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May 2005
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July 2005

Summer of Endless Lace

This Summer of Lace is going to be lovely.  No heavy knits in the lap, gossamer threads floating across the fingers, light as air finished projects, just right to keep the mountain air chill away...perfect. Who could ask for better knitting.  Lace is the ultimate 'process' project.  All that looping of the yarn to create an airy, light fabric is mesmerizing.


Spiralofzephyr_2Knitting with Zephyr is like knitting with a gossamer thread.  It feels faery spun. The color reminds me of wild flowers that might be braided into rings for a faeries head dress. Every stitch is pure enjoyment.  It is taking longer and longer to get across a row and back. For the few minutes I knit each morning I can only knit two or three rows.  The ball of tightly wound yarn is slowly growing smaller. In the beginning I wondered if I could/would knit from it forever, as it didn't seem to shrink.  I love looking into the center of the ball where the yarn forms a spiral, an eddie of yarn to draw you in.   Maybe I should find a way to weigh it and see how far I've come. In a way, that seems silly as it really doesn't matter.  It will be a bitter sweet end when it comes. 

My mind does turn to other lace, however.  The virus beauty of Birch is taking over Blogland.  Has there ever been an unorganized KAL with so many knitters?  It does draw one in! After Jackie told me which Rowan Magazine it was in (found it on my shelf) and I found the yarn in my stash (same as Teresa C’s blue), it became even more tempting.  But, then I saw Cassie's Birch (which is just beautiful),  and became worried, as she is a wee little thing...I'm 6' tall!  Birch doesn't look like it  would cover the length of my 'wing span' and a large mohair shawl to cover all of me is more to my liking. 

Brooksfarmlaceweightfor_birchI'm sure it would be easy to add repeats and make the shawl larger, but at the same time I had that thought,  I had a better idea.   The Brooks Farm kid mohair just purchased at Estes Park Wool Market would be beautiful,  would be slightly heavier in weight and make a  larger shawl.  Plus, it wouldn't look like anyone else's.  Not that that would be bad.  It would just make it more mine. 

Susan returned to Stitch 'n Bitch from her trip to Italy. It was so nice to have her back!  She thinks I should make a stole. The Baltic Sea Stole to be exact. Because I have the Seaweed Wrap (stole) in the works, I'm unsure.  If you have a suggestion for another shawl or stole, I'd like to hear about it. The incredible kid mohair keeps calling me to start it...soon, soon.

The Summer of Lace continues.

How Cool Is That?

Claudia gave away prizes to those who donated to her long, long ride for MS. (Her team did very well.)  Lucky for me I won the beautiful Alpaca bag you can see here.  She knit it with her own handspun!  What a thrill! Thanks Claudia, it will be cherished and enjoyed. 

What's Up  or WTF?

I'm beginning to understand the ill effects suffered last week.  It had to be exhaustion.  Could it be that 'aging thing' because it really shouldn't have been THAT hard to sleep 3 hours, drive all day (or ride), play, eat, and party with new friends all weekend, walk around a wool market all day, and then drive all day (or ride) back home.  You'd think sleeping well each night would be enough to catch up missed sleep.  I now know that it's can't catch up on lost sleep.  I suffered all week and by Saturday all I could think about was climbing into bed and sleeping all day.  Instead, I went to the gym and did an ab class on a Bosu. Then I visited stitching friends I hadn't seen in months and had a quick lunch with them, before heading off to teach needlepoint.  By the time class was half over I couldn't stop yawning.  It was embarrassing!

During this period of 'fog' I had been knitting... barely, but knitting still.  I finished up the sock you saw on Monday and started the Birch Leaf Sock for the Gathering of Lace Along.  Despite not having much time to knit I did think things were going well. Well, going OK, anyway.  But, by Saturday night, around 8:00 p.m. I knew it was a loosing battle. I couldn't keep my head up, couldn't see to knit, and I just wanted to feel the bed more than anything on earth.  By 9:30 I was sound asleep.  I slept 9 hours straight and it was heaven. 

