Monday, January 29, 2007


Been working on some new pieces. Made a guitar player to go with the bass player for my brother:

Haven't done a freestanding animal sculpture in a while. Here's a stretching cat which will probably be worked into a larger piece:

This one is almost done, just need to finish the wood base.

I also revamped the Infiknitty website recently. Check it out.
The new website is almost there, I'm just waiting on some pics of Mel's new yarn and unyarn goods and I need to put up a yarn and fiber page for myself. And a page for buttons and pendants. And add a few new hats. And fine-tune the sculpture page. And redo the needle page. Almost is a relative term.

Meanwhile on the textile end of things, I've been spinning a lot of yarn without taking photos. I've also discovered that crocheting is not the most evil thing in the world and actually is kind of mindless fun for making hats. It goes decently fast on the stationary bike, and I've been trying to be efficient by exercising, reading and knitting or crocheting simultaneously. The only problem is that when reading really good passages or working on interesting (i.e. more difficult) knitting, I can only do two of the three. And if I drop a stitch, my pace does slow down while I scramble to pick it up again.

My weaving class started last week, and I have a great bunch of students with an interesting assortment of projects/ideas. I dyed some linen today to use for shadow weave yardage of unyet decided future fate. I'm excited to be teaching again (I took the last two quarters off) and also excited to have access to a floor loom though I really should get a space heater and use my floor loom living in the garage. I did finally unhook my Pioneer table loom from the poorly designed treadles and am fairly happily weaving the sample scarf for Danielle's shawl using the levers after getting a bunch of orthodontic rubber bands to place around the open top heddles to keep the threads down where they're supposed to be. (The Pioneer was designed to make warping the loom easier. It has heddles which open to the top with a slit and a removeable top to the open reed. There are peg extensions so you warp directly on the loom without first winding your warp threads on a warping board. I am aware this is complete gibberish for anyone who is not a weaver, but hopefully it may be helpful for anyone who is a weaver and is considering this loom. The idea is novel and has potential. The execution was not so good, at least on the loom I have. Apparently, when the company was sold, the new people redesigned it somewhat so it has a wider shed. My problems with this loom are the narrow shed, threads rising up through the heddle slits and the poor design of the treadle attachment. This could be solved by using thicker yarns and not using the treadles, but on a 12 harness loom, it's kind of a pain to use levers. The open heddles did come in handy when I needed to correct the threading though. Ok end of weaver diatribe.) The scarf looks good.

Have I mentioned I finished my super long landscape gloves and am wearing them everywhere? They did a good job keeping me warm while biking through the cold spell we had a couple weeks ago.

And finally, I was one of the winners of the Puss in Boots part of the Purlescence competition! Here's my entry:

It had been quite a long day for our feline friend. First she had to argue with the miller's son for a good hour before he would agree to bathe in the river.

"But what good will bathing in the river do me?" he complained. "It's so cold this time of year. Plus I bathed already this week."

Then there was the frantic race to hide the clothes and the sprint up to the road to catch the attention of the King's coach. She succeeded in stopping the coach and convincing them to "rescue" her drowning master, the newly named "Marquis de Carabas," but as he was being cloaked in the King's luxurious robes and driven off in a fine carriage, she was on foot, dashing ahead to acquire lands and a palace for her pet boy. Altogether, there was a lot of running, ending with that final pursuit of the easily tricked ogre-in-shape-of-mouse. Pouncing on the mouse-shaped ogre and devouring him in one gulp helped assuage the appetite Mz Boots had built up in her exercise-filled day, but she was quite ready for a nap by the time the King's coach pulled up. Luckily, she was able to hide a yawn behind the hat she whipped off to welcome the "Marquis de Carabas" and his royal guests home.

"Well, now that is done and he should be all set," thought Mz Boots, watching the Princess taking the boy's arm and leading him off into the gardens, while her father looked approvingly at the lavish surroundings. "My miller's boy is a nice fellow and not bad-looking for a human. Not that smart maybe, but the Princess should be smart enough for the both of them with all the book-learning she's had. Now first things first, where should I take my nap?"

It was quite an extensive palace Mz Boots found as she explored. Beautifully decorated, it was, with vast expanses of marble. Brilliantly patterned marble floors, sweeping marble staircases topped with exquisitely carved marble banisters. In the large formal dining room, there was a long marble table. The chairs were carved from exotic woods and inset into the seats were marble mosaics. Room after room, marble was obviously to the ogre's taste.

"This place needs some rugs and throw pillows," thought Mz Boots, "Wonderful for hot summers I'm sure, but not so cozy. Let's try the bedrooms."

It was bedroom, singular. While there were fifteen bathrooms and any number of rooms upstairs which could serve as bedrooms, only one was outfitted with a bed. Apparently the ogre had snored too loudly for anyone else to stand sleeping in the palace. And the ogre's bed, while large, smelled like an ogre. Mz Boots, like any discerning feline, was a fan of many strong smells, but eau de ogre was not one of them.

"The boy can figure out what to do with that bed. In the meantime, I need a place to sleep."

Stomping off a little sulkily to the gardens in hope that maybe outside there was less marble, Mz Boots could not help but poke her nose into the King's unattended coach. There on the floor was the Princess's overflowing knitting basket. It was too tempting. Like any full-blooded feline, Mz Boots dashed away biting down on a ball of wool with another few trailing behind her. Back in one of the unused rooms, she examined her spoils. The wool was actually unspun pencil roving, nice and thick and soft and perfect in her paws. A pair of needles had been caught in the tangle as well. Though Mz Boots was first tempted to bat them off the balcony to enjoy the clatter, being exceptionally clever even for a cat, she restrained herself and began knitting. Knitting around, she increased as she went to form a large circle. She knit around and a short cylinder rose up, then she began decreasing. When the hole was just big enough for her to fit her body through, she cast off. With such large needles and fat yarn, the knitting went fast and in no time at all she was finished. She stuffed the rest of the wool into through the hole thinking she could always pull it out and hide in there herself should the mood strike her. Then she turned the whole thing over and settled her self down into it.

"Maybe I'll felt this later, but it'll serve quite nicely for now," she thought, kneading it with her paws, and before she could think anymore, she was fast asleep.

My cats will be getting new beds soon.

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