Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March in with spring yarns

Well for most of the US spring is here. In Boise its raining but I'm not surprised as long as I have had kids going to school we have had a rainy spring break,which is this week. One good thing about it being rainy outside I have more time to spin and knit. I have been working on socks , socks and more socks of late. I am also working on basic fingerless mitts. The reason, I'm getting great for our annual Civil war reenactment, that is coming at the end of April. Each year we set up a camp in a state park just out side Boise and invite 5th grade classes from the area to come and see what life was like during the Civil war. My husband is the Blacksmith and I am the resident spinner and knitter. Last year we had 2700 5th graders come and visit us on the last Thursday and Friday of April. This year I think there will be something like 3500 5th graders. We also encamp on Saturday where we invite the public to come and see what it was like to live during the war. This year I plan to sell socks, mitts and shawls that might have been used during the war. So I am knitting like crazy to get some stock ready.
I have been taking a bit of a break here and there from knitting to do some spinning and this is some of the fruits of my labor. The roving is this month's fiber from Crown Mountain Fibers. Its Shetland and I love the colorway, Bannockburn. I can't tell you how wonderful the fibers have been from Crown Mountain and I highly recommend all their fibers.
Again my plan for each month's fiber is to spin a light weight 3 ply so that I can knit socks with each hank. I want to see which breed of sheep will wear better for socks. I'm tyring to spin about the same yarn for each. They are all chained plied and this month I got 288 yards. So far I have been able to keep up with the spinning but I have yet to knit any into socks. I'm hoping I can get started in a month or so, but we will see.
I have also signed up for a couple of classes at the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugine Oregon in June. I am really looking forward to learning some new things. I am taking a class on dyeing with mushrooms and spinning angora. There are 4 of us going together this year. One is a teacher and has been to a few herself. Us other three have never been and we can't wait. So now you know why I'm knitting a ton of basic socks so that I can hopefully save some pennies and add to the stash at Black sheep.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

How to knit a love song.....

OK so I am a real nut sometimes. Today is a perfect example. I herd that Rachael Herron of the blog yarnagogo.com fame was coming to Boise to do a book signing for her first book How to knit a love Song. So I went as fast as I could to amazon and ordered the book so that I could read it in plenty of time before she was going to be here, so that I could maybe sound a bit smart as I met her. Well She came to Boise today at a local yarn store called Fuzz. But like most things the timing was terrible. She was at the store at 2PM when I am stuck in my car picking up kids from school. So I wasn't able to go meet her. So now you are asking how the heck did I get her picture. Well I hurried up and read the books so my friend Lynn could take it to the store and get it signed for me. What's even better she did. Oh yea! So I'm not sure who was more nuts me or my friend. Oh well. I really did want to meet her but I figured it was better to go pick up the kids instead.
I do want to tell you all that I did read the book and really did enjoy it. I'm not much for reading romance novels, OK so I really would rather read a good mystery, but once in awhile I do need to branch out. Most romance books have the same old form and there really isn't much of a story to it but I did find that Rachael has a story with romance in it instead of romance with a bit of story,
As a long time mystery reader I did see some of the events coming in the story, but that's OK. I don't want to ruin the story for you but I can spend hours thinking about what it would be like to find I am now a owner of a house full of wool and spinning wheels. If only I knew someone who would leave all that to me. Oh well, I guess I will have do my own collecting.
If you get a chance to ready How to Knit a love song by Rachael Herron please do I think you will enjoy it as much as I did. She will have two more books coming in this series and I can't wait to read them. By the way Racheal has a pattern at the end of the book that is a huge part of the story which I think I will have to knit. I love a good gansey, now I have to figure out if I will make it for me or the DH.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

With spring come thought of fiber

Its hard to believe that spring is just around the corner, well at least in some places around the US it is. I can't really complain a whole lot as Boise has had a very mild winter. We did get about an inch and half of snow last Saturday but on the whole not much. I think we are in for a long hot dry summer. But lets think of the coming spring. I really enjoy spring time for several reasons. First its the season that my birthday fall in. I do also enjoy all the new growth, as plants break through the grown with promise of beauty to come. Its also the time when sheep get sheered and fleece come available to all us spinners. So my thoughts are beginning to go to what fiber fair to attend what fleece to look for. I am planning on attending the Black sheep gathering in Eugene Oregon this year for the first time. I have always wanted to go even as a teen living in Oregon but for some reason or other I never went. I will be attending with two other friends who have never been either. We can hardly wait. Sign up for classes is coming soon so I will update on what classes I get into.

