Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Colourful soap

I tried my hand a coloured soap again and this time it worked. We all remember the ill fatedgreen soap. Started out pretty green as per the post, faded to a barely there sickly colour. Most disappointing.

This time I have made 2 coloured soaps. I've had 2 jars of oil infusing for months. One with turmeric and one with paprika. The turmeric turns the soap a golden ochre colour. The paprika? Well have a look.

Yup, orange. Bright almost neon orange. I am so very pleased. The paprika was strained out of the oil before making the soap (stingy on the membranes me thinks!) while the turmeric was left in. You can see a little smear of turmeric if you look closely.

Next up is another attempt at nettle green and a surprise bar. What's that, you want to look at the orange again? Can't say I blame you :o)

Momma's Dress

A while ago my Momma asked me if I would make her a Regency dress and jacket if she decided to go in costume to a themed wedding. I said yes and heard no more of it because she couldn't make her mind up. 9 weeks before the wedding she decided yes, she did want to dress up. Eep says I but I also said yes.

At least 2 weeks were spent waiting for the pattern. Then there was a couple of weeks of fitting. Then the sewing. In all fairness it wasn't that hard a pattern it was just time consuming. I think that maybe there could have been more fittings but in the end it did fit. So I present to you the Regency dress and Jacket (and my Momma)

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Nerd Wars catch up post

Hey all. So I've been missing for a while again. I know, I know. But I spend all day in front of a computer and just haven't been able to muster up the desire to sit at one when I get home. Forgive me?

I've decided to d a bit of a Nerd Wars catch up. I don't think I posted a single thing from the last round.

Challenge (Technical): POLYTECHS
For this one we had to combine another craft skill with our 4 sanctioned crafts (knitting/spinning/crocheting/weaving). I went with sewing and made a little bag, a handkerchief which I embroidered and then knitted a doll. I only got half points for this as it is unfinished.

Challenge (Scientific): CAPILLARY ACTION
Make something demonstrating capillary action. the example give was frost flowers so I knitted what is hopefully a baby hat using a lace pattern called frost flower. I say hopefully because it came out smaller than I would like. If not I have a cunning plan to turn it into a present for his Mama (yes Lisa this is you).

Challenge (Giving Geeks): WIP HELP
To help someone with a work in progress that they are unable to finish due to illness, age, it has been passed to you due to them passing away etc. I asked if I could do something slightly different by helping my friend knit many squares for a blanket. She is fairly new to knitting, the blanket was for a production she is running with a group she works with for adults with learning disabilities and the blanket will probably be donated to a homeless charity afterwards. This was accepted. I think the furious knitting of these squares was most likely responsible for my strained wrist.


Knit in public time. Show the non knitters what fun they are missing out on. In one evening I knitted in the Victorian tiled cafe at the library and at the bar where I was meeting friends before going out. I nearly knit at the ballet in the interval but the pattern was too complicated to just whip out.

Challenge (Team Spirit): IN LIKE A LION, OUT LIKE A LAMB

Make something inspired by an animal. I got on with making Spadgersdottier's birthday present thus avoiding the horror that is finishing it the night before like at Christmas. He is now hiding in a drawer :o)

Challenge (Intellectual): WARRIOR'S FRIEND
Craft a shield or something that shields. I made the 2nd sock to go with the one I made for the last round. Now you may remember that these socks were for me and I said it was a bit big. Turns out that a "bit" translates as not fitting my size 5 feet but fitting Spadger's size 10 feet. Ooops. The reason? My smallest needles were actually 2 sizes too big for the pattern. I thought the gauge was loose. Should've checked really. Ah well, he likes his new socks.

And that's about it. The 3rd and final round for this tournament has begun but I haven't entered anything yet due to resting my wrist. I have a few submissions ready now but the lack of computer love has meant me not posting them yet. I will do soon tough so keep posted for more yarn based goodies.

Friday, 8 April 2011

I knit so I don't kill people

I saw this on a t-shirt not long ago. I thought it was amusing. A week of enforced none knitting due to whatever the heck is wrong with my wrist has proven that knitting does, in fact, equal calm. Busy busy workplace and nice weather should mean relaxing knitting outside in the sunshine. Nope. None of that.

Ok so no knitting. Maybe some spinning? No go either. How about carding? Nope,also a bust. I can just about sew which is good for the outfit I'm making my Momma but that is about the limit of my crafting. Watching me try to thread the needle on my machine should be a specator sport it's that funny.

So how am I typing? Slowly is the answer :o(

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Yesterday was busy (written on the 6th)

I'm really wowing you with the imaginative titles huh? Must try harder.

