Monday, December 31, 2007

A Very Happy Handspun Monday :)

A very happy indeed. My Ravens broke their losing streak, finally, with the last game of the season. SQUEE!!!! *happy dance* I generally hate to gloat, but I think a little celebration is fair. They looked great today. I'm a happy little Ravens fan.

Two other happy things: a Christmas present and a handspun FO! Present first. FO further down the post.

My brother wanted to know what I wanted for Christmas. I sent him an email full of possibilities, with several Etsy links and a few fiber suggestions. He and my sister-in-law chose well. They chose:

Baby Camel down! A full pound of it. Eeee!

It's washed but not prepared into roving or batts or anything, as you can see. Doesn't matter. I wanted to spin it right away anyway. Gimme...

Before Christmas dinner, I brought Ford down to the family room and started spinning. Just let it flow. Long draw, not much drafting, just taking a handful and drawing it back and letting it spin into an uneven, somewhat slubby singles.


I think I'm going to Navajo ply it, but I'm not sure. I'm just having fun with it. I like to spin random slubby yarns like this; of course I want to do smooth yarns too, but it's fun to just let it spin itself sometimes. Plus, imperfect yarns have character and texture.

Speaking of imperfect yarns, I have finally made something with my own handspun. Ok technically I've done that once already, but that was just a little neckwarmer to pin on for Easter. This is a real project. It's Calorimetry!

The galaxy yarn I spun on Ford (first yarn I spun on him!) is considerably bulkier than the yarn called for in the pattern. So I had to recalculate the size based on the gauge of my yarn. I calculated a bit off, so I had to overlap it more and add two buttons instead of one.
I actually kinda like the two-button look. Kinda like a double-breasted coat. Which I've always loved.

I also stitched around the buttonholes with some leftover Manos cotton that my mom had lying about, which just happens to match the pink silk noils in the yarn. It just kinda bugged me to leave the buttonholes unfinished. Besides, now I'll be able to find them more easily behind my head.

The buttons I found are really cool, too. Found them in Mom's stash, of course.

I'm pleased. I will definitely make another of these. I just need to see now whether I need to line it. I don't like the wind cutting through my headgear.

And btw, one more happy: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tribe Pride, yo!

My quest is at an end. I finally found a perfect lace pattern for a William and Mary scarf. It's Feather Lace from Vogue Stitchionary Vol. 1. Oh is it perfect.

See, I wanted something that would look like feathers. Because the NCAA had a problem with Willliam and Mary being the "Tribe" because that's apparently offensive to Native American Indians. Nevermind the validity given to the name because W&M was the first Indian school in the colonies. Whatever, that's only, ya know, historical legacy or somesuch. And don't even get me started on the fact that "Tribe" does not indicate what kind of tribe. Anyway, W&M challenged the NCAA's opinion, and so we get to keep being the Tribe. Not to be completely shut down, however, the NCAA decided that W&M has to change their logo. No more feathers. Having feathers in the logo is "hateful and offensive." Yeah, I don't buy it either. They should look at the really old logo, from when W&M was "the Indians." But President Gene Nichol decided it would be too much hassle and expense for the College to fight it when it's just an athletic logo, and so he just accepted it (the one reasonable decision I've seen him make so far), despite how ludicrous the ruling is. So now I am very happy to have the stuff that I have with the feather logo. And I will continue to use it on my own stuff. And this is why I insist on my Tribe green and gold quiviut scarf having a feather motif.

Wanna see how it's going so far? Ta-daa!

I know, it doesn't look like much now. But it'll be a lot clearer once it's blocked. It's fuzzy yarn, after all.

When it's stretched, the motif looks just like the W&M feathers. Woohoo!

Tribe Pride, yall! Get some!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Stick out your thumb...

Because here we go, into the galaxy.

I finally spun up enough of my galactic-looking roving that I felt confident in starting a project. THE project. The one I had in mind for this yarn. Which yarn? This yarn:




Can't you just hear "Also Sprach Zarathustra" in the background?

So the project for this Hubble-esque yarn is Calorimetry. I had to change the gauge and recalculate the number of stitches it would need, because my yarn is considerably more bulky. And I got about halfway through when I realized that somewhere along the way I had gotten my short rows all uneven (I have NO idea how, don't ask me) so I ripped back all the way to the cast-on and started over. So at the moment, I have this:


I'm being a lot more careful about my short rows now. It's working up really quickly cos it's so bulky, which makes me happy. I need this headband. My ears get really cold on the way to work on mornings when I wear my hair up. This will make my ears much happier.

