Miscellaneous

My new obsession…

I know I have been pretty quiet lately. Life has me incredibly busy. I can’t ever sit still and I always need to be making things. It’s been so hard to focus….I fee like I have crafty ADD.

I just started weaving. Yes, just what I need….ANOTHER hobby. I really love it though. It is super relaxing and a pretty great stash burner. Of course, now I want to bring ALL THE TOOLS into my place. I recently bought myself a small tapestry loom from Board and Bread. It’s gorgeous and great to work on. I bought myself a larger loom from Loom and Spindle on etsy, which is also a great starter loom. I ended up staining it a bright teal color.

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My new Board and Bread loom.

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Weaving with my daughter.

I had some embroidery hoops left over and, on the weekends, I’ve been helping her warp them so she can weave too.

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Passing it on…

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A larger wall hanging for my Mom.

So you can see, I just can’t get enough. I’ve already warped the looms back up and am ready to jump into some more weaving…well, as soon as the heatwave ends…

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Iron Giant Tribute Show

Last Saturday Night was the Iron Giant Tribute Show at community/A Little Known Shop in Anaheim, CA. Hooray!! My very first art show!

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My family taking a look at all of the awesome art!

Community is a great little space that has small shops, gallery space, a craft space and a great walkway in-between where all sorts of vendors had set up their tables. They had food and music in the back!

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Shopping and food!

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I got the chance to catch up with my friend Kati who was in town for the weekend.

My mother insisted that I get a picture next to my tapestry. She’s really into sharing this kind of stuff with her friends.

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My mother insisted I get this picture for her….

We had a great time and it was so nice to see old friends and meet some new people. I also bought a few things in the shop!

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Big weaving in the restroom!

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Art piece progress…

So, I have been busy at work on my piece for an upcoming Iron Giant Tribute Show happening Saturday, September 13th at Community in Anaheim, CA…

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Here’s the poster!

Here is a little sneak peek that I had posted to my instagram account. Poor guy was headless for so long. He is happy now that his head is attached!

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I was so glad that he finally had a head.

I hope to have him done this week sometime…it’ll probably happen this weekend. Either way, my deadline is fast approaching and I have to get this piece done and in the right hands!

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The Genesis of Big Al…

While I’ve been in the midst of taking care of all of the things one needs to take care of when they have had their house burglarized, I decided to take a little Ravelry break. Imagine my surprise when I found this:

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This is so sweet. I cried.

I had been intending to do this project… sticking the pattern in my wish list so I wouldn’t forget it. I had just had a discussion with Courtney about this being my playoff knitting project. See, my home team is the Red Wings…and in Hockeytown we have something we call Big Al.

Big Al. Thanks NHL.com!

I’ve been putting it off. I needed to get my current project done first. I knew I would have a hard time picking it back up again if I put it down to start this. It’s pretty much how I operate these days. I decided to torture myself by keeping the yarn in front of my while I knit on my Lunar Progression.

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My yarn for Big Al. I have orangey octopus on the brain.

Well, the Red Wings were eliminated, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still have have a playoff knit, I guess. I decided to dive in and start double knitting on my very own Big Al. It’s my first time doing this, so I am a little nervous.

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Double knitting. It’s interesting.

As for my Lunar Progression…well, more on that later…

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Let’s Talk Crafty Christmas…Part 3

Ashley’s presents were all Hannibal themed this year.

Last year, For Ash’ birthday, I had made her a shoe box Hannibal Lecter Playset by modding a few Mini Mochi patterns. It included Hannibal and a stag in Hannibal’s office. I told her I would try and make her more characters. I didn’t realize how difficult they would be. It is hard to make characters that you can actually identify when knitting so small. I tried to get as close as possible, but Will Graham’s hair was a serious challenge for me.

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Like I gave his little tiny soul a fright!

Yes, I put in al the little hairs individually…like a crazy person.

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This is what I ended up.

I also decided to weave her a nice sized scarf with a combination of some of my hand spun singles and commercial yarn I had in my stash.

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A woven scarf…

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…and a really awful picture of the felted stag head detail.

I think she really liked them! Hopefully at some point I will get a picture of all of her little Hannibal characters together!

