Thursday, December 06, 2007

shameful blogging...

how can that much time of passed? maybe it is that hands are flying, time is passing unchecked? since oct-21 i have participated in a ticketed auction fundraiser. i had my 7th grade class (which i have for woodwork and handwork at a waldorf school) build a folding room divider frame with brass hinges in woodwork and then for handwork we measured and cut the panels (4 of them), hemmed them, and then batiked them.
4 panel room divider
we raised $1700 for this! wow! i am so proud of their work!

then i sold myself for a package of 10 one hour private fiber art lessons (of choice), and sold a 10' X 12' room lazuring (google lazure painting to find out what that is). i then ended up lazuring 3X much that space at the clients home. it is gorgeous... i will post pictures when their flooring is installed and i can do a photo shoot.

i have nearly finished my caplet from wrap style. i am using noro kuryeon (which i love so much that i bought 20 skiens of the colorway #207. i changed the pattern a bit. i did a ribbed collar and a rolled i-cord cast off. you can tell that i don't give a hoot about making sure that the next skein is in the correct line up for the colorway.

noro kureyon caplet

next on the wip agenda is a project for the holidays. this one is for one of our rescued kitties. she is 3 and was abandoned after her elderly owner died and the relatives put her out. she is extremely shy to the point that she couldn't attend show events for the rescue group. she is skittery, but very loving and adores one of our dogs. she will crawl on her, cuddle up to her, climb into her kennel etc. so i figured why not spin up some of our dog kiska's fur and knit up a kitty blankie? so i blended kiska's undercoat fur with some merino in burgundy tones and added a bit of jewel tone silk and viola! i have so much kiska fur that i think that i will also spin/knit/felt up a kitty bed for her too.

kiska spun upkitty love

kiska blankie

lastly, non fiber related, but inspiring non the less (for fiber art) are sunrises and sunsets. the last few have been spectacular and required photographing! first the sunrise over the chugach range...

 chugach winter sunrise

and a breath taking sunset!

sunset over the inlet through evergreen trees

and this my friends is just too cute to leave unshared... my 8 year old's entry for a t-shirt logo for a local event.

ski4kids logo entry

make peace, spin fleece!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

embossed leaves finished!

done! my first pair of socks with a "real" pattern. done in cherry tree hill supersock fingering wt yarn, superwash/size 1 addi circ needles.
embossed leaves

embossed leaves

once i switched to the double circ needle method i had much more fun. i have already cast on for another pair of socks using tofutsies sock yarn: sw wool, soysilk, cotton and chitin (shrimp/crab shell fiber) i am not sure what that fiber is all about. i'll be knitting the "merino lace socks" from interweaves favorite socks book.... and using those addi needles.

my peacock wheel arrived. it is so cute, i love it. i can tell why folks really want those double treadles especially on these small portable wheels though. i am treadling like it is nobody's business to ply on it. i still would rather have a single treadle than a double. pictures later!

make peace, spin fleece!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

dreds are coming to a location near you...

i've been growing my hair out for a year and a half, for the sole (or soul if you will) purpose of dredding it. i have always wanted to. being the "good girl" of the family i've never done it. i said to my stylist one day i wanted to do it before i got too old and she said "well you better hurry up." i didn't smack her, but i did start growing it out that day! i am no longer in the mainstream (used to be in healthcare), and i am a full time fiber artist who also teaches handwork (fiber arts) and woodworking to elementary and middle schoolers. i do a lot of felting/fulling... heck why not my hair?!?!?!

i'm gonna do it. my hubby is a little disturbed, not because he hates dreds, but because my hair won't have that silky feeling that it does now. i'm seriously the farthest thing you can get from a bragger, but there are 2 things that even i have to admit. i have great hair, and great boobs. i'll never felt my boobs (cast them maybe, been there done that) but i can felt my hair!


fibery news...

