lizcommotion: A hand-drawn/colored lovely little creature with a knitted cap and piles of yarn behind it knitting a scarf (knitting creature)
There have been some requests for yarning photos, so here goes. It's been awhile since I played with my iphone camera and I find spring light weird (there's leaves but also not much leaves, and the angles change, and and and)...but I have decided to release perfectionism.

Yarning Picspam April 2014
A pile of four skeins (three colors) of yarn which I did not dye myself, but I did spin on my drop spindle(s). From left to right: a purple blend that was a gift from someone awesome (there are three more samples to play with!); a green/blue/gray blend from a LYS that's all spun up, but some went to my mom because it made a perfect border to her wingspan shawl; a purple/gray blend whose colorway is called "Rogue" from the same maker as the green blend (I have another batch on the spindle that needs to be skein'd and thwacked/fulled).
All The Picspam under the cut, you have been warned if bandwidth is an issue )
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: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
I couldn't take FO photos yesterday night because it was dark and I wanted natural light. But here are what I've finished so far for my friend! I am now working on a cowl with yarn leftover from the gloves. It will have a button closure. The running theme is "vintage buttons."

A's warm things
Hat and fingerless mitts, both purple, each embellished with vintage buttons (the hat on the brim, one button; the mitts on the cuffs, two buttons per mitt)

2 more photos below the cut )

I hope she likes them!
lizcommotion: A microsoft paint drawing of a muscle person that says "Xtreme muscle product" (Xtreme muscle product)
Yesterday I had a self-care victory. I am going to write about it here because I need to record these small (and in a way, giant) victories against the dread beast Imposter Syndrome and Brain Weasel at Large and Depression so that when I am next in the deep dark depths, I can have a written guide to help lead me out of Moria (and avoid balrogs).

Because depression is a lying bastard, and it makes you forget that you have gotten better again. It makes you forget how you have gotten through its clutching claws and gaping jaws.

tw: talking about recovering from self-harm/suicidal thought patterns; 2 nature photos under the cut )
Now let's see if I can do it all again next time it happens.

lizcommotion: Spongebob's pet snail Gary wearing a chef's hat (spongebob gary chef)
[with apologies to folks not in countries celebrating this holiday, who may be sick of hearing about it]

Partner and I started planning Thanksgiving Dinner the other night. There are going to be anywhere from 7-10 people here. Eesh. I started making a list, but it Did Not Work for partner's brain. So instead we have a visual representation of everything *on* the list, along with symbols for whether it needs to be served hot (prep at the time) or cold (prep before), or if someone else is bringing that particular dish.

Thanksgiving Visual planning
sketches of every dish/drink our family hopes to serve at Thanksgiving along with associated symbols and even stick figures of potential guests
1 more photo below the cut )

In case anyone is interested, here are a couple of really delicious recipes we've used over the years. If you notice that many of them are from FoodWishes, you would be correct.

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Tangerine Cherry Cranberry Sauce
Pecan and Apricot Sourdough Bread Stuffing

And if you're looking for the Pumpkin Muffin recipe, I'm going to put it below a cut. Might ask partner for links to some of the recipes she knows more about (like crispy duck).
Pumpkin Muffin Recipe )
lizcommotion: historic-style drawing of a woman with long hair dressed in purple robes sitting in a field (pagan woman)
I don't really have words yet this morning, and it's kind of a pain day, so here, have some photos I took in the garden a couple days ago of my mom's fall blooming camellias.

Fall blooming camellia
a pink flower in a square shot framed by dark green leaves, with fallen brown leaves on the ground in the background
one more photograph below the cut )
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: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (yarn bunny)
Note: copying some of this from what I posted on wordpress as a follow up to a recent post about knitting with 18 yards of handspun yarn. Today, apparently, my hands wanted to be used, but gently. Thus I now have a handmade business card holder embellished with handspun yarn.

How far does 18 yards of handspun yarn go if you mix it with other yarns? Well I’m here to tell you that I got not one, not two, but three projects out of 18 yards of my handspun, and I still have a yard or so left over. Huzzah!

2 photos below the cut )

A business card holder made out of two-toned merino Shepherd’s wool (red and pink) closed with a purple button. I used the white handspun to embellish the bag with a smiley face and some edging. The bag is resting on a pile of buttons I had poured out to choose from; the remaining handspun is above it. This one is definitely for me to keep, as I’d been planning on making something homemade to house my business cards for awhile. Huzzah for finally finishing it!

The following is a small amount of market research. Feel free to ignore, sorry to stick it in an otherwise purely knitting/spinning related post but it seemed relevant and I didn't want to just post two things right on top of one another.

Poll #13744 Small Batch Handspun on Etsy
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 9

If Liz sold small amounts of handspun on Etsy for less $, I would...

Buy some!
3 (37.5%)

Tell other people!
4 (50.0%)

Don't use yarn, so not relevant to me.
1 (12.5%)

Not interested in buying it for other reasons.
1 (12.5%)

Postage is too big a barrier.
4 (50.0%)

What yardages/prices would you be most interested in?

