Monday, November 10, 2008

Fall Is In Full Swing

Sigh! The lazy days of summer are gone. Fall has descended upon us in a hurry, and time seems to be flying by! Halloween is forgotten and Thanksgiving is nearing us. I have been so busy with kids/school, birthdays, anniversary, appointments, knitting, and getting together with friends that I have not posted. So I have posted some pictures of what I have been up to.

Pretty isn't it! That is the Mendocino Coast. These pictures were a short walk from the cabin my husband and I celebrated our one year anniversary in, last month! It was a very nice weekend filled with wine tasting, window shopping, and nice dinners. Remember This?

How about now?Yes I finished the NobHill Shrug from Knitty. I have lots of left over yarn, so a hat and possibly a scribble type shawl maybe in the works. I also finished spinning the Nancy Finn Merino my mother purchased for me from Knit Purl in Portland. I started working on my fleece study,

but it has been pushed to the side temporarily, ever since I went to Color. Then there was a proud mommy/sister moment as my son, and both my brothers spent the day testing in Wing Tsun. Woo Hoo! Brad made level 1 student! My baby bro made level 6 student! and my middle bro well he is level 10-2 now! Closing in on master level one! It was a long day for all, here is a pic of Brad when we got home. In a moment of play, he ran his hands through his hair and put on his step-fathers glasses, LOL!

So after the Color Fiber Festival and learning the basics of carding from Kristine. I broke out some camel/silk I purchased this summer at her studio sale and started to spin.

It is as soft and shimmery as it looks, I also learned. My friend Marie, told me she had been using her left over singles to practice her Navajo Plying, I thought it a stellar idea. So the last bit I had left, I Navajo Plied and I learned something. I like the camel/silk better in a three ply. It is so soft, it does not develop little bumps. In retro spec I wish I had Navajo Plied all of it!

One of my purchases at Color came from Pan's Garden..... Kettle dyed BFL.....with my new carding skills, the above is becoming this.Which I am spinning woolen long draw into this.I see Navajo Plying in it's future! To top everything off BadCat Designs has come up with a new knit for us! Autumn in NY triangle shawl using a long stripping color way like Noro Silk Garden Sock or Kureyon Sock. I am using the Kureyon Sock in colorway S229 A. This is a pic of charts A&B completed. I am currently working on chart C which she posted on Friday.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Booties Are Done!

The booties are finished! Finding buttons was a challenge, but I think the trains are cute. The hat is a simple pattern I found on the internet, I think using both yarns from the booties and getting a tweed effect was a good choice.

Funny Share

Recently I received this from my step mom, she's funny! I have to say it made me laugh out loud. Then it made me grateful that my Molly girl has never done this, but then again she is not left alone and I don't leave my knitting out.

Last week while at the grocery store my teen sons were up to mischief. When I returned I found they were dressing up Molly.
Can you say " I wanna be a cowgirl"? I was told no funny clothes on the dog, while game on. Knitting For Dogs has been marinating on the bookshelf since May. I think it is time to do a little doggie knitting!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fleece Study!

Look what the mail carrier brought today!
Do I start with the cleanest? dirtiest? Ones with least amount of lanolin? Long staple? short staple? Do I just dive in and have fun? Note to self-in the future-if I buy a fleece it will have been coated and skirted, 'cause, wooo! weeee! do some of them smell, gracious me!

In need Of Some Quickies

After finishing the Summer Sampler I have been in need of a quick knit. These were just the ticket. Although not finished yet, I will finish them this weekend, so I can move on to a hat to go with them. It was also time to start my mood board. This was inspired by a trip last Thanksgiving to the Oregon Coast. It was so difficult to decide on which pictures, since there are hundreds!
My first hand spun was inspired by a shell from that trip.
It was the first time in way too many years to count that I spent Thanksgiving with my father and his lovely wife. It was also Molly Dog's first big run free at the beach for a week trip, she was 8 1/2 months old. The camel/silk I spun reminds me of my father, the one person in this world who gets me more then anyone, we creatively think alike. He also has this amazing ability with just a look, a certain look, that gets me to go along with whatever crazy idea he has in mind. It usually ends up being something fun, silly and full of laughter and adventure. So once I put all of it together, I ran for my stash of fiber and yarn. Right to left Camel/Silk, Alpaca/Silk & yummy soft Cotton.
Then I grabbed these. Left to right A soft chunky Alpaca, which I might make into Morning side Neck Warmer by Brooklyntweed , a blue green cotton/silk, maybe into a mobius shawl and 1300 yrds of soft 3 ply Alpaca I am undecided about.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Never Ending Knit is Finished!

