Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Snow and Spinning

We have had snow in the area lately, but I've been fighting a cold this week and so missed any left on the ground early in the morning. The first day of spring was Tuesday, and this started Wednesday night and lasted into late morning on Thursday:

My Dogwood Wednesday night

Lovely bench to sit under the maple tree and enjoy the dogs and yard

Leeloo checking out the white stuff on the patio

Norbert all scruffy and looking red

Brandon's wind sculpture

Asian Pear with its leaf buds covered in snow

Pacific Maple leaf buds looking almost like pussy willows with the snow

I just liked the looks of the gray and snow and the branches 
I got a text from my sister, Tanya, then a phone call later that day on Monday that my Grandma Eileen had died in her sleep. She was 89 and had late diagnosed ALS and her lungs just gave out. I'm grateful that we got to spend time with her this last Christmas. She enjoyed talking with me about my spinning and knitting. She had made all the ladies a pair of shortie fingered gloves with the mitten flap, without a pattern a couple years ago for Christmas. I also have a little boy and girl that she did in pettit point along with a pin and a couple of quilts that she made. She was a lovely lady and will be missed by her friends and family.

Tuesday I started spinning the rest of the Opulent Fibers samples from the World Wide Spin in Public last year. I was spinning them on the Ashford Traditional. The Light brown on the right I did all but a smidge during the demo last month at the middle school. So I flowed right into the medium brown and then the dark brown.  

The pygora, far left below, I had been working on in January and February and into March on the Lendrum. I had also been fighting it the whole time. While nice and soft, it still had guard hair and a surprisingly large amount of vegetable matter for it to have been cleaned and carded. I decided that I just couldn't keep going on, so finished what I had cleaned and then put the rest up for trade or sale on Ravelry. The bag weighed in at 2.3 ounces on my scale. 

I got them all plied up and then washed them this morning and let them dry in the sun this afternoon:
Left to Right:
Pygora: 1.2 ounces, 188.5 yards, lace weight
Dark Brown Merino: .52 ounces, 95.33 yards, lace weight
Medium Brown Merino: .46 ounces, 104 yards, lace weight
Light Brown Merino: .38 ounces, 73.66 yards, lace weight

I'm also navajo plying some black pygora that Gail spun up. She asked if I would do it, since she says I'm better than she is at doing the process. Not sure about that, but she asked and I couldn't say no. ;-) So after all these dark colors, I'm definitely going to have to spin some brighter colors!

I also have a plan for my knitting and all those 12 groups. Not going to share what it is here for fear of jinxing the start. I have a bit more spinning before I jump into the plan. It might become obvious though in the near future. Let me know if you figure it out. ;-)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cauls and sleeves

I spent the weekend sewing. We have Carnivale coming up at the end of the month and I need new sleeves for my green velvet dress. Brandon is awesome at taking what I tell him and drawing it, taking measurements and then cutting out the fabric. We had just enough blue velour to make the sleeves, then cut out the yellow satin to be the inner layer. They're pouffy slashed sleeves, so the satin poufs out of the slashes. I have them three-quarters of the way sewn. Andrea helped with the pinning and went wild with the slashing. ;-) We watched Mama Mia! twice during the process to give you an idea of how long it took.

Andrea was feeling achy from the last of her cold, that I stopped and whipped up a rice bag for her to use. Now we have a nice household rice bag that will get a lot of use I'm sure.

Cauls are a headcovering that are used to cover hair. Dawn-Marie had made me one for my other green gown, but this also gave me instructions on how to make one.  There was enough satin leftover that I cut out a couple of circles, dug through my ribbon stash, then into the bead stash:
Satin with the ribbon grid laid out
All sewn up and on my head, may have to add something to stiffen it up a bit. There are four blue glass beads in a circle and tacked down to hold the grid pattern in place. Its amazing that the grid looks HUGE, the ribbons are in a 2x2 grid.  I hand sewed on the binding. The binding is the same material as the caul below, just turn inside out. 
Caul Dawn-Marie made me with some beading added to it. I randomly placed  golden colored beads in a 1-inch grid pattern.
Not in the mood to knit for some reason, so the sewing has helped. Had a Duh! moment today that I could also be spinning. I have my pygora to finish up and Gail asked me to Navajo-ply her black pygora. 

