Monday, December 29, 2008


I realized that I had not posted pictures of the items that were made and donated to the school auction. :)

Eskimo FamilyEskimo Elder with grandchild
This is an Eskimo extended family. Mama, papa, two children and a baby, Auntie, Uncle and Two Elders. All made from reclaimed fulled woolen sweaters and soft sculpted wool/cotton bodies.

Arctic Playmat
The playmat is a bit difficult to see since it is displayed here with a lot of other items with the colored silks draped around. The playmat itself was fulled flat felt with a winter scene (down side in the picture) and the summer tundra (upside). There is a creek and waterfront. A knit/felted igloo, woolen/birch baskets with needled felted berries and salmon. A needle felted beluga whale, polar bear, musk ox, walrus and sewn/woolen seal with baby. This set was done by a friend and myself.

Four Season Trees
These Four Season Trees are so beautiful in person. The picture just doesn't do them justice. They actually are 4 separate panels. The silks that got draped for the display sort of make that hard to see. This was done by my grade 2/3 class over several weeks. They are flat felted.

So much fun :)

Good news...

I joined the gym today so that I could try to catch up with my ambitious daughter who is training for a marathon. This will take quite a while (not her training, but my catching up!). Joining a gym sounds so wimpy. :P But today it was -5F average, and my daughter frost bit her ear week before last when it was 10F above, so I wasn't about to go running at minus anything. I am a little bit afraid of slipping on ice being so out of shape. I can just see me throwing my back out. Anyhow, less knitting, more off the couch time in the future. Other Good News... I sold Bohemian Medusa :)
bohemian medusa
The sculpture has changed since this picture just a little. The tongues where changed to copper, and the eyes are now glass beads. Loved her, but glad she has a good home to live in.

Make peace, spin fleece!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Anxiety and Depression bite...

I hate feeling like this. I am not sure where I fell down, but the feeling is back and it's a bummer.

Lots of knitting. A cashmerino ballet sweater top for daughter, needs blocking and a button.
ballet sweater

Two cashmere slouch hats... one in a soft green and the other a purple tone. They have been knit and reknit, but I can't seem to get the fit I want. It is a good thing that I love the yarn.
Cashmere Slouch HatsCashmere Slouch Hats w/o flash

And a cashmere mobias scarf in a nice sage/olive green fingering wt. I am using a fir cone pattern on that one.
Cashmere mobias scarf

Right now I am working on a show of students' work, and we a great floral fiber sculpture--say that 5x fast! As soon as I get the backing on that I will post a picture. We'll hang at Sevigny Studio for the month of January beginning with the opening on the 2nd. Hopefully to some live music (the students' string quartet or some duets)!

So Santa thought I was nice this year... either that or he was trying to make me feel better. Me thinks it might be the latter :) But my rig now is sporting a yamaha top sport carrier to hide all those skis and ice skates. And the back has a top of the line bike rack. Santa thought it was highly unlikely that my weakling arms could get a bike on the top of the van. I think that he might of been right on that one. Anyhoo... I also got a new (second) knitting needle carrier.
New Knitting Needle Case
This is good because my other is exploding and it doesn't even have 1/2 of my needles in there. I also keep losing my crochet hooks. I might go get the crochet case to match it up.... or I could make one. I guess :)

So I don't know about the rest of the country, but we're having a great winter. Nice and crisp. It has only warmed up (knock knock) once or twice making things nasty. We got about 10-12" in the last 2 days. Lots of powder. A great white Christmas! The skiers are in heaven. If I could get out of my funk I would definately join them. I may need a readjustment on the program if this goes on more than another week. I think that I might have taken on too much and just need to step back. But I am considering trying some light therapy on top of the current treatment and see if that helps a bit. By the way... if you are feeling a bit funkish... I do not recomment seeing Me & Marley. You definately need a hanky for that one :)

Until then... I'll keep trying to knit the blues away.

Make Peace, Spin Fleece

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

so much for global warming....

We could wish it were warming up here today. We had an exceptionally early snow fall already, and now we've lots of drooping trees because many still had their leaves. The good news is that the lawn got mowed, and the flowers mostly cut back and most of the fish caught from the pond before snow flew! Now I can ignore weeds and not feel guilty about it anyhow. I also got all my fushias cut back and checked into the local greenhouse before they froze too. This is good! Now on to winter knitting and spinning. sigh :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Valley Fiber Arts Spinning Retreat, oh my....

