Progress On My Studio

Okay, so late this past winter a contractor that was recommended to me by a friend and colleague started work on getting my unattached garage turned into a studio.  Truthfully this has been very slow going, I think he started in March and it is now the end of August, however that is not entirely his fault.  It turns out that in addition to the mouse problem, we live in the country there are going to be mice if you have any holes at all, the garage did not have any gutters.  So after I purchased and had a new garage door installed, gutters were installed eliminating that problem.  The rafters were reinforced, apparently they had not been and the entire structure was leaning a bit, and a new door frame was installed.  The entire building is now insulated, however two weeks ago the wiring shorted out.  I received a phone call saying that things would be delayed due to the flames shooting out of the wall.  Needless to say, I am happy that this happened when my handyman was there and not when I was by myself.

Now the wiring is fixed, and the last things to do are install the paneling and haul my stuff over there.

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The new garage door and doorframe look amazing, one of the gutters runs into a rain barrel.  It is going to be amazing that I can use grey-water for dyeing and possibly washing fleeces.

Right now the entire thing does not look like much, however it really is quite a bit of space.  I have a metal floor loom that I plan on installing so that I can finally weave the rag rugs I want to.  I procured a potting stand for a steal that I believe will be amazing for dyeing.  I also bought an ergonomic rolling chair so that I can, hopefully, avoid any back issues, as well as a heavy duty storage rack.  Once I see how much room I have left over I will have to consider weather I am going to install my 16 shaft table loom out there, or keep that in the house.  Now that I think about it, it might make sense for me to just move my old kitchen table out into the garage for my table loom instead of purchasing a new one.  I already am going to have to buy at least a heater for the garage and probably an air conditioner as well for when the summer hits.

It is my greatest hope that this will get done by October so that I can have everything ready to go by time winter really hits.  With the new door, and relatively air tight structure I should be able to spend some time weaving and dyeing throughout the winter.  Since I have a mild form of SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, I believe that having a place that I can do some work that does not give me easy access to an area that I can just lay down and sleep will help me to keep my spirits up throughout the winter months.

Remember to keep Living Life a Little More Abstract!

19 More Rounds to Crochet

Since the last posting I managed to crochet 9 more rows on my sweater.  This means that I have 17 more rows before I am ready to start the sleeves.  With a lot of luck I can finish this by time I am back to academic librarianship the week of August Nineteenth.  Each sleeve is about 35 rows, however they are smaller rows so they should go much faster.  I am about five rows from beginning the straight portion of the knitted poncho which is the 3rd quarter project from Jimmy Beans Wool Knit Club.   I have not begun the crochet project and honestly I am quite far behind on my other clubs.  At this point I do not know if I should cancel some of the subscriptions that I belong to, or if I should keep them in case I cannot afford them next year so that I have the option to knit or crochet them then.  I am still waiting for the external garage to be finished so that I can move my metal loom, chair, shelves, and a few other things over there.  It is my fondest wish to be able to create rag rugs over the winter out there.

I am not only working on these two projects however.  Just a couple of weeks ago while I was looking out my back door I saw a pair of fawns on my back hill.  While I could not obtain a photo with both of the babies in the same photo, I think that this one turned out quite nicely.

Deer photo Cuba ny backyard for tapestry cartoon

I am hoping ot be able to turn this into a tapestry cartoon and hopefully weave it up on my Mirrix 12″ loom.  I was thinking about tracing the important parts in outline on a piece of white paper, however I would need a light box.  Instead I believe that I will try to warp up the loom the correct width and then draw the important aspects onto the warp threads.  Right now I am aware that I will need at least 3 shades of medium to light brown, white, black, yellow, greens.  I will likely need some other shades of brown or off white to represent the switches that are everywhere, and at least some black and dark greys to cover the woods and gnarled tree behind the deer.  It should be quite a bit of fun, even if the end results are a bit abstract.

I am also playing around with resin some, I presently am expected to create a collage of berries, leaves, and the library logo for my director to commemorate a tree that had to be cut down on library property.  I have created two small pieces already with intentions of doing one more experiment with the greenery and another berry before completing the project with the full-sized pour.  The final experiment is to see if the greenery will foul the resin with moisture or if the results will be as rock solid as my last two versions.  I will confess to being quite excited to see how this project will end, I simply need to remember to grab some greenery before I leave one of these days!

