Tag Archives: Knitting

G-Whiz and the Day to Day

Because the dumb G20 and G8 are in town, Toronto is a crazy town of traffic and people in the streets. Overall it is a giant waste of time and money that is impacting Ontario’s economy in ways that no one sees or cares about. But I guess…myself included. I hate politics but moreso, politicians. They are the reason I hate politics really. Don’t get me started on the ridiculousness of the manmade lake that they constructed….um, hello, Lake ONTARIO wasn’t good enough for your ‘cottage in the city’ experience? Argh…

The good news is I get to work at home and look at this for most of the day:

Tonight, I podcast – no matter what. The agenda is written, music chosen and essays recorded. So, soon Episode 10 of Muststashyo will be up.

Today I need to find my camera battery. It is missing and making me sad.

Last night was my pottery guild meeting and that was really fun. I have been really lucky in finding a great, embracing place to learn pottery and also make a lot of new friends. The guild is full of really nice people, of all skill levels, with a lot of hobbyist potters. There are some really creative folks to be inspired by and the president is an absolute sweetheart who is really great at celebrating people’s creativity and strengths. It is one of the most pleasurable cooperatives I have been a part of in a really long time. It makes up for a few that have been not so fun. I have redesigned the website for my guild and taken on the role of updating the blog, which I am totally excited about. So, if you are interested in what is happening in pottery and stuff relating to the Mississauga Potters Guild you can check out our website here: http://mississaugapotters.com/ and just click the blog link to see my blogging. I am only 2 entries in thus far but already doing the research on ceramics relating to this task has me learning so much.

Today I am hoping to have some time to read up on a Ceramic Arts Daily article about converting cone 10 (high heat fire) glazes down to cone 6 (medium heat fire) which is great because our guild is a cone 6 guild. When I was in North Carolina a couple of months ago I came across a potter, Bill something…., who did these incredible crystalline pieces where crystals are grown in the glaze on the surface of the pot. THAT is one of the techniques. So, I am going to read up on it, see what formula and chemicals are involved and see if the studio coordinator could work with me on it. I think it would be fun to test out and then later a great workshop.

Here’s a look at a crystalline surface – amazing right?

Here’s my progress of my second pair of the Totem Pole Socks from my recently published FREE pattern:

My girlfriend Vicki has recently started a pair as well – so check out her project – she had amazing colour choices:

Anyhow, I am slowly knocking out a little piece of the list and realizing that my items are very big and general so I am hoping not to have 101 of them. I need to break it out more but that might feel like work.

1. Business Plan
2. Find good accountant
3. Talk to a bank
4. Discuss much with L and S relating to TBL.
5. Renovate basement
6. Get M here
7. Update resume
8. Finish Doll Feet dyework
9. Podcast Episode 10
10. Prepare fiber palettes
11. Muststashyo page on Studioloo website
12. Update non-fibery pages of Studioloo
13. Make plush and birds
14. Whale painting
15. Take sewing classes
16. Guitar lesssons
17. Find a voice coach
18. Raw food diet planning
19. Dog training
20. Set weight loss goals and achieve with a plan
21. Research urban farming and what is allowed in PH
22. Organize Spin in Public Day in PH
23. Raise money for Sea Shepherd
24. Work on book
25. Design workshops
26. Wake up Yarn a Day
27. Set spinning goals
28. Etsy destash
29. Gnome
30. Altered art
31. Clean house
32. More hooks added to window in kitchen
33. Finish enough pottery for another bisque
24. CofC application
25. Foot therapy
26. Publish Muststashyo pattern
27. Yarn club
28. Fiber club
20. Tea order
21. Cashmere and Bamboo order
22. Contests
23. Clean out garage
24. Garage sale
25. Recipe database
26. Master Spinning Course
27. Find local fleece
28. Monthly Projects for Artists Project
29. Curriculum design
30. K for M
31. M Painting
32. Type up kiln instructions and save
33. Keep food blogging
34. Organize beads
35. Finish knitting WIPs
36. Finish blue skirt appliques
37. Finish mending things that need mending
38. Find blue paint, mix and paint bedroom

