Friday, July 29, 2011

Finished Object Friday, 7/29/2011

I've FINALLY finished something! Man, I don't know what's going on with me this month. :(

Anyway! A couple weeks ago I posted a teaser pic of a project I was working on that drew from about 10 different skeins of yarn. I finally, finally got that project done on Tuesday!

The Dragon Banner
In Nerd Wars, one of the challenges this month was to make something inspired by a fandom other than the one for your team. I'm on the team for Supernatural, and there are a LOT of other teams who have fandoms that I adore - Babylon 5, Star Trek, video games, comic books/manga, MMORPGs, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and more. It was a really tough choice, but finally I decided to go with my original love: series fiction - specifically, in my case, series fantasy. I made a banner in honor of my favorite character in my (I guess it's my) favorite series of books - Rand al'Thor from Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time. Without giving away any spoilers, this is the banner of the Dragon, and it's described as follows in the book:

”Character 1 and Character 2 took the bundle of white cloth…and unfolded it between them. A long, white banner spread out, lifting on the air…the whole thing seemed of a piece, neither woven, nor dyed, nor painted. A figure like a serpent, scaled in scarlet and gold, ran the entire length, but it had scaled legs, and feet with five long, golden claws on each, and a great head with a golden mane and eyes like the sun. The stirring of the banner made it seem to move, scales glittering like precious metals and gems, alive, and he almost thought he could hear it roar defiance.

“‘What is it?’ Rand said.

“Moiraine answered slowly. ‘The banner of the Lord of the Morning when he led the forces of Light against the Shadow. The banner of Lews Therin Telamon. The banner of the Dragon.’”

Based on this description, and a similar-but-very-slightly-different-one in another of the books, I designed and made my own Dragon banner!

It's BIG - about as tall as I am!

I made the chart myself. It was so hard to keep track of where I was in the pattern that I carefully made a check mark every time I finished a row!

To make the face extra awesome, I used gold blending filament with the red:

And to accomplish the "shimmered like it was gems" look, I used iridescent blending filament mixed with the white:

All in all, it was a bitch to make - it was SO hard to keep all the threads straight, and then my dog got it all tangled and I almost cried, but I persevered, and I'm so proud of how the FO turned out!

See what every one else has been up to! Check out Fiber Arts Friday brought to us by Wonder Why Gal, and Finished Object Friday's organized by Tami!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday, 7-20-2011

Still busy, still having trouble getting back in to good, regular blog posting habits, and this time I'm writing while traveling! This week is the 150th anniversary of the battle of Bull Run, the first major battle of the American Civil War, so I'm crashing with a friend who lives in Silver Springs (same friend I stayed with for Maryland Sheep and Wool...), cause from here I can get to the battlefield in 45 - 60 min, depending on traffic (ok, apparently 90 min in really bad traffic...stupid Beltway...). The actual anniversary of the battle is tomorrow, but I'll be visiting the battlefield today to scout it out (it's one of the only big battlefields of the war I haven't been to...okay, just as I was writing that I actually thought about it and realized I still haven't been to a handful of other important ones - Vicksburg, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, Atlanta, any of the Seven I amend the statement, it's the only battle that anyone who isn't a Civil War buff has heard of that I haven't been to. :) ) It's the first stop on my "as many major battlefields on 150th anniversaries as possible" tour, which will be over the next 4 years, and I'll write more about it over the next couple days, complete with pictures, just as soon as I figure out what to say. :)

ANYWAY! That doesn't mean no crafting! Last week's WIP is a couple hours procrastination from being finished, so I'll hold off on posting it. However, I needed a commute project for earlier this week (ie, something small and easily portable that only required one or two balls of yarn) and so I, wonder of wonders, started knitting something! I haven't knit anything in a year, and this is the most complex knitting project I've followed since I was about 12 years old (I briefly knit more than I crocheted for a little while when I was a kid because my mom got this great book of knit stuffed toys and showed me how to make them. I learned a bunch very quickly and then have forgotten all of it in the 15 years since then.) The pattern is very simple, which is good, because when it said to ssk I not only had to look up what that meant and watch a video on how to do it, I also had to look up how to slip a stitch. That's how novice I am at knitting (before this project, I could cast on, knit, purl, and YO, and that's it. :) ) Anyway, here it is!

