Monday, October 30, 2006

Finished Sweater and Fiber Fair

I finally have a finished object to show off. I started this sweater last fall, but it wasn't going right and spring was coming so I lost my motivation.

I usually tend to slack on the blocking stage. As you can see I seamed it all together before I blocked it. But since I did the body and the sleeves on circulars it didn't make much sense not to. It did need a little stretching in the arms. And I got about and extra inch in the overall length.

So here it is. Modified version of the Gatsby Pullover from Interweave Knits Spring 2003 issue. I used Cashmere Luxury Chunky yarn.

Also as you can see I visited the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair this weekend. What fun. Pictured here is a Suri Llama, she's about 11 months old and already a Grand Champion something. I was sort-of paying attention. It was cold and wet and there weren't many people around the barns, so we got to talk to lots of owners.

Also out in the barns we met the great people from Interlacements Yarns. It was great to see this yarn in person. I bought two skeins of Tiny Toes and their beaded scarf kit. Shown in the right of this picture. On the left is a pair of Sol Mate socks. How could I resist, those colors were perfect for me.

I've never done any beads before so I had balled up the yarn before I even took the picture. I've worked on it over the rest of the weekend.
I'm really not sure beading is my thing. If the beads slid on their own I'd be happy. But it's way too fussy to have to stop and slide so many beads down every few rows. But I'm loving the results!

Then there was my truly splurge purchase. Laceweight Tencel from Just Our Yarn

This company had the most wonderful yarns. Most were very light weights. I'm enjoying the lacy project I'm working on, but I'm into more instant gratification of smaller projects on medium sized yarns. But I couldn't resist getting something. They had cashmeres that I just wanted to stand around and pet, but pricy!!!!. This was pretty reasonable for 1000 yards. Now I need another lace scarf pattern. After I finish the one I've got going of course.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Yarn Bowls and Swatches

First, blatant commerce-
I present Yarn Bowls.

Just right to keep your ball in place while you knit. The yarn threads out through the hole. I have one beside the couch, but I also carry mine in the car with me and keep it between my feet. Confuses the thieving furry creatures that you may live with as well. I hadn't expected to have any this soon, but managed to squeeze a batch into the next kiln load. They are about 7" across the top and 5-6" tall. I have 8 ready to go in the four colors shown. Light Blue, Dark Blue, Brown and Green, and Tan. The price with shipping in the US is $38. Send an email to

Second, I swatched up a couple of my latest dyeing efforts. This is a circular swatch of a gauge to approximate a sock. The first one is not so red, more a very rich Mahogany Brown, the second is denim blue like well worn jeans. I'd go outside and take better pictures, but it's about 35 degrees and 35 mph winds. Maybe later in the week.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Knitters Tea Swap

So I joined my first swap. The Knitter's Tea Swap. I had a lot of fun gathering up the items to send off to PA to my partner. And yesterday.... Ta Da! I got my package! My swap partner is Babette at I can't wait to get over to her blog and get to know her.

I opened everything very slowly and sampled along the way. Just like Christmas I want to make each one last as long as possible.The whole shabang! With details to follow.
The Teas- Scottish Breakfast, PG Tips, and a couple more exotic blacks.

The goodies! English Tea Cookies, (note the opened state of all the packages.) White Chocolate Malt Balls!!!! Those are amazing. Honey straws, a couple of honey candies. Green Tea Mints, and evading the picture. Teapot themed note cards that will just have to inspire a tea party this winter. They are perfect for the invitationsAnd the grand finale, KOIGU!! My very first. I hadn't even seen any in person before, just on the web. Lots of colors, and such a neat texture with the two plying.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Great Reception

The Raku bottles that I showed off this week were for an exhibit that I am in this month. Cedar and I are the featured artists at Toe River Craftshop in Celo. We had a great turn out for our reception yesterday. It was a little wet and dreary outside, but the shop was warm and cheery. We set up the tent on the porch for the food and music. So everyone was able to visit and chat outside and see our work and all the shop inside. I'll go back and take a picture of the display, it was just too crazy yesterday. Thanks to everyone who came, and if you didn't make it by already, the display will be up all month.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006


In a blatant theft of Jessica's idea, I have gathered together all of the socks that I have made that are still in the house.

There are many pairs missing, I made lots of socks from Woolease before I knew about nylon, and the heels wore out. There are a few pairs here that have had a replacement heel. There is one pair that has suffered my lack of patients with hand washing and will now stand on their own, more of a boot than a sock. There is the pair that I made for my husband that were supposed to shrink down to fit. I didn't know about acrylic then either. I think they are in his work truck protecting his safety goggles. I've come a long way I think.

I finished this pair Monday night. I like them. They are way busy, and there is cable down the front and back that is sucked up by the stripes, but I know it's there.

This yarn was really spotty when I dyed it and I wasn't sure how it would look. But I knit it up and liked it a lot, though that swatch picture didn't come out well. Rewinding it helped too, broke up the splotches.

To answer some of Lolly's questions on my sock history.
I knew how to knit, but hadn't done it in many years. I was bored and lonely in college and there were some girls in my dorm who knit in the lounge. So I went to the great craft store in town and bought two books, the interweave press socks book, and the knitters companion. I decided that socks were the only thing I was really interested in. Other projects seemed too big or too impractical. I just taught myself out of those books. My first heel took about 4 tries. I had to stop reading the directions as a whole and just do it one line at a time.

Almost all the socks I've made cuff down, a variation of the basic sock pattern in the interweave book. I was a die hard dpn person up until the last three pairs or so. Now I think that two circulars is the way to go. I've used a lot of different yarns, I don't have a favorite. I haven't spent the money on some of the most talked about stuff out here in blogland. I started dyeing my own to save some money, and to hopefully make some eventually. We'll see how that goes.

In the pottery world

I showed off a few Raku fired bottles a few weeks ago. Here are a few pictures of the process to fire them. It's a very hands on technique with smoke and fire and heat. It's fun, but I wouldn't want to do it every time.

I've just raised the top of the kiln, you can see that the pots are glowing hot. They get up to about 1900 degrees.

Then you grab them with the tongs and move them over to a nest of sawdust and newspaper.

And once everything has caught fire you pop a cover on them and let them smoke. You can go back to the post at the end of August to see a few of the finish pieces.

This is my stoneware kiln, I just opened it yesterday and needed to let it cool a little more. This is the type of work I do on a regular basis.