i have just finished my first patterned sock. i've made tons of plain jane sox, but this is cherry tree hill superwash sock yarn on size 1 & 2 needles. i am doing the embossed leaves socks from interweave's designs.
embossed leavesembossed leaves

i did the first one on size 2 crystal palace dpn. i have been a diehard wooden needle fanatic. downright wood snob actually. maybe even a wood needle nazi. but i have to admit that i really don't like using anything smaller than a size 5 in the dpn and have found myself avoiding patterned sox because of it. so i thought to myself, why not try cat bordhi's sox soar on 2 circs. i bought 2 cheap pair of metal circs just to see. it was aweful, the join between needle and cord was horrid. i can actually think of lots of more words to describe how i really felt about using them, but not here! :-P

anyhow... checked out another shop looking to see if i could find some top of the line wooden circs in size 2 and only found one brand that was not recommended by the staff. they talked me into addi needles. i was dubious. i hemmed and hawed and stuck my nose up in the air and talked all about how much i hate the sound and feel of metal. blah blah blah.

they were very nice and just nodded.

they were so very nice that i thought "maybe i should just give them a try".

because my tension is on the loose side, i sized down to size 1 on the addis and bought 2 of them in different colors (one is addi's "lace" needles, which at this point i can't tell what makes them different other than the color).

*cough cough* i love them *cough cough*

they are so different than grandmas old aluminum needles! wow! i am also sold on sox with patterns now. i can totally see doing many other pairs with these needles!

on my size 5 crystal palace circs i have just cast on mystic wool in blue/turquoise for a tam...for the upcoming dreddies!
blue tam

i personally wouldn't of bought this color, but my 8 year old just crocheted his first hat and wanted to make another and this was the yarn that he picked... but then got sucked into doing something else. you know how sometimes you can just tell that a cause is lost. this is one of those times, so i reclaimed the fiber! the tam is being knit open in a "puffed rib" pattern which is pretty simple. i think that it might be a bit small for me, but no matter, son number 2 will get it if it is.

on another note. tonight was knit night and i met up with a fiber buddy at a local cafe' for chat. my 13 year old came along and while we were all visiting somehow the subject came up of Michael Jackson and how although he is pretty freakish he has had some really awesome works. we were discussing how different things might have gone in his career if he'd of not gone the wayward way that he did when all of the sudden during a longer knitting pattern reading moment my teen said quite calmly and with frankness "how come michael jackson makes his kids wear paper bags on their heads when they go out?"

something about that, not the question exactly, but how she asked it, struck a cord and i laughed until i cried. what a different world she is growing up in than the one i was 13 in. odd isn't it?

spin on!

Friday, October 12, 2007

the countdown!

today my payment for the peacock finally cleared so it should be shipped tomorrow and arrive in about a week! weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

the garden has been put away, the goldfish taken out of the pond, and the studio is waiting for mudding on the plasterboard! winter is almost here :0)

make peace, spin fleece... take a nap!

Monday, October 08, 2007

i'm cheating on mecchia...

i have fallen in love with mecchia... not love at first site it is true, but a steady respectful growing kind of love. so much so that i am finding edammertje has not been what i had hoped for. there is nothing fundamentally wrong with eda. but i've discovered that i really love the wood of mecchia, and the fine turnings, not to mention i love scotch tension vs the bobbin lead drive/tension eda has just like a louet.

so i guess i want eda to find a new home. mecchia is much too big to take anywhere, she is a stictly an at home kind of gal. so i purchased a peacock! i expect to meet the peacock in 2 weeks. my dd has taken up spinning on eda, but if things work out with this new wheel... she'll share this one with me and we'll pass eda on to someone that doesn't desire scotch tension and who will love her for the modern lines and clean functionality that she has!

prancing peacock on ebay

i also carded up the rest of my stash enhancement from the retreat. this is batch #2 of the handdyed merino that i carded in bamboo. plans are to spin up more lace to light fingering weight.
waiting for some fondling.

this is me with other ladies of the moon this weekend celebrating what we call "fiesta de la luna" and our daughters moving towards womanhood. fall on the lake was lovely. we found our first snow in town on the drive back in! we walked, cooked, nourished, celebrated, welcomed a new moon daughter, committed, rejoiced, reaffirmed and "walked in beauty"
fiesta de la luna

spin on, knit on!

