Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sweater Saga Continues

I put the first sleeve on the first sweater today. It has been a while since I worked on a sweater. I am aware that this is a actually a cardigan. I am not sure why I keep calling it a sweater. I suppose if I were English I would be calling it a jumper, but I digress.

Well as you can see there is a single sleeve on this sweater, I mean Cardigan. You can see the broad rainbow Mexicana strip I was rambling on about earlier.

There is also that purple bit that goes where the snaps are going to go. In case any one cares. That bit is the rank color of the clown. Purple is the Master Clown color and so that makes this my sweater. This is good because I had myself there to try it on as i was working on it.

Moving along, This type of sweater will be worn for practices and going to and from shows. Those that know the Army know that we have uniform that are like modified suits. In the case of the Eastern Territory of the United States out uniforms are evil. They have been made from some sort of indestructible polyester that never breaths. On the other side in the winter they do not hold in heat. But in the summer they will not let it escape. It is as if someone designed a uniform that was uncomfortable at all costs.

This is part of the reason for the Brigade to have Uniform sweaters. They are more comfortable and will allow us to move as we do stuff.

The arms in these sweaters are larger around than average sweaters as is the space under the arms. This give you a greater range of motion for juggling and other activities common to clowning.

The extra space in the arms also helps to keep the sweater in place at the bottom as well. This helps keep it from ridding up during juggling. There is nothing worse than having your jumper ride up while you are riding your unicycle. that is another story that was told to me by and English person. But, I digress

You may not be able to see it but there is not ribbing around the arms. This also adds to the free range of motion.

I am a bit happy with the ribbing around the bottom of the sweater. I may undo it and redo it in a smaller needle. I will certainly change it on all of the future versions of the sweater.

Also added to the sweater is place for shoulder loops. This particular shoulder loop is the still unapproved shoulder loop for the Brigade. It is your basic Salvation Army loop with clown rank added.

Also barley visible is a pleat just bellow the rank insignia that takes up the slack in the shoulder. This is useful and important. It makes the shoulder less puffy. One does not want to do the pirate thing while in uniform.

Well be safe out there everyone and keep your stick on the ice.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

700 Post Train Wreck Message

Ahh the 700 installment of the mind bendingly silly and pointless Zeeppo's Knitting Blog. Actually I believe it is the seven hundred and first.

As is the tradition with important mile stone in the Knitting Blog I have added a video thing as well as actually pictures of my knitting project of the moment.
The video is a public service message about one of the most dangerous scourges of our time. Enjoy

Featured in the warning is the forgotten long Scarf of the Steel City Clown Brigade, my personal Kettle Standing Scarf. I was knitting that scarf when I met my wife at 9/11. Ah if that scarf could talk it would need years of therapy. Anyway Jasmine is a trained Professional and you should not try that at home. Even a short long scarf is a dangerous thing and must be handled with extrema care.
We are playing around with making video shorts of routines and stuff we are doing. I will put them up as we go unless there are a lot of complaints from my viewers. And even if there are complaints I will probably still do it. That is one of the blessing of having a short attention span.
Well onto actual real knitting stuff. This is me wearing the beginning of the first Uniform Sweater for the Steel City Clown Brigade. It is made from Red Heart {Of Course}. The Burgundy is a traditional Salvation Army color for sweaters. Burgundy or red is also frequently used for Special Service Brigades which is what my troop is according to the rule book.
The stripe of color is of course the perennial clown favorite Mexicana. The multi color yarn is not just just pretty. It symbolises humor in it's entirety. Green for it's regenerative effects. Orange for it's fire of humor and it's ability to change the world. Also in the color way is all the rank colors. Yellow for Apprentice Clown, blue for Junior Clown, Red For Standard Clown and Purple for Master Clown.
The sweater will have sleeves and shoulder loops. The Loops with be standard Salvation Army Shoulder Loops with clown rank rick rack added.
I am also wearing the rest of our practice uniform. A tee shirt in your rank color, khaki pants and black shoes. For more formal events we will wear a standard Army Uniform under the sweater. Still, for going to and from shows and practice this is very good.
So all I have to do now is make one for everyone in the Brigade. This is definitely a machines knitting project. I know some knitter scoff at the machines. Still, you would have to be insane to do all of these by hand.
This is a behind view of the sweater is any one is interested. I am going to add the ribbing bellow. And there will be a collar of purple for my rank color added on the opening of the cardigan where the buttons will be.
All in clown knitting news Bobby has almost completed the Knitting Proficiency. All he has to do is learn to knit socks, make an original silly hat and do a sweater. He is already working on each of these.
Even though it is Bobby doing it there is a great deal of personal satisfaction. He is almost finished with The standard clowning Proficiency and will be a Jr. Clown soon.
everyone and keep your stick on the ice.

