Archive for June, 2011

making pretty things!

June 29, 2011

i am proud to announce the opening of my new etsy shop, whispering birds.  i’ve thought a long time about expanding to make more jewelry, but my other etsy shop focuses mostly on handmade bags and dreadlocks tams, and i didn’t want to interrupt the flow of that.  that shop has its own feel, and whispering birds will be all about beautiful, earthy jewelry.

here are three pendants i wrapped last night!  i’m really enjoying this a lot.  i didn’t know when i started that i would fall in love with jewelry making.  i’m hoping i can get better at it so i can make my design ideas a reality.

fluorite and silver wrapped pendant
jade and wire wrapped pendant
tiger's eye wire wrapped pendant
peace and love ❤

how i feel about television

June 28, 2011
television by littlehippiegirl
television, a photo by littlehippiegirl on Flickr.

the first time i moved out on my own, it was to a tiny studio apartment in tucson, arizona.  my roommate and i couldn’t afford cheese, let alone television, and for the first time i came to know what it was like to be technologically bereft.  when we finally bought internet and my father showed us how we could get illegal cable, i was almost insulted by the notion.  tv, for me, had not been difficult to give up.  at the time, i was working overnight shifts, and when home during the day was usually sleeping.  the rest of the time was taken up arguing with my roommate and making quesadillas.

after that, each move-out from my father’s house meant another home without television.  i didn’t miss it when i didn’t have it, but when returning to my dad’s to wash laundry, i would park myself in front of the TV at the earliest opportunity and scan every channel before remembering yet again that nothing good is ever on.  thus satisfied, i would go about my business.  only a good movie could get me to sit down on the couch again for more than 5 minutes at a time.

i first moved out when i was twenty, and for the past seven years my TV watching was pretty limited.  i sit down to watch shows sometimes, but i’ve never paid for cable in any apartment i’ve lived in, so my exposure to television has been limited.  i wish i didn’t sound like an elitist turd saying this, but people were always shocked whenever i uttered the fateful words: “i don’t have television.”  i tried to make up for it by watching five or six episodes of a series online in one fell swoop, but even then i missed out on everything that TV supposedly had to offer.  and so, upon coming to live with my mother, i was ill-prepared for what having the TV on in the same room can do to a person.

at my mother’s house, the TV is on all the time.  the only time it isn’t on is when she’s sleeping- after the timer has turned it off- and when my sister or i turn it off ourselves.  she leaves it on when she is not in the room or even in the house, and talks to it when she is in the room, reciting along with the ads.  she says she likes the background noise.  sleeping in the motorhome, i get limited to no internet connection, and so to do my internet things i have to come in the house.  i sit on the daybed while the TV plays in my ear.

it was after i went to the festival and came back with my energies sorted out that i realized how much TV fucks with me.  i was in the living room, feeling sluggish, and decided to do some exercises.  as i exercised i thought i might like something to keep my mind off the boredom of leg lifts, and so i turned on the TV.  every ad made me feel crappier and crappier- the constant plea of “BUY ME!” like the snarl of a hyena, dirty, pathetic, persuasive.  the trend of appealing to emotion in advertising is something that takes a toll on my brain.  every ad either makes me sad or pissed.  watching TV i feel drained, like my brain is being forced to focus on unnatural things.  just watching for half an hour makes me feel anxious and irritable.  TV is pretty much a psychic vampire, i have to say.

so that’s why i don’t watch.  i like keeping control over my own brain and energies.  i am a big proponent of killing your television.  go put your feet in the grass.

nevada hat pattern – translation

June 23, 2011

i came across veruska‘s nevada hat on ravelry and really wanted to translate the pattern because it looks great!  the yarn she’s using is an italian yarn made by lanar that is a wool/acrylic blend and that i’m super jealous of.  oh italy and your beautiful yarns, why must you be so far away?  anyhow, here is the pattern.  veruska, i hope you like it 🙂

from what i can gather all stitches are worked in the back loop of the stitch.

yarn weight: medium to bulky (the lanar website doesn’t specify so i’m going by the look of it)

hook size: 5.5 (I)

after having reviewed some handspun Nevada by Lanar, we present here the finished pattern of a slouchy hat with the handspun yarn.  the hat can be completed in an evening, and is a fast and easy pattern, but not boring.

gauge: 15 stitches by 7 rows, worked around the back post one line sc, one dc, one tc, unstretched: 10×10 cm

