Thursday, January 15, 2009

Photo find

I was looking through a box of photos trying to organize them to put them in an album the other day and came across this one of me at my oldest and just barely still working spinning wheel. I still like to use it when I have time to spare, but usually prefer my more efficient upright with double treadle for most of the yarn I make for my hats. The photo is sort of dark because it was taken inside my cabin in Ukiah without a flash. I still haven't gotten around to getting the photo album together, so this seems as good a place as any to put it.

The chair I'm sitting in is made out of madrone wood, and is a sort of free form sculpture. Madrone trees are plentiful in Northern California. The wood is very hard, and the branches are all curvy, so totally useless for lumber. Great for sculpture, though, and good firewood.

Just about everything in the cabin is hand made. I made the braided rug and the cushion in the chair, and my ex-husband made the chair and the drum - and for that matter, also the house, which is pretty much of a free form sculpture as well. There are more photos of it at the very beginning of this blog.

Second try

A few weeks ago I made a new hat style that I posted here and on my website. (See below) It just kind of happened on it's own without my paying too much attention to how I'd done it. That's how my best designs always develop. If I try too hard or think too much about it, then it might come out all right, but not really a totally new creation. Of course not all out-of-nowhere new creations necessarily work well enough to try to duplicate. I really liked this one, though, so when it got sold during the holidays, I wanted to try and make another similar one.

That was not so easy, though, because I couldn't remember what I'd done. It took me over two weeks of pulling out and redoing before I finally succeeded. I ended up doing it backwards and upside down. I know that doesn't make any sense, but that's what I did.

With the first one I started at the top and ended up at the brim, but that was really hard to do, so I wanted to figure out an easier way. I figured it might work better if I started at the brim and worked up, but then I ran into all kinds of problems because the stitches were upside down. Eventually I ended up fudging it a bit in various ways, and it finally came out looking pretty good. I doubt I'll be making too many more like this though. They look great, but are really a pain to put together.

Here they both are along with a photo of the woman who nabbed the first one. It's now found a happy home somewhere in Chicago.

The fuzzy part is dyed Samoyed hair, and the rest is wool. I added a tiny bit of blue angelina in the section above the brim in the blue one, which gives it a bit of subtle sparkle. I like the soft blue, and the extra poofy clumps of unspun fiber added in. I've just put it up on the website, but may change my mind and keep it. I think it looks sort of Russian or Mongolian.