Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Knitting, Spinning and Yarnaholism

I am learning to knit. What you see to the right is the first 3...4? Rows of stitching that I've done this afternoon.
Up until this last row that I did, I didn't really like it much...and I can't say I'm knittings biggest fan just now, but it's certainly turning out better than I expected.
I still like crochet much, much more.
I don't think I'll take up knitting for much more than the occasional scarf or basic rectangular shawl.

On a yarnier note, I've got yarn addiction.
I sat down today to take pictures of all the pretty yarn I've been getting recently, to add to ravelry, and realised just how much yarn I have stashed away, that I need to use. Apparently I'm a fan of Vanna's Choice, and pretty much anything thats sparkly and shiney. Oh, and Alpaca. And anything with Alpaca blended into it as well.

I have quite a few non-wool items as well, since my Mother is alergic to Wool. So, I've grown sensetive to the idea that there are people out there who can't handle all the fibres that are out there. So cotton, acrylic, polyester, alpaca, bamboo, linen, etc, are all the alternatve fibres that are finding their way into my stash. I really like the bamboo yarns - so soft! You would never believe that such a hard wood could make such a soft fibre!

Oh, and I have some fibre pictures :D This is beautiful fibre I picked up from Knitopia around the beginning of the month. Lynn, the owner, sells her hand dyed fibre and yarns, as well as all sorts of other beautiful stuff, and this is some of her hand dyed. It's very difficult to photograph, since it has shimmery shiney bits in it. But I fell in love with it the moment I saw it, and I had to have some. I haven't dared tried spinning it yet, as I want to master the techniques I've learned first before I try anything with this stuff. It's SO Soft!

And this! I finally took a picture of this! I finished my first handspun several weeks ago! I'm not quite sure what to make of my plying, but I rather like it I think. There isn't much, since it was the fibre that came in the learn to spin kit I bought at Fibres West, but it was certainly nice enough fibre to work with.
What do you think?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Strawberries for Spring

I know this has absolutly nothing to with crafts, but I must share because it's so exciting!

Apparently I was working across the street from a gem of a Farmers Market, and I didn't know it!

I've walked past the Langley Farm Market a bazillion times in the two years I've been working at Chapters, but only today did I stop to actually really take in what they had.
It was the $1.99 sign above the strawberries outside that really got me. Big. Juicy. Succulent. Mouth Watering. Strawberries. That are early!

I called my mother, "Is $1.99 for a pound of strawberries good?" "What?! YES! Buy!"

And then I went inside, and found fresh mangoes, also ridiculously cheap, and got some of them, as well as some dried pineapple. I only spent $5.89, but for that small amount, I got so much! I'll stop by there and get another container before I go to work tomorrow, to share in the staff room.

I had a mangoe and a few strawberries when I got home - and let me say - I haven't had strawberries that good from the states for sooooo long! Normally we wait until the local fruit is ready before we bother buying any, but I guess I really lucked out today! (Oh, and the mango was very good as well!)

On a more crafty note, I've been gathering what I need to start tablet weaving. Three colours of crochet cotten from Micheals, some playing cards from the dollar store, a hole punch....
Now I just have to see if I can get Rods Dad to make me a loom of one type or another, as he is quite the crafty type when it comes to putting wood pieces together. Half the wooden pieces of furniture in their house were made by him.

Still working on figuring out knitting...I tried it out the other night, but when I started the first row, after casting on, I kept dropping stitches, which would force me to start over. I get the basic idea, I just need to keep really good focus on it I guess. I still like crochet better. I drop a stitch, you don't have to frog everything and start over.

Oh, and when I was in Knitopia the other day, I bought a new spindle. Thank you Viking Santa for making beautiful spindles that don't cost $100! I bought a lightweight one that is ideal for lace weight spinning, although I'm not nearly advanced enough to try getting that thin...I've gotten a decent amount spun up on this one, and I like it alot more than the spindle that came in the kit. The photo (Which I have neglected to rotate...) shows the beginnings of the spinning, but I've gotten alot more done since then. I like how theres a groove carved into the shaft. Makes it alot easier to keep the yarn in place.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tablet Weaving

A few of my friends are members of the SCA, and one of them, Ashley, learned how to do tablet weaving from it. Since I wanted to learn myself, and I rarely see her long enough for her to give me a lesson, I decided to try and find some good tutorials on the internet.

Tablet, or card, weaving, is a very...ah...complicated form of weaving, and before I ever attended an SCA event, I didn't even know it existed. I got to watch Ashley doing some of her tablet weaving when we went to a heavy fighting practice one time, several months ago, and it fascinated me.
As far as I have been able to tell, the idea is that the cards that are attached to the strings, get rotated each time the string gets woven through. Either all get rotated forward, all go back, or some go back and some go forward...
As I said, it's complicated.
Which may be why I haven't seriously tried finding a good tutorial beforehand. I like the ease and simplicity of crochet compared to how complicated tablet weaving seems.
However, spinning isn't simple either, and I find that very meditative. So, perhaps I'll be able to successfully manage tablet weaving as well.

Anyways, here are a few of the tutorials and resources I found that could be useful to others:
I'm possibly going to order a copy of Card Weaving as well, since I don't always like to sit in front of the computer to follow instructions - and it might be a bit difficult if I'm try to weave and sit in front of a computer at the same time.

