Friday, April 30, 2010

Crafty Andy Turns 50!


My 50th birthday has been yesterday, but I have been celebrating for some time now lol! These are some of the birthday  greetings I received through the mail, there were so many on the Internet and some that may still arrive.  My Birthday was simple and full of fiber which is something I enjoy. There are a few things that you learn in 50 years, mind you and one is not to take life too seriously. The picture is of a Tension Kate I got for my birthday, it is a nice portable one , by Ashford.  Thank You Michael.
In 50 years I learned a lot , and I am very much going to live the next 50 without repeating the same mistakes if I can.   Here are some  50 things I have learned.



  1. Love is never enough.


  2. Love lives within you, no one is going to love you like you love yourself.


  3. Respect yourself and your personal values.


  4. Don't allow an injustice to go unnoticed, it will eventually be your turn.


  5. Have lots of acquaintances and enjoy them for what they are.


  6. Some friendships last a lifetime and throughout all your boyfriends and marriages as well.


  7. If it is too good to be true it probably is.


  8. Be careful what you wish for you may get it.


  9. Don't gossip.


  10. Be kind  and polite.


  11. Always be aware of your surroundings.


  12. Stop whining.


  13. Don't take things personal unless they truly are.


  14. Nothing, good or bad last forever.


  15. Pain, disease and death are part of life, but that does not mean you can not be happy.


  16. Sex and love are very different.


  17. Men are pigs, most of them that is.


  18. Your self worth is yours, nothing can give you self worth, you can not buy it, trade it, steal it, or lose it!


  19. Disease is a condition, not a punishment.


  20. There is an infinite Intelligence, but I doubt it is the God or Gods  of Any Religion in this world.


  21. There is no Devil , take responsibility for your own actions.


  22. Never let your mind convince you it is you, is just a tool.


  23. Quiet your mind once in a while.


  24. Enjoy being alone.


  25. Stop complaining and do something about it or just shut up.


  26. Don't over stimulate your sense.


  27. Too much of anything is not as good as it sounds.


  28. Take time to cry.


  29. Take time to laugh.


  30. Politicians are like used car salesmen, be aware of the fine print.


  31. Take power naps.


  32. Don't leave trash behind, pick up after yourself.


  33. Real Life is Shades of Gray, not Exactly Black or White.


  34. Trust your instincts.


  35. Always tell the truth it makes life easier.


  36. We are stewards of this planet, enjoy it with care.


  37. For every action there is a reaction of equal and opposite value.


  38. The secret of a long life is to always be true to yourself and stay away from the Borg.


  39. Learn to be yourself.


  40. Alcohol and cigarettes are drugs.


  41. You can not control life.


  42. Be a person of your word.


  43. Blood is thicker than water, never doubt that.


  44. No matter where you go there you are.


  45. Don't trust anyone , but yourself, if you trust yourself you can react to the world around you accordingly.  Trusting people is risky, but should not be confused with being blind to their flaws and their reality. If they don't walk their talk, there is something not right, Believe me.


  46. Everything in life is a gift , you come into this world with nothing and at the end of your life you will have to leave it all behind, unless you are an Egyptian and get mummified like the Pharaohs.


  47. Don't let anyone use Emotions to Manipulate you.


  48. Always have a good attitude, say  thank you , be greatful and have grace.


  49. Remember that the sun comes out for the Evil  people too, and that good people have misfortunes.  It is life after all.


  50. Love yourself ,
I could go on, but I would bore both of us to death.  Enjoy the gift of life and thank you for allowing me in your home!

Paean A Man's Scarf

Paean A Man's Scarf is the latest creation that I have embarked.  It is a light Lace Scarf for a man that with the right colors will make a great addition to your wardrobe.  It gets made in a few days and it blocks fantastic. 

