My indigodragonfly Obsession: The Greatest Love of All

Regular readers of this blog will recognize the name indigodragonfly. If I’m posting about something I’ve knitted, 9 times out of 10 it’s out of indigodragonfly yarn. If you’re a careful reader of this blog and read the captions on my photos you’ll know that part of the appeal is the creative and often hilarious colorway names. Names like “Zen and the Art of Clown Disposal,” “Pastor of Muppets,”and “A Thin Line Between Love and Batteries” are enough to keep me interested. It’s not enough to keep me knitting though – THAT requires much more than just side-splitting creativity with names.

The yarn is a dream to knit with. ALL of it is. I have knit with 13 different bases from this dyer and they have all instantly become my new favorite yarn. It’s a little awkward having that many favorites, but I’ve learned to deal with it. There are 16 more bases in my stash that I haven’t tried yet, so that problem is only going to get worse.

They dye the most amazing colors too. Seriously, I have a TON of hand-dyed yarn in my stash, but the most complex, deep, knit-friendly, can-always-count-on-it-not-to-pool-unexpectedly yarn is always indigodragonfly. And the range of colors is marvelous! They manage to make me like colors that I thought I hated, and any time I’ve been dreaming up a project that needs more than one color they always seem to have the perfect combination in their dyepots. It’s almost creepy how they do that. It’s like they’re psychic.

It’s not just the names and the fact that the yarn itself is like crack for your hands and eyes, it’s the dyers themselves too. Kim and Ron are wonderful people! I want to support them as much as possible. Besides just the general awesomeness that radiates from them, they also have THE BEST customer service I have encountered in the indie hand-dyer business. I’ve bought direct from eight other indie hand-dyers online, and it’s not that the others have been terrible (though a couple of them have), but ordering from indigodragonfly is so much more fun. When things (rarely) go awry, they are really good about communicating with the customers and letting us know what’s going on and when things can be expected to be fixed. They are the standard by which I measure all other businesses.

As a result of all that, any time I have needed yarn for a project my first thought has always been indigodragonfly. Any time I wanted a particular color I knew exactly which one would fit the bill, and it is always an indigodragonfly color. It’s only been two years since I stumbled upon their booth at the Sock Summit, but since then pretty much all of my disposable income has been spent on indigodragonfly yarn.

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This is my entire indigodragonfly stash. Isn’t it beautiful? Let’s marvel at it from several different angles.

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Are you done marveling? Yeah, me neither. Go ahead and finish reading this post anyway, I promise the pictures will still be there when you scroll up again.

“That’s a LOT of yarn,” some of you might be saying. “That’s WAY TOO MUCH yarn,” more of you might be declaring. I can assure you, it’s not nearly enough. This yarn is addictive. You can’t just knit one skein. I can’t even manage to knit one skein at a time. Look at all the indigodragonfly WIPs I have going right now.

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That’s two shawls, a pair of mittens, a cowl, a hat (now finished), and a bunch of hexipuffs.

“Wow, that’s FIVE WIPs!” some of you might be gasping. “Wow, that’s five WIPs,” some of you may be scoffing while glancing over at your own WIP mountain comprising 20+ projects. To both of you I say, “I KNOW.” ‘Cause either way you slice it, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re in the “that’s not enough WIPs” camp I can assure you, the only reason there are so few WIPs is because I tend to finish my indigodragonfly projects as quickly as possible. If you’re in the “that’s way too many WIPs” camp, you’re about to think I’m a robot programmed to knit 24/7. Here are all of my indigodragonfly FOs:

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That’s 8 shawls (one of them is even crocheted!), 4 cowls, 2 hats, 2 pairs of fingerless mitts, 1 pair of gloves, 1 pair of socks, and a headphone whale. Not pictured are the pair of fingerless mitts that were stolen last year and a shawl I gave away to an ailing family member. Usually I only give away my indigodragonfly FOs to people I see every day so I can still pull out the knits and pet them when they aren’t looking, but that one was a special case.

So, just to reiterate, that’s 21 FOs in only two years! Or another way to look at it is 35 skeins in two years. At that rate, I only have enough indigodragonfly yarn left to last me four years! We’re not talking SABLE here (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy), this is actually a pretty modest collection based on my indigodragonfly consumption rate. And from what I’ve seen on Ravelry, I’m not even that rabid of a customer. There are others with indigodragonfly stashes that surpass mine, and they seem to knit from it at approximately the same rate.

