Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

A Craft Post – No, Really!

Filed under: Beading - Confessions of a Chantraphile,Cooking - Folkcat in the Kitchen,Special Events — folkcat at 3:31 pm on Friday, October 20, 2006

And Now, The Real Reason You Come Here

Crafting! Not only that, but an easy to make recipe, and a simple wire crochet craft project!

I mentioned the other day that I was going to a Halloween party on Wednesday night. Truthfully, it was a Samhain gathering, something of a celebration of a New Year and new beginnings. This particular group does a prayer circle, and exchanges gifts.

And at last, one of the secret projects of recent weeks can be revealed. My gifts to the other ladies were these pendants made of Swarovski crystals and seed beads:

Swarovski and Bead Pendants

The pattern was from one of the bead magazines – I can’t remember if it’s Beadwork or Bead & Button. As published, it was meant to make a holiday ornament in the shape of an icosahedron using long bugle beads and seed beads. But if you substitute 4mm bicone Swarovski crystals for the bugle beads, and put a clear round 8mm bead inside before you close it up, you get these cute little balls. I’ve seen them called Temari Ball Pendants before, because they bear a resemblance to the elaborately decorated Japanese thread balls.

We also brought refreshments to share. I alluded to mine the other day, and here is the photo I promised:

Gingersnap, Caramel, and Chocolate Cookies
Gingersnap, Caramel, and Chocolate Cookies

These were quite well received by the circle. There were many loud exclamations of, “Oh, Jen, these cookies are terrible!” and “My god, these are simply awful cookies!” By the end of the evening, they’d been officially dubbed Jen’s Terrible, Awful Cookies.

The concept is simple. You buy some Swedish style gingersnap cookies at the supermarket. There are two brands I usually see – Anna’s, and Carriage Trade. Buy at least one extra box in case of broken cookies. You’ll need two of the gingersnaps for each finished cookie.

Next, from a craft store that has a Wilton Cake Decorating supplies aisle, you want caramel. This is sold in a plastic tub. You gently heat it in the microwave to make a pourable, dippable, spoonable caramel.

Note: “gently” is the operative word there. Follow the instructions on the tub, but be cautious if you decide you need to re-heat to soften the caramel back up again. If overheated, it will bubble over and spread all over your microwave.

Lay out half of the unbroken cookies on some waxed paper or plastic wrap. You want the bottom side of the cookies facing up. Put a dollop of about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of the caramel right in the center of each cookie, then put another cookie on top of the caramel, bottom side down.

You now have a caramel and gingersnap sandwich cookie. These are quite tasty as they are, and you could certainly stop there. But if you want the truly Terrible, Awful experience, you need to go the extra mile.

When you buy the caramel at the craft store, also pick up a bag of milk chocolate melting wafers. You know the stuff – those bags of chocolate discs that you can melt in the microwave to form your own chocolate candies. Following the package instructions, melt enough of the chocolate in a bowl that you’ll be able to dip the gingersnap/caramel sandwich cookies into it.

Cover a cookie sheet or two with waxed paper. No need to be fussy about this, it’s only a surface to set the chocolate-dipped cookies on while they set up.

I like to leave about 1/4 to 1/3 of the cookie uncoated. This gives a clean gingersnap handle to pick it up by, in case you’re fussy about chocolate coated fingers.

Allow the excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl, and maybe even scrape the edge of the cookie a little. You’re going to set the chocolate-dipped cookie down on the waxed paper covered cookie sheets, and if there’s too much chocolate, it will spread out on the paper and maybe stick to the next cookie over.

If you want to decorate these even further for a special occasion, shake on some sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet. For this event, I used a mix of black and purple jimmies with little white ghosts that I found at Target.

I put the cookie sheets in the freezer for about 15 minutes to let the chocolate set up, then I layer them in a storage container or cookie jar with pieces of waxed paper between the layers.

It Was a Costume Party, Too

I sort of copped out. Having been a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), my wedding was in medieval garb, and though I’ve gained weight, I still fit in my wedding dress.

