Category Archives: spinning

OFFF report, 2013

It was rainy! And windy! And fun.

My class was great. Thanks to the intrepid students who made it out to the fairgrounds. They all went home with little swatches of cast ons and bind offs. And now they have many to choose from when they start and end their next projects. Me? I’m kind of in love with the Chinese Waitress cast on. It makes a lovely chained edging on both right and wrong sides of the fabric. I want to use it to edge some fingerless gloves…

After class, I went upstairs in the main pavilion to find my peeps. In normal years, we knit and spin on the lawn. This year, groups moved inside.

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I didn’t bring my Turkish Delight spindle because I knew I couldn’t linger. But I should have brought it for a photo op! OFFF is the time the Turkish Delights get together. Leila, who tempted me into buying *my* spindle, has a tinker toy spindle here. And Rachel, whom I tempted into buying *her* spindle, has hers here.

At OFFF 2009, we were spinning on the lawn with our new spindles. Time flies!

rachel

Duffy had this awesome shirt:

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I chatted a bit with Ed and Wanda Jenkins. Ed makes these beautiful Turkish spindles. He remembered me and asked if I was spinning. Not much these days, unfortunately! Knitting away.

I spent a little time in the barn.

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Alpacas always make me grin.

Is it weird that I was munching a lamb sandwich while walking through? The lamb is from SuDan Farm. They raise sheep for both food and fiber.

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(Sorry about your bro, guys…gals? It was delicious.)

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I spent some time chatting with Susie from SuDan Farm about her hats. I want to make one! So I bought some green and yellow dyed locks to play with. I can’t quite capture the awesome kelly greenness, sorry. (Go Ducks!)

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I did a little shopping. I picked up a skein of Socks that Rock mediumweight from Tina at Blue Moon. This is her last year at OFFF (going to concentrate on wholesaling rather than shows), so she dyed this gorgeous commemorative colorway.

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I also bought a shawl pin from Michael and Sheila Ernst. They make glass pens, knitting needles, crochet hooks, buttons. I have admired their work at many shows over the years. Isn’t this lovely?

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How was your weekend?

Road trips, and swatching

The week has flown by! The weekend is here and I’m still on last weekend, which I began at Menucha Retreat Center in Corbett, in the Columbia Gorge. This is spring on my side of the mountains…damp and cool.

gorge

step

I always walk the labyrinth at Menucha. It helps me quiet my busy mind, and focus. A meditation and a revelation, perfect.

center

I don’t remember ever seeing this much color in the mosaic stones before. I guess all that moisture can have its advantages.

color

And Diane became a new spinner! I’ll pass along a spindle to her; I have more than I need.

newspin

I went home Saturday night, and on Sunday morning I headed to the other side of the Cascade Mountains with my friend Vickie. We went to Kahneeta to hang out with her mom in her mom’s new RV. Nice digs.

lemondrop

The landscape is completely different over there, sunny and dry.

rocks

trees

cattails

The cattails reminded me of spindles, with their loads of fluff.

cattails2

The cottonwoods were shedding their loads of fluff, too, and it made me think I should try to spin that…

cottonwood

With all that fluff going on, you may ask if there was any knitting. Yes, a bit.

swatch

I’m going to call this swatching, mostly because I’ve completely frogged it. I’ve started and ripped three times now, as I hone in on what I want from this piece. There have been a lot of “aha!” moments. I’m about to start my last (I hope) rip, because now I think I know exactly what this needs. This time. Real swatching would be smart, but I get so excited about getting started, I just jump right in. Oops. We’ll just call them “very large swatches.” At least this yarn can put up with repeated froggings. I may be impetuous and lazy, but I’m stubborn, too, and I will prevail…

stubborn

The original colors, below. It turned out that the pale green in the variegated didn’t pop against the gray, so I had to choose a new background. It’s Violetas, also in Malabrigo worsted.

