Sunday, February 13, 2011

Back from the yarn grave

I was feeling guilty/bad about my artistic output these last couple of years since I started knitting. I haven't painted or touched clay in quite a while. The new kiln remains a virgin. However, when I did an analysis of my knitting photos and crunched some numbers, my output for the last 36 months is kinda impressive, even if I do say so myself:

Dishcloth/washcloth/kitchen towel: 28

Medieval bags: 14

Hats: 10

Fingerless mitt pairs: 7

Cowl-scarves: 3

Long rectangular scarves: 3

Headbands: 3

Baby blankets: 2

Triangular shawls: 2

One sock.:-)

One sushi shaped catnip toy. :-)

Also 3 crocheted potholders and one crocheted bathmat.

Currently on the needles are a custom-designed medieval bag and my First Scarf project that's been languishing since I've been doing all this other stuff. That's it up above in the picture though it's about 4' long now.

Somewhen I'm going to make a hat and mitts for myself. :-) and that promised 12th Night prezzie that's still in the percolation phase.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

One skein of everything!

Anyone who's seen my flickr site the last couple of months knows I've lost it with regard to yarn. I can't get enough of the stuff. All sizes, all colors, all fibers. I seem to have lost all ability of discernment, I don't care, gimme gimme gimme. My new goal is "one skein of everything!"
Here are some of my favorite online vendors:

Knit Picks
ab-soooooo-lutely dead cheap wool & alpaca. their "wool of the andes" for less than $2/skein is just incredible. I can't wait to felt with it.

Little Knits
I find their website a little weird, but look thru the text on the front page for hidden "promo code" deals like free shipping. use the search tab to search by fiber if fishing thru the left sidebar gets tedious. I learned the joys of alpaca/silk blend from these folks.

Direct mill supplier. Even cheaper than knit picks but since they're canadian, keep your order to under $200 or you'll have to go thru customs. Their full bag deals bring some yarns into the less than $2/skein as well. I bought a bunch of their "highland bulky" for felting projects (100% peruvian wool for less than $3/skein!).

Fabulous Yarn
I adore silk and FY's selection/price on "Artyarns Regal Silk Yarn" is the best around. and the stripey artyarn ultramerino sock stuff. yummy!
At first glance, they appear to be "all acrylics" but look closer. I got great prices on alpaca, books and tools.
Knitting Warehouse
Splurge on Patons wool.

Got Yarn
Better price on Regal silk but selection is very limited. kind of a remainder place, but seconds is fine by me!

Yarn Country
Lots of variety.
Jimmy Beans Wool
Great customer service.
Simply Socks Yarn Co.
I like browsing the sale stuff.

Yarn Market ( and Bargain Yarn, their seconds house.
Yarn Market has good prices on Noro and Crystal Palace (love that Fjord stuff!)
Bargain Yarn has nice stuff but you have hunt a bit since it is discontinued/remaindered/oddball. check out their "Imperfect Books" section for good book deals.
All About Yarn
Local boutique with online presence. Somewhat strange selection, decent prices.
Great prices on Cascade 220!
My faves for the basic big yarn places (Lion, Red Heart, etc.) are Addicted to Crafts ( and Jo-Ann ( Jo-ann's often offers free shipping in that upfront rotating display space. Wait for it to roll around and then click on box to capture the code. As much as I like the specialty small-producer wools, Lion brand wool & wool-ease is really great stuff.
and then there's my ombre/variegated acrylic fetish, but let's not discuss it. :-)

and last but not least, Not only does Jo-ann sell thru amazon but a bunch of other small suppliers you might not have heard of do as well. I got a full set of chinese bamboo doublepointed needles for $20 (5 needle sets in 14 sizes) and a full range of 16" circulars for $20 too.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Yarn makes cats crazy

Bear with me on this leap. Yarn makes my cats crazy. Not just because they can't play with the "string" (...see that shoelace, Sparky, that's your string, this here $45/skein silk is my string...) but because Flexall 454 makes my alpha kitty insane. Like catnip-on-acid insane.

