lizcommotion: blue handspun yarn on a weatherbeaten bench with a seashell next to it (yarn blue handspun)
Had a lovely day yesterday with [personal profile] jelazakazone &co; we spent most of the time in her lab concocting ways to make wire & fiber art yak fusions for an art quilt. Yes. It was that awesome. There may also have been discussions of wire art alpacas, possibly with tiny alpaca scarves. In the end there was a yak semi-made. My contributions were some fuzzy yarn spun from locks that I spun as an experiment independently (verdict: pain in the butt on a drop spindle, and probably on a wheel too, but timely for this project) and also a handspun alpaca "scarf" for said yak made out of i-cord. Partner drew sharks with her daughter, and also had an excellent time. (Well, a shark with its tail covered by a half-eaten donut. Long story. But aren't those the best kind of sharks?)

I also seem to be accidentally making a Slytherin-Gryffindor house unity cowl. Funny how I just happened to have green, gold, red, and gray (interspersed with cream) in my stash...also funny that I didn't notice it was in Hogwarts colors until the last couple of stripes. Now I am kind of more in love with it. The cream is handspun Finnsheep.

Slytherin Gryffindor house unity cowl WIP
Close up of the Slytherin-Gryffindor House Unity Cowl, see above for description of colors. In garter stitch (yes, in the round, I am like that), so it's got texture and ridges but lies flat and is very stretchy

Yesterday also saw me obsessed with buttons. I am making Things involving buttons and upcycled felted sweaters, with the odd bit of embroidery on them to liven them up. (And did I mention some of the buttons are vintage and awesome?) And then jelazakazone gave me more buttons, and I have All The Ideas for them. (Hats! With buttons as embellishments! And Things!) I enjoyed the hand embroidery more than I expected, I think because it was something different.

picture of the sewn felted thing )

Why am I posting at almost 5 am, you may ask, when I've obviously had a very full day already? Well, because it is cold outside and I woke up in pain and unable to move. As in, I couldn't roll over and my hands wouldn't close. *gnashes teeth* Probably some of this is because I did a lot yesterday, and for awhile I used to think that if my hands were like that the solution was to not knit and sit around looking lost. What I have found, for me is that if I do just a little bit of crafting involving my hands - particularly knitting or spinning - the motion tends to lubricate my joints or something and then I can actually, say, make a dreamwidth post. YMMV.
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.
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)
Here's a belated post of a lot of the things I've been playing with, creativity-wise. It's a mix of sewing and knitting and the sad thing is, it's not even everything. I've also been playing with zippered bags, but some of those are super sekkrit and one is holding my nascent makeup collection (ok, mainly tinted lip balm) and I'm too lazy to dig it out). However, here are things that I *do* have photos of...

First sweater for me!
My first sweater for an adult! Photo heavy - sewing and knitting photos under the cut )

And that's what's going on here right now in my impromptu studio.
lizcommotion: text: "If only yarn grew on trees" with a photo of trees that have been yarn bombed (covered with knitted yarn) (yarn trees)
Hello, wonderful Dreamwidth!

My friend is a Recreation Therapist at a Children's Rehab Center in Washington, DC. Her hospital sees a lot of long-term care patients after they leave the hospital, many who have things like Tramatic Brain Injury, birth defects of various ilks, etc.

She does really amazing work, and I was asking her if there was anything I could do to help out. We got started talking about crafting, and it turns out there are some crafted items she could use. I cannot possibly produce the volume she needs in the time that she needs them, so I am passing on the signal here (and in my LYS) in the hopes that we can get these kids some extra TLC.

There are options here for sewing, knitting, and crochet - however, if you don't craft yourself, signal boosts are totally appreciated!

Child Size Picc Line Covers (a knitting/crochet option)

Picc Lines are direct lines from an artery to your heart, and are used in select cases to deliver antibiotics or other medications. In kid's hospitals, a lot of kids grow to resent them and sometimes there are problems with kids pulling them out. My Rec Therapist friend is hoping to get about 50 Picc Line Covers (which she says would set her up for a long time) so that kids won't have such direct access to the Picc Lines, and also so that they look "cooler" for the kids.