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On our way back over the mountains, we stopped up at Timberline Lodge for the view. Here’s Mt. Jefferson from the parking lot:

jeff
(Love that sky!)

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And Mt. Hood out the back window of the lodge, near the bar.

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The bar window is pretty cool looking, too.

bar glass

And now mama bird is home, for a while.

mamabird

What’s up for you this weekend? I think the boys (young men) are going to help me whip the back yard into shape. It’s Mother’s Day, and that means they’ll do it, even if it’s not their favorite thing to do! Don’t worry; I’m making a fabulous dinner as their reward…

Late night fiber finds

I’m waiting for something to finish downloading, and found this through the Knitty Blog: a link to the corgi pattern from Knit Your Own Royal Wedding by Fiona Goble. Just a little something for you to celebrate the royal wedding…or not. But the dog is cute!

What’s downloading? Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont. Interweave Press currently has this for sale for 10 cents! How could I say no? I have this book, but sometimes a video is worth a thousand words. And the price is definitely right.

No pictures tonight; I wasn’t planning to post!

SEA-PDX yarn train 2011

We interrupt this TNNA blog-fest with a report on the Seattle to Portland Yarn Train Yarn Crawl.

urban fiber arts

I started my day at Urban Fiber Arts, Cindy Abernethy’s shop. It was full of happy knitters. Susan Stambaugh of Abstract Fiber was there, and she brought spinning fiber in a new colorway, Urban Joy, in honor of Cindy’s fairly new shop. Gorgeous!

Urban Joy

The PDXKnitBloggers/PDXSpinnerati were out in force, too: Karen’s mom, Karen, Judy, Bobbie.

pdxkb

I met Kathee of Kathee Nelson Art Yarns, and she showed me some of her pretty fiber.

Art Yarn

I ignored the siren song of the cupcakes at Cupcake Jones (a coupon!) and went over to Knit/Purl next. There were lots of happy knitters there, too. I actually ran into my across the street neighbor who teaches there, too. Hi, Judy! And I saw Jared Flood’s yarn, Shelter, for the first time. The colors were deep and luscious.

shelter

After Knit/Purl, I went to Starbucks across the street, and found more PDXKnitBloggers: Camille, Kathy (also a Turkish Delight spindler), Angela, Rachel, Tami. Please note that Tami’s shirt and shawl are raspberry, not pink.

starbux pdxkb

We were discussing where to go next, and talking to the yarnies at the next table, who wanted to know how to get to Yarn Garden. I offered to drive them, and I assured them that I was not an ax murderer. Norma, Sandi and Anna trusted me, and we went to Yarn Garden, where they had a good time.

yarn garden

We also went to Happy Knits, and Twisted, because Sandy wanted to see Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarn, up close and personal. She got her wish! And she definitely got some yarn, too…

Twisted

OT: Interweave Knits is offering a free download of 7 hat patterns here.

urban fiber arts

There’s a new yarn shop in Portland’s Pearl District, Urban Fiber Arts. Cindy Abernethy, the shop’s owner, carries yarn, spinning fibers, patterns, and accessories from regional dyers, spinners, and other fiber artists, many of whom are local to the Pacific Northwest. Cindy is one of the PDXKnit-bloggers, and she is realizing a life-long dream of having her own shop.

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I missed the grand opening last week, but I finally had a chance to visit on Wednesday. I saw fiber from Abstract Fiber and Dicentra, and yarn from StitchJones. The shop will also carry hand-dyed yarn from Knitted Wit and Pico Accuardi. Urban Fiber Art’s focus is “quality yarns and fibers from the Northwest and beyond.” It’s almost like going to OFFF without having to wait. And they now carry most of my PDXKnitterati patterns, too. Thank you, Cindy!

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Here’s some fun handspun from Trtlgrl Crafts.

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While I was visiting, I bought this drop spindle learn to spin kit from Krafti-Kit.

