Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More of the same spinning update............

I just love this colourway from Bountiful. Now 2 plied.

A close up of the alpaca staple requested by Jody. (Gypsyspinner)......Purchased in Valemount during my last visit.

Recently I was inspired to look back at my history in rug hooking. It all started with Phyllis (Spin, Knit, Life) mentioning another blogger Robin (For the Love of Fiber) who is a rug hooker besides many other talents. I loved rug hooking back in the day, and actually it was the first thing that I had ever started regarding a fibre craft even before knitting or spinning.
The only thing I have to show for it is .............

I even joined the guild and got a name tag............

But alas, it was unfortunately a craft that fell by the wayside because of family commitments, and the meetings were a long drive away. The meetings were an important aspect because that's where the strip cutter was. I don't know if that was the proper name for the machine, but it would cut strips out of the wool used to hook into the backing fabric. It was a craft that I first spotted, while on holiday, in a mall in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. We were walking through a shopping mall, and a couple ladies from the local guild were working on projects. They had also set up some tables showing some beautiful finished pieces of rug hooking. I had to stop. I was compelled, and made a commitment to myself to start something as soon as I got home.

Well that was nearly 20 years ago, and yes as a young mother I got myself signed up with the guild and went to the meetings and really enjoyed meeting most of the mainly senior ladies. We just recently renovated one of the bedrooms into my craft/sewing room now, and one of the things that had to go to make room for wool/yarn was my wool fabric for rug hooking. Gosh in my next life I'm putting in a request for a bigger craft

Too many crafts, and too little time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We're having a heat wave..............

This is the thermostat reading inside the house last night.

This has been the norm for the last 10 days. The last couple of nights the weather has decided that that's not enough to make sleeping throws in fantastic lightening shows with window rattling thunder at 2:00am just for good measure. We're staying in the basement to keep cool, and I've discovered this yummy drink mix that we've been indulging.

(I have since discovered while taking this picture that the calorie count is 190 for one scoop. We've been putting a total of four in a double batch which fills a blender. Gosh everything good is bad. Who would of thought that that little scoop of powder would count so high in calories. I guess we'll have to limit this drink to maybe once on the weekends from now on.)

So what else to do in the basement, but some spinning. Yesterday I got my order of Variegated Merino from Bountiful. Colourway: Sage. I have to say I've never spun Merino, and this was my first time....I love it. It's a little shorter in staple than what I'm used to with the Alpaca, but I've adjusted my tension on the wheel, and my short draw, and it's been spinning up great. I'll be 2/plying this and I'm considering knitting it up into a shawl....we'll see.....

Click to embiggen.

Canadian nickel for spun single size reference.

Next is the Alpaca, that I blogged about earlier, from Joyce in Valemount. It's from her Alpaca named Camron Steele, and the two bags are divided up as first and second quality fleece. This has yet to be washed, and then combed. I went delving into the bags today, and it's a gorgeous fleece. Hardly any vm at all, and I have to say whatever Joyce is doing to keep the Alpaca's clean, it's working. No plans for any projects for this fleece yet. I'm just looking forward to spinning it.

First quality


This is a sample of some Rose-Grey Alpaca from Joyce. It is my understanding that this colour is one of the most sought after regarding Alpaca fibre. Could this be true? Joyce had agreed, but now I'm doubting myself on that tidbit. Opinions anyone?

Noodles couldn't give a flying fleece about colour. She just wants it to cool down.Have a great day!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

As promised.......

My Folk Festival project.....

Revontuli-shawl. Knitted with Kauni Effektgarn Yarn, 100 % wool, colourway EQ - 150 grams. Needle size 8 (5.00mm) Knit Picks Optional Interchangeable Harmony Wood Circular Knitting Needle Tips (love these needles).

It is a free pattern offered by AnneM from Finland. I would love to read her blog, but of course it's in Finnish. I use the Babel program for translation, but there's no option for converting Finnish to English. Is there another way to translate it?

I fell in love with how this pattern shows off the slow colour changes that Kauni yarn is noted for. I was having a bit of difficulty understanding how the pattern sets up on Chart 1, but then found out that I was doing my left, and right leaning increases wrong. I also put in stitch markers after each of the pattern repeats, which is a total of eight. It helped me focus on my position in a row especially when knitting the 'yarn over' rows. Each row in the pattern is very easy to memorize, and it was a great project to bring along for the weekend at the Folk Music Festival.

The next thing I'm excited about is this.......

It's going to come in handy when blocking projects. I was surfing some knitting blogs and saw this product, unfortunately I can't remember what blog it was, but it's such a good idea.

It's like puzzle pieces when attaching them together.

Add another square......

And ta daaa....

(This isn't an actual blocking....I grabbed one of my shawls for display purpose.)

I never would of thought of using these square foam carpeted interlocking squares for blocking....I have to thank whoever it was that blogged about this as it's saving my ironing board cover from my blocking pins. I'm only showing four squares being used here, but there's two more that will expand it up to 24 sq. ft. I purchased this at Rona for $19.97 Cdn.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Going back.............

It all started with a bridal shower.

It was my cousin getting married to the above beautiful bachelorette. It's always a great day meeting up with extended family. Good times, good drink, and of course cake.

Next came the August long weekend and we headed out to Valemount, British Columbia where my Mom lives.

We had such a good time, it was just too short. There's always time though to go visit Joyce and her alpaca' more sweet can these animals be?.......

Joyce has 22 alpaca at the moment with enough room to go up to 30. She had, I believe, most of them shorn this past spring so she has a bus load of fibre. Literally....

It's absolute heaven in that bus. You spinners know what I mean. It's wonderful talking with Joyce. One fibre addict to another. My Mom, DD, and DH sort of get it, and don't mind going to visit and look at fibre, but it's a real treat when you can have a conversation with someone else who's just obsessed as I am about fibre/spinning. Joyce was showing me a swatch she 3/plied with grey, cream, and black alpaca. I thought it looked gorgeous, and I wanted to post a picture of it knitted up....

Click on picture to embiggen it.

While out at the alpaca farm I managed to snag some dark grey which has minimal vm in it, and it's taunting me in my craft room right now. Don't know what I'm going to make with it yet. I'm just looking forward to spinning it after its cleaned and combed.

Our next jaunt out in Valemount is our favourite place by Kinbasket Lake. We follow along a logging road which winds around the lake. This picture is taken at the west end of Kinbasket, and eventually one day we'd like to canoe it.

Our resident rock thrower.....DH

Another spot which is always fun to check out is a pedestrian bridge which is over Swift Creek in George Hicks Park right in the town of Valemount.

This is a well known tourist stop to watch the salmon run which hasn't started'll be closer to the end of August when they reach this area. It's a lifetime experience. I've never seen so many fish in my life at one time. For me it was a little sad as you begin to think that all these fish are returning back to their birth place to spawn and eventually die. All for the sake of their natural instinct to make new life and start the cycle all over again.

So that's about it for now....gotta get supper going....tomorrow I'll post about my next knitting project which I had a great time working on while listening to some fantastic music at the Edmonton Folk Festival. I promise more fibre/knitting pictures.

Wishing you a great day!
DD, Me, Nana
Wowwee's been over a month.......

Bear with me I'm uploading pictures, and having to resize them before importing into blogger....I've got the whole afternoon. Maybe I'll get something done.....aaah this feels good to have time to sit and catch up. How is everybody doing?