It’s Nicholas’ birthday today.
Therefore, it’s time to give YOU a gift. So if the Giveaway Llama will kindly make her way over here…
There she is!
Alllll righty, then. Today, as my little way of saying “Thank you for joining me on these bloggy adventures of mine,” (and also as a thank-you to the Universe for my wonderful Nicholas) I’m giving away this:
That, my lovelies, is 655 yds/100g of laceweight yarn, 30% silk, 70% wool, hand-dyed by my friend Diane, who has a shiny new website for y’all to go and drool over: Schafenfreude Fibers. The name means either (Diane? help me out here!) “the joy of wool” or “the joy of sheep,” and I’m quickly falling in love with Diane’s true, clear colours, expressed on various different sorts of yarns and spinning fibers. Luscious, each and every one of them. Go look, I’ll wait.
OK, now that an hour has past and Diane’s shop is nearly empty (one can dream, right? I’m not getting any money out of this, but I’m always tickled when someone tells me that a mention on this here blog wiped out their stock of something!)…back to the giveaway.
The skein above is the prize, the colour is called Cornflower, and here’s what you have to do to enter the giveaway fun: Leave a comment on this post (no other post, this one!).
That’s it. Leave a comment on this post. Doesn’t have to be an earth-changing sonnet, or a bit of searingly beautiful prose, just has to be a comment. (I do read all the comments, every one; but I use a random number generator to choose the winner.)
Deadline is midnight Monday EST. I’ll announce the winner on Tuesday, which ought to give me time to get it wrapped up and shipped before I leave for SOAR the end of the week.
My secret identity
What’s that? You didn’t know I had a secret identity? Well, of course you didn’t, because it’s SECRET. But I have decided to let you folks in on my superhero abilities, just in case they are ever needed.
You know how we have the Yarn Harlot? And the Yarn Whisperer and Yarn-a-Go-Go and the Knitting Curmudgeon? Well…I am the Yarn Tangler.
That’s not even my best work. My best tangling work gets sent off to my friend Jesh who lives several hundred miles away, because she likes to untangle yarn. But I show you the above because it is the cleaned-up version of what happened when I tried to warp my little rigid heddle loom today. THE CLEANED-UP VERSION, people. (Before that, the warp was so bad I was considering buying Jesh a plane ticket to make a house call.)
I am perfectly capable of making a lovely, neat, tidy skein.
But that one took several tries, and it still isn’t up to Professional Skein standards.
And trust me, no matter how neatly a skein is wound, once I get it home and onto my swift, it comes ALIVE, I kid you not. It writhes and snakes and wriggles and even snarls a little on my wooden swift, and by the time I try to wind it into a ball or onto a bobbin, it’s become a Tangle Monster.
I have a friend (Jen of Holiday Yarns) who likes to “free-skein,” meaning she knits straight from the skein, hanging it around her neck and delicately freeing each length of yarn as needed. I swear that woman can free-skein a couple thousand yards of laceweight into a gorgeous shawl without a single crossed thread. The yarn is afraid of her, I think, either that or it adores her so completely that it just goes limp and pliant at her touch.
I tried free-skeining once. After about ten minutes, Jen came over, took the skein off from around my neck, and forbade me ever to free-skein anything ever again. She thinks I ought to wear a button: “Danger: Yarn Tangler On Board.”
So that’s my superpower. Tangling yarn. Yes, I know, it’s a challenge, given that I’m a professional yarn person. One must try to fight the forces of evil wherever one finds them, I suppose.
What I’m up to…
As I said, I’m warping my Cricket rigid heddle loom, to make a something for the Karmic Geese project I’ve mentioned here and there. The super-secret result of a hundred or so spinners and weavers is in the final stages; so before the spooks come out for Halloween, I ought to be able to show you an actual photo of The Geese. Meanwhile, here’s the warp for the Something, before I tied it on to the front.
Each and every inch of yarn in that photo is handspun by one of the hundred-odd folks who contributed to this project. (See the green? That’s mine. Polwarth. Yum.) I’m using two heddles to get a closer sett, and right about now is when I am thinking I drank too much of the Crazy when I was planning this.
I may or may not have started a Rhinebeck sweater.
If I had started a Rhinebeck sweater, it would be knit out of a custom-dyed bluesy yarn created for me by Kim of Indigodragonfly. And I might have progressed to just a few inches before the armhole after that photo was taken.
I finished the design and pattern PDF for Demeter. WOOT! In case I haven’t bored you to tears talking about it yet: it’s a circular shawl, in honour of Demeter, goddess of the wheel of seasons. It’s got 12 charts. It’s got 2076 beads (some are optional). It’s got nupps and yarnovers and pomegranates and it’s exclusive to a club right now, but in a few months, I can release it into the wild and you can all look at it and shake your head and tell me how crazypants I am.
Going on an adventure!
As I mentioned, I’m off to SOAR the end of next week. (Spin-Off Autumn Retreat, in case you were wondering.) Then I hang out with friends for a few days, then I am going to Rhinebeck. It’s going to be a long time away from Nicholas and my furballs, but that’s the life of a yarn person.
So this week, I have to clear off bobbins, get my yarn tools together, do laundry, pack the tiara, and figure out how to get myself and my little green VW Bug from here to New Hampshire (staying with friends at the halfway point). I decided to drive, because flying is rapidly becoming such an awful experience that I’d really rather drive, enjoy the scenery, listen to audiobooks, and put last-minute things in the back seat rather than travel in the increasingly uncomfortable and unfriendly skies. (Hear that airlines? I travel A LOT, and I’m doing everything I can to AVOID YOU.)
I’ll take the laptop with me, of course, so I can report in from SOAR and Rhinebeck and Parts InBetween.
This little dog couldn’t help himself when he heard the wolves howling…hilarious.
Cow sculptures. Made from…well, just go look. (Proving that one can find art materials just about anywhere.)
This dude built himself a real hobbit house. I think my spinning wheels would look perfect in there, don’t you?
A thoughtful, and thought-provoking, post on the cult of perfection amongst fiber folk.