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April 2007
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June 2007

Livin' Larger

Yeskimigotapedicureanditwasgreat
Yes Kim, I got a pedi last night and it was grand as it has been too long.  (No iris were hurt for this photo, the rain knocked them over last week.) 

Yesterday a bit of Kismet happened. Vicki saw my newly dyed blue yarn and named it Blue-tiful (Is that not perfect?) and Cassie published a new sock pattern.  I think the newly dyed, and newly named, yarn was meant to be knit into Loksins!, don't you?

Largerthanlifebagisfinished A few months ago, if you'd asked, I might have said that there just wasn't much in crochet patterns to entice me away from knitting.  That was before I saw the Larger Than Life Bag on Lynne’s blog and thought it would be very fun to be 'vintage' (as the younger folks call what I call retro.  How'd I get to be retro OR vintage, anyway.  Hurmph.)  I jumped in with both feet and enjoyed wielding a hook again. It was amazing how quickly this project came together, and ultimately, the end product. The 'process' just wasn't knitting and, therefore, not as much fun. 

Mylittleberninaisagoodfriend The idea of pulling out the sewing machine and doing something I hadn't done in a long, long time felt daunting at first.  This little Bernina came into my life around 1972-3 and by todays standards that would make it vintage, right?  It made most of my clothes (with my help) for several years and has stood me in good stead. A few years ago I had it refurbished and, once again, works like new. It's a basic machine with few extras, but it does a good job...a great job, in fact.  Sadly, it now resides  in the closet most of the time.  After pulling her out into the light of day and spending Saturday morning at her side, I think there maybe more sewing in our near future.  It wasn't as fun as a barrel of monkeys, but I would love to have a couple of skirts for warmer weather and no longer feel adverse to the idea of sewing them myself.  But, back to the bag...

Largerthanlifebaghasaprettylining

The fabric on the outside is the same shade of brown as the edges of the bag. The fabric inside is a soft coral pink stripe that echoes the colors in the squares.  There is no zipper (I never use them unless I'm flying) and no pockets (unlike Vicki I always need a purse), so it went together simply, quickly (sorta) and fairly easily.  The handles were a stroke of genius are from a decided bit of laziness. While wandering (in awe) through the bigbox fabric store, I happened by the drapery isle and the drapery tiebacks caught my eye.  Wouldn't, couldn't, shouldn't they make good handles for the bag?  Since they were returnable (and inexpensive) I took them home to try, and YES, they worked!  The floppy handles in the magazine just didn't do it for me and I was happy to find this solution.

Largerthanlifebagstuffedfullofyarn

This Larger Than Life Bag holds a lot of yarn, so it is well named, too.  Count me happy!

Pattern:  Larger Than Life Bag from Interweave Crochet Spring 2007
Yarn: Louet Gems Sport - multiple colors
Time to Knit Crochet:  April 15 - May 22, 07


What I Did Over the Memerorial Day Weekend

Previewofbagfullofyarn Bright and early Saturday morning I headed out to the fabric store and purchased lining fabric for the Larger Than Life Bag, bought flowers for my mothers grave, and then stopped by Three Wishes (to buy dye). The trip made a large circle that ended up back at home where I dove right into lining the bag.  Mom would be proud (and I still miss her after 18 years).  Here's a preview of the bag, details to come.

Backofsilverforkfromthegrass Saturday afternoon we had a chance to dine at Silver Fork and help celebrate a friends 60th birthday.  We hadn't been on the lawn below the deck so it was a new view of our favorite place.  Judy, just so you know, the hummers were diving around like screeching torpedoes and it was fun to hear and see them again.

Sunday was a more relaxing day but we did what most people in the area did, or wanted to do and headed to IKEA. What a great addition to our neighborhood!  There were all sorts of great ideas that will make it easy to organize my  'fiber studio' and to hide any new acquisitionsNeoneyesearingrovingthatwasnotasuccSunday was also a good day for dyeing and I threw a bit of roving into a pot.  The goal was something in a bright red and pink mix. Well, the bright part worked (too well) and it turned out to be a good lesson in intensity. Grrl, this stuff is eye searing!   I'm unsure what (if anything) I need to do for better results next time.  Dyeing is a complete curiosity to me and that curiosity is the reason I enjoy playing with it from time to time.  You pros have no need to worry...there will be no fiber shop in my future.  Of course, I could create one of a kinds monstrosities that might sell...or not.