I returned from the 20th annual Valley Spinning Retreat today :) Mecchia (my Norwegian wheel) and I didn't return alone either. Mecchia will never have to be traumatised by car travel again! She got a nasty scratch on the drive out to the retreat :(

My new to me Shacht Matchless DT, with a bazillion bobbins, every size whorl avail. and a tensioned kate! yippee!
new to me matchless

I am not sure why they uploaded to a file saying spinning_july08, but I don't care... sky was a glorious blue (wish I had had my camera, bah!), leaves were golden yellow & falling, moose were snacking and crunching through the woods during my middle of the night trek to the restrooms, and there was frost on the windows and ice on the puddles this morning... it was no July... and all about late September :)

I left town on Friday so fast I am sure there was a report of a minivan leaving the city with molten rubber left in it's tracks! I landed out at the retreat at 8pm, signed in and moved my stuffers to my bunk in a cabin. Then I headed downstairs to stake out a spot for my HUGE wheel. argh. I love my Mecchia wheel but it is *not* a traveling, space conscious partner for group spins. This year I went about and tried different wheels, got in other folks' space to gawk at what they were spinning and I indulged in luxury fiber. See my goodies?

Abby and Henry sniffin it all out!
sniffin the goods pt II

Ma! This smells goooooooood :)
sniffin the goods

I have merino/angora and a carded batt of silk/merino in a purple blend that I won in the gift exchange. I purchased some mongolian cashmere/angora/merino blend (my new favorite fiber!), some baby camel, some dyed silk roving, some white silk hanks for dying, and some handpainted coridale roving. I also puchased a boatload of merino top for a felting project for my students. That starts this week :)

Stay tuned for details on that one.

This is my latest knitting.... another Sampler Shawl as previously mentioned. It is with the silk blend noro sock yarn.
silk noro sampler shawl

And this is sock number 1 of 2 on handspun woolen thrummed socks for a friend. I plan to dye them orange/gold/reds when I am done and then sole them in leather.
thrums for linda

thrummed sox for linda

All tuckered out, wanna spin more, must get sleep.... yawn.

ps make peace, spin fleece

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Omgoodness! The time flies! It is not that there's nothing to talk about, just that I am dead to the world from exhaustion before I hit the blogger. Lots of felting, and knitting.... actually let's go in order of what's happened in chrono-order.

July and August brought lots (and lots and lots more) lazuring. Yeah, go google lazure. It is basically a watercolor painting on an interior wall. My lazure partner Susan and I with occasionally help from some much appreciated & loved teens lazured 5 school classrooms, one Assembly Hall, a Foyer to the school and a small conference room.

I should weigh about 60 pounds after that workout and corresponding sweaty exhaustion! Following that I got a near pneumonia-hideous chest cold, missed 2 days of school. Oh yes, moved into new classroom, begun classes, started school and *then* got sick and missed said 2 days.... which should have been 7. I was out in bed 3 weekends in a row trying to recover from that.

Now I am currently (even as of this very minute) working on items to donate to our school auction. Which is quite a gala event, catered din-din, silent auction, live auction, vino and lots of amazing items.

With my gr. 4/5 class I am helping put together a sheperds set. Each student makes a woolen sheep, we'll add a sheperd, pony, sheep dog, wolf, and a pasture mat.

With my gr.7/8 we are building an ottoman and are felting a cover for the cushion. Planning tonal greens for that one. Getting the fiber this weekend for the color, we just laid out the base over the foam blocks today.

With my girlfriend.... we are making an Arctic Playmat set. Part art, part play set. We just laid out the mat which is about 3x4 feet yesterday. And I am actually fulling it right now (am obviously resting). It is winter on one side, summer on the other. Winter is white, with blues on the ocean. Summer is browns with greens for the tundra and I will needle felt some blue berries on that, and there is a blue(s) stream that flows to the ocean which is blues.

I have made a beluga whale, walrus, seal, musk ox (am making now). My girlfriend is making the Inuit-Yupik (Eskimo) family. I will be felting the igloo this week and then will add a fox, polar bear(s), whaling boat, some salmon and maybe more if time allows.

With the Auction Committee (of which I am on) we are going to do a group composite study of Van Gough's Starry Night.

I am knitting another sampler shawl from Folk Shawls. I have handspun, thrummed slipper sox on the needles for a co-worker.

