shanmonster: (Default)
I'm knitting a cowl scarf to go with my coat. I managed to match the colours perfectly. Yarn is Louise Harding's Willow Tweed, a mix of alpaca, Merino wool, and silk. It is very soft and lovely to work with.

[Cowl and coat]
shanmonster: (Tiger claw)
I woke up too early this morning because of a bizarre bad dream involving a baby, meconium, and bondage. Ugh! So to wipe that creepy imagery from my mind, I finally made a tassel and attached it to my harf. And so I defeated the dread procrastination, and now I have a crazy new garment to wear in the cold.


And in another battle won against procrastination, I finally completed some insurance claim paperwork that's been sitting on my desk for a month. Go me!

Laundry is on the go, I have dishes to do, a meeting to attend, two fitness classes to plan then teach, and somewhere in there, I want to work some more on my sonnet and naalbinding. Will I have the time? I guess I'll find out!

Oh, and wouldn't this be fun? I'm considering it..... Who'd come with me?

[ profile] knightky will be here briefly this weekend. I must remember to check how that Viking coat fits him. I bought fur to trim it with, too!

Make Me

Feb. 2nd, 2011 09:21 pm
shanmonster: (Default)
Today has been a day of making. It started with making my room neat. I won't say that was a total triumph, but I certainly made a dent. I also started the process for traveling internationally by beginning to fill out the paperwork for a passport. Of course, I realized my birth certificate is AWOL, so I had to fill out paperwork to order in a new one. But the process is underway. I will travel. I really want to. I've never been to Europe. Yet.

I made myself a member of CADA today, which means I can now get reimbursed for a lot of my dance training. This will make it much easier for me to continue to progress as a dancer. It also gets me accident insurance, which could be handy in case I break myself in half doing splits or something.

And then I slaved over a sonnet for a few hours. I've decided to work in the Shakespearean form (rhyme scheme of ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, GG), and that was a struggle and a half. My brain rebelled the whole time, squealing DO NOT WANT DO NOT WANT DO NOT WANT the whole time, but damn it, who's in control? My brain or me? I say me. And so I got the first stanza finished, and am on my way with the second. So there, brain. Suck on it.

I finally relented and gave my brain a break by knitting another cowl scarf, this time out of wool/rayon and mohair/polyamide (whatever that is). It's very silky and soft, and not nearly as froufrou girly-girl as I thought it might be, despite its purple/pink combination.


And then it was time to challenge myself again, this time with naalbinding. This is my very first attempt:


It's a bit wonky, but it seems to look right. Not knowing anyone who actually practices this ancient art, I can't exactly ask for advice. But the incomprehensible (to me) Nordic woman in the tutorial video seems to be making something that looks like this. So I think I'm on the right track. My next couple of attempts were worse, so I think that's my brain saying "Enough!" for now. Ok. I'll give it a break. Poor brain. I asked so much of it today. What it doesn't realize is how I'm going to make it do my bidding again tomorrow. Shhh.....
shanmonster: (Default)
When I got home from Toronto today, I knit myself a cowl scarf:


I had wanted to work on weaving, but I'm too tired to try anything too new and exciting today. So I used a knit stitch I'm already familiar with on my hat loom and did something different with it. I used two kinds of yarn: a variegated green/gold wool, and an emerald green wool/rayon blend. I'm quite pleased with the result.

Links? Ok.

Drug Catapult Found at U.S.-Mexico Border: The war on drugs gets medieval.

Keep Canadian Media Honest - Don't Let The CRTC Deregulate Truth in Journalism: "The proposed wording introduces a dangerous precedent wherein media may find grounds to report news that is false or misleading so long as the news in question does not directly endanger the lives, health or safety or the public." Please sign the petition against this.

Better in than out: African country set to make breaking wind a crime: Could feeding someone baked beans be considered entrapment?

Polar bear's epic nine day swim in search of sea ice: Although I object to the term "epic" used for a long swim, it doesn't make this story any less poignant or impressive.
shanmonster: (Default)
I just took a shawl off my knitting loom. Here's what it looks like.

It's a mix of dark red wool and a red/orange/black wool. It's very warm.



Now, what to do with the pretty green yarn I got today....


Jan. 3rd, 2011 12:51 pm
shanmonster: (On the stairs)
I'm having a slow and lazy day, so far. I wanted to go to the gym, but I think I need to not, because I fucked up my shoulder pretty good the other day while horsing around. Ouch ouch ouch. I think a visit to the RMT is in order. I think I pulled something in there.

Link time? Well, sure.

The 25 most epic ads that aren't '1984': While I question the use of the word "epic," there's no denying these ads are pretty darned cool.

