Thursday, October 31, 2013

An ear brassiere in progress

I like warm ears, but I'm not really into hats. I like hats, but they are an all-day commitment. As soon as I don a hat, it needs to stay on my head for the remainder of the day. My hair is easily influenced...meaning once a hat plasters my hair to my head it's over. Hat. Must. Stay. On.

That's when a little gem like this comes in handy. I call it an ear brassiere, which is an odd name since this is worn for the sole purpose of keeping my ears warm rather than keeping my ears from jiggling and flopping about. To be clear, my ears don't jiggle or flop.

It's simply a head band about 3 1/2 to 4 inches wide. I'm knitting it flat and will graft the ends together when it gets long enough to go around my head. Not too snug, yet snug enough to not slip down into my eyes.

I was hoping to get it done before this weekend's camping trip. (Low on Saturday is expected to be in the upper 30s). I don't think I'll make it. There's grocery shopping and packing to be done tonight so we can leave as soon as possible on Friday.

No pattern...yet. This is something I brewed up in my head, and the yarn is leftover handspun, probably a dk weight. I'm using size 4 needles.

Rough pattern: provisional cast on, 23 stitches. Slip first stitch each row. There's a 3 stitch cable on either side of a 9 stitch braid cable. One reverse stockinette between each cable. If I were to knit this again, I'd put two stitches between the cables. I was afraid it would be too wide with those 4 additioanl stitches. I forgot how much cables will draw in. Also, the yarn has a tiny bit of angora in it, which softens the stitch definition. When it's long enough, my plan is to graft it in a manner that you won't be able to see the join. Yep, the much-maligned kitchener stitch! I'm not scared, maybe I'll even post a YouTube video of it.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Basket case

Show and tell time...I finished my basket!

The class was tons of fun and I'm so glad I took the plunge and signed up for it. I'll be taking more classes, that's for sure. 

I used wire, reed, sea grass, beads and some of my handspun yarn....which looks a lot fuzzier than it really is. The basket is about 6" high and kind of triangular shaped. My favorite part of the basket is the purple wire that I wrapped around the wired rush in an inside out pattern.

The whole process was quite satisfying. I'm typically a "color in the lines" type of person and struggle every day with recovering perfectionism. For me to weave a basket with irregular sides, different materials, mixed weaving patterns, random beads, and no preconceived pattern is a pretty big accomplishment.

I simply love it!

Monday, October 21, 2013

About spider webs

Several weeks ago (or maybe it was months, I seem to be losing track these days) I saw a photo of a huge crocheted spider web hanging from corner to corner across a front porch. It was cool! Cool enough to make me want to figure out a crochet pattern. I kind of understand the basic crochet stitches, but I don't really "get" how they all go together to make stuff. No matter what I start out attempting to crochet, I end up with a stiff, thick trapezoidal coaster. 

I don't think a huge trapezoid hanging from my front porch would give quite the same effect as a giant spider web. I set out to look for the pattern and came across this beauty. Hrmmmm....

So this is all fine and well (more or less) on a pair of rigid plastic boobs, but what happens when you add real life, gravity...and fat? It was pointed out to me at my last mammogram slammogram (by a "perky" 30-something tech whose breasts have probably never been flattened to 1/2" between two plastic paddles) that my breast tissue is starting to turn to happens. Great. I told her to have a kid, breast feed, turn 49 and give me a call.
Still no luck locating the giant spider web pattern for my front porch, but maybe if I make this brassiere a tad bigger, but that's assuming I don't end up with a couple trapezoids...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A shout out

After listening to my woes about the needle I was using for the Weave-it loom I found at an estate sale, Liana ordered me one that is so much thinner and longer! I tried it out this evening with an old ball of some crappy yarn I spun (very badly) a couple years ago. The yarn is ugly, poorly plied, inconsistent. Yuck. So I tossed it in a bin intending to use it as a core for spinning batts. Well, hold the presses! Stop the spinning wheels!  Who knew that weaving it would transform it into something so delightful?
Yay! And thank you, Liana! Not only did you make mini-loom weaving enjoyable, you saved a misunderstood and unappreciated skein of yarn from the crap bin!

A tisket a tasket...

...I am making a basket!

I had my first basket making class last night. Before you roll your eyes and mutter, "Good grief, Chris, how many projects and hobbies do you need? Isn't knitting, spinning, dyeing, weaving, and breathing enough?" just hear me out.

I admit it. I fell victim to an e-mail blast sent by Nashville Community Education. I was about to delete the e-mail when I saw the words "basket" and "non-traditional". I clicked on the link and they got me hook, line and sinker. I signed I need another hobby.

Never having taken Community Education class before, I didn't know what to expect. And (since I'm coming clean here) I'll spit it out. My expectations were a little low. I was even a little embarrassed to tell people that I had signed up for Community Education class. The comments from my friends and coworkers ran the gamut from "that sounds so fun!" to "er...basket weaving?"

So, it's a two-session class and this is what I created.

So, seriously, even if I don't finish the sides, just the base is cool as hell! The beads! The quasi-triangular shape! Sure, the first couple rounds were a bitch, but once I got going, it all started making perfect sense.

At the next class we're going to shape the sides and incorporate non-traditional items. The beginning guitar instructor gave our weaving instructor some used guitar strings. That's awesome. I'll also be bringing some of my handspun yarn to share with the class. The trick here will be to not go overboard with too many design elements, but you know how I am with shine and sparkle. More sparkle more better!  
Yep. Everyone is getting a basket for Christmas. (Well, maybe)