Hullo, there. No, I’m not really lost, nor am I dead, nor am I sick. I’ve just been Having Adventures. Adventures in FibreLand, the best kind!
It’s as though all my creativity came back at once, and I’ve been immersing myself in the process of either making my ideas real or at least getting something down on paper to come back to later. Shawl designs, sock designs, sweater thoughts, batt thoughts, writing thoughts…It’s really fun but whew! I’m busy. But it’s the sort of busy I love to be.
I think part of the creativity kick-start has been all the conferences and shows and hanging-out-with-yarn-friends I’ve done lately. The latest in the series of inspiring events was the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter’s Fair, held a couple of Saturdays back in a town about two hours southwest of here.
That’s Indigodragonfly’s booth, and the lady with the red hair and black teeshirt at right is Kim herself. I may have fallen down just a wee bit in her booth. Her colour names suck you into fondling the yarn, and then you look at the colours up close and you’re a goner.
I really enjoyed meeting some of the LYS owners who had booths there:
That’s the new owner of Passionknit on the left (Jenny, if I recall correctly), and she is DELIGHTFUL. One of the things she specializes in is kits of various popular patterns. Behind her on the table are kits for Spectra (in different colourways); the little purple bags by the mannequin have kits for the Dahlia Cardigan.
I may or may not have fallen down in that booth. (I take the fifth.) I want Passionknit to be my LYS, the people are so kind and funny and their stock is irresistible.
Then I met the lovely folks at Shall We Knit, a new shop in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. I believe this is Karen, the owner.
Aren’t their aprons adorable? And if you look behind our smiling be-aproned friend, you might see Anne Hanson lurking in the background. She was in town to teach a class at Shall We Knit, and she had several of her shawls and lace goodies there in the booth. (If you follow the Anne Hanson link, she takes us on a photo tour of the new Shall We Knit shop. I want that shop to be my other LYS, it’s so enticing.)
There was tons of other stuff there, and the people! I got to chat with some of my friends from the GTA (Hi Glenna!) and the Kitchener-Waterloo Guild (Hi AnnieBee!) and all-in-all, it was just a wonderful day. I drove home with a big silly grin on my face.
Seeing all those wonderful fibre goodies, and buying a few of them to take home, inspired me so much. I’ve been spending quite a bit of my non-work time at the drumcarder, playing with all sorts of things.
On the right is a wool mix that I bought at Shuttles Spindles and Skeins a few years back. It’s marinated nicely in my stash, and so I got it out and blended it with a bit of silk sent to me by a friend (the wee pile on the left; I actually added about twice that amount to each batt).
I’m kind of happy with that one.
Then, I got out some wool bits that had been dyed in a class by a friend. I don’t have a picture of the original wool bits, but they were a rose raspberry sort of colour. A few weeks back, I had put them through the carder three times–the first two because the wool bits were a bit matted, and the third time to add some oatmeal BFL to beef up the overall amount.
Yesterday, I added this gorgeous mix of silk to the rose batts:
The silk is from Treenway, and the colourway is Long Harbour Limbo. (My trusty photo assistant is, of course, Tim.)
The result after one pass through the carder:
Then I decided to add some dark chocolate alpaca (Suri) to the mix. I’m thinking socks, and my feet get COLD, so I wanted something with a bit of extra warming power.
And after two more passes through the carder, I couldn’t resist spinning up the first batt Right Away.
It’s rosier than that. I’m having trouble getting reds and pinks right with my lighting setup; I’m also having trouble getting enough light. I have two huge professional studio lights and all kinds of stuff, but methinks I need a third light either from above or from the front.
Anyway, I really like it so far and I’ll try to get a photo of the finished batt BEFORE I spin it up next time. I must say, after six passes through the carder, this stuff practically spun itself.
I finished blocking Bitterroot.
The yarn is Abby’s handspun; some sort of wool mix that she hand-dyed. It’s lovely.
I didn’t do my usual block-the-living-daylights-out-of-it job; I stretched the shawl out on the blocking board but didn’t use either pins or blocking wires. I just thought I’d see what happened. I wanted a softer, more organic look, to match the lovely handspun yarn.
And yes, those are beads. I used size 8/0, but now I’m wishing I’d used 6/0. However, these little shinies are purple on the outside and green on the inside, so I really couldn’t say no.
I’ve been swatching and charting for Demeter, the circular shawl I’m designing for the Holiday Yarns Greek Mythology Lace Club.
Ha! No, you can’t see it yet. And that’s not the Actual Yarn either. I’ve turned in Parts 1 and 2 of 3 so far; my deadline is this weekend, so I am cranking out the border now.
Tim has been assisting me with the charting, of course.
What do you mean, it doesn’t look like a lace chart? Hee. I blurred out the charty bits so as not to give away any secrets just yet.
I’m also working on a sock design for another indie yarn dyer.
Ha! Can’t show you that one yet either. It’s my first toe-up design. (That’s also not the Actual Yarn.)
And yes, those are my brand-new Signature dpns. A friend gave them to me for my birthday, and I’m completely smitten. LOVE THEM. This doesn’t mean I don’t still love my DyakCraft dpns, because I adore those too. (There are rumours that I bought another set of dpns at the Fair, size 3 in Vermont Apple. I neither confirm nor deny.) It just means that I have more needle-love in the house now.
And, of course, there is the Basic Waiting Room Sock:
The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill that’s been nicely aged in my stash; the pattern is an easy one coming out of my own little twisted brain.
There’s more, but I’ll save the More for Later. I have some yarn to give away this week, so there will be a blog post in the very near future.
Meanwhile, please know that I have been Properly Supervised At All Times.
OH NOES. I thought I cropped out the messy living room. Sorry. I should have cleaned up for the photo, but then I would have missed the cute dog pose with the floppy black ears and the pathetic brown eyes. (Yes, that is a huge stack of knitting books on the table. Yes, those are my photography lamps. Yes, that is my new Sidekick in its spiffy denim case. And yes, that is a Winnie-the-Pooh pillow cover on the napping pillow on the sofa. Any more questions?)
I promised you puppies, didn’t I? Eight days old, people. There you go.
The story of a guard llama with a hero’s heart.
Lest the cat-lovers feel left out of today’s cutefest: A kitten, being as adorable as possible. (And given KITTENS, that’s a LOT of possible.)
Tiny bunnies, anyone? I wish I had time to do this. GAH. The cute, it burns.
Some very wacky art. Defies description, just go
laugh peek at it.
Cat Donuts. Would I lie to you?
And finally, a flash mob at 30,000 feet. No one can make this stuff up.