Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mary Land 2017

The annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival was this past weekend. I anticipate this trip more and more each year. To get away with fiber folk, discover new projects, patterns, techniques, re-fill the fiber stash.....it just doesn't get old. The weather was dismal. Wind, rain and chilly temperatures probably kept some at bay, but our car full was determined to enjoy every last minute.
 we enjoyed dinner at a stellar veggie friendly, gluten free restaurant the Kathy had visited before. I know, those restrictions sound like we would be left with a lettuce leaf to eat, but the menu was extensive and the meals..... well, lets just say we ate there Saturday night as well : )
We arrived at the fairgrounds close to opening, not sure what the new admission charge would mean in terms of lines and waiting. We got right in and made our way to the vendors that we considered as 'must see'. First stop was Into the Whirled. Last year our little travel group purchased the same colorway in roving with the plan to knit the same pattern. We did (surprisingly enough)  and decided it was a tradition worth keeping. Heirloom Ornamental is on the horizon for 2018. after that major decision and purchase, we all wandered on. I found myself at the basket ladies holding choosing between two that I swore I did not need and would not buy. So at least I had something to fill carry. Last year my friend purchased a lovely woven wrap. I debated and decided that it was something I did not need to add to my wardrobe. This year it was a different story.
jesamie handwovens creates stunning works of wearable art and I left with one. With those tasks out of the way, I wandered about taking my time to enjoy each part of the show.
we finished the day cold, wet and weary..... ready to get into our jammies and .....
relax with a glass of wine with a side of show and tell!
It seems that in showing the fleece sale to our travel companion they talked each other into splitting one. So... what do we do for fun on a Saturday night?

split and roll! And if you are so enraptured by your new acquisition, you wash some locks, dry, spin and ply them before breakfast!
What can I say.... it's how we go. We enjoyed a quiet morning at the festival and I believe it was even colder. I had a moment and came home with yarn for two sweaters and Dragonfly Fibers exclusive festival colorway.
Dare I say the best trip ever!!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

finishing

Now that proper winter weather has returned, I'm eager to get things finished. I'm weaving along on the tencel shawl. That pretty much stays in place, so I tend to work on it when the light is good in the morning. With the time change, that will be afternoon so progress may slow down.
I've discovered a way to make  knitting on the Targetty fun. I'm at the point where there are over 300 stitches and the repetition of the pattern is slaying me. How you ask, did I make it fun?
by visiting microbreweries! Now I'm a wine gal through and through, so there has been a learning curve with this. My partner has wanted to do the happy hour at 3 brother's brewery at the mall. Last week we finally made our schedules work and had a delightful time sharing a flight. We chatted, sipped a variety of brews and I even got a dinner out! We enjoyed it so much we tried another today..
Twisted Rail brewery on Canandaigua Lake. Locals will remember it as the Maur House next to Roseland Park. As you can see, I'm making progress on this baby. We shared a flight of dark beer ( my favorite) and both agreed that we preferred the selections at 3bro's. This may become a weekly outing. Flights are about $7 and it's plenty for us to share. Today we could sit in the wintery sun and look out at the rolling lake. And while my partner was all relaxed and agreeable, I negotiated help with this...
Finally finished the sheep pillow that I started on the way home from Maryland. I just didn't like any of the pre made pillow forms, so I bought a pillow. It was a tich big (like way toooo big) so I needed another set of hands to stitch it.
how dear are those little wooly creatures?
Done and on the bench. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

it's march

I've been busy with so very many things and have lots to show for my fibery adventures. let's look at the past month.....The elf family is finished and living in their new home. I was able to find a ride for them and sent them along. Completely not the season, but they will be ready when the next holiday arrives.
I got another request for some hats and got lots of knitting done at piano lessons and the recital. Our guiding eyes for the blind puppy has progressed to the stage where she settles nicely for periods of time. She had been my companion at places where lots of knitting is getting done.
getting lots of knitting done while riding along with the learning driver. parallel parking- check, k-turn- check. a bit more road experience and road test is in the future. It was much easier second time around.
Finished the Miss Babs February weave-a-long embarrassed to admit that I never got it going until the end of the month. When I realized that I had less than a week to get it finished, I was motivated to finish it. The end product is even lovelier than I hoped for. I've worn it and find it very comfortable. The scarf from the last weave a long is too narrow and a bit short. I used one skein for the entire project and this time I used two. As soon as it come off I was itching to put another project on......
Amythefibergoddess had some odd sized skeins of tencel, so at the end of a dye day we tossed some color on them. I was anxious to try the new techniques that I learned at the guild program from Jaye and this was a perfect opportunity to try them out.
Jaye uses slats from mini blinds instead of paper on the back beam. I found them at Walmart in the correct width for under three dollars. The hardest part was pulling those dang things apart. I used every single one with this warp. The other piece of advice was how to tie the warp threads to the front beam.......
I borrowed Jaye's handy device to make the proper sized strings....
and it works like a dream. I've tried this in the past, but didn't completely understand the technique and really did need that handy dandy tool to measure the string. Not knowing how many I would need, I made 100. Yes, one hundred. I may have gotten carried away.
I finished this little wrap. The BLT scarf was a quick knit. I added the beads and they give it a nice touch. 
The Targetty scarf is zipping right along. I treated myself to the yarn when I was at the Artisan Market last month. The yarn is from the Walk Collection in Cosmic Chaos. Several years ago when we were vacationing in Cape Anne, I visited a yarn shop where I was introduced to this yarn. I wanted to see ( and touch) it in person and it took this long. I did not want this to settle into the stash, so I purchased the pattern and cast on. It is rolling right along, enough of a pattern to keep it interesting as I near the end.
There is more fiber on the wheel, the loom warped and ready to go and this scarf to finish. With these rainy days I hope to see much progress.