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I love the carved scrollwork on the spindle’s whorl. Pretty! And the alpaca fiber is really soft, like a cloud. It spins pretty easily, too.

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In other news, I’m scheduled to teach a class on the Pippi Hat at Twisted the next couple of Thursday evenings. If you’d like an introduction to color work, this hat is a great way to learn. Contact Twisted to register.

pippi

Knit on!

Playing with plying

I finally finished spinning my pink (colorway Rose City) Shimmer merino/silk that I got from KnittedWit last summer at Sock Summit.

roving

I spun most of it last year, and then set the spindle aside. Last week I got a bee in my bonnet to finish the spinning, and then I knew I had to ply it because it was so thin. I keep accidentally making laceweight. I had two center pull balls off my Turkish spindle, so I used my Kundert top whorl spindle to ply them together. The 2 ply is the bigger skein on the left.

skeins

The singles had been sitting around a long time, so they weren’t very energized any more. This 2 ply is fairly loosely plied, but it didn’t seem to want to be more twisted than this. I like how the color changes cross each other, at least in the skein. This barber poled/marled look is sweet. The yarn is still pretty thin, though.

2ply close

The two center pull balls weren’t close to each other in length; there was a lot left in the second ball after the first was gone. I decided to try Navajo chain plying with the remaining single. It’s basically making long crochet chain with the single, and putting twist in it to hold it together. Jenna showed me how last weekend at OFFF, so why not?

navajo

I love it! The three strands in the chain plying make this a more rounded, fatter yarn. And because chain plying is so linear, the color changes keep to themselves; there’s no barber poling. I’m sure there’s a lot more finesse to this technique; I’m still playing with it and learning how it works. I think I could make the chain loops a lot bigger as I do this, but haven’t figured it out yet. But I will.

Friends and Fiber

A perfect combination! It was a glorious sunny day at OFFF today, perfect for a fiber festival. I never did sit down to knit, but I became reacquainted with my Turkish drop spindle. I had forgotten how much I like it. Several people reminded me!

turkish

I saw lots of old friends, and some that I hadn’t met in person before. I’d like to especially welcome PeacefulKnitter to Oregon; she just moved here. What a lovely way to get to know the local fiber scene.

peacefulknitter

PeacefulBaby and Sweetie were here with her, too. PeacefulBaby seemed quite taken with Lorajean’s Baby O.

peacefulbaby

I got to see Rachel‘s finished Pacific shawl. She used Malabrigo Sock yarn in Abril.

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pacificback

Our shawls hung out together. Thanks for test knitting for me, Rachel! The pattern is available on Ravelry, and I have some paper copies at the Knitted Wit booth at OFFF.

Pacifics

And I broke my “I don’t stash” rule for this:

constellation

Constellation beaded worsted, 50/50 merino and silk, with beads from StitchJones.

I believe this is the first yarn I’ve ever bought that didn’t have a plan for it. And I probably won’t knit with it for a long time. I just want to look at it, pet it, and admire it. Thank you, Sharon!

StitchJones

A few more scenes from today:

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bunny

grasshopper

Off to OFFF

The big fiber event this weekend is the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds in Canby. I helped Lorajean (KnittedWit) set up her booth today.

booth

She’s sharing her booth with Pico Accuardi Dyeworks, so there is a lot of fabulous fiber in one small space! I’ll have patterns for sale there, too, including a few copies of my new Pacific Shawl pattern. It hasn’t even gone up for sale online yet, but I was doing a big print session for OFFF, and it told me that it wanted to go, too.

There’ll be some Lantern Moon product in the booth, including Sox Stix (their 6 inch ebony needles are my favorite dpns). Lantern Moon doesn’t have an official presence of its own at OFFF, but I sweet talked them in to having some of their super-cute fans there. It’s going to be 80 degrees and sunny, so it’s the right place at the right time. The fans are at the Knitted Wit/Pico Accuardi booth, and are a gift with a purchase of $10 or more.