Sorry, no picture of the dress, and I don’t seem to have our wedding picture on this computer yet. I’ll have to fix that.

Edited to add: Aha! Found the wedding photo. My dress is a simple lavendar and pale green weave in an approximation of a late 12th century French style. Gryphon is wearing his fancy velvet court robes.

Folkcat & Gryphon as Elissa and Guillaume, The Wedding Photo

Rather than feel like a total cop-out, though, I made a last minute decision to create a totally new piece for the costume. Having lots of wire of many gauges in the house, plus beads of all sorts, plus multiple sizes of crochet hooks – well, I put it all together and came up with this:

Wire Crochet Crown

Forgive the stern look – do you know how hard it is to take a picture of yourself in the bathroom mirror without getting either the camera or a reflection of the flash?

And here’s a closer look at the work:

Crochet Wire Crown, Detail

I didn’t have any pattern to follow. This was one of those projects where I get a picture in my head, and then manipulate reality until I get there. I can give a general idea of how I worked, though. You’ll need to adjust these instructions as you work to fit your own head and materials.

I used a size I crochet hook. The wire is copper, 22 ga. The stitches are all ordinary crochet stitches – chain, single, and half double – worked carefully to keep the wire from kinking. U.K. readers, take note – I’m referring to the American versions of those stitches. Our “chain stitches” are the same, but where I say “single crochet”, you would say “double crochet”. And for the “half double”, you would use a “half treble”. A great guide to American/English crochet conversions can be found here.

I made a chain stitch band that went around my head at the forehead, leaving a gap of about four inches in the back. I then single crocheted into this for about three inches; half double crocheted until three inches from the other end, then single crocheted to the end of the chain. I cut the wire here, and pulled the tail through the last stitch. (All cut ends got carefully tucked and crimped into the work with a chain nose plier.)

I then strung nine 10mm round fire polish crystal beads onto the 22 gauge copper wire. I attached the end of this wire about six inches from one end of the crown base.

Single Bead Arch: *One single crochet, chain three. Then make a nice loose chain stitch that has one of your beads in it. Chain three more, and skipping one or two stitches, work a single crochet into the base row.* This makes one Single Bead Arch.

Repeat between the “*”s two more times. You now have three Single Bead Arches.

Central Bead Arch: Work another unit just like the Single Bead Accent, only where you put one bead into a loose chain stitch, use three beads in a single chain stitch instead. Skip about three stitches on the base row before working a single crochet to anchor the other end of the Central Bead Arch.

Next, work three more Single Bead Arches. Cut your wire, and pull the tail through your last anchoring stitch before tucking and crimping the end in.

You’ll probably find your crown a little floppy at this point. What I did next was take a 26 gauge wire (thinner than the 22 gauge I crocheted with). Attaching this a little before one of the Single Bead Arches, I then whip stitched across the top edges of all the arches. This stabilizes the top edge, and helps to hold the arches together, so that your crown doesn’t just fall over on your face.

To wear your crown, cut a couple of lengths of ribbon. Attach one to each end of the base row of the crown – I like to double them over and use a lark’s head knot. Position the crown the way you’d like to wear it, and tie the ribbon securely. There should be no need to untie and re-tie the ribbon again – you can now just slip the crown off and on.

Overall, this crown took me about an hour and a half to make – at most. And that’s when I didn’t know what I was doing yet, just making the pattern up as I went. Even a beginner should be able to make one of these in time for that last minute party!


Yeah, I know – I posted an awful lot today, didn’t I? I hope you enjoyed it, though, and I hope you have a great weekend. And those of you lucky enough to be at Rheinbeck – please try to visualize me being there next year. Maybe we can make it happen!

