Saturday, December 26, 2009

My over thinking strikes again

So if you have been reading my blog for any amount of time you can feel my pain of spinning and knitting something and not totally please with the end results. One of my big goals at SOAR this past fall was to learn to spin and knit a sweater that doesn't weight 10 pounds. So I took a class from Maggie Casey on American Long draw which was great. If you ever have a chance to take a class from her DO. I have been spinning only long draw sense. I think I have gotten to the point where I can spin a really nice soft and light weight 3 ply. Which should be perfect for a sweater.
When the Winter issue of Spin Off came in the mail I fell in love with Amy Kings' Oatmeal cardigan. I have a vision of a darkish blue one.
One thing that would like to do this next year is learn more about different breeds of wool.With that in minde I am trying to make things with different breeds. While I was at SOAR I bought some really nice BFL that is cream with streaks of med. brown in it. My plan is to spin and re knit a sweater that I knit earlier this year but weights over 3 pounds. I also have plans for a cardigan the pattern was in an older issue of Ashford's Wheel magazine. By the way if you have never checked out this annual you should its a really good one. I have picked up some really nice Shetland from my girl friend for that one. I will be talking more about that as the Olympics gets closer.
So with wool from BFL and Shetland already for sweaters I wanted to use something different. I totally on faith bought a bit over 2 pounds of Romney from Paradise Fibers. Well I am happy to report that is wonderful. I have washed it and I'n thinking it will work out well for this cardigan.
So now here is where the over thinking begins. In an effort to make sure this will work out. I found some Romney in my stash. Now I know that a dyed roving will not be exactly the same as spinning from the locks. What I was looking for was will Romney be OK to wear. Now because its a cardigan it won't be next to skin but close so I want something that not horrible scratchy. So I decided to spin up a ounce on both my Matchless and the Sonata to see how they came out. I then knit up a swatch to see how they feel. Well I have to say I really like the yarn its some what soft and I think it will make a nice 3 ply. When I was knitting it didn't feel all that soft so I was a bit worried but after the swatches were washed and blocked they felt fine under the chin.
With that test done I have decided to get started. So last night I flicked a shoe box of locks so that I could get to spinning today. I really wanted to get started on the first but I just can't wait. Like I said I also am thinking about over dyeing the yarn a med. blue, I don't want to waist any of the locks to make sure I have enough for the sweater. The pattern calls for 1550 for my size which I think it way more then I need. I usually use 1000 for a top down sweater. Anyway I took some of the wool that came out of the dog brush and dyed that with some Gaywool dye in the color of bluegum. Right now its drying but I'm thinking its a little to light. I am thinking I want more dark blue, but I will decide that later.
Yes I know I am way over thinking this whole thing and its even beginning to drive me a bit batty but I really want to spin and knit more of my projects this next year and I want them to turn out so that I will want to wear them and not just in my house. More to come....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gerring up for the Olympics

Even though its Dec. 23. I have been thinking about my next big project. In a way its a new thing for me. I am usually knitting or crocheting my fingers to the bone to get all my Christmas gifts done for the 25th. Well this year I didn't do a lot for family and friends. Which means I finished up with plenty of time to spare. So I got to thinking its time for some fun knitting. As you may have read in the past I am a huge fan of the Spunk Fiber club. I have been getting fiber each month for all most as long as it has been going. I think I missed the first month. Anyway any time there has been a sporting event, Tour de France and the Olympics and we have had a spin along or a knit along I have been a member of Team Monkey Fart. Which is a colorway of Spunky Eclectic. So as the Winter Olympics approaches I have been doing a lot of thinking about what my goals are for this year and I haven't totally work them out just yet , so stay tuned for more on that. But in the spirit of the challenge I decided I need a mascot to cheer me on as I spin and knit. So let me introduce Harold! The pattern comes from

I used my hand spun. The cream is I think corridale that I bought at a local store. The browns in Monkey Farts from Spunky Eclectic. Have I told you how great the fibers are there? By the way I met Amy at SOAR and just love her. Can you stock someone that live on the other side of the US? Anyway I spun both yarns into a 3ply DK. I wanted the colors to blend well together but still have some texture to them. I ended up with 240 yards of the Monkey farts and about 100 yards of the cream. I was really worried that I wouldn't have enough yarn to complete this monkey. I did look at the ones that others have made on Ravelry but not one person listed how much yarn they used. I really hate when the yardage is not listed. Anyway I think I have enough yarn for another one. If I have time I may try the crocheted version. We will see about that. You do have to admit he does look a lot like my ravatar. Don't you think?

