Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Snow for Santa

It hardly ever snows in the Seattle area.
Some years, none at all.
This is a treat.


The little kids must have gone out of their
already over-stimulated minds!
How much better does it get than Santa AND snow?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Top-Down Magic

The problem with stripes...
The solution: an evening of weaving in ends.
Blocking with Fiesta

Knitter: Rebecca
Pattern: Top-Down Sweater, #6 Unpattern by Karen Alfke. I love this pattern. I've made at least five sweaters with it, all different and all of them fit perfectly. The pattern is designed so well that perfect fit is a given. It's all about gauge. Your vision, your yarn, this pattern = the best sweater, ever. Once in a while I teach a class for the Top-Down Sweater using the #6 Unpattern.
Yarn and needles: Jamieson DK in 5 colors, size 4.5 Inox grey circular needles, G crochet hook.
Project Notes: I started this sweater in September, 2004. I cruised through it until I became hopelessly stumped when trying to figure out the hood ~ I'd never knit one before and had all my 'how to' books out, trying several styles, frogging each in turn, putting it away to think about and losing track of it until a couple weeks ago. This time around the hood just about knit itself and wa-laa, a little crochet chain 3 times around, weave in the endless ends, block and done on December 2nd, 2007. Took me three days. If only I'd known how easy a hood really is...

And now for an 'omg moment': I just realized that I did a really good job matching the repeat from the body to the sleeves! I hadn't noticed this until I looked at the photos of the FO hanging in the Rhody. Just-goes-to-showya ~ step back and admire your work now and then: you may see something different and wonderful.

The Magic Bits
(other sweaters from this pattern)

Sock Monkey Sweater
in Rowan DK Marl
Sock Monkey Suit
in Tweed DK
using the same pattern.

Jamieson DK Henley with
vintage buttons, a little pocket
and side-vents
Koigu V-Neck with short sleeves
(7 skeins)
Koigu Crew Neck with long sleeves
Boyds Bear in worsted weight v-neck

Monday, December 10, 2007

Better late than never

(edited for spelling on 12/17)
Judith MacKenzie was judging fleece at Black Sheep Gathering this year. Sitting in the gallery was like getting a class for free, she was so generous with her comments and knowledge. We spent a total of five hours with her, learning about why one fleece is better than another. She was thrilled with the quality of the fiber this year and mentioned over and over that they were all so clean. She only found need to reject one fleece for dirt and moved several out of certain classes because they were not qualified for that particular class even though they were wonderful. One of those she had a helper put over with the blue ribbon winners as a potential best in show winner.

Here she is unrolling a fleece that she said was perfect.
Unfortunately I didn't write down the fleece type.
It's huge, though, so we know it's not a small breed.
Judith will be teaching at the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat again this February in Tacoma at the Hotel Murano (formerly the Sheraton.) She is also the guest speaker at the Banquet on Saturday evening. Her subject will be tracing the story of the American Bison. Fun and well worth the cost of dinner.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Gansey Socks

Back interest

Knitter: Peggy

Pattern: Gansey Socks, designed by Beth Brown-Reinsel in 1995
Yarn and Needles: Alice St*rmore Scottish Fleet in pink; #2.5 2-32"
Addi Lace
Project Notes
The project served 4 purposes --
1. Something fairly straightforward to work on at the retreat
2. Refreshing my interest in Gansey knitting
3. Using STASH yarn left over from knitting Jade St*rmore's Beadwork sweater (pattern found in Winter 99/00 Interweave Knits) a few years ago (2004?)
4. And in so doing, giving me socks that match a sweater I love to wear.

My Beadwork

Friday, November 30, 2007

Autumn Shawl

The maple in the front yard is creating
a play pen of leaves for the cats,
Austin and Ferris
(they're bad boys, these cats)
2-ply spun on my Betty Roberts
Russian Olive double drive wheel
A lump of damp shawl

I brought in some leaves to compare.
Stretched on blocking wires.
And done!
Spinner/Knitter: Rebecca
Fiber: about 5.7 oz of Corriedale cross, color #32 lot 2 from Reflection Farm.
Project Notes: The fiber was spun early in 2006, about 830 yards of 2-ply. For the knitting, I used a #5 needle and the 10 stitch lace chart called Horseshoe from one of Barbara Walkers books. I used the chart throughout and included a border of lace with #8 seed beads.
I've used Horseshoe Lace before in my Scalloped Lace Wrap, a pattern available at a couple of local yarn stores. The Autumn Shawl knitting began October 14th and was finished October 29th. I am very pleased that the FO reflected so well my original vision for the roving. yea!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Arrow Lace Socks

The Book:

from Interweave Press
On the cover: Arrow Lace Socks
The book is still available even though it
was published in 1997. For the spinners amongst us,
each pattern is based on and knit up in handspun but
commercial yarn can be used with good success,
as follows:

Yarn from The Artful Ewe, one of our favorite LYS's. Heidi does a masterful job at her dyeing and the resulting fiber and yarn is fabulous and very economical. This sock yarn is 75% Superwash and 25% nylon. We added a picot top with #8 24k gold plate seed beads. Knit by Rebecca for her buddy Pat B. for the "Friday Knitters 2007 Sock Exchange." (Photos of the results of this event will be posted at the end of the year.)

Sock yarn is 3-ply 100% Blue Faced Leicester from Wool2Dye4. Knit by Rebecca, this yarn was given to me by my buddy Pat B. the day the Friday Knitters got together for dye-day earlier this summer. This creamy yarn turned into a successful purple. Same 24k beads because they were just wonderful on this color.

Sock yarn from The Artful Ewe (in a different red colorway) and these were knit by Peggy with the same24k beads because we love them!

All socks knit between September 7th and October 18th.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Reflection Farm Rovings

Last April four of us (Linda, Natasha, Rebecca and Peggy)went to Puyallup (pronounced Pew-Al-Up, emphasis on the Al, for those not from around here) to Shepherds Extravaganza in order to over-indulge ourselves with Corriedale Cross roving from Reflection Farm. We posted on this before but we now have photos of colorways from all 4 stashes so we're playing catch-up. There isn't a website for this event but there is a pdf for the 2007 entry form so hopefully they'll have something new for 2008 sometime soon. In any case, we will post the dates for the April 2008 event as soon as we know. There are classes, sheep and other fiber critters to view and a lovely market. It's a small fiber event which is under-advertised but well worth the trip.

Some of these batches have been spun since we acquired them and so we've included photos of the resulting yarn.

But enough talk! Show me the FIBER!

Color #62 with a 2-ply sample
Lovely, but no color number can be found...
Color #1 lot 7
Color #58
A different lot of #58
#58 2-ply hanks from the second lot
Color #83
Color #61 lot 2
Color #78 lot 1
Color #11 lot 7
Color #5 lot 3
Singles of #5 lot 3
2 ply hanks of #5 lot 3
Color #44 lot 6
#44 lot 6
Singles on upper spool
2-ply on lower spool
2-ply hanks of #44 lot 6

Alice, the creative dyer/owner of Reflection Farm, is quite accommodating with individual dying requests, so if you like one of these she may have it on hand or she can recreate it, but keep in mind that dye lots can differ quite a bit. If you want something specific, she'll be happy to try it for you.