Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Changes - Onward and Upward!

Last spring I set up a website through the Google/Intuit Get Your Business Online program at the same time that I remodeled this site. That free website has been mostly trouble; hard to update, limited space, inconvenient photo manipulation, you get the picture. That site will stay up until the end of its free period sometime in May, I believe - I'll check on that. In the meantime I will be building a new site with the help of my friend Barbara Day at Day's Work Design. Until the new site is up and running you will be able to find out what's going on right here! In the Links section, you will find a links to my etsy store and Ravelry group which will further serve in keeping you up to date. I will announce the launch of the  new site Right Here and in the Ravelry group. I don't know how long this process will take but everything should be covered. Any questions can be left here or on Ravelry. We may even transfer the domain name to this blog for the time being.

Now for the News!
I'm getting some fiber festivals lined up for the summer and fall! You will be able to find me at:
     The Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair    August 17 & 18
             If you are in the area you should consider going - it's a very nice smaller fair!
     The Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival     September 21 &22
            Thanks again to Pat Gesler for sharing her space!
     NYS Sheep and Wool Festival     October 19 & 20
             Even if I don't get in as a vendor I'll be there!

Aside from the KALs that I'm in the middle of, the thing that has me buzzing is that I have been asked to be a part of a book project!!! Mara Rooney of The Dancing Goat Yarn Shop passed on an email calling for patterns that originated in LYSs around the US. I came up with a cowl pattern in a long and a short version and got it submitted at the last minute. A couple of days ago I received an email stating that they would like to use the long version if I wanted to participate. The sample yarn is on the way and I'll have it knit up and back to them in about a month. The book is part of the 60 Quick Knit series from Sixth & Spring books and Cascade Yarn. I don't know when it will be available - possibly in the late summer or early fall. I will let you know about that too.

That's about all for now. I have to get my taxes done, get knitting and get dying!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Nearly Mindless Shawl

I will be teaching a Nearly Mindless Shawl class at The Dancing Goat in Warsaw on July 16 & 23. This is a great shawl for those wanting to make something light and lacy but unsure of their ability to get the stitches to line up just right. You get to choose where and when you add the lacy mesh to your shawl. The shawl in the photo is solid with a mesh band at the bottom edges and a picot bind off for a little more interest. Decide whether you want :

  • a set placement of a specific number of lace rows mixed with a specific number of solid rows
  • to alternate solid and mesh as you work through wide bands of different colors (think Noro)
  • to choose a few colors from a hand painted yarn for more random placement of mesh areas
More great things about this shawl are getting your choice of any yarn size - though lace weight and fingering are probably best for this time of year, deciding what size shawl you want - you can keep adding yarn until you have a blanket if that's what you're looking for - the one in the picture used just over 400 yards of lace weight yarn and blocked out to a nice medium size, and, who knows, once you get the hang of it you might want to move on to one of those fancier shawls you've been eyeing!
Hope to see you there!

For more details: call Mara at The Dancing Goat: 585-786-2888

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Friday, June 22,2012
While today may not be THE day, it is a BIG day. I'm waiting for UPS to drop off my first shipment of yarn and find myself looking out the window every few minutes to see if the truck is out there. The dogs aren't barking but yesterday, or the day before, they let the mail lady park in front of the house and honk her horn without a peep until I started down the stairs - then they wouldn't shut up. My new business cards were in the mail today. Nate designed them and they turned out pretty darn good.
I did receive my business cards today! Nate designed them, using my logo and I think they turned out great!
My biggest concern right now is brand identity. I have the Propanicus Moon name playing off of Propanicus - bitter cold winter, empty propane tank lasts 2 weeks, now it's a giant party in February with fried turkeys, spicy food, gifts of warmth, tiki torches, glow in the dark bocce, and, last year, a fire juggler. How does this transfer into the name/theme of a yarn company? My only connection is the gifts of warmth aspect with me making dozens, over the years, of hats and scarves and fingerless gloves. The idea that sparked (ha, ha) the bigger concept was watching lightning during a thunder storm. I'd wanted a way to combine art and knitting into a way to make some money and this seemed like a great way to do that.
I'd better post this now so I can move on to things that are happening.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Some Things I've Made

A selection of scarves - the turquoise one on the bottom is oldish but the rest are from the past year.

I'm really liking the idea of bracelets these days.

Earrings are always fun!

There is a necklace and a fiber log about half way down the page and a few photos at the very bottom.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gearing Up?