Yesterday was indeed busy though. I'm working on a mammoth project at work and it is killing me. So very busy indeed. Add into that the dress and jacket I'm making for my Momma. A small sprinkling of not sleeping tops it all off. So very tired.

On the plus side the dress is all ready for fitting. There are 3 lines of sewing and the fastenings to do. I then have the jacket to sew. Momma has volunteered to help with that. She's getting jumpy about how little time there is left to finish it. We've got until the 14th. I don't think she realises how much I have sewn in less time before. But the quicker it is done the sooner I can relax.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

This is not going well

OK so I've missed another day. This is not going well. But again I have a good reason. Yesterday was in from work, make tea, head out to see Derren Brown. No blogging time at all. Also uber busy at work so no time there. This is a sneaky one.

I'll try to be back later today.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

So I'll post everyday in April......huh

Ok so I fell off the blogging wagon on say 2 but there is a good reason. Yesterday was manic busy.

We got up early to go to the farm. I'm afraid we had some unpleasant business to attend to with the last chicken from our first batch, Pius. I'm not going to go into the details, if you're interested read Spadger's account here. Needless to say Pius is no longer with us in flapping form. A sad day indeed.

We spent a long day at the farm. Me and my Momma cleared a whole bed of the nettle infestation that was living there. I love pulling up nettles. They fight back and you get a real sense of accomplishment when it's all gone.

It was then home for a very quick shower and into town where we grabbed a bite to eat, a couple of pints and then off to a gig. We actually went to see the support act, Admiral Fallow. You can find out more about them here. We've been to see them twice before. First time they were supporting Frightened Rabbit, then it was a gig of their own. Walking out after the support act was fun. We had to explain to 3 members of staff that yes ewe were indeed leaving not popping out for a smoke. Their faces were priceless.

Since that finished quite early it was home for a rum, some date and walnut flapjack and 2 episodes of Buffy.

See what I mean? Am I forgiven for not blogging?

Friday, 1 April 2011

Nerd Wars - round 3


Your challenge this month is to Finish those WIPs! Here’s the breakdown:

It can be ANY work in progress, not just a project you didn’t finish for Nerd Wars. Simply “finishing” (sewing up, weaving in ends) will not count as completing a WIP.
Before and after photos are required.
Competitors may turn in up to 2 (two) projects. If multiple projects are submitted, each will be worth 5 points. Projects must be turned in at the same time, to ease CD grading.
There will be no Team Spirit points awarded this round. However, bonus points from the Independent Referee will be.

Challenge (Giving Geeks): EARTHQUAKE & TSUNAMI RELIEF

The earthquake off the coast of northern Japan, and the consequent tsunami has been devastating. The events that followed, and continue to transpire in regard to both the aftermath of nature’s wrath, as well as the nuclear emergencies and other effects of the destruction of man’s creations, are hard to comprehend.

What we can comprehend, however, is the innate desire to help other people, particularly in the face of such tragedy. Your challenge is to help.

Options for completing this challenge:

Knit/crochet a pattern from p/hop and donate to MSF Doctors Without Borders. Participate in a month-long KAL, then donate based on how much you enjoyed the pattern. Another thread will be opened for this option as people work through the patterns together. Please post your results in this thread for points.
Participate in the Nerd Wars eBay charity auction, with 100% of proceeds going to Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund - a GlobalGiving Project. To do this, post in the thread a photo of what you want to put up for auction, as well as a description. The item MUST BE a) knitting related (a handknit item, yarn, stitch markers, etc.) and b) of value. This is not a yard sale. Your photo and description will be used in the eBay listing. PM eyeamelise for an address to ship the item to. To make things more streamlined, eyeamelise will be shipping out all the auction items to the winning bidders. Once eyeamelise receives your package, you will be awarded points in the thread, along with the link to your auction item.
Donate directly to the Red Cross. You can text REDCROSS to 90999 in the United States to donate $10. Or, send a check made out to the Red Cross and send to Knitting Fever, the US distributor of Noro yarn. They will match your contribution before sending it along to the Red Cross. Your employer may also be matching donations. Ask. Donate. The 1000 Amigurumi Crane Project is also donating to the Red Cross in several ways. Check it out here. (Thanks to unforth who came up with this.
Donate socks to Socks for Japan. You can craft them or not, but they must be new, and each pair in their own zip-top baggie. You will be shipping them directly to Japan, so please keep in mind that this may be expensive - you may wish to band together with other Nerd Warriors in your area to save on shipping costs.
No matter what option you choose, or if you cannot participate in this challenge, please spread the word about the different ways we are trying to help, such as links to the auction, the 1000 crane project, etc.

The options above also are mostly guidelines - if you have another charity or way to help Japan, let us know and go for it. We are trying to do the most good with the amazing people in Nerd Wars.

