Things I Like

  • Game of Thrones

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Finished Objects

I finished knitting a couple of things this last week.  One is a little sweater for a grand daughter and the other is a pair of fingerless gloves for me.  The sweater is superwash. You never know how these little child garments will be taken care of.  At least it will be warm and I won't have to worry about it coming out the size of a postage stamp after it's washed. I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out.

Other news on the home front.  The new roof is up and the supports are installed for solar panels. The solar panels are being installed next week. It will take about another six weeks before we will be able to use them though. Kind of intolerable but what are you gonna do?  The permit process is long and arduous plus we have to get PG&E to install a meter that will run backwards.  Yay!

Also, Jim is having a fireplace insert installed so we can be cozy this winter. We are loathe to turn on the heat in the winter because our PG&E bills are outrageous. We have a lot of electronics running and several computers going 24/7 plus a large refrigerator and a large freezer in the garage. The solar stuff is going to help a lot!  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

SOAR 2012

I got back on Friday night from SOAR 2012 which was held in Tahoe City, California.  It was held at the Granlibakken resort.  It was a lovely place to hold a conference.  We had snow most of the days we were there but the good news is it didn't start until we got there and it stopped a day or two before we left.  Perfect timing on both parts.  The food was excellent and plentiful and I bought way too much stuff at the fiber market.

I took a workshop for 3 days which was Spinning Cotton with Joan Ruane. She was an excellent teacher and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. The first day of the workshop we dyed ginned cotton and cotton sliver. She was very proud of the group's ability to spin cotton but I don't think any of us were novices at cotton spinning. We all took to it like ducks to water. I have some beautiful photos of the almost white out snow conditions of the ski hill behind the hut where we were taking our class. The only heating was a pot belly wood burning stove. My eyes were not happy with the wood smoke but it was quite charming.

I went with my friend Ginny who flew out from Minnesota on Saturday. She spent the night and we left for Tahoe the next morning. We stayed an extra two nights after the conference was over so we could enjoy ourselves and relax after it was over.  It was an unnecessary expense in one way but we were glad we did because of the snow. I would not have wanted to try to put cable chains on my Prius. There is almost no clearance above the tires and I think it would have been difficult to get my hands in there.  And all kinds of things can happen to cars with chains and travelling on snow and ice. I would have been devastated if my little Prius had gotten damaged.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Onion Dyed Fiber

One more little fibery thing I wanted to post.  I had a rotten onion the other day that had been hiding under the sink. It didn't have any mold on it but was getting very soft.  So I threw the whole onion in a pot a simmered it for a couple of hours.  I mordanted the fiber in alum before putting into the dye pot and here are the results after simmering for an hour or two.

OK, I guess I have something else to talk about, now that I have your ear.  Today I went to Lambtown with my friend Christie. We had a great time but I spent way too much money.  I bought one of the new Nancy's Knit Knacks tilting lazy kates from Carolina Homespun. It's a very nice piece of equipment to add to my spinning tools (not that I need another lazy kate!).  The rest of the booty is fiber (like I need any more of that!).  I got some georgeous processed white alpaca (19 oz.), 4 oz. of white German angora, a braid of carbonated soy (dark charcoal gray), one braid of some beautiful mixed grays, maroons and teal greens (merino), 2 beautiful 4 oz. braids of Blue Faced Leicester & silk, and one of alpaca and silk.  But it was great fun I have to say.  This should hold me till next weekend at the CogKnitive Fiber Retreat in Tehachapi.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Falklands Wool & Shibori Kimono

I finished the shibori dyed short kimono last night (finally!). The sewing machine and (stuff) has been sitting on the living room table for weeks while I futzed around with it, pinning here, tweaking there (since I didn't have a dress form - which will be remedied by the end of the month I hope).  The jacket looks great and It's Big Enough!  I took the pattern out of a book and the model looked to be normal woman sized but I guess you just can't tell by photos.  I used their measurements but the danged thing was probably 4-5 inches too short and 4-5 inches small in the bust.  Luckily I had extra pieces of shibori dyed fabric for just such an occasion that I had dyed from the same dye and using the same techniques as the first dyeing experience.  I won't post a photo of it here though because it doesn't look much different than my previous photo, except it's hemmed of course.

I plied and finished off a nice hank (2 - 4 oz. braids) of Falklands wool that I had gotten from Etsy a few months ago.  I love the colors - purple and a soft green. I'm just a little surprised it's not softer.  I got 484 yards of 2 ply out of it. It looks to be about dk weight yarn.

I have finished the body of the Austin Hoodie. I've been working on this for months off and on. I think I started it in July. I, obviously, don't put knitting as my first priority.  I love love the yarn. It's a single strand yarn by Madelyn Tosh called Lichen. It's 1/2 silk and 1/2 merino and feels lovely. It's a fingering weight yarn. I picked up for the left sleeve last night while watching TV.

We also finished watching the last episode of Primevel. It may be the last ever since it might not be renewed. (BooHoo).  I was a fun watch though and the whole (3?) seasons can be found on Netflix instant.

