Wander the Web 52

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Inspiring, fun, thought-provoking, and crafty links to round out the week and jumpstart your brain.

I’ve been sneaking in bits of spinning and knitting into my day to help keep my sane. The last few days have been the most I’ve spun since Tour de Fleece. It’s nice to see the bobbin slowly fill up and do something with my hands besides from clicking buttons.

How to turn a file folder into a book. Why have I not made this yet?

How hiring a handyman is like buying a crochet (or knitting) pattern.

And a little deeper, thoughts on (knitting) pattern pricing from Ysolda Teague

NASA developed origami style solar panels.

The Shape of Ideas by Grant Snider

Nina Lindgren’s Sprawling Cardboard Cities

Wish I’d been able to read this article when I first unboxed my spinning wheel

On Comparison 

Fili & Kili

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Internet, meet Fili the Mouse. He moved in rather recently and has become my new desk buddy. I’ve since learned that he likes Hawaiian pizza, zombie movies, and long books. He’s also quite fond of knitting and the occasional Sci-Fi reference. I think we’re going to get along just fine.

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One of his habits is storing things away in his pot and rummaging around for them later. That pot must be larger on the inside than the outside because I’ve seen him pull out huge wheels of cheese, boxes of crackers, and then pull out  numerous skeins of handspun yarn. Really have to find out who makes his pots.

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This is is Fili’s friend, Kili. Kili doesn’t have a beard or even a mustache but greatly admires them both. The pair likes to go on adventures though they’re generally home before dark. I’m pretty sure they’re saving up for backpacks and a good camp stove for a journey to Lonely Mountain. Hope they don’t run into any trolls and keep an eye out for dragons.

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Fili’s pattern and yarn related details can be found here.

Done

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Something amazing has happened. All of my Christmas knitting, at least all the stuff I had to make for other people, is finished. In the 6 years since I learned to knit, this is the first time I haven’t had to give out IOU’s or show off stitches still on the needles. Bonus, today isn’t even the end of the world.

To celebrate I’m giving in to the urge to cast on something fun for myself and completely without a deadline. Over a year ago I bought a kit to make Mousie by Ysolda Teague and it’s been sitting in my stash until today. I’ve got grand weekend plans of doing as little as possible, knitting a cute mouse, and enjoying good company. 

If you’re still in the throes of holiday knitting, I wish you speedy needles, tangle-free yarn, and errata free patterns. Good luck. I’m cheering for you.  

At Stitches South

Friday was a fun bit of adventure. I woke up early, got ready, and headed out the door. By 6:00 AM, I was on a bus headed for Atlanta and Stitches South. My purse had traveling knitting, cash, my camera, and a list of yarns to buy. I thought I was prepared. As it turned out, not so much.

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Once I figured out the lay of the land, I headed off to the Sanguine Griffin for 2 skeins of Bugga! Everything after that is a bit of blur. There was so much color, so much variety, and so many yarn fumes that everything just tangles up in my mind when I try to recall it. I can vaguely remember wandering the aisles, picking up yarn, sometimes sniffing yarn, and then buying yarn. If you sniff yarn, you have to buy said yarn, right? I think it’s an unwritten rule.

I do remember meeting a few really cool people in the midst of the yarn fumes. First off, I met Liz, the dyer behind MacKintosh Yarns. I’ve been using her yarn and reading her blog for years now. It was great to finally meet her in person.

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I also had the opportunity to meet Ysolda Teague at a book signing. This was pretty great too since I really admire her patterns. Book signings rock!

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Stormy weather cut the trip short and bus headed for home in the early afternoon. The ride turned into show and tell based on one question: “What was your favorite purchase?” I didn’t have to think about that one at all.

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One skein of MacKintosh Yarns Chubby Sock in the appropriately named color, Sex Kitten. A cluster of colors so outside of my normal palate that I can only wear it on my feet. Also, totally awesome. I’ve only wanted a skein since it first showed up ages ago on her site. This yarn is going to a great pair of socks.

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I’m definitely looking forward to Stitches South 2012. Maybe I’ll have knit up all the yarn I bought by then.

Knitting Review

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I hope you all enjoyed Christmas or your own favorite winter holiday. I know I enjoyed mine even if I was frenetically knitting right up to the last second and only slightly slower once the deadline passed. In fact, this lone ornament, also masquerading as a pair of mittens, wasn't even started until the 26th. Sill, I'm calling it on time since ye old Christmas bush is still decorated. I did actually finish other things in time to go under the bush though.

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Maddox, Albert, and Beatrice by Rebecca Danger

Who knew that less than a skein of Noro Kochoran, some safety eyes, felt, stuffing, and a bit of thread would make 3 totally different monsters? I could hardly believe they were all made from the same skein. 

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Wee Mushrooms by Ysolda Teague

The mushrooms were a last minute addition to the list but were still pretty fun to make. I used the pattern more as inspiration and made each of the 8 shrooms different. Instead of using coins, I put magnets in the bottom to weight them down and make them stick to random metal surfaces. Playing darts with these things was way too fun.

Also, to make realistic looking mushrooms, just barely stuff the cap and then sew down the center using the end. All the mushrooms I made before I figured this out, look more like topiaries than fungi. I would also recommend listening to this song.

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Windschief by Stephen West

Another last minute addition to the queue and how I spent most of my lunch breaks during the week before Christmas. I didn't finish the cowl until a few days later even though I knit most of it in front of the recipient. He's arguing that it's the best gift of the year which makes all that work worthwhile. 

A pair of KIS mitts, some Spring Cleaning cloths, and a Triforce washcloth made the deadline too.

Besides from an unfinished blanket and a yet to be started scarf, I managed to complete everything even if I did have to shorten that list in the final days. Once I knew something wouldn't be finished on time, I stopped worrying about it and reached for something I could finish instead. Still, the rushing and complete takeover of my free time made the process far from stress free. I knew I'd turned a corner when, reading yet another make this in time for Xmas post, my first thought was, "It's the 22nd, just buy something." With that thought, my 2011 Christmas knit list got a lot shorter. I'm not going through this again next year.

On a better note, Happy New Year! I'll see you in 2011.