Saturday, October 28, 2006

Knit In, Crochet Too!

Here is a beautiful bees wax candle my wonderful friend Sheila sent me. It's hard to get a good photo with such a lovely sheen on the wax, but it smells wonderful and is so cool! I have this "thing" for chickens. I collect chicken figures and have chicken calendars at work, etc. This lovely creation will be on my hearth. Sheila and Michael, thank you so much for the lovely, early, birthday present! You know what this farm girl likes :-)

Speaking a great friends, it was so fun to spend the day with Sam and Tina at the Knit In, Crochet Too event today at our local yarn shop. Here's a photo of some of us that participated in the fashion show of hand knits and crocheted items. Sam's peacock blue Port Orford Pullover was modeled by a young man who went from "I don't want to wear it in the fashion show" to "Mom! I want a sweater just like this!" The sweater is beautiful, looked great on the lad, and of course it was knit so beautifully by Sam. Smart kid!

I had a wonderful time visiting and spinning today. I worked on Wayne's sweater yarn. I finished the Crown Mountain, Midnight Hour fiber last night. I had to get my wheel cleared so I put the pedal to the metal so to speak and got 'er done!

There were some people who came by and had questions about spinning and how to get started. It was fun to be able to help them learn about spinning.

I also got to watch as two young ladies learned how to knit today. It's such fun watching them get all excited about the craft. We did the wave for the new knitters - what a great bunch of people that were there to cheer on the newbies. I love fiber folk.

I picked up the new Vogue Knitting magazine and a Lucy Neatby pattern, The Duck Sweater. I really love the pattern, but it's going to be some time before I try and take that one on. I've got too many projects on the needles now, and some others already planned after I finish what's going on right now. Plus there's the Christmas knitting I want to get done. Maybe next fall I'll be at the point to try this out.

I have been tempted by these bracelet's for some time. The last drawing of the day, I won this one at the Knit In. Tina won one earlier in the day too. What a neat surprise.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Oc-Toes-ber Socks Done!

Thank you Jen and Sam for helping me come up with the name for my socks. They were going to be Ernouza's or Soust's socks (Sheila and Lisa - you don't know how close it came!) Sam hit on Socktober and Jen popped out with Oc-Toes-ber and the rest is history. Button's by Sheila Ernst, and Sock! in Emerald City - and heels and toes yarn by Lisa Souza. Pattern - well it's outta my head, but your basic sock with a little bit of yarnovers to give it something different in the cuff and then the toes are a little different. Sam showed me the birds eye heel - had to try that out on 'em, and Wha-La!

The buttons ride above the tops of my sneakers. I tried them on to be sure, and it's all good. I have to also thank my friend Jen - she was thinking when she asked me, "do you have any thongs to wear with your socks? The summer sales are almost over!" I started to laugh, but you know what? I didn't have any!! So thank you Jen for thinking of the "little" things - like how I was going to even show how great these are to wear with thongs :-) Gart sports had these babies for 1/2 price! What a deal.

If you haven't see it before - the knitting under my foot is Missy's dog bed - but you all know where she really sleeps at night. She likes to snuggle in her hand knit bed when she's on guard duty in the lazy-boy, or when we go for trips in the pickup truck. When Missy isn't looking, Miss Emma likes to snuggle up on the knitted bed now and then too.

And now, back to Wayne's sweater - already in progress....

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Catching Up

I went around with the camera today and shot some things that I thought you might enjoy seeing. First of all, we need to show that Missy does not just lay in my bed all day! Here she is on guard duty, waiting for Wayne to come home.

Remember the Daliahs I planted so late in the year? Well they are blooming and happy, but won't be much longer with the frost coming. I thought I'd better show you them before the frost gets them. I'll dig them up and save the bulbs for next year after the first frost.

I put my birdwing begonia outside under the table on the deck this summer. It sure likes it outside! I need to bring it in before it gets too cold for it. I always feel bad for it when it starts dropping leaves and looking sad inside out house.

Here's a shot of another spinner at my home. This little fellow lives in the Daliahs. He'll be as big as a large grape in another month.

On the left side and upper right of this basket is Jazz's fleece so you can see how the two coats look when separated. There are some silver guard hairs I'm finding, so my guard hair pile will take up some black and silver together when I'm done. There is hardly any black under coat, so my softer pile will pretty much be silver only.

Emma was following me around, rubbing against my legs. She is pretending she's really interested in the grass, but she's actually waiting for me to open the sliding door so she can slip into the house. She's pretty good at her deception, but I know her motives.

These little birds were happy to see Emma go into the house! They were coming into the feeder before I was even done filling it today. We get lots of different birds from Stellar Jays to chickadees. They are a lot of fun to watch.

Last, Wayne and I love these red bushes that are in the business park near us. We don't know what they are called, but they have green leaves most of the time, they turn this beautiful red color in the fall, and they have little red berries on the bushes. If you know what they are, drop me a line. We'd like to get some of these.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Who Knew?

