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Even More Spinning

Many of you have asked how the dogs are doing - how everyone is getting along. Honestly, really and truly, it could not be better.  Max is the best dog we've ever had.  He is sweet, obedient, joyful, funny, and perfect.  Moxie has taken to him much as we have and, as you can see in this picture…all is well. Moxie seems to enjoy the company and there has been no territorial behavior or growling. We are a happy family of four.

Moxieandmaxonthepatiofastfriends
Max follows me around the house, but when I sit (to knit or spin) he curls up near by in a tightly little ball.  Moxie follows along soon after and it's nice to have the company.

There must be something about spring/early summer that brings out the spinning bug. The virus spreads quickly and everywhere you look new skeins of handspun are popping up.  I've enjoyed spinning more than ever because the process has finally sunk in. I feel like a real spinner.

Silkwoolsingleschasingrainbow
The bombyx silk/wool blend from Chasing Rainbows was a little intimidating. But, when I saw Cheryl's very nicely spun silk singles I asked her advice on the best way to spin and finish. With her helpful suggestions I was able to do an adequate job.  The wool content (50/50) made spinning a little easier than pure silk because wasn't as slippery. To finish the yarn it was soaked and the kinky nature of the singles melted away to produce a smooth, shiny, and beautiful yarn. The color is appropriately named Shellbox and this is another exciting potential shawl. Susan thought the yarn was very good, so I'm feeling quite proud of my ever growing skill. The spinning groove has proved a fun place to be. As with knitting, when a complicated project is finished, it's nice to have something simple and easy in contrast.

Spunkyclubpartydressesroving
Amy's Party Dresses, the Spunky Club  offering from December, was the perfect contrast and compliment to the silk.  The roving is painted in three distinct eye-popping colors; pinky red, chartreuse green and aqua blue.  Separately they are bright and bold...together they create the best party, a joyful, exciting, merry group.  Each color will be spun onto a bobbin and then plied together into a springy, sproingy, happy dance, sock yarn.  Maybe this will bring back the Sock Mojo!

And, for Kim...Friday Flowers! Happy Friday!!

Poppingpoppyfromgarden


She DOES Knit!

Well, it looks like I am the victim of Typepad problems.  The posting ahead feature did not work today and I had to publish it myself.  I hope there is hope for Typepad!  The following is todays (re)scheduled post. Happy reading.

There is so much more to say about the spinning going on around here, but after a bit of a drought, there is much to say about knitting, too.  First, the Japanese Vines scarf is finished and she was one enjoyable companion.  The yarn was heavenly to knit and there was no noticeable color change between skeins (as often happens with hand dyed).  The Artyarn Ultra Merino 4 is soft, nicely dyed, drapes beautifully and has nice stitch definition. I shall be using it again.

Japanesevinesscarfissoftandlovely

The Japanese Vines pattern is nicely written, easy to do and easy to remember. It's also very entertaining knitting.  The pattern looks fine with a yarn that has a little color change and a light blocking kept the edges wavy.  The scarf would also look good with a hard blocking if that's more to your liking. I wouldn't mind knitting this pattern a second time. Maybe I have become a scarf knitter after all.  As someone said, scarves are the new socks…maybe so!

There has been a little trouble in Mudville, however. The big problem project is Shetsoie.  She is a trying companion in that she is moody, often pouting and difficult to handle. Because of her unwilling nature, it wasn't very smart of me to try and change her. Moody projects do not like change. All I wanted to do was add one more section of garter stitch and she has thrown a fit over it.  Nothing I do will make her happy and she has been in time out over her antics. She will not be frogged. I remain hopefully. It would have been nice to have a finished project for PS Elements Earth, but I guess I've failed at knitting Earth.  Let's hope I can do a better job of knitting Air and I do have a special project in mind. (More later.)

Fittedcardiganinredcottonfleece

After being misused by Shetsoie, I retreated into a simple project, one that will allow me to be Alpha and won't mind a few changes.  The Fitted Cardigan in Louisa Hardings book, Modern Classics, is elegant, simple and should be a perfect summer cardigan.  It will be great with jeans while dining in the mountains on cool summer evenings, or it can be dressed up and taken out for a night on the town. (Pearls anyone?)  Going with what you know is the best way to get back on track. I will be the boss of my knitting (or die trying).

