So, here’s the thing.

I am, like, the worst Raveler in the world.

I’ve posted 3 projects (and one of them says ‘in progress’, why, I’m not sure.)

I do finish projects. Often. I just don’t post them.

I had never, until yesterday, posted on a forum.

I always have to consult my notes about my password. Well, that isn’t odd. I have to write my phone number in my shoe, lol. I remember every time I was embarrassed, any place I’ve been to, and the use of any edible ย or medicinal plant in my environment. Also old show tunes. Everything else I have to write down.

But I LOVE my Ravelry account. I love going to #knitchat and looking at everyone’s projects. I love what people make. I love knitting blogs (totally) and the posts people make about making their first pair of socks, or natural dying, or the mittens they make. I love the picture someone sent me of a tiny Queen Elizabeth (complete with Corgies) done in knit. And yarn bombing. I love yarn bombing.

I just find that I can either knit or blog about knitting, and there you go.

So I have never participated in the Ravelympics, which involves watching sports and knitting. I am far too competitive to watch sports. I mean, ever. I want the opponent’s team crushed but I don’t want anyone to be disappointed. I cry when they win and I cry when they lose. I’m relentlessly partisan but hate jingoism. It has never worked for me.

I blame my parents. ย :p

But the US Olympic Committee sent a cease and desist letter to Ravelry, letting them know that this “Watch the games and knit” business infringes on their copyright, challenges the economic security of their multinational sponsors, and DENIGRATES the effort the athletes make to get there.

Um, what?

I feel the need to fight back. I do. I feel like if we let this go, if we let ONE MORE smug little proto-lawyer walk into a community of (mostly) women to tell them that their personal lives interfere with society just by sitting in their own homes and knitting,ย and his bosses don’t cut him off RIGHT AWAY, ย we’ve let down our mothers and grandmothers, who fought for the vote, and protected our freedoms at war and at home, and our daughters and granddaughters, who deserve the freedom to become what they want to be.

Whether that’s an Olympic athlete, or a knitter.

Or both.

Dangerous knitting


Halloween Costumes

The kids were ridiculously inspired this year for Halloween. They all had specific ideas, we went to the Goodwill for some basic items, and to JoAnn fabrics for what I needed to sew. There are no pictures of this project, mostly, because I EITHER have time to do sewing or time to take pictures of it, but I thought you might like the results, with a few short descriptions of the content.

Rapunzel, from Tangled Youngest one wanted a Rapunzel dress. I took an adult purple dress from Goodwill (still with tags on) folded the top down inside. Put a panel of brocade up the front, ran elastic around the waist, Bingo, Finished skirt.The top is a little more complicated, because I make bodices for Ren Faires and ballet tutus. I made a large brocade vest, attached ribbon loops to midpoint up the front to create the crossed ties, but they work. Puffed sleeves at the top, with purple ribbon for the stripes. Found JUST the matching embroidered ribbon for where the sleeves meet the undersleeve, which is just a tube of gauze.

Her finishing items are a beanbag lizard sewed onto a ribbon to represent Pascal (worn as a bracelet) and a styrofoam and duct-tape frying pan, with some little silk flowers in her braid.

Since this isn’t at ALL suitable for the weather we’ve got, she also has a velvet cape. Yes, we have spare velvet capes in the attic. Yes, I’ll blame that on being a costumer. :p

A Sith Lord... he has his own story God bless those Star Wars designers. 30 years of Halloween costumes based on robes, and counting. This one is wearing warm turtleneck and pants, covered by a robe made of black fleece, with a hood that turns into a cape. Without Force Push, hard to fight in a hood. It's held closed by a belt. When fancy belts are in, I wait for season change and pick them up on clearance, for just such occasions.He elected to wear his fingerless gloves, but might consider fingers, for Trick or Treating tonight

A Yeti. I said, creative.This costume is suitable for the weather. He's wearing long white underwear as a first layer, and this costume made of fake fur. The costume was a piece of fabric folded double at the top, with a hole cut in the middle. seamed up the sides to slightly over waist high. He goes in through that side gap. The sleeves are just tubes of fur attached to gloves from the dollar store. The head was built over a bucket from the dollar store, padded on top with a towel, for height. Inside it has a band of elastic for the top of his head, and a chin strap. The face screen is the gauze of his sister's sleeves, dyed pink.It's not attached at the bottom, so he can eat in it. The teeth are cardboard.