There's some yellow satin leftover, that I think should become bloomers or drawers. Hope to sew those up on Saturday along with the sleeves. I might push for a chemise and kirtle too. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Little Boy Blue and a book signing

While out on the yarn crawl with Dawn-Marie she had found some pretty blue yarn that she wanted to make into a baby sweater, but lamented her knitting skills. I pointed out that she knew a knitter that could knit one for her. Since we didn't have a pattern in hand and I didn't have yardage off the top of my head, I suggested that three skeins should be more than enough to make a baby sweater.

After recovering on Monday from the very long weekend, I started looking for a baby sweater pattern to knit. I wanted to try something new but also something that she would like and found Baby Sophisticate. Its a lovely fast knit with a cool short row cowl collar. While we were at the Mill End store we found buttons that matched the yarn.  I was initially thinking a Baby Surprise Jacket and the three buttons commonly used, so was happy that we had four when I went with this sweater design.

SCA friend, Nephi is up visiting from Texas with her baby Jax. Poor little Jax upon arriving kind of curled up on himself and shivered. Mom had forgotten the temperature difference and really didn't have cold weather baby gear for him. So I dove into my stash and found some baby yarn and whipped up a hat for him and was able to give it to Shannon Thursday night.
Jax's hat
Jax in his hat and much warmer!
Since I had yarn leftover and every baby needs a hat, I went searching for a hat pattern and found the Little Boy Blue Ribbed Baby Hat. I finished it up while listening to Kim Harrison at her book signing for A Perfect Blood at Powell's (can you find my picture?)
Swag we got from the book signing. Each one of us in our little row section had our raffle ticket drawn, so I got two signed book covers, plus Guy (her husband) was handing out Burning Bunny stickers and temporary tattoos.

Plus since we were her last stop on the tour she had these little charms that  we got on our seats. Readers of  The Hollows will recognize the tomato, then there's Al's blue butterfly and Ivy's wish and a Burning Bunny pin. I got an extra set plus an extra butterfly. Very generous!!
I had hoped to use the leftover yarn to make a pair of Star Booties, but quickly realized I did not have enough yarn. So back into pattern searching to find these - Gansey Booties. These are a delightfully fast knit!  I think I whipped out the pair in four hours, so if you're ever stuck with a need for a quick baby gift, take a look at these.

My teddy bear model with the complete set

Set without the bear
Dawn-Marie was very happy to get the set and I'm sure the recipients will also appreciate them. It was a busy week of baby knitting! I tried to get a wrap done for Jax, but I've been fighting with a migraine, and didn't feel like knitting.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rose City Yarn Crawl 2012 - Day 3

Sunday I ventured out with Dawn-Marie to finish the last eight stores I needed to finish my passport. Dawn-Marie was also new to all of the yarn stores, so I was introducing a second person to the wonders of all things yarny!

We started out Northwest Wools and Dawn-Marie found a few skeins that needed to come with her.
Northwest Wool's prize basket

Northwest Wool

Melissa, owner of Make One

Make One's prize basket

Close-up of a tiara. Two ladies had crocheted tiaras to wear around during the crawl. I also seem to remember a group of tiara wearing ladies at Sock Summit.....
Dawn-Marie had needed to stop at the Mill End store and since it was down the street from Make One, it only made sense for her to come on the yarn crawl with me. ;-) We found some trim and fabric that she needed, plus buttons to go along with the yarn. I found trim and a remnant that I'll make bottle covers for largess. 

We ended up having another argument with the GPS system after leaving Mill End. It wanted us to get onto the freeway so that we could take it up a couple exits to get to the next place. I knew that if we stayed on the current road we could get there too. This did cause a little backtracking because we ended up going to Gossamer first and then going over to Twisted but we got to see some cool old houses and a gold statue along the way so it was a scenic detour.
Gossamer's prize basket. Knitting friend Debbie H won this basket, so I personally know one of the winners!

Twisted and I think store owner, Heather talking to a worker

Twisted's prize basket

Cool window display at Close Knit

Close Knit

Close Knit's prize basket

Naked Sheep

Naked Sheep's prize basket
There was a Lo-Lo bar demonstration there and I got a nice hand scrub and used the Coco Mango bar because it smelled like an umbrella drink in bar form. Turns out though that I'm allergic to the hempseed oil that they've added to their formula, so I'm going to sell my bar to Stacey.
Dublin Bay - scored parking right in front of the shop too!

