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Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Rare and Illusive Rainbow Minion

Two ply, handspun cake-dye Romney locks.  Spun and plied on Bosworth spindles.  Could have used a bit more twist.  The second ply was merino singles from my Hansen E-spinner retreat, spun on the Hansen.  I wanted to try out some reverse thrumming and used this video tutorial from The YellowFarm

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

Knitting FOS, Shawl Pins

Details on Ravelry

Tutorial for Shawl pins by Abby Hook, Etsy purchase.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

In a Galaxy Far Away

1977 was the year of the first Star Wars film, a film like no other.  It was exciting, it was memorable and it embedded many wonderful characters in my psyche.  The second series came out in 1999 and was somehow a bit disappointing. One of the most hated characters, Jar Jar Binks, was born.  In retrospect, it was a very dark tale, the turning of the chosen one, a sweet love destroyed....

I was surprised I did not own the DVDs so I remedied that this Christmas and marathon-ed them in order.  As part of the whole story, I found Jar Jar, less jarring and the tale of the first three so sad and dark.  I really did see the good that was still in Darth Vader.  The ending of the new disk 6 added some more scenes of the galaxy celebrating the return of the Jedi.  I'm not sure that added anything, but Hayden Christensen replaced the original "ghost" in the ending so I am glad of that.

I loved the new movie.  It was great to see many of my old firends.  So many questions, which I won't discuss here, just in case there is someone out there who hasn't seen it.  Go see it.  It has much the energy of episode 4 and I can't wait for 8 and 9!

I named my stash quilt "In a Galaxy Far Away"

Pattern:  Indigo Weave by McCall designed by Debbie Outlaw
Quilting:  Machine quilted by Barbara Alama, Alama Designs
Fabrics from stash except for binding.  I wanted red binding, but the yellowcheeseduck wanted green.  I can't see any shade of green matching so settled on aqua.  Finished 73x55 inches.  One of the bigger quilts I have done.  

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

Windows 10 and Me. The ongoing saga.

My PC died and the Landcaster said I should buy a new computer.  He loaned me a Mac, but this old dog had some issues with learning new tricks (software) so I got a Surface Book pre-installed with Win10 and Nvidia discrete GPU.  This will be an ongoing post of some issues and how they got solved.  So far there have been only minor annoying bugs. I rather like investigating the fixes and trying them out.   There are new updates frequently so I assume Microsoft is working on them as well.  I have 90 days to schedule an appointment at the Microsoft help desk but have avoided them so far. So far I can't say any of these issues are actually Win10 issues. 

1.  In Firefox, I got a message that the application had been blocked from accessing graphics software.  This seemed to be solved.  I had to un-install the Nvida drivers, then re-install them.  It was a little fussy doing this and the Lancaster had to step in.  Win 10 wouldn't just recognize video card and load the new drivers but they were eventually installed manually.

2.  Time was always wrong.  I messed with the time settings.  The zone, the time.  It would be fine for the moment, but always slowed down.  By morning I was a hour off.  I tried a couple of servers to synchronize the time with, but got an error that the synchronization failed.  I finally tried this method and the time finally seems to be fixed.

3. Everything seemed hunky dory until I let the computer sleep for several hours.When the laptop woke up the second monitor did not.   I'm still working on this one.  On shutdown and restart the second monitor was detected.  I have turned hibernation off but will have to see what happens next time the system sleeps.  Well that didn't work, so now I have edited the display settings to "extended" under multiple displays, and "sleep never" in power and sleep in the PC mode.  Well that didn't work either.  The microsoft knowledge base says "On waking from sleep, your Surface may have trouble reconnecting to an external display. To fix this, unplug the video cable from the Mini DisplayPort and plug it back in again. This can also affect daisy-chained monitors."  I don't think it's a cable problem but I'll have to try it.
Waah.  I checked with the help desk and my monitor is one of the Dell models that is not compatible with Surface Book.  Here is the the complete list: 
Dell: *U2715Hc *U2515Hc (Only FW revision A00-A01. A03 is good) *U2415b *U3415W (disable DP 1.2)
Phillips: 288P6L
Samsung: U28D590D
So the work around is to not let the 'puter sleep, or if it does sleep to deeply, unplug the dock and plug it back in.  Or consider just using the laptop monitor, or buying a new monitor.  Sigh.  At least it's not a fatal error.

4.  Jan 13, 2016.  Firefox was freezing off and on and I suspected it had something to do with Shockwave Flash.  I finally uninstalled it after reading Win 10 had it's own flash.  Yesterday I plugged in a new usb/bluetooth device, headphones just to charge..  After that I started having freezzes, and finally BSOD.  The Landcaster was called in.  The Nvidia driver was inconsistently loading.  I was not looking forward to a day with Micorsoft support.  Finally I decided to stop using the external monitor and just let it be a laptop like it wants to be.  So far no freezes.  Time will tell.    Again, this doesn't not seem to be a Win10 problem, but a hardware issues.  

To be continued. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Dressing the Girls Up for Halloween

Marietta as the Good Witch
Cape and Hat:  Fun Threads Designs.  I sewed two buttons on where I attached the ribbon.  I made the hat out of felt.
T-shirt and buckle boots:  Amazon seller, American Fashion World 
Tights:  Etsy Shop, Sew Fun Doll Clothes
She is pretty complete except for t-shirt embellishment and/or jewelry.  Her broom is a cake tester from Berea College Crafts in Kentucky. 

