Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
speaking of special things...i made a small addition to the bongo knot inventory this weekend. imagine the look one gets in the kitchenware aisle while insisting that your new scale absolutely must measure in grams. i should have worn my "say no to drugs" t-shirt that day. anyway, we welcome our new scale (pictured below with a hank of norwegian wood handspun).
Sunday, June 24, 2007
as for me...i've been spinning up a storm in the past week or two. here's a sampling: (clockwise from the top, left) a group shot of my recent spun gold; a gorgeous colorway i'm calling raspberry sorbet because it makes me hungry just looking at it; one of several hanks of undyed merino i aptly named like a virgin; and finally, a funky blend that has grown on me like crazy called norwegian wood.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
this is supposed to be a craft blog, so i will share what little crafting i have done of lately. i have been knitting!!! mostly making swatches as i plan out future projects. so, in no particular order...
i bought this on ebay years ago. the label is in Russian, so all i know is that it's a mohair blend. i want to make a pretty sweater with it. definitely outside of my usual color range, but it would be nice to embrace a bit of girly glam.
this is from an old, shapeless sweater i recycled last week instead of setting it on fire in the backyard (which was my first choice). the original was a reverse stockinette stitch (pretty much like the back side of this swatch, but i think i prefer it....
...on the flip side (in this case, the front of the stockinette) it's rather bulky: about 4 stitches to the inch on #10's. should be fun, once i decide what to do with it.
this is a very light yarn i bought last summer. it is a silk cotton blend and has beautiful sheen. this is the front of the stockinette. nice, but not the sexiest application of the material.
i very much like the reverse stockinette instead...or maybe something light and lacey. hmm...!!!
and, certainly not least of all, the yarn that will become my "boo pillows". not a frightful-boo, but a sweetie-boo...as in, this will be toss pillow covers for my sweetie-boo. almost makes you think i have a heart, eh?
Monday, April 09, 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
this yarn will be used for a secret project i hope to get started on soon...that is, as soon as i finish writing my dissertation. the yarn is a fingering-weight wool i found on ebay last week. the swatch was done on #2 needles. i pinned the swatch to the ironing board and gave it a quick blast of steam from a hot iron to block it into shape. [as a total aside, i dropped the container of straight pins on the bedroom carpet and i was in a rush leaving the house this morning, so there is the strong possibility i will forget this fact when i get home, and that will not be pleasant]
the secret project will be knitted in the round on 5 double-pointed needles. i actually find myself favoring them over circular needles for smallish projects. i don't feel brave enough to try making a sweater on dp's yet, but that may change with time. i will post some sort of instructions/directions along with the finished project...whenever it's done.
this stitching technique is called entrelac. it creates the seemingly-complicated effect of a basket-weave, but it is actually quite easy to do. i was fascinated and intimidated by this method for the longest while, but the latest issue of Interweave Knits contains a gorgeous pair of socks designed by Eunny Jang that i MUST make for myself...once i finish the cursed dissertation. so, i started swatching. in addition to the sock pattern, Eunny gives fabulous instructions for first-timers. i started the swatch in bed last night and finished it up over a breakfast.
by the way, this is not the secret project, in case you thought i slipped up. i haven't decided what yarn to use for the Eunny socks, but the swatch is looking mighty tempting, and i will have more than enough left over for a pair of socks. hmmmm....
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
...when what to my wondering eyes did appear, but three whole, complete, gorgeous skeins of Brown Sheep Yarn that i totally forgot existed in the stash. the color is H 01. it was a steal on ebay a couple of years ago and i was saving it for the perfect project. so now, i can rejoin the quest to hold my boobs...you know what i mean. i've made a few alterations to the original pattern to accommodate my broad shoulders and mighty bosom, but the central idea remains the same. i will post the alterations when the boob holder is done, but here is what i accomplished in the past 36 hours. i would totally aim to finish it tonight, but i desperately need to sleep, so the girls will have to go unheld till some later time. if there's enough leftovers, i will make a pair of fingerless gloves...or, as i like to call them...wrist holders!
