Wednesday, December 14, 2016

those darn elves

I just can't seem to stop making these blasted elves. I refused to put myself into a 'must knit' situation and would not even consider gifting any of them. well, I relented.
I decided to use up the rest of the worsted weight yarn that I originally purchased for them. Then I had to make 'just one more'.......
This is the current batch. There is one missing from the photo (it's living in my honey's office). And there is the one that is currently on my needles. Several are being gifted and the remainder will be the hearth decoration. I've got to get another knitting project!
so about the weaving......
amythefibergoddess to the rescue. Not only could she identify the yarn, she even had some left. I came right home and with a bit of help....
got back into the groove. my little fiber pup was under my feet as I was balling the skein and wrapping the shuttle. I kept dropping it or the ball of yarn on her and she would not leave her warm, snuggly pad. I hope to get this scarf done. it seems the more I work on it, the longer it gets. With the holiday approaching I promised to make some space and get this loom out. I may be working on this until the new year.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

since we were last together....

 I admit.... I shuddered when I saw the last blog post was July. sigh. no going back, no excuses, so just some catch-up. The endless warmth of summer carried over into fall and it took me forever to get my knitting mojo back. The Finger Lakes Fiber Festival was another wonderful event. It keeps getting better each year, and it is completely because of the volunteers who dedicate so much time and talent. The guild display was the Noro-shawl knit along. A wall full of stunning creations that festival attendees could vote for their favorite. There always is a run-away winner and this year is was amythefibergoddess. I will admit (and it's no secret) that she put a lot of thought into this project and is often the case, dragged me along! We spun the Hemlock Reserve in polworth silk for our main color and she dyed complimentary colors to match. she chose the oranger shades and I went with the greens. The top four winners were announced at the most recent guild meeting and prizes awarded. I came in a distant second to amy, but was thrilled to be in such great company!
 We made the annual trek to Rhinebeck, this year with two newbies. It was an absolute delight to travel and spend the weekend with fiber-pals. I found some great treasures-yarn from ITW (which I've never used) and their stunning roving.
We squeezed some fun during those last fall days, spending the afternoon on the Medina railroad for their wine train.
we visited the train museum and stopped at Spring lake winery on the return trip for dinner and a tasting. lots of knitting time on the train when I wasn't enjoying the stunning scenery. I still haven't finished that shawl because we've been busy with this.....
poor Etta started limping around Halloween. Wasn't sure what it was, but suspected a torn CL. The vet confirmed my suspicions and surgery was scheduled. Then she had a vicious reaction to the meds resulting in delaying the procedure. When she finally had it done, we found out that the injury was worse than we had expected with quite a bit of arthritis already in the joint. We obeyed the strict cage restrictions for two week post-op and are half-way through the extremely limited activity. Soon she can start building up that leg muscle with walks. So, our pup in training....
has been at the region coordinators. being back to two canines has been an interesting adjustment. I keep looking for miss sunbeam. The good news for fiber is that I've been knitting like a lunatic. Forced crate rest = cage sitting!
amy got me started on these 'Jolly Old Elves' and they have become my potato chips. more? you bet
I've got two more small ones in the works and then it may have run the course. Now that the holidays are here, floor space is at a premium so I've been trying to empty my looms. I completed the cotton dish towels and almost finished this scarf....
and ran out of yarn. I'm optimistic that stone edge fibers may have the other skein that I need. 
That brings me up to date so I'll try to stay there!

Friday, July 29, 2016

the dyeing has begun

Last week amythefibergoddess and I were looking at the calendar, realized that the month was zooming past and set a date to start dyeing. We usually try to choose a day that not only works into our schedules, but is a tad bit cooler. Of course with this summer, that is impossible! She had a plan to start with the yarn that would be come a sample shawl. Having had so much fun knitting Reyna, I jumped at the chance to knit another.
It is intimidating to look at all that empty yarn and see the color. Thank goodness that is not my job! We start with a set of colors, then more get added in..... or taken out and before you know it there is a bucket of beauty.
Since I was knitting the sample, I got first dibs on the skein that sang to me...

can you stand it? I could hardly wait for it to dry so I could cast on!
Not to worry, there will be lots more in  her booth at the 2016 Finger Lakes Fiber Festival!

