Friday, March 30, 2012

Fiber Arts Friday - Nerd Wars T4R2 - Intellectual Challenge

Welcome to Fiber Arts Friday!  This week I  am sharing my final project for this round which is the Crossing the Lines Cowl inspired by the artist, Gustav Klimt.


Challenge (Intellectual): TO ART ITS FREEDOM
This renowned Viennese artist is associated with the Art Nouveau period and a pioneer of Modernism. Klimt was a part of the Secessionist group who adopted Pallas Athena as their guardian and muse (their slogan forms the title of the challenge). His most well known works include The Kiss, The Embrace, the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, the Beethoven Frieze and Pallas Athena herself. He made heavy use of gold leaf during this Golden Phase. In his later work he adopted a more Impressionist style with his Mood Landscapes such as The Poppy Field.
As inspiration, Klimt’s style offers opportunities for colorwork, patchwork, squares, and hexipuffs, even entrelac or the clever use of self-striping yarns. You can craft something in gold colored yarn to reflect the texture and materials in Klimt’s art, use cables to create the swirls of art nouveau, or incorporate modernist and impressionist floral and landscape designs into your project.
The challenge is to create something inspired by the life and work of Gustav Klimt, or the artistic movements he was associated with.
Find out more about Klimt and his art here:
http://www.iklimt.com/
http://www.klimt.com/museum.html


My answer to the challenge:

Rav Handle: wonderwhygal
Team: Team Precious
A photo of the completed project
Nerdwars TeamPrecious T4R2 Intellectual.jpg
What craft was used? (Knitting, Crochet, Spinning, Weaving)
Knitting
A written description of how your project answers the challenge
I knitted the Crossing the Lines Cowl which was inspired by Klimt’s painting, Avenue of Schloss Kammer Park. The rows of green trees with the subtle shades of color where you can see purple or maybe brown, yellow and gray inspired me to use a skein of handspun yarn I created in January. I took my skein, which came from Alpacas on my farm where I cleaned, carded then spun the yarn. That painting and my yarn were a perfect fit. I then found a beautiful purple Lustra yarn and a pale gray Therapi yarn which would be perfect for this cowl. Like the trees in this painting, my cowl has striping and a pattern than reminds me of a row of trees.
Skill Level:
Mosaic Colorwork, knitting in the round, i-cord bind off, provisional crochet cast on.
Team Tie In:
In the Lord of the Rings Two Towers, the Hobbits are introduced to Ents (a race of beings found in Middle Earth also known as Tree Herders). They closely resemble trees but are shepherds of the forest. They are some of the oldest beings in Middle Earth. Ents are patient, strong and very cautious. The most famous Ent is Treebeard who meets two of the Hobbits, Merry and Pippin in the forest as they flee from the Orcs, a race of villainous soldiers. The Ents had never seen a Hobbit and Treebeard did not know what to make of the Hobbits. There is a meeting of Ents called an Entmoot where all of the Ents gathered to discuss if they should join the war that is brewing and march against Isengard. They make their decision when they seen that their forests have been destroyed by the white wizard who lives in Isengard.
The line of trees in the Avenue painting, the line of Ents marching towards Isengard and the lines in my Crossing the Lines cowl tie the painting, Middle Earth and my cowl together.
So there you have it, my Crossing the Lines Cowl is finished.  Of course, the weather has decided it does want to be Spring so I'll need to wait awhile before I can wear it or...visit Northern Michigan.  Current temperature at 6am is 33 degrees. hmmm, I can at least wear it to work today.  Now, share your adventures in Fiber Arts!
Fiber Arts Friday ! 
To participate:

  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
 Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  1. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs







Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nerd Wars T4R2 - Technical Challenge

March was an amazing month for projects.  I completed all six of six challenges for Nerd Wars including one charity project and items I could wear.  This project, a woven cuff, appears to now belong to Sister Bear.  Of course her wrists aren't as big as mine so she has been wearing it on her arm. Gotta love that bear!



Challenge (Technical): THE SCRAP HEAP
It’s an inevitability in crafting. You buy a beautiful skein of yarn or braid of fiber, and after working it up, you have a sad little pile of material you didn’t use. You’re not sure how to use it, so you add it to your stash/destash it/throw it away/leave it lying in a pile on the couch (that’s what I do all too often, anyway). So what do you do with all those scraps? The partial skeins, the unplied singles that were not-quite-evenly divided; sometimes it takes a different approach to figure out how to work with them.
Your challenge this month is to craft something using scraps and leftovers. If needed to complete your project, you may supplement your scraps with non-scrap yarn. You can use scraps from a single project on their own to create something fun, or combine the scraps from multiple projects for the ultimate scrappy project. Or, if you are the kind of crafter that doesn’t have any scraps lying around (you are neater than I, and I salute you), you have the option of stashbusting to fulfill this challenge.