The first thing I did the next morning was head for my knitting.  It was quiet and I love the early morning hours when I have time all to myself.  I picked up the Birch Leaf sock and looked at it, and looked again, and again.  It was like I had finally come out of the fog, awakened from the dead,  seen the light.  Sigh. The sock was ALL WRONG. 


See the two charts?  One is a personal copy I made so the project would be portable. See the difference in the copy from the original?  You can't see the shading in the copy? No, I couldn't see it, either.  So, I just KNIT the whole damn sock! NO PURLS!    Sigh, again.

It actually looked pretty good so, I pulled it on my leg to see how it fit.  Good again.  Please let me introduce my adaptation of Nancy Bush's Birch Leaf Sock from the Gathering of Lace by Meg Swanson. It's all good.


Utah Arts Festival

Sunday was the best day at the Utah Arts Festival.  The only thing to disturb the calm, clear blue skies were fun flags and a few thunderstorms or strong winds. It was my first free day in some time, too.  We were going to meet up with Mim and her hubby, but the best laid plans...again I apologize for being too late.  Anyway...this was some of the fun we enjoyed at the Festival.

Performance artists gave everyone a laugh or three!  They were so much fun to watch as they walked around on 'legs, oh so long'!  And the plastic worm/guy sometimes had help, with his too long tail, and sometimes he had to drag it alone.  Talk about a beast of burden. Some performers had fashioned ghost like marionette's to accompany them which made it all so fascinating to watch.  Plus, they had spray bottles of water to keep us cool. 

BallofmetalyarnThere was eye candy everywhere you looked. Colors of fabric, glass, photographs, and all types of art where visible every which way. Knitting is never far from my mind and when I first spied this large rusted ball I thought it could be a ball of yarn. 

AnnecarolsboothGlassartaquariumIt was fun to run into Anne Carrol Gilmour in her booth and see her fabulous textiles.  She is the designer of the Oriel Lace Shawl and she had some knitting with her, along with her beautiful hand woven shawls, vests and ponchos.  She had great success at the Festival and had sold more than half her wares.   One of the most unique glass artist created amazing  seascapes with her colorful, meandering glass open aquariums. What a wonderful whimsical piece to have in your living room.
The wind seemed to clear the air of the smoke late in the day on Sunday and as we left I snapped this photo.

I'm still a little behind the eight ball for one more day, so more knitting news tomorrow. Yes, I did get some knitting time over the weekend.

Did you see in the Summer 2005 Spin-Off that Cassie and her blog are mentioned in a little blurb on page 4?

Mountain Spendor at Silver Lake

MountainscoveredwithsmokeWhen there are wild fires in California, Arizona and/or Southern Utah, Salt Lake City sees, feels and breaths the smoke.  This is what the view was from my place Sunday morning.  So, what did we do?  Go up...higher than the smoke!  We hadn't been to our favorite place since early in the month and we knew the mountains would be beautiful.  It was rather chilly (barely over 60) so we sat inside for breakfast and then headed up to see how the snow was melting at Silver Lake.  What a lovely surprise to see that all the snow was off the boardwalk, the lake and most of the surrounding area.  Only the peaks of Brighton Ski Resort still had snow.


The sky was clear of smoke, had only one little cloud and was as blue as can be.  Many people were there enjoying the area by walking around the boardwalk or fishing on the lake.  Only a few weeks ago we had seen skiers enjoying the solidly frozen lake!


We enjoyed our walk around the lake so much that we lost track of time and ended up missing our met up with Mim at the Salt Lake Arts Festival. Sorry Mim! Another opportunity missed because we try to pack too much into a day. At least she will be at Stitch 'n Bitch on Tuesday and Susan will be back from Italy, too!

The weather has been windy (therefore, smoky) but cool and comfortable, with late July style, afternoon thunderstorms.  In other complaints.  Because I took a step back from blogging for a few days all organizational obligations were met (I'M FREE!). I just might be able to deal with my family on Thursday if the week goes well.  The boss returns to work today, and if he learned anything this week, let's hope that it is he needs to be a boss and lead; not play, play and play some more.  The best part of the last few days was I found time to knit. Isn't this a past time which becomes so much a part of our psyche's that we can't survive without it?  Thank you, for your encouragement, support and friendship, everyone.  Life is good.

