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Nebulous Yarn

Bohemia Fibers is an indy yarn dyer I discovered on Ravelry some time ago.  They dye to order, as in you send them a photograph and they dye the yarn to have the same colors in approximately the same proportions.  It’s great stuff.  The kind of thing you choose a simple stitch pattern for because you just want to let the yarn do the work (besides, something complex would get lost), or you break it up into smaller bits outlined by a solid color.

This winter I followed the Hubble Advent Calendar and fell in love with… well, just about with all of it. I was particularly taken with the Carina Nebula.

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More precisely, the “Mystic Mountain” portion of the Carina Nebula (because we now have telescopes powerful enough to get details of nebulae!).

So I ordered a skein of laceweight merino yarn from Bohemia Fibers dyed to reflect this picture. They just shipped it.  I was hoping to get a ‘teaser’ picture of the yarn, but I guess they just do that for their custom dyed series.  In any case, I’m planning to knit a Wirbel with it, or other simple shawl.

I can’t wait for it to get here!

Blog Contests

I didn’t win the chocolate yarn giveaway at Mereknits blog, but I did enter a few more:

Dayana Knits is giving away some lovely Rowan Artprints Aran in a planned pooling giveaway (23 April drawing).

The April Knitcrate giveaway (15 April) is a mystery box, as always

Knitted in Switzerland will give away one of three shawl patterns (12 April)

Crochet Ever After is giving away two skeins of Silverspun yarn and a pattern (30 April)

 

 

 

The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is coming up.  Last year at the festival I bought a beautiful skein of Dark Horse Leicester Longwool from Hill Farm, specifically because I wanted to make something with native Maryland wool to enter in this year’s competition.

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I was thinking of holding it together with some Queensland Collection Soft Comfort Mohair, and was planning on knitting Tubey by Cassi Rovetti, published inKnitty.  Well, I got it home and swatched and, lovely as it was, decided it would be a bit itchy for a tube top.  So, instead I knit a felted, cabled tote bag.  I used a bead I’d picked up from an Ocean City shop as a button.  The pattern is by Amanda Silvera, and it’s the Braided Cable Handle Tote. I think it’s fabulous, and will be proud to enter it in this year’s festival.

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My other entry will be After Summer Merrily socks, and I’ll post about them later.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

One of today’s giveaways (yarn and a Namaste bag from Expression Fiber Arts, drawing April 30) asked me to state three things which make me happy.  I came up with

What makes me happy?
The people I love and who love me.
Learning new things, especially things which make my ‘brain all ‘splody like’.
Making things.

Craftlit’s April giveaway is for Knitted Mitts and Mittens.  Also closes April 30.  The mereknits blog’s “Chocolate Yarn” giveaway (closes April 10).  The Musk Ox blood is giving away Qiviut!!!  Drawing April 30.

The 50th year, ‘Red Hat’ thing has kind of gotten to me.  I joined AARP.  I thought about the poem:

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me,
And I shall spend my pension
on brandy and summer gloves…

Everybody talks about the red hat.  I concentrated on the wearing purple, and I made myself a purple dress:

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I am really, really happy with how this turned out.   I made Iseult’s Dress from What (else) Would Madame DeFarge Knit? It’s my first ‘full sweater’ sized garment for me.  Although the picture makes it look like a straightforward A-line, there is actually a fair amount of shaping, and I successfully melded the bust, waist and hip measurements from three different sizes, PLUS -

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OK, I messed up a bit on the bottom of the cable, but that’s not the point.  The point is that I now know how to do that cool ‘this cable closes at the top/bottom’ thing, so I can finally work out a biohazard cable chart (Serioiusly, I’ve been wanting to do that since 2007, when I used June Oshiro’s DNA cable on a pair of socks…)  This project was very much a win.

I’ve gotten a lot of other stuff done, but I’ll try to spread out some catch up posts rather than putting them all up today.

In particular there’s a non-yarn project which has been taking a lot of my time. It’s a semi-pro web page design gig which I’ll be posting about once it’s up and running.  I am very excited about it, and it’s of particular interest to any local readers.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win any of the contests I entered last month, but I did enter the Of Mars Crochet giveaway on Facebook.  Drawing 5 April.

 

To celebrate my birthday, I’m going to post links to some yarny goodness giveaways to enter.
Knitters Brewing Company has a giveaway of their own yarn each month.

Loomahat is giving away three skeins (different colors) of Caron Simply Soft via rafflecopter.

Expression Fiber Arts also has a rafflecopter giveaway.  $650 worth of yarny goodness (with roving and bags). Drawing March 31.

Lion Brand is has a $150 dream stash giveaway on their Facebook page.  Drawing March 15.

Fiberflux is giving a ton of Red Heart away via Rafflecopter.  Entries due by March 4 (tomorrow!)

Knitting Daily is hosting a National Craft Month giveaway – closed March 10.

Mooglyblog is giving away a skein of Yarn Baby custom dyed yarn using Rafflecopter.  March 4 deadline.

Really?  I haven’t blogged here since 2012?

Still here.  Still crafting.  I’m enjoying Nerd Wars on Ravelry, and I’m on team QED (math and logic geekery).

