Of not-nephews and Hobbes

Somehow, I never wrote about this.

In a state somewhat long ago and fairly far away, my cousin had a son. A while later, I got to meet said not-nephew and hang out with him for a few days. He was (and is) a wonder, bright, creative, all those superlatives proud relatives might express.

Sadly, as he is far away, and I do not get much free time, I don’t get to see him as often as I would like. This sucks, and is not fair. What’s a not-uncle to do?

The answer, it was clear, came from my own childhood. When one does not have people to play with, one creates them. And of course, as a crafting not-uncle, I could aid in this process.


Hobbes. Bill Watterson and Calvin and Hobbes were wonderful worlds as a kid, why not share them now? In the rare “real life” panels, he looked like this:


First, I needed a washable, durable yarn. At first, I thought acrylic, of the nothing can bust this variety. But acrylic isn’t terribly huggable, and I plan to be around for a while and thus able to repair things if needed. Hrm…

The answer, for this project, was Knit Picks, Shine Worsted, in Black, Clementine, and white.

Ok… now let’s start. Maybe I can even write up a pattern for… um… ok no that’s not going to… hrm… number… color change… ::flail::

Well… that didn’t go as planned. Time for some free-hand crochet. It worked for Iggy, right? I won’t have a pattern, but at this point, who cares? Let’s try that again…


Well… the colorwork isn’t awesome, but it could be worse.


Forge ahead and tally ho!

So, by the head I’d finally mostly figured out how to do color changes more neatly. Thank goodness, since there are more color changes in the head. Ears, tail, stuffing…

Hobbes (1)

I’ll take it!

Hobbes n Me Small

Of course, every responsible tiger needs a letter of introduction.


But if you’re a distinguished tiger of note, such as Hobbes, you can also write one yourself.

Hobbes Letter

I also included a book of Calvin and Hobbes for when he got older. And received a very sweet phone call when they were going on vacation that my cousin and aunt were “making” him leave Hobbes behind, and he was quite worried that Hobbes would be lonely and tell me he was being abused.

Sometimes, it’s the little things.

That’s all for now!
~The Gnome

Iggy’s Scarf

I decided Ignatius was too naked. So I made him a scarf. It’s BFL, a plied version of the yarn that went into my woven BFL colorshift scarf before.


And in answer to Meg’s question… it’s a fae. I have a couple that I drew, they visit my blog sometimes. Creeping around the corners and keeping out the gremlins.

Gobo is happily done with his fixing, and has his stitches out. He’s happy.


That’s all for now, back to the dyepots!

~The Gnome

Crochet: A Moose

I make stuff! Yay stuff.

First I spun up some nice shetland in the colorway “Moose.” Longdraw so it’s fluffier, two-ply, about worsted weight.

Moose Yarn in Shetland

Moose Yarn in Shetland

Then I looked at a bunch of different patterns, and decided that while they were nice… none of them were ideal. So instead I pulled out my crochet hook and started freehanding…

Moose Parts

And made a shmoo body and then an extra piece to make the nose all moosey. At this point I’m fairly dubious about my own skills. But I forge my way forward and make some arms and legs.

Moose Pieces!

Ok, now I’ve got all the bits… except… oh wait, it’s supposed to be a moose… where are the antlers!? Time to pull out fiber for more spinning. Undyed shetland, this time…

Singles for plying

Spin it up, make a plying ball on a TP tube, and ply it up…

Antler Yarn

Aand crochet it up into antlers…

Moose' Antlers

Ok, now we hope to all the petty pewter gods that putting the pieces together makes a moose… First, stuff the nose and antlers and sew them on…

Moose Body

And from the side…

Moose Profile

Ok, I guess I can breathe. I was really unsure about the antlers and nose until I actually got them on. But now I think this might actually work!

Time to repeat the process with arms and legs, still crossing my fingers that shmoo-moose still looks cute with legs and arms. ::crosses fingers::

Moose sadly without eyeballs

Yay! It actually worked! He’s even pretty cute! Hrm… but something’s still missing… what could it be? Oh wait, I know, magnetite! I know, you’re thinking, what? Magnetite? What the heck?

Moose with eyes!

See? Magnetite! Little magnetite eyes! Meet the finally completed Ignatius J. Moose!

Ignatius J Moose

Isn’t he adorable? I say yes! Yay for projects working! I was pretty worried, I’ve never done anything like it before. Simple stitches, but all freehand, with stuffing, and then sewing things together… different process! Neat!

That’s all for now!
~The Gnome

This is small, really.

Got a full updated draft of the paper to my boss on Friday, yay! If I can get some stuff done this week and next, I might get this thing out by the end of next week. Assuming the rest of the week isn’t like today. Today is very Monday.

Cleaned my bedroom. Moved Ash in there, and currently the click reel. Bought a new belt for my vacuum, hoping it comes in this week so I can vacuum again. Apartment is still a disaster, but it’s slowly slowly coming under control. I think I might have figured out to solve the problem of my living room not being the TARDIS. Now to figure out how to afford the things I *have* while still squeezing out enough for the new shelf unit and cloth boxes to go on it.

And got a little spinning done. Not as much as I’d like (when do I ever?)

This is one of the finer yarns I’ve spun. Made from lovely hand-carded batts from the fabulous Bowerbird.

Across the Sea – Mostly Merino – 2-ply – 230ys – 16wpi (light fingering)

Across the Sea
Across the Sea

This is what’s on the wheel right now. Some true laceweight polwarth/silk. Mmm.


I also got quite a bit of dyeing done in between cleaning. Some will go up in the shop, some is for other things.

We’ll start with the things to go up in the shop…

Yay wensleydale!

Summer flowers always make me happy, and I just love the way this particular wildflower turned out. Warm and creamy.

