Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mitts for Mary

Read about it here.

I'll post the specs tomorrow, right now I have to get ready for a 3rd grade author's party.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Doggie Heaven On Earth

Bagel experienced a new kind of ecstasy when "I Don't Feel Like Blogging Anymore" Barb brought over HER fleece for a little demo in fleece washing. Please note this is HER fleece, not mine. Kim brought her lovely children over to distract play with mine, and to discipline the dog.

Barb: First you lay it out, and look for any second cuts or VM, and you pick those out.

Bagel: First you lay it out, take a gentle sniff, and then dive in!

Bagel: When you find a particularly smelly part, you roll around in it.

Kim: No more sheep for you, bad boy.

The fleece was a small 3 pounds, so we divided it into two laundry bags.

And gently dipped it into a steamy bath of hot water and Kookabura wool scour.

We wanted to test whether the wool scour worked any better than plain old Dawn dishwashing detergent, so we filled a second tub with hot steamy water and added two big squirts of Dawn.

Jen: I knew there was a reason we've moved this tub from house to house to house to house.
After about a half hour, we gently raised the fleece out of the water, and let it drain. Refilled the tubs with soapy/Kookabura wash, and repeated.

After two washes, we did a rinse in the laundry tub and then tried to spin the fleece in the washer. This is where Jen realized she needs a new wash machine, as this one cannot spin without a rinse cycle, which is what you need to do when it comes to fleece spinning.
At this point we abandonded all hope, left the fleece in a tub for Barb to take home and spin, and we moved on to the next experiment - Mike's Hard Lime drink. Oh, and someone got a lesson in drum carding.

What A Day! Thanks Barb and Kim for a fun afternoon!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Imagine this

The server's down. The one that hosts my blog photos. But that's ok, because I have a totally awesome husband who will get the thing back up and running, I know it. I am very lucky to have that kind of confidence in my personal computer engineer's abilities. Plus, the same server hosts his dive photos, so you know it will be working soon . The server's back up!

Imagine this:

A freshly spun skein of a lovely natural colored gray yarn, blowing in the breeze on my back deck. Now for the close up - oh - there are two skeins! One is a beautifully spun two ply, very light and lofty. The other is a fat single, or at least is trying to be a fat single. Hey, I suppose I wouldn't want to be a fat single either. Badum bum.

I bought a pound of this lovely gray roving at the Whidbey Island spin in, from Heidi at the Artful Ewe. At first I thought it was BFL, but the more I think about it, it could be Shetland. I'll have to send her a mail and ask if she recalls what she was selling. Anyway, my goal was to practice spinning a two ply worsted weight yarn, and a fat single. Mom gifted me with some lovely roving in MD that I will spin and return to her to be knit. Plus, I have some Great Balls of Fire that I'd like to spin into a fat single, ala Manos or Malabrigo, and knit myself a cooshy scarf. Practice, practice, practice.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Wow, that's an inspiring title, isn't it?

This weekend I went to the NWRSA group 2060 spinning meeting with friends Barb and Sam. I was inspired to finish up 6 oz of merino/tencel purchased at the Whidbey Island spin in. The problem is I forgot to bring the bobbin with the first 3 oz of spun fiber. So no plying for me.

Last night I was able to ply, and this morning I wound the yarn onto the niddy noddy. 225 wraps on the niddy noddy is about 375 yards. The yarn still needs a bath and then to hang to dry. I'm thinking about making a Gothic Lace Scarf with this.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Summer in Seattle

Blink and you will miss it.

The Shetland Triangle shawl, in it's unblocked glory.

I am waiting for my blocking kit from knitpicks to arrive.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

MSW - the recovery

You may have noticed that I did not post about MSW - Day 3 (Sunday). As it turns out, I left my camera back in WA and was using Mom and Sheila's cameras. Since they need their own blog fodder, I decided to wait until I got home to post about day 3.

Day 3 started off a little quieter. Everyone knew their setup jobs, so we did not need to arrive as early as Saturday. When we got there, the barn doors were locked, so we would not have been able to set up early anyway. Once the doors opened, we quickly set up and started showing the product. I expected the crowd to be small, but it was amazingly steady and busy all day. So busy that I did not recognize some friends that stopped by. This makes me sad to find out after the fact.

I did break away from the "work" a few times during the day on Sunday. Mostly I was too tired to focus on additional shopping. I walked through all the barns a second time, but the only addition to my stash was a pound of alpaca/wool from the Barefoot Spinner.

