Tuesday, 30 December 2014

What have I been up to lately?

After the rush and craziness of winter and Christmas events and sales, it was time to slow down and relax. 

I have been saving odds and ends from dye projects, and samples received, and it was time to start playing with the drum carder. I can get about 70 grams of fibre on this home made carder, which usually works out to about 50-70 yards of handspun yarn, all one-of-a-kind skeins. 
They are enough to make a cozy hat or headband.

A customer of mine has been knitting a blanket out of my thick and thin handspun merino yarn, and with the yarn left over, I made a couple of cozy cowls, to be worn either as a fashion statement or a double wrapped neck warmer. Pattern is with 10 mm needles, cast on 20 stitches. Knit 4 rows, then next row K1, P1 across. Next row P1, K1 across and repeat these 2 rows for 8 rows. Knit 4 rows, then K1, P1 and P1, K1 and repeat these 2 rows for 16 rows. Continue in this manner until only enough yarn left to knit last 4 rows and cast off, join ends.

What to do with leftover sock yarn? This Russian ring pattern used about 100 yards of each colour. The rings intertwine with each other. Easy - cast on 100 stitches with 4 mm circular needle, join in ring without twisting, knit 5 inches, cast off and weave in ends. Next colour, make sure needle goes through the ring already completed, do the same. Next colour, make sure needle goes through both rings already completed, do the same. You can make this as big as you want by knitting more inches, 
or adding more rings..

This is a real cute pattern courtesy of Anne at Kelowna Yarn and Crafts, www.kelyarn.com, using only one skein of Smith and Ewe sock or fingering yarn. This is the sparkle Deep Cove colourway.

And in my stash I had a package of merino/alpaca roving, and quite a few yards of hand dyed silk hankies that I had spun at a retreat. I spun the merino/alpaca, and plied the two yarns together to make a very luxurious blend, 
and knit it into a mobius scarf. 

I am now tackling a knit-along challenge put out by my knitting group, the Needlemaniacs. It is the Madrona scarf, lace pattern with beads. One of my customers asked me to dye a yarn using greys and yellows. The end result was not too pleasing, but once I accepted this challenge, I guarantee the end result will be a keeper, using this failed experiment at dyeing. Watch for it!


Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Better late than never..............

October 16 to 18, 2014 - our biannual fall retreat, Desert Mesa Retreat, held in Cache Creek, BC every spring and fall. Due to popular demand, the retreat was expanded to go from Thursday to Sunday. Everyone agreed that the extra day made the event so much more relaxing - lots of time to get the scheduled events happening with lots of time left over for the important things - 
socializing and spinning!
I managed to get it all in the van once again. 
And once again, would it all fit in my room?

Yes, there are about 55 spinning wheels set up in this room.

But we are a bunch of wild and crazies - and some of us decided that our favourite stuffies needed a play date. Yes, we are mature, but you have to break out of the mold every once in a while!

I was SOOO in love with Irene's I-phone case. I decided I needed one of my own. Found it on E-bay - waited a LONG time - and when it arrived, it was about 2 mm too small - my phone did not fit. 
Boo hoo.

Melody could not decide how to use the beautiful shawl she had made. 
We gave her a few suggestions.

Of course, there was a show and tell, and these are just a sampling of the gorgeous creations that our group makes - felting, knitting, spinning.

And as has been the case for so many years, we were treated to another glorious fall weekend - time to move outside and enjoy the last of October.

I had to walk around the room and see what everyone was spinning 
with fibre dyed by me.

and then of course, there are the bragging rights - displaying what we have done over the past 2 days on our wheels.

 Karen's earrings are real zippers - they open and close. 
Crazy like her (but only in a good way).

And believe it or not, on the way home on October 18, we see the final cut of hay for the season.