Sunday, December 30, 2012

Handspun Success ~

Great news!  Jitteryknitter has found a pattern to knit with the handspun that I gave her for her birthday. She sent me these pictures to show the Esker Scarf for handspun yarn.
The pattern looks great, and her knitting looks lovely with this yarn!  This is what she says about the yarn, "It is pretty consistent and a true pleasure to knit! Wish I had a sweater's worth! It's got a great hand and feels awesome! I'm so happy to finally be knitting!"
I think that is great news for my first handspun yarn that I've given as a gift! Hurrah!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Only 2 ounces left ~

Having a blast spinning this "Alpine" colored 50/50 superwash merino/tencel that I found at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival this year. The colors match perfectly with the same fiber blend in my Serenknity, so now I have eight ounces of the fiber instead of just four. Being home for the holidays has given me some additional time to spin!
Funny how the lower bobbin is showing the blues and the top bobbin is showing the lime green....I cannot wait to be done with spinning the singles so I can ply this into lovely yarn!  Just keep spinning, just keep spinning!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Cast on ~

Now that the Christmas gifts are knit....well, except that second sock, but the additional yarn is in the mail, so I will finish that knitting as soon as it arrives....I can cast on something for me!  How great is that!!!
I have wanted to knit this Deep V Tee since I saw this pattern in Knitwear.  I am using Hempathy yarn and my size 9 Signature Needles.  So far, so good!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing Day Spinning ~

I need to look up the history and tradition of Boxing only remembrance of hearing the reference is in the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, there is a mention of the kids feeling flat after the Yule Ball that was held on Christmas... I was able to do a bit of spinning on our day after Christmas, and it was great to get back to my Pocket Wheel.
Instead of spinning my natural fibers from Taylored Fibers, I went back to my lime green and turquiose 50/50 merino/tencel and had a great time spinning - right next to our Christmas tree, by the windows that look out to our front yard.  A lovely place for a lovely spin!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Blessings ~

Christmas blessings to you, from all of us.  I hope Santa is going to bring all of us More Yarn (please) and More Fiber, and More Patterns...and lots of time to knit with our friends and family....

I wish a super new year for all, and that our loved ones stay healthy and cozy, and enjoying all their knitted goodies! Here are some special scenes from our 1968 Christmas....classic, eh?

Here (below) are special scenes from our 1969 Christmas.....still classic, still wonderful, still great family memories! Our Christmas stockings were knit by Grandma Agnes, and mine is hanging above our fireplace right now - Grandma Agnes would be very proud of my knitting...I think of her so often when I knit!

Special love and hugs to my family, and thankfulness to all the holiday traditions we shared while growing up....I am so blessed by my family!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Santa is here!

Wishing you all the best of holidays!  I hope Santa is at your home soon! (He is in our neighborhood now, and we will send him on his way soon!)
Happy Holiday Knitting and Fiber Fun, and much blessings for good health, close family and friends, and prosperity for the new year! (Plus lots of great knitting and fiber Karma!)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Faux Knitting ~

As my youngest found this skein in my stash, she remarked that she gave it to me last year at Christmas so I could knit a flouncy scarf for her.  I had knit one in blues and greens in summer 2011 and she wore it a few times, but I thought she was no longer interested.   I was wrong!
I had to check the internet to remember how to knit with this strange tape like woven fabric, as it is not really what one would call true knitting. Very strange to just jam your needle into the woven bits, but that is what is called for. I agree with my previous jaunt that it feels like a backwards journey when I am used to such tiny needles and tiny stitch patterns..and this technique is just messy! To make it more fun for me, I used my rosewood needles ~ thankfully the skein is low yardage so the strangeness can be over soon!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Gingerbread Fun ~

The beginning of a neighborhood tradition, I hope, as we all gathered at our newest neighbor's home to create many amazing gingerbread houses.  I was not prepared for how great this event would be.  When we arrived there were already several families there, and homes were being built. There were ready-made "kits" of walls, and roofs for over 20 guests, and at least four different styles of homes.
How amazing is this?  This is the kids' table, and they were creative and crazy, with only a few roof cave in events...perhaps overloading with candy?
There was also an adult table where a few of us made homes with the help of some wise contractors and architects. Here is the final village of gingerbread...we can say that it takes a neighborhood to make a village...right?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Done and done ~