Fresh Air and Sunshine

Yesterday was a great day. I got up early, opened all the windows in the house,  had breakfast and got started working away on a bunch of work stuff. Working at home can be so much more pleasant than sitting in a dull, flourescently lit office.  I got a lot of work done thankfully, but also embarked upon a recipe for Cherries Jubillle with Butter Crunch Icecream. I will post photos of the entire 2 day process a little later. Note to self – next time read the recipe to fully understand the prep time – holy cow!

Anyhow, other than working on that I also finished up a handspun yarn, my ode to the Golden Girls:

And, I finished up a bit of pottery, watched ‘Up’ and thoroughly enjoyed it and knit a bit of my sock.

I also emptied my camera of it’s pictures so here’s a bit of what I have been up to:

Worldwide Knit in Public day brought me to Hiawatha Park where I worked on my Totem Pole sock.

The tide had been high the day before so there was still a lot of fresh seaweed on the rock ledge just below where I sat. This is one of the most peaceful places in this city. I come here often just to look at the water, reflect and watch different birds swimming, fishing and flying. There were a lot of cormorants that day. I am starting to wonder if the introduction of their species to this area might be one of those ‘oops’ situations and now they are massively overpopulated. It sort of seems that way.

I am really enjoying the warm summer with cool breezes we seem to be having in springtime. It’s nice and I have even been making time to run, go for long walks and hikes and such. I am starting to find my balance among artistic endeavors, exercise activities and work.

I also love working at home because I can hang out with my dogs. I spent a good hour working away on a project plan and throwing this lamb rattle toy for Poppy. This is after he was sort of tired out, but still springing inward with energy. He’s a happy guy.

I have been cleaning the house like crazy too. Part of me could really love being a domestic goddess I think. The perfect life might be held in being your own boss, being artsy and just having time to look after a family and a house. I think my path is getting a bit closer to that. I am trying to take more pictures of the various houses and such I have lived in. I always think back to the different apartments and condos in which I have lived and wish I had more pictures of the decor.

I am the last of the holdouts in not buying one of those flashy flat screen televisions. We don’t watch a lot of TV in this house so it hasn’t been a priority much.

Here’s a bit of the yarn dyeing adventure from yesterday. These are still drying on the rack in the sunshine of my kitchen.

And I am engrossed in reading ‘Sweater Quest’ right now, and managed to finish up another octopus yarn bowl. I have 3 done and they will go into my next bisque. I went to the pottery guild lastnight and finished up a couple other pieces and threw more. I think I need another bisque before I will have enough to fill up a good portion of our large kiln for glazing.

And, now it is time to get cracking on more work stuff and start packing for the weekend. I am going away for a little bitsy, visting the family and such. Pictures to come!

Of Dogs and Totem Poles

Yesterday I had a really great morning. I went to Woofstock! One of the nicest things about living in Toronto is that there is always something going on – and this weekend it is North America’s largest dog festival! The roads all around St. Lawrence Market are closed down and you get to see every kind of dog imaginable. It’s so fun. First the dogs take a stroll up the red carpet.

There are hordes of people with dogs, vendors, restarants, and it’s just a really fun, happy scene.

I will mention that I published my Totem Pole Socks pattern up on Ravelry as a free download – but then the rest of this post will be entirely dog related. 🙂

Grab it here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/totem-pole-socks

Ok, now on to the dogs!

First my favourite dog of the day – this sweet little girl in her roller cart:

She was so sweet, calm and gentle and her face had a way of melting your soul.

Funniest dog face of the day is awarded to:

Best tutu award….

Cutest toenails…

Best all-over face lick!

Best dachshund prarie dog stance! (This is a piebald – really rare..)