Monday, October 01, 2007

wow, it is almost like christmas around here...

first... i had a fabulous time at the fall 2007 spinning retreat. this is the culprit who introduced me to spinning! notice her fabulous wheel... she waited 3 1/2 years for her turn to have it made by a gentleman in oregon who is no longer making wheels now.
the guilty party

these are other alaskan spinners and knitters! sure they look harmless, but you should have seen them during the gift exchange!
spinners everywhere

i should have taken pictues, 49 of about 60 women participated. i came away with 4 skeins of lovely fall colored fingering weight yarn! all that fiber, spinning and knitting supplies in one place, whew... slurp slurp slurp!

this is the latest of what mecchia and i have spun up. i still have to set the twist, but overall it looks good to me. i love mecchia. hand dyed merino sw

and look who arrived today!

last but not least...
termination dust 2007

i took this picture last week, there is so much more snow in just the last few days. so we hurried and did fall clean up on the gardens, and now we are almost ready, ready as you can be for the winter to arrive when you haven't yet got enough of summer!

make peace, spin fleece!

Monday, September 17, 2007

plying navajo style...

i got home today and decided to spin up the remainder of the split roving. i have 4 oz of this sw blueberry patch merino/tencel from susan and i am using 2oz for this spin. i split it in 1/2 and then divided to predraft. from there i lost track so there was really no real rhythm. i'd divided down to about pencil roving size, but forgot to keep track of the color sequence. i was concentrating on spinning about lace to fingering weight and trying to not overspin. when i plyed it i relearned the rule about overplying a bit because it unspins a bit during plying. that was a pia.

i love the colors, and am getting better at plying.

i ended up with 2 small skeins, about 50 yards each
what i learned: overply singles that will be plyed!

under spun blueberry patch navajo ply

next on my agenda: i am planning on felting winter boots in the norwegian lobben style. i need to felt some fabric, quilt it to a lining, make a pattern, cut it out, sew it together and apply a sole. i have been wanting to do this for years, and now am going to do it with my 7th grade class!

4 days to the spinning retreat!

make peace, spin fleece!

Sunday, September 16, 2007


today i cast on for a pair of lightly felted mittens using my newly spun border leicester woolen single ply. i'm using size 6 needles and a basic 36 st pattern in my head. my flash is out of control.

woolen single ply leicester mitten

tonight i decided to go for the luxury and reached into the stash and pulled out this treasure from Susan! it is a yummy superwash merino/tencel roving. i really want to roll around on it, it is soooo0000000 soft!

blueberry patch merino tencel roving

henry likes it.... he thinks that it is shiney and very luxurious.

henry with blueberry patch merino tencel

i'm not sure, but i think that this is lace weight... i'm lazy remember, someday i'll figure out how to measure.

lace weight, i think

last but not least from my lovely day... my sweet viola player

my sweet girl with her viola

make peace, spin fleece!

meet mecchia

the rest of her finally came today. it wasn't really head over heels love at first site, but we're getting to know each other, and i like her alot. i can tell she isn't a perfect first love, but maybe the love will grow and deepen as we become more aquainted. assembly took me quite awhile as i have only had personal hands on contact with simples such as the louets and ashford kiwis. but i think i have all of her parts in the right places. i am a lazy spinner, much as i am a lazy knitter. i like it all mindless. now, i have been knitting (and other fiber work) for over 30 years, beginning as a very small child. but spinning is something rather new to me. 5 years max, and most of that on drop spindles. i get to attend my second spinning retreat next weekend! i am sooooo excited (picture squealing and jumping up and down) fall in alaska, spinning (or knitting/felting) to my hearts content with no children or cooking, and a white elephant gift exchange with other fiber enthusiasts as excited opening gifts of fiber as new brides are opening lingerie!

meet mecchia, getting settled at my house

mecchia with her first skein spun in alaska

i spun up some border leicester
what i learned: second cuts make a cut difference in the outcome (or work in processing) of your spinning!

