Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
I was all proud of myself for making a sock for the Warebeast. I made excellent time on it. It was a nice yarn. He loved the pattern. He tried it on. It was the biggest sock I have ever seen. I must have been in some kind of denial while making it. There was no amount of squinting or tucking that could make it work. I kept telling myself that the cables would make it gather more, that I needed the extra inches. After a night of mourning, I pulled out the sock all the way back to the foot. I kept telling myself that I knit for the process, that this is ok, but I had some choice words to share with myself.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
On Tuesday, the Boy and I spent a LOVELY evening in Oakland at the Havenscourt Homestead where we learned to milk goats, collected eggs and spent an evening of leisure around the fire pit listening to the goats bleat, quail coo, chickens cluck and the occasional distant siren-- the sounds of urban farm life.
Kitty Sharkey started work on her homestead about 2 years ago and has an impressive back yard farm in high production now. With four Goats, twelve hens, four quail two hives, two cats, two oscars and a couple dozen pond fish, you'd think her place would be crowded but I was very impressed with how well she had used her space. Between two goats, she milks just over half a gallon every evening and collects a handful each of quail and chicken eggs daily as well. She swears her gardens are a mess but I look at them and am in awe of the tomato harvest she filled her fridge with. She's looking forward to a time when her organic farming practices will bring her up to 75% self sufficiency. It is an ambitious goal, but certainly one worth working towards.
Aside from her day to day farming practice, Kitty is working with her goats to train them as therapy animals. Sammy, her young wether (castrated male goat) is often the favorite of visitors as he is small, friendly and has an extraordinarily soft coat for his breed. Many of the neighborhood children have been invited into the yard to meet "the kids", as Kitty affectionately calls her little herd and she will be bringing them to the Norther California Renaissance Faire's brand new petting zoo starting this upcoming weekend (September 18th and 19th).
Speaking of which, The Ren Faire has 2 for 1 tickets THIS WEEKEND ONLY! Come see the court, stay for a show (or three) and cool down with a pint while you browse he marketplace. Stand aside when you hear drums and fanfare because the Queen is coming! Boy and I are at the head of the parade as part of the St. Blaise Town Criers followed by drummers, revelers and the Yeomen of the Guard. See you there!
Homestead photos are property of Kitty Sharkey and Havenscourt Homestead.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Last year our sleeping quarters were a moderate sized dome, sheltered under the shade structure of the Foxy Kokonauts. This year we've gone rogue! We've built the skeleton for a 16' diameter dome and are nearly done with the fitted cover. take a look at the work-in-progress pic. The door is 9'+ tall!
In addition I am sewing some costume pieces(pics to come) including a Bedouin robe and a Turkish tassel-belt, both in warm earth tones. These are as much for the hell of it as they are for Burning Man and I'm really excited to have some nifty, durable costume pieces that aren't Renaissance Faire related.
As if these were not enough, I am still sticking to my Christmas knitting. One scarf down! I am now 4 reps into the Swallowtail Shawl which I mentioned wanting to do before. Dear gods that's a lot of counting! I'm not even 1/4 of the way through and I've muddled my pattern a handful of times. It didn't look too complex and I knew all the stitches it took, but this is certainly not a project for the undetermined or easily frustrated. A while back Riastiltskein tried her hand at it and I know she gave up 6 reps in. I however am determined not to be discouraged by its complexity and not to criticize myself too much for the practically invisible flaws I've knit into the pattern. Its complex enough that it hides my mis-knits pretty well. My grandmother will never notice, right?
My camera is still on haiatus, guys. I'm very sorry. The charger has disappeared but I'll be tearing apart my room before my trip to Burning Man becasue I will decidedly be taking lots of photos this year.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Case: I went out to lunch yesterday with a fellow I just met and we wandered around Berkeley a lot. We had some fantastic conversations and seem to get along splendidly but what really got me excited was a friend of his he introduced me to. He had to drop by one of the grad student housing buildings so he could say goodbye to someone he knew there but before I could stand awkwardly in the background while he said his goodbyes, I noticed that one of the gals was wearing a Swallowtail Shawl!(free pattern under the link) She noticed my handknit hat and we both started squeeing about yarn and knittng and spinning and she took me up to her room to fondle her stash! The fellow I had come with had been forgotten. Oops! >_<
Point: Distractability is bad for dates but good for making crafty friends.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
So I went back and watched the kid that likes the spinning wheel. Of course I brought the spinning wheel and he watched me spin for a while. He likes to treadle for me while I draft the fiber. I think he is less interested in the fiber than the spinning wheel and all the mechanical parts. He does however have a knitting bag with a loom though, which is adorable.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Freya, the Boy, Warebeast, and I were all watching Bones when the Boy noticed that Warebeast was the only one not knitting. I have showed him a few times how to knit and he has a project at my house. It is just a blue garter stitch random square-ish thing. Now, I knit backwards. Well, backwards is not the right word. Technically, it is called Combination knitting and the main difference is that the every knit stitch is knit through the back loop, which functionally makes the twist backwards and patterns harder to read. I learned how to crochet before I learned how to knit, and knitting through the back loop makes more sense to me in that crossover.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Following up on Sarah's post, I decided to make my own food post. There isn't too much going on the fiber front. I am still working on Allison's shawl and the commissioned socks but am somewhat lacking in the picture department. I did start spinning for a kid hat. A while ago, I showed WareBeast's brother, Elderbeast, the Etsy site. He loved Fawkes ( an orange base with differnt shades of reds sprinkled on top) and being one of us, got the Harry Potter joke. So I made him a hat of it, which he wears everywhere. Anyways, they have a four year old cousin, who greatly looks up to the Beasts. I started spinning up a thick merino to make into Fawkes for a smaller hat for said cousin. So I guess there is a fair bit happening on the fiber front, but nothing is quite to the picture stage and as we all know, pictures or it didn't happen.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Well, I haven't been working with fiber a lot (aside from almost finishing a pair or two of socks-- I'll post pictures someday, I swear!), but I have been cooking a lot!
