Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Sedalia Fiber Festival this past weekend was great! Dana did a great job with the organization and promotion. There were a large number of vendors and many, many more shoppers than in previous years. I hear rumors that next year it could possibly be a two day event which would draw even more vendors and shoppers.
I came home with a new wheel, she's a Kromski Symphony and I just love her! She's smooth as glass and fast as a NASCAR driver heading towards the checkered flag! I purchased her from Mary Ellen of I See Spots Farm.

This is some kid mohair that Ive spun on her so far. Its the softest kid mohair Ive ever felt and feels a lot like cashmere.

This is the brightest lime green Jacob yarn I have ever seen! Had to get, but am undecided as to what to knit out of it. Am thinking of maybe mittens or a hat.

A quick update on the Low Tide Crossover Vee sweater. I finished the two fronts and back and kitchnered them together. It looked a little small when I was knitting it, and it turned out it was a lot small when I pinned it together. So small, I thought I would have to tear it out. All that scouring of fleece, picking and carding, spinning, dying and knitting and it was too small! Thankfully I remembered what Suzanne of Suzanne's Knitting Shoppe in Lynchburg had taught me: wool can be blocked and stretched. I broke out the iron and a wet tea towel and went to work. So far, so good, the body fits now. Phew..... Now onto the sleeves and crochet trim. Im hoping that I dont run out of kidding, I think I have just enough to do the sleeves....

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Low Tide Crossover Vee

This spring I purchased a beautiful Jacob fleece from Little House Rugs. The fleece came from "Sweet Pea" and I loved her fleece so much, that Judy was nice enough to reserve the next shearing for me too. Below is the yarn that I spun from Sweet Pea's fleece. Before scouring, I separated the white from gray. When it was dry, I carded it three times on my drum carder and then spun and plied it on my Kromski Sonata. The yarn on the right, was originally white, I dyed it using the black hollyhocks that grow in our garden. They gave a lovely lavender color.

A close up of the hand spun dyed in black hollyhocks.

It's taken me a little over a month to separate, scour, pick, card, spin and dye the fleece. I was so excited to start knitting with it! This is the Low Tide Crossover Vee sweater that is in the newly released book Shear Spirit. The pattern designer lives in Maine, which I thought was very cool since that's where I grew up. Here is the completed left front (waiting on stitch holders to be attached to the back).

The beginning of the back:

A close up of the stitches. I love the yarn that came from Sweet Pea! It's so soft, you could wear it against your skin!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Busch Gardens is Knitter Friendly!

Andy and I took a much needed three day mini vacation to Williamsburg. Our first stop was Busch Gardens. If you have never fed the birds while you are there, that is a must! They will land on you and eat the fruit pure' that you purchase at the bird concession stand and then hang out. This one really liked Andy's sun glasses!

As with anyplace you visit, there are rules to be followed:

Who would have thought you would see something like this at Busch Gardens?

Or meet a fellow knitter, and Raveler?
That's Andrea, aka Knitadoodle. She's knitting a scarf out of ruffle yarn (I must find this yarn, very cool!) and came up to me in line at The Dark Castle.

What's a vacation without a little fiber?

This came from Knitting Sisters in Williamsburg. A cute shop, with a great selection of yarn and other knitting goodies.

We also visited Colonial Fiber Arts in Yorktown. That is an awesome shop and I plan to go back over the summer. I purchased some flax to spin and the owner of the shop was kind enough to show me how to spin it as well as giving some helpful hints to go along with it. She had some nice plain white sock yarn that I purchased (it's in the dye pot right now!) and some hand forged scissors (just had to have them...). If you are ever in the area, I would highly recommend checking this shop out. There is also a Ben and Jerry's and Green Mountain Coffee across the street.

Maryland Sheep and Wool

Im a little late posting about Maryland Sheep and Wool, two weeks to be exact. Andy and I got there really early and hit all the vendors before the crowds got there. We got some great goodies:

This is a knitters basket made by Skacel. It has a purple silk lining, with pockets for all your knitting goodies. The lining comes out and can be used as a knitting pouch too. Couldn't resist it!

Below is a lace neck warmer purchased in kit form from The Spinnery. It came with the most wonderful Merino and Mohair blend, very soft and easy to knit with. I changed the pattern a little, it was to be knit flat and then seamed. I knit it in the round, changed to a smaller needle size for the neck band (theirs seemed too loose on the neck) and then crocheted a lacy edge for the cast off.

We had a great time, did a lot of shopping, visited with Jamee' and Joyce Hall from Posy Thisisit Llama's and then headed out to Bass Pro and the giant mall (it's one mile around) to do some non-fiber shopping.