Thursday, October 29, 2009

Swift 2

Two more images of the swift discussed in the previous post.

Swift 2

Two more images of the swift discussed in the previous post.

My new yarn swift

These are pictures of my new hand-crafted yarn swift. It was so much easier to ball that yarn off the swift than off a chair back (or my poor husband's hands!!)

The swift was crafted of figured Australian cypress. I love this wood! Found 2 planks of it purely by accident several years ago & have saved them ever since for that 'something really special' project.

::sigh:: Well, I used the longer plank for the swift ... and what a poor choice it was! Not that the wood wasn't lovely! It was!!! And so is the swift ...... but ....... this project really needs a wood with a very tight, straight grain. Even pine would be a better choice than the highly figured wood I used. And I could have used a piece of walnut - my husband offered me the choice. Wish now that I had taken him up on it - that would have been a far better choice of wood.

Anyhow, it does work. Just fine, thankyouverymuch. LOL

The base is an inexpensive lazy susan we picked up at a yard sale - I think we paid like maybe a quarter? a dime? Not much, that's for sure. I cut a piece of wood to fit inside the lip, then painted & stenciled it. The stenciling doesn't show up real well, but it is a maple leaf, an oak leaf & acorns, all accented with antique copper paint. The outer design is freehand - I just wanted to be able to see the edge of the base as the swift turns.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

HLBOE 2nd Term Swap Box

Goodies from my swap box for the 2nd term of Hogwarts Little Bit of Everything swap .... I got so spoiled!! I'm modeling my new Dragon Mitts ..... the other picture shows everything except the sampler box of Stash Chai teas ... *that* is sitting in the kitchen because I've already started enjoying them. LOVE the Double Spice Chai - I'm just going to have to break down & see if I can order it by the box online, I guess. I know I can't get in the stores around here.

Let's see ... there's the 4 yards of fabric that everything else is sitting on .... 2 skeins of Cascade 100% wool yarn in wine & deep mustard gold (Gryffs prefer red & gold, you know ...... ), a pumpkin spice candle, 2 fabric covered tubes for storing &/or transporting DPNs, the pen of Aleene's Tacky glue (LOVE that stuff - and she says I can refill the pen, too!), and just one of the wonderful hand-crafted dragon stamps I got ... along with the recipe to make the 'glue' for the back of them so you can really use them on packages (unfortunately, the PO will not accept them in lieu of 'real' postage ::sighs::).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wee Tiny Sock Swap, October

I received the most wonderful package from my October partner for the Wee Tiny Sock Swap on Ravelry.

The swap package contents are displayed in front of the Welcome sign I just finished, down in the wood shop.

There are TWO tiny socks, one in Halloween colors, the other is pink with the ribbon for Cancer Awareness month. TWO post-it notebooks, one with a mum on it, the other for Cancer Awareness month (this one with its own pen, even!). Handcrafted soap. Sitting on the soap is a very special stitch marker, filled, I'm told, with 'magic glitter' that ensures I will never again have a dropped stitch. Guess I'm not using it correctly, because I've dropped several stitches since I got it ::looks sad:: There are also 2 sets of stitch markers - both very pretty but I'm told the pumpkins are my partner's very first attempt at polymer clay .... and they came out just awesome!

Then there's the teeny pumpkin candle (it uses tea lites which can be changed out!). She rounded out (pun intended! LOL) the box with a round tin of raspberry tea bags, a skein of yarn (love the colors in it!) and some round pumpkin buttons.

Thanks so much for a great swap!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

HSS 6 has started!

We've got our partners ..... I've got a fellow Gryffindor!! Already have yarn in my stash for this swap. Just have to confirm what size sock she needs so I don't send a pair that doesn't fit (been there, didn't *do* it, got it .... it sucks!)

Well, think I'll go stalk my partner awhile :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Curly Australian Cypress

Several years ago, while living in Florida, I had a lucky find ..... 2 boards, 1 approximately 36" in length & 1 approximately 24" in length, of Curly Australian Cypress. Not a variety of tree, but rather a specialized cut which can be gotten from many tree varieties, 'curly' in this case refers to wood grain that comes from an area of the tree near a large branch, where the wood grain doesn't grow straight, as it does in the larger area of the trunk or branches. In these areas, because the wood is growing in more than one direction - i.e. both the trunk & 'branching out' towards the branch, the grain becomes more .... mixed up, confused ... in other words, 'curly'. This is not the same as such woods as 'Curly Maple' where the grain always grows in this manner.

Boards like these are usually at premium prices, simply because they aren't available all the time - you can only cut them when the tree has that grain pattern rather than its normal grain pattern. The 3rd, 4th & 7th picture are of the longer board. The 5th & 6th picture are of the shorter board.

Anyhow, I've saved these pieces for the perfect project ... and, finally, the longer piece is being used to craft a yarn swift with 36" long cross-arms which will be mounted on a lazy-susan base. Once combined with the yarn winder I want for Yule this year, this will allow me to both turn skeins into balls and to turn balls of naked (i.e. undyed) yarn back into skeins after they are dyed.

Sounds pretty silly, yes? Turning commercially balled yarn back into skeins .... but, see, I'm learning how to dye my own yarn - and you can't dye it while it is in a ball. Just can't 'cause the dye can't penetrate all those layers of yarn. So you have to un-ball it, turn it back into long, loose, lovely skeins that will allow you to access the yarn to color it.

*Then* of course, you must turn all that lovely dyed yarn back into balls! So back on the swift it will go, and the ball winder will turn it back into balls for me. Well, once I own one ... that's something I will purchase, rather than attempt to make it myself.

The first two pictures are of the Kumihimo stand my husband & I crafted from a piece of the Curly Aus. Cypress. I chose the area that had the largest flaw in it - partly because it added so much character to the top, and partly because the flaw made that piece functionally unusable for about any other project you can name. But doesn't it look wonderful in this piece?

The first picture shows the top much better, but you can't see the bottom, which is made of a square of red oak. The second picture of the stand is very dark - sorry about that.