This is another view of the scarf.  It is made with less than one skein of Malabrigo Superwash Worsted Weight Merino, around 70 grams of the 100 grams skein.   The skein is about 210 yards per 100 grams.   This scarf is light and warm at the same time and can be kept inside your shirt without much bulk, yet give you the warmth around your neck and chest that you require when the temps drop a bit.

I can honestly tell you that I had no idea how beautifully it was going to block, but then again it is malabrigo.  You can purchase the pattern by clicking on the Buy Now Button Below and it will take you directly to paypal.  There are three more patterns coming out in the next few weeks.  Next week there will be a Man's Shawl Pattern by me that you are going to love as well.  I hope you like it and thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Paean Mans Lace Scarf


Paean Mans Lace Scarf
Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
This is the New Pattern for Release in the next Few Days. This is a pattern for a man's Lace Scarf that you can wear with pride. It is name after in Honor of Apollo the Son of Zeus.

Paean (pronounced /ˈpiːən/, as in European) is a term used to describe a type of triumphal or grateful song, usually choral though sometimes individual. It comes from the ancient Greek "παιάν", "παιήων", or "παιών", "song of triumph, any solemn song or chant" and it was also used as the name for the physician of the Greek gods and as an epithet of Apollo.

Thanks to Naomi for her Help and to the Vogue Knitting for the inspiration. More pictures and the pattern to be published in the next days. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Toe ups and Man's Shawl

Being a bit quiet during these days , maybe because I am turning 50 , maybe because I am busy as well.  I finished the Scorpia Memories Toe -Up socks and what a success they were.  I am very happy wit the outcome of the pattern that I modified from the  Antje Gillingham books.

This is my next challenge which is  a man's Scarf / shawl.  If you make it on fingering weight yarn  or worsted weight, depending on the needles that you use and the blocking technique you may have both.  I am aiming for a shawl like scarf.  It will be offered for sale soon, right now is in the testing stages.  I am hoping to make a woman's shawl as well, but that is in the world of ideas at the moment.  Don't be fooled it will be this  shawl with a bit of a twist so that it can be more delicate in its look than this one.  In the end , let it be said by me here, do not let anyone tell you what you can or can not wear it is your choice, designers have suggestions not mandates.  I will keep you posted and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Cord, Navajo PLying et Facebook

I Cord, Navajo Plying et Facebook and Blogger of course have something in common, Crafty Andy. There are many things that are great with facebook, but one of them is not the greatest. Facebook has no real appeal to me besides getting to see what my friends are up to, but I can do that in the internet anyway.  There are also game after game after game, but nothing like a true craft such as knitting, crocheting are.  Facebook the same as Second Life have a place, but nothing beats an exciting real life, which I do possess and keep on making every day.  If facebook goes for pay, It will be a great experiment, but I will be one of the free floaters.  I may indulge in the virtual world once in a while, but there is nothing like knitting and crocheting with my friends at the Cafe Trieste, the park or one of the Men Knitting Retreats.  I have take a break from Facebook, but this feed will be posted there from my personal blog.  I decided to take a break from Facebook, because is ok to be away from it lol!

The I-Cord rediscovered is a great piece of knitting.  I was in need of a cord for the hood of my jacket, somehow it had dissappeared with the washings.  I decided I will make it out of omega nylon  thread  and here it is.
Last Saturday I was lucky and able to take a trip  to A Verb For Keeping Warm , in Berkeley , where I was able to attend a Class with WonderMike from Fiber Beat.  The Class was on Navajo Plying while making yarn on a drop spindle, which was a very easy task and you can do it on the go, once you are done you are done.  I will have to say that it will not be possible to do this task the same way on a wheel, it would not be possible without a lot of maneuvering if at all possible.  Navajo Plying gives you a nice three ply yarn that is is very strong, after all it has been done for many , many years.  I believe that if it is done properly , you will have a well balanced yarn that will respond with strength and beauty.  A three ply yarn s very rounded and has a beauty of its own.  Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wisteria and Socks

Spring has arrived to the City By the Bay with a passion.  Blooming around tow are trees and flowers.  Our weather is always nice for flowers, there are very few times during the year when you will not find any flowers in the city.
 