NH Wool Arts Tour, Conclusion: The Wheel Deal

Filed under: Craft Shopping,Shopping Adventures,Special Events,Spinning — folkcat at 2:24 pm on Thursday, October 12, 2006

The final two stops on the Wool Arts Tour were hardly picture worthy. Western View Farm had several vendors under tents in the back yard of a farmhouse; The Fiber Studio had a few vendors selling hand-dyed yarns and personal care items like lotion and soap.

The only story left to tell about took place at The Fiber Studio. Gryphon and I had already examined multiple spinning wheels at Mirage Alpacas, and were beginning to get a feel for what I wanted. At the Fiber Studio, Gryphon decided to stay in the car and rest while I took a look around.

I headed for the wheels on display, and began treadling. And conclusions were reached.

I recognize that every wheel does its job reasonably well, and that wheels that don’t suit me are probably perfect for someone else. The following opinions are purely based on the suitability of the wheels for me, so please don’t take them as a blanket generalization.

There were Kromski wheels. There were Ashford wheels.There was a Louet.

I put my feet to the Kromski treadles. Each Kromski wheel struck me as relatively noisy as it spun. There was a persistent rattle and hum. While many would not be bothered by the low level of noise, I am easily disturbed by extraneous noises in my environment, and I already live in a downtown apartment location with lots of traffic sounds, and fairly noisy neighbors. So Kromski went off my personal list, as I couldn’t tolerate the noise.

I tried the Louet. It was – okay. The footman attached to the wheel so close to the hub that getting it started took a lot of effort. So beginning to treadle tended to be jerky, and getting it to go in the direction of your choice was a little tricky. I’m looking for smooth, easy to operate action – strike the Louet.

I had seen most of the Ashford wheels at Mirage Alpacas, and found treadling them to be a little jerky. Several had treadles small enough to be an uncomfortable fit for my size 10 extra-wide feet. But there was an Ashford Traveller on display at The Fiber Studio, so to be fair, I gave it a try. It seemed to treadle smoothly enough, even changing directions fairly well. But even through my heavy walking shoe soles, I could feel a little *click* in my feet with every step. That would drive me insane as it was – and in use at home, it would be worse, since I’d almost certainly be treadling barefoot 99% of the time. That was the final nail in the coffin for Ashfords for me.

At last, I turned to the remaining wheel in the room – a Lendrum Double Treadle (DT). At a glance, it was apparent this was a well-built piece of woodwork. You know how it is when you’re looking at two nearly identical pieces, same materials, same pattern – yet you can tell immediately which was made by a master of the craft? That’s how it was when I looked at the Lendrum.

I put my feet to the treadles. Good size. Began pumping. Smooth action, the best of any wheel I’d tried that day. Direction changed easily. I listened – only a mere whisper of sound as the wheel whipped around.

The Lendrum also met my criteria for appearance – clean lines, not overly frilly, yet not so Modern Art-ish that you felt it should be in the Guggenheim instead of your living room. Kromski’s had always looked to me like they had too much gingerbread; there are certain Louet models that are so stark as to be outright ugly. I wanted a wheel that would be a pleasure to look at as I worked, since I’d be looking at it a lot.

But did the Lendrum have the features I needed? My desire to spin laceweight demands those capabilities, and my budget insists that whatever wheel I settle on be able to fill my needs for a long, long time. I asked the owner for some documentation I could look at, and she pulled out some pages listing the specifications and the optional add-ons.

The Lendrum as purchased (in the regular package) does not include the Fast Flyer that gives laceweight ratios. The Complete package for $115 more adds both that and the plying head, but doesn’t give a break on the price when you buy the bundle. Since the Fast Flyer only costs about $30, it’s easy for me to add that now, and worry about the plying head later.

I got Gryphon from the car and told him what I’d found – and that I was as sure as I could be that this was the one. He came in with me, and we talked to the owners of the shop.

They said that they had two Lendrum DT’s in stock, and that if they needed to order one from the manufacturer for me it could take six months or longer to come in. But they didn’t want me to lock in my decision until I’ve taken the spinning class at their store at the end of the month. So how do we deal with this – what if it happened that the class confirmed my conviction that the Lendrum is the wheel for me, but they’ve sold both of their stock wheels in the meantime? Not likely to happen, perhaps, but it was still a possibility.

