Thursday, October 30, 2008

Final spinning class

And here is my creation! It's 36 yards of 50/50 merino and tencel. It is super luminous and super soft. I decided to go with this over the bamboo since I am still a bit scared of the slipperiness of it. The merino/tencel seemed to be a good meeting point between a plant based fiber and a wool. But I really like how this came out, I can obviously tell I have gotten better but still have a long way to go. I was really excited too because we were shown how to Navajo ply. It always looked so complicated when I saw it online but really it so easy! I can't wait to try it the next time I spin!

I highly suggest anyone in the metro area interested in spinning or plant dying to take a class with Virginia Parent. She is a staple in the MN Weaver's Guild and offers classes both through them and The Fiber Studio. Not only is she a extremely patient teacher, she knows her stuff so backward and forward - she is a walking dictionary of fiber.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More yarn from spinning class

Not much to write on this one, not super jazzed on how the spinning part went (my yarn kept breaking, so sad!). But I do like the colors and texture. It's all my own fault too for it breaking, I went in over my head a little and started getting crazy with my mixing of fiber. But all I need is practice, practice, practice!!

But for my next class, I think I am going to try bamboo (talk about getting in over your head with spinning). I REALLY love how bamboo looks when it is spun up (as seen in this beautiful example from traditions fiber arts). Plus of course all the good things like it is a vegan yarn, has natural anti-bacterial properties, etc. But after this weekend, I do need to take my spinning hat off and put on my craftin' hat so I can start gearing up for No Coast!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Self portarit thursday

Yay, remembered again this week! I got crazy with the flash last night, experimenting with putting different objects in front of it. This one was using a spool of thread which left a lovely starburst effect.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My weird obsession

So over the past year, I have found myself collecting cameras. Not on purpose really, I just really love the aesthetics of old film cameras and whenever I come across them at thrift stores, I just have to have them. I have two new finds from over the weekend:

This one I am unable to find much information online about. It's a GAF Anscomatic 236, which was primarily used for slide film I think. It no longer works (the spring that operates the shutter it broken) but I still love how it looks. I can imagine Donald Draper (from Mad Men) taking family photos with this thing.

And then this is Ninoka 700 which is basically a plastic toy camera with a fake SLR looking lens. But it still works as far as I can see and I want to find out what kind of pictures it takes. I read that these cameras were everywhere in the 80's as a promotional "free with purchase" type deal but most have been thrown away. So while not rare, I do love that I found one in working order. It even has four different aperture settings, how fancy! And of course for the bargain price of a $1.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Yarn and No Coast

I am so enthralled with my wheel spinning class! Last week we practiced with some Bluefaced Leicester. It was just speaking to be dyed with grape kool-aid and to be crocheted into a scarf-let. The charming buttons were taken off an old anthropologie sweater that had become too big. I like spinning with the Leicester, it is softer than corridale and was easier to spin than merino (at least for now, I totally need to get better at spinning merino, it is sooooo soft).

Also, I found out over the weekend that I was accepted into No Coast Craft-o-Rama again this year!! I had such a great time last year that I am honored to be picked again to participate in this year's show. The only down side is that I am now going to be crazy busy for the next five weeks. But if this year is even as half as successful as it was last year for me, I will have more than enough to buy a wheel, whoohoooooo!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

If I had $83...

All these etsy lovelies would be mine!

Yes, I love the feather fascinator thing that has popped up recently and I totally need one!! I love this one from topsyturvydesigns, it is different enough to stand out but a deal at $29.

I heart this sweet little mushroom brooch from createitcottage. And another steal for only $16.

This intricate, vintage-y cuff would look great with about 80% of my wardrobe. From peggradyart for $18.

And what would look stellar with all the above? Why this cute vintage dress from reciprocities! I love the buttons and the "U" top stitching detail on the front, $20.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My first yarn from wheel spinning!

Is it pretty? No. Do I love it anyway? Yes.

I don't know why, but I decided a couple weeks ago that I needed to take a spinning class. I have been enjoying my drop spindle but I feel like I have hit a wall with how slow it takes me to spin up any decent amount of yarn. There is a great little fiber shop relatively close to us and they were offering a comprehensive introduction to spinning. Considering that life is short, I figured why not do it?

