Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Remember, Come Visit Me at the New Digs; One More Day To Enter the Rafflecopter

Good Morning, and Happy Tuesday!  Noony here, with a quick check-in and reminder.  I'm over at my new site, blogging away. Knoontime Knitting - One Writer's Journey Into 3-D as well as my main blog, Explore the Worlds of A. Catherine Noon, are both there, as well as new content. I hope you'll join me.

The new Noon and Wilder site is up and running as well, here.  We're still adding content and developing things, but the Noon and Wilder blog is going strong - and we're in the A-Z Challenge too!  (That's right, Dear Reader, we're doing the challenge three times this year!)  Having a ball with it.

And finally, there's still time to sign up for the Rafflecopter.  I've been overwhelmed with the responses; thank you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

C'Mon Over To My Knoo Home for Knoontime Knitting

I'm very excited to share that I have a new home for Knoontime Knitting.  My new website is live, and there's a cozy little place for KK there.  C'mon over and join the conversation!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Make Something Monday - The Emerald Keep Scarf

Now that I've sorted out the design and simplified it, the Emerald Keep Scarf is coming along very nicely.  Last week, I talked about the difficulties I was having with it and how the design process was coming - or, as it turns out, not coming.  This weekend I got almost 18 inches done.  At this rate, I'll be done by the end of next weekend or the middle of the week following, well in advance of the start of the Keepsake Book Tour.

The stitch is a simple pattern from Barbara Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns called Two-Color Star Stitch.  I find her books invaluable in designing projects because she puts the knitter in the driver's seat.  Through teaching how the fabric works inherently, to how geometric designs are created by the yearn, a knitter can go from a basic student of the subject to a designer in very short order.  I have a long way to go before I'm a master knitter, but I am a lot closer to the goal because of her books.  I highly recommend them.

I've made this stitch pattern a couple times before, and I like its simple beauty.  This time, I selected an emerald green dark tone for the main color and a light mint for the accent.

The more I work with this pattern, I find that I like the reverse of the fabric just as much as the front.  It ends up looking almost beaded in texture, with neat edges on each side.

I cast on 30 stitches, since it's multiples of 3; on size 7 needles the fabric is quite wide.  There's a lot of horizontal stretch to it and it will curl (which is why I had such difficulty with edging it).  I don't mind the curl in the finished design, it has its own beauty; I'll still play around with some possibilities for edgings in future projects but since I needed this done for the book tour, I didn't have the time.

I did have an interesting breakthrough as I was working it.  It finally it me that the colors are tied to the stitch order; meaning that row 2 is always Color A and row 4 is Color B.  I don't need to keep track of the row count because I know which pattern row to work based on the color on the needle.  All wrong side rows are purled, so it's an easy pattern to memorize - even for me, with the difficulty I have with 2D to 3D translation.

Keep your eyes peeled for the Keepsake Tour; it starts March 8th.  Emerald Keep is out on April 8th.

What are you making this Monday?  Please tell me in the comments; I'd love to know.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Stash Sunday

I am working on the Emerald Keep scarf for the Keepsake Tour, which of course means that I instantly want to play with something from my stash. Doesn't that always happen?

So here's what's on my desk right now, that's not the Keepsake scarf:

Top left is my character binder for the novels currently in progress, (Sealed by Duty and Sapphire Dream, in case you're curious).  Under that is my Franklin Planner.  On its side is some pretty Caron Simply Soft Paints yarn, which I bought when I bought the yarn for the Emerald Keep scarf but am not using in it.

Which begs the question, what shall I make with it?  ~rubs hands together~

Next is my keys.  This is important.  Hard to get into the house without them.

Don't ask me how I know that.  I don't want to talk about it.

Moving right along, we come to the Caron ball band for the light green yarn in the Emerald Keep scarf.  The glue failed and it fell off, so I brought it in here to make sure I have it up on Ravelry before I discard it.

The grey is for a possible pair of Quill's Socks, which were featured in Emerald Fire and remarked upon by every editor who worked on it as well as several fans.  Yes, Teeka finished the socks, yes, Quill liked them, and yes, I'll feature a pattern for them when the website redesign goes live - and I might even make a pair of them to give away at some point.  Though, in all honesty, I probably won't have time to make them for this Keepsake Tour.

Next is the yarn I bought to make Rachel a pair of fingerless mitts she can use in the hot climate of the Nevada desert.  I'll use some kind of lace pattern on them, probably but right now I'm just sketching with it.

I realized I caught the edge of my little post-it note with Rule #11 from NCIS:  "When the job is done, walk away."

On the right of my desk, I have two needlework kits that I'm looking forward to starting.  One is a ladybug which is in honor of the fictiious Ladybug Bed and Breakfast.  The other is a lovely peacock I bought while visiting Rachel last month - I adore peacocks.

What's in your stash?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Work In Progress Wednesday

Attempt the First
It's Wednesday.  I figured I'd share what I've been crafting around with.

