Sunday, April 29, 2007

Two Finished Projects!

What happens when an order for 100 spinning tutorials comes in, needed asap; spinning and knitting a felted bag start to finish in two weeks; throw in a couple days of watching Baby Faith; squeezing in dashes of violin practice for the mini concert at a retirement home today; with all the regular tasks of running a business?


Spinning and knitting in the evenings and knitting while printing, and printing, and more printing. I lost track of the hours it took to print, compile, cut, punch and bind 100 tutorials. Taking that box full to the PO was a huge relief!

Thursday was spent spinning and knitting the last of of bag. My calculations were off with the roving. At the lofty rate of spinning it was going to take more like nine oz. of roving. I had eight oz.

"Ed, can you please make me a set of needles, this morning?" My champion pulls through. :-) One needle is ebony, the near one is cocobolo. Purposely mismatched.

The last 10 rounds where knit on 9mm/#13 needles with sharp tips and sleek bodies. The last ounce of roving was respun into a smaller yarn and the shoulder strap tackled by late evening.

I wanted a bit more padding on the shoulder strap so slip-stitched the middle stitches and did a seed stitch on the outside ones to keep it from rolling. It didn't work. The slip stitching pulled the edges inwards. It was 1:30am. Past Bedtime. Up by 7 to fix the strap by stitching the edges together the length of the underside. It worked.

It was waaaay wider than I'd wanted. I should not have cast on so many! Lots of hot, hot water, soap, and kneading. And the height shrunk a lot, but not the length, except for the bottom. Poor color in this photo, I was in too big of a hurry. I wanted to take it to the spinning session at 10am at the YS before Aurora took it to class that afternoon.

MC had a great suggestion: Buttons! We played around with folding it, then I poured over the wonderful selection of buttons that Celia carries. Aurora stopped by with Baby Faith whom she'd picked up for a babysitting session, just in time to find the perfect buttons. Since the bag is for a classmate it was great having her input!

The finished bag! It certainly is not the book bag I sent out to make. Not all is lost if Classmate doesn't end up buying it. It still turned out pretty cool, I think.

I finish writing up the pattern later. I still want to make a book bag so will try again, another time.

What does a yarn gauge have to do with anything in this post?

Take two wooden yarn gauges and tap them together in front of young baby!

She loved them!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bags and Blessings

One of our computers died which means Ed usually has this computer in the evenings since I'm using it a great deal during the days. The downside is that I don't get much chance for keeping up with personal emails or blogs - reading and posting. I decided to stay up late tonight in the hopes of catching up a bit.

I've been asked how big the sample weaving is from a couple posts previous. It's 6 inches wide and 18" long. And no, I haven't done anymore. I'm on a time crunch to get a commissioned piece finished before next Friday. Since I'm a hopelessly slow knitter and spinner all fiber efforts are used for this.

Remember the felted bag I knit straight from pencil roving for Aurora last July? She's been using it for carrying her nutrition course books and one of her classmates wants one. This time I'm spinning the roving just enough to put in a bit of twist. By using the 3oz, 15" Ladakhi spindle I can spin an ounce at a time. The last picture best represents the true colors. Want some stats?

One ounce of this Crown Mountain Farms Corriedale Pencil Roving is approximately 17 yards unspun. After spinning it is 40 yards. 40 yards knits over 6 rounds on the bag. I predraft an arm's length of roving to about half the thickness before lightly spinning the Ladakhi and let the twist run up to my extended hand. Then I remove the half hitch and give the yarn a good shake to evenly distribute the twist along the length before winding on. I'm able to spin an ounce in under an hour.

It's a pattern I developed for Aurora's bag, this time I'm writing as I go so the pattern will be available on our website. The bottom was knit on 8mm needles. Here I'm picking up the stitches along the side and about to begin knitting in the round.

I switched to #15/10mm needles for the body. At first they felt clunky but now the knitting is moving right along. Since this picture I've completed two more ounces and finished row 20. Spinning an ounce at a time and knitting it before spinning the next ounce is breaking up the monotany and is a rhythm I hope to be able to use for other projects. It doesn't seem daunting to spin one ounce at a time as opposed to tackling eight ounces that need spinning.

This was on the roof of my car a little after 7 this morning when I went out to go pick up baby Faith.

