Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Choker in the Making

For the past year I've had a few skeins of (what I now believe to be extinct) Plymouth Royal Bamboo yarn in a deep crimson and silver. They sat there. I occasionally squished them, loving that bamboo silky feel. But nothing really came of it.

I knew I wanted to do something cable-y with them, but knew that cables alone wouldn't be enough. I wanted to pair the colours together somehow.

I then began thinking up a choker. It was to have a single rope-like cable in the center, in silver, bordered by the crimson. Which then lead me to how I was to achieve this effect. First I thought intarsia. But how would I do the crimson border? I then figured simple garter stitch, but knew that the natural drapeyness of bamboo would easily make it wonky, and the end result could look very sloppy.

Despite just learning how to crochet, I then settled upon crocheting a border. A single row of treble crochet would give a lovely trellis-like appearance for my cable-vine.

So I set to work. Simply doing a treble crochet right into the main piece would make little spikey parts where I would crochet a stitch, so I did a row of slip-stitched around the edges....and liked it. Alot.

Once again, I scrapped an old idea just to replace it with a new one, and here's my work in progress:

I know this sounds a bit dorky, but the silver yarn kind of reminds me of mithril. For those of you not familiar with J. R. R. Tolkien's work, it's the silvery metal highly esteemed by elves in the LOTR trilogy.

I plan on buttoning the piece together with a knit flower in the silver yarn, but I'm still trying to figure out how to make that work.

Off to tinker around some more...

-The Bloated Ewe Read more!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Flowers of the Garden Club at Hiawassee Fair

Although my lousy point 'n' shoot snapshot photos can in no way capture the all the amazing colours and textures in each flower, I still felt like sharing some of the inspiration.

The Dahlias

The Weird Succulent With Really Cool Star-Shaped Flowers

Now to somehow take these colours and textures and translate them into something fibery.

-The Bloated Ewe

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hiawassee Fair

Quite recently I attended the Hiawassee fair with my family. It's something that's held biannually; once in the summer and once in the fall.

It's a cute little fair up in (you might have guessed already) Hiawassee. They have a whole bunch of little shack-like booths filled with craft vendors of all sorts, along with the typical fair foods. There's always a couple of bluegrass bands scattered about, and a few artisan reenactors to boot, like a blacksmith or the quilting bee ladies.

This time around I actually took the time to go visit some of the old buildings.

And I took many pictures.
Some were of this barn:

Here's a picture I took while inside the barn:
And inside it had the coolest stall door, with a whole bunch of etchings in it done sometime in the 1930's by the children of the man who once owned the barn.

Inside the place where they were holding the canning and honey competitions they had a wall devoted to pictures of moonshiners:

Farther down in the main exhibit hall, I came across this gorgeous Linotype printing press:

And here are all the little letter blocks:

I now want a Linotype printing press of my very own. Or at least the letter blocks. Definitely want the letter blocks.

I also rode more fair rides than I ever have...probably since I was little. Possibly even more than when I was little.

Apparently I am in one of these barrels. You can't see me, so just use your imagination:

Next post: the flower show! I took tons of pictures of that; I figured I'd end up overwhelming the average person if I posted them along with the all the other pictures I've just put up.


The Bloated Ewe
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Monday, July 14, 2008

Finishing with my Drop Spindle and Second Sock Syndrome to the Enth Degree.

Well, I seem to have both good news and not-so-good news to share today.

To start of with the not-so-good....

Second Sock Syndrome has been forced upon me. Okay, so I bought a lovely skein of Colinette Jitterbug sock yarn in "Popsicle" a gorgeous colorway. 100 grams, typical sock yardage. Should definitely be enough for a typical sock pattern.

This is where I made a grave error.

Just because sock yarn weighs a certain amount doesn't mean it will give you average sock yardage.

Now I'm left with one whole sock and one almost whole sock without the tip of its toe.

Now the yarn was about 22 dollars. I'm not sure whether I should a) just suck it up and buy another skein, b) beg the LYS owner if I there might be any scrap yarn in the same colourway that's left over from one of her sock classes, or c) substitute the toe with some of my (not at all similar) regia sock yarn I have left over from the socks I made for my father.

I really don't feel like going with option c. So I'll probably try options a and b, starting with b first, despite its pathetic lameness.

Onto the good news: I'm finished with the navy and fuchsia I was spindling! It's a pretty nice-sized ball, definitely would be enough for a pair of handwarmers if knit as a single.

