Monday, November 30, 2009

CYBER MONDAY: 20% off everything in shop!

I can't miss this frenzy!?!

Shawls, Scarves,
those precious dog sweaters

as well as all the yarns: hand spuns, hand dyeds, and handpainted rovings on sale today until noon Tuesday.

Come shop!

PS: sorry, shipping not included in discount.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Farewell to a great Lady

Yesterday I said good bye to my Rio Grande Loom as she drove off, partially dismantled in the back of a covered pickup bound for Wisconsin. I am thrilled for Sandy as she re-homes this loom that was a major fixture in my weaving studio for about thirteen years. I bought it from Rachel Brown when she still owned and ran Weaving Southwest in Taos, New Mexico. When I took it home it was just stacks of bundled lumber with some predrilled holes and a few bags of screws and metal hardware. It took me nine hours to assemble it by myself with only very sketchy directions attached. I discovered along the way that I had assembled some parts backwards which added time and frustration to that Saturday.

Once she was whole, I stood on the treadles of this trusty walking loom and wove rug after rug. Then I let my students use it to weave rugs after they had advanced their tapestry skills. Anita's rug is the one with the yellow and blue center design. She is still weaving and has bought two of my student rug looms for her studio.
The long skinny rug hangs in Holly's Taos vacation house.

The grey "Fragmentations" piece was a breakaway piece for me and the finale of my intense rug weaving days. I have it here at the house in use.

Just in case, the weaving spirit hits me again I have the the cherry wood eight harness Grande Dame Edwards loom stashed away in a climate controlled storage unit. You just never know.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Loving Lisa's Locks

As promised, here are the results of spinning with luscious kid mohair locks from Lisa Shell and Kai Ranch. Laurie helped me with spinning locks in Boerne. I am hoping to get back to this after Thanksgiving and our big family reunion. Can't see having the spinning wheel up in the midst of that crowd. Thank goodness the Sonata collapses so well. I would love to have luck dyeing things like this creamy peach merino roving. Pale colors are hard to achieve for me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tales of a Clapotis

Yes, that's the name of this fabulous shawl pattern designed by Kate Gilbert. This my first of many clapotis-inspired creations. I started it out in Encinitas when egged on by Martie. I fell in love with this colorway of Noro Silk Garden Lite. I wanted to make SURE that it was big enough, long enough and ended up with a monster for me. But today, Numero Uno Clapotis found a new home with Cindy of Jacob's Reward Farm. I hope to get mounds of merino roving in exchange for the shawl. She loves it It looks perfect with her coloring. It's all good.
Now, what color should I do one in that fits me? I never learn.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Color Feast: Kai Ranch Kid Mohair Locks

Getting to touch and gasp over the colors of Kai Ranch's Lisa Shell's dyed kid mohair locks was the highlight of the Kid N Ewe Wool Festival. For me, Lisa's sense of color is truly inspired.She sets up her booth with bins of color lit by her special lamp. I scoured the booths looking for a roving to spin with the locks. Texas Fiber Mill had fresh colors in their mohair bumps. I quickly purchased one and scurried back to Lisa's booth to make my own mix to spin.
Laurie coached me on lock spinning and I was off. After spinning bobbin after bobbin of thin rovings for plying, I was ready for a little creativity.
Ok, but where is this spinning? That will be my next post.
I just wanted to share the color banquet of the locks in this one.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Boots, Birks, Boerne

People! I just love them. The Kid N Ewe Wool festival attracts all sorts of them. Yesterday morning a couple cruised the booths before heading out to ride their cutting horses. I loved her used and scuffed boots. I suspect those spurs live on those boots, and she just pulls them on ready to go. His spurs are fancier but well used, and I think he might be just a tinscy bit bow-legged. BUT, the fun thing about them is, he had just built her a walking loom modelled after Rachel Brown's Rio Grande loom, for rug weaving. She learned to weave at Tierra Wools up near Chama, New Mexico. Small world.
Now for the Birks. This gal looked great in these totally hip Birks. She shops for them on QVC of all places and has about 20 pair. I got back to the room and put a pair of these in my shopping cart. Dallas just has to deal with me in birks or boots. I love them both. Oh, but I will be sporting painted toes in my Birks. A concession to Dallas grooming.
Next post will have my fiber finds but people are my first love.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Ok, so I was so eager I ate part of this gorgeous piece of coconut meringue pie before I remembered to bust out the trusty IPhone for a pic. Maryann and I stopped at the Koffee Kup in Hico, a authentic old-school coffee shop, for lunch. We held back by sharing a small hamburger and curly fries (natch) first and then each ordered a piece of pie. Sixty flavors to choose from. She had Black Forrest, with layers of chocolate, chocolate mousse and whipped cream. Mine was lighter with the meringue. Heaven.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Packing for Boerne

