Posted by: Nven | March 6, 2009

Spinning

I made out like a bandit on my birthday a couple of weeks ago.  My friends are the most awesome of friends.  Thanks guys =)
Amongst the birthday loot was a drop spindle, 2 bags of top and some sari silk from Acidtrix and L33tM0nk3y.  My new addiction is completely their fault, in a good way. =)  I’d been wanting to try spinning for ages, regularly oogeling Craftster’s Fiber Fridays.  With the aide of Youtube I spun the unbleached Top.  The first 2 were with Acidtrix, then my sister in law and lastly my mom.  As you can see I already want to show my new toys to everyone!  You can see I crazy over spun all of them, but it starts to get better near then.  Also drafting made no sense to me, so the singles are more bulky than worsted.

Last Sunday my loving and awesome husband sent me to the Basic Spinning workshop at Ariadne, my LYS of choice.  Lucky me I was the only student that day and got Pollyanns undivided attention (that’s not true, there were babies everywhere getting everyone’s attention but it was close enough).  Drafting now makes sense!  Working with the same unbleached top I managed to spin something in a closer-to-worsted weight (the unevenness gives it character *wink*) and leaned 2 different plying techniques.
Sadly the stuff I spun when I got home wasn’t quite so even.  I think my error lies in my predrafting, pulling it too thin and then trying to compensate once I got going on the spindle.  My splicing is responsible for the rest of the unevenness.  But practice makes perfect!  And practice I will =)

Posted by: Nven | February 27, 2009

February Birthday Crafts

Being a February birthday baby myself I hoped on the Feb Brithday swap on Craftster.

This is the first Sock Monkey I’d every made, and it was a very satisfiying finished-in-one-day project.  The socks were bought new, the button eyes and yarn smile were pulled from my stash.  I followed an online tutuorial and finished him up in about 4hrs start to finish.  He also ate up the last of my polyfil, which for a bag I bought 3yrs ago is quite the feat.

I’d been eyeing the Slither pattern from Kitty.com since it came out, but hadn’t been able to make them with the holiday craft-0-thon.  Yeah, I didn’t get to keep them but they were a fun knit.  They require a combo of skills that made me feel like you better than average knitter =)

Posted by: Nven | February 13, 2009

Oh Fishy-Fish!

At Gencon last year there was a hat vendor with many an entertaining hat.  One was of a dead fish.  I boasted I could make one just as good.  My sewing skills are pretty basic and this one was made out of felt but I figured I could pull it off.  And then this pattern appeared on knitty.  You can see what happened next.   Its going to be a birthday gift for a fish savvy friend.  Here’s hoping he hasn’t got his internet working again…

Cascade 220 wool (light green) and left over Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride (dark green & teal) from past projects.  Knit on a 5mm circ to get the gauge (or as close to).  Techs used: short rows, knitting in the round, & colour work.  Eyes are single crochet circles in some bulky BS Lamb’s Pride.

Posted by: Nven | February 13, 2009

January’s FOs

I’d meant to post these ages ago but due to computer trouble couldn’t set the images cleaned up. Very shortly I’ll be getting my little beast some more ram so that its “beast” status isn’t lost and it can get along with CS4 (oh yeah!) better.

Cripsy Bacon: based of the Entrwined by Lee Meredith (Knitty.com), this was the last of the holiday knits and the first FO of Jan 09. Not my favourite project. The Cascade 220 wool on the 8mm needle called for on the pattern didn’t make gauge. I frogged it and restarted on a 6mm needle. I also worked in stockinette stitch rather than garter becuase I wanted clearer stripes. I added a seed stitch boarder hoping that would keep it from rollint up, but it didn’t. I loved the colours though.

Windbender Hat & Mittens: These were belated xmas gifts for my husband, a big Avatar fan. The hat is Turn a Square by Jared Flood (found on ravelry.com) and the mittens are the Bad Habit Mittens from the Mitten wardrobe via Spun Magazine (an online zine which now seems to be offline sadly). The base brown is radmon stuff pulled from my stash. The teal is from a left over skein of Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride. The arrows are duplicated stitched.

