Evenstar Shawl: Blocking with a Hula Hoop

So, the other handy knitting trick I got to use while finishing up the Evenstar shawl was blocking with a hula hoop. This is great for circular shawl projects, as it lets you easily block them in a more-or-less perfect circle. All you need is a hula hoop (the bigger, the better), a tape measure, and the rest of your usual blocking implements (pins, towels, large flat surface, cat barricade, etc.) Make sure your hula hoop is clean, especially if you tend to leave it outside or in the basement.

blocking-2blocking-1Start by pinning down the center of your shawl. I like to use 4 pins about two rows out from the cast on loop.

Next, center the hula hoop on your shawl. I find that the easiest way to do this is to measure across the diameter (ooh, geometry!) of the hula hoop and make sure that the center of the shawl lines of up with middle of the diameter.

Do this across two different points, and you’re all set.

 

 

 

 

Next, move around your shawl, stretching and pinning the outside edge a set distance from the hula hoop. It is helpful if you can use a pattern repeat to help you space out the pins evening. Otherwise, place them approximately 2-4 inches apart. For the Evenstar shawl, I measured four inches back from the hula hoop and pinned at the edge (before the beaded border).

To start, I find it’s best to pin about 6-8 inches down on one side, then do the opposite side. Also, make sure that you are stretching directly out from the center of the circle, not at an angle. (Unless you want wonky ripples at the edge of your shawl. Which I did in the Shipwreck shawl, so there you go!)

blocking-3  blocking-4

Let the shawl dry completely. Technically, you can remove the hula hoop now, but I sort of like how it circular it makes the shawl look.blocking-0

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Evenstar Shawl: Beading Made Easier

Just finished up with my summer shawl project. This one was the lovely Evenstar circular shawl from the Fellowship of the Ring Series by Susan Pandorf. I will admit that my inner geek was going “Eeee!” the entire time I was knitting.

The shawl was made using a combination of two skeins of handspun laceweight yarn. Both were 50/50 BFL and silk fiber dyed in gradients and purchased from Corgi Hill Farm. The first skein, Burnt Sunset, starts as a tan, then goes through a blend of maroon and violet to end in orange. The second skein, Winter’s Horizon, started with a deep purple, then went through maroon to end in pink. I removed the tan, so the gradient went from purple to maroon to violet, and then ended with the orange border. For the beads, I used several mixes of large seed beads in generally gold colors.

The knitting was pretty straightforward, if a little finicky, until the border. The border also provides the cast-off for the shawl, and involves about 3000 beads. The pattern calls for attaching them with a crochet hook. Instead, I used a handy trick I like to call fishing line beading.

Fishing Line Beading

beading-1For this technique, you need a length of heavy duty fishing line, about 7 inches long, scissors, and an extra bead. Knot the bead at the end of your fishing line to create a stopper. At the other end of the line, fold a kink about an inch down. (You can make this shorter, but I find it’s easier to have a little more and occasionally trim it down than to have too little and have to refold it.)

beading-2Next, string as many beads as you like onto the fishing line. You want about an inch free after the kink (so you can fold the line in half and have room to manipulate the beads easily.)

From here on, this works pretty much the same way as beading with a crochet hook.

 

beading-3Slide the fishing line through the knit stitch and remove the stitch from the needle.

 

 

 

beading-4

beading-5Fold the fishing line at the kink. Slide a single bead down the line and onto the knit stitch.

 

beading-6

 

Place the now-beaded knit stitch back on the needle. Knit (or purl) as usual.

 

 

 

beading-7 Admire your beaded knitting!

 

 

 

 

If you don’t have easy access to fishing line, I’ve used the plastic string that beads sometimes come on when you buy them. The plastic used to attach price tags to clothing also works, though it can be a bit thick for more delicate beads.

My Ravelry Project
Ravelry Pattern Page

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Y!PP Avatar: Nykon-West

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Nykon-West of Emerald: Playing with some old images 🙂  

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Y!PP Avatar: Nightshade

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This one is for Nightshade of Meridian

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Y!PP Avatar: Chrkut

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Chrkut, Emerald. The newest senior officer of the Perilous Puppets!  

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Y!PP Sketchy Avatar: Bezo

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Bezo, Emerald I owe you a better one. 🙂

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Practical Pillaging Poetry

Winners!

