Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spinning Every Day Keeps the Doctors at Bay...

Spinning as physical therapy is a great way to get my PT exercises in AND be productive at the same time. I took a break from Frank and started spinning up a bit of color on my Ashford Joy.

Abstract Fibers: Silk Merino in BonFire


Not only is it beautiful, but the spinning is really helping put movement back into my foot. It doesn't feel as tight, and it's helping me walk better every day that I'm at it.

It's not everyday that your beloved hobbies help get you back onto your feet again (literally!)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Trilobyte Hat

I love knitted items with a slight twist to them, especially when the recipient can really enjoy the product, not just as a crafted item, but the theme that goes with it, whether it is a specific genre such as a t.v. show (Dr Who), or science based, or whatever. And a lot of ingenius knitters have developed a fair number of knitted items that can apply to a variety of geeks.

One of my family members is a geologist. He's pretty darn funny and he appreciates handmade gifts. Nearly two years ago, I made him the Trilobite Hat for the holidays, because what better present for a geologist? He's since worn it to pieces (literally!) The last time I visited, I had to do some major mending of the hat, but it was only a temporary fix.

As he's proven himself knitted-gift-worthy, I decided that I need to replace his much love well-worn hat with another (or two). So, consequently, I've been knitting up another trilobite hate for him out of Cascade Superwash in walnut in between finishing up my sweater.


I made the hat brim a little bit longer to cover up cold ears or to fold over onto itself. When I made the first one, it seemed that the hat brim was a wee bit short. Now, I'm only half way done with the hat, but it's a fun little knit.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spinning for Physical Therapy Purposes

After my foot injury, one of the owners of my LYS told me that I could use my spinning wheel as part of my physical therapy. Up until now, the foot hasn't been capable of doing much, and I had been spinning one-footed on my double treadle wheels. As much as I love my Ashford Kiwi, I love her even more now, because she spins very very easily even with one foot.


My Ashford Joy is a little harder to spin with one foot, due to the wheel as there is a definite "bottom" and top of the wheel which causes it to wobble ever-so-slightly when spinning with one foot when the heavy part comes around. This is not a problem, and I've learned to compensate for the slightly heavier part of the wheel.

Ashford Joy

I did attempt to spin on the Kiwi with two feet, but the angle & treadle size wasn't right and it hurt to use my foot on it. HOWEVER, the angle & size of the Joy works with my poor hurt foot. So, the other night, I put the hurt foot on its treadle and let it just "ride" while my good foot does all the work.

So, I spun for a while. I let my foot "ride" for about 5-10 minutes, then gave it a rest while my good foot continued spinning. Later, I'd let the foot "ride" again....repeat for a bit. It felt pretty good and got some blood flow into the leg. My foot also felt "looser" instead of being tight. But, just like any other workout, the next day my foot was slightly sore (but not a "bad" type of sore) and I noticed that I had a little bit more movement than I did before.

When I go see my physical therapist, I shall be sure to talk to her about spinning. Mayperhaps, I can start a trend where spinning is recommended as part of physical therapy for those who have ankle injuries. :-)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Knitting Conductivity into Your Gloves

Over on Craft magazine, I saw this nifty article about a knitter who knit conductive wire into her gloves so that she could easily check her iPhone without taking her gloves off in 10 deg F weather!

How awseome and geeky is that?! Ya'll should go read it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Grrly Post about Handbags

As a geek grrl, I'm not big into handbags. I use a lot of messenger type bags, especially those from Eagle Creek and Timbuk2. I don't like "girly" type bags that need to match my outfit or shoes.

My small Timbuk2 bag looks kinda sort like this:

It's small, it's practical, and it fits all my daily gear neatly (including a small knitting project. AND it goes with everything. I usually carry it with me everywhere. (Yeah, I'm not the fashionista!)

