Friday, October 12, 2012

Vacation Fun

After making plans to visit our  son in Vermont the end of September, I hit the web to see what might be going on over the weekend.  Woo Hoo......found out the Vermont Sheep and Wool festival was that weekend and it was only a hour from our son's house.
So on Saturday Jim and I headed to Tunbridge.....

parking in the infield of the horse track
camping on top of the hill....bathroom at base of hill.  I'd hate to make that trip in the middle of the night!
Food vendors, lamb was definitely on the menu.  This is the first time I've been to a festival that sold both ready to eat lamb as well as frozen.

Sheep, alpaca and llama barn....
And surprise.....the goat barn.  There must be a lot of cashmere goat breeders in the area because they far out numbered all the other animals.  Of course, Jim thought this was awesome.

This guy was really interested in my camera.....

As we moved down the isles, I noticed a couple of ladies in long black dresses.  They were bent over with their backs to us helping with the judging.  I turned to Jim and whispered, "I didn't realize their were Amish in Vermont".   Right after I said this they stood up and to our surprise, they were nuns.

Before we left, I took this picture of Jim outside the "Sugar Shack".  He couldn't wait to get some of the maple treats.  They had maple cotton candy, donuts with maple cream frosting, maple candy and maple ice cream.   He wanted to try the maple ice cream but it was a very cool day so he opted for the donut with maple frosting instead.  I swear he'll go anywhere with me as long as he gets a sweet treat.....what a small price to pay!
We had a great day even though the weather was cold with misty rain most of the day.  The festival was much smaller than Michigan Fiber Festival but well worth seeing. 

Days trips with our son and his girlfriend.....

Fun at the apple orchard......
canning the fruits of our labors.....
We had an awesome time in Vermont with Robert and Ashly.  Then it was time to visit with Jim's family in Northampton, MA. Guess what's in Northampton, MA?......Webs.
What a lucky, lucky girl I was on this vacation.  Just to prove I didn't spend all my time shopping.....came home with my Flamboyan complete and my Akimbo started.
That's it for me today.....hope everyone has a great Fiber Arts Friday!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Piece Out

I found I just needed a little break from shawl knitting.  I was looking though my collection of patterns and books by Stephen West and my husband saw this hat and said "oh, I'd wear that hat".   Wa la......decision made on the yarn choice.     

Since this was going to be his hat, he wanted to pick out the colors and of course it had to be from one of our animals.  So off to the basement we went.  He picked out this yarn that has a very muted, earthy look.   He thought the color was very "man-ly".

Then we needed to find accent colors.  I don't know about you but it seems I have a never ending supply of left over yarns from various projects.  He selected his colors and his new hat was on my needles in no time.  He was very willing to be my model.......

This was a very simple and quick knit.  Just what I needed as a break from what seems like never ending shawl patterns and I have a very happy win!

On the spinning front......

Last week I shared my current project for the Tour de Fleece.  I thought it was going to take forever to get all three singles spun, but I'm happy to say, this is not the case.  Once I had the suri/merino roving done and moved on to "top", it's moved along quickly.

This is what my bobbin liked like on Wednesday but after yesterday it's almost full.  Woot, woot!  The plan for today is to "getter done" and start plying.

Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe weekend and we'll see you next week.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Tour Time

Yep.....the Tour de Fleece is in full swing again.    Of course I'm back on the Team of Wonder and the best part of the Tour is seeing all the fantastic yarns that are being created.

In my last post, I shared the last of my Yarn Hollow roving that needed to be spun.  My first priority was to get this done to free up my bobbins. 
This turned out to be the most colorful, fun yarn I've ever spun. Ssssssh, don't tell my team mates, I am on the Alpaca lovin fiber team after all.  It's Merino Superwash in two colorways,  Spumoni and Bengal Bees, finished yarn is DK and 284 yds.   I absolutely LOVE this yarn

I'm currently spinning some of my Suri/Merino that I dyed a nutmeg color. 
My plan is to spin a 3 ply yarn using these three roving's. 
Notice the use of the word "plan". This is the first time I've ever considered spinning a 3 ply yarn and the first time I've spun so thin.  I figure it will take me the rest of the Tour and beyond to complete.   I'm hoping I can stay the course.

