lizcommotion: A hand-drawn/colored lovely little creature with a knitted cap and piles of yarn behind it knitting a scarf (knitting creature)
So I kept waiting for the right lighting or something and...anyway, I wanted to photograph things (even some yarn that is *technically not yet done gasp*) because otherwise it is not going to happen and then it will be out of my house or part of some other project or something.
image heavy )
lizcommotion: A hand-drawn/colored lovely little creature with a knitted cap and piles of yarn behind it knitting a scarf (knitting creature)
I am trying to avoid griping too much about how much my body DNW the random 30 degree temperature changes and barometric pressure nonsense that is going on here right now. Also, today I have a serious case of Missing Rogue (even though Haley is wonderful). *sigh*

Instead, have some linkspam which is mostly me talking about knitting and spinning and suchlike:

My mom (and dad) got me glorious yarn for my birthday. I have been trying to decide what to do with it, as it is technically enough for a sweater. However, as I am heat intolerant and my mom very considerately chose chunky yarn so it would be a fast knit...I have finally decided to make a cape poncho thing with it. *is excite* I am also excited because the pattern seems to be exceedingly well written (what's this, I actually read through the pattern before knitting anything? *gasp*) and has both charts and written instructions for the lace and cabled sections. If you want piiiictuuures, it is called the Covetable Cabled Cape on Ravelry. If you are curious, the yarn I'm going to use is 50/50 wool/alpaca and ~purple~.

Also in knitting and spinning news, I have several skeins and skeins-in-progress whose colors I think will work well together. They also are of a relatively similar thickness and the textures work well together, too. I am thinking of making a shawl, perhaps Hitchhiker, perhaps something else. Who knows? I shall wait until I've finished the current spinning.

Some of the skeins I want to use have yet to be fulled. That is, they are spun, but I need to get them wet and soapy and thwack them to turn them into actual usable yarn. This is a fun process -- and a definite stress reliever -- I just haven't really had spoons. Actually, come to think of it, there's one spun bit of yarn that's still on a spindle. I, um, need to wind it onto a niddy noddy. Errr...maybe I'll do that soon. If my arms will let me, it can be a bit ache-making. Maybe if I take breaks? This is what I need small children to use as manual labor share the joys of spinning with. My second nephew is *very* good at winding yarn onto niddy noddies, or at least helping keep the spindle from flying all over the room while I do it. Does anyone else have that problem? *ponders the possibility of recruiting partner* (Partner is crimping CAT-6 cables today, though, so maybe not).

That's about all for now. Going to attempt to resist falling asleep. Naps, they seem to be consuming me these days.
lizcommotion: A hand drawn spinning wheel covered in roses (spinning wheel briar rose)
Despite the endless plagues of stomach and of upper respiratory tract, I have managed to make some exciting things. Not nearly as fast as I would like, but here is photographic proof (along with a picture of Haley that seems to have sneaked in, no idea how that happened :P ).

Handspun hat (natural BFL)
A hat I knit for Partner. It is some of my handspun BFL, undyed but *not cream*. I was getting a tad bored with cream. This is grayish-brownish, roughly worsted weight. Snuggly! It's a simple hat design, 4x4 rib and then stockinette all the way up after the ribbed border. She is a fan, but alas has not worn it outside yet as the weather has turned warmish for now. I am hoping it stays that way.

somewhat photo heavy below the cut; spinning and Haley ahoy! )

Reading stuff:

what have you recently finished reading:
I just finished reading The Wanderers, which an AWESOME AND WONDERFUL FRIEND GIFTED ME. I don't want to give away key plot points, but let's just say I am a sucker for Fairy Tale retellings that are well done, and this one is. Also, did I mention that there is a talking cat in this book? There is, and he is amazing and wonderful and a smartass (cat, remember?). Love the book, highly recommend. Trying to avoid spoilers. Another benefit of this book is that the chapters are fairly self-contained plot-wise, although there are obviously continuing elements. This is good for me because it allowed me to go to bed at 2 am rather than stay up til 4 or 5 am to finish the book. If you also have trouble with authors who tease you at the end of chapters and keep you up til unreasonable hours of the morning, this book may be your friend.

what you are currently reading:
no book spines cracked atm

what you hope to read next:
I have several additional gifts on my ereader, which I am currently eager to read because clearly my friend has excellent taste.

