Monday, December 27, 2010

Knitted Christmas

Since the finances are tight due to the whole out of work thing, it was a knitted Christmas all around - on top of finishing the 10 in 10 challenge, and some ghost knitting. Even the ferrets are looking at me like I've gone round the bend. BUT everyone was happy with their gifts! (I got all but one pair of socks done, and those needed to be checked as I was warned about this particular designer running small halfway through the first sock!)

It sounds a bit like a knitters 12 days of Christmas - 6 fingerless gloves (three pair), 2 internet deities, 1 pair of slippers, 1 hat, and a pair of socks to finish. Oh and gifts that need to be mailed, which may or may not be finished yet.

What? Internet deities? Yes, that would be courtesy of my son. Flying Spaghetti Monster is fairly standard, but Pretazlcoatl is a new one he created "The saltiest deity I've ever made up" to be exact.

I'll try to get the 10 in 10 final tally up between now and the first of the year, as well as the "That's it, this time you've REALLY lost it!" challenges for 2011!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Award Winning Knitter!

Well, I got brave this year and decided to enter my knitting in the Jacksonville Fair. I figured after having yarn in Pluckyfluff's exhibit in Lillehammer earlier this year, which allowed me to call myself an "Internationally Exhibited Fiber Artist" I might as well go for "Award Winning" as well.

I didn't expect this!

I entered a total of 13 items, 12 of which got ribbons - 5 first place, 3 second place, 2 third place and 2 honorable mentions. The shawl in the picture is my Wintersturm, the first one I finished this year for the 10 in 2010 shawl challenge. Not only did it get a blue ribbon, it went on to get Best in Show for the knitting category!

I'm thinking it's something to do with our LYS. Everyone who entered from there got ribbons - and not just in knitting - we had winners in photography and jewelry making too! Have to love having a supportive, creative environment! (speaking of which, special thanks to Jennifer and her I-phone for photos when I went off and forgot my camera.) Now for everyone who didn't enter this year - step up for next year. Knitting, quilting, stitching, painting - you all know you're out there. Bring it on!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ghost Knitters in the Sky

Well, OK, maybe not technically in the sky, unless you count that I knit upstairs a lot, or that the items in question are hung up. Since being laid up/out of work due to chronic illness issues, I've been having problems with feeling a bit useless. I can't work, can't do a lot of the things I used to enjoy doing due to physical limitations, and some days can't even manage basic household cleaning and cooking.

Fortunately for me, the life of a sole owner LYS is hectic, so I've been helping out my LYS owner a bit by doing a few small items that are put on loan for display. She gets items up that she doesn't have time to do, I get to do something and feel productive, so it's a win-win all the way around. Three of the 10 in 10 shawls are up there, and most recently I've done the pictured scarf and bag.

Hey, it keeps me happy and off the street and out of bars, as they say!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Catching up

A while back I posted about the felted bangles that were a fairly successful experiment with felt club, so here they are (finally).

Still working on the 10 in 10 shawl challenge - I'm actually up to 8 done (only 7 photographed, but here are the ones I have up so far)

Traveling Woman shawl (my version is the Traveling Artist) done in Art Walk sock yarn Le Pont Japonais a Giverny by Claude Monet.

Kartoffelfeuer- another Windsbraut out of Zauberball sock yarn.

Lots more to add, but that's all I'm up to for one day. Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Angel Meets Doc

As I've mentioned before, I'm lucky enough to live in a town with access to the vet who literally wrote the book on ferrets. Angel had her first visit with Dr. Rossi today. She's been proclaimed healthy, except for a bit of anemia, a few ear mites and being terribly thin. Dr. Rossi agreed that this, along with the hair loss are the result of fleas, stress and malnutrition rather than any disease. All her organs are good, no internal parasites, swollen lymph nodes or other problems. She was sent home with some drops for her ears and an iron supplement to help boost her up faster.

The big surprise however - turns out that she is NOT a baby! Based on her teeth, Dr. Rossi estimates she's about 3! (He said she could possibly be a bit younger and just have some excessive wear due to her conditions, but still no younger than 2 or 2 1/2!) She only weighed in at 1 pound 7 ounces - and while she'll gain weight, it seems she is just an extremely petite little flower of ferret femininity!

I'm still willing to bet that once she's gained a bit more weight and energy she's going to give the boys what-for!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Do You Believe in Miracles?

Since losing my little Finn Tuesday, I've been forcing myself to try to maintain some semblance of normalcy - going to knit night, going to the quilt show, etc. Saturday, after sleeping in a bit (quilt show did me in) I straggled up to the knit shop where the usual group was in and out. Nothing out of the ordinary unless you count that I'm sitting there feeling rather blah. Until Mary left.

Now there was nothing extraordinary about Mary's departure, she was going home, I think she said she had plans with her husband. A short while later, however, the shop phone rang. I wasn't paying much attention until Kathe was standing next to me saying "Here, I'll let you talk to her". Mary was on the phone. "I know it may be too soon, but I wanted to call you..." Her neighbor across the street had a stray ferret in their yard!