Knitting More Circles Around Socks: Two at a Time, Toe Up or Cuff Down is a great book that I have used before and it is the best method I have found for toe-ups.  I mean I like Cat' Bhordi's Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters: Book Two in the New Pathways for Sock Knitters Series , but is more technical .  I have made more than two pairs with Antje's Book.

I turned the heel on both socks and I am able to finish the sock the way I want it with the perfect Gusset triangle.  Just being fuzzy I  guess, but nothing like a perfect gusset  triangle on a pair of socks. This is accomplished following her instructions easily. This is what gives the sock a beautiful termination.  I am using the newest Malabrigo Superwash Worsted, and making these socks on size #2 needles , gives me the understanding that they will last me a very long long time.
I have modified the pattern a bit, mainly the chart reproduction, as I am not that fancy for socks with lots of charting that are going to be mostly hidden under my shoes.  Nevertheless I can tell you that I will work the whole chart, maybe twice on the leg part of the sock and then finish it with a nice ribbing.  I have not decided if I am going to follow her ribbing choice or make my own choice.  I hope you like the pictures, let me telly you this yarn is to dye for, literally the feeling on my feet from these socks is like silk.  Malabrigo has done it again.  I have been using Addi Turbos and Addi Turbo Lace, so the knitting is fast and I am able to pick uo the yarn without problems. I am hoping to have this finish by the end of the week, thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Wool Combs Arrived


Today I got my set of Wool Combs and let me tellyou I am very Happy.  I was able to make my first COmb Top, well some of it .  It was as easy as it seems in the video by the Crafter Ben Jamin Green Studio.  I hope you enjoy the video and the picture as well, thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Home Spun The adventure


Homespun (4)
Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
I will tell you that my hopes is to make yarn and teach people how to make their own yarns. So far I noticed that it is exactly like the Drop Spindle in a sense. You need to practice and become the observer. WHen you become this observer you pay attention to your hands, your feet, what is happening to the fiber in your hands and on the flyer. How am I drafting, how fast is this thing going lol!. Don't worry I am a true believe that your body and brain will get into an automatic mode and you will be able to create various yarns easily. One thing that you need is lots of practice. I got a gift from a friend Teach yourself Visually Hand-Dyeing, it is a book worth my studying.

As You can see I am always reading and learning something.  I enjoy reading different people's ideas and listening to different people about how they approach something and then I can pick the best way for me.  I personally would not go to the last place I went to take a Spinning Wheel Class, but I am defintiely returning to A Verb For Keeping Warm in Berkeley for their Navajo Plying Class this Saturday, I am hoping to join them in the summer for the natural dyeing class.

Thanks for stopping by

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spinning Sunday

The book on the left is something I am looking forward to to help me along my spinning.    Iit is not Sunday any more, but I can tell you I spent most of the weekend practicing my spinning.  The discovery of my spinning skills and how I spin was a nice thing to see.  As I went on a day by day basis I realized that this spinning is like drop spindle spinning in a way.  Well this guy has gone bunkers you say!  Not at all , your body , specifically your hands , your feet and the coordination of both needs to be learned by the brain.  It may take about 21 days of daily continuous practice to create this habit.  As I am going along this journey I see how my drafting changes and how my yarn develops different.  The last skein of yarn that I did yesterday actually had a bit of draping without much blocking and the twist was a lot better than the other day.  Anyway thanks for stopping by and I am hoping to spin along  on drop spindle and spinning wheel and have a lot of fun.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Ashford Book of Carding