Today felt very good on the Christmas knitting front, as I cast off two projects tonight. The first was the linen stitch cowl out of Hazel Knits, one of my favorite yarns to work with, and I should really be knitting with the other skeins that I have......This cowl turned out really well and I love the look of the linen stitch. If I knit it again, I would use larger needles and perhaps add some stitches (more that the 101 that I cast on) so I could double it for wearing. The linen stitch is not as flexible and stretchy as other knits, so that is a good lesson.
I also cast off the Venezia Encompass. Lovely in yellow and I am happy that I added 10 stitches to that pattern as it is able to double for wearing...lessons learned previously that the Venezia is not as stretchy as the two alpaca blend Encompass cowls I have knit.
Only one, maybe two Christmas gifts left to knit..... tons of time, tons.... right?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

That is not the question ~

...but the gauge is too different....(Lisa)
(that is not the question)...
...but it looks so different ... (Marion)
...the toe looks square.... (Kathy)
.. but it looks like a mitten... (Marion)
(hey, NOT the question)
...if you had more yarn you could knit another one with that gauge... (Debi) will feel too stiff compared to the other sock... (Lisa) could get more yarn and knit another pair (Patti)
(definitely NOT the question)
The question is, "Should I keep knitting this sock with size zero needles, or rip out and start over with size 2 needles?"
"I love it just the way it is, Mom, keep knitting!!!!"  (Hannah)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Encompass ~

Just when you think you are done with a pattern for awhile....someone asks for that same pattern... different yarn.... so I cast on the Encompass once again, this time in Venezia worsted in a bright yellow.
A bright and happy yarn for these rainy days of winter.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Linen Stitch Epiphany ~

At Fort Worden I thought I learned how to knit the linen stitch.  I was warned about the linen stitch.  I fell in love with the Churchmouse pattern for the linen stitch scarf.  I cast on that scarf at Fort Worden, over 300 stitches, and it took 30 minutes to knit one row. The yarn is Koigu and I love all of it.  As beautiful at the Koigu scarf looks, it does not appear to be the linen stitch pictured in the pattern. Odd...the Koigu is so beautiful...
This week, casting on the Chickadee cowl, (pictured above) and by the third round I had the Linen Stitch Epiphany.....THIS is what it looks like, THIS is the pattern, THIS is that woven look......I do have lots of Koigu to cast on another Chickadee....but I think I will keep knitting my sweet Koigu "not linen stitch" scarf.....because it is so beautiful.... 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

College Exam knitting ~

My oldest has spent the last two Saturdays taking the SAT and ACT college entrance exams.  While she was taking the tests, I was madly knitting on this pink sock...since I only need to knit one...right?
It is looking good....I just need more knitting time before Christmas to finish this one sock!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Cowls ~

Here is a gem from the lovely White Violet Farms alpaca that I bought at the stash sale at Fort Worden. The pattern is a great one and I have knit it before, also out of alpaca.  The cowl is a perfect length as one can loop it twice and not be choked....
Love Love Love this yarn and this pattern!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Colors ~

This wool is from Michigan, and I bought it in Portland...and I am knitting it in fun is that?  These colors are perfect for my youngest, bright and wild and fun...what could be more fun than turquoise and orange for Christmas? I think she will like this hat!
Plus, I have enough left over to knit mittens or another hat...perhaps in a fair isle motif so it would be super warm from the double thick yarn!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad ~

A happy birthday to my Dad!! I love this picture from 1969 and one of our trips to Alaska, and this is your big salmon catch! Hurrah!
Hope you are having a great day!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Officially Christmas knitting ~

There was a rumor that December was coming quick, but I did not believe it.....but it came anyway, and with it came the rush of Christmas knitting ideas.  This one should be not-too-hard (which is different than often easy is a four letter word....just sayin') as I already have one sock knit by the Jitteryknitter and so I only have to knit the other sock.
So, cheers to the official start of Christmas knitting, with an eggnog latte and a new sock on the needles!
P.S. I think Jitteryknitter used size 2 needles, and all I have available are size zero....but they are only socks, right?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Michigan Mystery Fiber ~

My mum and sister were at a fiber festival in Michigan in October, and they picked out a lovely bump of what I am calling Michigan Mystery Fiber for me!  They thought it was alpaca, since there were alpacas at the festival, but the fiber is more coarse and long than alpaca. The color is a lovely buff and a bit of peach tones added.  A bonus was a bar of handmade soap from the fiber festival was also in the bag, so it is the best smelling fiber bump I have ever had!

