Have Ewe Any Wool?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Knitting Progress

In addition to the spinning and crafting I’ve done this past month, I completed a couple of smaller projects and finished a continued work-in-progress.

IMG_4061As always, I have a pair of socks still in progress.  I think that’s a perpetual project for me.   Once I finish a pair, I immediately start another pair.  This month, I actually managed to finish a pair.  The yarn has a bit of metallic thread through it, so these socks have a bit of a nice shine.   Plus, you’ve gotta love the colors!

IMG_4058I finished yet another mesh scarf, so now the one I finished at the retreat has a “buddy”.   These are so much fun to make….and they’re so versatile.  Always available to “add a splash of color” wherever it’s needed!  

I’ve included a close-up of each below to show off the richness of the colors (in the blue one) and to show the detail of the edges of the “English Garden” one.












For my latest project, I finished knitting a wine bottle cozy.  It was an easy pattern.   However, I’m not really fond of how it turned out.   The bottom was a bit lumpy which made it a bit unsteady, which isn’t very practical.     





Of course, I have to get in one last photo.  Yes…you guessed it!   Another thistle photo.   I love the contrast in this one – you can really see the spiny stalk and leaves in this photo…as well as the fascinating construct of the thistle itself.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Spinning and Weaving Retreat at Refreshing Mountain Resort


IMG_3953IMG_3954There’s nothing like the cool mountains of Pennsylvania to escape the sweltering heat!   I arrived a bit early at the retreat, so I made myself at home on the “Adirondack Chair” swing and spun away the afternoon with my drop spindle.  It was so relaxing!  A great way to mellow out after a stressful work week!




This is the second year that Beth organized a retreat at Refreshing Mountain.    She does a great job…and we always have a lot of fun!

(Thankfully, this year, there wasn’t a hurricane bearing down on us like there was last year!




IMG_3962IMG_3963All my friends from Lancaster were there….and we had a great time!   I saw several folks that I hadn’t seen for a while – like the Sock Lady!    There were the usual spinners and knitters, but in addition to them, where were several folks with antique sock machines!  What a wonderful sight!


IMG_3995IMG_3997Kim taught a little class and demo’d some of the fantastic things you can do with the antique sock machines.  

I was amazed….she beaded a sock using the sock machine (shown with one bead on the top right)! 

AND she created a “heart-lace” pattern!  AND she did cables!  It was incredible!  (She also specially dyed some roving for me – bright green and purple.   It’s absolutely gorgeous!!!!)




Heart-pattern done in lace (left)

Cables (right)





IMG_3967There were so many crafts represented!   Beth and others were spinning, Audrey was weaving, others were busy with punch needle embroidery or bobbin lace.   Of course, there were a few vendors there as well – including one selling tie-dyed t-shirts!   (Of course I had to buy a couple of them!)













Punch needle (left) and bobbin lace (right).








Audrey’s  loom is just like the one I want to get….complete with the wheels for easy manuevering!






IMG_3960IMG_3961One of my roommates had a Journey Wheel….isn’t it gorgeous? (left)




I spun like a fool the entire weekend.   I had 4 oz. of hand-dyed alpaca that I’d received in a swap, so I spun that up as a two-ply skein.  It made a nice sized skein – I just can’t remember how many yard!   I decided to do an experiment – I split it into two one-ounce chunks.  I spun one using my usual “inch worm” method and the other using the “long draw” method.   The "long draw” used a lot more fiber!   The two-ply yarn then had a fluffier ply and a tighter ply.  The plied yarn was soft and lofty.

I had 156 yards of the single-ply from the “inch-worm” method left over!    I was amazed at the resulting difference in yarn between the two methods!  (The finished skein with the leftover singles are on the right below.)









IMG_4034I spent most of my weekend “spinning like a fool”!  I spun 2 oz. of some lovely mohair I purchased from Misty Mountain Farm. This was a much  heavier and drapier yarn than the alpaca….mainly because of the difference in the underlying fiber.   I was amazed at the difference. It’s gorgeous!  Unfortunately, I only have 78 yards of this luscious yarn, so I’ll have to make creative use of it!

I purchased some gorgeous hand-dyed alpaca roving from Pam.  It was incredibly soft and the colors were fabulous!   Normally she pretty much sticks to the natural colors, so this was a huge “step away from the norm” for her.   And we all loved it!  When I spun it up, everyone liked it so much that they were looking for more at her booth.   Sadly, she only had a single ball of each of the colors she dyed….but I think she’s now got some ideas for how much to dye and bring the next time!  This made a lovely 214 yard two-ply skein.  So many things I can make!!!  Hat?  Fingerless mitts?  Cowl?  Decisions, decisions.



















Well…I didn’t spend my entire weekend spinning.   I worked in a bit of knitting too!   I made another one of the mesh scarves.   They’re so addictive!   I just can’t stop!




Of course, there was a pool and lots of areas for walking and hiking…just in case we needed a break from “crafting”.   I was personally fascinated by the kids that were riding the zip-lines….I think they’re crazy!!!!  Oh….to be young and foolish again…..

                  IMG_3981 IMG_3982  

The platforms were very high…and the walking paths were underneath in some areas, so we had quite a view.   Check out the zip-liner on the right.  (Double click for a closer view)


Sadly….all good things must eventually come to an end.   Sigh.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Hook-In at Yellow Spring

The annual “Hook-In” at Yellow Spring was fabulous!   So many inspiring projects…..and the food was fabulous as always.   This is one of my favorite events.  (Second only to my guild’s hook-in in January….a little something to brighten the winter!)

IMG_3924There were lots of vendors there as well.  Of course, I bought the canvases for several new sheepie projects from Jerry….and some fabulous wool too!   I just started a very small Christmas project, and should be able to complete it by Christmas.  I’m planning to start one of my “Sheep-scapes’ next…and got most of my wools coordinated for the project.  All I have left is some dark blue/navy to either purchase or dye.  


















I was able to get small samples of several different color groupings – perfect for little details – from a vendor that just finished using them for a dyeing book.

IMG_3927IMG_3928This year’s featured project was the trees design.  I’m always amazed at how different everyone’s project can be….even when starting with the exact same pattern.  














There were a number of very lovely projects – definitely getting my creative juices flowing!!!!   Oh….and one of the guilds very generously gifted me with a large bag of wool.   They wanted it to go to a relatively new hooker - What a fabulous treat!




When I got home from the Hook-In, I took Sandy for a nice long walk (definitely a needed treat after I’d been sitting all day!).   We found some of my favorite thistles.   I have no idea why I like thistles so much….perhaps it’s because most of them are purple?   I find them very beautiful and artistic.  









IMG_3947Sandy, on the other hand, is more intrigued by the critters we happen upon during our walks.   Like this very daring little bunny we found up next to the house.   I believe we’re having a bit of a stare-down here….neither one wants to “give in”.   I’m not sure what Sandy would do if she actually caught one of these rabbits…..and I’m not sure how the rabbit would react either! (Hopefully, I’ll never find out!)

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