Friday, June 17, 2011

bluegrass camp2011

liam and i just go back from bluegrass camp-at the grass valley fairgrounds. here's was our cozy home away from home.

what a fabulous time. liam took mandolin with john reischman. he really enjoyed it. i took beginner clawhammer banjo with wayne erbsen. i was very frustrated with my class as it was suppose to be clawhammer from scratch for total beginners-i was overwhelmed and felt like a total----better not use that word-i don't think it's politically anymore. but i still got a lot out of it. i'm really inspired to practice and i want to get my fiddle in working order and start playing old time fiddle.

the really cool thing about bluegrass camp is there are people just jamming everywhere! here's liam with friend thomas jamming a bit.

every morning we had our 3 hour intensive class. then all afternoon and into the night there are elective classes that just rocked. in fact it was really hard to pick which one to go to. i took contra dance, clogging, old time banjo-accompaniment for singing with debby McClatchy, another beginner clawhammer class by ivan rosenberg. jamming 101 with sid lewis was a hoot! very funny guy. by the end of the day we were pooped. i got about 10 minutes of knitting done the whole time we were there-and i thought i'd get a pair of socks finished-ha!

i want to give a big thanks to hubby who took care of the homestead while we were gone!

i leave you with a jam video of liam, thomas and his friends playing cluck ole hen.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

i'm lovin it

back in september of 2010-i joined a criminal minds mystery kerchief knit along. wow- that was a mouthful to say-or rather read. anyway, weekly clues were given along with a funny story involving the characters of criminal minds- a t.v. show i don't even watch-ha! i don't have t.v. but hubby streamed a few for me so i could at least understand the story a bit and see the characters.
i used a knit picks yarn -merino and silk blend which i kettle dyed a soft brick red. this kerchief or rather mini shawl was too fun to knit- i didn't know what the shawl was going to look like- it was amazing to watch it unfold from my needles. each week was a new and different lace pattern. what a great way to try new lace patterns. i loved knitting it and love the finished shawlette.
i didn't like my dye job though. i like semi-solid dye jobs- but this wasn't going to cut it. the parts that didn't take the dye as well were a horrid beige color. you can't tell by the photo -but take my word for it-it was ugly!!!! here's the shawl after binding off- before blocking.

i wanted to over-dye the shawl but was worried that simmering in a dye bath would felt all my precious efforts. advice from friend and master dyer sara.....she suggested i do it in the oven! yes, another oven post...but not as disgusting as my last oven post, i promise! i soaked the shawl in warm water.

while the yarn was soaking i preheated the oven to 250 degrees. after soaking for about thirty minutes i put it in a light dilution of the same color. don't ask me for details as i just winged it and hoped for the best.

i didn't want to contaminate my oven so i put the dye and shawl in an enamel pot. gee- now the whole world knows i need to clean my oven!!! i left it there all afternoon- several hours. then turned the oven off and let it cool completely before taking out. next came blocking time. i never blocked this way before- with the item folded. but that's what the directions said to do- i'm a sucker for directions-----most of the time.

i hid the blocking board from the cats-behind closed doors mind you. ah, they love napping and or scratching on a nicely blocked piece of wooly fabric- grrrr!!!! don't get me started. here's the end result. can you say "i'm lovin it?" and i'm not talking mcdonalds here!!!

a bit of a close up for ya! the color is more like the top photo-at least on my monitor it is.

yes, i still have a few loose ends to weave in-but yes, i finally finished it-hooray for me! stay tuned for more finished objects!!!