Sunday, June 27, 2010

The end of another year of fibre festivals in my area.....

DH and I headed 2 1/2 hours south to the annual Olds, Alberta Fibre Week 2010. Such is life that I haven't been able to take a week to attend any of the classes at this event, but someday I look forward to it. In the meantime we head out to see what the vendors have for sale.
Lovely, lovely fibre of many colours.
The above picture is one of my favourite vendors Twist of Fate from Kamloops British Columbia. The shop owner is the lady standing to the far right. I didn't catch her name, but she's on the ball with what's new in the knitting/fibre market. Last year I had picked up a set of Addi Turbo dpn's (double pointed needles) and loved them. So I was on the look out to see if I could find another set.
Instead what she had was some Hiya Hiya dpn's along with some wonderful yarn from Fleece Artist, Hand dyed Peter Rabbit, 70Angora/20Nylon/10Wool. It feels sooo soft. Definitely will knit something to be worn close to the skin with this stuff.
Which brings me to ask......does anyone know what that little blue picky like thing is that came with the Hiya Hiya dpn's? I haven't got a clue, and I'm hoping someone in blogland can tell me.
Twisted Sisters & Co. Fibre Mill & Store was one of the vendors I visited at the HWSDA conference at the beginning of June. I found some wonderful Alpaca/merino/Nylon sock yarn that I absolutely have been enjoying knitting with. Blogged here. They're located in Alberta so I'm hoping one day to do another road trip and visit their store.
It was a little confusing, but there were three separate vendors at the Wild Geese table. Thank God for receipts because I wouldn't have remembered all their names. The one vendor Knitopia (White Rock B.C.) had something I've been looking for, but couldn't find, a merino/tencel hand dyed roving. I was wanting to spin a mix that would be strong for sock yarn, and I finally found it. I bought a total of 223gr/7.87ounce. I'm not sure how far that's going to take me in making a pair of socks. It'll be a learning experience.
Above is the mother/daughter team of Rabbitworks Fibre Studio in North Vancouver, B.C. Their corner of this booth had some wonderful hand dyed yarn which I snapped up a couple skeins. Toe Jam Sock Yarn, Colourway: Black Orchid, 60Alpaca/20Nylon/20Wool.
I couldn't stop touching this stuff and I started winding a ball in the car on the way home, and knitted up a swatch. She also had these lavender filled bags that were an excellent price, and are now sitting on my nightstand where I can grab and sniff. The lady in the centre in the yellow tank top (couple pictures up) is Barb Brown from Wild Geese Fibres in Cold Lake Alberta. Barb has a book coming out this fall Knitting Knee-Highs, and will also be in this Falls issue of Vogue Knitting.

Sharon Wickstrom (in the purple vest) from Homespun Haven in Armstrong, British Columbia(no website). I've been to visit her home/store in B.C., and have stopped in to see her at the last two conferences. She has an amazing amount of stock for anything fibre related.

More fibre from Custom Woolen Mills. 1 lb each of Icelandic (left), and Grey Shetland (right). This Icelandic is very different from the Icelandic I bought from Paradise Fibers, blogged here. I asked if it maybe was a blend as it's much softer, but she said no. So go figure. I didn't know that there would be that much difference in texture in Icelandic fleeces. I'll have to do more googling on the subject.
Wide shot of the Merchant Mall at AG-Mech hall at Olds College. Click to make bigger.
On the tables were bags of fleece some cashmere, alpaca, sheep. Sunday was scheduled for judging of fleeces.
A classroom where they were setting up for judging some Alpaca fibre. I think. Don't quote me on that. It's serious business and I didn't want to interrupt anyone to ask.
After all that fibre/knitting/stash building DH and I couldn't believe the weather was cooperating so we went for a walk through the gardens at the college. Just gorgeous.

Friday, June 25, 2010

 A little late in posting this.......

 My Mother's Day gift came in the mail last week from my DD.  She mailed this along with her Father's Day gift to Dale.
 What an awesome card!  Nicole, you've got the award for 'Amazing Card Finder-er' ;)
 You can see the tissue paper was torn at the corner already in this picture.  It was at this point that I thought I better get the camera going.
 Every stitch was made by her hand.  Self taught. 
 There's a whole week of them!  Bright and sunny!
Also included was the second season of '"I Love Lucy."  I have had the first season for a couple years now, and absolutely enjoy it.  When I'm sewing I'll have it playing on the laptop, and it's amazing what a comedienne Lucy Ball was.  

Thank you Nino!  I'll think of you now when Lucy is playing and I'm drying dishes.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The first blooming thing in our pond......

This is an Iris that was split from a friends plant, and the thing was stuck in a pail and then jammed into the rocks in our pond, and it's growing! I have had a pond lily that I've been babying for a couple years now, and the thing still hasn't bloomed. I was told that I'm not fertilizing it enough so I remedied that and I'm hoping I'll see some blooms this year.
In the meantime DH and I are babysitting our grandkitty Monty.

