Montag, Juni 29, 2009

Trusty Takes Care of the Mail




Sometimes a picture says it all.

Gryphon had some left so I ordered another one. It is Eidos in Apophenai.

Remember when I was all excited about the Russian join? In the Orenburg class, Galina said to tie a knot in the lace yarns when joining a new ball, and then knit the tails into the lace. I, of course, wanted to know, "What about the Russian join?" She said, "I wish I hadn't told anyone about this. It got all over the Internet. It is not good for lace."

However, it did work fine for my project, which is in a fine sock weight rather than laceweight. There is nothing to see yet. I have about ten rows of edging left. Then you can see it.

Sonntag, Juni 28, 2009

Chris has a Website!

My son-in-law the singer has a website now.
You can see and hear him

opera center2

Samstag, Juni 27, 2009

Black Sheep Gathering: Eugene

Sue went nuts over Eugene. OK, we both liked it, but Sue wants to move there. Why?

Tie Dye. (And coffee.)


The Saturday Farmer's Market in Eugene has been going on since 1970, and some things never change.

I was really interested in this musical instrument, a home-made kora, also heard accompanying the dancer. The ancestor of the banjo, the kora is a harp-like instrument that comes from Mali in Africa.

If you go to Eugene, there are lots of good places to eat around the university. Just drive down Willamette or Agate to find Prince Pückler's ice cream, the Agate Bistro, Beppe and Gianni's Trattoria, the Midtown Cafe, and Newman's Fish Company.

Freitag, Juni 26, 2009

Black Sheep Gathering: The Loot

There are certain things you have to buy at a wool show. You have to buy a skein of yarn or two.

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock in Beached (closest to Turbo)
and Crabby McCrabbypants

Or four.

milk yarn
From Creatively Dyed Yarns,
the top yarn has milk as an ingredient!

BMFA Silk Thread and roving in Sunkissed Sands

Or maybe more than that, if the grandkids want handknitted socks.*

Bambino wool and bamboo sock yarn from Chameleon Colorworks

From Capistrano Fiber Arts Studio

Or you see something you just can't resist.

Turbo meets Janis's yarn

You have to buy some spinning fiber and a spindle on which to spin it, right? OK, I know, it looked prettier rolled up, before I messed with it.

silk and cashmere, dyed
Of course I ended up getting a Greensleeves spindle I could have bought here in Utah. The fiber is a silk and cashmere blend but I forget which booth had it.

And then you take a class and you have to get something to practice on.

Materials from Orenburg spinning class
Galina provided materials for our class, but you can get a luxury fiber sampler (top of photo) from Herndon Creek Farm.

Autographed spindle

This can get dangerous.

In the bags: Pygora from Peppermint Pastures Pygora goats;
cashmere (left) and camel top from Herndon Creek Farm.

Note: It's not all for me. I had to get something
for my daughter who speaks Russian and spins and would
like to take Galina's class if she had a chance.

Even going out to the car is dangerous, when you run across the felted items from Kurghistan.

Felted shoes from Kurgyztan

This booth was in Salt Lake last year at the Great Basin Fiber Festival, but I didn't get anything then.

Galina recommended the Kurghi booth to us in class. She said that the prices were very good, and she had called Russia to check. She told us that the Kurghistanis are great experts on felt: "Felted hats! Felted boots! Felted houses! You know, yurt!" Pronounced "yoooert." It is much better with the Russian accent.

Tomorrow: Eugene

*Some skeins got away because I dropped them off at Laurel's before getting home. I should have taken photos in the hotel room.

Donnerstag, Juni 25, 2009

Black Sheep Gathering: The Classes

I was really excited to get into Galina Khmeleva's Orenburg lace spinning class. Galina is one of the people who have been instrumental in making the West aware of Orenburg lace, and in bringing the techniques to the United States.

We learned preparation as well as spinning.

This is a supported spindle technique, and I was not good at it. I like to draft with my right hand, but my left hand is too uncoordinated to spin the spindle consistently. I've never had trouble with cotton, but cotton just kinds of drafts itself. I am here to tell you that cashmere doesn't.

In class I tried drafting left-handed, but it wasn't way successful. I will practice both ways and see what turns out to work better for me. I was able to learn how to dribble left-handed when I played basketball. How hard can it be?