Elizabeth as Princess Leia
DressI traced her body and added ease.  The fabric is single knit from stash.  I cut a hole for her head and added a folded strip for the turtle neck, then hemmed the raw edges.  The belt was cut down from a thrift-ed sparkly belt.  This doll has some body shape problems so I added two cotton balls for a bust and some shoulder pads. I also repainted her lips. She came with white boots so those worked out fine.    Her hair can still use a little work.  

Kate "Izzy" as Hermione Granger

Izzy had some major problems when I got her.  Her hat was glued to her head and her right arm was partially amputated.  She was sent to a doll hospital, but the doc didn't feel I should put a lot of money into her repair as she was not a "good" doll.  (sad face)  Anyway she did get most of the glue out of her hair and re-attached her arm.  I watched numerous videos on how to recondition dolls hair and ended up using Downy and detangler to clean her hair.  It has a much better texture now.  I will have to watch more videos on how to curl it.  For now it looks glorious for her Hermione Granger costume.  I repainted her lips as well. Her wand is a shawl pin from The Constant Knitter

Hat:  Fun Threads Designs. I downsized the hat a bit since Izzy has an 11 inch head and Marietta has a 12 inch head.  I used felt again.  
Scarf:  My own design.  Yellow Rowan Pure Wool, Red Knitaly.  16 stitches knit in the round.  Turkish CO, double needle bind-off.  Fringed.  Stripes are 8 rows.  
Robe:  Wonderful free pattern by MyAGDollCraft .  Izzy (shhh) has a big head and her body is rather tiny.  I cut the pattern along the sew lines and it just happened to be perfect.  
Skirt:  Just winged this.  I found a nice plaid grey flannel shirt at the thrift store and cut the longest strip possible.  I hemmed one long side, then used the lines of the plaid to make pleats.  I measured the finished length and subtracted the waist portion and added seam allowances and hems. The waist portion was doubled and seam allowances added.  I folded it and half and thread some elastic through.  I cut off whatever I didn't need from the pleated sections and sewed up the back seam.
Vest:  This came out way too big, so lucky thing the scarf covers the neck.  I'm thinking about knitting her a sweater and sewing a collared blouse.  Sounds pretty fiddley too me.  
Stockings:  I used this video to make a pattern
Only had some knit in black to try them out and my machine did not want to hem it well.  They fit pretty well imo.  
Shoes:  I have no idea what size shoes this girl takes.  My first attempt at shoes was way too large.  I used a pattern from The Doll's Dressmaker, by Venus Dodge.  I'm going to try another size.

I had a lot of fun working on these costumes.  While my friends are all in the grand child mode, it looks to me my future does not hold grandchildren.  I'm hoping my nieces'  younger daughter will one day adopt Marietta, but who knows.  Kids you know have minds of their own!  Kate and Elizabeth had some body image problems and scare little ones.  

I miss sewing garments on my old Bernina.  I wish Bernina still supported my 1530.  The Janome is much better with free-motion quilting but it doesn't like to sew over bumps (like seams) and is horrible on narrow seams and starting up.  I am just too lazy some times to start over a bit of fabric or finding the stabilizer, sigh. 

Thursday, October 01, 2015


Most of my Ireland pictures are up.  Lots of flowers!  There were so many varieties!  The scenery was outstanding as well.  My pictures just don't do justice to the beauty.  Ireland Flickr Album

I also have a few pictures of my brief stay in Atlanta, GA with the fabulous Knitted Brow.  We did drum-carding, soap and a trip to the AtBot  Mr. Cricket the handsome poodle treated me well after a brief re-introduction.

So on to the FOs

Oaken Poncho
Pattern:  Easy Folded Poncho by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas
Yarn:  Bugga! by The Verdant Gryphon.  Colorway:  Oaken Timberworm.  Lovely, lovely cushy yarn!  I used two skeins with just a tiny bit left, and not enough for the cowl
Needles:  size 6
Mods:  none
Comments.  The two skeins did not match so I planned the brighter one for the front.  The seam joins the two different skeins and sits on top on one shoulder.  Not a problem!  This is very comfy to wear.  This was the perfect knit for those long stretches on the the bus in Ireland.  So mindless it did not interfere with sight seeing out the window!

Chamblee Bliss

Kim checked out a drum carder and we mixed up a bunch of batts.  Fiber content is chop suey.  Mostly wool, tiny amount of angelina and some silk.    This was the first time for me spinning batts.  They are a pleasure!  I did the singles on Edward, my Bosworth midi, and plied them on Serenity, my Majacraft Rose.    I ended up with 1.3 oz. of worsted 3 ply, and 0.2 oz of a two ply.  Not sure what it will be.

While I was having fun with the drum-carder, Kim made soap.  She sent me home with 9 bars of glorious soap, which is still curing, but smells heavenly.

And just another Shoulder Cozy, or was it two.  One in Noro Aya/Cascade lace and one in Noro Taiyo/Cascade lace, in very similar colorways.