50 yards for $18 + postage
2 (66.7%)

40 yard for $15 + postage
2 (66.7%)

30 yards for $12 + postage
2 (66.7%)

sampler of 10 yards each of 3 yarns for $15 + postage
3 (100.0%)

something else I will detail in comments
0 (0.0%)

Every poll needs a...

1 (11.1%)

2 (22.2%)

2 (22.2%)

piping plover!
0 (0.0%)

4 (44.4%)

lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
  • 10 hours in the car. Four hours of stops. OMG. OMG. But at least interesting stops? Even if my hips want to retire from service now because of all the time my delightful dog spent in my lap. (But really, gotta savor that right now, so I shan't complain too much.) Am home from [beach] now.
  • I made a bracelet in the car using some handspun leftover from when I made the hat. Note that there is STILL yarn left.
    Celtic twist knit bracelet
    Celtic twist inspired bracelet, i.e. a knit cord of white handspun yarn twisted around a knit cord of green machine spun yarn turned into a bracelet (for the curious, I knit a bobble on one end and made a loop on the other for the closure. Probably a proper tutorial to follow later. And I might put this or something like it on Etsy when I have the spoons.
  • There is a box of THREE POUNDS of wool waiting for me, and I haven't opened it yet because I don't think my hips will let me spin today. Knitting it is!
  • I am supposed to rest but there is All The Unpacking and lots of other shit and I don't wanna rest I wanna do. But given that every time I stand up, I faceplant unless I have my walker...I think resting is called for. Dammit.
Brief Linkspam:
lizcommotion: text: "If only yarn grew on trees" with a photo of trees that have been yarn bombed (covered with knitted yarn) (yarn trees)
Sung to the tune of "What can you do with a drunken sailor," of course. ;)

Turns out, quite a lot, if you mix 'n match with other yarns. Take, for example, the 18 yards of uber soft undyed Targhee I decided to play with rather than list on my shop. I paired it with a ball of Cascade 128 (which is 128 yards of chunky superwash merino omg) that I had gotten on sale.

Doesn't look like that much yarn, right?

What can you do with 18 yards of handspun yarn?
A ball of forest green Cascade 128 machine spun yarn surrounded by a hank of handspun thick-and-thin white Targhee yarn. The label for the Targhee (my shop label) peeks out from under it.

I thought maybe I'd get a hat with a couple of stripes out of them.

Well I'm mostly done with the hat, and this is what I've got. read on for two photos and be amazed )

probably cross-posting to [community profile] knitting
lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
  1. Prepped a bunch of handspun yarn (i.e. labelling yardage, fibre content, washing instructions, etc.) to take to a local art store that has admired my handspun in the past and expressed an interest in buying it. We shall see if they still are. If not, it's a test run, and there are other places that might be. *squees nervously to self*

  2. Started working on a 100% handspun shawl made partly from conservation breed sheep and also art batt from a local farm. I feel *so* crunchy. Am hoping to exhibit it with a local fibre guild - some of them have space in a local art space, or in local libraries. Also, the items they exhibit are usually for sale. This is the excite, too. Here's a sneak peak:
    Handspun earth shawl WIP
    close up of triangular shawl knit from handspun brown/white twist, cream/multicolor twist, and brown/multicolor twist in stripes yarn over holes go up the center, and a blue stitch marker marks the center stitch

  3. I am very excite over both how fast my spinning has gotten and also my improved dyeing skills. 1 photo behind the cut to save your reading page )

  4. I *may* have only gotten two hours of sleep last night whoops oh well so nervous/excited about the yarn "interview".

  5. I can be a fibre artist now?
ETA: Thanks for many kind thoughts. Art shop talkings went very well, although I think based on time +  materials I am probably out of the price range that the shop owner is willing to pay. However, he did mention that other knitters in the store may be interested, so I gave him a huge stack o' business cards and left an 18 yard sample of Best Tea China Wensleydale Handspun. He got very excited about trying it out and also showing it to the other knitters (although I think mainly trying it out himself incorporated into a hat to see what it would look like), and kept stroking the fibre. Yesssss.

In other news, a very dear friend's girlfriend may need to go to the hospital (again), and she is not sure about being able to afford to miss work when she is inpatient. She is going to be raising money on her tumblr I think, so I gave her the above purple yarn as an incentive for folks who chip in. She also does a lot of cut paper art herself. No idea how/when she will have the spoons to do the fundraising, but I'm giving folks a heads up that I will be signal-boosting here in case anyone can throw a bit in the hat, so to speak.
lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
Sorry for posting all the things! It's just one of those days...

Since spinning is helping my dizziness, I have a ready excuse to leave fibre strewn across the domicile spin a lot. Here are some recent examples...if I mention a funny word like "Targhee" or "Black Welsh Mountain" it is probably a breed of sheep.
3 medium photos behind the cut... )

Thank you for your patience with my PICTURES OMG.

