Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday musings and a challenge for myself

I sitting here monday night working on a baby blanket for my hubby's best friend. As I am working on this I am thinking about all the other projects I have yet to do or have started but not yet completed. I then start thinking about all kinds of crazy stuff like:
  • How many bills I need to pay
  • How I am going to stretch the paycheck to cover all the bills and living expenses
  • How I need to downsize our living expenses budget
  • and most importantly how many yummy craft stuff I wish I had the money to purchase

I then started thinking that I really do have a lot of "things" now that I haven't even used. Why would I purchase more "stuff" to add to my growing collection. Especially if I don't truly have any space in my budget to purchase it. You know the ol addage "Rob Peter to pay Paul".

So I have decided to challenge myself. My challenge is to complete all my WIPs and any new projects I start, the materials must come from my stash. If I don't have enough "stash" for the project, I need to find a different project to meet the stash I have on hand.

So here goes. This is a list of my WIPs:

  • Danish tie shawl
  • Quilt for daughter's bed
  • Quilt for my bed (I won't ever tell how long ago I started this project"
  • Ocean landscape wall quilt
  • knitted curtains
  • knitted sweater
  • Turtle pillow

If anyone would like to join me in this challenge, please leave a comment and we can work through our stash and WIPs together.

If I get enough interest, we can even start a group in Ravelry. It is always easier with support and friendship.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Warm ribbed hat for my dad

At the Lambtown festival, my dad really wanted some fiber so that a hat could be made for him. He decided not to purchase the fiber. When I got home I was thinking about how much my dad wanted a hat. It just so happens that about a month ago I spun up some yarn in the exact colors that my dad was looking at during the festival. So I did some searching on Ravelry for a hat pattern and found this one. I completed it in about 2 days. I am going to give it to him for his birthday. I can't wait for him to see it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Naturally colored cotton?

This is really neat stuff. This is naturally colored cotton. This color is Palo Verde. I am going to spin this and then ply it with some bamboo and nylon. The colored cotton is part of the Spin Off Fiber school in the Ravelry Spin Off Fun group.

Palo Verde Cotton from New World Textiles

100% handpainted bamboo

Woohoo!!! My Lambtown adventure

This was my first time visiting the Lambtown festival in Dixon since I was a kid. My dad came along with me which made the day even more special. Our first stop was to watch the Sheep Dog Trials. These dogs are amazing. We watched a few trials before the sun got too much for us and we decided to go check out the rest of the event.
Our next stop was to see some of the many vendors. There was such great stuff crafted by many talented people. I was very good and didn't purchase anything. I was hoarding my small stash of money for the fibery goodness we were heading for.
At the fiber building I came unglued. Short circuited is more like it. Some of the fiber was so soft it made my eyes roll to the back of my head. I felt such luxurious stuff as pygora, baby alpaca, mohair, just to name a small few.
My first purchase and main goal was to find some alpaca that matched the alpaca that I already spun for my Danish Shawl. Luck was with me. There were many vendors selling alpaca, but there were only two vendors that had the color alpaca I needed. So I purchased 7.4 ounces of alpaca from A Star Alpacas. I have to give much thanks to Sunburst who is the Alpaca who gave this gorgeous fiber. I have a feeling I will be going to her store very soon.

My next planned purchase was some Romney that I purchased to blend with the alpaca. For the life of me I don't remember the vendor's name that I purchased it from. I sure wish I did because she had some more fiber I wanted to purchase when I can refill my fiber money.
Here I have already started the dying processes. The original color was white.
Now this was an unplanned purchase, but this gorgeous fiber was calling my name. As I walked into the building I the first thing I saw was this amazing silver wool. Don't know what kind of sheep donated it, but the wool won 3rd place at the El Dorado County Fair. After fondling it for several seconds, I moved along to the other vendors in the search for my alpaca. During our second tour of the building after lunch, I once again find myself fondling this amazing wool. Well, it ended up going home with me. I am planning on making a sweater with this.

Now with our shopping all done, our next stop before we head home is to the sheep shearing contest. We had stopped by earlier, but they were only prepping the sheep for the contest. During the prep I pointed out this gorgeous ewe in the mix. It was the only colored sheep in the bunch. Well, during the contest, some of the contestants were ready yet, so to stall for time, they decided to sheer one of the sheep to show the crowd what the contestants will be doing. They happen to choose my favorite colored sheep to demonstrate on. When they were finished sheering her, they threw the fleece off to the side onto the ground. During a quite moment while still waiting for the contestants, I asked the person MCing the contest what was going to be done with the fleece. He stated **GASP** "were going to throw it away". I quickly asked if I could have it and to my surprise, he said yes.

The staple is a bit small, and the fleece is really dirty... but hey it's free. Who can complain. Plus it will be fun to see what will come of the fleece once its cleaned.
Loaded with all our goodies, tired feet and bodies, we head home for some much needed rest.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My latest spinning project

This is the the SeaCell/Merino blend that I purchased from Creatively Dyed Etsy store. I have to say I love love love this fiber. It spins like butter and is as soft. It is absolutely amazing. I highly recommend this stuff.

It is approximately 27 WPI (lace wt). I plan to ply it into a 3 ply sock yarn then knit it up using the Journeyman sock pattern in the current issue of Spin Off.

Look what came today!

I am so excited. This is just absolutely gorgeous. It is 100% bamboo handpainted by Traditions Fiber Arts. Judy is wonderful. She doesn't know it yet but she is my new best friend. If you get a chance, check out her Etsy store. She has lots of yummy fibers.

I am planning on spinning this and then plying it with some cotton that I am going to spin up.

The cotton spinning is part of the Spin Off Fiber School thread on Ravelry. The current article of Spinn Off highlights cotton in it Fiber article. Anyone who wants to participate, can spin some cotton and then share their experience including tips they learned, likes, dislikes, and hopefully lots of pictures.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Finished spinning the Alpaca/Romney fiber

Well I finally finished spinning all that Alpaca/romney fiber that I carded. I got approximately 296 yard of yarn. Unfortunately, the pattern that I want to make calls for 1040 yards. I am not even close. [sniff sniff]

I am going to purchase some more fiber at the Lambtown festival this weekend.

ATC cards made for swap

My mom talked me into joining a swap. My favorite time of year is the fall and halloween. So when my mom called me asking if I would like to join in on these swaps, I couldn't resist.

Here are the two ATC cards that I made.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Finally finished preparing the fiber for my Danish Shawl

I have been working on this fiber for the past couple of weeks. I have taken the Alpaca and the dyed romney and carded them together. I look forward to seeing how it looks when I spin it. I plan on spinning it for the Danish wrap shawl that is in the current issue of Spin Off magazine.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Dyed NZ Romney

I purchased this raw fleece from Rumplestiltskins. Once I cleaned it all up it showed itself to be a soft gorgeous fiber. I did notice that dyeing the fiber caused the fiber to lose some of its softness. But the fun colors make up for some of the loss of softness. Besides, I am going to blend this with the yummy yummy soft Alpaca.

Here is a picture of the dyed romney. This was my first attempt at dyeing fiber. I did not have a clue as to what I was doing. I used Jacquard acid dye. It looks a bit like Bozo's wig is having a bad day.