Sunday, February 28, 2010

Crafty Andy . Net

Today Crafty Andy  , has acquired the rights and turned into .  I am very happy to annouce  that life at 50 has started.  Thanks for stopping by. 

Stitches West 2010

Stitches West 2010 was my first time around visiting one of these events. It was a sensory overload at all levels. I found very strange that they did not allow Photographs, who would have thought that The British Museum was behind the times by allowing photography and such a small event did not. I was disappointed at some levels and at some levels I was not. They had plenty of clean restrooms, the food was ok. Coffee was fantastic, but I brought my lunch and water, because it was a place where once I left I would go home. It took two hours by public transportation from San Francisco.
The event was so much veered toward knitting, spinning , looms, but not much for crocheting, sadly that is the way of the industry. The only way crocheters are gong to have a say is by participating and by making their presence known. Yarn was greatly displayed, lol. All kinds of yarns from discounted to discontinued. There were a lot of beautiful yarns and colorways, but I stayed within my limits. It was hard to restrain myself from purchasing without end. There was a some low quality yarn there as well, but you know what is not good for me is good for others.
I was able to get a vendor pass by participating in the Warm Up America Booth. I say they did not plan this well, they could have sold hundreds of thiee bags, but they were gone by the time Friday Noon came around. at $ 10.00 is a great bag to carry projects around and big enough.
I finally got my T-Shirt from our friends at Skacel, this was for purchases at some time in the past. I was able to talk to the owner of Skacel, Karin Skacel and had a good laugh. I shared with her the fact that our Men Who Knit Retreat Boxer's KAL was going on and we will be having a fashion show. This Pattern by Skacel's Brian Kohler is very cute, I just don't like the Trekking Yarn.
I went to visit more of my friends and Toot's Le Blanc was one of them , I got my fiber fix from them and gave them a second hat that they can use for my patterns.
I was lucky to get to meet Antonio González-Arnao, the founder of Malabrigo and that landed me a skein of superwash worsted skein , gratis for testing.I guess that my biggest purchase were my Signature DPN Needle, not for the timid and for the seriously foolish dpn enthusiast. a set of five is worth about $ 55.00, but if you give me the choice between wood and this, I rather have metal. These are made in the USA, so We have no lead in them. It is an investment and maybe a bit of a luxury, but we shall see how it works. I have seen their straight needles, but those are not really my forte.
Stitches West was an interesting venue, but not something I have to have. I enjoy my time and looking around, but definitely is a one day thing. The class rooms were around the vendors in spaces created for people. I was not really impressed, but I will tell you that is a nice place to visit at least once during the weekend. This is definitely the place to look for new patterns, new gadgets and new colorways. All in all I did not regret going two days in a row. Will I go next year? You bet, I don't want to be misinformed about my yarns lol. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Crafty Andy Spins

CraftyAndySpins (5)
Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
I guess today is a treat, you got 3 postings from me. Even Me is surprised lol! This is the Doctor Phlox Batt and if you look carefully you will see me wearing the latest socks I made. This Drop Spindle spins like a dream. The Batt is amazing and the Lady from Desert Gardens Farms did a wonderful job. Spinning always brings a smile on my face, because is something so personal and ffrmo within. It is mathematical and it is experiencial, yet it is in my gene code. Can you tell I am a geek? I love Science, all of them, specially the physics that govern the forces that make my spindle turns. Angular momentum, resistance is futile. Drafting on the go is the way to go and as you dedicate more time to spinning you learn how you spin. You also learn about your fiber, each fiber behaves differently. I am hoping to make some sock yarn with this, we shall see as I am about 3/4 done spinning the batt, then comes the plying and how much yarn I made. Thanks for stopping by!

Dr Phlox Spins

Dr Phlox Spins
Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
Today has been one of those days to enjoy things that make you feel alive and in touch with your creativity. Besides working on this spinning , I have done some work on business cards. Business cards are very hard , because they are like an extension of who you are and represent you. Keeping my mind busy is never hard, in Spanish we say , "The Idle MInd is the Devil's Workshop" ha ha ha, no devil here today. I am very busy with two or three projects at the same time. But here is Dr. Phlox as I Spin Long and Prosper. Thanks for stoping by.

Tauron Boxers Cast On

Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
So the boxers have been casted and I am working on this pattern from Skacel. I have some nice yarn from our first Knitting Retreat and I am using it for this garment. There are so many projects and some Spinning that I am doing , still doing my Spin Long and Prosper as I want to make some socks with that yarn. That is my main motivaiton.

