Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Marbling, Meh.

As promised, here are the results of my marbling paper experiment. Looks like I've got a ways to go. For one thing, I need to use a heavier paper than I did. I grabbed a pad of sketch paper, but I know that I have a larger pad of heavy drawing paper packed away. I'll have to find that. There are other things that I'm going to have to get before I try this again. Lots of newspaper, for one! It's a messy job! I need a sponge for dabbing excess away, better containers to mix paint and mineral spirits in and a better way to hang them to dry. Here are the sad results of my first attempt...

Not really usable for much...

Once I get the hang of it and get some nice ones (if ever), I'd like to cover some books with them for my DH.

After spinning the plain 'ol vanilla top, I got out the Mountain Colors roving in Alpine...

I wound them both up on a ball winder and plyed them both to themselves today. I took some photos of the skeins, but the light wasn't good. I'll try again to photograph them tomorrow.

We've had some much needed rain the past couple of days. DH and I like the rain. It is not a universal feeling in our household, however. The frustrated shut-in, Kittysperk, aka PH, feels otherwise. Here he is shown taking solace in one of my baskets, lying on my pennywhistle.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Vanilla Sheep

Did a little vanilla spinning last night and finished it up tonight. Just some Coopworth I've had hanging around for some time. I'm shooting for a worsted weight. Maybe it will become a bunch of mittens. I'm thinking I could dye skeins in several colors. Coopworth just seems "mitteny" to me. Not terribly soft, but not itchy.

When I first started spinning, around the turn of the century, I leaned towards natural colored fleeces and roving. I figured that I could always dye them if I got around to it, right? Lately, all I want is color, color and more color. So, from now on all plain, white fleeces, roving and top that remains will have a date with the dye vat. I have some gorgeous natural colored fleeces that are deep brown and silvery grey that I won't have to dye, but I just need some unnatural color in my life!

Today, DH and I went to Hobby Lobby. I bought some oil paints, for, tomorrow, I am going to attempt marbling paper. The oil paints I purchased will be mixed with mineral spirits to a cream-like consistency, floated upon a vat of water, and then manipulated into pleasing patterns with skewers and suchlike. The resulting masterpiece will then be transferred swiftly, but carefully, to a piece of drawing paper and hung on a line to dry. This is what is supposed to happen. What actually happens, however, will be documented tomorrow whether it be success or utter failure. I am hoping that the oils will float upon the water without having to prepare a sizing. I read somewhere on the web that you don't need a sizing when you use oils and I am counting on that because I really don't want to have to go to all that trouble, though, I know of one artist who uses one anyway. Hey, oil and water don't mix, right? Oh, I hope not!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

GKAS Project Specs (and What's Next)

The Goddess Knits Anniversary Shawl specs:

Size: 62" in diameter

Yarn: Jojoland Harmony - Colorway 06
(I used 2 balls, plus a little more of a third. This is a cobweb weight yarn. The colors are spun in an ombre fashion where one color is mixed with the next before it changes completely into the next, like Noro.)

Needles: Knitpicks Options - Size 4
(I love the points on these. You also have the option of threading a lifeline through the tightening hole and drawing it through the stitches as you knit. I used it for drawing the crochet cotton through so I could stretch it out for photos.)

Pattern choices:
Clue 1: A
Clue 2: B
Clue 3: D
Clue 4: D
Clue 4.5: Doubled again. Clue 2/A Rows 1-16
Clue 5: Edging as written. 192 repeats!
(I was going to morph clue 2 A and B together for Clue 4.5 as an enlarging option. It was just too much for me though. I think if I had made Clue 4.5 wider, the diameter of the shawl would have been larger and my edging points would have had more room to be blocked out at a diagonal, instead of being pulled straighter down in long points as I had to block them. By that time, each row was well over a thousand stitches. There are 192 repeats of the edging.)

This is a great pattern and it was a lot of fun to do it as a mystery lace knit-a-long. I highly recommend trying a Goddess Knits KAL for yourself.

Check out the other beautiful patterns on her website.

So what to do after all the excitement it over? Well, after I knit a little bit with some heavier yarn to clear my head, I'm going to start another KAL!

The Mystery Stole 4 KAL! Yay! My first mystery lace KAL was the MS3, the Swan Lake stole. It turned out beautifully and had beads! This year stole will also feature beads. I've been trying to match up beads and yarn. Here are some photos. *Disclaimer*-These photos have not been through SAP, the Sister Approval Process. I couldn't decide which one I liked better of the top two so I put them both in, even though I am not using these beads.

When I bought these beads, they looked just perfect. They are matte, but have a rainbow effect coating on them. (Gnatly, what are these kinds of beads called?) They match the yarn perfectly, but too perfectly--they blend in and disappear. I didn't even try a swatch with them.

Pretty, with feather, no?
I was sad about this until I remembered that my mom had given me some beads many years ago. They were left over from when she made some gorgeous crochet beaded clutch purses. She made them when I was 5 or 6 years old! These are some old beads! She bought them when my dad was stationed in Okinawa. There are three different kinds on this swatch. From the top is clear turquoise, then cobalt, then black. They had a shiny rainbow/oil slick color surface coating. (What are these called, Knatly?)

Can you all see them well enough in this photo to help me choose? I was wondering if I could use them all, you know, start with the darkest ones on the ends and get lighter? Opinions, please!

Friday, August 22, 2008

GK Anniversary Shawl Photo Spread!

Ta DA!

Okay, perhaps if I had stayed up a little later and checked my e-mail, I would have gotten the e-mail from my sister. Did I tell you I have the best sister in the world? She got on my Flickr, oh, about midnight, and left me humorous comments. These are her top picks. Thanks, Amy! I love you, man!

The next one won in the "roundness" category. Heh heh.

I am so happy to be finished with this beauty. I wore it around the house last night for fun. I need to go grocery shopping and do laundry as well as other mundane tasks right now. I may post again this evening to give project specs and talk a little about this shawl.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Finally Finished...And Yet...

I have finally finished knitting and blocking the Goddess Knits Anniversary Shawl! Yay! I will post pictures tomorrow. I was going to post some today, but someone...cough sister...cough cough...wasn't available to preview them on her normal computer screen (mine being abnormally dark and useless when you want to see what a photo really looks like).

To be fair, she did proof some of the blocking shawl this morning and she noticed that they didn't look exactly like the others that I posted before. Later, I realized that I had blocked the shawl purl side up! I had to flip it and take some more photos.

Heh heh. I called her back on her cell while she was getting her classroom ready for school to start next week. While she was pushing heavy furniture about I told her that she had a whole new slew of photos to review. Good thing she lives about five states away, heh heh. Nah! She's always been very patient with her baby sister, and of course she's a knitter herself so she understands.

Understands! Right Amy, my dearest, sweetest, beeg seester? You know how tortured I must be, sitting here not having any photos to post on my blog. I feel...I helpless! Like needles without empty, felted vessel...a...a...

Why haven't you called me back!!! I'm gonna tell Mom!

"Um. Pass me the Kleenex, will ya?"