Wednesday, April 16, 2008

this blog is moving!

Head on over to my new site:

don't forget to change your rss feeds too!

I migrated all the posts and comments from this blog over to the new one. I'll leave this site up as-is but all the action will be over at the new place. See you there!

Monday, March 31, 2008

now with dreadlocks

Yesterday I attended an internationally themed bridal shower. No, I've never heard of such a thing either. What is more, in what is truly *not* a logical move, I was chosen to represent Jamaica. I found a crochet pattern on ravelry (on ravelry | on the web) to make a big, floppy, Jamaican colored hat to wear to the party.

the hat

now with dreadlocks

I made the dreadlocks by spinning some large diameter yarn from naturally colored brown wool roving. I lightly felted it by soaking in hot soapy water and then running the entire length of yarn though my fingers a few times. I broke apart the yarn into appropriate lengths but then trimmed the top end with scissors to make things neater. I sewed the dreads down to a piece of fabric (with my machine) so that the ends were tucked inside a double fold tape situation and then sewed the fabric into the hat. That seemed to work well and was easier than sewing each individual dread into the hat. It looked creepily like hair...

The event itself involved several sticker-based activities. It took me a while to put the pieces together, but I eventually figured out that the bride's great-aunt is Mrs. Grossman. What crafty lineage!

one year

A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend who was about to start a road trip from Seattle to Utah. I raced through my calendar to see if I could possibly drive out there to meet him, but I couldn't quite make it work this time. This is the same friend who once, on a suggestion during a phone conversation, agreed to meet me at a prescribed time on a particular day in Utah when he was driving from Maryland and I was driving from the bay area. We both made it and the trip was great fun. I've been thinking over the trip last spring, which was exactly one year ago, and wishing that I was there now.

One year ago today:
devils garden

dance hall rock

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Improved Sheep-Wash

Yesterday during a routine academic search for journal articles about the sensitive dependence of coupled carbon cycle climate models to land surface parameter values I came across this patent.

What do you think you get from boiling tobacco, adding chalk and tersulphide of calcium (prepared it in the usual way, whatever that is)? Improved Sheep-wash, thats what. Apparently the wash is not limited to sheep (on no!) the author claims that it is "equally efficacious when applied to cattle and other animals." Get yer tobacco a boilin...

Oh google scholar, how you do entertain me....


My first flower of the spring came out a few weeks ago. By now the cherry and magnolia trees have past their prime but the bright red Nasturtiums on my porch are still going strong.

I brought my camera to knitting last week to do some long overdue documenting of the oh-so-fabulous wallpaper at the Mel-o-dee. The bar was opened in 1969 or so and has clearly been untouched since. I found three different flocked filigree patterned wallpapers between the two rooms of the bar and the ladies restroom. My photography does not capture the atmosphere of the dimly lit establishment, but just imagine this wallpaper surrounding tufted vinyl built in benches and lounge tables.

Finally, after drooling over sweaters cut like jackets all winter I've decided to knit myself one (with a nice moss stitch front, pattern from DROPS in Ravelry). I ordered a bunch of bulky handspun from in a color called Caoba.

I wound up some skeins and started swatching last night. Hopefully I will finish before next winter!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

busy busy

but not with crafty things... There has been a real sense of urgency around the office lately. It has good effects by motivating me to get work done but I don't enjoy the elevated stress level. I'm starting to feel a bit more relaxed now, at least enough to show off a few photos.


Merino dyed by Girl on the Rocks in colorway Europa. I navajo plied it and I've been pawing at the skein trying to decide what to make. It's soft and squishy and probably bulky weight. Any suggestions?

Yak! I spun yak! Locks were from A Verb for Keeping Warm.

Romney single-ply also dyed by Girl on the Rocks this one is called Apollo (after you know who). It is a pretty good match to his kitten years, but he is a bit browner now.


A hat! I knit a hat using my bruised handspun. I never did pick a pattern but I eventually figured out a size that would work and remembered to write it down (hooray!). I have enough yarn left over to knit two more hats (or something else). The hat is lovely and soft but it has already gotten too warm around here to need it. I guess I'll just have to wait until summer for those cold foggy nights.

I have also mostly completed a sweater. It's made from Debbie Bliss Alpaca-Silk (mmmmm soft) and has been in the works for at least a year now... I have a real problem following directions (or even choosing directions) and my pattern-less knitting projects always require some adjustments. This one is now seamed and awaiting a button band and collar. The neckline is a little funky and I might have to re-knit it but I guess thats what I deserve for trying to make a short row neck without even keeping track...

And I have new toys on the way too... A Beka rigid heddle loom and 30 yards of seatbelt webbing. Isn't that every girls dream?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Get 'em while they are hot!

The Tweed Chicken had a photoshoot today out in the lovely spring sun.

Why so much attention? Well, I've opened an etsy shop. Thats right, now you can get your very own tweed chicken via etsy and the US Postal Service.

I'm also selling wallets made from recycled tyvek envelopes and vinyl banners from the bart station.

You can even get a button to show your tweed chicken pride.

I havent actually sold anything through etsy yet, but I know there are a lot of people out there who could use a little tweed chicken in their lives and hopefully this will help spread the love.

abmatic on etsy