The Ashford Book of Carding (Ashford Craft Series) is a fantastic book for your library and it will give you an insight into carding and color blending while carding.  It shows you the different kinds of carding and what each one gives to you.  The color theory is not new, but it definitely gives you the show and tell to demonstrate what is it they are talking about.  There are some projects on the back of the book that you may want to involve yourself in, but it is not necessary to get the best out of this book.  This book is in an easy to understand language that you will be able to translate into art, yes you heard me right.  After reading this book I am very comfortable that you will be able to take risks into carding with color to create unique blends.  There is also a brief explanation on how to use different kinds of animal fibers to create a more soft or lustrous blend.  Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Birthday Carrot Cake


BirthdayCarrotCake (2)
Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
Happy Birthday to Michael. One of my talents is to bake, not much I may say, but the little I know I bake almost from scratch. Carrot cake home made For the Birthday Boy. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Tumeric and Beet Juice



Easter Sunday was kind of  boring and the weather was not very nice.  Well it was rainy so it was nice, but not nice to go out and walk around lol!  I decided to do some dyeing,  One of my favorite books to use is Natural Dyeing , which I reference everytime that I want to use natural stuff to dye wool.  I have so much roving to practice my spinning and I found it all boring.  One of the things that you can do to make your yarn exciting is to dye it.  I made these two batches the yellow with tumeric and the pinkish with beet juice.

They are still wet and will be coming out of the drying in the next two days or si, they need to be fluff after being in hot water they get kind of matted and need to be caressed into shape.  If I had a drum carder I would definitely card this again, it will make a big difference.  Still I may  give it a good Brushing lol!  I hope you have a wonderful week and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Spin me Round & Round Baby


  I have had the opportunity of watching these  videos to enhance my Wheel Spinning   experience.  There are very different videos.  For the beginner spinner I will say that the  Maggie Casey and Eunny Jang DVD Set of 2 DVDs is a video beyond fantastic.  After taking a class in a local Yarn store, I can tell you that I did not get half the practice or information that I got from this video.  Maggie talks a bit soft, so you have to raise the volume, but otherwise it is a marvelous tool. The information in this set from Maggie and Eunny   will answer a lot of your questions, if not all of them, and will benefit you in a great manner. She starts from discussing the wool types, goes through the making singles, carding, woolen , worsted, rolags, parts of the wheel, maintenance of the wheel, tips and tricks with the wheel and the fleece, roving or batt.  This DVD set is the greatest class you will have without a hands on teacher, yet you can start to spin from watching the DVD.  Eunny and Maggie have a great raport and you get very involved in the playing along of this dvd. I am very glad that I purchased this dvd and will want to watch again.  It is always nice to watch this kind of dvds twice or more.  Take notes, it is a class after all.

So now we come to the one from Abby Franquemont which is a very good video , but is more for someone who already knows how to spin.  Abby will guide you through some of the steps of making yarn and gives you insights between the woolen and the worsted ways of making yarns.  You will enjoy the fact that abby makes yarn  making look very easy and makes it a lot more fun with her light hearted attitude.  Another video in which you can learn by watching her clear  demostrations.  SO if you are looking for a good video explanation for the long and short draw this video will be a great instructional video for you.  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Caprican Socks



CapricanSocksFO (5)
Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
The Caprican socks are done and in good time to start another pair, I want to make about 3 more pairs with this pattern., but this time I am going to be using a pattern from Antje's second book Knitting More Circles Around Socks: Two at a Time, Toe Up or Cuff Down.  It will be a toe-up call the Manly Aran Sock.  The socks of course are going to be called Scorpian Memories.


 I am going to use a malabrigo superwash and will start in about five to ten minutes, lol,  I hope you have a great weekend no matter what holiday you celebrate.  Thanks for stopping by.

Caprican Socks almost done


CapricanSocks95FO
Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
I am 95 percent done with these babies and ready to start another pair with some other pattern. These are fantastic , I never knewe how much I would like the color orange. Here to you, and The Oliver Pattern from Malowe Crawford. I am making at least 3 more pairs with this pattern, it is just fantastic. Thanks for stopping by.

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