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June 2006
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August 2006

Fabulous Friends in High Places

Kim arrived on Saturday with a big smile on her face and jumped out of her car to give me a big hug.  We passed hugs back and forth from all our Blogland friends and quickly headed off to meet Susan for lunch.  Again the feeling was that we had been long time friends which is nearly true. Kim's Everyday Cardi KAL was one of my first and so we have 'known' each other since my first days of blogging.  Lunch was full of fiber talk, laughing, enabling and just joyful grrlfriend time.

Kim and I spun together every chance we had on Saturday. We helped each other out of knotted messes while comfortably chatting and encouraged each other in our newly found passion of spinning.

Moosesightingatsilverlakeonsunday_2 Kimlauriemecamilleatsilverlake Sunday we had to take her to Silver Fork and Silver Lake and invited Laurie and Camille along to enjoy the day.  As we strolled along the board walk we spotted a moose laying down, nicely hidden in the willows, only his antlers peeking out. (He's there, honest.)  It was cool and comfortable in the mountains with large rain clouds building up overhead and a nice cool breeze.  It was very hot and humid in the Salt Lake Valley so it was so nice to be in the cool mountains.

FourchicasatsilverlakeonsundaySusanssinlgesskeinhangingperfectly Smith enjoys wonderful women and felt very comfortable with his chatting, entourage of 'wild', independant women.  As I said to Kim...'It takes a might fine man to be better than none'.  And Smith is just that...might fine.  He snapped pictures of us when we stopped and helped me with a photoshoot of the Vinatge Victorian Socks (details later).  Susan had asked that I take a photo of the beautiful yarn she spun last week. This is a skein of singles that turned out to be beautifully spun and perfectly balanced, and because she didn't love the color, she gave it to me.  What a lucky grrl I am to have so many generous, caring friends in this world where the landscape is second to none.


Saturday Yawn


This sky brought to you by Sandy's Saturday Sky.

It's going to be a hot (around 102) day and very smokey.  Not one of our best days.  Yes, I'm up early...always.  Can't help myself, I'm a morning person and enjoy this cool (if only!), quiet time of day..  Rain is expected tomorrow and a cooler week is ahead (please, please, please).

The Rest of the Story

If you live in Utah this has been a short work week (except poor Susan who had to work everyday). The week went by quickly and there is only today to share the details you've been waiting for with baited breath.

Firsttrekkingsockfinished Wildwomanlikesthevvsock Finally one Trekking sock is finished.  The color, #133, was so different than many of the tweedy Trekking XXL colorways.  It should be easy to make a truly matching pair.  The pattern is the Chevron from Sensational Socks and it works up well in a self striping yarn.  The end of the KAL is Labor Day Weekend, so I had better get more Trekking done.  The second Vintage Victorian Sock has just passed the heel and is heading down the home stretch to the toe.  Maybe, just maybe, there will be time to finish them up this weekend. Sock knitting has been more enjoyable than just about any other knitting while the heat has been 'on'.  We're hoping for a little cooling trend this weekend as well as a wild and fun weekend, too.

Poorjohoisgrowingsooooslowly Poor little (as in she hasn't grown much) Langsjal Jóhönnu hasn't had any love this week and only had about an hour of love in the last month!  My mojo for Jóhö has worn thin because of the heat (and other things that have my attention).  Besides the heat, I must blame my enjoyment of spinning for this neglect. Claudia said my knitting would suffer if I took up spinning and she has been proved right (again).  And then there is Mim's lace, which is calling loudly from the stash. It's all I can do not to cast on Icarus or Seraphim.  I am an amazingly lazy lace (but not yet fickle) knitter.

Spininngwhiterovingfromanne Several years ago our knitters guild handed out simple handmade spindles to anyone who wanted to learn to spin.  A friend gave me one and said 'Try it'.  My response was to decline, as I knew that if I tried it and liked it I would never be able to stop.  Well, that is exactly what has happened.  Everyday, since I 'got it', has been a spinning day.  I've been practicing in the morning, in the evening and even at supper time....spinning all the time. Anne said this white roving would be good for practice spinning and I've been using it all week.  Skeinofwellbalancedyarnfromroving I've learned more about drafting and fiber prep as its fairly rough texture is different from the red merino (which is still my favorite to spin). Last night I plied  it, and while there are places that are a bit too thin or not spun quite enough, it turned out to be well balanced.  Improvement!  (Click to see.)