4 bobbins of single ply woolen spun border leicester

now i know that i said that it wasn't head over heels love... i can tell you right now, i was thrilled to think that she was coming with 5 bobbins. this is the problem with having an internet affair. when reality arrives... i see that the bobbins are actually mini bobbins. "tweensie" as my son would say. they are also not the quick change variety.

this might responsible for the giddy and irresponsible action i took today in purchasing this:

dutch edammertje

check out her bobbins! i am giddy like a guy checking out boobs!
we meet in person in 2 1/2 weeks. after the retreat, but oh well. tomorrow i start making some mittens with my handspun leicester.

speaking of the leicester. i have (until today) happily gone without really knowing what the significance of second cuts are. this fleece, while well scoured, and in good health.... has horrible second cuts. being the lazy spinner i am, there are small blobs of these second cuts all over my skein. i spun a worsted weight thick/thin homespun, single ply woolen style. i tried to spin long draw... i didn't really succeed being that it was still a wee bit sticky with lanolin, and i am a lazy carder, but oh well, we had fun... and chocolate chip cookies with bailey's on the side.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

what's worse?

question: what could be worse than waiting for your spinning wheel to arrive from nz?

having only 1 of 2 boxes arrive from nz.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

coat of color anyone?

coat of color but where is the pattern, i can't find it!?
while surfing blogs one day i found this coat and was in a hurry so i didn't write anything down. i saved the pic to remind myself to go back there to buy the pattern. but durn-it-anyway all i can remember is that it was $36, but can't remember where!?? arghhhhh if anyone knows, could you purdy please send me the addy? areyoufunkyenough at yahoo dot com.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

the studio has progress...

this week the studio has had good progress: roof insulation, the windows cut, tyvek wrapped. there are 3 large windows across the front that after getting the tyvek all on will be opened up and glass installed. there is a door and 2 smaller windows in the side and back. they should all go in this week and then the shingles on. i tried to talk my sweetie into letting me put on a living roof but was met with more resistance than i felt willing to counter.

the studio

i also got to go to the outdoor market this weekend. wasn't planning on finding fiber there, but sure was happy to! got a good deal on merino and merino romney blend bulky homespun! henry liked it too.

bulky homespun from market

speaking of spinning, my spindle has been sorely neglected for my entrelac affair. but... i splurged and bought this lady on ebay, she'll be here fron new zealand in a few weeks---- squeal!!!!!!

miss mecchia

and lastly.... this was a most beautiful goodbye to the day looking out at "sleeping lady" aka mt. susitna

sleeping lady at sunset

spin well, knit often

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

the leaves are falling....

school starts the day after tomorrow. i think that i blinked and missed something... like summer. i did figure out what i want to add to my new garden (hosta, hosta, more hosta and some more vivid color including many more dahlias) and i want to definately remove others (cornflower, cornflower, more cornflower). i also now know that i have maybe the largest bleeding heart on the planet which needs to be staked before it blooms. and i must not forget that when they say "giant delphiniums" that means that they are over 6 feet tall. this also means staking.

that all said, i may have fallen off the spinning wheel during the tour de fleece, but i did not quit creating. i have a small show going in a local cafe' hot spot with another artist katie sevigny. i finished another sculpture piece...

sister serenity

i wish i could show the detail more, she is amazing (if i say so myself). i even think she might be my favorite so far. she is needle sculpted from wool over a shallow foam core. her dreds are wool over cotton cording. she has silk hair wraps with copper and silver wire. she has a sterling silver nose ring and hand beaded necklace. i may get my bum in gear to place her in the cafe' show before it ends.

i finished a baby sweater from cotton/wool---haven't taken digis. i am still recovering. tune in later for details :-P

just today i cast on for a third lady entrelac stole! my family said "not another one?????!?!?!?" but i said, i love this pattern, and i can knit it if i want to! this spring i finished entrelac #2 from noro's silk garden. i knit it with the intention to keep it for myself as a lighter weight version (from my first) but have decided to donate it to a fundraising auction for the school i teach at and my kids attend.

noro silk garden entrelac stole

sounds altruistic, and might be a little (i love our school and do everything i can for it) but the bigger truth is that i had found another colorway by noro that i liked, no loved, ummmm lusted over (i do wish it were a silk garden, and not the kuryeon, but it is my favorite colors, purples, orange, lime) and it means that i get to knit my favorite pattern again!

