Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Caught in Action

Here I am, working on Le Tour de Fleece project! Notice the new scarf? It's a Fiber Trends pattern called Versatile Scarves designed by Evelyn A. Clark. Thanks Jen for taking my photo!
I have plied some of the spinning I've been working on. I will post photos soon. I'll be at the Mariner's game tomorrow for the Stitch and Pitch game. Woo Hoo!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Wet and Wooly

We've had some needed rain the last few days. It's warm outside and the air smells clean and fresh. I have a couple photos to share.

Below is Sam with a Le Tour De Fleece bobbin that she's working on. I too have been spinning for Le Tour De Fleece, however I haven't taken photos of myself spinning. I should be plying soon and will get you a photo of some sock yarn made out Great Balls of Fiber by Sarah Anderson of Snohomish WA. It's in a colorway called Midnight River. I got my V neck T-shirt the other day! It makes spinning go that much better. Perhaps it's the white shirt making a nice background for the dark black, navy, and light blue fiber; but I think it's the knowledge that others across the world are wearing their T-shirts and the vibes of spinning wheels and drop spindles is emitting a sonic energy that drives my feet to tap out a speedy spinning rhythm in harmony with them all. That's just my take on it.

Here's a Victorian Shoulderette shawl I finished out of Blue Moon yarn. Jen and I started an impromptu knit-along with this pattern. I can't wait to see Jen's version. She's using handspun and it's looking beautiful so far. Funny how starting this project at Sheila's home caught me without the right size circular needle. Sheila and Michael were able to fix me up with a gorgeous pair of clover green glass circulars. They are awesome. I'll be having fun with them for years to come. The T-shirt I've got on with the shawl is a gift from my sister, Sandy. See, it fits! Thanks Sandy!

Sheila sent me a present! She and her daughter, Kate, took photos at the Black Sheep Gathering in Oregon and Sheila made some cards for me. She even made the envelops. Imagine my surprise when I realized that those spinning photos are of me.Her and Kate just made me look really good. What can I say? We had such a fun time at the BSG, and these cards are a wonderful reminder. I will have fun using them and sending them to special people. The blue scarf in the background is made from some handspun I dyed a while ago. It's just a small scarf that is very soft. The fiber I used is called "soft wool" and it is a blend of Targhee, Rambouillet, and Merino fibers. The darker blue has some of Lisa Souza's Starry Nights Tencel plied in. I got some of the "Old Gold" color of Tencel at Stitches West from her. I am looking forward to finding the perfect project for it.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

New Neighbors and Tour de Fleece

We have a new family living next to us, but I expect they will fly the coop soon. They have had babies and are busy tending them. It's fun to watch the parents running to and fro taking care of their brood. Wayne took these photos with our big Cannon digital camera and a telephoto zoom lens. We're going to be using it later this year, so we're getting it out and blowing the dust off it.

Our humming bird feeder is a hit with some hummers in the area. We've tried a couple of different feeders this year, and so far this one is the one they like the best.

I've been very busy with work the last couple weeks. It's been a blur working various weird hours, and the traveling always takes the wind out of my sails. I flew to Atlanta on Sunday, but my luggage went to St Paul. It didn't find me until Tuesday night. This was a first for me, and I learned a lot from it. It was an adventure gathering things to get by; not knowing if the bag would turn up in a few hours or a few days. Always check your luggage ticket to see if it's going to the same location that you are. Never pack your true necessities in the checked baggage. I agree I wouldn't check a bag if I could help it, but alas it was not and probably won't be possible in my travel situation with what I need to carry on already. On a good note, I'm getting pretty good about tossing out the laptop and bagged liquids, other electronics and shoes off to get through the inspection line.