Tomorrow I will be getting a new drive shaft in my car, according to what I have found this should take between 1-3 hours, I hope to use this time to work on my poncho!  I hope to post photos next week to demonstrate my progress.  I will receive my next installment sometime this weekend, and I have not finished my first installment yet, I am 4 out of 15 mini skeins into it.  I will also confess, I have not started this quarter’s crochet club project either.  I did complete last quarters crochet and ignoring the knitting project.  It is my fondest hope to be able to complete the crocheted sweater, knitted poncho, and at least one of my weaving projects this month.  That’s right, I have not mentioned my weaving!  I have been working some on my bamboo straight twill scarf with beads, it is my fondest hope to be able to finish the scarf with nine strands twisted together with a few beads to create a lovely fringe.  I love how it is weaving up and look forward to completing it.  For the cotton that I have warped up on my rigid heddle loom, things look lovely.  I have a plain weave edge already on the piece, however, I am not certain what pickup techniques I would like to use.

All of this means that I have a very happy and fulfilling crafting life.  While I do not have three knitting projects on the needles at once (I don’t count the things I am not actively working on, nor the ‘I need to make socks sometime’ projects) I instead have two or three other crafts that I am working on.  I love being busy, I hope that I can keep some of this up during the school year.

Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

Weekend of Crafting

Since I will be missing my August Meeting of the Enchanted Mountain Weaver’s Guild I decided to warp up my hand dyed bamboo warp this weekend.

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This is a straight twill draft with beads added in.  The yellow is  fairly dominating at this point in the weave, I hope that the red and other colors will begin to balance this out as I progress.  I love the shine, pattern, as well as the bit of pop the beads give the overall effect.  I am having such fun weaving this piece, I cannot wait to get to the next segment.

My rigid heddle piece is made from cotton and, while lighter, has a bit more heft to the individual strands.  I am playing around on the last part of the towels I have been weaving for a couple of years to see what the different manipulation techniques will look like.  This is the section where I placed bobby pins to delineate each of the sections for brooks bouquet.  The technique worked well, I did not like the resulting lace however.

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I also managed to pour three pieces of resin, two are for my director and one was a sample piece.  Since the piece of resin did release from the mold cleanly that aspect was a success, however there are streaks from where the petroleum jelly was in the mold giving the end result a failing grade.  The other two pieces are lovely and I believe I will have some bath bomb molds ordered to create a perfectly spherical result for the second attempt at a paperweight.

This was an exciting new project, and I love how they turned out!  I am going to see if my director will approve the purchase of new materials for this project, the initial results are simply amazing!

Finally is an update on my Furls Crochet Coffee Cups Pullover.  I have 24 rounds left alternating Half Double Crochet and Double Crochet, then two rounds of Single Crochet and I am ready to start the sleeves.  Right now I like how the resulting sweater looks and fits.  While the sweater is a bit heavy, the double crochets leave enough of a gap that I believe I will need to wear something underneath.  Perhaps just a tank or cover-up over my bust and stomach areas.  (I will probably pay more attention to where the collar fits when it is finished as well.)

Furls coffee cup sweater progress july 29 2019

In conclusion, this past weekend was a very craft heavy weekend. I had a ton of fun, managed to accomplish quite a bit, and since I just found out my external garage needs rewired, I will not be in my new studio any time soon!

Happy Crafting and remember to Live Life A Little More Abstract!

Always something…

There is always something new going on.  I have been sending out applications to try and get a full-time job, last week I dyed a cotton as well as a bamboo warp and weft with the Enchanted Mountains Weaver’s Guild (which was a ton of fun), and yesterday I had to put down my cat one month shy of 21 years old.

Precious Cat

Despite being a long haired cat my Dad, who was extremely allergic to cats, just adored her.  He would sit on his chair in the living room and tap the arm with her brush, Precious would leap on his lap and start purring like a motorboat.  When he passed she was beside herself, didn’t know what to do.  After a while she realized he wasn’t coming back, but she had mom at home to dote on her all the time.  For the past few years Mom and I suspected that she was going a bit senile, in addition to her progressive kidney failure and the heart problems we found out about spring of 2018.  The vet tech said that if we started giving her medicine for the heart troubles she might live to see 20.  We decided against the medication and Precious lived almost a year past expectations.  I am lucky that I had her when Mom passed in October of 2018, however for the past three months she has been getting progressively worse.  Between missing the litterbox, yowling half the night, and just lately not eating as much as usual, it was time to let her go.  Now I get to spend the weekend trying to clean up all of the stuff she left behind and figuring out if I can salvage the bathroom or if I am going to have to invest in getting it completely retiled in the future.  I’m not mad about any of it, I appreciate the time I had with her and I am sorry that I had to let her go.

