Do Not Adjust Your Monitors

So, after many months of identity crisis, I have made the big switch … I am officially moving the blog over to a new name.

So my friends, welcome to Green Bean’s String Factory, where I turn stuff into string and string back into stuff.  All the posts, comments and fun from the Sound Knit Works have migrated over with me, and I am looking forward to keeping the party going over here in the new digs.

I feel the new blog matches much more closely with my personal identity, my family has been calling me Bean for what seems like my whole life, and my deep and abiding affection for green, as a color and a concept.  When I was two years old, I got to pick the carpet color for my bedroom, it was mint green.  That was about 6 houses ago, and the color green sticks with me, although it has shifted over the years from mint, to lemongrass to sage to celadon.

But I don’t just identify with green as a color, but also as an identity.  I love being outdoors, using non-motorized transport (like riding my green bike or hiking in my green running shoes), studying ideas of nature and wilderness.

So that’s it, welcome to the new home, in the spirit of me, the Green Bean, the thermostat will be low to save energy and so we can wear our warm woolies.

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FO: Oak Ridges Moraine

 

 

Before fulling, the flaps are so much fun

This project came out of a desire to knit up my stash, and while none of the Wool of the Andes ball is very long, the way it is packaged, it took up quite a bit of space in the bins.  I had originally bought most of these colors to make an felted intarsia sheep bag, but I realized I had zero interest in making the bag so I needed a pattern that used up a bunch of single balls of WotA.  Turns out the KnitPicks Independent Designers Program had just the pattern for me.  So I paid my $1.99 and went digging to find the best color combo. As it turns out I had enough greens and complementary colors to make this work.

Having had my work contract expire at the end of February and no new work lined up, I found myself knitting quite a bit to releve stress.  The actual knitting of this bag only took about 2 weeks, however it took me another three weeks to decided how I wanted to finish it, I was hesitant about the i-cord and I only had one ball of Cloud in my stash, and then another to get my KnitPicks order after I had decided to get another ball and finish the bag according to the pattern.

So the original pattern was named Alluvia, after the glacial feature common in Alaska (where the designer is located). I decided to call my bag Oak Ridge Moraine, which is also a glacial feature, left by the Laurentide Ice Sheet (like from the Ice Age) and is a beautiful, green, rolling landscape north of Toronto.  This area is under threat from development and resource extraction (the moraine is basically made of gravel).

Location of the Moraine

So I ended up with a fun bag, although the felting did take away from the flappy-ness of the flaps, but I did accomplish one of my goals, knitting up a whole bunch of yarn.

Project Name: Oak Ridges Moraine Bag

Pattern: Alluvia by Allison Haas of Alaskan Purl (Part of the KnitPicks IDP)

Recipient: Not Sure, it wasn’t love at first stitch, but it is growing on me

Yarn: Wool of the Andes by KnitPicks in (from Bottom to Top) Avocado, Evergreen, Jalapeno, Fern, Pampas Heather, Mink Heather and Cloud.

Modifications:

  • Managed to make it with the colors I had on hand, and as such managed to get away with only one ball of CC6 (the bottom of the bag).  I did end up using the remnants of CC6 to fill in the shortfall on CC5 when I accidentally did too many rows.

New Skills:

  • Pleat Stitch – The pleats are formed by knitting together the first and live row of stitches.  The pattern has a clear explanation of the technique
  • I-Cord – I had been dreading making the i-cord, not because it would be difficult, just time consuming.  Turns out it was neither, but it gave me a great excuse to try out the KnitPicks Harmony DPNs, which by the by are gorgeous.

Feedback: Great way to use up yarn mileage.  I used colors in my stash for a pair of felted slippers and an intarsia bag I had no real intention of making.  It does take a while to knit, there is something like 800yds of yarn in the bag, it is an easy pattern and works well as TV knitting. Coming up with color combinations is lots of fun.

Re-Knit?: Probably not, I am not over the moon about the bag, but it was fun and if I had kids who liked to play dress-up it would be perfect for that.

The colors are so fun together

On Springtime and WIPs

So, sorry about the radio silence, after Knit and Crochet Blog Week, I was a bit burnt out on blogging and the weather has been wonderful.

Spring Time in Parry Sound

I have been doing some knitting, finally finishing off projects that I spent most of March making.  However, showing you the WIPs feels too much like “Stars Without their Makeup”,  they are still really pretty, but it feels exploitative to put them on the web without getting them get put together.

So, I am hoping that I will have at least one ready by the end of the weekend, and then it will be ready for the blog equivalent of being on the cover of People magazine.

And if we are lucky, I might even get a yarn spun up … it has been a while since I finished up a yarn.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming

Wow, what a blur, 7 days, 7 new blog posts.

I wanted to say thanks to all the awesome people who read and left nice comments on the blog.  It was fun to meet y’all and I hope that I will continue entertain now that the prompts have run out.