Not sure if I'm trying to breathe some life into this or not but I have been feeling a slight urge to communicate a bit more than I have over the past year. Usually I move the cursor away from the Blogger shortcut as fast as I can, and today I actually clicked it. Now I just have to remember what has happened in the past year. . . . 
The first big news from last spring is that I lost my camera, my lovely little Lumix LX2 - a point & shoot with superior ability. I think that I set it on the car and then drove off?! One thing that it lacked was a neck strap - I think that the new models have them. Any way, I looked everywhere and called around and looked everywhere again with no luck - this went on for several months and, for nearly a year, when friends would ask "What's new?" it would always, eventually, come to "I lost my camera." After a while I stopped being so mopey about it and started saving and researching. After much obsessing and looking around I settled on the Lumix GF-1 a micro four thirds format with interchangeable lenses. At the time it cost only about $100 more than the newest model LX5 and had many more features. By the time I thought I had enough cash the price had gone up considerably, over twice the cost of an LX5, and the new model had yet to be released. I hadn't saved up that much. I finally realized that I could afford a reconditioned camera and ordered one before those prices started soaring. So, I have my new camera and am taking my time learning about it. Sometimes I catch myself smiling when I think about it. Other times I don't catch myself and just smile.
In August 2010, Mara and John Rooney opened The Dancing Goat Yarn Shop in Warsaw!! I was (and still am) so excited that a real, bricks and mortar yarn shop was just a few miles down the road from my house. No more having to wait days for something to be shipped or having to drive over an hour to find  store that might have what I wanted. I've been knitting more and selling most of the bags I've made over the past year. I have to go down there this afternoon and get some yarn to finish a new bag.
I guess that the third big-ish development is discovering that I can actually make chain maille jewelry. I only get myself twisted up for a short time while I figure out a new weave and then everything goes right together. I just ordered some new rings to make a couple of bracelets and earrings and maybe a necklace.
I think this is enough for today. I must get out and run errands and get my new yarn.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Encaustic Day in Rock Glen

Last week Sue came over to my house and we, along with Nate, dove in to my new encaustic set up. I had a starter set with 8 transparent encaustic colors, a bunch of oil paints, encaustic medium, filtered beeswax, paraffin, an electric griddle, 5x5 inch baltic birch panels, a couple of great reference books The Art of Encaustic Painting: Contemporary Expression in the Ancient Medium of Pigmented Wax and Encaustic Workshop: Artistic Techniques for Working with Wax and a bunch of cheap bristle brushes. I covered the table with an old vinyl cloth, put an exhaust fan in the window and away we went.

Apparently, encaustic with the uninitiated can be a very messy affair. It was a good thing that I had thought of using paper work space covers or else Nate's area would be hopelessly lost to anyone else using that area in the future. Encaustic wax does not flake off hard surfaces like candle wax, it must be the damar crystals that keep it sticky and adhesive. The paraffin does peel off easily but it is used to clean the brushes.
Nate really went to town, as evidenced from his mess above, and ended up with a triptych complete with scanned and printed negatives and LOTS of texture.
Sue brought all sorts of stuff from home and made this beautiful collage using a printed image, flower bud, sonnet from Shakespeare and part of a potato bag.
My first one really bothered me because the wax kept blowing all over the board when I tried to fuse it. I would scrape the wax off and start again only to achieve the same results. Next I just started sticking stuff into the warm wax; shredded packing materials, a little bee firework and a bunch of scraped off wax globs. Then I added a final coat of medium and got this Starry Night kind of look with the fusing.
I used some of what I learned in my second one - keeping the background somewhat simple and layering a lot on top of that before fusing. I painted over Sue's potato sack, threw in a few gouges and filled them with oil paint, stuck on a paper flower, carved out a little vase shape and sprinkled some lavender over the top.

Throughout this process we depended on two books for our how-to references and inspiration. These books were The Art of Encaustic Painting: Contemporary Expression in the Ancient Medium of Pigmented Wax by Joanne Mattera andEncaustic Workshop: Artistic Techniques for Working with Wax by Patricia B. Seggebruch. These two books really compliment one another; The Art of Encaustic Painting take a fine art approach to historical and contemporary uses of encaustic combined with technical knowhow while Encaustic Workshop is a more freeform look at one artist's work and step-by-step instructions for achieving the numerous effects she illustrates in the book. One of us was always asking to look at one book or the other.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Enameling the Future

Day two at Sue's was all about copper and glass. A friend of hers had found an enamel kiln on craigslist and told her to buy it. Sue thought that maybe she could use it to make buttons and other embellishments for her fiber pieces, so she called the guy and bought it. The kiln came with all of the tools needed, boxes of enamels and bunches of copper shapes to work with. She got a few other tools at Harbor Freight and was good to go. If you happen to be interested in doing enamel work on your own I highly recommend The Art of Enameling: Techniques, Projects, Inspiration by Linda Darty, it tells you everything you need to know to get started and has some great pictures for inspiration as well. 
Once in the basement we settled in to work; turned on the kiln, sorted the enamels, selected our metal pieces and were ready to start. The kiln, however, was not ready. The kiln was hardly even warm. Sue switched it from low to high and we refined our rudimentary preparations. I sorted the enamels even further and put all of the little copper bits in piles according to shape and size. Sue busied herself with cutting circles and doming them. Eventually the kiln was ready to go. 
Evidently it needs to be turned on high about 45 minutes or an hour before you are ready to work. I chose a crescent shape from the pre-cut pile and put holes in both points and one at the center of the wide side of the curve. Sue cut 2 small circles, drilled 4 holes in each and domed them. I coated the back of mine with Indian Blue (seen above) which turns out to be a bright turquoise color. On the front I put a clear coat and after firing that I used enamel from a bottle labeled "Mixture". There are about 6 of these bottles each with a different color to it. This one looked blue-ish but turned out to be a lovely mottled pale green (below.) I think that the uneven dark edges mean that we over fired but I like the roughness of them.
The large bead is lava, the red ones are garnet and I think the other 2 are soapstone. Now all I need is to find a good clasp to attach to the leather laces and it's finished! 
Next time we get together I'll take more pics of the process and of Sue's work, she does very nice work.