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Stitches West 2014: Day 3

Day Three was, by far, the most relaxing day…but that is what happens when you get a message from a guy in a kilt.

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A Pirate Unicorn at Spincycle Yarns.

I mostly roamed around on Sunday and didn’t spend too much money. There were a couple of purchases that I squeaked in right before the big raffle at 1pm. Just a little bit of fiber though…

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Finally! I found Dr. Gemma at the Alpen Glow booth!

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And found Loretta too!

I was excited about wearing my Celestarium, because I had purchased a brand new shawl pin for it. It’s pretty cool, because it’s a spiral. You can sorta see it in the picture above. It’s orangey gold and it looks great with the gray yarn. I bought it because it reminded me of a little spiral galaxy.

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Uh oh.

Then something crazy happened. We found ourselves back at Judy’s looking through her fleece samples. The three of us put a hold on four fleeces (our top three and one alternate) for next year. Oh my… I had better start spinning down my stash!!

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Next year is going to be nuts.

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My Celestarium.

A friend of mine had mentioned that she was scouring my blog for pics of my Celestarium, but couldn’t find any. Honestly, the pictures I had posted of this shawl were really kind of awful. I took the opportunity to have someone snap a photo of it for me, just to repost.

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The Haul (minus fleece).

This is what I ended up coming home with. That felt birdhouse was a gift for my mom. Everything else is mine, all mine! It really doesn’t look like a lot, but I spent quite a chunk of my budget on buttons.

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Stitches West 2014: Adventures in Fleece

It was a few years ago when I had convinced myself that I wanted to adopt a fleece. I had gone through this whole phase of wanting to go from sheep to garment. This involved me bringing home a dirty fleece once. A really dirty fleece. So dirty that I gunked up my kids’ bathtub and then my husband instating a Renfroe household rule banning me from bringing dirty fleece into the house.

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Bella on the scale.

But I can explain…

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Walking the floor with two bags of fleece.

The household rule banning my possession of dirty fleece is common knowledge amongst my knitting group. But Courtney is a smart girl, and adept at getting around the rules. So months ago she told me she had an idea.

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Courtney and David with Bella and Lucky.

Courtney did her homework and came up with the perfect plan for us to wash a fleece in the hotel bathroom. She knew exactly how to sell it to me… my husband couldn’t possibly get upset with me if I brought home clean fleece.

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The bag of Bella fleece.

So David, Courtney and I went to Judy’s Novelty Wool booth and we split 2 fleeces, three ways. Now, Bella was already cleaned, so no problem there. She was greasier than David liked, but I don’t mind my fleeces slightly buttery. That lanolin is good for my skin. So half of the work was done and Bella was tossed aside. Lucky, however, was our dirty one. The three of us put down a shower curtain on the floor, dumped the fleece out, and started to sort pieces into “dirty” and “less dirty”.

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Starting to sort the fleece.

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Proud parents!

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I actually took this picture by accident when trying to take some video.

We stuffed the fleece into lingerie bags to soak in the tub.

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Lingerie bags are ready!

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Soak #1 with plain water…

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Check out that water! Here is where I let Courtney know she is making me nervous holding her phone over the tub.

We soaked the fleece for twenty minutes in plain hot water. Then we soaked in hot soapy water. Of course there were multiple soaks, but I passed out on one of the hotel beds sometime before 1 a.m. I hear that Court and David were up until 4 a.m. They let me sleep because I had to drive us home from Santa Clara and they knew I needed the rest. Of course, this means I don’t have any photographic evidence of David breaking one of the salad spinners that they used to dry the fleece when they were done. Sorry, I’m no journalist.

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Courtney and Dawn.

Now, this isn’t the end of the story (or process). While I have Bella here at home, Lucky is still at Courtney’s house. Lucky was dry enough to bring home in the van, but she still needs some work. I am hoping to get together with Courtney sometime soon so we can finish work on her and get her ready to spin!

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Stitches West 2014: Day 2

Saturday morning started off with David spoiling us with Psycho Donuts! We needed all that sugar to get through a full day on the Stitches floor!