I have a line up of 6 winter kuspuks! This is one that I made last year.

This is what Spring looks like on the beach in Homer Alaska! brrr This is late May.

With all the bear maulings in the city this year, this is my one moment of total insanity. Hiking at Kincaid park down to the beach.
elke on a bear trail at kincaid

The best part of being right here, right now? I am leaving in less than 48 hours for the Fall Spinning Retreat! 2 days, on a lake, in the woods, with nothing to do but nap, spin, buy-fondle-trade-oogle fiber! Eating chocolate might happen too. :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer Spinning!

Well, as previously mentioned we are having a damp cool summer. I am not really minding it so much... fiber helps. The mosquitoes seemed to have calmed way down and I don't have to dope up or shower in Citronella oil to go outside. I have been gardening like crazy. The only real dissapointment in the gardening department is that I bought 5 huge hanging baskets and 3 smaller ones. Most of which were fushias. One of them turned up to have an aphid infection within the first day or so :P and of course it spread. My attempts to control with natural soap/pepper/water spray was semi-successful in the buggy dept, but the damage to the plants is so ugly. Bumms me out to pay premium for ready to enjoy plants only to have to deal with an aphid problem :(

That said, knock on wood, they haven't spread to the yard. My delphiniums are great with just daily checks for leaf caterpillars. And with all the dampness, I have expected more problems with leaf mildew, but it hasn't been too bad. Here is my favorite annual (for this zone anyhow). My son's color pick, I love it!
Reid's Dahlia

Anyhooooo... I have counted a dozen peonies in the ground now. And I have added a few more poppies. I reworked the pond area, pruning out some bushes that were overgrown, and the tree way back so that there was less shade. I also added about 10 hosta of differing variety in the pond garden. In the front gardens I have put in dozens of annuals for color, another bleeding heart in a shaded area. And moved existing perrenials around for better show. Fun, fun, fun :)

I have also been spinning like crazy... I suppose it has been to cope with being inside so much... or maybe to deal with the kids' squabbling. That is probably more like it! :)

This is a hand dyed faulkland wool, spun up and double plied. Perfectly balanced! yippee! I'll work on figuring out twist, weight and blah blah blah later ;)
faulkland in greens
falkland in greens natural light

And this is about 2 oz of natural corridale. An ounce of fingering single ply. And another ounce of fingering 2 ply. Then I worked up about 3 or so ounces of merino/angora blend from Susan.
random spining
And this is the knitting on hand :) I am playing with a single skein of Noro that I just love the colorway in. It reminds me of sherbet. This will be a hat, and I am doing a pattern stitch that is called something like floral rib or something (book in car).
Sherbet colored Noro knitting

Make peace, spin fleece! :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fabulous days of summer! (picture loaded)

Okay, that might be a bit optimistic... summer is relative these days. We're having a rather chilly overcast like "summer" but my flowers like it. Everything but the roses anyhow.

Pale pink dahlia.
Pale yellow dahlia.
First peony of the season.
My newest lupines, these are crazy.
Columbine, or as I call them Fairy Hats!

Now in light of the recent bear mauling in the city... I have crazy pictures to show. I am a SERIOUS bear-a-phobe so this was super brave stuff for me. My sweetie pie flew me (in a friends plane, with friend and his wife) to Wolverine Creek, which is about a 30ish minute flight in a Cessna 182 from where we live. We then baled out a skiff, attached a motor, added mosquito spray to our clothing before they drained us of all our blood, hopped into the skiff with a picnic snack and a thermos of coffee and headed off to Wolverine Creek. It was only about a 10 minute put-put across to the creek and upon arrival there was a single blackie dining on salmon.

Blackie :)

He was nervous (not of us, but of other bears coming) he was always looking up the creek bed to see if others were coming.

Another did come! This time it was a LARGE brown sow with new triplets! I thought that I might throw up, mess my pants and pass out all at the same time. She was very close, and it took several bad words from me before they moved our skiff farther away from the beach and I could relax! She was very nervous (again not of us, but of other bears coming)... huffing and talking to her babies.
When she first came down, she came out checked out the area, chased off the blackie, and ate a few salmon. The little ones watched from the shore.
Once she was comfy, she went back and brought them out to the open area where the salmon were.
Check out that big mama bear butt!

Soon two other brownies came. They appeared to be "small" adults, and tolerated each other. Here is one of them using a tree stump to eat some of the fish on.