And do you notice the needles it's being worked on? Mom and I got each other a set of the Harmony Needles from Knitpicks. OMG. Amazing. I love them. The only slight issue I have is that with this project they keep coming unscrewed, so I have to tighten them every once in a while. I'm sure that's just because the size I'm using is a little tight for the yarn, so the stitches are uber tight. Maybe I'm wrong though.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Merry Christmas everybody!

Sorry I've been so absent. It's not nice to you, my few readers. To be fair, I haven't been taking pictures and I haven't been downloading pictures, because I got my new laptop. And oh such problems with the wireless network at home. But I want to take my new laptop for a field trip to somewhere else with wifi so that I can make sure that the problem is our network and not the laptop. Don't wanna put anything on the new laptop until I'm sure it's fine. So, no new pics. Yet.


Soon there will be LOTS of pics! I have FOs to show, new WiPs to be excited about (I've started like four things in the past two days or so), yarn to brag about, and presents to show off! And I promise I will!

Monday, December 10, 2007


Last night was a night fraught with emotions. Most of them negative. I will explain.

First off, Mom and I went to the fabric mecca yesterday. I got some of the stuff I was looking for (rayon velvet so I can try embossing it), but the main thing I wanted just wasn't there. I'm more than a little frustrated.

Then there was the evening. My computer was just not responding to anything I tried to do to fix it. Even advice from Roxy's hubby was in vain. But finally, last night as I reached the breaking point and gave up in a fit of rage, my dad stepped in again. Seems he had turned on a security feature that was blocking my laptop. So he turned that off, and now I'm connected! Woohoo!!!

That, however, could not help my Ravens. As a Ravens fan, I am depressed and more than a little embarrassed over last night's sorry excuse for a game. I don't even know what that was. I had to turn it off after the Colts' third touchdown. Did turn it back on in time to see the last two minutes of the game, though, and saw Troy Smith play with some guts. Granted, it was against the Colts' second-string defense, but still. He didn't dither. He didn't cower in the pocket. He played. OMG! I hope we get to see more of what he can do. In the meantime, I am not making any Ravens gear. I had plans. Those plans will be on hold until the Ravens come back and play in Baltimore. I'm a loyal fan, and I still love them, but if they're not gonna put in the effort to play the game, I'm not gonna spend my crafting time making Ravens gear.

And now, since it is still Handspun Monday for another few hours, a spinning update! I don't have pics (bad Carrie! no cookie!) but fear not! I have spun in the past two weeks! Last Sunday, I tried spinning some of the silk/merino I got from Lisa Souza. It was such a frustrating exercise that I had to walk away from it. I'm not one to give up on things, but at some point I do have to acknowledge that I'm not having fun and shouldn't waste my time. On the other hand, yesterday I pulled out some of the alpaca I got at MDS&W and started spinning it on my square spindle. Yum. I'm in love with that alpaca fleece. Being alpaca, it's a little tricky to spin. A little bit slippery. But if I'm paying attention it works just fine. Woohoo!!! Pics will come soon, I promise!

I've also started a Christmas present. Remember Charmed? I'm developing a crocheted version, this time using the cashmere I got from Habu Textiles. Having never worked with cashmere before, let me say: YUM.

This present may or may not be aided by a class I took on Saturday with mom. The class we took was on soldering small glass pieces together to make jewelry, ornaments, multimedia art, etc. My pieces ended up a little wonky, but for a first attempt they aren't bad. I'll have to post pics of those too. Mom and I now have a little soldering kit and plenty of little glass bits to encase pictures or fabric or whatever we want. Whee! I really wanna play with it right now. But I can't. Have to make an hors d'ouvre for the office Holiday Party tomorrow. Ah well. Soon. I will be making charms, and pendants, and such things. After all, the only way my soldering is going to get better is by practicing!

