Friday, December 18, 2015

It's been over a month.....

and I realize there have been no updates. I kept meaning too.... But  (fill in the blank with busy, busy, busy:)
The tree was harvested and is the prettiest ever. I wanted it to fill the spot from floor to ceiling and does it!
Christmas on the farm was the first weekend in December. It gets better each year. Amythefibergoddess brings a perfect group of vendors together to fill her garage with all sorts of gifts.... Ornaments, soaps, baskets, fiber, yarn... A complete shopping opportunity.
I've done some of this....

yes, there was lots of grape juice involved but i assure you it did not interfere with the end result. we even managed to do this....
get amy started with her new loom. it's a kromski harp ( and i think she really likes it). as we draw closer to the end of the year, i've been baking, shopping, wrapping and finishing some last minute knits. this....
has been a great opportunity to get them done. sadly it is also the perfect place to grade papers, so that has taken precedent. there's still lots to do and more to show and i'm making a vow to do it more regularly......
and i leave you with a wee reindeer!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

going down another rabbit hole......

that amythefibergoddess is full of surprises. she has quite a history with creative expression. i don't know why i'm still surprised when she tells me that 'i've done that'. this week it was baskets. the real deal baskets (not those wimpy, commercial ones). she gifted me with a stunning round one for my birthday this year. i've been using it to transport my little hansen spinning wheel and it is just the cats pajamas! well, when she bought it, there was a conversation with the basket weaver about classes, materials,techniques. as a result, we had us a basket weaving class. amy ordered the basket pieces and marcia and i fell in line. just like every art, there are levels of quality, tools, styles..... and we wanted to do it right.
we cut our reed the day before so it would be ready to go. linda (the basket teacher) was absolutely amazing! while guiding us along, she shared basket history, techniques, styles and all sorts of awesome stuff. when i say guide, i really mead guide. as she kept telling us this was "your basket" and there are  no "basket  police", so if she put her hands on it to demonstrate.... she ripped it all out so we were forced able to do it ourselves.
marvelous marcia was zipping along, amy has done this before, so i was the remedial weaver.
of course, i just couldn't follow the pattern. i wanted a different pattern and color. linda generously offered her santa-sized bag of reeds to borrow from....
my hands were busy keeping up with these two! after lunch, the final lashing....
same kit, same direction.... three distinctly different baskets.
just love mine!!! i may need another ......

Saturday, November 7, 2015

2015 New England Fiber Festival

great weather and steady crowds. Sandy's booth was filled to the brim to begin the day. I wish I had a before photo...... But here we are at the end of today....

Things will get moved around and prettied up for tomorrow. There is a cold, dark brew waiting for me at Northampton brewery ;)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

finishing up

i was slogging through the mindless knitting bag, working on the bottle covers and baby blanket, feeling like i just don't get anything done. as the frustration started to bubble, i remembered that i have completed a bunch of stuff!
i've taken several items off my loom. i'm just a weaving nut! i've been working strictly by trial and error. i'm taking projects that have been done on the cricket and translating them to the larger loom. i love to sit here in the evening a watch my progress. i made a poncho a few weeks ago, actually it was the second thing that i did. amytheifbergoddess is knitting one, and i was certain that i could mangle, mutilate, transcribe it for the loom. i used patons nature wool.... its inexpensive with a wide color palette. the fringe was a struggle and required every hand in this house being pressed into action. i mailed it to my sister.. hoping that it was stylish enough to work into her wardrobe.... or be a dog blanket :)
how cool is she? i have only a vague idea how i made it, so i tossed another one on. that is just a nice and is being gifted this weekend....i promise to post some photos.
and that baby hat? well, mr. logan arrived weighing in at 9# 15 3/4 oz ( really, that's 10 pounds of baby) no fears that the pumpkin hat would be too small.

Monday, October 26, 2015

nothing new

i'm still slogging along on various knitting projects. i'm making the wine bottle covers to be used as a gift wrap for work gifts. i need to make four of them and gave huge kudo's to my partner for thinking ahead with the request. it would not be pretty if i was frantically knitting these on december 24th!
i'm half way through the blanket for baby lewis. looking at it this week, i realized i should move this up on the que.
but really? it's all about the weaving right now. took my loom out to jen adams for some advice. she was able to help me restring it, sort out the stand and order me new heddles. schacht really came through. the heddles are a special order because they don't have them in stock for older equipment. the best part is its just a bit more in cost over the standard ones. i'm anxiously awaiting their arrival. in the mean time....... it's halloween!

