An Autumn Yarn Bomb

Last night I spotted this fence on our way to knit night.  This is Touhy park (near Touhy and Clark in Rogers Park).  I had seen another fence similar to this, but there was too much traffic for me to stop for photos.  It was such a lovely moment in my afternoon, I had to share.

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Rehearsal

We have a circus show in October.  Look here for more info.

My class is doing this nifty trapeze duet thing to Tom Waits.  We have finally beem rehearsing to the music and I can really feel it come together.

We have also begun rehearsing in our costumes.  “People who would walk into an all night diner.”  It took me a long time to think about what to be.  Before we knew the theme, we had to buy our boots.  Mine are bright red, and trying to think of a character that would wear bright red shoes is a little difficult (my mind went to hipster).   I settled on an old woman.

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The aging process never ceases to freak me out.  I don’t think I did a fantastic job even, which means that as I get closer to performance date, it will become more realistic.  I wanted to test how well the paint stood up to a rigorous workout.  Would it smear, sweat off, or dirty up the ropes or costumes?

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This is not the best angle to see what we are doing, but this is my favorite pose so far.

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I have ending up with so many bruises and rope burns.  My friends have taken to trying to invent even more crazy scenarios than hanging from a steel bar.

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My partner’s character, by the way, is the chef.  During rehearsal, she learned her apron was too long and I confirmed that my yoga pants were just too grippy and loose.

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This is definitely the best way to work out, I would say.  I am building all over body strength. I am overcoming doubts and fears.  And, really, I get such a kick out of saying I can dangle by my feet.  Wouldn’t you?

The Thing About Wings

I started making wings when I was 15.  I went to a performing arts high school in Milwaukee which fed the flame for not only my creativity, but also my expression of rebellion.  I can see you scratching your head at the connection.

My school had strict regulations for dress code.  Skirts had to reach a certain length, shoulder straps had to be a certain width.  Anything on your head was subject to scrutiny.  No midriff, no bare backs, no offensive tees (and that’s a very subjective phrase).

However, there was nothing in the codes saying fairy wings were prohibited.  So, on several occasions, I wore my handmade wings to school.  That was my rebellion.

I did that a lot – rebelled through logical stand points.  I did nothing “wrong” per say, just pushed the envelope for what was “acceptable.”  My rebellion was backed up by carefully researched facts and plotted arguments.  I can do this because…  That is incorrect because…

And that is how my venture into fairy costumes came about.

Fast forward to college; I started exploring different methods beyond the nylon-coat hanger style and people started showing an interest in pairs for themselves.  I opened up shop, figuratively.  Most of what I did was by word of mouth.  I kept sketchbooks close by for ideas throughout the day.  My early work was interesting, vague, and some of it a little sloppy.

Two years later, I started doing shows and travelling with the shop.  It’s a hard gig to have because there is so much stress involved in travelling, maintaining expenses, and staying ahead of the trend.

That brings me to the nature of this post.  The trend has passed me by.  I wish I could blame something in particular (**couch**DisneyFairies**cough**) but that’s not quite right.  The fairy market has been stretched thin, and it has been a hard realization for me to make this year.  Really, I noticed it happening two years ago, but hoped that if I found a way to produce better quality items at a better price, I could stay in the game.  What I have been hearing a lot of lately is “She already has three pairs of fairy wings” and “Honey, you already have five tutus at home.  You don’t need another one.”

What does that mean for me?  Well, the fairy wing business is essentially shutting down.  I will not be “mass producing” my items.  I will still take custom orders, and the higher quality, one-of-a-kind items will still be in production – but the small, inexpensive, child-oriented wings are out.  Also, I will not be selling at live venues.  Everything from now on will be virtual markets (i.e. ETSY) and consignment.

That being said, I have a load of wings that I would like to move out of the house, and I’m willing to part with them at a pretty sweet deal to you guys.  Use this code WINGS2012 at checkout to get 50% any pair of wings in the shop, with the exception of made-to-order items.  I think there’s only one of those.  And wings will be uploaded as I have time, so keep checking back to see if there is anything new listed.

So, what happens to Little Green Pixie?

I will still do face painting and private/corporate gigs.  The wings and tutus will do one live show a year (Custer Street).

I am going to focus on the design aspect of the business.  There are so many designs stuck in my head that I simply haven’t had time to put to paper.  I really want to put them all out in the world for you.  I am working on a book (or two, or three…and maybe a small ebook somewhere in there, too).

Also, since I began teaching aerial, my perspective has changed.  It is so much fun and I love helping others share my passions.  The girls I teach are so excited about what they are learning, and that excitement and sense of possibility is infectious.  I have been looking at outlets for doing this more in-depth – intensive training and extra programs and whatnot.  The circus outlets in my life have been a prevalent source of inspiration for my knitwear designs, so I want to keep the two linked as much as possible.

This is a rather bittersweet post to mark my second blogversary.  It has been a fairly interesting and difficult year.  We are signing our lease for year three, and have begun serious discussion for what happens after that.  What are our plans for next summer?  I’m tossing around the ideas of different cities and looking into better programs and venues for my creative talents.  Odin is looking at his own future prospects and we are actively trying to bring our goals in line with each other.

In the end, I have a good feeling about this new path.  I think it will prove itself in the long run.

In Which All is Revealed

The mystery knit from last week was completed on Thursday night.  Ellette romped around in it to much adoration at knit night.