Monday, December 14, 2009

So how well do you Trust your LYS

So a question came up this morning. How well do you trust your local yarn store or fiber store for that matter?

Example number 1.
Some of you may know that I used to do a lot of designing a few year back. Well the reason I stopped was because of a LYS. When the store first opened I did a few sample pieces for the store and then once the owner found out that I had some designs she was more the willing to buy them and then sell them in her store. So I took in about 20 or so patterns I think it was 5 of each different design. Well fast forward 2 years. One of my students went into the same LYS and while she was there another customer asked for one of my patterns. Well I guess they had ran out so the clerk ran down stairs and made a copy and sold it to her ( for full price). Well of course my student was upset by this and she told me what happened. So when I went in to talk with the owner she made it sound as if she had been trying to get a hold of me to order more patterns. Which of course she wasn't because on all my pattern there is contact info. Anyway I felt pretty burned so I stopped writing up my designs. By the way karma got her and she went out of business a short time after that.

Example number 2.
I was at a fiber store about a week or so ago buying some fiber to dye, on the way out there is a box of free patterns. Well guess what was on the top of the pile. 3 of the patterns that was sold at the store that had been closed for a couple of years. By this time, it didn't upset me but it sure miffed my husband. So I have decided one the new year comes and I have more time I will be putting all those patterns on Ravelry for free.

Example number 3.
While I was at SOAR, I went into the market to buy a couple of spindles. I ended up with 3 but that is another story. If you have never been to SOAR market think of it like the day after Thanksgiving at Walmart. And no the people aren't any nicer, never get between a spinner and fiber unless you are asking to get hurt. Any way I found a spindle I really like and I bought it with out trying it out. I figured they would have to be good to be at SOAR. So later that night I ran into the maker and told them how much I love my new spindle. The remark to me was " Does it spin OK, because I never know if it will work or not". Yikes I think I will try them out before I buy from this time forward.

Example number 4.
I'm sure you have herd me complain that the Boise area really needs a good fiber store. Well there is a nice one about an hour away, so some girl friends and I went about a week or so ago to see what's new. I am in the process of buy some fiber to make a cardigan. Have you seen the really neat one in the current Spin Off? (Winter 09)Yes that's the one I plan to make next. Anyway the gal that owns this store is a spinner and she usually has nice stuff. Well this time there was some in my opinion over price fleece that when I did the lock test. It failed. Well after the first time I thought maybe I'm doing it wrong so I tried again. Well after the 4 try I realized this was a bad fleece. By the way the lock test is where you take hold of each end of a lock of fiber and snap it. It should make a nice musical sound and not break. Well this one broke every time. I course it didn't come home with me.

Example number 5.
Like I said I have been looking for some fleece for a cardigan. Well I found some nice Romney on line for a very good price. So I bought it with out touching it. So for 4 days I was biting my nails in hopes that the fleece would be OK. Well I am happy to report its just beautiful. I am thinking it will be my cardigan. I am now waiting to see how a gauge swatch turns out after the fleece dries so I can get to spinning.

So this morning I was thinking about each of these 5 examples of fiber stores, yes each one is a different store and none of them are the one I teach knitting classes at. But the question does come up. How well do you trust your local yarn or fiber store, or can you trust them? My lesson that I have learned is do lots of research before you buy no matter if you can feel the yarn or fiber or not, and just because the owner may seem nice its your money so buy only the good stuff that you can use.

Monday, November 30, 2009

What is really the important things

When I started this blog way back I really meant for it to be a reflection of my life, my family, my faith and my fiber. Well it has turned out to be more about my fiber then anything. Fiber is an important part of who I am, after all I do knit and spin just about every day. I also spend a lot of time thinking about what my next projects will be, how can I buy whatever the "new" thing is. But of late I have really been thinking a lot about what really is important. Over the past two years we have had a lot of deaths in our lives. My father in law, my grandmother, my aunt and her sister, a couple of friends, a teen girl that was friends with my oldest daughter, My DH's best friend and this past weekend my DH's boss. It kind of makes you think about what really is important. Does having the most fiber really matter?

