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.