Tuesday, April 28, 2009

life is hard


Thursday, April 23, 2009

totally textured!

well, it's Courier time again-the time our family puts together our town's monthly newspaper. i guess you may say it's more like a newsletter. it's a 12 page newsletter with a circulation of about 525. so i'm trying to do a quick post here before i enter the land of publication, hair pulling and swearing.

i've had some time to delve into my bag of crosspatch creations. the fiber i bought from morgaine of carolina homespun. this stuff is amazing. they come carded in batts of many different fibers combined into a colorful frenzy!!! here's my batts when i took them out of the bag:

my color selection is called "shadow grove." the fiber blend is romney X(arnie's pride) , purebred romney(blanca and elenora), some corriedale X, bombyx silk, viscose and silk noil. i think it's great that you actually know which sheep the fiber came from!!! i separated the fiber into little bits for spinning.

i spun it semi-woolen(i learned that at judith mackenzie's workshop!) and plied it!

the skein is darker in real life as there was a lot of black in it. i have more to spin up so i'm not sure about yardage yet. it's totally textured! i love this stuff. i want more in different colorways. these bags could be addicting.

here's a current picture of blue-what a hard life he has(pobre cito)......we should have named him "riley." he curls up nice and small-hard to tell he's over 50lbs.

i leave you with a picture of a rogue tulip we found growing at the edge of our woods-we have never planted tulips and we are the first folks to live on this property-so i have no clue where it came from.

kinda special.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

fingers itching for more!

i feel like i have a lot of updating to and don't know where to begin. i guess i'll start a couple weeks ago when we were having much rain. liam and i went on a worm walk and collected earthworms for our garden. check out our yogurt container score!i've been knitting and spinning a lot. here's my growing log cabin afghan:

some of these photos are really dark-camera having fits that day. a friend commissioned me to make a log cabin baby blanket for a baby due in june. i'm having fun knitting this as she dose not want a traditional blanket. the yarn is a great blend-65% cotton with35% alpaca.

i'm so loving this mindless pattern as i can knit it anytime anywhere. the constant talking and interruptions from the family don't matter with this pattern! great for watching movies too!

when i have tons of projects going i feel the strong urge to start even more projects. i don't know why but it's unstoppable and i can't control myself. i know i'd complete more things if i stopped starting-but....... so here it is my gaia shoulder hug shawl. ding ding ding-free ravelry pattern folks!! it takes only one skein of noro kuryeon sock yarn.

it's very fun-and as soon as i get this post done i'm gonna get my fix and knit some more.

spring is so here!! we had our first poppy bloom.

a couple weeks ago liam and i took blue on a hike at the north fork of the yuba river. liam made his first duck of the season:

blue barked like a freak at boulders in the river thinking they were evil creatures out to get us. liam took this shot of one of our swimming holes-we anxiously await river time!

well-i'm outta here-neet to work on the my new shawl.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

presents and pitbulls and snow.....oh my!

wow! what a day! my first surprise was when we went to the post office. there was a box for me from soxchik! what a delightful treat!!!! check it out:

she also sent some stuff for friend and neighbor rhodie. she hand dyed sock blanks for us. for those of you who don't know what sock blanks are-here's a brief description. soxchik makes a knitted fabric-like a rectangle on her knitting machine-then she dyes them. after that you can start to unravel it and knit socks right from the blank. wow!!! amazing. and they make groovy patterns or stripes depending on how they were dyed. can you guess who's blanks are who's? ha! i can hardly wait to start them!!! they are incredibly soft too!

she also sent candy, 2 knitting patterns, holy candles-one for each us! gotta love the virgin!! and a nifty tomato slicing gizmo! oh happy day!!! thanks soxy!!!!

my second surprise of the day was when liam and i decided to take a break from schooling and check on the chickens. holy pit bull batman!(as soxchik would say)!!! i opened the front door and nearly got plowed over by this pit bull(no collar) running into my house-following closely by blue! blue hates pit bulls with a passion. liam grabs a huge walking stick i'm freaking watching blue chase this stray pit bull around the house. the door was wide open(so was my mouth!) and she wouldn't leave-this was pissing blue off big time---meanwhile liam wants to bash the alien pit bull with the stick-i'm yelling no no! she was obviously lost and scared but not aggressive-thank god! blue was the one doing the aggressive thang-he did not want a pit bull in his house! we finally got her out-but blue was being a freak and i couldn't get him to calm down so i could separate them. he was attacking her and chasing her all around the yard. finally i screamed "STAY!!!" and blue stopped and sat there(my eyes nearly fell out of my head when i witnessed that!) long enough for me to grab his collar. i dragged him in the house-boy was he mad. called a neighbor to see if she had gotten a new pit bull-sure enough-she had just gotten her and her name is utah. she tends to rescue them. what a relief. i was able to get here home.