Buttercup – 4oz – Combed Wensleydale Top


Another summer flower, bright and bold, in dry gardens…

Rose Campion – 4oz – Combed Wensleydale Top

Rose Campion
Rose Campion

This ended up a little more brown than the original intent, but I like it. Just have to go back and do the original attempt again. Brown with rich red under tones.

Red Oak – 4oz x 2 – Combed Wensleydale Top

Red Oak
Red Oak

And some luxury fiber… mmmmmmmm silk!

Summer Berries – 1oz x 2 – Combed Tussah Silk Top

Summer Berries
Summer Berries

And REALLY luxury fiber…

Gold Mine – 1oz – 50/50 Cashmere/Tussah Silk – Combed Top

Gold Mine

These were done as part of two trades I’m behind on.

Muted Burning Bright in BFL. A massive dyelot for me. Really beyond what I’m equipped to do. Fiber ended up more compacted than I like do to that.

Muted Burning Bright

Middle Sea in Corriedale

Middle Sea

And some stuff done and gone already.

Cashmere/Tussah Silk


Tussah Silk

Amethyst Silk

Whee, fiber!

Yay fiber!

This is slowed down, really. It’s actually allowing me to do some colorways I otherwise have difficulty fitting in. Most of these take much longer times to get the needed saturation. I have a hemlock in silk and an oxblood in cashmere/silk (though it fell into three pieces) drying right now.

Back to trying to salvage today’s experiments which are so not cooperating.

~The Gnome


Oh Blog, my Blog… (Plus Memorial Afghan Update)

How I’ve missed you.

Sorry for the lack of updates. Life got… complicated. *insert whining here. car tires blah, 15 hour days blah, bobbin broke blah, blah blah).

But here I am, still alive more or less. And thus, this will be rather colossally large.

So, lets see…

Squares. We have… depending on how you count, 128 or 134 squares. From all over.

USA Kentucky C-Ville
Canada Manitoba Woodlands
USA Utah Logan
USA Texas Katy
USA Arizona Glendale
New Zealand Unknown Wanaka
USA New York New York City
USA Wisconsin Madison
USA Oregon Gearhart
UK Unknown Unknown
USA Florida Crestview
Norway Unknown Bergen
USA New York White Plains
USA New York Endicott
USA Minnesota Columbia Heights
USA Washington Lacey
USA Maryland Columbia
USA California Redlands
USA New York Binghamton
USA Illinois Chicago
USA North Carolina Hendersonville
USA Pennsylvania Conshohocken
USA Washington Tacoma
USA Oklahoma Broken Arrow
USA Alabama Huntsville
USA Maryland Huntingtown
USA Georgia Acworth
USA Idaho Moscow
USA California La Habra
Canada Ontario Oshawa
USA Oregon Portland
USA Massachusetts Somerville
USA Massachusetts Worcester
USA Wisconsin Madison
USA New York Babylon
USA California San Francisco
USA Washington Renton
Canada Ontario Stouffville
USA Nevada Boulder City
UK Unknown Bedford
USA Ohio Northfield
USA California Oak Park
USA Minnesota Chanhassen
Denmark Unknown Magdelonevej
USA Ohio Cleveland
Denmark Unknown Skeiby Vaenge
USA New Hampshire Belmont
Canada Ontario Oshawa

The afghan layout has gone through a couple changes. Wasn’t sure the corner squares were going to come in, so I did a layout without them…
Layout 2

Then, yesterday, they arrived, so did a layout WITH them…
Layout 3

I’ll likely keep this one. I’m debating a bit on seaming. I can seam in one color (my off white) or I can seam in two colors (cream and a green) to emphasize the color spiral (yeah, didn’t notice that, did you?). Haven’t decided for sure yet. Yes, it needs one more square.

Extra squares that come in will be used either for a pillow or a small lap blanket.

Also with one batch of squares came these

Mmm cookies. They came at a good time, as my mind was melting out my ears from an approaching project deadline (for which I was running 13-15 hour days).

Oh right, another yarn commission. A small one this time, but one that’s been beset by disaster. Pink Spinel, a 2-ply worsted yarn in SW Merino/Cashmere/Nylon. Spinning the single was fine, though the fiber and my fingers really wanted to make frog hair.
Pink Spinel Thread

No, it’s not dyed yet. It’s going to be a semi-solid so I didn’t see a reason not to dye it as yarn. Since it’s a small amount and I’m going to be dyeing it all one color I thought I’d be brilliant and make sure I could use it all. So I wound it off into a center pull ball.
Ball Winder

Unfortunately for me, I wound it too tight, so it doesn’t come out without often dragging other bits of the thing with it. Annoying but not catastrophic. Just slowing me down a bit.

What was catastrophic was my bobbin breaking in the middle of plying. The end popped off, which pressed against the flyer, keeping the whole thing from winding right. Urgh.

After some delay for the aforementioned deadline (Thesis Committee meeting, by the way, it went well even if it did almost kill me to get there), I got some gorilla glue and managed to put the end of the bobbin back on and put it back on my wheel. Assuming (la la la la happy thoughts) that I didn’t glue the yarn to the bobbin, I should be good. Got a little more plied last night. The annoying ball failure is delaying me a lot.

Finally, I made these:
Stitch MarkersStitch Markers 2

Stitch markers (as you can see). I’m rather pleased with how they came out. Aventurine, garnet, and labradourite. One thing I’m especially pleased with is the lack of edges. They’re made with a solid cast nickle o-ring, rather than a welded o-ring or jump ring. No catchy place. And the end of the wire wrap is also tucked in and protected. I have the supplies, I think I’ll likely make some more in various stones.

I’m going to try to get some dyeing done in the next few days. I have some blending noil, shetland, and bfl to dye. And at some point, some polwarth.

For now, signing off.

~The Gnome