Thursday, October 22, 2015


my most favorite part of the fall season is a trip to the little town of rhinebeck for the ginormous nys sheep & wool festival. i adore this crazy, crowded event. having made this an annual trip, this year cemented all the plans and tips. my travel companions were as eager as i to suck every second of fun out of this trip. we started out early friday morning, traveling through the hills of new york toward central valley. spotting three flying swans (amythefibergoddess swears they were swans:) and a rainbow, we took those as omens of a great trip. there's an outlet mall that is filled with upscale merchants, so we got our vera fix, and meandered about before grabbing a bite to eat and settling into the hotel. we spend the night in fishkill which is a bit south of the festival, but allows us to beat the traffic jams in the morning.
saturday dawned sunny and cold. lots of layers under our hand-knit shawls!
the entrance line snaked back into the parking lot, so we stood chatting with neighbors waiting to get in. our mission was to get into the hansen booth so amy had a choice of espinners. after years of seeing my love affair, she decided to join in the fun.
it was a match made in heaven. the company is re-working their wheels and attachments, and amy had her mind set on a specific configuration... and found it.
we stood in lines, fondled yarns and roving, made lots of fabulous purchases.... and can't wait to do it all again!
my haul. roving from itw, fiber optix, yarn for my loom from lisa souza and a touch of twist. i've already started spinning and weaving, the excitement hasn't faded.

Monday, October 12, 2015

first finished project

i've been scolding myself for waiting so long (and losing precious weaving time) in setting my new loom up. i used wool from my stash that was one of the very first things i won at the annual january auction when i joined the guild. there were three skeins of very rustic wool, fairly coarse in texture and the colors were bland. i didn't want to waste 'good' yarn, and theses skeins and been kicking around for several years... perfect for this project. even as i was going along, everyone commented on how awesome this looked, what was is going to be, and my favorite 'can i have it?' really, my family does not go without much in the name of knitted, handspun woolens.... they are just getting too used to them!
so the new-to-me loom is lovely and we are getting on so well. this just was so much fun to do. when i took it off, i gave it a good bath in wool wash, and set it in the sun to dry. the yarn was quite filthy and once clean filled out, becoming much softer.
and the bland colors worked well together... each bringing out the color of the other.
no plans yet, but i think this will be a keeper as it is the first. the loom didn't sit empty for long....
i wanted to try using the entire width. again, no real plans just fun to play!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

my 'new' loom

back in august, i heard about a rigid heddle loom for sale. this has been on my wish list for about two years, in fact i've been using a borrowed loom for over a year. the original owner was clearing out equipment that she just didn't use anymore and was intending to send it to salvation army. gasp! i still can barely type that without getting shaky :) as soon as i met her, i knew that this was meant for me. in the car it went, home it came, and there is has sat for over a month.
i'd look at it, ponder how to make it come alive, read some books, research online, watch you tubes...... i just could not wrap my brain around it. in my defense, the brain was a little bit full with life! this week i decided that i was just going to stop trying so hard to figure it out and just jump in. a visit from a friend confirmed my suspicions that i was making a way bigger deal out of this.
i went out and found some yarn that i had won in the guild auction years ago. it was just what i wanted to use on the first run. so here we go....

and finally.......
i love this.... truly and deeply. the schacht cricket it fun, quick and portable. this is too, and it has a wider frame and heddle. i find that the entire process looks great right from the beginning. the yarn is rustic wool that is fabulous... very raw and natural. i'm just enjoying the process and will be happy with whatever this turns out to be.
why did i wait so long!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

before the month ends....

i decided that i really, really needed to do a blog post. my cheeks are blushing with embarrassment that i missed an entire month. 'it's been so busy', is just is a poor excuse. i'll try to pick up where i left off in august.
august... was such a perfect summer month that we spent it swimming, skiing, hanging at the lake. i was decidedly spun out after the tour de fleece, so there was way more knitting than spinning. i finished the blasted reindeer hat and put it on display in my living room. the more i looked at the two hats i realized that i needed to make a third. this would get him through the winter. i also decided that  i needed to keep up the seasonal theme. so i pondered.
it always helps to ponder in a two-seater convertible. my cousin was up for a visit and we went for a spin about town. yes, that is a finger lakes fiber festival t-shirt that i have on.
i finally made a valentines cap for the little dude. with the three completed, i called them 'logan's trio' and gifted the mom. she was delighted and gracious enough to let me enter them in the competition at the festival.
i bought this....
a rigid heddle loom, gently used, that will soon be leading me deeper on the path of insanity.
september began with the traditional ring-of-fire celebration on canandaigua lake. the weekend was beautiful as we said goodbye to summer.
september brings birthday's to recognize. and nothing makes turning older easier than inspire moore wine!
and the biggest event of september is the finger lakes fiber festival.
located in hemlock, new york, this event has grown into a two day feast of fiber! saturday the weather was ify. we had moisture, more than a mist, but not quite a drizzle. this year we began using their newest building and it was fabulous to have the vendor indoors. sunday was delightful. warm, gentle breezes and lots of fiber fun.
logan's trio was chosen for a special award. and they are just tooo darn cute. i've got to get them to him before he gets here!
the guild display was fabulous! the knitted knockers, premie hats and warm extremities were on display along with the pillows and anniversary skeins...
always the third weekend in september, it is definitely a 'must-see' event.
now that the month is ending, i've got another baby gift on the needles and i'm searching for a bigger project to start.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

