Last Weekend of Summer


Since we spent sometime in the sun, walking around a small fiber festival, Cheryl, Shelley and I decided hats were in order.  Purchases were few, but the beautiful black skeins of alpaca from Deb's Sunrise Ranch, called to me, as did the soft, handwoven towel, which will make a lovely polishing cloth for Corrina (my Schacht wheel).

Corrina and I were able to spend time together getting back into the spin of things,  after I gently polished and oiled her.

The better part  of the weekend was spent in the garden.  We brought home a multi-veggie harvest and made multiple batches of Vicki's Roasted Tomato Sauce. The weekend also brought the very first eggs from our community gardens chickens!!  This is the second egg.


This lovely little egg tasted like a real egg should.  All three bites of it.

Under the Influence

The weekend was spend under the influence of friends.  This group of grrlfriends enables good times, laughter (often uncontrollable), fiberlust, shopping frenzies (which can be but didn't seem to reach the point of being uncontrolled) and bouts of eating and drinking (which are never uncontrolled or cause us to be illegally under the influence). In other words, there was nothing but the best of times.
Cheryl, Kathy, Kim, Laurie, Terry and Carole
Sadly Sandy and Norma were not in the picture, but they should be, especially my grrl, Sandy.  I did not get as much time with her as I'd had hoped.

The Great Rhinebeck Incident, which is chronicled here, here and here had us nearly weeping with uncontrollable laughter AND we were sober! It was a story to rival any Keystone Kops movie and the laughter continued as the story spread. This incident is indelibly etched on my brain along with all the laughter that ensued. The laughter is the main reason I love Rhinebeck.

I love this picture!
This picture was taken while we under the influence of JMMs spinning class. Judith is an undeniable treasure trove of spinning knowledge. She left us discussing spinning techniques the rest of the weekend. I may try to put together a post about some of the wonderful things learned.  The picture is of Terry holding a bison puppet that Judith passed around class just before we spun bison fluff (a very difficult task).

Walking through the barns from vendor to vendor quickly puts one under the influence of fiberlust. There is so much to see, so much to desire, so much to touch.  The plan I had was to buy little to no yarn and that plan lasted for about 2 seconds.  I walked into the Briar Rose booth with very frigid fingers which caused every yarn I touched to yelled MITTENS! Under the influence of the weather, I impulsively bought the skein of wool/mohair in lovely autumn shades of red. There is no buyers remorse and there will be a pair of knit mittens in short order. Also, under the influence of "last of a kind", I bought a large skein of Susan Briggs Icelandic lace weight from Tongue River Farms.

The small skeins of yarn, in natural, gray and blue, are Icelandic fingering weight singles from Frelsi Farms.  The plan is for an Icelandic shawl in stripes of color. The idea of spinning for a shawl was quickly undone by the thoughts of knitting the shawl right away.

While I may have passed up the Icelandic roving I did not pass up all spinning fiber. Foxfire's cormo wool, one bag plain and one blended with silk, made its way home with me (not pictured).  The blue fluff at the top of the photo is Jacob (a wool I have yet to try) dyed with indigo and the gray batts at the bottom of the picture are from Barnswallow. They screamed SHAWL and I was immediately under their influence.

Goldingpinkspindleonbarnswallowbatt Justbecausecloseupofspindle_2
Golding is another booth that hypnotizes me and puts me under its influence.  This spindle immediately spoke to me, as did the spindle Terry is spinning with in yesterdays post.  The understated beauty of this one won out. It's maple with a thin metal ring of bright fuchsia and it spins like a dream.  It's my true Rhinebeck souvenir.  Everything fit nicely into my suitcase and I came away with more ideas for future purchases.  Not everything needs to be owned, bought or desire at one time. While purchasing all this lovely fibery stuff, much laughter, chatting, eating, drinking and hugging happened.  We were all under the influence of a fabulous fiber festival. The trip to Rhinebeck was to be with "my people" and not for fiber hoarding.

U is for under the influence of fiberlust, under the influence of friends and uncontrollable laughter....undeniably life's best things.

More Rhinebeck in Pictures

The time I spent at Rhinebeck was "in the moment" time.  I thought only about who I was with and not about the future or past. Thus, I forgot to go to the meet ups on Saturday or Sunday and missed meeting many blog pals.  If I have any regrets that is the main one.  The other regret would be how quickly time flew by. How could it be over AND how can I now be sitting at a desk instead of still walking through the Rhinebeck Fairgrounds?  It was a whirlwind and is now a mystery.

A few times someone would call my name and another in the crowd would say "WHERE?".  That's how I met up a few friends, but my camera, while at the ready, never took a snapshoot of what was happening.  If the pictures in my head could be downloaded onto the computer would see more than you'd like, believe me!  So here is my weekend at Rhinebeck in a nutshell, with the few pictures I have. 

One good sheep picture.

You lookin' at me?

Laurie, Amy  and Sherie.
I've wanted to meet Amy for years and had hoped to meet Sherie at Estes last June.  It was wonderful to bump into them while waiting in line for Franklin to sign our books.