The Sockotta Socks are ready to wear.  (Don't you just love the rock infused with 'fools gold'? )


Juta's Sock from Folk Knitting in Estonia by Nancy Bush
(Can you see the lace down the front of the foot and on the ankle?)
Sockotta Italian Collection- 45% Cotton, 40% Superwash Wool, 15% Nylon - Color 6670   
June 5 - June 24, 2005

Thanks, I Needed That


You, each and every one of you, are awesome.  A grrl has a bad day and Blogland comes to the rescue.  Supportive comments, funny comments, calming tea, and lewd and lascivious emails, all came my way.   I'm going to survive and the mood is lifting. In short, you all rock.

Check out my sister, Neena.  She knits!

Happy Weekend!!

I'm In A Mood

"In this world, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant."

When I started this blog my thought was to have fun, be entertaining and 'oh so pleasant'.  That quote is from Harvey, that wonderful old movie with Jimmy Stewart.  It was my feeling that there was enough negativity around and finding a way to forget and have some fun would be a good thing to do. Going against that philosophy, I had a rant all ready to publish today but, decided against it.  I needed to get things of my chest so, I'll give you the highlights instead of the full blown rant.

  • The office is imploding. There is too much and it's to complicated to explain.
  • I had a complaint about it being too hot for June, but last night was beautifully cool.
  • I'm stretched too thin on several obligations (resignations forthcoming).
  • Family members will descend on SLC during a much too busy week.  The good part is the visit should be short.
  • The little boy lost in the Uinta's pisses me off is upsetting for many reasons that may not be immediately apparent.

To calm my mind I took a walk around the neighborhood (yes, in the heat) and snapped a few photos.  I will never be Cara and I need a new camera.  But, I made do.


YellowdaisyPurpledaisyflowers Perhaps Laurie can help as I have no idea what any of the flower names might be. I just know they are beautiful and enjoyable to see.  They calm me, feed me.  I can't believe it is late June and that Independence Day is next weekend.  The summer seems to be slipping through my fingers.  There has been little time to knit this week and next week will be even more hectic.  Maybe that's the problem. Little time to relax and do what calms the soul.

Socksnotknitontrip_2Geraniumflowers I have had only one morning to knit on the Flower Basket Shawl (it was heavenly).  And, the only other knitting this week was at Stitch 'n Bitch, where my sock grew a little more.  I didn't even get a chance to work on it much during the weekend in Colorado.  Who knew there would be little time to knit while you're at a Fiber Festival. Next time I'll know to only take a simple project, or two, along.  I started the second sock twice, which cut down my progress, only part of the leg was knit.  This week I did fit in some time to turn the heel. I'll work towards finishing it this weekend. Thank goodness the weekend has some fun in store. The Utah Arts Festival is the next four days and it is such a great time.  We'll enjoy days filled with music, art, fun and eye candy.

Just as a remind of the weekend past, here is another picture of some fibery friends.  You just gotta love my three pals.


It has been too hectic to get around and visit much of Blogland or to even answer the comments you've left for me.  I have decided to take tomorrow off, from blogging and try to catch up with the obligations and problems in the office.  I'll see you Monday.
Have a great weekend!

You Will Wait No More...

HeybabywannaplayIt is very hot here, so on Monday Tyson set up my workout in the class room where a very large fan could keep me cool.  The workout was hard and felt very good after sitting in a car most of the weekend.  Part way through he asked if I had taken steroids over the weekend. Everything he had me do I did well and I was much stronger than on Thursday.  I wasn't sure what to tell him but I knew the real reason for the added vigor and strength.  Wool. Beautiful, warm, soft, buttery, alpaca, bunny, sheepy, everything wonderful...wool!

