November is coming, and with it, NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. During the month of November, NaNo-ers write 50,000 words on a draft of a novel – some more, some less, and the madness that ensues is infectious.
I wish we had a NaKnitMo, National Knitting Month. Wouldn’t that be awesome?
I was lamenting recently to Rachel Wilder, my partner in writing crime, that my stash is reaching epic proportions. I typed up what’s under the bed in bins and showed her pictures of my shelves in my office, which overflowed from the huge apparatus over there to the top of the filing cabinet over here.
Unperturbed, she said, “Just think of it as hours of pre-paid entertainment.”
In celebration of that, I figured I’d share a few of the things I’m working on or have recently finished.
This is an Ojo de Dios, or “Eye of God.” Made by the Huichol peoples of South America, they are prayers of blessing and good fortune. Ojos are made and placed in the central village temple for blessings on a child, a new business venture, a marriage, and many other occasions.
This one was fun to make since I usually make much smaller ones. This one is about 12 inches on 1/2 inch dowel rods. I sanded the dowels and then stained them using a combination of varnish and stain. I skipped the recommended steel wool sanding in between the two coats and I think, in hindsight, I wish I had done it; on the next project I will use that as part of the preparation. Overall, though, I like how the dowels came out.
I used a large, bulky yarn with an overdye pattern, which is what accounts for the color variations. I also varied the weave in making the ojo itself, which is what accounts for the visibility of the dowel in the middle of the design in parts.
At the October Nightweavers meeting, a chapter of the Weavers Guild of the North Shore, we made snowflakes for the upcoming Fine Art of Fiber taking place at the Chicago Botanic Gardens November 8-10, 2013. The designs are surprisingly easy to put together and look quite pretty in white paper. I am across some colored origami paper that’s white on the back, so I decided to try the design using six sheets of that, instead.
The white added a depth to the snowflake that I didn’t anticipate and like very much. I think it would look pretty, and very different, when done on paper that has designs on both sides, especially if the designs aren’t identical.
I nipped its ear when I was punching a hole to hang it with; you can see it on the tip of the red ear here.
If you’re curious, the location where it hangs is the Pumping Station: One, a hackerspace here in Chicago. This is the art room and the view in the background is to one of the consoles for one of our 3-D printers.