Sunday, February 24, 2008

Stitches West 2008

Friday I attended my first yarn/fiber event. Stitches West held at the Santa Clara Convention Center, see here and here.
I had so much fun! Beautiful yarn was everywhere, it was a treat to the senses. I wish I had remembered my camera, as I stood and watched a woman spinning wool on to the largest bobbin I have ever seen. All the beautiful patterns, yarns, books and very nice people. Many women were wearing items they had knit. For those of you that are veterans, I am sure you are going Uh Ha and hopefully smiling. I was like a child at my first amusement park! It was so difficult to stick to a plan and purchase just what I had intended.
My first stop was Blue Moon Fiber Arts . I have been coveting one of their lace weight yarns called Geisha in a colorway called Valkyrie . I could not buy just one, I knew I needed two, once I touched it. The project in mind for this yarn is by Bad Cat Designs called The Veil of Isis. The pattern is free when you join her yahoo group. I know it is ambitious for a beginner, but I have time and patience on my side. I have to add when it was my turn to pay for my purchase, the women of Blue Moon Fiber Arts, smiled at me and said, " you will see." The look I gave her had a question all over it, the two of them exchanged a glace and then looked at me and said, " How addictive it is!" I could only smile from ear to ear, see I am already addicted!
My next stop was to Belisa Cashmere from Australia, I have not included the link, because it seems to be down. They have a story on how the cashmere goats came to Australia. I swear it is the softest cashmere I have ever touched. They were so nice to talk to! They gave a free pattern for a scarf with the purchase of a skein of yarn. The yarn did not feel as soft as the scarf and I asked if it would change. ( I am a rookie) This woman gathering arm fulls of the yarn turn and looked at, a sparkle in her eyes, she said, "it blooms as you knit it." I was hooked right then and there! next I made a stop I had not intended, the yarn fumes and visual assault broke down my will power! Beacon Yarn Cabin I purchased two skeins of Zephyr Lace weight 50% Merino and 50% Tussah Silk. this yarn is so, so soft! and I purchased from them The Florence Scarves by Fiddlesticks Knitting. They told me they will be live in a month online to sell their yarns and patterns. I then stopped by East Port Yarns where I purchased one small skein of their Alpaca/Merino blend in a colorway called Bayberry. I was taken by Hawk's personality and what a great name. It was the most expensive yarn(per yard) that I purchased, but it is grown, spun and dyed in the USA. Besides when a man glows when he tells you their Alpacas are treated like kings, what is a girl to do, but smile back and reach for yarn! Oh! Deborah Doyle of Asciano FiberArts Tools had the most beautiful wood knitting needles! I had to pet some of them and took one of her cards. Each size has it's own design on top, Stunning! As I made my way to the door, slowly walking by all the books and booths, I thought I was home free, then what do I spy? Tucked away in a corner of the massive space they had for all their books and products, Superfine Prime Alpaca Yarn by Village Spinning and Weaving , I almost drooled on myself. Deciding on one of the un-dyed colors was difficult! I had to have one skein, just one. Alpaca yarn holds a special place in my heart. I knit my very first project out of Alpaca Yarn and I love it. I stood in the longest line to buy that yarn, but it was so worth it, when I hold it in my hands it feels like soft cotton clouds of goodness, mmmmmm.
This picture does not do it justice, but here is Geisha.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Reason Why Tree Jacket is Still Not Finished

The Sun came out and I emerged from hibernation? You do know some of us Californians melt in the rain, right? Flowers are blooming! Time to garden! I wish that were the reason, well it is partially true, but only in the last week.

It could be......I have attended 3 jewelry courses in January. Each course a fast paced 3 full days of learning at The Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts. This first picture is a necklace I made after purchasing some beautiful stone beads from the Gem Faire.

The Fine Silver piece I made in the Metal Clay classes I took at The Academy last year.
These earrings are from my Fabrication 1 class. I struggled to get a decent picture, probably a good thing, now you can not see how wobbly the lines really are. These earrings were about learning to use a jewelry saw and how to saw a stright line. Each of the nine holes were pierced with a drill and sawed out. Finger strengh is a virtue with this lesson. If your fingers are not strong, they will be when your done!
Okay! Okay! This may be part of the reason I am not finished with the Tree Jacket. After miles of garter stitch and finishing one sleeve, I just needed a break! A yarn in my stash was calling my name! Whispers on the wind, ohhhhhh Kim knit me, you will love it! knit me, knit me, knit me..................... And so I caved in. The yarn calling me to the needles is by ArtFibers, it is called Tesla, a stainless steel and cotton yarn. The little puffs of soft cotton are dyed different shades of brown and rust colors. I have seen it knit by it's self but I wanted something different. So I increased the needle recommendation of size 11 to size 15. Then I searched for something to add some interest to it. At my LKS I found Rowan Kid Silk Haze. A yarn I have carressed, read about, but have never knit. It is true.... the Mohair, gets all fluffy! Amazinging a tiny yarn can transform it's self that way. I am sure I am boring all the seasoned knitters, but maybe they will smile at my rookie delight and child like enthusiam. The below pictures are not very good, it was the best I could do. The scarf I am making is about 1/2 way done.
See how the Stainless Steel shimmers against the black Mohair?
And last but not least, a picture of my Tree Jacket with one sleeve knit. I have to say I am pleased with myself. This is my first sweater, ever! I love knitting from the top down! Finally a way for me to make sure what I make will be long enough in the arms and body for me! I love it! Now I just have to grin and bear it, buckle down and finish the last sleeve. Maybe lots and lots of coffee can get me through all those garter stitches. It is like driving from California to Las Vegas, miles and miles of boring scenery, and nothing exciting to look at. Don't fall asleep at the wheel, windows down, coffee in hand and music up way high, here we go................................!!!

Yeunny Mear's Beautiful Vests

Finally I have photos of the vests Yeunny made for me. It seems whenever we have a nice sunny day, no one is around to assist me in a photo shoot, so I photographed the vests on my dressform. This first one is shorter. It falls to about my hips. It is Olive Green with a beautiful fern pattern. I love the detail drawings of the ferns and flowers.

This second one is much longer. It falls to my knees and is slit up both sides to my hips. It is a taupe/grey color with black details. It's versatility in my wardrobe is wonderful. I can dress it up or down and combine it with many colors.
If you are ever in the Town of Bodega go visit Yeunny's shop. I am positive you will love what you see.