Prettymidnightknitterjaywalker Sunday I made it to SnB and because the coffee shops are all so dark (it's that subversive thing, ya know?), I had to start a new project, one I could see!  This happy pair of Jaywalkers are just the thing for SnB knitting and I love the way the Vesper yarn looks when zigzagging.  Blogless Val had returned from her month long trip to Great Brittan and she had many interesting tales to tell.  She just might be convinced to write up a post and guest blog again as her trip sounded marvelous.

Afewofthekidsaftershearing Beautifulkamnavalley Monday we headed up to the Sunrise Ranch to help Deb with shearing.  She has 11 alpaca and 5 llama, so we were very busy all day.  Smith helps to wrangle the animals and I'm good at sweeping up the fluff.  It was fun to be in the country and hear the rooster, chicken, horses and just smell the clean country air.  Here are a few pictures of Rodeo's Torrunn's shearing that may help you understand better how it's done. Torrunn was a big baby (they all have such different personalities) and hollered all the while. Sorry, but some how I didn't end up with a 'finished' picture.

1gettingreadtoshear_2 2animalontheground 3debjimandscottwrangling

Rodeo did have a beautiful full coat!

4beautifulblanketcomesoff 5averynicefleece

Deb has invited me back to help with the 'skirting'.  I'll be looking forward to that!

Nottruecolorsofbluebuttheyarepret_2 Despite the dyeing disaster of Sunday, I tried again with blue dye and some Reynold's Sea Wool sock yarn (purchased in a natural color with dyeing in mind).  This time I used less dye, was a bit more careful with placement of said dye, and crossed my fingers.  My method is to put it all in one pot, turn on the stove and walk away. Not very scientific, and as you can guess, the results are varied, but I'm too lazy to do anything else.  This time, the goddess of dye was smiling on me and my pot and the yarn was much more like I'd envisioned.  It was the perfect cap to a perfect weekend. 


Fun was Had by All (Well maybe not the alpacas or llamas.)

"A" says HOWDY!  She had a busy day yesterday.  This picture was taken before her big event.

Abeforeshewasshorn

Here she is during the event.

Aduringtheshearing

And doesn't she look marvelous with her new 'do' after the event?

Aafterherbigevent

We had a very nice weekend and it was a relaxing and fibery weekend, too.

Iced Lemon and Lime has been plied and is ready to give someone some fun knitting!

Funkyskeinof2plyforclaudiasride

This unique skein of handspun could be yours.  The fiber content is very unique, as all Crosspatch batts in the Stone Soup line are. Stone Soup is made up of a bunch of leftovers and can never be duplicated. The yarn is VERY textured and full of fun surprises of silk, bumpy bits and who knows whats.  It should knit up nicely into a fabulous scarf or small shawl as it turned out to be just over 400 yds.  It's hard to part with this little baby because it is one of a kind and it would be too much fun to knit.

Closeupofyarnforashawlorscarf

While this little skein will not bring the bump to Claudia's total that Stephanie's skein did, if even one or two people are inspired to give to Claudia's MS Fund, it will have been worth the time (and the covetous feeling). Wouldn't it be fabulous if Blogland could get her total up over $30,000?  I know we can do it…one dollar at a time. Give what you can, give more than once, because you have several more weeks to do so and, who knows, you could win something very cool.   

More on "What I did over Memorial Day weekend" tomorrow.


Monkeying Around

Mymonkeysarehangingaroundhavingfu_3

Monkeyshangingtenattheplayground_2 Come on come on
Come on come on
Come on is such a joy
Come on is such a joy
Come on let's take it easy
Come on let's take it easy
Take it easy take it easy
Everybody's got something to hide except for me and my Monkey (Ooh)

Perfectlykitcheneredtoeonmonkey_2 The deeper you go the higher you fly
The higher you fly the deeper you go
So come on (Come on) come on
Come on is such a joy
Come on is such a joy
Come on let's make it easy
Come on let's make it easy (Oh)
Take it easy (Yeh yeh yeh) take it easy (Hoo)
Everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey

Ilovemymonkeysocksinstr

Pattern: Knitty’s Monkey Socks by Cookie A.
Yarn: BMFA Lightweight January One
Changes:  DPNs 1.5  - Picot cuff instead of ribbing, longer toe.
Time to Knit: May 14 – May 23, 2007

Have a fun weekend! Do lots of monkeying around and I'll see y'all come Tuesday.


