Rhode Island Fiber Festival!

I’ve been away a bit lately as I have been preparing to visit my soon new home of Madison, Wisconsin. We are leaving on Monday and will be there for about 6 days to scope out the areas and look at apartments and houses. I wanted to get my egg tutorial videos up but I am having a few problems with my video program…I’m really trying though! Soon.

In other news, I went on an awesome field trip today! I went to a beautiful farm in Bristol, Rhode Island called Coggeshall Farm Museum. I went for the 4th annual Rhode Island Fiber Festival. It was a gorgeous day to wander around on a farm surrounded by animals and luxurious roving and yarns. There were so many awesome booths there. I ended up buying 1,200 yards of 100% alpaca yarn, in 2 gorgeous natural shades of brown for a sweater for RPK. I can’t wait to make it for him. It’s going to be a sort of “thank you” to him for being such a responsible, amazing husband and man. Anywhoo….here’s some photos of what a fiber festival may look like!

This man was a pro. The sheep was like putty in his arms and seemed so comfortable with him. He sheared her completely in about 10 minutes.

I got to pet this amazing creature. I wanted to bury my face in it. It was adorable and exactly what a bunny should look like.

I loved these yarns and Christa, the proprietress as well!

I hope your day was just as pretty!

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May 15, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Art and Neat stuff, Knitting. 2 comments.

Cuckoo for Colors

I swear I am doing things.  A lot of things. I actually have quite a few posts ready to be written but for some reason (I’m a perfectionist.) it takes me forever to actually write each one.

But for now, I want to talk about color.  I’m finding it interesting to notice how my own tastes change with age. Sometimes drastically. One major change is color.
I am appreciating colors more and more and I believe it all started with knitting. Before I began knitting, if I saw all of these colors together, for some reason I would instantly think of those raver kids with their plastic necklaces and cut up clothes or Rainbow Brite. But now, all I think is “happy!” I started knitting and colors began to come together very differently. Standing in my local yarn store, I would stare up at the cubes and I saw not only color but texture, contrast, and compatibility.

I also have a theory. I think colors and how people use them may have something to do with location and weather and seasons. Here me out. Austin is hot. Hot and dry. All the time almost. You get sweaty and dirty really easily. Hardy ever did I see people sporting multi colored sneakers or bright yellow skirts. Lots of neutrals, which makes sense when the sun is beating down on you and you’re sweating all over everything.  Also, spring isn’t the same in Austin as it is in New England. There aren’t bulbs of all sorts and all colors of the rainbow blooming everywhere. There aren’t trees any color other than green there. The grass is green for a couple of weeks and then it’s dead again.

In New England, I see color. LOTS of color. If you live in a place that actually has 4 seasons, you may find yourself missing the very colorful one so what do you do? You emulate it. You reproduce it in the dead of winter when there is no color to be found anywhere. When you’re surrounded by a complete absence of it, you produce an abundance to remind yourself of what has been as what will once come again.

Now, when I see the color yellow, this is my thought process:

yellow=daffodil and sun=pretty, colors, spring, flowers, dresses and warm=happy!

Before moving to New England, I never understood the fall color palette. Can you believe I was 28 years old before I saw, with my very own eyes, rust, yellows, oranges, and reds all together at once within the trees?

I’m so excited to be on the color side of things. So I totally get it now.
Although I still hate “coral”/”salmon”.

April 30, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Art and Neat stuff, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

W.I.P.

Warning: A not so polite word will be pictured below.

As one of my favorite Flickr friends, cauchy09, says, (You should take a look at her many splendid and inspirational things.)
“I am a W.I.P.”

For those of you non or beginning crafters and hobby enthusiasts, this means, work in progress.

Here are some things I am working on right now.

Earlier I wrote about the adorable 28Thirty and I have been working on this and can’t wait to finish. I am 4 rows away from separating the sleeves from the body so I can try it on! Yay!

If you are wondering how on earth this will turn into a button up sweater, let me try to explain the sections. You may realize it is not as complicated as you previously thought and give you the courage to try knitting. Once it clicked for me, I was thrilled.
You just have to imagine the left edge and the right edge being curved around a cylinder so that they meet.

