I met up with [personal profile] ambyr and went to the Textile Museum for their special exhibit on Okinawan bingata -- it's a specific resist-dye technique unique to Okinawa and included not only clothes, but in many cases the matching stencils used to make the clothes.

There were many historic pieces, and a couple of contemporary pieces -- a stage backdrop, a cultural fusion wedding gown, and a very traditional Okinawa robe with motifs of flowers, clouds, paratroopers, and fighter jets called Yu-I, Yu-I by Yuken Teruya.

Walking around I did notice some of the differences between the Okinawan garments and the Japanese garments I'm more familiar with. [personal profile] ambyr knows more about Japanese history than I do, but we both came out of the exhibit wanting to know more about Okinawan history, especially how they managed as comparatively small kingdom balanced between the spheres of influence of China and Japan. I don't suppose anyone has any recommended reading for me?

The museum offered keychains of Okinawan star sand in exchange for filling out a survey, so I now have brightly colored sand for my nephews.

Afterward, I stopped by Beefsteak as it is only a block from the Metro and had the beet-burger special. Very tasty, and quite cheap for downtown DC. Now that I know where it is, I would definitely stop there again when I'm down that way -- a good stop before going to a Millennium Stage concert.

By the way, on Saturday, February 11th, the Millennium Stage performance is a workshop by the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater... which would be awesome to attend.
I went to the Baltimore Comic-Con with [personal profile] holli today, mainly just for the fun and to see what she'd get in her Robin sketchbook. The first artist she got (who did a lolarious French Revolution Robin on the barricades!) was sharing a table with Jorge Corona, who has done work on the Justice League Beyond title, and had this lovely portait of Danica (the Flash in Beyond) in black and white and in color, which I had a hard time deciding between.

Also, a con sketch of the Pied Piper )

He also had panels from a story he had pitched to Archaia, which I hope to pick up as soon as it is available -- a Dickensian tale about a boy with feathers, which looked adorable among many other things.

For food we had brunch at Golden West Cafe, which really is a hipster haven, but the food was good and I had some of the best carne adovada I've had since I lived in New Mexico.

And there was a yarn shop just a block away -- Lovely Yarns. I went in with the purpose of getting 50 g of fingering to make more Duck socks (a cousin just had a baby, who will need cute and warm socks come winter), but they were having their 7th anniversary sale, so I walked out with a shawl kit in Snallygaster, a skein of 'Bawlamer Oryuls' sock yarn that knits up as tiger stripes, both from Snallygaster Fibers, two different colorways of 2 oz spinning fiber from Wild Hare Fiber ('Vintage Medley' rusts and dusty purple, green, blue, etc, and 'Hair & Skin', beige to chocolate neutrals, with rust and grey') as well as the orange Cobasi I orignally went in for.

Then we went back to pick up our sketches (holli got a Robin My Little Pony from Carla Speed McNeil! adorable!), and I found both Terry Moore's table -- he and [personal profile] holli had a nice chat about when to call oneself a professional in a creative field -- and Boom! Studios. I bought the first volume of Rachel Rising from Terry Moore, and we'll see how I like it -- his stuff is gorgeous and he can plot a story, that's for sure. I also was given a free Get-A-Sketch floppy from the Adventure Time booth as they were closing down; I need to find out if my nephews follow the show and would like the comic.

Next weekend is Small Press Expo! Wish me luck, and not too much spending! ;)
I went yesterday... and had a great time.

Now I just need 12 more hours of sleep...
neotoma: Roadrunner fetish goes "beep beep!' (roadrunner)
( May. 6th, 2007 03:55 pm)
I went up [livejournal.com profile] gblvr's house the night before, because she was driving and it was easier to go straight from her place than to circle around to my place and then go the festival. I wore my feather and fan stole, since I finished it Wednesday and the weather was a bit chilly out. But boy did I have at the festival (with pictures) )So now I'm taking the day off and going to be lazy lazy. I might order a pizza later, I'm feeling so lazy...
This past Saturday, I was fortunate enough to attend a double program at my guild. The morning was taken up by Koji and Debbie Wada of Kasuri Dyeworks -- dealers in the finest Japanese textiles available.

Lots of really pretty images -- dial-up warning )
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (weaving)
( Sep. 3rd, 2006 04:30 pm)
The things you can find on a google search -- in this case, a nifty bit of software that allows one to chart and *model* a cardweaving pattern. Guntram's Tabletweaving Thingy is such a wonderful toy for crafters. It's very versatile, too, because it charts threaded-in, double-faced, brocade, or twist-patterned cardweaving.