Just the Facts, Ma'am

Mountainsafterstormonmonday

The last two weeks have been very warm with temps near 90, which is 20 degrees above normal. We've enjoyed several evenings, along with weekend mornings, on the patio. It felt more like early summer than spring.  The A/C wasn't been turned on, although there was one day we nearly succumbed, so instead, we headed for the basements cool temps.

Sockdrawerisnowstuffedwithhandknits Then Monday arrives.  The temperature at midnight was the high for the day at 61.  It was 41 in the morning and the daytime high was 53. It rained all day (with a bit of snow in the mountains) and the next morning it was 39 degrees.  I had to disturb my newly stocked sock drawer and pull out a pair of warm socks (and shoes!).  I must admit they felt very, very good on my feet.  The rain was nice for a change.  As of yesterday, the sun is back.

Monkeysocksareclosetofinished There may be a Monkey photo shoot tonight.  I enjoyed my Monkey's, but it's time to move on.  I'm afraid that one more hit pair and I would be completely addicted.  Next in the queue will likely be a plain SS sock, very good for SnB knitting (Spiral Boot Socks are too dark), but I'm wondering if I should stop knitting socks for awhile...nah. Socks are my one a true addiction.

Fjisslowlyslowlygrowing Flotsam Jetsam  has had a little attention. I admit to being stymied by pattern which caused me to loose focus. I cast on for the front and found that part of the pattern even more confusing.  I will persevere, but it will take an effort.  Damn vaguely written Rowan patterns! Can't they just say how many inches instead of how many rows!? 

Hopefully the long weekend will afford time and chance to get out the sewing machine and sew the lining for my Larger Than Life Bag.  I like Vera's bag so much so that I'll be heading back to the fabric store to obtain something fun for the inside lining.  That double lining idea (with a little stiffener) sounds like a good one.

Spunstitchesbutton It's been my intention for some to to spin fiber for a shawl.  In fact, several of the fibers in my stash have been acquired with that process in mind.  Lo and behold, there is a KAL (S/KAL?) to just that end.  Spun Stitches is the brain child of Kristen and Teresa.  (Check out the very cool buttons!)  I'm trying to decide what project to do first.

I've been in a bit of a swap mood and decided to take a turn in Lynne's Secret Swap.  I've got some fun ideas for my pal (who I didn't know before now).  Anyone know where I can get a mug with a pretty flower design on it?

I'm late with my Sound Swap package.  Hopefully it will be in the mail this weekend.  From the sounds of it (I crack myself up - eh, Norma?) many of us are late with our CDs!

I also joined Knitters Tea Swap 3 and my pal is Michelle. Her family has had many health challenges of late and I'm working to bring a little relaxation (and joy) her way.  It's been fun to go shopping with Michelle in mind and hope to have a package ready soon.   This isn't a secret swap AND she and I will be exchanging goodies.  It's been fun to make a new friend and get to know Michelle. 

Is it Friday yet?  I'm ready for a looong weekend...how about you?


True Confessions

First confession:  I stole the title right from Elizabeth’s True Confessions post of a couple days ago. 

Lovelthepinkblackgoldbattfromgraton Second confession:  I've been adulterous fickle and have been spinning on a spindle. I'm not only cheating on Emmylou with my Damsel Monique (and a beautiful pink Grafton batt), but I'm cheating on Monique with a gorgeous Golding Celtic Ring and some lovely blue roving, a gift last year from Marcia.

Goldingwithskybluefiberohsopretty

Fireyspiritintheskyfiberonbobbin_2 Third confession:  I am even more fickle when it comes to spinning on Emmylou, due to the large number of bobbins I own (thanks to Carole). Delusions of Grandeur has struck again. This is due to the fact that all the fiber in my 'collection' has been singing a siren song and I have not been strong enough to put away desire. Thus, I have succumbed over and over again. 

  Ramboandmerinoonbobbins_2

Fourth confession: Despite my aversion to green and yellow (especially when combined together), I am completely in lust love with the Iced Lemon and Lime batt from Crosspatch Creations. It's so much fun to spin!  I would be very happy to roll around naked with it. It will be a gift, but I am feeling covetous and must be strong.

