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....

Monday, September 1, 2008

On The Home Stretch!

I am not a pro photographer, and getting the right light is tricky! In the pictures that follow, the middle one is more true to color, the yarn is a mix of rich blues and periwinkle and I love it! First picture is pattern 12 Field of Corn. Woo Hoo! It is the final pattern of BadCatDesigns Summer Sampler Shawl.
This is the edging pattern, my very first attempt at doing an edging on a shawl. Andrea has been great through this whole process. She has taken the time to hold my hand and help me through the process, because of this I now feel I can tackle any shawl with a border.

Two days ago the corner pattern was released. I am so very glad I decided to put in a life line before attempting the mitered corner! Oh man! Let me tell you, first Molly kept putting her ball under the couch and whining at me to get it, then my husband, kept popping up to discuss political commentary from the morning newspaper, then my youngest son was asking advice and seeking praise for his art class homework, whew! I look down and realize I have twisted stitches and attempt to knit back only to realize I am totally lost and I was half way done! Without hesitation what flew out of my mouth !*&%#$ @#$& #$%^* could have made a truck drive blush! Shame on me! So I ripped back to my life line, got up and took a soothing hot shower and started attempt number two. I am cruising along and I get to row 48 and do a double take and then go back to the charts, I scratch my head, hmmmm, I message Andrea, more contemplation and I do the unthinkable and alter a designers pattern and ask forgiveness. My yarn is heavier and variegated, so I knit back the last row and added a cable. I really like the result.

Now I am knitting up the long side, 315 picked up stitches, I am going to be here a while, maybe a couple of weeks, but I am determined to stay focused and finish this shawl. It will be the largest project of my (so far) short knitting career and I am feeling quite proud of myself. The next post regarding this will to show the beautiful blocking frame my husband is making for me, so I can block this monster without it becoming covered in dog hair.