Sunday, December 2, 2007


*WARNING: Mild profanity ahead, not at all ladylike*

Wow, sorry, haven't posted in a month. Partly this is due to the show EATING MY LIFE. But that's been over since the weekend before Thanksgiving. Thank God and all that is holy, it's over. Biggest freakin' disaster of a show I've ever had the misery of being involved in. And I've seen some train wrecks in my meager experience. The other half of the reason I haven't been posting is my goddamn computer. The FiOS guy came out to fiddle with our connection for some reason, and since then my piece of crap five-year-old laptop has flatly refused to talk to the wireless network. It has now been weeks that my dad and I have been completely unable to figure out this problem. I think that part of the problem is that the computer can't remember the new network password once you hit "OK" thus closing the properties window for the wireless connection. Cos every time I go back to double check it, the damn thing has clearly gone back to the old password. NO, YOU GODDAMN MORON, THAT'S THE WRONG FRIKKING PASSWORD, I JUST GAVE YOU THE NEW ONE, SO HANG ON TO IT YOU SENILE OLD PIECE OF SHIT!!! This is what I say to my computer. My computer, named HAL for a reason, complacently stares back at me as if to say "I'm sorry Carrie, I'm afraid I can't do that." Jackass.

Finally, tonight, my dad reminded me that he's got an ethernet cable just kinda hangin' out, connected to the modem. So here I am. Tied to the modem, completely defeating the purpose of a laptop. Son of a bitch.

End rant.

Some good things have happened since my last post. I started a sock. Woo! I got my Ravelry invite today, so I'm happily dinking around with that a bit on my mom's computer. The problem is I can't post any pictures yet, because my pics are all on Photobucket, not on Flickr, and not having my computer hooked up to the internet, I haven't been able to upload anything to Flickr. Now, I'm of the opinion that a website should not be exclusively compatible with any one particular hosting site, but that's just me, and I'm sure they have their reasons. So now that I'm tied to the modem, I'm going to take the opportunity to upload all that I can to Flickr. Then I can start posting pictures to Ravelry. And I'll probably end up just using Flickr and leaving Photobucket alone. Because really, why have two photo accounts?

Well, now that I have my life back and am not spending much time with the boy due to, erm, complications, I have tons of time to craft. Too bad I've missed Navy football season before getting to make any of my planned Navy gear. But now is a perfect time to start working on it for next year!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Go Ravens!

So, my Ravens may have embarrassed themselves last night in Pittsburgh while I was at rehearsal, but there is still cause to rejoice. In the yarn world, that is.

Blue Moon has finally released their Raven Series! I've been waiting for this on the edge of my proverbial seat. I mean, it's me. I've long adored black and ravens and Poe and gothic themes. So the idea of a collection of yarn or patterns (cos I wasn't sure which it would be, or if it would be both) centered on ravens thrilled me, filled me with fantastic visions (to paraphrase the poet). Fortunately, it's all I had hoped for and more :) I want one of every color. They are SO beautiful, and I'm sure even moreso in person.

Now to scrounge enough money to pay for them all...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Got Goth?

I had hoped to have more Goth for this, but alas, I haven't had the time to make anything I had in mind. So here is my sparse entry for Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I had grand plans. I was going to make a Maggie Jackson style Halloween scarf. I was going to use my spiff new GPP stamps to make an insert for my travel mug. I was going to decorate my room. I did, however, get the spiff single volume of Poe's complete works at Barnes & Noble. I also got a beautiful book of gothic paintings. I've been listening to my Mannheim Steamroller Halloween CD. And, the week of Stitches, I made this scarf, here modeled by the lovely dressform Abigail:
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Here's an uber-closeup of the crosses I found for it:
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I'm pleased with the way it turned out. Very simple, but it's just what I wanted. And this particular one is a bit goth, it being black and bearing crosses. But subtle goth.

Not as subtle goth? I've been painting my nails black.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The rest of my contribution is actually shared with my Mom. Mom is an awesome decorator. And she loves Halloween as much as I do. Particularly cute or elegant Halloween stuff, not so much the gory and horrifying stuff. So here's a brief tour of our house, with Mom's decorations, and a few of my own.
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
(That black blob is my feathered hat from the RenFest. Doesn't photograph well AT ALL.)

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
(Bottles from Victorian Trading Co. I love them!)