just cast on!!! yiiiipppppeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! i am just a little excited.

noro entrelac stole #3

my first go at this pattern was with the mango moon recycled silk...

mango moon silk entrelac stoleentrelac at graduation

i swear it took me a year, first i knit it on the size 10 1/2(us) the pattern calls for, and after a couple feet, decided that it looked to holey in the over twisted areas of the yarn. so i reknit on size 8(us). i refused (being the arogant knitter that i am)to use markers on the ends of the rows. this bit me in the you know what about every 3-4 rows, and i wouldn't catch it for about another 3 rows, so that meant lots of frogging. lots.

i also made it longer than the pattern called for (on purpose) forgetting that the fringe was an extra long fringe. that meant removing one end of fringe and frogging out some of the length, reknitting the last row and redoing the fringe.

have i mentioned that i love it? i wouldn't of been able to do all that knitting and frogging and reknitting if i didn't just love it. i still made it extra long. it is about 7 feet long not including the fringe. because of the fiber it is plenty hefty, with a lovely drape. i wear it a lot and people can't help but comment and pet it. the silk just gets softer. one other thing about it. remember that i spent at least a year knitting it. during that time there was lots (and lots) of turning around doing the blocks. i wondered often during that time why we turn around to purl. why not just knit backward? i practiced quite a bit and figured out how to do it, and altho i didn't knit the whole stole with that trick, it was pretty fun to do. then i found jae and noted that i wasn't the only one doing entrelac wondering the same thing... nor was i the only one using that colorway of noro. brilliant minds and good taste, oh yeah!

this weekend we bought a new fiber cart, her name is roxanne...


and on our first outting in her, we met up with this little mama who's calf was on the other side of roxanne, not a good place to be!

mama moose

last week my sweetie started construction on The Studio... my studio! she is in the back garden through the arbor, next to the pond. 10X12, not too big, but big enough to be mine-yay! details to follow and construction continues.

oooh hey, one last thing. i got my ebay prize... 9 pounds of raw merino, lovely stuff, even henry thinks so.

raw merino

i must get spinning wheel... that is a lot of wool to hand spindle.

Friday, July 20, 2007

i have fallen and i can't get up...

my wheel (or spindle as it may be) has fallen out of the race on the tour de fleece! struggle as i may, the gardening is taking more of my time than i can spare. i started a much needed new tote for the upcoming school year (pix to come). but best news yet is that we broke ground for my new studio which will also serve as a guest cottage! whoo hoo!!!!

i am working my way around the gardens trying to figure them out and working on a routine to try and manage it all. i'm counting on next summer being easier, because i will know what is coming where and such. this week pruning roses has taken precedence, along with putting up wire cages around the bases of some of the taller perennials. i also had to tie up the giant dephiniums--they're past 6 feet and leaning in a big way. finding ways to treat aphids and fungus' organically is also on the "to do" list. i got a load of gravel delivered to beef up the paths, can't wait to get that installed and get some mulching delivered. i'm tired just thinking about it. tired of sweating with mosquitoes nailing me every couple minutes. :-P

Monday, July 16, 2007

rain and sun makes the garden go round...

when it is light most of the night you can actually see the green stuff grow! not much time for knitting or spinning when the grass and weeds want to rule the world.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

just a restfull day...

can you say lazy? slept in till noonish (not that late when you are up until sundown, which is somewhere around midnight) ate soup and read the paper.... in bed! read my latest novel-- middlesex. so far i haven't been pulled into the story, and i'm 1/2 way through. i don't much care for books written in the first person, or at least it is not my first choice. went for a family bike ride, this is something impressive. i always feel a bit like a freak show, there is just so much of us. maybe someday i'll have a picture taken. we went about 5-6 miles??? maybe. we rode from where we live around hood lake which is a seaplane "airport." kiska our 8 year old chow/collie/husky mix began limping about 1/2 way into the run. this is hard to see, she was a runner with a capital r. a few years ago, she'd easily pull you 10 miles, rest 1/2 hr and be wanting more. it is looking more and more like she has arthritis :-( next run to the supply store, and she will be starting condroitin for canines. hopefully that will help.