The reason I’m showing you all of this is so you can understand the sheer volume of skeins Kim and Ron must have to dye in order to keep up with their voracious customers. Now imagine doing all of that dyeing without a studio. For the past four years, that’s what they’ve been doing. All of that dyeing has been accomplished in their kitchen – you know, the kind that was built to make food for a couple of people. It’s getting uncomfortable. They would like to eat sometimes, and maybe walk through their living room without having to play Mission Impossible as they navigate over, under, and around all the yarn that has taken over their house.

They need a studio. Their sanity, and the sanity of all of those who depend on their crack – I mean yarn – supply depends on it. To that end, they have begun an Indiegogo campaign!

indigodragonfly Indiegogo

They have AMAZING perks too, like a project bag (if it’s anything like their club project bags, I can tell you they’re awesome!), yarn in an exclusive thank-you-for-helping-us-build-our-studio colorway, and membership in a brand new fiber club! I’m not even a spinner yet and I’m drooling over the prospect of a fiber club.

These perks are so amazing that I’m sort of dying on the inside because I can’t have any. You see, all of that glorious stash was acquired back when I was employed. Now I only have 69 cents in my bank account and I don’t see that changing any time soon. I’m not just sad because I can’t get in on the fiber club (oh god, there’s a fiber club), I’m more upset that I can’t help them reach their goal. They’re so close! Maybe some of you can help them out for me? If you don’t knit or don’t particularly care for the perks I know someone you could send them to *nudge, wink*. And if you enjoy reading this blog, you may want to consider helping them out so that I can continue writing, ’cause if the indigodragonfly supply dries up it would end me. 

Minions, assemble! I need you, indigodragonfly needs you, THE WORLD needs you!

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Felt-A-Thon: Day 2

Sorry for not posting yesterday. I have come down with a cold and it’s really been kicking my ass. I didn’t get too far with the felting before I was too groggy and feverish to continue, but I did make a bit of progress.

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I made toes! I also found out that felting small, thin things is HARD.

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Then I felted them together to make the feet. I also got a decent start on the underside of the tail. I’m not 100% certain I’m getting the tail shape right because I couldn’t find any good reference photos of the backside of a penguin, but I’m sure it will be close enough.

Now I think I’m going to crawl into bed and wait until this cold goes away. Until then, happy Pi Day!

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Felt-A-Thon: Day 1

All of my supplies have arrived, the pet-sitting has concluded, and my creative block has been successfully squashed. Let the felting begin! I took hourly photos of my needle felting progress so you can see the creatures taking shape. Fair warning: these are the needle felting orders for my Indiegogo contributors, so if you are one of those lovely people and want to be surprised, DON’T LOOK!

Are you ready?

Ok, here’s the first project – a penguin. I already formed the basic body shape during an evening hanging out with friends (probably took me about 3 hours).

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For the first hour I added some color to neck and chest. I also decided the penguin looked a bit too skinny so I started to bulk him up a bit.

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After fattening him up and making some more color adjustments, I started working on the wings. First I made the white undersides as the base shape.

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Then I added the black on top.

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Finally, I attached the wings and started working on the legs.

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That’s as far as I got yesterday. I’ll be working on it more tonight!

Progress!

I’ve been quiet lately, which means I’ve been busy. Unfortunately the things I’ve been busy doing aren’t very interesting so I’ll spare you the details. Lots of the doing has involved things I’ve already blogged about, and much progress has been made.