i sure wished i'd gotten a picture of the pit bull chase thru out the house-i was too busy dealing with situation for a photo op. but i did manage to snap a shot of blue later that day after our two cats failed us once again:

good boy blue!!!

oh! i almost forgot to mention-even though it was mostly sunny today-we actually got a few snow flurries-while the sun shone-it was very mystical.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

spinning goddess part 2

i need to wrap up my spinning weekend at sue's.

we were blessed with the birth of a baby lamb while we were there. we saw her right after she was born. mama still had the afterbirth hanging. cutest thing ever-the lamb not the afterbirth!
not only did i have a wonderful weekend full of learning, fiber and friendship- but another goddess blessed our presence. the one and only Morgaine of carolina homespun came in her 30 foot fibermobile stuffed full of fiber of all kinds, spinning wheels and anything your little fiber heart desired. wow!!! it was a mini "stitches" right in sue's house. here's her dining room table:
i really wanted to get a pic of Morgaine but my camera ran out of batteries. here's some eye candy for ya:
can you say ooh la la!!! i wanted everything. everywhere you turned you stood face to face with the most beatiful fibers. but was shocked when i looked in my closet before i went to the workshop and went thru my fiber stash and saw how much i truly have. i did NOT need any more fiber. i was very good. besides Judith's new book i bought some more bobbins for my wheel which i needed. truth betold..... i did buy a bit of fiber....only a wee bit.

you see, part of sue's floor was covered thigh deep with bags of crosspatch creations. i wanted to jump right in and wriggle about! i had never seen these awesome bags before; filled with fabulous carded batts with a variety of fibers in them. i just had to try one! i promise pics and a post on it soon! here's the crosspatch mound:this pic was take after most of the shopping was done. it really was a small mountain to begin with! my other "bit" of fiber i got was a handfull of dyed mohair locks. damn that stuff if cool!!well, the sun is shining. i need to get outside.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Judith the spinning goddess

i have been wanting to post about my spinning weekend with spinning goddess Judith Mackenzie-(note the use of capitols!) since i got home. as usual life happens and i'm finally getting around to it! what can i say? as a spinner i was stuck in a rut and never got beyond beginner spinning- i always felt like i didn't have a clue to what i was doing or should be doing. i just sorta treadled along making the same damn yarn over and over and over.

i was blessed with the opportunity to attend a weekend workshop with Judith at dear sue's house. which is a wonderful experience in itself! thanks sue! bliss! your hospitality is awesome.

i have to admit i was a bit nervous about meeting Judith and taking the class as i felt rather incompetent. the workshop began with me almost killing the poor woman. great! off to a good start! my wheel was having squeaking issues. i was embarrassed to bring it sounding like a bunch of high pitched foxes hanging by their tails. i have tried everything-nothing worked. so i took some advice and got some dry lubricant silicone type spray. i was putting it on right before the workshop-let's put it this way....it's the ONE thing Judith is allergic to. very allergic. well, i felt terrible, horrible like a total a total ass.
sigh....heavy sigh. but- on another note my wheel didn't squeak once. Judith did give me advice for some tri-flo oil. gonna check it out!

(here's judith demonstrating spinning from a batt fresh from the drum carder!)

i could go on forever. i find it amazing how someone can dissect their art so much that they know many many levels, dimensions and depths. Her ease and knowledge of fiber and technique are astounding! a whole new world was open to me-endless possibilities. Judith is also a wonderful story teller. i could listen for hours. i learned much and forgot much, but i bought her latest book which reinforced what i learned. wow! i can do the long draw now-something i always thought was a deep sacred mystery that only the "special chosen" could do. this pic shows Judith long drawing some targhee. i love targhee!

i learned that navajo ply has nothing to do with the navajos, but a true 3 ply makes a great yarn. i learned worsted and woolen spinning methods. i spun silk, buffalo, ramie, hemp, linen, and yak(i want a yak soooo bad!) for the first time!! i learned how to make boucle!! OMG-i thought it had to be transpired from some weird machine!!!!!!!!!!!

i learned to use hand carders to make rolags with the use of a stick. liam and i found the perfect stick at the north fork of the yuba...unfortunately blue got a hold of it. it's chewed to bits now! here's my practice one. not totally straight but i was pleased..and to spin a long draw from it was fabulous!
For the first time i felt i was plying right...after Judith's teaching. here she is doing a fricken 5 ply!! blessed be!

i have more to tell you.....but i think i need to break this into 2 posts. i leave you with a pic of fellow guild member "missy." no workshop is complete without her presence dressed in pink with her chicken knitting bag!