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And even the yarn room:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I know this post is already long, so I won't give you a tour of my Halloween sock collection (though you did get a glimpse up there of my pyjama pants). I do want to leave you with a video treat, though. This song is second only to the Monster Mash as my favorite Halloweeny song. It's by a German punk band called Die Arzte, And the video does a great job of showing what the lyrics are telling you. Trust me, it's funny. For those of you who, like me, do not speak German, here is a translation of the lyrics: Monsterparty

Happy Halloween!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

To-Do List

Recently I've found that if I am going to accomplish anything, especially at work, I need to have a to-do list. Otherwise I forget half -- if not all -- of what I was planning to do, and it never gets done.

With that in mind, I've been thinking about writing down all of the various crafts that I want to learn, and posting about them to share my aspirations and to commit to them, because once they're public I can't take them back.

If anybody knows anyone I could learn any of the following crafts from, please let me know. I realize that there's a lot on this list, and I probably won't be good at all or even most of them -- jack of all trades, master of none, right? But they are all skills and techniques that I would at least like to be familiar with and be able to play with if and when the inspiration strikes. Here goes, in alphabetical order (I am an archivist, after all):

1. Bookbinding. Been in love with books all my life, and even moreso since studying medieval ones. I understand how books are bound, I know the basic process, I just have never done it myself.

2. Chainmaille. Okay, so technically I've learned this one. But only the very basics, and I haven't done much with it. Hell, I've only worked on it once. When I have more time, when the show is over, I'm going to get back to this one.

3. Digital image manipulation. I just want to be able to play with stuff on the computer and make it look good. Don't need to be a digital artist, I'd settle for a decent working knowledge of Photoshop's basic functions.

4. Leatherwork. Touched on this somewhat in SCA. Haven't learned much, though. I've been wanting to get into this one for years, though.

5. Metalwork. This one is less of a priority. I just think it would be nice to be able to cast my own pewter charms. And maybe spindle whorls.

6. Photography. I've said it before. I'm not very good at taking pictures. Once again, this one could be basic. I just want to be better than I am at it.

7. Polymer Clay. Just think of the awesome low-whorl spindles I could make with polymer clay whorls. Yes, a craft to support one of my other crafts. Shameless.

8. Screen printing. Been wanting to do this for a couple of years now. Just haven't gotten around to doing it. Really need to, though.

9. Weaving. Would give me something else to do with my handspun, right? I don't want to get into big-time weaving, just small-loom stuff. A small table loom. Like the one Mom and I have had sitting downstairs for YEARS.

10. Woodworking. Yes, another support craft. But one that would support oh-so-many of my other crafts. I just need to start following Dad around the workshop again on weekends. And find someplace to pick up woodturning and woodburning and all that fancy decorative stuff.

Wow. I ended up with ten crafts/arts on the list. Not much to ask, right? ;) I know I'm a nut, but even if I don't run with any of the above, I want to at least be able to try each one. Call it a desire for a greater education. Or maybe the need to have a hand in the creation of the things around me. Really, though, I just like to make stuff.

Monday, October 22, 2007

OMG! Spinxx0rz!

Wait, what? I spin? No way! Cool!

It's been far too long since I've had a post for Handspun Monday. But lookie! It's Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Now, I know I mentioned the FABULOUS roving I got from Kid Hollow Farm at Stitches. It's called "Fall Harvest." Looks something like this (and thanks to Pam you can now click on the pictures to get them full size):

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Closer look? Okay, here ya go:
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Yum. It's like pumpkins and grapes and vines and Autumn all in one pack of fluffy goodness.

Well, it was such fluffy goodness that on Sunday, yes last Sunday, the Sunday of Stitches weekend, less than 24 hours after I bought said roving, I sat down at Merriweather and didn't leave her until I had this:
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(Shown here in my lap, with my Halloween pyjama pants on :))

I didn't worry about which direction the twist was going, or how much fiber I was letting through, or how thick or thin it was, or consistency, or any of that stuffy stuff. I just let the roving spin as it wanted to, and let Merriweather start in whichever direction she wanted to spin in. It was a very organic process, and so refreshing. It actually made doing the work I had to do last weekend much easier. And I can't wait until I have time to do the same thing over again. I refuse to spin this stuff when I only have a few minutes. It's a whole bobbin spun, plied, and skeined or nothing. Cos I mean, really, just look at it.

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It's a meditation.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Okay, still no pictures to post. Haven't downloaded them from my camera. And I haven't taken any of what I've spun. But I wanted to post anyway, and rant a little about how very over my head I am in. If you don't want to hear me rant, just stop reading. But opening up about stuff helps me get my head in order.