Today is a rainy day, I shall go to the gym later on. Rain is very romantic and yet sometimes depressing, maybe because of the lack of sun, or just becaus I enjoy the sun so much. Today is the beginning of a great life. I guess I am feeling 50 already lol! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sock Appeal Boxers

Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
Well is not like I have nothing to do, but I have some extra sock yarn and this is a great pattern for that. I definitely will make sure I have no horizontal stripes on my butt, lol, because this garment will make your butt look big I guarantee it. I will use some plain coor on the areas where the knitting is horizontal and the rest as is. I do have some very interesting yarns for this and I am really crazy to see what this will look like when done. I may start it after Stitches West, but I am going to cast on in a bit. Thanks for stopping by.

Suede Soles and a Flower Pot

Yesterday I was lucky enough to get my suede soles in the mail. It was a very interesting process to make the suede soles fit. I was glad I made the BUMPEr that the pattern calls for as optional. Why? Because I felt comfortable cutting with my scissors around without fear, lol! These babies are very comfortable and a great experience in felting by front loader. I will probably do a second pair and start the felting on the front loader washing machine, but move the rest to the bathtub. I follow the advice of people on the net to secur the soles. I actually used quilting pins to pin the sole to the slipper and then went around the slipper with the darning needle and thread. I think I did a pretty good job at this.
A flower pot came to be when a hat was too heavy to wear, lol! Actually I learned a lot about felting and crochet stiches. I also learned about embelishments and how they behave. The Vertical lines on the bottom was an experiment, they where not crochet, but actually threads that were over imposed. I was noticing after a bit of felting that the top, in this case of the picture t, the bottom was shrinking and pulling the hat or bowl in a strange way, so I got my scissors and cut them loose. This allowed the pattern to relax a bit and to continue the felting process. I now know how this will behave if I want to use it in the future.

I want to thank you for your indulgence and for stopping by my blog today. I am hoping to go to Stitches West 2010 and will be manning the Warm Up America Booth, representing the Men Who Crochet Guild Chapter of the CGOA , doing some crochet and knitting for the Warm Up America Project . Come and say Hi!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Elephants et Nikon D3000

Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
The Nikon D3000 is a great entry level Camera they say. I find that it is a very interesting Camera. It has no Liuve View, but do not let that stop you from enjoying this camera. I have not bought a SLR camera in a very long time, I believe my first SLR was a bought at Fort Lewis Camera Shop. It was a Minolta and I was in love with that camera. I do enjoy the live View of the subject you are trying to get, but the view finder is good enough, as you can review your pictures. I think this is a great camera that will bring lots of enjoyment to my life, I may have to lower the Resolution for uploading. The camera is worth the money in my opinion. It is my Second Birthday Present, but the first one to arrive lol. I will pay this off in a few months, no interest and no payment for 6 months is a nice feature. Thanks for stopping by and look forward to great pictures.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tauron Felted Clogs

Here you see what the clog looks like before felting. One of the things that I did and you can see in my previous postings is a felting swatch. I was able to felt the swatch by hand, so I knew this will felt nicely.
The first time I saw a pair of these clogs was at the Men's Fall West Coast Knitting Retreat and knew I had to make them . It took me some time , but here they are. The Alpaca yarn form Alapaca with A Twist felts very nice. I did have to make sure that I weent through all the stitches with some extra yarn. This pattern calls for worsted weight and the green was DK, you could see the difference. The brown felted very nice without any assistance from me.One thing happened though, one of the slippers was felting and shrinking faster than the other, so I took the one that was the size I wanted out and continue to felt . They came out same size. I did use a front Loader with two pairs of jeans. I used one of those zippered pillow cases and that is here the slippers went. This is the end result of about an hour or so of felting. I am very pleased with the result. I will be adding some suede slipper soles next week, by which time the will be very dry. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tauron Felted Clogs in the works

The pattern is Felted Clogs by Bev Galeskas and it is a very easy pattern. I used the Baby Alpaca Wia Twist for the green , but I think I will have to go with a darning needle and put an extra thread in some areas that look week or empty. The sole is going to be fine. I used some Cascade Eco wool with some Paton's Classic and some mohair in there as well.
Here is the top, the bottom of the clog gets a double sole then you make like a bumper around , so the end product will be a very cool looking clog. I am actually thinking of using some mohair that I have in green and make some stripes and just go wild , lol!
At the toe Area some more material is needed. I did not realized until the end that the green yarn is DK instead of worsted and it is a bit thin, but with the addition of the other yarn it will work fantastic. l I won't know what to use to make it felt better until Iam done with the second clog, I won't know what I am actually going to do with this pattern to make it more me.
This is it for this moment, there is more to be done and this is a very addictive project. As you can see this clogs are huge before they get felted, thanks for stopping by!