At this time there were 3 black bears coming and going, watching from nearby, waiting for the brownies to give them a chance to come down and feast. The mama bear with triplets was up farther on the hillside. They'd run off when the first of the two single brownies came. She was very protective, huffing and all telling the babies to head for the hills.

We watched the 2 single brownies for awhile, with the blackies hanging around and then a very large sow with yearling twin cubs showed up, chasing off the singles. She was huge and tolerated no other bears on the small beach!


At this time we shared our picnic, good thing that there was tons of salmon so the bears wouldn't be interested in us with our food! Brownies, hogies, and hot coffee! Believe me, this food would NOT have come out if we'd not been out in a boat, and there of been lots of fish for the bears to eat.

After snacking, gawking, taking lots of pictures and soaking in the extreme beauty of the lake... several kayakers came up to bear view. So we motored off back to our plane. On the flight home we saw two black bears on a beach just across the inlet from our main destination. Gorgeous weather, calm winds and a good time all around.

I hope to never hear that huffing sound from anywhere other than in a boat!

Here is some eye candy... my sweet shy kitty Abby in the morning sun :)

Today I spun up a small skien (about 2 oz) of corridale on my spingle during a drive out to Girdwood in a sport weight single ply. I am going to spin up some more and then dye them together. This evening on my Mecchia, I finished up about 4 oz of angora/mohair/merino in a 2-ply fingering weight (I think, I really should be more precise about this eh?). About 22 wpi, 6 tpi... perfectly balanced :)

Batteries died, pictures tomorrow or as battery charging allows!

Make peace, spin fleece!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

ackkkk...bear phobia alert!

More on vacation trip later, but on the front page of the newspaper today...
mauling or MAULING! :P

There is reason that I am not outdoorsy :) I used to be a runner as a teen, I want to be a runner again someday, but I don't want to breath car fumes and I am afraid of bears!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

It's all beachy!

Our flight arrived at SeaTac 2 am last Thurs. the 12th. We picked up our bags, taxied to an old family friends' house to pick up camper/truck and drive straight to Ocean Shores on the SW coast of Washington State. I'm sure that there is an emoticon for a very tired person (or 5), but... just use yer imagination and throw in some fine gritty sand for good measure! :)

We then spent 4 lovely days with our parents (my inlaws) who just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. All 6 of their children (including my hubby) and all 18 of their children including one serving in Iraq here on R&R! Every spouse was able to come and one soon to be fiance'. Can you imagine all the fun when you put all the above into 2 large beach houses, add 2 hot tubs, good weather, lots of food, good conversation and tons of love? :) *sigh* On the next to last day many, many other family & friends arrived to help celebrate. All of my MIL's siblings were able to come with their spouses. And each and every one of them was representing a marriage that had celebrated 50+ years!

I did lots of knitting! This is because I knit and talk really well :) I am nearly 1/2 done with a stole from Noro sock yarn (?-I'll explain later) in a flower bud pattern on size 6 needle).

On Sunday eve we said our goodbyes and drove 13 miles up the coast to Pacific Beach State Park where I had vacationed every summer as a child. We rendevous with my sister and her family of 7. There was lots more cousin time in the sand :) not to mention around the bon fire with s'mores and good stories!

After this I snuck back down to Ocean Shores to visit Fusions and do some very luxurious & satisfying shopping. Hi Kelly---> super sweet owner of said luxury destination :)

Well.... now we are back to the metro area and will do out and backs from Auburn to Seattle, letting the kiddos experience the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Seattle Underground, Pacific Science Center, Puget Sound Ferry ride, Spaghetti Factory Downtown, Sculpture Park, walk Montlake Cut, Ballard Locks to watch boats/ships pass, Greenlake Park, Woodland Park Zoo... and MORE if time allows. I think that I might show them where I went to gradeschool and where their daddy and I got engaged. We'll see. :) I'm tired just looking at the list and knowing that it is only a partial!

knit on!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

2-fer-1 today!

I just finished navajo plying my merino/tencel Autumn Sunset singles. I haven't figured out my new camera yet, the pictures should improve as I do :)

with flash
Autumn Sunset merino tencel

without flash
Autumn Sunset merino tencel

with flash (again)
Autumn Sunset merino/tencel

Almost perfectly balanced without a wash, only a few booboos and very nice to spin and to ply. I love the sheen of the tencel!

gaaaack the light!

