Crafts are my passion, Cats are my obsession

My crafting adventures, my cats, my dogs, my opinons - I never did keep a diary as a child, but I'm doing it now!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

I've been away....

Which is why it is so long since I posted.

BUT - I'm still doing the same old things.... becoming more addicted to more crafts.

Ok, so - I've been working on a sadly neglected project - a gansey sweater for me. Liz Lovick is a great lady who runs some online workshops through a couple groups. She did a Shetland Lace workshop, and a Gansey workshop. Very talented lady. Excellent teacher. Wonderful person.

Also, I'm starting another shawl (like I don't have several UFO shawls, as well as WIM shawls). A knit along, though I'm pretty far behind - I'm on (starting) clue three, and clue four is finished by many others....

I'm also working on socks - trying not to start new ones, but I did. I have several paris on needles, so in a way, I can't really start new ones until I empty a few needles.... but, we came home from holiday for a couple days, do laundry etc. and I didn't bring the current WIPs home, thought I could work on some UFO's.... instead, I managed to cast on again.... *sigh*

But, the other socks I'm doing - well, I am using the Easter egg dyed yarn. Wanted to try it out, see what I could do.... Am finally doing an "afterthought" heel, too. So far, I did the thing where I used waste yarn for half a round. Then, because I'm impatient... I pulled out the waste yarn, and put the stitches onto stitch holders. Besides, I wanted to be able to try on the sock, so I'd know when to start the toe decrease. Well, the stitch holders weren't such a great idea for that job.... So, last night, I finished up some yarn on another project, and had about a yard left - which I used to hold the heel-hole on the sock. That is, I used the yarn like a lifeline, putting the live stitches onto it rather than the stitch holders.

As for that yarn - I bought some "promo yarn" from a grocery store here - over the past few years, they have, after Christmas (hitting the "guilt" shoppers? the ones that said they should make gifts for 'next year'? ) they bring in special order type pounder balls of "Phentex" brand acrylic yarns and Bernat Handicrafter cotton in big balls (not quite pounds, but still, big balls). Well, this year, instead of known name brands, they brought in this "promo yarn" stuff. Now, you *do* get what you pay for..... I bought the "kits" they were selling for baby - there was: a cicular knitting needle, (not bad quality) a crochet hook, a yarn needle (darning needle), two balls of acrylic baby/fingering yarn, and two balls of acrylic baby boucle yarn, for ten bucks. This is what I've used lately for those rush baby gifts I've been making. Anyway - I paid full price for one of them - and bought two more when they came on clearance sale.

Mostly, the yarn was fine. Nice to work with. But, there were some knots. Oh, and I should mention, that the included "pattern" for a baby sweater and a baby blanket, that were printed on the cardboard insert in the kit, will make great kindling for starting campfires..... But, back to the yarn. I actually liked the yarn.

So, when they had the balls of regular acrylic on clearance (100 g balls, regular price $2.99 - not great, truthfully) for $.44 cents a ball - I grabbed several. Planned to try to get a granny square afghan. So, I bought two balls of pink (for centers) four balls of red (hoping to have enough for next rounds) and six balls of white (final rounds and joining). Well, I got 26 centers from one ball of pink, with about a yard or so leftover. I did three rounds of the granny in pink....then I started the next rounds on some of the squares - I did three rounds of red around the pink. Ok, I'm rambling a bit here.... I have a total of 30 pink centers now. And three of them have red around them..... I hope I don't run out of red before I finish, since there is no more yarn at the store.... But, if I do, then I'll have a few scrappy squares in my pink-red-white afghan.

