A little bit of this and, a little bit of that, makes a little bit of me.

Posts tagged ‘Spinning’

Gentle Peace


Don’t let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace~~Dalai Lama

May a gentle peace be yours throughout this day. It’s easy to fall into the cycle of trying too hard to do too much, too quickly because of worldly demands. Even if the world outside is not a gentle place, I may still be gentle within me. Breathe. Live it. Celebrate it. Life’s a dance.

It has been feeling like fall for a week, with schools in session and a chill in the air. I am so glad to have some ‪‎knitting‬ time today even if it is only for a short while. Indoor Flyer is my dogs’ favorite toy. They adore it, especially the ones knitted in Red Heart’s Glow-in-the-dark yarn. It’s a riot–great for an amusement ride. Get your pattern for FREE. Use coupon code Katan at check out, good ‘til September 26, 2014.

Inspired by the grape vines that saturate the Walla Walla Valley’s Wine Country, winding cables and plump bobbles travel up the length of this pretty cabled scarf, mimicking the end-of-summer grapes ripening on the vines. First Crush is a versatile scarf that may be worn buttoned up to keep your neck warm or worn with just one buttoned edge, creating a draped shawlette that rests just off the shoulders. The pattern is FREE while it’s being test knit.

Squeeeeeee. The Perfect Pouch! It’s magical–perfect for shopping, stuffed with plastic or nylon shopping bags. Perfect for carrying plastic doggie doodoo bags I need for trips around the neighborhood. Perfect for boys and girls. Clip the pouch onto the purse, belt buckle, backpack, or laptop case. Carry it in the car or leave it handy by the door. This is an everyday pouch; adorable and practical. It’s an addictive quick knit and a fabulous STASHBUSTER. Mine are being felted. Super fast knit. The pattern is FREE ’til end of September.

Whovian Rage. Police Box Afghan is going at the top of my To Make For Me! list. This Tardis blanket is the best looking crocheted version I’ve seen yet.   Imagine–more than a few teens and adults will fight over this!

Thank you for stopping in and sharing my blog with friends. It brings me great pleasure to take you along on my journey of self discovery, self love, and crafty adventures! Visit me on Facebook here for more inspiring projects. As always, they are FREE.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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         ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ

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(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Chew On That, Monsanto!


How cool is this? I naturally like this.🐝 Three 15-year-old Mighty Girls from Cork, Ireland, have discovered a way to use bacteria to dramatically increase the yield of several basic food crops–a discovery which could have a major impact in addressing food scarcity while making agriculture more eco-friendly by reducing the need for fertilizer. Congratulations to these young scientists!

Using homemade equipment, they carried out germination and growth experiments over 11 months. They analyzed the performance of more than 9,500 seed samples, recording over 120,000 manual measurements in 125 experimental sets. Based on their extensive experimental results, the girls succeeded in showing statistically that two strains of Rhizobium bacteria can significantly accelerate the rate of crop germination.  These results have significant potential for increasing yields of food crops and reducing losses due to adverse weather conditions. They also offer opportunities for reducing the environmental footprint of agriculture by reducing fertilizer usage. Brilliant Irish girls, aren’t they? I just hope someone in the real world picks this up and actually applies what these amazing 15-year-old girls have discovered. Lets see some actual field trials to verify their findings in an uncontrolled environment.

We are reaching the beginning of autumn, the temperature is fluctuating a lot the past few days. So, be careful not to catch a cold like I did! Nonetheless, this is the best time of the year–to be wrapped around lace shawls like an overflowing scarf. Easy as Pie says right in its name how simple it is. It looks nice and beach-y in different gauges and fiber contents. A super satisfying knit with lovely zig-zag border.

I’m spinning some fine lace weight to do another one with beads and can’t wait to get it underway. So excited. Hand-dyed Romney locks from Iron Water Ranch is to die for. Be sure to check out the family-run booth at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival next weekend if you plan to be in Canby, Oregon. You won’t be disappointed.

