Monday, October 24, 2011

A Tale of Three Chitties...Umm Ladies At Fiber Fest Ann Arbor

Tis early morn my little ones & I arise from my slumber.  I am upright.  The little light upon my coffee maker glows red.  Swiftly I stab its little eye and it glows green and begins to gurgle awake.  My teeth are brushed & I am dressed.   The aroma of Java permeates the air.  I gratefully gulp & send up a silent prayer of gratitude that the man I married was wise enough to set up the life giving caffeine machine the night before.  It is a beautiful fall Saturday & Ann Arbor has fiber.  Lots & lots of lovely fiber.  I can smell it in the air.  Some would say the scent is Fall, in all its splendor, but I know better.  It is the smell of fiber.  Gently it has been teased from animals more than willing to part with their heavy coats for the small price of some grain, some water and a little shelter.  So begets the point of a fiberfest.  The owners pay the sheep in grain, water and shelter & I pay the owner in odd pieces of paper of green & white.  I think I am getting the better deal but would appreciate it if you don’t tell the sheeps, alpacas, bunnies, goats etc.  owners. 
I alight upon my trusted Mighty steed, otherwise known as my van, and hastily make my way to the abodes of two of my cohorts.  Not the sanest two either, mores the pity, for it would have been a much smoother day had they been less addled.  I knew trouble was brewing when Lady Suzy came rushing out to The Mighty Steed at full speed, with her eyes glowing in a maniacal manner.  Lady Suzy moves at a snail pace on a good day.  I knew by the drool coming from one corner of her mouth and the insane Fiber, needles, fiber, needles she was muttering this was not a good day and I could look forward to apologizing for her lunacy all damn day.   Pardon this gentle woman’s cursing and assume there will be much more, as Lady Suzy on Fiber fest days could try the patience of a saint. 
Thrice, like a mongrel, Lady Suzy circled The Mighty Steed before I could herd her inside.  Note to self.  Bopping Lady Suzy lightly on the snout, ummmm, I mean nose with a newspaper and offering her a treat works the best for getting her to mind. 
Swiftly we ventured on to pick up Lady Amy.  She fancies her name is KnitChaos.  Take the knit part off and you pretty much have an accurate picture of Lady Amy.  When we arrive she startles the living daylights out of us by throwing open the door to her castle & yells like a baudy from some foul smelling mens gaming establishment, Trick or treat, smells me feet, gives me fiber, else I’ll get you my pretty, you and that small little dog of yers.  I hastily told her to silence herself, otherwise known as shut the F up & no more watching Wizard of Oz AND for all our sakes she was not allowed to spend the day pretending to be a pirate.  Pouting into her petticoats, Lady Amy sulkily made her way to The Mighty Steed.  As she approached , I saw that she too had a slight bit of drool and a maniacal glint.  I sucked in my stays and prayed with all my might to any Fiber Fairies that might be listening.  I also asked God what I did to deserve these two lunatics and he just answered in a sing song voice, “You knoooooooowaaaaah!”  Never tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor. 
With much luck and fortitude we arrived at our destination.  It was on.  I prayed mightily that the gentle women within would not find any need to remove us from the premises with malice, contempt or violence.  I didn’t fancy I had a hope in hell, but I prayed it just the same.  Let me just say now that what commenced was in no way my fault & I apologize to all the gentle women in Ann Arbor.  As I find it distasteful to tell tales out of the schoolroom I will just hint & allude to.  You must sully your minds to draw your own conclusions on what actually happened.  My constitution is much too delicate…well, I will simply tell you what should not happen…think what you will.

Ten Things you should never do at a Fiber Festival!

1-Never enter a Fiber stall yelling FIRE at the top of your lungs just to clear out the mass of shoppers so you can have an easier time looking.  Unless there is an actual fire, heavens forbid, you should not be doing this.  I think you all know of whom I speak. 

2-Never release a horde of moths at a Fiberfest and follow it up by screaming, I want a discount, I want a discount. 

3-Never say to a gentle fiber vendor, “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours!”  It was quite pitiful to see the poor seller woman throw up her hands and go running and shrieking, for the hills.  It was even more disturbing to see you know who on her hands and knees cackling to herself & collecting the fiber the gob smacked woman left behind.  I beheld Lady Suzy allegedly grab one handful of roving out of the mud and mutter, “Ye are a beauty ain’t ye.” 