Facebook, a Placenta and a Lawsuit: I really don't understand this one. Some students post pictures of themselves with a placenta, and get kicked out of their program in college. I could perhaps understand if the pictures showed the students snogging with the organ or some such, but they don't. Weird....

Girl gang's grip on London underworld revealed: I rather think it was more of a women's gang than a girl gang, but the story is very compelling. It's about a women's guild of thieves that operated out of London from the 1700s through to the 1950s. Very interesting!

Nurse Sues Doc After Bizarre 'Job Interview': "A nurse claims the chairman of a hospital's surgery department injected her with 'truth serum' during a job interview, then 'pulled his pants down ... and injected himself in the groin area,' proceeded to ask her about her sexual fantasies, and offered her $1,000 to strip."

Is Wool the New Latex?: NSFW. Holy moley! Check out these HOT "erotic" knit onesies. Bwahahahah! No, this is not why I learned to knit, but I am halfway tempted to make one of these outfits just for shits and giggles. Mostly giggles.

Crochet Daisy Headband: I'm pretty awful at crocheting, but this project looks simple enough that maybe, just maybe, I can make something that's not fugly. Maybe.

Porn, recipes found on Toronto's dead drop: "Whenever I think of two people secretly exchanging information, I envision money bags left behind loose bricks and secret documents hidden in a hollowed out book. As it turns out, this method of sharing information has a name - it's called a dead drop." Now I want to find it!

The Authentic Knitting Board: Oh, this looks a lot more versatile than the Knifty Knitters I've been using. It's adjustable! I want some! Especially some for socks. I really want to make socks....

Argentina's Dancing with the Stars Is Pretty Much Straight Up Porn: NSFW. Sex dance, I guess. Definitely a step up from standard grinding and dirty dancing.

Aerialist AgentRed recently fell during a performance: this performance, actually, although the fall is not in this video clip. If you can afford it, donations are being sought to help with her hospitalization and surgery.

shanmonster: (Liothu'a)
It's soft and warm, and I'm wearing it right now. See?




Dec. 26th, 2010 02:01 pm
shanmonster: (Zombie ShanMonster)
I started knitting myself a scarf last night, and today I finished it.

I used three yarns for this:
- Debbie Bliss's Donegal Chunky Tweed in green (100% wool) from Ireland
- Capricorn bulky in cornflower blue (nylon/acrylic) from Spain
- Sally Gray, or The Roving Spinners', Cornflowers handspun (wool and a bunch of other stuff), made here in Kitchener.



I'm getting better at this.
shanmonster: (On the stairs)
I've been working on a lot of things, lately. Mostly, I'm trying to improve myself in a general sense.

I'm trying to improve my cooking. That's going well. Maybe too well. The stuff I make is so delicious I might make myself fat eating it! I try to limit my baking to about once a week, although I did bake two things this week: crackberry pie and ginger banana muffins. They are both really damned good. I'll also be baking more things as Christmas presents. The curry peanut soup is delicious, and I feel less guilty about eating lots of it, because it's crammed with good-for-me: protein (chickpeas, natural peanut butter, and shrimp), and vitamin-rich veggies (sweet potatoes, bell peppers, onions, etc.). And it tastes even better after a day or two in the fridge. It's even better that it's [ profile] f00dave-friendly.

My knitting skills continue to progress. I'm actually pleased with the stuff I've been making. It no longer looks like something a kid might make. It looks good.

My workouts at the gym have been irregular this month because of a pull in my SI joint, but the massage therapy and stretching I've been getting has been helping a lot. I'm starting to feel like my strength is getting back to where it should be. I need to work on my cardio, but my asthma makes it difficult, sometimes. Still, yesterday I was able to do a bunch of skipping (including crossovers which are nice for working the coordination), 320 jumping jacks, 120 dragons, and the rest of my regular isometrics and weight-training. It took me a lot longer than it should have, but I finished it all, so for that, I'm grateful.

I've continued my quest of doing at least one creative thing a day, whether it be cooking, writing, dancing, photography, or crafting. And I share it with others. I think it keeps my brain limber. It certainly fills the time more productively than watching television, and it leaves me with a feeling of satisfaction that I've done something to make the world a nicer place for at least one other person, too.