  1. The iPhone is now my bitch. It has been replaced, wi-fi is working, and Siri and I seem to be on the same page.
  2. There is an end in sight for the Endless Ends. I only have 8 more yarn tails to weave in! Then I need to block it…
  3. I am nearly done figuring out how to use all the programs on my MacBook. I have an iTunes lesson on Friday, and then I can finally leave the poor Apple employees alone for a while.
  4. I cleaned my room and have my light box set up again, which means I can slowly start working through my backlog of yarn and project photography.
  5. All of my needle felting supplies have finally arrived, so now I can start felting all of the fun toys my Indiegogo contributors have requested!
  6. I exercised! Twice! OK, that’s really pathetic, I’ll try harder.
  7. After digging through my external hard drive for what felt like an eternity, I have located the vast majority of my knitting patterns and all of my knitting ebooks! I even found a bunch of missing yarn photos! They weren’t in my latest back-up AT ALL. They were hiding in a previous back-up, which means any brand-spanking-new patterns I might have had are gone. Luckily I think the only things I might be missing are a few club patterns, which I can easily get new copies of from the club distributors. Now I just need to figure out what’s missing…

The List of Awesome People

My Indiegogo campaign has concluded and I have many people to thank for their generous contributions! I was truly touched by how many people were willing to help when I was in crisis. Some people didn’t know about the Indiegogo campaign and STILL sent me money to help me replace my stolen computer! Without further ado, allow me to present The List of Awesome People (first names only since I don’t know people’s internet identity preferences):

Janet

Diane

Margaret

Jessica

Sarah

Katherine

Brigitta

Tom

Richard

Ellen

Maria

Mary Ann

and last but not least – the Mas Uda Middle Eastern Dancers who collected money as a group!

Thank you all so much for helping me recover from the devastating loss of my computer and supplies! I wouldn’t have been able to bounce back so quickly without your help, I am forever in your debt!

 

My good friend Jessica wrote this lovely post in support of my Knotty Narwhal campaign. She even outlines my origin story a bit – wandering into her dorm suite is basically how I came to be a knitter! I already knew how to crochet before college, but I never really fell in love with it. I learned how to knit after hanging out in that suite and watching what all those pointy sticks could do!

 

Jessica's Yarn Tales

Life has been busy lately and as a result, I have fallen behind in my planned posts, especially this one about my friend, Nikki. We met during our freshman year of college, when, within the first few days, she was seeking refuge from the drunken mayhem of her dorm floor. She wandered down a flight of stairs and found a bunch of quirky, slightly insane (ok, maybe, sometimes, just a bit more than “slightly”) group of people that she instantly fell into. One of the interests that this group shared was knitting; some of us knit, some of us crocheted or did both, and even those who didn’t use sticks or hooks liked playing with and squishing the yarn. Through the haze of my very sleepy, and job-hunt frazzled brain, I am unable to remember if Nikki knit before college, or started during. Regardless of when she began, she…

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Urban Craft Uprising!

Yesterday I made my bi-annual trip to Urban Craft Uprising! Usually I end up coming home with bags full of goodies, but since I’m dead-broke this year I was content to just marvel at all of the glorious hand-made things. This time I came armed with my camera, and I have LOTS to show you. So much that I can’t possibly fit it all in one post. Let me introduce you to some of my favorite vendors from the Winter show.

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Our first stop was Craftwich Creations with beautiful hand-carved crochet hooks making me wonder if those pointy sticks are all they’re cracked up to be.

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I bought a gorgeous shawl pin here at the last show, and it’s now my favorite! (Some people may call them hair sticks, but those people clearly don’t have enough shawls).

KuKuRuZa Gourmet Popcorn

KuKuRuZa Gourmet Popcorn simultaneously exploited my addiction to popcorn AND salted caramel by offering tastings of their Hawaiian Salted Caramel Popcorn. Holy crap, it was delicious! The popcorn was thoroughly coated with the caramel so it had a satisfying crunch, and the balance between sweet and salty was absolutely perfect! They also had a Tuxedo flavor – caramel corn covered in white and dark chocolate – which in this household is known as “crack.” I avoided tasting that one out of consideration for the vendor. I’m really not kidding about being dead-broke and I cannot guarantee the safety of anyone standing between me and a bag of crack.

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The first geekery of the day was provided by Polymath Design Lab and their wonderful collection of scientific adornments. What self-respecting lab rat wouldn’t want a test tube necklace?

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There were cufflinks for the male geeks.

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There was even a Cthulhu.

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A variety of geeky Christmas ornaments were available as well. My favorite was the chromosome.

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Circle Couture 2

UCU always has at least one booth featuring breath-taking fashions, and this time Circle Couture was the one.

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LOOK AT THE PRETTY.