I'm in the second of three balls of yarn. I don't know if that'll be big enough, but I only have three, so it'll have to be good enough. I'm very happy with this yarn - it's Paton's "Classic Wool" and I bought it on clearance at Michael's, it's soft and warm and 100% wool and the color is great. As to the pattern, I really wanted to make a shawl but when I looked even at very easy patterns I was intimidated by making a triangle or circular shape, so I decided to make something square until I felt more comfortable. This is technically a baby blanket pattern, but I'm hoping it'll be big enough to wrap around my shoulders and pretend it's a shrug. :)

I've made SO MANY mistakes that it's kind of hilarious. However, the pattern is pretty forgiving, and I don't think any of them show unless you know what you are looking for (That said, when you do know what you are looking for they show really bad, so few of my pattern rows are lining up). However, I'm making it work, and I'm getting much better at knitting, so all in all I'm calling it a win. :) Some day I'm sure I'll look back on it and think it's terrible, but that's fine. Best of all, even just with this simple project I feel like I'm getting a better grasp on how knitting works. One or two more and I think I could design something like this pretty easily. Which is awesome. :)

Check out all of the awesome by others over on

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday - 7/13/2011

I'll admit I'm rather ashamed at how infrequently I've been posting of late. I'm trying a different way of scheduling my work time, and I can't say that I think it's working yet - oh, I'm getting lots and lots of work done, but hardly anything else - and I'm still trying to figure out how best to change things so that I can maintain some kind of healthy balance.

Anyway, I've got two WIP this week. One I'm not going to share more than a teaser on, because I'm very happy with it and proud of the work I've done on it and I expect to be done by Friday, so I'll share it then. The other I haven't actually started yet, so I guess the shot I have is a teaser as well. :)

Mystery WIP 1

So that's my project. Yes, it's connected to ALL of the balls of yarn sitting on the table (except the yellow one that's barely visible in the background, and the two on toilet paper rolls on the right). Yes, this has been a nightmare. Especially when my dog got excited when I got home one day and got herself tangled in it and then dragged it across my apartment. I lost two hours of crocheting time to fixing that particular mess. However, it's turning out just how I wanted. Heck, I think it's going better than I thought it would. So I'm excited. :) Should be finished by Friday if all goes as planned and the dog doesn't knock it over again...

When Yarn Ain't Yarn...
One of the Nerd Wars challenges this month is "alternate yarnality" - the idea is to craft using things that aren't yarn. Here are the materials for what I'm planning to make:

I can't wait to get started, but I have to finish the other first...

Check out everyone else's progress over on Tami's Ami and Other Creations blog!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Finished Object Friday, 7/1/2011

For yet another week, a super quick post! I had no WIP worth sharing, but I come to Friday with two FO to show!

I'm calling this 100% wool that I actually got a little where I wanted it on the thickness scale "antique rose."

8 ounces in all; no idea how many yards cause I haven't counted yet.

The Colt
It's been AGES since I designed an ami. I went in to yesterday with one Nerd Wars challenge yet, knowledge of exactly what I wanted to make, and conviction that I didn't have time. I went for it anyway - and managed to finish!

I'm really, really happy with how it turned out. The coolest part is that the bullets can be unloaded and loaded into the chamber, which turns.

Yeah, I'm proud. :)

Now I just have to make it again and figure out how to describe some of the weird crap I did to make it look that way... :)

Have a great Fourth of July weekend, to everyone who might care about such things! :)

See all the awesomeness at Finished Object Friday on Tamis Ami and Other Creations Blog and Fiber Arts Friday on Wisdom Begins in Wonder!