Sunday, February 28, 2010

fiber and turkeys and gnomes......oh my!!!!!

last thursday rhodi and i embarked on our annual pilgrimage to Stitches West in santa clara. for those of you unaware nonfiber folks, Stitches is a ginormous knitting/fiber convention. in anticipation of this event all year i throw my change into a canning jar to help off set the cost.

believe it or not there "was" $112 in that canning jar. a bit more than last years savings. i am very fortunate that not only do i share a birthday with the fabulous man in black "johnny cash" but STITCHES falls on my birthday every year. so my birthday is always blessed with tons of fiber and fun with friends!

we meet up and stay with our good buddy soxchik. believe it or not she puts up with us! rhodi and i don't get off the hill much and we can get a bit "over excited" you might say. the fiber market began with photo fun( soxchik and rhodi) -yes, those are a pair of Addi knitting needles!
at Stitches many of the booths have daily drawings for free merchandise. well, what a great surprise for me on my birthday when i won the drawing from one of my favorite booths!!! "A Verb for Keeping Warm" has the most exquisite luxury yarn and roving dyed with natural dyes. Kristine and Adrienne are always a delight! and you are sure to have a WonderMike sighting at their booth. there was much gushing, hugging and screaming when we walked by their booth and they told me i had won the drawing! here's the skein of superwash merino i won in the mermaid colorway.

delicious isn't it?! there are other favorite vendors that i must visit. Judy's Novelty Wool, Miss Babs, Lisa Souza, and Sweet Grass wool. to name a few. Judy is a wonderful woman who raises her own sheep and belongs to the "fiber outlaws" guild in utah. she is aways there with a bright smile, a story and good corny joke or two. rhodie and i bought a rambouillet fleece from her. the sheep's name is shadow and i am excited to send off her fleece to get it processed. sorry no picture-she's up at rhodie's. i reserved a merino fleece for next year-her name is darlin' and the sample was divine! this year i was determined to learn locker rug hooking from Judy. so i bought her kit. i love it!! i'm hooked! hahahaha!(i know i'm such a dork!) here's my almost finished little sample. now i can make groovy rugs!

here's my fiber score-i tried to think outside the box and not come home with pounds of swamp green rovings! OMG! yes, that is a PINK roving in the back-i fell in love with it! super soft merino by butternut woolens -one of my new favorites.

my yarn score was an accomplishment this year as i bought mainly for specific projects. the huge white blob is alpaca that i plan on dyeing for shawl. there are 2 bags of yarn not pictured that i got for sweater projects-i will show those on another post. the prices were too good to pass up!

another new booth i really liked was Snicklefritz Yarns. it was too cool! yes i am partial to gnomes, but she had some amazing rare breed fibers and her gnome travels around the world and the colorways are inspired by his travels. Janelle let me take a picture of him even though there is no photography allowed.

the above colorway is called gnome in the sierras. she has an awesome fiber club i'm thinking of joining. oh and janelle's day job-she's teaches college level organic chemistry. i'm in awe as that is SO not up my alley. just ask my high school chemistry teacher.

the best part of stitches besides all the fiber is the laughter. it's a time to get away from it all and hang with fiber folks and just laugh and laugh and laugh. so good for my soul!!! we brought party favors to hand out. luci was the lucky recipient of some shrek or shall i say fiona ears. yes, barbara sue-i still have your vintage tatoo plastic bracelet. i have light blue or black left!

there is a lot of learning going on as well at stitches. i learned a few more ways to spin from a batt and how to make the most beautiful felted vessels/vases. i came back much inspired and ready to get off me arse and start creating!

on our way home we just had to stop off at a yarn store. ha! yes, we are that nuts! actually i was looking for a certain back issue of the spin off magazine which i failed to find. and also some jo sharp silk road-i only need one skein. i thought i'd find it at the "webs" booth but they sadly informed me that she no longer does north american distribution. total bummer as that is one of my favorite yarns!!! we also stopped next door to "beverly's" so we could get more rug backing for our first full size locker hooked rugs!! what a surprise to be in the city and to be greeted by a flirting wild tom turkey!!!

life is good. i'm home-back on the frontier. i just found out that where i live is not considered "rural" but "frontier." this makes me happy.

Monday, February 15, 2010

spinning too fast

as i sit here in my bed (yes i finally got the nasty cold hubby and the boy just got over) i reflect on how life is just spinning too fast for me. i can't seem to keep up it and feel a bit lost and confused. i can't seem to get everything done-i can't even update my blog regularly or keep up with reading blogs i enjoy. projects left unfinished- i seem to barely manage the daily essential chores-schooling, feeding the family, laundry, chicken care and some cleaning-if you can call it that. it never was one of my strong points. i am approaching another birthday and i'm realizing that i'm closer to 50 than i am 40-a sense of panic fills me. i know i'm not "old" but i can't help feeling a bit uptight that i'm not gonna do everything i want or need to. time seems to slip thru my fingers-and my "to do" list gets longer. i feel overwhelmed that i'm not finishing fiber projects, books are left halfway read and the dragon still only knows 2 commands. sigh. sigh. heavy sigh....... ick-enough of this reflecting!!!

yes, life keeps happening. my baby turned 12 recently. seems like yesterday i looked like i swallowed a basketball whole-i sure loved being pregnant.

having your baby growing inside you is the most amazing and wonderful experience. the actual birth for me was another story-for those of you that have not given birth-think about that basketball swallowed whole and now you gotta get it out. i still miss breast feeding and changing diapers!!!

remember the fuchsia and brown fiber from the previous post? well, i did manage to spin and ply it. i'm not usually a fuchsia gurl but i'm liking this. i had the perfect shawlette picked out for this yarn but i only ended up with 230 yards and i need 270 yards for the project-any ideas?

before the holiday craze i started this capelet:

i've wanted to knit this for years-it's from the book wrap style. of course i'm doing it in another favorite swampy green-the yarn is more yellowy green in real life.

i've started the lace section and had my sites set on finishing it for STITCHES. not sure if that is going to happen as the 25th is quickly approaching and i have to get the courier done before i leave.

a few weeks ago rowan, birdsong, lucie, rhodi and i had a wonderful dye workshop at willow springs with sara lamb. she is teaching us to make our own dye formula books. we had such a blast and were so engrossed in our work that we forgot to take pictures. i managed to snap a few shots at the end when we were putting our color cards together. this will be an ongoing project for us. here is lucie, rowan and birdsong arranging yarn color samples in order.

here's our days effort of mixing dyes and putting them on cards with their dye formulas. when the project is completed we will each have a large book full of colors and their formulas!!!

sniffle, snot, i really need to be napping so i will leave you with a picture of my fantastic baking ability-i made heart shaped brownies for the boys.

what can i is not perfect.