I can't say that my two old girls (two female cats, 17 &18 yrs) are enjoying the experience, but they're dealing with it. To give them some peace at night Monty goes into one of the bedrooms where we've set up his own little bachelor pad.
I wish I had a bachelor pad to go to. Who knew keeping the peace was so exhausting. :)

My knitting has been going slow, but of course I love the close-ups so here is a couple pics of the Birch Leaf Socks and what I've done so far....
The front design.
The above picture shows the blue dye in this brown alpaca sock yarn. Whereas the picture below you would never know there was a speck of blue.
I'm loving this sort of cabled rib pattern on the back of the leg. It's meant to be used for just the cuff, but I'm wanting to carry it down the whole back of the leg before starting the heel flap. Very stretchy.
And finally .... I finished one slipper that will be felted and I'd love to do some needle felting on it after. Maybe a flower here and there. Gotta make the mate to it first.
Have a great weekend!!
P.S.: An after thought......Have a great and relaxing weekend! Monty sure knows how ;)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Finished Plying.......

The Icelandic is done. Some close-up shots. I can't get enough of the close-ups. Reading other blogs and seeing close-ups of spinning just makes me ;). Click to make them bigger.
A little bit closer now.....
7 wpi=#5 (Bulky/Heavy Worsted). Amount of fibre 11 oz./311g purchased from Paradise Fibers. After spinning, and washing the total yardage is: 187.4m/205yd, weight 11.9 0z/337g.

There is a discrepancy here because I never weighed the fibre before spinning. I checked my receipt and I ordered what they had left at that time and that was 11 oz. After processing into yarn you can see that I've weighed in with more than the 11 oz. Bonus!!

Before ordering this I never worked with Icelandic fibre and I have to say I was a bit shocked when it arrived in the mail. I opened that package, stuck my hand in the bag, and immediately knew that it was not anything that I'd be able to wear close to the skin except for socks or slippers. So the fibre has been sitting in my closet since July 2008, and I thought this is what I'm going to practice spinning some thick singles on. I tested the singles to see how strong they were by just trying to rip a piece off, and couldn't believe the strength this fibre has. I could totally see combining the Icelandic with some other fibre for sock yarn.

So I'm now testing gauge to knit some felted slippers. I'll post pictures later showing how it felts up.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Just a few pictures of the first Iris to ever bloom in my garden.

Previously I just seemed adept at killing them.

It looked like it was going to rain, so I came in to post these, and now it's sunny out. So I'm outside mowing the grass.....
Have a Great Weekend!!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

I had a wonderful day with my Mom......

Which doesn't happen all that frequently as she lives over 303miles/487km from where I live.  It so happened that I had the day planned and she came into town and joined me in shopping for some material and fibre.

First stop was to Fabricland which had a sale on quilting fabric 'buy 1 metre get 3 free'.  So I added to the stash.
 I went to check on the discounted bin which was 50% off, and found some pretty yellow floral material which I'm hoping to make a top for the summer.  We'll see.  All good intentions pave the road to 'you know where'.
We met up with my sister Jackie and went for lunch after material shopping.  I couldn't eat lunch fast enough as the Hand Weavers, Spinners & Dyers of Alberta were holding their annual conference in Edmonton this past weekend, June 1-6.  That's where my Mom and I headed to next.  Unfortunately I don't know what I was thinking, but I didn't take one picture! UGH!  Thinking back to it now I was too busy looking at everything that it never occurred to me to get the camera out.  Not like Robin from For the Love of Fiber.  She blogged about her weekend going to 3! fiber festivals.  She takes some wonderful pictures.  

Anyway the following pictures are what was added to the fibre stash from the HWSDA 2010 Conference.
 Beautiful sock yarn from Twisted Sisters & Company Fibre Mill.  They carry beautiful alpaca rovings, but what caught my eye was this chocolate brown sock yarn with a tinge of blue through it.  70%Alpaca/15%Nylon/15% Merino.  It feels wonderful, it's very sturdy for sock yarn.  So I cast on that same evening for Birch Leaf Socks by Nancy Bush.  Pattern can be found in A Gathering of Lace, produced by Meg Swanson.  
The silk bag pictured below is from Studio Celeste.  I immediately knew that it would be perfect for carrying around a sock in progress.  Studio Celeste is in the midst of developing a website so there isn't a link I can send you to.  They have wonderful silk fibres, and imported wearables.  They're based in Lethbridge, Alberta Canada.
 Four skeins of Studio Celeste's silk/nylon yarn.  I had a heck of a time picking these colours.  There were too many to choose from, but I'm hoping to incorporate some of these in a weaving project.
 Another booth which I had singled out was Homespun Haven, owner Sharon Wickstrom.  I've visited her shop at her home when I've been on holiday in Armstrong, B.C., Canada.  I've also caught up with her at other fibre festivals, but this is the first time that I really took a look at her weaving yarn.  So this time I picked up 1/2 lb of 2/8 Tencel in red, and blue.  Then 1/2 lb of 2/8 Bamboo in green and beige.  I'm hoping to design some sort of runner for a buffet cupboard with some of the colours that I've been gathering.  It's going to take me awhile to figure out how to combine several colours that compliment what's going on in the colour scheme of my living room.  So hopefully it won't take forever to figure that out.  Coordinating colours just seem to be an exercise in exasperation for me.
 Last but not least I finally cashed in on Knit Picks book sale last month.  Vogue Knitting Shawls and Wraps is a varied collection of 43 patterns.  Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush has been on my list for a long time now, and not only are there some great patterns, but some great information of the history of lace knitting in that region of the world.  Finally I'm really looking forward to doing some hand-dyeing, and the Teach Yourself Visually book really has it laid out well for the 
beginner dyer. 
 The dyeing bug bit me when I saw these jars.  
 Funny how these things start.