Most impressive fancy group of cute:

Best leash chompage:

Least amount of hair:

Today I need to get a little knitting in public done – WWKIPD was officially yesterday, but I am sure you can see why I simply didn’t make time.  🙂

Spoils of Late May

I hope everyone is as excited as I am to have a long weekend coming up! I have so very much to do – work on the website for my pottery guild, design and order new yarn labels and business cards, get some time to letterbox, knit, spin, get outside, go to The Black Lamb, etc. It is going to be a very fun but busy weekend! Phew!

Even Google is in a happy spirit today! To celebrate PAC-MAN’s 30th anniversary they have a playable PAC-MAN game as the header image above their searchbar. Check it out..today only – http://www.google.com

I have had a super busy work week but also managed to get quite a bit done around here. There are a few new skeins of art yarn hanging on the drying rack and I have finished dyeing the 2010 colourways of Bootsie sock yarn.  Here’s a sneak peek:

Also, I have finished one of two of my Totem pole socks. They are my project to use up my leftover sock yarn mini skeins. I cast on sock 2 today and I plan to work on it at drunken knitting at the pub tonight.

Also, I received some incredible mail today. A friend of mine traded me some fiber and yarn for a beautiful shawl that was knit for her but unfortunately she has a mohair sensitivity and it is made from Schaefer yarn with mohair. I of course love mohair…so guess what! I have a new swallowtail shawl! Yum!

I have finished up spinning this palette today:

And, I am about to dig into this one:

I hope everyone has a fun, long weekend (if you are Canadian). I know I will. I am almost finished getting everything together to release episode 10 of the Muststashyo podcast and I have a whole bunch of new stuff going on over the next couple of months that I can’t wait to share…once I get a lot of it ready..ahem. Where does all the free time go?

I think Bettie White will be my next spinning inspiration. She is such a doll.

The Race to Nowhere

I feel lately like I am on a race to nowhere in particular because there has been so much to do and so much going on from work deadlines to craft shows and needing to get things done. Since getting back from vacation, I want to run away on another one. I feel like I seriously need some time in a part to just sit and knit and listen to water crashing about and birds singing.

I have started to update Yarn a Day again. That blog is kind of my mojo to keep myself spinning, which I need to do a lot of because many people need yarn from me. So, I am working away on Mt. Yarnuvious! Lastnight I sat down and spun a yarn that I am so completely happy with. I am spinning a series of woodland yarns right now. I think that woodlands combined with kitsch is a decor that makes me really super happy. I wish I was more patient with sitting to felt little mushrooms and things. It’s just so much work and so time consuming to make certain kinds of supplies.

This yarn is called Autumnal Home for Birds and it has some black rubber grapes and those lovely little mushroom birds, orange ones.

I am also starting to do some early promotion for Worldwide Spin in Public day which is September 18, 2010.

You can do so by sending an email to editor@spininpublic.com with subject WWSIP DAY EVENT. Please include the following:
Date:
Time:
Location:
Tel# or email address:
Contact Person:
Website:
Ravelry Event Link(if you have one):
Any other important info.

Also, we have started a Ravelry event and a group for the 2010 event planning. You can RSVP on Ravelry here:
http://www.ravelry.com/events/2010-worldwide-spin-in-public-day

Join the Ravelry group here: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/wwsip-day-2010

Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/?sk=events#!/event.php?eid=105420532835552

In happy knitting news, I finished my Super Mario Bros. socks.

But, it is that nagging time of the morning where I need to get ready for work…so more, later.

PS…there are new yarns in the shop: http://www.studioloo.com/handspunartyarn.htm

Much Ado About Everything

I have been a lazy blogger but definitely not lazy at all. It has been a busy couple weeks..since having the stomach flu; I almost immediately contracted the sinus infection from Hades. I assume it was from not eating for a week and having a weaker immune system or something. But I am feeling loads better now and I am sort of just left with a bit of a nasally voice thing..which should be gone in a couple of days. I started recording for the podcast lastnight regardless because it has been eons since I have put out a new episode and I have so much stuff to talk about.  The agenda is written and I was almost ready to get into production mode, when alas…my external hard drive that contains most of the podcast files, and ahem, all of my mp3s….crashed. So, Mat is going to work on having the files retrieved from where we bought it and getting a new external hard drive. I hate that it is so hard to just keep things pristine forever. The whole purpose of buying that thing was to have a safe keeping for certain files. Ah well, it will get figured out I’m sure.

