Sunday, September 13, 2015

Almost time to go!

I mentioned at the beginning of the year I was going on a dream trip. Time has come we are leaving next Wednesday. I am going with my three friends, all knitters, two them weavers and spinners.  The trip has in my wish list for over 10 years, ever since I found out about Shetland Ring Shawls.
The main attraction this time of the year is Shetland Wool Week, it is the 6th year and it promises to be amazingly fun!
There will be classes, workshops, demos, vendor markets, and all the wooly wonders one can imagine.
We are going a week in advance to explore the land at leisure.
The first stop is Aberdeen, one night, the next day we take the Northlink Ferry to Lerwick, rent a car and buzz down to Bressay Lighthouse where we will stay three nights.  Then we head north all the way to Unst and its surroundings.  By then it will be time for Wool Week to start so we go back to Lerwick where we have a Self Catering rental apartment.
Planning begun last year when my friends came for Shenandoah Fiber Festival. We started looking for places to stay because we knew isles are small and likely to get booked quickly for the event. It took some digging around to find places to stay, but a bit of patience and lots of digging the interwebs  finally had wonderful results.
We are of course very excited and full of expectations.  There is wild life, nature, wonderful old places to explore.
I have no idea if we will have access to the internet reliable enough to post pictures but I will post many and give detailed account of all the adventures here sooner or later.
Starting this year they are holding a Summer event as well, more of a tour than several events together. I heard from those that attended this year that it was wonderful, and already booked for next year.
I will report back, I am sure it is as wonderful as everyone says and will be worth our time.
Stay tuned!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Friends For Life Bike Rally supporting PWA

Friends For Life Bike Rally supporting PWA

The YarnHarlot is at it again, helping people and making us smile. Knitters, spinners of the world unite.

Donate any amount and enter to win awesome prices. Go to the link above to find out more.

I know we can do it!

Tuesday, January 06, 2015


I love MDSW, it is my favorite weekend of the year. I  have been there every year since I moved to Maryland, I will continue to go as long as I am able.
A couple of years ago I purchased 8 oz of beautiful Merino Silk blend processed by a gentleman who was undergoing cancer treatment. I do not know his name and would not post it even if I knew. The fiber was so soft and shinny and beautiful I had a real hard time buying only one bag. I stuck to 8 oz.
Immediately that day I stared spinning it on the drop spindles, today I finished winding the first singles ball.
Oh I have spun lots on supported spindles and the wheels since then, but this fiber and the spindles are so magical that I reserve it for peaceful 'thinking' moments when I am alone and can enjoy the process to its extent.
The rest of the fiber is in faux rolag form already, the spindles are naked and the process continues. Maybe another couple of years? who knows, the yarn is so thin I can't help but wonder how many yards of two ply I will end up with. It will become yarn, then someday it will transform into something else knitted or not.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

2015 Press On!

Thanks to long time readers who left comments! It is great to see you guys around here!

I had several days off in a row at the end of December. Determined to get things done around here.
I only have crummy phone pictures but they will have to do, better than nothing.

Off the loom a piece that had been sitting waiting for the last 20 inches for over a year!, I wove it off, twisted the fringe, fulled it in the washer, it came out beautiful! It is for  a dear friend, and will be shipped later this week.

Here is the fringe underway:

Finished spinning and plying some beautiful fiber I got from Fleegle, its called Sea Snail, 540 yds or so out of 5 oz. Not bad at all! I love the colors and the contrast, its Merino and Silk with a bit of sparkly stuff in it. Now to decide what to make with it, for now its yarn.

Also a skein of alpaca wool blend from my alpaca still! The white was spun ages ago. Maybe this one will be one of the yoke sweaters!

I also finished my Denim Mystic pullover. I love the anchors. The sleeves are a bit long, it was tricky because the yarn shrunk 13.56% that was an odd number, I guess I did not measure the shoulder drop correctly and knit the sleeves longer than I should have. Oh well!

I am almost done sewing a cardigan I knit on the machine, its also cotton and there is a question if it will fit me. I 'should' if I believe the swatch but we all know swatches lie, so who knows.

OTN now only a yoke cardigan with handpainted yarn from Dragonfly fibers. The waist shaping decreases are almost complete. I have 5 skeins and three different  dye lots! I hope it somehow looks decent. We'll see!

I also have 4 spinning projects going, more of the alpaca wool blend, another brown fleece, some lovely BFL in white, and Merino?Silk on the spindles!

Here is more!
A Color Play scarf knit with two strands of Kid Silk.