However, as a photography geek and fiber arts geek, I like carrying around my knitting projects and (sometimes) my camera gear around. As a professional photographer, I have some hefty gear. My point-and-shoot camera is small enough to fit into any bag that I might have, but not so much with the DSLR and lens.

My Timbuk2 & Eagle Creek are great for carrying out general gear and a knitting project, but not so much the camera gear.

This means, I need a bigger bag than I normally carry, but with enough protection for my camera gear. AND that I can take to more social events without clashing too much with whatever outfit I'm wearing. And, it doesn't necessarily need to be a messenger bag.

Now, most camera bags can fit the bill, as they are big enough to handle my gear AND take a knitting project. BUT are basic black, made for men, heavy, and generally boxy, ugly and SCREAM "camera bag"!

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my camera bags, which are great for when I have to go out on location to shoot or if I'm going out into the woods with my gear. But for general urban shooting or social events? I'm no fashionista by any sense of the word, BUT I like to be a little bit stylish. Plus, have I mentioned some of these camera bags/backpacks are HEAVY when empty?

So, I started looking around. There are more and more women photographers out there, and surely, someone's got something that is
a) practical
b) somewhat stylish (even for a geek grrl like me)
c) fits my needs

I found two potential candidates:
* Kelly Moore bags
* Jill-e

Now, I'm leaning more towards the Kelly Moore bags, because of Kelly did a bunch of videos showing off the bags; how big they are, what they can fit into them, and how they fit against her body. It gave me a really good idea of how it would work with me. PLUS she's got a wide variety of designs & styles.

They aren't boxy at all and come in a variety of colors. This one is catching my eye:

However, the Jill-e bags aren't bad either.

It's definitely outside of my normal style, and appeals more to the *girl* in me, than the GeekGrrl, but I think I can manage.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cat Warmer

Since I've gotten injured, my cats have been very attentive. They've been taking advantage of the fact that I've been limited in movement, and been spending a lot more time at home.

My youngest has discovered that my injured foot pretty much remains immobile for periods of time and is a perfect headrest. On the flip side, he also keeps my foot warm. When he purrs, it tickles.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Geekery: A Definition

According to Wikipedia:

The word geek is a slang term, with different meanings ranging from "a computer expert or enthusiast" to "a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts", with a general pejorative meaning of "a peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, esp[ecially] one who is perceived to be overly intellectual".[1]

Back in the 80s, if you were a geek, it meant you were a computer or technical nerd of some sort. However, words change over time. The term, geek, pretty much means someone who is devoted to a particular skill, hobby, area of interest, and pursues that to the best of his/her ability.

Nowadays, you have:
* computer geeks
* sci-fi geeks
* film geeks
* comic book geeks
* roleplaying geeks
* knitting geeks
etc. etc

In essence, for me, a geek is someone who is an enthusiast, who loves their particular area of interest (often passionately) to the point of distraction.

Now, not only am I geek in the true sense of the word (a computer geek), but I have varying areas of geekery that have nothing to do with computers. I am a jack-of-all-trades sort of geek.  Some main forms of my geekery include:

* comic book geekery
* book geekery
* photography geekery
* fiber arts geekery (knitting, crocheting, spinning, etc.)
* costuming geekery
* sci-fi geekery
* steampunk geekery
* music geekery
* gamer geekdom
* baking geekery

In this blog, I'll touch on various forms of my geekery, while trying to maintain focus on my crafting geekery.

Time to get my geek on!

A Sad Day in the Who-verse

If, you're like me, a bit Doctor Who fan, there is some sad news today;

Elisabeth Saden, who played Sarah Jane, died due to complications of cancer.

She's held her own again many a Doctor and even had her own show, the Sarah Jane Adventures.

The Who-verse will be a bit more lonelier because of it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Change is Good.

Change is good. When I created my blog, I really didn't know what to name it and flailed a bit for a good name. I thought "Sharp Pointy Objects" would be appropriate since I deal with SPOs all the time. But, it was always intended to be more

However, I'm also a geek at heart, and I have different areas of geekiness -- from fiber arts, to sci-fi/fantasy geekery, to costuming geekery, to photography geekery. Then one day as I was waking from a half-sleep, I realized what the final name of my blog should actually be!