See, with the costumes for the show, I feel like I'm just treading water. No matter how many people I dress, there are still five million more. And I only have one person helping me. It's a nightmare. Not that I'm not enjoying it at all, but it's just getting more and more stressful.

And because I put it aside for so long, I now have to finish that baby blanket I was crocheting by this weekend. Funny thing, that's also the first deadline for costumes. Hm. Funny how that worked out.

And there's a good deal of personal stress that I won't get into here but suffice to say it's all a bit draining.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could each just take a month whenever needed and say "bug off, world, I need some time to myself!" and just do whatever inspires us? I think that would be fantastic. I definitely need about a month to myself. That would be nice. But alas, I have no such month, so I guess that means I'm off to bed so I can get to work in the morning!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

*falls over*

Stitches is evil. In a good way.

I am exhausted, broke, and overwhelmed, but happy. Stitches East has done this to me.

It's not my fault.

Well, maybe a little.

See, all year I've been looking forward to Stitches. All. Year. And it was finally here! Mom and I signed up for a Thursday class so we could be up there for the Market Preview for students. And I signed up for a class all day on Saturday with (oh my GAWD) Maggie Jackson. *swoon* I want to be just like her when I grow up...

So Thursday was a blast. I had to take a half day off from work, but it was worth it. Pattern Writing 101 became three hours of why Carrie may never write a sweater pattern ever. But it was informative and helpful, and Edie Eckman is a wonderful teacher and a really nice person. Dinner made me feel better, though, because the SoTS got together, along with a couple of honorary members, and had a fabulous dinner at which the bartender did not charge us for our beer. Free stuff is always a good thing. Especially when you are about to break the bank. Heh heh. Heh. Oh boy.

Blue Moon Fiber Arts was my first stop. I probably should've just gone home after that. The mad crowds there were, well, mad. As in insane. But I managed to find what I wanted, and a bit more... heh heh... For the record, the element with the atomic number 6 is carbon. It also happens to be a beautiful yarn color. (I should mention that pictures will be forthcoming.)

Beyond that, everything is a blur. I know I got to The Mannings' booth. Because that's where I found the Zitron roving that I've been dying for, and the stars and stripes self-patterning sock yarn. And I know I spent more on one ball of yarn than any single ball of yarn should cost, except for that particular ball of yarn, which is more expensive normally but was discounted for the show. That very special ball of yarn happens to be quiviut. Musk ox down. Oh so fluffy, oh so soft. And oh so mine.

And I know that I met Doris Chan. *cue fangirl* SQUEEEE!!! She's my new hero. I love her books. In fact, I bought Everyday Crochet without even looking through it. And she is the sweetest person EVER. She was excited to hear that I had made the pineapple skirt and love it, and even more excited to hear that I want to make one out of hemp, because she's made a skirt out of hemp, and she promised to wear said hemp skirt on Saturday so I could see it. The pattern's not available yet, but it will be soon I think.

I even bought a present for my spinning wheel. Merriweather now has a new orifice hook, and it's appropriately blue. Sheila and Michael Ernst do such beautiful work.

Let me tell you, going to work on Friday was tough. I definitely had a yarn-over. But I made it through because I had to go offsite with a couple of my officemates, and I have fun with them. And at Murph's place I finished my newest project, of which I will post pictures when I'm ready for the big reveal.

So Saturday I had to get up at the crack of DOOOOOM to get to class on time. I mean I got up earlier than I do for work. That ain't right. But I did it. And I got there on time, in my pineapple skirt and my new project, strangely bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (I do have a bushy tail, being a squirrel and all). In line at Starbucks I ran into -- guess who -- Doris Chan! And she was wearing her hemp skirt, and it is beautiful. And she did like my pineapple skirt in BRIGHT pink Microspun. *glee* It was a good way to start the morning.

My day with Maggie Jackson was amazing. She's so clever, it amazes me the way she thinks to put things together. Her designs are so offbeat, and while there are a lot of them that I wouldn't necessarily wear, I love the way she combines techniques and puts things together in different and unexpected ways. She's just so inspiring. And I'm an even bigger fan now that I've taken her class. In fact, I'm going to do a Halloween scarf a la Maggie Jackson, because it's FUN. If I have the time between now and Halloween, that is. *crosses fingers* And as soon as I become rich and have about $5000 to spare, I'm totally going on one of her Knitting Retreats in Spain. Definitely. I'd say it's a life goal.

