June 26, 2006

OUT & ABOUT DOING FIBERY THINGS

Master Knitter Anne enlightened us at Guild last Wednesday as to the benefits (and the pitfalls) of the TKGA program. Here's a photo of her holding up the Aran sweater that she designed for Level III. She's explaining that she made a cropped sweater for her teenaged daughter, placing the mandatory bobbles on the sleeves, and topping the whole thing off with a deep, ribbed turtleneck.
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Long-time readers of this blog will recall seeing this sweater in an earlier entry.

Then it was off to Black Sheep Gathering for the weekend. I drove down with Terri again this year. We haven't seen each other in months, and so we had plenty to catch up on, which was good, because we kept up a lively conversation while sitting in the traffic that was damn near solid all the way from Seattle to Salem, Oregon, before the traffic finally broke loose and we had a few miles of open road to our destination in Eugene.

Once at Black Sheep Gathering on Saturday morning, we met up with many knitters we knew. We spent Saturday afternoon in a spinning circle:

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Marti, at left, and Terri, at right. On the floor in the foreground you see my little bit of Colonial fiber and my drop spindle, set aside while I took the photo.

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Peggy and Jessica. (Check out Jessica's blog for more cute photos from BSG.)

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Sheila and Michael Ernst at their booth where they sell their handmade glass buttons. Sheila joined us in spinning for the afternoon, and we -- along with some others from the Fiber Traditions list -- had dinner together.

This charming needle-felted fellow won a first place ribbon:

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He's looking at his reflection in the "water." His maker was Betty Teubel, and she lives in Enumclaw, Washington, which is practically a stone's throw from me. Wonder if I might run into her some day and learn how she comes up with her ideas for needle felting.

I don't know that I've ever seen so much laceweight yarn together in one place as at Black Sheep Gathering this year. At vendor's booth after vendor's booth, there were all different kinds of laceweights to choose from: cashmere, silk, pygora, and all sorts of blends. (I bought 1200 yards of pygora/silk blend to work up into a shawl.)

I enjoyed fondling fleeces with Jessica and Terri, and watching them buy one fleece to split between them. I didn't buy any fleeces this year, since the Corriedale fleece I bought last year has been only washed and still awaits combing or carding, and spinning. (The processor I sent it to last year was unable to run it through their carding machine.) I just don't see my spinning career taking off to the point where I need a stash of fleeces.

What I do envision for my future spinning career, though, is spinning up enough of this

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ice blue cashmere roving that I got at BSG to knit myself a lace scarf.

Posted by Karen at 12:17 PM | Comments (6)

June 20, 2006

YOU KNOW YOU'RE HAVING A GREAT FATHER'S DAY WHEN --

You know you're having a great Father's Day when your family lets you ride your tractor around in the yard for as long as you want:

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Well, maybe not for quite as long as Scott would've wanted. In the afternoon, we took my father to see Allegra dance in a matinee performance of The Wizard of Oz, and Dad seemed to enjoy it, although he was a little surprised at how grown up Allegra looked, dancing the "Bye-Bye, Blackbird" number. Dad was to have dinner at our house afterward, and he is used to eating dinner early. Ever the accomodating host, Scott left the theatre at intermission to come home and start cooking. What a guy. He rubbed it in at every opportunity: "I have to cook my own Father's Day dinner." And Dad would chuckle and snort in astonishment: "He has to cook his own Father's Day dinner?!" (Of course the rest of us pitched in on the cooking, once we got home -- not to mention the strawberry shortcake I had enough foresight to make that morning. Life is short -- make dessert first.)

Over the weekend, while waiting in line to get my seat for the performances, while waiting through intermissions, I knitted the heel flap, turned the heel, and started working the gusset of this:

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Lupine Lace sock, an Evelyn Clark design from Fiber Trends. Yarn is Shepherd Sock, color Periwinkle.

The recommended needle size for this pattern is a US 1. I had started this project on a US 1. But the sock was giving me fits whenever I tried it on, as it was a struggle to get it over my heel. I'm a tight knitter and I had to conclude that a US 1 was too small. Started over on a US 2, and am much happier with the results.

Upcoming events this week:

Wednesday: My dear friend Anne will give the evening's presentation at the Seattle Knitters Guild. Her topic is TKGA's Master Hand Knitting program.

Friday through Sunday: A trip with another dear friend, Terri, to Black Sheep Gathering.

Posted by Karen at 10:37 AM | Comments (2)

June 12, 2006

MY FAVORITE BLACKBIRD

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Allegra's dance schedule gets really intense this time of year, when the dance school gears up for the big recital. This year's show is The Wizard of Oz. And the character of the Scarecrow needs a complement of crows. Allegra's tap class are the crows, and they dance to the tune "Bye-bye, Blackbird" -- and they are as noisy in their taps as any congress of crows.

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She's the one furthest right in these photos.

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She says their number is like the movie Chicago.

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Of course these are not ideal picture-taking conditions (27 kids on stage, every one of them in motion), but I think you get the gist.

In addition to the tap dance class's crow number, Allegra's modern dance class does a hip-hop dance to tell Dorothy to follow the Yellow Brick Road, and her ballet class is the forest of enchanted apple trees.

When I haven't been driving Allegra to or from rehearsal, or sitting through rehearsal trying to take photographs and being on call to fix her hair (low bun! high ponytail! high bun!), I've been at home sewing alterations in her costumes. Gotta love the performing arts.

I did find enough spare time at rehearsals to finish the right mitten of the pair of Norwegian Mittens that I started in Beth Brown-Reinsel's class at the TKGA convention:

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The pair is destined for the Dulaan Project.

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In Two Swans Yarns news: The color cards for the Rowan / Jaeger / RYC fall line-up arrived last week. I am pleased to report that for my favorite yarn, Kidsilk Haze, no colors are discontinued this year! In fact, five new colors are being added, including one called "Violetta" which is a rich dark purplish-blue. I can already see myself wrapped in a shawl out of this. And in the Kidsilk Spray line, no colors have been discontinued, and two have been added. View the color card here.

Posted by Karen at 02:20 PM | Comments (5)

June 04, 2006

ONE MAN'S MEAT IS ANOTHER MAN'S POISON

Other families may gather 'round the campfire in the evening and roast marshmallows, but we like our superfoods:

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Roasting broccoli, Memorial Day Weekend 2006.

Posted by Karen at 07:35 PM | Comments (1)