All of this, to point out... That while I did/do have a piece of scrap yarn for waste yarn duties in my little tool tin, it really didn't show up well with the Easter Egg dyed yarn - bright fuschia-y pink yarn blends with bright Easter Egg coloured yarn.... The lighter pink yarn that I'm using in the granny squares contrasts much better :)

So - those are the main projects. EE socks, Gansey sweater, Granny squares, Buggy Pi shawl. THEN - there is, a latch hook that I am working on kind of. One that I found - mentioned it before - when cleaning the craft room. UFO type. I was going to work on it and finish it, but Mica and Ashleigh seem to think that I need plenty of help whenever I work on it. So, I don't get very long sessions in - start while they are napping or birdwatching, but have to give it up when they become too interested.... So, it is slow going. But I *do* plan to finish it. It won't languish as a UFO anymore.....

THEN - there is the part where...well.... I was reading some posts on a crochet group focussing on working on mini critters.... they were all talking about this "needle punch thread" or needle punch embroidery thread that they use sometimes. Well. I've heard of needle punch embroidery. Of course I have - been around for ages. Not something I ever got into, don't know why. Probably just one of those things that - I dunno - never got around to picking up. Nothing really against it.... I think, expense, though, at one time. Seemed like something that you had to buy special tool, special equipment, special kits...etc. etc. etc.

Anyway - all this talk about the "needle punch thread" lately - figured it must be a recurring craft, and not too sure what was special about the thread, made a trip to Michaels to see what I could see.... Saw the kits, the tools.... had a 40% coupon.... hm. affordable. kitty.

Turns out the thread is ordinary 6 ply embroidery thread (DMC cotton, Anchor, J&P Coats all produce this stuff - as well as some generic brands). Of course, I had to get the kitty kit, and the tool, and had to decide that needlepunch embroidery is kind of fun..... Adding a new one to my repetoire....

Also..... Ok, this is one that crept up on me. Way back, way way back, when I was little little. I've said it before....my mother taught me to knit, to latch hook, to embroider, and to weave. She bought me little needlework kits - I remember a plastic basket, cheapy plastic knitting needles, plastic crochet hook, yarn, and knitting knobby or corking tool. Never did figure out the corking.... I also remember, maybe as part of the same "kit", maybe separate (here memory fades some - things run together sometimes) were looms. Nothing fancy - in fact, I think these days they are called "pot holder looms" (maybe they were then, but what four/five year old reads or cares?) . Basically, we're talking, four pieces of plastic that had pegs along one long edge, holes along the bottom half, and could be joined together into a square, then you wind yarn back and forth around the pegs on two opposite sides, and wove through them. The holes were so that you could adjust the size of the square (or rectangle) you wove.

After she had taught me latch hook, I used the loom pieces to make my own background to latch yarn pieces onto, to make my own pictures.

Anyway..... Fast forward to recent years. I've learned to spin. I've made some real-world as well as cyber-world contacts in spinning. Met others who spin. Met others who knit....one of these people also weaves. She showed me her full-sized looms. Told me that if I wasn't already addicted to weaving, that I should avoid it - expense and all that.

Like waving a carrot in front of a hungry donkey......

*sigh*. Well. Of course, I did the usual internet wandering.... She was right, of course. Looms are definitely high priced toys. But they are also fairly simple machines..... made mostly of wood. I even joined a Yahoo group not long ago for weaving. To learn more about looms. Then there are things like Inkle looms, and table top looms. Still pricey, but even simpler. Buildable, even..... All I needed was some wood.....

Or, better yet, to be on the computer at the right time.

Freecycle. I now own a table top loom. :)

Well - this post is getting long - I better let it go for now. Besides, I need to do some cleaning of the house, so I can find something suitable in my stash for warping a loom!! :D

1 Comments:

  • At 6:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I wondered where you were going with that long, long post.
    But ... yeah for freecycle!

    I joined freecycle one day in a rush because someone had told me about it, and of the day's possible "haul" - another person had offered free yarn.

    I didn't score on the yarn.
    I haven't acquired anything else. Nor have I offered anything - yet. But it's fun to read - to see what other people value. And I live in hope of acquiring multiple balls/skeins/cones of dishcloth cotton.

    Janey
    janeyknitting AT yahoo DOT ca

     

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