Friday, April 29, 2011

Birthday Cakes 2011

BirthdayCakes2011 (2) by Crafty Andy
BirthdayCakes2011 (2), a photo by Crafty Andy on Flickr.
This is my first cake, then I made the second cake. I had a wonderful day full of greetings and salutations. Few gifts from the heart, no that gifts make much difference at this time in my life. I find gifts cute, but I find people wishing me a great day more valuable a gift. More to come of my WIP , but today is all about my 51 st Birthday, many more to come, may the Lords of Kobol bless my life forever.. I will be editing this to add my own cake, meaning the cake I made for myself, the one above is the one I was given which is a wonderful cake given by people who love me and made my day very special;.

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Of course I ate some of my own cake, the cake I always make for myself. It is a regular yellow cake with about a cup of organic cocoa, it has organic olive oil and free range eggs. Having the best ingredients possible is the best of gifts.
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Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Retro Caprican Sweater WIP

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I am a child of the sixties and I am very glad that I was born at the time I was born.  This is the back of  a sweater that I am working on .  I found this cool Bernat Company from 1960 at 75  cents!  I think sweaters once you get to the right length that you desire, they are a  breeze to make.  I am definitely planning to make the two sleeves at the same time on a circular, lol.   I have to say that I enjoy blogging a lot, Facebook is something of a game place for me.   I  have a lot of Game friends that is for sure. So here I am with my Galactica outfit and giving you the sign of Peace.  I have loved my life and the time I have lived.  This brings me to the fact that Friday while Prince William and Kate are getting married, Kate Mulgrew, Yep the Captain Janeway you and I know, and your Crafty Andy will be celebrating our birthdays.  It is a very powerful day with a Stellion in Aries and the World is ready for the Change that is coming.  I need to continue for about two more inches for this sweater before I do the ribbing to finish the top of the back.  I hope to engage the front as soon as possible and have this sweater done by the end of May 2011. I hope you have a wonderful week and  I will definitely be making a posting on my birthday, Friday 29th.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tweeds from Caprica

Tweeds155yrds130gm (7)
Thanks for indulging me in my Battlestar Infusion of names.  I loved the Series and have gotten a lot of inspiration from it's actors and writers.  This is my idea of a pretty tweed.  At 155 yards and 130 grams.  I could have made it more even, but I like the way it looks  as homespun and not very even.  A while ago I bought some samplers of different wools so that I can try and see which I liked the best.  It is so difficult. I guess Alpaca is so simple to choose, the Suri so soft and beautiful, yet any alpaca fiber is great to spin.  Sheep wool is a different story, there are so many breeds and so different from one another, some are wiry , some are like cotton candy, some like a soft Brillo pad, some like spinning a cloud, all of them worthy of your time to test them.  I can now  confidently buy some fiber knowing what to expect from what I have spun.  I still have some other fibers to spin, some targhee and some alpaca, and even mohair.  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Rebellion Mittens

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The mittens are finished, and even though is not the easiest of patterns I accomplished my desire to spin yarn and make these mittens. I used less than 125 grams or  112 yards of material.  The glove on the right has been blocked and is very soft, the one on the left is the one I finished today and definitely very rough.  This pattern is from Harry Wells aka the Knitting Ninja and I would recommend it for experienced knitters.  It is a bit confusing , but worth the time in making the mitts.  I did change the termination of the fingers as I don not like 1 by 1 rib on the fingers.  Thanks for stopping by.
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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Leoben Yarn, a Jacob-Alpaca blend

JacobAlpaca168gms195Yds (3)
This was my spinning for Friday afternoon with some friends and Saturday by myself.  I was able to spin the fiber with ease. A Jacob/ Alpaca 50/50 is a blend that is fantastic to spin by spindle or  on the wheel.  The yarn that you see is done on my wheel.  It is 195 yards and weight 168 grams, it is a two ply and it was a lot of fun to spin.  This is another blend that I would recommend to anyone who is looking for a good blend of alpaca to spin.  It had  some vegetable mater, but not too bad. I present you  Leoben a yarn with some twist and more to the eye than you see.  The yarn will lose some of the twist when it is set by being wet in hot water. There is more spinning in my future, I am just  done for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Baltar's Rebellion Mittens

This pattern is not the easiest to read, I believe it can use clarifications, but  perhaps it is me.   Is not a bad pattern, but could use some housecleaning  I found it  difficult to read, but I got the mitten done. It actually assumes that you know how to set the stitches on DPNs  or Circular needles. If you did not make mittens or gloves before, this will not be the best pattern for you. I  don't know how my gauge got so crazy, but the pattern calls for worsted weight yarn, I am using my homespun. There you have to be careful. My homespun made me drop the needle size from US 6 to US 3, and it works for me, I got gauge.