A question for members of my Church, The Salvation Army

Long time readers of this blog will know that i am writing a series of books about the fictitious exploits of a Salvation Army Star Ship.

In the book I have a descendant of the Booth family names John Booth. His father and mother emigrated to the United States. He is a retired Major of The Salvation Army who had served as a Chaplain in the US Marine Corps.

Through a complicated and convoluted series of events, an alien planet of Salvationists is discovered. This planet is made up of former slaves who want to know God.

The planet is of strategic value to the US Navy {They have space ships}. To appease the inhabitants of the planet, and gain their trust, they appoint John Booth as a sort of Ambassador.

They give him the rank of Major General {two star} and send him to this planet. Is anyone offended by a fictitious General Booth that is outside The Salvation Army?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Hello All

Just checking in. I have been spending a great deal of time working on various writting projects. This leaves little time for blogging.

Men's knitting night went very well. We had half a dozen or so. The Ravelry Knit Together had over a dozen, so that was nice. All and all a good week for knitting groups.

I did come up with a great ruffle type scarf thing. I will take pictures of the test swatch. It is more ruffly than the potatoe chip scarf and is ideal for clown stuff. It is not very manly though. Someday I will make up something really cool that I can actually wear.

My Lucky Charms came with a popper dice thing to play the game on the back of the box. It is sort of like a parchese except with marshmellows. These sorts of things make me happy.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Clown Practice with Balloons, Tigers

This is another train wreck of a blog entry. As I put this thing together I have too many things to say and an unlimited amount of space to say nothing in.

I once heard it said blessed is the man that has nothing to say and does not have to be asked to say it. I may understand what that means but I do not practice it.

Over to the left is Jasmine she is working on a balloon dog. She has been at the balloons for a couple weeks and is really moving along at it. Now that I look at these pictures we really need to tidy up the book shelves at my church.

In our defence we had just finished with youth programs. Our Cub Scouts are really hard on the Corps Library. They always hit the Harlequin Romance section like you would not believe. I suppose I should digress at this point.

Moving along. It is the playing around with the camera section of the blog. So for fun I went back to making little videos. I have also noted in the video that my Corps also has very high ceilings. I think that in all of the places that I have worshiped we have higher ceiling that the average church. Of course the traditional church type setting has a really cavernous sanctuary. My corps does not have that. We win in the average ceiling height category. Our heating bill must be really outrageous.

Fun was had at practice this evening. We worked on balloons and a bit of juggling. For some reason more than half of my clowns do not want to appear on this blog. Luckily Jasmine does not mind. Perhaps they have taste or do not want to be associated with something that is so poorly edited and maintained. Oh well what can you do?

I have noted that blogger is not putting the spaces between my paragraphs if I add pictures. I have not clue how to fix that. I suppose there is that html br thing.

Work on various writing projects continues. Someday I think it would be nice to have some sort of attention span.

I have not mentioned this. Still, we have the Tiger stripe Opal Sock Yarn. I am told that this is really a popular color. So there is the tiger display.

Yes I stole the line from Tony the Tiger. I elongated a different word. He is a cartoon what is he going to do?

Anyway if you are into the Opal sock yarn come by the shop and buy some. I wonder is this constitutes a commercial in my blog.

I don't know. And I suppose I don't really care. I thought the tiger was cute. Although from this picture he does look a bit mean. Perhaps he is grumpy about the Opal people infringing on his trademark stripes. Well they should have thought about copy writing them when they had the chance. And tigers have hucked everything from gasoline to frosted flakes. The tiger the media whore of the animal kingdom.

Hmmmmm that went to a strange place. Well tigers are great, so put a tiger in your tank. Actually don't put I tiger in your tank. I don't want to read about one of my misguided readers placing a tiger a tank. Tigers do not like that. Also if one of my readers went to jail that would reduce my readership by fifty percent.

What else can I weigh in on that no one really cares about. Well certainly no one cares about my opinion on the Presidential Election. I have had half a dozen people ask me who I am voting for. Number one the Pennsylvania Primary is mostly irrelevant. The candidate is almost always picked before they get here.

At this point I do not have a candidate to support. Number one I have not really paid attention to it. The pundits say that everything is blood bath. Yet when I watch the debates it looks like a love fest. So if you work for one of the candidates I am sure you are waiting to find out where Zeeppo's Knitting Blog is going. I will be putting up a post office box where bribes can be sent. I will give each of the campaignes three weeks to send in their bribes. I will keep you posted.