4-Never spit anywhere at a fiberfest and I mean anywhere.  I am too much a lady to speak of this further, other than to say again, DON’T!!!  Do watch out for the camels, llamas & alpacas as they will spit, and ummm, lick yer head, as they are prone to ignoring the best of advice.

5-Warning to Vendors-If an addle-pated woman approaches your beasties pen dragging a large sack of carrots & clover, assume she is dangerous.  Remove all sharp implements out of reach and walk away from her.  Please walk in a backward fashion, never taking your eyes off her  & move slowly, so as not to startle Lady Amy, ummm, I mean, the addle pated woman.  She is forever trying to fill my small yard with a herd of fiber shedding animals and I am forever, having to explain to shepherds why their flock chose my yard for an impromptu picnic.

6-Never, upon arrival, disappear into a water closet & come out in a change of sack cloth and ashes.  While we are at it, you might also refrain from using a fake English accent and using it to go begging from vendor to vendor screeching pitifully, “More fiber, please sir.  Me hasn’t had a bite to eat all day”.  I know, it makes no sense, but then lunatics rarely do.

7-Never go to a fiberfest if you are allergic to animal dander.  Thusly, never grab a vendors fiber, soundly sneeze into it and then snidely remark that a God bless you would be most appreciated. 

8-Never take a flask of spirits to a fiberfest. I’m just saying… A lady should never pull a flask from her skirts, take a long swig and sing yo ho ho, fiber and a bottle of rum.  I should also never have to hear a lady say, “Ooooh, I dropped me flask in me bloomers and now me girlie bits have the hiccups.”  Again I know this makes no sense…so stop expecting sense and this whole telling will be easier.

9-Nobody wants to see a lady disrobed and rolling nekkid in a vendors fiber, except perverted old men and they don’t seem to be thick on the ground at these things.

10-And finally, Never, ever, ever, ever, ever yell at the top of yer lungs, “Acrylic Rocks!” at a fiber fest.

Twas much merriment & I admit, much shame as we rode away in The Mighty Steed.  Bursting with a new tote bag, felting needles, instructional books, a lamb toy or two, sweater shavers, sushi mats for felting and bag loads of fiber out our delicate little kazoos.  Our purses were lighter, our families poorer,  our cries of, “Let’s get ready to needle felt” in a WWF announcers voice, filled the night. 
We ended the day of mayhem by getting the crabs.  As a lady I am not at liberty to go into this last statement with any degree of detail.  Please be assured that a few swipes of a large disinfectant wipe and we were all fine again…ladies to the end.

I, Lady Crystal, do solemnly swear, that all of the above is partially factual & quite possibly, some of it is true, but rest assured it is filled with lies…while remaining positively accurate…keeping in mind I am not capable of being honest unless I am lying in which case you cannot believe a thing I say unless I tell you you can trust me, in which case….I could go on like this all day.  Just believe what you will, while knowing all of the above is factually based…heeheehee!
The End!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Knitting For Love-A Poem

Just liked this!

The sheep are shorn
The wool all washed
The carding done
The wheel spun
The needles fine
A grand design
The fingers know
Which way to go
The river swift
Flows softly knit
You place upon
The garment don
Always done
Forever it goes on

Thursday, October 13, 2011

All Felt up addendum

This is my Needle Felting site  and I changed the name to KnitSis Does Needle Felting!  Yah Yah Yah, I'm clever or just a fourth needle shy of a set of straits, heehee!  So far the only posting I made is pretty much a repeat of what I put here this evening.  Thanks Ciao!

All Felt up & Knit Night

Dear Fiber Fairies,
I have been playing with fiber all week whenever I could catch a spare minute.  I have begun to stick my toe in the water in the land of Needle Felting.  What I have discovered is with all the tutorials and tips out there, there seems to be a lot that is left out.  I am using what help I can find, from all the generous fiber fairies out in webbie land, but at the same time finding there could be more.  I am going to devote my personal blog Knitsister to felting tips I come across and what I figure out on my own.  I will put pictures of my own felting on there; the good, the bad and the downright awful.  Even the gad awful I learn something from.  