Now, because I needed more stuff like I need a hole in my head, where did I go at lunch and after class? Oh, back to the market, with Mom, who had come along on Saturday just to shop. Yes, I got the hemp for my skirt. And some Habu stainless steel and wool. And maybe (just maybe) some roving from Kid Hollow Farm. Which this morning I couldn't resist playing with, and I might (just maybe) have sat down at my spinning wheel and stood back up with a full skein of two-ply bulky yarn. Might have. I couldn't help it! It's not my fault! The roving was calling to me! It was like the Amityville Horror in reverse.

And now it's all over. And I had to spend the day (except for the brief spinning break) doing alterations for the show. Gonna be a hellishly busy week. But nowhere near as fun. *sigh*

Is it next year yet?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Obsession Confession

Alright, alright! I'll talk!

Ever since she was kind enough to comment on my post, I've been reading Michelle Ward's blog. I've always admired her work in Somerset Studio. Little did I know that we seem to have a lot of the same tastes. I mean come on; gothic style fan, HIM fan, uses a lot of architecture and gothic elements in her design work... To those of you who know me in real life, does that not sound like ALL of my favorite things?

Anyway, she's got a street team. And the Crusades for this street team are really more like creative challenges. The most recent of which is to share something (or things) that you have a "crush" on. Person, place, or thing. Anybody that knows me knows that I have kind of an obsessive personality, and so I fixate on something for a while, only to move on to the next shiny object later. Because of this, I had a hard time thinking of anything I could post as a single, sustained "crush." Well, on the very last possible day to join in, I finally have a post.

I, Carrie, have a crush on crosses.

Being Catholic (or Catholic-ish), I do place a personal and spiritual value on them. But I also find them aesthetically pleasing, thrilling even. I know, it's probably a little weird. But I just love crosses. Latin, Greek, Maltese (my favorite), Jerusalem (my other favorite), embellished, plain, crucifix, stone, wood, metal, painted, I just love them. You might say I'm a connoiseur of crosses.

Michelle Ward's "Graven" set of unmounted rubber stamps caught my fancy as soon as I saw them. They are the most beautiful collection of crosses and related motifs. I had to have them. Well, they arrived today, and I have just been in such a good mood. Not only that, but I also decided that hmm, I DO have a crush to post!

I gathered some of my things with crosses for a photoshoot. I'm sure I have other stuff scattered about the house, but this is the stuff I could lay my hands on (and remembered where it all was!) and that I knew is my favorite stuff.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

True to form, it's a sorta crappy photograph. Sorry. I really need to work on my photography skills. At any rate, ignoring the poor quality of the picture, the items featured are as follows, from left to right:
1. the shirt I bought at my first Billy Idol concert in 2003. Incidentally, Billy Idol is also fond of crosses. (And no, the autograph on the shirt is not real, it's printed. The real one is on my concert pants!)
2. (on top of the shirt) a cross that I bought to wear with my SCA garb.
3. the Graven sheet
4. (on top of the rubber) the necklace I wear almost every day. (closeup to follow)
5. two of my favorite belts. The one on top is identical to the one I spotted on my best friend not long after we met, and I'd been looking for one like it. Found it at PacSun. The one below that, with the huge buckle, is from New York and Company.

The necklace I wear most days has two very meaningful pendants. One is a Jerusalem cross that I bought to wear in my friend's show Last Rights. The other is a medal of Our Lady of Perpetual Help that I bought on my high school senior retreat.

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So there you have it. I've come clean. I love crosses, and I'm not ashamed!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


That's what I kinda feel like. I started the week -- no wait, day -- out with a minor cold. A low-grade cold that was barely a cold at all. By the time I got home from my sweltering, semi-tropical office, I was feeling definitely infected. And as the evening has gone on, I've gotten progressively more zombie-like. Grr.

In my stuffy-headed state, I did manage to not only get some real work done but also take WiP pics! Oh yes, my friends. I am actually posting WiPs. Go me!

First, the ever-present Razor Cami. In the car this weekend, I kept screwing up the front. So I had to keep ripping it back. I finally got tired of it and left it screwed up until today, when I finally frogged the same damn rows for the gazillionth time, and now it looks like this:

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Notice the heap of yarn? Gotta knit that back up.