start: leaving a tail of at least 15 cm, ch 2.
first row: in first ch from hook, work 9 sc.  join with a sl st. (9 sts + 1 sl st)
second row: ch 2 (counts as first dc).  work 1 dc in same st.  *work 2 dc in back loop of next st.  repeat from * around; join with a sl st (18 sts + 1 sl st)
third row: ch 3 (counts as first tc).  work 1 tc in same st, *2 tc in next st, 1 tc in next st.  repeat from * around; join with a sl st (27 sts + 1 sl st)
fourth row: ch 1 (counts as first sc). work 1 sc in same st, *1 sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st.  repeat from * around; join with a sl st (36 sts + 1 sl st)
fifth row: ch 2 (counts as first dc).  work 1 dc in same st, *1 dc in next 3 sts, 2 dc in next st.  repeat from * around; join with a sl st (45 sts + 1 sl st)
sixth row: ch 3 (counts as first tc).  work 1 tc in same st, *1 tc in next 4 sts, 2 tc in next st.  repeat from * around; join with a sl st (54 sts + 1 sl st)
seventh row: ch 1 (counts as first sc).  work 1 sc in same st, *1 sc in next 5 sts, 2 sc in next st.  repeat from * around; join with a sl st (63 sts + 1 sl st)
eighth row: ch 2 (counts as first dc).  work 1 dc in same st, *1 dc in next 6 sts, 2 dc in next st.  repeat from * around, join with a sl st (72 sts + 1 sl st)
ninth row: ch 3 (counts as first tc).  tc in each st around.  join with a sl st (72 sts + 1 sl st)
tenth row: ch 1 (counts as first sc).  sc in each st around.  join with a sl st (72 sts + 1 sl st)
eleventh row: ch 2 (counts as first dc).  dc in each st around.  join with a sl st (72 sts + 1 sl st)
rows 12-14: repeat rows 9-11.
row 15: repeat row 9.
row 16: ch 1 (counts as first sc).  sc in next st.  *sc2tog, sc in next 2 sts.  repeat from * around, join with a sl st (54 sts + 1 sl st)
row 17: ch 1 (counts as first sc).  sc in each st around.  join with a sl st (54 sts + 1 sl st)
rows 18-25: repeat row 17.

cut yarn.  weave in ends.  if you like you can add a pom pom to the hat.

peace and love.

love your mother earth festival

June 21, 2011

i spent the weekend at the most awesome festival at ryan creek meadows this weekend.  my friend had a booth and invited me to come sell, so i brought some painted bags and hats.  i didn’t sell much, but gosh was it tons of fun!  all the vendors had the most amazing things, and our neighbors specialized in patchwork bags.  there was one made of red and purple corduroy that was the apple of my eye while i was there, but at $35 it was more than i could afford.  so i got home with ideas in my head and decided to make a bag of my own!

i’m going to sell it, of course.  but i was glad to make it.  it got rid of some scrap fabric i had cut up and ignored, and it looks great!  i love to sew, but due to my severe lack of patience have difficulty finishing sewing projects for the same reason i can’t finish knitting ones.

the lady next to us had a lot of patchwork clothing and pieced together clothing that i wanted to try to do too.  and jewelry… oh the jewelry.  it was a fantastic time.  i felt as though my umbilical cord has been reattached to the universe.

friday night, after gathering the pieces of my head back together, the group of us headed up the steep hill to the techno section of the festival.  i stood next to the fire trying to get warm as the light shows played on the mountain, and above me the stars were crystal clear for the first time in ages.  a bunch of paper lanterns were lit and lifted into the sky, mingling with the stars.  at one point i couldn’t tell which were which.  as we came down the hill the moon started to rise over the mountain, and most of us couldn’t believe our eyes, that it was actually happening within our view.

saturday night we sat around the fire, roasted bacon-wrapped hot dogs and marshmallows, smoked, talked, and generally had a very groovy connection with each other.  i was getting major woodstock vibes.  i met a lot of people that are now my facebook friends.  it’s strange what technology can do (i say as i write this.)

peace and love.

knitting as meditation

June 16, 2011

i took to knitting very late in life.  my neighbor taught me to crochet when i was 9, but knitting was something i could never wrap my mind around.  my mother tried no less than 7 times to teach me, and it finally stuck when i was 23 and ready to boost my image as an indie kid.  after that i attended several knitting meetups in various locations, jealously working my slow stockinette as the other girls showed off their socks, scarves and sweaters.  i loved knitting because it seemed so smooth, so refined- but the fact that it took me three weeks to finish a hat, as opposed to three hours with crochet, was a huge turnoff.  i considered myself one of those closet knitters who could keep a project in the basket to work on in spare moments, like the afghan you start and plan on finishing in twenty years.

another turnoff was the stress of it.  knitting to relax?  what a joke!  aside from the frustration of my slow hands, dropped stitches never failed to send me into a tizzy, and, once i learned to properly “frog” (which i just recently learned is the term for tearing something apart) the problem was then how to attempt projects with written patterns.  it’s one thing to slip into a zen coma while performing the same stitch in a circle for hours, but reading a pattern where things are constantly changing required a level of attention i did not find relaxing in the slightest.

but a recent turnaround occurred when i actually finished a project from a pattern, and then another.  i realized that maybe i could knit a little faster than i had originally thought.  and then tonight, counting two by two as i worked a rib pattern, i was startled out of my counting by the obnoxious sound of a taco john’s ad.  it took me a minute to realize that i had been so into my knitting that i had zoned out completely- and it had felt pretty damn peaceful.

maybe there’s a potential for knitting as meditation after all.  i’ll try to find out this weekend at the love your mother earth festival and report back for your reading pleasure.

peace and love.