Friday, July 15, 2016

it's been awhile....

a very long while and every time i had a moment to post... it just didn't happen. it had been so long, too long and how do i get back in the groove. do i really want to? well, here i am. posting. i missed it and i've got lots to catch up with.
maryland was a blast! i always hope that my memories of the past year don't outshine the experience. they did not. my travel companions were a new mix this year and we all got on fabulously. i came home with fiber, weaving tools, weaving yarn and a basket. can't wait until next year.
the month went by in a blur and i was packing the family for a trip to new england. my biggest decision were knitting projects. i still had that blasted noro shawl to finish and new that being trapped in the car was probably the only way that sucker was getting done!
we spent several days on martha's vineyard and may basket went everywhere. i kept knitting .....
and knitting.......

and finished just as we were boarding the ferry to come home. full disclosure, i spent time working on a few other projects to keep myself from pitching the thing into the ocean. i started reyna with a tube of fiber optics cashmere gradient. i also worked on a tulip baby sweater and even a kit that i got at msw.

the trip was a prelude to a wedding in providence, rhode island. the event was lovely..... and outdoor wedding at addieville farm. you just never know what the weather goddess may challenge you with, but it couldn't have been nicer.
we no sooner got home and sunny arrived. who's sunny?
sunny is a Guiding Eyes for the Blind puppy. after much consideration, applications, home visitations, training classes, puppy-sitting...... we became a puppy raising family. my youngest is the primary raiser, but it takes a village to make this work. we attend weekly classes, and every moment is a teachable moment in dog raising. she goes everywhere with us. everywhere. socialization is a big focus during the months we have her. getting her used to every day experiences, places, situations, smells, sounds, you name it! so if you see us out and about, ask for an introduction!
so far the yarn and fiber have not been of big interest. she did find a skein, but i chose to take that as a suggestion to start a project. i cast on quaker yarn stretcher boomerang. i'm not sure what the yarn is, that tag was enjoyed by the other canines in the house. i love the way this is coming out and i know i'll be making many of these.
so there i am... up to date.
i'm still weaving. i bought some cotton in maryland and the plan is for towels. i've got to find time to sit and get them done. i'm also very quietly participating in the tour-de-fleece. my only goal is to spin every single day. it may only be for five minutes, but so far the goal is being met.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

not much to show

i've got a project on the loom that i just can't seem to finish. i know the reason is that i have not been working on it! yikes..... i've been working on a stealth knitting project that is finally completed. it was not complicated, just had a deadline. as does this weaving project.
i was wandering around in the stash and found this lovely yarn. by the amount i had purcashed, i must have been thinking sweater. well, it's going to be a poncho. i have it on my larger loom warped to the brim!
i totally hope that what i want to use this for will by unnessecary. what is it? well, the trip to mary-land of course. the last several years have been cool (at least by my standards) and this will be perfect to toss on in the morning and in the damp barns. so watch.... this is the year that it's in the 90's.
i finished the spinning for the guild knit-a-long and cast it on last night. i'm not completely sold on this.......
i'll keep going and wait for amythefibergoddess to give me her opinion. it is soft beyond belief so it is a delight to work on. the further i go, the more it reminds me of a garden..... beans, peas, carrots, beets...... need a bit more to decide.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

what happened to spring....

i'm going to make a concentrated effort to get my fiber stuff posted. there has not been a lot of fiber things happening, but i did have some fun. the annual 'girls weekend' took us to the lovely state of New Hampshire to my cousins cabin in the woods. they name it 'little bear cabin' after a sighting of.... you guessed it... a little bear. we didn't encounter any on our outings, but did see amazing stuff.....
the afternoon we arrived it was in the low 70's, just perfect for a hike.  there were few signs of spring other than the lack of snow :)
and the brightening of the trees. you could see hints of buds and the smells were amazing.
our destination was this pond with loon and beaver. you could see some activity on the trees...
several had fallen in the area, all with the same tell-tale teeth marks! we shopped in Concord and i found a charming yarn shop, The Elegant Ewe. while the others were playing in a bookstore, i had myself a fine time in the shop. there was a wide variety of yarn, wheels, looms.... it was all there. i left with two balls of knitting fever painted desert laceweight for.... you guessed it weaving.  i even got some knitting done on my knit-a-long poncho...
want to do it all over again!

