Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Some encouraging words from the Gospel of John (NIV): In him was life, and that life was the light of men... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Rusty Nail

rusty nail

A little Friday eye candy. I am busy packing, packing, packing...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Checklist

I'm the sort of person who writes things on the to-do list, after I've done them, just so I can cross them off. But you knew that. Anyway, guess what I got finished today?

tiny purse

No, I didn't think that you would guess a miniature bead purse from 1999 (1996?). Actually, I had 4 of these finished and waiting for handles. Seems silly that after stringing a zillion tiny beads and knitting a purse on 000 zero needles I would be so loath to take the 10 minutes to twist a handle. Sometimes a project just ends that way waits for a return of crafting will.

The other purses will not be appearing on the blog because a) I am too lazy to learn how to set the aperture/ISO/flash settings on my camera when there is no sunshine b) there was no sunshine c) the purses had to be sent ASAP as Christmas gifts (you know, after 10 years of sitting in my closet).

This beige and green one was the only one I knit for myself during my tiny bead knitting binge and I have renewed respect for my teenage self. I may have worn cargo pants, t-shirts and tennis shoes, but I knit killer sparkly miniature purses...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Remotely Crazy

My camera remote arrived! So now I can show you the Plum Crazy Shawl. My photography with the remote is still pretty rough, but gotta start somewhere :)

Plum Crazy Shawl

Fiber: 8 oz Falkland wool
Colorway: 5 Plum Pie, May 2009 Club Fiber by Hello Yarn
Handspun by yours truly
Pattern: Feather & Fan Comfort Shawl

Plum Crazy Shawl

Now I need some long sleeve t-shirts so I can start wearing my shawls out of the house...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Miles To Knit Before I Sleep...

insect wings

I started earlier this year, but there's still a lot on the list.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Yarn Stalking

Did I ever tell you about the time I stumbled across an obscure independent German yarn dyer? Her site was cute and she had amazing colors. But you know how difficult it is to special-order things from overseas. I thought maybe sometime if I really wanted to, I could figure out the process and get something from her. Well, then she was discovered by North Americans. For a while her stuff was so popular that it seemed to the only way to get it (beside luck) was to pay scalper prices for it on Ebay. It seems that only the recession has been enough to bring her yarn back into the realm of imagination. Some of her least popular colors are now being sold second hand for $40 per skein of sock yarn.

There have been other rushes on popular yarns. Remember when everyone who was anyone was trying KPPPM, then Socks That Rock, then Sundara etc. etc. ? So this time, when I started to see some work on Etsy that intrigued me, I decided to order some. You know, before it turned into a top dollar global phenomenon after being launched to fame by a leading knit-blogger's stunningly photographed FO (yep, I can tell I just lost my non-knitting friends - sorry y'all, tune in next time).

This is the first (more skeins coming) to be procured under my new early yarn stalking system. What do you think, will it have tripled in value by next year?

copper penny hedgehogfibres

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dreaming of Christmas

I've been enjoying the photography advent calendar by Moonstiches. You might want to take a peek too.

Today when unpacking the ornaments I came across these. I didn't notice until photographing them that there are five. Five Christmas trees on December 5th.

5 christmas trees

and five shadows...

5 christmas trees

Yes, I'm dreaming of Christmas. Here are some of my Christmas wishes:

- sing Christmas carols around a tree decorated with burning candles
- eat 7 Layer Cookies
- surprise someone with an unexpected gift
- laugh so hard my abs hurt for days
- go shopping for clothes with my awesome sister
- go LAST MINUTE shopping with my mom
- catch up with friends

Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy Swap

Blindly swapped some alpaca blend fiber for whatever another raveler wanted to send me.

DSC_1033

A few days later this arrived: 200g of lovely BLF/Silk blend. I've been watching this Etsy seller and now serendipitously, some of her work arrives on my doorstep!

But that wasn't all... Jennie also included stitch markers (matching olive green and purple), chocolate, and copies of TWO patterns currently in my queue. The pretty things were wrapped up with care in patterned tissue paper and stickers. Wow! Thank you Jennie :)

PS - Her blog is in Swedish, but my browser offers to translate it for me. It comes out a bit odd, but enough to follow the gist of things.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Life's Rhythms

habitat 3 wip

You know how it is, life is busy and the blog gets quiet. However, looking back on my past posts, I realize how this place has given me a place to journal. It's good to look back and see what I was thinking and doing a year or two ago. To see the flow of it again...