It's good that there is a spinning guild meeting tomorrow and Jen and Sam will be there. I'm really looking forward to it. I love this guild because #1 they are very outgoing and friendly and #2 their spinning day of the month falls on a weekend, and #3 there is ample time to get into the spinning and visiting before it's time to go home.
I've got a spinning project underway for the Tour de Fleece! It's fun to set yourself a goal and work towards it. Photos will follow in the next few posts! I've got the T-Shirt ordered, and I'm spinning away.
I celebrated the kickoff of the client I am working on at work, going into production this week. Celebrating being, purchasing a new tea pot. I love the clear glass tea pots and this one jumped out at me. I made a batch of Fairy Nectar tea in it today and poured it over ice. Yum! I got a couple nice mugs that are clear glass to go with it, but they weren't ready to have ice and then warm tea poured over it. I didn't want to chance it.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Quick Update

I'm headed out for a week in Alpharetta GA tomorrow. I must admit I spent some time on the deck spinning and enjoying myself in preparation. Here's the South Pacific silk/merino from Lisa Souza that I finished spinning. 390 yards there. I have some silk/merino in the Elecktra colorway that will go well in a shawl with this yarn. Now to spin it!

See the new rocker that Wayne bought and put together for me! I just love it.

I will leave you with the joint power of the minds. You see Missy and Emma do combine their powers when it comes to opening doors. Never mind the dirty window -this is about the only time I'll get a photo of them doing something collaboratively.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Work has been very busy but I took some time off and went to Eugene Oregon for the Black Sheep Gathering last weekend. The BSG is a festival with fiber animals from sheep to lamas and there are vendors who sell books, wool, yarn, spinning wheels, patterns, jewelery, soap, felted items, knitting supplies, and much more.

Above are some restful moments taken over the weekend. Missy was resting at home, Autumn was being cute at the Ernst home, and the sheep and goats were of course getting their beauty rest - getting ready for the show ring.

I took a class on spinning Bison, Yak, and Cashmere from Judith MacKenzie McCuin. We had some special treats as some Qiviut and some Chinchilla were also provided for us to try spinning. Wow! Judith and all those lovely fibers. It was a fantastic class and I really feel like I learned so much about how to take on these oh-so-fabulous fibers.
One of my favorite sheep, Jazz, was on her toes. She has changed over the time since I last saw her, but she is a cute as ever. I was so happy to get to see her again, and her owner Suzie Sizemore. They did very well at the show.

Here is Sheila, Kate, Jen, and Angela. Kate is Sheila's youngest daughter. It was so wonderful to get to visit with her. Thanks for joining us Kate. Keep up the great artwork!
I was lucky enough to have Jen join me on the trip. The miles flew by with her riding shot gun, or driving. Sheila and Michael invited us to stay with them, and we gladly accepted. What fun to get to see them at the show and to stay with them afterwards in their lovely home. Thank you Sheila and Michael!
Can you believe I did not bring any raw fleece home? I am amazed too! I did find some wool roving and some baby surry alpaca that followed me home. I also found a lazy kate for drop spindles and three matching maple spindles. I'm wanting to take some spinning with me on those week long trips to Georgia, and the spindles will allow me to do that. Having the kate will let me ply from my spindles easier. I'm really looking forward to trying them all out. I found a don't drop spindle (is it the year of the spindle?) that called to me, and a set of Mother McKenzie's Dye. I'll be telling you more about these as I start new projects with them.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I've been in a funk and just haven't been taking photos or doing much but working the last few weeks. With the lack of photos, I think I'll see if I can answer the call of the "meme" tag :-) I was tagged by a couple of you, and this should give me some fun. Just remember, YOU ASKED FOR IT!

The rules of the meme game are: If you are tagged, list 7 random things about yourself on your blog, then tag 7 others, listing their names on your blog. Leave a note in their blog comments so they know they've been tagged and to read your blog.

1) I grew up in a small town and graduated from high school in a class of 45 students. Mt. Saint Hellens ended our senior year on May 18, 1980. Talk about your early out!
2) Kermit was my first car (1961 Comet - frog color, of course)
3) King was my best buddy from the time I was 10. He was a great horse, and I showed him at the fair and rode him all over the town where I grew up. He loved to stop at the store - I'd buy him candy.
4) I won a hand made crochet afghan when I was in 5th grade by buying one ticket at the school carnival.
5) My fastest typing speed is 92 wpm when I tested for the Fire Department receptionist job.
6) I can whistle by putting my thumbs side by side and blowing through them.
7) Lemon Custard is my favorite ice cream flavor.

