Friday, March 25, 2011

FAF 03 25 11

And what are you doing this Fiber Arts Friday?  I know I can go cruise through everyone's blogs a little later but I'd still like to know.  It's wonderful that we can talk to each other across the miles from different states/countries/backgrounds/cultures and share the common bond of love for all things fiber.  I've learned so much from all of you about fiber arts and fiber animals even fiber animal farming.  I'd just like to thank all of you for being so caring and sharing and giving.  You all rock!  Seriously.
 There are great peeps here in Grand Rapids that gather in different places at different times to share their skills and talents whether it be knitting, spinning, weaving, crocheting or sewing.  Can't think of a better place to be.  I look forward to every opportunity that arises to sit and knit or spin and chat or debate with very nice folks.

There has been some knitting going on here.  I'm revising a sock pattern for my friend Susan and truly enjoying all the math.  Guess that's why I'm an accountant huh?  The yarn I'm using for the test sock I dyed myself at last November's Hickory Corners gathering of the Zombie Prom Date Knitters.  (see pic at top of post)
 Helix Scarf
Picot Top Olympic Sock

I'm trying to find my Big Ass Sweater mojo but it has gone missing again...

I wanted to be sure and show you the cute little project bag that Susan made which now belongs to me!
Isn't it pretty in all it's Amy Butler-ness?

And just for grins I've been looking at some vintage (70s) knitting patterns, let me know your thoughts on these...

No!  I'm really not serious about that last one but couldn't resist throwing it in for laughs.

 Have a great weekend everybody!  Be sure to check out the other great fiber peeps who contribute to Fiber Arts Friday over on Andrea's blog.

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's like magic...

how you can turn a bag of this...

into a bobbin full of this...
Spin Madness from Yarn HollowA ton 8 oz. of fun for a mere $15 investment.  It's turning out to be good practice for me since I have done so much alpaca that I'm spoiled and thinking I have the spinning world by the tail.  I found out during our little weekend away that I wasn't as good as I thought I was.  When it comes to fibers that aren't all the same I really have to concentrate.  I'll be spinning along and come to a clump of tussah silk or firestar and have to quickly think what to do with it or how tightly to hang onto it or just stop and re-group.  I'm determined not to let it get the best of me.  Especially since I have a second bag to spin through.  This is what I have to look forward to when the first bag is done...

Do you like an adventure?  What's your favorite?  Do you like working on mixed up things like this or do you prefer a nice smooth batt or a braid of roving?  When you purchase fiber do you get 4 oz to play with or 8 oz with a project in mind?

In case you missed my last post here's a little reminder of how amazing the lake was last weekend...
I love the lonely upside down chair in the middle of the beach

LittleDog sends springtime wishes to you all.  It was in the 60s here yesterday and we're keeping our paws fingers crossed that it will stay warm so we can get out for some good long walks again.
Happy Fiber Arts Friday, have a great weekend!

Don't forget to hop over to Andrea's blog and see what other creative fiber folks have been doing this week.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tired but in a good way...

It was a weekend full of much.  Much spinning, much knitting, much chatting, much eating...
I'll let my photos speak for me...

my cozy sleeping quarters
ready for some work
the calm before
working hard
new friends
blustery day on Lake Michigan

ready for spring to arrive, you?

Friday, March 11, 2011

FAF March 11

 Color me gone!  At least for the weekend.  I'm off to a nearby coastal town for a little knitting/spinning/eating retreat with some friends and soon to be friends.

While I'm gone you can drool over my latest accomplishment...

I have a few yards left on a bobbin still as a singles.  I'll practice Navajo plying with that.  This is about 8 oz of 100% Merino.  When pulled tight it's about a fingering weight but left to lie loosely it looks more like a sport weight.  We'll see how it knits up pretty soon.  I have a pattern in mind and can't wait to get started on it.  Thanks to Spin Off magazine for the pattern.

I also got my $9 spinning wheel going this week.  I love how she clatters when she's spinning and she makes a very fine yarn of the baby camel I'm spinning on her.

I got a message today that my adoption packet for the Navajo Churro sheep is on it's way.  I'll post some pics on Monday when I get it.  I'm told the fiber will be good for something like a bag or something not get me started weaving...please!

Have a great week and be sure to visit my crafty friends on the Fiber Arts Friday blog over at Wisdom Begins in Wonder.  See ya next week!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Spinning and Sewing

Happy Fiber Arts Friday everybody!  How many spinning wheels do you see?
 We drew a little crowd while spinning on Sunday at Urban Mill.  Several young men asked to feel the fiber and had questions about what animals it came from and what kind of wheels we were using.  They also had questions about weaving on large looms so we referred them to some other folks since we are not weavers.  I love spinning in public places.

How do you like my new Ashford Traveller cover?
I picked up a couple of yards of Rip-Stop at my local fabric shop, did a bunch of measuring and started cutting and sewing.  The cover took me a couple of hours to put together.  I have to cut an opening for my hand to fit through when I carry Viv but otherwise it's complete.  I don't want her to get wet while traveling from the house to the car to wherever we're spinning...back to the car and into the house.  She's been traveling a lot lately.  I can't believe how many days a week I could spin with some fibery peeps somewhere around town.  Last night I figured I'd better do some laundry or something so I could still claim to be on top of things around here.

I finished spinning the Ladies in Waiting from Counting Sheep Farm

and started some black alpaca fiber that my friend Paula gave me.  The alpaca, she spins like air and is so fine and pretty.

On my way home from work last night I picked up the new maidens I had made for the antique wheel I got for $9.  Now the wheel is worth considerably more than when I bought it. LOL  Some tweaking will have to be done but I've got it set up and ready to test drive sometime this weekend.  Ignore the lack of stain and the stick matches...she's a work in progress.

As much as I enjoy the Zen qualities of spinning, there are other activities I find relaxing...

I had an opportunity a few weeks ago to help a co-worker.  She had been wearing her winter coat for who knows how long without any buttons.  I have a reputation around the office for my craftiness so she approached me for the job of replacing them.

"Sure", I said, "I'll bring in my tools tomorrow"...To be honest, I wasn't really all that excited about sewing buttons on a winter coat.  She brought the coat and new buttons and I brought the little sewing kit I had put together that morning.  I watched that coat hanging over my guest chair the entire morning with a little feeling of dread for the task.  During lunch, after enjoying my little sammich I settled in my not-so-comfy office chair, turned to the window with a southern view of the city and started sewing.  Twenty minutes later the buttons were secure and the coat was returned to it's gleeful owner.  Destined for a trip to Vermont.

I could not possibly thank her enough for choosing me to sew those buttons on her coat.

I tell you this story in the hope that you too will have such an opportunity in the near future.  Finding a few minutes of pleasure in a simple task.  There are times when just sewing a button on a coat can give you a new outlook on life.  And bring a smile to someone's face.

What little tasks do you find can change your day into something special?

Have a great weekend!  Be sure to visit the other crafty peeps that hang out with Andrea on Fiber Arts Friday.