Saturday, May 14, 2016

Party on, Wayne.

It is 46ยบ at 9 am. Feels kind of nice, actually.

So, I made this.
Washable wool Swish from Knit Picks.
Mindless. Well, it required just the least bit of attention to work on and that is about all I have been able to afford lately.

I've been working hard on creating brochures and class schedules for Summer Art Camp, speaking about Summer Art Camp, distributing said brochures for said camp, oh and don't forget Music in the Park and that we (members of the Arts Council) will be selling food and T-shirts at, besides managing the event, and I staff the Art Center every Thursday and Friday afternoon, and, and, and. 

Today I hope will be a day to - oh right - do dishes and laundry and floors. 

I will live and it will all be okay. Sometimes a friend's daughter comes over to watch cartoons and interact with the chickens. 

Add caption
Can you see the robin's nest made of sheep wool I left out for just such a thing?

Also? I signed up to get the New York Times crossword puzzles online. That makes me happy.

Monday, May 02, 2016

For all your farm needs.

I have to give a little talk about the art council and the art center in about 20 minutes to some girls from Birthright. How in the hell? I have no religion, I am pro-choice, and I have no children so one would think not to ask me. However, I was not asked to talk about me, (although I will a little bit.)

Lunch is ready for Sweetie - roast chicken, mashed potatoes, and a green salad.

Oh, and we put up a run for the chickens yesterday. It's the first time the girls have experienced grass and direct sunshine. They seem very happy.

You lookin' at me?

And my bleeding heart bloomed!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Cleaner than clean

I will call it a learning experience and not be too disappointed. I have finished felting the piece from the previous post and mounted the three panels on a bamboo pole. It is not what I envisioned and it is too dark by half. I should have used a lighter sky and more yellow in general. And more flowers. More yellow flowers maybe. And what the hell is the stuff in the middle, behind the flowers? I don't know. It doesn't add anything and the brown horizon is too dark.

I tried to speed up the felting process. Note to self - Don't do that! Especially in the beginning! But my back was killing me from the previous several hours of laying out the merino roving. Note to self - Do not work at the dining room table! Not standing up! The bad thing that happened was an intractable crease in the middle of the sky of the central panel. It was not fixable. I thought about it for quite awhile, and in the end, I just cut the top part off of all the panels. The size is actually one of the best parts of the piece. I will hang it over the entryway into the dining room.

So a piece that began at 28" by 54" was reduced in the end to 12" by 36." And it's ok, barely, but it is not what I had in my head when I began. Note to self - Take your time and do not rush any part of the process!

After the first gentle felting.

What I ended up with.

I have entered it in the Art Council's Open Call with the theme of "In Bloom."

On a brighter note, I bought new shoes!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

In bloom.

The felting begins tomorrow. Right now, it is as long as the dining room table.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

And now, the larch.

So. There's this thing, a kind of new thing, called a knitting blog or vlog or podcast. Whatever. Knitters that video themselves talking about their finished objects, works in progress, stash enhancement, other people's podcasts, yarn shops, and so on.

I think I saw this one first, which just captivated me. I am charmed by Eleanor's manner, her aplomb, her honesty, and her yarn shop in Nottingham, England. How in the world did I come across Knit Nottingham? I can sit and watch her short videos and knit and she makes me feel good.

And so then I began watching other knitting podcasts. Some are ok, some are dreadful, and a handful are quite nice. My favorite by far is The Lone Larch. Every time I hear the word 'larch' I am reminded of one of the first Monty Python episodes I ever saw, back in '75. Yes, I am that old and older. But I digress. The Lone Larch is named Jennie and she is an arborist and lately, she has been having a little 'tree talk' amongst the knit talk. I like her because she is quirky and smart and is funny.

So there is my plug for two totally different podcasts, but I hope you listen to them.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Stop calling me Fred

I love fleece. Dirty sheep fleece full of lanolin. I bought 2 fleeces at Greencastle this weekend.

I know that some people think I'm crazy to go to all the effort of soaking and cleaning something with poop and hay embedded in it, but I like doing it. I can afford to buy a nice and clean fleece and I have in the past, but there is a certain joy of taking a sow's ear and making the silk purse. There is also the pleasure of doing something that has been done for thousands of years and is rarely done anymore. I do not know how I will spin this or what I will knit (weave?) with it. It's just loovlee.


Before on the left, and after the second soak on the right.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Birds on a Wire Hat

Two colors of bulky yarn. Main Color - dark and solid, Contrast Color - bright and can be solid, variegated, or striped. The sample is shown using Lamb's Pride Bulky and 3-ply handspun merino. (Cable plied single)

16” circular and a set of double pointed needles size 9 or size for you to get gauge. 

stitch marker
large-eyed needle
tape measure or ruler

Gauge: 13 st = 4”

Size: adult medium 22" - 23" head


MC - main color
CC - contrast color
K - knit
P - purl
S1 - slip stitch from left to right needle, purlwise with yarn in back
K2T - knit 2 stitches together
DPNs - double-pointed needles

With MC, cast on 72 stitches loosely onto circular needle. Place marker to designate the beginning and join into a circle, being careful not to twist yarn. 

  1. MC: K 
  2. CC: (K 1, S1) around
  3. (P 1, S1) around
  4. MC: K
  5. P
  6. K
  7. CC: K
  8. MC: (K 2, S1) around

Repeat Rows 8 and 9 until hat measures 6” from the bottom.  

 10) CC: (K2T, K1) around  48 St
 11) MC: (K1, S1) around
 12) CC: K
 13) MC: (K1, S1) around, cut MC yarn

Repeat Rows 12 and 13 twice and begin using DPNs

 14) CC: K2T around  24 St
 15) K
 16) K
 17) K2T around  12 st

Cut yarn, leaving an 8” tail. Thread tail through needle and run through 12 stitches, removing them from needles, then run through again. Tighten and weave ends in on the inside of hat. 

Notes: If you use a long tail cast-on, the tail should be about 3 times the finished edge plus 12". For example, if the finished hat edge measures 22", then 22" X 3 = 66" + 12" = 72." Therefore, you should allow 72" for the tail. If you do this and end up with two feet of yarn left, you are casting on too tightly.

A handy tip for casting on is to divide the tail in half and mark with a slip knot. You should have cast on half your stitches just before the knot. If not, rip out and adjust your tightness or looseness. 

You do not need to twist yarn at the color changes on each row.