The knitting has been easy even with my changes (lengthening), but the road to get to this point has been bumpy.  The first sweater planned for this yarn, a pullover, never got off the ground.  When a project just sits and doesn't ask to be cast on, one must realize it isn't meant to be.  The second sweater grew only an inch. Very quickly it was obvious the process just wasn't going to be enjoyable (who knows why one project does that and not another).  This little red cardigan fit the mood bill from the first stitch, and it now happily sings along. This is the first time I've worked with Cotton Fleece and, so far, it's a good experience. Hurray for success.

Summertime and the knitting is easy.


Putting a Spin on the Weekend

Last week, unbeknownst to either of us, Carole and I were on the same wave length, at least in regards to spinning.  Before the Snake River Festival I decided the only way to work through my burgeoning fiber stash was to actually spin every day.  While I feel no guilt over this amassed fiber (yet), I do feel that something unused has little value.  Fiber tucked away in the closet (for years on end) is not only "out of sight, out of mind"...it's a waste. 

Everyday for over a week I've sat with Emmylou and we've filled bobbin after bobbin with fiber. Minutes at the wheel add up to miles of spun fiber. All the Indigo Moon, sadly the one and only roving I had of theirs, has been spun into singles, steamed, wound, and now ready to knit. The yarn should knit up beautifully and I'm just a bit (too) excited about the shawl potential.

Singlesofindigomoon

In my fiber stash was a bright and colorful braid from PippiKneeSocks. It had been sitting for some time and I decided it was perfect spring spinning.  The intent was to spin a prize for Claudia's MS Ride ...a nice fluffy 3 ply that would make a good winter hat. 

Wildflowermayhemfrompippiforclaudia
While spinning, I learned from Amy about Pippi's need for assistance from our fiber community.  How could I spin her fiber and not help her out?  The 3 ply, which Pippi named Wildflower Mayhem, is still going to Claudia as a prize, but this bright 2-ply, called Her Name is Rio (another creative name by Pippi), will go to Amy for an auction (starting later this week). All proceeds will go to Pippi and her children, so watch Amy's blog.

Pippihernameifrioforauction

You now have a chance to knit with handspun even if you don't want to, need to or like to spin. Amy will have other skeins (Susan also sent a lovely skein) and hand knit items for auction, too. Get out there...donate, bid, do what you can to help our fiber sisters.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

There has been much more spinning going on, which I'll share later AND, guess what, I'm not just spinning and cleaning...I'm knittin', too!


Spring Cleaning Jag

Saturdaywascoolandbeautiful
The return to winter last week looked as if it would stretch into the long weekend. Fortunately that did not happen, and while the wind was chilly, Saturday was graced by sun most of the day. Sunday was much the same, slightly warmer.  Very early on Monday morning the rain pattered outside the open window, the cool breeze filled the room and the birds sang to the new dawn. Nature is a lovely alarm clock, albeit a bit early for a holiday morn.

Mynewworkspaceforpinning
The weekend was filled with friends, fiber and massive attacks of spring cleaning.  Even Smith caught the bug and the pantry/storage room is now 90% empty.  (He is not amused that I call it my new fiber storage room.)  The bookcase in my "junque room" also had a face lift . The knitting books are up from the bottom shelves and much easier to see.  They look marvelous interspersed with yarn, fiber and other memorabilia of my craftiness.  Stacy's room was the inspiration that set off the cleaning jag. It looks like boudoir for yarn and knitting.  I had serious envy for her lovely space and decided to create on of my own.  Even with all the clean up, spinning was accomplished.

Maxournewschauzerboy_2
Max is fitting in as if he was always here. He is a dream dog, better trained then any we've raised.  He obviously didn't have overindulgent parents and toes his own line.  There has been little to no adjustment period. He is sweet, comfortably content and we are all very happy, all very lucky.


This and That - Or More Lists

Who is that kid?