If you (or anyone) wants to make these in a child-size or teen-sized (or even smaller, like baby size or toddler size) out of superwash wool that can also be machine dryed (so like Cascade 220 Superwash or something) in this pattern that would be awesome. Cables as decoration are also a possibility, but basically simple is better. Colored striped are also an option as long as all the ends are woven in.

Here is a crochet pattern that I found, although it's written for fingering weight...don't know if you can adjust it easily for the dimensions specified above as I don't crochet. See below for mailing directions.

Medical Play Dolls (a sewing/knitting/crochet option)

The other thing she definitely needs is "medical play dolls" that are shades of brown. Her rehab clinic got a donation of about 200 dolls a year ago, half white and half shades of brown. All of the brown dolls are gone, as most of her patients are kids of color. So, it would help if they had more.

Basically, a medical play doll is a basic doll form with no face or hair or clothes or decoration or anything. Something like this would be perfect. Her hospital needs more dolls in various shades of brown for therapy where the child decorates the doll to look like themselves (which is why you wouldn't decorate it), and then whenever the child needs to have a procedure done the Rec Therapist and the child act out the procedure on the doll first so the kid knows what to expect.

Some key points:
  • as a lot of medical procedures involve injections, the dolls need to have wide arms so that syringes (minus needles) can go into them. Thus, no patterns with i-cord arms or very skinny arms.
  • Same goes for bellies - very large bellies, even if they are out of proportion to the rest of the doll, would be very helpful.
  • The dolls need to be machine washable and dryable, as it's a hospital and that's how they clean things. Acrylic, wool, cotton, whatever is fine. Just be sure to label what material you use so a wool item doesn't go to a kid with sensitive skin.
  • The dolls should be the same color throughout the doll.
  • They don't have to be huge, maybe 8"-10" high would work well.
  • Any shade of brown yarn/fabric is okay, because the best thing is to have a diversity of dolls for kids to choose from.
  • These can obviously be sewn, crocheted, or knitted as long as they meet the requirements above.
~~~If you do decide you want to make these, PM when you're done and are up for mailing them and I'll send you my address and/or the address of her Rehab Center donation area once I get it from my friend.

ETA: Here is a great basic
doll knitting pattern mentioned by [personal profile] rokeon . Just remember to make the doll the same color (a shade of brown) throughout the doll, so that the child can decide how to decorate it, etc.
lizcommotion: Two African American men gazing at a sign reading "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom" (bayard rustin)
I have two walkers now, one for upstairs and one for downstairs, I decided I needed a bag that I could switch between them to carry random items in. Kind of like an extra purse, but for both inside and outside the house. I still may add some sort of clasp to the top (which I had initially left off in case of tall items), but here is the initial prototype.

Four small photos behind the cut... )

I am super duper proud of myself. \o/ Also, really enjoying this bag. And I am probably going to make more things, too, and maybe add a cell phone pocket/pouch somewhere.... ^_^

As far as yarn bombing, I've finished another section; I just need to weave in copious amounts of ends and add lots of buttons. Should be fun, I've just been working on other projects.

Also - speaking of other projects - keep an eye out for the Super Exciting Hat and Hat Pattern to be posted Soon. (After hat finishes blocking and I get decent photos, in other words.)

lizcommotion: A black-and-white photo of a Victorian woman (victorian lady)
Here's an interesting article on Etsy about the origins and history of crazy quilting. No wonder I like it so much - its origins are Japanese. ^_^

Bonus: Also linked from the article above, a piece about Japanese Boro: "Literally translated as rags or scraps of cloth, the term boro is also used to describe clothes and household items which have been patched-up and repaired many times. Once clothing was made, it would be maintained throughout the owner’s lifetime, or perhaps even longer."


image of a crazy quilt from the Museum of Appalachia, courtesy of Wikipedia

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