With the help of some good friends (cough, enablers) I learned how to knit in December. Spent January messing up samples, er, perfecting my craft. Finally knocked out my first piece, a recreation of a medieval pouch in late February (see pic).

Now I've got knitter's elbow. so I used some ointment. Flexall is so potent it makes my eyes water, but for aches and pains (like my "old embroidery injury" which is the back strain I did at July Coronation 1994 which ocassionally acts up during serious bouts of sewing and/or camping) it really helps.

The problem is Ramona thinks the stuff is candy. I hid it from her the last time I used it and in the process inadvertantly hid it from myself. I spent the weekend wandering around moaning about my elbow until I found the stuff a little while ago. Now the darned cat is sitting on the computer desk snoofing my elbow and trying to get me to sit still. She wants to eat the stuff and it can't be good for a cat's insides so I keep shooing her away. No such luck.

But now my elbow feels better at least so back to the Obligatory First Scarf project.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Yarn mania continues

Goddess help me. I want to learn how to knit. Not like I need another darn craft (no pun intended). Dropped serious cash in Molehill Farm on silk & cotton last week. Spent about the same on knitting needles and yarn for knitting today (as if all the other yarn in the house weren't somehow good enough for knitting... sheesh). Warning everyone, there may be a potholder or scarf in your future. Just say thank you before donating it to charity.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Art supply fetish

Hello my name is Friday and I'm addicted to art supplies.

I was originally going to admit to just having a brush fetish (more on that later) but I think the larger issue is art supplies in general (not to mention in private).

It's all Crayola's fault. If their crayons aren't a gateway drug to art supply addiction, I don't know what is. Remember the 64 pack with the sharpener? (insert Homer Simpson-esque donut drooling here) or was it 128? I don't remember, I just know that graduating from the standard 8 pack to the bigger carton was heaven. I loved all the colors but especially the metallics and the sharpener. Then came the year of grating up crayon stubs and melting them into blocks in the sun. Wax art has never been the same since (and neither was the picnic table out back).

And then there were the containers and containers of cheap oval pan watercolors. and the crappy brushes that went with them. Maybe it was Grandma's nightly reading of The Color Kittens ( during the summer that did me in. Woof, there's a memory. I can even smell the book.

My brush fetish started in college. Working in the scene shop of the theatre I used big huge 4" and 6" brushes to laydown background colors and then worked in 1" and 2" increments for finer detail. I loved working big and I still would if I had the mechanical paint frame that the theatre at my junior college has (someday when I can design my own studio...) In grad school the acrylic painting bug hit and I smashed colors using 1/2", 3/4", and 1" flats into the canvas panels. Next to pell work, that's an awfully good workout. Not so good for the carpet, but that's what dropclothes are for.

In the late 90s of my calligraphy and illumination revolution, watercolor brushes for goauche work were rounds in the 2, 1, 0, 00, and 000 range. I bought my first Winsor-Newton Series 7 in 2002. That was completely decadent.

Nowadays, my bead and ceramic work in underglazes, glazes, and maiolica have me working small. The 20/0 brushes I bought last month aren't fine enough. The cats have been acting nervous as I eyeball their whiskers looking for finer and finer brushes. The Dick Blick catalog came the other day so they are saved by new lines of Kolinsky sable to droooool over.

What really fuels the addiction to art supplies, especially brushes, is being sold on the idea that *each craft must have its own set of brushes*. So around the house there are: watercolor brushes, brushes for gouache/scribal work, brushes for laying down gold & gold sizing, acrylic brushes, underglaze brushes, glaze brushes, maiolica brushes, latex brushes for house paint, brushes for pebeo/glass painting, and brushes to clean other brushes.

oh, and let's not forget hairbrushes, toothbrushes, bathtub brushes, the clay-out-from-under-the- fingernails brushes, lint brushes, and cat brushes.

Next time: the storage box addiction.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My art/life/everything blog

Well here goes the art/life/everything blog adventure. Above is this week's card art. Inspired by Maori necklace carvings. It's the first drawing piece I've done in a long time that I just plain liked. Didn't have to analyze what's wrong or apologize for its flaws, I just accepted it, as is, in all its whateverness. Kewl huh? :-)