Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A date with Simon Pegg

Tonight after work I am picking up 300 and Hot Fuzz and spending the evening in front of the tv knitting the last bit of stocking. I'm hoping to be done enough to wash and block tonight.

G2 called off our weekly gathering on Monday to pack for Pensic. I'm thinking I should host the next couple of weeks since she will be away next week and just getting home following that.

Monday I went and gave blood at the Red Cross. Considering that they did not get my vein right away and had to fiddle around to stick it, my arm is surprisingly not sore. This is a good thing. Naturally I was a bit light headed by the time my pint was almost full. It seems to be hit and miss when I donate, maybe I will just donate lying down from now on. I scheduled my next appointment to donate October 1.

I finished the decorative band on the calf on sock #2, just 3+ inches of stockinette remain and this pair will be ready to ship. I'm planning on mailing them Friday.

Monday, July 30, 2007

One sock down

The yarn issue has been resolved, as best as can be expected. I found a small ball of the cream in the same dye lot in my stash that was left over from the last pair of egyptian socks and it was enough to allow me to complete the broad area of cream in the center of each sock.

This is not the best image of the completed sock; one is done and blocked and the second is on it's way. I finished the decorative band using the off color cream and the stranding makes the difference in dye lot nearly invisible. The decorative band on the second sock has been started and I expect to have the pair complete after a couple evenings with my needles.

Here is a closeup look at the decorative band. I'm quite pleased with how it looks. The jog in the pattern runs up the inside leg of each sock. The person who is going to wear these socks has size 13 feet and measures 21" from the back of the knee to the heel. Long!

I picked up this yarn at Color Crossing on Saturday and it will be a pair of socks for another friend.

What does this color combination remind you of?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Last Minute Striped sweater

That was a quick knit.
This is the Last Minute Striped Sweater by Amy King that I got from Knit Picks back over a year ago. The yarn is Simply Stripes in Crayon, which is no longer sold through Knit Picks. A self striping sock yarn will work just fine for this pattern. I started knitting the body on Tuesday 7-17 and finished the seaming and sewing on buttons last night at knitting, 7-26. I did not spend the entire week knitting the sweater as time was taken to read the final HP book, clean the house, do laundry, and spending time with my new loom.

I soaked, rinsed and blocked the whole sweater last night and I will hand it over the young recipient once it is dried. I added an extra 2" to the length of the body and it made all the difference. My fellow knitter's grandaughter was good enough to try it on to check the fit last night and it is perfect!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Natural Dyes

I have been listening to a number of podcasts lately. Today I tuned into Brit Knit Cast in the UK. (the woman interviewed on episode 15 from the Knitting and Crochet Guild sounds just like Hyacinth from Keeping up Appearances, it's a hoot)

Anyhow, one of the businesses featured in this episode is the Mulberry Dyer. They specialize in natural dyes and actually have a kit called the Medieval Dyer. It just looks like a wonderful kit and possibly worth the exchange rate to purchase it. Not sure what the shipping would run.

Icarus shawl was placed in the post yesterday to CA, cause what one needs in July in CA is a lace shawl knit from alpaca. LOL!

(photo from the Summer 2006 issue of Interweave Knits)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Inkle loom

Ok, buying one did cheer me up. Still no luck on finding more yarn to match the Egyptian socks, but I may have found a solution in my own stash.....stay tuned.

Took 5 others from the event with me on an excursion to Color Crossing on Saturday and it is a lovely store! It has a large selection of yarns but even more so a HUGE selection of weaving supplies. It is mostly devoted to large looms/ multi heddle/ floor looms/ but it did have 1 inkle loom (the rest were rented out) that I snatched up. I also purchased 2 colors of a wool silk for the warp (a deep green and a light greyish green).

I warped my loom on Monday (after finishing HP 7) using some leftover cotton from my card weaving supplies. I wove approx 1 yard of trim at Fiber night and I'm relatively pleased with how it turned out. I used 2 different colors of weft during the weaving and I'm happier with the yellow weft than the white weft.

For someone who is good at seeing things in 3D, I have a hard time thinking through the weaving process. Fortunately the loom came with 5 patterns and warping directions so that helped a great deal. I may buy a book eventually, but I might not need to.