While I was in the spinning class, Sue made a super felted bag. I am sorry I didn't get a picture of it. Sue and I took one class together, a mitten design class from JC Briar. I forgot my camera that day so I have no pictures of that either. It was valuable because JC gave us some rules of thumb (haha) to use when making a mitten from scratch, such as how much ease to use and so forth.

Sue's main class in Eugene was not at the Gathering, but was a weaving class she took at the Eugene Textile Center for several hours each on Friday and Saturday, with the finishing on Monday. The topic was collapse weave. Since I am not a weaver, I don't know all the possibilities. However, what Sue did in this class was to combine different fibers that wash differently and use their characteristics to create the look she wanted.

This scarf was warped with two types of wool. One was a standard merino, the other a type of merino called "pony wool" which shrinks more than the regular wool. The weft is silk, which does not shrink when washed.


The finished scarf was about 90" long. The second scarf was done in silk and wool.


Susie, the owner of the Textile Center, then put the scarfs into the washer with a towel for friction, hot water, and a little Synthrapol. After five minutes we were starting to see the pattern begin to appear.



At this point it took only a few minutes more agitation to achieve the effect Sue wanted.



Tomorrow: The loot

Mittwoch, Juni 24, 2009

Black Sheep Gathering: The Show

I think this is a Wensleydale sheep.
I was sure I would remember but . . .
The ones in the video are
Blue Faced Leicester

Coon Hollow Farm
Little House Rugs

Ken Ledbetter Turnings

Pixie bought this hat at
another show and doesn't remember
the vendor, but it really rocks!


Skaska Designs

Blue Moon Fiber Arts

Tomorrow: The classes.

Mittwoch, Juni 17, 2009

I pack for Black Sheep Gathering

I have been on so many trips lately that I didn't even freak out about packing.

For one thing, I now have a master packing list on my PDA. It includes hiking boots. Yes. I learned an important lesson from the blisters I developed in New Orleans. Sandals just don't cut it for all-day activities.


I have a list of vendors. I have a map of the site. I am taking Karl-Heinz, but I hope Sue brings her navi, too, since she doesn't speak German and Karl-Heinz doesn't speak English.


Some knitting is packed.

The main project is Desdemona, who went on all the April and May trips.

Mimknits Desdemona Shawl from Shakespeare in Lace 2009, knitted in Sanguine Gryphon Little Traveller in Kyoto.

In order to take Desdemona, I needed to create my first ever Russian join, since I had knitted up the first skein on the way back from Maryland.

Russian Join

Much more sanitary than the spit join, don't you think? And you can use this one on non-felting yarns such as silk.

Performing backups are Rogue Roses

Rogue Roses
Gertrude Skein Socks that Rock with Rogue Roses pattern;
available next year from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.

and Rosi, but there is nothing new to see about Rosi.

Say, I think I forgot to put my hair iron and non-frizz goop on the packing list. See y'all later :)

Edited to fix link to Russian join and to commiserate with Rosi, who is getting left home after all. My carry-on is just too full.

Sonntag, Juni 14, 2009

I get organized for fall

I have been organizing my spaces again--the bedroom first, with the wool room and office to come. I am a really disorganized person. It is a constant battle. I want to take classes again this fall, plus start organ lessons for credit. I have to consolidate my position now or fall will be a mess.

But hey, organizing is not interesting to look at. So instead, we will look at yarn.

I got this one in a trade. For some reason I had four teal Buggas with slight variations. Now I have two, plus this Tachina Fly and a Wollmeise Letzte Versuch that hasn't come yet. I hope that Wollmeise isn't my first bad trade. Will Das Letzte Versuch come at all? Eventually?

Tachina fly bugga
Sanguine Gryphon Bugga! in Tachina Fly

I got this one the normal way. Check out Gryphon's new, improved website and read the poetry that goes with each Sappho yarn.

Sappho II in Beyond Their Reach
Sanguine Gryphon Sappho II (sport weight) in Beyond Their Reach

I also got three Wollmeises last week, two from a friend who bought extra and sold some to me, and one in a trade (I had two similar greens).