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I’ll try to get back to posting, if not regularly, at least a few times a year.

More Things Bookish

My Mother-in-Law has an old, battered bookcase which has been holding paint cans in her laundry room for some time now.  It’s a funky-ugly thing which someone obviously tried to ‘art’ up at one point, made of particle board and dotted with black and white spray paint.

She is redecorating her guest room with a flower theme and, being a resourceful and creative woman she has decided to refinish this shelf.  She gave me a chance to help, and the two of us just jumped in and started to do it, with more enthusiasm than forethought (neither one of us has done something like this for a while.

She found a Colorbok garden pattern pack (sorry, the company website is hard to navigate and I couldn’t find a good link there) and we were both so excited by the idea of decoupage that we just jumped in and started.  I know it sounds foolish, but the colors are so fun!

So we jumped in and covered the top and sides with lovely floral images.  We were both very pleased with the results.

Once the first layer of papering was done, we began to discuss what we would do with the inside.  Our first thought was just to continue the decoupage, there was plenty of paper, after all.  BUT…  the bookcase has pegs on the insides to hold shelves.  We’re going to need to paint at least a little bit (because that black and white just won’t work with the floral look she’s going for).  I found some painters tape she had in the basement, and we covered the edges and started on the inside. So far we’ve got a layer of mad swirls in yellow over blueish.  It’s somewhat translucent, so the black and white mottling comes through.  I’m not sure what I think, it might be good, might be bad (the picture didn’t come out, so I can’t ask your opinion).

So here it sits.  We’ve begun discussing what sort of trim to use (we’ve discussed rick rack and ribbon, but I’m beginning to speculate on found objects).  I’d definitely be open to suggestions.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the Knitbot Essentials giveaway from Quince and Co, the Hypocrite Sock Yarn giveaway from Lantium ex Machina, Sandra Singh’s Spring Maple Shawl Kit, the Knitting Project of the Day Submission Contest, or the Yarn Madness giveaway.

I’ve entered Mariknits Name This Shrug contest (1 May) – though honestly I think a better one was posted before mine, the April Giveaway from A Year at the Wheel (April 30)

Coming Soon – I’ve got something different planned for my 100th post!

I’ve started reading again

I’m currently reading Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things.  I was wondering whether one of the poems in that might work for the young man I was tutoring yesterday, if I should have him again next week (I volunteer), as he should probably be working on summarizing and pulling the ‘main idea’ out of a work.  I might try it, if he’s a comic book fan and has at least heard of Sandman.

Not that I think Gaiman’s inaccessible, but I don’t want to miss the mark completely.  Many of these students are (or claim to be) as ignorant of pop culture as they are of what I would view as the educational staples.  A poem about alien invasions, zombies, genies and multiple apocapolishould be fun, but I can see (intellectually at least)  how it might not work for everyone.

But this got my brain hopping again.  I once heard someone say that Sandman was the first sympathetic portrayal of Death personified.  Easily dismissed, as Sandman began it’s run in 1988, and Death didn’t even show up until the next year. Terry Pratchett’s Colour of Magic came out in 1983.  Although DEATH is f nowhere near as cute and cuddly as Death, he’s clearly a nice enough guy.  Incidentally, Alan Dean Foster’s On a Pale Horse also came out in 1983.  His Death is much more accessible than Pratchett, as well as being the protagonist, I would even admit that he’s a nice enough guy, but I really like DEATH as a character.

Peter S. Beagle came in years before that, in 1963, with his short story “Come, Lady Death“.  As always, I can’t say enough good things about Peter S. Beagle.  Gaiman is the only author who comes close to creating dreamy worlds rich with humor and love.  Going back to 1962, there’s the Twilight Zone episode  “Nothing in the Dark” where an old woman locked herself into her house, hiding from Death personified.  It turned out he was a really nice guy, (a very young, golden haired Robert Redford) and she needn’t have been afraid.  Both these stories affected me deeply as a child, and I think in a positive way.

I’d have to track it down to be sure, but I seem to recall that Death Takes a Holiday also provided us with  pretty sympathetic portrayal back in 1934. Earlier than that?   I think there’s a story or two where a personified death is referred to as ‘old friend’, but I can’t recall any in particular.

Of course, the original remark may have been intended to refer to death in comic books only, but that seems to be a pretty ticky-tack differentiation.  They’re all pop culture images, and I can’t imagine a world where books, films, TV and comics don’t all borrow from each other.

Actual Knitting Content

I publicly declared the baby blanket “the most boring project I’ve ever worked on”, then finished the second set of squares in the doubleknit section and have decided it’s not boring anymore.  Also, a woman in a waiting room asked what happened to the Les Miserables shawl which I put on hold, so not only am I kipping along but people pay attention, which is kind of cool.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I entered the Knitbot Essentials giveaway from Quince and Co (April 20), Phat Fibers Sunrise Sparkle Lace giveaway (April 23) and Lantium Ex Machina’s Hypocrite Sock Yarn giveaway (April 22)

I didn’t win According to Matt’s Y.A.R.N. giveaway, or the Color Guys giveaway.  The Lionbrand Meaningful Handmade Gift Contest ends April 29th (not the 16th).

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