So big props to Eskimimi for hosting the 2nd Annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week, the prompts were fun and inspiring.  I look forward to next year’s party.

So, with all the blogging, and regular life, I didn’t get much actual knitting or spinning done this week.  However, I did finish one fibery project.

A Fiber Feeder

This project was inspired by the folks at Juniper Moon Farm, a CSA fiber farm in Virginia (if you haven’t checked them out, do it now, it is lambing season and there are picture almost daily of the new labs and kids).

Almost a month ago, when it was spring in the mid-Atlantic but not on Georgian Bay they suggested putting your yarn and fiber scraps into a suet feeder to help local birds build their nests, post here.  Here in Parry Sound we have a great diversity of bird species and now that spring is really here, we have taken down our seed feeder and put up our fiber feeder. (We generally only feed in the winter as to prevent attracting bears in the spring, summer and fall, as well as to encourage birds to feed on the more nutritious native vegetation we grow for them).

So I started with a suet feeder my Mom had stashed in the shed.

Added some of the yarn and fiber scraps (all wool and cotton, no acrylics), I have been collecting over the past six months.

And then …

Happy Spring Birdies!

Day 7: Your knitting and crochet time – 2kcbwday7

Write about your typical crafting time. When it is that you are likely to craft – alone or in more social environments, when watching TV or whilst taking bus journeys. What items do you like to surround yourself with whilst you twirl your hook like a majorette’s baton or work those needles like a skilled set of samurai swords. Do you always have snacks to hand, or are you a strictly ‘no crumbs near my yarn!’ kind of knitter.

My craft time is fairly laid back.  I resumed knitting in grad school so I became a wherever, whatever kind of knitter … between classes, on the bus, on the couch, in my desk chair.

Sound Knit Works World Headquarters

Because I am a person who doesn’t have too many demands on them, the joys and horrors of being unemployed and living at home, I don’t feel the need to carve out knitting and spinning time, it fits organically into my day. But most of my crafting happens at my desk watching a movie or surfing the web.  I am usually watching repeats of nerdy TV shows (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Eureka, Warehouse 13, Castle), I like being able to listen without really watching.

As to crumbs, I don’t really care, I have to wash and block the items before wearing regardless, so why stress, and I am trying not to eat in front of my computer. I am much more concerned about knitting with dirty, sweaty hands, I am not as much worried about the yarn (it came from a sheep for goodness sake) as I am totally grossed out by the feeling.

Day 6: Something to aspire to – 2kcbwday6

Is there a pattern or skill that you don’t yet feel ready to tackle but which you hope to (or think you can only dream of) tackling in the future, near or distant? Is there a skill or project that makes your mind boggle at the sheer time, dedication and mastery of the craft? Maybe the skill or pattern is one that you don’t even personally want to make but can stand back and admire those that do. Maybe it is something you think you will never be bothered to actually make but can admire the result of those that have.

For me the aspiration is to create something from start to finish with my own hands and creativity.  I was inspired by reading the Fiber to Yarn to FO thread in the Phat Fiber group on Ravelry where fiber artists show off the projects they have spun and knit.  Around the same time I was reading in the Ennea Collective about the International Back to Back Wool Challenge that calls for a group of seven to complete the entire process, from shearing to spinning to knitting, of turning a sheep into sweater in a single sitting.  While I don’t want to do this process in a single sitting, I am interested in acquiring fleece, cleaning it, carding or combing it, dying it, spinning it, designing a pattern for it and knitting it, so that I can have something that I have created in its entirety, something I can look on with pride.

My Handspun Yarn - Just one part of achieving my goal

I know I am many years away from this project as I have never washed fleece, never carded or combed wool, never dyed wool, nor have I knit my own handspun, never mind that I have never written a pattern or even knitted without a pattern.

It is the notion of making all the decisions myself that appeals to me.  I am a wilderness traveller at heart (canoeing and sea kayaking) and I enjoying having the ability to just take my gear and go and be on my own, making my own decisions and making my own mistakes.  Allowing myself to get up with the sunrise, to go to sleep with the sunset or stay up and watch the stars.  That or I am just a gigantic control freak.

Maybe it is to create something tangible in a world of communication without contact and touchless “pokes”.

Day 5: And Now For Something Completely Different – 2kcbwday5

This is an experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity in blogging to the same level that you perhaps push your creativity in the items you create.


It is amazing how much more you notice the change in your abilities when you see them in sequence.  Not only has the knitting improved, so has the photography.

Also, the song is Things Have Changed by David Myles, an amazing musician from Nova Scotia.

I shot this second video today at the mouth of the Seguin River in Parry Sound, Ontario.  I was so excited that spring is finally arriving, I had to share.

You can see the river is starting to help move the ice out of the harbor.  Last year it was out by the end of March, this year we still have a ways to go.