Three Wollmeisen
From top: Skandal um Rosi (named after a song); Limone; Vroni

After arriving on Thursday from Germany, Rosi quickly surged to the head of the pack.

Skandal Strange

Skandal Knäuel

Skandal um Rosi goes to Margaritaville
Rosi again

Wollmeise Skandal um Rosi in Adrienne Fong's Margaritaville pattern

Some skeins of Skandal have more pink in them. For comparison, take a look at Dani's Skandal um Rosi* and her finished socks.

*You will need to scroll down to find the skein. But it is totally worth it to see all the piccies. This is the Wollmeise booth at a recent market in Germany. Marjan/Yarnissima is running the booth (shown in pink shirt and ponytail).

I think that might be my favorite blog post of all time.

Donnerstag, Juni 04, 2009

Over the Rainbow (Oz Club Spoiler Warning)

Today while I was at the post office, I was approached by a very punky looking kid. He had multiple piercings, including chains hanging out of both nostrils. He showed me stickers on the bottom of his skateboard and asked if I knew where he could find them. It turned out they were Priority mailing labels. I showed them where they were, and he grabbed a handful.

The surprising thing was that he then asked if they cost money. Apparently he was only willing to take a handful of postal supplies if they were free. He didn't want to steal them.

When I see someone that looks really punk, I automatically assume that they don't believe in rules at all. Obviously appearances can be deceiving.

It makes me happy that I was wrong about the punky-looking kid. I hope that I am wrong about a whole lot of my negative assumptions. Could the world be a better place than I think? Is it all due to the Oz "Over the Rainbow" sock kit?

Montag, Juni 01, 2009

Wool Girl Wins

OK, for most cool stuff in a single club offering, the Oscar goes to:


If you haven't received your Embrace the Lace offering for May/June yet, please do not scroll down. There are spoiler pictures coming up.

In the meantime, I will show you the finished M2 sweater:

Hannah from the Nashua Sprout book,
knitted in Brown Sheep's Cotton Fleece,
colorway 520, Caribbean Sea

I had to go up several needle sizes, so the fabric is a little floppier than I like; but then, it is a summer sweater. Should be fine. The bobbles were a teense hard to block. I ended up rolling them in my fingers like balls of clay.

Next I will tell you that I passed my audition to switch the private lesson component of my music degree program at UUtah from piano to organ (will start in fall). For those who assume that a woman my age must already know how to do something, I will clarify that I am taking the lessons, not teaching them. I have had a varied career path that included Earth Mother, when I made everything my family wore including a tailored suit for Paul but excluding shoes; computer programmer; freelance journalist specializing in computer topics; secretary; yarn shop clerk; piano teacher for beginning students. It did not include a lot of practicing any one instrument.

And I can throw in a couple of beauty shots that Che insisted on while I was trying to take the upcoming spoiler photos.

Che looks cool

Che gives Jet a dirty look

OK, I am assuming that anyone who didn't want to be spoiled has gone away. This is the second kit from the Embrace the Lace series.

Embrace the Lace Kit

Wool Girl Kit

The yarn did not photograph to good effect; I suppose I should take it outside and give it another go. It is 100% cashmere, dyed in a soft aqua semi-solid by Mama Llama. The pattern, an asymmetrical scarf with beaded edging, is by Sivia Harding. The extras include a tape measure, gift boxes, red hots in a reusable container, note cards and gift tag, a color coordinated highlighter/pen combo, a heart-shaped stitch marker, and a very cute project bag with grommets strategically placed to put the needle tips through so the lace doesn't get scrambled in the bag.

Isn't this a great package? And I am expecting my first Wizard of Oz kit from Wool Girl this week. But I am asking myself, why, really, did I sign up for these two clubs? I knew that there would be designers I like in the lace club, and who doesn't like Wizard of Oz. Besides, Amber loves Wizard of Oz, too, and I can knit some things for her.

But the main reason I wanted to join Wool Girl clubs is because the kits are so full of little goodies. And yes, I pay extra for those. So in effect, I am buying myself presents, only they are a surprise each time because someone else picks out the stuff.

It's really kind of pathetic, isn't it?

Hey, pathetic, schmathetic. I think I'll go wind that skein of cashmere. I deserve a little cashmere in my life.
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