What I need to work on:
  • Cardio endurance. Skipping is great for this. I should really start running the stairs in my apartment building again, too, now that outdoor running isn't a good option, anymore. It will do my legs and butt a hell of a lot of good, and will also burn off more fat, giving me more muscle definition.
  • Reading. I just haven't been reading many books, lately, and it's pissing me off. The last couple of books I read and enjoyed were Robin Hobbs' newest dragon books. I devoured them pretty fast. I stopped reading Colleen McCullough's Marc Antony and Cleopatra, though. It was getting too silly. I also want to continue to read more of the literary greats. I've been reading Machiavelli and Plato, lately. I need to do more of that, to wake up my lazy brains.
  • Latin. I miss studying it.
  • General crafting. I did a bit of papercraft today, with the skullflake, but really, that's pretty simple stuff. I should be doing much more complex work than that, considering my craft background. It would help if I had some better supplies. The scalpel I was using is pretty dull.
  • Sewing and costume design. I have rather a lot of ideas which I need to make. Everything from dance costumes to historical Viking costuming.
  • Painting. It's been too long, and I'm itching to break out my acrylics again.
  • Crochet. I suck at it. I need to not suck at it.
  • Building more muscle in my arms and chest. I'm pretty pleased with my back, abs, and legs. But they are a lot stronger and more defined than my arms and chest. My shoulders aren't too bad, but they could be better, too. I just need to rack on more weights.
  • Dance technique. I especially want to work on my armwork again. I've let it fall a bit by the wayside in favour of floorwork.
  • Photography. Now that the camera has been repaired, I'm looking forward to doing lots more photography. I have willing human and critter models, and I don't need consent from the inanimate objects I want to do macro-photography of. Mwahahah!

Edit: Look at all the high-impact stuff I've been doing, like skipping and jumping jacks. And note that my bad foot hasn't bothered me since the summer. Is it possible it's finally healed? Oh, I do hope so! Once upon a time, I couldn't do any sort of impact movement with my feet without them swelling up. This hasn't been the case for a long time. I am filled with hope.

Link Dump

Dec. 10th, 2010 12:48 pm
shanmonster: (Default)
I'm overdue for one of these. Enjoy!

Victim: This is my all-time favourite bit of spoken word poetry, written and narrated by the dulcet Nicole Blackman. This is a deeply disturbing first-person account of a woman who is kidnapped, and it never fails to put shivers up and down my spine.

[Vampire tree]
A Creepy Monster of the Forest: The Albino, Vampiric Redwood Tree: This is probably the coolest nature story I've read in a long time (thanks, [ profile] alagbon).

Fleur de Sel Toffee: I want to make this next weekend with [ profile] knightky. Candy time!

Inside the Parliament Square riot: I wouldn't have even known this was happening if it weren't from Terre's updates. I am saddened, disgusted, and selfishly grateful I was able to procure an education for myself. I keep thinking of the Children's Crusade and of Guy Fawkes all at the same time.

Five reasons why Facebook Credits will save newspapers: A thought-provoking argument about newspapers surviving parasitically off FaceBook (thanks, [ profile] warren_ellis).

Prof to drill camera into own skull: "An assistant professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts will embed a digicam into the back of his head as part of a year-long art piece — and some of his fellow faculty aren't too happy about it."

4chan rushes to WikiLeaks' defense, forces Swiss banking site offline: I find this sort of warfare fascinating, and oh so cyberpunk.

Prenatal Pole Dancing: Hilarious (thanks, [ profile] real_bethy)!

On Warped Beauty Standards, and Embracing the Buff: Strong is SEXY.

Letting It All Hang out -- Asylum Road Tests Crotchless Underwear: I'm disappointed this company disappeared. I'd consider buying these crotchless manties to give to my friends as creepy Christmas presents.

Loom Knitting Tutorial: This shows how to knit a flat panel on a circular knitting loom. I made a baby blanket with these instructions.


Nov. 27th, 2010 05:08 pm
shanmonster: (Tiger claw)
Last weekend, [ profile] knightky and I saw a woman wearing a really big knit toque. He thought the hat was awesome. I told him I could make one even more awesome. I told him I could make one super long: long enough to also be a scarf.

And so the harf came to be (dubiously better than being called a scat).

Behold. I just finished it a few minutes ago.

It is approximately 8' long, and all knit on a circular knitting loom. I used a mix of wool, acrylic, and bamboo yarns.




shanmonster: (Default)
I'm having a pretty good weekend all by my lonesome. I went thrift shopping today to get some wool sweaters and some tshirts to cannibalize for craft projects, and also ended up with a little extra. I got a beautiful Japanese crystal platter. I used to have a turkey platter, but it didn't make it to Ontario when I moved here. This platter is much prettier than the one that disappeared, anyhow. I also got a crock pot. I have never owned one, but have wanted one for decades. I sure do like thrift shops. They make obtaining such items very inexpensive.

Other than that, I got a few tshirts and sweaters. I also bought something incredibly hideous: 3 matryoshka dolls with basketball players painted on them. I cannot believe these things were ever marketed. They are a special kind of ugly. I'm going to repaint them and turn them into something much more attractive.

I couldn't resist, and I bought a cute little lime green jacket for myself, too. Sally Anne's was having a big sale today, and I have come to really like this shade.