Stonesoupisfullfullfulloftexture_2

Themonkeysocksaretoomuchfuntoknit_2 Fifth confession: I'm a Monkey junkie through and through and haven't knit on anything else for the last few days. One sock is finished and the second is just past the heel. An intervention may be needed if I try to start another pair when this pair is finished.

Sixth confession:  I'm feeling a vague desire to knit lace, but not with either of the projects I already have on the needles. Lace monogamy doesn't seem to be my strong suit.

Seventh confession: I'm enjoying my naughty fiber life. It's fun to be fickle...just sayin'.


Computer Woes

Our home computer may be dying.  If you are reading this there was a problem we couldn't fix overnight and it's unknown when the problem will be fixed.  I can post from work, but have no way to upload the pictures.  I'll be back when the problem is fixed.

ETA:  Smith worked on this thing all last night and he just might have saved it (for now).  I'll be back tomorrow!

In the mean time...please donate to Christy , Michelle and/or Team Monkey if you haven't already.  I'll be donating a $25.00 gift certificate to Wooly Wonka as an added incentive.  Go Christy and gang!

I'm also working on something for Claudia's MS fund drive.  Details later.


May - Five of a Dozen

Fleecereportfromfirstfestival

The fleece above represents the beginning of the Fiber Festival Season which starts in May! I've capitalized the words because they are very important to knitters and spinners everywhere...more so now that bloggers can (and do) meet up and imbibe in fiber together.

The first festival of 2007 for the Ewe-tah grrls was the Snake River Fiber FairCheryl (thanks for driving, grrlfriend!), Susan, Eliza and I headed out very early Saturday morning (yawn) and enjoyed a very nice trip up into the fair State of Idaho. Anne was already there with a booth of Wooly Wonka fiber and we had plans to meet up with Kim, too.  Many of the people at the festival were friends from Utah and, as with any festival, its the people as much (or more so) as the fiber. 

Kimsusanandcherylinhospitaltiyroomk We shopped and enjoyed chatting with all we met and spent the better portion of the day enchanted by fiber.  Because the weather is very iffy this time of year, the fair is inside a technical college.  The curved dark hallways gave the experience and cave like mystical feeling, as around every turn was new fiber, a new group of spinners (or knitters) and smiling faces on everyone.

Anne and Dave had a nice set up with Anne's beautifully died yarns and fiber.  Here you see Susan and Anne chatting. Kim has just discovered Dave's fabulous spindles and after she gave one a whirl she just had to take it home.

Susanchattinupanneatthewoolybooth

Kimwasattractedtodaveslovelyspind_2 Onceshegaveitaspinshewashooked

Color was everywhere and Lynn’s colorful bumps disappeared quickly. This picture was taken right after someone bought all the pink (it wasn't me!) and before the green and purple purchased. (The pictures of my other fiber friend, like Judy Jackson, just didn't turn out due to the dark hallways.)

Lynnsboothwasfullofyummyfiber_2

Greensleeves Spindles had so many beauties! Thankfully I have several already. Fiber Addict had bins of roving and racks of yarn.  I'm very sorry I didn't get many pictures of the other vendors.  But, there were many and everyone had a nice variety of spinning/knitting necessities.

Elizabethsbeautifulspindlesjustwa_3   Somanycolorssolittletime

We did manage to make a good haul which made the long drive (3+hours) worthwhile. Here's the back of Cheryl's car piled with our fibery purchases.

Wedidmanagetofeelthetrunk

I did rather well, but didn't get to carried away.  My pink phase is still intact when it comes to fiber.

Inmypinkphasespinderellawoolywonkaa

Spinderella's thrums in "PINK", Wooly Wonka merino (under thrums) in "Geisha", WW cormo/angora in "Seashells" and a Totally Tublar Spinning Kit from Crosspatch Creations.  Anne had one in shades of purple awhile back and it's been on my list since.

Iloveltheoddcolorsofthislimebattfro I also bought another batt from Crosspatch Creations in a unique group of colors called "Iced Lemon and Lime".  I'm trying to venture out of the color rut and have some fun!  One of my favorite purchases, from Janet at Alta Mist Alpacas , was a new spindle case. The design style caught my interest and the tassels were so elegant.  It's easy to through over the should and will carry a nice bunch of fiber and a spindle.  I just couldn't resist.

