Monday, October 27, 2008

Nutso for Nutkin, Knitzi and Knitterly Things!

We all know how Ravelry can be a big black hole of time consumption!

I have no idea what circuitous path brought me to Nutkin but I'm glad I found it.

This sock pattern is almost as easy as stockinette for me, in terms of mindless knitting. I didn't do the short-row toe that was in the pattern. I did what the pattern said but when it came to binding off, it was a 3 needle bind off on top of the toe. It felt too bunchy for me so I frogged and did the regular toe decrease.

I have been experimenting with toe shaping and I think I have come up with a decrease that works for my Fred Flinstone shaped feet. I do the decreases every other row until I have about 1/3 of the original number of stitches(I think most patterns do this decrease until about 1/2 the original number of stitches). Then I do the decreases every row about 5-6 times and then I kitchener with about 16 stitches remaining.

Finding Nutkin brought me to the Knitzi. Love this dp sock holder(see in the photo above)! If you are dp sock knitter...these holders are functional and beautiful.

The yarn is Knitterly Things vesper sock yarn. Julia began a sock club awhile ago and I was invited to join. This one is from the September 2008 shipment, an exclusive colorway called Pumpkin Spice.

These socks are great and they are done!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Almost 2 weeks ago I decided to send my friend Ruth an email. We had not corresponded in some time but she is always on my mind.

I went on with my day and happily headed downtown to meet Michale and Melinda for lunch at my favorite Japanese restaurant, Fuji Sushi. What is better than sharing great food with great friends? The only time constraint for me was that I had to get home before 1pm as the oven repair person was coming to fix our oven between 1 and 4(The oven saga is worthy of its own blog post! I was without an oven for 3 months).

I arrived home to find a package at my doorstep. A package? I didn't recall ordering anything!

I knew the return address. Ebeltoft, Denmark. I knew it was from Ruth.

I thought how coincidental life events can be. I had been thinking about Ruth, I sent her an email in the morning and in the afternoon I had a package from Ruth on my doorstep. I find it interesting how connected we humans can be.

The package was squishy. I thought...Oh how nice, Ruth is sending me some yarn!

I opened the package and quickly realized it was NOT yarn.

I carefully took out this incredibly intricate, large shawl done in "my colors". The tears(happy, sentimental ones) began to flow. I could not believe my eyes. I just wanted to wrap myself in this shawl, never to take it off.

I appreciate the caring, time and love that went into producing something of this magnitude. In an email I received over the summer I recall that she mentioned that she thought about me everyday. I know why! Of course she was thinking of me! She was knitting this. Think of all the hours she spent creating it.

This photo shows how truly HUGE this is!

As a fellow knitter I UNDERSTAND the level of effort that this takes. Here I am wearing it to Nihon class. It looks great with the shawl pin that her husband makes out of animal horn.

The next photo shows the edging detail.

I think about how Ruth and I "met". It all started with her Kauni Cardigan. Remember how she was my Yarn Angel, described in this post, this post and this post. Through the internet we have created a life-long friendship. I am so grateful!

Ruth, thank you so much!

I love it and will cherish it for the rest of my life!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Clown Pants and Kimono

What do Clown Pants and Kimono have in common?

They are handspun!

The first is Clown Pants by Dragonfibers. I was drawn to the life of the colors. The roving just looked "cheery" to me. I had never spun targhee before. It is very easy to spin! The 2-ply yarn is very squishy and soft. This is about 12wpi.

I am always amazed at how different something can look all spun up as opposed to how it looks in the roving.

The second one was done from a batt created by Loop. This was my first purchase from Steph. I was reading on the Ravelry Loop group that some fans pefer to spin singles from her batts. Since I have never spun from a batt before, I tried it.

This batt according to Steph's description is "This time I'm using about 60% bamboo (50% china red and 10% hot pink), 25% amazingly shiny, soft yearling mohair in a rich purple, and 15% corriedale in an amazing deep eggplant. It's all topped off with a sprinkling of white glitz for a shimmery sheen". It shows off the different fibers well.

My next post will give you a preview of the first two project for year 2 of Nihon Vogue. We need to come to class tomorrow with 4 swatches. Two per project - one washed, one unwashed for a dolman sleeve and puffy sleeve project.

