new yarn

So, Sunday morning. And the last day of 2006. I am passing up an invitation to a party; Mark and I are going clam digging instead. I can taste the bouillabaisse already….

Yesterday was fragmented by many phone calls. (Sorry about my phone hanging up on you, Stan! We talked so long the battery died, and when I called you back, it was busy…) I did manage to get some crafting done- I spun this roving up into yarn!

new yarn

I plyed it with a commercial yarn, some slubby blue wool novelty yarn called Commotion. (I have never been able to figure out what to do with all that stuff. It so thin.) Some of the green is barely spun. I am just figuring this out. I actually had stalled out on spinning altogether because of my aversion to spinning dry wool, but after having a conversation with cosyknitsliterally about spinning dry vs. in the grease, I figured I had better just get to it. I actually misted the roving with a water/olive oil emulsion and let it sit for awhile, which gave it a bit of lubrication.
anyhow, I am happy with the result, and ready to spin more. I sorted through my stash of fiber, and threw some nasty old fleece onto the compost, and have the next bit lined up to go. Mostly I have greasy, colored wool, so I will be using that for now, but I plan on ordering some washed fiber form Homestead Wool and Gift Farm. Thanks to miss hawklet for the link to that animal friendly farm!
Speaking of animal friendly farms, I bought this skein of yarn from woolhandcrafts.etsy.com last night, and look at the picture Kim sent me! It is Ina, the sheep whose wool made the yarn I ordered!
ina the sheep
The folks at Grand View Farm are also homeschoolers, hurray! When I get the yarn, which I plan on dyeing pink, I will let you all know how I like it. It is supposed to be Super Soft.

Oh, and one more thing. Mark sent me this link to a hilarious TV spot for the L.A. County Fair. Illustrating exactly why it (and fiber education for the population at large) is needed. Go watch it for a chuckle, unless Blonde jokes bother you. “Duh, Ashley, all wool comes from a cow.”

zaftig is here!

I took a few minutes to add almost the final touches to zaftig! Only a few ends to work in now. I don’t think I will even try to block it, although it will get a nice gentle wash for good measure.
So at long last, here she is!
zaftig... almost done

she is not perfectly fitting, but I will not wear her bare anyway. Or at least I won’t tell you about it, modest reader. Whether or not the fit issues are due to my knitting or the pattern, I know not. In any case, at my age it’s all make believe anyway!

The thing you can’t see in the picture is the absolutely perfect way that the variegation in the fixation is matched by that in ‘s handspun single. Perfect, I tell you. But, Opal is my official portrait photographer now that she has her own camera (yes, it was a great gift giving season in my family), so there are naturally limitations in her ability. She has the drive, her skill level will increase dramatically I predict.

I have to take the girls to the big library now, so I must away.

happy Thursday night!

All day long, I have been listening to episode 6 of The Sheepshow, a knitting podcast out of Germany. Over and over again. I am starting to be able to understand maybe 1/6th of what they are saying, which is an improvement over the 1/8 I started at this morning.
You know what that means: I got an ipod nano for the winter holiday! I will give the shuffle to Opal, once I shell out the 30 bucks to fix it…

The other day, Mark and I found 4 CUTE kittens that had been abandoned under the recycling dumpster. Oh god, they were cute, but I shew restraint and drove them immediately to the no-kill shelter on the Long Beach peninsula. I am sure they will find very good homes, and I am glad we found them before they died of hypothermia on that very rainy and cold morning.

While in Long Beach (Wa, not CA), Opal and I stopped at Anna Lena’s where I shelled out a bunch of $$ on fabric!

fabric wealth
hmmm, one last splurge before I take the wardrobe refashion pledge in late January. Have you heard about Wardrobe Refashion? Here’s the gist of it:
“I Pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle pre-loved items for myself for the term of my contract. I Pledge that I shall create and craft items of clothing for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract.” (Here is the flickr wardrobe refashion group.)

So, yeah. Sounds like almost what I already do. Except for the fact that I have been shopping more than usual as of late, having sold my mother’s truck. I did get a new-to-me car! One that I hope shall last for years to come: a ’93 Toyota Corolla wagon, with relatively low miles, and a 4 cylinder engine.

I bought this book, too.
kokoro no te
total eye candy.
I was inspired to make some little… balls after perusing the projects in the book for a day. (The projects, BTW, are wonderful small pieces that showcase lovely fabrics and lots of embellishment.)
little balls
I made three of these, but the first I made disappeared as Mark tossed it back to me in our room. I tore the room apart, methodically, but could not find it anywhere, which convinces me (and I mean this) that the fairies snatched it out of the air. And may they enjoy it!

Okay, I finally broke down and made clapotis. I resisted for a long time, not being one for a bandwagon, but I kept seeing pics of it and loving it in almost every version. So here is a not-so-good photo of mine, a relatively skinny rendition in beautiful handdyed alpaca that was a holiday gift from Margaret of margaret’s handdyed yarn. (that woman is SOOO good to me.) It turned out all stained-glassy with the black striping. Wowza. Hope the recipient (my middle brother-in-law) liked it!
clapotis for Steph

what else? Oh, I took a little time to finish up a small knit bag I started ages ago. I like the direction it decided to go in in the end.
little blue bag

So anyway, there is a taste of my crafty life lately. It has been keeping me going in the midst of what I can only call depression. Blah.