June 3, 2008
Sunrise: 6:31am
Sunset: 10:58pm
Moonrise: 6:54am
Moonset: 12:02am

it's killing me, blinding me, withering my wee eyes, causing a strange dream life, my weeds are taking over the planet with all the extra grow time, roses bud-bloom-fade all in the period of a single day.... and it is only going to get worse, much worse.

June 18 2008
Sunrise: 6:26am
Sunset: 11:08pm
Moonrise: none
Moonset: 5:55am
Full Moon: 7:31am

now this looks as though we'll have 7 1/2 hrs of normal darkness to catch some zzzz's, but that is a trick. "sunset" just means that the sun hits the horizon. the problem is that it doesn't go far enough beyond so it is perpetual dusk and really only "dark," and even that is relative, from about 1-2am.

sleeping when the birdies are still chirping is just. not. right.


i am nearly finito with my periwinkle mohair stole. need only to cast off and then apply a knotted fringe, possibly with beading. and i have an entire bobbin spun of very thin singles from the autum sunset tencel/merino blend. spinning it is a dream (see post below, it looks the same, only bobbin much fuller and with thinner singles).

i am packing (and moving) my classroom and it is much more work than i'd planned. of course it is, you always have more stuff than you think. so doing this is very cleansing, an opportunity to organize, purge and better the space.... right? :)

of course it is!

pictures of mohair wonder to follow... soon!

make peace, spin fleece (preferably tencel/merino!)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It must be the daylight...

We are at exactly 19 hours of daylight as of today! It makes people manic I tell you. Kids go bonkers, drivers go nuts, motorcycles start doing wheelies down the freeways, dogs want to play fetch and be walked at 10pm, cats are freaking out with the dustbunnies at 3 am... and fiber freaks well they spin and knit like mad :)

My car knitting.... the stuff I do at red lights and traffic jams (please don't try and tell me that you don't do it too, at least I set it down when my foot is on the gas pedal), is a sampler stole out of a blue mohair, my recipe.
Blue Mohair Sampler Stole

And then I am spinning up some superwash merino/tencel blend hand-dyed by Susan. This yummilicious fiber is in the Autumn Sunset colorway, and I just love how the tencel adds that silky feel and shine.

This is the top, and fine singles...
Autumn Sunset singles

This is about 3 oz spun up thick/thin and 2 ply. There is about 180 yards. I could have spun the singles tighter, but was more focused on trying to get the rhythm of the thick/thin thing. It balanced pretty well, but has not yet been dunked. In natural light.
Autumn Sunset thick/thin 2 ply

With a flash.
Autumn Sunset thick/thin 2 ply

I have about 4 oz of the top left and am planning to spin it all in fine singles and navajo ply it.

Make peace, spin fleece!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I have to keep reminding myself that these amazing people are 8th grade graduates! This weekend's (years!) highlight was the graduation of 7 amazing 8th graders from our Waldorf School.

Their individual gift presentations during graduation were a (nothing less than professional) photographic slide show (see, piano, viola & violin solos of the masters (double jaw dropping amazing WoW!!), personal compositions on piano (again... WoWWW), FreeBird sung and played by graduate playing his own handmade electric guitar (WoW! dang, why didn't I have a lighter to wave?!), a self choreographed modern dance piece!

Wow..... speechless! Well if you can be speechless and gushing at the same time! I just adore these people. These were also students of my specialty classes (woodwork/handwork fiber arts), and friends of my oldest child. I am so grateful to have been able to know and work with them since they were just little tykes. I look forward to being witness to their journey into highschool and adulthood! They are just amazing!!!

Here is a picture of a few of them (the guys) with a few of their buddies enjoying a post grad sunset!

Post Grad Sunset with Friends

make peace, spin fleece!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Coastal Paradise

Happy Mother's Day... and some eyecandy from yesterday's perfect day.

Sleeping Lady at almost sunset, about 9pm. The sun finally sat at 1030pm.

sleeping lady from pt worynzof

Snarly Trees on the Coastal Trail. Can't wait for the leaves. They are budding this weekend!

scraggly tree

I began spinning up 4 oz of merino/yng mohair from The Spinning Bunny in the Fruit Salad colorway that is being closed out. I tried to thick/thin slubby spin it and was not very successful. It looks muddy and not slubby. It is true what spinners say about it being difficult to spin thick/slubs after having mastered thin singles. :(

Pictures of muddy mess to follow... when I am done grieving!