Well this is my yarn from our first class last night. 90 yards of corridale spun up in about 2 hours. It took a bit to get the hang of using a wheel - there is just so freaking much you have to do all at once! But holy sh*t. When you get the hang of it, it's so fantastic!

I am obviously not a master spinner but I was really proud of what I was able to leave with. And it goes so fast! It would take me 8+ hours to spin 90 yards on my drop spindle. And the zen-like feeling you get when you're in the zone is just great. Although the class is only 2 hours once a week, the owner of the store is letting us come in any time she is open to practice - if I wasn't so busy with the beaner I would be there everyday.

So now I just need to save up $550 for a wheel. Um, yeah - maybe I can win the lottery this weekend?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Totoro, oh Totoro!

Rainy Sunday = Totoro barrette

And I just felt I really needed to add the Totoro song, enjoy!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pattern for Bunny Beer Cozy

I am so happy that people like the cozy! I must apologize in advance for my instructions. I have never written up any before and sometimes things might not make sense. PLEASE let me know if something seems wrong!

Also, please do not reproduce this pattern anywhere and please use this pattern for personal use only, not for any commercial or retail purposes. If you ARE interested in selling it, please contact me and I am sure we could work something out!


Yarn: Worsted (I used Sugar n Cream cotton in Ecru - I like how the cotton holds it's shape and works well with any condensation). You should need less that half of a skein.

Hook: G/6 (increase or decrease if needed)

Gauge: after row 3 of body, circle should be about 2 inches across (the same size as the rim along the bottom of a beer/soda can)

if you are unfamiliar with how to start with a magic ring, these are two great resources:

Crochet Me Article
YouTube video by tjw1963


Make a magic ring
Row 1: sc 8 times into magic ring
Row 2: 2 sc in each sc around (16 total stitches)
Row 3: *1 sc, 2 sc in next* repeat 8 times (24 total stitches)
Row 4: *1 sc, 1 sc, 2 sc in next* repeat 8 times (32 total stitches)
Row 5: Sc in BACK LOOPS ONLY (32 total stitches)
Row 6-24: Sc 32
After the end of row 24, slst the next three sts, weave in ends

if you are having a hard time getting the cozy to fit your can snugly, you can play around a little with the # of stitches in row 3. I tried doing one in acrylic and found that I had to take away two of the stitches to make it work (Then I had 30 total. I just did one sc instead of the *2 sc* two times). Then i kept the 30 total stitches in rows 5-24.


Make a magic ring
Row 1: sc 4 times into magic ring
Row 2: 2 sc in each sc around (8 total stitches)
Row 3: *1 sc, 2 sc in next* repeat 4 times (12 total stitches)
Row 4: *1 sc, 1 sctog* repeat 4 times (8 total stitches)

Stuff with fiberfill or fill of your choosing. Sew to body of bunny.

ARMS, make 2:

Make a magic ring
Row 1: sc 4 times into magic ring
Row 2: 2 sc in each sc around (8 total stitches)
Row 3-7: Sc 8

Stuff with a little bit of fiber fill, pinch and sew opening closed. Sew onto body.

EARS, make 2:

Make a magic ring
Row 1: sc 4 times into magic ring
Row 2: *1 sc, 2 sc in next* repeat once (6 total stitches)
Row 3: *1 sc, 1sc, 2 sc in next* repeat once (8 total stitches)
Row 4: *1 sc, 2 sc in next* repeat 3 times (12 total stitches)
Row 5-10: sc 12

Pinch opening closed and pinch corners together. Sew to save this shape. Sew onto body.

Here is a close up of the ear so you can sort of see the pinching:

Decorate face.

That's it! Again, please let me know if you have any issues - I will happily correct mistakes or expand on any confusing areas.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

bunny beer cozy

I got really excited in August when there was a contest on Craftster for cozies. You could fashion any type of cozy you wanted and I thought it would be hilarious to have a cute bunny beer cozy. Well, I got distracted and didn't finish it in time but was proud of myself for coming up with the whole pattern. I used Sugar and Cream cotton in Ecru and used the amigurumi style of crocheting in rounds. I figured the cotton would be good for condensation.

Here is more of him:

Is it creepy that I like squishing his tail? Maybe that was the allure of dressing girls in bunny suits in the long-gone Playboy clubs.