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!