Sunday, March 04, 2007
this fabulous dish was a quick curry made entirely of odd bits i found in the fridge. i had a dozen large shrimps that needed to be cooked immediately, so i sauteed some onions and chopped ginger, added a couple of bell peppers, some curry powder, tossed in the shrimps, and finished it all with a couple of chopped tomatoes. it is yum yum yum.
for some reason, the yams/sweet potatoes looked good when i was walking through the produce section, so i grabbed a couple. problem is...i was not sure what i wanted to do with them. i ended up sticking them in a 375 degree oven till they were soft and starting to ooze sweet goodness. i can nuke one briefly in the oven and use it as an accompaniment to the curry...or the SUPER STEW!!!
this was the best part of the day. i had some beef riblets (not exactly sure what the cut is called). i cut them up, marinated briefly, then i seared them in small batches quickly and piled them into a casserole. to the same saute pan, i added chopped onion, garlic, ginger, a bit of sweet peppers, and the last cup of fresh pineapple from this week's fruit binge. i tossed this around for a minute or two, squeezed an orange over it, added a giant glop of bbq sauce, and poured the whole mess over the beef. i sealed the casserole up tightly and left it in the oven at 375 degrees till the meat was super tender. it is so amazing. kinda like texas meets hawaii.
Monday, February 26, 2007
Sunday, February 18, 2007
(ignore the phantom speckles on the image)
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
what is distracting me from being brilliant is one of those occurrences that can only be described as a matter-of-the-heart. usually the MOTH involves either family, or a loved one. lucky me, it involves all of the above. i will spare you all the details, as that would require a whole separate blog to do it justice, and go right for the effect this is having on me. i have been in tears for the greater part of the past 36 hours. when i am not crying, i am sleeping and having sad dreams, or stuffing my face. sadly, both of those events usually end with more tears. i can't keep my eyes open/dry long enough to write intelligible sentences (as is evidenced here), so i have decided to distract myself from brooding by putting together the long-overdue second posting. that's right! gonna use the old double-distractor trick. if all the known laws of physics are correct, then the universe should either be instantaneously put to right....or implode violently on itself. i am willing to take that chance.
Friday, January 05, 2007
my (sometimes) significant other loved this idea enough to bankroll my initial setup - a drop spinndle and a few pounds of roving. it was A-MAZING!!! i spun myself silly. i dyed my first batch with a combination of Rit dyes i like to call karma-el (left - the skien in the center was not dyed). the remaining roving was space-dyed using Gaywool dyes in a combination that i originally planned on calling desert skyscape (right), but after one look at the end-product, it became the Bill Cosby yarn (in honor of the very colorful sweaters he is so fond of wearing). i eventually exhausted my stock of roving...which brings me to my present predicament.
washing and carding your own fiber is supposed to be economical and fun (again, the evil interweb). i purcased an 8-lb merino fleece that was supposed to contain "some vegetable matter" (read: sheep are dirty animals). my first clue should have been the cat's obsession with the box. little did i anticipate the horror that awaited me when i broke the seal....."SOME VM" my a$$!!!
there i am not quite knowing what to do with this box of fright, so i sealed it back up, stashed it out of kitty-boo's (name has been changed to protect his privacy) reach, and reviewed all my instructions on fleece-washing. apparently, merino fleece is especially dirty and usually requires at least a second washing. lucky me!
in a nutshell:
i loosely loaded some dirty fleece in a mesh laundry bag...
steeped the bag in my dyepot (to which i added a dash of Dawn dish detergent and a handful of powdered Tide laundry detergent) over a super-low flame for about 30 minutes...
rinsed for about 30 minutes...
repeated washing, and rinsed a couple of times.
i recognize that this is not the best method for washing fleece. many websites (like this one) offer instructions for washing a whole fleece quickly and efficiently in the washing machine, but i did not have access to a top-loading washer during this adventure, so i had to improvise. in the end... i think it was worth it. don't you agree???