Hardsidedtoprotectspindleandholdfib Holdspindleandfiberinafancyfineway Mylovelynewspindlecase

Thus, tis the very beginnings of Fiber Season, the best time of year for fiber fanatics, bloggers, knitters and spinners.  It's going to be a very good year!


Must Knit More, Ply Less

Whatsontheneedlesnow Beth was bemoaning, in her comment to Wednesday's post, that everything around here has been 'knitting the blues' (not that there is anything wrong with that, eh TeresaC?).   Beth missed my 'pink phase' and frankly I have missed it (and other colors), too. It wasn't my intention to knit two blue sweaters in a row...that's just how it worked out. In fact, I have missed sweater knitting altogether and have made it a goal (as much as I'm capable of goals) to get busy and (keep) knit(ting) something more than socks.  While I haven't really been in a knitting slump, I have been distracted by spinning. Socks are always easy to knit, good 'fall back' knitting and so, they were/are my 'main' knitting. Time to mix things up a bit. Who knows...I may even knit some real lace soon.

This week the knitting has been schizophrenic because I've been jumping from Monkey's to FJ. It's been pretty fun to swing from knit to knit, actually.  The January One STR has reminded me how much I love a mix of colors.

Plainandfancymagentasportfrom2006es Several times over the last few of months, I've pulled this gorgeous yarn from my stash in the hopes of finding the perfect pattern for it.  Also, for some time, I've admired Erin's Glee. After checking out the pattern (not to rub it in, but Ravelry rocks!) from Erin's Ravelry page, I realized the yarn and pattern may work out to be compatible!  I'll be swatching to make sure (AFTER I've finished FJ). What's the yarn, you ask? It's Plain & Fancy Wool Co.'s Sport, purchased last year at the Estes Wool Market, (this years is less than one month away) in the color Magenta. 

Speaking of Wool Festivals, tomorrow a few of us Ewe-tah grrls will be heading off to Idaho Falls for the Snake River Fiber Fair.  A full report will be coming your way next week. Have a fabulouso weekendo!


Monkey See Monkey Do

Mmmmonkeysocksathteoffice Everyday, during my very short lunch (half) hour, I knit. The project this month has been the Spiral Boot Socks, which I'm loving, both the yarn and the pattern. Talk about easy knitting. But, as happens so often in this Knit Blogland of ours, Cara's monkeying around has persuaded me that I too need to have a Monkey on my back.  The Spiral socks won't be abandon and I will NOT knit more than one pair of Monkey's, but I've just hadta start a pair now.  While talking to Cara about Monkey socks, we decided that, like her Jaywalkers, Monkey's would also look great with a picot cuff.  So, that's what I did and, before I knew it, Monkey business was taking over my life!  Don't you think it appropriate that my yarn is STR January One?   I thought so!

Imamonkeygrrlthroughandthrough_2

Music has been a part of my life since the beginning.  All music!  Classical, Big Band Jazz and Broadway musicals made up the sound track of my childhood. The Beatles came along about the time I started to pick my own music (and you know how they changed the world) and then, the Rolling Stones came along and I fell hard.  I was (still am) a big, big Stones fan...BIG (yes, I know that proves I'm old).  I had every album on vinyl and now have most of them on CD.  To wit...Monkey Man has been bouncing around in my head for DAYS!  I can't shake, it has become part and parcel with the Monkey sock...the Monkey's that go everywhere I go. The pattern is as fun to knit, as Cara said it was...addicting...completely addicting....I'm a monkey woman....m-m-m-monkey grrl!

Bluemoonjanuaryoneformonkeysocks As to the yarn?  Oh my goddess, I am in love!!  I've knit with STR before and this time I'm not talking about how nice the yarn is...I'm talkin' COLOR baybee...COLOR!!  The intensity of color is as intense as Cara's love of knitting, of miters, of Jaywalkers, of Monkey's (perhaps now crochet?)...it is intense, deep and beautiful.   JO is made up of MY favorite colors, and I do believe, I need to knit a sweater with it.  I DO, I'm gonzo for it, crazy for it...addicted to it. I'm a January One woman...j-j-j-January One grrl! 

Well I am just a monkey man grrl.
I'm glad you are a monkey, monkey woman grrl
Monkey woman grrl too, babe!
I'm a m-m-monkey!
I'm a monkey!
I'm a monkey man grrl!