Third scarf and beyond

Well, I went shopping for nicer yarns. Clearly, I’m going to do this a lot, so I should be using better stuff. I warped the loom with Cascade 220 fingering and Crystal Palace mohair/silk, and then wove with the same mixture. It’s amazing – super soft and fluffy and great.

C got me a loom stand as well and wow, having the loom at a good height for sitting and weaving makes a huge difference. I wove most of this scarf on C’s drive home, which was just a little more than an hour. The loom is 32″ wide, though, which wasn’t so big when it was sitting on my sewing table, but which is HUGE when it’s in the middle of my craft room floor. This means I’ll have to hurry up and get rid of the big futon and the IKEA chair and put in a nice daybed. (I’ve picked one out at IKEA; I just need to get rid of the futon.)

Here’s the third scarf.

Open weave on loom

Drying full length

Finished on the table

Drying close up

Fabulous, isn’t it?

What should I do next? I’ve three yarn options. The mixed purples would be pillow covers, I think, in a plaid color pattern or something, the green stripes would be an attempt to see how the same stripes work as warp and weft, and the green and yellow cotton would be weft for an attempt at kitchen towels, with crochet cotton as warp.

fourth warp worsted purples

fourth warp green stripes

fourth warp cottons

What do you think?

SongBird

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Second scarf

I immediately warped the loom for a second scarf, but I didn’t get what I expected from the yarn. I used self-striping yarn in the weft and plain white yarn in the warp. I didn’t realize the yarn was self-striping – I’d thought it was mixed-multi-color. In the end, each of the colors in the weft yarn were nice, but only individually, not when mixed into strong stripes.

Yarns

Finished wavy edges

Finished close up

Finished

See, not as nice as the first one, not at all. So I overdyed it!! I used Black Cherry Koolaid, which is an excellent, cheap permanent dye for animal fibers. (I used to teach elementary school kids how to knit and the first class was always Dyeing The Yarn!)

I like it much more now.

Scarf in color

Colored water

First dyejob close

I didn’t think it was dark enough after one dyeing, so I added more Koolaid!

 Second dyejob close

It’s great, now. The stripes are sort of shadowy, and it smells delightfully of Artificial Cherry. Yum.

SongBird

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New LOOM!

So, C got me a loom for Christmas, did I say?? I’m really excited – I’ve wanted a loom for ages, but I kept resisting, because I really don’t need another hobby and I wasn’t sure I’d have room. However, I finally gave in and I’m so glad.

First scarf

First scarf in the sun

I set it up very soon after Christmas and have woven three scarves! I could have made more, but I didn’t like the second one so I kept putting it off. The first one is made of an acrylic Lion Brand yarn, and it’s quite startlingly lovely. I want to do something like this with nicer wool.

First warp actual weaving

First warp

First warp weaving

Isn’t it lovely?

SongBird

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First Day of School

Winter quarter started on Monday. I have really long days on Monday and Wednesday – I’m in school from 9:20 am (Organic Chemistry lab) until 8:50pm (Principles of Genetics “discussion”, which I think means lab).

There are two gaps in the day on Mondays and Wednesdays – a 1.5 hour one between morning lab and lecture, then a two hour gap between my morning classes and afternoon ones. I’m planning on using the second to go to the gym – but I probably won’t start until next week: I’ve a cold and I don’t think it’s a good idea now. Breathing is hard enough as is! For this week, I’ll be staying in the library, reading and studying.

There’s another two hour gap on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which will be filled with studying and panic, as I seem to have inadvertently ended up in five (5) classes this quarter.

!!!

Two of them I’d been waitlisted for and, um, I appear to have gotten into both. This is good – one is Basic Criminal Investigation and the other is SF Bay Area History, which I didn’t expect much of, but which has turned out to be really cool!

So, this leaves me with Organic Chemistry, Principles of Genetics (much harder than I’d expected), Intro to Programming (and its lab course, the next day), Basic Criminal Investigation, and SF Bay Area History.

Five.

I’m insane.

The history class is a hybrid class – not at all what I was expecting. For the first half of the quarter, we’ll be meeting in the classroom and discussing articles about local history. Then, for the second half of the class, we’ll NOT meet in person, but instead we’ll be writing a blog about researching a piece of local history that we choose! I’m looking forward to this! I’ve a couple of topics already in mind, but I’m not sure which I’ll choose in the end.

Regardless, I’m going to have a LOT of work this quarter. I think I’ll need to get a lot more coffee.

*sigh*

And knitting. Always knitting.

Mismatched colors

SongBird

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Little Drawings

Flower aceo

Recently I participated in an online gift exchange – candy and books!  I got some great, interesting candies and I got a book I’m really looking forward to reading by one of my favorite authors, Patricia McKillip.  I got Winter Rose (that’s a Goodreads link), and I’m bringing it to school with me tomorrow to read during some of the time I have between classes.

One of the things I included in the packages I sent out was a little drawing.  Well, there are four total – one for each of the packages I sent.  They’re ACEO’s; 2.5″x3.5″ cards just right for sharing little bits of art.