Ninja Warriors are also invited to submit their projects right in this thread, so we can be most aware about all the ways we can help folks affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

Challenge (Nerd Culture): READING RAINBOW

From the time I was a little nerdling, I have loved to read. When I read, I can be anything (unlike sleep, where I’m a viking), or go anywhere. While I don’t specifically remember this happening, the first book I read on my own was Are You My Mother. My paternal grandmother, rather than being impressed by her grandchild’s mad skillz, spent hours quizzing me on the book, convinced I had just memorized it.

Since then, I’ve been known to read almost anything I can get my hands on, and little gives me more sustained pleasure than finding a new author. I also know that most of my friends are the same way. Especially the nerdy ones. Okay, who am I trying to kid? All of my friends are nerdy. Fine.

Most stereotypically, nerds I know love either sci-fi or fantasy -- knowing that there is a difference, thank you very much Mr. Bookseller who puts Heinlein and Tolkein on a shelf together -- and I’ll confess to enjoying many a book just because it had a dragon or a spaceship in it. Other friends love mysteries and detective novels, or horror books, or spy novels. In fact, I’d wager that every one of you has a favorite genre of fiction, and I suspect that if I were to poll 50 Nerd Warriors, I’d find 50 different favorite books.

Your challenge this month is to create something literary or literary-adjacent. The limits to this challenge, as with books, are your imagination. Almost any sort of fictional literature will be acceptable as base material, from high literature to pulp fiction to comic books to bodice-rippers, and nearly everything in between. Your Friendly Neighborhood CDtm will also consider dramatically-told nonfiction on a case-by-case basis.

If you create an object for a character in a book, please include an excerpt from that book which describes either the garment you are re-creating or some element of the character’s personal style which led you to believe that your object is a good fit. If you create a cover for a book -- with, say, an intarsiaed bunny for that worn copy of The Velveteen Rabbit that you’ve had since you were three -- please include a picture of the book with the cover.

Feel free to ask questions about this challenge of the GameMaster, Challenge Dacascos or Independent Referee in this thread.

Begin and end the project in this month.

Challenge (Scientific): Hydrothermal Vents and Deep Sea Communities

Hydrothermal Vents are like chimneys in the ocean floor, spewing out minerals and sulfides which quickly precipitate out of the water making the chimneys taller over time.

They create nutrient rich water which result in a whole ecosystem that can support life without sunlight. The Chemosynthetic bacteria that thrive around Hydrothermal Vents attract other critters such as wee crustaceans and tube worms, which in turn become tasty vittles for shrimps, crabs, and octopuses.

For this challenge create something inspired by the deep sea and abyssal zone life and geological characteristics.

Feel free to ask questions about this challenge of the GameMaster, Challenge Dacascos or Independent Referee in this thread.

Begin and end the project in this month.

Challenge (Technical): SIZE MATTERS

With all due respect to Yoda (and to men everywhere), size does matter. Size affects the form something can take and the forces that act on it. For example, the size of an ant lets it take the form it does; if an ant were the size of a person, it wouldn’t be able to hold itself up. Similarly, an atom and a solar system may appear to have similar forms, but they are governed by vastly different forces.

Your challenge this month is to craft something at two different scales. You must use the same pattern for both items. The pattern should be changed as little possible (instead change yarn and needle/hook size), although minor adjustments for proportion (e.g., shorter sleeves and wider neck opening for a baby sweater) are acceptable. The components of the two items should be at the same scales as the items (e.g., the number of stitches should be the same in both items, or the number of plies should be the same in both yarns). Buttons, zippers, beads, sequins, etc. should be matched to the scales as closely as possible, but need not match exactly.

The scales of the two items must differ by at least a factor of two (i.e., the big item must be at least twice the size of the small item; the items would have a ratio of at least 1:2). Scales should be determined using linear measurements (e.g., height or circumference); spinners should use wraps per inch.

One of the two items must be begun and finished this month. The other item can have been begun and finished at any point. However, the two items must be photographed together.

Challenge (Intellectual): HAVE A PIECE OF PI

Most people are familiar with the concept of Pi. There is something quite magical about Pi. Take ANY sized circle. Create a ratio of the diameter to the circumference and you will get Pi.

π = C/D

Pi is also equal to the ratio of any circle’s area to the square of its radius.

π = A/r²

Not only is Pi an irrational number, but it is also a transcendental number. The decimal representation of Pi never ends nor repeats.

π = 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510…

Pi has been calculated to over a TRILLION decimal places and still no end or repeating sequence has been found!

Your challenge this month is to somehow demonstrate the concept or some aspect of Pi in a project. This can be literal, theoretical or symbolic. Creativity is encouraged!