Tomorrow a.m. Maryann and I will head southwest to Boerne, Texas for The Kid N Ewe and Llamas Too Festival. For two years I have been unable to go at the last minute, but it looks like launch is eminent this time, even though a strep diagnosis for me popped up this week. What! almost-senior gets strep??? Anyway, Z-Pac is working it's magic.
I am going to start packing the car today. I haven't decided which workshop I want to join: sock-machine, dyeing cotton fiber, felting feathery merino scarves, spinning with locks. The temptations are many. I'm packing spinning wheel, duh, jumbo flyer for it, fiber to spin, yarn to ply, several knitting projects, cameras and sketching stuff. Oh, and my credit cards and cash, of course. Gotta be ready for all the tempting fibers. I'm especially drawn to gorgeous batts and rovings.
The other plus of this trip is pin-balling through the small towns on the way. I hear we must stop in Hico, Texas for the pie lady. Yum. The rest will be serendipitous.
The Texas Hill Country has a charm I have yet to experience in depth.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fingerless Fascination

The Wednesday Spinning Girls got me all fired up about fingerless gloves, and I just had to try it. So far I have knit these two plus one more. (More on that one later.)
The purple one is the pattern, Fetching. I chose some Louet Merlin in eggplant that I had in my stash. I refuse to go out and buy any yarn at this point, since almost my whole Etsy store is devoted to destashing my overflowing studio. I washed and dried them two times to "full" them and think they are just about perfect.

The multi-pastel pair is done from some handspun in my stash. I can't remember where I got it. This took more work to get the gauge right. I used Ann Budd's pattern, "Fingerless Mitts", found in Melanie Falick's book, Weekend Knitting. They are sleeker than appears in the photo. Now about, that third pair. It was actually the first pair I knit of these. It matches these but is in a size that will fit my 6-year-old granddaughter. It's that gauge thing.

I know the photos are a little funky, but have you every tried to photo your own hand just holding an SLR camera in the other? Try it and let me know how you do.

Friday, November 6, 2009

No pics today

I been derailed the last few days with a little Mohs surgery on a basal cell carcinoma on my face right between my eyes. This is the best kind to have as it is easy to eliminate with this specific surgery. Dr. C. Brown is an excellent. That being said, I look like I'm a week late for Halloween and a haunted house. Two swollen black eyes and bright red eyelids make me look like a super freak. I plan to circulate among the local population today, as I need to allieviate a bad case of cabin fever. Although, I treasure whole days at home, seems I'm resistent to enforced confinement. I tell myself sunglasses will mask a bit of the horror. Yeah, right.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Jacob's Reward Farm, Texas's 1st CSA Farm

Yesterday I became a 2010 shareholder in Jacob's Reward Farm located just north of Dallas in Parker, Texas. Quoting Cindy's website, "CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, an ancient trade model that brings the community back into the middle of the farming experience. Harking to the days when folks knew where their food and fiber came from, and knew the people who produced it, CSA’s once again draw people closer to the farm experiences and products they enjoy". The farm's alpaca herd is delightful. The Jacob sheep were a little more shy. I decided to purchase a 2010 share that will mix in fibers from smaller farms who can't quite meet the CSA requirement yet. Love supporting women in this venture.

For my membership I will share in next year's fiber harvest which, judging by the bags and bags of processed 2009 fiber here will be rich. Also, fresh eggs, a spinning lesson, and a drop spindle. Best of all I get to enjoy a little farm life even though I live in the big city.

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