Monday, December 24, 2007

New Soldiers

This Sunday was a special time at The Steel Valley Corps and for the Clown Brigade. Two of the Soldiers in the Brigade were recognised at new Soilders. Bobby was enlisted as a Soildier. He is the one to the left getting his rank insignia. My wife and I were the flag bears in the ceremony. Bobby has been working on this for several months and I was proud to see him receive his rank insignia.
The thing that he is holding is the Articles of war. These are the rules that Soldiers and Officers promise to follow. At the moment I believe that makes every clown in the Brigade a Jr. or Sr. Soldier. Also over the the right is Jasmine. She was also recognised for enlisting. She became a Jr. Soldier a couple months ago.
The Junior and Senior soldier thing is about their age. Kids are Jr. Soldier and Sr. Soldiers are adults.
On knitting type fronts I have been experimenting with dish cloths. On Ravelry there has been a conversation on a local group about gray dish cloths. This got me thinking about what sort of yarn I would use for such a thing. Well we have a couple cotton yarns at the shop that would do. The most expensive if Cotton Classic that does come in gray. Being the cheapskate I am I went with Aracunya Cotton. This is a nice little yarn that has a great hand for a cotton.
Those who know me know I am all about the acrylic yarn. Still the one down fall of the Dinosaur yarn is that it is not very adsorbent. Well cotton is good for that. Anyway I am rambling about this. This is a picture of the work in progress. I know it is not that exciting but it is what I am working on.
I am knitting it on my newly beloved square needles made from palm tree. I have been collecting a set of these for six months now. There is only one shop in the area that carried them and they sold them at a decent click and it has taken me a while to build up a set. The shop I work at special ordered me the nine millimeter needles that I have been having a hard time getting. they are the perfect size for the Prayer Shawls I have been working on. Aren't they pretty?
Any way that is all I have for the moment. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Roving Roving Roving

Roving Roving roving. Alright so it is not all technically roving. Still, the word roving fits better into the song going through my head. Any way i have been experimenting with the drop spindle type thing.

Well this picture is the unspun fiber rack at Natural Stitches. We just got a spinning teacher on board. We also have the best selection of fiber that i have seen in a knitting store. I suppose I really have no choice but to make this habit even deeper and stranger.

For many years I have resisted the possibility of spinning my own yarn. For goodness sake I have every knitting needle known to man and a huge selection of yarn in basement.

I suppose I should just be grateful that I am at a good place to learn such forbidden things. I have been secretly thinking about a secret supper acrylic yarn. I have wondered what would happen is more fiber was joined with my beloved Red Heart.

I have no idea what would happen. I know that you can ply yarns. I suppose I will have the chance to find out what will happen. I will keep you posted on what happens.

For the cat loving people out there this is my cat Mariska. I personally think that she is by far the most attractive of our pets. She is your basic black cat with big gold eyes. If you happen to be traveling through my house at night she does tend to scare the day lights out of you if you are not paying attention.

regular Readers of this blog may have noted that there are more pictures on the blog these days. Since I started this blog I have counted on the kindness of stranger to take pictures and email them to me. And I have had some great pictures sent to me.

Anyway Walk gave me a spare camera. So thanks Walt. I will take lots of pictures and annoy people with stories about my cats. But now they will be illustrated.

Well I think that is it for this evening. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Fun was had Knitting. Deffending the Girls

a good time knitting was had at the shop today. I worked a little on a clown hat.
Perhaps I will even take pictures of it.

I would like to note some correction that have come to my attention. Long time reader will note that I am a poor typist. Number one I misspelled Walt's name and could not spell the word oMother. Also I had several comments about my pet's and my dog's cat Mariska. They were all very kind. They were all very kind.

I would like to note that someone suggested that I am copying their cats by having two cats that are black. Number one my cats are not named for beverages and are sisters. They came as I set. I only wanted one but I got two. And I bet Coke and Dr. Pepper don't nurse on a dog.

I have no idea why that was relevant or even matter in the slightest. I suppose I just don't like being called a copy cat. Yes that was a lame joke and I put you through way to much to tell it.

Anyway respect the freaky cats. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Critters

This is the Sally Dog. She does not like the camera. I working under the assumption that she is a rather large squirrel. My wife is still convinced that she is a dog. I am not buying it.

Yes the dog has nothing to do with the entire knitting thing. No I will not be spinning my dog's hair into yarn. Although she has very pretty fur. I could brush her but I do not have that kind of attention span. And my wife assures me that she will kill me if I shave the dog.

So there will be no dog hair sweater in the Zeeppo household. Oh Well.

The cat is abigail. She is the one eyed cat that has many health problems. You cannot tell she has one eye because her eyes are closed. She is on top of the little house that was built for her. She loves her house and the rubber mouse on a bit of metal.

By the way I am not allow to shave the cat either. We have another cat name Mariska who I was not able to find for a picture. She is Abigail's sister and is black. So they look a lot alike. Although Mariska has both eyes and no health problems.

To the best of my knowledge there is nothing else living in my house besides us. I don't know knitting people are always showing pictures of their animals. Maybe I should take some pictures of other animals. It would sort of be like an urban safari.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A couple Great Evening of Knitting.