After feeding and dressing her we bundled up into the car to return home to work. But the beauty of the morning waylaid me. First I had to gaze at this site from the back of their house:

Then instead of coming straight home I decided to take the long loop to see this site which is about 7 miles from our place. The Wooden Shoe Bulb Farm. By then Faith had fallen asleep and I didn't want to wake her, and especially wasn't about to leave her to walk closer to the fields.

After Faith's morning nap we went for a walk to enjoy more of this sunny day after days of cold, pouring rain.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Baby Faith

Warning! The content of this Post is entirely of Baby Faith.

Faith with grandma Karen at the St Patrick's dinner:

With Grandpa Ed about 2 weeks ago:

Last week before our walk:

After the walk:

Last Sunday:

Can you tell she's a well loved baby? :-)

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Resurrection Day

Buried in bookwork and tax forms most of the week meant not a whole lot of fibery happenings. The checks were written and forms mailed off on Friday. Huge relie to have that monkey off my back. Most of the afternoon was spent determindedly concentrating on violin music for ensemble practice later that afternoon.I did squeeze in bits of time here and there to finish my sample weaving. Since I hadn't woven in a year I did half the piece in a twill, the half other plain weave to get the feel for weaving again. Switching to the tapestry bobbin for the black cormo (I was not able to capture the true bright blue, or the black) made that part go much quicker. It still needs to be cut off the loom and finished. Meanwhile I'll leave the remaining warp threads on the loom to tie the new warp threads to. This is "junk yarn" that I don't mind using for what is know as loom waste which usually takes about 24" of each warp thread needed in anchoring a piece to the loom.

Wednesday evening the mens prayer group hosted a memorial supper. One of the guys had marinated the beef and lamb roasts then slow cooked them on the barbeque all afternoon. Otherwise it was a very simple meal with raw vegetables, dates, raisins, and quick flat bread. At the end they served honey bread signifying when God gave Ezekiel, and later John in Revelation, His Word, it was sweet as honey in their mouths. We were asked to observe silence as we ate of the bread. The silence settled over the room like a heavy mantle but soon it was as a comforter; peaceful, warm, and oh so right. The flavors in the bread came alive in my mouth as I focused fully on each bite. Hazelnut, dates, a bit of chocolate, wrapped in flour and honey. The impact that this is how we are supposed to eat struck home. And so too it is how we're to partake of God's Word; focused and mentally engaged.

Thursday and Friday were days of almost 80 degree weather! The nights were cold with frosty grass and windshield in the morning but the days were bright and precious as jewels. Everything is growing so fast it's almost impossible to keep up, especially when one is buried in paperwork. Then early Saturday morning the sound of rain woke me up with astonishment. Heavy dark skies with clouds sitting low on the mountains drenching everything. At Saturday's spin and knit-in at the LYS people somberly entered, slowly gathering. Almost everyone put down their gear and headed straight upstairs to Not Yo Mama's Coffee shop for a much needed java pick-me-up. I was pleasantly surprised to see my cousin Tim later that morning when he popped in, he's working on the website for the shop.

Friday our Hairpin Lace Frame was used on DIY's Knitty Gritty! Stitch Diva used it to teach the technique of hairpin lace. That's something I've played around with but haven't yet made anything.

Birdsong woke me up at 5:45am. Early dawn light seeped into the room and I jumped out of bed. Less than 20 minutes to get ready and head out the door for the Sunrise service at the Scout Ranch where Crooked Finger was providingp the music. Such a beautiful drive but no time to stop and take pictures. It may only be five miles away but the road is narrow and windy as it follows Butte Creek. We had a wonderful service with some new pieces of music that surprisingly came together in two practices (and no written score, just words and chords). Afterwards was a huge breakfast. It's been a good time for reflecting on the tremendous incomprehensible love of Jesus.

The scene from the side deck of the lodge looking south. All of you experiencing snow and cold rains, please don't be envious. The clouds and rain have moved back in this afternoon. A ham is slowly roasting in the oven and the kids will all be joining us for dinner later today.

Butte Creek Narrows right below the Scout Ranch. This picture does not do justice to the torrential depths of the creek! It is much wider than it appears. Salmon and steelhead are running, as well as the kayakers. We saw several cars with kayaks lashed on top going up the road as we came back home. The Narrows is a class five cataract. Most kayakers put in just below then dash downstream ending at the Scotts Mills Falls.

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