Thursday, August 23, 2007

Yarn Tasting & Peace Making

Here is a sneak preview of some of the yarns we will be "sampling" at our third tasting on Sunday, August 26. I have to note that there seems to be a lot of silk and silk blends this year which is wonderful because they take the color so well and add a lovely sheen.
As I say, we have had shipments this week from Cascade, EuroYarns and Needful so there will be a surprise or 2 thrown in. I'm really looking forward to it and hope you are also.

I snapped this picture last night while totally in shock. The white cat is Precious, our deaf kitty who is usually on the low end of the pecking-order-totem-pole. And the little black & white is our newest, Joey, who is about 4 months old and as ornery as they come (you better believe there is a vet visit in the very near future for him!). To find them curled up together basking in the last of the day's sunshine was very amazing. Just goes to show, you never know what someone can be capable of if given the chance.
Course, it lasted about 30 minutes and then they were at it again. But I guess there is always hope.

Fall Felted Bag Exchange Swap Questionnaire

Yep, another swap. I can't help it, I'm addicted. Actually, my keeper seems to be having some sway over me as I have limited it to one new one per month. Isn't that reserved of me? Since I love to felt, this should be a fun one!

Fall Felted Bag Exchange Swap Questionnaire
How long have you been knitting or crocheting? How did you learn? or from whom? For 45 years. For 3 months, a lady next door got me started and otherwise, I am self-taught.
What was your first felted object, and why did you decide to try felting?
It was a Kitty Pi Bed. It seemed sort of magical the way that felting your knitting changed it.
What are your favorite colors? Any you hate? Green and purple are my favs. I really like all colors but dislike neutrals & blacks.
What are your favorite styles\types of bags? (Long straps? Short handles? Handbags? Totes? Embellished? Plain? Include links to patterns or photos if you’d like – give your pal an idea of what you enjoy!) I like med-large shoulder bags with embellishments. Noni (large market bag) or Nicky Epstein (fuchsia bag) are good examples. I also recently acquired a laptop (Like I know how to use it!) so could use a bag for that.
What handbag or bag are you carrying today? Do you use a separate bag to carry your knitting? I currently have an old, rather shabby huge project bag that everything is dumped into. I need to get organized!!
What other things do you enjoy knitting or crocheting? I really like to wear my knitting so, since I am of a certain size, and because it doesn’t get horribly cold here in Bakersfield, I really like to make wraps, shawls and shrugs.
What sort of needles do you enjoy working with? (straights vs circs, bamboo vs aluminum) Wood and bamboo straights are my favorites (luv Lantern Moons) but I really like my Denise kit and have found I enjoy Lace Addis when I do need to use circulars.
What’s one project you’ve not yet tried but are dying to make? I haven’t done any shadow knitting yet and hope to try that this winter.
What’s one yarn you’ve not yet tried but are dying to work with? Malabrigo is one I haven’t tried yet. Chasing Rainbows and Alchemy are a couple of hand painted companies I want to try.
What other hobbies do you have? Do you spin? Sew? Garden? I’ve tried spinning-takes away too much time from knitting. I do like to dye, I bead and I work with polymer clay. I used to sew and quilt.
Besides yarn, do you collect anything? Craft books & magazines of all sorts. I have quilting, cross stitch, needlepoint and the above mentioned crafts. Oddly, I find I don’t have any of EZ’s books which I would like to have.
What kind of goodies do you enjoy? Sweets? Salty? Anything you hate or are allergic to? No allergies. I prefer white chocolate to milk but love peanut butter cups. I also like dark chocolate with fruity tastes (raspberry, etc...) I guess I’m currently in a sweet mode.
Do you have any kiddos? (Furry kind count!) No 2 legged ones. I have 1 horse, 3 real dogs, and 6 cats, 2 of which think they are dogs. Actually, the horse thinks she is a dog also, but that is another story!
What kind of project best personifies you and why? I love combined colors and textures so Prism patterns & yarns are one of my favorites. I have made a number of Chris Bylsma’s Crayon Box/Dancing Crayon patterns with numerous textures. Straight st st on smooth yarn is just not my thing. Anyone remember Fantacia yarns (Barry Klein’s mother’s company, I believe, before they started Trendsetter)? That was my absolute all time most exciting knitting- it really got me motivated.
What is your favorite part of Autumn? You can also share a special Autumn memory if you'd prefer! I wish we had more of the seasons here but I just love the cooling off that Autumn brings. That tang in the air in the mornings that promises the holiday season is coming.
Tell us 3 things you would do if you won 10 million dollars in the lottery.
I would support/start an animal rescue program. It would include free neutering/spaying/vet services for anyone who needed it.
In conjunction with the above, I would start a pet therapy project. I believe that the unconditional love offered by animals can cure a number of traumas and reach people when other methods fail. It seems like a win/win situation.
I would start an artists co-op. I like to try to support individual artists and would like to be able to do it on a large scale, in a number of mediums.

Let's get swapping!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Christmas in August

This is a picture of what the shop looked like on Friday when everyone had dropped off their Summertime Dishcloth Swap packages. You guys really got into this! There was an amazing amount of creativity and generosity displayed. You guys make me very proud to know you.
Doesn't it look like Christmas?