It has been a couple of great evenings of knitting here in Pittsburgh. Hive Knitting at Joseph Beths was lots of fun. Most of the gang was there. We did some cranking on the Marley and I worked on some socks.

Walk finished the hat that he is knitting for his moths. He did very well. He has been working on for a week and it was supposed to be a surprise so i could not talk about it till now. The hat was made from purple Malabrigo. The hat was done in less than a couple weeks. Not bad for a first project.

The second night of knitting was the Ravelry Knit Together at Natural Stitches. We had a new person who is really excited about the Ravelry and Natural Sittches. Apparently she really likes yarn and friendly service. Some people have high standards i suppose.

With the way the holidays work we will not be having programs or Clown practice. . So that mean I will have Wednesday off. since I have the time I will pick a group to go to. I am not sure which one it will be. The Hurricane Knitters were fun. I also suspect that they were missing half their people so it might be nice to see them at full strength.

I haven't figure out where to get yet. I will be working on it though.

Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Knitting Stuff with Pictures - Dave & Dave

Last Friday was the first meeting of the Men's Night at Natural Stitches. As luck would have it Dave and Dave from WQED's OnQ and Dave and Dave's Excellent Adventure wanted to learn about knitting. Fortunately, being a yarn shop we were able to oblige. Both Daves got a lesson in casting on and the knit stitch. Dave Rhodes {pictured here center} took very well to the knitting. He appeared to enjoy himself and got a couple of rows done in the time we had. For the Canadians reading this blog he is a fan. He can been seen wearing a Leafs jersey on his show. Dave Rhodes is a also a director for several local shows and has written for radio.

I am to the left and Walt, a new knitter is to the right. Dave Rhodes is in the middle. Look he is knitting, an action knitting shot on my blog.

Dave Hallewell is pictured left with their intern Katie. Dave is a producer for WQED {The local public television station} he is the one that called us to do the piece.

Not pictured is Frank their Cameraman and field director. If Frank wants to learn to knit he can come by the shop and we will show him.

Thankfully they did not give us much notice or we might have figured out that we should have been nervous. Oh and we are working on the hand made milkshakes. We had to give it up for the moment because Walt's fingers are getting cold. Still, we will figured out how to make a milkshake by hand. The only problem is Walt and I have very hairy hands. For those that were not there The Daves were debating what was better handmade Milk shakes or fast food milk shakes. I just wanted them to know that we are working on that in our spare time.

This sort of thing is one of the reason like I like this region. I am sure other places in the United States and Canada have local television. I have traveled around quite a bit and this sort of thing tends to get over done in many places. I have been to towns and cities where a local reported can not do a story on a dog with out someone jumping in the shot.

Here four people showed up with a camera did some filming and that was it. No injuries, no one mobbed the store. Still, there is enough stuff going on around here to keep one from getting bored.

Well that's it for now. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Small Knits

As I may have mentioned earlier there is a memeber of the Hive Knitting Group that knits cloths for dolls. Anyway DDancer sent me some links to some sites that have .

The as yet unnamed expandable fez cap was large enough to be tried on the clown it is being knit for. And it looks as if Lucy Dolittle will have a new hat for her costume.

Cool stuff

Monday, December 10, 2007

Clown Knitting

Life has begun to settle down around the Zeeppo Homestead. With the shop open and going well it has found it's stride. I am still loosing my mind over the various books that I am working on. And I may get to that craziness later.

On the clown knitting front great things are happening. The Knitting For War book is still plugging along. I am not exactly sure when it will be done. Progress is made every week. Still, knitting books are complicated things. I would like this to be able to do justice to the charity knitting scene. As it stand there will almost have to be a sequel. There are simply too many important knitting projects going on for them all to be put in one book. Heck I don't think I have been able to cover just what is going on in my own denomination.

The clown stuff that you see popping up on this blog are patterns that will probably show up in the book. Being that it is being written by a clown clown knitting has a warn and fuzzy place in my heart. That could also be the Lopi I ate for breakfast but I digress.

I am still looking for hats, mittens, sweaters. I would especially like a couple hat scarf mitten sets. I had to fit that in somewhere I am not sure that was the best place. Still, there it is.

Any way it has been very rewarding working on this knitting book. I have been on teams that have put together text books before. And I wrote a good deal of the copy for these books. Still, the best part , oddly, has been writing as the Brigadier.

Clowns do not get the chance to write books as their clown selves. And unlike an actor, clowns like to think that their clown persona is within them and comes out when needed. Yes, I know this sounds like a need therapy or Sigorney Weaver should be involved. Still, with everything in The Army I have been told alot about what I cannot do. Clowns ask Why not?

Perhaps that is why clowns run into so much trouble. Hmmmmmmmm, deep thoughts as a clown. Somewhere there is a shrink hoping to write a paper on this, but I digress.

Alright back to the subject. The Brigadier character is new for me. It is like an older less sane version of the clown persona that I have used for years. Perhaps being older I am less sane {Yes I picked up on that, thank you very much}.