The main reason I love going to a fiber festival is the possibility of finding unique yarns.  There is something so enlightening, almost creative, in convening with small growers who have their own blends and/or own way of dyeing and spinning. The festival is the best place to see the unique possibilities available. This is heaven's yarn store.  No LYS could have even a little of what you will find at a festival. While the Internet brings many of these small growers our way, you can't feel, smell, fondle or commune with the fiber like you can while it is 'in hand'. 

Yarn is seductive (we all know that!) and has a lure that is hard to ignore.  There was no way for me to know who would be at this market or to know what they would have, what would catch my eye. It was all to be an adventure.  Grayce, of Plain & Fancy Sheep & Wool Co., had wool that was so wonderful, with colors delictable, it was very hard to choose.  I ended up with 2 skeins of lovely lace weight in shades of blue, with lavender and pink highlights, and a sport weight in colors that just jumped off the shelf at me, which will make a delightful pair of socks. It was hard to buy only these items as so much more wanted to be mine. It won't be long before that sport weight is being knit into a sock...I can't resist its call.  This yarn is beautiful, no?


At our local Fiber Festival last year I found a very nice alpaca yarn in lavender. When I bought it I had no idea what it would become. But when Knitty published Blaze, I knew this yarn would be perfect.  This time I sought more yarn for a future, yet unknown, sweater and found the very same type in a bright pink.  They also had luscious blended colors, so a couple skeins of that came home with me.  Another future possibility, or two, now awaits in my stash.  Do you love it? Mmmm, I do.


Susan asked if I could pick up some yarn for her (the poor grrl is in Italy after all)  from Brooks Farm. While I looked for her color I found this is lovely yarn for me! The halo of the mohair, the blend of colors and the softness to the touch make it a yarn that draws you in.  Not wanting to come home with a bag of only purples and blues I made a step outside my unusual pallet and bought this blend. There is so much depth and color to this blend. What will its future be?


Textiles a Mano was new to me and the variety of their yarns was amazing.  After touching, dreaming, and walking away a few times, I came back and bought this pink, turquoise, yellow...every color of the rainbow, silk/wool blend.  There is enough for a small shawl or socks....or any number of future possibilities.  Posing with it is my new spindle, with its crown, from Greensleeves made of Tulip and Bloodwood.  It has more weight than my other spindles which is just what I wanted to find.


If the budget was unlimited (the budget was blown all to hell as it was) there would be much more. But then, there is always next year!  The animals are a fun part of the festival experience and these two (can you see a third?) just made me laugh.  Now that is a dynamic duo.


Have You Any Wool? I DO!

Hey kid...did you have fun?

HeykidwishyouwerehereWe did, we did!  Anne and I left bright an early on Friday morning.  Well, maybe I wasn't very 'bright'.  A party at the condo across they way resulted in my having 3 hours of sleep.  Smith, my hero, went over and with a veiled threat, was able to empty the house in nothing flat of about 30 noisy teens.  RovingandspindlefromcandmWe hope the threat was enough that they will not try to party there again. (The house is usually empty and owned by one of their momsters mothers.)  Anyway, Anne and I were on the road, heading up I-80, by 6:30 a.m. We shared the driving, gabbed the whole way and arrived in Windsor 8 hours later.  We surprised Cathy, who had expected us later in the day and who was in the process of entertaining others with a tea party.  Cathy is so sweet and generous. The first thing she did was hand both Anne and I a gift. Mine was some beautiful roving and a spindle that M made just the night before!  It's wonderful and makes me even more determined to learn to spin.   

The ever fantastic and wonderful Snow fetched me for dinner after her long work day and we headed off to meet Kristi and other fiber freaks members of their Stitch 'n Bitch.  It was a ball to be with them and  to eat ourselves silly at a great Italian restaurant.  Snow is a true 'hostest with the mostest' and Kristi was as sweet as people can be.  It  felt like being with long time pals, which seems to happen often in Blogland. Snow made sure I had a good nights sleep so I was ready for fun the next day.

