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Posts Tagged ‘tools’

Projects

Doom BagFO

knotI’m very happy with the way the Dice Bag of Doom! turned out.  I had knit two longer tentacles, and ended up twining them together to form the drawstring.  I gave one a bead to ‘hold on to’ and that gave me a nice cord stopper for when the bag is open – it holds itself closed pretty well, because I have one tentacle coiled around another.  It all works very nicely.

Doom Bag with Eyes

WIPs

So that leaves me working on the Belle Greene shawl and essentially nothing else (the Stereo Cuffs are still waiting on a wrist measurement for the recipient).  I love that shawl, and I’m almost done with the knitted on beaded border, but honestly I need a brainless project once in a while.  So I started hooking a mobius hat using some stashed Lion Brand Homespun yarn.  Yes, I am a bit of a yarn snob, and I generally prefer natural fibers, but that particular big box acrylic and polyester brand is one of the first yarns I really enjoyed working with, and I still really like it.  I suppose it’s a ‘guilty pleasure’ yarn, but I can’t work up a lot of guilt for that one.  True,  it’s not putting money into a small, locally owned business when I buy it, but the Lion Brand company is family owned and operated, and seems to have a good reputation within the industry.  What guilt I feel about it is centered around the fiber content – this stuff is unfortunately not at all biodegradable, so I do try to limit my buying of it.

Tools

Yarn ScaleSo I gave in and picked up a new yarn scale.  Actually I just got an inexpensive kitchen scale from Target.  It’s about the same price as a new ball winder or swift, and it is really useful, both to estimate the remaining yardage in a ball and to divide yarn into equal portions for socks, or to figure out when to start work on the border of a shawl.  Basically, the longer I went without one, the more I felt as though I really needed it.

Besides, I think it’s pretty (and I’m always a sucker for aesthetically pleasing tools and equipment).

Yarny News

You may have noticed that Neil Gaiman is on the cover of Knitty. It’s part of a promo for a new pattern book Geek Knits.  You should check it out.  I’ll be ordering my copy very soon…

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I’ve entered the This Knitted Life giveaway for two skeins of yarn (10 June).

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G is for Gingher

gingher

The Gingher company is newer than I’d thought.  It was founded in 1947, and family owned and operated for three generations before it was bought by Fiskars in 2005.  Fiskars, in turn, is older than I’d thought.  It was founded in 1649.

The particular Gingher scissors that I have are 3 1/2″ stork embroidery scissors with gold plated hstorkandles.  They are one of three ‘heirloom’ embroidery scissors which Gingher makes.

There have apparently been stork styled scissors around for a very long time. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the early ones were actually midwife’s forceps rather than scissors.  There was a site called creweljewels.com which had a history online, but it’s disappeared into the ether.

In any case, I have a pair now and they’re really beautiful.  They’ll fit beautifully into one of the Lantern Moon notions bags I got.  In fact, I now have one stocked notions kit (including scissors) for each of the four project bags I have.

scissors

At the moment I’m only using two of the project bags actively (for the Belle Greene shawl and TARDIS socks) and one passively (for the Dice Bag of Doom).  Which means one bag was completely empty and one full but lonely.

I decided  to get cracking on the WIPs, so I’ve started work on a pocket market bag.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the Madeline Tosh Vintage from Lisa Bogart, but she has a new giveaway for a Yarn Pop Messenger Bag (30 April). I also entered to win Bob the Bunny and his helper from Stanas Critters (11 April).

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My Newest Obsession

As I said in my previous post about the Sheep and Wool Festival,  I adore my new Nostepinne.

 

I find it absolutely beautiful (though not the most beautiful one the Baltimore Area Woodturners booth sold), I went for the ‘pretty’ ones first (honestly, the clean curves needed make all of them really lovely).  Dark wood always attracts me (I adore cocobola), so I went for the cedar first.  I enjoyed the demo (where we learned how to wind a center pull ball) but the tool was a little bit awkward in my hand.  I picked up another, and another, until I finally found one which felt right in my hand…ImageHonestly, I just didn’t want to put this baby down, the handle is just shaped so perfectly.  It also has grooves spaced exactly an inch apart, so it doubles as a (really big) WPI (wraps per inch) tool.

I’ve tried to find out what I could about the history of it.  Although I’ve found some assertions that it is a ‘centuries old’ device, most of that seems to be cool little bits of folklore and such.  Even Sven the Merchant, who makes cool recreations of textile supplies for a living can’t seem to get a solid date on these.  I can’t seem to get anything solid before mid 19th century, but that seems awfully late…  On the other hand, they’re so simple in function, almost any smooth stick would work, so many of them could have doubled in function as distaffs or spindles easily enough…

Current WIP

ImageDespite the above, I haven’t been obsessively measuring and balling my Sheep and Wool acquisitions.  Instead, I’ve cast on the Begonia Swirl shawl with the Carina dyed yarn from Bohemia Fibers.  So far I’m really loving it, but there’s  voice in the back of my head which warns that this yarn might be too noisy for this pattern.  Will go a bit further and then take some more pictures and see.

Even if it works, I might want to switch to a solid lace weight for the border.  Or not.  The Ravelry Project Gallery for the Swirl has a number of variegated yarns, and they seem to work surprisingly well with the pattern.  Still, I know I have a tendency to go overboard with these things…  We’ll just have to wait and see, I suppose.

 

Blog Contests and Yarn Giveaways

I haven’t heard anything about the giveaways from the Musk Ox blog, and I didn’t win the April yarn box giveaway.

I did join the Sweater Babe pinterest giveaway.  (May 25).  Yes, this means I’ve started playing with Pinterest.  I was curious to see what Collen did with the Yellow Hen Pinterest board, then the younger child showed me what she’s done with hers…  So far I’m using it mostly as a tool to collect bookmarks for my next NaNo project (yes, even though I never even started to edit the last one… I know, I know…) and as a temporary holding place for links for the blog or Facebook.  It’s potentially a deadly time sink, but we’ll see how it goes.

Another Expression Fiber Arts giveaway, this one for $100 gift certificate. (May 18th)

 

 

 

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