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I used DPNs because I have found them very useful when making the fingers on mittens and gloves.  Two circulars are two messy and Magic loop can get crazy when making the pinkie , lol.
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Anyway my friends, these gloves are very substantial and I am hoping to make another one in the next day or two. I made this fingerless mitt over night, fast and easy; now to make the Left Hand .  I did change one thing on this pattern ad that was no ribbing on the fingers, I find that unattractive. I am hoping to use this yarn to make a hat  for these mitts, stay tuned. Thanks for stopping by.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Polaris A Weaved Bag

The Polaris or North Star Tote Bag. I don't want to call it my Knit Bag , because when I go into a shuttle craft or a regional transport it is one of my traveling bags.  I am very  proud of the end product and there was a lot of experimentation with yarns and techniques. I used the "Cricket Loom" . I can tell you right now that I would want a bigger loom, but I am not interested in a Floor loom. Weaving is fun and is a great hobby.  I like this Loom because you can make scarves very easy and use a lot of yarns without having to knit or crochet. I guess the hardest part of the weaving is the warping of the loom by yourself, but you can do it.

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Warping the loom to make the handles taught me a lot about how the warp threads go in the warping peg. I did different things and started at different points of the heddle to warp my loom and quickly learned that the weaver's cross has more than a purpose.  It is best if you start at one end of the loom and finish in sequence, otherwise you will have to manipulate the yarn on the warping peg  and reposition it as if you were warping it all over again.  On a small loom like the cricket is no problem.
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I was able to create two pockets.  I called them Natural pockets, because they are born from the length of the material and my unwillingness to cut the fabric, not after I weaved it.  Ha ha ha, but by cutting the fabric I learned so much about weaving the ends without fringes and with practice I believe I can master the technique.
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Below you see two pieces of fabric that may become pockets for the inside or the outside, but they are more than pockets potential.  I was able to pull threads out of the fabric to create a pattern, I removed some warp threads at the end to see how the edge looks, there is a lot of potential for that edge in ways of how to secure it and play with what was created.  I am planning to work and play with this fabric and learn more about finishing techniques.  This is my Travel Bag when I go on trips , is roomy, sturdy and made by me.  I hope you allow me to show you more of my adventures in weaving, this bag is called "Polaris" or North Star. May my life be always guided in the right direction. Thanks for stopping by!
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Polaris HandleTwo WIP

PolarisHandleTwo (3) by Crafty Andy
PolarisHandleTwo (3), a photo by Crafty Andy on Flickr.
Last night I was able to finish weaving the second handle. I gave it enough variety to have to make a choice of where to start. The area on the right is where my handle will be attached to the body of the bag, I will have to measure and cut about 1 to 2 inches from the length that I choose, or maybe 3 inches for the other side. I am stuffing the handle with loose yarn. Actually the cuttings from the loom that otherwise would be thrown into the recycling. I am so happy to have my Polaris Bag almost done, it has been almost 6 months since I started this project. Thanks for stopping by.

The power within

I hope to make a short post, but it may become very long. If you ever encountered my blog you can see I am not very political in my blog views, yet I have an opinion.  The same goes with religions and for one I am not  intolerant of different religious views. My father passed to spirit late last year, and believe me it is a blessing.  That man was a child molester and a pedophile. Yep and how do I know?  I am one of his former victims. I am  not going to go into details about the other abuses he manage to do on my physical and mental self, but needless to say the world is a better place without him.  I suffered a lot form his abuse until many years later. Don't take me wrong there are positive things about my father, they are just enough bad things to overshadow whatever he did good.