It Itches
is SO FUNNY.  I couldn't help but laugh out loud while reading it in the airport.

Here is Terry spinning on the Golding spindle I left behind (it was hard to pick between it and the one I did buy). She's wearing her GREEN Rhinebeck sweater.  It looked so fabulous on her.


Terry and Laurie both bought a fleece from   Foxfire.  Here they are inspecting Laurie's HUGE fleece, which I do believe she is sharing with another person.

Elspeth and I have had a mutual admiration society for some time and she was running around with Ann who was my first ever Secret Pal. It was a treat to run into them again and again (and you already know that's Laurie with them, right?).


You must have heard that Claudia won a first place blue ribbon for her picture of Kimber.  How cool is that?

This picture is for the Ewe-tah Grrls.


In the  Susan's Forest Canopy and Miriam's Icarus shawls.  They were there in spirit if not the flesh.

That's just about it for pictures, but I did put together one more post with a special picture (or two) and the fiber goodies that made it home with me.  More tomorrow! 

Happy Days Continued

Smithmadekugelforfridaynightdinner Not to sound like a Pollyanna, but the happy, good "stuff continued right on though the weekend.  Last Thursday LizK blogged about her Aunt Cookie's Kugel and I just knew Smith would be reminded of his grandmother's if I made it. I printed of the recipe and left it on the counter when I went to work on Friday. When I came home there was  a warm pan of kugel cooling in its place(almost as if by magic).  Smith actually followed Liz's recipe (something he rarely does) and it was such a treat!  We had it for breakfast and dinner over the next three days.   

Coldwetandrainybutthefeltedboothwas Saturday we woke to rain, something that is desperately needed around here.  Sadly it was the weekend of the Great Baisn Fiber Faire and it was cold and miserable for the vendors and attendees.  Susan and I braved the wet to show support and found some lovely things to buy. Hopefully a few more Ewe-tah grrls made it by as it was surely a slow and wet day for everyone.  The bright spot of the festival was a booth of felted items from Kyrgyzstan that were brought by Big Yellow House.  I bought a thick, warm felted hat that protected me from the wet and chill.  It's funky and fun to wear.


The knitting happiness continued as Sock Mojo, inconjuction with Kim's fabulous yarn, smiled on me as I knit the cuffs for Kirsten's  Mystery Socks. Kim's yarn is a rich, warm, spicy brown created by a mix of colors like beige, tan, green and every shade of red brown. It's makes for very interesting knitting and combined with the pattern, very entertaining, too. 

You may remember the Georgia O'Keefe flower in Friday's post and my wish for a yarn in that colorway. Well, as fate would have it, awhile ago I was enticed to by a beautiful pink yarn (I know you're surprised) from Ruth.  The colors are a perfect match to the picture, a perfect match!  How lucky is that?  I think I have an idea what it will grow up to be and I know we'll live happily ever after, too. Ruth has a new online shop where you can by all her available yarns, jewelry and notecards.  Congratulations,'s a great spot!


Happy Monday!

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).


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.

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.


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.


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?

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.

What I (We) Did the Last 6 Days

It is hard to describe what it felt like to share 5 days with so many awesome friends. You might call it a slice of heaven.  There was much knitting, much eating, some drinking, and we took that 'be merry' part to heart. Laughter is the language of true friends.

The fiber festival that was small, but packed with fun.  The view couldn't be beat.
We took a class and laughed a lot as you can see from Susan's post.


We participated in a waulking with Anne Carroll-Gilmour (she sure has a beautiful voice) and laughed some more (and very heartily, too).


Wedidsomewaulkingwithannatthefarm    Wewaulkedafabricforanncarrol

We bought some good fibery things (my haul from Spinderella, Anne and Laurie) and you can bet there was laughter while making the transactions.


We laughed our way through dinner (and knitting).

Terryknittingatsilverforkwhileweari Weknitandlaughedandateanddrank_2
TeresaC in Charlotte's Web (must knit a second one), Judy and Kim at Silver Fork.

We walked around Silver Lake...the talk was punctuated with laughter and more laughter.

Wewalkedaroundthelakeandenjoyedthef Thegrrlsathtelakeitwassowonderfulto

We stopped by Black Sheep (again) to say hello to Anne Carroll-Gilmour (again) and did even more laughing. (I love this picture of Anne, Kim, Teresa and Carole.)


Carole and I did some Monkeying around because Monkey's are easy knitting when you're doing lots of laughing. (You'll have to check her blog next week for the fabu Monkey's she knit in Kim's fabulous yarn. Mine is STR Mist.)


It has been too quiet since they left for home and I feel a bit pensive sans was such a good time.  Thank you for coming, grrlfriends, for being yourselves and for sharing it all with me. 

Psssssst, did you know today is Carole's birthday?