I couldn’t swear that they’d do this for everyone, so please don’t try to make them offer you the same plan. The Fiber Studio does do layaways as a regular policy. But in this case, they insisted that they would let me put money down on the Lendrum, and they’d hold one for me – but that I could change my mind and get a different wheel if, after the class, I felt differently.

How cool is that?

So we plopped a down payment on the counter, and made the Wheel Deal. I have a Lendrum DT in reserve, to be confirmed or not when I take the spinning class, and to be paid in full no later than when Gryphon gets his Christmas bonus at the beginning of December.

There WILL be a wheel in this house before the end of the year.

It gets worse – she’s already got a name. Dizzy Lizzy Lendrum.

I think this spinning thing just might take.

NH Sheep & Wool, Part Three: The Search for the Wheel Truth

Filed under: Craft Shopping,Shopping Adventures,Special Events,Spinning — folkcat at 1:31 pm on Wednesday, October 11, 2006

On to Stop #2 on the Wool Arts Tour, Chauncey Farm in Antrim, NH.

Chauncey Farm Stand

Among the things that caught Gryphon’s eye:

A 700-pound pumpkin;

700 pound Pumpkin

Me, watching a very hungry alpaca;

Hungry Alpaca

The hungry alpaca’s shy, two-tone penmate.

Shy Alpaca

Lots of great vendors at this stop. Great yarn, lovely rovings, fun t-shirts. I don’t recall seeing a spinner sitting and spinning anywhere, though I may be mistaken.

I resisted all the fiber. I was on a mission at this point, after all. I had acquired my drop spindle, and now I wanted to see spinning wheels and talk to their owners. I admired the offerings available at Chauncey Farm, and came away with only a jar of homemade apple jelly (delicious!) and a bumper sticker that says Spin Free or Dye.

Next Stop: Mirage Alpacas

Over the river and through the woods, driving over hill and dale…it takes a while to get to Mirage Alpacas, but it’s worth it.

The only pictures Gryphon took here were of the field of alpacas one passes on the way from your parking spot w-a-a-a-a-y down the road to the entrance. Here’s the best one:

Field of Alpacas

After this, Gryphon got as lost as I did in the examination of spinning wheels and the (friendly) interrogation of their spinners. Mirage Alpacas is a distributor of a few makes of wheel, including Ashfords, and they have a room where many models are set up for test runs. While I didn’t actually spin anything on them, I did get a feel for the true size of each model, how it would sit in relation to my body as I spun at it, and I tried how the treadling felt and how easily one could make the wheel spin in either direction.

Adjacent to this was another large room with many vendors, and almost everyone seemed to be spinning. Almost all of our time at Mirage was spent talking to everyone about their wheels, getting their opinions about the different models.

One vendor had us each sit down at her Majacraft Rose and try the treadling. Amusingly, this was just as a reporter from the Hillsborough Villager newspaper came around taking pictures. He got some good shots of Gryphon pretending that he was actually spinning on the Majacraft. Then I pulled out my Lucite-shaft CD drop spindle and he photographed me spining on that. I think they publish later in the week; he told us that even if they don’t get into the paper, they put additional photos in the gallery at the website.

Other wheels I got to see included the Hitchhiker. It’s a cute little wheel, but not for me. I’m so set on spinning lace weight that there’s no point in my even considering a wheel that isn’t equipped to do that easily.

The one disappointment at Mirage was that the flyer for the Tour had listed demonstrations of a sock-knitting machine, and that wasn’t to be found anywhere. We did, at least, learn why – the woman who would do the demonstrations has been stuck running the Mirage Gift Shop for the last two years, and the sock machine demonstration isn’t supposed to even be listed in the flyer anymore. Ah, well.


The last two stops, and the resolution of the quest for the wheel!