According to the experts at my favorite knitting shop, it seems to be a blend Romney and BFL, with some other wools perhaps.  I am excited to start spinning it, as soon as I finish what is on my bobbins, or when Santa brings me new bobbins!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Major Birthday Surprise ~

We were planning a Yarn Yoga with many birthday surprises and secrets.  There was one secret that only I knew about, and I was not sure that I could pull off such a major birthday surprise...Could I possibly find the time and patience to spin and ply all 7 ounces of the ever-so-lovely-and-soft 55/35/10 Alpaca/Merino/Silk for Jitteryknitter's birthday, a month early? Plus, could I figure out a clever way to make a yarn label?
 I did!  I was so pleased with how the spin and ply turned out, and the yarn label was a blast to create!

Jitteryknitter liked it too! Plus a big birthday surprise as her birthday is in December!!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Boise XC Stars ~

The Wolfpack ran in the Nike Cross Northwest Challenge, and my daughters qualified to make the team!
Both had awesome races, and after they ran a great race, they took some time for some spelling fun!

Great friends, great runners, and super great spellers!!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fort Worden Weekend Truths ~

We learned so much on our Fort Worden weekend, and one of the resounding truths of life was confirmed at this coffee shop.
Love the name of the shop, loved their coffee, loved the view of the Ocean and LOVED the chocolate pie....Since we actually bought our own coffee maker especially for this weekend, these words are oh-so-true for us!!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bazaar Girls ~

We were sad to leave knitting camp at Fort Worden, yet looked forward to hitting the local knitting shop on our way out of town. Great little shop called Bazaar Girls, and they had lovely fiber and yarn. I found a sample swatch from my new favorite fiber providers, Taylored Fibers, and we could not find the fiber it came from.  So I emailed Barry and Linda that I had seen a swatch of, "Mostly dark brown, but hints of purple sprinkled through it" and Linda emailed right back and said they had some to send me... and if I liked it, I could just send them a check for the total.
Here it is.... 50/40/10 Alpaca/Corriedale/Mohair, and, yes, I liked it...(how could one not like this??)
and sent them a check, and ordered a bit more of their lovely fiber....some really super soft and yummy alpaca blends......
Here is some spun, more coarse and pokey than the alpaca blend with merino and silk, but the colors of the mohair are such fun!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fort Worden Treasures ~

By Sunday at Fort Worden, the "sale room" was starting to see some real action. Those great sales that we were pondering, "Hmmmm, do I want to spend $7 on two skeins of Koigu" turned into, "YES, I am buying the alpaca, and Koigu AND getting a deal on neon green mohair!"
Plus a deal on lovely merino fleece (top left corner).....all for such a deal.... I can hardly wait to cast on all these projects!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fort Worden Camp~

When one asks, "What did you do at Fort Worden? Classes? Demonstrations? Presentations?" Well, not exactly.... Once we arrived and found our sweet little dorm room with the very dim light, and unpacked a LOT of great knitting, spinning and weaving projects. Plus unpacked BOXES of yarn that we were going to sell in the "sale room" mostly acrylic and fun fir, but some treasures as well.... then we went to find the rest of the knitters and spinners.... and set up our camp chairs in the circle with the "cool kids" and started to knit....

Oh, and we cruised the "sale room" with all the treasures it Koigu for 1/2 price (yes, really) in many colors, and I had to buy some right then...not waiting to see if they would be "reduced sale" on Sunday..... somethings one cannot resist a Koigu sale! (picture here of Koigu linen stitch scarf cast on Saturday night!)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fort Worden Adventure~

I was lucky enough to get invited to the Fort Worden knitting camp this year. Jitteryknitter was lucky enough to get invited last year, and she had a blast... so she invited me this year...
...and we had a blast...I can hardly begin to tell you about all of the fun we had... knitting, spinning, weaving, laughing, drinking coffee and getting great deals on amazing we are on the ferry ride over, and then there was that submarine we waited for...but no worries, as we were knitting while we waited!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Knitting ~

