ironymaiden: (yarncore)
I went to Weaving Works to roll the body* today. I was hoping it would be more picked over, for their sakes. I got a couple books and a skein of Arne and Carlos yarn.

anyhoo, one of them is Designs for Knitting Kilt Hose and Knickerbocker Stockings. It is so charmingly half-assed. Originally it was self-published in Scotland in 1978, and the author was about 78 at the time. It assumes that the reader is intimately familiar with kilt hose, and the concept of cuffs hiding a garter, and calf decreases.

she doesn't bother with a legend for her stitch abbreviations** until there's a section she lifted from antique pattern books. THEN there's a legend and the untranslated patterns for a couple pages.

the best part? The section on argyle where she admits that she was never able to finish an argyle sock!

I will be able to make good use of it, but a few years ago it would have been impossible for me to decipher.



*they made some poor choices when they relocated a few years ago, and they exhausted all their resources. the storefront closes this month.
**w.o. stands for wool over, which folks in the US call a yarnover.
ironymaiden: (arty)

I'm finally spinning the rest of the fiber that became a felted dog toy. It's...challenging. I couldn't find the right settings for my wheel, so I pulled out a drop spindle for the first time in months.

Now when the fiber is clumpy or suddenly breaks it's no big deal. (Although I hate having this not-cheap spindle hit the floor.)

This stuff has little blobs of short fiber in it (neps). You can either obsessively pick them out, or make lumpy yarn.

It's neps all the way down. Let's just call it rustic texture and admire the colors. something i saw

ironymaiden: (yarncore)
Leela lurves fibery toys. her favorite is a wet felted wool number that we used to call "fuchsia infinity" but has been tugged and chewed and loved into "fuchsia snake". carrying a woolly toy on walks is the key to breaking her concentration when she is denied prey (goddammit outdoor cats) or play (that other dog is across a busy street). last year I made an attempt at knitting up interlocking rings that could be worn over my wrist. they were great except for the part where they were overstuffed and under felted so they came apart fast.*

anyhoo, I have a couple Noro rainbow rolls , which are them selling the precursor to yarn - it's drafted into a thin strip of roving, ready for twist to be added. (I thought it would be fun to finish it as a chain ply, but it's behind another project that's on the wheel.) many of their sample projects are felted, so I decided to let myself use my fancy/expensive materials to make a thing I might use every day.

process and before photos )
toy is super-light, springy, and so far strong enough for tug. Leela digs it.


*I made them from absolutely terrible yarn that was the result of a well-intentioned gift of fiber that was not really fit for spinning. or at least I never figured out how to make it work.

**not dog toys. we have a can of them for drying down-filled items in the dryer.
ironymaiden: (chinstrap)
  • i knit a dog toy out of fancy pencil roving. i am happy about how pretty the colors are (it's why i bought the roving originally) and i'm happy anticipating the fun times i'll have with Leela. i'm also pleased that i was able to get over myself and use the roving instead of hoarding it against some "more worthy" project.


  • i gave some AU Marvel/AU Potterverse crossover fanfic a try, and it was delightful. someone in my circle recommended it, and i left it unread in an open tab for days. thanks! Every Little Thing He Does Is, featuring Steve Rogers the auror, adventure, fixit for the Wizarding world in the US, lots of Marvel nerdery, and a sweet PG romance.


  • if you are an American woman of a certain age, Oprah Winfrey is a presence in your life (whether you want her there or not). The Oprah Winfrey show is thirty years old now, and WBEZ Chicago did an excellent series of podcasts about the show and its impact on American culture. it was completely absorbing on a day when i really needed to get my brain to shut up. Making Oprah


  • this rare SFW Oglaf comic


  • i've been reading Code Name Verity to C before bed. he's well and truly hooked, and he's caught on to spoilery things well before i did when i read it. it's such a pleasure listening to him try to puzzle it out.
  • ironymaiden: (yarncore)
    spinning, dammit. i have some other things i'm itching to make, i'm just trying to be a grownup and finish out this bobbin before i pull out some more exciting fiber.

    there's nothing wrong with this stuff, it's a nice merino dyed by Socks That Rock, there's just 8oz of it and i'm trying to make fingering and it goes on forever and ever. one ply down, second ply done sometime soon if i can choke it out, and then the third ply can wait - the inlaws got me another Akerworks bobbin for Christmas.