Not that I am saying buying fiber it a bad thing, because I have and still plan to add to my stash, But the question should be how can I use my stash for more important things. Like can I use my stash to make things for people, not just the ones I love but how about people I have never met. I bet I can use some really neat fiber to spin and knit mittens for kids who may not have a home. Or I can knit a shawl and give it to someone who is going through a hard time. I bet we can all find some ways to use our stash to bless someone else which in turn blesses us. If you have any great ideas let me know.

Although fiber is a huge part of my life its not the only part and I would even say its not even the biggest part or the most important part so I plan to start sharing more of all the things that are important in my life. I also would like to encourage you to think about what it the important things in life? Is it really who is on Oprah today or what is the latest hair style or even I just saw a new spinning wheel I really have to have it? Now go and hug someone that is important to you, then go dig through your stash and find something to make for someone who needs to be blessed today, or if you are like me in a couple of month because it will take me that long to spin and knit it up.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Inspiration! Where do you get yours

So for the past week or so I have been doing a lot of thinking about inspiration and where it comes from. As I talk about in previous posts I was so blessed to be able to attend SOAR this past month. I have to say it really was a bucket list type of event for me. I will talk more in future posts, because I gained so much knowledge and inspiration. But now that I am two weeks away from SOAR and I am beginning to think about what projects I want to make either for Christmas gifts or because I just can't stop thinking about it.

At SOAR I took 5 classes those being Secrets of lace ( learning to spin, design and create the lace you want),perfect plying,spinning for next to skin,American long draw,and drumcarding. Never fear I will post about each class later either this week or next. One of the neatest things that we did at SOAR was to do a show and tell. After the three day workshop everyone who took a class was asked to display what they learned so that everyone could see about the classes. Now I totally loved the lace class and I know I will have all kinds of designs to come from it. But I also wish we could have signed up for another class after seeing all the fun things people did. Its kind of funny I went to SOAR not really interested in weaving but after the show and tell I was bitten hard by the bug. So now, after I recover from all the cash out flow I am thinking I need to get a smaller rigid heddle loom. I am glad I wasn't in the class because some of the students were up all night spinning so that they would have the needed yarn for the next day. I really enjoyed the results that they came up with.
I as also inspired by the fall colors that were on display at Sunriver. I can't even count all the really neat knits that I saw and have been inspired to spin and knit in the future.
So my question to you is Where do you get your inspiration? Please leave a comment and let us all know where it comes from with you.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Already to SOAR

Well I am just about all packed and ready to leave to SOAR. I won't be leaving until Sunday morning but tomorrow is going to be crazy to the only time I have to pack was tonight. I have been saving so that I could add to the stash. I am happy to say I have not bought any yarn or fiber for months. May to be exact. Until today. I bought a used folding wheel. I will pick it up on Sunday night when I get to SOAR. I don't plan to use it in class but I will spin on it at night. I can hardly wait to get there and get to spinning. I haven't sat at my wheel for three weeks. I know I know but its been so busy here that I didn't have time. It did get a really nice clean and wax though. She looks like is as ready to leave as I am. I am planning on updating my blog as much as I can. I'm not sure if I can while I am SOAR ( I refuse to take a computer to a retreat) but I will update when I get home.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Just about ready to SOAR

I know its been like forever sense I posted. Well like usual summer and fall have gotten away from me. It seems like I have been running full speed for months now. Which of course I have. With college student in BSU's marching band to Jr. High student in choir to now a 5th grader learning to play basketball, not to mention teaching knitting classes and spinning up a storm.
One of the big reasons I have been tied up with things is I have been getting ready to SOAR. Also known as Spin Off Autumn Retreat. Now I know the New York Fiber Fair its the biggest fiber fair in the county if not the world, but when it comes to the biggest and best spinning event it has to be SOAR. Which I as so excited to say I will be attending in little more then a week. This year it will be held at SunRiver resort near Bend Oregon. I will be taking a three day class on spinning and designing lace, I will also be taking 4 three hour classes on plying, using a drum carder, American long draw and spinning for softness. Not to mention picking up some neat new fibers and maybe a spindle or two at the Spinners market. I will also be sitting in a booth spinning suri alpaca for a couple of hours.
So for the past few months I have been spinning and knitting to get ready to leave. At SOAR there is a gallery where you can display up to three items. I am planning on taking the scarf that was in the natural fibers contest that was in the current issue of Spin Off. I am also planning on taking the little purse that I knit and used the cast iron handles that my Hubby made for me. I am also taking a hat that I spun and knit up this summer.
One of the big projects that I did over the summer and fall was to knit a whole bunch of socks, my plan it so wear a different pair of hand knit socks each day at SOAR. I'm not sure if I will take a whole lot of hand knits as its not really that cold yet. Today it was in the 70's here in Boise and Bend is a lot like Boise so I'm thinking it will still be a bit warm for heavy wool sweaters, but we will see as the week goes on.
I am planning on leaving Sunday morning on the 25th. The retreat runs until the following Sunday. I plan to post (with pictures) some of the things I see and do. I most likely won't do that until I get back home. So stay tuned for updates to come.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Week 1 of the Tour is now over - here's what I did