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Back in tasty-land, I came across Afternoon to Remember Fine Teas and Gifts. You know it’s a good sign when the tasting tray is nearly empty. The Creme Brule Tea Cookies (middle tray) were so heavenly! The cookies themselves weren’t for sale, they were there to entice people to buy their cookbooks. The Creme Brule cookie recipe is in Drop by for Tea, by Amy Lawrence.

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For the French enthusiasts among us, I apologize for the appearance of the words “creme brule” in the blog. I can’t for the life of me figure out how to add the appropriate accent marks in WordPress, and without those the extra “e” looks really weird. It’s not just you, it’s bothering me too.

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My first narwhal sighting of the day was at Cellar Door Mercantile, where they had shirts and cards featuring my favorite animal!

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They had really cool non-narwhal illustrations too!

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Almeda Pottery 4

Almeda Pottery was absolutely mind-blowing.

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These are the teeniest tiniest vases I have ever seen!

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I mean seriously, look at how small and skinny those are! And the glazing jobs on them are gorgeous!

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HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?! (Pro tip: there are process videos in the link provided above…I still don’t believe it though).

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In case your brain still can’t process the scale of these things, here’s an adult human hand for reference. Rumor has it you can buy some of this miniature pottery at the Seattle Art Museum gift shop.

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This was one of my favorite booths from the last show and I’m so glad Careful It Bites was back for another round.

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I would have killed for one of these as a kid. Hell, I’d STILL kill for one. Who wouldn’t want a severed Sasquatch head?

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This booth is all about the details…bloody fur still sticking to the shears, fresh from the Sasquatch beheading.

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Other monster parts can be found poking out from under the tables. Best. Booth. Ever.

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For your cooking pleasure, Beautiful Briny Sea was back again with more delicious salts! I LOVE these salts and have been spreading them throughout as many kitchens as possible. At home we have three flavors so far: Chorizo, Truffle, and Magic Unicorn.

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While all are delicious, Magic Unicorn is probably my favorite. It seriously goes with EVERYTHING.

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Yarny contact was finally made with Victory Garden Yarn! I had a fabulous time talking with Anna about her crocheted creations. Here she is modeling her super-cozy Wisteria Wrap, which she had available in a variety of bold colors.

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Her booth was piled high with giant color-blocked and striped cowls.

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This sky-blue and orange one really caught my eye, and it was SO SOFT. I was shocked to find out it was an acrylic/wool blend! I know intellectually that there are good acrylics out there that don’t feel like plastic, but it’s rare for me to actually find one! This whole booth made me want to find some super-bulky yarn to cast-on with…

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For more yarny goodness I went to the UCU regulars, Spincycle Yarns.

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I’ve had my eye on their Natural Novelty Yarn for a while now because I am just itching to knit Purlieu. I was waiting for the right color to come along though, and of course the second my wallet is empty, there it is. They came out with a new color called “Fever Dreams” that is the most beautiful purple with tufts of blue and cloud gray in it. Someday, Fever Dreams…someday.

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Finally, I ran into Moxie/Hi-Fiber Needle Felting Kits, which is where I got my needle felting kit that I used to make my test pony in The Art of Stabbing Oneself.

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As usual, there were lots of super cute needle-felted things on display.

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There were even some with lights!

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I spent some time watching Moxie work (without stabbing herself at all, I noticed). She gave me some tips on how to build up a design – in this case a simple ball. She didn’t poke the ball nearly as vigorously as I did, which probably added to the lack of blood-letting. I will try to be less violent next time and see how that goes.

I’ll have many more vendors to show you tomorrow! There are just too many craft artists I’m excited about to fit into this one post!

If you want to help support a developing craft artist, there are still 5 days left to contribute to my Knotty Narwhal Indiegogo campaign! There are many cool perks you can claim in exchange for your donation, including my own needle-felted art! (I promise not to bleed on them).

How Yarnologist Got Her Groove Back

Yesterday my mother finally got sick of seeing me moping around the house and randomly bursting into tears and took me to the Apple store to see if we could get me a new computer. I had an estimated cost in mind based on poking around the Apple site and guesstimating what I would need in a laptop. That estimated cost was almost $5,000 after I configured the laptop to what I thoughtmight need.

