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Friday, May 25, 2012

Braving Hamilton College on it's 200th Birthday

I didn't want to go to Hamilton College today.  I imagined Hogwarts after the Ministry takeover having a "partay" with their pinkies up and us walking in, frumpy and ridiculously underdressed.  But it was nothing of the kind.  The place was empty except for a few nice other couples, some curious chipmunks, and squirrels who jump like dolphins; gratuitously and for no other reason but to look good.  Root Glen is awesome.  After you get over the location, it's actually really nice.

 Here's Dave starting out in the front part of the garden.  I was like, "We'll just look at some peonies and then we're leaving".  I'm terrified of Hamilton cops, thinking about how if New York Mills cops are awful, and New Hartford mall cops are bad, Hamilton College cops must be the most seriously petty folks on the planet.  "You're not wearing tweed.  That's a $500 fine each time.", or something to that effect.  

Dave was calm and I did settle down and have a good time.

"What can cops do?", you might be wondering.  Give you a hard time.  "So?", you wonder further.

See, you're the type that gives me a hard time.


 Here's a peony.  We looked.  I'm like, yep.

But then we stayed, because there were no other people around, it was quiet, and I figured everyone had gotten drunk and went inside.


Geranium.  A normal, regular geranium.  I'm so used to the irregular kind, I forgot there were these.

Phlox.  I used to grow this when I was a kid.  Very hardy, very pretty plant with many varieties.  They all have a certain look, though.

Tulips.  In the middle of the woods with a bunch of different ferns.

I've been thinking about making crochet daisy-chains.  Something you could wear on your head for a wedding or a necklace.  Something kind of low key, though. I can't stand screaming weirdness (steam punk) because I came out of the earth tone crazed 90's.  I saw these and was happy they looked so healthy and flourishing.

These were the first people we saw, there, over my right shoulder.  They minded their own business and did not ask me if I was the supervisor.  They did not ask to lend or borrow DVDs or CDs.  They did not ask me if I worked there, had kids, a job, was married or divorced, liked candy, was vegan or believed in the propagation of vicious human evil.  They did not sell, they did not want to buy, there were no songs of our respective people sung or music played, there was not even "Hi.", but merely some nods to politely acknowledge our existence.  I was relieved.  

More Peonies

Somehow, a tree with miniature tiger lillies?
Me, in Hemlock/Tulip Patch

Here's Dave down at the end of the path with all the bridges.  I like this path, because there's no guard rails to insult your intelligence.  No Disney, my family and I are not cattle, thank-you, absence of guard rails.

And the path is a really pretty color.  They all have gutters now, so you could go on a rainy day.  They all lead down to the ravine under the bridges.

There's a pine going out of there that made the sunlight look dramatic.  I'm so glad we went.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

WIPs and UFOs

It occurs to me that some people might want to actually see my atrocities...that is, the stuff I make that really isn't worthy of the title of "finished".  They may never be, but they are cool.  I try stuff twice, and if it doesn't work for me, I will abandon it.  That being said, here's some of my "eh"s.

 This is a curb chain bracelet with black and red pearl cotton woven into the links.  I like doing these, but I didn't add as many strands as I'd like, but I went ahead with it to see what it looks like.  Now I could do the other side the same, or take it out and add more strands.  Since I can't decide, it will never happen.

 This is a rainbow circle double crochet piece folded in half for a coin purse.  It's awaiting a liner and a zipper, both of which I have.  It will be cute at the end, sort of along the lines of my finished watermelon zipper purse.
I was so pleased with this one that I made this:

 Same idea, only much bigger.  There's a certain "instinct" you need while you're increasing stitches in the round, and sometimes you got it and sometimes, you get this:


It's not terrible, but it's not perfect either.  I'm not scrapping this by no means, it would make a perfect pillow.  I need to line it with some pantyhose and stuff it with polyester filling. 

Now, I love this top.  It's really nice, the shaping actually turned out well, the bottom fits nicely.  But I'm just at a roadblock.  Should I put sleeves on it?  What should I do with the neckline?  No leaving it like that...bare edged.  Should I put shells on it?  Long sleeves, short?  What am I going to do with it?  The yarn is some sort of sport weight yarn I treated myself to one day, because I usually get worsted acrylic yarn.  

