Sunday, September 28, 2008

Let the Auction Begin!



I've listed three items on ebay to help raise money for the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. They are very active in the struggle against aerial shooting of wolves and bears in Alaska and other states. Currently they are airing a commercial in several states of the implorable practice encouraged by Sarah Palin. I'm including the pictures of the items, listed under my selling name, millrunplace. Please check out these three items.






Saturday, September 27, 2008

Found the Perfect Hat Pattern

Well, I'm still fighting this cold this weekend and after dragging myself out of bed for the second time today, I decided to pamper myself by sitting in front of the computer and cruising through ravelry.com. I came across several tutorials for Navaho plying which has now intrigued and added to my yarn/spinning obsession. I also, through these sites, stumbled across a great hat to knit and try to send off for the Knit One, Save One project. Here's the website (knitty.com):
http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter04/PATTperuvian.html.
The best part of this article besides the great hat design itself is this sentence, which I quote, "It's a natural for a silly baby hat, the kind that gives the kid the idea that the world is full of friendly people because everyone they meet on the street is cracking up."
Now, isn't that the greatest idea! Start your child's view of the world as a happy place. There will be plenty of time later for sorrow and seriousness in this life. The first couple of years in an ideal world should be happy and warm and full of laughter. I think laughter is underrated these days. It is often more effective in restoring a person's well-being as medicine. I see too many kids at the middle school where I teach who don't laugh, or laugh at the wrong things. They're angry at life. Occasionally, one of the school clubs sponsors Hat Day and the crazy hats come out. There are more smiles on those days than usual. I think legislation for schools should concentrate more on improving the psyches of these kids by instilling a sense of light-heartedness and joy with more days built into the curriculum rather than the serious Character Education programs that concentrate on telling kids how they can be more productive citizens. So, if you're considering making a hat for a baby, why not make it a little silly? You may be helping to mold that child's world into a happier place.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Knit One, Save One


I apologize for the late entry on this article, but I just came across this charity activity from the Lion Brand Newsletter. The charity ends October 21, but there is still time to submit newborn hats if you can knit one up quickly. The Save the Children Foundation is sponsoring this drive to provide newborn infants a wooly hat. Many poor mothers in the world do not have hats for their newborns who can lose vital body heat through their heads, leading to pneumonia. The link provided will give you directions for making the hats as well as a tag to attach to the hat before sending to:
Save the Children
1 St John's Lane
London ECIM 4AR

The information and tag template are at this address:
http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/en/5072.htm

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Transformations


Since I've been spinning (as of this past summer), I'm becoming more and more fascinated by the transformation that wool undergoes from its original residence on the sheep to being a finished yarn. I won an ebay bid a couple of weeks ago from Karen Catena (Kolorfullady - ravelry.com) and am still amazed at the change, not only in color, but in texture. The roving I bought was hand-dyed in what she calls a "Raisin Cookie" combination. The colors were much darker on the roving than when the fibers were stretched and twisted in the spinning. They are much more subtle and softer now that they are plied yarn. Since I counted the Raisin Cookie spinning successful enough to place on etsy.com (under millruncrafts), I now have the spinning itch. The Raisin Cookie looked like colors I would use until after spinning, but now not so much. I ventured into pulling out some fine natural merino wool purchased two summers ago when I first started trying my hand at the drop spindle. I must be improving, because it actually spun as well. Okay, now, so how adventurous can I be? Well, some nylon thread and a lot of beads later and now here we have beaded merino. I still have to wet it and stretch it out. You can see it's still on my spool. That will need to be moved soon as the next roving is finding its way through the spinner. The texture of this wool was extremely soft when in the roving state. When single plied, a little coarser, but when plied again, softened up a bit. I'm not sure what caused this. I may have to keep this one to knit into something just to see how it transforms again after knitting. I purchased some merino hand-dyed from Blue Goose Glen in Tennessee and am able to spin without much drafting at all. This is turning out to be a very baby soft aqua stripey pattern. This almost makes me want to dye my own wool; we'll see. I've touched very expensive wool in yarn shops, a habit of knitters and spinners. The courseness has made me cringe. I wonder how these particular wools started out in life - what kind of sheep did they come from and why is this wool so valued when I don't want my hands to be in contact with it? Do these sheep have harder lives than the merino sheep which yield such softness? How is their wool transformed and will it soften if given the chance to be coaxed by needles into a different shape or usefullness? Someday, if given a wild notion (and more money than I know what to do with) I may splurge for some of this sad wool just to give it a chance to transform into something beautiful as well.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Aaron's Buckeye Gourd

I've been doing buckeye gourds for my husband and his family now and still owed our nephew Aaron one. I decided to use a gourd that was already cut and finished and to carve his instead of just woodburning and staining like the last one. I find the canteen gourds have a similar shape to the Ohio State Buckeye Tree fruit. I used Tandy stains, possibly oxblood, but it's been finished for so long now I'm not sure. The lid which was cut out is the natural color of the gourd. The inside is finished with Mod Podge. This keeps the dust from being a problem. I drew a buckeye leaf onto the gourd and then used a knife-edged blade to carve into the outline to make the rest of the carving easier and to give a stopping point when carving. A little at the time is the trick and I used some of the U-shaped wood-cutting tools to whittle. A word of advice: Use leather gloves when carving with these tools. If I had been able to find mine, I would have been wearing them when I slipped once and drew blood. But, all in all, I think it went fine. I used Master Gourd Satin finish to seal the outside after finishing. The inside is not food-safe as far as I know, but using a plastic bag or container if one plans to hold food should be fine.
This gourd now resides in Las Vegas with Aaron and he says he loves it which makes it all worthwhile.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Knitting by Anne Bartlett


I finished listening to the book, Knitting, by Anne Bartlett, narrated by Beverley Dunn. I thought it had a very easy pace, which is a little treat to me after mainly reading YA and MG this summer. The pace matched its characters, Sandra and Martha, who meet by chance and become both business partners and personal friends. I love the way the author let her characters develop the story before slowly letting their inner turmoils take over their lives. The ending was very sweet and sad in some ways. The supporting characters were unique and lent just enough contrast to bring out Sandra's and Martha's quirks. The story revolves around a knitting exhibition that Sandra is hosting, and which Martha has been asked to do the actual knitting. Each has her own reason to see the exhibition completed, but when it causes mental and physical stress, it nearly ends their relationship. I found the characters believable and charming and fully people I would enjoy getting to know. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys knitting or, like Sandra, enjoys watching others knit.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Knit & Swish Scheduled


Do you knit? Do you loom knit or crochet? I'm sponsoring a Knit & Swish to create blankets for the homeless animals as part of the Snuggles Project. Looms will be available to use on premise. Even if you've never knitted before, come out and try your hand. It's easy to learn. The event will be held at the new
Wayne County Animal Adoption and Education Center
.
Saturday Oct 18 11am – 1:30pm.
1600 Clingman St Goldsboro, NC 27534 919-731-1439
You can also e-mail me for more information:
millruncrafts@yahoo.com
To see pictures of our new facility: http://craftingforanimals.blogspot.com