It even makes pictures! )Also, check out the gallery, and the prototype metal tablet (pretty! I want some!)
I was following links to see what the inspiration for a lj-friend's project is -- the original is a caplet from Anthropologie. I was *totally* distracted by the fact that this model is wearing a crocheted necklace.

A crocheted necklace that cost $198 -- and is the Hemp Flowers Necklace that I made this spring.

They're making it out of mercerized cotton and lurex, so the yarn isn't any more expensive than the hemp I used (and quite probably less), and yet they're charging almost $200 dollars for it? bwuh?

Is this highway robbery or am I severely undercharging when I make stuff on commision? Is the Anthropologie brand so prestigious that they can charge just so you have the privilege of saying "Oh, this little thing? I bought it at Anthropologie"?
My arms need a rest, but I've finished the bottom facing on my Swans Jacket. Turning it and knitting it down was a bother, but it will save me the annoyance of sewing it down with duplicate stitch later on, so that's worth it.


Swans Jacket Facing Swans Jacket Facing

The Swans Jacket, after the facing has been turned and knitted down. The center steek is visible in this photo as the bit with all the cast-on tails hanging off it.



I'm going to go work on something using nice *big* needles now.
I've started the Swans Jacket, and gotten beyond the hump of the facing band -- 16 rows of 429 stitches in flat stockinette finger weight -- and on to the color chart. It's a *lot* easier on the hands, and faster.

Knitting a sweater in the round )

Right now, I've only gotten about halfway through the small swan motif (the motif on the Tam, which my mother called 'ducks' when she saw it). Once I finish that motif, I'll switch to size 3 needles and work the large swan motif for the body of the sweater.

I've cheated with the facing a bit, by using a provisional cast on. When I get to the right point, I'm going to fold the facing down and knit the provisional edge into the body of the sweater. I've done this before with my half-mittens and with the Swan Tam -- it saves me from having to sew down the facing at the end, and thus is wholy worth it.

This is going to be a major project, and one that won't travel well. But I'm not working at the moment, so having an at-home project or two is fine. I might even get this one finished before the cold really sets in, which would be nice.

I am looking for swan-motif closures for it. Anyone know of a supplier that carries nifty clasps or such?
The American Sewing Guild had their annual conference outside of DC this weekend. I was foolish, and went to see what they had in the vendors' room/exhibition hall. [livejournal.com profile] gblvr came with me, for moral support, mutual cooing, and because she has a car; I supplied carry-baskets, which got a lot of compliments, as usual.

The ladies running registration were tickled that we had just walked in off the street, and so were many of the vendors. They were almost all helpful and willing to talk, even after I admitted my novice status.

The clothes on display for various competions were absolutely gorgeous, and I regret that I forgot to bring my digital camera. For example, there was a strapless wedding gown at the Professional Association of Custom Clothiers booth that was *entirely* smocked.

In which I am enthralled by the fabric porn )

[livejournal.com profile] gblvr did a good job of keeping me away from sewing machines, but I did get the name of the local Husqvarna agent. I want a Viking serger badly, as the only serger I ever used was a 4-thread Viking, and it was a dream to work with. I can't *afford* a Viking, of course.
neotoma: Grommit knits, and so do I (GrommitKnitting)
( Aug. 7th, 2006 03:11 pm)
Well, being out of work again has me finishing various projects, and starting new ones.
For example, Booga Bags )

Some of you might remember me working on the green bag at Con.Txt -- it took about a day to do the body of the bag, plus a few more hours for the i-cord. I waited until I had the purple bag finished before fulling them both.

Karaoke fulls *very* fast and hard compared to Noro Kureyon. That surprised me, since it is 50% wool and 50% soy silk and Noro Kureyon is 100% wool. It also finished slightly smaller, even though I knit the Karaoke on size 10 needles, and the Kureyon on size 8s.
These are the two pieces that I am putting into the Strathmore show -- a Scribble Lace Shawl, and a woven table runner )It will be interesting to see if they sell, and what sort of comments I'll get. Also, the reception will be nerve-wracking, but I do intend to go.
neotoma: Grommit knits, and so do I (GrommitKnitting)
( Jun. 24th, 2006 08:20 pm)
I finished the Swans Tam. This is the matching hat for the Swans Jacket pattern I bought from
Yarns International at this year's MD Sheep and Wool.