Clown knitting continues and perhaps one day clowns will have the own knitting book {Everyone else appears to}. At Hive Knitting at Joseph Beths the clowns and I will be cranking on The Marley some more. With my hand injury we will not be able to use the scarf in the way we intended until at least the summer. That means Marley will not make it into our Spring Shows. Between the knitting book and several new clowns we have decided to concentrate on house cleaning things in the Brigade. Winter is the traditional time for getting things in order. Well at least it is among the clowns.

On the upside we have started looking at other clown knitting projects for the spring shows. We are going to work on long armed cardigans and hats that pull out to absurd lengths. We think the clown chemo cap will make it into the book, probably not the shows though. Although there will be a hat with a ribbed bottom instead of curled stockinette bottom.

Well that is it for the moment. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Radio Cat Says

Clown Chemo Cap in Red Heart

It is always fun to finish a project. It is one has been the most fun that I have had in a while.
One of the folks from the Charity Knitting group on Sundays is being treated for Cancer. I am sure I rambled on about all of this in the last post. What I did not have in the last post was a finished object.
This is clown style chemo cap. You have the traditional chemo cap edge on the bottom. Of course it is made of the traditional clown fiber Red Heart Mexicana. We then have the pointy elfin clown top with a pom pom type thing.
No for those of you that are saying Red Heart is harsh you are partly correct. This hat has been treated with the secret clown knitting trick.

You run it through the washer several times with a bunch of gold balls. Alright so it is not really a secret otherwise I would not have told you.
Still ,it really cool for all of you Red Heart Haters out there. You know who you are. And by the way you are on the Clown Naughty List. And you do not want to be on the clown naughty list. How do you think we pick who gets pied?
Anyway onto other subjects. I mentioned the tree at the shop a while ago. We decided To put the Aslan trends in it. By the way it is a great yarn at a reasonable price. Well enough pedaling yarn. Still, it is a really cool thing.
Well I may be bias in my opinion since I built the thing.
Charity knitting was good today. I got to see several people that I have not seen in a while. It is nice to go an hang out a group you have no responsibility for.
Well have a good evening everyone. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Another Strange Bus Ride

IO was riding the bus as I often do. Today I also happened to be wearing my kilt. While on the bus someone asked me if i was wearing it for Haunika.

I am not Rabbi or an authority on Jewish holidays. Stilll, I am fairly certain that the kilt has nothing to with any Jewish holiday. If i am wrong I hope someone with let me know.

Any way i am knitting more as my hand feels better. I finished a special clown chemo cap made from the left over of the Judy Scarf. It is for a very naughtly little girl.

Someday I will get some pictures of it. I think it will be in the book. I am working on the pattern as we speak.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Yarn Rep

In the yarn world there are people that roam the country side with large amounts of yarn in their cars. These people represent yarn companies. One of the benefits of working in a yarn store is that I get to meet these people.

A very nice lady named Rivka came by Natural Stitches today. She had suitcases full of yarn that she shared with everyone. I have no idea what we bought. Still, I am sure it was wonderful stuff.

My cat is not letting me type...\
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Monday, December 03, 2007

Charity Knitting at Knit 1 & Roving Roving Roving

Between the new shop and Christmas I have not had a chance to get over to Knit 1 for Charity Knitting. I was a bit nervous considering all of the sleepsong silliness from a couple weeks ago.

Fortunately there was no drama. Flo, Vivian, Anne and her daughter were all there just like a couple of months ago when I last attended. As it was before a fun afternoon of knitting was had by all. I am not sure why there was a fight in the first place. Still, it was nice to see that it has not translated to the Charity knitting group.

On another slightly related from Flo it being treated for Cancer. Everything is going well at the moment. Still, prayer is required. So if all of you out there in blog land would not mind, please keep her in your prayers and thoughts.

Today I did not get much knitting done. Although this is the first time that I have built something since the operation. I built myself a drop spindle. It is currently hanging up and drying. Most of the ones that I have seen are bare wood. I covered mine with some spar varnish just because.

I will bring it in on Wednesday. Fortunately the shop I work at sells roving. So I suppose I am going to try and make my own yarn. It was only a matter of time as I descend into the madness that is knitting. Now I am going to have to buy a spinning wheel. Then I am going to have to figure out how many sheep can live in my back yard. I suppose I will have to repair the fence before I move in the sheep. I should probably ask my wife if i can have sheep before I buy them

You see it is never ending cycle. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

More Knitting More Red Heart

I have been at the knitting more since I have been working at Natural Stitches. As I have been working on several project. A sample scarf for the shop, two prayer shawls for the book, a long scarf for the book, mittens for the book, socks for the book. All and all these are the most projects that I have had going at once.

I don't think I have ever had more than three projects going at once. I suppose this is what all of those other knitters are talking about. Well, I know when to draw the line though. I will not keep making up more project though. At least I hope I will not. I may be becoming one of those knitters.

Oh and I forgot the long hat. It is a clown prop a sort of thrity foot long stalking cap. That will also be going into the book. the good people at coats and clark will be getting some clown money this month.

Well I just wanted to check in. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.
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