In better news, my membership to the Mississauga Potter’s Guild was accepted and I could not be more excited. I was able to spend some time there over the weekend just throwing clay on the wheel and practicing centering and form. It was nice to be able to do that outside of the time contraints of a class. It has given me a million ideas for different things I want to make and also fun giveaways for the blog or the podcast.

I have also been knitting away on the Willow Cowl that I am making for a secret friend and it is coming along nicely. I found that the picot edge was a little tricky, although it was my first so I can’t complain too much. I just found that it was hard to line up the cast on with the stitches on the needle and seam them together without any kind of twisty action. So, I decided to just stitch through the whole trim with some waste yarn and then pick up the cast on row to seam, then I pulled out the waste yarn and voila! It worked nicely.

I have also managed to spin up a few new yarns that I will be adding to the shop shortly. I plan to do a large update in a couple of weeks with more Candy Sprinkles yarn and art yarns.

Here’s a sneak peek:

Not Always Warm, but Always Fuzzy

Today is one of those days you just want to stay inside, bake cookies and drink tea, whilst curled up to a puppy with a good book. However, I am thankful I am not near the Mid-Atlantic where buckets of snow are falling.  I did venture out to the book store and the art supply store and I am glad I did! I found that  Intertwined has come out in soft cover which is lovely, as I lug mine around with me all the time and this will save the hard covered one all that travel.

Speaking of Pluckyfluff, I have finished my yarn and my statement on what spinning is to me and it is all ready to ship out for the Handspun Revolution in Lillehammer! Because we can’t all be in Lillehammer, I will share a sneak peek of my yarn and statement here.

I just sketched up a little drawing/writing and wrote whatever came to mind..because that is how a lot of my yarns are born, very spontaneously. The yarn I spun is one that I felt had my signature attached to it. It is white merino/bamboo and pink/purple Polypay locks with doll heads spun in.

I have picked the Super Mario brothers socks back up again and I just finished all of the gusset decreases so now it is just finishing off the foot and toe and I will have one sock done.

I have also been thinking a lot lately about the basic elements of art and wanting to sort of write something, perhaps a journal or activity book for myself, that I can go back to when I feel I lack inspiration to work on things. It doesn’t often occur that I can’t muster up an idea, but sometimes I have trouble harnessing what I am trying to start or finish. I think when you simplify and try to look back at the beginning, or your purpose in making something, things seem a lot less overwhelming and insurmountable.

  • Line:  A line is a pathway; either visible or implied, that moves the eye through a piece of work.
  • Shape:  Shape is the two-dimensional area taken up by an object.
  • Form:  This element refers to the illusion of a three-dimensional object on a two-dimensional surface.
  • Value:  Value is the lightness or darkness of a colour or of black.
  • Texture:  Texture in drawing or painting refers to the way we discern the qualities of the object’s surface.
  • Colour: We all know what a ‘colour’ is, but not everyone realizes how an artist’s choice of colour impacts the viewer.
  • Space: Space is the area within the borders of your work; it is what fills the length, width, and perceived depth of a work of art.

(As quoted – Elizabeth T. Gilbert)


The Planning of a Great Day

I have started to figure out what I plan to do today…other than the mandatory work stuff of course…

I received a gently used copy of Charlotte MacLeod’s (writing as Alisa Craig), The Grub-And-Stalkers Spin a Yarn and I really like the quote they chose for the beginning of the book.

Good-Fortune is a giddy maid,
Fickle and restless as a fawn;
She smooths your hair, and then the jade
Kisses you quickly and is gone.

