Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Forest of Knitting Needles

Today I got a whole bunch of knitting needles marked and straightened. Got a whole lots of point grinding to do tomorrow. I will also be forming some cable needles around into an R shape.
I went to the Free Store today. It is like a free rummage sale in which people continually bring stuff in while people continually take stuff out. I got a radio-tape-player-cd-player. It seemed to work OK. I got a swell thing for the top of a chimney. One of those whirley things that keeps out downdrafts & helps the stove draw. And I got a small weber grill. Some nice candles for a friend. Oh, I got a lamp that the base is a miniature cast iron woodstove. I will take the lamp stuff off it & save the stove in my miniature furniture stash. I got a dollhouse size park bench. I got books. Some beads. I'm sure I got lots more stuff, but I left it all in the car because it was raining. The freestore is also called The Take It Or Leave It. Also Neil's Mall. After Neil Hansen who founded it at the transfer station. We should have a bronze statue of Neil in the village! I wrote a comic book about the free store and Lopez and Oz (as in Wizard of, not as in Australia) but have yet to print copies to sell.
I got some really good letters today from people with whom I did trades. I traded my knitting needles for their hand knit socks in natural fibers. Boy, do I have the best collection of gorgeous socks!!! I am the Imelda Marcos of socks! I had to stop doing the trade because I got overwhelmed. So the Great Sock Trade of '06 is over, but who knows about next year? Meanwhile people are really happy with the trade. We put photos of the socks on our web site.
I'm going to put a paperdoll I designed up on the web site soon, too. Its of Susanna Swan, my sister, with 29 imaginative outfits. Soooooon.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Day in the Smithy

This is my first personal blog. It is to babble on about what is happening at the smithy here at Celtic Swan Forge.
Today I managed to incise triskeles in some bone cabochons. I only stabbed myself once with the graver. I made a jig to hold the cab. It works well, so I am going to order more bone cabs. I will be setting them in the tops of knitting needles I have forged out of bronze rod. If you have any interest in what I'm doing you can see various photos at I will post stuff on here as I get that together. My husband is also a metalsmith, and is out in the smithy now doing some yarn needles and crochet hooks.
Today I got a special order for a silver two-pronged hair pin. And a silver Celtic brooch set with lapis. That should be fun. I do lots of Celtic broochs, penannular ones, but not many with stones set on them. Am thinking of setting the straight pins of some with the carved triskeles. Hi ho.

We tried out a draw plate for the first time today. Brought bronze rod down to the size to make #0 needles. But do I want to? Much more trouble, and they are already plenty of work.

Meanwhile.....I am 57, happily married, and live on a 40 acre farm on a little island in the Pacific Northwest, Washington State. It is very beautiful here. Most of the farm is in hay that someone else cuts. We have lots of cherry trees, some apple trees, and 2 sheep who are Sennybridge Welsh. They are Lillibette and Petunia, and I am smitten with them.