    it's fractal spin, which was interesting to set up and will be interesting to ply. but at the single stage, boooooring.


    ironymaiden: (rich zoe)


    i am enjoying the heck out of these podcasts:
    More Perfect: stories from the history of the US Supreme Court. this is from the people who do Radiolab.
    Code Switch: talk about race, mostly in the US, from a group of PoC working at NPR. stay woke.
    Invisibilia: this one is roughly themed around invisible influences that shape our behavior. the one that hooked me was about how learning to express feelings helped an offshore oil rig reduce their accident rate.



    i drafted a new knitting project bag pattern and made a prototype. it's pretty rad. now i feel more confident about making one with [livejournal.com profile] mimerki's fabric.

    i eyeballed pictures of a handknit sock and have reproduced the effect without reading a pattern.

    Pokemon GO. it deserves its own post, but suffice it to say that i enjoyed the downtown bus slowdown immensely this morning, since i was earning XP.




















    C will be home for our annual camping trip in less than ten days.
    ironymaiden: (bunnies)
    Yesterday was a a good day. Morning: Knitfit. Afternoon: Dog & a nice second lunch. Evening: silly movie and snuggles.

    I bombed through the marketplace at 8:30 and got everything on my list, plus one little treat for [livejournal.com profile] mimerki. I even got to nerd out over SIFF with Ilga and Mike from Edgewood Gardens.

    my class was on on ergonomics for knitters. Great stuff. Alas, the big takeaway is that knitting requires us to do some bad things. The best way i can help is to not harm myself while using the computer. (And sit well. I need a better chair.)

    C picked me up outside and I snarfed down a bag of Dick's as we drove to Kent. this rescue partners with a kennel there. The lady at the kennel was great.* We got to take the dog for a walk, play a bit, and do a greet with another dog. Everything went well. She's energetic but gentle, not fearful, and interested in people. She's beautiful. Smaller than our ideal**, for sure. But not too small. she feels like a plush toy. (If Molly was a Gund, this one is more of a Steiff.) Her dog-dog socialization is actually pretty great. We said yes and we're prepping the house. It isn't real until we get possession, but it's the closest we've been. I floated through the rest of the afternoon.

    we had some extra time left on the car, so we went to Chinook's and got second lunch (first for C) and hot drinks and watched the rain fall on the fishing fleet.

    later we collapsed on the couch and watched Jupiter Ascending. there was so much cool shit there packed into too little time with no character development and unbalanced exposition. Imagine if the entirety of The Matrix was smooshed into the first 40 minutes of a 2 hour film containing all of the content from the trilogy - but without shortening any action sequences. it could have been a really fun space opera book.

    As it was? My inner 10 year old thinks the flying werewolf space boyfriend is cool, but she would have stopped cleaning toilets.

    *being backstage at the kennel made me sad. shelters in Western Washington are either cheerful and shiny or kind of clinical. this was scruffier, older. kind of the difference between a community center and in-home daycare.

    ** she's from Korea - rejected by a meat rancher because her carcass would be too small. she looks like an oversized Shiba Inu.
    ironymaiden: (chinstrap)
    yesterday was one of the sweet fine days days on the edge of autumn - bright, warm, glorious. (okay, it could have been cooler. but it also didn't require sunglasses, so I'll take it.)

    i got out of bed like it was a workday, and met up with [livejournal.com profile] mimerki, [livejournal.com profile] e_bourne, and knitta D to visit a fiber mill on Whidbey Island.

    we got to ride in Adrian, and we practically drove right onto the ferry. we found a great spot for breakfast in Langley, with quirky decor and a thing for apples.



    then we toured the mill, which is small but mighty. the equipment came from Oklahoma and Indiana; we are beneficiaries of the decline of the US textile industry. I came home with pin-drafted roving made from Washington wool, alpaca, and angora. its all so pretty and soft. We were amused that there are tufts of fiber all over the place, including the gravel driveway. they foisted apples on us from their trees, and gave us bottles of water, and there was much fiber nerdery.








