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Apr. 5th, 2014

purple socks

Felicitations

Mirrored from String Notes.

My girls are a year old today, I believe. According to a random internet site, that makes them 18 in people years; they grow up so fast!

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That’s the day we got them, a bit over eight weeks old. They’ve grown a bit! We got them assorted toys to celebrate: quiet, non-absorbent toys.

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They have indeed grown, as you can plainly see, and I can plainly feel when they climb on me. They are snuggly, wonderful, playful girls, and I’m so pleased to have them. Even if they leave sopping wet toys in my bed.

Miss Norathar demonstrates alternate uses for one of the toys.

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Miss Cawti supervises.

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They still don’t get along very well with Trygvi, but coexist nicely with a closed door between them. They’ll look at and sniff at each other through a door braced open an inch or two, at least until the dog does something overly aggressive. It’s totally the dog’s fault, you know. Always.

Here’s to many more years with my sweeties!

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Mar. 22nd, 2014

purple socks

Finally!

Spring has been mighty slow in arriving, even if we've missed the last couple of big snowstorms. Even the sunny days have been cold, and my snowdrops have stubbornly kept their buds closed. Until today: sunny, warm, glorious. Even the snowdrops agreed.

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I spent the afternoon raking up the neglected autumn leaves, mostly so that my squill could get to the light. I found a few other signs of spring.

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I'm choosing to ignore the forecast for cold and snow, except insofar as I decided not to plant peas today.

The cardinals and robins are carrying on in the mornings, fascinating the felines.

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It's not so warm that sunbeams aren't properly appreciated, though.

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Mar. 3rd, 2014

purple socks

String projects

[The autocrossposter is borked again, but because I love you I've copy & pasted this in.]

I have a whole list of things I want to work on, but that's all it is, is a list. No actual working-on, except on my mindless shawl knitting. That's okay, and I'm not going to fuss about it. (Much; you know me, there's bound to be some fussing about lack of productivity, no matter how good the excuse.)

But other people are doing wonderful things, and they'd like you to know about them. Via various mailing lists, here are two excellent fiber arts videos. (Note: the embedded versions aren't showing up in the preview; if they don't show up in the final post they're the same YouTube videos as are linked directly in the text.)

I really like the loom in this band-weaving video . I may need to make one of those.



And here's a video from Linda Hendrickson on her ply-split basket book. If you'd like to learn ply-splitting, I'll be teaching it at the Pennsylvania Fiber Arts Fest in September. I'll also be teaching introductory tablet weaving again. It should be fun!



One of the things on that list of projects is to make some larger baskets for show-pieces for the class. I'm not sure exactly what the class will cover yet, but it may include making miniature baskets. Fun stuff.

Anyone want to have a fiber arts day, when you come over and help motivate me to do stuff? Like make the cords for the ply-split baskets, or warp up the tablet weaving project I've been researching?
purple socks

Fiber arts fun

Mirrored from String Notes.

I have a whole list of things I want to work on, but that’s all it is, is a list. No actual working-on, except on my mindless shawl knitting. That’s okay, and I’m not going to fuss about it. (Much; you know me, there’s bound to be some fussing about lack of productivity, no matter how good the excuse.)

But other people are doing wonderful things, and they’d like you to know about them. Via various mailing lists, here are two excellent fiber arts videos. (Note: the embedded versions aren’t showing up in the preview; if they don’t show up in the final post they’re the same YouTube videos as are linked directly in the text.)

I really like the loom in this band-weaving video . I may need to make one of those.

And here’s a video from Linda Hendrickson on her ply-split basket book. If you’d like to learn ply-splitting, I’ll be teaching it at the Pennsylvania Fiber Arts Fest in September. I’ll also be teaching introductory tablet weaving again. It should be fun!

One of the things on that list of projects is to make some larger baskets for show-pieces for the class. I’m not sure exactly what the class will cover yet, but it may include making miniature baskets. Fun stuff.

Anyone want to have a fiber arts day, when you come over and help motivate me to do stuff? Like make the cords for the ply-split baskets, or warp up the tablet weaving project I’ve been researching?

Feb. 12th, 2014

purple socks

Brrrrr

Mirrored from String Notes.

I woke up this morning terribly excited to be able to walk the poor neglected boxer. Then I looked at the weather: 0F. Back into bed I went. An hour later, when I asked Trygvi whether he wanted to go outside and pee on things, he just looked at me from the comfort of the couch. “Mom, are you kidding? I was out in the middle of the night. It was cold. Mom, you know I don’t have any fur.” Spoiled boy that he is, I let him get away with it.