Though I still definitely want to ply it with my spindle...I think.

Ah. Decisions, decisions.

-Cat Read more!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I've finally plied all that rambouillet-finn roving I was spinning up; thank God I didn't put it aside for later. It came out pretty nice, even though I kept freaking out about whether I was over-plying or under-plying it. Whenever it seemed like it was balanced it would come out all wilty and crappy looking, but when I finally gave it a tight enough ply so that it looked nice and beaded it would started coiling on itself. But since I'd rather block a garment to remove whatever energy is left than have to deal with ugly yarn, I decided to give it some extra twist.

It reall came out nice, didn't it?

It's 16 wpi, basically a fingering weight yarn. Finest I've ever spun. The little Bauhaus-esque block on my hand next to my handspun helped me figure out that little technical detail. I picked it up over at The Spinner's Emporium on etsy. Really nifty, and yeah, I know I could have just wrapped the stupid yarn around a ruler and ended up with similar results, but this little poplar wpi gauge looks way cooler than a ruler, and the price didn't make me suffer. Plus, it matches my louet. Rulers don't do that.

Now that I'm done with the rambouillet-finn, I've been working alot more on my drop spindle. It used to feel really awkward, but now that I've been spinning so much with the wheel it no longer feels difficult. I just grabbed some chunks of fuchsia and dark navy corriedale I had floating around and decided to spin random pieces of them together; once I finish that I'll spin up some other wierd colour combo and Navajo-ply them together, because I've been really wanting to learn how to Navajo-ply.

I'm still not quite sure what to make of it, I'll wait 'till it's completely done before I make up my mind.

Now I'm off to work.


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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Earth Cries?

According to this space.com article, it cries, and by God what a strange cry it is. Apparently it's caused by our "Auroral Kilometric Radiation", a close relative of what causes the Northern Lights. The earth just beams these noisy rays out into space, waiting for some extraterrestrials to tune in and check out our planet.

Kind of like one of those "relaxation" cds with all the nature sounds, but alot more noisy and chaotic.

You can check it out for yourself here. It reminds me of Electronic Voice Phenomena (AKA EVPs)...if I had the kind of technology and know-how, I'd tinker around with the clip and see if there's anything that's being said and is just garbled by all that white noise stuff. Who knows?

I remember reading that a common question that skeptics ask about the existence of roaming souls is that after thousands upon thousands of years of human existence, we'd be bound to have this huge pileup of ghosts just spilling out of every corner; a sort of overcrowding, I guess. And since we don't believe in the overpopulation of dead people, we shouldn't believe in ghosts either.

To just cut to the chase, I'm suggesting that maybe, just maybe, this weird earth noise is proof that the earth really truly is overcrowded with dead spirits?

Or maybe evidence of some sort of parallel universe, right under our very noses? Purgatory? Hell? Something completely different?

Or maybe simply another strange, science-y phenomenom that I'm taking and warping it into some woo-woo brujeria nonsense?

Yeah, probably the latter. But I'm still not trashing my paranormal space EVP theory.


-The Bloated Ewe Read more!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Fine Obsession.


As of late I've been finding myself knitting and spinning smaller and smaller. Now normally my meat 'n' potatoes as far as knitting and spinning go are somewhere around the worsted/aran weight scale. Knits and spins rather quick. Details such as lacework and cabling shows up quite well. Fair size, but doesn't look like you took the easy route-- the kind of impression that the "bulky weight" often gives.

But now I've been dipping into the sock weight end of the scale more and more frequently. I'm knitting the daintiest of socks on size 1 US needles and spinning the finest singles I have *ever* spun as of yet.

Here's the sock I'm currently knitting, using the Slippery Sock pattern, courtesy of knitty.com.

And here's the roving I'm spinning, using a lovely chocolate rambouillet-finn cross I attained through a fellow spinner's de-stash effort.

Well, that obsession is now fading, and I've found myself with a megaspool's worth of an insanely fine single and half of a pair of socks.

I don't want to suffer from both Second Sock Syndrome AND have a ball of an un-plied single floating around. I'm thinking of giving the roving a rest and maybe dying up some new stuff to be spun really chunky and crazy, while I continue knitting my socks. They're a lovely, crazy colour combo of tropical limes and turquoise and fiery reds and oranges, but I swear, once I finish with those I'm off to knit something truly demented.

Off to work on that sock.
-The Bloated Ewe
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