Talk to you later!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 came and went

and in the mean time I was very busy, so busy that I did not get a word on this blog. Last year was a nightmare, this one was mostly good. The only big hurdle was a flood in my house due to a a roof failure that caused damage in the basement, and required a new roof. The nightmare lasted a good two months, but at the end all was fixed, the insurance helped, and I survived.

I wove very little,  just the shawl for the Friends of Colombian Orphans fundraiser in June, but I knit a lot! Last count was somewhere around 15,000 yards! If you are curious and mathematically inclined  head on over to Raverly and add up my projects.  I actually did more than what the board shows but some was ripped, wrong choices of pattern and yarn lead to knitting disasters....lets not call them disasters maybe hard learned lessons is more like it.

I love everything I made, including my Viajante on its third try. I ripped the whole thing once and half of it the second time. Third is a charm and it was, I changed the rate of increases so it would be shorter and wider, it worked just fine. Lovely Mountain Colors lace yarn. Most of the things I knit do not live with me any longer, mostly all went to far away lands to keep my sisters warm. That's OK, I have more yarn, there is always patterns and I can knit more.

I fiddled a lot with vintage sewing machines, scored a very nice collection, learned a lot on sewing machine cleaning, lubing and repair. All the machines in my collection are special to my heart, I feel I saved them from being dumped in the landfill, and they all work. Every single one of my machines works like a champ!

Lately I have been exploring the knitting machine again, I knit a huge blanket on it,  the end result is less than beautiful but the blanket is warm and served the purpose of using up a bunch of yarn that I did not care for and did not want to weave with either. I also knit an all over stockinette pullover in less than a week, it came out exactly as I wanted it, and was lots of fun to knit.

And now, I have found again yoke sweaters, beautiful yokes with Fair Isle and lace and cables and lots of fun stuff. I can make the bodies on the machine and join to knit the yokes by hand. That should keep me busy for a while. 

As for the new year the looms need new warps, the dog cages need new covers, lots to be done. As long as I can do i t, it is all fun, and I keep plugging along in life.

I am planning a wonderful trip to far away lands. The trip is almost a year away but I am so looking forward to it! My first real vacation in over 15 years! It will be a dream come true. I am  reading and learning all I can about my destination so I can verify the facts I learn when I get there. I am not telling where I am going, all I will say is that is it magical lands and a long long time dream come true.

Hopefully I will be good again and start blogging on a regular basis, maybe there is still someone out there that will listen. If people don't comment , it feels like talking to myself and it is not fun! 

For now Happy New Year! See you in 2015!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013 in Review

This year was a difficult one for me. Very busy at work and at home. Life events took place, difficult to deal with, now unpleasant things belong to the past and I move on.

I have some accomplishments in weaving, knitting, machine knitting. I did not document much. Shawls are unblocked, things were finished and sent away before I took  pictures. Other things got made and unraveled. I knit three cardigans, two by hand, several by machine and ripped them all. I love the yarn but I hated the results so out they came and the yarn re-purposed. I also ripped Flying Geese, I had knit it several years back, I love the yarn but the sweater was too large and bulky. The yarn was skeined and washed and is now ready to start another *more project.

I also knit Viajante, a huge shawl/cowl type thing with Mountain Colors Lace yarn, all 1200 yards got ripped after I tried it on and it felt like a straight jacket. Out it went to the frog pond right then and there. The whole knitting/ripping process felt like undoing mistakes, maybe it was a message I was sending myself to set things right in my world.

Ripping and regrets are over, now I move on. Optimistic with a lovely light shinning ahead for me. There is nothing new, but there is hope in my heart, projects to complete, shuttles flying, wheels spinning and needles clicking.

In all I worked on
Shawl with mercerized cotton and Tencel.
Towels with unmercerized cotton

Not much in spinning other than a few skeins of silk on the wheel and few yards on the spindles.

The above mentioned cardigans, and shawls that now live on the other side of the frog pond, and also:
violettes et muscaris
Gwendolen Drops Jacket with cables and shawl collar
Olga's Indiski (Indian) Shawl

Machine Knitting:
All the ripped stuff that is now back in skeins
Sideways T

The shuttles are out , several edgings and necklaces were finished and sent away. I have a fan in mind with thread and fan sticks ready to go.

On the needles:
Reversible Cabled-Rib Shawl

I have yarn for several projects, lots of weaving, and spinning.

As we  move on, I am looking towards 2014 as a more productive year. I might even get back to the embroidery machine.

Knit On! Spin Happy!  Full steam ahead!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013