And everyone had a great time opening their goodies. It was very exciting. Have you been in to pick up your package yet?
We had such an enthusiastic
response that we will
probably start another
swap in a few weeks, this one
with an Autumn theme.
Any suggestions?

Our happenings at the shop this weekend include the Crayon Box Jacket workshop on Saturday which was very popular last year. The brown/black version is last year's version and has gotten a lot of wear.

This lovely lavender/berry/green/teal version is the one I'm working on for this year. This one is mostly silks with a few novelties. We will do several follow up sessions to be able to assist with any problems anyone might have. Remember, the pattern produces a Chanel-type cardigan but I have adapted mine to a shrug.

And Sunday is our Autumn yarn tasting. We have 10 yarns lined up- a few novelties, a few non-wools, some silks and some silk-wool blends. 3 are hand dyeds, a few are variegated the rest are solids. The needle/ hook sizes will run from 6/G to 13/N. I think we will have something for everyone. Look forward to seeing you there.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Swap Swag

I have been befuddled and deranged (anyone know what I mean?) by things mechanical and technical. Slowly, I've been regaining some control over the machines and want to take this opportunity to thank all of my upstream swap partners.
Lapghan By December Swap #1

Lapghan By December Swap #2

Yarn Junkies #5-Pink

Dog Days of Summer Swap

And my ever helpful swap wrapping assistant checking to make sure that the container is the right size for my outgoing amigurumi (whom, by the way, was dubbed Dimetri, but I can't show him until I know he has been received).

I want to thank everyone who has sent such awesome, thoughtful packages and I hope to be able to stay in touch with all of you! Keep swapping!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Swap Mania

OK, define mania. ma*ni*a [ME, madness] 1. An intense or unreasonable desire or enthusiasm: craze.

Yep, that would be me. To the point that I haven't blogged for 2 weeks, I have mountains of paperwork and am behind at work. 12 Step for swappers???? Anyone??

However, I have to admit that I really enjoy it and have "met" some great people. I currently have an international partner and it makes me feel truly humbled and grateful. To be reminded of all that we have is very powerful. Talk about gratitude.

Sorry, no pictures this time. Oh, I have just tried to download about 53 pictures but it kept saying there was an error on my card, then did consent to download them but now I can't find them. Machines & I- not so friendly. I'll keep trying to work out the bugs.

Anyway, I needed to get this questionnaire posted for, YES, another swap!! I don't care, I'm not listening to my keeper again!

SP11 Questionnaire
1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I love textured, hand dyed, natural or novelty fibers. Anything colorful. Some of my faves are Prism, Ozark Handspun, Colinette, Schaeffer, etc. I do *not* like black or neutrals, nor 100% acrylics.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? Nothing fancy; at home they are in a metal pail (looks kind of like a watering can- the beautiful glass vase I had them in got broken), otherwise, they are stuck in the yarn I am working with.
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I have been knitting for 45 years but I am self taught ( mostly books) so I am always correcting my methods. I would consider myself advanced but I have some definite habits that wouldn't qualify me for the Master's Program. IE-I believe in knotting my ends (yeah, yeah, I can hear all the intakes of breath-so shoot me!).
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? No
5. What's your favorite scent? I like lavender and patchouli
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Peanut butter cups
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I have tried spinning but it takes too much time away from knitting. I do love to dye yarn (have only done protein fibers), I crochet, bead, sew and work in polymer clay.
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I like mostly classic rock or rhythm & blues.
9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? Greens & purples are my favs, but I haven't met a color I don't like except: no blacks or neutrals, please.
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? Married 20 years but no human children. We have assorted animals-1 horse, 3 dogs and 6 cats ( although the horse and 2 of the cats think they are dogs so the count gets rather blurry).
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Unfortunately, Bakersfield rarely gets cold enough to really bundle up, but I do like fingerless gloves and I love wraps and shrugs. No hats, please!
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Anything mitered, I love directional knitting. I try to make things I will wear so, again, wraps, shrugs and unstructured jackets.
13. What are you knitting right now? I am finishing up some swap & charity squares and am designing a moibius and a kimono-type jacket using Ozark Handspun.
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Adore them- it is such a precious commodity to have someone put time and thought into a gift just for you.
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? No aluminum. I would normally say wooden straights hands down but have recently become converted to Denise & Addi Lace circulars. I would like to try the Lantern Moon circular and sock needles.
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Several of each.
17. How old is your oldest UFO? How long have I been knitting? Seriously!!!
18. What is your favorite holiday? New Year's. I always get melancholy at my b-day and Christmas but New Year's is a reminder that there is always a fresh start.
19. Is there anything that you collect? Besides UFOs? Beanie Babies, sci-fi books and hand made designer beads. I am going to start collecting Sonshapes hand made crochet hooks and knitting needles.
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I mentioned the Lantern Moon circulars and sock needles & the Sonshapes products. I would like to try Malabrigo, Alchemy, Great Adirondack and a number of other small hand dyed companies that I can't remember right now. I also, somehow, don't own any E. Zimmerman books which I would really like to acquire.
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I am practicing lace knitting, I would like to get better
22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes, but I get bored and have a definite "second sock" syndrome. I wear a size 8 shoe and my foot diameter is 8.5".
23. When is your birthday? March 16.
24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? I have received my invite but haven't had time to investigate it-yet!