Villa Escamp-Ventilation Tube Wedding Chapel

September 4, 2012 - Leave a Response

In an effort to keep ruminating on the yurt I wanted to post these great images of another crocheted structure that is a similar shape (though far larger) to what I’ll be building. This is part of Villa Escamp, a sort of temporary City Hall at The Hague and this is its wedding chapel. It is crocheted out of over 2 kilometers of white flexible ventilation tubing.

Interestingly it is built within a glass enclosure. I love how it glows at night and looks almost cloud-like.

It was designed and completed by DUS Architects and I think it came out fabulously. I wonder what will happen to it afterwards.

Big News…All of the Wool is Clean

September 4, 2012 - Leave a Response

Wow, since the last time I wrote many things have happened. It’s been 18 months and just this weekend, while in NH for Labor Day, I went and picked up the last of the clean wool from the Fiber Dreams Mill. It’s amazing, and daunting. Over the last 2.75 YEARS, Jennifer has been faithfully cleaning the Icelandic and commercial Dorset wool I brought her. There were set back with a slight moth occupancy and of course, my wool was only some of the work that Jennifer was doing over this time period. But, at last, it’s clean, beautiful and ready to get Yurty. Also, my brother had a baby, Jack, who I dubbed Yurt Baby this weekend after throwing him in the pile of clean wool.

As my parents have been picking up a lot of the wool in installments, it has come to live in many of the far corners of our NH house. It has to be kept out of the way of prying mice and moths and not underfoot of my folks either. This is doable but when I went to organize it all in one place this weekend I discovered bags of batts in basically every closet, as per the above picture. Ultimately I got a bunch of it out of the house, but not nearly all of it. It’s so hidden that now I’d have to move furniture to get it out and that seemed a bit much for a photo opp. But hopefully the below photo gives everyone a sense of scale.

I’m all settled up with Jennifer (Thanks to all my Kickstarters) and I’m now trying to figure out the timing to get this going. I can’t start until I have the time to finish since I want to work with all of the felted cording while it’s still a bit damp….so I’m thinking next Summer I can plan for a month of straight felting and make this yurt dream a reality. Who’s with me?  Ahhh, anyway, it’s great to feel like there is progress again on this, I was starting to have self-doubt but I feel great now!

Agata Olek

March 28, 2011 - Leave a Response

As I twiddle my thumbs (around my crochet hook of course) and wait for the snow to melt so I can get felting, I can’t help but respect some other really awesomely huge knitters / crocheters like Agata Olek who has been making waves lately with her sweater for the Wall Street Bull.

Even though the bull was a tough act to follow as her holiday gift to NYC, Agata recently knit herself an apartment, literally.

Agata did this as an installation at the Christopher Henry Gallery, but it’s still livable as Curbed points out! Stay tuned for more updates on my yurt once the wool’s available as well as an upcoming book the yurt’s featured in!

Veggie Sheep

February 15, 2011 - Leave a Response

I was eating lunch at a restaurant in New York the other day and saw this super cute little sheep I meant to share immediately!

A sheep made of cauliflower, olives and beans! I like it!

Keep on Yurtin!

February 14, 2011 - Leave a Response

It has been so quiet on the yurt efforts I was getting a little sad but then, just a little while ago, I got the best blog comment of all from Jennifer of Fiber Dreams. Some of the wool was done and I could come pick it up! I ran right up to NH that weekend and dragged Mary and Laurel along to get the wool. 17 pounds is now clean and made with a blend of mostly Dorset with about 4 oz of Icelandic per pound! It’s so beautiful – just like a big wooly cloud!

Now while that might look like a lot of batts this is JUST the beginning, there are hundreds of more pounds to go but this should allow me to make roughly 170 feet of 2.5 inch diameter cord – not a bad start!

Long Winter

December 7, 2010 - Leave a Response

It has been a while since I updated here as the wool is all out of my hands! Jennifer is hard at work cleaning and blending the Dorset and Icelandic so I’m left to weather another winter with my smaller crochet work to keep me company! Soon enough though the bags of beautiful fluffy wool will return from the mill and I can get felting!

In the meantime I thought I’d share this awesome picture of a knitted tree I saw a few weekends ago in Baltimore! It was outside of a yarn store and looked like the tree was quite warm. More to come on the wool progress as I get updates. So far no news is good news and there’s still another dose of Icelandic yet to be delivered!

Good Friends, Good Clients

September 16, 2010 - One Response

Per usual I get a lot of sheep and yarn related photos via email from friends and clients traveling all over the world. Rare is it though that there’s a yurt image for someone to send but recently I got one from my dear friend Val.

Thrillist must have an app that lets you click what you should do with you life and they tell you! Very cool. Especially since they’re recommending that people live in a yurt, what an awesome directive to get! Shortly there after I got a photo in the mail from my client, Jerry, who thought of me on a business trip when he saw this sign.

