Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Catching up

In August, my mother came to visit. We had a wonderful time. We went to the coast and visited the Latimer Quilt and Textile Museum. It was a lovely day and we had lunch on the water. Mom was in search of the Boutique knits book, because she wanted to make the Side Slip Cloche Our travels took us to Knit Purl in downtown Portland where she purchased yarn for both of us to make the hat. More about this later...

September brought rain, fall leaves and my son back in school, while I started the job of packing up our house to move. I needed a break from my MSP so I did something for fun. I made these batts from a dyed roving of merino, bamboo and nylon. I threw in some brown Shetland roving and a chunky bits of soy silk top. Into the drum carder it went for one pass.
I made 4 one ounce batts and spun them into a thick and thin single.
Then I went back to packing, cleaning and moving.  As some of you know I over did it and hurt myself. My upper back inflamed, my left arm spasmed and my carpal tunnel flared.  Many weeks of doing very little and getting acupuncture.  To be followed by a whooper of a fibromyalgia flair that sent me to bed for days.  I admit I was grumpy and not fun to be around.  Thank goodness for comcast and a dvr, recording shows and watching TV was one of my only past times.  Recently I was able to pick up the needles again and started working on a sweater I started in February. 

I thought I would do a little book review here. Knits to fit and flatter by Jane Ellison is a lovely book. It is laid out well, with easy to follow instructions and ideas you can use to change the pattern.  She offers tips on how to customize the knits so they fit your body.  This is my current favorite knitting book. I highly recommend it.  I had wanted a basic cardigan and the twice as nice cardigan has been easy to knit.  The yarn I am using is Woo Bu by Blue Moon Fiber Arts. In the colorway  Oregon Red Clover Honey  I love this yarn.  It is a dream to knit. I love the feel of the fabric it makes and the slight shimmer the bamboo offers. I had purchased 2 skeins in January.  The pattern says I need about 200 more yards for the medium size.  Stubborn I am, I am knitting away.  I made the back and one sleeve out of one skein.  I have completed the second sleeve from the second skein, weighing everything as I go.  My calculations say I will have enough for the two front sections, but just in case I do not, I have a plan.  I'll keep you up to date.
If your wondering about this picture, it was not random. Hell child, oh I mean my darling kitty Leonardo da Vinci, or Leo as we call him, was laying all over my sweater and book as I was trying to take pictures.  I prefer to call him fur ball because when he is done torturing me, he gets up all casual like and as he walks away he swishes his fluffy angora tail from side to side.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


We have textured skeins we have to do, one with silk and one with mohair. Yesterday after assembling my color wheel I felt the need for something fun. So I decided I would use some Merino blended top, cultivated silk noil and sari silk fibers to create my skein. I weighed, and hand carded and weighed again to do the math and get percentages.

I hand carded rolags

I spun woollen singles, and made a two plies.

I love the way the yarn came out after it was finished. It is springy, fluffly and oh so soft! Another skein in Level 2 complete!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Blending Colors

In Level 2 we learn to do color percentages, math, blah! We learn how measuring out and recording helps us to reproduce colors. So blending for a color wheel with colored top is in our homework. I enjoyed this process. I found out after blending with hand cards, hand combs and a drum carder, that I prefer using my drum carder. I felt the drum carder produced a much more even blend. I learned that no matter how many times I put the fiber through the carder, it would only blend so much. It is really about how the light reflects off each color used, creating the illusion of the new color. Although I went for a tradional color wheel presentation, I got my colors backwards, opps!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Level 2 MSP

So Heather here is the picture I promised. This is most of what I have done so far. I think I will spend some time mounting and labeling. I made some labels today based on what we were asked to include. I also think this weekend I will work on combing/blending my fibers for the final project. Saturday my husband is working, so I thought I had time to work on Level 2, but my son just came to me with requests. Sunday we are going to a Lavender Festival. So it is possible for you to gain a bit of a lead on me, just remember the tortoise, grins!

For those of you who don't know what I am talking about, this is my homework for Level 2 of the Olds Master Spinner Program. Last week I attended Fibre Week and took Level 3. One of my class mates is Heather who is also working on her Level 2. I proposed a friendly competition to get Level 2 and 3 done on a timely bases. Heather has decided finishing Level 2 by the end of July is a good goal, so I am desperately trying to keep up, lol!

Oh Canada!

The end of June Me and the Mini packed full of my spinning tools left Portland headed for Olds Alberta. I drove through Washington, Idaho and British Columbia before entering Alberta and heading north to the Olds for the Master Spinner Program. Below are just a few of the pictures I took along the way. I wish they included a picture of the Canola fields in bloom. Miles of yellow flowers with hugh wind tubines scattered through out and the Rocky Mountains in the back ground, it was 8 am and the skies were blue with clouds. It was so breath taking it still makes my eyes well up with tears when I think of it.