I'm also moving along nicely on my Stripe Study shawl using a skein of the 100% suri lace weight yarn I dyed last week.  I'm pairing it with a purple merino/silk skein of Cascade Heritage fingering weight. 

KellyJ suggested using the different yarn weights and I must admit I was concerned about how it was going to knit up but she's very persuasive.  She said "have I ever steered you wrong" me"!   Once again....she was right.  I'm loving how it's looking.
I've completed five of the 12 rows the pattern calls for.  I have another skein of the purple on hold at Your Local Yarn Shop encase I decide to make it larger cause I'm not sure how using lace and fingering together will affect the size.

So that's my week in review...... just want to leave you with a couple of pics that brought a smile to my face when I got home from work yesterday. 
New addition to pasture, 1995 Buick

Your know your a redneck if......
We don't have lovely green pastures on our farm but more importantly, for our alpacas and goats in this heat, we have shade, lots of beautiful shade.  After hosing down the alpacas, my husband decided to wash our second car and just closed it in the pasture for the first.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fiber-licious Fun

Just a quick post as the day has gotten away from me.  Had a great week for dying some yarn.

First up was some lace weight 100% Suri....... came a blend of brushed Suri and nylon.  I really like using one strand of mohair for plying with my handspun so was thrilled when I found this brushed Suri.  Who needs mohair when you can have Suri......right?  Just kidding, I'm sure there'll still be mohair in my spinning future.

Currently working on 100 % alpaca in fingering...........

On my wheel......the last of my stash from Yarn Hollow.  On the larger bobbin is Merino superwash top in colorway Spumoni.   I'm spinning up 4 oz. of Merino superwash top colorway Bengal Bees.  I think this will make for an interesting combo.
My plan was to have all my bobbins emptied for the start of Tour de Fleece tomorrow.  You know how that goes.....

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend....enjoy the 4th and will see you next week.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Getting ready

Yep.....need to get my self together for this years Tour de Fleece.  Once again I will be on the Team of Wonder.

Last Saturday we had the annual roof sit for The In As Much House at Your Local Yarn Shop.  Tables were rented for $5.00 (that is then donated to the cause) and anyone can sell their "stash" of yarn, material, knitting & crochet books, needles, basically anything they don't want anymore that's related to crafting.  The monies the individuals make is theirs to keep or donate if they choose.

My husband always brings a couple of our alpacas for the day and this year we even had hot dogs sold by Bill's Pizza.  This was our biggest stash sale with 20 tables sold and we collected $1500.00 during the event to donate.  Woot, Woot!

Well, what does this have to do with me getting ready for TdF?  Just leading up to the fiber I purchased at the sale.......did I really need any fiber?........nope, but I just couldn't resist.  Luckily I don't have much time to shop during this event since I'm working.  When I saw some of the bags of fiber that others had purchased, I was surprised at the amount of fiber was there.  Next year I'll have to pay a little more attention.

Their both merino top.......I love, love, love spinning from top.  The Mauve colored one I plan on using with this.........
Merino, silk top I purchased from Lady Peddler.   When I bought this fiber from Jill I was planning on using it for some core spinning for my challenge days.  I have 16 oz of both colors so maybe I'll use half for core spinning and then half plied together.  We'll just have to see what I feel like once I get started.

A couple of week ago I dyed up some of my alpaca roving......

I'm thinking about using the golden merino from the stash sale as a second ply with this.  They are pretty close in color so right now I'm toying with the idea of over dying the merino in some brown/nutmeg tones........what do you all think?
So these are my spinning plans for the TdF.  I wonder if I'll stick to this plan? never know what inspiration I'll get from some of my fellow team mates.

Just wanted to share the finished yarn I was working on in my last post.  The Yarn Hollow, Merino Tussah Silk  and the Finn I purchased from The Spinning Loft.
Merino Tussah Silk colorway "Electric Chai
Finn colorway "You Love Me"
.........350 yds and I love these two colorways together.  Both rovings were wonderful to spin with.  I see more Finn in my spinning future.

