July Roundup

These summer days mean less time spent at my desk staring at a screen, and more time wandering around in the sun. Less creative projects happening? No way. Nice weather is a good excuse as any to get out and hunt for some creative inspiration. Here's what I've been up to this month:

I dug up my stash of hemp twine to make a few coasters. I mail ordered this stuff way back in '96 when I was living on Guam making necklaces. Maybe I should start making those again....

I haven't taken on any knitting projects this month, in fact I killed a few works in progress that didn't seem to be going anywhere. Instead I've been researching new techniques over at Knitty. I completed (and frogged) a Calorimetry to learn about short rows, and learned how to do a tubular cast on.

Hemp CoasterCalorimetry

Swatching is a practical given, but I took the opportunity to swatch up some of the recycled irish wool from last month. From what I can tell it's a sport weight consisting of a double strand of... lace? I wanted to see how it would look if I halved the strand. I gotta say I love it.

Halving this yarn also gave me a chance to wind a ball with a nostepinne which I find quite relaxing. These nostepinnes I use are actually just pieces of bamboo I got quite a long time ago from the Japanese Cultural Center at Foothill College where they have a stunning bamboo garden. They usually have a pile of pruned bamboo and I always liked looking at the cool textures. I also took the opportunity to learn joins since I hate weaving in ends.

Split & SwatchedSplit & Wound

In the past two weeks my supply of sweaters has doubled. I live down the street from the Berryessa Flea Market where they have quite a few of these stalls full of clothes priced at $1 each. So far I've scored a good amount of irish and italian wool, as well as some silk and alpaca. It's like the freakin' deal of the century. Anyway, this swelling stack of sweaters prompted a much needed culling, so I killed three of them. I seriously need a yarn swift... anyone wanna buy me one?

Gap Cotton BlendGap Lamb's WoolJ Crew Wool Blend

Earlier this month my friend Shiela became my hero when she gave me her old sewing machine, an Elna 410. I've wanted a sewing machine for quite a long time, despite not having the slightest idea how to use one. But hey, that's what the internet is for, right? So I've been doing lots of forum-lurking and research on sewing basics and resources, totally stoked about this addition to my creative skill set.

Elna 410

That's what my July has been like. Lots of sweaters to kill, bike rides to take, yarn to knit... and pillow cases to make... (?)