Thursday, May 31, 2007

one tent down....

It's sewn and sitting in my living room in it's new bag. I did the majority of the sewing and am receiving some nice pottery for the work. Barter is good. I set it up last night with one of my uprights and hubs to try it out. My spokes are too long, but they worked well enough for me to see how the whole thing looked. I drilled and cut toggles and sewed them on to close the doors and moved the pockets for the spokes lower. It was a nice space inside. I sewed the carrying bag and the whole thing is waiting to be picked up and taken home. Now to make a center pole and hub. The hub I'm making (with supplied material), but the center pole is in someone else's hands.

The other 2 tents will not be done at the end of June, but August will be easy, perhaps even by WW. I'll be excited to see what the new site for WW will be like. Perhaps the royalty will all be camped together, which I will like cause then I can be near my friends. It will be a new adventure!

A week from tomorrow I will be on the road to Lilies. How does the year pass so quickly? We have some wayward travelers returning and some new faces and always some people had to cancel at the last minute. That's how it goes, but I will be glad for the people who come. We are still heavily on the canvas end of things and the nylon is quickly going the way of the dinosaur in our camp. This is a good thing.

This weekend my friend E is coming over to sew a shade fly for her camp and possibly start a round tent for use as a shower. She came over last night for a consult on her drawings/ ideas. I thought they looked great and she will have a very snazzy space. C is coming over on Sunday to sew up a shade fly and alter her ground loops on her wedge. I altered the ground loops on D&K's wedge on Monday and I need to get that back to them.

I'm excited for the sewing classes and tailors shop at Lilies and I am also excited to have a fellow campfire cooker in camp. We are going to have a blast!!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

To market, to market we go....

I have been knitting some cotton mesh bags lately. I use them for shopping, but I also use them at camping events. They are very handy for visiting the merchants and I especially love using them for storing snack items or other dry goods in camp. I can fill them up and hang them around and people can mostly find what they are looking for easily.

I'm still playing with the pattern, so bear with me.

Cotton market bag
Any type of cotton yarn will do, Lion Brand cotton or something similar is just fine.
2 skeins of solid or multi color.
size 15 circular needles
size 11 dp
large sewing needle for securing the ends

Starting with the large needles cast on 15 stitches and work in garter stitch for 32 rows. (the base can also be knit using 2 strands of yarn to reinforce it). Once 32 rows are complete, pick up 15 stitches on the 3 sides until you have 60 stitches total, place a marker at the beginning of your round. Work 4 rows in garter stitch (you will need to purl every other row since you are working in the round). Start pattern stitch.

Row 1: [K2Tog, YO] repeat to the end of the row
Row 2 and 4: Knit
Row 3: [YO, K2Tog] repeat to the end of the row

Continue this pattern until the bag reaches the desired length (I make approx 7 repeats).

Decrease row:
Knit 2 tog 8 times, knit 14 stitches, knit 2 tog 8 times, knit 14 stitches. 44 stitches remain. Knit garter stitch for 8 rows.

Make carrying strap:
Knit 8, loosely bind off 14 stitches, knit 8 and loosely bind off 14 stitches. You are left with 2 sets of 8 stitches which will become the carrying strap for your bag. Change to smaller needles and knit the first 8 stitches in garter stitch until your strap reaches the desired length and join to other 8 stitches using a 3 needle bind off.

The cotton will stretch a lot so knit your bag smaller than you think you need. Secure the ends and stash one in your purse/ briefcase/ car/ etc. for quick trips to the market.

Friday, May 25, 2007

G Rocks Socks

I finished my socks on the trip to Rapid City SD, last Thursday, and I'm just getting around to taking pictures. I've been buried under mounds of canvas so I have an excuse.

Here is the lovely cake and the beginning of cuff #1.

Here are the finished socks.

I love how the colors pool and I love the pattern.

