Friday, May 28, 2010

Since I got in the bed nice and early for the wool festival.... I was quite the early bird the next morning! I had time to enjoy the trip to the fiber festival and snap some great photos.I really couldn't resist these guys... I actually kept pulling off the road, getting out, and catching some amazing photos. I'll drizzle out more this week. : )

Soon I arrived to Masterson's Station Park in Lexington, Kentucky where the festival was taking place! This little lamb was so cute. It's foster mother was quite charming herself.Punkin' Patch's booth while she was off shearing sheep or helping do something.....I had to get the balls of yarn just laying around.

There was a photography, fleece, and spinning judging. I love this photo. I love pictures of sheep though! Such a nice fat fleece on it. It makes me want to sink my hands into it. Weird? Nah.

This is my skein. It was reserve champion which I was really pleased with. The comments stated it needed to be wet blocked. It was.... twice. But that's fine by me! I'm happy with what I got. I don't think I'm that great of a spinner so I was really pleased with the results. I also entered a skein of handspun quiviut with comments of needs to be more even. Let me tell you spinning a fiber that is about the length of a guinea pig's hair tends to be a little difficult to keep even. I thought it was quite nice considering those factors.... but whatevah. It was fun to do and a good experience. Was that whiny? Oh my I hope not. LOL!

There was shearing, of course.

It was also the Border Collie Trials so there were lots of these little guys running around. It's always fun to watch them do their work.
It was a great festival....I'm looking forward to doing it again next year!
My tip for today..... go to a fiber event this summer. You'll have so much fun, spend so much money, and make great new friends!!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Look at me... I just keep showing up.
This tip actually comes from Sam.... I was fussing once about putting zippers into cardigans. Sam suggested that I try double sided tape that is used for scrapbooking. This is like the greatest thing ever! You just stick the tape to the zipper and then place it into the sweater. You can move it around and make adjustments. I place the tape, and then sew the zipper into place with needle and thread. I try to remove the tape as much as possible, but I don't worry if some stays on.

Soon I'm going to post about Kentucky Sheep and Fiber! Here is a sneak peek!

Sheep just crack me up.....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Today's tip is a gauge swatching tip.....
First you should always swatch with the same brand and material of needles that you plan to use for your project. I get asked a lot how many stitches should be cast on to make "the swatch". I have found a good way to get your answer for this is to look at the gauge of the pattern. If it is 5 sts. per in. I multiply that by four and that is how many I cast on.
Peace and love from Tot and her new socks! : )

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In trying to make myself blog more I've been thinking what I can do......
I've decided to have a tip a day.... hey! that's my goal.... I may miss a few. ; )
Okay, back to the tips. I'm going to try to think of things you may not know.
So here is the tip for today.
When beginning a new project.... make sure that you start knitting with the correct end of your yarn. If you run your fingers down the strand of yarn it will feel either smooth or rough and you will be able to feel the fibers. If it is smooth and not "fibery" you are going correctly. If it feels rough and fibery you are knitting against the fibers and NOT going the right way. I didn't know this for a long time. You may have to rewind a ball of yarn at times to get the fibers travelling in the correct direction. This can effect how your stitches lie. It is best to use the yarn with the fibers travelling in the correct direction.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I love a good fleece. This one is exceptional. It is about a nine pound raw cormo fleece. This fleece was blanketed and skirted very well at shearing.I'm going to show a little bit of the process. I start by taking a very thin towel and taking the locks in small chunks. I line them in two rows fold them up and submerge them into a almost boiling pan of water on the stove.
I allow them to steam for about an hour. I remove the whole bundle, lay it aside, change my water and resubmerge the bundle. I let it steam for however long I feel is good. ; )
I do this twice with a wool soap or Dawn dish liquid. Then I do two steaming rinses on the stove. I lay the bundle aside to allow it to cool. When the bundle is cool enough for me to handle I gently squeeze the excess water out of the locks.

This is what they look like after they've had a bath. I lay them on a drying rack until they are fully dry. I prefer outside but that's not always possible so then I lay them all over the kitchen table. Mmmmm what's for dinner!?

This is a lovely little lock all washed and fresh! This fleece is so nice that I'm putting off spinning it. I just love to look at the crimp.
Well the snow finally melted. ; )

After seven long years.... the wisteria decided to bloom. I was so excited!Tot amazed me with this. Yay!

These snuck in late one night.
They grew so fast. I am attached to every single one. I'm thinking they might be attached to me also. What a way to spend the evening.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

There's a new shop in town.... it's called Ball and Skein.... you should really come check it out. I heard they moved into a bigger building....
I heard it was located at 48 E. Market St. Germantown, Oh. 45327
I think that's just at the other end of the block, still on the same street. Right next door to the original Cherry st. shop. I like to remember it as going to the Market to buy Cherries...heh heh
It's the coziest lil' place in town. And they have an awesome coffee pot. Mmmm hmmm.
I heard instead of having knitting olympics that the owner decided to do moving yarn and fiber olympics with her family. Is their an event for that?
You probably should go check it out.
I'm hanging out there all day tomorrow.
I can't wait!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Olympic knitting to me this year was going to be simple. Mindless. Two projects. Both totally possible to complete in the amount of time alloted. Here are Kidsilk Haze and Dream In Color in Chinatown Apple. A ribbed scarf.
But then Anne showed up in the afternoon and we started talking about Sprossling and the possibilities of knitting it up in Briar Rose's Sea Pearl. Enough said. It was on.
Anne Hanson, also known as Knitspot was here for the weekend doing some workshops! We were kicking off the olympics as a shop so she joined us for opening ceremonies at the local pub. We had some food, drinks, and a lot of this was going on.....Much too soon the night had to end. I woke up to this. Surely a sign of good things to come. Indeed it was! The day was filled with a great Sweater Fitness workshop. This was a 6 hour class designed to help you really figure out what your shape is, your exact measurements, and how to adapt knowing these things in your knitting to use them in the best way for your own body. I loved this. It was fabulous! I think it is something a lot of us as knitters need to put more thought into sometimes. The results can be amazing.
Anne was wearing Jackie's Leisure Jacket, her own design, when she pulled it out to show us in the sweater workshop all I could think and say was Chanel. This is an awesome piece. I fell in love. Such a versatile piece.....and a must in the wardrobe. Briar kept chanting to me. So this is my Jackie to be.........

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Anne. She is so lovely to be around. I wish I could have had even more time with her. I was sad when it was time to go. Hopefully she will be back in Germantown again soon!
I love when I have one of these workshops. When they go home I am so exhausted but my heart is full. My love for the craft is ignited. My mind is so full and satisfied.
Thank you to everyone that participated in the workshops.
Anne.....thank you for sharing your knowledge....and Grandma's cast on!

Hugs and love