I think that's all for now.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Not much to report

Last weekend, I went with my friend Christi to Cambria to the Central Coast Weaver's 3 day adventure at Camp Ocean Pines.  It's a really beautiful area on the Pacific.  Even though it was 100 degrees here in San Jose, the mornings were cool and foggy.  Lovely. Pictures here:

Still trying to finish the shibori dyed kimono. It's been a challenge to get it hemmed because I don't have a dress form. I may have remedied that yesterday by contacting the company from whom I want to buy the form.  Daryl Lancaster recommends this particular form and it's called Uniquely You. I guess it's a real challenge to get it formed to your shape (like it takes a day to do it). But once you get it formed, it's the closest representation of you that you can get.  They are out of stock until the end of October, so that form won't help me with this project. I think I'm on the last stage of hemming right now, the bottom.  I have the lining sewed and the bottom pinned. I'm hoping to be finished today with this.

Then I'm on to working on the Austin Hoodie again.  I have finished the body and now have to start on the sleeves and the hood. It's looking good so far.  After knitting the body, they have you block it, before starting the sleeves and hood.  It's a good idea because the stitch they have you do on the middle bodice is a funny stitch that pulls in the stitches in that area.  It really needs to be blocked out. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Retirement is Busy

It's been a long time since I have blogged, not sure why. It's not that I haven't been doing anything.  We have some household projects that have been eating up a lot of time. We are getting a new roof within the month and solar panels. It's amazing how much time it takes to interview people, pick out colors, sign contracts, etc.

I have several crafty type things that have been going on. I've been spinning and plying some pretty yarn. I finished plying some beautiful Polwarth that I got from Wolf Point, MT from Nancy Ortmann. It had to be combed or spun from locks but it is soft and beautiful.  Many colors of grays and dark browns.  I also have spun up some beautiful soft green and lavender silk and merino - it's plied and finished and sitting in the stash.  Right now I'm plying more hogget that I got from Etsy. It's 8 ounces - more soft greens and lavenders. I think there's a pattern here.  I'm a bit surprised though that the hogget isn't softer. It really feels like a med grade wool.

I think the biggest thing I've done recently though is to almost finish a shibori dyed short kimono jacket.  It took quite a bit of rethinking as I went along. Luckily I had extra fabric that I was able to form new pieces.  I got the pattern out of the Clothing from Hands that Weave book and took the measurements from it. It was supposedly one size fits all and I just trusted that it was going to work out.  Wrong.  It was made for a miniature person. I needed to double the size of the front band in order for it to come together in the front. I also needed to lengthen it by about five or six inches.  The jacket ended at that bad spot right above the largest part of the hips. All a jacket does at that length is cut you in half and accentuate the size of your hips, not so good.  So now, it appears to be in proper proportion. All I have left to do now is to hem it for miles and miles - both the lining and the jacket.  I'll probably tack the sleeve lining to the sleeves because the sleeves are floppy.

I have a project in mind for little Ella, Jim's son's daughter. You could say that she's my grand daughter but since Jim and I aren't married, it just seems kind of weird.  Although my daughter's children call him grandpa sometimes. Anyway, Ella is 2-1/2 and wears a 4.  It shouldn't be too much bother to knit her a sweater for xmas. I've tried knitting her hats before but they either came out too large or too small. It's hard when you are knitting for someone who you can't try things on. They live in Washington state.

My friend Charlotte came over Saturday and we spent several happy hours crocheting beaded bracelets.  I don't know why I selected green as a color because I have very little green clothing to wear it with. It is quite pretty and very comfortable to wear.  The color is not true in this. It's actually a dark green. The flash does weird things with color.

I've been listening to books on my Zune that I've checked out from the library. I'm finishing book 5 of the Game of Thrones. They are extremely long - probably 40 hours of listening per book. It's taking me months to listen to them all. But I would highly recommend them, they are great books to listen to while crafting.

I'm also working out quite a lot - spinning at the gym for an hour, 3 times a week and walking with Jim for 2 miles 3 times a week and intermittently going to Curves when I have left over energy.  Jim thinks I'm the energizer bunny because I can't sit still, maybe he's right.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sorry for not posting . . .

It's not as if I haven't been doing anything.  Really . . .    I finished a pretty pair of fingerless gloves for my oldest grand daughter. Unfortunately I don't think I took a photo of them.  I finished the Monk's bag with the Fiber Artisan's Guild a couple weeks ago.  Unfortunately, I just didn't think it was big enough, or good enough, to submit for conference.  I need to re-weave it with smaller yarn. I think the main problem with it is that the handle is too thick.  It's supposed to be able to be folded in half and when I do that, it becomes a thickness that is too heavy to wear on your shoulder.  The grand kids came here from England last week and spent the night on Friday and Saturday nights.  We colored real eggs and made string eggs with balloons, string and starch. Both very fun projects.  So all in all, I haven't had too much to blog about.  It seems like as I get older that keeping a full time job just takes more and more out of me to where I don't feel I have the energy for much else. But I'm retiring at the end of May 2012 and I'm so excited about it.  It's kind of like looking forward to going on a trip, it doesn't seem real until you get closer too it.

I am planning two fiber vacations over the coming year, with my friend Ginny, who lives in Minnesota.  She's flying out here to go to SOAR in Granlibakken, Tahoe, in October for a week.  I'm planning on taking a Spinning for Weaving class with Sarah Lamb.  Then the big trip will be to Scotland in April 2013.  It's the Scottish mill tour with the singing weaver, Nadine Saunders. I'm so looking forward to that one!

That's it for now folks. I'll post a photo of the bag when the light is right.  Right now it's dark o'clock in the morning - my usual time of getting awake - but there is no light.