Wrap Up of a Week

Animals!  Estes Park Wool Market had barns full of animals...goats, alpaca, llama, sheep and more! The goats are such funny creatures and they have a way of enchanting me with their 'look'. Their various horns, bleating sounds, fleece varieties and shapes seemed to bring a widening smile to my face as I walk through the pens.  The llama and alpaca barns are quiet (except for an occasional hum), but walking through the sheep pens one becomes aware of the symphony of sounds.  Each animal has its own tone and tenor of baa-ing and's impossible to leave without laughing.

Youlookingatme Goatatestespark  Ijustcantseeonelittlething

Fastfriendshangingnouttotgehter  Averyfinepacawithprettyfleece Yesihaveamouthfullofstraw

Twolittlegrrlsathtefestival Yesiamabitmaniacal Hellowtherehowareyou

Estes is still on my mind, and in my heart. I've enjoyed reading other posts about the Festival experience.

Fjpiecesaregrowingquicklynow FJ was revisited after my return and it seems the separation did us both good.  The back has been finished and the fronts are growing nicely.  It took considerable effort for my brain to figure out how and where to start the front "slope", as the v-neck decreases are called in the pattern, in comparison to the armscye decreases.  Now that all that has been determined, the knitting is going along swimmingly.  Both of us are well behaved and happy. Our future together looks long and lovely.

Johoissafeandhappyshelives Hidcote  hasn't had much attention, but that should change this weekend and, despite recurring, seemingly unstoppable rumors, Jóhö rests quietly, happy in her hibernation. Despite the "Free Jóhö" campaign she will stay behind the scene, for now.

Prettyinpinkonmybobbin Emmylou and I have had only short bursts of time together and so, progress is slow on the Spun Stitches project.  When we do get a chance to spin time flies by...but it's still a bit of heaven.  I'd like to fill a bobbin with the lovely bunny crack by the time the weekend is over.

In more spinning news, did you see Tour de Fleece?  This sounds like a great way to spend July and I'll be joining in the fun!

There has been an  ongoing contest here, as the comments on this blog approach 30,000. As of today they are half way to 29,000.  Next week the 29,000th person will receive a box of goodies and I'm trying to think of something special for the 30,000th comment. 

Last weekend, when we arrived at Val's home after our ride back from Estes, I walked around and took pictures of the flowers in her yard (don't you always type 'yarn' first?).  The beautiful yellow lily you see here was in full sun and I wasn't sure the pictures would turn out.  What a nice surprise and a perfect way to start Flower Friday.



May your weekend be as beautiful!

There's More Pretty Grrls Than One*

The mountains of Estes Park are imprinted on my brain and so, 'my' mountains look somewhat new and foreign.


Viewofesteslakefromstanley Paradeofgoatswithspectaularview


The trip was over so quickly (sigh).  It wasn't so much about never is.  I wouldn't travel that far (8+ hours by car) to buy even the most precious of spinning/knitting fiber...ever.  I would drive longer than that to meet up with the best group of grrls on the planet. 

Agaggleofgrrlsatthestanleyafterdrin Lauracherylchriskaren Miriamwassohappyshewasdancing

Laura, Karen, Jane, Cheryl, Mim, Imbrium, Chris, Val, & Anne (in no order)

Lauraandmebeforeleaving Thefiveutahgrrlsbeforeleavingestes Valsatbythewindowwherethehummerscam

Laura & me,  Cheryl, Karen, me, Val, Mim, Val

Marisaandmimknititngwithourveiw Wesatandknituntilthedrinkscame Kareninherprettyblueskirt

Imbrium & Mim, the whole group at The Stanley for cocktails, Karen

Happyshoppersatestesjulieandfriends Estesskyandllamaparade Kristiwithherspinoffsocks

Julie (in red) and friends, llama parade, Kristi avec her Spin Off Socks

Michaelestacykimandothrs Llamawalkingaroundfairgrounds Erinandlisafromco

Michaele, Stacey & Kim, grrl with llama, Erin & Lisa

It was so wonderful to spend extra time with Laura and Chris, both who stayed in the 'Luxury Log Cabin' with us, the Utah Grrls, and to see so many more friends at the festival.  As it turned out, I was a lazy shopper. Not much spoke to me and I came home with little fiber, a bit of yarn, two spindles and a head full of wonderful memories.

PrettyspindleandfluffforspinningGraycesplainandfancywoolsagegreen_2 The only yarn to come home with me was from Grayce of Plain and Fancy Wool Co. It's Sage Green with Mixed Reds and it is a colorway that has been on my mind since last years Estes!  The only fiber I bought (for myself) was a gray cashmere blend, along with a pink 'everything' blend, from Bonkers. I had to have something to spin on my new polymer spindle. The other spindle is from Tracy Eichhelm and since Val, the hummingbird whisperer (they follow her everywhere) was with me, that's what I got, in her honor. Both spindles spin like heaven.


There wasn't much in the way of fiber that was different or unique.  With the wealth of fiber shops in Blogland and the amount in my burgeoning stash it's hard to find something I 'had' to have.  So, that's it...more memories than fiber finds, which is just perfectly fine. 

*Lyrics by Woody Guthrie
Silly You-Tube version by the Avett Brothers 

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. 

May - Five of a Dozen


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.


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.)


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.


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


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!