I have done some spinning for Tour de Fleece, however not nearly as much as I would have liked.  There have been opportunities for me to work on different crafts, just today I am receiving supplies to see if resin casting is something that I can reasonably do at the public library I work for.  One of the trees, a choke berry tree I believe, had to be cut down outside our library.  The director was very opposed to this action, however we needed a new storage shed.  The maintenance person managed to salvage several of the berries and now I have the opportunity to play with resin as well as creating a keepsake for my Director.  Win-Win!

I have made considerable progress on my Furls Crochet Coffee Cup Sweater, right now I am working on the body and hope to start the sleeves mid august.  The only problem I have with it is, I will need to either wear something underneath or the yarn had best full quite a bit and close up some of the gaps.  I knew that this was a possibility when I saw that I would be using double crochets for part of it.  This might give me opportunity to bust out my t-shirt collection to wear as a layer underneath.  I Have started knitting my third quarter poncho pattern from Jimmy Beans Wool and look forward to seeing the finished product.

I guess I have been busier than I thought.  I will either be starting back up at the University Library I work at or be starting a new job.  If the former I will have more time to blog, if the latter it might be a little while until I get into a rhythm again.  If I obtain a new job I will post notification of a hiatus.

Until next time, remember to live life A Little More Abstract.

Tour de Fleece 2019

Before beginning the meat of this post, I want to state: I know that there has been a lot of politics involved in the crafting community in 2019.  I am glad to be able to support diverse pattern makers, yarn suppliers, and more.  I believe that the BIPOC crafting community as well as the LGBTQ+ community should have a voice.  I am not willing to comment further on the political actions that some private websites and communities have taken.  Onto the crafting!

Tour de Fleece 2019 has started!  This is a roundup of my first week, it’s sort of pitiful.

Tour de fleece 2019

Above are the fibers that I am going to spin this year, mostly the Shetland Moorit that I did not get finished with the Hap-Along.  I have been concentrating somewhat on the crocheted sweater that I hope to have completed by September as well as looking for a full-time position.  Due to these distractions I have not accomplished as much spinning as I had hoped, though I have managed to spin 4 of the last 7 days.  I have made significant progress on my sweater, however it does not look like much right now so I did not bother to take a photo.

Hopefully next week I will have more to report, especially since I will have had my Dyeing Day with the Weaver’s Guild.  That reminds me, I’d better wind my cotton warp this week!

Happy Crafting and remember to Live Life A Little More Abstract!

Back to Crafting

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I have finished the second quarter Jimmy Beans Wool Crochet Club Pattern.  This shopping bag was fun as well as easy to create.  I have greatly enjoyed learning the different stitches.  In addition to this, I have been crocheting on my Furls Coffee Sweater using Furls Z twist Crochet yarn, a 5 mm hook, and the free pattern.  I am on row 8 of the second part of the pattern, with one row of ‘coffee cups’ done and about to begin the second ‘coffee cup’ row.  The two pictures are of the same piece with different lighting.

 

This sweater is going both quickly and slowly.  Since I have been back from vacation the only other crafty pursuits I have engaged in are winding a bamboo warp and weft for a procion dyeing project I will be engaging in with my guild, experimenting with some natural dyes for a class I taught, teaching a class on spinning, and teaching a class on weaving a seamless pouch with a cardboard loom.   Since I have already purchased the yarn, and paid for the dyeing, I will have to wind my cotton warp and weft within the next  three weeks.

I have not made any progress on any of my knitting projects.  I honestly hope to have this sweater completed sometime within the next…well I have 52 rows to complete plus 34 rows for each of two sleeves.  I’m not going to worry too much about the sleeves, however if I can get something like 5-6 rows done each week I should be able to complete the sweater by mid August.  If we are taking the sleeves into consideration, then probably closer to September, just in time for the colder weather.