Spring is also a time for me to start thinking about what plants do I want to try to grow. This year my focus is more on to dye plants. One of my things to try this summer is to dye with natural dyes. So I am planning to grow goldenrod, weld, and maybe a few others. Of course I have all kinds of grand idea until it get to be around 100 degrees and then I totally forget about it. Maybe this year will be different.

What are your plans for spring and planting?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Do people really think?

I sometimes wonder if people really think, or has greed just taken over. I have been watching ebay as people have been bidding on vintage weave-it looms. On a normal day you should be able to pay anywhere from 5 to 10 dollars. But because Interweave press magazine Piecework has an article on the weavette looms. Everyone seems to be going crazy. They are now selling for over $200. Yes I did say dollars. Are you all crazy or do you think you can get your money back.This really isn't the way to save for retirement you know. I have been told that if I wait for a few months I will once again be able to pay near the 5 and 10 dollar range. So I will wait. Its like the Beanie babies all over again. In the mean time I visited a local antique store and found this today. Now its not a Donnor Weave-it loom but the idea is the same.
Along with the loom it came with the box, a pattern book, some squares already woven, 41 to be exact, extra yarn to sew them together. A letter letting the owner know that a certain color of wool was not longer available. The letter was dated March 31 1954
The bag of goodies were for sale for 8 dollars and it was even on sale so the final price was $6.29. yes six dollars and 29 cents. That's what everyone should be paying not $200. I'm just saying.

Monday, March 01, 2010

I am Golden! I almost feel Canadian

The Ravelympics are now over and I am GOLDEN, and yes I almost feel Canadian. Wasn't that the best Olympics in a long time. It was so great to spin and knit and watch all the great competition. I do feel a bit sorry for the Russians they really didn't do all the well did they.
As for me at this Olympic competition I was able to win or I would more say earn three Gold medals.
The first medal I won was the Flying Camel Spin and I have to say I really feel like I was flying there for a bit. I spun 1700 yards of a 3 ply in Shetland roving that I got from a friend of mine. It took me 6 days to spin and ply all the yarn and then set the twist. I bought a bulky flyier for my Sonata thinking it would help me ply faster. The flyier arrived on Wed. right when I had finished up the last bobbin of singles. There was a bit of a mishap. I received the bulky bobbin, the piece to hold the flyier in place but by some odd reason ( Maybe it was from an opposing team) I received a regular flyier. But never fear I decided to forge ahead and use the regular flyer to continue to ply. By the way the Bulky flyier arrived on the day I cast off the sweater. ( definitely a plot to slow me down from an a opposing team)
The second medal was for the not only spinning but knitting a sweater. My Fleece to FO ( Finished Object) was this cardigan. Even though it was a fairly easy knit it was all garter stitch. I have to say it got a bit boring on the light color parts. Once I was at the color changing and the shaping it got more interesting.
I have to add a close up of the sheep buttons. I think they make the sweater. I finished the sweater and had it on the dining room table drying on Thurs. the 25. About a hour before the bulky flyier came. Oh well. I think I know how Apollo Ono might feel. Did he nor did he not get cheated out of the 500m race. He didn't make that guy fall. Not to say the South Koreans pushed China out of the way for the silver in the relay. OK I get off that soap box.
For my last event I entered the Hat half pipe. The reason My husband has a friend who is battling most likely for the last time cancer. Her name is Beth so I'm sure she would love all the prayers she can get. The pattern comes from the Spin Off web site and is turning into one of my favorite hat patterns. The yarn is I love this cotton from Hobby Lobby. Which is a new store to the Boise area. I have herd so much about how great Hobby Lobby is for years. I am so pleased that they just opened a store in past few weeks here in the Boise area. As far as I can see the yarns that they have seem pretty nice for basic low cost yarns. I plan to try their wool yarn on a hat to see how it holds up. Not to worry I don't plan to start knitting and crocheting with acrylic any time soon. I still am a yarn snob but it is still OK to find new basic yarns. The more options the better I say. My family says I have yet to find a yarn I don't like. Well I can only think of one. I really hate Lion Brand Homespun. To expensive for crappy yarn that falls apart while you knit or crochet with it. I will get off my soap box for now.
I hope if you entered the Ravelympics you were able to gain GOLD if not the summer Olympics are just 2 years away, so start planning now.