These are felted using cookie cutters.  You stuff them full of fiber and punch away.  You have to really hold the cookie cutters down tightly or the fiber will force its way out from under the cookie cutter.  It will take some experience to learn just how much to put into the cookie cutter and you have to pay attention to getting enough in the detail portions of the cutter.  I saw a lot of these made up for sale at the fiber fest and what I did not like about most that I saw were just how unfinished and messy they looked.  Yet still I was intrigued to try doing it.  I found it is not a throw away method of felting, it still takes time.  I also used scissors and carefully skimmed over the surface clipping stray fibers, working very closely to the project and cleaning it up.  The edges also took extra needle felting to clean them up.  The time I took really made the difference from the more unfinished I had seen.  So these are my first two and that is what I have learned so far.  Oh, I did miss photographing a tiny cookie cutter lamb I did.  I will get that up.  I found the smaller the cutter the easier it was to loose the teeny details.

This is my first Jack O' Lantern.  It was pretty easy and I first viewed Kay from Felt Alives free tutorial but I cannot find it now.  Here is her site though.  A wonderfully talented lady.
Here is another YouTube site that makes needle felted pumpkins and shows a great technique for making roving balls in your washer too.
My Jack O' Lantern isn't perfect or the cutest, but I thought not bad for the first one.
This is my second pumpkin.  This time not a Jack O' Lantern.  I made this for my friend Laura.  I was making a mouse on another night and placed it next to the pumpkin when it was partially done and immediately I saw it should become a Cinderella vignette & decided to make the glass slipper to go with it on top.  The shoe was a finicky project, but doable.  This pumpkin I did a little different too.  I am going to walk you through my version of a pumpkin on my Knitsister blog.  I think I like my version best.  For the slipper I used regular needle felting, but when it came to giving the shoe a sharper or more refined shaping I wet felted it too.  I also used a small pair of scissors to help hollow out the inside of the shoe to help give it more shape.  I used silver paint on the inside of the shoe and on the heel to further define it.  I wish I would have taken a more close up picture of the glass slipper, but again, I will walk you through one soon on my own blog.  I also used a very fine glitter paint on the whole thing to give the appearance of fairy dust.

Here is my unfinished Toad Stool House.
This is the You Tube video that will show you how to make your own.  There are three parts and above is part one & the rest can be found there too.  The video is well done and I am taking it one further and making a whole little world revolving around the house.  In the picture is the first of several felted mushrooms to go with it and a tree trunk chair.  The spindly legs on the chair will make more sense when I felt them to a base. 

Here is my first Gnome Girl.  She is not finished & I know she looks goofy but the face is far from done.  These felted things like many projects can look pretty awful half way through, but I wanted to show you my first so far.I used pipe cleaners to start her & it is just a pain not to hit that stupid armature when you are first starting a figure with one.  I still need to put the red lips on & the black in the pupil.  I may just paint the lashes on.  Her clothing needs done and she needs little boots...and for the love of all that is holy, her coif needs some attention.
This is my first Santa.  Horrible picture I know.  He's about 6 inches tall and I decided to try some curly fiber for his beard & mustache.  I cannot go any further with him until I get some flesh color fiber.  I will retake this ones picture & repost.  Because he is larger I used an inexpensive acrylic stuffing to start the basic cone shape of his body & then started adding the natural fibers to cover this when it was about the size I wanted.  The acrylic works fine for this and is good for making the machine washed balls in the washer.
These are my two hideous snowmen.  The first ones I have made and it shows.  I only like the mittens holding the snowball on the tall one.  The little one I don't like anything on him, but I learned something from both...I learned I make ugly snowmen, LOL!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fiber Fest, as told by the accurate & truthful orator of our generation, Crystal Sutliff

Four score and 7 years ago we discovered & planned a trip to Alleghan County fiber fest. We being Amy & myself, Crystal. Through snow or sleet or rain...we cared not, we were going. Then we sobered up and realized we had stolen the postal workers motto and we were not going to be able to make it that first year.

Well one year turned into about a hundred, but finally..yes, finally our time had come. We were on our way. Suzy, Joe, Amy & myself…Oh & our handy dandy pic-a-nic basket booboo.

Laura White & Laura White...yes you read that right...there are two of em with the same name...sister in laws. Such a simple thing but it amuses me anyhow. So Laura and Laura were going in a separate car and not that one...the other one, was coming home with us.