I rushed home, grabbed the crate, a baggie of ferret food and some treats and headed over. Mary led me across the street to where her neighbor was waiting. There, next to the bowl of cat food, was a thin, weak, dehydrated baby girl ferret! The poor thing had fleas, and had lost a good bit of the fur from her back, so she had been on her own for a while. From the way she shakes when she's first picked up, I suspect maybe she fled from a not-so-good home life.

She's been named Angel, and everyone seems to agree that somehow Finn had a paw in bringing us together. Right now Angel (and her remaining fleas which we're working on getting rid of!) is quarantined upstairs until she gets a bit stronger. Food is disappearing at a rapid rate, and she's already made tremendous progress - her eyes are brighter and she can make almost a full circuit of the bathroom without falling over.

Do you believe in miracles? I do.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

And then there were three

At 12:33 this morning, my little Finn, my Finny McFinnweezul, my well-behaved gentleman ferret scampered across the Rainbow Bridge to freedom. May you have a neverending supply of places to stash snacks little buddy. There's an empty ferret house in my living room and an empty place in my heart.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Drive-by Update

Well my computer is still not wanting to upload photos. In fact, it wouldn't even recognize my camera yesterday, so no photos with the update, but here's what's been happening in Weasel Land.

Finished shawl number six for the 10 in 10 challenge. This one is Traveling Woman in a lovely blue/green mix sock yarn. Lots more on the needles - and the original list has been completely thrown out the window. Too many new and shiny things grabbing my attention!

Forgot to mention in the last update that I made some really neat felted bangle bracelets at Felt Club. I used upholstery cording as the base, then wrapped in wool and embellished with novelty fibers and wool shapes.

AND (drumroll please) I'm working on an original requested piece. I'm not calling it a commission, since this is for a friend, but it's a step in that direction! Woohoo!

When/if the computer decides to cooperate, I'll come back and load pictures of everything!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Please Stand By

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the Earth, but my computer is Not Well At All. I can only sporadically access the internet, with varying success at different pages. Pictures are even worse. Tonight is the first time in a little over a month I have been able to access and upload pics. Hopefully that will last long enough to get some up with this!

Still plugging along on lots of mixed media, still on track with the 10 in 10 challenge. I haven't finished the shawl I wanted to use for this month, but theoretically still could.

In the meantime, I have finished one (which is on display at my LYS, along with my Abendwind shawl!)

I also finished the first set of socks from the sock club my LYS is doing this year. The second are on the needles, the third are not released yet.

More updates as things are finished, or as the cranky, ancient, computer allows. (Yes, that old. My son was traumatized when he realized how little RAM it had while he was trying to work on it for me. Then he realized it still had a serial port. I think he's still twitching over that one!)

P.S. Looks like the computer has locked up trying to add the picture of the shawl. Sigh. Hopefully can edit it in soon.

P.P.S. Fixed. Scary that the computer is working this well tonight. It must be plotting...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Still Hanging in There

Scary as it is, I'm still on track with the 10 in 2010 challenge. I know a lot of you have already seen this, either in person, or on Ravelry, but here's the documentation for posterity.

Shawl number four for April, Abendwind. Once again knit in Zauberball sock yarn (yep, sock yarn! It's not just for socks anymore!) Now off to see if I can catch up on some WIPs. (Yes, scary as it is, I might finish some stuff too!)

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Giant Skein is Live!

Here's the video from Pluckyfluff of the final twisting of the giant yarn skein! Final tally was over 10.5 MILES of yarn, and weighing in at over 70 pounds. Wow! If you've ever tried to twist or untwist a simple 400 yard skein of sock yarn, you can appreciate what this entailed!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

When Yarn Goes Bad

See that? There I was, knitting away on my April shawl for the 10 in 10 challenge, minding my own business, when I look up and see THAT! The yarn is putting its tongue out at me! Really, the cheek of it! You'd think it would be pleased, as this is becoming quite a pretty shawl, but Nooooo, not this yarn. Harumph. Story of my life.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Giant Yarn Skein in Progress

Remember the giant yarn skein I sent yarn to Pluckyfluff for? It's being wound preparatory to being sent off to Lillehammer! Here's the video - this is actually a re-wind, as there was an underestimation on the first winding, resulting in a short, stumpy skein. Truly impressive!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Three for Three

With a whole DAY to spare this month, I've completed another shawl. That's three months, three shawls.

Seven still to go though, but only one more big one after last months Adamas shawl.

In another month or two, I should have enough evidence to get away with anything by pleading insanity, right?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

In Which I Go 3-D

I'm not quite sure why I've been creating Goddess type female forms lately. A few weeks back my Felt Club project of a jointed doll took on definitely Goddess-like proportions, now this.

Tentatively I've titled her "Antiquity". She has the appearance of an aged artifact, created by gold leaf paint and patina spray over paper clay on the torso, and gold leaf and patina over collaged Latin text on the base, both with a smudging of walnut ink to stain and age it a bit. The gold leaf left the tiniest bit of raised texture, so when the patina sank into the paper clay it really gives a pitted appearance that doesn't show well in photography.