The yarn is from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Socks that Rock, Colorway G Rocks, lightweight. The pattern is Central Air, also available from Blue Moon. I absolutely love the feel of this yarn on my feet. I put my freshly completed socks on before we arrived at site to set up our tents and I did not take them off until it was time for bed. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!

I had maybe 2 yards of yarn left from the skein, talk about a nail biter.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Roman Socks

Shipped and on the way. The color is really washed out in the picture though. They are a much more vivid purple.

Yarn: Celestial Merino Dream (100% Merino) by Lucy Neatby, color Pansy

My completed socks were inspired by those held by the the Egyptian Global Museum. This example comes from the only Roman town founded in Egypt, Antinoopolis in Middle Egypt, dedicated to Hadrian's lover Antinous who died in the river at the site. My construction is not the same as the original as I knit the sock in one continuous piece and the orginal seems to consist of at least 3 pieces that are then stitched together. I started from the toe up and knit in the round on size 0 needles. The heel is a modified short row. The ankle is split (like the original) and I have added lacing to close up the gap. The top is bound off and the edge is left to roll down, as the original does.

Quest for Camelot

Wednesday evening after work was spent packing the van and trailer at C&C's home. I finished stuffing my sausages while C packed the car, after wards I went with C to pick up beer. The evening was spent relaxing and an early retire to bed. We awoke at 5 am and ate the remaining sausage mixture cooked as patties with rye bread and coffee. We arrived just a little after 6 am to pick up S and start on our way.

The drive was uneventful and a very nice. SD is a boring state to drive through, but it gets far more exciting the further west you go. We stopped in Mitchell, SD for lunch, but decided against visiting the Corn Palace or the Doll Museum, maybe next time. We arrived at the Nemo Guest Ranch (such a picturesque place!!) a little after 4 pm and found out where we were to set up. Fortunately we were right next door to the cabin that our friends were staying in so we had an unexpected treat of using their bathroom and their kitchenette (refrigerator and sink prviliages, nice!) throughout the weekend.

Our camp.

The view!

Cooking and visiting with friends.

General silliness was rampant. We taught our camping/ cooking/ pavilion classes with much sucess and I got a number of compliments on my tents and my cooking box so I was pleased. I finished my G Rocks with hardly any fiber to spare and wore them while setting up and taking down the camp. I think they are a bit on the big side, but they are comfy. I also finished the Roman socks and mailed them off on Monday, a bit on the late side for a graduation gift, oh well.

It was such a lovely weekend and I met wonderful people from the western end of Northshield and got to visit with others that I had not seen for a while. I also met wonderful people from the Outlands, most specifically my namesake Giovanni, who is a hoot! (and he also looks good with pink flowers in his hat).

Fabulous weekend!

Robo Mom home

Received an e-mail from Dad and Mom is out of the care facility and is back at home to continue her physical therapy. I'm sure she is happy to be back home (she's been gone for almost 2 weeks). Sounds like everything is progressing well.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


2 cats.

(Nehemiah on left and Lenny on right)

There is usually a time in the evening when they get full of crazy and one chases the other, and the other chases back. It's all in good fun, but occasionally it ends up in an epic tussle.

Cut to last night.

Lenny leaps off the couch and starts to chase Nehemiah. Nehemiah chases Lenny back and they end up behind the couch in an epic tussle that simmers down to a low whimper. I get up and find that Nehemiah has managed to pin Lenny in what I can only describe as a "Full Nelson". Lenny is letting out a small mew which sounds surprisingly similar to "Uncle".

It was hard to keep from laughing when I broke it up.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Robo mom recovery

So Robo Mom is still in the hospital recovering from her knee replacement. Spoke to her last night and she sounded in good spirits (a bit tired). She has been running a low fever since the operation so the doctor does not want to release her until her temp is normal. They have run through everything that could be causing her temp (100.3-101) and they have ruled out all the possible suspects. They gave her a pint of blood yesterday and she is feeling much better, perhaps she will get another today.