Hence, Geek Grrl Crafts!

I've moved over all of my posts, but kept Sharp Pointy Objects as to redirect people to this new blog site. I hope to get more general geeky-ness written in future posts.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spinning Frank

Last week, I ran out of quills in which to store my one ounce singles of Frank. So, I plied two skeins and got him washed & thwacked. He looks absolutely beautiful.

Frank in Bobbins

(Compared to a Chibi)
Frankie Plied

I got about ~130 yards (+/- 5 yards) for both skeins. So, I'm pretty confident that I'll get about the same yardage across all plied skeins.

Plying freed up about 6 quills so I started spinning more singles. I just need to do 2 more ounces of singles, which would give me enough to ply for the cardigan.

(If not, I still have 1.25 pounds of Frank waiting for me)

In addition, I also washed & thwacked some BFL that had been waiting on one of the niddy noddies.

Mixed BFL

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pound of Frank

Tonight, I got a FULL pound of Frank spun up which is a total milestone for me! (Of course, there's still 1.25 pounds left!) So, I took some of the sample yarn I spun up so I could figure out exactly how much I had left to spin.

Frank as 3ply

12 yard 3ply sample = 1/4 oz = 48 yards / ounce = 768 yards/pound

For the sweater, I need about 1000 yards (give or take), so therefore I need:

1000 yards / 768 yards/pound = 1.30200 pounds = 20.83200 ounces = ~21 ounces

I already have one pound of Frank spun up (16 ounce singles), so therefore I would need another 5 ounces spun of singles. (For safety sake, lets say 6 additional ounces because I did make a sample of a 3-ply & 4ply up which used up some of 3 ounces of singles.)


Then I'd need to ply all of those, and THEN I can start knitting the sweater!

I'm a lot close to being done than I least with the spinning portion.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spinning my Wheels

This past weekend was a spinning weekend. There was much needed cleaning to do, but DH insisted I not help (something about being on crutches was not helpful). So he marched me to my desk area.....where got to some serious spinning on the wheel. I had discovered (to my delight) that I could operate with one foot with only a minor bit of fiddling (as I have double treadles). So, I listened to podcasts and spun for a good chunk of the weekend.

I spun 3 ounces of Frank, then needed a little something different for a while. Digging around the Stash, I found a batt I had gotten a while ago. The colorway was "Cedar Waxwing", which I discovered is a type of bird (didn't know) that is black & gold color.

While spinning, the batt reminded me of everything from black opals to black hills gold.

Cedar Waxwing

3.25 oz batt. 60% merino/ 30% bamboo/10% firestar
Single: 4.5 TPI
Finished: 2ply / 166 yards / ~ 3.15 oz
18 WPI (sport / DK weight)

Just so that I wasn't completely unfaithful to Frank, I decided that I needed to spin a test swatch for Frank. So, I spun up a 3ply and a 4ply. My simply plyback tests had told me that a 3ply would work for the sweater I wanted to knit, but I wanted to make sure and there's no better way than to knit a swatch.

After plying, the samples got washed, thwacked, and dried (in the nice day sun), and afterwards were knitted into swatches.

Frank as 3ply
(Before washing: sport/DK weight)
(After washing: Aran/light worsted)
Knitted Sample: 4.5 stitches/inch (18st/4 inches) on US6

Frank as 4ply
(Before washing: light worseted)
(After washing: heavy worseted)
Knitted sample: 4 stitches/inch (16 stitches/4inches) on US 7/6

Both samples were very nice, although I much preferred the 3ply as the fabric because it matches the gauge for the sweater I want to knit and it has a much drapier hand. Whereas the 4ply was a bit thicker than I wanted, and could probably be made into a much thicker sweater or hat.