MarketandmountainsBigthompsonriverhighSaturday morning Kristi, Snow and I set off for the Estes Park Wool Market and became total immersed in fiber thrill. The market building was packed inside and out with fiber seeking maniacs.  Estes Park is so beautiful and nestled in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.  The Big Thompson River flows through the canyon (which is breath taking) and while I've heard the song about the 1976 flood , I never realized where the river was. It was flowing high, as all rivers in the west are at the moment, but nothing like that tragic day.

CrowdsatesstesPlainandsimplewoolThere is nothing like going to a wool market to bring you 'back' to Woolcentricity. Sadly, I didn't meet up with any of the Denver bloggers, as I think we all had our noses to the wool. There were so many wonderful vendors!  Grayce, of Plain & Fancy Sheep & Wool Co., had left a comment so I had to search her out right away.  It was great to meet her and see the beautiful wool that is 'to live for'!  It was so hard to choose. I could have come home with a dozen of her sport and lace weight yarns as the colors were so gorgeous. She was nearly out of yarn by the end of the day.  If you are going to Taos for the Wool Festival make sure you run by her booth early in the day for the best selection.

KristibuyingherwheelHa, ha! I fool you all! That is not MY wheel it is the 'Knitting Fool' Kristi's. Go congratulate her on a fabulous find! The roving isn't mine either!  I did buy a very nice Greensleeves spindle from  Bountiful and will be trying my hand at spinning (again) soon. You'll see the spindle and 'yarn porn' in tomorrow's post. Yes, I did buy yarn (oh yes, lots of gorgeous yarn), but yarn is not a step into the 'dark side'. 

Loveland and Windsor are in the high plains of Colorado. The area is mostly agricultural and beautifully green with the mountains off in the distance.  Early Sunday morning, while driving to Cathy's to pick up Anne I snapped this picture.  It was so peaceful, so beautiful and had full accompaniment from a symphony of bird song...a very nice memory, indeed.


So, who's coming next year?!

The Weekend in Heaven

You gotta love a weekend you can spend with a guy like this


and this....


plus see scenery like this,


and then come home with this much fibery fun in your trunk.  (No, it is not all mine.)


Jayme won the prize for being the 5000th comment.  She doesn't seem to have a blog.  Her comment was about right in the middle of all the comments left. Thank you for the good wishes on our trip to heaven. As you can see we had a wonderful time.  More details tomorrow.


Jayme, this lovely alpaca is on its way to you!

My Bags Are Packed...

By the time you read this Anne and I will be on the road to Estes Park.  Anne is stay with  Cathy  (I can't wait to see Cathy's beautiful garden!) and I'm staying with  Snow, so we have the bases covered.  We'll also be meeting  KristiStaceyCathi and many, many others. It's my first blogger meet-up! To make the trip even better,  Marina gave me some good news yesterday. Saturday is National Splurge Day! What could be more perfect?, I ask you.  Hurray!

BirchleafsocksformeFlowerbasketfromkatyzeph_1My knitting was packed first, as any 'real' knitter would, and threw in a change of clothes.  More knitting than I could possibly do is in the bag, but it feels right to take knitting to a wool festival.  The Birch Leaf Socks have been started and will be good company.  Snow and Kristi are the co-hosts for the Gathering of Lace Along and I must be a good KALer and show them that I'm still knitting along.  On the right is my third Flower Basket Shaw. It's going very smoothly and it must get some attention, too. I love it too much! The yarn, the color and the pattern have me in a spell.  It's been hard to knit anything else.  Seaweed and Chamomile are both in the bag and they may not see the light of day, but they are coming along, just in case.  Oh and the Sockotta sock (one to go) is also packed, as it is the easiest thing I have on the needles.

Monday morning pictures will not be of gorgeous Utah.  They will be gorgeous Colorado and maybe a sheep or alpaca. Now that will be something different.  Have a great weekend and we'll see you on Monday. 

Oh, I'm nearing 5000 comments and want to give some lucky person a prize for being the auspicious commentor. So, say 'hey', or anything else you like, and on Monday I'll tell who gets the little fibery gift.

Estes Park or Bust!!