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?
Fair Winds All
All week long it was sunny or moderately so. Then our community kite fly day arrives and it rains. We have had enough rain this past fall and winter to last an entire year or more. The only good thing about poor weather is that it forces me to get back to kite building. I’ve had a pattern on my computer for quite a while now and have decided to put it on a rokkaku. To make things a little easier, the width of the rokkaku is going to be the width of my fabric. That way the sides will be parallel and I only have to cut the top and bottom points when the design is done. And I only have to worry about centering the design side to side when I’m transferring it to the material. Centering top to bottom can be done later.
It will be a little tricky working on this kite as it is larger than my work table. After making the modified edo, I told myself I wouldn’t make anymore large kites. An yet, here I am again. It will be approximately four feet by six feet, give or take an couple of inches. I’m going to use a Ray Wong rokkaku as a plan for framing and bridling. His always fly well and that may reduce some of my trial and error later.
I really wanted to do this kite in the blue that was on the drawing. However, I don’t have a good middle hue blue that would work. So I’ve decided on a teal and a golden yellow. Don’t panic! The branches and bird accents will still be black. You’ll just have to wait to see what the golden yellow is for.
And so the project begins. Wish me luck.
Fair Winds All.
The Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone. This year we did have the time to go to the beach and fly some kites. Unfortunately, the wind was high and coming from the mainland, passing over homes and condos before reaching the beach. The result was gusty, “squirrelly” winds. Not very conducive to dong much flying. Sometimes it seems we just can’t get a break and have a good flying day.
Did my best to fly a White Bird dragon kite. Usually one I can depend on in higher winds. This day, however, I spent most of the time picking it off the sand and relaunching.
What made this day special was the inaugural flight of the Peter Lynn Manta Ray, a recent purchase by some good friends. It was not the best day to attempt flight but, as most of you may know, when you get something new you just have to put it in the air. It is really an impressive kite with its black and white pattern and its blue eyes.
We missed the Sunday community kite fly. It was a little chilly and the grandchildren were visiting. It was a joy to have them with us and we did visit Fort Macon with them. From there we saw the kites in the sky. And a pretty impressive show it was with quite a few Randy Tom art kites in the air. Hopefully next weekend will be a better weekend and we can put some kites in the sky ourselves.
Fair Winds All.
We finally made it to a local community kite fly. The winds were low to moderate which made it hard to decide what kites to haul down to the beach. As we get older, we find ourselves only picking two or three kites to fly and not pulling the cart with a ton of stuff. Most times we make the right picks but sometimes we don’t have the right stuff and have to decide whether to walk back to the truck and change kites or not. This day we picked kites that would fly at least for a while. Until the wind died completely.
Weather-wise it was a great day to sit on the beach and watch the waves, the birds, the boats and, of course, the kites. Temperature was comfortable with a hoodie and there was sunshine, blessed sunshine. Just a small group of the regular flyers were there. So relaxing.
I did put up my kite show kit. I love how I can handle the lifter and all the associated line laundry by myself. The lower winds actually added a new aspect to the kite show. The crab was often just barely above the ground, so it looked like he was scuttling across the sand instead of flying above it. I also flew a new delta kite. Really wanted to put the tube tails on it but the wind was not quite strong enough.
Some of the serious stunt kite flyers may take offense but there are times when it is just seems like too much work to put out the lines and assemble a stunt kite. This was one of those days. The quad line kite stayed in the bag. Instead time was spent visiting.
Hopefully we will have the chance to fly on Thanksgiving Day before feasting. We will see.
Fair Winds All
My new kite from Peter Lynn of New Zealand arrived just before the festival. Unfortunately, the winds were too high for me to fly it. So in the middle of the week we made a trip to the beach to put it in the air for the first time. It is really a kite show in a bag. It is made up of a lifter kite and a fish, a skate and a crab to hang from the flying line. I was a little nervous as I never had flown anything like this before but I’m not nervous anymore. It was a breeze to put up and really looked great. I couldn’t stop smiling.
Just like the Carolina Kite Festival this past weekend, the winds were high for the weekly community kite fly. According to a couple different weather apps, the winds were supposed be on the high side in the morning, dropping to more manageable speeds as noon approached. Well, they had it wrong again. The winds only picked up as the day progressed. Since we hadn’t unpacked the kites from the truck after the festival, we were able to select some kites which could handle the wind. And the kites of choice were a variety of deltas.
Another type of kite which handled higher winds is the dragon. And the White Bird dragons flown by our friend Steve added to the show.
For the first time in months, I got out one of my quad line kites, the Vertigo Max, vented for higher winds. Stunt kite flying is a lot like riding a bicycle. You never really forget how to fly, you just get a little rusty. And it all comes back quickly. It made for a fun morning.
Fair winds All