Saturday, May 30, 2009

Meet Maureen

So I had plans to make a felted cloche. I shouldn't say had, since I still intend to make it sometime, but since the first attempt at felting did not go as I expected, I will try again - later.

At any rate, I realized that I needed something upon which to dry my hat, to make sure it retained the proper shape. 'Ah,' though I, 'a foam wig head would be perfect!' And thusly set about finding one.

But it turns out that the makers of foam wig heads are not interested in realism. Either that, or wigs are absurdly small. All the female foam heads that I found were routinely 18" in diameter - and even though my head is small, it's not THAT small. I wanted something that would more or less match my dimensions.

Finally I found her.

Perhaps a bit less delicately formed than other wig heads, Maureen is still a lovely individual. Of course, foam heads come the way they are manufactured - plain white - so I was the one who drew on her features. Well, to put it more accurately, I revealed the features that were already there, just waiting to be delineated by my art markers.

Some have said that Maureen is actually a man, wearing badly drawn makeup no less. But I will tell you now, she is simply a strong-featured, strong-willed, and entirely feminine lady. Who models hats. Just look at that little half-smile - you can tell that she enjoys her job.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yarn Christmas, in May

I ordered a few things from eBay a couple of weeks ago, and I also went to my favorite local yarn shop today, Really Knit Stuff. Anyone in Tallahassee, who loves knitting and beautiful yarns, should check it out - it's in Railroad Square Art Park.

Anyway, my two orders of yarn both happened to arrive today. One thing that I may not have previously mentioned is how much I love ordering things online, and then getting to open them when they arrive. Sure, I know what's in there, but there's something so wonderful about tearing open a package, and all that bright, colorful fiber spilling out into my lap like soft jewels, just for me. And once I finished rolling around in them, I straightened everything out and took some pictures.

I am super excited about order number one, some recycled sari silk ribbon yarns.

Right now my main thoughts are - what to do with it? I have an idea that I'm sort of ignoring right now, lest it get away - you know, when you have an idea that's sort of nebulous and you let it sit back there and brew for a little while. I'm thinking a skirt with this ribbon woven into it, and used as fringe, but like I said - still a bit nebulous right now. Once I design and make it, I promise I will post a pattern.

Present number two: a yarn grab bag, from another eBay retailer.

I have nothing in mind for this yet either, although I am excited about the possibilities. Eight small skeins of unique yarn - what COULDN'T I do? At least, that's what it feels like. Realistically, I know I couldn't do anything larger than a lacy scarf, small purse, embellishment on a larger item, etc. But it's still fun to pretend.

Item three was my admittedly indulgent buy at RKS. Wisdom Yarns' Poems and Sonnet are two of my favorite yarns, for their beautiful colorways - like Noro kureyon, only I like ALL of the colors together, not just some of them. Let's call it a toned-down version. Well it turns out they make sock yarn as well.

There is no name listed on the label to describe this colorway, but I think of it as Parrot. It so strongly makes me think of a Blue Macaw, I don't know what else I could do with it but make something that looks feathery.

Merry Christmas, Shishkani.

Ravelry is amazingly useful

I probably get more traffic FROM Ravelry than anywhere else, but if you have stumbled into my humble abode by mistake, here's a tip - apply to join Ravelry today. I have never seen a better resource for connecting knitters and crocheters, keeping track of your yarn, tools, projects in progress, finished works, and patterns you'd like to tackle someday.

It has all these integrated tools that make it perfect for someone like me, who feverishly organizes things and then loses them. I once had a 3 ring binder full of patterns that I was interested in . . . but I have since taken things out, put other things in, and finally simply lost the binder itself.

Ravelry takes care of all that kind of thing for you; plus, if you are a pattern hound (also like me) they have a great search engine for free (or purchasable) patterns that pulls info from some of my current favorite spots - knitty, yarn company websites like Lion Brand, Moda Dea, Caron, and Bernat, etc.

It also has a well built community system where you can get in contact with thousands of other knitters or crocheters, find interesting blogs, learn new techniques. All that good stuff. So do yourself a favor and join - it's well worth it.


Well, I realized that it's May. And hey, I have (had) a blog. Which I seem to have forgotten about. Time to pick the thread back up; while I have not been blogging, I at least have still been knitting, in the few intervening months.

A new start goes well with a blog redesign. The background and banner pictures are from the Bernat Felting neckwarmer; I love that set of colors so much that now they're part of the blog, as well as part of my knitting. And as a bonus I have learned a bit about messing with the standard Blogger template.

Right now I still have many pictures to tweak and format, but expect some new patterns and projects to be up very soon.