A Russian Spy

This all started with the boots, which we bought on mad sale and she had nowhere to wear. Turtleneck and leggings, from stock, coat, purse and belt from Goodwill, hat from the attic. Ridiculous eyelashes, bought after LAST Halloween.

She was like 11 feet tall, but warm. James Bond, watch out.

Harry Potter, of course.

Never be afraid to exploit a resemblance. Glasses, scar, wand, check. ๐Ÿ˜€

The Weasley parents

Of course, movie stars need no costume. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Happy Halloween.

A new way to louse up shirts

I got a link in twitter about using Sharpies for tie-dye.

Now, you have to understand, in my neighborhood, I’m the patron saint of tie-dye.

batik & dip dying

I go on and on about “fiber artist”, but when the rubber hits the road, I am most in demand (especially with our community summer camp) as someone with the largest repertoire of ways to louse up a t-shirt. So a new way to do it (particularly one that didn’t involve turning all my wooden spoons odd & toxic colors) was just the thing.

Tie dye & batik at camp

I rushed out before Hurricane Irene, and, while other people were clearing the shelves of bottled water, I was collecting art supplies for 5 kids (and 2 adults) who might be entertaining ourselves for a week without power.

See how provident I am?

Unfortunately for art, my kids can already entertain themselves thankyouverymuch, so I didn’t get to do it until this week, when I more or less stomped my little feet about it.

Here’s the procedure.

  1. Get shirt, sharpie, rubbing alcohol. (alcohol being alcohol, you could probably use gin, if you wanted to, but rubbing alcohol is cheaper. Don’t drink it, though.) *pro tip
  2. It would be wise to have something to stretch the shirt over, and rubber bands to hold it there. All the directions I read said, “plastic cup”, and we used that, but for larger designs used disposable tupperware type containers, bungied with rubber bands.
  3. We added “stencils” for some of the perfectionists in the house. These were mostly paper cutouts to use as a template for heart shapes.
  4. Small stable bowls for the alcohol, Q-tips. The Q-tips were kinda fail, in some respects, (slow) and I understand why Girl Scout troops use squirt bottles, but no way I was handing around squirt bottles of ANYTHING. Mama HATES going to the ER.
  5. Select a spot. Put your cup under it, and hold on with rubber band. (Cup in the MIDDLE of the t-shirt. 2 layers was too much to ask.)
  6. Make a small circle of dots, about as big around as a nickel. Like 6 dots. It looks more “tie-dyee” with an accent dot or two in a coordinating color.
  7. Using your Q-tip, put little drops of alcohol in the open center of the Sharpie dots. This is, as I said, slow. But the ink spreads away from the dots, so if you try dabbing it directly on, dropping it randomly, or otherwise deviating, it doesn’t do what you’re expecting, in spread. Now, THAT’S OKAY. Because ART HAS A RANDOM ELEMENT. But we all know some folks, any age, will be made miserable by that, so that’s why I warn you.
  8. That’s it. Our experience is that one big cup diameter is about how far the circles really WANT to spread, and you want to let them dry a bit before moving the cup, but it’s alcohol, evaporates fast.
Here are some of ours.

Sharpie tie-dye

You’ll notice, right off, that, while I love creating directions (and I’m pretty good at that) I can’t follow them, at ALL. Too ornery. We had big fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sharpie tie-dye midriff shirt

So, all you gals with the Klout perks Sharpies, and all you resolutely crafty types, and all you homeschoolers, get busy. Leave a link if you try it.
Oh, P.S. Some sites claim this as a science project in chromatography. It is to laugh. While this might not be the worst chromatography experiment ever, it’s still pretty weak for that. Far better to do the “reverse & resist” Tie-dye. I’ll explain that soon, if you like.