Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Boo!

It's Halloween time again!
Beautiful light through the trees, leaves everywhere and giant iguanas prowling the neighborhood.
Now, in truth, this is a stegosaurus costume, but the Younger Hug-a-Bug was playing iguana, and who could say no?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

diy forest

As I mentioned the other day, the weather here has been really weird lately.
We have had the rainiest October that I can remember, and there have been a few days of snow already.
This, combined with myriad factors that seem to keep me inside (contractor in the bathroom, sick kids, etc.) has made for some long indoor days.

And, earlier this week, when it was actually nice enough to go out to the woods we saw this -
So yesterday, when we had a lovely mix of giant soggy snow blobs falling from the sky and rain, we decided to build a city out of blocks complete with an ocean, a farm, a savanna and a forest.
Not quite the same as being out in it, but it did help.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tradition


I am really lucky.
I have a beautiful family, a warm house and I love my jobs.
One of my jobs is knitting for people who need projects made.
A couple of years ago a lovely man came into the Yarnery and asked if I would design some stockings for his new daughter-in-law and dog-in-law.
I got a call about a month ago from the same man asking if I would make another stocking for his new grandson.
I love that I can be a small part of creating traditions for this family.
I also love that I can follow the family as they grow together.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Altered

So, last week I wove a scarf that I wasn't too excited about.My weaving teacher recommended that we use variegated yarn for the first weaving projects to hide mistakes. I did that, and I wanted a challenge so I tried all one color, and I could see my mistakes, but I could also not see anything very interesting.
So, I felted the scarf down and added some needle-felting and I came up with this-It is quite floppy along the edges, I am choosing to embrace this, and the fringe looks a little worse for the wear, probably will get a trim, but ultimately I think I made the right choice.
The yarn was 100% undyed alpaca and the resulting felty scarf is warmer and cozier than you can imagine.
I used some handspun (by me) yarn for the swirls, I was going for a winter wind kind of thing.

We have a craft and baked goodies sale next week at church and this is one of my offerings.
I will also bring the PINK scarf that I made last week.This week has been about coziness and goodies, and that's just fine with me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

From the Fifth Lamp Down

Newer readers, and not so new ones too, might not know that this blog began as a place to share crafty stuff, but also as a year-long photography project.
My aim was to take a photo a day, wait no, a week, alright a month from the same place on the High Bridge in Saint Paul.
I chose the fifth lamp from the top of the bridge for my landmark.
I had hoped to share a fifth lamp photo for my 2nd blog birthday last week, but I just didn't get out there, so this morning I took a walk and here is what I saw.(that's the lamp)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Still weaving

The obsession continues...

I broke down and bought a warping board and made two more scarves since my last post.

I wanted to try out something different, so I wove a scarf using the same yarn for warp and weft.
I also wanted to see how some simple plaid would work up.
I think the white scarf is kind of boring, so I am working up a plan to give it a little snazz.

I am pretty pleased with the plaid.

The Younger Hug-a-Bug liked the warping board when I brought it home.
He told me it was like a big bow and arrow.

We spent a few minutes bouncing toys off the strings, it was pretty fun.

Monday, October 12, 2009

obsession

I work in a yarn store, as I have previously mentioned, frequently, but I don't know if I shared that the yarn store is owned by a company that makes wooden toys and rigid heddle looms.
I wish we sold the toys in the yarn store, but we don't.
We do however sell the looms.
Well, I decided that if we sell looms then I should learn how to use them so I would be a better salesperson and that is why I signed up for the weaving class that I spoke of last week.

What I didn't know it how satisfying it is to weave a scarf in a couple of hours, or how quickly I would become obsessed.

This may be the year that everyone I know gets a scarf for Christmas.

Since I finished my first project on Saturday at class I have woven two more scarves.

The first two were warped with fingering weight yarns, and the third was with a lace weight.
I'm not totally sold on the third one.
It could be the color.
I was using up some stash...

Anyway, all I can think about is getting back to the yarn store to lay out a couple of more warps to do more and more scarves.

I have to give the loom back at the end of class, it's only a loaner.
Maybe by the end of class I will have this out of my system.
If not, I guess I'm buying a loom.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Two Years today


Hi all you faithful readers!
Today is my second blog birthday.
I don't have much content for today, time to go teach a Norwegian Mittens class, but I thank you for coming here to visit and letting me get to know you all better!
Talk to you soon,
Jess

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The busiest week ever

I have been wondering how to discuss my activities this week, and I came to the realization that there's nothing to it, but to do it.

On Monday, I traveled to the site of the latest Extreme Makeover: Home Edition which has been in production about a half-mile from my house.
I was one of a handful of folks in the cities who did some sewing for the house and I went to pick up some fabric.
I didn't take any pictures on site, I got the feeling that the house was strictly off limits, and I didn't want to overstay my welcome in the rest of the area.
I really did want to take a picture of the Swedish Chef as the celebrity helper for this project was the Muppets!, but I was told that they could only be photographed with their puppeteers, and not dead on the table as the Chef, Fozzie and Kermit were when I saw them.
The house that was redone belonged to a lovely woman who provides lower-cost childcare to the neighborhood and I spoke to a friend who's children have been with this childcare provider for years, and the kids got to spend the week with the Muppets.
They went to the Zoo, and on other adventures and got a private variety show too.
Every adult I know has been totally freaking out about the awesomeness of the Muppets, but the kids are all taking it in stride.

Wednesday was another big day, I spent the morning sewing up a storm, and when I picked up the Younger Hug-a-Bug from preschool the weather was perfect for a visit to the park.
It was about 70 degrees out and we played in the water a little and fed some ducks.

That night Caritas Vocal Ensemble performed at a variety show in Saint Paul.
It's called Sample Night Live and it is a really interesting program.
I went in April and I saw a couple of theatre troupes, a couple of singers, a slam poet and a modern dance group.
Wednesday there were excerpts from 2 plays, a magician, an excape artist, a comedian, a slam poet, a stripper (no kidding)
a couple of bands and us singing a capella choral music.

Thursday was another trip to an orchard, this time with the Elder Hug-a-Bug's kindergarten classes. I had to scoot out of there early, as the Younger Hug-a-Bug was pretty sick.
Thursday night I dropped off the pillows for the Extreme House and took a tour of the new home.
It is pretty amazing that they do an entire house in a week.
They put in landscaping, a new playset in the backyard, they built a garage, it was really neat.

Cut to yesterday night with a backyard cookout, and this morning waking up to snow, this has been the craziest week in recent memory for me.
How was your week?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

weaving

This morning I began a weaving class at The Yarnery.
So much fun.
So much information in the first class what with wrapping the warping board and lining everything up and tension and whatnot.
I got started on a scarf in class and when I brought the loom home my lovely Elder Hug-a-Bug was very interested in this new project.
So, I set her up in the kitchen and she went to town.She was doing as well as any of the folks in our class.
Maybe someone needs a loom for her birthday.