Friday, November 02, 2007

Dribs and Drabs

Dribs and Drabs

Work is interfering with my fiber life to an incredible degree right now, and I don’t like it! However, work is necessary to pay the everyday bills as well as underwrite the fiber things, so I can’t complain too much.

I have made two interesting fiber-related trips in recent months. First, there was The Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia-Silverdale Washington area over Memorial Day week. The primary reason for the visit was to see the two older children. A secondary reason was to have a ‘family’ vacation – Mom and Dad were going out to see the older children and their spouses. But another secondary reason was to find some of the fiber-related things in the area that I’d missed on my trip in January!

We had a wonderful time! We visited Mt. Ranier in a snowstorm, saw our first black-sand beach, and wandered the Peninsula during various times that week. Sage Book Store in Shelton (beginning spinner Sage herself!) showed us the way to Fancy Image Yarns, where I bought the makings for a fall sweater. Allyn Yarn Shop yielded a spindle and some lovely hand-dyed merino-silk roving.

Poulsbo was beautiful, and if you ever get the chance to see this quaint Norwegian-village transplant, you should grab it. A lovely way to spend a morning or afternoon of shopping or just browsing, including at least one yarn shop – Wild & Wooly ( on Front Street!

Next was a business trip to Albuquerque (for the Particle Accelerator Conference 2007). I found Village Wools ( on my last day in town and stocked up on some lovely bamboo roving, various wools, including a lovely purple fine-wool, and a locally-made drop spindle from mesquite wood! I can’t believe how heavy it is – about three times the weight of most of my spindles!

Jut off the wheel and onto the needles is some lace-weight merino-clun forest cross dyed in rainbow pastels plied with another single of natural kid mohair. This was spun with a shawl in mind. I’ve started the Shetland Garden shawl and am currently at the beginning of chart F of that pattern.

Just off the wheel and needles is some slightly less than fingering-weight in the same merino-clun forest cross that was made into a baby sweater for a brand-new baby girl among my work friends. I usually do an EZ baby sweater, but this time Sharon Miller’s lace-trimmed garter-stitch baby sweater in her Heirloom Lace book seduced me. I enjoyed the knitting – garter stitch is soothing – but kept changing my mind about the edging. The one in the book didn’t thrill me, and I decided to try to find something that wasn’t so directional – starting at the center neck back, knitting around to the center back, then going back and picking up stitches just to do the whole thing over and graft things together doesn’t sound like fun to me. But I bit the bullet and did it anyway, and now I’m glad I did – the finished sweater is nice!

Also on the needles is a vest for a Christmas gift from some commercial yarn. Lovely blue color, and a simple pattern – Mona Schmidt’s Tweedy Vest pattern from knittingdaily at Interweave Press. Changed the yarn, of course, which changed the gauge and needle size, so the initial set-up was a challenge, but now the pattern is modified and the knitting is going quickly.

Otherwise, I’ve been working – on actual paying work, as opposed to fun stuff! One new thing that has proved a distraction from fiber fun – a new plucked psaltery - is taking up some time. I’ve also decided to get the house organized, and that’s turning into a major endeavor. It’s amazing what five people can accumulate in 20 years, especially if all of them are pack rats! But I still knit a bit most days, and a half-hour here and there does add up to finished projects! I haven't forgotten my teaching promise when I started this blog, either - but life does sometimes interfere! I'll get back to more explorations of spinning and knitting design soon!


elizabeth said...

Hey! I'm just happy to know you're still around! ;o) I have learned so much from your blog already and send new spinners here frequently. Did you get to go to SAFF?

Windyridge said...

How did you like working with the Clun Merino cross? It sure is an interesting cross. I will have some Finn/Clun crosses running around here in the spring!

Swanknitter said...

I always enjoy your blog. I had to go through the cleanup process when my pack rat DH passed away recently. He never threw anything away so there was so much junk that may have meant something to him but didn't to me. It
s very lonely here because the cats aren't very good coversationalists.

Laurie said...

I've missed your voice. Glad to hear things are going well.

In unpackratting process, currently, also, with varying degrees of success.