UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

December 18, 2009

Finished, except the waiting at the post office.

Filed under: knit, toy — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 1:02 pm

I finished all my holiday knitting. There was less this year than some years. I would say that is because I did not make unsolicited items, but I did. This was the year of the animals.

I am going to share the elephant pictures because the recipient does not yet use the internet.

From elephant

I brought it to the knitting group at the library and one of the librarians tried to buy it right then and there. (That was a bit weird.) The other librarian said I should do a show (they have “gallery” space for local artists). These are the same librarians who saw me with my first knitting projects. I started learning to knit from library books because I was ahead of the trend curve and there were no yarn stores. So these women saw me with the knitted equivalent of an adult with a macaroni collage. I got better. I know I did an awesome job on the elephant. Everyone has a sense of when they have “nailed it”. It makes me happy to see the improvement in my own work, but I do not really consider these “art”.

One of the librarians suggested that I sell knitted rabbits for Easter at the farmers market. She said I could probably get $25 for them. Aside from the fact that is a copyright violation. It took me at least 12 hours to make the first one. Even if it only took me 4 hours, and that is definitely the minimum considering how fiddly the pattern was, that is under minimum wage. Add in the overhead of having to have a tax license, the fees to the market for having a booth, the cost of materials, people who complain that they only want one if it comes in [insert favorite color]. I just cannot see it being worthwhile.

I think I would like to make a giraffe. The idea interests me. I think I should go to the zoo and take pictures of actual giraffes for inspiration. Admittedly the idea of going to the zoo and taking pictures of giraffes interests me a lot more than actually knitting the giraffe.

I also finished the giftcard holder sweater. I made this according to the round yoke directions in the book by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Knitting In the Old Way.

From micro sweater

August 18, 2009

Picture update and projects in progress.

Filed under: fiber, scarf, spin, yarn — Tags: , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 3:32 pm

I should probably take the pictures and then post, but I will write it all now. Then I will know what pictures I have promised. But, considering this has sat here for 6 days with the window open, perhaps not. (August 18, another 12 days later… I closed the window and sort of forgot about this. So I started it, according to the editing details, August 2, 2009… it only took me 16 days to actually take the pictures.)

SeedlessGrape was here visiting. We had a terrific time (not always the case with meeting virtual friends). She gave me a skein of Madelinetosh. I can see why she loves it. The colorway is really pretty (akin to the Raven colorways from Blue Moon Fiber Arts) and the yarn is sproingy. However my skein looks like a fingering weight yarn, like for socks, but the label claims it is “worsted” and 225 yards. If that is “worsted”, their sock yarn must be like thread.

[Later… Apparently it is actually Tosh Sock, 395 yards, and the label is wrong. The colorway really is “Georgia O’ Keefe” but the yarn isn’t single-ply, and looks about fingering weight. So it is the sock. It was a lovely gift and I do not wish to disparage it in any way, but I admit I am much happier with there being almost twice the yardage.]

Any suggestions on what that wants to be? I had originally thought it would make a nice shawl-lette, but most of the patterns specify the yardage of the skein without specifying if there is leftover. Maybe that is because there is no leftover yarn, but sometimes it seems ridiculous…. like the sock yarn used for a lace beret pattern. The pattern says it uses 400 yards and the hat is itty bitty and lace as well. I think I could do that in under 100 yards. So I do not trust the pattern yardage.

I want to make Jared Flood’s Girasole out of this yarn. Except for three things: 1) I do not want a Girasole and no one else would dare ask me for something like that. 2) I would need about 10 more skeins of yarn. 3) I would have to buy the pattern (with all the issues I have described before).   I just know I would love a “sunflower” lace pattern done in black yarn.  I know me.  I like irony.

I got the July installment of the fiber club on the 27th. It is purple merino+silk. No percentages given. The pattern was interesting.  Not with that fiber, of course.  So far I have spun 3 of the months. I am now behind by 4 months. I have attempted one pattern (with commercial yarn) and gave up. I started using one of the fiber club handspun yarns, that I overdyed, for socks, but the first sock is not yet completed (I started it in March.)  So, although it has been fun getting all the new stuff. I do not think I should join fiber clubs in the future. It is not a waste of money, but there has not been any sense of “belonging” in this group. So there is no incentive to participate actively. Half the time I dislike the colorways. Half the time I dislike the suggested pattern. It got easy to just stash the stuff and continue on with what I was doing.  I had hoped I would spin more and knit more with “assigned” projects. That did not happen.

The pictures:

I am still looking for a hooded capelet pattern sized for adults and not pullover.

This is what I spun most recently:

I have cast on for my mobius scarf from the birthday fiber:

September 20, 2008

The giving of knitted gifts: or you say potato, I could say fries, but really say onion rings.

Filed under: knit — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 10:38 pm

The origami sweaters were received. Since they went to a hurricane-affected region, that was not a given. 

I think I should talk about the disconnect between creating a handmade item and receiving one. I can drop by Walgreens and buy a Chinese-made acrylic knit cap, 3 for $10 most of the year. If I give you a handknit hat, especially from handspun yarn, that represents dozens of hours of my time. That hat is individual, it is more than a hat, it is wearable art. (I do not have a lofty opinion of myself, not really, but “art” does not equate to quality; there are a lot more bad paintings than good.) But being the recipient, from a functional standpoint, I might prefer a 10-pack of toss-it-in-the-washer dishcloths to a single handwoven one. The recipient sees the item. The giver sees the art. 

You might imagine that I do not like giving away knitted gifts. You would be right. Only once have I received a thank you that I thought was worthy. That was probably because the recipient was surprised. Giving things to strangers is much more rewarding, because they do not color their appreciation with the knowledge that you had to get them something. 

In a way, that was how I justified the giving away of handspun yarn. If I give a knitter a couple balls of yarn, that is an awesome gift to someone who knows that handspun yarn is ludicrous in stores, but I see it as me not having to knit something for it to count as a present. 

There are definitely days when misanthropy and isolation seem like admirable goals. When I caught myself wondering if the woman with the good thank you notes could have a relapse so I could be properly appreciated, I figured it was time for putting the yarn aside and watching a DVD while eating popcorn.

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