Rav Handle: wonderwhygal
Team: Team Precious
A photo of the completed project
Nerdwars TeamPrecious T4R2 Technical.jpg
What craft was used? (Knitting, Crochet, Spinning, Weaving)
Weaving
A written description of how your project answers the challenge
I created a handwoven cuff bracelet using my Cricket loom. Here is my before photo of all the leftover yarn from various weaving projects. As I am learning to weaving, I am also learning to not have as much waste but in the meantime, I am keeping the leftover yarn for projects like this.
img_1737.jpg
SKILL POINTS:
I used basic weaving for this project switching between colors to create stripes. At the last two inches of this 2 ½ inch by 10 inch bracelet, I used the finger weaving technique called Leno lace which worked perfectly for button holes while providing a nice visual for the holes that may not be used. I am still working on this technique and have more practice to go but I am pleased with the efforts of learning this skill.
img_1742.jpg
Team Tie In:
One of the characters in the Lord of the Rings, Legolas, wears wrist cuffs. I’m not sure if they improve his arrow aim or if they are simply his way of staying fashionable in Middle Earth but he wears them none-the-less so I created my own version of the wrist cuff. Since I don’t use a bow, I made mine colorful to match the Spring flowers I will be picking from my garden.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Nerd Wars - The Destruction of My Precious

Today in Middle Earth History, by the Tolkien calendar (yes, there is a calendar) the One Ring to Rule them All was destroyed by Frodo at Mt. Doom.  In honor of the ring being destroyed, our team all posted a Mt.Doom themed project today.  Here is my entry:

Challenge (Scientific): DIFFERENCES MATTER
States of matter. In science there are four states:
Solid: characterized by structural rigidity and resistance to changes of shape or volume.
Liquid: characterized by a definite volume but no fixed shape.
Gas: characterized by the vast separation of the individual particles.
Plasma: highly ionized gas.
Your challenge this month is to create something that showcases a state of matter from some other Nerd Wars team!
For this challenge, we are going to accept only non-organic materials as an inspiration.


My Response:
 
Rav Handle: wonderwhygal
Team: Team Precious
A photo of the completed project
Nerdwars TeamPrecious T4R2 ScientificTUP.jpg
What craft was used? (Knitting, Crochet, Spinning, Weaving)
spinning
A written description of how your project answers the challenge
A volcano is an opening, or rupture, in a planet’s surface or crust, which allows hot magma, volcanic ash and gases to escape from below the surface. Magma is a complex high-temperature fluid substance which turns to Lava referring to molten rock (solid state) expelled by a volcano during an eruption and the resulting rock after solidification and cooling. Igneous rocks, which form lava flows when erupted, can be classified into three chemical types. Lava is in its liquid state. This textured yarn was created to show the changes in color of lava. I wanted my colors to reflect the colors of lava as it heats to its liquid state so golds, reds and oranges were used. There are flecks of green in this yarn too and those symbolize the Hobbits climbing Mt. Doom. Lava and Magma are also very textured so I wanted a yarn that seemed “fluid”.
 
Skill Points:
This yarn is a bulky yarn created using the textured yarn spinning technique called Tornado as described in the Jacey Boggs Spin Art book. I spun Blue Faced Leicester that I hand dyed in a rich lava red while letting three other strands of commercial yarn act as racing stripes which wrapped as I was spinning my single. The three yarns I used were a bobbin of gold thread, a skein of Angora yarn and a skein of a Mohair blend. This was the first time I have spun using this technique. The skein of yarn is 6oz, 122 yards at 8WPI.
StarWars.jpg
For this project I found similarities between Star Wars from Team Space Alliance and Middle Earth. In Star Wars Episode III, “Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader, believing that he can save Padme from death by becoming evil. After a fierce battle between Obi-Wan and Anakin, Anakin gets fried by the lava at Mustafar. Palpatine takes him to a medical facility, where he gets fake legs and a fake arm attached to him, along with a breath mask, and a helmet. And thus, Darth Vader was born…” www.imdb.com
 
Team Tie In:
I am submitting this project on March 25 because on this day in Middle Earth, the One Ring was destroyed at Mt. Doom by Frodo Baggins, a Hobbit. The only way that the ring could be destroyed was by the lava in Mt. Doom where the ring was originally forged. By the ring being destroyed, Sauron could no longer threaten Middle Earth. This project is also my TUP since our whole team is submitting a project based on the destruction of Precious, the one ring to rule them all.
Nerdwars TeamPrecious T4R2 ScientificTUP1.jpg

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Nerd Wars T4R2 - Geek Pride

It's almost the end of the month already and I realized that I haven't shared a couple of my submissions for Team Precious.  This handwoven scarf was made for my Geek Pride Challenge.