I love doing the Tour de Fleece each year. I am so glad to see its getting bigger and bigger. It looks like its the thing to do for the summer. I know I have enjoyed my first week. I am half way through my goals. I have completed the yarn for my first sweater. For my first sweater I want to take an easy knitting project to SOAR. One that I don't really have to think about as I am working on it. So of course its going to be a Top Down from Knitting Pure and Simple. I'm not sure what pattern I am going to use but I know that I will need some where around 1000 yards of a worsted weight. So that was my goal. A few months back there was a Spin Off magazine that had the coolest yarn on the cover. It was a moorit brown that was over dyed with bright yellow. Instead of the end result being a yellow yarn it turns out to be a really cool green. So that's what I was shooting for. I found about 2 pounds of a Shetland in my stash and on the 4th I got busy.
I spun a bobbin full for the first 6 days. I then plied them together making a two ply.
Once all the plying was done I wanted to make sure I would have enough for a sweater so I ended up with 1100 yards. Into the dye pot it all went.
Dyeing brown yarn green using yellow dye takes a bit of faith. For one it shouldn't work. I'm yellow makes green. No way. So as its sits in the dye pot you have to let it be and do its thing. Once its done it still doesn't look green, not until its dry will you be happy with it. So for me it was really hard to let it alone and do its thing. I was like a cook watching a pot to boil. Then of course I thought I messed up all my hard work, but once it was drying I fell in love with the result.
Now the hard part. Letting it alone until October. I really want to get to knitting on it. The Sheltand was not processed all that well, there was a lot and I mean a lot of VM through out. So I was a bit surprised at how soft the yarn ended up. I'm thinking dyeing it helped burn up some of the VM.
Besides the sweater yarn I also worked on some silk on my newest Greensleeves spindle. I plan to make the Quaint head band that is on the cover of the current Spin Off for daughter number 3.
Lastly for this week, I spun up about 110 yards of Spinning Bunny's High Fiber Dessert club for the month of June. The Color way is Fudgy Chocolate Bundt Cake with Strawberries topped wit Sour Cream Chocolate sauce. The fiber is a Pixie Batt of baby alpaca,and merino. Now only was the recipe really good. I bit hit with the family and my knitting girls, but the fiber was a dream to spin. I am planning on knitting the button up neck warmer that is in the current Spin Off.
Tomorrow is a rest day for the Tour. So I plan to clean my wheel and change the drive band from Scotch tension to Double drive. I haven't decided which one I like better so that is part of what I want to do during the tour. My next big project is to spin some Cooridale that I bought for my birthday. I have been cleaning and carding what I hope is enough for an Einstein Coat. Its a wonderful shade of medium grey.
So stay tuned and see now only how I do on the Tour but if you haven' been watching the Tour de France its been fun to see Lance Armstrong back on the bike. I'm betting he just may be wearing more yellow before its all over. Right now he is in 3rd and looking really good. Yea for the old guys!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

The Tour begins

Happy Independents Day to all Americans! Don't eat to much BBQ and stay cool. Enjoy the fireworks but please don't set your house or the one next to you on fire.

Today is also the start of the Tour de France which means the Tour de Fleece also began. I think I am off to a pretty good start. Some what like Lance Armstrong. I'm not the fastest, nor did I spin as much as some, but I'm also not in last place.

