Tuesday, November 30, 2010

on love

So far I've been approaching this blog as fiber-exclusive and leaving all that other 'life' stuff to my other blog and never the twain shall meet. But seriously, doesn't that kind of segregation get a bit tiresome? So perhaps this blog is about the things that I truly love about this world, which happens to include a lot of fiber. And a lot of grey and red.

This is the house that my grandfather built on the Oregon coast, where we went visiting on Sunday. The one thing that I love (exclusive of my people, bien sur) more than wool? The Oregon coast. I love all beaches, but none quite so much as we have here.


It's not something that I can explain exactly. It's about how relatively empty they are, and how soft the sand is from those big Pacific waves, and our incredible hills and the fog and the clean smell and oh, just Everything.




And lookie, there's me wearing that hat I just made. So there's fiber involved as well.



I could do this all day, but instead if you're as crazed for coastal images as I am, you can see all the waves and sand you want in the flickr set.


Kinda makes you want to curl up and knit now, doesn't it?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


It's up!


Gridlock is a ridiculously fun hat to make, and fast, too! Between all the, erm, ideating and revisions I've probably knit half a dozen of these in the past week without breaking a sweat, and I got some other side knitting done, too. Many thanks to Sorren for test knitting that grey and red one on my brother's head (he took it over as soon as it got home) and to my lovely models, Chris, Anatole and Lorelei. This was the fastest hat shoot ever as I made them hang around on the coldest day we've had yet...


This hat is worked up in a worsted weight yarn for the adults, and a light worsted/dk for the kidlet. We have Malabrigo worsted, Tosh Merino, and Rios up there. The astute among you will have noticed that these colors are awfully similar to The Big Easy and you are correct. I bought one skein each of Tosh Merino in Filigree and Norwegian Spruce and got two Big Easy hats and a Gridlock out of them. I like that kind of economy, myself.


If you are interested in toasting your top with one of these, head on over to Ravelry or just jump right in here with your $5.00 and click on this button:

And thank you, as ever, for your support and compliments! Any questions, you know where to find me. Now go eat yourselves silly and have a great long weekend!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

holding pattern

My friend Sorren just started spinning. Keep that in mind, she just started. She brought this lovely, opalescent yarn in to show off the other day and I snatched it, literally, away from her and declared it mine.


Fish gotta swim, she gotta spin. And knit. I should mention that the girl is also a knitting phenom, she knits at the speed of desert lightning. I have conned her into doing much for me lately so it's unfair of me to also be stealing her yarn, but what can I say, I'm weak.

Fortunately we have more collaborative plans on the horizon, involving these adorable little packets that arrived this week:


Live free or dye! I went to school in New Hampshire for a year, and I tell you what, you would never know that it was populated by such zealous textile artists. But yes, we're going to start dyeing our own fiber! And then, presumably, when we get good enough we will be selling it on the etsy, and we are just so dadgum excited! Any tips, tricks? I'm especially interested in this Greener Shades Dye because it's an acid dye that is free of heavy metals so you get all that vivid color but without the Mad Hatter's diseases.

I'm fairly itching to spin with all this fibery goodness going around, but I got myself deep into this laceweight polwarth dyed by the famous Tina at Blue Moon Fiber Arts, and boy is it kicking my butt.


It's wonderful stuff but, oy, it's a lot of spinning. I've promised myself that this will be the week that I get it off the wheel, after my next hat pattern comes out (shhhh), perhaps during the snow that our region has been promised tomorrow...

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Big Easy

Last October I was hanging out with Alex at a craft fair and I cast on for this hat. I intended it to be a present for my son but it just never really made it off my head...


And then people started asking me about the pattern and I just went, uhhhhh...It's easy! But finally something had to be done, so I made up another one, slightly larger (for all those large-headed people in the world like the ones I live with) in another beautiful yarn.


The red one is Malabrigo worsted in Sealing Wax (heart!) and the second in the equally swoon-worthy Tosh Merino in Filigree. I wear these all the time, people, in fact one of them (I forget which) is on my head right now. It takes approximately zero hours to knit up and it just sits so nicely over the hair and covers those tender ears and slouches in a way that is far cooler than I can ever hope to be.


Many thanks to Lorelei for helping take photos and for modeling with me so winsomely. And that grey coat I'm wearing? Yeah, that's the best-ever coat that I wear every single day, if only to remember Alex. And keep the wind off. Red/orange and grey is all I need to have a happy day, folks.

Oh! So if you are interested in purchasing said pattern (for $3.00!) you can head on over to Ravelry or just click this button right here:

Many many thanks to my brother for the pictures of both of us, but most of all for opening up the doors to his bike shop (!) on his day off so we could make use of that nice natural light on a very grey and drizzly day. Go on over and check out the journey of his new shop, Crank, and if you're local just stop on in their new location on SE 27th and Ash because these guys can take care of you like no one else can.

And stay tuned, there are games afoot.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Show the World!

I teach an amateur photography class at the shop called "Show the World!", intended for this brave new world of mass communication via interwebs and the sudden proliferation of digital media. It seems like everyone and their dog has a digital camera, and they're using them to broadcast themselves and their lives (and, often, livelihoods) to the world. But not everyone has had the chance to learn some of the simple tricks of photography, which can sap a lot of the fun out of such endeavors. And thus, a class was born. This time, I happened to bring in my computer to use for practice editing so I got to hang on to one student's photos. And might I say that I am so honored and impressed.

(I also love the, erm, subtle -- and hopefully accidental -- commentary in this photo. Sometimes framing mistakes are priceless.)

We finished the class with a brief session with a model (yours truly) decked out in knitteds (none of them are mine) in front of the shop to capture that lovely post-storm afternoon light. I habitually have a none-too-gentle loathing of pictures that feature my own self on the other side of the camera, yet this student managed the impossible, A+ all around!

Here it's the subtle echo of the spinal curve by the window display that gets my attention, and the highlight on the beautiful stitch pattern of the lace.


Thank you so much to all my wonderful students, and I think that next time I'll have to make sure to get more examples that I get to take home.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Oh, wool is me


As promised, some new yarns for squeezing. These are all at Twisted, but soon, soon my dearlings, I will have more choices for the buying. And maybe even more kinds of things to buy! Goodness gracious, I could do this all day long.

Jane Austen
"Jane Austen," an aran weight merino 2-Ply

Cauldron Born
"Cauldron Born," everything under the sun is in this yarn. Alex gave me a crazy batt for my birthday (sorry, no before pictures) that was a riot to spin up, then I plied half of it with silk and the other half with alpaca. It's actually super pretty in real life, doesn't translate well to photographs at all.

Acid Test
"Acid Test," a very toothsome, chunky merino. This one and Jane Austen were originally going to be plied together, but then I had a change of heart. But a glimpse of them as singles, all the same:


Trout Tickling
"Trout Tickling," BFL light worsted. Another one that is so much better in real life, with this deep, subtle rainbow quality and that famous BFL luster.

At this rate, I'm going to burn through my fiber stash in pretty short measure, I get pretty obsessive about spinning. Good thing I have a plan...more on that later, I hope! Until then, happy November!