Okay - who to tag?! I'm tagging Tina, and anyone else who would like to do this. I know, the pressure! If you haven't seen Tina's blog - you have to check out her fiber closet photo!

I'm going to be at Black Sheep in the not to far off future. Hopefully I'll be back in photo taking mode by then. I've been traveling to Georgia and working a lot lately. Oh, I got a pair of socks done with the traveling. So there's something done. Sorry no photos.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ruby Jewel & Jazz Hat

Remember the Ruby Jewel fleece I said I was working with? Well I added some Jazz (see older post about Jazz, the Shetland fleece) to the mix and came up with a hat.
Jazz on the bobbin and Ruby Jewel on the bobbin
I cast on a wild guess of the number of stitched I'd need (turned out to be 96) and I k1p1 for awhile on size 8's. Then I moved to size 6's and did some stockinett for awhile. That's where Jazz came in and added some oomph. I was going to do some large X's around the hat, but changed my mind and made, twigs? Rain? I'm not sure what those are, but it's a pattern and I'm happy with it. I enjoy going with whatever strikes me when I'm combining colors to make a pattern. I never know what will come out of it when I start, but I usually like it when I'm done. The red color comes out in the sun as highlights from Ruby Jewel.

This Monday Sam, Jen, and I cleaned our fleece. While we were waiting for the soaking cycle to complete, we took a look at my fleece that Jen and I washed on Saturday. It had a lot of hay and seeds in it. Look at the industrious helpers I had to shake those seeds and hay out of the wool! When I got home I laid the fleece out for a little more drying, and Missy got into the action.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Happy Feet

Here they are! Wayne's new possum blend socks. Thank you Jen! Thank you Sam! You were both instrumental in this effort.
I still need to dye them, but of course we needed to try them on to check the fit. I leave the toes a bit loose as Wayne prefers them that way. No pointy toes for my dear heart.
I now present to you, the dance of the ha-ha-happy feet! Yes my man, should be a foot model - he's got the moves, and the feet to really show off the socks. No wonder I love him.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Fat Singles

I decided to challenge myself and see if I could spin a balanced fat single. I'm close to success, but it's got a little spin left in it that is hanging on even after washing. This is CVM fleece.

Jen, Kim, and I had a fun day washing fleece today. Jen has some photos of the day, so you should check in with her and see the happenings there. I brought the fleece home and popped it into the top load washer for a rinse and spin to speed up the drying process. Here's the washed fleece drying. This is a Cheviot/Border Leicester fleece, with traits more along the Cheviot breed.

I'm spinning some Shetland fleece and it's coming together nicely. More to follow on Ruby Jewel's fleece hopefully soon.

Wayne's possum socks are almost done. Just the toes to finish on both of them, which wont take long. Speaking of toes, I'm working on the toe of the Tofootsies sock I had on the airplane, and sock #1 of will be done for that project.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

What's Up

It's been a busy last couple weeks. I was flown to Georgia for work, and I'll be going back there a couple more times before it's done. The people in Georgia are very nice and I really enjoyed the trip. I thought I'd have time for knitting, but it turned out it was only at the airport and on the plane. I didn't even get any photos taken to share except for on the plane.

I tried to follow directions. I'm knitting these Tofootsies socks on size zero needles. I love how the sock feels being so compacted with the smaller needles.

Blake Lewis is still in the running on American Idol. They had a parade for him here in Bothell, and while we couldn't make it to watch the event we did like the banners they had.

The flowers in the back yard sure took off while I was away. Here's a shot of some of them for you.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Busy Times

Wayne and I put our finishing touches on the pond last weekend. We put some beauty bark around the pond, and added some plants (inside and outside the pond) and 6 fish.

My friends told me of knit along with Sivia Harding's group. I have to smile, I have great friends and they know me too well. Of course I joined Sivia's list! and life is good (I had the yarn just waiting for a project like this in my stash - GREAT planning ahead on my part). I give you almost 2 repeats of the Gothic Leaf Stole with Beads, by Sivia Harding. Double click on the picture so you can see it close up!