Thursday, February 2, 2017

Groundhog day

 February is officially here and I'm still waiting for winter. I love a good old-fashioned snow storm that lasts for days leaving lots of white snow... enough to romp in, go sledding, coat the yard white. So far this winter has been a bust. Yes, we've had a few snowy moments, but mostly mud. There are 12 paws that live in my house and that means lots of floor mopping. It's enough to drive someone to knit! I've reverted to knitting elves. again. I just can't stop. Such a quick and easy project to do ... and such a nice gift. My sister commented many times over our family celebration how much she would love to have one. Really, one? I'm well on my way to having another family done.
This is some lovely yarn, I think it's Malabrigo worsted, that I won in the recent guild auction. No tag and already in a ball it was perfect for an elf. and to save my sanity. As we entered the new year, my dishwasher (love it like a child) started to make some funky noises and was missing some spots. I took it apart, cleaned filters, ran the cleaner..... all with limited success. Mentioned it in passing to my partner and soon found myself trapped visiting stores to compare modes. We (and I use this term loosely) decided that it would be a simple homeowner project to swap them out.
All was going well until we discovered that the mounting brackets did not line up with the existing holes in the counter top. The granite counter top. Five drill bits later it should be finished tonight. Then the screws need to set for 24 hours and washing can resume. My hands are never good in the winter and this has just about sent them over the edge. I will say that every family member has taken many turns in the dishpan, and we can't wait to get this new one going!
Back to the fiber for sanity philosophy. I decided to join in the Miss Bab's weave-a-long.
Snagged some great Yummy 2-ply in Maryland this year so this was a perfect reason to warp the loom. Sadly this picture does not show the lovely colors of the yarn, so I'll get a better one soon.
This is an accurate picture of the yarn that I'm casting on next. Got a knitting request from my cousin. I love when someone in my family asked for a knitted item. She wants a bright pink hat, well really she wants two.... one for her and one for her daughter. I had no bright pink in the stash and could not find any online. Thank goodness for amythefibergoddess. We dyed several skeins and I snagged the two brightest. Can't wait to cast these on!
 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

So, it seems I'll do ....

anything to make knitting this cowl interesting. Last night I found myself agreeing to go to Lowes to 'browse' with my partner. Not only do I detest going to Lowes, browsing there is like being tortured. Yet, I went willingly, even pawed through the clearance holiday racks for lights, bulbs and new snow. yikes!!
This morning I resolved to turn it around, find the fun!
This lovely shaker knitting box was a gift several years ago. I've never used it (too nice) and decided that drastic times call for drastic measures.
loaded it up with the remaining small skeins - that I've put into balls - added scissors
threaded the next color through....
joined it to my current color. I really steamed through that ball in anticipation of making this work!
can't say I'm getting any farther any faster, but I'm determined : )

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

catching up and knitting on...

I loved the idea behind the manic panic cowl... using up lots of little skeins and having a wearable item at the end. the problem is that I want to do almost anything but knit on that cowl. Even though I'm at the half way point, it don't feel like I'm getting any where at all!!!!

not hard or tooooo monotonous, I just find that if there is a bit of distraction there is a fair amount of fixing. so what have I been doing instead?
this came off the loom and made my heart happy
I've resorted to using the yard decorations for models. After asking for all sorts of opinions on how and what to warp the loom with, I used two different colors that seemed very close. one is striped (warp) the other was a muted solid in a close color.
this is a more accurate expression of the colors. totally dig that vibrant green nestled in the dark purple. The yarn is a discontinued line from Blue Moon. BFL fingering that is surprisingly soft. I am so tempted to warp the remainder, but... still got that cowl to knit. I even resorted to spinning....
this a ITW rimfisher that needs to be off this wheel. Been working on it way to long and it needs to be a shawl before May.
this is all I have left to finish. Which leaves me lots of time to knit. on the cowl. Before I start any other projects. I swear!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

into the new year

Christmas was just right. snow on the ground, family and friends gathered, and time to finish up lots of fiber projects. believe me, I was thrilled that those naughty elves (and my addiction to them) had run it's course. Well, that's not really true, I just ran out of bells, yarn and fiberfill. there may be more of them in my future, but not for gift giving!
This finally came off the loom. it was taking forever to do because it's over 7 feet long. I must have wanted it to be long enough to wrap many, many times around my neck. My fringe was easy to complete with my handy fringe winder. What a great addition to the fiber tools. if you are ever thinking of getting one, do it! the fiber is: stone edge fibers in shades of grey. Did I mention that it's her cashmere blend?
With an empty loom, I had to get another warped.
the picture is terrible, but it is Blue moon fiber, BFL fingering in dark shades. I would love to tell you what the colorway is, but someone (with four paws and red fur) ate the tags. never hurts the fiber, just loves the tags. so, I'm going with dark shades! I made this quite wide so it can function as a wrap or a scarf. the best part was using the new technique my friend Jaye taught me. It worked like a charm and the warp tension is just perfect!
I've got a new knitting project on the needles. The manic panic cowl. I have thirteen small skeins of varying yarns so I know it will match every coat I own. I'm on skein 5, so just need to keep slogging along.
I do have one project left from last year, the sheep pillow kit that I purchased in Maryland. I dug it out during the holiday cleaning frenzy and made it through the tough part while I was trapped waiting at Ontario Honda for a service. Solid 90 minutes of knitting with zero distractions. Now to keep up the momentum.
I'm looking forward to see what fabulous fiber stuff awaits me in 2017. I promise to keep the blog up to date : )