Now, I know very little about Macs. I’ve been a PC user all my life, but my life has changed quite a bit. I was once on a science career track and now most of my activities are more artsy. Supposedly Macs are better for creative pursuits than PCs. I’ve also heard rumors that the displays are more true to color than most PCs, which is something I was constantly struggling with on my previous laptop (and don’t even get me started on my sister’s computer – trying to color correct photos on her display was an exercise in futility). Many of the creative professionals I know are Mac users. Everyone I’ve ever known who has owned a Mac has LOVED it. I also know from personal experience that PCs, especially laptops, tend to only last 3 years or so before they start getting so buggy they’re unusable (see my sister’s computer) or just crash, while I’ve heard Macs tend to last much longer. When I got an iPod this summer and saw the way Apple products work first-hand that sealed the deal for me – my next computer would be a Mac. It would HAVE to be. To get another PC knowing I’d have to struggle with displays and using more visually based programs, not be able to sync anything from my iPod (or future iPhone?) with my computer, and that it would only be a few years before I had to get buy a brand new one would just be stupid.

Of course when I made this decision I was counting on my PC sticking around for another year or so. I was NOT counting on it being stolen, leaving me in a technological bind.

So back to my mom being awesome, she suggested that since I really was just guessing at what I would need for a Mac we should just go to the Apple store and get a professional to help us figure it out. THEN we would know exactly how much it would cost and can plan accordingly.

So we did. A very nice man named Chad helped us out and listened to all of my inane questions about computers and a detailed accounting of precisely what I need a computer to do for me. It turns out I really don’t need a lot of the add-ons I originally thought and the actual cost was more like $1,400. Mom had already set aside some money to loan me after everything was taken and was able to buy it right then and there!

Here comes my PSA for the day…one thing I learned from having to file a police report for stolen property is that serial numbers are very useful. You know where you can find those? On the things that were stolen. So, the first thing I did with my new computer is write down the serial number and all of the specs and file them away, just in case. If you have any technology that could potentially go missing – laptops, phones, MP3 players, etc. – I would encourage you all to find those serial numbers and write them down! If they ever turn up that’s the only way the police will be able to tell they’re yours.

Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t need help raising money anymore. Actually it means I need even more help, because now I have to pay back my mom. So please, if you have anything to spare, donate to my Knotty Narwhal campaign on Indiegogo. Even if you can’t contribute you can still help by telling others about my plight. I have a computer and can move on with my life, but now I’m in debt. To my own mother. I also would like to get some applications to make this computer work smoothly for me, like Pages, a task management program, photo editing software, antivirus, and definitely LoJack.

The Art of Stabbing Oneself

I’ve had several questions lately through my Indiegogo campaign about needle felting. Namely: “what is it?” Well, I think I am prepared to share with you all my “sketches” in needle felting to illustrate the process.

Basically, it’s just a form of sculpting, except with wool instead of clay. You start with some unformed batts of fluffy wool, a very sharp needle, and a surface (preferably not your hand).

I had some needle felting kits I got from the Moxie booth at Urban Craft Uprising to work with. Since I was still very new at this, I also bought My Felted Friends which had some great instructions on how to make and connect certain shapes.

I decided to try for a pony, of the My Little Pony variety of course. In order to turn those balls of fluff into something with any semblance of form, you have to stab it with the needle. A lot. This locks the fibers together into one mass, felting them. Ideally this process would be done on a stab-worthy surface, like this Ecofoam provided in the Moxie kit, but I found it difficult to control the felting process that way, so I ended up picking up the wool and stabbing it in my hand. Sometimes into my hand. I stabbed myself many times actually, but I only drew blood once. What is art without suffering, anyway?

Very quickly I had roughed out a body that looked remarkably like a pony!

After making a few edits to the overall shape I started to add what details I could given the limited color palette I had to work with. I tried adding a unicorn horn, thinking making something so small and specifically shaped would be difficult, but it was surprisingly easy!

