Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tour de Fleece Recap

If Tour de Fleece was like its cycling equivalent, then I crashed out of the race in the final week. Luckily, there is no permanent injury, just a case of real life concerns getting in the way of finishing. Still, I'm happy with my final four skeins of yarn and that fact that I tackled a new spinning technique this month! Tour de Fleece is definitely something I will be doing again.

In other news, you may have noticed the new look of my blog header. I found this great how-to via CRAFT and was inspired to update my header imagery. It was very simple to put together--in fact, the hardest part of the whole thing was choosing the photos! It feels good to do a little cleaning up on my blog, even if I'm still getting used to the new look.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The End of an Era

It's been an awesome Harry Potter week for me, mostly because the final Potter movie was released and I thought it was wonderful. Part of my joy in seeing this movie came from dressing up as a Ravenclaw student and having a special Ravenclaw drink at the theater (blueberry italian soda). My first viewing experience was so good that I'm thinking about seeing the movie in the theater again, minus the costume this time.

The other cool Potter thing that made my week was this set of awesome comic recaps. I love them so hard. Because the illustrator can't sell them due to copyright issues, she is offering the images as free downloads with a request for donations. I happily sent her some money and proceeded to make copies of all 8 images to hang on my wall. I'm not sure what my husband's reaction to this plan will be.

It's hard for me to feel sad that the Potter era is over, mostly because I'm still active in the Knit/Crochet House Cup on Ravelry and am looking forward to the launch of Pottermore later this year. Still, it will be interesting to see how much longer Pottermania lasts now that it is not consistently being fueled by new books and movies.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tour de Fleece

I'm participating in Tour de Fleece for the first time this year. For those of you who haven't heard of this event, Tour de Fleece is a spinning challenge that corresponds with the annual Tour de France race. The goal is to spin a little yarn (or a lot of yarn) each day of the race. The entire event is run over in the Tour de Fleece Ravelry group, where there are teams, prizes, and lots of opportunities to show off your daily spinning.

I spent the first week of my Tour spindle-spinning a Sheepish Creations roving. I love using this particular spindle because its heavier weight keeps it in motion for longer periods of time. That being said, I feel like I did a fair amount of spinning in the first 7 days and don't have a lot of yardage to show for it.

On Tour days 8 and 9, I got out my Louet S10 to try something more challenging: core spinning a Hobbledehoy batt. I've been wanting to try this technique for ages and it turned out to be just as wonderful as I anticipated, with the small exception that my singles are pretty energized. Next time, I will take a little twist out of the core (KnitPicks Palette in this case) prior to core spinning, which should help keep the spin more balanced.

I promise another Tour de Fleece update later this month, complete with photos of all the skeins I spun during the event.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


You can always tell a serious crafter by looking at their favorite electronic device to see if it is covered in yarn or fabric. I'm not ashamed to admit that I designed a knitted cozy for my iPhone, which has turned out to be quite useful, and I now have a crafty cover for my Kindle. Mark me down as a obsessed serious crafter.

I've been wanting to make a cover for my Kindle for almost a year and a half. My previous storage solution, a yellow mailing envelop, kept off scratches but was definitely not attractive. Enter in a felt sleeve and a pattern for crochet cogs. You may recognize the yellow yarn and overall color scheme from my recent project, Mama and Baby Imp. What can I say? I had to do something with the leftover yarn and I have an inordinate fondness for olive green.

I think the crochet cogs add a nice steampunky touch to this modern device. Their pattern was fairly straightforward, though I had problems coordinating the cog sizes to be within the dimensions of my Kindle. In the end, I had to use the existing pattern structure to invent the wee cog at the top right (my pattern notes for the wee cog are here). I'm kind of amazed that, knitter as I am, I was able to BS a crochet design.

Between crocheting the cogs, handsewing them onto the felt, and blanket-stitching the felt together, I really enjoyed putting this all together. The enjoyment of the process makes my joy in finally have an attractive cover for my Kindle all the sweeter.