Newspindleandyarnspunwithit_2There may be a few orders of roving coming my way next week...just sayin' (as Claudia likes to say). The new spindle is very handsome, very light (.7oz) and spins so nicely.  Susan thought the first skein of yarn I spun on her was pretty good!

If you're in the Salt Lake area you should check out the Great Basin Fiber Arts Fair. I've signed up for the Advanced Spindle class because Susan said I'd be just fine.  Don't you love encouraging friends?

Kim arrives tomorrow and we have plans to spin, knit, chat, hike and dine a bit, too.  Details later.

Enjoy a wild weekend and stay cool!

Bitchin' Bitchin' Mittens

The rules for Bitchin' Mittens are as follows: 

  1. They must be a pair (They don’t have to match, but at least compliment or be recognizable as belonging together)
  2. They must contain cuffs, main hand portion, and thumbs
  3. They must contain at least 50% fiber

Not sure I actually met rule #3, but my pair are good enough for me.

KnittingmyhomespunintobitchinmittensMakeatemplateandcutmirrorFirst I knit two cuffs of about 20 stitches each (15 rows) with my handspun yarn.  It felt good to knit with yarn I actually made and the knitting looked quite nice.  Then I made a template of a mitten shape to suit the size of the knit cuffs and cut two (mirror imaged the second) out of a fun paper use for card making.

AttachcuffwithadhesiveRunribbonalongbacksidepaperedgeWith the wonderful sticky glue dots and strips available today, the cuffs were attached to the front. To hide the paper edge on the back a  pretty ribbon was cut to fit.  This paper is wonderful in that it has a coordinating color on the back so there is no need to use a backing.

Backofmittenswithdecorations_1Next up find all sorts of little stickers, buttons, bells and such were added as embellishments.  I had fun stamping, sticking and playing until a design presented itself and a nice finished pair of Christmas Mittens came to be.  They could be Christmas cards or if just a wee bit smaller would make fun ornaments.  There is just enough handspun left to make up a pair for each of my sisters this year.  I always did enjoy a little Christmas In July. 


Thanks Dave! It was a fun challenge to come up with something unique.

Today is Anne's birthday! Wish her a great day!

Keeping Up With Swaps

Please refresh your browsers and watch my banner.  Did you see that?  Kim  added a bit to the header so it would cover all three columns.  She's a design genius.  AND, the best part is she is coming to Salt Lake and we're spending the weekend together!  I can't tell you how excited I am. To make life even better, Lee Ann is back in fine form, even if she's still has a little pain in the head. We're so pleased you're recovering nicely, grrlfriend!

Readytomailgoodiestomykskspal Juggling many swaps can be quite an adventure as I've found out lately.  It's true I have signed up for several.  The best way to keep things straight is a bit of organized chaos.  Little piles of goodies  sit around my junque room/studio, one for each pal. The important information about each pals likes and so forth sit on top. The info is perused daily so fun items can be purchased when found and all the differing details can be kept straight.  As one package is mailed, its on to the next.  This week I'll mail to my KSKS pal as I have finished up shopping, sewing and boxing.  The bag turned out pretty well and I hope my pal like it.

Dutchcanyonapplevalleyroad Next up will be the Yarn Aboard exchanges.  A box of goodies from a spinner or knitter could arrive at anytime after August 1st.  I have been shopping (a picture of the spinning goodies were on Monday's post) and searching for fun fibery things.  The STR ordered for my YA Sock Pal has arrived (Dutch Canyon- on the bottom) as well as one for me (Apple Valley Rd). What? Did you think I could order and not get something for myself?

Prettyyarnfortoastytoesfromstr The last exchange for the summer/fall will be Toasty Toes.  I took a few minutes to wind this lovely skein of Mist into a ball last night.  It is more beautiful with the colors all mixed together and should make a fabulous sock.  As soon as I finish up my Vintage socks (almost there), and one of the Trek socks, I'll get started.  No reason to wait until the very last minute and besides, I'm so in love with the yarn and color I can hardly wait to dive in.