She will be going directly to an assisted care facility for her rehab and then she will be going home once she is independantly mobile. She has been getting out of bed and walking (with assistance) every day since surgery and she continues to improve. Knee replacement surgery is a tough, long, recovery.

Action weekend

BEST ACTION MOVIE EVER!!! I'm just saying.

Simon Pegg=yummy.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Conversations on a bus

I decided to take the bus into work yesterday. I discovered a fairly direct route that allowed me to leave around the same time in the morning and gets me to work around 8, which is when I should be there. (I actually got in around 8:03, oh well). I thought it would be nice to save money on gas and I wouldn't have to worry about squeezing my car behind our shop and I could be all environmently friendly and all.

However there are some problems with that.

Taking the bus is more expensive, for me, than driving. How's that for discouraging? I work 5.2 miles from home. Round trip that is 11 miles. Currently my van gets roughly 18 miles/ gallon. ('96 Dodge Grand Caravan). Today a gallon of gas in MN costs $2.98/ gallon. Round trip with the bus? $4.00. It's an ok choice when the weather sucks and I would rather not drive, but daily use? Not so much. If I had to pay for parking downtown, it would make sense, but I don't. I'm sure the extra $ is worth it to not add my van's emissions into the air, but I can't afford doing that everyday. ::sigh::

I did get some time to knit on the bus, my "G Rocks" yarn from Blue Moon. I've started the heel flap!

I'm knitting on the ride home and I hear faint natterings from people around me: "is that knitting?" "what's she making?" "I remember when my mother/ grandmother/ father/ grandfather did that." The kicker was: "oh I would never find time to do that". This said by someone sitting on a bus, with empty hands and time before their next stop. So what exactly are you doing now? In my spare time this week I have managed to knit 7" of my sock. I will have it finished next week and the other started. I will have the pair complete before the end of the month. God knows I am not idle, I always am doing something, but I find time to knit cause I like it. It's fun for me. If it is fun for you, you will find the time.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Robo Mom

My mom had her right knee sucessfully replaced yesterday and she is recovering well, according to Dad. Her knee is the most recent of replacements which includes: her right hip, her shoulder joint, her teeth, and a fused spine.

I think Robo Mom is appropriate. Besides, I think she is fueled by Energizer cause she keeps going....and going....and going.... I wish I had that much energy.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

"G Rocks"

I have heard this rumor.....

So knitknot saw this colorway on Blue Moon Fiber Arts and actually squeeled, which, naturally, got my attention. She showed me the colorway and it was a given; must be mine, must order, must own.

The yarn and my pattern arrived yesterday and I went to her house after my class cause it was a ball winder emergency!


So pretty and so soft! I love it. I had to cast on and knit a few rows last night, just to get the pattern started. "G Rocks" socks for me!

Pewter Casting

A couple months ago I carved a mold and cast pewter for the second time in my life to make tokens for the Bears of Northshield. I, having zero artistic skills, managed to produce items that closely resembled Ewoks.

My friend Thuri, who has been a professional jeweler for 13 years carved this.

Gee, I wonder who did which bear....


Anyhow, we used a joint compound for our mold, which worked fine for the one time we used it, but does not have any sort of longevity. Last Saturday we (Thuri) carved a mold out of soapstone, which will last through numerous pourings.

Here is the process:

Thuri drawing out the design

The design ready for carving

The carved mold ready for pouring

Heating the pewter. Pewter has a low melt point so it is perfect project to do on the stove. We melted the pewter in a crucible on her gas burner and transferred the melted pewter using a stainless steel spoon (stainless steel has a much higher melt point so it was not effected by the heat of the liquid pewter).

Pouring the liquid pewter into the mold. The soapstone transfers heat a lot better than the joint compound we used for the earlier molds so thicker gloves were in order when handling the mold.

This is not a perfect pour (still missing the top of the spear) but we are getting closer.

The finished bears.