I also received an amazing gift from my friend Ruth yesterday. This came totally out of the blue. All I can say is that I cherish it and I cried(fondly and sentimentally) when I opened the package. Photos to come!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

OFFF was a blast! (picture heavy post!)

This was my first trip to OFFF(Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival) in Canby, Oregon.

I understand why a lot of folks say that this is their favorite. It is small, laid back and just very down to earth!

Ellen and I started our trek at 6am on Saturday. I picked her up at her house, had to get some gas, and then began our trip south.

We arrived at the festival somewhere around 10am. We checked the map and made our priority list. Priority 1 was Lisa Souza's booth. Here is Ellen at the booth, with Lisa in the background on the left.

I bought about a pound of 50%merino, 50% silk roving in Pur-Zurple(16 oz). My last attempt at spinning for a specific project ended in a yarn that was dk rather than worsted. I am hoping this will end up worsted for the Wool Peddler Shawl.

Then we had to go visit Dicentra Designs. Here is Ellen in the booth - I wanted to get a photo of the huge roving on top of the display!

I bought some yummy silk/merino, again! This is the Edoras colorway(7.9oz). It is practically alive! The colors are so saturated and beautiful.

They also had some bins of sale roving and these two were 75% off! I paid something like $9 for both. On the left is BFL in Twilight(5oz) and on the right is Superwash Merino in Longbottom Leaf(4.2oz).

Then we headed over to Blue Moon Fiber Arts. We were hoping to see Tina so we could show off our sweaters made out of BMFA Mediumweight Socks That Rock. She remembered me and said "Naomi!" and gave me a big hug. I let them borrow my sweater on Saturday for their displays. She has posted a photo of me and Ellen on the BMFA blog, here.

I continued to make more damage to the Bang finances by purchasing these at BMFA:

Pucks Mischief in 70%Merino/30%Mohair(7.75oz). I couldn't pass up this fiber combo and the colors...well we all know Tina KNOWS color!

This makes me drool. It is 7.5 oz in 50%merino/50%silk in Valkyrie.

We then went to Crown Mountain Farms and purchased this which Ellen and I will split. It is Born to Be Wild 8 Oz of Superwash Merino.

We went upstairs in the main hall to check out the judged fibers. I purchased a sheltand fleece in dark brown/silver gray/black. So pretty. It won a reserve champion prize. Since I don't know much about what to look for I felt comfortable going this route for my first raw fleece purchase.

We decided we needed to STOP shopping. There were so many folks sitting under the tree in front of the main hall knitting and spinning. We got our chairs/wheels out of the car and sat down to spin the afternoon away. It was so relaxing! It was perfect weather!

The funny thing is on the way down Ellen and I were talking about our stashes and how we need to decrease the stash or make plans on how to tackle it. We really, really came through the gates trying to do our best to stay *calm* and be easy on the pocketbook. I wasn't very successful, was I?

Sunday we got up at a reasonable time so we could make the parking lot sale. This is where people bring their fleeces and you go in and just buy a raw fleece if that is your thing.

Here is Ellen as we wait in line.

We each bought a white shetland fleece from this adorable couple. I have started scouring this fleece and I think Ellen is just about scouring hers already! It is going to make some beautiful yarn and a beautiful sweater.

We ran into Tina on Sunday as we were spinning in the shade under the tree. She had this mischevious look and guess what? She bought a bunny. She was so cute, full of giddy excitedness! We were cracking up because she said the Blue Moon ladies have said they want a Barn Boy(aka Pool Boy) and now she said they have one!

Here she is with her new baby, Henry.

I finally got a photo of me and Tina!

We talked about the Sock Summit and plans for that fun event August of 2009. Go sign up for more infomation HERE. We chatted briefly and I am planning on volunteering my time to help with what I can. Sounds like a really fun event! The teachers they are getting and some of the ideas she shared with me...clear out those dates. You won't be disappointed!

I could go on and on...but this was a really, really fun trip. So much fun that I didn't miss my boys(a first for me)!

I'll definitely be going again next year...but with a budget limit!