Archive for January, 2007

Traveling Knitting

This weekend Nick and I finally went on our “New Years” camping trip in big sur (only a few weeks late). My knitting came too and this portrait of a sock in progress (superwash merino dyed by Karrie, 1×3 seed stitch ribbing) was taken from our super awesome cliff-side campsite in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. There were bunches (or perhaps, pods…) of Gray Whales hanging out just off the point and I even saw a tail!

More photos of the trip on my Flickr page.

I also noticed that a photo I took of Nick and I on Pfeiffer Beach looks just like one from our trip 3 years ago…. (im even wearing the same jacket and hat). I guess I dont change that quickly.

its almost like yarn!

I took a beginning spinning class with Carmen on Saturday at West Valley Aplacas and it was really fun. I even made a fiber product that is sort-of almost-like yarn! The class was so much fun that I have spent the rest of the weekend thinking about buying a spinning wheel. It really is a dangerous situation.

A couple that was also in the class brought some fiber from their angora goat Lucile and I tried spinning a bit of that. It went pretty well but then I tried to Navajo ply it and that was a bit of a disaster…. The fiber is really shiny though!

A while back I spun a silk hankie using a drop spindle my dad made for me. I found it slow and difficult but I guess in learned something in the process. I found spinning on the wheel SO much easier. It was actually enjoyable!

Oh, and spinning wheels… Man, they cost a lot. You could buy a ridiculous sewing machine for the cost of a spinning wheel. but yet….

I would want a smallish one and not *too* expensive. Folding would be nice but just for storage and not for carrying it around. Im pretty sure I want a double treadle but Im willing to be convinced otherwise. I used an Ashford Kiwi for most of the class and that went pretty well. At the end I tried the Joy (single treadle) which went ok with the Mohair until I tried to Navajo ply and then I had all kinds of trouble getting the wheel spinning the right way which resulted in lots of tangling. Most of the wheels out there are still sight unseen as Pat at West Valley Alpacas had only Ashford wheels and Karrie has a Lendrum but I am intrigued by the Majacraft Suzie. Maybe not $630 worth though… Hopefully I can either talk myself out of buying one at all or try a bunch out at Stitches West.

In other more productive news I have blocked and sewn pockets into my giant orange cardigan. Im about to order a zipper for it too. Yay!

View from my sick bed

I had the stomach flu last week. Eyuck.. Anyway in the moments when i wasnt feeling like death I was actually enjoying the view from my bed.

You know those people who live in glass houses? Well that’s us. And it can be damn sunny. Most of the time the sun is really wonderful but occasionally, like when you need to lie in bed all day, its a little too intense.

A while back I tried to fix the direct-sunlight-in-my-eyes-while-lying-in-bed problem by sewing a canopy for the bed. Its a little like if we had a four poster except without the four posts…

I bought 5 yards of fabric on sale at Ikea for $0.50/yd and used the hemming foot on my sewing machine to finish all the edges. Then I sewed “walls” on a few sides of the “ceiling” where the sun can potentially infiltrate the sleeping region. I mounted hooks on the wall above the bed and sewed loops in each corner to make the canopy removable. So far we enjoy it too much to take it down but it is always an option and takes no time. The third corner is tied to a nail on the wall with an adjustable line (truckers hitch anyone?) and the fourth corner is held up by a lamp which is in turn stabilized by the programs from the 2005 and 2004 AGU meetings. Those damn books had to be good for something!

Someday maybe ill make a more permanent corner-holder-upper but for now its doing a great job helping me sleep a little longer…

homegrown glasswork

My dad and I did some playing with glasswork this Christmas. We used his welding torch with a rosebud tip (multiple flame holes) and propane/oxygen flame. We used clear glass tubing and rod to which we added colored glass from rod and frit (ground up colored glass pieces of varying size). Our shapes were far from symmetrical but the process was pretty fun anyway. The glass turns to a honey like material when hot. Our flame wasnt hot enough to heat much more mass of glass so our projects were limited to small items like blown glass bulbs and icicle like items.

This is my dad’s garage and our glasswork set up.

notice the mill and silvertop toyota engine in the background! Not pictured are the band saw, metal lathe and MIG welder. Ahhh tools…

A few more of our creations