This kind of weather requires hand-knits! These are the long-delayed 9 to 5 socks, tweaked to be symmetrical rather than identical in the twist direction, in yarn I dyed. They sat around for months with all but the toe grafting completed, then I misplaced them. But they’re wonderful none-the-less!

9 to 5 socks

And then there’s this brilliant piece of knitting.

alpaca hat

It is a knitted and felted alpaca hat from the farmer’s market near my mother, made by the woman who raises the alpacas I believe. Is that not amazing? I had trouble taking a selfie with both the antennae and the dangly tassels, so I went with the antennae. Of course. I admit I was skeptical when I opened the box, but it’s absolutely wonderful.

Changing gears entirely, or as close as you can get within fiber arts, go look at this embroidered dress on Midori Snyder’s blog: a hand-embroidered version of the 1526 “Adam and Eve” by Lucas Cranach. I can’t even imagine.

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Jan. 27th, 2014

purple socks

Research resources

Mirrored from String Notes.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve mentioned here before that the Metropolitan Museum of Art has made its back publications catalog freely available online.

Now the J. Paul Getty Museum has done the same thing.

So many nifty things to read about!

Jan. 25th, 2014

purple socks

Terrible horrible no good very bad month

Mirrored from String Notes.

You can read the full tale to date at my other blog, where I’ll be chronicling my latest adventure, but the short version is that no matter how healthy I am or how fine I feel, I’ve been diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer.

Yikes.

I won’t be mentioning it much here, but intend to write a fair bit at the other site. There’s no percentage in silence and secrecy.

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Dec. 13th, 2013

purple socks

Further Tales from the Rumpus Room

Mirrored from String Notes.

Trygvi poses with his five-day-old indestructible kevlar dog bed.

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Ain’t he cute?

I’ve been doing the early part of the holiday baking: fruitcake, so it can steep in brandy as long as possible. (Yes, I should have done this in November. Much like blogging, it didn’t happen.) The second batch had a loaf and three small stars in silicone pans. Trygvi is a known fruitcake thief*, so I was keeping an eye on him while they cooled.

Nick put the dog out on the run, so I got up to use the bathroom. Nick let him in as I was washing my hands, so there was maybe thirty seconds between the time the dog entered the house and I entered the kitchen to put away the fruitcake.

One loaf, two stars. Two stars?

TWO STARS.

TRYGVI!!

He was wedged all the way into the back corner of his crate with a nearly-empty small silicone pan. There was much yelling.

* Last year about this time, I asked Nick to put away the cooled fruitcakes so I could go to bed. He fell asleep instead, and I got up the next morning to find Trygvi uncrated, in the middle of the living room, surrounded by every hotpad we owned and the shreds of my fourth silicone star pan. The very clean shreds.

And then there’s the velocikittenraptors, who are both over eight pounds. They look so sweet!

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It’s fun to soak your toys in the water bowl, then play with them.

The roll of toilet paper is a toy.

You see where this is going… at least they didn’t leave that one in the bed.

I’ve made it impossible to steal the toilet paper, so they’ve moved on to socks. Clean, dirty, they don’t care. They all go in the water bowl.

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They’ve developed the feline artificial gravity field: it’s impossible to move if both of them are sitting on you, and dislodging even one is a serious struggle. Assuming of course you can overcome the emotional hurdle of moving such a relaxed creature.

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Nov. 18th, 2013

purple socks

Miscellanea

Mirrored from String Notes.

FFF is this weekend – I hope to see some of you there. This is the eleventh one – wow.

I’m teaching a new-to-me class, on Japanese loop braiding. There’s no concrete evidence for the marudai braiding stand before the early seventeenth century, but there are all these braids, including the lacing for the plate armor. So how were they made? Based on very extensive research and analysis, Masako Kinoshita posits that they were braided using hand-held loops. Nifty, no?

I didn’t realize it was controversial that the Norse were trading to the east, and importing all kinds of luxury goods including silk, but apparently I was wrong. A forthcoming book, Silk for the Vikings by Marianne Vedeler, covers just that.

Elizabeth Wayland Barber muses on the meaning of “handmade.” I’m not sure she clearly makes her point, but it’s nice to see an essay on craft at the NY Times.

Nov. 13th, 2013

purple socks

Nifty

Mirrored from String Notes.

Oldest string found: 90,000 year old Neanderthal string.

Dinovember. This is just delightful. The eggs! And the crayons…

Bookbinding. I was going to email this to Laura, but I thought that some of you all might like to see it as well. While the entire set is amazing (I got the link from an archivist who was acquiring it for her library for educational purposes), the $15 guide to historic bookbinding techniques might be more useful (and affordable).

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