Probably will cross-post or cross-link to [community profile] knitting .

lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (yarn bunny)
Apparently the secret to finishing a shawlette in one day* is to use big needles, big yarn, and do a pattern that is easy to memorize and that you're already familiar with. It helps if you also really like the yarn. This shawlette did not turn out as I expected, as I was thinking, "I'll just do a basic triangular shawl with the rest of the homespun yarn from the homespun affection I did awhile ago." Nope. Not happening. Instead it ended up being more woodlandsy in colors, with some novelty yarn mixed in, and also other homespun.

And thus I give you...the Pixie Shawlette (I would have made it bigger except it was on a deadline, and really, it's big enough for shoulders):

Shawlette: 50% homespun ish
Triangular shawl with stripes going along the triangular pattern in purple, green, gray, dark green, cream, and purple-brown twist. Laying on a beige carpet in a ray of sunlight with the shadows of a window pane on it.

I also knit up some of the food-dye yarnOne photo below the cut )

I really like the way the yarn knitted up, and even though you can tell that some bits didn't take the dye because of the way I tied it I think that only adds to the effect of the variegation.

I also finished a scarf that I've been knitting off and on for months, but I don't have a photo of it. Sorry. It's blue and fairly simple, so. Maybe later I will photo.

Now there are a few questions I ask myself:
  • What to knit next? (I have a couple projects on the needles, but new things call to me!)
  • When the heck will I have energy to full (i.e. set the spin so I can knit it) the Wensleydale "Best Tea China" I dyed and spun?
  • What am I going to knit with it? (It's 69 yards and about worsted thick-and-thin art yarn, I'd really like to make a scarf, but I think I'd have to have a yarn to pair with it. Unless it was really holey. Hmm...)
* Another part of the secret to All the Finished Objects is to be ordered to rest so you will recover from a flare-up.
lizcommotion: a drop spindle and the products of my first week of spinning (7 balls of yarn in various colors) (spinning week 1)
I finally am almost out of the fiber I initially got when I started spinning - about 11.5 oz of fiber total, and I have about 1 oz left. Well, except there is more in my future. *cackles maniacally* Srsly though, it is cheap when you consider how well it is treating me mentally.

So here's some eye candy, as folks have been asking:

Finished artsy BFL cowl and headband
Multi-colored looped cowl and headband with green button made from handspun yarn on the back of a sofa

Don't say I didn't warn you it's PHOTO HEAVY )
lizcommotion: A microsoft paint drawing of a muscle person that says "Xtreme muscle product" (Xtreme muscle product)

Tomorrow is class again, and we are going to learn about "fulling" yarn - that is, getting it wet and soapy so that the fibers stick to one another and don't come unspun. You have to full it before you can knit or crochet with it.
lizcommotion: A black-and-white photo of a Victorian woman (victorian lady)
Clearly I need a spinning icon. Or some sort of spindle. Maybe a Sleeping Beauty "Touch the Spindle!" icon? <3
2 photos, spinning babble, I kick inner critic INNA TEETH )

Tomorrow, perhaps, if you are lucky and my camera has a battery, I shall take a photo of the cardigan I am working on. I am halfway done with the button bands, and I'm not quite following the pattern exactly anymore. (Clue, one word: lace.)

And now, to bed. To perhaps dream of spinning or Spanish.
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: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (yarn bunny)
I finished knitting Wingspan in four days. I'm kinda amazed. It was fun, and the primary thing I was knitting. Also, US #10 needles helped. And soooooft yarn.

Photos ahoy!

Wingspan Circular
A shawl made up of overlapping purple-pink and pink triangles arranged in a circle, as though to be worn around someone's shoulders. The triangles mimic feathers on a bird.One more photo )

Apologies for the slight blur on the latter photo!

For the knitterly curious, here's how I modded the pattern from fingering weight (this will only make sense if you've looked at the pattern/recipe):
I used Malabrigo Worsted (I forget the colorways) on US #10s at a gauge of roughly 3 sts/in (or 12 sts/4 in if that's how you roll). I did not swatch ahead of time (gasp!). I cast on 60 sts for each triangle, and shifted each new triangle over by 12 sts. I didn't wrap my stitches when I turned. At the end, I did do the four rows that the pattern called for to hold the thing together, and I bound off with US #13 needles. Behold, a shawl in four days!

ETA: Also, so the row gauge wouldn't be off, for the majority of the places where you move the marker I did "sl1 k3" instead of "sl1 k2". That way I wasn't left with huuuuge triangles, and they were roughly the proportion of the original wingspan. This is up to you and your sense of your row gauge. I think the first three turns I did with the original pattern (sl1k2), and the rest I did sl1k3. I figured if it didn't work I would just knit more triangles, but it ended up that I only needed the 8 called for in the pattern. The lady in the yarn shop who'd already knit Wingspan recommended that I do something like this when I mentioned it to her.

Also thanks to [personal profile] vae  for her advice. ^_^
lizcommotion: a forest filled with sunlight and small purple flowers (spring trees)

Butterfly on Sassafrass

For the past two mornings I've awoken to find a butterfly outide sunning itself on one of the trees. Two very different butterflies, but this morning I managed to find a camera.

I'm pretty sure it's a female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, but someone else may be more knowledgdeable than me.

It's a lovely thing in the morning, and has definitely brightened my days.


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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