Sunday, April 28, 2013

spring cleaning

i was on such a spinning-fiber-knitting spree that it's been hard not keeping up. i've been busy all weekend sorting, hauling, purging the garage and shed. i still have the basement to go, but i'm wearing out! we've been doing some major projects in our yard, so it migrated to the garage and shed. the village has an annual event where you can put almost anything to the curb, and what isn't taken by 'the picker's' by gets hauled away. so far, only one item has made it to the curb and it didn't last the day. i've been through baby clothes and toys and games, old furniture from my parent's farm and of course all the holiday trim. three trips so far to the VOA and a car full for tomorrow. i did save my wedding dress, all those baby clothes and a bunch of toys. i know that i should take a more minimalist approach, but hey, i've got the space. i remember what a thrill it was to have 'hand-me-downs' from family when i had wee ones, so i'm going to try to keep the tradition going. i plan on staying here until the end, so i've made sure to label it and leave notes for whoever gets the job of sorting through it.

i found two things that just tickled my heart. the first, two fleeces that i washed and stored and my sweet honey moved to a 'safe place' sadly they lost their tags, but hey...... they're nice fleeces!

the second was a book that recorded my grandparents fiftieth wedding anniversary. it is written in grandma's distinctive handwriting with all the information filled in...... when they met, when they married, friends, attendants, guests, gifts, it is all there. she even included newspaper clippings! they began their married life in 1913. just how cool is that!
i have absolutely no idea how i came to be in possession of this treasure, but treasure it i will.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

fiber frolic

amythefibergoddess and i made our way to beaver lake yesterday to the central new york fiber frolic. this was their third year (my second visit) and it is a lovely little event. the nature center has a large room that holds the vendors, with spinners in an adjacent area doing fiber demonstrations.
amy had set her booth space up the night before, so we just had a few little things to set out.

she has shawls displayed all around the space. it was fun to see folks drawn in when they became captivated by one. she was busy before we even got settled (a good thing ) and we stayed that way most of the day. lots of familiar faces stopped in to chat and find something to add to the stash.
i had brought the other hank of yarn that i had spun to display with the radiance shawl to illustrate how to spin the stuff. one lady approached amy and asked if it was for sale. why no, she said, it was just there as part of the display. well, this gal was persistent and really wanted that hank. finally, amy looked at me and said that since i had spun it i should decide if it was for sale. really, i sat there stupefied not knowing what to say. the gal told us to talk it over while she looked around, but she would be back. well, our feathers were all ruffled trying to decide. i was willing to let it go, but then we had to price it.
i'll admit, i had a response that annoys me when other's do it..... it's not 'good enough'. clearly this gal wanted it, but i was caught in the trap of doubting that my work was sell-able. not to worry, amy gave me a strong dressing down and we set a price. when the gal returned i gave her the decision, and she was thrilled. i must admit, i had her look it all over while i told her how it was 'just handspun' and that were 'lots of uneven spots'. i looked up to make sure she was getting it, and she was teary eyed. she lives in hawaii and loves all things fiber, but is challenged by her location in getting product. it made her day to have that hank.

not to worry..... this found it's way into my bag ;)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

made it!

the extra yarn was washed on monday, just as the weather turned nicer. my usual drying method is to place the skein on my mitten drying rack over the register and typically by morning the skein is ready. well, no. while it was warmer (relatively speaking) it was not warm enough to dry a skein outdoors. i had to come up with an alternate method. i turned the oven on, put the hank of yarn in and let it reach 150 degrees. i turned it off and didn't open the door until tuesday morning. it was good to go!
i took the advice given to me at the spinning retreat and started the next leaves with the new yarn saving the rest for the last four leaves. i love this part of the pattern and it goes quickly. soon all leaves were done. (can't tell the difference in leaf color can you)
i just had all the ends to weave it. so last night i got busy....
and blocked it before it went to bed.......
as luck would have it, the weather turned cold and the furnace is on. i must admit it is lovely. and yes, it's killing me not to be casting on another. i 've got some other deadlines to meet ;)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

i was so close....

just back from a fantastic spinning retreat. from friday to sunday, all fiber..... all the time. there was spinning and knitting and all sorts of needlework. there was also food, fun and drinks... and my fabulous fiber peeps.
i learned how to knit from a silk cap~
a technique that has intrigued me since i read about it on the yarn harlot's blog. there is no spinning involved, just a careful separation of silk layers, fiber loosening and knitting. i think my initial pair is big, so i'll start another. but now i know how ( thanks diane :)
i also worked tirelessly (okay, really it's chatted and sipped wine) on the radiance. i have only made the shawlette and i really forgot how much more time you need to complete each row when there are five million sitches ;)
i finished the last row saturday night and started the leaves. i was giddy with excitement that the end was near.
sunday i sat down with a cup of tea and kept knitting leaves. it soon became apparent that i was not going to have enough yarn. i set it down, looked at all the fiber folks around the table and sighed. i knew that i had to spin more yarn, i knew that i was on a crazy deadline, i knew that i should not knit another stitch.... but i hope that they could all reassure me it was fine.
it was not.....
so, over to wheel i went and i've got the plum spun. i get it washed and dried and hopefully be knitting by tuesday.
i will make it!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

knitting deadline

i've been working on a project for amythefibergoddess. with the new season of shows, events and festivals beginning, she asked me to help with the display items. it is one of my favorite times of the year! new fibers, new projects, and really good reason to spin and knit...... bliss. i've been captivated by the ombre fiber, yarn and patterns and the love affair it still going strong. i can see the end of the current radiance and this one will be a shawl ( vs. shawlette) in english? many. many more rows.
i'm down to the final section repeat, them i'll just have to complete the leaves. i have just over a week to get this done and blocked, and normally i wouldn't be anxious.... but amy asked me to block another display item. a lovely holden shawl that a friend 'knit up in no time'.....
yeah, i'm feeling the need to get mine done!