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We got the booth set up in record time. We had good help! (LJ’s youngest)

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Also this weekend, Lantern Moon is extending their warehouse sale. There are still a lot of cute things left, including lots of silk needle cases, lanterns, wall fans (still have to put mine up and take a picture), ceramic pots. doormats. I even saw things this morning that I didn’t see last weekend, like this laptop case.

laptop

Cute! (It’s actually black, but I took the picture with my phone in my back yard, so it’s not quite WYSIWYG.)

Now I just need to pick a project or two to bring with me, so I can hang out with the PDXKnitBloggers, and dust off my poor neglected spindles so I can hang out with the Spinnerati. And find my Ravelry button. And…

Have a great weekend!

Spring fever…

This week I finished a couple projects, including the straps for the felted slip stitch tote. I felted it last night. It’s drying, so I’ll take pictures tomorrow. This project took more yarn in the heavier Brown Sheep Lanaloft than the original KnitPicks Wool of the Andes; I’ll edit the pattern notes to make reflect that.

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I had a fun day at Pico Accuardi Dyeworks. I taught an entrelac class in the morning. We even purled back without turning our work! This saves so much time when you’re working stockinette over a small number of stitches.

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I also took a drop spindle class with Deb Accuardi. We worked with wool roving and with top, and mixed in some other fiber, too. My goal was to spin a more consistent single, and I did. And then we plyed some of it, too.

dye

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Stevanie Pico taught dyeing. All in all, a fun day.

The days are getting longer and lighter, and the air is getting warmer. Weeds are springing up like crazy in the garden. The boys helped me weed the front flowerbeds, and we’re in the process of taking out all the Japanese anemone. It was only slightly invasive when we had a big birch tree to shade it, but when we had to remove the tree, the anemone got too happy in the full sun and took over the garden. Buh-bye.

With spring, I’m also feeling the urge to jettison my unfinished Heather Hoodie (bulky yarn) and cast on something breezy and new! But I’m afraid if I set it aside, I’ll never go back to it. Yikes. I think it’s all a result of spring break.

I headed up to Seattle last weekend to play guitar with a piano friend. Yes, that sounds nonsensical, but it’s true. We met in 2000 at September Sonata, a piano camp in Bennington VT. We were roomies then, and have been friends ever since. In fact, there’s a whole group of us west coast “Piano Babes” that get together at least annually. Some of us aren’t playing the piano a whole lot right now (moi, for one), but we still have a lot in common.

tak girls

Last fall, I bought a new guitar, and Sheryl did, too. They’re both Takamines with the same body style (NEX); mine is cedar and mahogany with a satin finish, and hers is spruce and maple, with a gloss finish. We’ve been trying to get together to compare them, and finally did. Hers sounds warmer/mellower from the back (playing) and more forward/pushy/rock from the front, and mine is mellower from the listener’s point of view, and brighter from the player’s perspective. I happily played them both!

all 4 2

Some of the other piano babes came over on Saturday; we played/sang Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. We also web-surfed to check out kd lang’s version (she opened the Olympics with it), Jeff Buckley’s (hailed by some as the best) version, Bon Jovi’s acoustic version (my favorite), and of course, Leonard Cohen’s version (Live in London). C played this last year in Carmel, so it seemed like good common ground.

tak 2

We had a great time! Thanks to Sheryl for hosting. There was more spring break activity, but I’ll leave that for another post.

What is spring inspiring you to do?

Last of the last of the last minute!

Lorajean thinks she’s last of the last minute, but I’m posting after her…

I’m teaching at a fiber fun day at Pico Accuardi Dyeworks here in Portland tomorrow. There will be classes in spinning, plying, dyeing, and knitting, as well as some shopping opportunities (Lantern Moon, Knitted Wit, Pico Accuardi, of course!).

I’m teaching entrelac in the round, specifically Athena.

athena 4

And hoping to take a drop spindle class with Deb.

Deets on the day are here.