Well I figure I have wasted enough of your time. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ravelry Knitting

A great night was had at Ravelry Knitting. We had fourteen people and wide rang of projects. I was working on a clown hat. Three people were working on sweaters made from malabrigo and there were sock and scarves.

Walt was working on his two strand scarf. It looks like it is made from Cascade 220.

I continue to be amazed by Ravelry and the people that are part of it. We started a group for the Knit together and a dozen or so joined it over night.

Also on knitting fronts I had a nice machine knitting class today. It was nice to get out the Bond and use it some today. I do need to get back to making those sweater for the Brigade

It has been a long day and need to get a bit of sleep before more knitting in the morning. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Noro hurts Me.

Star Ships and such

I have been insanely busy with the book and my various other projects. There are several ships that are in the series. The one to the left is the one ship that is in most of the books that i am working on. The H.M.S. Lt. Col. Yanni Tojo Maru is Brigadier Mason's ship and a Salvation Army Rescue Cutter. A rescue cutter is basically a hospital, church, soup kitchen, ambulance and fire brigade rolled up in one.
I am still working on the color scheme of the ship. She will be all white probably with a red stripe that runs the length of the ship. Much like the Duster Response Units that The Army uses in my area.
She is a fairly big ship by our standards with 9,500 crew and three hangers with over a hundred away craft. The arm things above and bellow are docking ports for two larger rescue corvettes capable of dealing with a small regional disaster on their own.
I fist came up with the ship sixteen years ago when I first read In Darkest England. there is a brief chapter about something Booth called The Salvation Army Ship. I am not sure if one was over commissioned. I do know that there have been and continue to be Salvation Army Naval united. The Lole, De Febe and Queen Maud to name a few.
Also in the story I am working on is the U.S.S. Churchill an American Naval Battle Cruiser named for Winston Churchill. I am still working on a picture of that one. The Churchill is Commodore Jefferson's ship.
By the way I do know that the U.S. Navy does not have Commodores at the moment. The Navy has had the rank on and off for years in one form or another. The navy does currently have a ship named for Winston Churchill. To the best of my knowledge the Navy does not have star ships at the moment. Still, I am betting this is only a temporary set back.
Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Cult

I could not get away from spinning wheels today. At the shop a group of spinner where meeting. I would have stuck around but I did not have classes and was able to go to a cult meeting.
The Cult is the half joking name for the Friday Night Knitter at the Boarders. Evenb there I could not get away from the spinning wheels.
This is Sarah taking a picture of her wheel.
Walt is working a new scarf made with Aunti M pattern I am not sure what yarn he is using. He is knitting with two strands. I am still surprised by how advanturous he is with his knitting. Many new knitter have to be pushed onto harder projects. Some even get stuck on once thing.
Well I just wanted to check in. Be safe out there and keep you stick on the ice.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

All Over the Map Today

Long time readers of this blog may remember me talking about some who was joking about flying in Denver to crank on the Marley. Well on Tuesday she showed up. This is Terri Lynn she is from Denver. She thinks the Marley is cool.
It has been a while since I have talked about the Marley. Quite frankly since I have hurt my hand we cannot do the routine that The Marley will be use for. With my wing on the mend I will probably be able to do it by the spring or super. So it is back to cranking on the Marley.
Terri Lynn has a son in the Military who is stationed here. So she was visiting him as mother often do. She looked up Ravelry to find that there was a group meeting at our shop. She called us up and asked if the group was meeting. I said that we were. When she showed up my clowness came up in conversation. She wanted to know if I knew the clown that was making The Marley.
Normally this would be a case a clown profiling. All clowns do not know each other. We do have a secret computer network that ties us all together. Well that is only used for world domination purposes not long scarves. But I digress.
Anyway in this case I happened to be that clown. So she had a dream. And she found me in a shop through a web site neither of which existed when she first had that dream.
On other fronts we had a great Clown practice yesterday. This is Amber she is beginning to master the standard three ball juggling pattern.
In the clown world this is cool stuff. She is almost finished with the Basic Clowning Proficiency. It is kind of like getting the first rank in Boy Scouts. Except that she is a girl and wears more make up than most Boy Scouts. And we don't spend time in the woods unless something has gone terribly wrong. Although many clown have very large tents. Oh never mind you know where I am going with this. And by the way if you do know where I am going with this please let me know. I am not sure.
I apparently also misspelled the name of my shop again. I called it Natural Snatches. Personally I like it better. We should stop pretending that knitting and yarn are not additions. Come on down and snatch some yarn at Natural Stitches or Snatches.
Other interesting things are happening in the Yarn world here in Pittsburgh. They are a secret though. Yes clown and knitter making secret stuff happen. Actually I am serious about this. Stay tuned and I will let you know when there is news.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Rumors and Such

Hey folks it is me again. Here to ramble on about this and that. As many of you know I am now working in a Yarn store called Natural Snitches. I may be bias but I believe it to be one of the finest yarn store in existence. And it has the largest selection of yarn and the most knowledgeable staff in the area.