There goes my mother as well, but I can tell you she was the best of two evils as I had my Grandma to protect me while she was still alive.  One wonders how after so much physical,sexual, psychological abuse I am still a nice person?  Well if there is something they could never break was "The Power From Within". I still have resentment even though is like nothing compared to what it was many years ago. It takes time to forgive yourself for not being able to defend yourself.  These were the people that gave me my life's foundation.  I am proof to you that you can recover and live a good life, don't be fooled, your life will be colored by those scars, you just have to be aware of that and life will just unfold a lot easier.

I grew up in a Catholic household, I went to a 7 Day Adventist School until graduation from High school, there was a short Baptist school in there.  Well is all about education and about being able to register me in a school, those choices were the best. All I learned from Christianity was  about love by fear. Be good or you go to hell, all along I saw this role models fall one by one, because they can not live up to their own expectations or rules. The misconception that bad things do not happen to good people is the biggest mistake that people can believe. Life is kind of unbiased and things happen to good and bad people.  Love by suffering and that no matter what I did I was not good enough.  I was always being warned about God looking at my Life, (not my parents'life  of course) , I know about hell and sin and I knew that The power of fear from adults to innocent children. The guardians of my childhood were not the parents I saw on TV.  No wonder I watched so much Sci Fi, things looked so much brighter in the future, I was able to escape reality and live in a future free from the abuse.  I knew that one day I was going to get away from them, my parents,  and never look back, and I did. You will also be able to if you can harness the power within.

So I was talking to my father's sister the other day by chance.  She is trying to convert me to Christianity , or rather telling me that the world is going to end soon and that my Father accepted Jesus  just before he died in my sister's arm .  She told me that I could also accepted Jesus as my savior and have my name written on the book of life , besides my father's name.  I told my Aunt that I was a Buddhist, but to not worry , that if my evil father's name was in the book of life, I was sure that my name was written in that book as well. That took her by surprise and like always, she started to say that my father's life was not easy, I guess that grants him permission to be a pedophile and physically abuse me.  So this is the answer to my life's religious quest, the answer to my spiritual longing, the Heaven of Christianity. Don't take me wrong I have compassion for the bastard of my father, just no sympathy for a religion that makes me feel a victim about being a victim.How is the God of  different from the Gods of Greece or Rome, they get angry with men and send thunder, earthquakes and typhoons.  I guess the Gods of Olympus are not that different from the God of other religions around the  World, well there are many personalities and they fight amongst each other, something the Monotheistic Religion God does not do. All I ask of you  is that you think, listen to those politicians and those religious zealots and think if you believe they speak from their own perspective and fears. If you as a human can have more compassion than their God, they are not coming from a godly perspective, but from a biased and prejudice perspective.

I do believe in Jesus as a great Teacher, I don't believe all the stories of the Bible are as accurate as they seem, I do believe in the message of Love and compassion, I believe in forgiveness.  What I don't believe is in having to deal with people like my father like nothing happened.  Forgiveness is good for your soul and never forget that, but don't you forget that people are people and the lessons that you learned are still clear.  To make a long story short,being s bit of a blunt cynic, I told my Aunt that I wanted to have some words with the Christian God about my father's behavior and abuse, maybe even compensation. She was very quiet to say the least. She then said that she loved me and that God is boundless in his love, and I said that I honestly  believe  my dear Aunt. I can tell you one thing, I am not afraid of death or to live life to the fullest.  I can honestly tell you that I have lived my life and live my life without regrets or guilt, is not easy, but it can be done. 

At 51 one, well almost 51, I see my mother still thinks I am 9 or so, she still trying to manipulate me with her religious views, and living up to her old self.  Sometimes  like we say in Spanish  you can not ask an Elm tree to give you Pears.  I love my mother not because of her kindness to me as a child, not because of her kindness to me as an adult, I love my mother because she is my maternal mother, as they say blood is thicker than water.  I have a love for her friendship and I have learned to love her for who she is.  As much as I love her I see her faults, how can she be so holier than thou in judging other people, she forgets that I was present and aware of some of her many many sins, which I am not going to go into detail here,  but needless to say I just can't believe that the Heaven that My mother and my Aunt are talking about would have people like them in it.  If it does , have people like my father and my mother and other proclaimed saints of the modern world, I really don't want to be there.