Challenge (Geek Pride): BARE BONES 
When watching or reading our favorite nerdy things we often think we can see which characters are going to become an item later on, whether a character’s up to no good, or whether an ambiguous character is going to be a good guy or a bad guy. Why is that? Because in all stories there are basic character models, or “tropes”, the creators embellish and bring to life. How did we know Han Solo would return for Luke at Yavin IV? Because his character is the ‘thief with the heart of gold’ character, and they always do what’s right in the end--just like Robin Hood, Aladdin, and Moist von Lipwig.
Your challenge this month is to create something inspired by the archetype or trope in your nerdery. For this challenge, trope is being defined as “Devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations.” If you need an example, there’s lots of these models on display over at Tvtropes.org

This is how I answered the challenge:
Rav Handle: wonderwhygal
Team: Team Precious
A photo of the completed project
Eldest
What craft was used? (Knitting, Crochet, Spinning, Weaving)
Weaving
A written description of how your project answers the challenge
The weaving technique I used was basic weaving using a color work design of:
Warp 8 Color 1, Warp 8 Color 2 Weft 4 Color 2, Weft 4 Color 1
With two different sock yarns which were both variegated to created a subtle checkerboard design.
The trope that inspired this scarf was:
Parental Favoritism: Parental Favoritism is just what it sounds like — one child is given preference over their siblings. .. These divisions can be by: Birth Order, Gender, Personality, Biological vs. Adoption Any of these criteria can backfire. Parental Favoritism can have a huge impact on characters even when they become adults.
image title
Team Tie In:
In the Lord of the Rings, Boromir (the elder son) is heavily preferred to Faramir (the younger brother) by their father, Denethor. It’s especially emphasized in the LOTR movies, where Denethor is shown as blatantly unfair; in the book, Gandalf at least believes that it is partly that Denethor is still grief-stricken over the death of their mother.
image title
This scarf uses two very similar yarns that are distinctly different. Much like siblings you can tell that they go together yet each has their own personality. With the color work I created, you can see where the colors complement each other and also compete with each other much like sibling rivalry. Much like the parent, I had a preference for which color I wanted to show more but knew I must stay within the pattern so I put darker beads at each end to help make my favorite colored yarn more dominant.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fiber Arts Friday - Spring, sweet Spring

Welcome to Fiber Arts Friday!  Wowza!  Another week has flew by with record breaking temperatures and the hustle and bustle of Spring.  I've been busy finishing up my last few projects for this round of Nerd Wars on Ravelry which includes some weaving, spinning and knitting.  I had hoped to share my blocked cowl but I haven't got it back today.  Maybe tonight? 



First I am going to share the progress of my Tuck Shawl. I know it looks awfully tiny in this photo but it actually measures from the middle of my back to my wrist without blocking.  I am just over the halfway point which is good since it's almost the end of march and I need to have it completed before the end of April for Nerd Wars.

There really wasn't that much for cables either.  Although the pattern is a bazillion pages long (36), it really isn't terribly complicated.  It's more about me keeping my concentration so I don't miss something.  So...I'll keep knitting away at it.  Now I'm on the decrease so it should start moving fast again.  Hopefully the left side will look like the right.
Finally, I am going to share with you a photo from the Elton John concert I went to on Wednesday night.  The concert was amazing!  Sir Elton John is a true performer and really gave us a phenomenal show.  Three hours with no intermission which included all of his greatest hits plus so much more. I LOVED whenever the cameras would focus on his hands and we could watch them fly across the piano.  I've always held piano players in much higher esteem than other musicians, maybe because I have always struggled with my piano playing talent so when I see one that can truly make that instrument come alive, I am excited.  Now, share your adventures in Fiber Arts.

Fiber Arts Friday ! 
To participate:

  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
 Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  1. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring? Yes, Spring!

These are photos from this morning here on the farm.  Yes, March 22 and my fruit trees are in full bloom, my PussyWillow has already lost its fuzz and the smell from the spring flowers wafts in to the open windows of my house. 




The marsh frogs also know as Spring Peepers sing us to sleep at night. I know it's going to cool down and my hope of hopes is that we don't get a frost because are trees are acting like it's late April/early May not March.

Now...I must go back outside and enjoy the beauty that surrounds my farm.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nerd Wars T4R2 - Giving Geek

I completed another project that I will be donating to the Child Abuse Neglect Council for their fundraiser in May.  I did some major shoehorning to get it to meet the Giving Geek Challenge for this round of Nerd Wars.  There was a big debate about the charity could not be children, it had to be woman and so...I went a wee bit creative with help from my Fellowship in Team Precious.