  1. I have never seen American Idol.
  2. Awhile back I learned about David A. from my office mates.
  3. He attends the same High School I did.
  4. Nearly everyone in Utah is aghast and agape that he lost.
  5. I know the head of Public Relations for the School District.
  6. She thought David Cooke would win.
  7. She's been overworked during this whole mess and she's glad it's over.
  8. So am I.  I don't need to hear about it any longer.
  9. David will still go on to a career.
  10. Why am I talking about this? Bleh.

Shetsoieshawlreadyforfeatherfan

Does she knit?

  1. Little knitting is being accomplished
  2. The Shetsoie Shawl is set up and ready for the feather and fan section.
  3. If need be I'll fudge to make it work.
  4. The yarn makes this a difficult project as it's so hairy and fine.
  5. Japanese Vines is a snap to knit and very pretty, too.
  6. She'll be off the needles soon.
  7. I've started a sweater.
  8. You'll find out which one soon enough.
  9. The weekend will be spent knitting and spinning.
  10. More spinning (the reason I'm not knitting) than knitting, me thinks.

Weather Report

  1. Last weekend we had record breaking heat.
  2. The last few days have been 15 degrees below normal.
  3. It's been raining for three days, too.
  4. New snow has fallen in the mountains (over a foot!).
  5. Our heat in the house is on again.
  6. I'm wearing socks...again.
  7. That means the new pedicure is under wraps. (How about the blue toes?)
  8. The new sandals are closeted.
  9. The snow melt has slowed.
  10. But, the rain could cause flooding.

Mynewbluetoenailsandsandals

Please Help

  1. Pippikneesocks is in need of help from our fiber community. 
  2. Please read Amy's posts and help if you can.
  3. Amy is knitting a shawl for an auction.
  4. The Indigo Moon batt she auctioning is awesome.
  5. I'll be bidding. You should, too.
  6. Claudia is fund raising for the MS Society.
  7. She has tons of prizes to give away.
  8. You can donate here to this worthy cause.
  9. Let's make sure Claudia and her man are #1 again next year!
  10. Give to both if you can. Please.

AND, give a big welcome the new member of our family.  Last night we (somewhat impulsively) adopted Max, a 7 year old schnauzer.  Moxie is not amused (maybe because Max is better groomed), but Max is a doll. Don't worry Mox, we still love you and you'll be seeing a stylist on Sunday. 

Moxiemaxandsmith

Have a wonderful LONG weekend....we ALL will!


Once I Was...

...a collector. That person no longer lives here, but she left behind different collections of "things".  Today I, the new person, only collect yarn and fiber (apparently) and that's something I'm trying to keep under control. That's a story for another day, however, so let's get back to the person I am no longer...the collector or "things". 

One of the "things" that held my desire for many years was jewelry.  It started with gifts from Smith...a very sweet gift giver he is. His mother loved fine jewelry and I have many beautiful pieces from her collection which I cherish to this day.  Smith is very good at finding just the right piece for the right occasion and, consequently, I have many fine jewels of my own to cherish.  To make this long story very short, we'll jump ahead a bit to the late 80s-early 90s when I fell head over heels for costume jewelry...collectible, vintage costume jewelry. There were so many sub-categories to collect and I did try for a time.
Varietyofvintagepieces_2
This collection is small Victorian pins and other early pieces. 

The antique shows brought in many a seller with large varieties and categories of collectibles...it was overwhelming and fascinating. For a time small silver Victorian pins were a favorite of mine. The first pin I purchased was $15, but within a short period of time, the prices escalated to $100+.  (High prices put an end to much of my collecting.) Mexican jewelry (Taxco and other signed pieces) were affordable for a few years and after picking up a few choice pieces, that market climbed sky high.
Afewvinatagesignedpiecesofj
Signed Mexican and other designer pieces.

When traveling my favorite souvenir was a unique pin, bracelet or necklace. They could be vintage or contemporary, but I just had to have something to add to my growing collection of "things".  While jewelry isn't something I spend my dollars on any longer, I have been the recipient of many beautiful, unique handmade pieces and this is the jewelry that means the most to me and that I wear most often.

