I finished these two potholders and added an inkle strap on each. They’re lined with an insulated batting, and the backs are dark green cotton. These are my first potholders, and I now know I have a lot to learn about sewing.
I say “uh oh” because she’s kind of creepy, but even so, I did it–I bought a big-eyed doll, Susie Sad Eyes. Not only are her huge eyes sad and woebegone, she has dark circles under her eyes, poor thing, crooked bangs and a really rough haircut (which I see is the norm for this doll). I first spotted this 8″ doll in a locked glass case at a nearby antique store. With each visit over the past few years, I’d stop by and peer down at the sad creature, and this weekend I couldn’t resist, so I bought her. The price was $24. Now that I know a little more about Susie Sad Eyes, I know the price was really good; however, I’m just not a doll-buying type of person, so for me, it seemed like quite a lot of money. I’m glad I bought her, though. What a strange-looking doll!
Susie Sad Eyes was a cheaply produced plastic doll from the 1960s and 1970s. There are plenty of websites out there with information about her for collectors, but she came around during the popularity of artist Margaret Keane, who specialized in sad-eyed images. (For anyone in the know, this was pre-Blythe.)
Susie has a following that’s kind of fascinating. There’s a Flickr group, full of photos of Susies, many who have been updated with new hair, painted eyes, and plenty of modern clothing. There’s even a book dedicated to her, Susie Says, by the same author, Gina Garan, who started the Blythe craze in the year 2000 with her eerie photos of the 1972 doll. Blythe was Barbie doll-sized with a string out of the back of her head that, when pulled, changed eye colors. Talk about creepy! It was manufactured for only one year and then discontinued. If you judge popularity by how many active websites are out there, Blythe has a tremendous following. There are even new Blythe dolls being produced. When you compare little Susie Sad Eyes to Blythe, she’s less popular. Yet another reason to be sad, I guess.
Now, I must say that the Ebay prices of Susies are a bit steep. My little doll was a good deal. She even has her original clothes and leggings, but no shoes. The strange thing about Susie is that she’s really photogenic, and I find myself snapping way too many pictures. I assume this isn’t the last time Susie Sad Eyes will show up on this blog!
What came first, the shelf or the yarn? Technically, the shelf. It's an old shelf I bought for a few dollars, and then I set it in the garage to sit for a year. I never seemed to care if it was in my little office or not… but that was before my mom me bought 28 cones of yarn! A jackpot from a weaver's de-stashing sale. Yes, indeed. 28 cones!
We're talking a megaload of yarn here. It's mostly vintage, acrylic (Wintuk???) but there are a few spools of wool (Black? Yes! I've always wanted black wool but never buy it for some reason.) Some of the cones are marked for machine knitting and appear to be about worsted weight, but the others are very thin for weaving. I love one of the white cones. It's an acrylic mohair substitute. It almost sparkles.
So, I have between 3,000-5,000 yards per cone–many are even more–and when you multiply that by 28 you get somewhere around the total of one hundred billion yards. Suddenly, my little workspace needs a shelf. And, as it turns out, another wall.
What you can't see is my closet, which holds the remaining cones. I was able to shove them in there, somehow. So, the question is, what will I make with this? With one hundred billion yards of yarn, I estimate I will be able to weave approximately five hundred scarfs and 2,000 blankets, more or less.
I gained a wall because we decided to move my piano out into the living room. Now, I can keep my triloom closer to the wall. I'm working on a 7' size shawl right now, and I'll take all the space I can get. The yarn is Manos Maxima, which is blending into a stronger gray than on the skein, which had more lavendar and purple. I still like it so I'll keep going with it.
Sometimes, deep in the winter, when it snows and it freezes and it snows a little more, I grow a little weary of staring at snow. A few winters ago, we started making terrariums. It's instant summer, only in miniature.
This year, it's aquariums. We're on our third, a three gallon Eclipse, which I plunked down in my little office. So far, it's home to a piece of Mopani wood and a variety of low-light plants. Because of its small size, I won't put a fish in it, but maybe I'll look for a few shrimp. Even though there are no critters, it's nice to watch the plants grow in a constant 78 degree temperature.
My current project: Spa Wash Cloths from Weavezine. I'm using Hempathy as the warp, and 100% hemp yarn as the weft.
These two weekend splurges, I mean totally necessary purchases, were crafted by area weavers. Susan Johnson of Avalanche Looms (blog | shop) wove the gorgeous wrist warmers (no two alike!). The sock-baby-doll-in-a-nest (braided of vintage fabric) is made by Joanne Adragna Shird. Super adorable, must-haves for the season.
Merry Christmas to me, about six weeks early.
What's new? A Glimakra Emilia stand! It was delivered this morning, along with a second 10 dent heddle and a second heddle kit. I was able to swap out the big desk in my work area, and I replaced it with this half-size desk we happened to have sitting around. The new stuff in my room actually inspired me to tidy up–although I have some clutter in a few of those cubes–but now my yarn is all in its proper place in the organizer I bought this summer. Extra heddles are corraled by a cool sunflower napkin holder. Also on the top of the organizer is a neat Norwegian band loom, or grindvev, I picked up at a local thrift store. It's quite a treasure that I'll blog about another day.
My mini inkle loom was made by Mac's Traditional Shop. It's just 16" long, and it can make about a 40" to 50" band. Isn't it cute? I have yet to finish my first sample. I made some beginner mistakes warping, and after struggling for about half an hour, it occurred to me that I didn't know how to use an inkle loom! And so I went to Youtube and watched a few videos, and then returned to the loom with a new perspective.
The top of my organizer also holds my sewing kit and a wooden bird, carved for me by my husband 20 years ago this coming Christmas. It's one of my priceless treasures.
I actually did organize my office… and then it got messy again… and then it was so hot I didn't want to weave… But now it's a lovely 75 degrees and I was inspired to tidy it up. I bought an shelf organizer thing from Target and have found it a good place to store yarn and supplies. It's a little bit cluttered but I don't mind in the least. I like having my chicken pincushion, all my Weave-Its, and yarn handy. Speaking of yarn, that's all of it, with two of the square bins also about half-full. I've never purchased yarn for yarn's sake–I tend to buy it for projects and use it up. The bins are full of small amounts left over. Any full skein was purchased for a project that never materialized. Now that I have a loom, though, I think a little differently, and I can see myself purchasing ahead of time.