April 26, 2010

Sheep and Wool Pre Festival Plan

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , at 10:38 pm by Jenn

You know you are in trouble when you have to make a pre festival plan.  LOL.  I’m sure I’m not the only one, making lists, checking vendors, planning my attack for the big day…that’s right, it’s that time of year again.  The first weekend in May.  Time for none other than the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.  A knitter/spinner’s idea of heaven. 

Last year was my first experience and while I completely enjoyed myself, I was a little overwhelmed.  Partially due to the fact that I was jet lagged from my recent trip back to the US from Azerbaijan, partially due to the fact that I had been having serious fiber withdraw from living overseas and lastly due to the fact that I was walking around smelling lamb cooking, but everyone was speaking english.  It was kind of like and out of body experience.  I remember passing many booths by just because I was too overwhelmed to look at anything but yarn or fiber.  I didn’t want to be tempted by notions or soaps, or dyes or paintings.  I do remember buying some maple peanuts though and while they were tasty, that’s $10 that I couldn’t spend on yarn!  LOL.

This year I plan to get an earlier start, take my time and really get into it.  I have my must sees, but I also want to do a little gift shopping while I’m there.  Since I come from a family full of crafters this is one stop shopping for me.  I would really love to go on Saturday and be able to do all my shopping and then go back on Sunday to see the animals and take a bunch of pictures.  We’ll see, the weather is going to be the determining factor.  I really don’t want to trudge around outside in the rain.  Rain + Fairgrounds = MUD!

Here are my must sees (in no particular order).

Creatively Dyed

Brooks Farm

Tess’s Designer Yarns (home of Man Candy)

Woolstock

Cloverhill Yarn Shop

Cormo Association

Spanish Peacock

Fleece Sale – looking for a white fleece this year, because my dye pot will be here soon, Cande will be living nearby which means – lots of white fleece will be needed for dyeing….of course, grey and light brown might be interesting too…..see the dilemma I face at the fleece sale.  I really am thinking BFL!

Sheep Incognito

I’ve been dreaming about a Majacraft Wheel lately.  I love the way they look.  Of course I also love the old antique style too.  Did I mention I’ll have my own place again soon…..mwahaahaa!

Ok, time to sleep and dream of the weekend…..I’m off to count sheep!  LOL.

February 2, 2010

Baby Surprise #5

Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 10:08 pm by Jenn

A few weeks ago I finished my 5th Baby Surprise Jacket.  This is the pattern that I love to hate.  It frustrates me to no end because EVERY time I make it I do something wrong and can’t figure out what I’ve done.  This time was no different, but more fixable than some of my other goofs.  I found the perfect little buttons, sewed ‘em on and here it is.

Isn’t it cute?  I totally stole the bear idea from my sister, but it’s the perfect way to present the present!  Cute little sweater on a soft cuddly bear (from Build A Bear Workshop).  I can’t wait to see it on baby Hayden.

August 30, 2009

Second SP14 Package Arrives

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , at 6:02 pm by Jenn

This post, as man of my posts these days is overdue.  What can I say?  I’m lazy and I ‘m also sharing a computer with “the fam” these days so blogging time is hard to come by.

My second Secret Pal package arrived during the week and I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the contents…see, I took pictures and everything!

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The box.

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Pre unwrapping.

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Post unwrapping.  Starting at the bottom right there is a fold up travel pack that I will most likely use for knitting notions.  Atonement, the book.  I watched the movie just a few weeks ago and loved it.  Now I’m going to tackle the book to see which I like better.  I’m betting I like the book.  The card explaining what everything is and why she chose it for me.  A mesh bag of stitch markers, hand made by a friend of hers.  Under the stitch markers is a notepad with a ball of yarn, some knitting needles and my name.  A stuffed coaster.  When you put your mug on it, the heat from the mug releases fragrance from the goodies stuffed inside.  A box full of gift tags for my handknit items.  There is space to write care instructions, etc.  I’m sure I”ll get a lot of use out of these (and there are a LOT of them in that box).  Lastly, notecards and envelopes that match the notepad and gift tags.  VERY COOL package.  Thanks Pal.

Also in Secret Pal news we have a contest going on to post our favorite baby pattern.  Well, it just so happens that I have a friend out there who is expecting so I’ve been skimming the pattern browser and have a few cute knits in mind.  I’m hoping to make Phazelia’s mitered baby jacket (ravelry pattern), and the 8 hour baby afghan (ravelry pattern) for the little bundle – but my friend reads this blog so that being said – you never know!

In my other craft related news this weekend was a fiber filled as usual.  Friday was the Spinners Guild meeting and Saturday there was an impromptu meeting of the Bowie Maryland Knitters Group (ravelry group).  I had a great time at both as usual.

I’m working on the Poppy, V-neck pullover and I’m ALMOST FINISHED.  I’m putting the final rows on the second sleeve, then I just need to attach the sleeves, sew in the loose yarn and I’ll be finished with my second sweater!  AND, Friday evening I purchased the yarn for my third sweater which I thought would be the Whisper Cardigan, but that will be my fourth because my enabler (Jolene) turned me on to the Featherweight Cardigan which is made from Malabrigo Lace.  This yarn I might add is only $9.55 a skein at Cloverhill and the pattern calls for 3 skeins.  So that’s a sweater for less than $30, which makes it my kind of sweater!  The color I chose for this sweater is called Marron Oscuro which is a beautiful reddy brown.

