Saturday, August 18, 2007

There are teachers...

... and then there are those teachers who truly know how to teach. Judith McKenzie knows the whys, wherefores, and truly knows how to teach. And has the stamina to do it all day, three days in a row.

And because I listened, I learned quite a few new things, when I didn't think I needed to. Ego? ME? yeah, me. I thought I had what I needed, to do the things that I wanted to do. Socks?? Life is too short. Buy sock yarn! Handspun socks get holes too fast.

Well. I thought what I was doing was worsted. hmmm.... the Rocket Gansey is fuzzing a bit, what's that all about? Must be the wool.

Nope. It wasn't worsted, because I was letting twist get to the fibers when they weren't parallel. I was using a point-of-twist draw. And that meant fibers are sticking out at an angle to the other fibers, which causes the fuzz.

Spin a truly worsted 3ply yarn, or maybe more with a cabled yarn, and Judith promises that not only can you send them through the washer (not the dryer, tho), but that they will last for 60 years. Even the cashmere-merino ones.

Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster

This is my product for the day. Clicking on the picture will lead you to the rest of the pictures on Flickr...

Today was for resting, and catching up on laundry. Tomorrow Cecilia and I go back to the Fabulous Fiber Fest to take Judith's class on Handspinning for Handknitting.

Aw, heck. I oughta leave you with a better picture.... how's this?

Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster

Or this one?

Not all wabbit are wascally!
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Happy Dance, Happy Dance!!

I looked out the kitchen window, admiring my cotton trees and all the blossoms... and I have to squint a bit. Is that new-blossom yellow, or is it -- dare I hope -- newly-open boll WHITE!!

OK, I'm running out of time, will come back and edit this to add the pics. but I am so EXCITED! (can you tell?)

Cotton Trees, 8-14-07
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
Can you see it?

Now can you see it?
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
Now can you see it? Click on it to go to Flickr to see the notes...

Boll no.1
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
There it is!

Boll no.2
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
Wait, not just one, but TWO!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A knitted cozy for WHAT??

I was cruising for inspiration by surfing through the entries at CraftZine -- and saw an entry that intrigued me. It's the Knitted Walking Stick Cozy Competition, sponsored by a radio program in Great Britain. It's not as awful as it sounds at first-- listen to this: "The Missability Radio Show takes a fresh look at the design of disability related assistive technology. Promoting craft and DIY culture, knitting, conversing, customising, problem-solving and tea-drinking, The Missability Radio Show promises to bring you articulate guest-speakers, practical tips for the satisfying personalisation of useful equipment, and plenty of entertaining, home-made audio joy!

hmm. All they show on the website is knitted tubes. ho hum.

So, I start thinking. (always fun, whether it works or not...)

Remember Marie's Funny Farm? OK, maybe you weren't there, but Marie's ghost was unhappy that she might move, and so caused a small but dramatic fire in one of the upstairs bedrooms. (hey, we were inspired by liberal doses of farm life, fiber, spirits, and each other-- it was legendary! As in make up your own legends.) We decided to knit her a refrigerator cozy to perk up her spirits. It was patchwork, of course. There were a few doilies, glow in the dark yarn (for those midnight snack raids), beads, bells, and all sorts of fun.

I even contributed a toilet seat cozy, for cold nights, out of glow-in-the dark yarn (with men in mind, a target-control thing), with bells even (for going tinkle).

So, if I were to design a Walking Stick Cozy, what will it look like? hmmm. I could go a couple of ways.

One, glamour. I'm thinking BEADS. Maybe even on a fishnet background, to be sexy. Where the walking stick becomes part of the whole "Here I am, Baby!" message.

Beaded fringe, even. oooo...

Another idea-- knitted lace. Maybe drapey frills even. Architectural, in a way.

Oh- architectural? How about knitting a soft or stuffed animal shape? This would be great for kids! How about a giraffe, with the head at the hand grasp (or just underneath, for safety), and LOOONNG neck, and a body where the feet would touch the ground? This would make a great contest for kids in the hospital.

Or carousel animals? The stick would be the carousel part. hmm... an engineer could build something that makes the animal go up and down. Or, that could just be the person walking with it.

Fruit. Remember fruit caps? Why not a banana on a stick? Or a popsicle, even? I love it!

Let's see. What else can you put on a stick?

Make it a Tree! Leaves, branches, as big (or not) as you like. Be a tree hugger!

Why not a way to state your political views? As in "Vote for Elmo!" Knit a sign.

OK, I'm watching tv, and on This Old House, they're flushing golf balls down toilets. (touring a plumbing design facility) My whole train of thought is, well, flushed away.

I'll leave you with a picture of my collection of walking sticks. Except for the ones that aren't there...

Which stick, what kind of cozy?
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster