Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fiber Fiber Everywhere

This past weekend I attended Fiber Fusion Northwest in Monroe, WA the second year of this festival.  It was a low-key, yet content rich event for fiber and fiber-animal lovers.  There was spinning, weaving, felting and a good sized market with something for everyone.  There were representative alpacas, pygora goats, sheep and llamas from local farms and knowledgable farmers.  There was alpaca fleece judging, daily fleece sales and end of day equipment & fleece auctions to round out the day.

I purchased this 4.5 pound fleece within 5 minutes of walking in from Reflection Farm:

It's from a Romeldale lamb and is mostly white with gray and dark gray/brown spots.  I will separate the colors and process in small batches.  Someday it will be a great natural colored sweater...a cozy raglan pullover or cardigan...No veg. matter and although it's greasy, it's very clean.

Here's a close up of the crimp and staple, 3 to 3.5 inches:

This will keep me busy for a long time.

I did a little damage at woolgatherings, Greenwood Fiberworks and One of a Kind Buttons
And althought I missed out on going to OFFF this year, Fiber Fusion was a good substitute only about 40 minutes away.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Catch UP!

Busy is an understatement...summer came (finally) and went just a couple weeks ago thanks to a mild start to fall.  We had camping and cabining trips and long days of sun.  Kids are back in school and I am welcoming some semblance of a routine.  The weather is now good for knitting and spinning and I am trying to complete a few projects:

Some Suffolk fleece I received from friends who have meat sheep.  Lots of dirt, vm and grease but after washing and carding (blended with some mystery wool I dyed) it's a nice fluffy batt.

Some socks I am trying to finish by end of October:
And I started knitting the Creature Comfort Cardigan from Madelinetosh in Vintage, Firewood.  A super yarn to knit with.

We had our annual dyeing day in early September:

And finally, I will be heading to Monroe, WA Oct 20-21 for Fiber Fusion and looking for a sweater's worth of fiber to spin then knit.  I think I'll be busy this winter...especially playing with this:

Here's hoping your fall and winter are full and fulfilling too!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Spring Has Sprung!

April and May have gone by too fast!  The smell of lilacs and splashes of bright colors from flowers popping up all over is almost a distant memory.  Lush green trees, impressive rhododendrons and azaleas are in their prime now.  We did venture north last month to the Skagit Valley to see the fields of tulips:

And while in Mount Vernon, I stopped at Wild Fibers, a wonderful shop in the downtown area.  They had a large stock of Madelinetosh and Hazel Knits so I picked up just this one skein (quite proud of myself that I did not walk out with armloads of the pretties): in the colorway Carnelian

The picture does not do it justice, no idea yet what to make with it...socks yes, but what pattern is worthy of this beautiful yarn?

On the needles is the second of my Ribbelmuster Socks in Lorna's Laces Zombie BBQ for my husband, a simple 2 row repeat with 1x1 cable (done without cable needles).  I have been spinning up a Loop Spontaneous Striping Bump for a spinalong on Ravelry and have done a couple washcloths for the Knitabulls Washcloth KAL that will make nice teacher gifts. 

This weekend, before the parties and chores, take a moment to honor those who have fought and died for our country and their families who have sacrificed so much.

Happy Memorial Day to you all!  And Happy Knitting/Spinning/Crafting!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spinning Rules!

I am totally bitten by the spinning bug...  have just finished washing and drying my Edgewood Gardens Corriedale in Clematis and will be casting on a shawl this evening.  About 630 yds in a (mostly) fingering weight.

Now to choose my next spinning project... I think a gifted Christmas batt will be my next spin.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


I was going to resist, really, I was.... and since it's a blood sport on Etsy to get one, I was going to resign myself to never getting the chance to spin one of these:

The update came and went earlier in the evening but just before bedtime I thought I'd check my favorite shops to see if there was anything to dream about...

Boy was I surprised when I saw this Sahara Sunset, a Loop Spontaneous Bullseye Bump was still there at 10:14 pm my time!  And since my iphone app makes it way too easy to shop, I went ahead and gave in.  Yesterday, it arrived, a beautiful combination of white. various shades of pinks, orange, and a little dark purple for contrast.  Even better, my youngest son, picked flowers and arranged them in a bowl of water - They are a perfect match to the dark pink in the bump.  Merino, Corriedale, nylon and angelina for sparkle.... Now my fiber diet can begin!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Too sick to knit...

We did not escape the winter without the entire household catching a nasty stomach bug. The last few days have been interesting to say the least. The kids rebound so much faster than the adults, who are still struggling to get upright.

Been too sick to pick up the needles, not sure where the current project bag is...

The mailman brought me something that lifted my spirits & got my blood pumping. Three beautiful batts from Inglenook Fibers, 2 in Susan Pevensie (Queen Susan in the Narnia Chronicles) and 1 in Leatherbound.

With a little luck, I'll be spinning and knitting again soon.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Happy March!  Yellow crocus' are popping up, but we all know that there'll be more winter-like weather for a while... in the meantime...

My Lillian Fay Cardigan is soaking in a nice bath to be blocked and buttoned this weekend.  I'll be wearing it on Monday!  Yay!

I also completed a sock with Nalani self striping yarn in the Perry the Platypus colorway:

 Love this!

Back to some spinning for TheKnitGirllls Feb/Mar Shetland wool spin-along and also the Completely Twisted and Arbitrary Spinning group on Ravelry.

A good start to March - hope yours is off to a good start too!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Magnificent Madrona!

A quick update on my recent splurge to attend Madrona for 4 days.  I was under the weather but managed to pull it together to attend my 2 days of classes (with plenty of sleep between).  I took Deb Robson's Survey of Wool Breeds for Spinners - a whole new world has opened up for me; and Beth Brown-Reinsel Stranded Knitting Techniques, a challenging class but so much information - I now know how to Norwegian Purl which will make any ribbing or seed stitch pattern fly!

A pic of my stash enhancement, I was very restrained this year and I won the book as a door prize!

Pilchuck Sock Yarn from Rain City Fiber Arts, mixed and beautifully dyed fiber pack from Dicentra Designs, Raku Pottery buttons, a mixed wool batt from The Artful Ewe and my sampler packs of raw fibers from the spinning class.

Missing is my last purchase of 4 beautiful enamel buttons from Gita Maria.  I will now need to decide which ones to use on my almost completed Lillian Fay, the raku pottery or the enamel ones...

Thinking of heading to the Whidbey Weaver's Guild Spin-In on March 31-April 1 this keep the creative stuff flowing.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sweater #1 - seeing the light

My personal challenge to start and complete a sweater in one month is progressing nicely.  Completed the main body and one sleeve of my Lillian Fay as of today!  Cast on 2nd sleeve and if I can get that done by the weekend, I will be feeling very confident about completing this by Feb 16 in time to wear it at Madrona Winter Retreat!

My Nalani Perry the Platypus socks are still in the ribbing stage of sock #1...unlikely that I will complete a pair this month, but will fill in my Retreat breaks by knitting on them so should get at least one done.

Have been watching knitting video podcasts and I really appreciate the podcasters - it takes time and commitment to tape on a schedule and keep it interesting for the rest of us. 

No spinning for the past couple of weeks but looking forward to a class with Deb Robson, co-author of The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook in a couple of week.

Happy Knitting, Happy Spinning to all.

Friday, January 27, 2012

1st Sweater of 2012

We're finally caught up after the BIG snow closed down Seattle last week. Good knitting time and a little spinning.  I cast on Lillian Fay by Ellen Mason a week ago with the personal challenge of getting it done in time to wear at Madrona Winter Retreat. Using stash yarn, Jamieson's Shetland Heather and am tracking progress here: Ravelry - Lillian Fay . So far, so good. A little more than 4 leaf motif repeats completed so far. I like it and it's fairly quick knitting, when I have the time.

My "reward" for finishing the sweater is to knit socks from this:

Perry the Platypus in 2 different bases from Nalani Yarns.  Top is 80/20 merino/nylon blend, bottom is 100% superwash wool.  Can't wait to see the stripes in these!  Thinking of doing Tectonic by Lorraine Ehrlinger

Oh, if you live in the Seattle area, Weaving Works is having a 25% off any yarn or fiber that contains wool ends tomorrow 1/28/12.

Happy knitting!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Distaff Day Done

Last Saturday I attended St. Distaff Day Spin-in with fiber friend & enabler, Johnna. The event was sponsored by the Northwest Regional Spinners Association in Lake Stevens, WA. Well over 100 spinners set up in the hall and spinning was all you could see. The event made the news on our local KING5.

About a dozen vendors provided plenty of eye candy and I fell for some lovely 50/50 Merino/Bombyx Silk in a copper brown & shiny golden yellow; 85/15 Pollworth/Tussah Silk in green patina/bronze; some incredibly soft baby huacaya alpaca in a chocolate brown from Crown Mountain Farms and a couple ounces of shiny silver gray mohair locks from Taylored Fibers in Quilcene,WA who offer processing services. The silk blends were from Barbara J Seeler in Monroe,WA who gave me some great tips for spinning silk since this would be my very first.  A warm and generous woman, she will give a spinning silk class on Whidbey Island at the Whidbey Weavers Guild Spin-in 3/31 & 4/1. $15 donation for 2 days, $10 or $15 for optional fiber packets.

One of the highlights happened just as we were leaving.  I had the great fortune to meet Ilga Jansons, spinner and dyer extraordinaire and all around delightful person. I found her etsy shop, Edgewood Gardens Studios and purchased several braids in stunning colors just before the holidays.  We have communicated on etsy and that's how I found out about the event - the rest is history! Check out her shop, you won't be disappointed! Edgewood Gardens Studio

And for something totally off topic... if you have 10 and 6 year old rough and tumble boys in your life, a good round of nerf gun action is a sure way to gain their respect and admiration!

'Til next time.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I just discovered Chocolate Cobbler and it was devoured by my family.  Thanks to Tasty Kitchen!  So simple.

Divinity is...

I don't often gush but when someone does super special things for you, it's hard not to share the love.  My husband of 22 years has been the Divine one behind my crazy fiber obsession for over a decade now.  He puts up with random skeins and fiber invading precious counterspace, floorspace and every storage receptacle we have, drying fiber hung in the bath, dyeing days, knit nights, fiber retreats and my general never-ending prattle about yarn, wool, knitting, spinning, etc.  He obligingly shipped yarn overseas and back again and waits patiently while I search for car projects for the 5 minute ride to the grocery store.  And he does all of this with a smile.

For the holidays, he joined Ravelry so he could stealthily look at my queue and purchase a pattern for me.  He joined Etsy to find me an art batt and then supported my search and purchase of a new wheel.

This year, he gave me the best present ever and became my friend on Ravelry.  Find me, "tinkerer" then see if you can find and friend him.  Go on, share the love.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Endless Possibilities

A new year has begun with a late wakeup and some knitting progress on a lizard ridge blanket destined for my 11 year old for his freshman year at college. That's a good 7 years to get this one done, which is about the pace I'm on with this project. I have a problem completing things started as pleasure pursuits when they start to feel like deadlines, so seven years is a good time frame to work on this between my current projects.

The start of a new year is just like the start of a new project...unspoiled & full of potential. The trick is picking the projects, especially if you have 10 or more on the needles that really should get completed! Having a queue on Ravelry with over 200 projects is also daunting. How do you to choose your projects?

Happy New Year & Happy Knitting!