I've been washing Jazz's fleece. It has been so much fun! Jazz is a Shetland sheep, and her fleece is double coated. What is really cool is that the outer coat is black, and the under coat is silver. When you pull gently on the long black outer wool and the shorter silver under wool they come apart like magic. At least they react this way after the fleece is washed and dried. I am amazed at the difference between the two coats from the same sheep. They will both be used, but for different purposes. The black is coarser than the silver.

I washed a small part of the fleece earlier and it's dry. I've been playing with that so far, but tonight I put the rest of the fleece into a bath of hot water and EcoScour. After about 2 hours, I pulled out the wet wool and put it in a mesh bag so I could drain the lanolin, dirt, and water outside (we have a septic tank that I didn't want full of lanolin). I rinsed the fleece twice in the washing machine without agitating it, and ran it through the spin cycle both times. This is the first time I've tried the washing machine technique, and I really like it. The wool is so much further along on the drying with the water spun out of it. I think it's overall cleaner too for getting the rinse water spun out so well. Now to let it dry so I can separate the two coats.

This is really more fun than I expected! Now to figure out what special projects each of these coats will be made into :-)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Dye Day Captured

Jen did capture the moment at the Pines Farm with her trusty cell phone camera! Thanks Jen for the photo. As you can see, we had a fabulous time and I was pretty happy with the process :-)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Pines Farm Spin-In

A sheep farm in the area had a fall festival, wool sale, spin in today. It was wonderful! Sam and Jen were there and none of us remembered our cameras. It was a foggy day, and we spent most of the time spinning outside. Fortunately, a small camp fire was built and that allowed us to stay at it longer than if we didn't have a fire. It was pretty cold out there today!

I took a class on kettle dying, or casserole dying. I got to make this caramel and brick color on light gray Romney fiber. Okay the gray bits are some alpaca I threw in the pot as well, and it didn't take the dye. Lesson to be learned, the alpaca needed something different than what I offered the Romney wool and mohair for dying purposes. Anyway, I'll pull the alpaca out when its dry, or leave it in, we shall see. There's about a pound and a half of fiber dyed before I added the alpaca.

I worked on 8 oz of colored top that I bought at village Tea and Yarn last Thursday. It's got a bit of firestar in it, which I have never spun before. It was a lot of fun to see the sparkle mixing in with the wool. I spun 4 oz at the spin in, and the other 4 at home. 175 wraps on the nitty noddy tell me I have about 300 yards of yarn to knit up into something special. Here's the lovely Missy flaunting the spun yarn. She's getting more relaxed in her role as top fiber model here on Wings and Strings :-)
I'll have to see about getting her an extra treat.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

My left foot

Here's the left sock done :-) Working on the right, right now!

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Looking for Fall

Wayne and I went on a trip, looking for fall colors this weekend. Where did we go? North! In to the North Cascades to Marble Mount, New Halem, and Diablo Lake.

We went up a road out of Marble Mount called Cascade Road. It started out paved, nice, great for the first 10 miles. The next 14 were gravel and they got more and more narrow and washboard textured as we went. It was a beautiful dive, but it was getting dark and we were in a hurry to get to the promised beautiful scenery at the end before dark.

Luckily we made it there with a little light to spare, and we got some great photo's of the trip. We were looking at Mt. Formidable (yep that's the name). As you can see, fall is indeed working it's way down the Cascades. We saw Bald Eagles along the rivers, and salmon making nests in the river for their eggs. It was a fantastic weekend. I almost finished the first sock in the pair I am making. I decided to add another colorway of Lisa's into the sock, so I'll finish up the big toe later this week. I've cast on sock #2 to keep the momentum up. I should have photo's of the sock progress for you soon. Here's a shot of the sock progress on Saturday night :-)

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Button It!

I'm a sucker for socks, and for certain glass buttons. So, here's the start of a pair I'm working on. No pattern being followed other than my notes as I go. I wish I'd put the button holes up higher in the ribbing, but I'm going with these all the same. Next pair will be perfect :-) Keep in touch and I'll keep you updated on their progress. I'd say they are about 4" long right now in this photo.

That's Emerald City Sock! (from Lisa Souza of course) and Sheila Ernst buttons. I'm going for three buttons on each sock. I think we're going for a plain foot - but I might just get the toe sock happening. These are going to be fun! What do you think? Toe socks, thong socks, plain socks? I'll be a week or so before I must decide for certain. These are going to be for me, (just so the little voices that usually talk me out of socks know in advance). Version 1.0 of anything needs to be beta tested by the maker :-)

Wayne's sweater is coming along as well. I'm still working on the first skein of the handspun and working up the back of the sweater. Just 5 more inches and I'll start the moss stitch. It's going to be a heavy sweater.

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Finished GGSS

Well the Gathered Garter Stitch Shawl is done. It's another one of those projects where I get to seeing things I'd like different in the design so I change them. I've added the peasant ruffle out of the Knitting on the Edge book to the bottom, and I also added a collar following the start of the GGSS and then adding the peasant ruffle to that. I crocheted the collar onto the shawl.

The yarn is from Lisa Souza, the body being a modified St. Valentines (I had her add some white to it) and the collar and bottom are out of Little Devil. I really love how the colors work together. The button is, of course, Sheila Ernst's work.

These aren't the best photos since they were taken at night, but they will give you an idea of the shawl and how it fits.