1st- Mailliw
2nd -Chrkut
Honorable mentions to Softlydoesit, Nepenthe, Asaltydog, and Rocque

All the poems can be seen here. (google spreadsheet)

 

Contest Details:

Yo ho ho ho and ahoy there, maties! This here is th’ details o’ a poetry contest fer th’ Perilous Puppets (sailin’ th’ fine seas o’ the Emerald Ocean, if ye don’t know us.)

Knowing us, as you do, you know we are a crew that prides itself on th’ fine wordsmithin’ skills of our brave and brash souls. So I thought this month it would be a grand thing to turn those rhyming talents to a most practical purpose. Ye see, it’s all well an’ good to shout “Avast! We need us some more sailors!” on a pillage. But wouldn’t it be far better to relate th’ same need in rhymed verse?

O’ course ye agree! Yer a Puppet, after all!

So yer challenge, if ye choose to accept it, is to right a poem (or three) that can be used fer pillagin’ purposes. Some suggested topics are:

  • Orders (more sailors, carpenters, bilge, etc.)
  • “Take a station, mate!”
  • Teaming
  • How to make a combo in swordfight (or rumble)
  • What to expect/do during a viking expedition (or imperial outpost or buried treasure)
  • How stations work together (carp->damage, bilge->water, sails->moves. More damage means more bilge water, and more bilge water means less moves.)
  • “Please let us know if yer going to be idle fer a bit.”
  • Why we don’t divvy the booty until the end.
  • Anything similar that comes to mind.

Entries should be in a structured poetic form. (They don’t have to be traditional structures, but please no unrhymed free verse)

Try to match length to purpose. A request fer more sailors, for example, would probably be best as a rhymed couplet or haiku. An explanation fer teaming might to better as a sonnet.

Ye have until midnight pirate (or Pacific) time, February 21st to put together yer entry.

Entries can be sent to Tilinka through a Y!PP forum PM or Facebook message. (If neither of those work, you can also /tell them to me in-game) Please make sure you include yer pirate name with yer entry.

You may enter up to three poems.

Prizes!

  • A serpent class sloop renamed to “Poetical Sea Serpent.”
  • A head-to-toe Puppet Uniform
  • Honorable mentions: Fine pirating hats.
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Y!PP December Doodles: Calendar

So.. this may be a bit on the crazy-involved side. See, when Apollo said “calendar”, I said “Aha! It should be a snap to make a printed one… kind of like that poetry chapbook I did 12 years ago. You don’t forget how to do things like that!”

I then downloaded the trial for Adobe InDesign (because), and quickly drew Ms. January:

January-Clotho

Plenty of time to get everything together, right? Right!

Seven days pass. I think to myself, “These pictures don’t take that long. I’ll do six today, five tomorrow, and put everything all together well before the deadline.” I proceed to get Ms. February 80% done before I’m lured onto a pillage:

February-Aphrodite

The next morning started with a lot of muttering along the lines of  “Why the heck did I not do more earlier? I bet one of those Sirens is really named ‘Procrastination’.”

Over about eight hours, I finish the rest of the months.

Mr. March:

March-Hermes

 

Ms. April:April-Faeree

Ms. May:May-Galene

Mr. June:June-Apollo

Mr. July:July-Prometheus

Oh, huh, looks like I did July twice!:July-Cattrin

Ms. August:August-Pixelpixie

Mr. September:November-Musicologist

Mr. October:October-Forculus

Ms. November:September-Imp

Ms. December:December-Atropos

And because a calender needs a cover:

Cover

And then I put it all together with InDesign.. which worked suprisingly well right up until I tried to print it… and found out we were out of red ink. Red? Really? WHY!

So, rather than proper photos of the printed calender, you get this screenshot of June:

June-full

…and the printable PDF I cobbled together because I couldn’t figure out how to generate it properly from InDesign… with months and everything: Puppet Calendar

When you print this, make sure to do so double sided. You should be able to then fold it in half, staple, and voila! Calendar. Quality is still a bit iffy, I’m working on that while I re-learn InDesign. (Haven’t mucked around with that program since, in… um.. ten years?)

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Y!PP Sketchy Avatar: Salvatrucha

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Salvatrucha, Emerald

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Y!PP Sketchy Avatar: Darer

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Darer, Emerald

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