Comtempararypieceofjewelry
Gifts of contemporary jewelry.

The pictures show only a small portion of the amassed collection.  It might be time to become a divestor rather than a collector and buy a new wheel, eh?  As you might have guessed by now...

J is for Jewelry.


Lucky See, Lucky Do

If there was ever proof of just what a lucky grrl I am...this weekend brought it home. As we all know, it isn't the fiber that makes a festival fun, it's the people…hanging with the grrls.  The drive to Idaho took longer than it should have, due to a wrong turn. My companion for the trip (N.) was very forgiving and relaxed about the whole thing.  When we finally arrived at the festival it only took a short time find Laurie and Anne.  They were at opposite ends of the display area so we were forced to walk past all the booths over and over and over (life is hard).

Laurienumiandhteslipperlady

The Snake River Festival is held inside the hallways of a technical college. At least this year the hallways were light and bright. Last year it was like being in a cave.  Sadly this festival has no animals, but there is much to be had in the way of fiber, yarn and other supplies. N and I did a nice job of shopping and I'm very happy to report that she bought a spindle and some fiber.  It was a very easy task to bring her to the dark side.   Rarely did I think to bring out the camera, but I did grab a shot of Laurie's booth, where she sat patiently helping customers (at one point she was surrounded by a very large family with small children!) and spinning when she could.  At the other end of the table sits N.

Annekimandlotsoffiber
Kim might not like this picture any better than the one from yesterday, but the grrl does talk up a storm and light up a room.  I have no idea what's she's doing but it may involve a spindle and no spinning (and perhaps some bitching?).

There was a bit of fiber purchasing.  First is a colorway that grab my attention called Deepest Lagoon by Wasatch Watercolours, next is an angora/silk/merino blend called Solstice (be still my heart) from Wooly Wonka, and then bit of Ashland Bay Merino in "Mahogany" for a bit of spindle spinning practice.

Fiberfiberfibergoodies

In keeping with my "never buy at a festival what you can buy in a shop" rule. I bought a beautiful charcoal yarn, of lambs wool from Notlwonk Farms, which was spun (so nicely!) by Spinderella. The plan is for a cardigan, in the not too distant (but, as yet to be named) future.

Charcoalknotelwonkspringslamb

And in breaking my afore mentioned rule, I bought this lovely hand dyed lace weight. Look at it! How could I not buy such a beautiful, stormy looking future shawl?

Kangarooyarnhanddyedlaceweight_2
It can't be said too many times, but even with all the fibery fun, the best part of any Festival is spending time with other fiber buddies.  No time is better spent.


Best of the Weekend

The weekend was whirlwind and I'm still trying to catch up. So, I bring you a quick post...

Best of the Best Weekend

Best Purchase (Most Fun, in any case)

Feltedsweaterslippers_2

The artist of Heart NSole recycles old sweaters into bags, purses, slippers and a host of other small treasures.  She felts and hand stitches every pair and even puts suede hearts on the bottoms for traction and to keep them from wearing out too quickly.  I just had to have the sheepy heads. The return of winter may not be too bad (when the time comes) because my feet will be well dressed and warm.

Best Gift

Lovely, soft, buttery Suri Alpaca from The Sheep Shed (in Nampa) a gift from KimG .  Talk about spinning with intent!

Surialpacafromkim_2

Best Picture

Kim drinking one of the Bigass (swimming pool sized) Margarita's that were made with very little tequila.  We fixed that by ordering shots and then laughing ourselves silly through dinner.

Kimdrinkingthebigassmargaritawith_2

Best View

Beautifulviewsatsilverfork

The view from the deck Silver Fork Lodge during breakfast with AnneB, her friend Miss J and Blog-free Val on Sunday.

More to come!


Saturday Sky

Last Sunday was a glorious day in the mountains. Although not visible with the eye of a camera, this mountain was dotted with climbers.  We were able to find at least 6 people scaling the rock walls.  One was moving so quickly towards the top I wondered if he/she would continue on into the blue sky. 
Sixclimbersonthemountain