I took a good look at the colors I had left and consulted with my sister, the resident Pony expert, and determined that despite the horn, this was mostly likely going to be Roseluck. I added a rose Cutie Mark and then worked on installing the mane and tail. Now, keep in mind, this is only a sketch. The mane turned out…alright. The quality of wool provided in the kit was great for needle felting purposes, but it was rather wooly-looking and not very hair-like. For a more finished product I would use a higher quality wool for hair details, possibly even something with silk content. Even if I had taken the time to comb the wool before installing it may have improved the overall appearance, but I was really just testing out techniques with this pony and wasn’t particularly concerned with how it turned out. I didn’t have the right colors to attempt to add eye details, so I just left that out.

Not bad for a rough sketch of Rose Luck.

Here’s a pic of Rose Luck for comparison:

Roseluck from fimfiction.net

So, there’s my first rough, just-trying-to-figure-out-the-basics attempt at needle felting! Just from that short experience I can already tell that practically ANYTHING can be needle felted. Especially if I have a reference photo to work from (which I did not have Roseluck in front of my as I did this, just a few other Pony figurines so I could get the basic body shape right) I should be able to replicate figures fairly easily! By the end of it I was even getting better at NOT stabbing myself. For more example of what other people have done with needle felting, try checking out the Moxie Flickr Pool. I have also seen some really cool needle felted interpretations of celebrities from Felt Alive.

I am still trying to raise money to replace my stolen computer and tools so I can start my own business. Any amount helps, but if you donate $25 to my Knotty Narwhal campaign I will needle felt anything you want! Even if you can’t donate money you can help out by spreading the word.

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Room

In pursuit of a more yarn-centric life I knew space would be an issue. I live in a very small bedroom, contained within a very small house, which I share with my mother, sister, and four cats. I had been trying to keep all of my possessions contained within my own room as much as possible, but as more and more yarn entered the house this was becoming problematic. Let me show you what I mean.

What a cramped mess

This was my bedroom. I did what I could to keep it clean and maximize storage space, honest! I had my bed on risers so I could store more things under it. Unfortunately many of those things were NOT MINE. See, I moved back into my mother’s house several years ago in somewhat of a hurry. My previous living situation had rapidly become intolerable and my mother kindly took me in. My bedroom had been used as a storage area since I left for college and not everything could be moved out when I returned. It was supposed to be temporary until I found a place of my own, but we didn’t know at the time that this would be financially impossible on my salary. So here I stayed…with other peoples’ things in my room.

Welcome to my non-functional office.

I bought a desk so I could manage my grown-up life as best as possible. I had a filing cabinet to keep all my grown-up paperwork in, but it got too full and files started piling up on the desk. Once a pile starts it tends to consume everything around it, like books, games, knitting projects (both finished and in progress) and even clothes. Those plastic drawers next to the desk were primarily for knitting supply storage, but those drawers were overflowing too.

Nice, cozy death-trap

Of course, once the desk went in, things had to be rearranged for it to fit, so my bed ended up underneath a shelf. There wasn’t anywhere else to put my reading lamp besides right above my head, which is a totally logical thing to do in earthquake-prone areas. While you’re at it, how about storing a ton of magazines above the bed too? Due to a distinct lack of wall-space my earring storage ended up on the wall above my bed, which is super easy to get to if I’m in bed, not so much if I’m already dressed and ready to head out the door. I had some super klassy decorations thanks to my sister, who enjoys collecting alcohol paraphernalia for unknown reasons (she’s not old enough to drink, nor does she have any interest in doing so…strange girl). The dresser was stuffed so full of clothes that the drawers were hard to open. I had extra plastic drawers for more knitting storage that I arranged in a step-like fashion for my cat to access her bed and food. At least she enjoyed this set-up.

Floor space is overrated.

After my cat had an injury she decided she’d rather spend most of her time in my room than outside, so I had to add a scratching slope and litter box to my already crowded floor. This meant I had to get rid of the extra bookshelf I bought to make room for the litter box. The scratching slope ended up in front of my dresser, blocking the bottom drawer. I figured it couldn’t hurt since my bin full of photo equipment was already blocking it (you can only see the edge of the bin past the corner of my bed in this picture). Also, there was a giant red stability ball looming over the room. There really isn’t an elegant way to store a stability ball I’m afraid.

Seriously, how many things can I put on the floor?