There has been some interest in the tshirt yarn I made, so I got more tshirts to make yarn out of. I'm going to take it all down to Rare Funk. Rare Funk specializes in locally made clothing/jewellery/crafts and nifty vintage items. It's big on recycling, and is quite possibly the coolest shop in town (definitely the one with the most funk), so if you're around and haven't checked them out yet, what the heck are you waiting for?

So, ongoing craft projects include (but are never limited to):
- tshirt yarn
- knitting a scarf
- making a dance costume for an animated corpse dance
- developing an animated corpse dance for performance next month
- painting matryoshka dolls
- learning to use the crock pot
- making a skull-trimmed circle skirt
- revamping baby clothes
- refinishing a wooden side table I found on the side of the road
- finishing the epic painting on a vase
- getting one porcelain kung fu warrior to hold the severed bleeding head of another

I'm sure I'm missing a few, but these are the ones I can think of readily. My studio is a terrible mess, so we can add cleaning the room to that list of projects.

Tomorrow morning, I plan on taking part in a movie shoot. I'm gonna be a bystander. To what? I'm not sure. But I'll be sure to dress warmly, because I think it'll be cool, and I'm sure there will be a lot of waiting. Maybe I'll bring Marvin with me for the downtime.

Link time? Yup.

Simple Paper Re-Making: I miss making paper. I don't have a screen and deckle, though.

Fashion designer Adam Saaks rips up T-shirts in Graz, Austria: This is what a skilled fashion designer can do with plain old tshirts on the fly. Very cool.

Hungarian Goulash: This recipe looks so good! I want to make this.

Curtain up for the world's first Klingon opera: I'm disappointed they use helmets instead of prosthetics and makeup.

Bomb Squad Blows Up Toy Pony, Terrifying Nearby Grade School: HAHAAHHHAAHAHAH!

Make a Cozy Throw: One of the projects I want to do with sweaters.

Gold, Frankenknits and Myrrh: Another project I want to do with sweaters.

Loom Knitting: Tutorials on how to use Knifty Knitters (I have a full contingent).

Underwater Base Jumping: Ah, the lung capacity! It astounds me.

Ballsy Suspect Hid Cash On Self: "In a revelation that will spawn a slew of jokes about the size of one fraud suspect’s balls, a Florida man arrested Friday was found with more than $1500 tied to his scrotum with a shoelace."

We're going to need a bigger bowl! Fisherman catches massive 30lb 'goldfish'

Read more:
: Do you remember the story of Otto the Goldfish? I do. Poor Otto.

Good dancing may be sign of male health, scientists say: I will agree that a guy who dances well gains sexy points over a guy who cannot.

I was wrong about veganism. Let them eat meat – but farm it properly: "The ethical case against eating animal produce once seemed clear. But a new book is an abattoir for dodgy arguments."

Whiskey Made from Urine of Type-two Diabetics: Goes down smooth.

[Pew pew!]

shanmonster: (Default)
I don't know what I was dreaming, but I woke up with a jolt while yelping in fear at something. I'm pretty tired today. I guess adrenaline boosts in the middle of the night undo any rest you would normally get.

My bad foot has started acting up again this week, for the first time in months. I think it's because I wore my Doc Martin Mary-Janes all weekend when I did a lot of walking. They're very heavy, and I think my bad foot can't handle heavy shoes for a prolonged period of time anymore. I hope it's feeling better really soon. I have dance performances coming up, and don't want to be gimpy.

I want to learn how to weave a rag rug and to felt. I have so much gorgeous fabric, I think I could make a beautiful rug.

Well, it's time to go to the dentist. Again. Hopefully there will be no earthquake, this time.
shanmonster: (Shh...)
Although I'm still working on my scarf, trying to figure out the basics, I have my next project in mind: these socks.


I have my yarn and my needles all set. I just need the skills, but these socks look really simple, as far as socks go.

I've been wanting to know how to knit since I was a little girl, and it's finally happening. Yay!

When I get confident in my skills, I want to make these socks.

[Skull socks]

... and this hat.

[Impale hat]

In other news, why are my pecs so sore today? I don't recall doing anything different for them at the gym yesterday.


Jun. 17th, 2010 12:34 pm
shanmonster: (Default)
I still want an inkle loom. I miss weaving. Any woodworkers feel like making one up for me? I work for barter, and make excellent pies and cookies.

I've been knitting since last night. I'm learning to cast on, continental-style. At first, the knit was terribly tight, and I was having a very frustrating time. But now I've learned to relax, and although I'm certainly not speedy, I'm not moving at glacial speed anymore, either.

Now I have my needle all loaded, and I'm not sure what to do next. I guess I'll be trying to figure out knitting tutorials on YouTube.


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