Lastly, I sent out my package for the Knitting Whodunnit Swap.  This swap has been a lot of fun so far and I expect that with packages going out and alibis starting to get posted the real fun is still to come.  Stay tuned for more on that – for now I’m off to finish that sleeve.

August 23, 2009

Scales and Arpeggios

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , , at 4:46 am by Jenn

Yesterday Heather and I took a spinning class at Cloverhill Yarn Shop.  It was a small group, but it was well worth it and I learned a TON about my wheel and what it’s capable of.  I was really impressed with the yarn that I’m able to create.  I’m even more impressed that I was actually able to create a laceweight plied yarn!  YAY ME!  Finally!

Here is my pile of scrap/trash fiber at the end of the day

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My wheel has 4 ratios and here is are my scales and arpeggios using those ratios:

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From left to right using 64 micron Merino – the yellow is the 6:1 with brake and then no brake, the red is the 8:1 with brake and now brake, the blue is 11:1 with brake and no brake, the green is the 14:1 with brake and no brake and that white….wait for it -

that is also the 14:1 with no brake but the fiber is 80 micron vs 64 micron….what a difference the fiber makes!  All of these are 2 ply and yes folks, I can make lace weight yarn if I use the right ratio!  DUH!  I’ve been spinning on the 8:1 with brake so no wonder I wasn’t able to get the finished product that I wanted.  I’m so happy that I went to this spinning class.  Understanding what my wheel is capable of is probably the most useful information I’ve gotten in my 3 months of spinning.  Now I feel like I’m ready to tackle some actual spinning for projects!

Speaking of spinning….I plied some yarn last week and I have no idea what I did, but I somehow plied unevenly, so now I’m going to go back and add some extra twist to try to fix the uneven pieces….see

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Some of it is plied just fine,but other sections are just not good.  After I finish that task I am going to try spinning some of the fiber from the “bag of crap” that I received in the mail this week.

On Ravelry I belong to the Spin or Dye Swapping group.  Within this group is a “bag of crap” swap.  You claim a bag that has been offered and then offer to send a bag with a value of around $10.  The person who was supposed to send my crap, backed out so the crap angels came to my rescue and I received this wonderful crap from Vermont.

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The taupe colored fiber is Cormo/Alpaca, the white is East Freisien and the Dark Brown is Border Leicester/Alpaca.

Cande if you are out there I have your fiber ready to go…I just need your address : (

If you don’t send it soon, I’m afraid I won’t be able to control myself…spin spin spin : )

August 13, 2009

My Medallion

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , at 1:27 am by Jenn

Well, here they are – as promised.  Pictures of my finished Botanica Medallion Cardigan.

I put the seam under the right arm instead of down the middle of the back.  The yarn I used was Berroco Ultra Alpaca.

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And this is probably the most unflattering picture of the decade, but I’m putting it out there anyway

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So there you have it!  My first finished sweater.

And for all you Max fans – here is a picture of the boy cooling off with an ice cold Frosty Paws.

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August 3, 2009

An Olga Sunday

Posted in Journal tagged , at 8:34 pm by Jenn

Sunday was a very “Olga” day.  It started off with meeting friends that Scott and I met when we were posted in Belarus for lunch in Old Towne Alexandria.  This was the first time that I’ve seen Dave and Olga since I left Belarus and I was very happy to be able to meet up with them again.  We (Dave, Olga, Heather (sis) and I) met for lunch at Las Tapas in Old Towne (one of my favorite Spanish restaurants).  We had a nice lunch, a good chat and made plans to get together again this coming weekend.  I’m going to introduce them to Chesapeake Beach – maybe grab a bite to eat at BilVil….

Here’s a picture of us at lunch -

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After lunch I had planned to walk around the corner to Knit Happens to meet someone I’d been wanting to meet for almost 2 years….another Olga.

I met this Olga online on Ravelry.  I was in living in Belarus and  I didn’t know any knitting terms in Russian so I sought out help and lo and behold, Olga responded to my email.  What luck and what a coincidence to find someone from Belarus living so close to my home in Maryland.  I promised myself that I would meet her in person when I came back to the US and Sunday I did just that.

When I walked in to the store I recognized her right away.  She was organizing some yarn and stopped to greet us….she looked at me, then Heather (she recognized Heather from a previous meeting) then back at me and said….”Jenn”?  I said yes, she came over, we hugged and said how nice it was to finally meet in person.  I introduced her to Dave and Olga.  We all chatted for a few minutes then Dave and Olga left and Heather and I stayed and shopped around a bit. I  bought a cute project bag to replace the one I lost in DC a few weeks ago – that still ticks me off!

Olga is awesome, I’m hoping to get together with her before I leave for Chile.  She and her husband are heading to Japan soon which will be an amazing adventure for her, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing many awesome creations come out of her experience overseas.  Olga is a wonderful knitwear designer.  She’s in the process of publishing a book and I’m very excited for her!  I’m also planning to knit at least one of her designs in the very near future….I hope….The Trifecta Scarf.  This scarf is made from a yarn that I’ve not heard of before called Spud and Chloe.  They don’t carry it at Knit Happens, but they do have it at Fiber Space which was nearby so Heather and I made a quick trip over there to check it out and to check out the sample scarf they had on display.  The scarf is awesome and so was the Miss Babs roving that they had displayed….of course I couldn’t pass that up!

And as if I needed to find one more place to spend money – as we were walking to the car we happened upon Potomac Bead Company.  THEY HAVE CLASSES!  Note to self….if you want to save money – STAY OFF OF KING STREET!

So there you have it, an Olga filled, addiction filled Sunday!

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