney. I sure hope if I ever find a Mr. Hairballz that he’s not going to mind a scarf made with anatomical heart yarn! I can already see that being a huge seller. I do tend to fall for the geeky guys, so maybe a hat out of keyboard yarn would be more appropriate. Think of the geeky hats that could make! I’ve never really thought much of art yarns before this (though I’ve admired the creativity and look of my fellow Odd Duck swapper, studioloo’s art yarn, but never considered using any, much less spinning it myself. So big kudos to insubordiknits for finally getting me to take the dive into art yarn!

Bagel Being

January 30, 2010

A friend of mine ordered a custom bagel being. It’s a life-size crocheted bagel with a face and feet. I stitched him up in such a way as to even create little toes. He could even stand up on those big feet of his. He is made of Red Heart Brand worsted weight yarn and stuffed with a premium fiberfill. I’ve made bagel and donut shapes in the past, but this is the first time I’ve ever made feet. I’m quite pleased with how they came out and will likely make feet following the same technique in the future.

Crocheted bagel being

I love custom orders, so message me and we’ll get something going for you!

Doll Found in Glove

January 3, 2010

I took my dogs out for a nice walk through the neighborhood and when we got back into the complex, I saw something sticking out of the melting ice mess near a frequented parking space. The last snow we had was more than a week ago. For something to be buried in the ice, it had to have been missing for quite a while. I kicked at it with my shoe a couple times to loosen it and eventually pulled a grey glove covered in gravely slush and still frozen into a brick-like shape from the sludge. I carried the dripping mass home to throw out, but on the way I swear the glove was trying to tell me that it was still good and was begging for a second life.

I deposited the dripping mass into the bathroom sink and started scrubbing with some antibacterial dish soap to see just what kind of condition this glove was in. The suds were black the glove was so dirty. The warm water quickly defrosted it though and I tossed the clean smelling damp thing into the dryer with a pair of blue jeans. It came out stunning. Clearly, this wasn’t a glove ment for the garbage.

Random lost glove

I knew immediately that it would be a doll. I’m not sure if it was the brand name “The North Face” or if it was the finger pads that determined the glove’s fate as a doll. I took it into my crafting lair and set to work. First I removed the palm grip and the wrist elastic with a seam ripper being careful not to damage the grey fleece fabric. I cut the index and middle finger up into the glove about two inches and then straight across to make what would become the legs and body of the glove. Next I cut off the ring finger and pinky finger cutting down the ring finger to make it the same length as the pinky. I pinned the best pieces of palm fabric togther centering the logo as best I could and free-handed a circle with  my scissors to make the doll’s head. The whole thing was stitched together and now I have a sweet little n-face doll.


North Face glove doll

Upcycled Cat

December 30, 2009

My parents let me know that they had a box of old clothes they were getting rid of and would I like any of them. I’m not really into the same styles that they are, but I really loved some of the items for their fabric. I ended up dragging a heap of old clothes to my crafting lair.

One of the pairs of my stepdad’s old socks really spoke to me. It was begging to be upcycled into a little kitten. The pattern just screamed orange tabby cat to me. I pulled out a pattern from the The Woman’s Day Book of Soft Toys and Dolls. I made a few little changes to the body of the cat to get it to work on these socks and I made the tail much larger. Rather than embroider a rather dated looking face as the book instructed, I used a couple of lime green buttons I had left from an American Girl craft day when I worked at Michaels. All the extras had been sent home with the teachers. I loved job perks there, killer discounts and free leftover supplies that would have otherwise hit the dumpster. Seriously, my boss, who couldn’t stand to see craft supplies wasted, would call us all over and split up the leftovers evenly. Anyhow, the buttons only had two little holes and with black thread look like artistic cat eyes. I couldn’t find a good nose button for this size face in my hundreds of black buttons though I did find a spare animal nose lying around. For the body stitching I was careful to cut the ear liners and the underbelly out of the solid sole of the sock and the rest from the patterned upper to help give the cat good markings.

Sock tabby cat

She’s a well-traveled little cat having been everywhere inside a shoe. She’ll be looking for her forever home soon being placed through my store on Etsy.