fibery stuff
i decided it is time... time for a new knitting bag. i have a huge tote that i put bolsters in to divide it into 3 compartments. it is made from brown sheep loden which did not felt down well so the bag is pretty big. it is looking... well... used. i also have a smaller tote from a pumpkin colored lamb's pride with fushia and a handpaint in jewel tones for trim. it bit the dust last year. so really what is left is my felted backpack, one that my dd returned when she decided to go for a nylon backpack (the traitor!). i can easily use another knitting bag.

i'm going to be using the lamb's pride in the kiwi color for the bottom, and then mixing a few other colors---a lot of them from lopi. pix soon as there is more than a seed stitch bottom to show for.

i didn't spin much today... unless reading about wheels and how to play on a spindle (need to work on that). i am stalled on buying a wheel---can not decide which. i really love the look of the ladybug that is coming out this fall. but i really want only a single treadle, and from the looks of it there are no plans for that to be. :-( what to do, what to do, what to do???

Thursday, July 12, 2007

all done!

whew... finally got the green koigu sox off the needles, it only took me a year (maybe a year and a half---shhhhhhhhh!).
done on size 1 1/2 needles.... my rosewood set, and only broke one during the process grrrrr, used 2 skeins of koigu and have walnut sized leftovers. used my standard sock pattern committed to memory.

still spinning, are you? *keep peace, spin (lots) fleece*

on a non fibery note:

dd & i saw into great silence last night. the first view into (i forget which) monestary. it was 3 hours long, and had to exit at about 2. i am a pretty spiritual person, but my heart felt heavy that i couldn't see the point. to isolate ones self from humanity to become one with a higher power seems to defeat the purpose of being human and sharing that peace. maybe in time i'll come to understand.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

back in the groove...

that is if you consider lazing around listening to talk radio while surfing, knitting, spinning being "in the groove"... i am! actually what is tying me to a stationary place is my lovable golden/newfie that has some hot spots that she is chewing. she's getting worse and has added a new spot while we were camping on the beach. we've started tyroid replacement to rule out skin issues from that deficiency. and after having gone through many naturopatics we're resorting to some highpowered steriod topically. the point? someone must be with her tuned into her at all times, or the muzzle must be on. i don't even talk about those bell hoods... have spent $$$$ over the years on those and she's quite capable of reaching what she wants with those on. and she's very good at ramming me with it when she wants something

fibery stuff

finished my sampler stole while out on the beach! i have to say that was one of the most challenging things that i have ever knitted. not because it was technical, but because of the ever changing pattern and the 400 stitch length (read a lot of frogging when you find a stitch count off starting a few rows back) ugh, but i love the finished stole! pictures to come after blocking

i have been spinning the tour de fleece!
here is the angora/wool blend from Susan in the anshuns biscotti. i have spun lace weight and then navajo plied it on the spindle- that was a first! i need lots more practice that is for sure. i spun some singles that vary from dk to sport weight. lovely fiber=yummilicious!
biscotti on tour

i am almost finished with sock #2 of my green koigu in a basic sock pattern, sock #1 was done over a year ago!
koigu sox

non fibery stuff

we came home to lots of new flowers and lots of bloomed out flowers in the gardens. it is amazing how much changes daily when it is light most all of the night. you can have a tight rose bud in the evening all the way open by morning. here are some of the new pretties!
pink pretties

i came across a screaming deal on some keen winter boots! i was going to replace my sheepskin boots, but i adore my other keens, and when there is only 1 size on the table, it is your size, and it is a shoe that fits like a glove... plans change!
keen winter boots

i also found some groovy rain boots. i have never splurged on rain boots before... we call them "break up boots" around here, but my dd is the same size as me now so i can justify them now.
grrrrrrrrr boots

this was a picture that i took on my way out of kachemak bay while up on the bluff. i know it is hard to see in the pic, but that is st. augustine spewing steam in the distance. it is not currently doing ash and lava, but lots of steam.
st. agustine puffing

keep peace spin fleece, do the tour de fleece!