Hopefully it all will work out.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

First Listing!

I I've finally listed a product for sale on my Artfire shop! (Instead of Etsy....we'll see if I decide to list anything there or not in the near future)
They have a Rapid Cart thing for off-site listings, however, it looks wonky when I try to add it to my post here, so I will try sticking it in the side, in place of the ad for Artfire perhaps. Anyways, if you would like to check out the shop, then just click here. :D

Edit: The Rapid Cart does work quite well in the side, so you can check out the listing to the right if you would rather not dive into the depths of ArtFire. :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Good Read

And a good cup of tea. That, along with watching a movie with a crochet project, is one of my favorite ways to spend an evening.
Since I work in a bookstore, it's definitely a very easy thing to do, since there are always books that I want to read.

I finished reading The Book of Negroes (by Lawrence Hill, published in the USA as Somebody Knows My Name) a few weeks ago, and it was one of the best books I've read in years. Mr. Hill does an amazing job of describing Aminata's life, and even though it is a fictional story, I could feel myself walking in her shoes. I am not usually drawn to such powerful stories, usually preferring to read Terry Pratchett, or Christopher Moore; but the tale is so well woven that I couldn't put it down! I got so attached to characters that I easily found myself laughing along (or at) them, and crying along with them as well.
Highly recommend it!

And....For something completely different, the next book I'm finding myself in is Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. Seth Grahame-Smith has taken the classic novel, and turned it into a Zombie thriller. I'm so entertained by how serious the whole thing seems. It's even got a Readers Discussion Guide in the back, including my favorite question: "9. Is Lady Catherine's objection to Elizabeth (as a bride for her nephew) merely a matter of Elizabeth's inferior wealth and rank? Or could there be another explanation? Could she be intimidated by Elizabeth's fighting skills? Is she herself secretly in love with Darcy? Or is she bitter about the shortcomings of her own daughter?"
Grahame-Smith has expertly woven into Jane Austen's world to add a society where zombies have been the norm for some five-and-fifty years, and young ladies are equally capable (if not more so capable) of mastering the combat arts to defend themselves and those around them from the undead.
Read if you're capable of taking classic literature lightly. Don't if you love your precious Pride & Prejudice so much the mere thought of anyone medling with the original makes your eyes bleed.

I sat up and re-watched the 1995 Pride & Prejudice production from BBC (so very worth owning!), before reading P&P&Z, and it seems to be making each moment of the book that much more entertaining. (I would have read the original all honesty, I found the original to be a very slow read, and reading it once was quite enough for me. I still appreciate it for what it is.)

And on a topic completly not related to books at all,...I was in the dollar store today and picked up some cute rub-on sticker things from a brand I had not heard of before - Cosmo Cricket. It had a site on the back, and since I liked what I saw, checked it out when I got home. Wow! So cute! This is a company that I'm seeking out and finding more of! This is the only line of scrapbooking materials that I have found where every single thing they make, is something I love! What the stuff was doing in the dollar store....well, I just hope it's a sign of their other products being well priced as well! *crosses fingers*

I know previous posts in this blog have been about yarn and crochet, but I assure you, I like a bazzilion other crafts as well, so you'll see a sprinkling of them come along as well. :)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Socks, socks, socks.

I want to make socks.
I keep seeing wonderful, pretty, amazing socks on various blogs and on Ravelry....all knit.
My main problem with this is that I don't knit. And I'm having a oddly hard time finding a pattern for socks that I like that is for crochet! So...perhaps I'll have to try one of the patterns that I've found, see how well I can do it, practice alot, and then make some patterns for myself. More crochet socks! More, more, more!

...On a side note, my hat experiment is sitting beside me, almost done, I just need to finish weaving in the ends, and add an edging to it. It's quite nice, and I added earflaps to it. I'm very pleased that I managed to make a toque without a pattern.

Now, if I can remember to buy some new batteries (all my rechargeable ones seemed to have disappeared since Rod took the Wii to his house for his Mum to use for Wii Fit), so that I can actually use my camera again. So many pictures to take - I have a massive amount of yarn that I've bought over the last two weeks (thanks to Knitopia having a clearance sale....$189 in two weeks, in one shop. $40 was for a second drop spindle, sure, but the rest was ALL YARN!) I need to photograph all that for Rav plus the projects I've been working on.
Perhaps I'll walk to the Co-op tomorrow if it's nice weather (or get my Dad to give me a lift if it's not), and pick up some batteries there...

Happy Easter everyone!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hat making experiments.

With all the hats I've made in the last little while, I've decided to try and experiment a little bit. I've started to make a beanie - without a pattern! I intend to make it black and green striped, and so far it looks like a pupil with a green iris. ^^;; Anyone loose a greatly over sized contact lens?

Also, a coworker, Anne, decided to buy me a Tunisian/afghan hook - so I'm excited to do some Tunisian stuff when I get it on Monday. Anne is such a wonderful lady, and she's one of the few people I know in person, that shares my love for pretty yarn and crochet.

I think I will try to knit some over the weekend as well. I found some knitting needles in my stuff when I was cleaning today, so it seems like a good idea to try something. Wish me luck. The last time I tried knitting didn't turn out so well.