    after that, we hit Whidbey Island Distillery. the tour was very cool, with a bit of serendipity- we were there at the same time as the Metropolitan club. fun facts: their spirits are distilled from local wine and they get the wine in trade (half the distillate goes back to the wineries to make fortified wines) the still itself is computer controlled and the distiller can adjust it remotely from his phone.

    then we tooled around Langley some more, where we saw these awesome sheep and goat portraits, and got ice cream. Then we had another lovely ferry ride. It was a truly superior day.
    ironymaiden: (socket)
    fell into a research hole after the game last night (Sounders won, it only rained during halftime, i had an excellent meat pie and an artisanal ding dong cake) trying to learn more about distaffs. a distaff is a thing that holds a supply of fiber while a spinner is working. it started with me reading about flax and led to this pretty cool educational video from British Pathé.*

    how fibres are spun



    *it is so much easier to type accents on a virtual keyboard
    ironymaiden: (rich zoe)
    sometime this summer, a classical trumpeter moved into my building (or the one across the street). Their tone is excellent, so hearing them practice is quite pleasant, especially since it bears the sense-memory of waiting for the symphony or opera to begin.

    i've been on the balcony with my spinning, enjoying the fine day and listening to an audiobook of The Letter of Marque. plus the aforementioned trumpet. and the occasional dog singing along.

    it's more pleasant than you might think.
    ironymaiden: (socket)
    i got a big bag of Polypay roving at Fiber Fusion last year. i'm just now getting around to playing with it. it's quite springy and easy to draft. so far i like spinning it way better than the Romney raised in King County. (i really wanted to like the Romney. it's black! but the yarn i've made so far with it is just kind of hairy, and it doesn't seem to matter what technique i use. maybe i need to be more skilled, maybe this bag of fiber is just kind of sucky.) i'd like to source more wool from the Northwest, but it's taking a bit of work.

    anyway, the Polypay was all undyed, so i tried test-dyeing a few ounces last night. it's interesting stuff. i left it soak in water for a good half-hour and it seemed pretty resistant to saturation. i am impatient, so i dyed it anyway (Wilton's paste food coloring, white vinegar) and did a steam set on the stove per Ilga's method. it was too hot to handle last night, so i'll do a rinse and look at results before bed tonight. i'll be curious to see if the dye struck properly. the fiber was cheap so no harm if the color didn't stick this time or i felted it.

    ***

    the answer is that the color struck fast and the fiber took every bit of dye. zero color in the rinse water, and it's really intense. what it didn't do was run together as much as I expected. no pics at this point - it was dark when I put it outside on the drying rack. anyway, bright true colors, no evidence of felting, more undyed fiber visible than I intended. looks like it will be fully dry tomorrow.
    ironymaiden: (rich zoe)
    this has a been a tough week. I'm okay, good people are not.


    • Seafair is on. in Ballard, that means Seafood fest. i bought ginger-infused honey from a taciturn old white guy who was wearing a sweater with a hole in it and could barely interact enough to take my money. There's the combo dim sum/elephant ear stand. I had a locally made birch beer. I had a pickled herring sandwich. I nearly collapsed from ecstasy taking my first bite of deep fried bacon cinnamon roll. I finished it while watching awesome little girls do a skateboard slalom competition.

    • apparently, once a year i facilitate [livejournal.com profile] mimerki's purchase of awesome shoes. If this is my superpower, i accept it.

    • Google sheep view

    • touchstones. I was looking through my yarn stash to pick out a worsted weight for a project, and i had stories to tell for every scrap and skein. Gifts, souvenirs, milestones in learning to knit and spin. So many good memories and good people.

    • Planet Earth is on Netflix. So amazing.




    OMG i go camping soon!

    Edited to add: the issue of Hawkeye told from the dog's POV. It's not a gimmick, it's the best way they could reveal information to the reader through the eyes of a character. I've reread it a few times because there's so much going on. Seriously a masterful use of the medium.
    ironymaiden: (rich zoe)
    Tablet! my little netbook is dead, so I have acquired a tablet with matching stylus. great compromise for me- basically a giant version of my phone, but with fancy bells and whales. I'm handwriting this!