As usual our early morning start turned into more like mid-morning start and we were running behind. It didn’t help that I forgot the damn bread and our main dish for our pic-a-nic was tuna sammies…argh I rock!

People driving in front of me were a pain and were banished forever from attending fiber festivals by my forthright decree of "No Fiber for you"! I meant it then and I mean it now...harsh I know but what is a girl wanting to sniff fiber to do I ask you?

So there we were stopping every five minutes for breaks. We are sooo big on taking breaks. We have even been known to take breaks from taking breaks. We were planning on taking a break mid fest and set up our chairs and have a loooooovvvveeeelllllyyyy pic-a-nic and maybe knit a bit and have a high ole time. What a bunch of rubes. First off, totally my fault, we weren't staying over cuz I made the mistake of accepting an obligation for Sunday and so we could not stay over on Saturday. However, I never take responsibility when I can pass it off on someone else and so blame the rest of this band of merry fiber feelers for being heavy drinkers and not having the money to pay for their share of the hotel due to excessive drinking.

So back to where I was, I could complain all damn day about those women and their liquor.

Oh, I forgot we stopped at a yard sale when we were almost there and I scored THE cutest purple knit carrier bag…adorable (I am singing this part, your loss that you cannot hear me, I sound just like a nightingale, sort of).

Anyhow, three women and one man enter the hallowed grounds of FiberFest. The angel of the Lord appeared unto them and said Blessed are you…wait…wrong story…No angels just an old man with a fanny pouch asking us to pay either our first born or 5 dollars each to get in. I said my first born was 31 and they could have him, to which he snottily replied that the cut off for taking ones children was 30, just give me the 5 bucks lady and quit being a cheapskate. I promptly smacked him with some inferior yarn and yelled I thought old men in fanny packs were supposed to be nice so you don’t laugh at them and we roared off to get lost in the festival. We got out of the van and Suzy smacked me in the back of the head for being a smart mouth and Amy tripped me for almost getting us kicked out. Joe didn’t do anything, he was still grumbling I never wanted to come, I knew this was a mistake.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Still alive and kicking!

Hi everyone!
I realized the other day that we have been neglecting our Blog. With a few of our members lacking a computer and others just being to busy we've been absent for a little while.
Never fear though we are still stitching and uh... bitching on Thursday nights at the Riverside Yarn Gallery in Wyandotte.
Here is what is happening with our current group:
1. Chris is working on the lovely Miyoko top. While the pattern is beautiful she is holding out on her verdict. Personally I think once she wears it she will love it.
2. Crystal is working on an adorable baby sweater that I really want to put in to my own knitting bag when she isn't looking. I haven't forgotten about the purple sock yarn she has either. I'm totally in love with that as well!
3. Amy is crocheting a ripple shawl that I'm totally jealous of! I can certainly crochet; and in fact, I taught Amy; but I'm definitely more of a knitter. Does that make Amy and I bistitchual?
4. Erin has been also knitting adorable baby sweaters, I believe her last count was 3 in the last 3 weeks? If only the rest of us could keep up with you!
5.Dani has been absent for a few weeks due to her foot surgery. I miss our resident yarn sniffer and sock guru!
6. Ev is crocheting another purse I believe. Totally gives a new spin on the whole bag lady thing. Ev is the total opposite of the little old lady with the shopping bag walking down the street; in part because the purses she crochets are so lovely.
7. Susie is working on her twirly scarf and finishing up a Christmas stocking. I give her props because of how many times she had to correct the pattern writers math!
8. I've been working on a sock and a few other random things. I picked up my spindle again and put the finishing touches on another baby sweater. I think it is becoming a theme for the summer with our group.
9. I hope the newbies that were brave enough to join us for a night come back! I promise I won't think about swiping your sock yarn or baby sweater until at least the second week. Laughs.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Knit Night March 31st

