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Opal’s camera arrived today. It’s pretty messed up; I can’t change settings and it doesn’t work half the time, but hey, I can show some of my life now anyway. And start saving for a new camera, I guess.

So, projects old and new:

embossed leaves

This is a pattern I would make again and again, the embossed leaves socks from an older IK. Obviously I didn’t make these to be socks, but rather cuffs, and it turns out they fit the ankles better than the wrists. Na ja. The yarn is dreamy, Elsbeth Lavold’s Silky Wool. Needle size 0 or 00, can’t remember (I made these a full season ago…) I want more of this yarn! At first the color didn’t sing to me, but oh! now I want knee socks with clocks in this.

cable/chevron sock

This here sock has a bit of a story behind it. I made a pair of these and sent them to Norway, after losing my needles to the airlines, and then the socks themselves got lost in the post! First ever lost package, I think…
So, that put me needing to knit up a second pair smack dab in the middle of my move, which of course I didn’t do. Here I am finishing up my old commitments, however belated. I am halfway through the second sock of this pair, and should finish soon if I don’t wander off, which I have no right to do.
The pattern is my own, really made up based on a sock I saw in an IK, I think. I needed to accomodate a thicker yarn, and it really is a snap to figure these out. Chevrons in front and back, little cables up either side. Auracania yarn that I swapped BPAL for. Don’t like the shade much, but it is pleasant in this context. Poor swap partner. :( I think I will take a long break from swapping after this debacle. Not that I will have a reputation left…

And one last thing for this fine day. I purchased this rug last week from a representative of the Vida Nueva cooperative in Chiapas Mexico. All the work from spinning to dying to weaving is done by the women of this coop. They even raise their own cochineal! All natural dyes on this. I had to stretch a bit to buy this, but I will not regret it! There is an amazing anomaly in the pattern that made this my first choice of all the rugs I saw.

new rug

that is all for today. Damn it’s good to be back.

I’m back.
what with Alice gone last week to sailing camp at the Center for Wooden Boats, I found myself out in the pasture every day with the sheep. I really have an appreciation for Alice’s contribution to the household, I tell you!
So many thoughts crossed my mind, and I wanted to write about half of them, this being journal as well as public space, but alas, I had absolutely zero time for sitting at the computer.

yarn riot

(there’s a stash shot for ya)

I did manage to get a lot of cuffs knit. I could do about a pair and a half done while watching the sheep.
All this cuff knitting was brought about by a pending swap with Soule, which I completed yesterday. I traded these cuffs made to order for a few pieces of art which I need to photgraph yet.

cuffs for min

cuffs for soule
Not the greatest photos, but as I said, I was under diress!

I look forward to having a bit more time to read all y’all’s blogs. Then I will be able to talk about other folk’s cool happenings.
I did get turned on to the event that is going to be the apex of my summer perhaps. Pickathon! It’s been awhile since I went to a three day camping music event.

Opal has been in horse heaven what with the new alliance I have formed with a local lady. A friend, I think I can say! Yes, my new friend, Sharin, takes care of other people’s horses when needed, and has been facilitating Opal’s passion for the equine. Opal even got to ride a horse yesterday, but honestly, I think at this point the child would be happy mucking out stalls.

Oh, and yesterday I got home from work to find I had sold two cd pockets (here and here) via my etsy shop! I was more than surprised. I forgot I even had a shop. hah hah.

so, that’s all for now. I need to go generate more experience so I can write about it.

Warning: If you are my Beautiful Use swap partner reading this blog, don’t scroll down! I’m going to show off the stuff I made for you.

Here’s a pic of Opal to divert you…
a glam shot while exploring

So, now, I have been working on working on items for a Glitter version of the Beautiful Use swap, and I wrapped all the last bits up and sent it yesterday.

beautiful use swap, wrapped

In these little packages are the following:
tote made for a swap
made from thrifted and gifted fabrics entirely. I am not happy with the way the bottom sags, I boxed those corners but still. It’s a nice bag.

after reading this post on soph’s blog, I decided to improve the way I go about lining bags.
lining of the tote
and because I like taking those macro shots like the big girls:
fabric from finland
fabric from Suomi.

also in there was the finished product, the results of the first of my french knot studies, on knit and fulled fabric (yarn from Grand View Farm).
fulled cozy
I decided to go with the natural shape of the fulled piece rather than cut it. It’s a cozy, I guess. (It’s really a vehicle for the knotting practice…)
and:
notecards
notecards with fashion illustrations by Opal.
Pluis some buttons for good measure.
buttons

It was a good swap for me; very instructive, and I am getting better about working through projects, trying to train myself out of procrastination. I was still late on the send-out, though.

so there’s some craft content for ya.

It is spring break, which means that Opal is home with us all this week. Alice, of course, has scrubbing vacation every day, smart girl that she is. (Oh, okay, O’s smart too, she needs public school and she knew it before I did…)
It does mean a higher noise level for sure, what with the constant litany of book and movie plots, dream details, and just general O drama. Not to mention her penchant for music. We have been on a Magical Mystery Tour for a while now. And when the tour bus has to stop for gas, we switch to Marit Bergman, the Ramones, Yma Sumac, Mary Poppins, Deanta‘s rendition of Willie Taylor (scroll down to read the lyrics…) For the most part, I like the child’s musical taste. Alice on the other hand does not.
So, what about it? There have been a few good homeschool moments in the last couple days… Alice wanting a quick fiber project in which to channel her enthusiasm for color (see photo below), Opal learning a bit about pattern drafting (for use in future doll clothes), as well as whipping up a nice if slightly lumpy crepe batter this morning (infinitely expandable ratio: 1 cup flour to 1 cup milk to 4 eggs with a bit of salt and oil thrown in for good measure, let sit for at least 15 minutes). Plus the kid learned how to use the washer finally and did two loads of laundry!
here’s A’s pillow:
alices first log cabin
It’s stuffed with some fleece that felted in the degreasing. (Future pillows will be stuffed with the washed and cut-up “skins” of thrifted plushies, left over from the girls’ brief project, “Animal Rescue Plushie Purses and Packs.”)
The girls’ favorite websites are also worth mentioning. Opal spends a lot of time at Spatulatta, which is a cooking site for kids. (She learned how to separate eggs from one of the videos. We had to make cake to practice this skill, only when you haven’t an oven the cooking of cake gets a bit tricky. We ended up steaming cupcakes in the rice cooker.)
and then there’s MuseBlog for Alice, the writer in the family. MuseBlog is for fans of the great magazine, Muse, which is absolutely A’s fave mag. A joint publication of Smithsonian and Carus Publishing (think Cricket magazine). We had a sub to this for one year and the girls have read those 6 issues (or whatever) so many times. Anyhow, MuseBlog is the ultimate answer to a 13-year-old’s search for a suitable internet forum. Bravo!

‘kay, that’s all for one night. I promise you some non-kid content the next time.