We are looking from the top down and left to right and at the top all the way across, you have the collar. It is the entire top part with the “stripes”. Buttonholes are on the left. The collar for this one is particularly tall.

Then the stripes stop going all the way across. The leftmost section that is solid is the section that will lie across the left breast side. To the right of it, you have a triangular section with stripes again. This is the left sleeve.  The top of it, which is the skinniest, lies a top the shoulder and the rest wraps around the upper part of the arm. Think of that little section, all by itself, wrapping around a cylinder again.
Then the very middle, which is solid again, is the back. When the stripes start up again, you have the right sleeve, and then the right front again. I hope that helps. It may also help to imagine the back of someone wearing a sweater. The middle of the picture above is their back.

My second W.I.P. I plan on finishing today and then, probably, immediately make another. I am working on those wicked cute bloomers from Colette Patterns! I am so happy the pattern is so simple even a clothing sewing buffoon like me can make them. Really folks. I’ve said before, sewing clothing for me is like playing chess. I simply can’t think far enough ahead to end up with a clean result. I feel like you have to plan every move all the way to the end and I just can’t do it but these are a gift!

the fabric and ivory ribbon for another pair a bit more romantic:

I previously made this for my tattoo artist’s studio. He loved it and it looks fantastic on the wall over the toilet.

He has a buddy who commissioned me to do a piece for his bar. He was adamant about it looking very “Granny-ish” so I chose some mauve and hunter greens and what not. I will add more flowers to the left and right of the wording later.

I am also working on making some fascinators.

I actually used to make and wear them when I went through my first phase of “I want to wear more skirts and dresses and look pretty and not wear jeans all the time” but I got funny looks. Imagine that they are popular again. Hmph. I want to make one to wear to my rehearsal dinner.

I finished knitting my first pair of sucks…I mean SOCKS. Funny, they seemed like torture and you want to know what I did as soon as I finished them? I got excited to start a new pair for myself.  I attribute it to how incredibly beautiful this yarn is…or I am a glutton for punishment. Really, I am just very determined.

All of this in addition to planning my wedding which is 30 days away, thinking about moving to a new state in the summer and trying to be a good woman to my better man, so I ask friends, where does it end?! Do you give yourself a limit? I think I tend to give myself more of a “specific project limit”. I only allow myself two knitting projects, one sewing project, two embroidery and one cross stitch. I don’t count the numerous other crafts I tend to tack on when something tickles my fancy. What about you? Are you stern with yourself and finish each one before beginning a new one or lenient and overwhelmed with strings and things?

As long as you’re having fun and making the world a little prettier, I guess it doesn’t matter, eh?

March 4, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Art and Neat stuff, Knitting. 5 comments.

From Raw to Rich

I have been watching Yuki Sugashima‘s progress in her exploration of natural fiber dying and find her and everything she does totally fascinating. She states in her blog, Barefoot Shepherdess, “My ultimate dream is to work the process from the beginning to the end, starting from raw fibers and finishing with a knitted item– truly, from sheep to shawl!”
I have wanted to do this with many media as well and absolutely love it when people are so passionate about something, they want to envelope themselves in every part of it. She documents her adventures very well and I adore the photos of her garden in Japan and all of the natural plants she uses to produce these incredibly beautiful dyes which lead to stunning skeins of silk and silk/wool yarn and embroidery thread!

dyed from Indigo leaves

And the best part: She actually sells them! I would end up keeping them all for myself because, to say these colors are beautiful, is such an understatement, but she has generous prices considering all the work she puts into them. You’ve gotta’ get your hands on some of these beauties!

Amazing!

February 17, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Art and Neat stuff, Knitting. Leave a comment.

28 Thirty and KPixie

Hooray! I just got my yarn from KPixie for a knitting project I found on Ravelry. This will be my biggest project so far but I’m feeling ready. It’s called 28Thirty from Zephyre Style.

This yarn is gorgeous. Unfortunately my camera does not do it justice and I can never seem to get the real color to come through the photos. It’s like a dark sea-foam green. It’s called Kamchatka Sea Moss and it’s 70% Merino wool and 30% Mohair.

January 10, 2010. Tags: , , , . Knitting. Leave a comment.

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