Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Monitor! NOOOOOOOO!!!!

My computer monitor died last night while I was in the middle of about five things. It just made a little *click* and then the picture shrank to a tiny dot and disappeared. I still heard my music, but ended up having to shut down manually since I couldn't get even ctrl/alt/del to work...probably due to the comp thinking it was in sleep mode or some such. Grah.

I am looking for a replacement for a temporary fix, but I don't know what is going to happen. Also, my printer/scanner/fax is hooked up to my computer instead of this one (my husband's), and it's too far away from the machine to jury-rig it. This week's update may not happen on time.

I'm really upset, considering I just finished getting my comp to where I liked it with the new HDD, though I can't be TOO upset since I knew this was going to happen sooner or later.

I can access my sites & stuff, but I can't look at any mail that has been sent in the last 24 hours, pretty much. I will be posting this message on my LJ and on the divinebird.com site so you all know what's going on. Once I have a monitor, I'll let y'all know that, too.

*sigh* :defeated:

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Booga Bag--PWNED

I can't believe I finally finished it. I really can't.

First, the basics: 3 skeins of Noro Kureyon in 2 different colorways (one for the bottom third, the other colorway for the top 2/3 and the I-cord), size 10 1/2 needles, hand-fulled. It took me about two days of on-and-off knitting to create--LAST YEAR. The fulling part...well...

Here's the story as I told it on the punk_knitters community on LJ:

So I have this Booga Bag that I knitted months ago--no, make that a year ago at least. I used Noro Kureyon, which I know felts like crazy, but I had no access to a washing machine. Thus, I decided to try felting it by hand.

How hard could it be? I thought to myself. It's just moving it around in water--should be easy. I filled the sink with water, dropped the bag in, and started wringing away. I scrubbed, twisted, even tried using the ribbed handgrip of a broom to get the stuff to full. It sorta did, but the stitches were still very visible. All I had to show for my efforts were a sore back, aching arms, and a slightly fuzzier version of the unfulled bag.

I tried again a few days later, by dropping it in the shower and stomping on it when I was done washing. Aha, thought I, this will do the trick. I stomped and rubbed and smooshed the thing around...again to no avail. Disgusted, I gave up, hung it up to dry, and then put the thing away for a long time.

From time to time, I'd see it as I looked for another project, taunting me. Teasing me. It laughed in my face and knew it had defeated me. Time passed. I moved into a new apartment, another one without a controllable washing machine.

Last night, I washed some socks in the sink and happened to catch a glimpse of the bag, which had somehow worked free of the box into which I'd tossed it. And then a light bulb went off.

I changed the bulb, then looked over at the bag again. Stupid bag. I can make handspun yarn felt itself just from accidentally swishing it around a little too much while setting it, but I can't full a stupid bag? I wonder...

Grabbed the bag. Grabbed the soap. Got the water really hot, then plunged the whole thing in. THIS time, however, there was no scrubbing, no--this time, there was just swishing around, a gentle pedaling motion with the fabric held loosely in my hands. I twisted, folded, and pedaled until, triumphant, I lifted the PERFECTLY FULLED BAG from the water! YES! I DID IT!!

So the moral of the story is...you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Or, to put it another way, don't kill yourself when felting by hand. Just pretend that what you're working with is an heirloom sweater that MUST NOT FELT. Treat it gently, and the thing will shrink up in no time.

The end.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Funky Scarf Swap Questionnaire

Are you allergic to any fibers? No, but I am allergic to anything--ANYTHING--with mangoes or mango extracts. Just so you know.

Do you prefer any fibers over others?
I love angora, alpaca, wool, silk, cotton, mohair, cashmere--anything natural with a preference for animal fibers. I don't care for ribbon or eyelash yarn, and I try to avoid manmade fibers in anything I wear when possible.

Thinking back to Scout’s post about what funky means to you, post an image of something that you think is funky! Since I don't want to steal this person's artwork, here: http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/25257552/

Would you prefer funky yarn or a funky pattern? Either or. :)

What are your favorite colors? Anything rich and deep--cobalt blue, firecoal red, vivid gold, royal purple. I am currently obsessing over summer colors like turquoise and lime green, but the scarf can be anything that fits my profile. I do have preferences for bright and complementary colors (orange/blue, or yellow/purple, etc.) Also, look at my other posts about yarn to get an idea of what colors attract me.