Today, I needed to exhaust the green dye bath. here are the two skeins chosen for the honor:

One, a handspun natural that I found at a garage sale, the other, a seafoam green coned yarn that I was given (and have tons of), neither of them particularly soft. I really am happy with the pale green skein.
I expected these to turn out kelly green like the original dyelot, but when I went to rinse the bucket, I found that the blue dye had adhered to the sides, and the rinse water was coming out very very blue. I saved it, and it will be the basis of my next dyelot. It is interesting, the different dyes must have different weights or something.

I went ahead and joined the flickr group, freeform knit 365, like I need another project. The premise is this: one commits to do a bit of freeform knitting and photograph it, each day, for 365 days. I will say only that my pieces are going to be small until after the holidays. I couldn’t resist the challenge, though.

Check out this cool postcard from Hamburg.

It’s like one of those Richard Scarry Busy books! It makes me long for summer and a journey.

the fun post!

Now for the photos! the quirk in the camera is fixed and I don’t have lug the whole tripod around with me, so, I’m been snapping away.

first of all,


Go take a tour of the Yarn Museum! A collaborative project spearheaded by pinkveneer. It is greater than great.

here is one of Opal’s latest pictures:
I love wool
Heh heh, I thought it said, “I Love Wool” when she gave it to me…

One of my new favorites on flickr is gooseflesh. her embroidery of insects is really really cool. (BTW, when someone’s photos say “all rights reserved” I imagine it is bad form to drag the photo off for posting on one’s blog? Someone tell me. Until I know yay or nay, I leave you to click the link to see the pictures…)

I was given some luscious yarn by Margaret of Margaret’s Handdyed Yarn. See:

Behr and Jama bought me this when they were here:

I love it.

Okay, signing off. See ya!

musings, on art

I have been enjoying flickr a lot lately. If you, dear reader, are on flickr, and I don’t already have you listed as a contact, please post here and tell me! I hardly ever read blogs, but I love to look at pictures and read the little stories there.
I wish I did read actual blogs more. But I have such a hard time sitting in front of the computer for stretches long enough to check up on them all. It feels a bit one-sided, though, wanting readers, but not being one. Selfish.
Enough self-deprecation. that’s not what I came here to talk about! I came here to talk about my latest thoughts, about art. I have been keeping a paper journal, as it is much easier to access than this one at any given moment, all that competition for the one box, you know. also, I can draw in it, ideas and such, as well as copy in favorite patterns, etc.

Watched the film
A Bookshelf on Top of the Sky: 12 Stories About John Zorn
the other day, and while it was not the greatest film IMO, Zorn himself is inspiring. Check it out, if you haven’t already. His music too. (Other musics of the day, Bill Frisell‘s Blues Dream, and my friends brought me a disc of the group Fishtank Ensemble.)

anyway, back to musings… I have spent all these years doing all this work on areas of my life related to emotional maturity, personal accountability (well, still working on that one), honor, you know the qualities that enable me to be a tolerable partner and decent mother. I am getting that stuff ironed out to a level I can live with, and my mind is turning to focus on my artistic life.
Recurring question: what do I want to achieve as an artist? Too big of a question really, but here are some thoughts: push the margins (clich-ay), jolt myself and ultimately others out of the comfort zone, but that sounds sort of painful— more like expand the idea of what is Possible. Create new realities, of course. Entertain.
Up until now, I have mostly done this through costume, and rather inadvertently at that. It requires little discipline. But it thrives on an audience, I seek an audience. I need an audience! I am after all, a dancer first and foremost, and grew up in the carnival that was Isla Vista with all it’s street theater and Borsodi’s Coffeehouse bohemia…
I am such a late bloomer, I am not close to achieving the things listed. maybe I never will! haha! I continue to develop focus, on single projects, on translating vision into something outside of myself. I keep learning skills to aid in that translation process. Also, I am growing a new mindset, releasing ties to worry, and building trust in my calling.
this is all enough right now. even though I am in a tremendously expansive phase, with ideas pouring in so fast I can barely sort through them all, (some fucking Delusions of Grandeur, too, I tell you…)
I am trying to remember the quote, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilites. In the expert’s mind, there few.” and let this life unfold.

Behr and Jama were just here for a visit. We had fun, and did a lot of shopping! Unfortunately all the photos from their visit are on Jama’s camera, and we couldn’t figure out how to get them onto my computer. Perhaps she will email me a few.
I am having a hard time making lists and projecting out plans without a cigarette. I need to do a bit of overviewing, but it’s like slipping around on ice wearing sneakers. Tobacco gives me a grip. sigh.

Not my super latest projects, but unblogged until this moment…

a super top secret gift for someone, on the blocking board:

fun with acid dyes 1:

fun with acid dyes 2 is in the form of a huge ball of green yarn that took the dye much more evenly than the roving. Less salt more vinegar. Currently being knit into another super top secret gift…

Opal is making her first mix cd for her class gift exchange! This is a big moment in my heart.
The chaos, documented:

Some wardrobe remix for you today. Clothes have always been my favorite creative expression. Opal tells me I am dressed too young for my age, however.

Thanks for the Mme. Moriarty, Kate! It smelled like burned plastic on me, a bit. Weird. Much nicer on Alice. Anyway, I’ll try it again. Funny card, too.
I am seriously considering a 4 or 5 day vacation in Portland. Instead of driving hundreds of miles, when really all I want to do is visit ALL my people in PDX. So brace yourselves, Portlanders! And make ready your couches!

Okay I need to go make something. To eat, to wear, to sell. My inventory is being depleted with the holidays and there is naught to replace it with, yet…
Peace!