But Madam Sorrow scorns all this;
She shws no eagerness for flitting;
But with a long and fervent kiss
Sits by your bed – and brings her knitting.

– Heinrich Heine, “Das Glück ist eine leichte Dirne”

I am excited to get in some reading time as I have new issues of Where Women Create and Stuffed magazine to check out.

I have been trying to get a lot of photos organized on Flickr today and found a really nice group called Gorgeous Crafting Details – check it out! The internet is such a great place for inspiration and pulling any day out of a mud puddle. I am constantly inspired by and having a great one-sided love affair with Helle Jorgensen – check out the process on her Linnaeus Coral Garden. It’s making me want to whip out the yarn and continue working on my own neverending coral garden.

I have decided to put down my Super Mario socks and work a bit on a wrap/capelet that I have been freeforming and planning for a while now, and as I mentioned in the last post earlier today. As these things usually go, my ideas change on what I want to do so I did a bit of sketching and now decided that I don’t want to trim the capelet. It might look too vintage. Instead I am going to do something with layers. I ball-wound the two skeins of Louet Kidlin for the poppy flowers that will adorn the capelet but won’t start those until I knit up the second panel in the variegated green Malabrigo then I will work on shaping and how I want to seam everything together. Here are some progress shots:

I have also set aside my palette of fibers to spin my Prince inspired yarn and I have decided to go with Purple Rain. In this basket I have set aside some kid mohair yearling locks I dyed last week and some purple bamboo mill ends with lurex thread in a slightly different shade of blue/purple. Blues and purples can be so funny sometimes. I think that I will always have a bit of a messed up way of looking at them. This comes from my experience in Kindergarten. My teacher always identified blue as purple and purple as blue. I have no idea why but in such a stage of discovery in my life…it has left me sometimes reeling back to that same place. For the record:

This is purple: 

This is blue:     

Anyhow, on with the fiber palette:

I also managed to finish up a couple Transcends yarns that will hit the shop with the next update. They are characterized by what would be long colour repeats except that each colour appears only once, but they do follow a theme:

Earlier this week I was talking about how my friend Michelle had asked me to work on a group project to turn an old chemisty textbook into an art journal. I luckily have had some time to work on it ..here are some shots.

The cover – unaltered:

My contribution so far:

Prince, Calming down, Yellow and Super Mario

Monday being the first day of the week at work I always feel a sense of needing to get everything finished or the world will meet some kind of demise. So, I am currently drinking some white tea with orange and trying to prioritize my everchanging job responsibilities and figure things out in how they should play out over the following year of going from being owned by one company to another. I don’t normally blog much about life stuff and the chances are I likely won’t too much here either…at least when it comes to work. We live in an age where I feel like people put too much of themselves on the internet without a real analysis of the potentials. Also, this is more of an inspiration blog for me..and a place to keep what makes me happy in my life, or takes up a lot of importance.

This week’s Fiber Friday theme is Prince, and the Picto Create image of the week is:

I think I am going to card up some batts to go along with this image. The colours are so rich and I think I have some perfect locks that I scored from HollyeQQ a whle back that would go lovely with this. I might even dye up some nice bamboo in gold and green. I have a ton of dyework to do both for myself and for The Black Lamb. I am hoping to get time to work on that this week. I also am planning to see The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus and spend a night listening to Prince music and spin a Prince inspired yarn. I think I have the perfect shiny purple bamboo…but who knows what will end up happening…

Tonight is my local stitch n bitch and I totally can’t wait to just sit down and work on some artsy things. I have this notebook I am going to work on tonight as a break from my knitting. A few months ago, my friend Michelle asked if I would take part in a project that she is doing and I have not given it all the focus that I need to so I want to wrap it up by week’s end. The project is to use an old chemistry textbook as the canvas for an multimedia art piece that will be put together by many artists. I have finished a couple of pages. I will take some photos at some point.

And, if I get enough of that done ,I might get to work on my Super Mario Socks!

Also, today I joined http://www.goodreads.com/

You can find me there also as ‘studioloo’.