Also, it has not escaped my attention that Terry Pratchett's latest book, Raising Steam is out. I am a bit conflicted about my acquisition of this, as I have others of his books in paperback and I don't want a hardback messing up the shelving system. OTOH the library will not have this in stock for months, I can guarantee it. So I will probably get an ebook of Raising Steam and a paper copy when it's a mass market paperback, because I'm weird like that. (My partner infected me, what can I say.)
lizcommotion: white handspun yarn next to various seashells (yarn white handspun)
Playing a bit off of a buzzfeed post and subsequent thoughts by ysabetwordsmith, here are some "old skills" I use on a regular basis. For the purposes of having a definition, I'm defining "old skills" somewhat arbitrarily as skills that are not used much by the mainstream population anymore because new technology has made them less necessary to basic existence.

Read more... )
lizcommotion: white handspun yarn next to various seashells (yarn white handspun)
Because I am having a particularly bad bout of imposter syndrome at the moment, I thought it would be a great time to fight fire with fire and say screw you, brain weasels, I *do* make excellent things. And so I am opening, with some trepidation, a Society6 store. It requires less monetary investment than Etsy, although I think there may be a smaller profit margin. OTOH, after the initial set-up I don't have to actually mail anything myself.

Because, you see, you or your friends/loved ones can now get pictures of my yarnings (and some of my other pictures) as prints, cards, ipod/iphone covers, etc.

I obviously need to play with GIMP more so I can branch out into tote bags.

But seriously, wouldn't these make cute holiday cards?


a hand-knit mini stocking ornament hanging in front of one of my hand-knit shawls. I will have you know I took this photo at dawn this morning like a srs photographer.

And I know *someone* who might be interested in this...
two more photos behind the cut )
And yes, there are also some of camellias and that infernal autumn light.

So, I dunno if you're even interested but I just wanted to say I DID A THING AND IT WAS VERY HARD EMOTIONALLY AND BECAUSE MY COMPUTER WOULDN'T COOPERATE AT FIRST before I go *meeeeeeeeep* and hide in a corner.
lizcommotion: white handspun yarn next to various seashells (yarn white handspun)
I made these seashell garden art stones the other day, just for variety. I still have to get acrylic sealer and spray them with it and let them dry, but otherwise they're done. I probably won't let anyone step on them, so they're more like garden art than stepping stones. Still, it's not that hard to make them so I could easily do stepping stones again if I got the mix.


Seashell garden art stones pre-acrylic coating
two rectangular "garden art stones" (as opposed to stepping stones) with seashells and stones set in them

The directions weren't that great that came with the mix. It called for I think 2 or 2.5 cups of water, but the mix was only crumbly at that point, not a solid mix that would, you know, hold together. And mxing with a stick just didn't work for me, eventually I (the baker) just switched to using my hands. This worked great for the concrete, but did leave me with incredibly dry hands for several days afterwards. If I do that next time I'm going to have to wear gloves or something. Also it probably would have been worth it to have someone to switch off mixing concrete with, as it is definitely a spoon suck if you are low-spoon.

Anyway, the basic process is: mix concrete with water in a bucket, pour concrete into molds (I used roasting/pie tins from Goodwill), even out the top, stick whatever you're going to stick in it so that it's covered at least partway up, let dry for at least 24-48 hours before you move it. So if you're going to do this project, make sure you do it where you want the things to dry.

Total cost for the ones I did? $5 a stone. I got the concrete mix from a thrift store, but it would only have been a little more expensive if I'd used the ever-present 50% off coupons at a generic big box craft store. It would also be a little more if you paid for mosaic tiles, but again, you could use broken crockery (or things from yard sales/thrift stores) or mosaic tiles that happen to be on clearance/sale rather than the big shiny new ones. You could also use stones, as that worked fairly well, and you could definitely step on those. Or do the thing where you use someone's hand print and write their name, etc etc. There's a whole world of possibility.

