Monday, October 27, 2008

Monogamy - What's that?

When it comes to knitting and spinning variety is the spice of life. At least for me. Since this blog is Artsyfish Knits I guess I should post about my projects on the needles. At least active projects. We will not disturb the hibernating bears lurking in the yarn room.

My oldest active project is from last spring. What makes such an old project active? It's
intention. I do not intend to go near the hibernating and never to be spoken of again bits. This garment - the Notting Hill Vest in Donegal Tweed will be completed.

I just need to put it together, and finish. Finishing to be started tonight!

The next oldest knitting project is my Palette of Colors shrug using a combination of commercial (Lacy Lamb) and my handspun yarn.

I HAD to start it as soon as my yarn was finished! It was crying to jump on some needles. This was my first completed, usable handspun and was instrumental in the purchase of my spinning wheel.

Then there is Mystery Stole 4. I was going to just copy the clues as they came out and stash the pattern on my computer until I saw some finished Clues 1 and 2. Alas I am weak - I had to start it! I had yarn and beads in the stash that would work, so I dove into it.

The best intentions...

Finally, all the projects (except the Donegal Vest) were too complicated to take to S&B. So of course I had to start another. The Elizabeth Zimmerman Rib Warmer was my answer to that - but once started I found it would be way too small as written. So that was frogged for future pattern modifications, and I started the February Lady's Sweater again from the stash.

So far it's working out OK. I don't know how good it will be now that I am into the lace. Only time will tell!

Click on the pictures to find details in Ravelry. Not a member? Sign up here - so much fibery goodness (and enabling)!

Monday, October 20, 2008

One Knitter's Review

This weekend our knitting guild brought in Clara Parkes, author of The Knitter's Book of Yarn

and the Knitter's Review web site and newsletter. The weekly newsletter provides reviews of needles, yarns and other tools, as well as keeping its readers informed of Fiber Events throughout the country. The Knitter's Review forum is available for discussions of over 7000 topics related to knitting.

Clara's sense of humor came through as she led us down the path of yarn construction and what it does for the knitter.

She passed out samples of a wide variety of yarns as she reviewed singles, 2 ply, three ply, multi-ply and brushed yarns. We saw swatches (that WE did not have to knit) of the various yarns with cables and stockinette stitch.

We also saw a very sad swatch of brushed yarn that has not held up at all over the last 3 years.

In addition to Clara's talk we had a Berroco trunk show and got to try out some very interesting
square knitting needles. I was especially interested in the circulars, since I knit my socks using the magic loop method, and these cables are very soft and supple.

On Sunday a book signing, more trunk shows, and sweets at Ewe Knit Kits and Yarn followed Saturday's activities. A great way to avoid yard work and housework for the weekend. After all, the work will be there after the fun is done!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Off to the Yarn Shop!

Not me - my yarn! This yarn I spun up

from this

is now in a LYS waiting to be sold! Let's see how long it takes...

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Crowd Filled Weekend

This weekend was the busiest of the fall for me. Saturday was the Virginia Fall Fiber Fest and Sheepdog Trials in Orange, Virginia. This was the first fiber fest since I really took up spinning. Maryland Sheep and Wool was only my begin-to-spin fest.

Wallis and I jumped in the artsy mobile way early on Saturday morning and drove across the state to Orange and a wonderland of fibery goodness. The day was sunny with a nice light breeze - perfect for looking at alpacas (soooo cute and fuzzy
headed), sheep, fiber and yarn. I ended up being pretty responsible, although there were an incredible amount of real deals in fiber.

The second place we stopped I fell in love with this 70/30 alpaca/merino blend.

I waited until later to buy it, but it did come home with me. Then we encountered a bunny farmer with an offer of all the fluff you could stuff in a bag for $1.

As you can see - 2 ounces! Could have fit more, but the top had to close. Wallis says people are coming into the yarn shop looking for angora for Santa's beard on Christmas stockings. Hmmmmmm!

Finally the Blue Faced Leicester (BFL). I wanted red, but I went for the white - 1.5 pounds of it.

I could have gotten superwash for a dollar more a pound, but I wanted to try spinning the real thing before I tried the scale-less.

And finally, to try and make the yarn I'm looking for instead of whatever comes off the wheel, my 2 technical purchases.

The Mabel Ross book is out of print, but this copy is in beautiful, never used condition. Well worth what I got it for. Wallis' eagle eyes picked it out! Later I also looked at complete fleeces. I went in adamantly denying I would get one and came out saying "Maybe next year.....".

We spent the rest of the day watching the dogs herd the sheep in the field and checking out the sheep and goats. I wish I had pics of them. Again - next year. Now that I have this blog I need to carry my camera everywhere.

Sunday I watched more dogs - all shapes and sizes at the Chesapeake Humane Society's annual Bark in the Park. Every month I go to Petsmart with the Humane Society to try to get cats adopted from the city shelter (others work with the dogs). But the first Sunday in October I work the big Bark in the Park. As usual yesterday I was selling raffle tickets - this year was for a gas card. Its a time to see all kinds of dogs, meet up with friends, and pass out treats all around.

From here on out weekends calm down some. The crowds will be smaller, at least. Time for more knitting and spinning!