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I wore it pretty much all evening Friday, all day Saturday, and part of Sunday.  The Cascade Magnum is super warm, and it’s been getting awfully chilly around here.

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Yesterday, I took some Cascade 128 Superwash and started making baby sized ones.  Those will be posted to Ravelry as soon as their finished, so that others can gather information and inspiration from my ventures.

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The mane took a while.  I used Glint by Berrocco for the blue and the remainder of the Magnum for the other fringe.  I was hoping to do the blue by itself, but the yarn is so thin in comparison to what the pattern calls for.  It looked a little funky.  Magnum has about 30 yards more than the Malabrigo Rasta the pattern used, so I was able to use the remainder as fringe.  This took one complete skein of Magnum, one ball of Glint, and a few ounces of a yellow (Ella Rae Classic?) for the horn.

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Pattern is Unicorn Hat by Brittany Tyler over at Tangled Stix.

What’s best is that Brittany Tyler gave me permission to make these for sale.  That really rocks my striped socks and I am going a bit sparkle mad with all of the possibilities.

Addicted to Ruffles

All right, I can admit it.  I am a sucker for the ruffles.  I am totally, completely, utterly, redunandtly addicted to knitting them.  I timed myself the other night – I completed one scarf in 2 hours.  TWO hours!  120 minutes!  This is the perfect thing to work on for shows because I can knock ’em out like crazy.  Granted, the yarn is a little pricey because it is so difficult for manfucaturers to produce, but I think that’s ok.  The finished product is pretty awesome.

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I pretty much always have a scarf-in-progress in my bag now so I can keep up on stock maintenance.  I get a lot of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ from onlookers.  No one seems to believe that it is really not hard to do, so I would like to offer you a tutorial.

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Grab a set of chunky needles (I used US 11, but used US 13 in the past).  The yarn comes sort of rolled up, and you need to separate the netting in order to knit with it.

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Stick to one edge of the netting when you are working.  Be careful not to switch which sides you are on your you will end up with knots instead of ruffles.

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Your needle goes through one of the holes along the edge of the net and pull it back through the stitch on your left needle.  Your next stitch will happen about 3/4 to an inch along the net.  I like to count holes.  Knit one hole, skip two holes, knit one, skip two.

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Try not to psych yourself out.  This is a GARTER stitch scarf.  Seriously.  Beginner’s can do it.  It is just a matter of forgetting about the ruffly nature of it and treating it like it’s yarn.  Yarn with stuff hanging off it.  Stuff that ends up looking really cool when you are done.

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And then you’ll turn into an addict like me.

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Teaser

Last week I discovered this amazing pattern, called my LYS and asked them to hold a particular skein of yarn for me, and cast on.  I hope to have it complete by Saturday to wear for the Downtown Evanston Farmer’s Market, where I will be face painting and doing my fairy thing.

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After tossing the stash, I settled on this sparkly blue as the best choice for fringe.  I haven’t decided if the fringe is quite thick enough.  There is always the option of adding more when the rest of the pieces have been added.

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Overall, it has been a fun and easy knit.  The super chunky yarn knits up really quick.

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Can you guess what I’m making?

Mondays Are For Random

  • I realize I have been absent lately, and I apologize.  Things have been kind of weird.
  • The Valparaiso thing wiped out a hefty chunk of my knitted stock, and that means I have been trying to catch up and then some so the following weeks don’t clear me out completely.
  • On Saturday I begin teaching Aerial Acrobatics at the Brookfield Dance Academy.  It feels a little strange, being in charge of a group of youngsters who think the sun shines from my rear end and I can do all sorts of amazing things.  I’ve only been doing aerial for two years, and I don’t think I know all that much.  I am confident in my abilities to teach someone safely how to do plenty of things on the apparatuses (lyra, silks, trapeze), but I don’t think I’m anything to gawk at.
  • We have a showcase in December and I have to choreograph for it.  That scares the snot out of me.
  • What this all means right now is that I am doing 4 hours of aerial each week – physically intense stuff, and trying to knit in between everything else.  My palms hate me for the callouses on them, my joints are cracking constantly – especially my knees and sternum (yeah, try cracking your sternum sometime.  Weirdest.  Sensation.  Ever.)
  • Four hours really doesn’t seem like that much time.  But now that I am doing four instead of two, it seems like an insane amount.
  • I can only knit in spurts, and I am constantly changing my needle size.  Right now, the chunky stuff feels really good.
  • We have a new roomie – she moved in last week.  It’s a temporary thing – a friend of a friend in desperate need of decent housing kind of thing.  I have a hard time turning down people in need.  I’m kind of a sucker that way.  Maybe one day Karma will send me a really nice reward – like never having to work in an office again.  Yeah, that would be nice.
  • This week I really need to buckle down and crank out tutus, cowls, and ruffle scarves.
  • I’m kind of addicted to the ruffle scarves:

 

  • I kind of like the muted rainbow factor of this one.  I’m using Knitting Fever – Flounce for all of them.
  • On top of all of this, which now that I’m looking at it, it seems kind of interesting, I have been in a really weird place emotionally.  I have been feeling like I’m in a slump.  A deja vu Groundhog Day kind of slump.  Now, I’m really trying to get out of it.
  • P.S. – Don’t forget about the Ravelry Promo!  $1 pattern (Precious Pumpkin Beret) for the month of September  when you use the code:  SEPTEMBER

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