I don't want to lose this fall. This was the first year that there was Thanksgiving at my house. The stuffing came out just like Mom's (yea!) and because of her scripted schedule (emailed to me by request) the event was tear free. My MIL and FIL brought cranberry relish, 3 pies, and their wonderful company. It was cosy and joyful to be together. Next time I might even have the brain space to think about things like table decor... and napkins :)

Another autumn discovery - My neighbor just happened to be making apple-sauce when I came by - could it really be that easy? Yes, yes it was. Peel, core, simmer, enjoy. After that I went to the store and bought Golden Delicious and Macintosh. Peeling that Golden Delicious took me right back to the first taste of fresh pressed cider, hands and nose frozen after hours working with wet apples. It was like finding a long lost friend.

As usual December has erased my desire to spin and filled me with a longing to knit. everything. now. I'm not sure if it is the darkness, or the cold, or the strange combination of happy and sad memories that the season evokes. But I'm continuing my quest for the perfect hat and a few gifts are in progress.

I hope to share more here soon!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Saddle Mountain

A hike under a sickly, November sun.

mossy forrest

First through the deciduous trees.

roots

Then by an uprooted pine.

mossy rock

The trail became a stream, and the rocks were mossy.

last leaves

And on the way home, the last few leaves, a golden glimmer in the woods...

Thank you for the special day.

Friday, November 6, 2009

What did I ever do to alpacas?

That this should happen to me?
.
.
.
.
I have some variegated deep gray alpaca batts that are just begging to be made into a shawl. A shawl that every so gradually shades to light grey at its beautifully blocked tips. A shawl that is so light, and so soft, and so warm that one imagines it has magical properties (like those cloaks from the elves). The fiber itself was hand prepped by the genius at Loop Fiber Arts
and I have hoarded it for the day when I would be "a good enough spinner."

loop alpaca

And, dear friends, it turns out that I am allergic to alpaca. Not just snuffly allergic, but hand- itching, nose-running, pretty-well-miserable allergic.

For this reason, my lovely loop batts and lots of other alpaca fiber now for sale on my ravelry page (mention that you read about it here and I'll give a special discount to my blog readers... um... if I have any readers...)

*sniff*

*a-CHOO*

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Yesterday

My MIL kindly sent this little table loom home with me:

DSC_0316

It is simple, two shafts, 15 inches wide. I've been curious, but not sure how to start without a warping board. Yesterday a friend from the guild showed me how it's done. With all the proper tools it is much easier than one might expect. My camera didn't make it to the lesson, but I look forward to taking pictures next time.

DSC_0311

Putting all those ends through all those eyes is quite meditative if one is not in a hurry...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Lovely Thing

Saw this necklace on Etsy. *sigh*

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Try, Try Again

Have been trying to rescue some nice yarn that was not quite the right color...

Overdyed

New color on left, old color on right. This is with acid dye.

Overdyed II

The purple is quite dark, but nicer in life than in the photo. I suppose a scale is in order if more exact dye results are desired... perhaps for my birthday?

I have also cast on for a new fall shawl (not the one I was making batts for - that is a story for another day). The fiber is hand-dyed, so I notice there is going to be some (big?) differences as I go along... but I hope it all looks as lovely as this part...

Plum Crazy

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mending

I'm home mending from some virus that declared war on my lungs. Along with the napping, fluid drinking, and doctor's office calling, there have been some moments of fun...

Plum Pie

5 Plum Pie
Hello Yarn Fiber Club (begged)
4.o oz, yardage... um 200?

Before I was stricken, I spun this from the fold. Probably not an orthodox choice, but I found it easier to spin a fine(r) yarn from a large diameter top that way. The color transitions are long and have that wonderful quality of being somewhat barber-poled... I think you can see here a green bit with a brown bit... that makes a long stretch of green/brown yarn. Yummy. A kindly raveler sold this 4 oz, and another kindly raveler sold me a second 4 oz when I realized I had half the yardage I expected. The kindness of knitters to the rescue! If I have energy enough to be decisive, I will cast on either a Baktus or Feather & Fan Comfort Shawl this evening.

My lovely goodies also arrived from my swap partner:

Pretty Pictures!

Thank you, Paula! They are right next to the dining room table where I can look at them every day.

And there is also a cute little sweater that I finally found a moment to get buttons onto:

BSJ FO

Babies grow fast, so it's good to get this finished a few months before my friend is due!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Win/Win

Baby sweater + happy baby = win

Scrap yarn + someone else's creative genius = hat win

That was a nice start to the weekend!