Done! Over! Finished! Moving on! Whew! LOL! What a great experience knitting the Summer Sampler Shawl with BadCatDesigns has been. I learned so much for the lovely Andrea! Thank you! I look forward to knitting more of her designs. So here are some photos.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Good Girl Gone Bad!

I have been trying so hard to stick to my plan, be disciplined, follow through. It has been 10 days since my new wheel arrive, my shawl is still not finished, but I have been practicing spinning on my wheel. I thought I could stick to it, just spin the Corriedale. I was doing well, spinning a heavy worsted weight. three skein I spun and plied into 2 plies. I have 2 lbs of the stuff, gees. Then it started... I decided to spin smaller, just one skein, no big deal, a 2 ply fingerling. Eight bobbins of singles, four skeins of yarn, it was time to take a break, focus on knitting. I made it 2 days and the collapse began....This little voice. You know you want to spin. I ignored it, then I saw a beautiful 2 ounces of Bombyx Silk roving in shades of purple at Llama Llama Knits. I tried to be strong... The little voice came back, you know you want to spin the Merino/Silk in shades of purple,white,burgundy.... I could not take it. I broke out the wheel and spun and spun. Before I knew it I was racing back to the yarn shop and purchasing the Silk.
The Merino/Silk Became this..... and then the Silk..... Voila! I spun the two singles together.
I know I am addicted, I just had to spin. This morning I was checking my stash and worrying, I might run out of fiber. LOL! I know I am being silly. It is just so much fun to spin, I absolutely love it!
Now I can spin some more Corriedale and wait for another 2oz of silk to arrive, so I can spin the rest of the Merino. I only used 1/2 of the 4 oz's I had. Then I will have enough yarn (approx 350 yards) to make something beautiful.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Molly Approves The Sonata

Earlier then expected the door bell rang. Molly runs for the door, as I open the door and see the box, I just smile. Molly could not stop sniffing the box, it did travel through 6 UPS stations to reach us. Trying not to trip over her, I get it inside. Hmmm, small frown, the box was torn open and taped back up, but my hopes are high.

I guess companies don't know that when you put a fragile sticker on a box, USPS & UPS interpret that as drop kick!

I knew it would come nestled in a nice padded case... So out it came.

Since Molly was a pup we have worked with her on her shyness. Sometimes statues scare her and she gets worked up, barking and such. The first time she did that, I have to admit, I laughed so hard I cried..... Anything new has to be thoroughly investigated. First inspection- hmm seems okay.I unwrapped it, more sniffing............

Mom it might be okay, but I can't be sure............

Alright! We can share a chewie with it....................

She almost changed her mind when it started to move..................., so I took this video.

Finally I was able to try my Sonata. I love the smooth treadling. Super easy to stop and reverse direction. So I made my first yarn on a wheel. I am addicted!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Academy Of Science!

I have to say it was so worth the wait! I will be visiting it many more times. The new Academy Of Science is a mixture of the old and the new and so much more!

Bless my husband, he is a good man! He signed us up for a membership, so today we went to a member preview. My loving husband at the last minute could not make it, he is 1/2 way to Oregon picking up his booth for his trade show next week, more about that later.

Early this morning I kicked my teenage sons out of bed and off he headed for San Francisco. It was so much fun! I felt like I was 10 yrs old again. Anyone who lives in the BayArea the Academy will be free to the public during it's grand opening September 27 & 28, then it will be free the third Wednesday of every month. Please encourage your PTA's to fund field trips. For children in groups of 15 who live in San Francisco it is free and for all other's it will be $4.95 a student. If I sound like a spokes woman, well I am. I feel it is very important for our youth to be encouraged to explore Art & Science.