I honestly think our (Her) first bears turned out better so we (She) may carve a new mold and we will try again. The design was a bit big to get the pewter to flow and I think that our sprew was not quite right. Currently the Crown has enough for 4 more reigns (2 years) so we have plenty of time. I'm going to pick up some more soapstone and pewter at Lilies. It was a fun project and now I want to make other stuff, maybe buttons.

It's all in my head

Ok, my fears were unfounded cause the class was fabulous!

I had a lovely mix of people ranging in their 20's to their 50's, all 5 women were from family's who had lefse when they were growing up, but no one made it any more. I truly feel that I changed that for everyone last night and I am so proud. I can't imagine this skill leaving my family. (I think my uncles would take to their beds and not come out again.) One of the ladies received an apron from her grandmother that read "lefse baker", she felt that she had been passed the torch. How wonderful!

The class was 3 hours in length. I showed up early and I'm glad I did cause it took me a while to move everything in, and then clean down the counters. The place was not clean to my standards, especially for a home ec room. Ick. We baked 2 batches of dough and every one of them was flipping and rolling and turning lefse rounds like pros. They all had fun, they all learned that this was actually easy and they all were sucessful in what they produced. Best of all they all got to eat what they made and take rounds home with them.

I asked them to fill out evaluation forms but I don't know if I will ever see that feed back. I'm feeling confident that it was positive. I have already been asked back for the fall/ winter session and I will find out the date at the end of June.

I can't wait! It was so much fun!

Monday, May 07, 2007


So tonight is my Lefse class for the St. Paul Community Ed. I'm extremely nervous and I'm boggled by this. I have been teaching classes in the SCA, out of the SCA, as a TA at University (many years ago), why am I nervous about this? Probably because people are paying to attend this class. ($38/ person, eek!) Probably because I'm having a case of the 'Harlots' and am worrying about all the things that can go wrong.

I get lost finding the school
I can't find the classroom I'm supposed to use and I'm late
No one shows up
My equipment doesn't work
The lefse sucks (this has NEVER happen, but there is always a first)
There is no refrigerator or counter space to use the griddles and we end up using desk tops and the dough is warm and sticky. (supposedly the class is in a kitchen/ home ec room so this should not be the case)
I suck at teaching and everyone hates me.

As I'm writing this I just got a call from the Community Ed office to finalize things for the class tonight. They are offering me MORE money because I only have 5 people signed up for the class (my limit was 10). Wow. They want me back in the Fall too. Cool! I also confirmed that there are countertops, sinks, outlets and refrigerators in my room. Less to worry about; except the sucking....

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Just for me!

I frequently have people accusing me of never keeping any of my knitting for myself. This is not true as I have plenty of my own knitting that I use every day. (socks, sweaters, bags, hats, etc)

THIS yarn will not be going to anyone but me. How cool is that colorway? Thanks G2!
I ordered it today along with a pattern for Central Air Socks. I want my order now!

I turned the heel on Roman sock #1 for Aurelia. Yay.

Check-up for Bruce

I brought him to Service First Sewing to leave him for cleaning and oiling. I told them about the problems I was having with the bobbin. They said "oh you don't need to leave him here for that, we'll just get you a replacement bobbin case". They had one in stock, I purchased 2 more steel screws for the side plate and needle and $20 and 10 minutes later Bruce was back in my car. Yay. I still have the old bobbin case for a back up. Once he is back in the table I will blow out the junk, clean and oil him up. He will be all ready for more tents and shade flys.

Tonight I am sewing the Yeti shade. I want it done so Vidi can use it for the archery moot on Sunday. It's a lighter weight twill so I will be using my Singer. It's all cut out and ready to go so I should be finished tonight. I just will need to gather wood for the uprights, some more rope and sliders and of course, stakes.

Saturday is Pewter casting bears. Sunday is Farmer's Market.

Happy May Day! Beautiful thunderstorms and lightning last night.