Cath’s Lekku: Long story, but this idea came about as we were running amuck in the vendor room at Gencon this last August. I used the Stocking Cap with Long Tail patter by Nathalie Godbout (found on ravelry.com), but CO down the middle at the start of the decrease rounds to make 2 tails in stead of one. The yarn is some red acrylic, as I wasn’t sure they’d come out at all. In hindsight it could have used some more shaping to make the tails curl to the back of the head before falling back. I should be giving them to her tonight. Depending on what she thinks I may try to adds somes stuffing to them to make the more… tentecaly.

Skinny Doctor Who Scarf: Using the season 12 pattern from Chris Brimelow (doctorwhoscarf.com) and the left overs from the one I made my husband last year for xmas, the skinny Doctor Who scarf is born. I think I only CO 24 stitchs. Its a little over 9ft long (as I’d bought a lighter wieght yarn than the pattern called for… I didn’t know I had to convert from UK to Can weights, oops) and near the end had to start subing from my stash the colours which ran out. In the end I still have about 3 ball of yarn left.

Posted by: Nven | February 6, 2009

Not been so photographic…

I’d have to say my photography suffered in 08. Between work, class and working on my husbands book (Old Frontiers) my photography got put to the side line. Only 2 projects come to mind as worth mentioning, both were the result of Photoshop courses I took as part of a certificate in publications & desktop publishing.

Tribal: These were digital collages. The models are some kind friends who let me shoot them in exchange for food, and the additional images are all things/textures I shot around the house.

Landscapes: All shots from our honeymoon in Costa rica (My first and only visit to someplace tropical, very awesome!) Each one is a different toning technique. From right to left, Infra red, split toning and nostaligic (a kind of hand colouring).

I figured out long ago that I wasn’t cut out for the commercial photography world. I like my soul where it is thank you very much. This year I’m hoping to get off my artistic but and start producing again. I can’t exactly show my work if I haven’t got anything to show.

Posted by: Nven | February 1, 2009

2008 in Review

After knitting/crocheting on and off since the age of about 9 I picked it up again in 2007 to make xmas gifts for a few close friends and my mom. I’ve been doing it pretty steadly since. You might go so far as to say I’m addicted. I get really fidgety now if I’m sitting and my hands aren’t doing something. And then someong introduced me to craft swaps and the crafty addiction got worse. The artistic family background came roaring to the foreground and I found myself wanting to make everything. After a year of mostly scarves and mittens, in 2008 I tried to broaden my crafty horizons.

Both “God Save the Queeens” were a crash course in colourwork (intarsia), both of which I’m very proud. The look on thier recipeits faces were completely worth it too.

I knit my self a top down raglan, my first (and so far only) sweater. It taught me not to hate circular needles, which made the multitude of hats a legwarmers knit for gifts this year a breeze. Which in turn showed me that cable knitting isn’t as scary as it looks.

Over the summer I begged my mother for the sewing machine she wasn’t using and made my bridesmaids dress for a friend’s wedding out of the shinniest blue fabric I could find and a patern called a one seam dress (no longer the case when a circle shirt becomes an a-line) or an infinity dress I found online. Considering my sewing expericnece so far has been pretty basic (hems mostly) and the sewing machine and I had communication problems (what do you mean you don’t want to pick up the left side of the zig zag stitch?!) I think it came out pretty well, with more than one lesson learned.

My first afghan was knit for my mom to celebrate our shared love of tetris. I figure after the numerous frustrated phone calls from me where she magically managed to talk me through patterns she’d never seen she deserved it. I started it in June to make sure it was done in time. Remembering how to make granny squares was just like riding a bike. Tie in all those little ends was a test of patience. From now on they’ll be tied in as I go.

When I’m out of larger projects amigurmi have been nic, short and satisfying projects, which help to thin out the enourmous stash of unlabled yarn I inherited from my mother and grandmother ages ago.

The plan for 2009? I should conqure my fear of seaming, part of the reason I haven’t attempted more sweaters. And I’ve been meaning to figure out double knitting for a while. I’d also like to learn to spin my own yarn sometime. Maybe knit more prezzies for me. I’ve knit almost exclusively for others so far and after this last year’s holiday knit marathon I’m serioiusly considering skipping it this year. But we’ll see just how long I stick to that one ;p

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