I took many photos and my son (who has a better video camera) took even more photos and videos. For now this link has only mine, but either tonight or the next couple of days I will add his. Enjoy! Update:9/22/08 I have added my son's photos, please keep in mind he is an enthusiastic young photographer.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chihuly and Beyond

Last week I went to San Francisco for the day with my mom. She wanted to see the exhibit at the Legion of Honor, when we got there, it was packed. It was not the first Tuesday, which is free and crazy crowded, it was the second Tuesday, what gives? I still don't know why so many people were there. We made a last minute change and dashed for the DeYoung Museum hoping to see the Chihuly Exhibit . Not crowded and we walked right in, being a member, sometimes makes this easy. Well it did not disappoint! It was awesome, breath taking, wow! For me Museums are a venue for creative energy, I find inspiration and renewed interest in designing. So what follows are several photos I took.
These were spectacular! This photo does not do them justice. They are huge! The rooms were black, with spot lights on the glass, my little digital camera can only do so much.

This is the garden. The black and green pieces remind me of swans.

After the museum we headed to Sutter Street, anyone know what is there?...

Upon our arrival we had lunch at Cafe Metropol. It was nice, I have never had a vanilla lemonade before, I really enjoyed the unique taste. This Cafe is just steps away from guessed ArtFibers. I was in search of Triple Cheese Cake for the Nobhill Shrug. I love Artfibers' yarns, but as we all know they get discontinued them quickly. So I was in hunt of a replacement and this came as a suggestion Chanteuse for the body and Udon for the accent. I know, I know I have not finished the summer sampler yet. I have finished the 3rd corner and I am working on the second long side, the finish is in site. I was temporarily derailed, I could not help myself! Just look at this chunky monkey squeezable goodness. The need for something quick and Fall like consumed me. I blame it on the wool fumes, I was weak, just for a moment.

Now back to the Summer Sampler, I swear it will be done soon!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

California Wool and Fiber Festival

Friday I hopped in my car, cranked up the music and hit the highway for a long drive to Boonville for the California Wool & Fiber Festival. In Marin it was foggy and crisp. I had no idea how much fun Hwy 128 would be in my Mini, half way between Cloverdale and Boonville the fog was breaking up with the promise of a beautiful day. Before I knew it I was at the Mendocino Fair Grounds. The roadway was lined with cars, so I parked in the paid parking area. Boonville is full of nice, cordial, smiling people, it was refreshing to know that less then two hours from the BayArea people are not in a hurry, more then willing to take the time to talk to you. It gave me the feeling of being far away from the busy suburban area in which I live .
Online the fiber festival did not mention, that is part of the County Fair! Cotton Candy,Corn Dogs and wine tasting I personally opted for a softy ice cream since it was sunny and warm.
I made my way to the building with the Fiber Vendors and the Fleece judging was under way.
Not that I know anything about raw fleece and how it is judged. I would assume staple length and texture have something to do with it. It was facinating to watch for a while, all smiles and seriousness. As a new spinner I am not ready to tackle a fleece, I leave that to those of you know what your looking for. So I walked around drooling over spinning wheels, touching fibers and watching the Owner of Merry Meadows Farm .... machine card fibers. I decided to purchased some of her Corriedale/Romney fibers. I have not spun this type of wool yet and it feels very soft, so I thought I would expand my knowledge of wools and what I like. I also purchased some Merino wool and Silk blend from CarolineHomespun , Morgaine is very nice! and the price was very resonable.
So off to class I went, there were 5 of us from Sacramento, Oxidental, Walnut Creek, Ornida and Novato. Two of the ladies had wheels and spun regularly, two had never spun before and recieved a quick lesson on a spindle.
Nancy Finn of Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks is great! I had so much fun in her class, she taught us all about silk and where it comes from. We went home with samples of different kinds.
We learned about coccons (sorry to any vegans who are reading) both wild and cultivated, Tussah Silk, and Silk Hankies. How to handle the hankies, dye them, what kind of dye to use and how to set the dye. I have not dyed silk before, so I found the class to be very informative. Dying the Hankies brought smiles all around. I was transported back to finger painting as a child.
I want to thank all the ladies in my class for a wonderful day, what a nice group of women! I apologize for the shaky group picture. The child within took over when I entered the fair and I did not eat lunch.

Next post will have some of the results of my dying, spinning and knitting with Nancy's fibers....