I've started weaving some plain tape with the sample of silk that I ordered for the stockings. It's boring, but it will help me maintain the tension on my weaving, which is good practice. I'm going back to color crossing on Saturday with G2, I think I may be purchasing more weaving materials.

I finished the body of the baby sweater last night and blocked it this morning. I started on the sleeves last night as well. Just need to purchase 4 buttons to complete it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Yarn pilgrimadge

Called Color Crossing. They have the 50 gram balls of the Fortissima Socka yarn that I am looking for. No guarantees that the color will match, but it is worth a shot since the store will be a hop and a skip from the event on Saturday.

At the very least I can pick up some new weaving supplies. Maybe a inkle loom will cheer me up.

Keep your fingers crossed. The worse scenario is that it matches the yarn I ordered and I can frog the earlier work and re knit with the new yarn. It will be a set back, but worse things have happened.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Baby sweater progress

I have 4" knit on the body of the baby sweater. Only another 4" to go before I bind off for the arm holes. I'm knitting the front and the back at the same time and it is going pretty fast despite using 1's.

I'm making the torso longer than the first one that I knit with this pattern. I felt the torso was a bit on the short side so a couple of inches are necessary. I do love this colorway. It just reminds me of the first day of school and a pristine box of crayons.

Hopefully I can have it finished and baby Walker can wear it in the Fall, and then pass it onto baby Landra, and then baby Lloyd, and then baby Kretchmar, and then baby Monthony, and then baby Bruce....

Have I mentioned that a LOT of my friends are having babies lately? Three are due in January. I guess we all know what they were doing in April.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Getting something done

Hey, look what I finally did!

I was in a right old project funk last night. I couldn't work on my socks cause of the whole yarn kerfuffle. The socks I was knitting with the green variegated yarn I purchased at Lilies was not inspiring at all. I'm knitting them with a K3 P2 rib on the whole sock and I'm still worried that they are going to be droopy. There isn't a lot of body to that yarn.

"But the cutting table is clear in the sewing room", I thought to myself. "You could finally block that shawl". So I did.

This is my second lace project, and the largest that I have ever knit. I finished the knitting back in March or April but have not had time, or space, to block it. It was great to finally have this WIP become a FO!

This is the Icarus Shawl from Interweave Knits Summer 2006. It is knit with Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud in Stream. It blocks out to roughly 6' x 3'. I want to pack it up and ship it this week once it is dry.

I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

I don't have blocking wires so I tried the blocking thread technique, but just along the top. I used trilene (plastic wire) and it worked great. No snags, no worries of tangling, it just glides right through the edge. Poor Tim was dragged into the sewing room to make a requisite "ooh" when he got home.

After the successful blocking I decided for kicks to start a new Last Minute Stripes Sweater in Knit Picks Simple Stripes (which is no longer available). I have 2 colorways: Crayon and Tropical. I started the sweater with Crayon since I know more people having boys. I'm knitting the 12 month size. I think this will distract me just fine from the socks.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Crap with a side of crap

So my yarn arrived to finish the blue and white socks. The dye lot does not match. It does not match enough that it is noticeable to me. It does not match enough that it is noticeable to Tim.

It does not match.

It will continuously bother me to the point that I will never be happy with the socks if I try to knit them with this new yarn. I tried starting the new color after a band of colorwork in an attempt to hide the change and it is glaringly noticeable. This is not going to work. Shit!

I'm attempting to find another 50 grams with the dye lot that I am currently using, but I think that is going to be a long shot. I've called every yarn shop in the area and, while all of them have been helpful, they don't have what I need. I want this project done and I don't want to sit here waiting on the "possibility" that another skein could be found and nothing comes of it. I probably would be better off finding a different yarn in a white or off white and re-knitting the damn things, it probably will be quicker. I just wish I was not as far as I am........

I know if I made the choice to frog the things another skein will magically appear. Crap!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mom returning to WI Tuesday

They were considering sending her to "The Manor" today, but she says she is really not up to an ambulance ride for 100+ miles. Ambulances are not known for their comfort. Think "back of a moving van".

She is tired, still dealing with pain from the surgery, but she is sounding more like herself. I'm sure she will be home in another week.

In knitting news the yarn I ordered to complete the most recent blue and white socks shipped Saturday. Should see it sometime this week.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mom recovering

She is still at HCMC, but is getting better each day. They have had her sitting up since the day after the surgery and yesterday they had her doing some PT on her leg. She is really wiped out and sounds so tired when I talk to her. Her doctors are feeling happy about the surgery, but no news as to when she will be leaving. I'm sure she is anxious to be back in WI, even if it does mean meals at the "Manor" containing nothing but white food. LOL!