Let's see...what else do I need to catch you up on?  Bitchin’ Mittens, spinning progress & new spindle, sock knitting, Jóhö that it? 

Last Things First

Solitudeskiresortatthebottomofthemountai It was fun packing in as much as possible the weekend. It's our last break before Labor Day and we (I) just had to fill up every minute of time. Smith, Val and I had breakfast at Silver Fork (of course) early on Monday and then headed to Brighton, and the trail head to Lake Solitude, which is about 1/4 of the way around Silver Lake. The picture on the right is up the trail with Solitude Resort waaay doown in the valley below.

Fieldofyellowwildflowers_1Prettyfushciawildflowers_1 The day really couldn't have been more beautiful. It wasn't too warm, as we headed out fairly early.  There were few people on the trail.  We passed field after field of wildflowers and enjoyed identifying the few we knew.  The trail is only 1.25 miles but, the elevation gain was 510 ft., much of it near the very end.  The bonus was arriving at the awe inspiring sight.


The Trekking Sock did come along and enjoyed the mountain views after its long period of neglect. She also had a little quality time after we returned home that afternoon.  Val thought she was rather beautiful and demanded a picture with the two of us.


Mooseantlerswhilemooserestsinthewillows_1 Val loves to ski Solitude Resort and has skied across the lake without knowing it was there. Next winter she'll remember our hike and how different it was sans snow.  When we arrived back at Silver Lake we took the long way around and enjoyed the view as we always do.  We were able to spot a moose sitting in the willows, but his new antlers were just too big to hide.  Look closely, he's there near the center of the picture.

Larrymcmurtrywithredguitaronstage Valandienjoyingknttingbeforetheshow Val also joined us the night before at the Larry McMurtry/Hot Tuna show.  Larry was, well Larry.  He sounded great with the Bastards as back up. If you look real hard in the picture on the left he is on stage just putting on his bright red guitar. Hot Tuna was a pleasant surprise (for Smith).  They have gone back to their roots and played acoustic music in the Blue Grass vein.  It was a fabulous show and we could have listened all night long.  Val and I did a little knitting before the show as every good knitter always KIPs when she can. And you can bet I had a great time...a grrls just gotta have fun.


Productive Weekend

Today we are up early and out the door for breakfast before we head up to Lake Solitude.  Since it has long neglected, the Trek Sock is along for the hike.  Details later.Getabunchofstufftogether

Knittingmyhomespunintobitchinmittens_1 Saturday was too hot to spend much time out doors (104), so I spent time in the house and worked on my Bitchin’ Mittens. It took awhile to come up with a fun unique idea and my little bit of hand spun helped with inspiration.  After gathering other supplies I started and finished up my pair. Details later.

Spiningbecomesmoreconsistant_1 Saturday afternoon was spent spininng. Every spindle full is more consistant and my satisfaction with the product grows. Reading the book Spinning in the Old Way helped my understanding of the process of high whorl-spinning.  P. G. Roberts speaks the language of the spindle so well and captures in words the fascination of spindling that has held me in its grasp. Shoppingforyafiberpal_1 All the questions that came to mind while reading other publications were answered in this book.  Every beginning hand spindler should rush to this book for help, answers and inspiration. Saturday I also went shopping for my Yarn Aboard Fiber Pal and ordered yarn for my YA Sock pal. It is fun to hang out in the LYS 3 Wishes as she carries mainly spinning supplies. (I may have bought another spindle for myself and ordered a Lizzy Kate.)  Details later.

Vintagesockforwardafterfrogpond_1The Vintage Victorian sock grew nicely, but then spent time in the frog pond.  Chalk it up to the arrogance of knitting without referring to the pattern as you think you know what you're doing.  (Sunday morning the sock was once again waiting for the heel.)  I even spent a little quality time with Jóhö has Smith had to work late Saturday night. Details later.