Felted Clogs Swatch

Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
What in the world is Crafty Andy up to you wonder? I am making myself some deliciously soft Clogs that you can fine in the internet. I have been wanting to make these for a very long time, but not with the yarn that it calls for, so I made a swatch to see if the materials felted. I just did this by hand and it felted very quickly. The bigger test is when I finish my clogs and put them through the motions. I will have pictures tomorrow of the one clog I have finished making, but not felted yet. This pattern by the way is

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ravelympics and some spinning

I wanted to share some of my wors in progress and some of my spinning fun for the weekend. Happy Valentine's.

One Skein Swap

The One Skein Swap on Ravelry was a lot of fun, I hope you enjoy this video. Thanks for stopping by!

Dr. Phlox N friends

Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
I am having a greattime during the Ravelympics as I am spinning Dr. Phlox and his friends. I am also working on my second sock and doing some carding and spinning as well. As I go along I am learning about carding wool by myself. I am also reading the book from Abby Franquemont "Respect The Spindle", it has a lot of know how that is beyond what is written. As a scientist and crafter I understand and love the craft more and more. I hope you have a great Valentine and that you celebrate the love of life with your friends and loving family. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 08, 2010


Karabella Aurora 8 is a very special yarn, there are 8 strands of yarn wrapped around. It is a lovely yarn and I have enjoyed crochet with it for some time now. I wanted to create a pattern that use the yarn and here it is. This pattern uses two skeins of this yarn.Then again I wanted to see how flexible this pattern was and I used some fingering weight yarn. I needed to add a bit more yardage and the cap is a bit more cropped to the head than the one above. Still it is nice to wear, stretchy enough. I enjoyed making this pattern for two kinds of yarn. Special Thank You to Naomi for proofreading the pattern. It is for sale on Ravelry and soon it will be for sale on the side bar. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Handcarding Fiber

HandcardingFiber (4)
Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
I learning so much about spinning and hand carding. I a learning about blending. Here I have some rough looking fiber lol! I have silk and regulas sheep's wool, and I am learning about blending these together. When I first startted it was easy to make thick yarn, now I have to remember how to do it. So I have no purpose , but to practice spinning and hand carding. I am hoping to make some yarn so that I van make a nice bag. Well have to go and continue doing some more carding and spinning, thanks for stopping by!

Superbowl Sunday Roving

Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
This is some hand dyed roving that I was gifted by a wonderful lady friend, Caprica Six aka Caprica. Today on Ravelry I was accused of being sexist. This lady of course knows nothing about it. SHe complained that she about my sexist language on a man's hat design, she commented on my sexist pink and purple choices for women. In reality people, we are in the 21st Century you can wear any color you want, you can wear women's cloth, men's clothing, as long as you can buy it or wear it for that manner, lol.. What you can not do is Knit a crochet Hat, or crochet a knitted hat, it makes no sense.

I am hoping to have some nice yarn by the end of the superbowl, go SeaBucks! Shiba Rules. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

East Coast Men Knitting Retreat 2010

This year I am going to reach the Half Century mark lol! As a present to myself I am going to meet the guys from the East Coast Men's Knitting Retreat. Some of them have visited us on the West Coast , but some I have never met. What is most important is that there will be crafting among the guys in a very positive atmosphere. There is so much talent and there is definitely a lot of fun. The East Coast Retreats have been set to be at Easton Mountain Retreat Center, Upstate New York from May 20 to May 23 , 2010. All guys are cordially invited to attend. You can send the guys to this website for more information MENS KNITTING RETREATS. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Dr. Phlox Batt

DrPhloxBatt (2)
Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
Well not the Bat he has on the Enterprise, but close enough in color. My dear Friend Naomi, got me into this gourp on Ravelry Desert Garden which they have Spin Alongs related to Series we like. Spin Long And Prosper is the motto from the Star Trek Spin Along. This batt represents Dr. Phlox it is Cotswold, nearmere and Carbonized Black Bamboo . I love it beacuse I had to go and research what all these things were. I can tell you that I will be spinning some sock quality yarn. nearmere is a cashmere like fabric made out of nylon, so it is perfect for socks, carbonized bamboo and wool, well that's a treat.