Dad went home last night.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Surgery sucessful, hopefully

Mom did not crack her pelvis, as was feared. She did break her right femur, where the prosthesis for her new hip is attached. The surgeon was confident that the surgery went well and she will probably be in the hospital for the week and returning to Chippewa Falls to recoup at "The Manor".

Dad has been staying with us for the last couple of nights and will probably continue to stay with us at least tonight, if not longer, which is fine with us. She was still pretty drugged up last night so hopefully I will have a chance to talk with her tonight.

On the project front my blue and white socks are on hold until I receive more white yarn, which should be shipped this week. I began the varigated green socks on Saturday, it was hot enough that I had problems concentrating and had to put down my needles more than once. I want to finish sewing the 2 remaining gowns for Eleanor before her birthday on Friday. I can't wait to see the new Harry Potter movie!

I should be receiving the electronic candles this week as well.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Surgery for Mom today

Mom broke her femur and her pelvis last Sunday when she fell. Her surgery is scheduled for 8:30 am today and I trust that it will go well. Dad stayed at our home last night and will again tonight and possibly tomorrow if he wants to.

I guess I will know something this afternoon.

Apprentice #2

WW was an exciting event. My apprentice Margaretta was there and we actually got to spend time together! Always a minor miracle at big events. She looked stunning in her new light pink gown.

(BTW: if you all are ever looking for a way to volunteer at an SCA event consider hosting Artisan's Row! I got to sit in the shade and chat with artisans and work on my own projects all weekend! It was brilliant!)

So I now have apprentice/ student #2.

This would be Eleanor, daughter of Sir Urien and HL Sabina.

She is currently 8, turning 9 on Friday the 13th and we are going to see Harry Potter! Because of her age we are keeping this apprenticeship very open ended and we are both going to examine it each year and see if this is something we want to extend for another year. I want to give her the freedom to change her mind cause she is a kid.

Since she is of the age that period apprenticeship occurred both her parents and I wanted to do something very period and with the assistance of HL Lucia, wrote up a formal indenture.

The full text is below:
This indenture witnesseth that Sir Urien ap Taliesin has put Eleanor his daughter apprentice to Giovanna di Battista da Firenze to learn her art and serve her after the manner of an apprentice on this the feast day of St. Dominica in the year of the reign of King Hrodir until the end of one year thence. During which term the said Eleanor the said Giovanna as her lady and mistress shall serve, her secrets keep, and her lawful and honest commandments everywhere gladly do. She shall not waste inordinately the goods of her said mistress nor lend them to anyone without her order or special commandment. She shall not customarily frequent a tavern save to do there the business of her said mistress nor shall she contract matrimony with any man during the said term. But shall bear and hold herself both in words and deeds towards her said mistress and all hers as a good and faithful apprentice ought to bear and hold herself according to the usage and custom of the Kingdom during all the said term. And the said Giovanna the said Eleanor her apprentice shall diligently teach and instruct her in her art or cause to be instructed by others, punishing in due manner. And also shall find to the same apprentice sufficient victuals and apparel linen and wool during all the said term as is fitting to be found such an apprentice of that art according to the custom of the Kingdom. And for the fidelity of the said apprentice and that the aforesaid covenants on her part shall be well and faithfully kept as is aforesaid Sir Urien ap Taliesin citizen and Knight of Northshield shall be pledge and mainpernor binding himself his heirs and executors for the said apprentice by these present and the said apprentice binds herself firmly and all her goods present and future wherever they may be found. In witness whereof the aforesaid parties together pledge to these indentures interchangeably have put their seals.

TE's allowed us to have time in Baronial court on Friday and the indenture was read. Urien and I agreed to it. Our signatures were verified by TE's and Eleanor was asked to prove that she had received a certain level of education, as is required by the guilds before entering into an apprenticeship. She read a text from Dueteronomy and wrote her name with quill and ink thus proving her literacy. I received funds for her education (which I turned over to TE's to hold in trust), Eleanor received a set of clothes from me (which she is wearing in the picture), and I received a new cooking pot! In period it was customary for a apprentice to leave her parents and live with his/ her teacher so her parents hugged and kissed her goodbye (and she hugged her rather reluctant brother) and she left with Margaretta and me. I understand that there were quite a few people who were choked up because of us, which was a bit of a surprise to me. I had many who came and thanked us for that bit of ceremony as well and that was just lovely! It felt very real and proper to me and I'm glad that people felt the same. The hall was completely silent, which was amazing.

