Hot and Cold…

The dog days of August are of course the very best days to knit up a winter hood…

Snowflake hood
A blue angora hood with little embroidered snowflakes…

I think all the extra winter knitting is just for comfort. When things get a bit stressed out with my work at the Jade Mines, I knit to redirect my mind to a cosy world full of colors and textures. Though there are days that have compensations. Like the conversation I had with someone over the phone the other day…

Caller:(Incoherent muttering)
Me: “Hello? You’ve reached the Mines of Glorious Jade. What can I do for you?”
Caller: “I wanna, like sign up for the Cordon Bleu classes. I saw your add on tv! Like, I’m good at cooking and I wanna do the Cordon Blue.”
Me: “I’m afraid that’s a different institution–we don’t offer cooking classes. This is a museum.”
Caller:”Well, howabout animation? You, know, (slurs) animation?I’m really interested in your Cordon Bleu classes, but I wanna be an animator too.”
Me. “I’m sorry, we don’t offer anything like that. We’re a museum.
Caller:”Whaaaat? Museum?”
Me:”Yes, that’s right. Museum.”
Caller: “Like, when are you open? I have a 2 year old and he really likes art!” (background yodels of small shrieking child)
Me:*silent facepalm* We’re not open today.
Caller. “Oh. Okay. Bye!!”

It was still not as funny as the guy who wanted to come and hold one of our samurai swords, just because reasons. The world is full of people who have, shall we say, interesting demands…

Mud and Fire make gleeful fun…

It’s the hottest weekend of the year, so what do I do? What any sane person would do, of course–I make elaborate mud structures and set them on fire!!

Pizza oven!
The pizza oven’s first firing, to dry out the insides and bake it rock-hard…

I’d been working on this pizza oven all summer, and I finally got to fire the insides to set the cob. I’m still getting the hang of keeping the fire nice and hot–it was a windy day yesterday, so the fire kept blowing out. But once I half-blocked the door with a cookie sheet, the fire did quite nicely!
Now I think a few more test fires, and then I can get to the fun part–making it pretty. Right now it’s workable, but it looks very much like a big pile of mud with a fire in it. But another plaster layer with some carving and a whitewash will do wonders, I think.

And how do I celebrate all this muddy, firey victory? By cowering inside by the fan, spinning hefty Llama yarns and drinking gallons of limeade. Because *cues sinister music* winter is coming! Well, maybe not quite this minute…

Beautiful or grotesque?

This time of year I start thinking about the Halloween yarns I enjoy making. Every year it’s something different and and interesting. Sometimes it’s a traditional yarn in pleasing fall colors, or deep reds and blacks with glo-thread, or some wonderful weirdo thing with skulls and little fake bones and silk shreds. This year, I think a big-fun zombie yarn with unsetlling silk cocoons may well be my thing…

Silk cocoons
Olive green silk cocoons…beautiful, and a little disturbing…

I love this olive color. They could be really striking, strung with beads and pearls in an elegant yarn, or perhaps something more seaweedy and pirate-y. There are some pretty fun possibilities here, for sure. Creature from the Black Lagoon? Yay! Unsettling eyeballs? Definitely! Zombies? Why, sure!!

I’m also thinking seriously about adding a few surprise gift-boxes in the Etsy shop. Perhaps a box with a few random, interesting mini-skeins, an ounce of random cool fluff or maybe a knitted critter. I love surprise boxes myself, so I reckon it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to offer for other people. Plus, it would be so much fun to pack them up! I could add little handmade stationary cards, or an odd polymer clay dollhouse figurine, or tiny spindles with eensy-weensy yarns wrapped around them. I’d love to know what people might enjoy in a surprise box coming from me…

Meanwhile, maybe I’ll play with the cocoons a little this afternoon, and see how they combine with a few other fluffy things..hehhehhehhhhhh…