Story of my life as you all well know. I’ve been a busy bee with the yarn lately as I’ve been trying to finish all of my rewards within a year! I know…it doesn’t sound very fast but I swear I’m working on them ALL the time! I should be able to be more productive now that Cady my yurtern is back in the mix – yay for helping hands. I’m not sure how I got so lucky on the friend and client front but keep the pictures coming!


August 12, 2010 - Leave a Response

I’m sure you have all been wondering, where’s the yurt?! Well, we’re making progress. The biggest issue we have is that we’re working with two different kinds of wool and we’re blending them to try to make the most felty combination. In order to do that we need to do some trials!

Those are each bags of one kind of wool, either Dorset or Icelandic. As you can see they’re much cleaner than they were a few weeks ago! That’s because Jennifer over at Fiber Dreams in Temple, NH gave them all a good washing. The Icelandic turned out to have quite a bit of lustre to it, it’s very pretty! I really was shocked at how white they all came out.

We took that washed wool and laid out some Icelandic and some Dorset on the conveyor belt going into the picker. The picker then got out some more of the vegetative matter and fluffed it all up a lot. The funniest part about the picker is that it throws the wool into a room behind it that just looks like it has clouds blowing through it!

That is wool, post-picker, just laying on the floor after it flew through the air. We then sprayed it with water and conditioner so that it was ready for the carder, a huge machine with tons of rollers in it.

The image above is of the backside of the picker, that’s where the wool flies through into the room. I’m not sure if you can tell but there are some gnarly teeth on that roller!

Once the wool was well conditioned we laid it out on the conveyor belt into the carder, which is a slow machine that rolls the wool around in it 16 times and gets out more debris. Once it goes through this process it’s as good as it’s going to get for my purposes. This machine spits out batts onto a roller at the end.

This is the backside of the carder, you can see towards the bottom the thin mesh of wool, that’s how it comes out of the machine and laid onto the batt.

The big white ball at the bottom is the batt itself! It’s ready for felting and, though it looks huge, that’s only ONE pound of wool…and I have hundreds. It took Jennifer and I about 90 minutes to measure, pick and card 2 pounds so for this project patience is a virtue! I’m having a bunch of people to NH this weekend and we’re going to play around with which version is feltier. Once we know we’ll have the rest of the wool done with that ratio of Dorset to Icelandic and get going on the yurt!

These cuties were standing by watching me leave, bahhing up a storm! So cute I had to take a pic, they are so fluffy in their coats!

The Yurt Alert Goes on Vacation — Guatemala Style

July 16, 2010 - Leave a Response

Pardon my absence from the blog — I’ve had a remarkably busy summer so far! Last week my mother and I traveled to Guatemala with my non-profit of choice, Build a Nest. We went to visit our micro-bartering groups in Guatemala City and the Lake Atitlan region. While Guatemala has low numbers of sheep and artisans work mostly in cotton I still managed to find me some sheepies to hang out with.

Aren’t they cute! They’re pretty big, right? They live int his little wooden hut that the group built for them up in the highlands! We met so many groups, some who were seamstresses and sewers in Guatemala City and some that are traditional backstrap weavers.

I had never seen backstrap weaving before and it is intense. I have no idea how they keep their tension right and sit light that on their knees for hours and hours. On our last day we went to the city of Antigua and visited another loan recipient of sorts, the Indigo Artes Textiles Center. We learned all about organic dying, weaving and more! And the funniest part was there was a group down there at the same time from Harrisville Designs where I buy all of my yurt rewards yarn!

Overall it was an amazing trip with lots of textiles-related activities! Now I’m back at work and trying to finish up my rewards for everyone — it’s taken much longer than I thought!

The Wool is Clean…sort of

June 9, 2010 - Leave a Response

Great progress was made on the yurt this Memorial Day! I took out all three HUGE bags of Dorset from the barn, set up a ramshackle skirting table and voila — we got to work. We listened to some good tunes and while my mom and dad tried to stay away and not help me at all they could resist. It was a team effort to get it all done before the rain rolled in!

That’s mom — and that’s one HUGE sheared sheep! It was the most wool I’d ever seen all connected together at once, that guy must have been a little fatty. Some of the wool was very clean and some of it was gnarly and had tons of hay in it. I tried my hardest to get the hay out but sometimes it was just too bad. I’m new to skirting so I wasn’t sure how much to remove but I think I got all the really bad stuff.

Look at that big pile of cleanish wool! We used the table to skirt, letting detritus fall below and then tossed the clean ones onto a tarp in the driveway. Needless to say, I got a little sunburned. It went quickly but not super fast.

Look how happy I am! That’s over 150 pounds of Dorset wool that’s going to soon be blended with our Icelandic! More to come, this is just the beginning!