NH Wool Arts Tour – Part Two: Children Rule at The Wool Room at Meadow Brook Farm

Filed under: Craft Shopping,Shopping Adventures,Special Events,Spinning — folkcat at 12:31 pm on Tuesday, October 10, 2006

As I mentioned yesterday, I turned Gryphon loose with the camera during the Wool Arts Tour. His picture taking tapered off as the day wore on, but I still think he took the best shots there were to take.

I decided we would do the Wool Arts Tour “forwards”, from stop #1 to stop #5, because I knew there was a vendor at the first stop that would have the laceweight spindles I wanted. (I showed my purchase yesterday.)

Wool Room Sign

The Wool Room hosted many very interesting vendors and demonstrations.

Spinning Buffalo

This woman, for instance, was spinning buffalo hair. She had baskets of the stuff for touch-and-feel, and brother, was it ever soft! It has a very short staple and may not be the best for a beginner spinner to work with, though she told me that it was what she began with. Apparently, she took up spinning because her family has a buffalo farm. They collect the fur from fences and shrubbery. Not that I can imagine shearing a buffalo – can you?

Walking Wheel

This was one of a couple of great wheels we saw in use on Saturday.

Diagonal Weave Rectangle Shawl Loom

The Spinning Bunny had this interesting loom set up. It’s adjustable in size, and weaves rectangular pieces. A continuous yarn is wound from nail to nail around the frame, somewhat like 70’s style string art, and where it crosses itself it’s woven over-and-under. I imagine this must be fascinating to work with!

Folkcat Learns About Crockpot Dyeing

When we first walked into the site, we thought this was a refreshment stand. After all, there were beverage bottles with colored liquids lined up along one side, and a crockpot on the other! But no, it turned out to be a demonstration of crockpot dye techniques. I’ve been wanting to try that as my next dyeing experiment, though I may still use my Kool-Aid and Wilton food colors where “real” wool dyes were being used here. I got copies of the how-to handouts and paid close attention as she explained how to layer the roving and dye in the pot.

One of the most striking features of the exhibitors at The Wool Room was how many of them were fairly young children.

Triangle Shawl Loom

This young lady was doing a very skilled job of weaving on a triangular loom. She’s making a ruana. What you can see is actually the second layer of weaving that’s on the loom. She completed one layer, than another layer on top of that. Before removing the work, she’ll sew two edges together while it’s still on the loom. How clever is that?

Young Spinner

Here we have a demonstration of just how easy spinning is to learn. You don’t even have to be this high or anything. Heck, she’s barely any taller than the wheel when she’s sitting! She’s doing a great job, though – and look at the concentration on her face!

The Wool Room opened up an extra back room to display an assortment of small looms with equally small operators.

Structo 4-Harness Loom

Gryphon was fascinated by the work being done here. The loom is a 4-harness one made of metal, but even more interesting is the fact that it was made by the Structo company – better known for making metal construction toys. Not sure when this one was actually manufactured, but it obviously still works well.

Inkle Weaving

And this young lady was nearly finished with a length of orange and cream ribbon on an inkle loom. When asked about her work she was very articulate about how the loom was warped, how the weaving works, and what her next steps were. I wish I had a close-up of her weaving, her selvedge edges were perfection!

Coming Next

Off to Mirage Alpacas, and what will Folkcat do about a wheel?

NH Wool Arts Tour – Part One

Filed under: Craft Shopping,Special Events,Spinning — folkcat at 12:46 pm on Monday, October 9, 2006

The big event of the weekend was the annual Wool Arts Tour. Gryphon drove, and we picked up my friend Bea for the adventure as well. I assigned Gryphon to camera duty for the day, which not only gave him something to do and a good excuse for talking to all the interesting exhibitors, but provided me with good photographs while still leaving me free to shop.

I had a few specific goals for the day:

  1. Bring home a laceweight drop spindle
  2. Have fun
  3. Advance the cause of Folkcat’s A Spinning Wheel Before ’07 project.