What is your favorite piece of art? The Kiss, by Gustav Klimt. I love stained-glass windows, too--all those jewel tones outlined in black.
For reference:

What colors would you NEVER have up close to your pretty face? Lemon yellow, sadly--used to be able to wear it all the time, but it just doesn't go with my complexion anymore. If it's with other colors as an accent, that's fine.

Would you prefer an actual scarf or a cowl?
Scarf, actually. I love the look of cowls/neckwarmers, but my neck is too wide or short for most, and they make me look like a turtle. XD

When you wear a scarf do you prefer a wider/shorter scarf or a thin/long scarf? Wider, longer. Thin scarves look like string and short scarves look silly on me.

What is the climate like where you live? Really friggin' hot & muggy in summer, bitterly cold in winter. I'm in New England. XD

Would you prefer a functional scarf (to keep you warm) or one just to funk-up your wardrobe? Functional is preferred, but decorative would be ok if it's light like mohair or something. I overheat with too many layers indoors.

What else would you like your partner to know about you?
I am an artist, I'm married, and I also work as a cabinetmaker. I have done Renaissance and Victorian costuming. I plan to learn and master every textile art/craft during my lifetime. I'm the kind of person who believes that this life is short, and we need to do things that make us happy, whether that is painting our toenails each a different color or hanging out in a cafe while pretending to be someone famous. I almost never wear makeup. I have a fat, spoiled cat. I try to surround myself with color because I live in an apartment with plain cream walls that I can't change. I adore bunnies and chocobos (it's ok if you don't know what chocobos are). I want to find out who my partner is after this is done because I like meeting new people who might see things the way I do.

And there we go.

PS: Just because, a picture of my workspace:

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Major Update on Projects

I'll have the divinebird.com post soon--for now, though, I am sharing my load of finished objects & yarn with you. WARNING: SUPER pic-heavy...I just got hold of a camera that works so I'm using it like crazy.

First, the yarn I bought at KnitWits in Westerly, RI.

Recycled silk from Mango Moon

Need a better look? How 'bout THEM apples?

I love this yarn. It isn't as consistent as most of the recycled silk I've used, but I have a feeling this will make a GREAT bag. Word of warning, though--the blue rubs off on your hands. Highly recommend washing before using whatever you make out of it. :)

Here's the alpaca I found. It reminds me of 1950s and 1960s camping. Like, these colors would totally belong in a woodland lodge, probably on some fedora-wearing dad who smokes a pipe and wears black-rimmed glasses. It's all the tan and green, I think. Yarn is Aurucania Nature Alpaca, handpainted.

And then we have the projects.

Summer Dice Bag
Yeah, I have a seasonal dice bag. My cashmere/alpaca one is too fuzzy and warm for summer gaming, and I liked the Berroco Cotton Twist in these colors. It's a little shiny and silky, and less likely to make my hands damp or sticky when carrying it in our 90+ degree muggy summers here.

Stripy Crochet Bag
This wasn't meant to be anything originally, but I crocheted the circular bottom and thought, why not keep going? More Cotton Twist, but in solids this time. The green is about right, but the blue is a rich, bright turquoise that never translates well to the screen.

I like the bag; it's cute, but I don't think I'll actually use it. This may end up on my Etsy shop when I update soon.

Crochet Linen Market Bag
Another crochet project, though this time, I used a finer gauge hook and yarn. I wanted an open, lacy design that I could do without having to refer back to a book constantly. I found this pattern in my awesome "Encyclopedia of Stitchery" that I got for a dollar on the bargain table. BEST-SPENT DOLLAR EVER. The yarn is Louet Sales Linen in a very deep plum color. (I'll edit with the correct name when I find the label.) I tried to adjust the colors in the images so you could see the color better. This is a bag I know I'll keep; I've already started using it like crazy!

If you like the pattern, I'll post it--I kind of made it up as I went along, and I've never written a crochet pattern, but at least I can give guidelines & stuff if you want to make one yourself.

Granddad's Scarf
Not really FOR my Granddad, but knitted in May & June while he was in the hospital and then, after he passed away, during my grieving. I usually think seed stitch is annoying (albeit a more beautiful alternative to garter), but it was so soothing when my nerves were frayed. It was just enough pattern and thought to keep me conscious of what I was doing, but rhythmic enough to do without making mistakes or having to keep track of anything when I needed to focus on my family. I don't honestly know what I'm going to do with it yet, but that's ok. I will figure it out when I need to. Yarn was a Soy Silk, can't think of the brand name right now. I'll edit that when I find the label, too.


And one last pic of my pretty Miao Yin. Just because.