It's pretty nifty )

I think the Swans Jacket will be a rather nice project, but I'm not going to work on it until the weather gets a cooler, and even then it will be a do-at-home project, since I doubt travelling with it would be anything other than frustrating.

Tomorrow, I submit my two enteries to the July show at the Strathmore though, and it will be interesting to see whether they sell.
The current issue of Spin-Off had some delightful projects, including a crocheted yarn bag for knitters. Yesterday I bought some linen yarn to make a practice bag, with the idea of maybe making one out of the ingeo fiber I had also purchased, after I spin it.

However, the crochet pattern was written by a beginner, and it shows -- quite obviously. Crocheting in the round can be tricky enough, without bad directions added on top of it.

So I let the Spin-Off editors know...The letter I dashed off )


I'm going to rewrite the directions, because it is a cute little yarn bag, but there really isn't an excuse for such sloppy work from Interweave.
Well into the second week of unemployment, I'm using all my free time to get my UFOs finished. Which is kind of nice, cause I really did have a lot of unfinished objects lying around.

Three Scarves, One Crib Blanket, and a whole *lot* of yarn )

I kind of want a job now, though.
This is my first big colorwork project -- I've done a few colorworked caps -- so I decided to be extra careful with it. Also, you're really supposed to block Shetland yarn to find the gauge, because it *should* be washed and dried under tension to come out right.

The Swans Jacket is knit in the round, and so was my swatch )

Some of the floats are 17 stitches long, so I tacked down the floats every 3 stitches. I think that will work okay, especially if I block aggressively.

Sadly, Yarns International is going to close down their storefront and become a web-based business; since they have samples of almost *all* their sweaters in the store, it'll be a blow.

On the other hand, they're having a sale (25% off or more!) as they close down. I'm going to head over there on Tuesday and possibly buy another sweater kit (should it be Isle of Man, or Scatness,or Sea Flowers?)
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
( May. 7th, 2006 09:40 am)
The Sheep and Wool Festival was a treat! 'A' and I got there at 9am and got all the errands done before 10am. At which point, we had lunch, to avoid the huge lines that form by noon.

[livejournal.com profile] twistedchick, her SU, [livejournal.com profile] sanj and [livejournal.com profile] ellen_fremedon arrived a bit before 11 am, and we broke into different groups to find our wanted items.

Basically, I had a blast, and spent too much money, which is what you do at this sort of thing. But I got *lots* of shiny things... )

All in all, I had a good (if expensive) day.
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (weaving)
( May. 5th, 2006 11:25 am)
So, this weekend is the annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.

I'm going tomorrow, and I am looking for:

2 lb 10/2 Textura white Tencel weaving yarn (for the loom-controlled shibori fabric I want to weave, and eventually making into a yukata)
linen or hemp to make string bag (ForestHeart Sutdio had nice hemp last year, so I'll look there)
3 hanks Morning Myst from Kiparoo Farm (to finish the Angelina jacket from White Lies Designs that has been stalled for a *year*)
A festival t-shirt
Another copy of HANDWOVEN March/April 2002
any very odd fiber that I haven't tried-- ingeo, yak, or buffalo
another akha from HillCreek Fiber

Also, I'm returning the loaner gown and ruffs from Misty Tower Fiber and picking up my own gown (finally, it's finished!) and seeing if Friends in Reed can replace the handle of the basket I bought from them last year -- I cracked it carrying too much home last summer.

And of course, Tomatoes & herbs from Thorne Farm.

I hope to get to the Diné Dah' Atl'ó, the Men Who Weave, talk at the dining hall at noon, but even if I miss it, the display is all day, and it should be very interesting.
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neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (weaving)
( Apr. 15th, 2006 11:35 am)
Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] gblvr and I went to Mekong River Textiles and bought fabric for the Sanuk Jacket pattern.

Handwoven ikat and shot silk )


They are so very pretty.

I also bought some black silk ikat and some handspun indigo )to make sashiko handbags with.

I'm just going to stay home and coo at the fabric, I think.
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I finally finished the Cable Ride socks I started last year. Of course, they are wool, and I won't be able to wear them until winter. But they're pretty.

Cable Ride socks, and Hemp Flowers necklace )
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