It’s going to take me a couple of days to share with you all the photographs and tell you everything that happened.

I can assure you, however – all three goals were met.

Allow me to present Exhibit A:

Tom Forrester Drop Spindle
Tom Forrester Drop Spindle, Wild Cherry and Maple

Total weight: .62 oz. Spins like a dream.

The purchase was made from The Spinning Bunny, at the very first stop on the Tour – the Wool Room in Antrim, NH. They were a planned target in my shopping day, because they listed on the Tour flyer that they would offer both Bosworth and Tabachek drop spindles.

I made a beeline for their booth, and saw a table full of assorted spindles. They were all beautiful, but this was the one that caught my eye. Even before I read the tag to confirm that it was in the weight range I desired, the slender shaft, the wisp of a whorl, the graceful curves told me I was holding a work of art. And a tool that would be a delight to use.

And it’s a Tom Forrester spindle, a maker that hadn’t been specifically listed. Not that I’m complaining, mind you! Nancy Benda, the owner of The Spinning Bunny, said that the Forrester’s weren’t easy to get in. I’m not surprised – given how many times this year I’ve read on someone’s blog, “And look at what I was lucky enough to find – a Tom Forrester spindle!”, I imagine that the demand for these beauties is pretty high. And rightly so.

Now I just have to decide what fiber is going to be the first to enjoy this delicate piece of wonder.

Coming Soon

Photos of exhibitors at The Wool Room; of alpacas at Mirage Alpacas; and the results of Goal #3!

Good News, Good News, (Mildly) Bad News, Good News!

Filed under: Beading - Confessions of a Chantraphile,Craft Shopping,Daily Life,Special Events,Spinning — folkcat at 12:07 pm on Friday, October 6, 2006

The Good News:

I was counting up the change from my Mrs. Potts piggy bank, to see how much more I’ll have to shop with on the Wool Arts Tour on Saturday. Just by only spending paper money, and throwing my excess coins into the bank each day, I have accumulated an extra $30.

The Good News:

I’ve picked up even a little more cash than that by taking on a Bead Fairy job for a friend.

The Bad News:

The Bead Fairy work is in the category of “things I can’t show on the blog” – which means even less opportunity to share pictures of my crafting with you for the next month or so.

The Good News:

My efforts to save money for fiber-related purchases are going so well, I am feeling confident I’ll be able to get a spinning wheel before the end of the year. So my shopping focus for the Wool Arts Tour is going to shift.

My primary goal had been to buy at least two laceweight spindles. I will probably still buy one, just so I can get working more on that thin, thin spinning I want to do. But I’m going to take every opportunity this Saturday to try out spinning wheels that I can, so I can eventually make a decision just which one I want.

And if there is a clear winner by the time I get to Stop Five on the tour – The Fiber Studio – who knows? I might even put a down payment on a wheel before the end of the day!

Even if that doesn’t happen, I will still be test-driving a number of wheels when I take the spinning class at The Fiber Studio on Oct. 28th. And come hell or high water, Gryphon and I have figured out that (touch wood) we’ll be able to get me a spinning wheel when he gets his Christmas Bonus later this year.

So my predictions that there will be a spinning wheel in the house by the end of 2006 seem to be holding up.

Hip, hip, hooray for so much Good News!

What a Blogger Will Do

Filed under: Craft Shopping,Knitting,Knitting Groups,Shopping Adventures,Special Events,Spinning — folkcat at 12:34 pm on Friday, September 29, 2006

We had quite the cheerful crowd at Knitting Around at Panera last night! When I walked in with my friend Anne, there were already four happy, chatty knitters sitting by the fire – Bea, Judy, Lucille, and Kathy (all blogless). The needles flew as fast as the conversation, and we had a grand old time!

In Which I Go The Extra Mile For My Readers

Oh, the things a blogger will do just for something different to write about. Yesterday, it was time once again to cast on for socks.