    I read Uprooted, and it was great. I had picked up a promo at comiccon, and enjoyed it, but I was skeptical because Naomi Novik does not have a great track record as far as I'm concerned, kind of a dis-recommendation: "Remember those stupid faux-Aubreyad books with the cruddy world-building and the chatty dragons?" Please ignore. If you have loved Robin McKinley or that one Orson Scott Card fairytale book (Enchanted, worth getting from a Library) you should read this thing. [livejournal.com profile] frabjouslinz loved it, she was right. It's not just about a woman and her mentor, it's also about best friends and the way women compete (and no love triangle).

    Make a plan and follow it through. With the tablet, I was able to chart out a knitting idea and then swatch the chart. It changed my thinking about the pattern. But I did it without having to knit the entire thing and rip it out, or take copious notes. I made the notes first. Way easier, and I learned lots about the notes app on my tablet.

    I am drinking a Not Your Father's Root Beer. Om nom nom.
    ironymaiden: (knitting)
    i haven't knit anything that requires referring to a pattern for several months now. apparently what the body wants is to repeat ribbing (or flat brioche) ad infinitum.

    um, okay.

    the unfortunate side effect is that i have two unfinished projects for C that are quietly guilting me - a pair of cabled mitts to replace the ones he's worn out (and they were a workhorse wool, they just got daily hard use for several years) and the second of a pair of socks with a 12-row repeat pattern. neither of them are hard. in fact, i have the sock pattern memorized and the cables are pretty easy to read. however, that seems to be a step too far for me right now.

    currently cranking out socks with the strong heel (which is basically the Fleegle heel upside-down). i started these at Norwescon.


    i like the fit, they're fast...so of course for the current pair i'm trying a different placement for the increases. pics if i like the results.
    ironymaiden: (don't walk/i love you)
    i am head-over-heels in love with mynoise.

    it seems that the older i get, the more sensitive i am to sound - more jumpy in response to sudden changes, more on-edge in response to high-pitched sounds, less tolerant of loud venues. the noise generators knock out the various ambient noises of my open office much more effectively than music and noise-cancelling headphones. in addition to the usual water and fire noises, there are drones and soundscapes, including cat purring and starship activity. i'm more focused and more relaxed. so happy. on the Chromecast they're a great alternative to tv-as-background-noise, and they seem to help C sleep. i sent the dude some money. totally totally worth it.

    ***
    caught Tosca at Seattle Opera this week. definitely up to the standard i've come to expect from them: great performances, flawless stagecraft.* i liked the show itself - it's structured in such a way that there are no hit arias you can break out of context. lots of places where the music tells the actors exactly where their beats are - to, say, place that candlestick at any other moment would be impossible.

    ***
    C's contracting agency had their "holiday" party at Teatro Zinzanni. i had to nudge C into going, but i was sure he would be impressed by the show, and they did not disappoint. (when my taciturn man won't stop clapping, you've won the everything.) i was especially delighted with Duo Rose. usually aerialists are rail thin (with muscles like a basket of snakes), but Samuel is built like a tank. i realized how rare it is to see a really muscular man who hasn't been going through some kind of cutting routine, but it's not like he could do the crazy shit he does if he was starved or dehydrated. <3

    really, everyone in and out of the show was awesome. one of the members of the group was pulled into audience participation, and christened "Boobs McGee". she had a great time, and it was a running joke at the after party. C overheard the HR guy checking in to tell her that if it stopped being fun to check in with him and he would shut it down. correct.

    ***
    yesterday i saw a girl in a hijab and ankle-length skirt skateboarding.

    ***
    Patxi's pizza is really good. get the deep-dish if you want to have a leisurely chat (it takes 45 minutes to make) or the thin crust if you want to eat right away. they're of the bland sauce school, but the toppings make up for it. balsamic onions.

    balsamic onions.

    ***
    i am wearing socks that i knit myself, made out of yarn that i spun myself from fiber i got from [livejournal.com profile] mimerki as a gift, using a technique from a book [livejournal.com profile] shadawyn recommended, blocked on custom blockers that knitta K made for me. they are pretty and i feel accomplished and loved when i wear them.




    *Seattle Opera is a safe zone where there will never be a flat purse, an inappropriately wrinkled costume, or a botched light cue. the only distraction is how GOOD they are.

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