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Last Days of Summer

Ah those last few weeks of summer... when one tries to cram in all the craft projects, home decorating, sorting, cleaning and organizing that one somehow expected to have done before school started. My MO seems to be to start 3 (or 4 or 5) tasks and spend several days on the project circuit. Efficiency experts would object, but somehow I seem to get the most done this way. See:

All the artwork for the guest room is now hung:

guest room

Baby sweater one is finished except for sewing on the buttons:

baby sweater

And headway is being made on the fall shawl project:

batt fixins

What, you say? That doesn't look like a shawl? Well, first it will be batts:

blended batt

If I'm lucky I can have all the *cough* 32 batts carded so that I can just grab some and go when spinning night comes around each week. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a school year to plan, curriculum to order, a baby sweater to swatch, a curtain to sew, four pairs of pants to hem...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just So You Know

deep water, plyed

Deep Water is all plyed and ready to go...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Drumcarding Workshop

Our guild recently sponsored a workshop called Drumcarding Around the Color Wheel with Janis Thompson. It was inspiring! After having almost two whole days to play with the drum carder I came away with...

yarn!

crinkle yarn

some lovely hand-pulled roving...

hand pulled roving

hand pulled roving

hand pulled roving

a new way to spin mohair...

mohair fuzz

a sparkle addiction (oh dear)...

DSC_0350

And a new desire to be one of those teachers who transmits not only the information, but the spark... the jump-start to try something new, to explore, and to enjoy the process. Thank you Janis!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Baby Blue

Along with the sad moments, there have been some joyous ones too. A friend of my recently had a beautiful little girl, and another friend is expecting a boy. Lots of opportunities for baby knitting :)

robin blanket

Alpaca Baby Shawl knit with Lion Brand's Pound of Love. This blanket already went to the little girl. She has a lovely light blue nursery and I hope this will match.

DSC_0308

And this is Columbia/Dorset fiber in the colorway "Deep Water" from Woolthing. As I drafted it the tan and brown reminded me of toasted marshmallows...

baby blue

This isn't the best picture - but the back bobbin shows what happened when I spun from the full thickness of the roving. I got relatively solid, long stripes. The second half I stripped and then randomly pulled into 18-20 inch lengths. That resulted in the softer stripes. They should barber-pole when I ply them. Usually when I love a roving this much... and then the singles this much... I have a hard time loving the plyed result, but I'm already committed and this should keep me from getting a strongly pooling yarn.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bittersweet Symphony, Pt 1

All by hand. A sympathy shawl.

Alpaca shawl

Alpaca shawl

Alpaca shawl



Before I had faced grief in my own life, it seemed so hard to know the right thing to do for somone who was hurting deeply. What if I said the wrong thing? What if faith failed in the sight of suffering? Now, from the other side, I realize that what we do to comfort can never be adaquate - in the sense that it can never undo the loss - and yet we must do what we can.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

O beautiful for spacious skies...

june sunset

Isn't the beauty of this land amazing?

Happy 4th!

(And I hope to be back to blogging soon...)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Place

All our stuff is finally moved to our new place. Didn't ever think I'd ever live someplace that seems so much like Camazots. Funny isn't it, that I love matching things, but am slightly frightened by matching shrubs...

new place

However, any possible sense of claustrophobia is cancelled out by the view from my living room.

new place

People, that is the sunset over the Pacific ocean.

Now, to finish school and get all these boxes unpacked...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

So what is going on in real life that prevents blogging:

  • Attempting to learn Koine Greek (and memorization doesn't come easily for me)
  • Spinning the brown alpaca (which makes me sneeze and must be spun outside the house)
  • Aparment hunting (trust me, I would only do this if I had to)
  • Teaching (only 5 weeks to go then no more paycheck)

I'll be back, sometime when I don't feel like Eeyore...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Work In Progress

Knitting my first shawl with true laceweight yarn.

image0007

Still carding alpaca from this:

image0003

to this:

image0004

and dreaming of other spring projects...

image0005
(my plum roving, all spun up)

shetland swatch
(yarn rescued from the thrift shop)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Handspun Stash: Brown

what to do with it?

The twilight roving is all spun now. The red/pink braid became the singles on the far left, and the blue/brown braid became the two ply in the middle. Not sure what to make with all this!

Monday, March 23, 2009