baby shower gift

my cousin is expecting her second child. her daughter is about 18 months, and for her i knit the tulip sweater. this time i wanted to do something different. i was undecided what route to take until i talked to her mom. it seems she was reluctant to have another shower so soon after having baby #1. i'm pretty firm on the notion that every baby needs their own celebration. a chance to be talked about, wished well, cooed and ahhhhed over.... all in the comfort of the womb. i was looking for something unique, and came apon the notion of themed baby hats.
his birthday is october, so what better to start with than the pumpkin...
this should get him through thanksgiving. so for the christmas holiday i needed something unique. i found a pattern for a reindeer antler hat. it looked charming! the perfect compliment to the season. the basic hat was a snap. then i started the antlers. i can't even begin to describe how much this $%^@*(# challenged me. the pattern was fine. the knitter? she stunk had issues. i decided to attach the antlers directly to the hat. first one? no problem. second one i completed two times.... and in a fit a temper snipped it off!
my family stood there dumbfounded! they've seen me execute some pretty creative fiber tricks.... but loping off an innocent antler was a first. i took several deep breaths..... walked away from the hat..... then started. again.
this time i fared better. they matched in size and placement. i was at peace. then i did the ears. four times.
these i did not hack off  need to remove so aggressively. there were only a few stitches, so it became a game of 'how many times am i going to do this wrong'
there was a huge sigh of relief when i  was done. as i basked in a job well done, my perseverance paying off..... i realized that those antler will be the first thing he chews on. and that's okay. they do look devine :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

tour wrap up

they had to turn the lights on as i spun my way into Paris, but i made it. meeting my tour goals was a gentle challenge. spinning every day is not hard to do, being mindful as i do it is. i appreciated the bumps in the road..... fiber that wasn't what i expected, added knitting projects that needed to be finished and flirting with new techniques. here's the outcome....
two very different skeins. on the left is the ITW faux-romney in 'the bird girl'. i love the colors and the skein is lovely. the hiccough is the fiber content. it was coarse to the touch, definitely not a next-to-skin garment. i kept rolling project ideas around in my brain as i toured along. slippers? boot toppers? felted bag? hmmmmm, going with the felted bag. i often admire joan's booga bag, should that be the pattern? i dug out my copy and just wasn't feeling it. i wanted to do something unique, that would really showcase this yarn. i tossed the stash and found my answer....
 colors that compliment the skien and will increase my yardage. i've got a pattern in my brain using mitered squares.....
the other skein is also ITW fiber. it's my last bag of 'odds & ends' i just had the best time with these little bits of fiber. they push my out of my comfort zone... not completely matching, different fibers....really fun. i spun the single super thin to keep my option open to navajo ply. after mulling other options in my head, i kept with the original plan. i had a LOT of single, hence the lights on to finish the tour! when i had this done, i searched for the skein i had done last year. i had entered it in the FLFF skein competition so it took some hunting to find it.
how cool is this.....
i adore how the colorways compliment each other. last year's skein is  two ply, weight. this year i have a three ply (navajo) dk weight. there is an upcoming KAL that i may just use this yarn to do.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

stage 20 and the ride to paris!

i finished the odds and ends. i was vacillating on what to do to finish them. have a super-yardage single? two ply in random color matches? or go with my original plan to navajo ply. i know that it's not the biggest problem in the world, but i just had to let it roll around in my brain a bit. i did spin yesterday, just finishing up some random stuff that had been hanging about. i wanted to wrap this tour up with completing those dang bits!
we did this..... an excursion tour on the Canandaigua Lady. we've lived here forever and had never taken the kids on this cruize. we are not doing any real travel/vacation this summer, so decided that this would be fun. it totally surpassed our expectations. captain holgar was delightful, sharing lots of interesting tidbits about the area. we learned about the early settlers (seneca's) the original swim school ( my dad remembers learning to swim there in 1929) squaw island, the original steam boats.... it was delightful.
my current knitting project has had quite the adventure. i'm finally making a set of 'knitted knockers' for the guild. it is perfectly mindless knitting that has been traveling everywhere with me. whoever gets these ta-ta's will have a well traveled set!
the canandaigua arts festival was happening, so we strolled about after the boat trip. i found several things that i needed, and even got a start on the holiday gifting.
at the end of the day i realized that i needed to stick with my original plan and navajo ply that yarn. i got going first thing this morning and had a brief distraction to do this....
yoga in the park. it's held at kershaw park on the last sunday of the month in the summer. last month is got rained out, so we were determined to make it today. since the festival was ongoing, we were treated to live music and the sounds of merchants as we worked through an hour of down-dogs and warrior poses! i even got a few more rows done on my knocker :)
but the real test of my stamina came on the ride to paris, i worked all afternoon doing this...
there is way more yarn than i imagined having to ply. but i made it! too dark for pics, so i'll get some tomorrow and wrap up this tour.