It finally warmed up a little and I was really ready to fly some kites. It had been over two weeks since I had put a kite in the sky. Then the “Sunday Curse” occurred. Blue skies, bright sun and absolutely no wind. Not even enough to make the sea oats tremble. The weather prediction was for low winds so I had the light wind kite bags out. I even dug out the fighter kites which I don’t know how to fly but was hoping for a lesson or two. Instead I stayed home and planned out the banner tail for the Solar Flier kite
The next two days were nothing but rain, with predictions for two more wet days. Perfect days for sewing up the tail. I decided to edge bind the tail so it would have the same appearance as the kite itself. This either makes me a glutton for punishment or my sewing skills have progressed enough over the past few years that sewing 1/4 inch binding for over sixty feet doesn’t bother me any more. After two intense days in front of the sewing machine, the tail is done. All thirty-four feet of it.
The question now is whether to appliqué matching emblems on the tail or leave it plain teal with a yellow taper end. The little suns would only be four inches across which poses an extra challenge to sewing. Of course, my kite-builder friends say it needs something to break up the long teal color. I may try a sample on scrap material and, if it goes well, add suns to the banner tail. But, believe me, I’m in no hurry. In the meantime…
Fair Winds All
The community fly day came with a clear blue sky, a bright sun and an empty beach. However, it also had a cold temperature and no wind. Probably would have flown despite the cold if there would have been some wind. Instead the day was spent in front of the sewing machine.
Six panels needed to be appliquéd before leaving for the Maryland Kite Society’s Kitebuilders Retreat. So the afternoon was spent pushing material through the sewing machine and praying that I wouldn’t make any serious mistakes or the machine wouldn’t jam up on me. Last year, the worse happened and my machine ended up in the repair shop mere four days before leaving for the workshop. This year, happily, everything ran smoothly.
All six panels were sewn and the excess material was cut away on three of them. Things were gong so smoothly, I kept looking over my shoulder waiting for something to happen. It was just going too good. The last of the panels were cut away the next day. And, amazingly, after having a late start, I was finished early.
So now I just have to get all of my supplies, tools and miscellaneous together and ready to put on the truck. And take a last look at the weather to figure out what clothes to pack. It is going to be even colder. I just hope there isn’t going to be a snowstorm while we’re there. It’s been a while since I’ve driven in snow and I know I’m out of practice.
Fair Winds All
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.