  This is some sort of bag...that a couple smurfs got recycled for.  The new movie was coming out at the time, and the blue/white thing was everywhere.  It is knit in the round, on double pointed needles, which is fun, but I think I used a gauge a bit to small for the yarn.  Or I knit to tightly.  This just screams I need practice, I think.  But it has charm.  I never saw the movie, but I was a fan of the terrible cartoon that even the creators were upset about in the end.

 This is not a fail.  I finished it kinda and I actually carry thread crochet projects around in it.  It is ridiculously colored, though, and I can't picture people other than me actually liking it.  It's got a nice shape, but it's sort of a negative image of what people are into, color-wise.  But I did not work hard on the chain band, and I would never seriously sell it as a piece of work I did.  I dunno...I have high standards about what people like.

 This is "The Beast" who was supposed to be "The Devil" but look at that decidedly cat face.  I like him, he's mine, I think it's adorable but I think the status quo doesn't understand what adorable is because I'm a hipster with low self-esteem (at least in this area).  I've just noticed people generally like the "McDonald's-told-me-to-like-this" perfect sweatshop thing, and the more it looks like a million other things, it is ok to like it because it is "normal".  There are more of that kind of people out there than the person who likes the OOAK thing, no matter how many times this is said online, "at" me while working at the craft store, and to one another like normal people talk.  I know this because I, too, want the homogenized thingy in most cases, and I am not somehow "above" or "below" the average American.  "The Beast" is yours for 10 million dollars and a test you must go through designed by the girls I went to elementary school with to determine your humanity level.

 I like the crocodile stitch.  Maybe to much, but I'm still going to do it when it goes out of style.  I think sometimes I should do Catherine's Wheel instead, because I never see it online except under the heading "vintage".  So this is the beginning of a lace crocodile stitch glove.  I have to work on the cuff, and I dunno what I want to do with it.  But I like crocodile stitch in miniature.  I'm doing more necklaces next, because I love how it turned out in only two rows:
 Yeah, I wear this:
 People seem to like it, I don't know if they like IT or the colors, which I sorta think are fruity and loud.  But I love the stitch, it's fun.  Speaking of fruity, don't adjust your screen, you are really seeing these.

This is a fun craft
where you punch
through card stock
to make holes to
embroider into.

I'm not done with the stem and leaves yet on the peach, but they are nice and I'm happy with how they turned out.  I just need to work on punching the lengths more consistently.

When I was working on the rose scrubbies, I made some acrylic flowers to get used to doing it.  I put a stem on one and now I use it to keep my tiny thread-crochet steel hooks in.  They go all the way through the stem (which is a knitted green cotton I-cord).  There are 4 hooks in it right now, and it keeps them together, safe for when I need them.  I made the pot in high-school ceramics.

This is a broomstick lace bracelet.  I need flower buttons for it and I really want daisy ones.  I always see stuff I don't need and influences me to make something that makes buying the thing necessary.  Then I forget where I saw what, and the thing sits in WIP land forever.

  Can you crochet embroidery thread?  Yes, yes you can.  Note how the unused embroidery thread looks better than the rose I tried to crochet.  I'd recommend staying looser than I did here and using a B steel crochet hook.  Make sure you're catching all 6 strands, that's why I use the larger hook.  Otherwise your piece will be shabby like the poor slip stitch rose above.  I've thought about spinning the embroidery thread.  Why this instead of pearl cotton, you might wonder?  Well, I love the sheen on the embroidery thread.  You can find things in pearl cotton, but don't you get tired of the same old colors?  I have multi-color pearl cotton that I've done similar things with, and of course it needs some starching, but I've had good results. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

5 Different Types of Crafts Later

So, I'm still doing Crocodile Stitch.  Today I made these Fingerless Gloves:
On the left is the top, left hand.  The right is the underside of the right hand.  Addictive stitch, is all I can say.  Three dimensional stitches are like that for me.  Anyways, they are both the same.  I'm happy my work is coming out more consistently and I don't have to try so hard anymore.  This is acrylic yarn by Impeccable, and I've had pretty good luck with it in turn of stiffness and price.  Size G hook.

This is not an escapist activity.  You have to be mindful about it.  Someone once told me they could ignore a bomb going off while they knit (good for you).  Not me, though.  I actually care how it looks in the end.  Practice, practice.  I do skip around crafts all the time, but crochet continues to capture my imagination.  Knitting...I like, but it's slower.  Knitting would capture the paper pusher who told me she likes to "get away" from her life with it.  Crochet only puts me in tune with life.  (Knitting makes me frustrated).