I started out the day spinning a batt that I came across last night while I was looking for some yarn in my stash. I have no idea where I got it from but I'm sure it was from an exchange. The batt is one of those kitchen sink ones. Everything but the kitchen sink is in it. I'm not a huge fan of these, because for me its really hard to let the bumpy bits stay in the yarn. But i am please with the out come of the two ply. I ended up with about 80 yards. I think I will make a very loose scarf with it. It kind of looks like a yellow jersey. If you look real close anyway.
After I finished the first skein. I took a bit of a break, as some friends stopped by on their way out of town. So after they left I got down to business. As you may recall one of my Tour goals is to spin for two sweaters. So I started with my moorit brown, which I believe is Shetland. I do plan to over dye the yarn once its all done. I spun about 4 ounce, enough to fill the first bobbin. I think its going to try out to be just what I wanted for my basic top down sweater.
So I figure I am off to a good start. The Tour de Farnce looks like it will also be a fun one to watch. I have no idea who will win in the end but I'm sure it will have all kinds of twists and turns before we are all through, kind of like our yarn.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

For the love of it

As a knitter and spinner no matter how a project turns out, it was still fun to do. But lets face it there are some that end up better then others. Its all good but once in a while there is a WOW project. One that when you are all done you look at it and can't believe you were the one to make it. Well my new hat was just one of those projects.

I first bought the wool at Snake River Fiber Fair with the plan to make socks. Then the summer issue of Spin Off came out and I saw the CVM hat. I just fell in love with the pattern. So I divided up the 4 ounce into 1 ounce chunks. I left one the natural color and dyed the blue, gold and orange. I didn't have a wool that was the medium brown so I used some alpaca. The original pattern colors were blue, cream, yellow, red and medium brown. Because my daughter is attending Boise State this next year I want to make the red more of an orange instead of red. Now I really don't like the color orange so its more of a tomato red.

The pattern called for a bulky weight yarn and to use a size 5 needle. The total pattern called for 180 yards. So after I got all the spinning done each 1 ounce ball ended up with something like 36- 40 yards. Which I was hopeful would be enough. As it turned out it was. I did have about 4 yards of the cream left which is a bit close for me. The pattern called for tassels but I like braids better. The over all hat ended up maybe a bit on the smaller size but it does fit just perfectly so all is good. I can hardly wait to wear it this next fall and winter.
As I say I enjoy doing just about all the different projects that I work on but this one was such a total joy all the way from the first thought to the end.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summertime fun?

I'm not sure if I have ever talked about my feelings when it comes to summer. I hate it! OK so I don't totally hate it there are a lot of fun things that go on during summer, but I really do hate the heat. So the month of July is usually never really fun for me. I don't mind when it gets in the 80's and even the lower 90's but I really hate it when it get 95 or higher. Which in Idaho it can be over 100 for a couple of weeks.
A couple of years ago I found something to help me get through the month. The Tour de Fleece. If you have not herd of the Tour de Fleece its, for me, a fun way to not think about how hot it really is. As you may know for most of the month of July the Tour de France is going. So the Tour de Fleece is where spinners ( not the cyclists) set some type of goal to work at during the Tour. A bonus for me is I love to watch cycling anyway. Each year I have tried something that I would normally not do in the 22 days of the race. This year my goals are to:
1. Spin for the Einstein coat ( a totally garder stitch coat that can be found in the The Knitting experience - the Knit stitch book by Sally Melville- about 1200 yards of a bulky weight
2. Spin for a top down sweater - about 1100 yards of a worsted weight yarn I also want to dye the yarn once its complete- (I will talk more about that later)
3. I want to spin and knit a scarf in one day.- my version of a sheep to shawl.
Now that is a lot of spinning so I have been in "training" I have been working on carding the wool for the Einstein coat.
This picture isn't all that great. The wool is really a darker grey.
For my top down sweater I will be using a moorit brown that I plan to dye bright yellow once I am done with the spinning. Now you may think I will end up with a weird yellow yarn but really it will end up a very cool green.
There is also a two fold plan for both of these projects. I want to wear the coat at the fashion show at SOAR later this year. I want to take the top down sweater to work on while I am at SOAR.
While I am doing all of this spinning I don't plan to neglect my knitting. July is usually sock month. I usually teach knitting socks and this year is no exception. I will be knit three pair this month. A plan vanilla pair which I use for beginner sock knitters. I also plan to knit a pair of sock from the new Knitty. The mermaid, which I have gotten started tonight which is my advanced sock knitter pattern. For my intermediate pair I will be knitting a cable sock. My plan is to have one of each of these done by the 11th so that I will have samples when class starts. That will give me three weeks so get all three second socks done, we will see if that happens.