I call it a success!
lizcommotion: white handspun yarn next to various seashells (yarn white handspun)
Yesterday was glorious. Today I am in pain, but it's worth it even though I can't go to a cool festival. Perhaps thinking I could was overambitious. Perhaps yesterday was overambitious, but I do not care.

three crafty photos and talk about crafty gatherings )

Finally, as if that was not enough excitement for the day, my in-laws (by which I mean my partner's mom and her aunt) called and asked if we wanted to go out for dinner at a delicious restaurant. I was hungry. YES.

While we were there, we saw some people carrying giant fabric jellyfish on sticks, some of which were illuminated. Partner's aunt asked them if it was for something in particular (a jellyfish festival?), but it was merely to make people smile. It worked. It's called the Jellyfish Project, apparently. Pictures for you!

The jellyfish project
Several people carrying fabric jellyfish (see above for description) while onlookers ogle and take pictures.
one more photo of jellyfish project )
lizcommotion: balls of yarn, text reads "Dreamwidth Knitting Guild and Terrorist Society" (dreamwidth knitting)
Here are some fun crafty things I have done lately:

I made suncatchers for the garden with my mom. We both picked out pretty looking plates and things from Goodwill, then I glued them together using E6000 glue. Then we found rebar at a hardware store, and today (finally) we stuck them in the garden. Ta-da! They look like flowers.

Sun catchers
photo of two suncatchers (see description in paragraph above) in my mom's garden

There are plans for more, to make a cluster and also maybe have some in the back.

I also dyed two skeins of yarn. Apparently what I do is technically kettle-dyeing, which sounds fancy schmancy. Below is a photo of one of the skeins of yarn (still wet). one photo below the cut, and I also ramble about crafts )
lizcommotion: A hand-drawn/colored lovely little creature with a knitted cap and piles of yarn behind it knitting a scarf (knitting creature)
PSA if you are a trans* woman (or whatever wording/identification you prefer) who has yet to start HRT, I may be able to knit you a pair of titties/breasts/[word here] free of charge except for materials/postage.

Things:
  • Process might be slow (think: maybe months) depending on how many requests I get and/or I might have to limit how many I do because hands.
  • I would use this pattern from knitty, which actually says I cannot legally charge you. But I wouldn't want to anyway, because yay righting wrongs like not having the right body parts that combat brainweasels.
  • We could consult on yarn color/fiber/etc., but one thing is that if you're going to be wearing it and I'm going to be knitting it, it should be:
    • washable
    • soft
    • something you are not allergic to
    • won't make you all sweaty (i.e. preferably not synthetic unless that's the only option)
    • ideally, something that won't make my hands scream (i.e. plant fibers not preferred, but possible)
    • pretty/visually appealing
  • We should also talk about what cup size you want, and what filling you want (rice = not machine washable, or fiber fill with or without a stone weight, stone = not TSA approved).
If you are interested, you can either comment here (note that comments are NOT screened though, so if outing is an issue please do not respond here), PM me, or send me an email at lizcommotion (at) gmail (dot) com.
Feel free to also signal boost!

Here's one of a pair I made for a friend of mine! She liked them very much and wore them until the hormones kicked in:

a C cup titbit knit from peach cotton with a yellow nipple, resting on a grey tabletop

lizcommotion: blue handspun yarn on a weatherbeaten bench with a seashell next to it (yarn blue handspun)
I have to see the Gastro in a few hours. Not so excited about that.

Let's talk about crafts instead. I am making such the exciting yarn for [personal profile] shanaqui 's birthday. I am playing with a fiber I have never played with before. It is exciting. (I am even excited about plying, which is saying something.)

I have finished quilting the base of the art quilt, which decided for itself that it will have a snake theme because it decided to quilt snakes on itself. I am good with that. So, my art quilt is turning into a piece of Bone fanart. (You know Mim, the dragon who bites her tail? I know the dragon/snake is from like a zillion other mythologies - and is originally a snake - but i always think of Bone. Yet I am also Pagan and super into mythology, so I also think of snakes. So yes, fanart-mythology dragon-snake it is! Because I said so. The quilt may decide otherwise yet.)