And then the New Design. No, it's not finished yet. Haven't been working on it. Much. But it's progressed since the last time you saw it, so here:

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Exciting, no?

I'd post more (there's so much I want to post about!) but instead I am taking my hopped-up-on-nyquil self to bed. As soon as I stop sniffling to death.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


(Warning: Photo-heavy post. May take excruciatingly long to load.)

A couple of years ago, my best friend Murphy and I were listening to Eddie Izzard's Dress To Kill performance for the gazillionth time, and the part about Stonehenge in particular.

And it was then that Murph told me about the most glorious place in the world. It is a magical place, full of wonder and mystery. This place... is Foamhenge.


Yes, Foamhenge.

Right near the Natural Bridge in southwestern Virginia, a sculptor created a lifesize replica of Stonehenge, and he made it entirely out of styrofoam. I decided and Murph agreed that we must visit this place. We told our friend H and it was a plan. After all, Murph is from very near there, and even has a vacation spot on a nearby lake. The Plan became elaborate and perfect. And promptly took its place on the backburner for at least a year and a half.

Well, this past weekend, we finally made our pilgrimage to Foamhenge. Here is where I will let the photos take over and tell the story:

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Probably nobody should be as excited as we were about a henge made of foam. But it was a very good day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I know, another WiP Wednesday with no WiPs. I promise, it's just because I have no noticeable progress to record. Also, it's been a busy week, trying to stay on top of things for Ragtime, for which rehearsals started this week. There are 42 cast members. There is one of me taking their measurements. I only got halfway through the cast on Monday, so I have to do the rest tonight. Fortunately, I think there will be people to help me manage the wardrobe backstage during the shows. 42 is a lot of people. On the bright side, I think I know The Question now.

Also, it's football season, which brings with it its own projects. I need to get to work on fingerless gloves and hats for tailgating. So much to do!

But most importantly, the new HIM album came out yesterday! I couldn't get it until late at night, so I'm finally listening to it this morning. It's AWESOME. As expected. Everyone needs a copy. Go forth all of you! Seek out Venus Doom (it's the one with the really ugly painting on the cover). Buy it. Swoon over Ville's voice. Enjoy the music. It's the reason we were put here on this earth.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Mmm, wet wool...

I dunno why, but I love the smell of wet wool.

And I got a lot of that smell yesterday, because I finally finished some of my yarns that I want to use but have been sitting around spun but not set. Ta-daa!
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Apologies for the icky yellow bathroom lighting and the cluttered shower.

I set the yarns using the method that Priscilla Gibson-Roberts lays out in Spinning in the Old Way. Put it on the stove in a pot of water and bring it to a simmer. Finally have a use for Mom and Dad's old crab pot! Most Marylanders use a large enameled pot for steaming crabs. I use it for setting yarn. Kinda sad, really. I could really go for some steamed hard crabs... Yarn doesn't take Old Bay quite as well.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

On Why the RenFest is a Mixed Blessing

Never thought it would be my parents encouraging me to buy a leather bustier.

Alex, I would expect. My best girlfriend Murph, I would expect. Pam, I would expect.

Did not expect my parents.

But they did. And I bought it. And it's hott. Yes, with two "t"s.
(ETA, by popular demand) The item in question:
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Please pardon the different plaid shoelaces. Trust me, they're better (at least temporarily) than the ridiculous laces that were in it when I bought it, which were so stiff they stuck out on their own.

And now that I have an item for pirate garb, I would say I spent my limit today at the faire. Certainly. And probably will once again, the next time I go.

Which will not be until next month. Sad. And yet, very okay with that.

Also, I now have a desire to pick my recorders back up again. I have a soprano recorder and an alto recorder. Beyond that my hands just aren't big enough to play. But this is brought on by the fact that I've been thinking about it for a while and by the discovery today of a music ensemble I'd not seen before. (Ironic, seeing as how they play right before my favorite, The Pyrates Royale.) This ensemble is called Cercamon. And I am not ashamed to say that they stuck in my mind not only because of their fantastic medieval music but also because their frontman is absolutely beautiful. He is a gorgeous man. I noticed that after I noticed an instance of this: two at once. I've only seen that in pictures.

