Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

16 July 2008

Hitting the Highlights

Birdwatching Highlights

I finally got a picture of a male ruby-throated hummingbird where the throat showed red instead of black!

The camera really wanted to focus on those leaves behind him. This is the best of the lot.

In order to get decent hummingbird pictures, my camera (it's a Fuji FinePix S700) has a little "top 3" button that lets me snap three pictures in a row as fast as it can.
A hummingbird moves a lot in that short space of time. In this one the female is nectaring at catnip flowers. I really let the catnip grow this year after I saw how much the hummingbirds liked it last year.
Sometimes the speed of the top 3 button catches something I didn't expect.

When I pressed the button, the female rubythroat was just sitting on the dead rose cane. In the time I took to push the button down and capture the image, she took off. Here she is in the act of lifting her wings to fly.

Look how narrow her wings are, and how she fluffed all her feathers just at that instant.

Knitting Highlights

I've knitted just over three-quarters of this ball of Valdani pearl cotton so far, and in a couple of rows will start ribbing.

In the background, a back issue of Knights of the Dinner Table from Kenzer and Company, as a bridge to answering a question.

I got an email asking, "What do you do with such little bags?"

I like to put sparkly dice in them.

Mostly from Chessex, but at least one from Crystal Caste, makers of Crystal Diceā„¢.

Crystal Caste is how they really spell it. I often mistype and mispronounce it "Crystal Castle". My tongue and my fingers just want there to be a second "L" in there.

In the old days I liked matched sets. These days I like a little variety. There is even one in there in black, white and pink, like blackjack candy, the soft licorice taffy I used to rot my teeth with as a kid.

And Then There's This
A while ago (okay: April 2006) I got some probably-Shetland fleeces from someone on my local Freecycle group.

He was not a fiber guy at all, mostly a city person who had moved out to the country and promptly bought geese, chickens, and sheep and dived into what you might call the whole country experience.

(Since then he's sold both farm and sheep, so no more where those came from.)

Anyway, I took them up to my spinner-mom to see what she thought of them, and she helped me wash a couple and get some of the copious vegetable matter out. To repeat: not a fiber guy, not caring for these sheep to protect the fleece at all.

I left her with most of the fleece, but she sent me home with some washed locks of the brown and black.

I've been avoiding learning to spin, on the principle that I only have two hands and there are only so many hours in the day. But that scoured fleece was sitting there, sitting there . . .

Every so often I'd check it to make sure nothing bad (read: insect life) was happening to it. Then I searched out how to make a CD spindle for a friend. And oh look! made one, just to, erm, make sure the instructions worked.

[rolls eyes at self] And of course the next thing I knew I was washing out the slicker brushes and playing with fleece and trying the spindle out to make sure it worked.

And knitting my lightly-spun singles up to make sure the yarn worked.

That's the light brown (moorit?), black, and the two mixed together. The Michigan Fiber Festival is in about a month. Will I be able to walk by all that roving and all those spindles? Watch this space.

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Blogger Bells said...

i really should read the manual on my FinePix. I never have. I might have known about that clever 3 trick! He's a lovely, lovely bird. Can't wait til my catmint goes crazy again in summer.

You sound me with fleece and spinning....but you've managed to actually do something whereas I am yet to.

9:31 PM  
Blogger catsmum said...

yup I've got a FinePix too so off to see if I can work out where that button is
and Alwen m'love I have only one other word for you ... wheel [ spindles are nice and all but you have to get a wheel ]
- okay so it was more than one word :]

12:52 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Nice hummingbird photos

1:39 PM  
Blogger Knitting Linguist said...

Yup, the spinning bug. It appears to be resistant to most forms of standard treatment (namely, chanting the mantra "I'm too busy for another fiber sport, I'm too busy for another fiber sport"). It looks really good though!

I'm loving those bird pictures, too -- keep sharing :)

11:23 AM  

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