The best part was when all three of us donned matching aprons and walked around the site calling ourselves the "Norns". I think it works well. I also loved Manthra's reaction when Eleanor called her "grandma".

It was a lovely weekend. All but one of my tents did fine in the wind on Thursday (the Jara shade fly suffered a major rip in the wind burst, but I mended it and set it up the next day and it was fine for the weekend). We got home around 2 on Sunday, unpacked, napped and had a bite to eat. Further unpacking will begin in earnest tonight and I will not be going to the normal fiber gathering.

Royalty row had 5 tents that I made or help make this weekend and there were 7 shade flys of mine on the field. I didn't bother to count the number of wedge tents or rounds that were in the rest of the site. Quite a few, which was awesome!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Robo Mom, status report

Spoke to her this morning and she sounds good. She's not happy that she doesn't have any answers yet as to "what" broke and "what they need to fix". It doesn't help that her doctor who did the hip replacement left on vacation yesterday and she still doesn't know if they were able to contact him before he left.

I'm going to see her tomorrow and possibly start a riot on her floor if things have not moved apace. They better have some answers today is all I'm saying.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Robo mom, back down

Got a call this morning from dad to tell me that mom fell last night when she was in the garden and something in her replaced hip went "crack". She is in the hospital, dealing with pain of course, and now they need to figure out what happened and what they need to fix. She is fine otherwise.

Good thing I am traveling out that way on Wednesday, then I can drop in and see her on my way to Cadott.

What a sucky predicament. Fortunately her new knee is just fine. I'm sure she is completely frustrated.

Constructing a hub

So I have been making a few spoked rounds recently and thought it was a good time to chronicle the process for making the hub that supports the spokes. This process seems to stump folks when they are considering this style of tent and it really isn't that hard.

My first hub was made by gluing up 4 layers of 3/4" plywood and then drilling holes around the edge with a 1 1/4" spade bit. Using a hand drill made this especially interesting, but it worked and 9 years later I am still using that tent and the hub.

3 years ago my friend Tristan and I made pavilions together. I made a round and oval and he made a round. He came up with a different method for making the hub. The process is similar, except when it comes to making the holes for the spokes. His method is a LOT easier.

I use 3/4" plywood and rip it down to squares approx 12.5" x 12.5", or just a bit over whatever size you want the diameter of your finished hub. The hub uses 4 layers of 3/4" plywood, giving it a finished thickness of 3". You really don't want a hub that is excessively large and a 12" diameter is perfectly fine for most tents.

Stack the 4 layers of plywood together and mark the center and the size of the hole that you will cut for your center pole. It's easier to get this established before you cut the plywood into a circle.

Next you draw out your circle and make a mark for each spoke. I used a paper template to determine the spoke location and make sure to line up the center carefully. This particular hub is for a 10 spoke round.

I'm lucky enough to have access to a large band saw so I used that to do the cutting. (Notice that I screwed the layers of plywood together so that everything would stay in place. I remove the screws when I am done.)

Next I extend the marks for the spokes to receive a 1.5" piece of wood. Using 3/4" plywood means that my holes will be roughly 1.5" x 1.5" square. Once the marks are drawn I cut this out on the band saw.

The finished piece will resemble a cog. When I took these pictures I was making 2 hubs, so this is why I am cutting out 4 layers of plywood with the notches. If you were making 1 hub, you would cut out only 2 layers with these marks. You use the remaining 2 disks to complete the hub, one on the top, one of the bottom.

I use reference marks throughout the process to make sure that the disks line up. Since I was doing 2 separate hubs I marked them in different ways.

At this point I glue and screw the cog sections together and then I can clean up the cuts for the notches with a file or rasp. I want to cut out the hole for my center pole before I glue up all 4 layers of plywood. My jigsaw won't cut through 3" of plywood. Once the center hole is cut I can complete gluing and screwing the upper and lower disks of plywood in place.

Then I can sand and paint my finished hub.