Now mind you, I’ve been perfectly content with my sock knitting technique. I knit one at a time, and I can switch at will between 5 dpns, Magic Loop, and 2 circs. And I’ve never been bothered by the so-called second sock syndrome – I just accept repeating the entire process as a natural part of sock knitting.

So what approach did I take last night as I began a new pair? Well, any of the above would have been boring, because you’ve seen me knit socks in each method before. And there was no novelty factor to be found in either my pattern (my own Barefoot Diva Socks) or the yarn (Knit Picks’ discontinued Essential Stripes in Sunset, which you’ve all seen a million times on many blogs and in the catalog, I’m sure.)

How, then, did I make a new pair of socks worthy of blogging? By teaching myself a new knitting parlor trick!

And so, without further ado, I present to you my first

Two Socks on Two Circulars

Two Socks on Two Circulars
Two, Two, Two Socks in One

Yuppers – last night I bulled my way through the mental gymnastics of figuring out how to get this cast on, and how to manipulate the needles, balls of yarn, and the knitting itself. All so that I would have something new and different to show you.

The things I do for you!

The Truth

Okay, it’s not entirely that I did this for the blog and my readers. I’ve been meaning to try this out anyhow, just to see what the fuss was about. You, my readers, provided a handy excuse for going after it sooner rather than later. Thank you!

What do I think of it? Well, it’s a bit of a trick keeping things straight. I’m working on two 40″ Addi Turbo size 1’s, and while the length has never been an issue when working a single sock on two needles, I’m wondering if shorter cables might simplify the maneuvering as I switch between socks. Still, it’s clearly doable with what I’ve got, so I don’t think I’ll go to the approximately $30 expense that getting two sets with shorter cables would entail.

As a knitter used to whipping out single socks fairly quickly, it is a little discouraging to see what feels like only half the progress for the same amount of knitting time. The mind’s eye has trouble making the leap to realize that the half amount of progress should be multiplied by two for a true measure of accomplishment.

Since I’ve only managed around an inch of each sock so far, I think it’s too early to really pass judgment on the 2 socks/2 circs technique. So I’m going to continue to evaluate this as my work progresses.

Coming soon!

A week from tomorrow (Sat., Oct. 7), I’ll be making the rounds of the 2006 NH Wool Arts Tour. Gryphon will drive, and I’m hoping to bring a couple of my friends along for the adventure. I’ll try to remember to take pictures, but I’ll also be shopping – I’m hoping to come away with one or two nice laceweight spindles.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

It’s Like, A-r-r-r-r…You Know?

Filed under: Downloads - Original Knitting Patterns,Knitting,Special Events — folkcat at 12:55 pm on Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pirattitude!: So you Wanna Be a Pirate?: Here's How!

Today, September 19th, is International Talk Like A Pirate Day, dedicated to the attitude of Pirattitude.

I’m afraid I’m not much of a role-player, so the title of this post is the closest I come to really talking like a pirate. I feel I have lots of Pirattitude, though, because I believe in trying new things, being bold about my life choices, that having fun is better than a boring grind, and that there are more important things in life than following the rules just because they’re there.

And in case you doubt the level of Pirattitude present Chez Folkcat, here’s a picture of Gryphon – Piratically known as Iron William Flynt – from my Free Patterns Page:

Iron William Flynt Says, "A-r-r-r-r!"

Gryphon is, of course, sporting my original knitting pattern, the Felted Eye Patch. If you’ve a mind to display a little Pirattitude yourself today, but don’t have any pirate-y accoutrements, the Felted Eye Patch is a quick to knit, quick to felt item that you could complete in an hour or two. Take an iron to it after felting, and you can even have it dry to wear before midnight.

The pattern’s even in two sizes, adult and child – here we have the Dread Pirate Earnest showing off his own eye patch…

Dread Pirate Earnest

I haven’t figured out how to get one to stay on the Ratties’, or I might be able to show you a picture of that as well.

More Pirate-y Fun

The Yarn Harlot posted a series of links to fun pirate knitting patterns on the web today, too. Go Check It Out!

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