I have an air purifier/fan thingy that I like to have pointed at my bed because I get really overheated at night. It had to be elevated in order to reach me since my bed was on risers, so I put it on top of haphazardly stacked bins full of yarn. This was always a pain to move out of the way when I needed to vacuum or, you know, access my yarn. My laundry basket didn’t have any place to go really, so I ended up just sticking it wherever I wasn’t walking at the time. My sister’s bookshelf (yes that’s right, my sister’s, since MINE had to go to make room for the cat) contained mostly my sister’s books, but she was able to make room on two shelves for some of my books. The rest of my books had to be stored in the garage. My knitted shawls didn’t really have anywhere to go, so I just hung them up on my door with my purses out where any moth could get at them.

Don’t go in the closet. There are monsters.

I also would hang shawls on my necklace rack for lack of anywhere better to put them. “Why not put them in the closet?”, you say. Because there wasn’t any room. I didn’t photograph the inside of the closet, but trust me, it was a mess. I did have a closet organizer installed back in high school, but you can only do so much with such a tiny space. Just imagine the racks so stuffed with clothes that you can’t move the hangers, the shelves full of haphazardly placed belts, hats, and other accessories, hidden under the hanging clothes, along with all of the other crafting supplies I had nowhere else to put. In fact, I’d say at least 50% of the shelves in the closet were taken up by random crafting supplies that didn’t have a home and were difficult for me to get to (or find).

My bedroom was not the only non-functioning space in the house though. There was also the dining room.

Stella firmly believes she is the Queen of the Universe and all cameras should be pointing at her.

The dining room table really didn’t get used for dining. Mostly it was a catch-all for whatever mail/random crap we’d bring in with us when we got home and whatever flotsam and jetsam we might churn up in our daily lives within the house. Several times a month though, it would all be cleared off and turned into my photo studio! This table has the distinction of being The Only Table in the house that my lights are able to clamp to. We have several folding shop tables in the garage, but the sides are too thick for the clamps. I bought a folding card table in hopes of using that, but the frame is made of rounded metal that the clamps will not cling to without the use of shims, and it’s too shallow to hold the frame of the light box. So, with this being The Only Table that will work for my photography, I have had to set everything up in the dining room. With the cats. Three of our four cats – all of the Ragdolls – are not allowed in my room unsupervised because they mess with everything. As you can see (that’s Stella in the picture), they like to be all up in your business whenever you’re doing ANYTHING in the living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom….anywhere really. Usually it’s adorable, but not when I’m trying to do photography. I have had cats leap from their cat tower on top of the light box. I have had cats leap into the light box on top of whatever I’m taking pictures of and scratching up the poster board background. I have had cats knock over lamps and break my not-cheap light bulbs. I have had cats try to electrocute themselves by trying to chew on the extension cords I use to plug in the lights. Usually when I needed to take pictures I would just lock the cats in a room and listen to them cry for the 3+ hours it took to get through my photo sessions (which I would procrastinate on and let my photo list build up because it was such a pain to get it set up and manage kitties). Aside from the dining room table, that area was basically a storage area. Drinks that we didn’t have room for in the fridge yet would go in the corner. My sister’s guitar (which she doesn’t know how to play and has no intention of learning…strange girl) lived in the corner. The giant turtle shell (don’t ask) lived in the corner. The cats’ basket of toys and smaller scratching post were stored next to the table. Then there was my sister’s second bookshelf, full of her books and her My Little Pony figurines, which housed some of my overflow yarn.

Stella strikes again.

My boyfriend recently found me this GIANT cedar chest to keep my knitting in, but as you could see from the previous pictures there was nowhere to put it! It lived in the living room for a bit until I made room for it elsewhere.

Obviously it was time for a massive rearranging. More on that tomorrow.

Announcements!

First off, thank you so much to those who have contributed to the Indiegogo campaign to Save The Knotty Narwhal. So far $190 have been raised! I’m still quite a ways away from being able to replace my stolen computer though, so keep spreading the word!

Secondly, you will all be hearing much more from me in the future. I am participating in National Blog Post Month and will be posting EVERY DAY in November no matter how painful my sister’s computer makes it. (Seriously this typing lag is driving me nuts, and her photo editing software does in 5 clicks what mine did in one. Argh.) This probably means some posts will be short, some might have crappy pictures, and some may not have pictures at all, but you’ll forgive me right? Wish me luck!