This weekend, I went down to LA for my younger brother's college graduation (congratulations, Daniel!), and I stayed an extra day so that we could hang out. Well, one of the things that my brother and I like to do a lot is cook! So, we drove to the nearest nomful supermarket (they had pine nuts for $20/pound!! It's at least $35/pound up here! SO JEALOUS!), and ended up making scallops for lunch.
To be specific, we made baked scallops with prosciutto, pesto, and toast. (Or, you know, rustic pesto and pan-fried bread, if you're being pretentious. Which I sometimes am.) The pesto involved a lot of chopping (Daniel managed to cut himself somehow) because my brother's household doesn't own any sort of food processor. Then we cooked the scallops (sear and bake!), wrapped them in prosciutto, and put them and the pesto on toast.
It was incredibly delicious! I'm looking forward to cooking more with him this summer-- it should be a lot of fun.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
I spent ALL DAY yesterday dying and carding and dying and carding. It was AWESOME.
Remember that GIANT bag of stinky unwashed fleece that Riastiltskein and I washed a few weeks back? Well, we're still working on that but, now(1) we have a drum carder!!! Sort of. It is a drum carder and it is awesome and all the pieces are there but, and it's a big but(2), the drive band is stretched beyond use. As a result I'd need to have three or four hands to run it efficiently. I'm managing though. It takes me substantially longer to card a full batt than it ought to but it sure is nice to be able to blend the fleece evenly and card it into big batts rather than the tiny ones we get off our impromptu hand-carders(3). It's not a brand-name drum carder so I'm gonna have an interesting time trying to find a band that fits it properly... That's an adventure for a later date.
All my carding was between dyeings which was my main focus yesterday and also the cause of my befuddlement(4). I dyed about 10 small batched of roving in different colors to card together into batts for the "Learn to Spin" kits I'm building for our upcoming DIY fair in Napa, CA. I've been using three different dyes each with a different fixing agent so the smell of our apartment was... interesting, to say the least. I can hardly wait to have a place with a yard that I can set up a dedicated dying table in(5). We had all the windows open but I'm pretty sure that wasn't enough.
My brain may not be up for math or logic today but I'm already plotting more dying tomorrow.
I keep promising pics of all the neat stuff we're cooking up, but I seem to have thoroughly misplaced the charger for my camera. I'll have to steal the Boy's so I can document some of these beautiful colors here(6). Look for more updates in the next week as we work our fingers raw to get ready for the InDIYpendent Culture Faire.
(2)I do NOT like big butts and I might be lying about that any other time I say it.
(3)They're two dog brushes bought at petsmart. While it might have been a good idea if we were just fluffing up some roving, they are unfortunately not made to withstand the wear and tear of carding this volume of knotted fleece en masse. Go figure.
(4)Ooh! Shiny! Aw...it's just a gum wrapper...damn. See? 'Train of Thought' has not only been derailed but has forgotten that it needs those rails and has continued to speed down the hill at breakneck speeds.
(5)Keeping in mind that this may be years off, I really do wonder how much of my brain will be left by then. At least It'll be the prettiest thing on the autopsy table. They'll cut my open and go "Holy, hopping unicorns! This girls insides are sparkly rainbows, and she has the full palate in her skull instead of a brain. No wonder she produced such nifty color-weighs. Unfortunately cause of death was a spectral overdose." Did I mention I watched a lot of Bones and Castle yesterday too?
(6) I'm of the "Pics, or it didn't happen" mentality. Probably because of my crappy memory.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Check our fan page ( http://tinyurl.com/y7ktwjj ) for updates and details on schedules and participants.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
So Sinspinner and I have moved! We are no located in San Carlos, which is on the San Francisco Peninsula, near the train. We have a yarn closet! When we were looking at the place, Sinspinner opened in the closet and squeed, much to the landlord's surprise, and and said look! a yarn closet!" The landlord looked a little stunned, but I think it might have helped us get the place. Here is the yarn closet in all of its glory.
Friday, January 1, 2010
So my new year didn't start with a bang, it started with a giggle. Somehow I think that's just as good. I could go on to list all my boring and generic new years resolutions but really I think it's better if I leave it with these parting worlds:
*Happy New Year!*