Sweater weather is finally here. Though the trend (article here) for Fall sweaters is BIG, I much prefer a lightweight sweater with clean, architectural lines, and a simple drape. Fileuse is just the right piece to take me through those crazy transitional days of autumn. Besides, as a spinner, who wouldn’t geek over these adorable, little Saxonies?!

Musing here becomes the cyber equivalent of a sticky note! You know–when my sieve-of-a-brain can’t recall what project I wanted to start next? These soft-and-silky Baby Girl Mary Janes booties are as cute as the classic pairs I grew up in. Knit in the softest cashmere blend, they would make a perfect foot covering for a baby. I’m making a bunch for charities. (Look for the pink download arrow and click on it. Pattern download instructions are here. Make sure you do not have a pop-up blocker on.)

Thank you for stopping in and sharing my blog with friends. It brings me great pleasure to take you along on my journey of self discovery, self love, and crafty adventures! Visit me on Facebook here for more inspiring projects. As always, they are FREE(Kicking off Octoberfest for the fun weekend, right here, right now.  Come join us.)

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸”

         ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ

  ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

An Open Book


Often misconstrued, authenticity is not about being an open book, revealing every detail of myself without rhyme or reason.

It is simply the act of openly and courageously seeing what needs to be seen,

saying what needs to be said,

doing what needs to be done,

and becoming that which I am intent on being. That’s what I’m gonna be.

Shown here is Bridges Shawlette, designed by Shannon Squire of Twisted…terrific and fun to knit up.  The Blue Moon Fiber Arts Victoria ka-POW! pa-TINA colorway is perfect for showing off the design and vice versa.

I am a relatively loose-tension knitter.  In this one, I use recommended Size 6 needles without going down a size and got gauge on the stockinette swatch (at least I thought I did per pattern.)

However, I was unable to block the finished shawlette to the 24” by 84” size no matter how hard I blocked it.

It always sprung back to 64” by 18”…regardless, I really like the fabric as is now.

In order to achieve the 24” by 84” size per pattern, I suspect knitting with Size 7 needle may be the way.  There are 30% leftover yarn to cover such expansion.  Keep in mind the resulting fabric would be more open, drape-y than this sample.

Thank you to my fabulous models Caitlin and Elizabeth for such fun photo sessions!  Should you be in Portland area, stop by the shop and test drive this wonderful shawlette in person.

Here is what hubby made for dinner…and it was fabulous!   Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook and a little bit of texting!)

Is It Time for Wool Yet?


I have very poor impulse control when it comes to test knitting for Connie.   Flashing some intricate ginkgo leaves in front of me is just asking for it.

Sure I could have continued with projects already on needles, but, it’s just a cowl…how long will that take to knit up?

And so!  I have whipped my winnings–Noro Silk Garden (131 yards or 59 grams of colorway 228C)–into a cowl.

I wanted to incorporate a little of my own, hand-dyed batts for the contrast rounds and leaves.

It didn’t take long to spin up 11 grams (43 yards’ worth) of Bluefaced Leicester fiber and plied with one of my KCL spindles. Nice thing for me about spinning and plying on a spindle…there is no need to set the already balanced 17-wpi yarn. I made up the 2-gram (or 5 yards) shortage with Lion Brand Superwash Merino Cashmere (Seaform 123.)

With an absolute want of wintry knits, I will need to hit the stash and make another fashionable one–but an infinity scarf that can be wrapped around the neck at least twice–before the temperatures dropped too much.

I love making ginkgo leaves. This one is so much fun to knit up, yet, different than any one I’ve made before. I just LOVE the quick, mindless knit. Highly recommended. What’s on your creative plate?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook and a little bit of texting!)

Fall Knits…and it’s FREE!


Lee Meredith is having a pattern giveaway! Check out her blog for which ones.  I just got Biratu, with lots of yummy cables.  I have taken a class with Lee earlier in the year (February 2) and actually got the concept how this is done…but, it’s always nice to play with Lee’s clever designs.