So, here is my story & I am sticking to it.  You can threaten to beat me with a rubber hose or drag me through the streets by rope & horse & I will not deviate from my story.  Actually that is not true.  I would cry & wail & gnash my teeth if you even showed me a picture of a rubber hose or neighed softly in my ear.  I would also disavow ever having a story at all, so here is my somewhat shaky version of knit night.  Erin happy Anniversary, hope you & your husband had a nice night.  I do wonder why you felt you couldn't come to knit night with hubs to celebrate.  We had tea & Macaroons dipped in chocolate & brownie bites and we were surrounded by fiber of all kinds.  What's more romantic than that I ask you?  Georgia finished her sock & it was lovely.  We passed it around the table & it was fondled by all.  Sometimes I think knitting just sounds dirty (insert naughty snicker here).  Georgia is also making a very lovely lacy baby blanket.  Now I will put pictures of her projects below but please note getting a good picture out of me is still a crap shoot.  I continue to try to do a better job, but I just don't seem to have the photography gene.  Laura continues to knit on her soft blue baby blanket & it is growing by leaps & bounds.  She is currently on spring break from school & I worried all night that she would end up dancing on the table wearing a lamp shade.  It never happened but with Laura you just never know.  Ev was crocheting on her gorgeous grey pleated purse & has decided her scientific method for determining how tall it will be is going to be based on running out of yarn....Yarn gone?  Purse finished.  I like a girl who thinks things through in this fashion.  Dinner plate clean, dinner out of gas, then I guess this is where I want to be...hmmmm, there might be a flaw in this kind of planning LOL!  Amy was working on her lime green crocheted shawl.  I have to say I like this shawl ripple pattern better in crochet than the knitted one she was originally doing.  Just suits the yarn better.  Thanks for the heads up about the felters group which I joined.  I also checked out the Nuno felting which is basically combining silk fabric & wool fibers & it is beautiful & very artsy.  If you haven't seen it check it out on utube.  Suzy was working on her stocking & turned her first heel.  Surprisingly it was the heel flap that caused her a couple of unpleasant moments & one major swear word shocking Miss Suzy!  Her heel though is lovely and something to be proud of.  Chris came in wearing her pretty hand knit pink sweater with matching pink earrings.  She also passed around a double crocheted scrubby, like the ones Ev was knitting but this one has a twist in the middle & one on each side.  Very cool design.  Chris was working on a lace pattern shawl I think in a pretty Pima Cotton yarn.  I think she got disgusted with it & shoved it in her knit bag for a time out before I could get a picture of it.  I was busy knitting on a soft lime green 6 inch teddy bear for my granddaughter & managed to get the legs done.  I have since brought it home & the body & head are now safely knit on. I just need to finish the arms, ears & muzzle then I will block stuff & sew.  Right now it just looks weird.  Oh & I finished my Wallabee sweater finally.  I knit it 5 years ago & screwed up the under arms, which were all I had left to do.  Put it away for lo these five years thinking the screwed up under arms were just the worst of mistakes and almost impossible to fix.  Well Laura has been at me to bring it in to see if I could get help, so I finally bit the bullet and drug the darn thing in for help.  When I presented it for help I finally looked at it again & darned if I hadn't made a mountain out of a mole hill.  Turns out if was just easy grafting & some darning needle magic and it is fine.  I have spent five years creating a drama that only existed in my mind.  Ugh!  What's the lesson I learned?  That I am an idiot & a knitting coward LOL!  Laura also brought me the needles to make the big needle sweater...I swear Laura you are a great big (and by great big I mean skinny) trouble maker.  You get me into more fixes, but as long as they are fiber related I will forgive you, heeheehee!  I also have one more slipper to finish & decide on the million of projects floating through my head that I want to do.  So many patterns & so little time  *SIGH*. Allrighty that about covers knit night.  Another great night full of fiber & fun.  Well other than Ev, Amy & Laura trying to get me and Suzy to walk across the street at the end of knitting to the health food store, when everyone knows any self respecting person wanting to be healthier would for sure drive there, so Suzy & I being the only two sane people left sat it out in the car while they hoofed it across the street.  Allright I am out!  Happy knitting everyone!
This is that double scrubby...very clever Chris.
Georgia's beautiful sock.  Sorry about the poopy picture.
Georgia's pretty baby blanket.  Lovely stitch which I know is hard to see...again sorry.  The bunny was knit by Laura one of the Owners of Riverside Yarn Gallery where we meet and is adorable.  The eggs I am going to give instructions to later.  
This is Laura's baby blanket.  A simple pattern with a lovely classic look.