Long time reader may remember my response to a whisper campaign started by a local blogger against the store. Well there is another such attack against the store that has started.

Some one is saying that Natural Stitches has very little yarn. This cannot be further the truth. We have every color of Cascade 220, Dark Horse Fantasy, Dark Horse Desert Rose, Comfort and that is just what I can remember off the top of my head.

We have the best use of space and the best organization of any yarn shop that I have been in Western PA. Anyone that says half our selves are empty has not been in the store and is a liar.

And anyone that has any thing bad to say about the staff should also think again. We have four dedicated knitting, crochet and spinning teacher. Combined we have over sixty years of knitting spinning and crochet experience. Very few stores can make such a claim. Figuring the entire staff I am sure we have around eighty years of fiber arts experience.

We have also dedicated ourselves to providing the best yarn for the best price. So many stores get into the name game. We have Malabrigo and Rowan but we are not going to push it onto you if that is not what you need.

I had a customer last week that wanted to buy something to knit something for a toddler. I suggested the Fantasy from Dark Horse which she had never heard of before. She told me horror story of the first sweater that she made for this child. She had been sold a bundle of Malabrigo. The child's rushed mother washed it with everything else. ruining the sweater.

Another thing that bothers me is a bushwhacked attitude has toward their LYS. People come into the store and comment on how comfortable it is. They then say they wished they had a place like our store where they could knit. When I tell them they can knit in our store they look like I just hit them with a brick. It never occurs to them that they can knit in a Yarn Store. What kind of jack up thinking is that.

I hang out at my local Magic Shop { for clowns that is the LMS}. I bring a frosty beverage and shoot the breeze with my magic dealer. We talk about God Children, the fact that David Blain is weird and what every else strikes out fancy. Why do Yarn People think they can't knit at a LYS.

The reason is clear. There are a bunch of unfriendly LYS out there. Any if you don't think your store has a problem. Ask yourself, do people ask to knit in your store?

Well I have rambled on about this enough. IF you hear a rumor about a LYS go to that LYS and check it out for yourself.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Fuzzy Picture

Well this is a fuzzy picture of the finished gray face cloth. Id did not need a dish cloth so I made a face cloth. I know, swanky.
Anyway the shop continues to be full of yarn. We had to take down the Christmas Tree. So it is sad to see celebrating our Lord's Birth with bold faced commercialism pass. Nothing says I love Jesus like a new toaster. By the way I did not get a toaster for Christmas, my toaster is fine.
I wonder what toaster Jesus would use? Hmmmmm, we better not start that again. Still, I think he would use a Toastmaster. But I digress.
Well I just wanted to state that I finished something. Be safe out there and keep your stick on the ice.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Project Updates and Stuff

It has been crazy busy as the Christmas season passed through. Besides the shop I have been working on the book. So I have been neglecting my poor blog. Well now that things have slowed back to normal I can get back to posting.

Well as you can see my skills as a photographer still leave something to be desired. Never the less there are picture of what I am working on at the moment.

This is a hat that I am making for Miss Dolittle. It will look like a fez cap when it is folded up. When it is stretched out it will look like a giant stocking cap that will drag on the ground behind her.

This is a new version of a standard clown hat. Like the Victorian sleeping cap this one will have a pom pom on the end. We will have to see how it goes. I will probably make several for her. This one will be twelve or so feet long. It should have great visual impact on stage.

I will have to make another hat for our Music Sergeant. Both will be made from Red Heart Mexicana. I am considering needle felting Mecicana to regular felt and lining it and seeing what happens. I might be able to make a good looking few cap with the method. We are after all looking for head gear for the Brigade.

Bellow is a Needle case that I am sewing our of Black PVC. I have a few old cases that were made out of deep burgundy fabric. They have faded and a couple of them are now pink. So it is time to make something more manly that does not have holes in it.

These are the pieces that will go into the case. This case will be made for my Boye 14 inch needles. I will need to make cases for my Bryspun Needles and square needles.

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

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