Here's my progress thus far (I still have to applique the pieces down, obviously, and will probably do some hand embroidery/beadwork maybe? But yes):

Art quilt 1 progress
Square art quilt about a foot around ish, with 8 stripes of color (beige, beige, yellow, green, and four shades of blue going from bottom to top). Machine quilted with some designs of dunes and snakes. Varying colors of machine quilting to contrast rather than blend in with the base quilt. On top are red/brown batik torn fabric squares in three patterns arranged in a circle so that they gradually reduce in size. Most embroidery will focus on emphasizing a mouth and tail at the top.

Other crafting? Let's see. I finally finished swatching for my nephew's hat. I won't show you the swatch, that's boring. I have to wash it and measure gauge, and then I can begin making his hat. He wants a brim AND earflaps AND a nib at the top (the thing to pull it off). I am kind of dreading this hat, thus it's been several months between him dyeing the yarn and me working on it at all. But...I will see. Maybe once I'm working on it?

In the meantime maybe I'll work on younger nephew's dragon, which was originally going to be a fire truck. Heh.

Oh, also, I am officially In Love with Cormo Sheep Fiber. So soft. OMG. It's the fiber for my spinning group, and mmmmmmm. So yes. That's a thing. Will post more later after I finish plying it.

Crafting

Jul. 21st, 2013 02:04 pm
lizcommotion: white handspun yarn next to various seashells (yarn white handspun)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a craft space once cleaned must be in want of new craft projects to fill it.

I was trying to clear my craft table for when a friend comes over this week to instruct me in quilting so, you know, I can set up my sewing machine.

Instead, as soon as there was clear space, this happened:


Two pairs of bottlecap earrings, one with the Pepsi logo in blue, red and white forming a kind of wavy shape and the other of Izzy bottlecaps which is kind of a daisy shape in silver on a white background. The bottle caps are attached to a piece of wire which is twisted on itself and attached to French hooks. Below them is a crocheted white flower (which I made the other day); today I got out a glue gun and attached a pin backing to it.

Then I put the Izze bottlecap earrings and the flower, along with a baby hat and two stuffed animals, in a sewn gift bag with a letter for my mom's coworker (who is pregnant). I've actually never met her, but I've talked to her, and she's super appreciative of the handmade stuffed animal I made for her first child so she gets lots of goodies.

Now to help my mom finish the baby sweater and we'll be good to go.
lizcommotion: a drop spindle and the products of my first week of spinning (7 balls of yarn in various colors) (spinning week 1)
I experimented with natural dyes for the first time the other night. (I used an aluminum pot so it would help set the color, rather than playing with some realllllly toxic metal in my kitchen.)

Here are the results...two photos below the cut )

Thanks to everyone who helped with the natural dyes advice!

P.S. All I can think is, I made those.

Whoa

Jun. 4th, 2013 01:01 am
lizcommotion: a drop spindle and the products of my first week of spinning (7 balls of yarn in various colors) (spinning week 1)
This week I have spun over 300 yards of finished yarn on my drop-spindle.

Some of them are singles, and some of them are two-ply (which means a total of three spinnings, because strand 1, strand 2, and plying them). I have about 420 yards of yarn if you are counting all the singles (as opposed to the plyed total), and if you figure the plying time then it's really about 540 yards of fibre that's been through my fingers in a week.