In the mean time I am also knitting the fair isle hat that is in the current Spin Off. But its take a bit of time because the pattern calls for a size 5 needles and the yarn is bulky, so my hands are a bit soar knit it, but I do love the pattern. I did change one of the colors a bit. My oldest daughter will be attending BSU and I want to make the hat more to her school colors. So the red is now orange. Not the bright hunter orange that BSU is but its as orange as I can stand.

Finally I do need to share with you one more thing. When you join the Tour de Fleece you can join via a wild card group. I was in Team Moneky Fart last year so I decided to stay with it. Now I know you are asking where the heck did that name come from. As you all know I am a member of the Spunky Fiber club. Monkey farts is a colorway of Amy King. (yes Spunkeletic is the same Amy King of the new book Spin Control).
Now on Ravery we all have whats called a ravatar so there is mine for Team Monkey farts

Monday, June 08, 2009

Summer Time goals and plans

Well I have really wanted to keep up with the blog but it just seems like there is one thing after the other going on around here. Last week my oldest graduated from High School which means we have all kinds of family here. It was a great week and all was fun but I am glad to have everything all quiet again. Our middle daughter is starting summer school tomorrow so we will be busy with all of that for the next couple of months.
Knowing that I would be having a busy summer I decided a few weeks ago to get all UFO's completed. So that pretty much what I have been up to. I have to say its a great feeling to have everything done. I think for about 8 hours I had nothing on needles, wheel, or spindle. Then I did cast on for the Back home in Vermont sweater that can be found in the book, the Natural Knitter. I have also start to spin some lace weight yarn on my Matchless ST, I am using the High whorl. I have 6 ounces and I want to see how much I can get from it. Its a really nice superwash merino. At the same time I am working on getting some fleece carded for Tour de Fleece. I plan to spin again this year. I had so much fun last year that I think this will be a annual thing. This years goal is to spin for two sweaters. One is for a simple top down that I plan to knit while I am at SOAR this next fall. I want to take something that will be easy to knit as the drive to Bend takes about 6 hours and then I know there will be down time to knit. The other is from a fleece I bought for my birthday. My plan for that is to Knit it into an Einstein coat. I will be teaching a class on it in Sept. so I really need to get it all done before that. I will, I promise, pictures as soon as I get some batteries for my camera on all my progress.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Its been like forever!

It has been like forever sense I posted. What can I say I have been so busy with life I just haven't had the time, and when I did it seemed like one of the girls needed the computer for homework.
So what's been going on? You name it. I am still teaching knitting classes. I am taking time to spin just about every day. My oldest daughter is graduating next month. My other daughters are busy at school.
On a bad note We have a dear friend who has a brain tumor and is not expected to live much longer so we are spending as much time as we can with him. I plan to design a seaman's scarf in his honor, so be on the look out for that.
On a couple of good notes. My oldest daughter will be attending BSU ( Boise State University, yes the one that won the Fiesta Bowl a couple of years ago) She is also going to be in the marching band. She has earned enough grants and scholarships to just about pay for school.
For me I was awarded a scholarship to SOAR this next fall. I am so excited to go its not even funny. I am driving my family nuts with all the plans to be made, which classes to take, what projects I should work on, figuring out how I can save some money up to have at the market, etc. I am planning on doing some things for the fashion show and the gallery.
As far as summer goes we will once again be busy. My middle daughter will be taking summer school so I will have to drive her to have from school every day for the month's of June and July. So I won't be able to attend any fiber shows or retreats which is cool because I'm going to SOAR did I tell you how excited I am about that?
I am planning on attending Snake River Fiber Fair in May, but after that I will be saving all my pennies so that I can take as much as I can to SOAR.

On the knitting front I have been working on this and that. Same with spinning. But I have decided that I need to get myself more together about things. So my plan is to finish spinning up the yarn for a mock cable sweater I have been wanting to knit. For my birthday I ordered a fleece my plan for that is to spin and knit a coat. So look for more to come on that. I plan to spin this during the Tour de Fleece this year. I also have a cardigan that I plan to spin during the tour.
As I said before I will be designing a seaman's scarf to honor a friend of ours. I am also knitting up a scarf that I hope will be in Spin Off. If not its going to my mother for Mother's day. I also plan to knit some socks this summer I'm not sure which ones yet. I was given Cookie A.'s new book for my birthday so I may do one from there. Not sure.
Now that I am going to SOAR, did I tell you how excited I am to be going? I plan to knit, crochet , spin for our state fair. After winning the two big awards last year I wasn't planning on doing anything this year but I could use the prize monies for SOAR. I bet you thought I would tell you how excited I am to be going, well I wasn't I kind of thought it was to much.
So there in a nut shell is whats' been going on around here. I really do plan to try better at updating things. but who know, you will have to check back and see.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Its a regular Zoo around here