Challenge:
For this challenge, we’re asking you to do something nice for a woman or group of women. We would like to encourage you to think about those women who could REALLY use some kindness. This includes, but is not limited to women in shelters or battered women’s programs, women dealing with a serious health problem, and women in nursing homes.

Normally I would have a problem doing something for a charity that met the challenge category but I had already committed myself to making items for CAN so...that's what I did.

Rav Handle: wonderwhygal
Team: Team Precious
A photo of the completed project
NerdWars T4R2 Giving Geek
What craft was used? (Knitting, Crochet, Spinning, Weaving)
Weaving
A written description of how your project answers the challenge
I made this scarf using a mixture of handspun yarn and commercial yarn to create a Herringbone Pattern on my Cricket Rigid Heddle Loom as part of a donation basket I am giving to my manager who will use it for one of her charities. She is on the CAN Council. The Calhoun Child Abuse/Neglect Prevention Council. Every May the Council hosts a Blue Tie Auction to raise money and I am donating this scarf to help with the efforts.  She asked if I would make a couple of projects using Alpaca from my farm for this benefit/auction and this will be one of them.
img_1700.jpg


In the words of John Mayer, Fathers, be good to your daughters, Daughters will love like you do,  Girls become lovers who turn into mothers, So mothers, be good to your daughters too.  The CAN Council reaches out to Calhoun County parents, caregivers, neighborhoods and organizations and help them prevent child abuse and neglect by finding positive ways to parent, care for, and serve our youngest citizens, our children.
 
Team Tie In:
Thinking along those lines, the character Eowyn in the Lord of the Rings is a daughter of the House of Eorl and the niece of King Théoden. She is a noblewoman of Rohan who wanted to be a warrior but being a woman she was supposed to take care of the people in the house of healing. She disguised herself as a man and fought with the Riders of Rohan to the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
eowynsword.jpg
She fought the Witch-king where he threatened to “bear her away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where her flesh shall be devoured, and her shriveled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye.” The Witch-king further boasted that ”no living man may hinder me,” Éowyn then removed her helmet and declared: “But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.”

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fiber Arts Friday - Just a Block Away

Welcome to Fiber Arts Friday!  Spring has arrived early here in Michigan.  The last few days have been in the upper 70's, the pastures are turning green, we've turned off the heated water buckets and our shear date is set.  The Alpacas are ready for that pasture to grow so they can fill their bellies with the rich grass...but they must wait a wee bit longer.  You can't rush nature.



You can't rush knitting either.  I finished my Crossing the Lines cowl right before bed last night.  Now I just need to stop by my LYS so that it can be blocked properly. I am still not blocking properly so I am asking the amazing pattern writer herself to work her blocking magic.   It is beyond beautiful.  I love when I finish a project and it turns out better than I had imagined.  This cowl was great too because I learned a couple of new techniques too. So I will have to wait a few more days before I can share the blocked cowl. 

Enjoy your weekend.  I hope it's as beautiful in your neck of the woods as it is here on the farm.  Now share your adventures in Fiber Arts!
Fiber Arts Friday ! 
To participate:
  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
 Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  1. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs

Friday, March 9, 2012

Fiber Arts Friday - Crossing the Lines

 Welcome to Fiber Arts Friday!  Your weekly dose of Fiber Arts Adventures are sure to be filled with a variety of fun.  This week I have been knitting like a mad woman.  I cast on my Crossing the Lines Cowl written by my absolute favorite pattern writer, KellyJ, and have been totally addicted to it.  I am using three lucious skeins of yarn including my very own handspun.

This will be used in one of my Nerd Wars challenges but I will wait until it's blocked and finished to show off the inspiration and the challenge it will meet.  I can't believe how quickly this is knitting up.  I am on my last repeat before I start knitting the stripes.  If all goes good I will have it done by the beginning of next week.  Squeal!  Of course, we are finally getting to see a glimpse of Spring here in Michigan so if I don't get this finished soon I may not get to enjoy it for a few months.

As far as an update on my Tuck shawl, I can no longer knit it at work or in short bursts.  Unless I know I can commit to a nice block of knitting, I just won't knit it because I am at a point that requires more concentration.

Only one more week until my Weaving/Spinning group comes over for a St. Patrick's Day gathering.  I plan to get my weave on so...must complete these knitting projects.  Now...share your adventures in Fiber Arts.


Fiber Arts Friday ! 
To participate:
  1. Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog  i.e. you would submit 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/e-i-e-i-doh.html  
NOT 
http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com
 Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to  WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER!   
  1. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!
Check out these wonderful blogs

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Knitting Funnies


Have you seen these cartoons?  
Between various social media outlets, they've popped up and thought I'd share.
Enjoy!