That's all from me this Fiber Arts Friday.  It's a beautiful day and I have some alpaca yarn that's saying, dye me.....please dye me! off to the basement I go.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Week Filled with Fiber Fun

Weekend Shawl
This was a really fun shawl to knit until I got to the bind off.  I used needles 2 sizes larger than I used for the shawl .....took it to Your Local Yarn Shop for blocking and KellyJ said the bind off was to tight and I'd have to redo it.  BIG sigh! 

Put it aside for a while till I could bring myself to work on it again.  I was having such a great week I decided this was the time to tackle the problem.  Still used 2 size larger needles and bound off using the stretchy bind off method I found on Youtube.

It turned out much more relaxed so I thought I was home free.   NOT!  Took it back to the shop yesterday and Kelly said even though it was much better, it was still not loose enough to block the lace out completely.  This time some "strong language" was used instead of the "BIG sigh".

The good news is Kelly is taking pity on me and is going to rip out the bind off and get it back on my needles so I can try once again using a Lucy Neatby bind off technique.  I'm hoping 3rd times charm!.....I'll let you know how it works out.

On a more positive note......yesterday I completed my Color Affection using the Lucy Neatby technique so the bind off is perfect.  Happy face! it just needs to be blocked.


Spun  this yarn from roving I purchased from Yarn Hollow......4 oz BFL colorway Spumoni and 4 oz BFL/Tussah Silk colorway Morning Spice.   It turned out to be a very happy skein........196 yds, don't know how many ounces since I didn't take the time to find my scale.

I'm currently spinning some Merino Tussah Silk top in colorway Electric Chai (again from Yarn Hollow) to ply with a bobbin of Fin I purchased at The Spinning Loft.
Big bobbin on left Finn, Electric Chai on wheel
Wow....look how close the two colorways are turning out and I bought them months apart.  I was hoping for some difference between the two so I'm looking forward to seeing how the yarn turns out.  Will the color run be different on the Yarn Hollow or will I end up with a barber pole affect?   Now I need to spin, spin, spin to find the answer to that question.

The weather was so beautiful, I decided to get out the dye pot..........

Dyed up several skeins of my mill spun Suri/Merino yarn in Violet and 8oz. of my Suri/Merino roving in Buttercup.

I've had problem dyeing without felting my Suri/Merino roving but after getting some pointers from a couple of people I decided to give it another try.  When I had the fiber processed I had one side done in white and the other in light fawn.   It certainly looks better than my earlier tries but I'll have to see how it spins before I can judge how well I did this time.

So that's what I got accomplished duirng my fiber filled week........thanks for stopping I'm off to read about everyone else's fiber week and to start my Whippoorwill shawl.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Quick post from Indiana

Hey everyone......we're down in Needmore Indiana for the Ukulele World Congress where my husband, Jim, can play his uke to his hearts content. 

We usually camp on site but this year we found we had major problems with our truck so we had to leave the camper at home and motel it.  I'm not to sorry about this since last year it was about 90 degrees with 75% humidity.  So far this year it's cold and rainy. 

Last night we ventured out to the field where everything happens.  Jim was able to reconnet with his friend from around the world.....Australia, Alaska, Thiwan, Canada, Bermuda, England, Nova Scotia....what a crazy bunch of uke players.   This is what the sky looked like when we decided to head back to the motel.

Those clouds opened up and the rain came pouring down.....felt so bad for the people in that field who were in tents.  You have to be a hardy soul for this uke weekend.  No electricity, no running water and only porta johns.

Here's my handsome man playing in the lobby of our motel.  He's so happy to be here again despite the weather.
Of course I did bring my knitting.   I'm working on finishing up my Color Affection Shawl.  Just completed section 3 so only have 2 inches to knit in the brighter blue color to finish it up.
....hubby chomping at the bit to get out to the field so that's it for me this week.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and Happy Fiber Arts Friday!