My first item to share is the Emerald Keep Scarf, which will be a giveaway in the forthcoming Keepsake Tour starting March 8th, to celebrate the release of Book 2 in the Persis Chronicles, Emerald Keep.

It didn't work.

I mean, yeah, it's fabric, and it's knitted.  But that's about it. For one thing, the stitch said WS (wrong side) for both pieces, but either I misread it or it's a typo because clearly, it's incorrect - the edge stitches clearly are backward from the main lace stitches.

Attempt the First, Backside
This is a view where you can see the edge stitches are right-side up, while the lace is wrong side.


Attempt the Second, Front and Frustration Both Start with F.
So does my favorite swear word.
Jus' sayin'.

Started over.

And... I don't like my idea of the border.  You can't really see it well in this shot, but the edges pull in too much and make it look sloppy.  The reason I wanted a border to begin with is that this stitch has quite a bit of bias curl; however, the edging I picked (mistake-stitch rib) isn't working.

I think either I'll throw an extra yarn over in to create a sort of gutter, or eliminate the edges entirely.

Why move stuff outta the way when you can stand over it?
I mentioned to a friend that we made candles last weekend and realized I neglected to take photos.  I planned to take pics of the cold pots, but we have to cook in our kitchen so they had to come off the stove.

And, apparently, my kid thinks it's no big deal to stand over them rather than move them out of the way.  He's cooking a very lovely taco salad at the moment, (well, cooking the sausage that will go in the taco salad).  Yum.

Soap! Curing!
Our batch of soap that we made a couple weeks ago is curing very well.  It's a lovely creamy ivory color now.  We cut it this weekend to allow each of the bars exposure to air, so they can continue the curing process.

In case you're wondering, curing is letting the chemical reaction between the fat and lye to finish.

This is raw soap and not milled soap, so it's not made in a mold.  You can use it as is, once it's cured, or mill it again and then pour it into pretty molds for a nice appearance.

Candles, Dipped 2015
I only made a half-dozen this year so far; I may fire up the pots once more before I put everything away.  I like the way these came out; they are nice and uniform.  They're also really long, which is my favorite (I have four different heights I can make).

Basket-o-Candles, Bad Lighting.
This isn't a very good shot, but it's of my candle stock.  I'll see if I can get a better one for you one of these days - but for now, it's off to eat dinnah.


What are you making?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Make Something Monday - Bryce Canyon Hat I

Bryce Canyon Hat, all done!
I finished the hat late Sunday night.  I used a sewing needle bind off so that the edge is nice and loose.  It's very warm; reflects heat back against my head.

Top View
I love the way the top came out with swirls.  One thought I had is to continue the swirls down the body of the hat using decreases after each yarn over.

Bryce Canyon Hat, Almost There
Here's a shot of the rib stitch.  My next one, I want to do something more interesting on the body of the hat.  The ribbing is boring; I'd like to try something more fun - maybe even patterned.

In process, large enough to go on the double-pointed needles.
It looks like a little bag at this stage.

Top View, in process
Here's the top before drawing all the stitches up.  A pom pom might look cute here, or even a bauble.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Make Something Monday: Craftsy Is My New Favorite Thing

I have discovered the joys of Craftsy, an online school for crafting. They have fiber arts, paper arts, photography, even woodshop. I'm having a ball!

The other day, I discovered one of their Halloween kits on sale for 80% off. Wowsers. It was the Halloween Decor Kit.  Not only did it come with supplies, it came with a class on how to make stuff with the supplies.  I decided to give it a shot!

My completed banner.  Is it Halloween yet?
We learned layering and creating interest with disconnected patterns of paper.  We used paper tape with a pattern so that everything would be tied together, and I even took a risk and let stuff come together asymmetrically!

Detail of Banner: The "S" and "P" panels
In this one, you can see the polka dotted paper tape that ties the panels together - and, incidentally, reinforces the paper at the holes we punch in to thread the cording through.  I used orange mercerized cotton from a recent weaving project.

Detail of Banner:  The "P" and first "O" panels - is that a design off the side?
I took a creative risk when I made these and actually had parts of the collage jut off the side of the panel.  Dare we take creative risks?

Detail of Banner:  The second "O" panel as well as "K" and "Y".
I became more daring as I progressed through the pieces.  I used a Permanent Glue Stick from Avery for gluing the pieces; it was a very low-stress, clean way to glue things together.

The completed banner with the mini pieces that will help add interest to the banner.
I love how all the colors go together and have a common theme!

All stacked up and ready to be put away, awaiting Halloween next year.  ~sad~
Okay, now I'm ready for Halloween to come right now!

If you haven't checked out Craftsy before, you should totally toddle on over there.  They have some really neat classes, even some for free so you can decide if you like the platform.  They have regular sales, too, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled.  And best of all?  You can post pictures of your projects to share with other crafters!