Its been a real zoo around here this past week. We adopted two pets. First Mazy a 5 month old Cocker Spaniel and Hoss the rabbit. Now we did have plans to adopt a dog but the rabbit was an add on. Our much loved dog Tiny died last spring and over the holidays it really came apparent that we needed a new dog. So for the past few weeks I have been visiting the local humane society looking for a new dog. We wanted a smaller sized one that was about a year old. When we saw Mazy we just fell in love.

While we were looking at her an older woman took her info card and was really looking over the information. My husband and I just stood there waiting for her to hang up the card so we could have her. The lady asked me were the age was listed. I showed her and she said she was looking for a dog closer to her age. Well the second she hung up the card we snatched it. By the time we were all done filling out the paper work there were a couple of other families looking at her too. We were told she was crate trained but they weren't sure about house broke. Well she isn't crate trained and she is getting the idea about going potty outside pretty well.

Now for Hoss. Over the Christmas break we baby sat a angora rabbit for a friend of mine. We had so much fun that we thought it might be something to think about for the near future. Well about a week ago a girl friend of mine herd about a breeder that was interested in selling one of her bunnies to a 4H family for a discount. We she called me and then I made the needed calls and we picked up Hoss on Friday.
His original name was Peter as in Peter cotton tale but I have to say he is one big bunny. So much so we are now calling him Hoss. He is 50% German and 50% Satin angora. He is not at full coat yet but I would bet I could get a pound of wool from him right now. Yes he is bigger then Mazy.
So as you can tell we are getting used to our new zoo. The great thing is both have great personalities and have so far fit nicely into our family

Friday, February 06, 2009

Some of my finished UFO's

Here are a few of my finished UFO's that I did before the New year. These mittens are wool and lined with angora. Yes I did say lined. The pattern can be found in an older Spin off magazine. The hat comes from Mountain colors. I want to make a hat and mitten set that went with my coat.

The cowl pattern comes from the Winter issue of Knitty. The yarn is handspun soysilk

This baby afghan is one of my all time favorites. The pattern comes from a Leisure Arts book called Quick afghan. It takes only 14 ounces of worsted weight yarn. Usually when I make an afghan before I know if its going to be a boy or girl I pick the wrong color. Not this time. They are having a girl.

These are the jaywalker socks made from Noro sock. I have to say I'm not a huge fan of Noro sock yarns. I'm not sure the single ply will hold up to wear. Plus there was some real thin spots and some really thick spots. I am wearing them so we will see how long they hold up.

Where the heck I have been!

The holidays were a great time here in Idaho. We have a good visit with my mother in law. One the great things this year was the snow. Boy did we have snow. For about 2 weeks it seemed like it snowed everyday. I think we had about 8 inches on the ground on Christmas day. Which I know for some that was nothing but for the Boise area that's a lot of snow. As the year was winding down I decided to finish up all my UFO's. So on Jan 1 I had nothing on needles, hooks or wheel or spindle. I have to say it was a great feeling to have everything all finished up but as the same time I didn't know what to do next.
So what I did was set some goals for the New year. Which I have been working on.
These are my fiber goals
1. Learn to use all the whorls that my Matchless comes with. For those who don't know the Schacht Matchless has 6 different whorls. So far I have 5 . What I want is to be able to spin any size yarn that I want for any given pattern I chose to do. I will talk more about how this goal is going.
2. I want to keep on top of my projects. I don't necessarily want to work on one thing at a time but I do want to keep it under control.
3. I want to do a fleece study.
4. As a Christmas gift I received a subscription to Fondle this Fiber club. Each month I will get in the mail a pattern and the amount of fiber needed to make the project. I want to complete each project before the next one comes.
5. I want to try to make projects from my stash instead of buy either new yarn or fiber when possible.
My life goals are:
1. read through the Bible in 09
2. loose 28 pounds by my birthday, then another 20 by fall. ( so far I have lost 8)
3. become more active.

I have been working on all of these goals and will be reporting on my progress over the next few blog posts and through out the year.