Ksksbagforsecretpal Sunday morning I worked on the bag for my KSKS pal. It turned out well and I even made a small bag to go inside for notions and tools.  I didn't have a margarita or G&T, as it was before noon, but I did think of Lisa and her like efforts as I worked. Details later.

Smith and the boyz enjoyed a day of relaxation and quality time together and then we went to the James McMurtry concert (he WAS playing with the Heartless Bastards). Smith fell head over heels for Hot Tuna. Details later.


Please head over and give Katy a BIG Happy Birthday!!

Long Weekend Ahead

Thank you for your encouraging comments this week. My spinning does improve with each small skein I produce and with analysis the error of my ways becomes apparent. Spinning a little slower will help my hands keep up and do as Sylvia (she is so helpful!) said, add more twist.  We'll see the results next week.  And as Norma suggested, I do plan to knit with the latest skein produced, so hang around and see what's coming up with that.

The second Vintage Victorian Sock is progressing. Birdsong dyed the yarn as my pal in the DyeORama exchange and the pattern is from Knitting Vintage Socks (several of you asked).  The sewing machine has been set up and awaits my presence, so I will be tackling the my KSKS bag tomorrow and Sunday. As Stephanie said, several of us will be shackled to our sewing machines this weekend and Lisa H   and I have decided on G&Ts to help us woo the machine into submission. Roxie suggested (see how helpful everyone is), I will be sewing one seam at a time and therefore should be just fine in this endeavor. Here's hoping.

PurpleknittingforjulyeyeadrDon't fret, about my becoming a spinner, as there is still knitting going on around here.  I am such a knitters (to quote Julia ). Most of my non-sock knitting time is spent with the Eyelet Cardigan in Manos Stria  and a little Stitch 'n Bitch time has been spent with the After Dark Robe (large dark square underneath the purple), which is growing SO s.l.o.w.l.y.  With only a week left in the month of PS Purple there won't be time to finish something as I had hoped. Well, maybe Birdsong's Vintage Victorian Socks might make it to the finish line.

Monday is a State Holiday so, we have a long weekend ahead.  There is a big parade and fireworks (poor Moxie!), along with lots of local religious and historical events taking place.  We'll be heading into the mountains for an early breakfast and a hike on Monday morning after spending Sunday night with James McMurtry  and Hot Tuna.  Smith is excited to see James, as he is one of our favorite singer/songwriters but, he was upset to hear that James won't be with the Heartless Bastards, his usual back up band.  Smith isn't a Hot Tuna fan but, this should be a fabulous show.  Unfortunately it is out doors and predicted to be 100 degrees on Sunday.

Enjoy your weekend and go take a hike!!

To Everything -

...spin, spin, spin...
There is a season - spin, spin, spin.... Oops, pardon my hippie flashback.

BunnycrackinprocessbeforeplyingYarnislookingbetterandbetter The spindle did come along to Cedar City with me, and so did some of Kim's bunny crack.  In my excitement to try a new fiber, I may have bitten off more than I can chew, but it has been fun to spin this luxurious fiber.  While struggling with this slippery, soft, fluffy heavenly stuff, much learning was accomplished.  Any other angora acquisitions may be better spun on a wheel or when my skills are better.  Because there wasn't much time to spin in the 24 hours we were away, not much was spun, but I did show off that I COULD spin and surprised everyone with my (seeming) prowess.

GoodskeinbadskeinofredmerinoFirstskeinofgoodyarnIt was the poor skill of drafting the angora blend that sent me back to the basics and I spun up more of the red merino.  The first skein I produced, several days ago, was fuzzy and lumpy (top skank).  But a few days later, with more practice and Sylvia's tip about how it was all about the drafting triangle, the next skein came out more evenly spun (under skank and on the right). With each new skein the yarn looks better, each day of practice helps and, with only a few minutes here and there, my drafting has evened out. Light bulbs of enlightenment go off and I 'get it'.  I AM a spinner. 

RovingforsocksRedrovingworksupbeautifullythistime_2 Judy H left a comment last week that she can spin enough yarn for hand knit socks on her spindle. I'm up for the challenge of doing just that and may already have something perfect for my first pair (there is that small stash of fiber, remember?).  For now, I'll keep practicing with the red merino.