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A sugar coma waiting to happen…

I have to say, I don’t feel like I did much in the way of shopping for myself on Saturday. I mostly concentrated on trying to spend other people’s money. Can you say “Enabler”? That’s is me when it comes to spinning wheels.

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The wheels at the Purlescence booth.

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A gossip wheel at Clemes and Clemes.

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Ang test driving a wheel.

I even tried out a few myself. No, I don’t need another right now. I barely have space for the two I have.

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Trying out a metal wheel from National Custom Spinning Works.

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Spinning!

About an hour before the floor closed, I felt the need to take a break. That backpack was heavy and I wanted to start winding the yarn for my new project. I didn’t spend very long in the hotel bar though, we had supplies to buy…people to meet…fleece to wash…

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Hand winding my Cephalopod Yarn.

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Stitches West 2014: Day 1

Oh my goodness! I have so many pictures to share with you! My weekend was so full of excitement, I’m still recovering…

I left bright and early Friday morning with my knitters for the long drive up to Santa Clara. We made a few stops, but we got to the hotel in time to meet our friends for lunch!

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We found David and MG hanging out in the lobby of the hotel!

After lunch we headed straight to Stitches so we could hit the floor and start checking it out. David tried to lead us in being methodical about traversing the floor, especially since Angelique was a first-timer. It can be incredibly overwhelming because there is just so much to see and do.

For a hot second, I thought this might be the year that I spring for a skein of Qiviut. Um…nope.

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Someday…

We had made it through a few aisles when we reached the Cephalopod Yarns booth. I tried to show some restraint, but I found the perfect yarn for my next project and there was very little of it left. While I was deciding whether to buy it or not, I got some bummer news from home…that is when I decided to go all out and start my shopping spree. Hooray for retail therapy! I picked up four skeins for my project, then I headed to the button booth for some well deserved decompression time. I bought a few fistfuls of vintage buttons. I had purchased everything on my wish list… and I had only been there a few hours.

After my spending spree, Courtney, David and I found ourselves at the booth where the fleeces live. That’s where exciting things happened.

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Judy’s Novelty Wool…where the fiber fumes made us crazy.

We can chat more about this later…

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This deserves it’s own blog post…trust me.

Then we finished off the night enjoying our Dhoom Pizza at Tasty Indian. Indian Pizza…it’s now a tradition.

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Dhoom Pizza, thanks to Dave!

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In need of a crafting intervention…

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 | blah blah blah, crafts, Miscellaneous, UGH! | No Comments

I have a bit of a problem.

I know I am still in the hell that is Crafty Christmas. No, my gifts aren’t done…and it’s only taking me FOREVER because I am dragging my feet. I love making gifts for my friends, but I am feeling like the stuff I made just isn’t enough…which makes me want to make more…which I have no time for…

But in addition to this, I am having weird crafting feelings. It’s a combination of trying to figure out what knitting projects I want to take to Stitches and the strong desire to try something new. I don’t want to work on any of my current projects, I’d rather rip out old projects and given them new life. That sweater I didn’t finish? Frog it! The coat I knit for my London/Paris trip in 2011 that is too big for me because I got stuck in the rain? Rip it out and make it a smaller size! All of my hand spun yarn? It wants to be hats and cowls and anything that means it is ultimately set free from my stash!

Then there is Pinterest, which makes me feel like I am not quite living up to my fullest potential. It’s like these people are the worst kind of over-achievers. Does that stop me from going on Pinterest and pinning ALL THE THINGS? Of course not.

This past weekend, I was getting ready for the day and having a conversation with my husband. I told him that I had just pinned a boatload of embroidery projects the night before, and that my logical brain was telling me that this is a problem because:

  1. I don’t know how to embroider.
  2. There aren’t enough hours in my lifetime to make all the things I’d like to make.

I explained it to him very clearly and calmly, like I was staging an intervention for myself. How do these people do it? Do they not have kids to take care of? Maybe they are stay-at-home moms with a lot of time on their hands? Maybe they are just over-achievers who swing toward the manic side of the crafterverse? All things I have heard from other people when asking me how I do it.

So, as sad as I am about it. I am not starting anything new. Not until Crafty Christmas is done, anyway.

And let’s just be honest…this is really just me struggling with a little ADD.

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