While I was at the RenFest and shopping in a WONDERFUL accessory shop, my dad's friend commented to me that I should be designing clothes for a living. Truer words were never spoken. I do still have a desire to work with medieval manuscripts and stay involved in the study of the middle ages, but really? I would be so happy to design and make stuff all the time. Of course I'd still have other hobbies. But my work would be so much more like play. And that would be fine with me. If I could feasibly quit my day job and spin/crochet/knit/sew/design all day, that would be wonderful. Alas, I cannot, and it's not that I don't like my job at all, it's just that I much prefer doing those things. That's what I really think about all day while I'm working. Most people zone out thinking about what they're going to do over the weekend, where they're going to go for dinner, whether that hottie at the bar last night is really going to call him/her... I zone out and think up new and interesting ways to make threads wearable. Now I am already signed on to design for my friend's next summer show, and that's really preoccupying my mind. Most of what I'm thinking about has to do with costumes and visuals for that show. Ohhh how I can't wait for next summer...

And for my next trip to the RenFest. Feathered hat, here I come!

Thursday, September 6, 2007


No, there's no body hidden in the basement. Not that kind of confession.

I confess that at the Renaissance Festival this past weekend, I bought garb.

Yes, I could make my own RenFest garb. Yes, that way it would be exactly what I want and perfectly fitted and I'd be able to say "Why thank you, yes I did make it."

But I didn't.

My SCA garb is never going to be worn to the RenFest. And I don' t feel like putting the effort and time into making garb for the RenFest, and I did find exactly the style I wanted at a very low price. So I bought it. And proceeded to justify it to everybody.

Which brings me to my next confession. I have too much on my plate. I can't even manage to make stuff that I want to make. And yet I'm doing costumes for Ragtime. I need to start staying home after work, but I don't want to give up my social life. And that's all part of why I don't post here very often. I'm not home to post, and when I am, I haven't got anything to show. Pathetic, no?

Sometimes I just don't know how to stop. I've always been bad at time management.

So meanwhile, I've got a gazillion inspirations. Someday I'll get to them all, right? How do people do all the stuff they do? I've always wanted to know.

Sorry bout the angsty rant, sometimes venting to the world helps.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Combination Thursday

I suck at this game. Haven't posted in over a week again. Lame... I'll just have to combine yesterday's WiP post and tomorrow's Yarn Pr0n.

Anywho, I've got new stuff going on. Got a new design in the works, which I've got pics of in progress, and I've got a gig doing costumes for Ragtime. A little intimidating. And by "a little" I mean "a lot." Granted, I won't be building the costumes myself, we're going to be renting them. But still. That's a big show to manage. *gulp*

Meanwhile, I've still got the Razor Cami on the needles.
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But look!
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Ten inches done!!!

And, as I said, I've got a new design in the works. It's a shawl. I'm hoping it's gonnna turn out the way I've planned.
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And the yarn pr0n? It's the yarn I'm using for my new design! Mountain Colors Half-Crepe, in the Eureka colorway.
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Yum, right?

By the way, is it Fall yet? I love Summer, but I'm very ready for Fall to be here. I'm getting psyched about Halloween. It's putting me in quite the Gothic mood. And this, from the new issue of Somerset Studio, made me gleefully Gothic. It's from the article "Model Behavior" by Michelle Ward (apologies for the crappy photos).
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Who's that dapper gentleman on stage left?

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Why, I do believe it's Ville Valo! *squee* Only, ya know, one of my ALL TIME favorite singers, from one of my ALL TIME favorite bands. Perhaps even #1 for me, though that's tough what with Blackmore's Night, David Bowie, The Beatles, and The Monkees around. Yes, I'm weird. But yeah, I've been flipping through The Victorian Trading Co. catalog repeatedly, looking at all their Halloween stuff, not to mention their usual merchandise. Gaaahhh! Is it Halloween time yet??? No, no... I can be patient... I can wait... Really...

The other thing that Fall brings is the Renaissance Festival. Oh yes. Can't wait to go! It's open, but this is me not braving the heat to go to the RenFest. I'll go, yes, but not yet. Also an opportunity for Gothic fun, by the way. Just a slightly different kind of Gothic. Whee!

I also need to order some superwash wool in navy blue and in gold. Football season is starting soon, there's a lot of gear I need to make for tailgates!

Gaaahhh, so much to do, so little time! EEEEP!!!