What I like is that I will learn about this fibers from the bottom up, how they behave as I spin them into yarn. Thanks Naomi Thanks Desert Garden farms on Ravelry and on and Desert Garden Farms on Etsy. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Drop Spindles, Is it for you?

Spindles are tools of the trade, and my first spindle was the one I got during the first Men Fall Knitting Retreat of 2008. I did not understand spinning well, maybe we just got teased with a short time. One thing was for sure, I wanted to learn more about making my own yarn with a spindle. Last year I really got more interested in spinning, but I did not want a wheel. Nothing stood in my way of taking a class with my friend Mike Wade aka WonderMike at A Verb for Keeping Warm Store in Berkeley. The class was fantastic, the class was beyond my expectations. It was two days and we got a lot for the money. Lot of students present and all where very successful at spinning. Having someone experienced teaching you how to spin is a different story.

 If you are curious , you should get a beginners class with a drop spindle that is inexpensive, but get one from the place you are getting the class. There is no need to get an expensive spindle, the main thing is that it is balanced, not price, and that you are comfortable with the weight of your spindle. This spindle above was very inexpensive and from EBay for about 8 dollars . It works great for the angora that it is spun and wrapped around the shaft. It is said that you can spin anything in any spindle, but only very experienced people can do that and just for a limited amount of time. Eventually you learn how to distribute the yarn on your spindle so that the center of gravity helps you in your spinning and not against it. Your spindle will drop for many reasons; too much twist, too little yarn, not enough twist and so on. This other spindle above, was painted for me and even though is not my favorite it is OK for spinning silk. A spindle can be a simple stick. Spindles have been around for thousands of years and it is in your genetic code , just give yourself some time to remember.

The spindle with the thumbtacks is an experiment. If you have followed my blog for a while you know I like to make stuff and play with scientific notions. When I got the spindle above it was a bottom whorl spindle. I have made the spindle able to spin from the top or from the bottom , by adding another hook on the other side as you can see. The weight makes it a bit heavier and does make it spin nicer in my opinion.

Above you find four spindles, Avi Wasserman on the far left, the the on the far left, one from EBay with flower decorations, and a Kundert Spindle on the right. My favorite spindle is the Avi, the second favorite is the Kundert. All these spindles spin differently, but you can tell what a balance spindle is by the way it spins continuously and evenly as possible. You may make a home made spindle that is the finest tool there is on the world without spending more that 5 dollars. Nevertheless is Spinning for you? You have to find out, I find that spinning is a very Zen experience where I am connecting with a primitive part of myself. Spinning allows me to create yarn, so that I can create cloth and thus a garment of my own making. Spinning helps me listen to myself. A great book and Video is what follows for you. I am still reading this book and I find it to be a great tool and a bit of and adventure.
These mittens are the perfect example of what I meant. I dyed the fleece or roving, then I spun the yarn, and I made these mittens. These pair of mittens are my first real spun yarn project and it has a lot of personal meaning to me. You need to practice at least 15 minutes everyday and not worry about the yarn too much. Your first yarns are going to be funky, later on you will wonder how to make yarn like the one you used to make at the beginning. Practice makes perfect and with time and patience you will be able to create beautiful yarn for you , your friends and for sale. Time will teach you how you already knew how to make yarn, just remember to listen to your ancestors, the one that made yarn with a stick and a stone for a whorl.

Abby Franquemont is someone who is out there that I like, there are others you can read about spinning from, each person will give you part of their experience. Abby made spinning to me real and something to be done daily and as part of my human heritage. The video Respect The Spindle from Interweave, now that it is High Definition, is a great tool to add to this book and it allows you to visually see this lady in action. I am hoping that this motivates you to give it a try. Drop spindle is easier than what you think if you have the right teacher.  Thanks for stopping by.
Search for respect the spindle

Addi Crochet Hooks

Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
I was not aware that the Addi Quality was being offered in crochet hooks. The other day I was browsing this site where I get most of my Addis, the and saw that the had these beauties. They are not really pretty in the sense of beauty, but they do have a crochet bauty that crocheters appreciate. It glides like a dream. Reasonably priced, these hooks crochet like a dream. I have two 3.75 mm and two as these are the hooks I mostly use for my hats. Tools of the trade by Addi. Thanks for stopping by.

Almost two years without blogging August 2020

Life can be a bowl of strawberries when cheries are not available.   It has been almost two years since I have been in this blog.  I have s...