Tuesday, August 21, 2007

On Vacation at Tahoe

I can't believe all the WPI's I brought to work on. As it is, the wonderfully easy and portable "Syrian" shawl from "Victorian Knits Today" fits the bill for knitting on the beach. Thank you Moni for the idea! You can get distracted and easily get right back to knitting. Yes, I stole that display idea from "Yarn Harlot".

Tahoe is wonderful, as always. Particularly now, since many California schools started this week and most of the crowds are gone. I always forget how very dry it is here, humidity of 37%. After these last 5 years on the Oregon coast, it is very bizarre to hang a wet towel on the porch and have it dry by morning!

I will be happy to get home however. Diva has developed a bad itchy area over her right shoulder, and is scratching it bigger and bigger.

I am hoping it is from leftover soap from her bath and not from anxiety about being drug 12 hours in a car to a strange place with visitors.

I also want to get home and finish spinning my yarn for "Hanami". On the day we left I received both new bobbins from Alden and they are slick!

But for now, I am gonna go and sit at the beach and knit. Later we will take Diva to Kings Beach to the dog friendly beach. I think she may need some "dog" time.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Alternate MS3

I finished blocking my alternate version of "MS3" today. It ended up about 23" x 72". I used two entire skeins of JoJoLand fingering weight cashmere (I used my math skills and ended up with only 5 yards left of the 800!)

It is OK, though the "bees" violate my lace rule of having no hole big enough to get one's finger thru. The bees looks more like butterflies and I think I went overboard beading them. But, all in all, a very satisfying project. Can't wait to see how the real version (I am doing it in black) turns out.

Hard to photograph adequately, this is the best I can do.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Too Much Lace? Never!

I find I have become infatuated with lace of late. Here are the 4 WIP's. The black and white are both Mystery Stole 3. The black is lace merino and I plan to go with Melanie's asymmetrical design, though the eyelet row seems to disturb the flow of the design. The white cashmere one I am making into an oblong one with one pointed and one curved end. I so became sure the theme was honeybees that I am incorporating the honeybee pattern from Barbara Walker's second book, page 273. I spent much of the day designing the last half of the shawl and now can't wait to finish it. The blue triangular shawl is the Syrian Pattern, page 130 in "Victorian Lace Today". I read Moni's blog about how easy it was to knit and relaxing with it's memorable pattern. Two balls of KnitPicks alpaca/silk, you can't go wrong!

The giant crumpled brown mass is my circular shawl project. I purchased some CVM this spring (Cary - they are so close to you!) and had forgotten how wonderful the springy softness is. I started spinning some thinly for lace and then figured I could create my own circular lace shawl. This is to be a spinning "sampler" of sorts, for the FIRST time I am actually keeping track of how each succeeding skein of yarn was spun and plied. I am on the 10th skein and have finally perfected it, just enough twist for stitch definition. I found an obscure lace pattern in Susanna Lewis's lace book and incorporated the increases into the design itself, loosely using EZ's Pi formula. Aside from the obvious differences in the quality of the spun yarn, I washed and carded bit by bit, so they are all a different shade, I will have concentric colors. I NEVER have the patience to wash, card, or spin all at once. But - I only have about 20 more rows to go, but have been spinning it on my Alden Amos wheel, the flyer and favorite bobbin of which I just packed up and sent to him to have more bobbins made. What a lovely wheel.

The rose is my Mme. Isaac Perriere. So so fragrant, and yes, THAT screaming pink! I'd love to have it down here where I am writing about it, but haven't been able to figure out how to move pictures in Blogger. Besides, living in the the hinterlands, I can't TELL you what a strain dial-up is getting to be. We are being left in the dust!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Spent most of the day carding fleece for "Hanami". It took about 7-8 passes to blend it all, but the best part was that I remembered that I had bought the
duncan fine fiber brush in the past. I had Daniel put it on my carder, and it was slick. I have had it for about 4 years, and wish now I had used it before. Simply perfect for fine fleeces! Now - to spin all this. I always seem to bite off more than I can chew, it seems like alot - 8 fat batts of very fine

The next picture is of the last blooms of my rose "Isfahan", an old rose given to me by my friend, Annie just before she died. It is lovely, she would love to have seen it, and I suppose she does.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

OOh OOh But there is still more!

I am currently participating in MS3. I love it and am totally inspired by it. I have purchased Melanie's Hanami and plan to spin my own yarn. I have about 15 pounds of merino in the grease that was brought home for me from Australia by Marguerite, a fellow nurse, about 15 years ago. She was a particularly ballsy, if uninformed, person and went directly to the exporter at the wharf. She told him what she wanted and he apparently was so blown away that he let her select whatever. She didn't have a clue about fleeces, but brought me home lovely stuff. Contrary to what you might read, it cleans up really nicely even now, no "hardening" of the grease. So - I washed the locks individually today and they have turned out quite nicely. I plan to blend this with cashmere raw fleece I bought years ago to spin, inspired by a garter stitch crayon colored scarf at a Maiden Lane boutique in San Francisco. (Well, THAT never happened.) And I plan to include some cultivated silk top and one ounce of a merino-silk-angora roving my sister bought for me from Woodland Woolworks years ago (what was I supposed to do with that?)
I have spun a sample, space dyed it and knit it up. A little too pink for me - I want more white spaces! This is supposed to commemorate cherry blossoms and I plan to give it to my dear cousin who works at the FAA in Washington!
And now about my carder - it is a Clemes and Clemes. Well worn, I have used it for everything from lincoln and adult mohair to the aforementioned merino, as well as for silk and angora. With careful determination, you can card ANYTHING!
Tomorrow about fine tuning my wheel!

First of August - Let's Begin!

I simply spend hours reading other's blogs and think "I'd like to show what I have been doing - knitting-spinning-gardening-hiking-weaving." Not to mention just watching and listening to the birds. Here are the mother/child wild turkeys that currently inhabit our neighborhood. WE also have the the voracious cowbirds who were, not by their choice, born to a VERY small lark. Noisy noisy, noisy. Picture later when I can get closer.

Knitting. Got the Knit-Picks "Shimmer" today to knit the Syrian Shawl from "Victorian Knits Today."