Sunday, October 28, 2007

A walk in the woods

Today was beautiful. I mean, incredibly beautiful. The kind of day you try to recreate in memory when the skies are slate and the slush is falling.

Scott and I took a walk in the woods at Hidden Lake Gardens --

I knitted some more on Ileana's scarf--
It was a perfect day.

A Day at the Fiber Expo

My daughter and I were supposed to go camping this weekend, but it was rainy/yucky. So, Scott and I went to the Fiber Expo at the Washtenaw County Farm Council Grounds . There was lots of color to brighten up the gloomy day --

There were bunnies who were moving too fast for the camera ---
There were adorable alpaca --

I wanted to take one home. I'm sure we could convince animal control that it's a service animal. Couldn't we?

But I think this will be the closest I get ---

I spent a little time turning it into a Christmas gift for my sister's girlfriend --

See the white stuff on the leaves? That's frost.
And so it begins.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dyeing Day

I was supposed to work on Sunday, but my boss, who is the best (no, really, I've had lots of bosses -- he's the best), gave me the day off and did my stint at the convention thingie for me. And it was beautiful here in Michigan --

One of those perfect fall days that makes me think it isn't so bad to put up with months of gray slush.

And so of course, it was a perfect day to dye --

That's me at the trusty Weber grill, submerging some of my Rambouillet fleece into the dyepot. Cushing Dye. Salmon.

Now, to me, salmon implies an intense orangey pink. This is what I got dyeing 1/2 pound to full exhaust (the amount of dye is suggested for 1 lb at full depth of shade)

The photos don't really do justice to this blah color. If I were making lots of little stuffed caucasian dolls for Christmas, this would be the perfect color for skin tone. Not quite what I had in mind. I was more inspired by this --

the dogwood turning russet-colored in our backyard.

So back to the dyepot with some terra cotta. Lots of it.

Now this is more like it --

Next stop after drying -- carding and spinning.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Stash Enhancement

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law are going to have a baby -- yessss!
A baby to knit for that I get to hand back when its diapers are full. Perfect.
Since I have to work all weekend -- poooooor me --- I took a little time off this afternoon and went to Thread Bear in Lansing. I'd say it was like being a kid in a candy store, but candy stores have nothing on yarn stores.

If you haven't been to Thread Bear and you live anywhere within a couple hour's (heck, within a day's) drive of Lansing, you should definitely go. Go now. It's a little yarn mecca.

I was hoping to pick up a Dream in Color kit for the Tulip baby sweater. I read in Franklin's blog that they had some at Thread Bear, but alas, there was only one left -- in the original colorway. Now, I am pretty enchanted with this sweater, and I love the original colorway, but it's got a little too much pink for a gender-neutral sweater. (At least, I'm pretty sure my brother-in-law will think so.)
So I opted for this yarn instead --
It's wool, it's washable, and best of all from Scott's point of view -- it's Norwegian! The photo really doesn't do it justic -- the colors are clear and springy, perfect for a baby due in March. I think I'm going to make EZ's baby surprise jacket with it -- I love the way it magically comes together at the end.
I will wait until the Christmas knitting is done before I begin. I will.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Caught in the act

Today, Scott was going to a camera show. Perfect time to get in some knitting on his Christmas vest, right?

So, I went to the Appleumpkin Festival --- with crowds of scarecrows

and crowds of the more traditional sort --

and then I ducked into the yarn store and sat happily knitting with Beth. When I heard her say, "Well, hellllooo," I knew without looking who would be standing there. Like last year with his Dale of Norway sweater, I was once again caught in the act--although I think he has no idea what this year's gift is. Given its progress, or lack thereof, who could blame him? For the record, it's the back of the Flying Geese vest.
The back. To the armholes only.
And it's the middle of October.
Given the list of other gifts I need to make, the panic is quietly beginning to set in.

Women of Craft

At the end of September, my wonderful friend Carol from the Trees of a Feather yarn shop in Brooklyn invited us to camp.

We made new friends --
We raised money for the food bank by auctioning off the stuff we made (to each other, because who could possibly be a more appreciative audience) --

Some of us quilted --

Or made paper or felted, made jewelry or tie-dyed. We learned weaving and got massages.

I sat in the sun with my spinning wheel and basked --

And enjoyed the incredibly beautiful, peaceful weekend --

Thank you to Carol, her wonderful daughter Lisa (who organized us, made us laugh, and photographed us) and everyone else for the gift of the Women of Craft Retreat 2007.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Big wheel, keep on turning

Today was Spinner's Flock -- always good to see the crowd, and shop! I managed to avoid actual purchases, other than lunch at the Common Grill with Gwynne afterward.

I did get a tiny bit of this done --

destined for the quaker rib shawl thingie that I'm trying to put together. Someday.

After the Christmas ornaments, Scott's gift, Andrew's socks, my sweater (just sleeves to go -- I think I can, I think I can!)

I'm already feeling the Christmas pressure. After all, it will be Halloween before we know it!

And then, this --

Doesn't Scott look cute in his little hat? He'll love that I've posted this shot.

Tomorrow, I plan to knit at the Appleumpkin Festival (yes, it's as small-town cute as it sounds) while Scott is at a camera show.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lovin' knit night

Wednesday is always great -- it's knit night at Trees of a Feather in Brooklyn. Carol, the owner, is fabulous -- warm, welcoming and incredibly generous. And the other knitters are the best.

This Wednesday was doubly wonderful because I spent the morning at a creativity workshop based on Julia Cameron's, The Artist's Way. I've tried this book on my own before, but I get stuck at the chapter where I'm supposed to give up reading for a week. Not happening. Maybe I'll do better with group support.

And it's COLD -- we dropped about 30 degrees over the last few days. Lovely weather for shawls and sweaters, but I was remembering that just last week, I was here

happily spinning in the courtyard. Today's weather was a reminder that this is just around the



On the plus side, I did get a lot of spinning finished for the quaker rib shawl/wrap I want to make -- after the Christmas gifts, ornaments, socks for my son, sleeve to my sweater, Lucy Neatby mittens.....

It's three-ply, two from roving I got at Allegan and one from Spinner's Flock roving. I did another bobbin of all one roving, and I'm going to grade the shades throughout the shawl. It's the first three-ply I've done in a long time -- I think I'm going to like it better for this project than my usual two-ply.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Let's try this one more time!

Schaefer Heather
Originally uploaded by spinknitty
I cannot believe it has been a year since I started this blog and I have only posted ONCE. I realized it's not the writing, it's the photography that I find so painful. I'm the type who never remembers to bring the camera to anything. I went on a great fiber tour to the Fingerlakes region of New York (visit an alpaca farm, visit a winery, visit a yarn store, visit a winery, visit a sheep farm, visit a ... you get the idea), but did I take photos? Nooooo.
I did, however, buy yarn! Beautiful Schaefer yarn, mostly. And I did manage to photograph it when I returned so that I could organize my stash on Ravelry.

Perhaps that will get me back into the habit of blogging -- or get me to start!