Our dear friend Marion is visiting her family in Buffalo, at the same time that Hurricane Sandy is visiting the east coast.... bad timing for Sandy as no one wants her to visit...but.....Here is a tip I learned since the volcano in Iceland a few years back that stranded people in many airports around the globe for DAYS... always take many knitting projects when you travel, as you might be stuck in an airport for days due to a volcano...really.....water and granola bars are good to have along, too...but think of how awful to be stranded in an airport with no knitting...for days...ghastly.....
Marion, being very smart, is working on her knitting during the hurricane's visit. This lovely scarf is Lily of the Valley. She and her family are keeping safe and dry, and our thoughts and prayers go out to all those in Sandy's path. Stay safe and dry, and close with family and friends.  Hopefully you have power, but if not, grab your headlamp and needles, keep calm and knit on!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pocket Wheel Anniversary ~

October 8, 2011 is the date I first spun on my very own Pocket Wheel.  In the year that I have been spinning on this delightful wheel, I have had a lot of fun with different fibers and even improved my spinning!
Here is a picture of my plying in February.......lovely colors, yet not consistent... yet....
Here is a single in September.... waiting to get plyed soon....  I think I am improving.... plus that "thin as frog hair" fiber that is now on the wheel...that could continue to be very exciting this year!!!  Hurrah!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Perfect Vacation Cast off ~

One last post about there is a rumor going around that November begins next week....and I am still talking about my September vacation....yet, it was such a great GREAT vacation....
Cast off the lovely Annis shawl while having coffee in a cool cafe with this perfect VACATION sign...knitting and coffee and vacation with two of the best ladies on this earth....I am so blessed to know them and have them as my friends....they are more special than even the most special silk yarn from England, used to knit this beauty!   Oh, how I love love LOVE this picture!!!!!
P.S.  Someone please tell me that November does NOT start next week....really.......

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Lovely Rabbit Hole ~

I recently talked about many of the lovely rabbit holes that I have thrown myself into, typically with Jitteryknitter leading the way..... At the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, the Jitteryknitter found her very own rabbit hole to launch into...
Yes, she bought that Cricket Loom that she had been thinking about for a long time... and so we went back to our little rental house and she and Marion read the directions, watched some YouTube and put it together...turns out that Marion had been down that rabbit hole many many years ago and had made her own loom...gotta love that!!!  We had a blast figuring this out!!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Thin as Frog Hair ~

Something is magical about Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival.  This festival causes people to jump down rabbit holes that one would normally walk FAR around to be safe.....yet safety around rabbit holes is overrated. Really...... I thought I had already been down my Oregon rabbit hole when I first spun on the Pocket Wheel in 2010... yet it seems that this rabbit hole of spinning has many wonderful twists and turns... For those that know me, you'll know that I tend to love bright and happy colors, the more colors the better, the brighter the better.....
 Something about Oregon.....I bought natural roving.....yes, in a color I can only describe as....natural?  Truly a lovely blend of merino, alpaca and silk....and....natural in color.......(not to scare anyone, but I also bought fiber that was a white natural....yes, "absence of color white" natural.....)  And, this natural fiber spins as thin as Frog Hair..... and I have never spun this thin.... perhaps the absence of color helps me concentrate on spinning (no....can't be that.....this fiber is just "butter" and that is why it spins like this...)  Really...... it is so thin I can hardly see it in this picture!!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Road Trip ~

On the way to Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, we stopped at the most delightful yarn shop we have seen in a long time....well, other than our own Serial Knitters....
Turns out that KnitPurl is where Shibui yarn started, and they have a luscious selection there...of quite a bit of Koigu, with that amazing twist.... they had many patterns and the Finished Objects on display. I ended up buying lovely yarn made in Michigan!  What was it doing in Oregon? We spent a lot of time there, enjoying the vacation of being in another city and another yarn shop!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Spinning Away ~

In honor of being at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival this weekend, I am posting my latest spinning work.  This beautiful fiber is 50/50 superwash merino/tencel and I love these colors! Two years ago, at the 2010 Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival I first tried spinning on the Pocket Wheel of Carla and Jon's.
Soon, in October, I will have my one year anniversary of picking up my very own sweet Pocket Wheel. I have improved so much, and I am still having such fun spinning and learning how to spin better.  What a wonderful journey this continues to be!  Hurrah!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Magenta baby!

Yes, this little lovely shawl is Done!  For such a little shawl, the color is so bright and fun and did I say BRIGHT!!!   I wanted to photograph it in the sunshine, to set off the color...and how beautiful it is!!
 Magenta Baby!!!
Thanks again to My Hero for sending me the needed yards of Jitterbug to finish this lovely shawl!!!!