The yarn is from Lisa Souza, and it is her yarn called Petal - which is 50/50 Silk/Merino in a colorway she did as a one off called Leopard. It's perfect for this leaf pattern. It's hard to see in the photo but it's a golden and buttery yellow mix with dark spots and a few rust colored spot in it. I'm using Sheila and Michael Ernst glass needles in size 7 - in their colorway Amber Passion. I'm loving the stole pattern since it won't get wider, only longer, and unlike a triangle shawl there is no chance of it outgrowing my knitting needle cable. The beads are size 6/0 with two different colored bead selections: clear black and amber black. I'm doing every other set of stems in the opposite bead color. They are very similar, and they look nice together, but it's not my wonderful planning that brought the idea to mind. It's the fact that the bead store didn't have enough of the same color. Yes, necessity is the mother of invention.

Here is a tip when using small crochet hooks for beading. Do not stick your crochet hook into the ball of yarn pointy side up. Especially if you get up and sit back down where that hook may find a part of your body. Pulling that small hook out, after it is embedded in one's thigh is not for the faint hearted. It does not want to come out easily. Trust me on this. Enough said.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Finishing Touches

Emma got some final touches in at the pond tonight. That's a toy fish we have hung from Mr Bear's fishing pole. Mr Bear was made in Onalaska by someone I went to school with. We've had Mr Bear for several years, but he recently moved from the big pond over to the little pond to try the fishing there. Looks like Catfish are in season!
Click on the photos to enlarge them if you'd like.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Wayne and I worked on the small pond in our back yard. Here it is with waterfall. I'll be smoothing out the dirt around the pond and we'll probably use some beauty bark to keep the weeds down. I'm a big fan of flower planters or pots to add some colors. The darn morning glory takes over so quickly and I seem to be able to keep it out of well filled pots.

Speaking of pots, the dahlias seemed to have survived the winter in their planters. I cleaned out the weeds and found little dahlias trying to grow. So I added some fertilizer and some dog/cat safe slug bait and we will tend these little babies as they grow. They must be hardy, it got very cold this winter. Okay, so we took a break, my dogs were tired! That sun felt so good today.

Lisa Souza sent my order of Cam-Oh! Blue Faced Leicester fiber! It is so soft and lovely, I can't wait to start spinning! I got a pound of it, and I'm thinking of a vest, or perhaps some felted items. I'm just not sure yet. She also sent me some of Brenda Patipa patterns that I had ordered. I got Twist & Lace, and Do the Wave.
I went to Cerritos California this last week for a few days. There was a pond on the corner of the block next to the building where our class was held. One day something caught my eye, and it turned out to be turtles. Here's some photos of that little oasis in the city.

Isn't that fish huge?! There were two of them swimming together in the shallow end of the pool. I think they may have been thinking of laying eggs. The turtles were quite calm until someone pointed at them. Then they scurried back into the water. The duck, well he heard that photos were being taken and he came right up for his photograph.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Fiber News

Right into fiber content! I finished a felted bag this weekend. It's made from singles that I purchased at the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat from Oregon Wool. The button is from Sheila Ernst. I didn't use a pattern, so I cast on 48 stitches on size 11 needles (I used my glass circulars from Sheila and Michael - they rock!) When I started the top flap, I picked up 18 stitches across the back and then I added two stitches every fourth row until I had 24 stitches, then I reduced every other row. This gave the handles room on the sides.

I started another bag right away since I was going for a smaller size bag but I got over zealous with the stitches when I cast on. The other bag is underway and has 28 stitches around. I have another lovely Sheila button and enough of the red and blue singles to get it done.

On other fiber news, Tina and I purchased a CVM (California Varigated Mutant (for non-spinning/sheep readers - this is a sheep)) fleece at the Whidbey Island Weaver's Spin-In. We saw that Superior Fibers from Edmonds, WA was at the Spin-In and we decided to give them a try. Tina and I picked up the processed fleece today and it turned out wonderful! I can't wait to start spinning this soft, creamy, springy roving. I have almost 2 pounds to spin, which could be a nice sweater for someone.