Spinning hung out to dry
Six clothes hangers with yarn hanging from them hang from a shower rail. From the left:

- 108 yards of single-ply cream "Finnsheep" woolen yarn, which I plan on dyeing
- 91 yards of single-ply WILD COLORS (mostly black, pink, and green. and orange) Art Batt, sourced from Etsy
- 15 yard single ply sampler (mostly green, orange, and pink) from the same Etsy store as above
- 15(?) yards 2-ply twist of earth tone art batt and cream Targhee worsted yarn
- 79 yards 2-ply twist of Black Welsh Mountain sheep and cream "Finnsheep"; semi-worsted; I call this "chocolate Escher"
- 18(?) yards 2-ply twist of Black Welsh Mountain sheep and earth tone art batt; semi-worsted; I haven't come up with a name for this one yet

lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
Yay! Internet back. Huzzah. I did lots of knitting and spinning and fulling the yarn and only once accidentally whacking my hand on the bathtub while fulling the yarn. I also knit with my handspun! \o/

I decided I couldn't wait for enough of one yarn for a full project to try it, so here's the plan: I'm spinning lots of the colorful fiber for a big project (well, big in terms of homespun. Maybe a cowl? Or a hat? I have 50 yards of single ply right now I think that's unfulled in about a worsted weight. Need MOAR.)

In the meantime, the neutral colored stuff is - HERESY OF HERESIES - being mixed with machine spun yarn to make a shawl. In my defense, the fiber is from a local alpaca farm (they outsource the spinning).

I think it looks swell (if a little bit scrunched in order to stay on the needles):

Knitting with homespun and local yarn

The texture of the my homespun is pretty funky:In which there are 3 more photos and I grumble about Herxheimers )

ETA: I am also now of enough spinning proficiency that I can spin while talking on the phone if it's on speakerphone. \o/
lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (sketch liz)
Spinning is addictive. That is for sure, at least for me. Last night I woke myself up muttering about yarn and trying to draft in my sleep (that is part of the spinning process, FYI). I am pretty sure that's part of the sleep-reinforcing-learning thing, because yarn on day 2 was drastically different from yarn on day 1. Here, I will show you...
3 medium photos and spinning babble behind the cut )
lizcommotion: gif of Kiera Knightley saying, "La, I am Eliza Bennett!" to which Jennifer Ehle replies, "Bitch, please!" (eliza bennett)
I've been experimenting with makeup and things lately, on a limited budget, so eventually I fell into the Pinterest whirlwind of crunchy DIY bath stuff.

So far, my favorite is DIY Lavender Bath Salt Scrub, which is great unless you have an open wound. There are detailed instructions with proportions and things here, but basically it consists of salt, some sort of oil(s), a preservative, an essential oil or two, and an herb if you so choose. The herb can get messy in the bathtub, but it does look pretty in the jar. I might not put it in next time.

The recipe I found calls for vegetable glycerin and sunflower oil, neither of which I have. I *do* have copious amounts of olive oil. The vegetable glycerin, from what I can find, acts as a preservative...since my partner's family preserves cheese in olive oil I figured it would work as a substitute for both of the above. YMMV with another type of oil. (Also, since the Ancient Romans used to rub themselves down with oil and strigil, I figured it must be pretty good for the skin...right? It is, as far as I can tell since I started using it.)

Anyway, my final mix consisted of:
18 ounces of Fine Sea Salt
4 ounces olive oil
Lavender essential oil until it smelled right (as olive oil has a strong smell)
1 Tablespoon of Dried Lavender Buds (which I consider optional)
A big jar

It is lovely! It exfoliates, moisturizes, and leaves me smelling like lavender (which I enjoy). If you prefer another smell, just use a different essential oil I suppose. Also, since I had all the ingredients around my house, it cost me $0 when the ones at the store are selling for $15-$20 for a jar or some ridiculous nonsense. Plus, I know exactly what went into it - and it wasn't tested on animals.

Have you ever tried any DIY bath stuff? How did it go?
lizcommotion: A black-and-white photo of a Victorian woman (victorian lady)
So felting is way easy, and a happy thing if you do it on purpose. (Also, if you protect your washing machine from the extra fibers that come off during the felting process...broken washing machines are not happy. Fortunately, a pillowcase can do this.) Knitty has a tutorial on machine felting and on what I call "butter churn style felting". I used both methods, and I have to say I prefer butter churn style felting but it does do a number on your shoulders/spoon count.

Project number one: Felted notions bag (for quick carry tape measure, needle, scissors, etc)

Felted Notions Bag
Red and pink speckled small square bag with a flap and white button.

Felting process talk and one more photo under the cut... )

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lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
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