Friday, June 30, 2006

Traditional Felting Video

This is very inspirational. I better start stockpiling wool! It is 15 minutes long so be patient with the initial loading. Apparently this is one of the few remaining felt rug makers in Iran. Sadly, a dying art form.

Traditional Felting Video

The Knitting Garter Carriage World Cup

Well, I am cheating on my Knitting World Cup project, and besides, who can really knit much while checking out the action! Normally I am not that interested in the sports on da tube, however things like Olympics and now the World Cup going on right now are fun and exciting. I can see all folks all over the world crouching over TV sets.....all day long. I do not have TV reception nor cable at home (Netflix only here) but have been watching elsewhere at times.

Anyway, back to the hobby related theme. I am cheating by using an accessory to my knitting machine, called a garter carriage. It knits away on it’s own! I am setting it up to be knitting little swatches of patterning with a few inches of ribbing at one end. These have been then sewn up by moi and are the cutest darn “cellphone bags“. My friends and coworkers are hounding me since I started wearing mine around my wrist last week. They pass cell phones out like candy at one of my jobs, so I have two now..uggh....

It’s really a test of the various patterns my Brother Knitting Machine (electronic 940) can produce. So far I have about 15 of ‘em. Sorry no pix-(may add some later). Currently they are flying out the door to friends and coworkers as fast as I can sew them up. I have to use the regular / handcarriage to knit about 600 rows of an i-cord, that is then crocheted into a thicker cord, which is then the drawstring.

Spinning has taken a back seat and is still in it’s rudimentary stages for me. Spindle and Ashford Traditional have lots of competition, between wet- and needle-felting, dyeing yarn and roving, washing wool and handcarding. And the machine knitting. Handknitting still abounds from using time otherwise wasted waiting in doctor’s offices.( As previously mentioned, I am a Registered Nurse for an Instutution ( now becoming group home based) and take folks unable to do so for themselves to MDs or the ER many times per week, among other duties of course) I am doing socks from yarn I dyed by hand, on matching “blanks” of machine knitted yarn that is then reknitted. Self striping! No ends! I have a link to the technique elsewhwere...

Anyway ..icanspin links were a nice starting point and of course the guild meetings and helpful members got me going. The tip to spin a little bit everyday has fallen by the way side for now; I better check these out and get going again!

Find links to videos showing
how to spin here:

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Humorously surfing the web

Click here for: GIMME YOUR STUFF

This is so funny. Unfortunately most of the exchanges being mentioned on the site are food related. I am rather a healthy (read: fresh is best) food nut so will be offering..FIBERS! I’ll throw in some chocolate, I have a humungous collection of yarn -ends, skeins and of course wool in various states of washing, dyeing, carding and spinning. The GIMME YOUR STUFF site was mentioned on a fiber related list I am on, so this is my post to OFFER. I’ll also include Northern California related items like postcards from Art shows, local newspapers (gotta love the personals) and anything else that I can gather up starting today. Maybe some healthy type of treats too.

Offering for spinners:
Raw wool from sheep only used for petting LOL (heh heh heh) Seriously, these are NICE. If you like to do the sheep to shawl bit. Or felting!
Washed wool from same- grey, white and black with some brown tips

Offering for knitters:
Let’s talk! Lots of wool, cotton and mystery yarn in a wide range of colors.
Pattern magazines

Happy Crafting and hope to have a fun person from overseas exchange with me. Any musk ox farmers? Camel drivers ...Just kidding (maybe!)

Sunday, June 18, 2006


I love knitting hats for fulling. I used to call it felting -until I became interested in TRUE FELTING, which is taking wool (and yes, sometimes other fibers or fabric) and magically transforming it into an item. Just kidding. Felting is an Ancient Technique and apparently predates any other fiber related technique for creating “things”.

And I thought it was cool when Judy (the nice lady from Utah who sold me my first spindle and gave me my first lesson at Stitches) told me about the pioneers collecting fur/hair/wool whatever from bushes and made yarn and thread via spindles, as they walked West. Then clothing was made etc..Maybe. Anyway felting has quite a history and Dang, yet another thing to do with fibers. I DO have access to lots of wool right off da sheep/ goat (some shorn last week too) and the rabbits are angora too. Can’t believe it; the wool is just stored! I am the only taker! (Dirt Cheap too). They DO have a spinning wheel out at demos but never will be able to spin very much of their wool at that pace, so my treasure is not going to have any significant dent put in it. The demos happen when school kids come around to see the Textile Art Center. Right now they even have rescue silkworms ( from school projects that got out of hand). I wonder.......anyway, maybe you catch my drift as to all the temptations around!