Now, what you have all been waiting for, on to the goodies:

A wood hat/vase/thingamajig that Sheila gifted to me. So silly! Progress on the Shetland Traingle shawl, mostly knit on the flights home, and a new set of glass knitting needles in Brilliant Blue, size 7. Also notice the glass stitch markers, purchased from Sheila, but made by my good friend Barb.

A close up of the shawl, along with another set of glass knitting needles in the Spring Luster colorway, size 6. These are the most perfect lace knitting needles. The joins are just about perfect, the yarn slips right over the join and up onto the needles, making these the best needles for lace knitting.

The big picture. The roving in front, from left to right: 1 pound Blueberry wool/mohair blend from Persimmon Tree Farm, purchased by Mom with the promise that I will spin it for her to knit with. Half pound Lichen from Tintagel Farm, wool/mohair blend. One pound yellow/red alpaca/merino blend from The Barefoot Spinner. Moving up the table, the pink bag is from the souvenir stand - it is backpack style. Not shown is a pink hooded cardigan with the MSW logo for me, 3 kids sweatshirts, and a series of gifts for friends that I cannot disclose just yet.

Close up of two skeins of wool/mohair yarn (dark blue and brown) from Persimmon Tree Farm - destined to be a scarf and hat. Two skeins of wool/mohair blend from Tintagel Farm, destined to be another scarf. And a close up of the wood thing!

Gorgeous glass buttons from the Ernst duo. The set of smaller buttons is made from a glass called unobtainium. I know this, because the same buttons were unobtainable at Stitches West - they all sold out!

I had a lovely, quiet day on Monday, sitting around my childhood home, catching up with Mom, Sheila and Michael. I left for the airport around 4pm and arrived home in Seattle at 11:30pm (which is actually 2:30am). Back to work the next morning, early to bed that evening. My body is almost back on schedule now.

Tuesday morning I had to be at my best right away as there were tea parties to attend! The kids put on a little show and serve tea to their mother's every year at preschool. Here are my two little chickadees.

You can see that DD dressed up right away in her W&S finery complete with lamb ears. What a good girl she is!

Monday, May 07, 2007

New Girl on the Block

There's a new girl on the block, and she's working on her first blog post even as we speak. Give her a few minutes, and then check out Musings from the Palm Room.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

MSW Day 2 - Too tired to be witty and charming

This is a baaaad picture.

Quote of the day - it takes a village to raise a man.

Friday, May 04, 2007

MSW field report

Whew. Now I know why they call it the red eye. I arrived in MD at 8:30 early this morning, lugagge and all. I slept about two hours, but never fear, the adrenaline kicked in as soon as the blue minivan with K1P2 decal pulled up at the curb.

The weather in MD this year is perfect - almost 70*, sunny, and slightly breezy. We drove to Mom and Dad's house to pick up Sheila and Michael who had arrived the day before. We packed up the car(s) and headed to the Howard County Fairgrounds via way of good java. We arrived at MSW around noon. Vendor parking was still available, which is always a good sign. In fact, we were able to pull the cars up to the building to unload which was a huge help.

Sheila and Michael's booth is in building 1, which is where the t-shirts and other souvenirs are sold. In fact, they are directly opposite the t-shirt booth, so please stop and say hi after purchasing your souvenirs!

I met Janel from Chameleon Colorworks and Spindlicity fame, she is sharing the booth. Mom and I helped all 3 of them get set up. Of course we forgot the camera, so you will have to envision how beautiful the booth looks with all of the new glass needles and button designs, as well as Janel's colorful fiber.

The souvenir booth opened at 2 for vendors only. The line was as long as it is at any time during the festival, and a line remained outside until 5pm when sales closed. Wow. The logo this year is printed onto a beautifully colored assortment of t-shirts, bags, and accessories. You can see how great it looks on Sheila and Micheal.

We are getting up VERY early in the morning to get up to the festival, finish setting up the booth, and then take a first peek at the other vendors. As Mom said, "Tomorrow is for shopping."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

All work and no play

makes jen cranky. I am so looking forward to having a long weekend to spend with friends and family. And wool, sheep, yarn, beads...what more could a girl want?

I've been afflicted with startitis.

Krista Tee from White Lies Designs, in Webs' Goshen yarn, a cotton/modal/silk blend new to them this year. Pattern and yarn purchased at Stitches West this year.

Evelyn Clark's Shetland Triangle from Wrap Style, in handpainted Sylph fine fingering weight yarn, 100% superwash, color "Spring is here!" from Spritely Goods. Aren't the colors lovely?