Dublin Bay's prize basket

Anjelika's Yarn Store - Anjelika holding my completed passport and alpaca dyer - Chris - Upstream Alpacas on the left

My completed passport and I think the only one turned into her. 

Anjelika's prize basket

Another turtle for Rachel! We spotted this because I parked in front of the bar  so we could get a slice a pizza at Hot Lips.
I had the broccoli with hazel nuts and squash sauce pizza. It was pretty good! The nuts added an extra twist to the pizza. Dawn-Marie had the bacon, potato and cheddar - big chunks of bacon with thin slices of potato. She thought it was good.
My limited yarn crawl haul
We stopped at Saint Cupcakes before heading home. Dawn-Marie had never been in the shop, but had sampled their dots at zoo events (she volunteers at the zoo).

Whew! I made my goal of successfully getting to all of the shops and didn't make it by the skin of our teeth on time either. I hadn't been able to do that last year and so got to visit four shops I had never been into. After seeing them, I'm sure I'll be back to at least three of them. Turns out I was one of 278 people that completed the crawl. Pretty impressive number for the amount of people that I'm sure were out crawling. Did you crawl?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rose City Yarn Crawl 2012 - Day 2

So technically Saturday was day three of the official yarn crawl, but it was the second day for me. It was also another day where someone had already scheduled something for me to do! It was a Baronial Largess work day and I had volunteered to open up the Aloha Grange so that we could have plenty of space to work. Brandon and I met Jamie and got things setup. Jamie was working on embroidering handkerchiefs for the Baroness to hand out when people receive awards in court. Brandon with some advice from Jamie measured one of our director's chairs we use in camp to make a slipcover for it and was doing some sewing on a doublet. Then Lisa and her youngest arrived, with Kelley stopping to drop off stuff before getting Kerry and bringing her back. Andrea came with her two littles so Lisa's had someone to play with. Our Herald Danna also came and brought her gorgeous black cocker spaniel Peyton. The Baroness had dropped off a box that had been given to her of donated headcoverings that needed further embellishment along with her stash of beads. Jamie, Lisa and I and then Andrea were caught up in segregating out the different colors of beads for the different projects and it soon morphed into almost all of them getting their own little baggies. Kelley and Kerry were busy sewing banners while were playing with the beads and Danna made some really cool Norse Bling (scroll down to middle) - aka apron dress necklace.

We got done about 4pm, and I had hoped to show Lisa the yarn store closest to her out in Forest Grove, Kathy's Knit Korner, but she got a call on the way that a sick little needed to make a visit to the pediatric ER at  Saint Vincent's, so off she went. (Everything turned out okay with the little after the visit.) I was left to venture off to Sharon's new shop alone. Sharon of Stitchjones had bought KKK a few months ago and I hadn't yet gotten out to visit.
Sharon and her helpful husband at Kathy's Knit Korner

Kathy's Knit Korner's prize basket

The Knitting Bee
While in the store another crawler came in. She had come down from Alaska on the advice of a friend. Wow!
The Knitting Bee's prize basket
I was happy to find that The Knitting Bee had a nice selection of Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift (I had seen it at Happy Knits and knew that Knit Purl also carried it), so I didn't have to make another trip to get a skein. I want to do another Gunnister Purse but this one to use in an Arts and Science competition, so on US 00 and the recommended yarns. I have the red and white in the Jamieson's, I just needed a grey or natural color  for the main body of the bag. I picked up the needles at Knit Purl, so now am set to make it.

Happy day too that I was able to take care of these two stores and only have eight more to finish.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Silk Banner Painting

So after a day of yarn crawling we had our weekly SCA Revels social gathering. This one was special though because we had signed up to do the Silk Banner Painting class being taught by Baroness Jill of Three Mountains.
First you have to push the push pins into your frame and trap a rubber band underneath. Then you hook your paperclip to it and slip it into your silk square to stretch it out. 

Some of the students that are done with their stretching and waiting for the next step

More students, some still working on their stretching

Baroness Jill showing a sample and some of the problems that were run into with it.

Brandon's Banner - oops! The resist started to run on his bee

My banner. I realized I forgot the stingers on the top bees, so added those in later

Andrea is using a white resist to do her peacock feather
After we got the resist on, we had to let it dry for 24 hours before going on to the next step. Brandon's and I's banner are going to be our household banners for the House of the Golden Bees. We can fly one on our pavilion and near the entrance of our camp sites so that people can find us.