Anyway- been washing and dyeing and carding (by hand) and spinning..and now felting has entered the picture too. I got some great mystery wool Brown Sheep Mill ends at a great price, that I carded up a bit to fluff up (a bit comopressed from shipping) and my second project was done! Nice folks there assured me Brown Sheep uses an assortment of wools, likely merino, Romney, rambouilliet, etc.. I got a set of nice green and natural whites and greys so I could do some felting with less “work” beforehand.

Which is funny to me since the reason I like the idea of diving into all this is due to the “sheep to end product“ focus i am current enthralled with.

The first project was a little dog blanket for the new puppy in the family ( I have a cute sweet smart pitbull named Kona for a “grandpuppy“). Sheep to blankie!

Anyway, I enlarged to 135% an on-line pattern piece (called a resist) for a set of baby booties from 3-D felting technique page. The technique was great to get into but no self respecting baby would keep those things on for more than a millisecond. I will have to knit a little top for it that will draw it in and secure it from the little kickers.

Felting is way cool! I am teaching myself how to pull it off so there is no seam. A hat will be next ( maybe a cloche first then one with more of a brim.


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Salad / Recipe of the month

AW Schucks! I submitted a recipe and !viola~ My online Knitting Machine Club’s newsletter showed up with this!

Recipe Of TheMonth:

Claudia’s Salad

This one’s a real crowd pleaser and helps folks get
“creative” with a salad recipe:

Disclaimer: no exact formula is required, most of the
ingredients are "to taste".

Salad fixin's: finely chop a ratio of 3/4 Chinese cabbage,
to 1/4 Red Cabbage. (3/4 cup per person is a good estimate)

Add as much as desired:
Finely chopped green onion, fresh basil, parsley or any
other herb combo.
Celantro is really good but some folks don't like it, so leave off for "potluck".
Tangerine sections can be put in as much desired, or cut
up oranges (if tangerines are offseason)
Daikon radish (I personally love daikon and add plenty to
mine) (Any vegetables you like could be added, in season etc.)

Dressing: (amount also approx- make as much as you need in these proportions)
Take 1/8-1/4 cup of roasted sesame oil. Mix with approx. 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar (seasoned rice wine vingar is ok too)
and 1/4-1/3 cup orange juice or concentrate.
If this looks like too much, you can save some for another time!

Crunchy parts: Depending on size of salad, take one or
more "top ramen" noodle packs, break into very small
pieces and DRY (no oil) roast in a hot iron skillet until
lightly browned. (Stirring at all times is the key to an
even roast and no burn) Remove from pan. Take the
same pan, getting it hot again, put in 1-2 teaspoons of
salt, allowing this to roast for awhile (2-4 minutes is ok, it won’t burn)
stirring occasionally, take out and set aside, preferably in
a mortar and pestle. In same pan, getting medium hot
again, quickly put in 10 tsp of sesame seeds (to each
tsp of salt). They will (if hot enough) immediately begin to pop like
popcorn, so stir well and shake pan with lid on for a
SHORT TIME, roasting to light brown color, checking
and stirring to prevent burning--about 1-2 minutes. Grind
salt and sesame together to coarse level-- some whole
seeds are fine- with mortar and pestle.(This is called
GOMASIO and is a very yummy, traditional Japanese food.)
Mix with the roasted noodles. Salt may also be omitted,
if necessary.

Assemble: Mix salad greens (reds too ;->), citrus and other vegetable
ingredients in a bowl. Immediately before serving,
mix/dress sparingly with the well-shaken dressing.
Sprinkle, for the top layer, with the noodle/sesame salt
mixture. DO NOT MIX. Serve with the crispy layer on
top. Best to dress and serve only enough to serve within
15 minutes, as the noodles stay crisper that way.

ENJOY! This is ALWAYS a potluck hit!

About Me

Marin County, California, United States
I work for 2 non-profits in Marin County CA (near SF) that serve the Developmentally Delayed. I was introduced to weaving and knitting at a very young age. Over the years I have always had knitting on hand. There was a time where I was severely chastised for being so old fashioned, so it is great to see the upsurge in the home arts now going on! I have expanded into machine knitting; fortunately there is a great Guild nearby that has really been great. Spinning Fibers is a new thrust as well, and felting has creeped in too. If only I had more time...