Thanks for the thoughtful gift, Lee.

Here is a peek of my spinning for a knitting project which I will share in full next time.

It’s raining…I must rustle up the stuff off the back porch…now

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook and a little bit of texting!)

Pedal Power


Say what?  This sustainable, pedal-powered un-knitting machine has my name all over it, doesn’t it??

A highly unusual Rube-Goldberg-like bicycle, designed to help recycle unwanted woolen clothes, unravels any garment item back to its pre-knitted form.   Created by Kingston University’s Imogen Hedges,  the un-knitter is one of this year’s best student-design curious contraptions, chosen by the British National Centre for Craft and Design,

While on the fascinating exploration, I stumbled onto the Fibershed‘s Cyclocarder–that can turn my backyard, community center, or farm into a human powered wool processing station.  Neat-o-fun!

I am happily be an un-knitter…at least through the holiday.  Or a music maker with a boombox like this one.

I wonder how I can get myself an un-spinner…Any idea?     What pedal-powered gadget would you ask for from Santa?   The quest continues…

For now, I am doing it the old fashion way.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)

November


Fiiiirrrst! Skipping away giggling.

That quintessential November has returned. Thanksgiving is coming up. That means not too far away is Christmas!!!!

And you know what that means. I will be knitting/sewing/felting like demon to make those warm gifts and necessities for our families and friends.

Are you feeling the strain of holiday present-making yet?

I’ve been brainstorming since the summer and yet I still feel behind. Ah, such is life.

Meanwhile, I’ve been offered a 40″ handmade loom recently…another craft I’ve been pondering on how to incorporate my love of weaving into my day. Would you say yes if you were me?

Crisp air, warm drinks, and busy busy hands. Don’t hold back and share your passion and love.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…)

Jizzy Jizzy Jazzed


…so thrilled to join in spinning today to see Laura (the brain behind Textiles A Mano,) Jo, Liz again…Mary and Wendy for the first time, plus a couple of familiar faces Janel (showing off her stunning hand-spun quivit, beaded lace cowl) and Laura in her fabulous hand-spun Solar Flare.  A basket of preaches…a very accepting group.  You spin what you spin.  There’s lots of chattin’ and some munchin’.  It was utterly peaceful.  Social spinning is so much fun while one may absorb information and tips like sponges from spinning goddesses!

As you may know, I’m easily distracted by soft, luscious, shiny fibers, an avid voyeur of all things beautiful, and on the look out for daily diversions…

A limited quantity of these cloud-like, exotic braids were dyed and blended by Laura herself.  Last of the two are mine, all mine!  Laura’s choices of stock are overwhelming tempting.  It was hard to not grabbing everything in sight.  She creates some of most delicious, dreamy batts I wanted to take home–be sure to keep your eyes open for them glittery batts at Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, OR, next week. Thankfully, I left the plastics at home and spent within the limit of what I had in cash!  Here is a small harvest spun and plied on my Cascade drop spindle

Based on the 3-gram, 32-yard sampler, I will be able to knit a substantial lace in a range of 1100 yards out of the two 50-grams braids. It is remarkably bunny soft…buttery goodness!  I was looking at motorized carders last year, but, the price was prohibitive for me. We are talking well over $1000 and in some cases $2000.  I can’t justify that as a hobbyist.  I also would not consider motorizing the carder myself.  That’s not in my skill set.  Nope…absolutely not going there!  I’m not that experienced when it comes to carders.  If I really wanted a motorized version of a carder, I would talk to Pat Green and see what they recommend.  But really, just a hand-carder as it stands has increased my output so much compared to what I did a year before that I don’t need to go there myself.  Besides, good news is that Laura just got more of the fine, exotic fiber in so she would dye and blend me some purple-blue braids in the near future 😀

while on the subject of spinning, here is Bling Me blended by my sweet spinning buddy LeAnn that I have been dying to show the world

The fiber was fun to spin up.  There is a rhythm you must find, but, was such an instant pleasure at seeing the fiber be transformed into yarn

and so easy to ply together with my KCL Dichroic Glass spindle while on the day trip to Portland yesterday.