This makes collage/mixed media on canvas and mixed media sculpture that I've, if not conquered, at least made a decent showing in. Next up - more knitting (I'm still plugging away on the 10 in 2010 shawl challenge) and some assemblage/junk art. Unless of course something manages to distra.....Oooooh, shiny, looky!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Age Old Question in Mixed Media

"But is it Art?" This is a question many people have faced, but seems to be especially predominant to those practicing "non-traditional" art forms. You created an art quilt? "But is it really art? Isn't it just sewing?" You designed and knitted a lovely lace pattern "But isn't that just a craft?" You work in mixed media, collage, and found object art - "But what is it?"

It doesn't matter. Art is anything that comes from your soul, or speaks to your heart. It's not limited to guys who died long ago, or people who attended fancy art schools. It's creating something that has never existed before, something that brings beauty into the world, joy into peoples lives, or makes them stop and think for a moment about the world around them.

The answer is in the second half of the canvas "What is Art?" Really, do any of us know? Does it really matter?

Your turn. Go create something that reminds you of this, and put it on the wall where you can see it.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Just in Time - and Eight to Go

The 10 in 2010 challenge is based on Oslo, Norway time, which means a midnight deadline is 6 p.m. here. My February entry is Adamas, a free pattern from Ravelry, knit in a yummy alpaca/silk blend. It's times like this I wish the internet had a "touch-o-vision" feature, so everyone could see just how soft and fluffy this yarn is in the finished shawl.

I finished it a little after 5 p.m. and put on blocking wires and logged it on Ravelry at 5:22 this afternoon. (Well, the final logging was a bit later, due to the fact that my computer decided it hates me.) Yes, cut this one a little bit close. Fortunately the Mmario Mmystery Shawl is almost halfway done. With any luck March should be a little less hectic.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Further Proof I've Lost It

This is the Hylym shawl. Named Hylym for "Have You Lost Your Mind". This is my first "original" design (I use the quotes, because the edging came from a knitting stitch pattern book, so it was more of an original assembly than original design). It's knit in size 8 perle cotton on size 0000 needles. No, that's not a typo. That really is 4 zeros.

I think it turned out pretty well. The quarter gives you some idea of the insanity of the scale here. The ruffle is definitely cute - enough so I've contemplated tackling a full sized version for me. Please note, if I see men in white coats, I will not answer the door, I will just send my furry minions out to surround them and demand chickenses in adorable little ferret voices until they expire from the cute.

Now off to finish February's contribution to the 10 in 2010 madness...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Calling All Spinners!

Are you a spinner? Or even a wanna-be spinner? Do you have bits and bobs of fiber waiting to be spun, but no idea what to make from it? Have you always wanted to be exhibited in a fine art gallery?

Weird as it seems, yes, those questions DO go together! Pluckyfluff is coordinating an art show in Lillehammer that encompasses the work of fiber artists world wide. As part of this, she is assembling a gigantic skein of handspun yarn to be included in the exhibit. Information on requirements and where to send your yarn is on her blog. She is willing to accept multiple skeins, but time is short - submissions need to be to her by March 1.

Now get out there and get spinning! It's your (and all of our!) chance to show what fiber artists can do!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

One Down, Nine to Go

As I mentioned last week, I signed up for the "10 in 2010" shawl challenge. Frighteningly enough, I'm on track so far. This is the Windsbraut, Wintersturm, started January 1st Oslo, Norway time, which was 6 pm December 31st my time, finished January 16th my time.

Just because it's done, doesn't mean it was drama free. About six rows from the end, I realized that I am still knitting huge for some reason (see the previous debacle with the FAO beret), and was going to run out of yarn. Fortunately I was able to not only locate some more, but locate some locally through Ravelry's stash options. Final tally, the first ball ran out 3 1/2 rows from the end. Yikes! If I had had to rip the whole thing out and reknit on smaller needles - well, let's just say it wouldn't have been pretty.

This puts my tally at 1 small completed, 2 large in progress, and 7 to start. Oh yeah, and all those UFO's haunting me. Yikes. Just keep knitting.....

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I Have Already Lost My Mind for the Year

Yes, it's true. Right off the bat, I've gone ahead and gotten the "I've gone completely bonkers" out of the way for the year.

Someone started a challenge group on Ravelry called "10 in 2010". The goal is to knit 10 shawls during 2010. Minimum size is 250 meters for 8 of them, and 500 meters for 2 of them. Now, of course, I'm not one to go look for patterns that just qualify so I can get this done. Noooooo....I go ahead and pull 10 out of my PIGS to plan for the year. I did have enough sense to include the smaller ones in there (which for me means around 400 yards). There are still 4 that are way over the required yardage (900 - 1500 yards).

If anyone needs me, I'll be huddled by the fireplace mumbling "Just keep knitting...just keep knitting...".