The power within is about owning my own destiny and about owning my own fears, and believes.  No one can destroy the beauty inside you and never forget, the abuse will end one day, and you can move away like I did.  Never try to please them or to make them love you, never compromise your personal believes or values because you love them, maybe they don't deserve your love, but you definitely deserve to be loved by you. The power within is about recognizing the parent in you and to nurture the child your parents did not, whether because they were ignorant or just bad parents, it does not matter in the end.  You can gain your life back and make a new life for yourself.In closing I live for today, because today or rather this very moment is all I have, the past is gone, the future is no here yet.  In the moment you are making the past and the future at the same time, that is the secret to a great life. Live in the present moment, life will have it's obstacles and sufferings , but they will all pass, the same as good things pass.  I hope that the good things last longest and that my life is continuously a victorious life as it has been from my perspective today.  I am victorious always in the present and throughout eternity. Thanks for listening and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Handle One for Polaris

HandleOnePolaris by Crafty Andy
HandleOnePolaris, a photo by Crafty Andy on Flickr.
I am very happy with the way this handle came out and the way I was able to put it together. I was watching a nice SyFy movie that was very inspiring. I filled the inside with some loose yarn clippings lol. I am working on the other handle and will have more pictures to come. Thanks fro stopping by!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Polaris Bag a WIP

This was a bag that I have been using for my knitting and crochet stuff for almost three years. It is a weaved bag unto itself, bit the handles, (which are going to be done over), were coming apart. So I decided to cover over the weaved cloth with some new stuff. My own weaving.
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I learned a lot about weaving while practicing on this piece. As you can see I decided to make the bottom not weaved like the sides, but rather a piece of great material that I have had for a long time.

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There are plenty of pockets, there could be more. I took advantage of the fabric and did not fight with it. I used the way it was weaved and the length I got.

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I will be making the handles today, I have the yarn which is parts of left over from before all set to be warped, but I am in no hurry. This has been a great project to learn about the "Cricket Loom" and weaving. Thanks for stopping by!

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ionian Nebula Herbivore

The Dradis had a peculiar bleep today, if you did not know any better you would think it was a Cylon Raider, but it is far from that.  I love this pattern , even at times it gets confusing there is no wrong way of making this shawl - kerchief.  I love the color and it is Indigo over dyed malabrigo sock yarn.  I only used 80 grams and let me tell you after blocking the wingspan is pretty big.
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Is it a Cylon Raider or is it the Ionian Nebula Herbivore, it is the artifact that came to completion today after all night blocking.  I have to say that I like the Light Brown Hare  material ( i.e. yarn merino/nylon sock yarn) better than this sock yarn, but both of them are fantastic. In all my knitting and crochet I am always praying the same prayer mantra  and it makes my life very fulfilling.
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As you can see the wingspan is pretty substantial, yet I am able to  hug my Tauron Neck with Caprican Style. Lt. Triton  never looked so protected around the neck  and the mission has been  accomplished SIR!
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Yes I was born on Caprica , but my family came from Tauron, I have the traditional Tauron profile with the Caprican style, makes for an interesting life here in Delphi, a suburb of Caprica City. I leave you now, there is more to be done, I have mittens to make with my homespun. May the  Lords of Kobol bless our lives.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ionian Herbivore in Progress

IonianHerbivore by Crafty Andy
IonianHerbivore, a photo by Crafty Andy on Flickr.
I have been working on this pattern for some time. I really enjoy this magnificent pattern from Stephen West. I really don't want to finish it, but I am about 14 or so rows from finishing this baby. This was a Malabrigo Sock yarn in hues of yellow and brownish colors and I got to dip it in Indigo at Earthues in Washington State, with my new friend Kathy Hatori I believe is her name. This pattern is very simple, yet you have to pay attention to what you are doing, kind of. I chant as I am knitting and it makes my chanting a bigger pleasure than what it usually is. This is the Ionian Herbivore and it has a very deep meaning for me. I love the twisted stitches and will continue to work on this, I may have this baby finished by weeks end. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Triton Lt. Inducted