Flower aceo Flower aceo Flower aceo

What sorts of art do you like?

SongBird

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Cheater Chocolate Croissants

I love to bake, but I don’t see a reason to make puff pastry by hand (not right now, at least).  So, while my honey was working from home for the week before Christmas, I wanted to make us a treat.  These worked out really well.

All you need is puff pastry, chocolate chips (but you could use any good chocolate you want) (oh, and imagine if you put in peanut butter with the chips!), an oven set to 400F, a baking pan with parchment paper or non-stick spray, or a silicone mat, and a set of happy mouths to fill.

Roll out the puff pastry until it’s as big as it’ll get, scatter the chips (or other filling – this would work with fruit preserves, or nut butters, or ham-and-cheese, or …) down the center third of the pastry, fold the two edges over the filling and turn the whole thing over, cut it into four or five slices and press the cut edges closed.  Bake them at 400F for about 20 minutes, or until they’re done.  Eat while warm, or cold, or however you like.  Delicious!

Chocolate Croissants ingredients

Chocolate Croissants Step One

Chocolate Croissants Step Two

Chocolate Croissants Step Three

Chocolate Croissant Step Four

Oh, and don’t believe any cats who say they’ve never eaten ever and that you should feed them all the fish in the fridge.  They’re lying.

Chocolate Croissant Cat Face

SongBird

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All New Year!!

Mugs of fizzy

Well, it’s 2014!!  A whole new year in which to be creative, make mistakes, be silly and try new things.  And study, omg.

I don’t know that I want to make Resolutions for the year – they tend to be honored more in the breach, as it were.  There are things I’d like to concentrate on, in this coming year, but I don’t want to have hard and fast Resolutions.  Maybe I’ll do something along the lines of Statements of Intent.  That sounds good, doesn’t it?  Within the week, then, I’ll have a list of Statements of Intent.

We had a good New Year night, with a bottle of good fizzy, a plate of cheese and crackers, and a nice kiss!

Now, I’ve got to run and get some last minute writing done, but I’ll be back in the next couple of days.

SongBird

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Signage

My college is primarily a science-based school. There are a few Liberal Arts degrees, but mostly, it turns out BSNs and scientists. I fit right in. One of my favorite parts, though, is the signs in the Science Department.

Signs on campus laser
This never fails to give me the giggles. Remaining eye, indeed.

Signs on campus radioactive
They’re not kidding. There are many radioactive and other dangerous things in the locked rooms. Be careful!

Signs on campus mr wizard
I’ll have to remember to get a picture of the magazine cover with the Corks and Forks experiment! It’s a riot. I’m sure kids learned a lot from it.

Signs on campus biotech
And this is what I keep looking at, when I feel overwhelmed by all my classes.

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New Microwave!

Last week, our microwave made the most frightening CRACK sound and stopped working. After a few days research, we bought a new one!

Microwave on stove Here’s what it looked like, mid installation! The installation template was wrong, which caused a lot of frustration – C is good at technical stuff, so having to fight the microwave was annoying. Anyway, it spent a happy night resting on the stovetop before it was all the way installed.

Microwave installed And here it is, all installed and shiny. It’s so much better than the old one. Which is surprising to me, as the old one was the first microwave I ever really had. I’d never lived with one before, so all the things it could do were sort of amazing to me. THIS one has all sorts of nifty pre-sets. We’ve used the re-heat one and I’m looking forward to trying the others.

Microwave box with friend And this is what we found as soon as we turned around … well, what else would you expect to find in a new box?

SongBird

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Toby’s Sweaters

When I met C, just a bit more than five years ago, I met him just before his birthday. I gave him a teddy bear (which I named Toby) and knit it a sweater – a Gansey sweater, because he’s from a part of England to which Ganseys are native. (One of many, yes, but still.)

This is Toby, in that sweater.

Toby in the Gansey

Toby in the Gansey

Isn’t he cute? I used hearts and anchors, because I was already in love with C, even though we hadn’t discussed anything but being friends.

The next year, C and I were together and happy, but he doesn’t like birthday gifts, so I made Toby another sweater.

Toby in the loose fair isle vest.

Toby in the loose fair isle vest.

I used small fair-isle patterns and made the vest loose, so Toby would be comfortable. It was a bit too loose, possibly, but Toby didn’t seem to mind.

Toby's a grandpa.

Toby’s a grandpa.

Then, the third year, I thought it would be funny to make a Grampa Sweater for Toby. You know the type, “fisherman’s rib”, wide shawl collar, leather buttons? I think he’s pretty adorable in this one.

Cables on Toby.

Cables on Toby.

Then, last year, I made a dark grey cabled sweater with built-in pockets. Toby looked very snappy, if I do say so myself.

Toby isn't Norwegian.

Toby isn’t Norwegian.

This year I made a sweater in the Norwegian style – I had such fun designing the stars and the whole thing. I steeked the armholes and the neck shaping – it’s just a fun sweater. Plus, he looks dashing in his ski sweater, doesn’t he?

I wonder what I’ll make next year.

SongBird

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