;”>

This small 19-gram hank of sampler measures a meager 80 yards. Though a decent fingering weight (210 yards/50g,) I am contemplating whether or not to leave it as a single and finish it as a single lace. Would it hold up? Or spin it finer and leave it a 2-ply?  Decision. Decision.

Ain’t I lucky to live in an age when i may do for fun what other people did of necessity, and I may do it with an astonishing range of luxury fibres to produce an amazing range of yarns, fabrics, and garments, most of which are totally non-essential in today’s society.

Fiber art and fiber craft are one way in which I may really let myself go, choose whatever seems appropriate for the moment or the mood, improvise up a storm or turn out a perfectly executed design from a complex pattern, doodle, learn through mistakes, exercise my imagination/editing/tweaking skills, and just plain have a fantastic time twiddling my little sticks and hooks and string and things. I love the tools for what they are, as they are–and I so love yarn

that I would just pile up balls of it on the floor and ROLL in it to soak up all that beautiful colorful fiber goodness. Life is good!

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…)

An Afternoon of Merriment


at my friend’s ranch yesterday.
Siera
Squeal! It’s the great spinners that come to Spin-in that make it.
Nancy, Jo, & Rowen
Everyone is very generous with their sharing. It is a relaxed atmosphere where I learn more about the craft without having to take a workshop. It’s always where I can see someone doing something and just lean over and ask her about it.
Rowen & Barb
It is wonderful to have a local group to sit and learn and work with. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing newly-born lambs,
Pam;s Flock
taking a turn with sweet Rowen, and catching up with spinner buddies.
Rowen
Typically, I love the challenge of taking a really raw material and turning it into something deliciously delightful. I guess it’s sort of the difference between using a cake mix and baking from scratch. Almost. But, this afternoon, I couldn’t resist of spinning the cake mix rovings
Border Leicester Singles
Border Leicester from one of Kip’s
I love a new fiber. This one is 75% wool from one of Pam’s lamb Liz, blended with 25% silk
Fine Wool/Silk Singles
And boy, is it silky! I wasn’t going to bring home any new fiber, but, its shiny spun sample was staring at me for a few hours…I just couldn’t resist! It draws and spins lovely.
Fine Wool/Silk Singles
My favorite is still cashmere and merino
Cashmere/Merino Singles
This is one of my pay from Pam last summer. It will be plied with Liz above, gradient dyed, and knit into a lace designed by me…hopefully in time for showing at Black Sheep and Sock Summit 😀
Fine Wool/Silk Singles
I spin, both on a wheel and with a hand spindle (though much more often on the spindle.) I’d say that, for me, the level of relaxation is about the same, but spinning is much more hypnotic.
Wool Singles
When I’m knitting, I relax and fall into a rhythm; but, my mind is still very active–reading a pattern or chart, thinking about what’s coming next in the rows ahead. Sometimes I can watch tv, read a book, walk (a trick I enjoy!) or chat on skpye, if the pattern is easy enough. Often, it is satisfying enough to simply knit with no other distractions. With knitting, I find myself more in the present.
Star Gazing Waist Decrease Completed
When I’m spinning, my hands move more instinctively and automatically. It feels as though I’m just watching the colors flow past–a lot easier to become entranced with the rhythm of the wheel and treadles. My breathing falls into the same cadence. With spinning, I go much more quickly to that place without timeuntil I screw up and break my single or let the twist too far into the fiber
Gorgeous Batt in Red/Pink
BFL, Silk, Bamboo, & Mohair locks specially blended by my sweet fiber buddy/giver LeAnn
What are you content with?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!


(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…)