Thursday, May 29, 2008

Suheir Zaki and her glorious down hips

A vintage video for your viewing pleasure...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

black tulips

Oops, sorry for the lack of posts lately. How did that happen?? Time is passing by too quickly, but also too slowly... one more month at the Mothership and each day is draaaaaaaaaagging on.

For your amusement, here are some photos from my commute. I was going to post only one photo of the tulips, but I love them so much that I'm putting them all up.

Another duck in a fountain - this time at the Rogers Centre (Skydome)

Black tulips beside Steam Whistle Brewing

Monday, May 19, 2008


My name is Lanicraft and I have a moth problem.

The house has a moth problem. I think they were in the carpet when we moved in and we have never gotten rid of them. Sometimes they are invisible, except for the holes in our clothes, and sometimes they are flying all over, or crawling on our sweaters, or otherwise grossing us out. (finding a moth larva on a sweater you ARE CURRENTLY WEARING will give you the creepy crawlies for a long time.) They are only supposed to like wool, but I have found holes in cotton clothing and acrylic yarn. My moths aren't picky - they eat anything. Ugh.

Unfortunately, T-man and I are not disciplined enough to vacuum daily, under all the furniture, dry clean all our sweaters (or bake them in the oven), and don't have enough room to freeze/thaw them to stop the moth life cycle. I don't think that we will ever be totally rid of them, but we do try to discourage them with cedar and lavender (and we do vacuum! just not daily).

In an attempt to protect my recent stash additions, I decided to pack up the yarn with some moth deterrents. Step one: zip top bags and cheap soap.

Step two: make sachets with soap and lavender.

Old tights or pantyhose come in handy for this project.

Step three: pack yarn in bags with sachets.

I didn't have enough old pantyhose to make sachets for my entire stash, so I tucked the extra bars of soap in the other bags of yarn.

For the record, the soap and lavender (and cedar) will not kill or get rid of moths, but the scent deters them from laying eggs and feeding their family with your woolen items. When the weather gets warm enough, I'm going to pack all my sweaters into black garbage bags and let them cook in the sun for a while. That should actually kill the eggs and larva.

Thanks to the Ravelry forums for all the tips.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

ducks in fountain

There is a condo that I pass on my way to work (I walk by several condos on my commute - more than I care to count) that recently turned on its fountain or water feature or whatever-it's-called. And promptly attracted some feathered loiterers:

This duo has been swimming about and accepting snacks for a few days now. (You can just see the female in the background.)

They are right across the street from the lake, but I don't blame them for preferring the clean water in the fountain to the toxic soup that is Lake Ontario.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Forest nymph crochet bikini top pattern

Here's my Forest nymph crochet bikini top pattern...

Materials: worsted weight yarn (wool or acrylic), 10 mm crochet hook, 5.5 mm crochet hook
Size: Small (Medium)

With 10 mm hook, chain 30(34), turn.
Dc in 4th ch from hook, *ch 1, skip 1 ch, dc in next ch* repeat across. Ch 4, turn.
Dc in first ch-1 space, *ch 1, dc in next ch-1 space* repeat across. Ch 4, turn.
You should have 12(14) ch-1 spaces.

To make the "cups":
Dc in first ch-1 space, [ch 1, dc in next ch-1 space] 5(6) times. Ch 4, turn.
You have worked halfway across the row.

Dc2tog, [ch 1, dc in next ch-1 space] 2(3) times, dc2tog. Ch4, turn.
Dc2tog, [ch 1, dc in next ch-1 space] 0(1) time, dc2tog. Ch4, turn.
Small size: Dc2tog once.
Medium size: Dc2tog, [ch 1, dc in next ch-1 space] once . Ch4, turn. Dc2tog once.
Switch to 5.5 mm hook. Chain 25(35) for neck tie. Cut yarn.

Attach yarn at edge of work for the second "cup". Ch 4, then work second cup as above.

Side ties and edging:
With 5.5 mm hook, ch 30(40). Switch to 10 mm hook and sl st in bottom right hand corner of the top. Ch2, *sl st in next ch-4 space, *ch 4*, repeat around, end ch 2, sl st in bottom left hand corner of the top. Switch to 5.5 mm hook and chain 30(40) for side tie. Cut yarn. Weave in ends.

Wear over a bikini top, halter, tank top or choli. Add leaves, vines, and flowers as desired.

If y'all make the pattern, please let me know how it goes! (i.e. did I omit something important?) I'd love to see your pics!

more bellydance crochet

I made more crochet accoutrements! My level III class performed asaya (cane) to Ya Shok by Hakim at the May hafla. The theme for the hafla was "forest nymphs and nature spirits". I was thinking green and brown and leafy and mossy and woody. Not especially feminine and bellydancey. Hrm.

There was some green acrylic yarn in the stash, so I whipped up a freeform crochet bikini top type thing, to be worn over a tank top or halter. The freeform ruffle looked leafy. I brought it to class and people liked it, so I made crochet tops for the class and a few headbands. (It helped that our teacher gave me some more yarn.) There was no way I could do them all freeform - it sounds silly, but it's harder to make it up as you go along than to work from a pattern.

(leaves and vines are optional)

The pattern will be in its own post. For something so easy to make, it sure was hard to write up the pattern! Actually, they weren't THAT easy to make - I gave myself RSI from practicing the cane choreography, zylls and crocheting! Too much wrist! :( But I was all healed up for the performance, thanks to ice and arnica and rest.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

i'm alive!

Still alive and kicking.... I've just been really busy lately. Had two bellydance performances on Saturday: one in Burlington with the troupe and a class recital in Toronto at Funkabelly. Both went really well! Leleleleleleleleeeee! I had a lot of fun performing with the class at Funkabelly. More details to come...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

centre pull ball.

how to make a center pull ball from knits with balls.

I've been tempted to buy a ball winder, even though I don't really need one since I don't often buy skeins of yarn and I'm OK with hand wound balls that roll around on the floor. (it's fun for the cats!) However, this method produces a nice yarn cake and it's DIY!

Found via Ravelry.