Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

What I Craft When I Can’t Focus

Filed under: Knitting,Papercraft,Spinning — folkcat at 4:04 pm on Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I know, I said I couldn’t focus last week and I didn’t craft much. Just remember, much in this case is a relative term. Since I normally craft a lot, the amount of crafting you’re about to see counts as not much to me.

Friday evening, I assembled the papercraft Maneki Neko that I had cut out the week before. Like my previous Maneki Neko, this came from the Canon 3-D papercraft site.

The Maneki Neko I made before was seated, with left paw raised. Canon describes it as “beckoning people” – as in customers into a retail business. It wears a medallion with symbols for “good fortune” and “happiness”.

The new Maneki Neko is described as “beckoning for money“. Sounded like a good thing for our current situation! This one has the right paw raised. The left paw holds a large medallion with a symbol meaning “Ten Million Coins”.

Papercraft FO - Money Maneki Neko

I’ll admit it, I’m a little superstitious about these things. I believe in good luck symbols, if only as a means of focusing your intent on your needs and desires. In this case, I think we got results. Gryphon made an appointment for a job interview the Monday after I cut the pieces out; he had the interview last Friday afternoon; I assembled the Maneki Neko that night; and Monday he was offered the job.

Coincidence? Perhaps. Even if I discount any magical benefits the Maneki Neko may have provided, however, I can’t escape the fact that I spent a number of enjoyable hours building it, and we will continue to enjoy it as a decoration in our home. Win-win!

Last September, I purchased 6 oz. of hand-dyed Merino roving from Michelle, fiber artist and owner of the Dublin General Store in Dublin, NH. As a reminder, here’s what it looked like all spread out.

Rainbow Colored Roving

As a mindless task for my overtasked brain this weekend, I began pre-drafting this. First, I fluffed and spread the rope itself until it was a loose bat at least a foot wide. Then, I gently bunched it back into a rope, and began drafting the end out into a long, skinny roving ready for spinning.

The idea here is to keep the color runs as long as I can, and to have the fibers ready for easily spinning a thin yarn. I’ve learned now how long that takes – it’s been several hours of work over the entire weekend to get me to this point:

SIP - Rainbow Merino Roving

Just about a foot more to pre-draft. Then I’ll re-wind this and try to divide it into two equal balls. I don’t know if I’ll attempt to learn chained plying with this to keep the colors pure, or if I’ll just say the heck with it and 2-ply it. Either way, I think my bobbins will only hold about half of this anyhow, so it’s divide and conquer.

Finally, here’s a project that went from idea to object since Thursday. A friend who will be retiring one day to Costa Rica with her husband is having a birthday, and I decided she needs a nice sunhat.

Since it’s unlikely I’ll find a worthy sunhat in any stores around here – and at a price I can afford – I decided to re-style a gently used hat of my own. This is a genuine Shady Brady, purchased nearly unused at least a decade ago at a thrift store, and which I have barely ever used myself. It will hold up to anything at all. The size is Large, and I’m not sure what size hat my friend needs, but it does have a leather chin strap, so fingers crossed that it’ll work!

To make it truly her own, I decided to knit a lace hatband for the otherwise unadorned hat. My friend likes bright colors and pink – a little stash-diving turned up this TLC Baby yarn in the color “Fizzy Print”. Size 6 needles (Bryspun 12″ straights, I think) got a nice look to the stitches.

Cowry Center Lace Hatband

The pattern is one of several that can be found here. Scroll down to the third one, called Suzanne’s Cowry Center – that’s what I made. I picked the shell theme because she’ll be living near the beach in Costa Rica, and has already brought shells back from previous trips.

Cowry Center Lace Detail

I made sure to knit a little shorter than the actual measurement around the hat, because I knew it would stretch. The strip had a small tendency to curl, which was squelched with a good steam blocking. I whipstitched the ends together on the wrong side. Once I had the band in place, I took four extra lengths of yarn, and stitched each through a single point to tack the band on, tying the ends in a simple square knot on the inside.

Besides these projects, I also worked on Gryphon’s socks – I should be able to finish those Thursday night at Knitting at Panera, I’m that close. And I’m working on another fiber-related project that I will be able to show after the weekend. This one’s kind of fun – it’s a technique I unvented myself. Minimal materials, versatile technique, and great results. Stay tuned!

So, that’s the crafting that happens on a bad week here. I know, I know. But just think what I could have done if I’d felt better!



Comment by Elspeth

May 8, 2007 @ 4:18 pm

That’s great news about the job – and very cute cat and hat band! You are so creative!


Comment by Carrie K

May 8, 2007 @ 5:42 pm

That is a great hat and hat band.

I’m fairly superstitious myself – I’ve been “reading” license plates for years.

That is ‘slow’? LOL!


Comment by Sandy

May 9, 2007 @ 2:27 pm

Boy was I glad to find your site. I have been trying to decide if I wanted to spend a huge amount on a swift. I went looking on Google, and ta da!!!! There was your Tinker Toy one. So, I started looking for them….I live in a small town on the South Dakota prairie, and was just sure I would have to order on-line. Well, the True Value here actaully had a set. I ran out on my lunch hour and picked it up. Tonight when I get home I will get to work on my very own reasonably priced swift. No more wrapping yarn around chairs for me…..thank you for your great idea…….

In knitting friendship………Sandy


Comment by Chalise

May 1, 2008 @ 3:03 am

Now i’m going to make a maneki-neko of my own! i’m verry happy tht i’ve found this blog in able to find teh maneki neko craft! =3 i love to craft too!

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