Friday, July 27, 2018

four legged friends

I have a friend that does shrinky-dinks. That's right, remember those magical pieces of plastic that twisted and turned in the oven as they shrunk down to miniature versions of themselves? I vividly recall a Pound Puppies set I did once as a kid. One of the puppies had a permanent twist to his little neck from a shrinking mishap. Regardless, my friend Cindy does a lovely job with hers. She's even made me several pieces of jewelry - clathrin earrings and a necklace that spells out PhD in amino acids - that I love. Well Cindy came over not that long ago, crafty supplies in tow. She had made a host of adorable sheep and kitten knit markers that needed finishing with jump rings and loops.

Aren't they SO CUTE.  I especially love the little mischievous kitty with the ball of yarn. She also brought along some sheets of polymer, colored pencils, and some printed images so we could make some more. Ever so thoughtful, she found me some super cute horses to use.

I colored them to match two of my lifetime favorites, Henry the mare and Rum the little chestnut that could. One of the coolest things about these, aside from the shrinking magic, is the way the shrinking concentrates the colors. It's obvious when you stop to think about it - all that color is sitting there so it must go along with the plastic as it gets smaller - but it is impressive every time.

Provided you remember to use a hole punch to put a hole in the plastic before you shrink them, these are super easy to make up into earrings, or knit markers, or whatever if you have jewelry tools and findings handy. I made these with a couple of larger hoops so they will fit on my bigger knitting needles. The sheep are probably for mid-size needles, and the kitties are certainly for sock needles because of the size or any crochet project because of the lobster clasps.

I love knit markers. I've made some out of beads and thread to gift, and I use my little bumble bees I got gifted myself all the time. This is a super fun way to continue to add to my collection (and others'!). I see an addiction coming...

Sunday, July 8, 2018

shetland in situ

Ahhh, bonny Scotland. It's been a busy month since we've been back, but boy did we have fun. The land of lochs, braes, moors, heather, and wool did not disappoint. For example, this is where we stayed on our second to last night. It is Loch Leven, near Glencoe, and it is gorgeous.

Lando and Punk Rocky Mountain paired nicely with my jumping deer dress

We started in Edinburgh and traveled a circuit that took us through Aberdeen, Speyside, and Inverness, then drove the Great Glen to Glenfinnian and Glencoe, and finally circled back around through Fort William and Glasgow to leave out of Edinburgh. As I mentioned a couple posts ago, my shetland shawl didn't make it as a finished object, but I did decide to take it with me for the flights, the occasional sleepless night (thanks jetlag), and for serendipitous moments like this one:

We didn't get to the Shetland Islands (next time!) but I am confident that the wildness of the highlands we saw is a great stand-in for the landscapes of the northern isles. It was super fun to sit by the loch and work a few rounds. Seeing the country, it's people and places, and absorbing the history has really made this particular project a special one.