The Stay-At-Home order came down. Except for essential errands, we are to stay home and away from other places and other people to help stop the spread of the virus. While you would think this would give me lots of time to get things done around the house and yard and work on my kite projects. Instead, the lack of any type of deadline only increases my tendency to put things off. And so, this weeks post is late. Sorry.
I have started the Giant Hata kite. The main sail is black and is 60″ by 60″. That was a challenge on my narrow table. It was only made harder because my supposedly 60″ roll of fabric was really 61.5″. So instead of making just one long cut, I had to trim one side as well.
The pattern for this kite is a variation of the sun theme I used on my Maryland Kite Society build. Only this is going to be a sun/moon. The pattern was traced onto the yellow fabric and the white moon fabric laid over it. Then it was sew the outline and cut away the excess.
Add a face and position and sew the sun onto the sail and I’m on to the actual construction.
As for actual kite flying, I have a couple of places in mind to try to put a kite or two up. While the “powers that be” say you should only be out for essential trips, kite flying is essential to my mental health. I find it soothing to watch my creations floating in the sky. So when I give it a try, let’s hope I don’t get arrested for trespassing.
Well, the virus has caught up with us. The beaches have been shut down. The State Park is closed. There isn’t another good place to fly here. All of the school play fields and the soccer fields are surrounded by buildings and trees. Until I can find another suitable place, I must find an alternative. And that alternative is kite building.
So I have two projects on the table. Although I really don’t need more projects as there are a couple of unfinished projects and about half a dozen repairs already on the table. I guess I just enjoy appliqué over repair and frame construction.
So I’ve got to get the new patterns on paper in the actual size I need. That, in itself, was a project. First I had to get the designs off my computer and onto an SD card. That was easy. Next I had to get them traced onto large sheets of paper. Well, I don’t have paper large enough so I had to piece segments of paper together. After taking a picture down, I taped the paper to the now blank wall.
Then I set up my LED projector, plug in the data card containing the image files, and display them onto the paper. This takes up some time as I’m moving the projector back and forth until the image is displayed the required size. It was quite the balancing act.
Finally I could trace the designs onto the paper. Now I’m ready to cut fabric and plan out the appliqué sequences. Looks like I’ll be on my knees as the plans are bigger than my table. Thank goodness the living room has carpeting and I have a couple large cutting mats.
The other is a older kite style that I found in an old kite book, Kite Flight by Jack Botermans and Alice Weve. It’s called the Russian Giant. This book was published in 1986 and the framing instructions call for dowels. I’m going to try and adapt it to either carbon or fiberglass rods. We’ll see how that goes.
So we’ve had two days in a row of kite flying. Can you believe it? One was the community kite fly day and the other was a day too beautiful to stay home.
The weekly community fly started out chilly. It never really warmed up much but was rather pleasant since the wind was low. No wind chill. Yes, the wind was low so it somewhat restricted what kites I flew. I pulled out two of my go-to light wind kites bag. The Skate by Into The Wind and the Dunton-Taylor Box. Both jumped around in the sky as the wind was coming out of the north and having to pass over and between the beach houses. tried to fly my Emong, a glider kite by Flying Wings, but it preferred to glide back down rather than catch the wind and climb.
It just felt so good to be back on the beach with kites in the air. A sure sign spring will arrive soon and we will be flying more often. And, believe it or not, the following day was even better.
The temperature jumped up at least ten degrees and the wind picked up and came off the ocean. The best kind of kite flying wind. We put off a few of the household chores and headed back to the beach. This time with the intention of flying some new acquisitions.
This was to be the inaugural flight of the cellular kite I built at the Maryland Kite Society Workshop. I named it Sunshine (for obvious reasons). And I wanted to fly the mermaid kite I made at the Keystone Kiter’s Workshop last year, the Tametomo. She hadn’t seen much air time.
During the Maryland workshop, we picked up some kites to add to our collection. And, of course, we had to put them up as soon as we possibly could. John got a square-headed Skydog dragon kite. It has the Skydog logo on it and matches his Skydog rokkaku kite. I got a Joel Schulz parrot kite by Go Fly A Kite. Both are in perfect condition. And both loved the wind and looked great.
Here’s hoping for more perfect flying days to come.
The weather has truly been against us as far as the community kite fly. And this day was no exception. Early morning rain, cloudy skies and high winds made it dark and gloomy and questionable for flying. However, there were a couple of desperate people who were willing to take a chance and put a kite in the air. I got some heavier line and flew my Illusion delta with its tube tails. It handled the winds very well. My flying buddy put up the little Spinner kite. It just hung in the gusty winds and spun itself into a blur. The line vibrated in a shallow repeating shallow sine curve. It really is a fun little kite. Because the temperature was mild, people were out walking the park. And that little kite drew a lot of attention.
The kite build I began in the last post has been put on hold. Instead, I am going to the Maryland Kite Society’s Kitemakers Retreat in Ellicott City, MD next month. I’ve never been to this four-day kite building marathon and am nervously looking forward to it. Several of my kite builder friends have been encouraging me to go, so this year instead of going to Kitemania in Florida, we’re going north. The featured presenter is Ron Gibian and I will be making a kite of his design. This is the 40th retreat so there are going to be some special activities. The gem for a 40th anniversary is the ruby. So one of the events is to build something with the anniversary/ruby theme. So I am starting a banner with ruby gems on it.
This banner was meant to be, as a friend of mine was clearing out her stash of fabric and gave me some large pieces of nylon banner material. And, by coincidence, they were red and black. I’m hoping this turns out well as I’ve never made a banner before. So I’ve checked out some banner patterns and instructions and examined some commercial banners to see how they’re made. I think my idea will work. Keep your fingers crossed.
The Beanie Babies as weights idea was stolen from another kite builder friend. My bean bag weights were packed away and I have two drawers full of these little creatures courtesy of my grown daughter. Like most children, they leave half of their “stuff” behind when they move out to live their own lives. I hung on to these and will have them for the grandchildren when they come to visit. Maybe I can send them home a couple at a time until the drawers are empty. Or at least reduced down to only the ones I’m using as weights. What do you think?