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05 October 2008 @ 03:10 pm
Go join Ravelry. If you have any yarn-love at all, get in on this.
05 October 2008 @ 02:44 pm
I learned to spin! Yarn! On a stick!

I got a $12 high-whorl drop spindle from Just 4 Ewe in Oak Creek and a little starter fiber (Corriedale). The woman who owns the shop, Jan, tested out the spindle for me to make sure it was well-balanced and gave me great recommendations on what fibers I should work with first. She has a spider tattoo on her hand, so I trust her on the spinning advice.

I started with a youtube video and a stack of library books. My first yarn is enormous and uneven. Four ounces of Corriedale turned into about 20 yards of huge wooly rope. Every skein since (and there have been several during the last week and a half since I started learning) has been better than the last.

I told you I had a habit of gathering new crafty skills...
08 September 2008 @ 12:45 pm
The Hubs and I took our honeymoon in Hawaii last spring, and because I'm a sucker for free souvenirs, I held on to the cute, cheapy little cup from one of the many shave ices we had. It's been sitting on a shelf in our living room for months collecting dust.

I needed a place to stick felting needles temporarily when they weren't being used besides my foam work surface. Especially my new felting tool from jojosef on Etsy, because it tried to roll away every time I set it down on my craft table (thanks, slanty Victorian house floors). So I made myself a shave ice pin cushion.

There are pennies in the bottom to keep it from tipping too easily. I needle felted a base to fit into the actually cup part and just kept adding wool to the top of the base until a ball started to form. I covered it with one of the bunches of wool I received in my Oddsies and Endsies Jumble Bag from artclub on Etsy. I glued the final felt shape to the cup using plastic/fabric-safe glue for extra stability. I love how it turned out!
03 September 2008 @ 12:34 pm
It's been a rough couple weeks of soul-sucking work craziness (no comment) and family obligations, including my grandfather's death and my baby bro's move to college.

Since I last wrote, I've been working on my Loop shrug. I can't believe how long it's taking to get my homework done - apparently I work MUCH more slowly when I'm actually paying attention to gauge. Maybe that's why I've never really tried to crochet anything more complicated than a hat apparel-wise...

I've also become OBSESSED with needle-felting. It's just so easy - you stab the hell out of the fluffy stuff. Done. I've been to Fiberwood Studio the last two Saturdays getting supplies. So far, I've made several cat toys (read: projects I get frustrated with and throw on the floor).

I'm currently working on a card wallet to house all those wedding gift cards that have been floating around my purse for the last four months. I'm hoping it will turn out well enough to actually post pix here. Either that, or you'll be seeing a picture of Batman wearing a kicky little card-wallet-beret.
22 August 2008 @ 07:16 pm
I just got back from the first session of a two-part class at Loop. We're making a crochet shrug. I think it's going to be very simple, but it's a cute piece and I've been dying to meet other people with the yarnlust.

So far, I am LOVING it, even if it has only been an hour and half. It feels really good... surrounded by yarn, finally getting professional instruction after 15 years of winging it, talking to nice ladies about wool... LOVE IT. I'm hoping to hit their Knit 101 class or Triage (general *Help Me!* session) in the near future.

I was plugging away at Go for Baroque for a while there (after several froggings), but now I've hit a speed bump. Front Right? Shape Neck? Anyone? I just can't make sense of it.

It sounds like some other craftsters have had problems with the same section, but I think my issue might be more with pattern-reading than anything else. This is why I need to hit Loop Triage.
13 August 2008 @ 08:19 pm
During my State Fair alpaca rampage last week, I picked up a handmade needlefelting kit from Bahr Creek.

That was an awesome find. I've wanted to try felting for a long time, but didn't want to invest the money to buy all the materials separately. For $15, I got fiber, two felting needles, a chunk of foam and an alpaca cookie cutter to shape a wee alpaca. They gave me plenty of fiber so I was able to make two alpacas and then some.

Felting was repetitive but fun, and VERY easy using a cookie cutter to guide your efforts. Above is the alpaca I managed to save...

And, well, here's the other one:

Apparently the very scent of wool awakened a murderous primal instinct in these cats.

I felted the leftover fiber into a ball just for them, thinking I could perhaps retrieve their victim. Unfortunately for Fernando here, Batman and Knockers much prefer to stalk and kill the elusive Urban Alpaca to sate their blood lust, rather than puttering with some pedestrian woolly ball.
09 August 2008 @ 12:22 pm
I started Go For Baroque from The Happy Hooker last night, using Berroco Sox in Dune. I'm really excited about it, but we'll see how it goes; I'm notorious for starting projects that take more than a couple hours and then getting distracted by another project before I can finish. Wish me luck!
08 August 2008 @ 10:13 pm
On Tuesday, hubby and I went to the Wisconsin State Fair. Carny food and large, wooly animals? How could we go wrong? We wandered into what was supposed to be the cow hut and also found goats and, god help me, alpaca. AND, saints preserve us, yarn for sale.

I bought a skein of yarn from the folks from Raspbaerry Hills and MET THE ALPACA THAT IT CAME FROM. It was weird. I feel like I should write something philosophical here, something existential, something from Plato...

But all I can say is that when I make something with that yarn, I will most assuredly think of my darling bald Domingo. Who he's with. Where he is. What he's thinking. Is he thinking of me? And will he ever return again?

By the way, my resolution to only buy yarn with a project in mind? Completely out the window when I realized they were selling yarn at State Fair. At that point, my resolution to buy more local goods from local vendors kicked in. That, and the insatiable yarn lust.
08 August 2008 @ 08:44 pm
Basically, I want to more friends. Not just any friends. Crafty, nerdy friends. I can't seem to find them readily on my own, so I'm turning to you, Internet. You found me a husband, now how about some fellow MKE-based yarn hoo-ahs?