Monday, March 21, 2016

happy spring

it seems that i totally missed the month of february. can't even use the usual excuse that it's a 'short'month given that it is leap year and there was an extra day. i even celebrated the 'pay-it-forward' concept of the day. what did it look like in fiber you ask?
i was a weaving maniac. amythefibergoddess decided that silk was missing from her fiber line-up. she acquired 10 skeins for us to play with. they dyed into stunning works of art and i wove 4 of them into scarves. it was a bit trickier than i'm used to. not much leeway for mishaps. i was able to calculate (and i use that term very loosely) it so the entire skein, all 400 yards, became a scarf.

i also jumped into the 'miss babs' weave-a-long. i have several skeins buried stored in the stash and i chose ~celebration~ in a lovely lace weight. i couldn't be happier with how it turned out and will brave the masses to hit her booth in may.
yes, another poncho. this was a birthday gift and the recipient was very specific about the design. purple and exactly like the first ones that i had done. the purple was easy, i had a bunch left over from a would-be sweater. i warped up the new kromski loom only to discover that i really needed to use a larger heddle. i pulled it off and it was draped over the living room chairs for several days. when i finally got past my mad, i discovered that there would probably not be enough to do the entire project. amythefibergoddess to the rescue. we tried overdying some of my yarn with poor success, so we used a skein of her corriedale farm yarn. it was genius! just enough difference in texture to add to the design and the color was spot-on. i had big plans to add knitted elements and fancy it all up.... but the birthday girl was firm. so it is just what she asked for.
amy also had some yarn that she had woven into a table runner and tossed the left overs my way. i was pretty darn sure that i wouldn't have enough, so i taught myself a new stitch. the leno.
i must admit it really came out well and looks great on the table. i've got another wrap on the loom and have finally gotten around to completing my spinning project. i was gifted with polwarth/silk roving in the stunning ~hemlock reserve colorway. it's spun, plied and washed. i have 330 yards of a dk weight yarn. i'm working on the complementary color for the noro-shawl.
i've also been helping a friend learn to knit. she has taken to it like a duck to water and wanted to knit a poncho. so..... we're doing it as a knit-a-long. side 1 is done and we completed the lace part of side 2 today. she is going out of town for spring break and wanted to get to the mindless part of the knitting. with the way she is going, i need to pick up my pace to be ready to put this baby together.

whew..... that's it for now.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

gift giving

i'm on such a roll with these dang woven scarfs..... i just can't stop. thinking about them, weaving them, planning the next one, who can i unload gift them to. my niece has a birthday coming up this week, so i tried planting the seeds at christmas about a poncho. well, it was like launching a lead balloon. my sense was that she was not interested, not no way.... not no how. so, she got a stunning merino/mohair scarf....
suits her perfectly! interesting thing about dropping subtle hints: she has no recollection of the conversation and when i gave her the scarf, it almost sounded like i could try for a poncho. or she was just trying to be nice ;)
amythefibergoddess and i are at it again in the dye kitchen. the second annual artisan market is fast approaching on february 27th, and yesterday we did sock yarn......

saturated, colors... oh so lovely. as we were rinsing up, amy suggested that i take some of her merino/tencel home to try on the loom. i could not say no. she is a sorceress!!
warped my schacht using a different technique. instead of tying to the front beam, you use cotton yarn to reduce wast. so far, so good...
i zipping right along!

Friday, January 22, 2016

i've been weaving....

not only did i get a new loom for christmas, my child was gifted with a 15" cricket as well. if you do the math we have..... 3 rigid heddle looms living our house. each had their own stand, shuttles and additional heddles (well, only the schacht has extra heddles). true to my nature, when i jump in, i go all the way!! so what have i been making?
this is a terrible photo, but it's the first project off the new loom. i wanted to try it out before i started my sisters holiday gift and i wanted to have it be something that would be in my life. it's a subtle gray houndstooth pattern scarf for my patient spouse. not a peep has come out since the looms have started to arrive. it will be a lovely valentines gift, don't you think?
after the practice, i warped up for my christmas craft. amythefibergoddess helped my dye some wool early in december in anticipation of this project. i wanted a deep, scarlet but was equally pleased with the rich plum that the yarn became.
as i was warping, i was aftraid that i would run out of yarn, so i used the lighter skeins to add in a subtle stripe. it wove beautifully, just the size i was going for. i seemed the edge and voila.... a poncho. this is the third one i've done and i couldn't have been happier with the finished product.
i need to make one for me, but i've got lots of other items to work on......

sarves are flying out of here! i've been experimenting with patterns, colors and yarn weight. it's been exciting to find yarns that i purchased (and had forgotten) that work for weaving....
this beauty is a merino/mohair blend that i bought the first yeat i went to the new england fiber fest. the colors are stunning, subtle changes in warm tones. it's going as a birthday gift to live with my niece.
i also joined a weave-a-long on ravlery (didn't i say that i'd jumped in with a splash?) using miss bab's yarn. sure enough, i found several skeins and i wanted to try out the lace weight yarn before i started.
it's all ready to go. i'm adding in the purple to try for some subtle color changes in the fabric.