Mason Dixon Knitting is performing a Sock Along.  This will have several prizes and run until the end of August.  Since I have tried to complete several knitted socks, and failed so far due to how very long they seem to be taking me, I believe that I will put my current socks on a lifeline so that I can give a pattern out of Field Guide 11 a decent try.  Since this Field guide is much closer to a formula than an actual pattern, I believe that I will try a simple cuff down sock following the numbers and directions, probably with a 2×2 ribbing and a plain body/toe with a short row heel.  This will give me a decent idea of the construction of a sock, should I combine working 2-3 rows on the sock along with working on the sweater 1-2 rows a day I may have a decent chance of having both a pair of socks and a sweater done by September.

That is all for now, until next time remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

Vacation, Disney (last one I promise)

*This is the last part of my vacation series, for now.  I do have a trip planned to Washington, DC in August, and I hope to get to EGLFC (Eastern Great Lakes Fiber Conference) in October since I have already paid for it.  Next week we resume crafty content!*

My sibling went to Disney Tokyo and enjoyed themself immensely.  This was our first trip to a state-side Disney, and my first anywhere.  Since we were staying at Hotel Disney we received a pin for our first visit, a pin since our visit was in celebration of our birthdays, and a Disney Hotel Pin.  These were each about 3″ across, and wonderfully done.  We also received coupons for lanyards to hold our 3-Day passes and room keys.  These are also used in collecting pins, something that I did not believe I would be interested in, however my previous entries detailing the three or four  pins that I purchased along the way prove that I am more interested in pins than I previously thought.

Motion sickness medication was a lifesaver.  We went on the Space Tours ride, which was nauseating but so much fun.  The Haunted Mansion was an absolute blast, we wound up stalled for a few minutes, however it was at just the  perfect time so that we could see more of the ghost blowing out candles, and the others waltzing.  The room where you could watch old cartoons was amazing and brought back so many good memories.  I was a little hesitant to try the Dole Whip, despite its reputation since I do not like pineapple, however it was refreshing and wonderful.  I loved the Tiki Show and the Hawaiian Deities explaining their history was just fascinating.  During our visit there were several places where other cultures were explored.  On the forest walk there were several statues depicting Native American Deities as well as explanations for the beliefs behind their appearances.  There was so much that happened during our visit to Disney and California Adventures I am just going to go with the highlights.  I loved the riverboat cruise, it took us throughout the Disney park explaining different aspects along the way.  There was a backlog for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, but the wait was well worth it.  My sibling purchased a fast-pass for us, this was certainly worth the price (and dirty looks).  The only activities that we partook in more than once were the Dole Whip and the Tiki Room.  California Adventure park was a lot of fun, however I cannot distinctly remember a single thing we did there.  We partook of dinner at the Storyteller’s Cafe in the Hotel California, I cannot recommend them enough.  On our last day we attempted to get back in for another meal and were told by the guard we should go to the park instead.  I’m not sure where the discrepancy is, but that was sincerely disheartening.

Our last day was an absolute blast.  Unbeknownst to my sibling and I at the time of our booking, our final day coincided with the opening of the new Star Wars section of the park.  WE GOT TICKETS!  They were a part of our stay so we were able to be in the first group, on the first day, of the new Star Wars section of Disney California.  My sibling purchased us t-shirts to commemorate our visit and I decided to splurge on the pin set (I let Phoebe choose which two pins they wanted and kept the other two).  Then we walked everywhere and took tons of photographs of absolutely everything.  (We are not in any of the photographs I am going to post).

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The ride was so wickedly fun, especially since it was interactive.  There were three positions, pilot, gunner, and engineer.  My sibling and I were the engineers, and it was such fun.  Surprisingly, because our drivers were not amazing, we did not get motion sick at all.  I believe that this is mostly due to the attention that we had to pay to ensure we were pressing the correct buttons as soon as possible.  It was so much fun.  There were so many things to look at and do.  My sibling could not resist purchasing a Jedi Cloak (they do some cosplay and have a use for it) since I cannot even find a time to wear my velvet cloak I didn’t bother.

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If nothing else you have to give Disney Major props for their attention to detail.  I had so much fun, and I am certainly thinking of trying to save up for the Florida park at some point.

Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!  (crafting content next week, I promise!)