Lords of Kobol hear my prayers I am with my induction papers, my serial number has been scrambled so that the skin jobs don't get it. It is an honor to report to the fleet and be among the humans to defend the values of Colonial Life.  I was very excited to find a place here in the USA to make these babies  here is the link QMXONLINE .  I can tell you that these tags are beyond my expectations.  I still have my original tags from when I served , these are different, but they are of great value to me and make a fa=ntasy come tryue, so is no longer a fantasy.  May the Lords of Kobol guide you to your next destination and if you see me at the Spaceport in Caprica City Say Hi, I am a science and communications officer on Galactica, my other choice was The Beast aka "Pegasus", any of the two are great, Keep you posted My transport is leaving and my friend Cayleb is calling me SO SAY WE ALL!

The Three Twins of Gemenon

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This was a very interesting project. I was able to kind of blend the mohair with the Falkland as I was drafting and spinning, so each single was actually a two ply.  In the end I ply three two ply yarns into a three play yarn, making it a six ply yarn in a three way fashion.  Don't get confused it is all part of the game.  Thanks for stopping by.
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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Jacob and Falkland spinning

This is Jacob's wool and even though is a bit rough to the touch is very soft after setting the twist to it.  It is very easy to spin and drafts like a dream. One of the things that you have to learn about your spinning , is what kind of yarn is normal for you.   It is hard for me to make a thick yarn, but I can make it by plying multiple strands.  I really like the two ply, but the three ply is very handsome.JacobWool (2)

Yesterday I was able to make this happen.  This was the Falkland wool and let me tell you, it is a dream to spin.  I was mixing it a bit with mohair, and it is fantastic.  Mohair can be a bit of a mess, but if you manage it correctly it will give you a nice halo to the wool that you are spinning.  I like mohair to spin, I guess it would be fantastic in the blends of  Brown Sheep  .  They sell their mill ends and if you want to spin a great fiber, this would be a nice fiber to spin, I have not done it yet, but I can tell from the  Lamb's Pride yarn, (from Brown Sheep), that I have used in projects, that it would be a good experience.  Mohair is pretty and it has a long staple as well.  So I am going to spin myself to the end of my fiber stash and it will be all published here, with a critique on each fiber.. So far Falkland and Jacob have a thumbs up in my book.  Thanks for stopping by!
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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Fiber we spin

A lot of this fiber has been given to me and some I have purchased at many locations.  I think that I decided to spin this month to get this fiber out.  Spinning is about practicing a lot and I am going to do just that everyday as much as two hours. You may have seen these pictures before, or maybe not, but this is all the unspun fiber I own and I am hoping to spin it all into yarn before summer gets here.

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The picture above there is a Jacob / Alpaca blend on the lower left, the shiny skein is 100% mohair, right upper quadrant a light brownish is targhee.
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The picture above some interesting blends, the left upper quadrant is some Jacob sheep first shearing, then below some pygora and the rest miscellaneous wools.
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A close up of the miscellaneous wools above enough to make a good 2 ply for each two.
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There is some alpaca, the black fiber that Naomi gifted me some time ago and more miscellaneous fibers that I found or were gifted to me at the MFKR 2010.  This is all for today, thanks for stopping by and remained tuned to see the new spinning of Crafty Andy, thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Silken Road to Wonderland

The end of March and the Beginning of April is finding me spinning.  I do have so much fiber that I bought or was given to me by someone, that I have decided that I am going to spin all of it.  On my wheel  my favorite fiber to spin is silk as of today, silk is very easy to handle and it is very  easy to join.  Silk can be very thin and still keep a lot of strength. Silk needs a lot of twist, so I have spun these singles on my fast flyer on the fastest ratio at 18:1. Here is my latest which I am going to play later tonight and then set the twist.  I am hoping to dedicate this month to spinning with the wheel.  I have bamboo, milk, different kinds of sheep wools, I really did not like spinning camel down on the wheel, I think I would have prefer to spin on a drop spindle. 


If you don't spin a particular fiber you won't know if you like to spin it or not. Practice, practice and more practice, and the plying is as much fun as spinning. I hope to offer you more of my spinning in the week to come. 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...